OCO-2 – Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 – the mission has released an animation

Guest essay by Ric Werme

Map of average CO2 concentrations for June 1-15, 2015.

Earth’s CO2 according to OCO-2 for June 1-15, 2015.

It’s been a long wait, but OCO-2 speaks!

Let’s start with a timeline:

  • Feb 2009: NASA’s $273 million Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite crashed into the ocean near Antarctica shortly after launch today from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Bummer.
  • Jul 2014: Try 2 was successful. The instruments checked out, we all look forward to results.
  • Nov 2104 2014: NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center releases an animation of a model of CO2 flow across the Earth. Visually, it’s very attractive and feels right, but it doesn’t look at all like the OCO-2 imagery. It may be the scaling, it may be OCO-2’s poor temporal resolution, it may be partly including a carbon monoxide display. I’m sure the modelers will have lots to do for the next few years!
  • Dec 2014: Well, it took a while, but the first image from OCO-2 is release and it’s really not what we expected. There’s a lot of CO2 over China, and a lot that appears related to slash and burn agriculture, but Europe and the US look pretty good.
  • July 2015: The New Horizons mission finally reaches Pluto. This team did things right. They posted images as soon as they had them. We could watch it get closer to Pluto, we could see Pluto up close right after the flyby, and they’re still releasing images as fast as the slow, weak downlink delivers them.
  • Aug 2015: I get tired of waiting on OCO-2 and send Email to the OCO-2 PR contact asking what’s up. A month later I get a reply that includes:

    Over the next couple of months, we will be releasing a number of new OCO-2 visual products to the public. Stay tuned! And thanks for your interest in the mission.

  • Oct 2015: I’m not the only impatient person at WUWT, I see. However, Erik Swenson did something about and produced his own imagery. He did a great job.
  • Oct 2015: The OCO-2 team releases a YouTube video showing the same sort of images that Erik released. I haven’t compared them yet, I wanted to get this up quick.

    Check out first full year of OCO-2 science operations.

The video is interesting, but is missing mid-April to mid-May. I’m impressed at how quickly plants pull down CO2 in the northern spring, though I noticed that before I noticed the missing month. I’m impressed at how much CO2 is released in the tropics. I’m intrigued that there seems to be a bit of a surge in CO2 before spring triggers plant growth. Perhaps thawing ground releases CO2 produced by tree roots and rotting vegetation during the winter.

[Update – on the sampled area.]

A number of early comments refer to how much surface area doesn’t have imagery. I suggest reviewing Erik Swenson’s post and comments, a lot of that dialog applies here.

There’s also a link to NASA’s Data Product User’s Guide which goes into a lot of detail.

First, the CO2 measurements are done with a spectroscope. Light from the Earth’s surface enters a telescope, a small sample is selected from a slit. That line of light is bounced off a diffraction grating onto an imaging chip that provides 1016 pixels of the spectrum. There are three spectrometers tuned to areas of interest for O2 (I assume this is used to measure intensity), and two bands of CO2’s spectra.

Light has to go from the surface of the Earth to the satellite, and to measure the tiny differences due to changes of CO2 concentration, they want a bright source on the ground. They measure from two different paths (on different orbits). First is the “nadir” reading where the satellite looks straight down. This is not very bright, but it has the best spatial resolution. The other direction is to look at sunlight’s glint reflecting off water. This is much brighter, so it’s easier to measure the brightness of the spectral lines.

oco2-view

The measurements require that from the point being observed, the sun has to be at lest 5° above the horizon in nadir mode and 15° above in glint mode. Clouds, terrain, etc. can make for poor or unusable data. Still, it appears to me that NASA isn’t imaging as much data as Erik did.

Keep in mind that OCO-2 is one of the first satellites doing this sort of work. Astronomical spectral analysis generally doesn’t do the resolution that OCO-2 needs and has the opportunity to take very long exposures. So while climate scientists are looking forward to the data, the designers will be looking at things to do for the next design.

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203 thoughts on “OCO-2 – Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 – the mission has released an animation

  1. Just a couple of questions in case I’m missing something. Why is there so much CO2 around Egypt and Africa in June? Also, I thought when we have summer in the North, they have winter in the South, so why does CO2 levels not alternate between the North and the South?

    • Look at the graph again.
      What is the CO2 minimum and the CO2 maximum.
      Do you think there is a “big” difference? How much is the difference?

      • I’m not sure what you are hinting at. The difference is measurable according to the color coding of the graph. Did you look at the video?

      • To Golden:
        What is the difference?
        I am not asking if the difference is measurable.
        I am asking, what is the difference.
        Can you give the difference and then is this difference of importance to you?

      • rd50 your reply and your question has nothing to do with what I asked. That graph cost $273 million to produce. It was important somebody – and if I paid that kind of money it would be important to me to understand what is going on.

      • I would say obviously it can’t be, or the designers are in for real trouble since it will have a very short shelf life given that we are currently at circa 400ppm and CO2 is increasing by circa 2ppm per year.

      • I see a range of about 396 to 404 ppmv, or 8 ppmv total shift.
        That is about 5-6 years of ML CO2 data growth.
        That is NOT my idea of a well mixed mixture. I would expect to be able to sample a well mixed mixture ANYWHERE and get a sample that is the same composition, within the limits of what is CRITICAL in regard to that variable.
        Since the ML data changes by 6 ppmv in about 5 months of the year (going down), then clearly in that location, the value can adjust much more rapidly than 5-6 years.
        And what is it with this ppmv business. Atoms and molecules were discovered, what; 200 years ago, or was it 300 ??
        Can’t they count the molecules of each species present in the sample, and give us ppmm ?
        g

      • CO2 outgasses from the Ocean at warm equatorial latitudes, is absorbed by colder water at high latitudes.

      • Presently 38 BMT raises the co2 levels by 2.5 ppm. How many BMT does it take to raise it another 12.5 ppm? 190BMT. NOAA estimates that half of the 38 BMT gets absorbed by the ocean and land ( 26% ocean, 24% land). We have been increasing output of co2 above 1 BMT/ year and yet the increase in co2 has remained steady at 2.5 ppm or less for the last 5 years. The IEA has it as 32 BMT. Who knows?
        Using NOAA s numbers, over weighting the volume of air on the planet, as a level of confidence, I get a much higher number of absorption than 50%, 70% on the low side and 80% on the high side. The kicker is that if they are playing with the numbers, and 32 BMT is the correct amount, it increases the co2 from somewhere else. Additionally, why does it matter what season it is for the spike, co2 is alleged well mixed. The southern oceans should be pulling a lot more co2 than the NH. The ocean is much larger and has a greater capacity in the SH.
        I suspect, they don’t know. I also suspect that co2 doesn’t stay around in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. I also suspect that they are measuring backwards, the increase in co2 is solely man made, and calculate the amount from there. I also suspect that since co2 isn’t hanging ground for very long, they can’t tell where the co2 is coming from simply by isotope ratios
        To me that is sort of scary, increase in co2 production, the ppm leveled off or declined since 1998, and apparently a much larger sink. 1998 remains the highest level of co2 ppm for the year at 2.93 increase. It looks like the sink is not only eating up our increase but eating into the base amount in 1998.
        I’m sure this year that the rate will be above 3 ppm. Why? I’m making an issue of it and I don’t believe they are honest. Even as the IEA has stated that production was flat this year.

    • Golden,
      The south is mostly ocean so there is less variability. The north is mostly land so the seasonal plant difference is HUGE.

      • Correct, the only big land mass in the entire Southern Hemisphere is Antarctica which has zero any plants growing on it. It is nearly all ocean with a tiny bit if Australia and the skinny part of South America.

      • Well the biggest change in atmospheric CO2 seasonally happens at the north pole, where there aren’t any trees or plants at all. It’s more than 3 times the ML variation at 18-20 ppmm
        What there is at the north pole and surrounds, is ice that can melt. At the south pole, and surrounds, the ice doesn’t melt.
        I would look to the segregation coefficient for CO2 at the water / ice boundary.
        g

    • Instead of looking at co lours, why don’t you look at numbers?
      Pretend you are colour blind, look at the numbers.
      You are impressed when looking at the numbers at the differences are of importance?
      Tell us what differences you are impressed with.
      Forget about colours.

