# The Mathematics of Carbon Dioxide Part 3

Guest essay by Mike Jonas

Introduction

Part 1 of the series (Part 1) is here

Part 2 of the series (Part 2) is here

In Part 1, simple mathematical formulae were developed to emulate the carbon dioxide (CO2.) contribution to global temperature change, as represented in the computer climate models.

In Part 2, the formulae were used to have a look at the Medieval Warming Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA).

Part 3 uses the formulae to have a look at the longer term – at the period used to great effect by Al Gore in his film An Inconvenient Truth.

Note : This article does not say anything new, or claim to find any new results. It has all been said many times before. But by using simple formulae that emulate the internal workings of the computer climate models, it allows the CO2 and non-CO2 components of global temperature change to be quantified using a spreadsheet [4] instead of a sophisticated climate model.

Please note : In this article, all temperatures referred to are deg C anomalies unless otherwise stated.

The data

In An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore showed graphs of temperature and CO2 for the last 400,000 years. The data is available from studies of ice cores at Vostok in Antarctica [1] [2], and it looks like this:

Al Gore presented the graphs of temperature and CO2 separately, but the correlation between temperature and CO2 is perhaps easier to see if they are presented in a single graph, as in Figure 1.

There is a well-known connection between temperature and CO2 : as temperature rises, the oceans release CO2 into the atmosphere [3], thus a rising temperature causes rising levels of CO2. The result is clearly visible in Figure 1, with CO2 following some years after the temperature changes.

But what about the connection the other way, ie, CO2 warming the ocean? After referring to this time lag (“CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature”) RealClimate [3] puts it this way :

<blockquote>All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.

The 4200 years of warming make up about 5/6 of the total warming. So CO2 could have caused the last 5/6 of the warming, but could not have caused the first 1/6 of the warming.</blockquote>

Well, the formulae established in Part 1 can be used to test this idea.

The calculation

Applying the formulae established in Part 1 to the Vostok data gives the following picture of the CO2 and non-CO2 contributions to global temperature :

Before discussing this picture, some caveats are needed:

· The temperature range in Figure 2 is much greater than the temperature range used to establish the formulae. This makes the formulae unreliable over the period in Figure 2, as addressed in the following dot points.

· The basic formulae used, namely

Rcy = 5.35 * ln(Cy/C0) – j * ((T0+Tcy-1)^4 – T0^4)

δTcy = k * Rcy

(see Part 1) make no reference to the ice-free ocean area, but it is implicitly built in.

· As the temperature falls and sea ice area increases, the oceans’ influence on global temperature decreases, so CO2’s influence decreases too. (Extreme example : at 100% sea ice, ECS is zero). This means that CO2’s influence will in practice be less than as shown in Figure 2. Equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) will be lower at lower temperatures and the time taken to reach equilibrium will be longer.

· Similarly, at higher temperatures than today’s ECS will be higher, but since the average area of sea-ice is currently only a small proportion of the ocean surface (20m in 360m sq km) the increase in ECS would be very small.

· What the factors are that cause these major temperature changes is unimportant. The distinction in Figure 2 is between CO2 and non-CO2. All of the CO2 feedbacks claimed by the IPCC are built into the formulae and are accounted for fully in Figure 2. All the rest of the temperature change is non-CO2 regardless of the actual mechanisms, and regardless of whether those mechanisms are built into the computer climate models.

· At the low temperatures, it is possible that the CO2 feedbacks change too. Whether they increase or decrease is not known, but given that the oceans’ influence is lower at the low temperatures, and given that the feedbacks apply to radiative forcing (not just CO2 radiative forcing) and that non-CO2 radiative forcings must have been operating to produce the low temperatures in the first place, it is reasonable to assume that CO2’s overall contribution, including the feedbacks, is actually lower than as shown in Figure 2.

Now, looking at Figure 2, it is clear that CO2 has little influence on global temperature over this longer timescale. Note also that from about -130,000 to -100,000 CO2’s contribution remains at around its highest level while temperature falls more than 8 degrees. Similarly from about -400,000 to -350,000. In all of the major temperature increases, CO2 contributes no more than about 1/6 of the temperature increase.

In Part 2, there was some room for doubt about whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global, and attention was drawn to the accusation that climate scientists had tried to get rid of the MWP. With the very high publicity given to An Inconvenient Truth, and with the high reputation of the Vostok data (at least to the kind of accuracy needed here), it seems unlikely that anyone will attempt to “get rid of” the temperature and CO2 changes in the Vostok data. Even getting rid of the 800-year time lag of CO2 behind temperature would make no noticeable difference to Figure 2.

Conclusion

The picture of global temperature and its drivers as presented by the IPCC and the computer climate models is one in which CO2 has been the dominant factor since the start of the industrial age and other factors have had minimal impact. In order to support this picture, the IPCC has sought to portray CO2 as having been an important driver of global temperature in the past.

The idea that CO2 has been an important driver of global temperature over the last 400,000 years is not supported by the evidence.

The idea that CO2 has been the dominant driver of global temperature over the last 400,000 years is laughable.

Footnote

It is important to recognise that the formulae used here represent the internal workings of the climate models. There is no “climate denial” here, because the whole series of articles is based on the premise that the climate computer models are correct, using the mid-range ECS of 3.2.

Mike Jonas (MA Maths Oxford UK) retired some years ago after nearly 40 years in I.T.

References

[1] Historical Isotopic Temperature Record from the Vostok Ice Core

Jouzel, J., C. Lorius, J.R. Petit, C. Genthon, N.I. Barkov, V.M. Kotlyakov, and V.M. Petrov. 1987.Vostok ice core: a continuous isotope temperature record over the last climatic cycle (160,000 years). Nature 329:403-8.

Jouzel, J., N.I. Barkov, J.M. Barnola, M. Bender, J. Chappellaz, C. Genthon, V.M. Kotlyakov, V. Lipenkov, C. Lorius, J.R. Petit, D. Raynaud, G. Raisbeck, C. Ritz, T. Sowers, M. Stievenard, F. Yiou, and P. Yiou. 1993. Extending the Vostok ice-core record of palaeoclimate to the penultimate glacial period. Nature 364:407-12.

Jouzel, J., C. Waelbroeck, B. Malaize, M. Bender, J.R. Petit, M. Stievenard, N.I. Barkov, J.M. Barnola, T. King, V.M. Kotlyakov, V. Lipenkov, C. Lorius, D. Raynaud, C. Ritz, and T. Sowers. 1996. Climatic interpretation of the recently extended Vostok ice records. Climate Dynamics 12:513-521.

Petit, J.R., J. Jouzel, D. Raynaud, N.I. Barkov, J.-M. Barnola, I. Basile, M. Bender, J. Chappellaz, M. Davis, G. Delayque, M. Delmotte, V.M. Kotlyakov, M. Legrand, V.Y. Lipenkov, C. Lorius,

L. Pepin, C. Ritz, E. Saltzman, and M. Stievenard. 1999. Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature 399: 429-436.

[2] Historical CO2 Record from the Vostok Ice Core

J.M. Barnola, D. Raynaud, C. Lorius.Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de Geophysique de l’Environnement 38402 Saint Martin d’Heres Cedex, France N. I. Barkov, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Beringa Street 38 St. Petersburg 199226, Russia January 2003

ftp://cdiac.ornl.gov/pub/trends/co2/vostok.icecore.co2

[3] RealClimate What does the lag of CO2 behind temperature in ice cores tell us about global warming? http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/

[4] Spreadsheet “Part3” with all data and workings – here.

Abbreviations

AR4 – (Fourth IPCC report)

AR5 – (Fifth IPCC report)

CO2 – Carbon Dioxide

CWIS – CO2 warming already in the system

ECS – Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

LIA – Little Ice Age

MWP – Medieval Warming Period

SKS – Skeptical Science (skepticalscience.com)

WRI – World Resources Institute

## 169 thoughts on “The Mathematics of Carbon Dioxide Part 3”

1. Peter Miller says:

Ah, but sometime around 1951, according to alarmist theory, CO2 abruptly became the main driver of global temperature and natural variability became extinct.
Our world has been around a long time, so it obviously eventually had to happen.

• 1976, not 1951.
You are off by 25 years.
Earth cooled from 1940 to 1976, while manmade CO2 rose.
So that means it was in 1976, that after 4.5 billion years of natural climate changes, that all the natural climate changes suddenly stopped, with no explanation, and CO2 instantly became the “climate controller”.
Of course there didn’t appear to be any warming from 1998 to 2015, but after enough “adjustments” there will be plenty of warming from 1998 to 2015 !
.
The CO2 is the climate controller theory could not be wrong, according to the three most intelligent climate scientists in the universe: Al Gore, Bill Nye the science guy, and the Pope.

• Tom in Florida says:

You left out Mo, Larry and Curly

• The Original Mike M says:

Let’s not forget David Suzuki … but on 2nd thought…

• Menicholas says:

And once again, Shemp gets dissed big time.
*sigh*

• Crispin in Waterloo says:

Bill Nye with a Science Lie was on TV last week in Canada misrepresenting the usual facts of life. How can we prevent this sort of climate porn being seen by our children?

• David A says:

Notice how after 1950 there are no periods where there is a sustained downward temperature slope? (like from 1880 thru 1910)….”.
=============
Wrong JJ. T did drop, about .4 degrees globally according to old NOAA data, and the Ice age scare was real, and the “team” really did email about the problematic blip in the 40s, complaining that even after adjustments, the blip was still there.
Yes the team really did flat line global T and CO2 with the infamous hockey-stick, and they created a problem for themselves with CO2 being the only real driver and modern T not following this, so they reluctantly accepted bringing back in a modified MWP. Thus, allowing minor revival of the MWP enabled them to allow natural factors back in to explain modern T flux not possible with the original hockey-stick flat-line CO2 only model.
The analysis that is Mike’s post shows that they are still, by their own work, caught in a modern scientific conundrum of “Oh the tangled webs we weave…”
Other examples of this conundrum in climate science…
There must be 50 ways to leave your hiatus, followed by “why don’t we call the whole thing off”.
SH sea ice increase.
cooling of southern oceans
lack of a predicted hot spot
NH ice recovery
no acceleration in very moderate SL rise
no increase in weather extremes, droughts, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.
no decrease in NH winter snow fall
ever increasing crop yields.
coral recovery
etc

• [Comment deleted. commenter using fake identity, deleted per WUWT policy –mod]

• skeohane says:

So today we release 10 BMT of CO2, approaching 4-5% of the CO2 released annually, why was 1950 significant?

• Joel D. Jackson: This might explain why 1950 was significant.
that graph would be more convincing if there were a corresponding kink in the temperature curve. Instead, global mean temperature has risen and fallen (or “paused”) in a nearly rhythmic pattern with periodicities of about 950 years, about 60 years, and others. 1950 did not interrupt the slight cooling that persevered until about 1975; the high CO2 emissions since 2000 have produced little to no global warming.

• The Original Mike M says:

From the desk of my devious alter ego …
This all proves that CO2 is actually a strong negative feedback to cool the planet. The Vostok record clearly shows that every time CO2 gets high – temperature drops. So one works against the other. Temperature drives CO2 up but an increasing amount of CO2 brings temperature back down.
It does it quickly as witnessed in the short term after 1950. It takes longer for water vapor and ocean circulations to react and that’s what happened after ~1980. Whatever caused the warming pulse (“A”) beginning in ~1910 never stopped but simply subdued by a large dose of CO2 that caused the temperature drop from ~1950 to ~1970. Later, increasing water vapor and changes in the ocean currents allowed the warming to then continue despite the higher CO2 which now became high enough to put the brakes on “A” for an even longer pause we are experiencing now. If “A” went away with this much CO2 in the air, temperature would have dropped quickly. THe fact that it has not means “A” is hanging in and the “extra” CO2 is protecting us from rapid warming.

• Mayor of Venus says:

Replot on semi-log paper (vertical axis); should smooth out your kinks.

• Mayor of Venus says:

You should replot using semi-log vertical axis. That should smooth out the kinks.

• richard verney says:

And what happened to temperature at the time of the kink (circa late 1940s), it began to fall and hence the coming of the next ice age scare stories. If CO2 was the main driver WUWT?

• Crispin in Waterloo says:

Joel D
I see the kink in the burning of things. I do not see a corresponding rise in the CO2 level from 1950, it is gradual. I see a falling temperature from 1950-1976. The relationship between CO2 human contributions to it and temperature are generally negative during that time. I presume the cooling is natural because no ‘sulphate cooling’ argument stands up to scrutiny. No volcano argument holds up. It cooled as CO2 rose, just like the many times in the past. Then the temp went up. Big deal.
Now it is not going up. Big deal. Temperature is not driven much by CO2 at all. I have been lied to.