    • @ Golden, I am no expert but could seasonal changes including the annual spring flooding of the Nile valley have an impact? Lots of rotting debris and fast running water? (just a thought)

    • Could it be that the forests in the south are largely tropical and sub-tropical whereas the northern hemisphere has large cold climate deciduous forests?

      • My eyeball says that the jan-jan CO2 went down rather than up.
        So where does the little yellow box put the Artic ice melt cycle ??
        g

    • Your chart says otherwise. Look at the graph in the yellow box that says “Annual Cycle” and notice that the high point for CO2 is in the spring before increased plant growth begins to absorb it during the summer months.

      • Yes, the chart is clear. This is why I posted it.
        You can see exactly what is happening.
        We are turning the corner.
        March, April, May, keep going.
        Nice cycle. always the same, give or take a few weeks.

      • It is a cycle of repeating magnitude – i.e., spring is not increasing independently compared to other seasons.

      • Louis – November 4, 2015 at 4:24 pm

        …… and notice that the high point for CO2 is in the spring …… before increased plant growth begins to absorb it during the summer months.

        You got the above “half” right. The 1st “half” of your above statement.
        The measured/calculated yearly maximum atmospheric CO2 ppm most ALWAYS occurs post mid-April to pre mid-May of each and every calendar year and has done so for the past 56 years. Note month 5 ppm data herein, to wit:
        NOAA ESRL DATA: ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt
        But the 2nd “half” of your above statement is a biological impossibility.
        The increase in plant growth (CO2 ingassing/greening) in the NH begins in early February in the southern latitudes (Texas – Zone 9) and progressively moves northward to the northern latitudes (Canada – Zone 2) by the 1st of June. But the microbial decomposition of dead biomass (CO2 outgasssing) begins prior to the aforesaid CO2 ingassing by “green” plants ….. and it continues both night and day, cloudy, rainy or Sunny, throughout the summer months.
        http://www.plant-power.com/images/zone_map2.jpg
        Now given the above biological facts associated with the “ingassing/outgassing” of CO2 ….. I do not think it is possible for anyone to associate or correlate them with the “steady n’ consistent” bi-yearly cycling of atmospheric CO2 as defined by the Keeling Curve graph or the above cited NOAA’s data record.
        And a 2nd biological fact is ….. the initial “greening” of the live biomass is accomplished via the previous year’s CO2 absorption, …… the “stored sugars” in the roots and seeds, ….. thus said “green” biomass is incapable of absorbing atmospheric CO2 until its new foliage (leaves) is mature enough to do so. Therefore there is a one (1) to three (3) week “window” between the aforestated springtime microbial “outgassing” of CO2 and the live biomass (green plants) “ingassing” of CO2. And ps, … that microbial “outgassing” of CO2 continues after the green plant “ingassing” of CO2 has terminated.
        Source references: Bacteriology 101 …… Botany 101

    • Appreciate if you could present similar curves from different latitude and longitude belts. Or is it considered as global average pattern.
      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  2. I note the scale of different colours is not linear, (2,3,2,3,2,5 ppm for equivalent appearing changes in colour), and also the change from green to red represents a change of only 4 ppm from 398(ish) to 402. I have doubts that their satellite based instrument is genuinely accurate to that level with any reliability, and in any event that is such a miniscule change in magnitude of an already small number…

  3. The CO2 levels do not seem to coincide terribly much with human activity. Perhaps the delay is to allow manipulation of the data to fit the political narrative-how Lysenkoid. What would be more useful is to link CO2 levels from a particular area with plant growth rates to see if the 5ppm spread makes much difference to plant nutrition.

    • Yes, a 5 ppm spread. Even a 10 or 20 ppm spread.
      No, too many other variables enter into plant growth for so little CO2 differences to be an important variable.
      Simply, CO2 emitted in one part of the world is mixed rather quickly and distributed so we end with very little variation when we have the concentrations measured in different parts of the world, but still we can see variations at the ground levels in different parts of the world according to activities: forest fires, ground level crop residues burning, etc.

      • The map just for the northern hemisphere shows at least 8 ppmm spread, which takes about 5-6 years to accumulate at ML.
        So it isn’t even approximately well mixed.
        And just wait till they show the other half of the planet.
        Remember that CFCs which are supposed to cause the ozone hole in Antarctica, are from emissions in the northern hemisphere, and they make it to the South Pole.
        But for some reason CO2 can’t cross the equator ??

    • High – yes an amazing high amount of CO2 over the Sahara and Middle East. Other than a few oil wells and gas flares /sarc/ there must be a remarkable quantity of anthroprogenic sources there/sarc/!

      • It’s more about the lack of CO2 sinks than the quantity of CO2 sources. Plants suck up an enormous amount of CO2 from the air around them, especially rapidly growing plants like corn and bamboo. All of the carbon needed to manufacture cellulose and other fibrous mass is obtained from CO2.
        Concentrations of 200 ppm CO2 are observed in a corn field at peak of growing.
        http://joannenova.com.au/2013/09/plants-suck-half-the-co2-out-of-the-air-around-them-before-lunchtime-each-day/
        Farmers say corn at peak grows so fast they can actually hear it growing. Perhaps the corn is trying to communicate with us, saying “More CO2 please!”.

        • Johanus – well put. The Government of Canada advises farmers on Carbon Dioxide In Greenhouses:

          For the majority of greenhouse crops, net photosynthesis increases as CO2 levels increase from 340–1,000 ppm (parts per million). Most crops show that for any given level of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), increasing the CO2 level to 1,000 ppm will increase the photosynthesis by about 50% over ambient CO2 levels.

  4. The ‘pull down’ of CO2 by plants in the northern spring must mean a huge concurrent energy storage as the endothermic plant chemistry stores very large amounts of energy in the chemical donds.
    Not to mention all the transpiration that must take place as part of that, shunting LHV to the upper atmosphere.
    And I gather the geniuses don’t even ‘model’ that. LOL.

    • To Arbeegee:
      “Why so much CO2…..”
      How much more CO2 is there? Do you think this is of any importance?

      • I’m just going by the scale that shows the C02 measurement extreme to be red, the colour over Arabian P. It’s not important if you believe C02 is good for the Earth. Other than that, assuming there is some significance to the entire exercise of sending up a satellite to monitor C02, why is the concentration relatively so great over sand and rock? Oil power generators?

      • Perhaps, rd50, you mean to tell me that the difference between 390 and 402 parts per million is not really significant. But I doubt the differences are the result of random measurement variations.

      • Sorry if I was a bit abrupt.
        Indeed you looked at the colors.
        This is what they want you to look at.
        The colors help, but when the difference between the low and high is so small, the red to blue is there to fool you.

      • rd50,
        You are a one note song. 12 parts per million is HUGE when the entire swing (attributed 100% to man by zealots) is 122ppm. 10 percent has never been small potatoes. You need to THINK about the numbers and not just blow them off.

      • OweninGA,
        The measured difference is at maximum +/- 8 ppmv (+/- 2% of full scale) over the seasons with an additional difference caused by the lag of the SH after the NH trend. That is peanuts compared to the +/- 20% exchange between atmosphere and oceans/vegetation over the same seasons.
        That has not the slightest influence on the warming (as far as there is warming), as that needs years to show any influence, so any seasonal variation has negligible influence on longer term. The trend has, but that depends of the real sensitivity of temperature for CO2 increases…

    • Flaring off natural gas from the oil wells is a possibility I don’t know how much there is, probably a lot.
      And it’s CO2, not C02. Pet peeve, sorry.

      • Even better: CO₂
        I can’t get the subscript ₂ by direct entry from my laptop’s keyboard. I have to resort to a tedious, painstaking, roundabout, slightly devious way of producing the ₂, which I can do, thanks to you.

      • Oh, I see your confusion, I am referring to CarboNZero the greenhouse gas program. x2. Okay, CO2 it is. Sloppy me. Taken plenty of chemistry, too. If I was in a feistier mood, I’d reference a font where the O looks exactly like a zero.

      • That should put a considerable plume downwind of Nigeria then.
        According to some reputable sources they flare more gas in 28 days than the UK uses for ALL purposes in one year…….

    • To OweningGA:
      If you think so, look over the past 20 years.
      See how many ppm CO2 increased (list it here, give us a number) and see how many degrees temperature increased (list it here, give us a number). Don’t be afraid of numbers, as you stated, don’t blow them off.