• (Comment deleted. commenter using fake identity, deleted per WUWT policy –mod)

• Chris Hanley says:

“Notice how after 1950 there are no periods where there is a sustained downward temperature slope? (like from 1880 thru 1910)….”.
=============
False, in fact since 1958 there has been a negative correlation with both human emissions and CO2 concentration for 31 years and a positive correlation for only 26 years:

• Chris Hanley says:

Joel D Jackson re. your graph:
No one is denying that the global average temperature has probably risen around half a degree C since ~1950 and that human emissions have probably been a factor.
The point is that the temperature rise has not been monotonic as one would expect if the constant rise in human emissions were the overwhelming forcing factor, that other factors like natural oceans cycles and cloud cover have at times predominated and that on the basis multiple empirical studies the climate sensitivity is much less than the central IPCC estimate of ~3C and therefore the ‘mitigation’ measures recommended are likely to be more harmful to humanity than doing nothing.
In fact a slightly warmer planet, if that eventuates, with a higher CO2 atmospheric concentration will, on balance, be very beneficial to both the biosphere and therefore humanity in general.

• Jackson

People that actually study the dynamic non-linear climatic system do not expect a monotonic temperature rise.

Funny. The ONLY predictions and graphs the CAGW religion ever releases look like straight-line linear monotonic temperature rises between 2000 and 2100… Or spaghetti-bowl ensembles where 97% of the lines are already wrong after only 1/6 the total time.

• Hugh says:

Funny. The ONLY predictions and graphs the CAGW religion ever releases look like straight-line linear monotonic temperature rises between 2000 and 2100… Or spaghetti-bowl ensembles where 97% of the lines are already wrong after only 1/6 the total time..

No, it is not funny, it is brain-dead. The monotonic raise usually starts around 1975 or so.
You can find the finest of examples of those fits at Tamino and other warmist blogs; and also in MSM, which always has plenty of Big Green journalist supporters available.
Or how about Hansen who wanted to fit an exponential extrapolation on his ice melt data?

• Sleepalot says:

The graph would be more persuasive if I could see the two world wars (and the 1930’s depression).

• gbaikie says:

— The Original Mike M
July 31, 2015 at 9:58 am
From the desk of my devious alter ego …
This all proves that CO2 is actually a strong negative feedback to cool the planet. The Vostok record clearly shows that every time CO2 gets high – temperature drops. So one works against the other. Temperature drives CO2 up but an increasing amount of CO2 brings temperature back down.–
I think it high ocean temperature- high ocean temperature causes higher CO2 levels.
So high ocean temperatures is only way Earth gets warm, but we in Ice Box climate.
And characteristic of Ice Box Climate is cold ocean- ocean which get average temperature of 5 to 6 C,
but most of the time it’s below 3 C, and currently we are around 3 C.
And large part of Ice box climate has to do with ocean circulation. And biggest piece is Antarctic at south pole. So we have been in Ice box climate ever since Antarctic moved to the south pole- so starting about 50 million years ago. So it’s been the global climate for tens of million of year and began entering period as Antarctica moved close to pole.
Another characteristic of Ice box climate is large polar caps. And it’s geological period which has caused very low levels of CO2- due weathering from an active mountain building period.
Or our ice box period with it’s glacial and interglacial periods, is largely related to recent [last 50 million years] tectonic activity and how it’s effect upon ocean circulation.

• Duster says:

“…according to alarmist theory, CO2 abruptly became …”
“…according to alarmist theory, CO2 magiucally became …”
Clearly the basic assumption was that in some fashion “industrial” Co2 had properties never observed in “natural” CO2. This magical thinking and the principle reason there even is a debate about CO2’s influence.

• Duster says:

Arrgh, “magiucally” -. “magically” – darn tiny keys.

2. Robert Ballard says:

” There is no “climate denial” here, because the whole series of articles is based on the premise that the climate computer models are correct, using the mid-range ECS of 3.2.”
Wow, I am tempted to drop an F bomb here… falsification. Great series, Mike.

3. kentclizbe says:

Seems like great work.
However, you really should remove the first clause from the footnote:
“There is no “climate denial” here, because the whole series of articles is based on the premise that the climate computer models are correct, using the mid-range ECS of 3.2.”
There is no need to deny “denial.”
Just lay out the facts, formulas, procedures, assumptions, sources, etc clearly and factually.
You don’t hug your wife and say, “There’s not wife-beating here.” Let the facts speak for themselves.

• AP says:

Exactly. Who is “denying climate” anyway and what exactly does that entail?
This is typical leftist oversimplification and doublespeek.
Protecting sovereign borders = “racism”
Increased taxes = “savings”
carbon dioxide = “carbon”
scientific skepticism over catastrophic man-made global climate change computer models = “climate denial”

• kentclizbe says:

AP,
Yes, exactly. Which is why Mike should not even include his assertion that he’s “not a denier.”
That’s just playing into the hands of the PC-Progressive anti-human cabal.
Ignore their ad hominem attacks, and feed them facts and expert analysis.

• David A says:

I think his point here is missed. He is saying look, I am playing by your rules, and the theory still fails. C.Monckton does this in showing a cost benefit analysis of CO2 reduction, using their math, their rules.\

• Sleepalot says:

Remove the rhetoric from an excercise in rhetoric? You’re doing “damage limitiation”.

4. colin summerhayes says:

Does it make a difference if we consider that the Vostok CO2 was global, but the Vostok temperatures was local to Antarctica? While Vostok CO2 would be the same as global CO2, Vostok temperature at the last glacial max was -9C, whereas the global average was -4C. Furthermore, we know from Parrenin et al, 2013, Science 339, that the latest data show that in Antarctica CO2 and temperature change synchronously at the last glacial termination. Would that not make a difference?

• Mike Jonas says:

I thought about that. Maybe I should have included this : The fact that CO2 follows temperature so closely indicates that the temperatures were truly global. If the temperatures were only local to Antarctica, with the global temperatures being completely different, then the CO2 profile would have been completely different.

• co2islife says:

I thought about that. Maybe I should have included this : The fact that CO2 follows temperature so closely indicates that the temperatures were truly global.

CO2 is the dependent variable. Warm the oceans and CO2 will increase in the atmosphere. It is called Henry’s Law, and the reason your soda goes flat if you warm it.

• co2islife says:

People that actually study the dynamic non-linear climatic system do not expect a monotonic temperature rise.

By what mechanism could CO2 and temperature not be monotonic given that CO2 is blamed for all the warming? They define CO2 and Temperature as a robust linear relationship. The IPCC models prove that CO2 is by far the dominant factor in the IPCC models and that it has a linear relationship…which has been prove wrong. Just look at the IPCC models they define the relationship between CO2 and temperature as monotonic, that is why there is such a linear relationship.

• Auto says:

colin
and Mike,
How do we know the ‘global average’?
Frankly, I consider that we struggle to know the global average today to better than perhaps a degree C [K].
There are huge areas with few stations.
Satellite readings help – but appear to be anathema as they don’t ‘show’ rising temperatures.
The oceans have satellite readings, and ARGO buoys – but the buoys average some quarter of a million square miles each.
Finally – the statistical treatment of the reading we do have is, necessarily, a statistical treatment.
Some may be more valid that others.
I have no competency to comment on that I believe.
Auto
Vividly aware that the world – much of it wet – is a very large place indeed.

• The Vostok (and Dome C) ice cores are high altitude inland cores, where the snow is derived from the evaporation of most of the bulk SH oceans. Thus one may assume that the Vostok isotopic d18O composition more or less reflects total SH temperatures. Other proxies in the NH show similar changes, be it sometimes with a lag of hundreds of years.
Coastal ice cores reflect the nearby ocean temperatures, as most of their water vapor catch area is adjacent to the coast.
Anyway, not simple stuff… See:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2002JD002677/full

5. Latitude says:

So CO2 could have caused the last 5/6 of the warming, but could not have caused the first 1/6 of the warming.
====
Mike, that’s not the way I remember it…
I thought originally, CO2 was supposed to create a little bit of warming….that would increase humidity…and it was that slight increase in temps that would cause run away humidity that would cause the rest of the warming

• Mike Jonas says:

It’s a quote from RealClimate.org (Gavin Schmidt, I think). Application of the logic from the climate models – as per this article – shows that it is wrong. The humidity you refer to would I think be the water vapour feedback built into the models and referred to in the IPCC report. All the feedbacks, including this one, are built into the formulae I use here.

6. Mike M. (period) says:

Mike Jonas,
You have made a fundamental blunder here. Temperature changes at Vostok are 2 to 3 times as large as for temperature data derived from ocean sediments.
Also, what climate sensitivity did you use in Figure 2? It looks to be about 2 to 2.5 K, roughly half the maximum estimated by IPCC.
So if you use the max IPCC sensitivity and take into account the difference between Vostok T change and global T change, you would get much better agreement. And the remaining difference would imply that the IPCC estimate is conservative. I suspect that the reality is that other things are happening on multi-thousand year time scales. For example, forcing changes due to methane are, if memory serves, about 15% of those due to CO2.
It is well established that changes in ocean T cause only minor changes in atmospheric CO2. It is likely changes in ocean circulation that cause the T changes.
The 800 year lag is far less significant than many claim. There is uncertainty of several hundred years in the relative dating of T and CO2 (due to CO2 diffusion in firn) and there are indications that global T lags Vostok T.

• Joel O'Bryan says:

“So if you use the max IPCC sensitivity and take into account the difference between Vostok T change and global T change, you would get much better agreement.

What would justify the use of a 4.5 K sensitivity value, in light of the most recent data now pointing to an ECS of ~1.5 K? I see Mike as being (too) overly generous in acceding to any value above 2.0 K (the alarmist threshold).
As for using other T proxies, one then gets into the IPCC SPM authorship methodology of cherry picking.

• Mike M. (period) says:

Joel O’Bryan,
“What would justify the use of a 4.5 K sensitivity value”
The data in Figure 2.
The paleo data point to a sensitivity at the top of the IPCC range. Recent observational data point to a sensitivity (1.5 to 2.0 K) near the bottom of the range. It is indeed a puzzle.
There is much that we do not understand, a fact that IPCC downplays. Until we do understand, I will be skeptical of all attempts to predict the future.
My complaint with this article is that Jonas wants to use the excellent correlation of T with CO2 and the high implied sensitivity to argue that CO2 does not influence the climate. Illogical.
“As for using other T proxies, one then gets into the IPCC SPM authorship methodology of cherry picking.”
Huh?

• Mike M.,
Paleo data point to a sensitivity at the top of the IPCC range, if the models are right, but the current data show that the models overblow the sensitivity for CO2. Thus the influence of CO2 in paleo times is (far) less than calculated. What did influence the (rapid) increase in temperature towards and interglcial and the (slow) decrease after an interglacial is not yet known in detail.
Fact is that only to melt the huge ice sheets in the NH as observed (via proxies), one need ~200 W/m2 (!) continuous over 5000 years (Dr. Lindzen lecture last year in Brussels). The few W/m2 provided by the increase in CO2 seems to be peanuts as help…
About the lead/lag: both CH4 and CO2 are measured in the gas phase. CH4 synchronizes much better with temperature (especially during the onset of glaciations), while CO2 lags some 800 +/- 600 years during deglaciations and many thousands of years during glaciations. If the lag was an artifact of the ice age – gas age timing, CH4 would lag too:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/eemian.html

• Mike M. (period) says:

Ferdinand,
“Paleo data point to a sensitivity at the top of the IPCC range, if the models are right, but the current data show that the models overblow the sensitivity for CO2.”
I agree.
“Thus the influence of CO2 in paleo times is (far) less than calculated. What did influence the (rapid) increase in temperature towards and interglcial and the (slow) decrease after an interglacial is not yet known in detail.”
That is one way to resolve the discrepancy, but not the only way. Perhaps the recent data are misleading. Whenever NH summer insolation (the controlling factor in Milakovitch theory) has been as low as it is now, we have either been in a glacial period or headed strongly into one. So maybe the climate should now be cooling and that is masking part of the warming predicted by the models. I am not claiming that this is what is happening; I only claim that until we know, we don’t know and should not pretend to know. That is a criticism I level at IPCC and also at Mike Nolan’s article.
“Fact is that only to melt the huge ice sheets in the NH as observed (via proxies), one need ~200 W/m2 (!) continuous over 5000 years (Dr. Lindzen lecture last year in Brussels). The few W/m2 provided by the increase in CO2 seems to be peanuts as help…”
Apples and oranges. The first m2 is ice cap area, the second is the globe as a whole. The former is perhaps 5% of the latter? So the two numbers are really of the same order of magnitude. I think it is generally accepted that the NH ice caps do not melt in place. They collapse into the ocean, producing vast numbers of ice bergs that drift south and melt.
Unless we know just what controls the variations in CH4, CO2, and T, we can not be sure if the timing seen in the ice cores is correct or not. Again, the issue I have here is with precipitate conclusions.

• Mike M. (period) says:

Ferdinand,
Mike Jonas wrote: “Ferdinand Engelbeen would be able to comment on the rate that ocean T affects CO2 (I suspect that it tallies very nicely with the graph)”.
I think he is wrong, but I have not gotten around to digging out the numbers. You seem to have them at your fingertips. Could you perhaps comment?

• Mike M. (period) says:

Ferdinand,
Disregard previous post. I see that you have commented.

• Mike M. (period): Temperature changes at Vostok are 2 to 3 times as large as for temperature data derived from ocean sediments.
I would appreciate a reference for that assertion.
there are indications that global T lags Vostok T.
I would appreciate a reference for that assertion as well.
That was an interesting post.

• Mike M. (period) says:

matthewrmarler,
I am poorly organized. Here are some papers I managed to find quickly.
T changes at Vostok vs. elsewhere:
Peter Kohler et al., Quaternary Science Reviews 29 (2010) 129–145. See the discussion in section 4.1 on page 11.
Andreas Schmittner et al., SCIENCE, VOL 334, 9, DECEMBER 2011, 1385.
Kazuyo Tachikawa et al., Quaternary Science Reviews 86 (2014) 24-34.
MARGO Project Members, 2009. Constraints on the magnitude and patterns of ocean cooling at the Last Glacial Maximum. Nat. Geosci. 2, 127e132. I have not managed to obtain this paper, but it seems to get the biggest difference between global and Antarctic T.
Non-simultaneous rise in T:
J. R. Toggweiler and David W. Lea, PALEOCEANOGRAPHY, VOL. 25, PA2212, doi:10.1029/2009PA001758, 2010. In particular, discussion and references near the bottom of page 5.

• Mike Jonas says:

As stated clearly in the article, it used the IPCC mid-range climate sensitivity (ECS) of 3.2 degrees C per doubling of CO2. The Vostok data was used because that was what Al Gore used so I wanted to test that particular dataset. As far as I know, it is still regarded as the best one around. If you were to dramatically increase ECS in order to match the 400k-yr data, then there would be an even worse discrepancy with the MWP and LIA, and the modern period would be right out of kilter. And anyway that would be a dubious process (torturing models/data to get the results you want).
Ferdinand Engelbeen would be able to comment on the rate that ocean T affects CO2 (I suspect that it tallies very nicely with the graph), but in the context of this article it is irrelevant. I work with the data. The data gives me the CO2 concentration over the period. The CO2 doesn’t care where it came from, if it’s up there in the atmosphere then it does its warming thing.
As I also stated in the article, in the context of the effect that CO2 has on climate – which is what the article is about – removing or changing the 800-year time lag would make no difference.
You say “I suspect that the reality is that other things are happening on multi-thousand year time scales.“. Well, of course they are. The whole point is that things other than CO2 drive the climate, and, as I have just shown, CO2 is no more than a minor player.

• Mike M. (period) says:

Mike Jonas,
“As stated clearly in the article, it used the IPCC mid-range climate sensitivity (ECS) of 3.2 degrees C per doubling of CO2.”
Oh, now I see it is in the footnote. I expected to find it with the equations and the figure. Silly me.
“The whole point is that things other than CO2 drive the climate”
That is mainstream climate science.
“and, as I have just shown, CO2 is no more than a minor player.”
You have not shown that at all. Especially since you have failed to account for the fact that local Vostok T is not global average T.

• Mike Jonas says:

Mike M – This is the third article in a series. If you have been following the series, you would know that the first article spent a long time establishing the basic formulae using the IPCC mid-range ECS of 3.2.
The Vostok data is the best we have to work with. We don’t have global temperatures from that period. But as I said in an earlier comment (and should have put in the article) we can deduce something from the Vostok data : The pattern of CO2 concentration matches temperature quite a lot. We know that a warmer ocean releases more CO2 into the atmosphere and vice versa, so the Vostok CO2 data is a fairly impressive clue that the ocean temperatures also matched the Vostok temperatures quite a lot. In other words that the temperatures really do represent global temperature.
About using the “the max IPCC sensitivity” : You appear to be looking only at the up-slopes in the Vostok data, wanting CO2 to be playing a greater role there. But now look at the down-slopes as well. If at any point in an up-slope CO2 is more powerful than we thought and is pushing the slope even further up, then at the opposite point on the downslope – where there is typically more CO2 than there was was on the up-slope – it must be pushing temperature up at least equally hard. Yet the temperature just keeps on going down.
Bear in mind also that at the peaks the temperature turns down while CO2 is at its strongest, and in the troughs temperature turns up while CO2 is at its weakest.
As I said : The idea that CO2 has been the dominant driver of global temperature over the last 400,000 years is laughable.

• AP says:

“Silly me”
Yes. It’s no one else’s fault you didn’t bother to read the entire thing before commenting.

• Mike,
The CO2 release from the warming/cooling phases at the Vostok ice cores is remarkably linear at about 8 ppmv/K, even not taking into account the lags of CO2 after T changes (800 +/- 600 years for a deglaciation, several thousand years for the onset of a glaciation):
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/Vostok_trends.gif
That is nicely in the range that Henry’s law says for the solubility of CO2 in seawater in the literature (4-17 ppmv/K), even if it is a complicated interplay of oceans, vegetation (area) growth and wane, ice sheet growth and wane,…
Anyway, your article is about the opposite influence, which shows little impact…
BTW James Hansen did calculate a 40% influence of CO2 and other GHGs on deglaciation:
http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2003/2003_Hansen_1.pdf

• Mike M. (period) says:

Ferdinand,
Thanks, but what matters is ocean T rather than Vostok T. So I think that the T change can not alone account for the CO2 change. But it does seem to be a bigger fraction than I expected.
From the paleoclimate papers I have read, it seems that the prevailing opinion is that the main driver of CO2 change is changes in the MOC bringing greater or lesser amounts of CO2 laden deep water to the surface.

• Mike M.,
The Vostok ice core d18O and dD levels are proxies for the catch area where the vapor originates which formed the snow that precipitated at Vostok. The catch area in the case of Vostok and other high-altitude inland ice cores (like Dome C) is about the whole of SH oceans, thus in principle these proxies should reflect the temperatures of the whole SH.
Coastal cores have a more adjacent catch area and reflect the temperatures of the nearby Southern Ocean and the different modes of the Southern Oscillation where the Peninsula T changes are opposite to most of the other coastal cores.
Borehole temperature measurements are performed too (as is the case for Greenland cores), but then only reflect the local temperature changes at the top of the accumulation site.
In how far the proxies are really reflecting the temperatures of the oceans is a good question, where still a lot of discussion is going on in the scientific world: there are two main parts where the isotopic ratio changes: at the ocean surface and at the place where the snow is formed (direct from vapor), but also in between as part of the vapor already get out as precipitation before the points of interest… The ratio changes are also affected by climate between glacial and interglacial periods together with the amount of precipitation…
Not easy stuff… See:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2002JD002677/full

The response of the MOC to changes in ice sheet cover may be in part responsible for the lags in CO2 increase during a deglaciation, while the initial response might be held up by at one side a warmer ocean surface, but at the other side faster growing vegetation (and larger area) with the increase in temperature. Should be visible in the 13C/12C ratio which one is dominant in each phase of the increase in temperature.
Deep ocean waters are about 15% richer in total carbon, thus theoretically could give a 7.5 % increase in CO2 (distributed between ocean upwelling and ocean uptake), thus some 15 ppmv extra at a level of 180 ppmv for the glacial temperature or 300 ppmv at a level of 280 ppmv for the elevated temperature.
On the other side, more upwelling gives more abundant bio-life with extra trace elements (iron, nitrogen, phosphor), using up CO2, as trace nutrients are deficient in most of the ocean surface…
Still a lot of research necessary…

• Mike M. (period) says:

Ferdinand,
You wrote: “The Vostok ice core d18O and dD levels are proxies for the catch area where the vapor originates”.
You are normally the most reliable commentator here, but I am sorry to say that you blew this one. See: J. Jouzel, “A brief history of ice core science over the last 50 yr”, Clim. Past, 9, 2525–2547, 2013. http://www.clim-past.net/9/2525/2013/doi:10.5194/cp-9-2525-2013 I think it is not paywalled. In particular, in the 2nd paragraph of section 3.2:
“The interpretation of these isotopic data is largely based on their present-day distribution characterized by a linear re- lationship between their annual values and the mean annual precipitation site temperature”
and:
“Corrections for changes in the isotopic composition of oceanic waters … are applied”

• Mike M. (period) says:

Ferdinand,
You seem to be having a bad day.
“Deep ocean waters are about 15% richer in total carbon, thus theoretically could give a 7.5 % increase in CO2 (distributed between ocean upwelling and ocean uptake), thus some 15 ppmv extra at a level of 180 ppmv for the glacial temperature or 300 ppmv at a level of 280 ppmv for the elevated temperature.”
Deep ocean DIC is only modestly greater than near the surface, but alkalinity varies even less. The result is that CO2 vapor pressure is greatly increased; at 1 to 2 km it can exceed 2 mbar (more than 5 times equilibrium with the atmosphere). There is a constant flux of CO2 to the deep ocean due to the decay of sinking dead organisms. It is very slowly returned to the surface by the MOC. If the MOC slows down, atmospheric CO2 is drawn down due by the “biological pump” and if the MOC speeds up, atmospheric CO2 goes up as CO2 is released from the depths. The changes in atmospheric Co2 are potentially huge.

• Mike M. (period) says:

Ferdinand,
I meant to add that there is a ton of ocean composition data at http://cchdo.ucsd.edu/. Sadly, it seems to be badly organized.

• Mike M.
You are right, Jouzel e.a. say that the Vostok dD and D18O represent local area temperatures above the inversion layer where the snow is formed, not the catch area, for which is compensated. That makes that, according to Jouzel, the polar amplification is about twice the overall (SH) temperature and the CO2/T ratio then gets ~16 ppmv/K for (semi-)global temperatures. Should have read the whole report in detail. My bad.
The pCO2 of the deep oceans is a different story: that is the pCO2 at depth, once the waters reach the surface, the biological pump has an enormous influence. See:
from sheet 15 on for a lot of influences between warm and cold phases of the oceans.
But still there is a lot of (controversial) discussion about the causes of the lag and the total change in CO2…

7. Did a switch turn on in the 50s; when at a certain concentration of C02 the drivers reorganized? Even though that concentration had been met and surpassed throughout the geological record (rarely if ever actually putting C02 as the primary driver). Logic destroys the premise. Thank you to LMofB for effectively treating for logic on this matter. And thank you Mike for a walk through the maths

• Tom O says:

I think that is about the time the human population explosion started. The CO2 curve and the population curve match up fairly well, and when you consider we do eat carbon based food and breath out about 30,000 ppm CO2 with each breath, you can understand why the curves tend to parallel each other as well. That also, unfortunately, helps explain why the desire to depopulate the world as much as possible is behind the reasoning of what they are doing to the cost of energy and pressure on growing plant life for fuel instead of food.
As I have looked at the long tern curves before, I have often wondered if there is a “tipping point,” if you will, of the total CO2 that can be In the air and tip from influencing warming to influencing cooling. The graph always reminded me of a system where CO2 increase in the atmosphere hits a point where the “land temperatures” start to decrease, but since the oceans are still not cooling, more CO2 is off gassing, and the cooling curve over the land accelerates towards the ice ages. Hey, everyone is entitled to a theory.

8. Climate proxies do not substitute for real time accurate measurements of CO2 and average temperature.
The use of ice core proxy CO2 data, with their suspiciously smooth curve on a chart for 1850 to 1959 CO2 levels, while throwing away 90,000 real-time Pettenkofer chemical measurements of CO2 from the early 1800s to 1960, needs to be explained by the IPCC.
The use of frequently “adjusted” non-global “in-filled” surface temperature measurements, and ignoring global weather satellite data since 1979, needs has to be explained by the IPCC.
The IPCC was assigned to prove humans were causing dangerous climate change — not to study Earth’s climate with no bias.
The result is an IPCC focus on scary predictions of the future, and rewriting the past (i.e.; hockey stick chart, and frequent surface temperature “adjustments” to cool the 1930’s and warm the past decade).
Current predictions of the future climate can’t be proven wrong immediately … but they can be ridiculed by presenting analyses of (wrong) predictions made in the past 40 years vs. actuals.
The process the IPCC uses for writing their Summary report is political, not scientific, and the science is strongly biased toward proving humans are evil “climate controllers”, by ignoring contrary data, and making scary predictions of the future.
Explaining the political process well are the following quotes from Donna Laframboise, investigative journalist, Canada titled: The Lipstick on the Pig: Science and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, submission to Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee, UK Parliament hyperlinked and footnoted version December 10, 2013:
https://nofrakkingconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/laframboise_uk_parliament_submission_dec2013.pdf
“The IPCC was not established – and is not controlled – by science academies.
Rather, it is a child of one of the most politically driven bodies known to humanity, the United Nations.
As a UN entity, the IPCC’s primary purpose isn’t to further scientific knowledge but to provide scientific justification for another UN entity – the 1992 treaty known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Evidence of this is in plain sight.
At a 2008 event celebrating the IPCC’s 20th anniversary, chairman Pachauri told a group of IPCC insiders: “The UNFCCC is our main customer.”
Similarly a 2011 presentation by vice chair van Ypersele ends this way:
“Conclusion: IPCC is eager to continue serving the UNFCCC process.”
An international treaty is a political instrument.
This makes it impossible for any reasonable person to conclude that the IPCC is about science for science sake.
This is science for politics sake.”
More quotes from INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, of the submission by Donna Laframboise:
“IPCC authors spent years writing the 14 chapters that comprise AR5’s Working Group 1 report.
Sixty-five of those authors were then selected (by the bureaucracy) to write a précis.
Needless to say, reducing 14 chapters of material to 31 pages involves a great deal of fallible human judgment.
If the IPCC was even a facsimile of a scientific body, matters would have ended there.
The 31-page précis – called the Summary for Policymakers – would have been released to the public.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, those 31 pages were merely a draft.
The final version of the document only emerged after a four-day meeting in which the political significance of every sentence had been thoroughly dissected.