    • “Why so much C02 over Arabian Peninsula? That’s almost all desert. Winds?”
      Because there are very few plants to absorb CO2 in the desert.

  5. The major global C/CO2 reservoirs (not CO2 per se, C is a precursor proxy for CO2), i.e. oceans, atmosphere, vegetation & soil, contain over 42,000 Pg (Gt) of C/CO2. Over 90% of this C/CO2 reserve is in the oceans. Between these reservoirs ebb and flow hundreds of Pg C/CO2 per year, the great fluxes. For instance, vegetation absorbs C/CO2 for photosynthesis producing plants and O2. When the plants die and decay they release C/CO2. A divinely maintained balance of perfection for thousands of years, now unbalanced by mankind’s evil use of fossil fuels.
    So just how much net C/CO2 does mankind’s evil fossil fuel consumption add to this perfectly balanced 42,000 Gt cauldron of churning, boiling, fluxing C/CO2? 3 Gt C/CO2. That’s correct, 3. Not 3,000, not 300, 3! How are we supposed to take this seriously?

      • ” If you are going to say it isn’t correct, please tell us what correct is.”
        A link or reference in the original would have been the right thing. Even some clarity about units.
        From CDIAC, 35 Gtons (Pgm) of CO2 (9.5 Gt C) were emitted in 2011.

      • Nicholas,
        Within a year:
        ~90 GtC going in and out the oceans.
        ~60 GtC going in and out the biosphere (all bio-life: plants, insects, animals in oceans and on land).
        ~9 GtC added by humans.
        Mass balance:
        ~9 GtC added by humans
        ~1 GtC stored in the biosphere
        ~0.5 GtC stored in the ocean surface layer
        ~3 GtC stored in the deep oceans
        ~4.5 GtC remaining in the atmosphere or ~2.15 ppmv/year.
        The latter is called the “airborne fraction” which is around 50% of human emissions. That is calculated as mass, not the original molecules released by burning fossil fuels. Thus while the carbon cycle is huge, it is more sink than source.
        Thus while only some 6% of the natural carbon cycle, humans are responsible for 90% of the increase in the atmosphere. 10% is from warming oceans.
        If the human emissions will be visible in the OCO-2 data is another question: human emissions at 2.15 ppmv/year, means 0.06 ppmv/day. It will be a hell of a job to detect that in the much larger natural carbon cycle, even if the emissions are concentrated in smaller parts of the globe…

      • ” Thus while the carbon cycle is huge, it is more sink than source.”
        Again, does not follow from the numbers, as part of the outflux is a response to human forcing. This is the fallacy of the pseudo-mass balance argument, which does not account for the dynamic response of the sinks.

    • , vegetation absorbs C/CO2 for photosynthesis producing plants and O2.

      I prefer to say that “vegetation assimilates C/CO2” It is more accurate
      I am glad you did not use the word sequester, mind you.
      Oh. and O2 comes from photolysis of water. It does not come directly from CO2. That is just me being picky.

  6. One has to wonder about timing and COP21 and the interpretation of the OCO-2 results….
    There is – I think – some cause to be wary about this……

  7. Why are so much of the maps blacked out. We have already seen maps where little has been left out.
    There is obviously more going on here than the animation shows. It doesn’t sit right with me.

    • Bill Illis I agree. Do note the southern hemisphere cut off seems to be the Tropic of Capricorn, That is odd,
      michael

      • As the South West of Western Australia seems to be at 0ppm, I intend to tell the ivy and the weeds overtaking my little garden that they should be dead – hmm odd – I probably should stop breathing too. Maybe Jo Nova needs to know so she can also lie down and die 😉

    • If you review some of the still frames they released back in Nov and compare them to the model run you’ll see that are basically reversed. Their is a huge band of CO2 just where the “missing data” line is in the south. Its highly likely they haven’t figured out how to spin that data yet and because its the complete opposite of what was predicted by models they don’t want people pointing out the fact they are @ss backwards.

  8. Jul 2014: Try 2 was successful. The instruments checked out, we all look forward to results.
    Nov 2104: NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center releases an animation of a model of CO2 flow across the Earth. Visually, it’s very attractive and feels right, but it doesn’t look at all like the OCO-2 imagery. It may be the scaling, it may be OCO-2’s poor temporal resolution, it may be partly including a carbon monoxide display. I’m sure the modelers will have lots to do for the next few years!

    Wow! I knew the government was slow, but I didn’t think would take 90 years!
    (P.S. This is a typo in the original article.)

  9. “I’m intrigued that there seems to be a bit of a surge in CO2 before spring triggers plant growth”
    My guess would be that rotting starts accelerating as soon as temperatures start rising. Plant growth however takes several weeks to months to get going and is slow at first.

    • True. Different plants require different soil and air temperatures before they begin vigorous growth. There is not a full consort of photosynthesis during a few weeks of spring. Plus you have the thawed livestock and wildlife feces and (wildlife) carcases which begin to rot well in the rising solar inclination.

  10. The more I watch Murry Salby, the more he makes sense. Little human influence discernable, effect on temperature zero, but yes, a reverse correlation IIRC. He must be on the right track, they have been so vicious against him.

      • Einstein made a huge mistake, warmist hatred of Salby is not because of his mistakes but because he might be correct.

  11. so plants are pulling down more CO2 than we are emitting..
    …for some reason those satellites are not orbiting over the poles
    gee, I just don’t know what to make of this
    (snark)

    • How much deadly carbon pollution comes off of a frozen wasteland anyway?
      Is it too much for the public to view?

  12. Two quick thoughts on what is missing in the data
    April to May is a critical period where the NH sink kinetics overtake the source kinetics. Why it is not in this data release is troubling. They must have it, but maybe they are sure what it means.
    The entire SH south of 35S is missing. They have to have that too. Why it is not there is troubling as well since it is generally believed and the initial data demonstrates that the Southern Ocean is a huge CO2 sink.

  13. What I see is a widespread burst of CO2 in the northern hemisphere after March,
    when the ground thaws. In just weeks. it seems to pop up almost everywhere.
    Of course, the northern hemisphere isn’t even visible until after March.
    What were they thinking?

  14. I note that the colour change scale is not linear (2,3,2,3,5 ppm) and the green to red change encompasses a 4 ppm range, approx 1% of .04% of atmospheric content.

  15. I mean we already know that 0.3% of climatologists are either nut jobs or worse. And it’s well known that the loudest voices on the net are the minorities (the 0.3%)…Not just in science, but pretty much everywhere. Time and time again, you’ll read that the loudest voices are those who complain as opposed to those who don’t….
    If the minority is always going to be the loudest, then how do we get the majority to become louder than them?

    • I was wondering the same since there is a lot of variability in the mixing of CO2 at low altitude. At low altitude CO2 is anything but a well mixed gas, although at high altitude it is probably well enough mixed to be classed as well mixed.
      If this data is a mixture of a column from low to high altitude then the mixing at higher altitude may be better than 400ppm +/-15ppm since that variation may be a facet of some partial low altitude sampling where CO2 can vary by double (about a month ago Ferdinand posted data showing low altitude variation between about 280 ppm to about 720 ppm).

  16. This release, at last, shows up a couple of weeks before COP21 starts.
    How many ‘noble cause’ thumbs have there been on the scales?
    Just askin’!!

  17. Sorry that this is off-topic – but – what a massive surprise. I have just discovered that the Guardian newspaper managed to pass off the very newsworthy and certainly interesting ICEsat study showing that Antarctica has gained mass – by hiding the revelation 2/3rds of the way into an article where the alarmist Glaciologist Rignot and PIK make some daft observations about how bits of ice on the edge keep falling off into the sea.
    And then they asked Michael Mann to rubbish the Zwally results for them.
    How totally moronic – a cursory lesson in how to conceal critical facts and bamboozle your readership with completely unsubstantiated nonsense: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/02/melting-ice-in-west-antarctica-could-raise-seas-by-3m-warns-study

    • It’s the Grauniad – what do you expect?
      I remember reading a front page article years ago about the dreadful effect on local sealife (think The Simpsons titles!) of pollution from the coastal nuclear power stations in NW England. It was only in the last half-inch of a four column report that they got to the facts, which were that a survey had been commissioned to collect evidence of such effects, rather than that such evidence had been found.
      But the Grauniad routinely panders to its regular readers’ prejudices, and the only surprise is the rare occasion when it doesn’t. OK, that’s true of most MSM, but it is the paper of choice for Beeboids and Blobistas in public service, and when they take in the headline without reading to the end the effects on the rest of us can be disastrous.
      PS – I don’t recall seeing the results of the sealife survey. Perhaps its findings didn’t confirm their prejudices.