Delegations from more than 100 countries were involved in the four-day, behind-closed-doors, barred-to the-media meeting.
Politicians, diplomats, and bureaucrats argued about phrasing – and about which tables, graphs, and illustrations should be included.
When they were done, the Summary for Policymakers was five pages longer than the draft but contained 700 fewer words.
At a press conference in late September 2013, the IPCC released its new improved version of the summary.
This is the only AR5 document most policymakers and journalists are ever likely to read.
Rather than being the unadorned words of IPCC scientists, this statement reflects a politically-negotiated view of reality.

Shortly afterward, the IPCC released a document titled Changes to the Underlying Scientific/Technical Assessment.
It includes 10 pages of “corrections” the IPCC intends to make to AR5’s first 14 chapters.
Turning normal procedure on its head, the IPCC doesn’t expect its summary to be consistent with the underlying report.
Rather, this organization has a long history of adjusting its reports so that they accord with its politically-negotiated summaries.

In the words of the first paragraph of this document, IPCC personnel “have identified some changes to the underlying report to ensure consistency with the language used in the approved Summary for Policymakers” (italics added).
Directly following this quote, we are assured that these changes “do not alter any substantive findings.”
Since these are the same people who insist the IPCC is a scientific body, that it writes objective reports, and is “never policy-prescriptive,” such a claim should be taken with a grain of salt.“

9. Good write up, thanks very much. You know according to a recent PhD thesis by Holger Schmithusen (Bremen University) the ECS in parts of Antarctica are net negative because the ground (ice) is so cold. CO2 in these places causes more irradiation into space. Interesting stuff. The PhD can be downloaded in English. http://epic.awi.de/37121/ If in a hurry, see figure 2.7

• DD More says:

Andy, – “the ECS in parts of Antarctica are net negative because the ground (ice) is so cold. CO2 in these places causes more irradiation into space.”
Area of Antarctica = 14,245,000 square km
Wonder what the temperature of Laurentide Ice Sheet was and if ECS was net negative? [principal glacial cover of North America during the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago). At its maximum extent it spread as far south as latitude 37° N and covered an area of more than 13,000,000 square km south as latitude 37° N and covered an area of more than 13,000,000 square km ]
Would certainly effect a change in albedo, since Antarctica would still be covered in ice and there also was
the Scandinavian Ice Sheet nearly reached latitude 48° N. It is estimated to have covered about 6,600,000 square km & the Kara Ice Dome, covered and area of about 6,000,000 KM2.

10. Climate sensitivity is probably highly variable during the comings and goings of ice age glaciations. When there is both a lot of ice cover and lack thereof, a temperature change causes a larger albedo change, so the surface albedo feedback (which is positive) is larger. If the world becomes completely free of ice and snow cover, or gets 100% covered by ice and snow, then the surface albedo feedback decreases to zero. The nearly level temperature times in interglacial periods seem to be times of lower surface albedo feedback due to less sun-reflecting ice and snow to vary with temperature than during glaciations.

11. beng135 says:

andymay2014

You know according to a recent PhD thesis by Holger Schmithusen (Bremen University) the ECS in parts of Antarctica are net negative because the ground (ice) is so cold. CO2 in these places causes more irradiation into space. Interesting stuff.

Yes, that seemed obvious from the relatively old Nimbus satellite IR observations. Tropic/temperate areas showed the CO2 “notch” in the spectrum, but Antarctica showed (small) reverse bumps! How could that be?
Answer is the CO2 emitting IR at the tropopause was warmer than the surface because of a temperature inversion! If such inversions are more common during max glacial conditions (the cold poles are more prone to inversions than other areas), then Mike’s slight CO2 “anti-greenhouse” effect during the coldest periods may have merit.

12. Gary Pearse says:

Re cement: calcining limestone in cement manufacture drives off CO2. However, over time, the cement re-absorbs CO2. The effect is lagged of course but the enormous amounts of cement already poured over the past half century is a CO2 sink. Of course fossil fuels used for calcining are extra but surely this must be included in the ‘fossil fuel’ red line on the graph.
http://www.cement.org/for-concrete-books-learning/concrete-technology/concrete-design-production/concrete-as-a-carbon-sink
I can’t understand with all the chemists and physicists in the game, none appear to be aware that concrete recovers its CO2 over time. Mike Jonas, you are a mathematician and are excused from this criticism after reflection on the following joke about engineers, scientists and mathematicians:
Passing many fields with all-brown cows in them, an engineer remarks, “The cows are all brown.” The scientist says, “All you can say is the cows in THESE fields are all brown.” The mathematician says, “No, all you can say is the sides of the cows facing the road in these fields are all brown.”

• Crispin in Waterloo says:

That may explain why concrete hardens with time (decades) .

13. Why do charts of projected CO2-driven temperatures always look like charts of projected returns of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC?

• The Original Mike M says:

Or Kenny Lay’s ROI from a dead mule sweepstakes.

14. The Original Mike M says:

“The IPCC was assigned to prove humans were causing dangerous climate change — not to study Earth’s climate with no bias.”
Which dovetails nicely with the father of the IPCC, Maurice Strong, who said,
* “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse.”
* “So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about? ”
* “Our concepts of ballot-box democracy may need to be modified to produce strong governments capable of making difficult decisions.” (an egregiously commie statement)

• The Original Mike M says:

That was supposed to be a reply to Richard Greene (can NoScript be causing me these kinds of problems?)

15. IPCC’s mandate is “What is mankind doing to the climate.”
They take the king’s shilling, they do the king’s bidding.

16. Steve from Rockwood says:

“All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.”
1. We don’t know what caused the start of the warming.
2. The other 4,200 years could be caused by C02 or not, we don’t know.
3. We don’t know what caused the end of the warming.
I get the feeling that we still don’t really know anything about the climate.

• mikewaite says:

I have seen variants of the standard Vostok plot that included a 3rd item , in addition to temperature and CO2 , namely the build up of dark dust , soot or grit just prior (well for several hundred or a thousand years prior) to the start of the climb out of glaciation. If that was an extensive change of albedo over most glaciated regions , not just at the poles , perhaps it was the kick starter or part of it .
Your 3rd point always puzzles me , why each time warming occurs , CO2 assisted no doubt, the max temperature reached is about 2C above benchmark temperature – as if each time there was a natural feedback that effectively limits the temperature even though there is more CO2 that could be degassed from the oceans . Last time I mentioned this the response was: increase in clouds following warming to a coverage and thickness that reduced insolation . Since 2C increase is the limit we are supposed to be working to , can’t we just let Nature takes its course as it did 100K, 200K, 300K, 400K years ago (give or take a few thousand ).

• Mikewait
The dust found in the Vostok ice core is mostly sand from the deserts (South Africa?), which blow in with the winds and because precipitation is minimal during glacial periods are not (always) rain out. That is rather light colored and doesn’t help much in the warming. According to James Hansen, still 0.5 W/m2, but I am not sure…
BTW the last interglacial (the Eemian) was 3 K warmer than the current one for several thousands of years, with trees growing up to the Ice Sea in Alaska and Siberia…

17. ” In order to support this picture, the IPCC has sought to portray CO2 as having been an important driver of global temperature in the past.”
You keep saying stuff like this, but never giving quotes. The AR4 had a specific box on this topic titled:
FAQ 6.1 ﻿﻿What Caused the Ice Ages and Other Important Climate Changes Before the Industrial Era?﻿ They said:
“Great progress has been made in understanding the causes and mechanisms of these climate changes. Changes in Earth’s radiation balance were the principal driver of past climate changes, but the causes of such changes are varied.”

“Global climate is determined by the radiation balance of the planet (see FAQ 1.1). There are three fundamental ways the Earth’s radiation balance can change, thereby causing a climate change: (1) changing the incoming solar radiation (e.g., by changes in the Earth’s orbit or in the Sun itself), (2) changing the fraction of solar radiation that is reflected (this fraction is called the albedo – it can be changed, for example, by changes in cloud cover, small particles called aerosols or land cover), and (3) altering the longwave energy radiated back to space (e.g., by changes in greenhouse gas concentrations). In addition, local climate also depends on how heat is distributed by winds and ocean currents. All of these factors have played a role in past climate changes.”

“These examples illustrate that different climate changes in the past had different causes. The fact that natural factors caused climate changes in the past does not mean that the current climate change is natural.”
They aren’t saying it is all due to CO2.

• Alx says:

How in the world does
“…sought to portray CO2 as having been an important driver of global temperature in the past…”
become
“…saying it is all due to CO2.”?
This is obvious misrepresentation of what the author wrote.
Also obvious is the utter absurdity of the FAQ 6.1 concluding statement; because climate change was natural in the past “…does not mean that current climate change is natural.”. To the dimwitted IPCC committee, it also does not not mean that current climate change is unnatural.

• “what the author wrote”
He claims that he’s disproving something that the IPCC maintains. But what is it? He never gives a quote.

• Agree Nick.. But where oh where oh where did they show it is CO2 that is the MAJOR driver? After 7 decades of experiencing weather, and reading vociferously about climate, I am still waiting for evidence that CO2 is in the driver’s seat. Your first paragraph and the IPCC non-linear chaotic systems quote says it all for me.
My guess: “We don’t know.” But give it a couple of hundred years…

• “But where oh where oh where did they show it is CO2 that is the MAJOR driver?”
They didn’t. They didn’t claim it was either.
Putting CO2 in the air will cause warming. Whether or not past warmings were caused by CO2 doesn’t change that.

• Mike Jonas says:

Hi Nick – I thought I was stating the obvious, but of course I should have provided substantiation. I do a wrap-up in Part 4 (which has already been submitted) and two papers are cited which give the substantiation you seek. So please be patient and wait for Part 4.

• Nick,
Milankovitch cycles still don’t properly explain the details of the ice age cycles. Gerard Roe came closest showing a correlation between DT/dt and insolation at 60N. However the details of what caused a shift in a 41,000y obliquity cycle to a 100,000y eccentricity cycle 1 million years ago is still a mystery. Likewise the saw-tooth shape collapse of the ice sheets at the end of the cycle.
What Mike Jonas does show is that CO2 played only a minor ‘feedback’ role. Many climate scientists hype up this feedback role into something more important than it really is.

• David A says:

Nick quotes the author, Mike J, “” In order to support this picture, the IPCC has sought to portray CO2 as having been an important driver of global temperature in the past.”
=================
Then Nick asserts…”They aren’t saying it is all due to CO2”
====================
Nick did a straw-man. Since when is asserting that the IPCC is saying that the IPCC portrays CO2 as having been an important driver of global temperature in the past, the same as saying “it is ALL due to CO2”?

18. Alx says:

The idea that CO2 has been an important driver of global temperature over the last 400,000 years is not supported by the evidence.

Evidence? Evidence is not required for a political cause, only a pliable easily fooled public and enough people who can gain much wealth and power from the cause.

• co2islife,
You are comparing year by year emission levels with total increase, that doesn’t make sense. Either compare yearly emissions with yearly increase (that includes a lot of year-by-year variability) or compare total emissions with total increase in the atmosphere 1900-2012:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg
and have a look at the ratio between emissions and increase in the atmosphere 1900-2011:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_cur.jpg

• co2islife says:

You are comparing year by year emission levels with total increase…that doesn’t make sense.

Sure it does. I’m looking at the rate of change in man’s production, which is logarithmic and the rate of change of atmospheric CO2, which is linear. CO2 has a natural rate of increase due to Henry’s Law. Warm the oceans and they out-gas CO2, just look at a CO2 and temperature chart coming out of an ice age. What you have to show is that man has caused an increase in the slope of the atmospheric CO2, which you can’t. Also, a 0.9977 R^2 implies that man is responsible for 100% of the increase in atmospheric CO2. That would requite repealing Henry’s Law. Also, that ignores the extreme “greening” that has occurred in the N Hemisphere, and other means of carbon sequestration. Simply put, I don’t buy your graph.
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_cur.jpg

• co2islife says:

You are comparing year by year emission levels with total increase, that doesn’t make sense.

CO2 has an annual variation of about +/- 2.5 ppm, or 5ppm from winter to summer. That is due to the oceans and trees “breathing” CO2 in and out. Annual increase in CO2 is consistently 1ppm. The slope is 1ppm/yr. 1ppm is a quantifiable FIXED amount of CO2. Man’s production of CO2 isn’t fixed per year, it is accelerating. The annual increase in atmospheric CO2 wouldn’t be a constant 1ppm if its increase was 100% due to man.

As of January 2007, the earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration is about 0.0383% by volume (383 ppmv) or 0.0582% by weight. This represents about 2.996×10^12 tonnes, and is estimated to be 105 ppm (37.77%) above the pre-industrial average.

Take 2.996×10^12 tonnes and divide by 383 and you get tonnes per ppv. That is a linear relationship. Man’s production of CO2 isn’t linear. Houston, we have a problem.

• OK, have a look then at the rate of change of CO2 emissions and increase in the atmosphere:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg
While there is large variability in sink rate (not source rate…) caused by the influence of temperature fluctuations on vegetation, the average increase in human emissions was about a 4-fold since 1959 and the sink rate in the atmosphere did the same, as result of the 4-fold increase of CO2 in the atmosphere above steady state of the ocean-atmosphere carbon cycle. Net result: about a 4-fold increase in residual rate of change of CO2 in the atmosphere in the same period.
Both derivatives: human emissions and increase in the atmosphere are rather linear, thus both show a slightly quadratic increase in the atmosphere, as the first graph shows, be it that the past decade and the period 1976-1996 are rather flat.
Any natural cause thus should have been synchronized with human emissions since 1850 and show a 4-fold increase since 1959 and fit all other observations (δ13C, O2, 14C,… changes)…

• CO2islife,
The net increase at Mauna Loa was ~0,5 ppmv/year in 1959 up to over 2 ppmv/year in 2012 (2013 may end at 3 ppmv extra), thus far from fixed…

• co2islife says:

The net increase at Mauna Loa was ~0,5 ppmv/year in 1959 up to over 2 ppmv/year in 2012 (2013 may end at 3 ppmv extra), thus far from fixed…

1) Both those values are within the annual standard deviation.
2) One catastrophic forest fire caused by an irresponsible National Forest Dept that dumped million and millions of acres of Yellowstone National Park into the atmosphere didn’t dent the CO2 rate.
3) Volcanoes don’t dent the rate.
According to the Scripts Website Data for Moana Loa, the CO2 statistics are as follows:
1) The average annual increase is 1.52 PPM
2) The change between 1968-69 was 1.58 73-74 was 2.22
3) The average annual variation was 5.83, it was 6.26 in 1963.
4) The standard deviation of the annual variance is 0.55
5) The slope is 1.51
6) The R^2 is 0.984, that makes it pretty much linear.
Sorry, the data simply doesn’t support your conclusions that man is causing the change in atmospheric CO2.
BTW, 1 volcano can put out more CO2 than many countries:
“Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano is emitting between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, a figure placing it in the same emissions league as a small-to-medium European economy, experts said on Monday.”
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2010/apr/21/iceland-volcano-climate-sceptics
https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/volcanoes-make-lots-of-co2-when-it-suits-the-argument/
“Moreover, there are simply too many volcanoes to deny that the atmospheric concentration of the most erupted gas next to water is predominantly controlled by the balance or lack thereof between volcanic activity and photosynthesis. Furthermore, there is simply no established volcanic CO2 fingerprint by which we may distinguish atmospheric proportions of anthropogenic and volcanogenic contributions. This leaves us with no empirical method by which we may attribute the 20th century rise in CO2 to human energy consumption.”
http://carbon-budget.geologist-1011.net/

• CO2islife,
– Henry’s law gives 4-17 ppmv/K for the solubility of CO2 in seawater in the literature. The Vostok ice core shows a quite linear in/decrease of CO2 with temperature of ~8 ppmv/K. Thus the ~0.8 K warming of the oceans since the LIA is good for ~6 ppmv CO2 increase, that is all…
– Human emissions are ~4.5 ppmv/year nowadays.
– The greening of the earth takes away 0.5 ppmv/year, as measured by the oxygen balance.
– The ocean surface is good for 0.25 ppmv/year, as result of buffering.
– The deep oceans are good for the closing ~2 ppmv/year uptake.
– The rest remains in the atmosphere (as mass, not the original human emissions).
The data I have plotted are from Mauna Loa and the inventory of fossil fuel use (taxes on sales) that every country is obliged to make. Thus probably more underestimated than overestimated (China…).
There is a clear near-linear increase in the CO2 rate of change, from ~0.5 ppmv/year to ~2 ppmv/year over the past 55 years. That means a slight quadratic increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. See Wood for trees.
The increase IS 96% caused by the human emissions, 4% by the ocean temperature increase. All known observations show that:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_origin.html
Both those values are within the annual standard deviation.
You can fool yourself, but a 4-fold increase over the same period as the 4-fold increase in human emissions is not coincidence. Moreover the variability is from the influence of temperature variability on vegetation, which averages to zero in a few years, while the overall trend of vegetation is an increasing sink, thus NOT responsible for the increase in trend.
The average annual variation was 5.83, it was 6.26 in 1963.
Do you mean the seasonal amplitude? That hardly changed over the years (~5 ppmv/K) and the net result over a year is what counts, not its amplitude within a year.
The standard deviation of the annual variance is 0.55
The increase in rate of change 1959-2012 is 1.51 ppmv/year, that is outside the 2-sigma level thus the slope is significant. A linear increase in rate of change means a quadratic increase in the atmosphere…
Thus the data do support my conclusions that man is causing the change in atmospheric CO2, as the increase is less than human emissions. Even if it was completely flat or 90% or 10% of human emissions, it still proves that humans are responsible for the increase, together with a lot of other data…
Eyjafjallajokull releases
An active volcano emits much more CO2 during the eruption than in the following years after the eruption and get a stable emission when dormant. That is in total less than 1% of human emissions.
BTW there is a clear differentiation possible between human and volcanic CO2: human CO2 has a very low 13C/12C ratio (-24 per mil), compared to the atmosphere (currently -8 per mil). Subduction volcanoes are around zero per mil and deep core volcanoes emit CO2 around – 6 per mil. Thus if volcanoes were a dominant source, the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere would go up, not down…

• Ferdinand,
Microbial respiration from soils is over six times larger than the human contribution to the Carbon cycle. It has a nearly identical 13C signature. 14C hard to evaluate as bomb spike percolation is unknown.. It will show annual cycles of the opposite sign and thus dampen the annual vegetation signal (or mimic the opposite hemisphere vegetation signal).
It is a very big player.

• Ferdinand, thanks for he link. I have not been able to find any source that would hazard a guess as to what percent of soil respiration is aerobic worldwide, but clearly a significant portion is anaerobic. If even 1/6 were anaerobic, it would offset the Oxygen balance deficit relative to human production. It seems likely that far more than 1/6 of soil respiration is anaerobic. Water saturated soil respiration is entirely anaerobic…

19. co2islife says:

I request that the next Mathematics of CO2 article applies the scientific method to the Ice Core Data. Test the Hypothesis that “Man is not causing Climate Change.” Combine the Ice Core Data with the NOAA Data and Satellite Data to bring the data up to today.
1) Measure what the peak temperature of the Holocene is.
2) Determine if a Little Ice Age, Roman and Medieval Warming period occurred.
3) Where do current temperatures fall within the range of the Holocene?
4) Is the temperature variation over the past 50 and 150 years statistically different from the past 15K years?
5) If temperatures have been increasing at an abnormal rate, has the rate of sea level increase also been increasing at an increasing rate?
6) By what mechanism does CO2 increase to bring us out of an ice age?
7) By what mechanism can CO2 cause climate change during a temperature pause?
8) By what mechanism can the earth fall into an ice age if CO2 is the dominant factor controlling climate? CO2 NEVER falls in advance of an ice age. There is no mechanism for that to happen.

• Mike Jonas says:

Wow! So all I have to do now is re-write the entire IPCC report! Seriously, in this series I have concentrated on the major factors that can be isolated and worked with simply (no statistics etc) to test the specific claim that CO2 is the principal driver of climate. Even that was quite a lot of work. My next project is a family holiday…..

• AJB says:

“the major factors that can be isolated”
None of them can be isolated. All energy diffusion is integrated regardless of characterisation. This and the sheer stupidity of applying statistical methods founded on normal distributions to non-linear chaotic relationships are the foundations of the political art form known loosely as climate science.

• co2islife says:

All energy diffusion is integrated regardless of characterisation.

That is true, but the energy contained between 13µ and 18µ is highly quantifiable. CO2 has a clearly defined absorption band, and that absorption band has a clearly defined energy intensity. Heating water takes a clearly defined amount of energy. That is the problem with climate “science,” they produced a testable hypothesis is anyone ever wants to do it. Null Hypothesis “There isn’t enough energy between 13µ and 18µto heat the oceans.”

• AJB says:

“but the energy contained between 13µ and 18µ is highly quantifiable”.
Yep, and that’s called radiative myopia. This is literally all you need to see in order to know that the whole premise of dangerous CO2 driven warming is a complete crock!
But we already knew that. All you really needed to see was the vertical temperature profile of the complete atmosphere. Look, it’s trivially simple. Diffusion by radiation in the troposphere is completely wiped out by convection. Energy is transported back above the imaginary two-way magic partial mirror as required; the physical properties of water are the regulator. The net result is that the radiative part of the two way energy diffusion from the sun and back out to space is completely biased to one side of where, from two-dimensional spectroscopy, outgoing radiation is assumed to emanate. This is the fundamental bullshit; radiative diffusion is gaseous mixtures does not operate in isolation at some imaginary surface like that. There is no frequency selective magic mirror. Up/down nonsense at different wavelengths etc. is irrelevant, any small net gain is completely offset on demand immediately within the bounds of chaotic evolution driven by diurnal, seasonal, etc. variation which is orders of magnitude more massive.
Any apparent trend is simply a figment of some idiot statistician’s navel inspection. You can see from those graphs that the thing is autocorrelated to hell and back and and trend is essentailly meaningless regardless of timescale. And that cannot be regarded as mere noise. All we’re looking at is natural variation from which it is impossible to descriminate any signal of CO2 induced warming whatsoever.

• co2islife says:

Wow! So all I have to do now is re-write the entire IPCC report!

Nope, this is a science. What I outlined was the very basis any real science would have addressed BEFORE they wrote the nonsensical IPCC report. The IPCC, BTW, promoted models that are a complete joke. Any first year econometrics student can tell you what is wrong with them. They are a modeling joke.

• Mike M. (period) says:

co2islife,
8 excellent questions. Answering them would likely require at least 8 distinguished research careers.

20. co2islife says:

Another request for the Mathematics of CO2. The smoking gun is that the Oceans are warming. CO2 absorbing at 15µ isn’t likely to warm the oceans.
1) This chart shows that IR doesn’t penetrate the oceans.
2) CO2 absorbs IR with a peak wavelength of 15µ A black body of peak 15µ emits an Integrated Radiation Intensity of 78.6761 W/M^2. (Enter temperature 193)
3) The earth’s Integrated Radiation Intensity of peak wavelength 10µ is 390.1069, or 4x that of CO2. (Enter temperature 288) This means far more energy is being provided by sources other than CO2. Also note, changing CO2 from 200 PPM to 400 PPM to 600 PPM doesn’t materially change this value. The CO2 absorption band remains virtually unchanged…and H2O absorbs all the IR anyway.
4) CO2 emitting 78.6761/W^2 is the equivalent of 268.45399633 BTU/hr. 1 BTU can increase the temperature of 1 lb of water 1 degree F or 5/9 degree C.
http://www.rapidtables.com/convert/power/Watt_to_BTU.htm
5) The oceans contain 352,670,000,000,000,000,000 gallons.
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/oceanwater.html
6) Each gallon weights 8.345404 lbs.
Ignoring that IR absorption most likely results in evaporation and cooling of the ocean surface, is there enough energy in the 13µ to 18µ band to warm the oceans? Also ignore that H2O is trapping all that radiation immediately above the oceans making CO2 irrelevant. Give CO2 the benefit of the doubt.
Simply put, if CO2 can’t warm the oceans, then it most likely isn’t warming the atmosphere, because I’m pretty certain that the oceans warm the atmosphere above it. Doubt me, put your hand over a burner. Last I looked, heat rises in our atmosphere.
Do this calculation and you have a smoking gun to expose the man made climate change hoax.

• Mike Jonas says:

I have often seen this claim made. I have no idea whether it is valid. In this series of articles, it’s irrelevant because I began by assuming that the IPCC report and the climate models were correct (in maths, that’s a standard way to test a hypothesis. Science too, of course.).

• We don’t care how you get your epiphanies as long as you have them!

• co2islife says:

(in maths, that’s a standard way to test a hypothesis. Science too, of course.).