      • And to think that I used to read the Grauniad and believe every word that it told me.
        Then occasionally, I’d read a book associated with the BBC and Grauniad agenda.
        Which would provide me with apparent confirmation.
        Hence, I truly understand what it is like to be utterly brainwashed!! 🙂

      • We all start out in life reading about the mistakes of the past, and internalizing the idea that, since those mistakes are now recognized, we aren’t making new ones. We have a children’s trust in our parents and, by extension, other adults. When others suggest our view of a benign world of rational adults is at odds with reality, our first reaction is denial. Eventually, a goodly portion of us move on through the other stages of grief due to our loss of innocence. Others stay trapped in a childlike fantasy world.
        Thence the saying, if you’re not a Socialist when you are 18, you’re heartless. If you’re not a Conservative by 40, you’re brainless.

  18. Ric Werme,
    ‘I’m sure the modelers
    will have lots to do for the
    next few years!’
    is it modelling, on real instrumental data – not mere interpreting and vizualization.
    Thx – Hans

  19. JPL and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center personnel are under tremendous attack and pressure to deliver the “goods” that Obama and Bon Ki Moon DEMAND and in desperation need!
    COP21 Paris will be Obama’s Swan Song and the anointment of “little man” Bon Ki Moon, born of Japanese Colonials in Korea during Japan’s Colonial Empire building, will announce that “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” are manufactured by the dreaded Caucasian Thieves of the United States of America. HaRump HaRump.
    In France outside at Versailles, the same RailRoad Car where Adolf Hitler welcomed the conquered French “Ambassadors” to the “New” Germany of 22 June 1940, the “little man” Bon Ki Moon will fulfill destiny and sign a declaration establishing Death Factories in the United States of America for the killing of Caucasian USA citizens, while Obama smiles a big grin and nods his head frantically in frenzy support.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armistice_of_22_June_1940
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korea_under_Japanese_rule

    • No – they’re looking at Infrared absorption lines – light goes through CO2, some wavelengths get absorbed. The light gets spread out into a spectrum, and the brightness difference between different wavelengths is easier to discern when you have a bright source. If the source isn’t as bright, you might have to increase the slit width, but that decreases resolution and contrast of the spectra.
      The only serious noise in sunlight are the Fraunhofer absorption lines, but those are from monoatomic sources and block visible wavelengths.

  20. Ric Werme commented regarding higher CO2 concentrations over the Arabian Peninsula:
    “Flaring off natural gas from the oil wells is a possibility I don’t know how much there is, probably a lot.”
    Not so. Very little of the solution gas in the oilfields is flared. The Saudi’s have a concentrated effort to capture as much rich solution gas as possible. There are large point sources of CO2 generation along the east and west coasts for refineries, desalination, and petrochemical industries, but this does not seem to be represented by the imagery.

  21. How does water vapour (Clouds) affect the readings of CO2? I would accept visual like that if it were “measured” on a cloudless earth. Not going to happen.

  22. The New Horizons mission finally reaches Pluto. This team did things right. They posted images as soon as they had them.
    A-Train launched from Pluto more likely to be on time?

  23. “Keep in mind that OCO-2 is one of the first satellites doing this sort of work. Astronomical spectral analysis generally doesn’t do the resolution that OCO-2 needs and has the opportunity to take very long exposures. So while climate scientists are looking forward to the data, the designers will be looking at things to do for the next design”
    ////
    So, so far generally a waste of money. What is new in Climate Science.
    Let’s hope that this cAGW scam falls apart before they waste the money on the redesign, as I would sooner that NASA put that money towards visiting one of the moons of Saturn or Jupiter looking for life/micro organisms existing in extreme environments.

  24. “Keep in mind that OCO-2 is one of the first satellites doing this sort of work. Astronomical spectral analysis generally doesn’t do the resolution that OCO-2 needs and has the opportunity to take very long exposures. So while climate scientists are looking forward to the data, the designers will be looking at things to do for the next design”
    ////
    So, so far generally a waste of money. What is new in Climate Science.
    Let’s hope that this cAGW scam falls apart before they waste the money on the redesign, as I would sooner that NASA put that money to visiting one of the moons of Saturn or Jupiter looking for life/micro organisms existing in extreme environments.

  25. That image appears to have been adjusted. The first image I saw a while back looked nothing like this one. What have they changed

  26. So now you are telling us that CO2 actually MIXES in the air ! And here are our brilliant UK politicians spending £6 billion a year to reduce the CO2 over the UK. Only 1.3% of world emissions. Only 20% of that to generate electricity. Only between 1 and 12% reduction of that 20% on a good day for £6 billion. Then we don’t get to keep other peoples CO2 out? Should we tell Cameron? Perhaps the renewable energy junkies could build an anti CO2 fence for another £6 billion so that our grandchildren can continue to live in a cold miserable climate whilst the rest of the world is 2 degrees warmer.
    (Do I need to write /sarc)

  27. JPL are investigating a strong correlation observed between atmospheric carbon dioxide over the Pacific Ocean and the current El Nino. Fluctuations in carbon dioxide appear to be strongly linked with warmer sea surface temperatures.

    Wow, mainstream just discovered oceanic outgassing.

    • Just maybe mainstream science just discovered how to measure it properly at or just above the surface. Not the upwelling kind.

    • Someone is bound to claim that the localised concentration of co2 in the atmosphere is what causes the ocean to heat up and create an El Nino.

  28. The season of good loveliness is nearly here.
    Possibly, if you’re in any way serious about this Carbon Oxide stuff, suggest to your nearest and dearest they get for you a carbon oxide tester. For Christmas innit. And the Weather Shop, is there *really* not a CO2 meter in there?
    (I had to buy my own (~£75 off ebay as my dearest is quite convinced I’m totally nuts and she, as a mental health professional, should know)
    Get one that will connect to a computer. For obvious reasons, unless you are a bona fide corpse, skeleton even.
    Then explain these sorts of things:
    On a warm wind-less early morning (late summer/early fall) it will read 500+ and when the sun comes up will drop and by evening is down to less than 400.
    Again, at a warm time of year, put it on a grassy lawn with a black bucket over it and it will rise by 80 or 90 within 5 minutes. Repeat during winter and it won’t hardly move
    Make a large bucket with a clear window, out that over the tester on a warm day and..
    …..at noon if its sunny, it will drop by 100 inside 5 minutes
    …..plus/minus 4 hours from solar noon it will stay the same
    ….at night it will rise by 100 inside 5 minutes
    Maybe I’m lucky in that my 2 nearest power stations (at 50 miles each) were both nukes and now closed, the largest city is pop:100k and over 12 miles away
    In any case, you’ll *very* quickly learn that carbon oxide is THE most nebulous, ghostly and enigmatic stuff you ever could wish to meet. Where your sanity will be severely tested is how to reconcile these peeps graph with a 15ppm x-axis when you can plot a graph with and x-axis range of 280 to 520.
    Maybe you’ll realise that plants control the carbon dioxide, they also (especially when long dead and buried) control the water which in turn controls The Climate.
    Although Prof Salby doesn’t seem to pin down an actual cause for the temperature dependence of CO2 he talks about, your little carbon tester will tell you.
    How many times do we hear on here that industrial CO2 id but a tiny fraction of the total carbon cycle?
    No cycle, its the biggest beast of a bastid muvver f**ker roller coaster you ever met and its got minute-by-minute, hourly daily, and seasonal twists and turns.
    Ultimately, modern farmers are controlling the plants – that is where the CO2 is coming from…

    • CO2 is not a well mixed gas at low altitudes. At low altitudes the sources and sinks dominate the picture and as you suggest there is a huge range in variability.