Null Hypothesis: “Man if not causing climate change”
How would you test that hypothesis?
Here is a hint…test the existing ice core and other temperature data sets. That is where a real science would start. Warning, to quote Dr. Zaius: Don’t look for it, Taylor. You may not like what you find.

• David A says:

M.J; I know that is not the subject or intent of this post, (which I do appreciate) but you may find the link interesting. Basically, sans the ability to evaporate by applying an oil film, LWIR can heat the short wave variable absorption surface that is are oceans, but with no oil film preventing evaporation, it fails miserably.

• Mike Jonas says:

Yes I do find it interesting. I have wondered if there’s a way of testing it from the available data (I haven’t been able to get that far). I do look at a related issue in Part 4, and while I don’t express it in the terms you are using here I think you will recognise it.

21. Nice appeasement of Luke Warmers at the end there! So we are down to 1/6th of the claimed relationship using alarmists own mathematics. So 2C becomes 0.33C. Is it so hard from here to wonder if us “deniers” are right after all? Take another nibble at the dark side. I know you want to!

• Mike Jonas says:

co2islife – you ask “Really, what evidence has the IPCC produced to justify your confidence?“. No, I express no confidence. As I have tried to explain, I am testing the climate models by assuming that they are correct, and seeing where that leads.

22. co2islife says:

I began by assuming that the IPCC report and the climate models were correct

Really, what evidence has the IPCC produced to justify your confidence? In any real “science” this is game over. Only is climate “science” does failing this bad result in greater confidence in your conclusion. It is the most Orwellian science since eugenics.

• Mike Jonas says:

Somehow my response went into the wrong place. Trying again :
co2islife – you ask “Really, what evidence has the IPCC produced to justify your confidence?“. No, I express no confidence. As I have tried to explain, I am testing the climate models by assuming that they are correct, and seeing where that leads.

23. co2islife says:

Here is another idea for a Mathematics of CO2 article. Changing CO2 concentration barely changes the amount of energy absorbed by CO2. What is the delta energy absorbed for the delta in CO2? If the marginal increase in energy absorption is minimal, which it is, it can’t be causing the warming.
http://members.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co205124.gif
CO2 is transparent to visible light, that is why it reaches the earth’s surface. How can CO2 cause record daytime temperatures? By what mechanism does CO2 cause record high daytime temperatures?
http://www.theresilientearth.com/files/images/Greenhouse_Gas_Absorption-dlh.png

24. co2islife says:

The reality of the Mathematics of CO2 are far worse than the climate alarmists will ever admit. Differential equations that make up the multi-variable linear regression models that support the Climate Change hoax rely on a change in X leading to a change in Y. The problem is a change in CO2 doesn’t result in any material change in energy absorption. The best example is painting a window black. The first coat of black paint blocks out 99% of the light. Additional coats of black paint can only block out an additional 1% of the light. A medical analogy would be the first shot of an anesthetic does all the numbing. Additional shots of anesthetic won’t numb an already numb gum much more.
These models rely on the marginal impact of a variable. Problem is the marginal impact on the energy balance due to an increase in CO2 is basically non-existent. Increasing CO2 doesn’t trap much more radiation. That is what this chart demonstrates.
http://members.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co205124.gif
In reality, the model should use CO2 of around 250 as a baseline. You would then calculate out the marginal energy trapped by CO2 was it goes from 250 to 400 PPM. That marginal energy absorption would be CO2 contribution to warming. The question then comes down to can the marginal energy absorbed by CO2 as it change from 250 to 400 PPM heat the oceans. Simple answer, no way in hell.
Note how CO2’s energy flux flat lines after 200 PPM. The marginal contribution of CO2 is basically ZERO. How can a delta of zero lead to a change in temperature? It can’t. The “science” supporting this garbage is laughable.

• co2islife,
Careful, the absorption of IR by CO2 can be calculated by Modtran for any level of CO2 and other GHGs. That is a simplified program based on Hitran, which calculates the absorption line by line at different heights from ground level to 70 km height for the “standard 1976 atmosphere” (cloud cover, temperature) and regions (tropical, extra-tropical, rain, clear sky,…):
http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/
At 280 ppmv (pre-industrial) the upward IR heat flux is 290.952 W/m2
At 560 ppmv (2xCO2) the upward IR heat flux is 287.718 W/m2
or about 3.2 W/m2 difference. You need an offset of about 0.9°C at ground level to restore the original outgoing radiation…
That is before any positive (models) or negative (reality) feedbacks…

• philincalifornia says:

Ferdinand, what does “water vapor scale” mean at the Modtran link? Should it not be possible to plug in 30 – 40,000 ppm of water vapor over the tropical oceans, both with 280 ppm CO2 and 400 ppm CO2 ?
….. and does this include collisional/pressure broadening and Doppler shift effects on the overlap of H2O and CO2 absorption lines?

• co2islife says:

3.2 W/m2 difference.

Bingo!!! We have a winner. Can a difference of 3,2 W/M^2 warm the oceans? No way in hell. This is ignoring that H2O overwhelms CO2 immediately above the oceans and that 13µ to 18µ won’t warm water anyways. The very foundation of CO2 lead warming doesn’t exist. If you can’t explain how CO2 warms the oceans, you can’t explain how CO2 causes the atmosphere to warm. Also, 3.2W/M^2 can’t explain record daytime temperatures.

• philincalifornia,
If you hoover over that sentence, you can see the explanation: you can use the standard water vapor scale which is incorporated in the model (for different heights) or multiply the standard levels with a factor. What that means in absolute water levels, I don’t know.
If you change the ground temperature offset, two options for water vapor are added:
– constant water vapor pressure
– constant relative humidity
More details at:
http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/berk.1987.modtran_desc.pdf

• co2islife,
The warming of the oceans (as far as real…) only needed a constant unbalance of ~0.5 W/m2 over the past years, thus 3.2 W/m2 seems quite a lot…
As IR indeed only warms the upper fraction of a mm of the ocean surface and evaporation may be the main result, the question remains if water can be heated (or less cooled) by the extra IR down from the atmosphere.
Dr. Spencer did that experiment:

• philincalifornia says:

Thanks Ferdinand. That 1987 Report was heavy going, but really good. They do point to potential inaccuracies in their models. So the question really becomes, are there more recent, more accurate models or critically, has anyone tested this empirically ?? … and if not, why not ??
It would not be difficult, given the outrageous amounts of money at stake, to actually measure the effect of CO2 at 280 ppm and CO2 at 400 ppm on a background of water vapor at 30,000 ppm. I’m not even in the field, but I could design the equipment and experiments. Even throw in a dab of convection, N20, O3 and CH4.

• philincalifornia,
As far as I remember, the original Hitran model was made for the military and is based on the very fine line by line absorptions from lots of mixtures of all constituents in laboratory conditions.
The main problem in the real world is the actual conditions from water vapor and clouds, as that changes from hour to hour. Therefore they made a base from the 1976 global weather conditions, that is the “standard 1976 atmosphere” to have a starting base and they added several scenarios for different conditions.
Modtran takes several of the spectral lines used in Hitran together to reduce the necessary calculation time. In fact that was necessary in the early ’80ies, but a laptop today has more calculation power/speed than a mainframe of that period…
Modtran has had several revisions, not always clear in the open access calculation, but the effect on the results was always small. Nowadays they offer a commercial version, Modtran5 which seems quite similar to the original Hitran with additional options:
http://www.modtran5.com/
Thus in short, the original program was amended and refined, based on lots of measurements, but in how far the real world is represented is difficult to say, as the calculations are only accurate if all real world conditions are exactly known…

• philincalifornia says:

Thanks again Ferdinand. So they actually did some measurements? Wonder of wonders.

25. David A says:

If you let your opponent choose all the rules, and he still fails, then his defeat will be complete. IMV, that is what MJ is doing here.

26. Mike,
Nice series!
You may have seen my comment at RealClimate, already from 2004, where I react on the article for the “help” that CO2 offers in the warming (or cooling). The in-line response says that the lag of CO2 at the onset of a new glaciation was “solved” by Jouzel e.a. but that isn’t true: while the temperature proxy remains higher over a longer time, the temperature is already at a new minimum (and the ice sheets at a new maximum) before CO2 levels start to drop at the end of the previous interglacial some 110,000 years ago. The effect of the following 40 ppmv drop of CO2 is not measurable in the temperature or ice sheet formation. See:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/eemian.html

27. John Kirby says:

Has anybody considered the statistical thermodynamics approach? Only one molecule in 2,500 in air is CO2. This is insignificant in terms of energizing the other 2,499 molecules.

28. John Finn says:

Mike Jonas, you write

The idea that CO2 has been the dominant driver of global temperature over the last 400,000 years is laughable.

While I am sceptical of the reported high sensitivity for CO2, I do feel you are misrepresenting the position of the AGW crowd.
No-one is saying that CO2 has been the dominant driver over the past 400,000 years. Several years ago James Hansen produced estimates of ice age forcings. Albedo changes were clearly the main forcing. The contribution from CO2 was about -2.6 w/m2. This is consistent with your graph which shows warming of just less than 2 deg C (about right for IPCC sensitivity). It also agrees reasonably well with the Myhre et al formula, i.e. 5.35 x ln(280/180) – assuming a fall in CO2 of ~100ppm.
Secondly the global average temperature during the LGM is reckoned to be about 5 to 6 degrees below . In your Fig 2, you are comparing the CO2 global average contribution with the temperature changes in a specific region which has probably experienced polar amplification.
A lot of WUWT posters make the mistake of believing they’ve unearthed something that the AGW scientists have missed. They are usually wrong. The LGM is actually a tricky area for sceptics. It’s hard to argue for low climate sensitivity when the temperature shifts are so dramatic.

• David A says:

Joe Finn, I took, “The idea that CO2 has been the dominant driver of global temperature over the last 400,000 years is laughable. ”
to mean the inclusion of feedbacks. ECS.

• Mike Jonas says:

Al Gore was clearly promoting the idea that CO2 was the dominant driver of climate. RealClimate.org actively promotes the idea too “CO2 could have caused the last 5/6 of the warming, but could not have caused the first 1/6 of the warming“. The idea is all-pervasive. And in Part 4 I cite two papers that explicitly promote the idea.
re “the temperature changes in a specific region” : The CO2 concentrations at Vostok show clearly that the oceans were experiencing a similar pattern of temperature. ie, the temperature pattern is indeed global. Was there polar amplification? The documentation here is dominated by the Arctic, with amplification from albedo change, but there is plenty of indication that there is little or no Antarctic amplification. eg. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/24/tisdale-on-polar-amplification/Polar amplification is the greater temperature increases in the Arctic compared to the earth as a whole as a result of the effect of feedbacks and other processes. It is not observed in the Antarctic, largely because the Southern Ocean acts as a heat sink and the lack of seasonal snow cover. It is common to see it stated that “Climate models generally predict amplified warming in polar regions”, e.g. Doran et al.. However, climate models predict amplified warming for the Arctic but only modest warming for Antarctica.“. http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_4271_f10/presentations/Arctic_Warming_GEOG5271.pdfIf the global surface temperature is changed [] The albedo of the Antarctic polar area will not be affected [] The albedo of the Arctic polar area is easily affected“.[my emphasis]

• John Finn says:

Al Gore was clearly promoting the idea that CO2 was the dominant driver of climate.

Al Gore is (or was) a politician. His opinion is irrelevant.

29. co2islife says:

“but the energy contained between 13µ and 18µ is highly quantifiable”.
Yep, and that’s called radiative myopia. This is literally all you need to see in order to know that the whole premise of dangerous CO2 driven warming is a complete crock!

Bingo!!! Mike Jonas, focus on the warming of the oceans, that is the smoking gun.

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Albert Einstein

The oceans are that one experiment. Think in terms of a delta X causes Delta Y. The delta in CO2 simply doesn’t change much in the absorption of energy. That amount is 3.2W/^2. Is it reasonable to think 3.2W/M^ can trigger a hurricane? Extreme weather? Warm the oceans? No way in hell.

30. co2islife says:

At 280 ppmv (pre-industrial) the upward IR heat flux is 290.952 W/m2
At 560 ppmv (2xCO2) the upward IR heat flux is 287.718 W/m2
or about 3.2 W/m2 difference. You need an offset of about 0.9°C at ground level to restore the original outgoing radiation

3.2W/M^2 is if CO2 reaches 560 ppm, but even so, 3.2/290 = 1%, or 11 BTUs. Can a difference of 11 BTUs warm the oceans? That is the question. Also, IR at 13µ to 18µ won’t warm H2O. I don’t think the models pick up the different physical qualities of these gasses.
Anyway, this whole AGW boils down to can a change in 3.2W/M^2 cause climate change and the warming of the oceans and atmosphere? Here is a hint, CO2 used to be 7,000 ppm and life thrived and temperatures never got above 22°C. Climate “scientists” are simply barking up the wrong tree.