  29. This data causes problems for Paris (or ought to do so) since the scheme being mooted is that carbon polluters should pay carbon reparation. One of the issues that therefore arises is which countries are carbon polluters and which are not.
    One point to note is that Australia appears to be a net carbon sink virtually year round. How are they going to persuade Australia that it should commit to paying carbon reparation when far from emitting CO2 it is a sink. In fact, Australia ought to be claiming that it is entitled to receive reparation.
    Perhaps that is why Abbott was got rid of. Perhaps had he been directing negotiations Australia would of turned tables upside down.
    I consider that all Australian viewers should write to their government pointing out the latest OCO-2 data and explaining to the government that this shows Australia to not be a carbon polluter but a carbon sink and seek confirmation that Australia will not be committing to pay carbon reparations but instead seeking to be paid reparations.

  30. Ric Werme:
    Thankyou for posting the animation. However, the annual plot of OCO-2 data provided by Erik Swenson is more informative than the animation.
    At issue is what the OCO-2 data indicates about the cause of the rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration over the year of the animation.
    It is claimed by some (i.e. IPCC, Enbelbeen, etc.) that the cause of the rise is emissions of CO2 from human industrial activity (i.e. anthropogenic CO2) overloading the natural mechanisms which sequester CO2. That claim cannot be correct if all the anthropogenic CO2 is sequestered local to its emission sources.
    If the maximum atmospheric CO2 concentrations are over areas of human industrial activity then it is reasonable to infer that the anthropogenic CO2 is overloading the natural mechanisms which sequester CO2 to cause the rise in atmospheric CO2.
    But
    If the maximum atmospheric CO2 concentrations are NOT over areas of human industrial activity then it is reasonable to infer that the anthropogenic CO2 is NOT overloading the natural mechanisms which sequester CO2 to cause the rise in atmospheric CO2.
    Hence, the most important information is the spatial distribution of maximum CO2 concentration. The values of CO2 concentration are of relatively little importance (they are the curtain): much more important is where the regions of maximum CO2 concentration occur (they are Oz behind the curtain).
    The annual plot from Erik Swenson does NOT show the areas of maximum CO2 concentration are mostly coincident with regions of human industrial activity. This suggests the human industrial activity did NOT overload the natural mechanisms which sequester CO2 to cause the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration over the year.
    The variable screening of areas in the animation is unfortunate and I fail to think of any technical reason for it. However, the screening prevents observation of CO2 concentrations over the major industrial areas throughout the year and, therefore, it prevents confirmation or refutation of the indication of the annual plot from Erik Swenson.
    Richard

    • Part agree, at least. I’ve a considerable regard for Ferdinand Engelbeen but I really feel there is something deeply wrong with this ‘mass balance’ argument. Any biologist ought to have a visceral objection to the idea that simple addition and subtraction can come up with an answer wherever living systems are involved. Anybody know what the errors of estimation might be on any of the ‘mass balance’ figures? Huge, I’d guess. Certainly huge in relation to the small overall changes in CO2 which we actually observe at Mauna Loa and elsewhere. And the relatively large local and seasonal fluctuations that we see, which represent local and temporal dynamic responses, may be able to tell us just how misleading this approach might be. With enough data from OCO-2 we can hope to tease out some answers, at last, though I fully accept that we can’t expect to actually see the answer by watching the animation. I expect we’ll still be talking about this in a couple of year’s time.

      • The “mass balance” argument, which I insist on calling the pseudo-mass balance argument, is wrong because nature also reacts to the anthropogenic input, and some of its sink activity is an expanded response due to that.
        That is, the pseudo-mass balance argument goes like this:
        C = N + A – S
        C = measured delta concentration
        N = natural inputs
        A = anthropogenic inputs
        S = natural sinks
        Since C is approximately 1/2 of A, N – S is negative, and nature is a net sink, hence nature cannot be responsible for the rise. So, it is claimed. But, that is wrong.
        Just because N-S is negative does not mean that nature is not contributing more than it is taking out, because this is a dynamic balance. If N-S is less negative than it would be if nature were not in surplus, then nature is the driving force.
        Put another way, because this is a dynamic system, S is composed of two parts, a portion which is a response to natural forcing SN, and a portion which is a response to anthropogenic forcing SA, such that S = SN + SA. SA exists only because of, and as a response to, A. If you took A away, SA also would diminish to zero. With active sinks, SA can be as large as A itself.
        So, we have
        C = N + A – (SN + SA)
        or
        C – A + SA = N – SN
        C is approximately 1/2 A, so we have
        SA – 0.5*A = N – SN
        SA can be anything between 0 and A (weak sinks versus strong sinks), and thus
        -0.5*A < N – SN < 0.5*A
        Thus, with active sinks, N – SN can be as high as 0.5*A, and nature would be a net source.
        The pseudo-mass balance argument is very naive and simplistic. You should not give any credence to anyone who espouses it, and should rightly question their qualifications to reason out anything about complex systems.

      • You are correct on that one point. I should have written “Just because N-S is negative does not mean that nature on its own is not contributing more than it is taking out”. Take away the portion of natural sink activity which is induced by artificial forcing, and N – S can become positive. Indeed, does become positive, because temperatures are the driving force behind atmospheric CO2. See Salby, Humlum, et al.
        I did address address the fact that N-S is currently negative. See:

        If N-S is less negative than it would be if nature were not in surplus, then nature is the driving force.

        This is really a very basic problem in dynamic analysis. People who fall for the pseudo-mass balance argument are self-identifying as dunces whose opinion should be given little weight.

      • Remains negative, but less in absolute value.
        If N – SN is positive, but N – (SN+SA) is negative, then N – (SN+SA) is less negative (closer to zero) than it would be if N – SN were negative.

      • But, it is only because of the artificially induced sink activity, which goes away when there is no artificial source. For all intents and purposes, those are artificial sinks. They have to be counted on the artificial side of the ledger.

      • That fact alone does not establish attribution. Again, if N-S is less negative than it would be if nature on its own were not in surplus, then nature is the driving force.
        (You’ve been arguing with the ‘Socrates’ sockpuppet. His comments have been deleted. Your responses remain. -mod.)

      • Thank you. No doubt, he would have gone on interminably, refusing to understand.
        For others, though, this is an important point to carry forward. Just because N-S is negative, that does not mean that the observed rise is not from natural sources. The sink reaction to artificial inputs must be accounted for on the artificial side of the ledger.

    • The fact of which should stop the climate warming bandwagon in its tracks. But it won’t alas.

  31. Ferdinand Engelbeen November 4, 2015 at 11:25 pm
    “It’s not because a lot of people from the “warmist” side dismiss his findings that this means that he is right… He made several mistakes which render his opinion quite wrong…”
    Ferdinand – what mistakes did Dr Salby make?

    • Peter,
      In short:
      – Attributing all increase in dCO2/dt, not only the variability to the temperature increase, while temperature is only good for some 10 ppmv of the 110 ppmv increase and humans emitted over 200 ppmv in the same time span.
      – Alluding to a theoretical migration of CO2 in ice cores to “prove” the former, but if real, that would imply an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere which doubles each time interglacial period back in time (to compensate for the diffusion while measured values remain about the same over the interglacials) and that implies that the values during glacial times (90% of the time) were much lower, even negative…
      In his last speech in London this year, he didn’t repeat that claim…
      I was at the Parliament in London for his speech of 2014 with Lord Monckton and asked some pertinent questions, which were not really answered. Unfortunately there was little time for debate…

      • These are not “mistakes”. They are Ferdinand’s opinions.
        – essentially all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is temperature related. Human inputs do have very little effect.
        – The ice cores, along with anthropogenic attribution, demand a very high bandwidth control of CO2 up until the modern era, and a low bandwidth control sensitive to our inputs afterward. You cannot simultaneously have both high bandwidth and low bandwidth response. There is thus a fundamental disconnect between the ice core estimates and the attribution of rising CO2 to puny human inputs.

  32. What about the massive non-fossil fuiel emissions of SE Asia in 2015 ?
    This year when airports on the West side of Indonesia are not closed cos of the MASSIVE annual haze from forest burning, it seems the Eastern ones get closed cos of the Lombok volcano.
    Link :BBC News :Indonesia volcanic ash grounds tourists for third day
    – Here in the west side after 10 weeks of smog it may have finally gone, last Tuesday the smog was still around, but almost every day since for one week there has been heavy rain in the evening, so this time maybe the smog won’t come back.

  33. Would somebody please explain to me: why is the colour-coded portion of the animation moving up and down? The OCO-2 satellite is in polar orbit, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for lack of data.

      • Yes, but in winter the Sun is lower in the sky. So light from that region has to traverse the atmosphere twice: Sun-to-Earth and Earth-to-OCO2. The obliqueness lengthens the path, reducing the quality rating of the extracted spectra, which is difficult even when the Sun is overhead.
        Only highest quality readings are available in the LITE dataset. The reduced quality of the oblique path readings is consistent with the missing data. It clearly is following the overhead Sun.

  34. The lead image here, like the ones in the NASA animation, represents amalgamated readings over a 15-day period (NB that the animation does not show a continuous series – some fortnights are missing).
    Have detailed data been released for any particular 15-day period that could be linked to meteorological records to study to what extent CO2 is carried by air masses and whether any change in density with time varies e.g. according to the nature of the earth surface being traversed? Or are NASA working on that?

    • Did you see the animation from the CO2 model from November 2014? While it’s a model, it has much better temporal resolution than whole earth scans from OCO-2. It shows low pressure systems picking up large chunks of CO2-rich air and dragging part way across the planet.

      As for using OCO-2 data, the global scans look interlaced, so one ought to be able to trade spacial resolution for temporal resolution. I don’t know if the result would be worth watching.

  35. Questing Vole
    You make an interesting suggestion when you ask

    Have detailed data been released for any particular 15-day period that could be linked to meteorological records to study to what extent CO2 is carried by air masses and whether any change in density with time varies e.g. according to the nature of the earth surface being traversed?

    But I am puzzled.
    What relationship would you expect between local “meteorological records” and “CO2”?
    and
    how would you discern it from weather over 15 day periods?
    Richard

    • The expected relationship would be the advection of CO2 by global winds.
      In fact NASA has a tool, GEOS-5, which integrates local concentrations (obtained from total CO2 columns) with local winds. The resulting integration produces stunning animations, which might correspond somewhat with “reality”, depending on the accuracy of the data. The biggest problem, IMO, is that the OCO-2 doesn’t report CO2 ppm by height, so some fudging is likely occur in selection of which layer of winds to use.
      https://youtu.be/Cgd26JtBXOM
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/20/agu14-nasas-orbiting-carbon-observatory-shows-surprising-co2-emissions-in-southern-hemisphere/#comment-1818181
      NASA doesn’t seem to be using the GEOS-5 tool currently, so perhaps its limitations have crysalized.

      • Johanus:
        Let me summarise your comment.
        The suggestion by Questing Vole is meaningless, and NASA used a model simulation (GEOS-5) in attempt to integrate local CO2 concentrations (obtained from total CO2 columns) with local winds but has abandoned using the model probably because it does not work.
        Richard

      • “The suggestion by Questing Vole is meaningless …”
        No, you are putting words in my mouth. I didn’t say that. That may be your assessment, not mine.
        I simply believe there is a useful relationship between CO2 concentrations and weather, which will help explain and predict the migration of CO2 concentrations. How could you not also believe that?
        The fact that GEOS-5 failed to express that relationship completely correctly does not imply that this expected relationship does not exist. It merely shows that a better model is needed. Not just a simple integration of global winds with CO2 columns, but a more complete model using diffusion and advection, data assimilation with better hydrodynamic modeling.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_assimilation (aka Bayesian reasoning)
        Yes, we need models to make any quantified measurements in the physical world. Models all tend to be wrong, some more than others, but no measurements of anything can be made without using a model of some kind.
        The GEOS-5 model apparently had some issues, but it was useful in the sense of being the first step in the evolution of more correct (i.e. “useful”) migration models in the future.

    • Johanus:
      I stand by my summary of what you wrote but I accept your claim that you intended to say something else. And that ‘something else’ is not valid. You now say

      I simply believe there is a useful relationship between CO2 concentrations and weather, which will help explain and predict the migration of CO2 concentrations. How could you not also believe that?
      The fact that GEOS-5 failed to express that relationship completely correctly does not imply that this expected relationship does not exist. It merely shows that a better model is needed. Not just a simple integration of global winds with CO2 columns, but a more complete model using diffusion and advection, data assimilation with better hydrodynamic modeling.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_assimilation (aka Bayesian reasoning)

      I do not “believe” there is a useful relationship between CO2 concentrations and weather because I have seen no evidence of it.
      Clearly, some CO2 is washed out of the air by rain and the air (including the CO2 it contains) moves with the wind while biological activities vary with temperature and sunlight, but it is a stretch to say that those factors will induce a discernible and “useful relationship between CO2 concentrations and weather”.
      The GEOS-5 model has been abandoned and your post I answered assumed it was abandoned because it did not work. You now say

      The fact that GEOS-5 failed to express that relationship completely correctly does not imply that this expected relationship does not exist. It merely shows that a better model is needed

      Your assumption has now become your “fact” and – if true – that fact only says the model does not work to some unspecified degree which is sufficient for use of the model to have been abandoned. It says nothing else.
      Richard

      • Richard,
        Your said

        “I do not ‘believe’ there is a useful relationship between CO2 concentrations and weather because I have seen no evidence of it”

        and then you went on to say that CO2 can be washed out by rain or carried by the wind.Certainly that would qualify as ‘evidence of usefulness’. Indeed, it would be very useful to folks who say they are interested in finding sinks and sources of CO2. (Also to folks who track “pollution” and other aerosols). (Disclaimer) I spent 7 years of my career in computer science tracking gas plumes in the atmosphere, using similar techniques.
        “Your assumption has now become your “fact”…”
        No. Completely wrong. You’re putting words into my mouth again. I said GEOS-5 produces stunning animations (It does). But I also said that there were limitations (possibly due to wind layer selection) so the results may not always correspond to reality, i.e. not completely correctly.
        So do you not agree then, that it is indeed a “fact” that it “does not express that relationship completely correctly” In other words, GEOS-5 was not a failure, as you believe, but was actually a fairly useful first-order approximation to the fluid dynamics of CO2 flows. Future models may improve that approximation to reality.
        There is no dissonance in what I wrote, only in your incorrect interpretation of it.

  36. @Ric Werme
    “… CO2 measurements are done with a spectroscope. Light from the Earth’s surface enters a telescope, a small sample is selected from a slit. “
    That’s a bit misleading. More accurate to say: “Light from the Sun, reflected from the Earth’s surface …”. It’s misleading because OCO-2 is analyzing light only in the 2-micron band, which is comes almost entirely from the sun. At longer wavelengths, above 4 microns, the Earth does emit its own light (IR), which dominates over solar IR.
    So OCO-2 is employing a technique which would be best used from ground stations, which would only have to integrate incoming solar. OCO-2 has to integrate two trips, Sun-to-Earth and Earth-to-OCO2. In fact the sensor used in OCO-2 was deployed in a dozen or so ground stations for extensive pre-launch testing (TCCON)
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/18/early-results-from-nasas-orbiting-carbon-observatory-2-mission-to-be-presented-at-agu14-via-live-stream/#comment-1816853
    That explains why the animation seems to follow the Sun. The evaluated CO2 columns are graded by quality. And obviously the higher the Sun is in the sky, the higher the signal-to-noise ratio. So evidently only the highest quality estimates were used in the animation.
    Observations over water are a special problem, because water almost totally absorbs IR, making it look black in the reflected optics. But reflected IR can be detected at critical Brewster angles, called “glints”. So glint observations are used to estimate CO2 columns over water.
    IMHO it would have been much easier to exploit “earthshine”, in the 4-18 micron IR bands, to make these estimations, substantially reducing the complexity of the experimental design, allowing it to work day and night over the entire globe. But the critics say that water vapor absorption of IR dominates these bands, posing as ‘noise’ over the CO2 signal. But if H2O absorption dominates then how can that CO2-only induced warming thingy be such a great threat to mankind? 😐

  37. Ric Werme said:

    The video is interesting, but is missing mid-April to mid-May.

    That was probably an intentional act because, according to the Keeling Curve, etc., etc., …. the measured/calculated yearly maximum atmospheric CO2 ppm most ALWAYS occurs post mid-April to pre mid-May of each and every calendar year. Note month 5 ppm data herein, to wit: NOAA ESRL DATA: ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt

    I’m impressed at how quickly plants pull down CO2 in the northern spring, though I noticed that before I noticed the missing month.