31. co2islife says:

M.J; I know that is not the subject or intent of this post, (which I do appreciate) but you may find the link interesting. Basically, sans the ability to evaporate by applying an oil film, LWIR can heat the short wave variable absorption surface that is are oceans, but with no oil film preventing evaporation, it fails miserably.

David, I was unable to find the link. Please re-post it. I already knew CO2 won’t warm water, but a supporting document would help me make my case. Thanks.

• David A says:

The experiment and the authors comments…
http://oi42.tinypic.com/2h6rsoz.jpg
To run –
fill both containers under the strong and weak LWIR sources with 40C water and observe their cooling rate. Both water samples cool at the same rate.
Next, repeat but put a couple of drops of baby oil on the surface of each sample to block evaporative cooling. Now the sample under the strong LWIR source cools slower. You should find at least 5C difference in 30 min.
Water does absorb incident LWIR, but it does so within the first 100 microns, well within the skin evaporation layer. While LWIR can add energy to slower water molecules, it can trip faster molecules into evaporation faster than they otherwise would. This means incident LWIR has little effect on water free to evaporatively cool.
This raises the question – If DWLWIR is not raising ocean temperatures above theoretical blackbody temperature of 255K for an average of 240 w/m2 solar irradiation, then what is? The answer is simply that the oceans are nowhere near a near black body.
As to what makes water so different to a near black body, there are two factors.
The first is that hemispherical LWIR emissivity is lower than SW absorptivity. This alone would allow an average of 240 w/m2 of solar SW to drive the oceans to 276K. (Still below the current 288K average).
The second and far more important factor is that water is SW translucent and LWIR opaque. The S-B equation simply cannot be used to determine temperature response to SW illumination of such a material. The reason is the S-B equation essentially treats all materials as opaque. The following two experiments show why –
http://oi61.tinypic.com/or5rv9.jpg
http://oi62.tinypic.com/zn7a4y.jpg
The first is the most dramatic. Both block have equal ability to absorb SW and emit LWIR. The only difference is that block A absorbs SW at depth and block B absorbs SW near the surface. To run –
First illuminate both block for around 3 hours with 1000 w/m2 of LWIR,. Both blocks heat to around 80C with the same internal temperature profile.
Next re-run the experiment with 1000 w/m2 of SW. Block B will heat as before, however Block A will now run around 20C hotter. The reason is that SW is absorbed at the surface of block B and some energy radiates away before it conducts into the block. For Block A, all SW is absorbed within the block, and must slowly conduct back to the surface before it can be shed as LWIR. This allows greater energy accumulation and higher temperature.
The is a radiative greenhouse effect raising surface temperatures, but it is in the oceans, not the atmosphere.
It is from experiments like these that you can derive five rules for SW heating of SW translucent / LWIR opaque materials –
http://oi59.tinypic.com/10pdqur.jpg

• MikeB says:

Do you have any reference for any peer-reviewed paper that reports this experiment?
Apart from completely misunderstanding what the Stephan-Boltzmann equation refers to, it seems to be a load of nonsense.

• co2islife says:

Apart from completely misunderstanding what the Stephan-Boltzmann equation refers to, it seems to be a load of nonsense.

Please explain my misunderstanding. There is a quantifiable amount of energy contained within the 13µ and 18µ IR band, CO2’s contribution to warming is that band. The change in its contribution is the increased W/M^2 due to CO2 increasing from 260 to 400 ppm. Is that energy, radiated at 13µ and 18µ enough to warm the vast oceans? That is pretty simple. The fact that I can’t point to any “peer reviewed” research simply proves that the climate “scientist” haven’t even begun to answer the most basic questions for a “settled” science. But please, tell me where I went wrong, and provide the “peer reviewed” researching proving that this issue has been studied, addressed and a conclusion reached other than the one I have reached. I’ll all ears.

• co2islife says:

That makes my case even more. IR doesn’t penetrate the oceans to warm anything in the oceans. Oceans are blue because they transmit blue light. Blue light is extremely high energy light. Blue light can reach the the floor of shallow lakes, sea, rivers and oceans resulting in them warming. Rivers running over warmed rocks flow into oceans and lakes. Once again, plenty of warming, but none of it due to CO2. BTW, run the above experiment focused on the 13µ to 18µ wavelengths. My bet you won’t measure any temperature change at all, even with the oil. Use temperature 193°C not 288°C. No one challenges the GHG effect, the question is can the warming be blamed on CO2. To to that you have to isolate the impact of the 13µ to 18µ wavelengths.

• David A says:

Mike B
August 1, 2015 at 6:26 am
Do you have any reference for any peer-reviewed paper that reports this experiment?
Apart from completely misunderstanding what the Stephan-Boltzmann equation refers to, it seems to be a load of nonsense.
========================================
Do you have trouble with calling the oceans ability to absorb SW insolation a liquid GHE? How is there a complete misunderstanding of what the Stephan-Boltzmann equation refers to?

32. co2islife says:

Here is the question that must be answered:
The oceans contain 352,670,000,000,000,000,000 gallons. A doubling of CO2 absorbs an additional 3.2W/M^2. The oceans have increased in temperature about 1°C since 1920.
http://www.rapid.ac.uk/rw/images/diagrams/n16_1_temp_anomaly_plot.png
The ocean heat content has increased 25×10^22 Joules since 1960. (360 joules/hr = 1W)
http://www.rapidtables.com/calc/electric/Joule_to_Watt_Calculator.htm
Simply put, does 3.2W/M^2 applied 12/hr each 24/hr since 1960 sum to 25×10^22 Joules? Can that amount of heat increase the oceans by about 0.6°C since 1960?
http://www.realclimate.org/images//heat_content2000m.png

• beng135 says:

co2islife says:

does 3.2W/M^2 applied 12/hr each 24/hr since 1960 sum to 25×10^22 Joules?

The greenhouse effect doesn’t stop anytime, so 24 hrs/day.

• co2islife says:

The greenhouse effect doesn’t stop anytime, so 24 hrs/day.

It is totally overwhelmed by the incoming visible light during the day. Any warming during the day is due to direct sunlight of the visible spectrum. @300°K the radiation of the earth is 460 W/M^2, the IR due to CO2 is a black body of temp 192°K is 77W/M^2. The incoming visible light has a temperature of around 5000 degrees and has a wavelength of 0.5µ the metrics are as follows:
Blackbody Temperature T 5000°K
Peak Wavelength µm 0.5µ
Integrated Radiation Intensity W/m2 35,440,000 or 3.5×10^7
The irradiation of the earth makes the ratio of the earth meaningless during the day. Either way, use 24 hrs/day, the numbers still won’t add up. It takes vast amounts of visible light to warm the oceans. No way in hell is CO2 warming the oceans.

33. co2islife says:

BTW, Warmist claim that anthropogenic CO2 has a residence life of 200 or more years, and that man’s contribution is “cumulative.”

Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano is emitting between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, a figure placing it in the same emissions league as a small-to-medium European economy, experts said on Monday.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2010/apr/21/iceland-volcano-climate-sceptics
If that is the case, Volcanos have been producing CO2 long before man. Why weren’t [their] “emissions” cumulative?
The more you look into the claims of the warmists, the more nonsensical they become.

• co2islife,
Volcanoes are estimated at about 1% of current human CO2 emissions, based on several studies of CO2 vents around new and old volcanic fields.
Even the largest volcanic event in the past decades, the 1991/1992 Pinatubo, is not visible in the CO2 rate of change (which even drops after the event…).
The point is that the equilibrium between temperature, oceans and vegetation in the carbon cycle can easily cope with small disturbances like volcanic events, but not with the continuous emissions from humans. For the current CO2 level in the atmosphere, 110 ppmv above steady state for the current ocean surface temperature, the net sink rate is ~2,15 ppmv/year, while humans emit ~4.5 ppmv/year…

• AJB says:

It drops significantly. Some might even say anomolously given current thinking 🙂

34. Not once in any of these mathematical expositions have the basic quantum mechanical equations that govern the absorption and emission of energy by CO2 been invoked. These are found in any textbook related to the quantum theory of light.
Without using these equations, which accurately incorporate differences in absorption and emission based on temperature differentials and pressure differentials, it is impossible to have an accurate picture of how CO2 effects the atmospheric and terrestrial energy balance.
Gavin Schmdit refers to the work of Plass in the 1950’s. However, Plass’s work was shown to be in error by Kaplan, over stating the effect of CO2 by at least a factor of two then.
It would be nice to see a discussion based upon the fundamental physics involved.

• Very very true, climate scientists clearly don’t understand that the radiative transfer equations that apply to true blackbodies (Kirchhoff, Planck, Stefan-Boltzmann laws) do not apply to the molecular line-emitter CO2 (and H2O). The “most influential climate paper of all time” by Manabe et al in 1967 made numerous physically wrong false assumptions, including that CO2 is a blackbody that can have an unlimited emitting temperature for radiation, and shows in his model CO2 emitting temperatures of ~15um LWIR of up to 300K. This is physically impossible, as the emitting temperature of a perfect emitter true blackbody with peak emission at 15um is fixed at 193K regardless of the kinetic temperature at a given geopotential height, besides the fact that CO2 is far less than a true blackbody since it is a line emitter/absorber without a Planck curve and its emissivity < 1 & decreases with temperature.
These same false assumptions were repeated by Hansen in the GISS model and continue in today's current climate models.

35. co2islife says:

Data for Global Carbon Emissions
(Fossil fuels, cement, land-use change)
Year Carbon Emissions
2013 9.9 billion metric tonnes (GtC)
2012 9.7 billion metric tonnes (GtC)
To convert carbon to carbon dioxide (CO2), multiply the numbers above by 3.67.
In 2013, global CO2 emissions due to fossil fuel use (and cement production) were 36 gigatonnes (GtCO2)
“Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano is emitting between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, a figure placing it in the same emissions league as a small-to-medium European economy, experts said on Monday.”

One Volcano can produce 55 to 110 million tonnes of CO2 a year. That is 0.3% of what man produces. There are 550 known active volcanoes that we know about. That means Volcanoes can easily produce more CO2 than man, and once again, Volcanoes have been continually producing CO2 for billions of years.
http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/Volcano_tectonic.html

Irrespective that some authors may neglect to allow for significant volcanogenic CO2 input to the atmosphere, volcanoes represent an enormous CO2 source that is mostly submarine. Furthermore, volcanic activity beneath both ice caps and localized to the regions of most intense melting has demonstrated an obvious cause of stronger Spring melts at the Poles. It is evident from the observations of Sohn et al. (2008) & Reves-Sohn et al. (2008) that the Northwest Passage was opened up by powerful volcanic activity under the Arctic Ice along the Gakkel Ridge, while West Antarctic melting (as opposed to thickening of ice throughout the rest of Antarctica) can be explained by recent volcanic activity beneath the ice (Corr & Vaughan, 2008). Moreover, there are simply too many volcanoes to deny that the atmospheric concentration of the most erupted gas next to water is predominantly controlled by the balance or lack thereof between volcanic activity and photosynthesis. Furthermore, there is simply no established volcanic CO2 fingerprint by which we may distinguish atmospheric proportions of anthropogenic and volcanogenic contributions. This leaves us with no empirical method by which we may attribute the 20th century rise in CO2 to human energy consumption.

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

• co2islife,
The CO2 emissions of (near) erupting volcanoes are many times higher than after the eruption or when dormant. Thus extrapolating one erupting volcanoes to all (dormant) volcanoes is nonsense. Lavafields around mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world were (and are?) monitored for CO2 emissions, which show that there is a fast decline 2-3 years after an eruption.
There is a clear difference between volcanic and human CO2 in the 13C/12C ratio. Quite strange that a geologist doesn’t know that…

• co2islife says:

The CO2 emissions of (near) erupting volcanoes are many times higher than after the eruption or when dormant. Thus extrapolating one erupting volcanoes to all (dormant) volcanoes is nonsense.

Want to extrapolate 150 years of mans CO2 vs Volcanoes having done it for BILLIONS of years? Volcanoes have been spewing CO2 for BILLIONS of years. Man for 150 years. Trust me, even at 10% per year of Man’s production, extrapolating billions vs 150 years pretty much makes man irrelevant.
Beginning to understand why warmist’s claims about the residence life of CO2 like the following are idiotic:
“This turnover takes 500-1000ish years. Therefore a time scale for CO2 warming potential out as far as 500 years is entirely reasonable ”
https://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-residence-time.htm
“Several long-term climate models, though their details differ, all agree that anthropogenic CO2 takes an enormously long time to dissipate. If all recoverable fossil fuels were burnt up using today’s technologies, after 1,000 years the air would still hold around a third to a half of the CO2 emissions. “For practical purposes, 500 to 1000 years is ‘forever,'””
http://www.nature.com/climate/2008/0812/full/climate.2008.122.html
Apply that process and include Volcanoes and you quickly understand how myopic and blinded by ideology these climate “scientists” are. Even at 10%, the continual production of volcanoes over billions of years would have us having a 100% CO2 atmosphere. In reality we have been de-gassing CO2 for millions of years. CO2 doesn’t accumulate in the atmosphere, is has been falling from over 7000ppm over the last 600 million years.