    Being a Biologist … I would be utterly amazed and flabbergasted iffen someone could provide factual evidence that the “greening” of the NH biomass was capable of performing such an amazing “trick”.

    I’m intrigued that there seems to be a bit of a surge in CO2 before spring triggers plant growth.

    I am positive that there is a “a bit of a surge in CO2 before the NH spring triggers plant growth”, …. but I’m also positive that “surge” is so small that it is immeasurable. CO2 emissions due to microbial decay of dead biomass begins before the “greening” of the live biomass …… and due to the fact that the initial “greening” of the live biomass is accomplished via the previous year’s CO2 absorption, the “stored sugars” in the roots and seeds, ….. thus said “green” biomass is incapable of absorbing atmospheric CO2 until its new foliage (leaves) is mature enough to do so. Therefore there is a one (1) to three (3) week “window” between the afore stated “outgassing” of CO2 and the “ingassing” of CO2.

    Perhaps thawing ground releases CO2 produced by tree roots and rotting vegetation during the winter.

    Now I learned a long time ago that most microbes that are responsible for “rotting & decaying” are a highly “unionized” work force …. and they refuse to work iffen the dead biomass is too “dry” (lack of moisture) ….. and/or ….. their work “output” starts drastically decreasing iffen the temperature drops below 60 F …. and they pretty much refuse to work when the temperature drops below 40 F. And that is the exact reason that us humans purchase coolers, refrigerators and freezers for the storage/storing of our “dead biomass” edibles.
    The Fall (dry) and Winter (cold) seasons are not the most productive times for the aforesaid microbes.

    • @Samuel Cogar
      “That was probably an intentional act because, according to the Keeling Curve, etc., etc.,”
      I understand your cynicism because I too believe the upper level (i.e. politically appointed) NASA staff is indeed infested with political activism.
      But thankfully, the lower levels (non-appointed permanent staff) show more dedication to the science of the mission. I subscribe to the monthly OCO-2 email updates (conducted by Annamarie Elderling) which report periodic corruption of data which explains most of these ‘gaps’ I think. I have seen no politically motivated remarks in these report updates.
      For example, a recent update included this remark

      B7 Lite products for 10/14, 10/15, 10/17, 10/18, 10/21 will not be
      produced until we resolve our issue with corrupt data for orbits 6836,
      6850, 6851, 6879, 6880, 6894, 6923, 6924

      which follows the guidance on data quality established by the principal investigators:
      https://co2.jpl.nasa.gov/support/
      Now one might accuse these researchers of deliberately fabricating phony data to make these remarks seem to be true. But I am not that cynical. I think the OCO2 science team, at the working level, is mostly about the science and one should accept the updates as factual and honest (unless there is solid evidence of hanky-panky).
      You should register for their mailing list, which will periodically inform you of new data and milestones. I get a couple of emails a month, not a distraction for me.
      https://co2.jpl.nasa.gov/register/

      • @ Johanus

        But thankfully, the lower levels (non-appointed permanent staff) show more dedication to the science of the mission.

        Maybe they do, …. maybe they don’t, …… but it matters not one (1) “twit” one way or the other.
        The upper level (i.e. politically appointed) NASA/NOAA staff ….. oversees, monitors, controls, edits and/or authorizes all communications and documents that originate via one or more of their subordinates and which are intended for public view.
        The literal fact is, …. the historical Surface Temperature Record is FUBAR, ….. always has been FUBAR …… and will always be FUBAR.
        The per se “CO2 warming”, be it at or near the surface or high in the atmosphere, ….. “is here today …. and gone tonight” ….. and thus it is asinine, silly and idiotic for anyone to be wasting their time and other people’s money at guesstimating the past, the current or the future “effects” that CO2 might or maybe have on earth’s climate.
        “Junk science” is ”junk science”, ….no matter how much some people want to believe differently. CAGW is nothing more than a devout Religious belief that has the bejesus scared out of those who are non-educated or miseducated in/of the sciences of the natural world.

  38. Ferdinand et. al.
    “Thus while only some 6% of the natural carbon cycle, humans are responsible for 90% of the increase in the atmosphere. 10% is from warming oceans.”
    The only way the 1750 to 2011 numbers work (Figure 6.1) in assigning 90% to man is an entirely fabricated fudge factor of .43%. See IPCC AR 5 figure 6.1. All these C/CO2 “balances” are made up guesses, approximations, judgment calls, proxies, who knows? with enormous uncertainties. IPCC AR5 Table 6.

  39. I found the reason why the NASA CO2 satellite data is missing key months.
    The cult of CAGW ignores observations and analysis that disproves their silly, pathetic Bern model (the Bern mode, CO2 sources and sinks, has specifically created to push CAGW and is not supported by observations) and disproves CAGW.
    The majority of the increase in atmospheric CO2 in the last 50 years is due to (1. Ocean warming, solar modulation of planetary cloud cover caused the oceans to warm, note planetary temperature changes do not track CO2 levels, remember the 18 year period with no warming) and (2. Deep earth CH4 flow) solar modulation of the CH4 flow from the deep earth.
    Humluum and al’s paper which looked at the time of changes of CO2 (timing analysis or phase analysis determines cause and effect as cause cannot follow effect.) found that the changes in atmospheric CO2 track ocean temperature not anthropogenic CO2 emission.
    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/Carbon_dioxide_Humlum_et_al.pdf

    The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature
    From this, changes in atmospheric CO2 appear to be initiated near or a short distance south of the Equator, and from there spread towards the two poles within a year or so. En route, the signal presumable is modulated by local and regional effects, as is indicated by the much larger annual CO2 variation (not shown here) in the High Arctic, compared to that recorded at the South Pole. There is however no indications of the main signal originating at mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere as would be expected from the release pattern shown in Fig. 12.”
    Summing up, our analysis suggests that changes in atmospheric CO2 appear to occur largely independently of changes in anthropogenic emissions. A similar conclusion was reached by Bacastow (1976), suggesting a coupling between atmospheric CO2 and the Southern Oscillation. However, by this we have not demonstrated that CO2 released by burning fossil fuels is without influence on the amount of atmospheric CO2, but merely that the effect is small compared to the effect of other processes. Our previous analyses suggest that such other more important effects are related to temperature, and with ocean surface temperature near or south of the Equator pointing itself out as being of special importance for changes in the global amount of atmospheric CO2. ….
    …In general, we find that changes in atmospheric CO2 are lagging behind changes in any of the five different temperature records considered. The typical lag is 9.5–12 months for surface temperatures and about 9 months for lower troposphere temperatures, suggesting a temperature sequence of events from the surface to the lower troposphere.
    As cause always must precede effect, this observation demonstrates that modern changes in temperatures are generally not induced by changes in atmospheric CO2. Indeed, the sequence of events is seen to be the opposite: temperature changes are taking place before the corresponding CO2 changes occur.
    As the theoretical initial temperature effect of changes in atmospheric CO2 must materialize first in the troposphere, and then subsequently at the planet surface (land and ocean), our diagrams 2–8 reveal that the common notion of globally dominant temperature controls exercised by atmospheric CO2 is in need of reassessment. Empirical observations indicate that changes in temperature generally are driving changes in atmospheric CO2, and not the other way around.
    Summing up, monthly data since January 1980 on atmospheric CO2 and sea and air temperatures unambiguously demonstrate the overall global temperature change sequence of events to be 1) ocean surface, 2) surface air, 3) lower troposphere, and with changes in atmospheric CO2 always lagging behind changes in any of these different temperature records.