• co2islife,
I never said or did agree with the long removal rates of CO2 as assumed by the IPCC, which are based on the Bern model.
The e-fold decay of any excess CO2 (volcanoes, humans, forest fires,…) is slightly over 50 years as the current sink rate shows, which gives a half life time of ~40 years. There is no sign of saturation of the sinks as assumed in the Bern model.
Thus a volcanic eruption which is overblown at 10% of human emissions (1 GtC) would increase the CO2 of the atmosphere with 0.5 ppmv in the year of the eruption. After the eruption, that will decline to 0.25 ppmv after 40 years, 0.125 ppmv after 80 years,…
If there were random volcanic eruptions around the world which in average represent 0.5 ppmv/year continuous volcanic CO2 addition, that would increase the CO2 content until an equilibrium is reached by the removal rate caused by the increase in the atmosphere and the continuous addition.
The current removal rate is 2.15 ppmv / 110 ppmv above steady state, or a removal factor of 0.02.
To get rid of 2 ppmv /year (the continuous contribution of volcanoes), the increase in the atmosphere should be 2 / 0.02 = 100 ppmv above the steady state for the current temperature, or around 390 ppmv. But as we see no decline in the increase in the atmosphere, there is no equilibrium between contribution and sink rate in sight…
If we do the same exercise with a more realistic estimate for the volcanic contribution at 1% of human emissions, or average 0.05 ppmv/year continuous addition, that needs some 10 ppmv extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere to get rid of all volcanic CO2 over the past millions of years, at the condition that the oceans don’t get saturated…
The only way to have big increases of CO2 in the atmosphere due to volcanic eruptions is either by blocking the (ocean and terrestrial) sinks, as was possibly the case during “snow ball earth” or lots of volcanoes erupting at the same time during centuries, as was possibly the case during the eruption of the Deccan traps…

36. co2islife says:

co2islife, Volcanoes are estimated at about 1% of current human CO2 emissions

Wrong, see the comments above. A single Volcano can produce 0.3% of man’s annual CO2 production. You are simply wrong on that issue, but the very fact that you wouldn’t question such an obviously flawed metric highlights how believers simply believe, they don’t question. OBEY!!! Don’t think for yourself. Let others do that for you. Be a good climate change disciple.

• co2islife,
A single erupting volcano can temporarily produce 0.3% of man’s CO2 momentary production (not yearly!). Non-erupting volcanoes produce much less.
And don’t try to insult me, I have the habit to question everybody and everything, no matter who says it and what is said. I have the impression that I may return the favor: you simply cut and paste comments from others which you like, without critical thinking about what is said…

• co2islife says:

A single erupting volcano can temporarily produce 0.3% of man’s CO2 momentary production (not yearly!). Non-erupting volcanoes produce much less.

“Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. ”
It is estimated that there are millions of volcanoes worldwide, and most aren’t even known and are underseas. There are simply no good estimates for how much CO2 is truly produced by Volcanoes. A very very odd fact given the “settled” nature of this “science.”

• co2islife,
Please, there are very few volcanoes which are spewing lava and lots of CO2 continuously over a full year. Most eruptions cease after days, weeks and few after months.
50 erupt every year, thus maybe at any day of the year one or two volcanoes are erupting. That is 0.5% of human emissions continuously. The rest of the volcanoes emit all together also 0.5% of human emissions or 2% or 5%.
Does it matter? Not at all: volcanic eruptions, even clusters of volcanic eruptions are not visible in the temperature record (see the articles of Willis Eschenbach on that topic), neither in the CO2 record (current and ice cores). Further, there is not the slightest sign of a sudden increase in volcanic activity since 1850 which could explain the 110 ppmv increase…

37. Frank says:

Mike: You are making the mistake of assuming that mean global temperature changes as much as the temperature at Vostok. This isn’t true. The change in MGST associated with ice ages is believed to be around 5 degC, less in the tropics and far more in polar regions. That data comes from sediment cores in the oceans which contain shells of organisms living near the surface (and others living near the bottom). These sediment cores can’t be dated as accurately as ice cores and don’t have annual resolution, but they are available from all oceans. CO2 rose about 40% as the last ice age ended which is half of a doubling (1.4^2 = 2). If ECS is 3.2, this would be 1.6 degC or about 1/3 of the warming.

38. co2islife says:

There is a clear difference between volcanic and human CO2 in the 13C/12C ratio. Quite strange that a geologist doesn’t know that…

That is a myth. Volcano CO2 and fossil fuel CO2 are indistinguishable. Mantle CO2 and Fossil fuels are both void of C14 and C13. Plants also prefer C12 over C13 so the “greening” of the N Hemi most likely alters that ratio, not burning Fossil Fuels.

Both tectonic and volcanic CO2 are magmatic and depleted in both 13C & 14C. In the absence of statistically significant isotope determinations for each volcanic province contributing to the atmosphere, this makes CO2 contributions of volcanic origin isotopically indistinguishable from those of fossil fuel consumption. It is therefore unsurprising to find that Segalstad (1998) points out that 96% of atmospheric CO2 is isotopically indistinguishable from volcanic degassing. So much for the Royal Society’s unexplained “chemical analysis”. If you believe that we know enough about volcanic gas compositions to distinguish them chemically from fossil fuel combustion, you have indeed been mislead. As we shall see, the number of active volcanoes is unknown, never mind a tally of gas signatures belonging to every active volcano. We have barely scratched the surface and as such, there is no magic fingerprint that can distinguish between anthropogenic and volcanogenic sources of CO2.

http://carbon-budget.geologist-1011.net/
I forgot the link to this previous quote: BTW, the photos are worth a look.
Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava.
http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/12/the-year-in-volcanic-activity/100209/

Given the more than 3 million volcanoes worldwide indicated by the work of Hillier & Watts (2007), one might be prone to wonder about the statistical significance of Gerlach’s seven subaerial volcanoes and three hydrothermal vent sites. If the statement of the USGS concerning volcanic CO2 is any indication of the reliability of expert consensus, it would seem that verifiable facts are eminently more trustworthy than professional opinion.

The date on Volcanoes is basically non-existent, and yet this “science” is settled. What a joke.

• co2islife,
You are parroting nonsense from a “geologist” who doesn’t know where he is talking about.
Deep magma δ13C is between -4 and -7 per mil, while subduction δ13C is around zero per mil.
Atmosphere is at -8 per mil
Human emissions are around -24 per mil.
Thus please go out on the Internet and look yourself for the isotopic composition of volcanic CO2 that is even remotely near what humans emit. That doesn’t exist, as that can’t exist. All low δ13C carbon is organic, all inorganic carbon has a high δ13C level. That includes the oceans, carbonate rocks, etc…
The only exception may be CH4 which can be formed inorganic and still may have a low δ13C level.
Here some hints:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0883292794900590
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL059722/pdf
Plants also prefer C12 over C13 so the “greening” of the N Hemi most likely alters that ratio, not burning Fossil Fuels.
Which shows that you have no idea what that means: Plants prefer 12CO2 above 13CO2. As the earth is greening, plants take ~1 GtC more in than there is plant decay or burning or eating. That means that more 12CO2 is taken away than 13CO2 and thus the remaining CO2 is enriched in 13CO2. Thus the biosphere is NOT the cause of the firm decline of δ13C in the atmosphere since 1850, neither are the oceans (which are too high in δ13C) neither are volcanoes (same reason):
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.jpg
The volcanic emissions were discussed at WUWT here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/16/another-known-unknown-volcanic-outgassing-of-co2/
with lots of comments, including from Willis and me.
And a nice explanation why volcanoes are peanuts compared to human emissions in EOS:
Given the more than 3 million volcanoes worldwide
Most of that number (if it is true at all) are underwater volcanoes, which CO2 releases mostly dissolve in the mass of deep seawater and stays there for centuries to millennia…

• co2islife says:

Significantly, note that the ratio of C13 variability to CO2 variability is EXACTLY THE SAME as that seen in the trends!
BOTTOM LINE: If the C13/C12 relationship during NATURAL inter-annual variability is the same as that found for the trends, how can people claim that the trend signal is MANMADE??

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/
C14 is also continually being created by cosmic rays and has a half life of about 5,500 years. Volcanoes turn materials millions of years old into CO2, so I doubt there will be much C13 or C14 in it. Care to explain how there could be C13 and C14 deep in the earth?

• co2islife,
Volcanic and fossil CO2 is completely void of 14C, thus 14C can’t be used to make a differentiation between the two.
13C is a stable isotope and doesn’t change in billions of years, thus the 13C/12C ratio can be used to determine the source, if the differences are large enough.
In the case of volcanoes: either from subduction, thus mostly from melting seafloor carbonate sediments which are around zero per mil or from deep magma CO2 which is somewhat lower (worst case around the atmospheric δ13C of -8 per mil).
Deep magma CO2 is made from carbon probably already present from the original molten earth, its 13C/12C ratio is determined by the origins of the materials which formed the earth.
The atmospheric δ13C was -6.4 +/- 0.2 per mil over the whole Holocene (ice cores) until ~160 years ago. Since then it dropped to below -8 per mil, in complete ratio to human emissions over the same time span. Volcanoes can’t do that, as their δ13C is equal to or (much) higher than δ13C in the atmosphere.
Human CO2 is far lower (~ -24 per mil) in δ13C than both volcanic CO2 and atmospheric CO2. The only other source of low 13C is recent organics from e.g. decaying leaves, or methane seeps (which may be partially inorganic formed).
The latter is elevated in the atmosphere, put that is human caused, thus only add to the human caused δ13C decline.
The former is not the cause, as the biosphere as a whole is a net sink for CO2, thus INcreasing the δ13C level, while we see a firm DEcrease…
And if you cite an article in WUWT, also read the interesting discussions below the article, a few of mine here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/#comment-4742 and
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/#comment-4756

39. Andyj says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen how come when someone “parrots” with verifiable facts, you ignore and repeat the same nonsense again. Much of your material has no source(s).
The facts remain, the horse has the cart firmly behind it. CO2 smoothed & variance + RSS, smoothed. Shows C02 variances are temperature affected. The Stratosphere is unaffected except at the poles, even the though melt occurs from the sea.
That CO2 is a cooling gas from the stratosphere and up. That Earth is slowly turning into an ice ball from atmospheric losses and plants don’t give a monkeys cuss what isotope of CO2 it is. This has already been blown totally out of the water. I’m amazed someone is still parroting it.
CO2 resonances go both ways. Its also a cooling gas when cold (reversing the GW effect) and at altitude it freely allows the molecules to burn off (resonate) their excess energy. We may be experiencing an increase in pressure to account for the minuscule incidental warming. (H/T to you, hockey schtick)
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/why-does-co2-cool-stratosphere-warm.html
This blog post off Anthony? Hmmmm, I dunno.

• Andij,
If someone cites what a “geologist” (that is relying on authority?) says about the fact that volcanic CO2 can’t be distinguished from human CO2 and I provide four links (found in a few minutes on the Internet) to field measurements which show that there are huge differences in 13C/12C ratio, who then is right?
C02 variances are temperature affected
I fully agree. That is true on all time scales: 800,000 years glacial – interglacial transitions and MWP-LIA transition in ice cores and the year-by-year variability in the current direct measurements.
The net effect is ~5 ppmv/K seasonal, 4-5 ppmv/K year by year, and up to 16 ppmv/K over the millennia.
That is NOT true for the 110 ppmv increase over the past 165 years, of which 70 ppmv since the measurements at South Pole and Mauna Loa started. Temperature can’t give over 100 ppmv/K increase, that is far beyond Henry’s law for the solubility of CO2 in seawater.
What you have plotted is the variability around the trend, which is not more than +/- 1 ppmv and certainly caused by temperature variability (and its impact on vegetation as origin), while the trend itself is over 70 ppmv (and not from vegetation as origin: that is a net sink for CO2) since 1959…
I am not a specialist in radiation, so seldom comment on that topic, but I know where I am talking about if it is about the cause of the current increase of CO2: that is human, certainly not the oceans, not the biosphere and not volcanoes.
What effect the increase has on temperature/climate is an entirely different question…

40. Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
Part 3
Executive Summary:
Conclusion
The picture of global temperature and its drivers as presented by the IPCC and the computer climate models is one in which CO2 has been the dominant factor since the start of the industrial age and other factors have had minimal impact. In order to support this picture, the IPCC has sought to portray CO2 as having been an important driver of global temperature in the past.
The idea that CO2 has been an important driver of global temperature over the last 400,000 years is not supported by the evidence.
The idea that CO2 has been the dominant driver of global temperature over the last 400,000 years is laughable.
Footnote
It is important to recognise that the formulae used here represent the internal workings of the climate models. There is no “climate denial” here, because the whole series of articles is based on the premise that the climate computer models are correct, using the mid-range ECS of 3.2.