    P.S.
    There are now obvious bi-monthly observational changes in the sun. If I understand what is currently happening to the sun and how solar changes affect the mechanisms that modulate planetary cloud cover we are going to experience abrupt Dansgaard-Oeschger cooling followed by a Heinrich event.
    Solar wind bursts are the reason for the sudden warming both poles and the warming of the tropical ocean. The solar wind bursts are caused by solar coronal holes. The solar coronal holes are caused by some process deep within the sun as the rotational period of the coronal holes remains the same with solar latitude and matches the rotational speed of the solar core.
    The rotational speed of the sun is less with high latitude and at high latitudes is roughly 40% less than the solar equator. Sunspots which float on the surface of the sun rotate with the same speed as the solar surface plasma.
    The solar coronal holes are high speed protons which are emitted from large regions of the solar deep core. The solar coronal holes can persist for months, so a string of solar coronal holes in low solar latitude position will create a string of wind bursts. The solar wind bursts create a space charge differential in the earth’s ionosphere which in turn causes a current flow from high latitude regions of the planet to the equator. The charge flow changes cloud properties and lifetimes in both high latitude regions and the equator which causes warming both locations. The effect lasts for 3 to 5 days so there needs to a series of solar wind bursts to cause warming rather than a single large burst.
    There are now patches appearing in the solar coronal holes which indicates the solar coronal holes are dissipating and which also indicates there is a significant change occurring deep within the sun.
    When the solar coronal holes in an earth facing position disappear, the Dansgaard-Oescgher cooling will abruptly start. Cooling has started on the Greenland ice sheet.
    When there is in your face cooling I will present a series of articles that explain the mechanisms that completely debunk the cult of CAGW’s (IPCC)’s entire ‘scientific’ basis.

    • “I found the reason why the NASA CO2 satellite data is missing key months.”
      So you believe Humlum’s paper provides the motivation for ignoring some OCO2 observations. Fine. But you have not shown any linkage to actual process used to process OCO2 observations. Can you provide any proof that the missing observations violated their own guidelines? Or that these guidelines explicitly and specifically favor Humlum’s theories? Please provide examples which show this bias.
      https://co2.jpl.nasa.gov/support/
      Actually the simplest (most likely correct) explanation is that the simulation was produced with the LITE dataset, which is an abbreviated set of observations, which includes only observations with high quality ratings. The FULL dataset contains all the observations, good and bad, but is much more difficult to process.
      https://co2.jpl.nasa.gov/#mission=OCO-2
      I have noted that the OCO2 mission has generated a lot of comments, skeptical of the OCO2 team’s scientific integrity. Letting the data speak for itself, I see no direct evidence of any “hidden agenda”. So I think we should the data and findings at face value, not perfect or complete, but simply the result of scientists at work.
      On the other hand, there is clearly an agenda in your comments. You believe in ‘D-O Cooling’ and therefore think all data observations must conform to your pet theory, or else it’s foul play. That is clearly a bias in your reasoning.
      Come on guys. Please give these researchers the benefit of doubt. If you have specific examples of selection bias or other fakery, please provide specific examples before accusing them of dishonesty.

      • I am sorry, but I cannot give them the benefit of the doubt. I will not convict without evidence, but neither will I assume innocence blindly. There have been too many shenanigans revealed by Clmategate, and in other situations where the cheating is so blatant (Karl et al., anyone?) that I have no longer any capacity for generosity.
        The problem is that, when the system is so complex, the avenues for fudging are immense. And, while any fudging may not be initiated by the grunt at the console, at every layer the results pass through, there is increasing pressure to provide the answers desired at the top. See, e.g., the disconnect between uncertainty expressed in the IPCC lower level analyses versus the risible certainty expressed in the summaries for policy makers.

      • ” I will not convict without evidence, but neither will I assume innocence blindly.”
        That statement does not make clear what you would do if you have no evidence: convict or assume innocence”
        I didn’t say to ignore evidence, quite the contrary. Only convict if evidence indicates guilt. So, same as saying “giving benefit of doubt”. I believe this is consistent with the American jurisprudence: assume innocence until proven guilty.

      • There is a third option: withhold judgment, and proceed cautiously.
        Giving the benefit of the doubt means accepting it as true until evidence casts doubt. I do not accept it either as true or false. I am waiting to see evidence, pro or con, before I climb down from the fence.

      • Now you’re just splitting hairs. The phrase “benefit of doubtper se explicitly implies that you have doubts about a case, but no hard evidence. So the fairest option is to withhold judgment until more evidence is found.

      • @temp
        Very true in an absolute sense. But there are relative degrees of doubt, ranging from “acceptable” to “non-acceptable”. Obviously new hypotheses and theories require “acceptable” doubt, else we would never make any “progress” (sometimes backwards, we know) in science.

      • ” Johanus
        November 6, 2015 at 4:00 am ”
        I completely agree they long ago coined a simple phrase for that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Global warming maybe one of the most extraordinary claims in the history of science. It affects literally every human on the planet. The evidence in support of it is however pathetic. Extreme doubt would be the lowest possible doubt any sane science would give any of the claims made in regards to global warming… sadly we lack sanity nowadays.

    • @ William Astley – November 5, 2015 at 7:44 am

      Humluum and al’s paper which looked at the time of changes of CO2 (timing analysis or phase analysis determines cause and effect as cause cannot follow effect.) found that the changes in atmospheric CO2 track ocean temperature not anthropogenic CO2 emission.

      Our previous analyses suggest that such other more important effects are related to temperature, and with ocean surface temperature near or south of the Equator pointing itself out as being of special importance for changes in the global amount of atmospheric CO2. ….

      And they are correct about the surface temperature of the SH ocean waters being the “driving force” of both the …. 1) average 6 ppm bi-yearly cycling of atmospheric CO2; … and 2) average 2 ppm yearly increase of atmospheric CO2;
      And the above fact is plainly obvious as noted on this modified Keeling Curve graph which I denoted the occurring of the equinoxes. To wit:
      http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af315/SamC_40/keelingcurve.gif
      The Keeling Curve graph confirms there is a “steady n’ consistent” bi-yearly cycling in atmospheric CO2 quantities …… and the only thing in the natural world that also functions in a “steady n’ consistent” bi-yearly cycling is the changing of the equinoxes.
      So, as the SH ocean waters “warm up” due to the Fall equinox they start outgassing CO2 ….. and when they begin “cooling down” due to the Spring equinox they start ingassing CO2. And they have been doing that for the past 57 years as per the Mauna Loa CO2 record.
      There is nothing that is “steady n’ consistent” with human activities or weather activities from one (1) year to the next ……. and never will be.

  40. The OCO2 have to be looked at with the understanding of what a large portion of
    the source is.
    Upland topsoil, in the presence of adequate moisture, owes its richness to the amount of natural
    gas which up wells through it, and the aerobic culture which consumes it.
    The natural gas is created deep in the earth’s crust and rises around the earth, but the dispersion
    is not even. It finds the path of least resistance and rises disproportionately. The rise along
    the tectonic plate boundaries is a good example.
    As the gas rises through the oceans, the methanotrophs oxidase it, and the CO2 then is read
    by the satellite. When it rises through the continents, its track is marked by the very deep, rich
    soil, found as an example, in the Ukraine, the mid west of the US, and over plumes of natural
    gas in the Amazon.
    The gas plumes in the Amazon are soo concentrated and so misunderstood, that the plots
    of rich soil, which were discovered and farmed by the indigenous people are erroneously
    thought to be have been created by these farmers. These plots are called Terra Preta.
    The northern hemisphere is cold enough that a great portion of it is frozen in winter, slowing
    or stopping the rise of natural gas. The burst of CO2 in the spring is evidence of the natural
    gas rising again and the culture is consuming it, enriching the soil, and producing large
    quantities of CO2 before the foliage is able to consume it. As the foliage increases, the
    natural gas fertilizes growth a second time by consuming this CO2.
    The lack of understanding of this process leads to many mistakes in atmospheric
    science. The USEPA lists upland as a Gt. 30 carbon sink. They think that the CH4 that
    is found in the soil comes from the atmosphere. It does not. Methane rises.
    Another major misunderstanding of the way topsoil works is the rice paddies.
    When the paddies are not flooded, the soil culture consumes most, if not all
    the rising gas. When the paddies are flooded, the water forces the gas to rise
    faster than it can be consumed, causing Hydrocarbon readings to skyrocket.
    The un-oxidized natural gas does not show up on OCO2 readings.

    • But the OCO2 readings are based on the absorption at the CO2 spectral lines at 1.6 and 2.04 microns. Do your natural gases have spectra which would interfere at these wavelengths. If not I don’t see how they could possibly interact with the OCO2 measurements.
      Also take note that the OCO2 was validated with ground-based sensors (TCCON) which had their spectrometers pointed at the Sun, not the Earth. So independent of soil properties. The researchers used these TCCON datasets to learn more about soil reflectance. And if I remember correctly, found that only simple adjustments were needed to calibrate the spaceborne sensors.

      • @ Johanus – November 5, 2015 at 8:52 am

        But the OCO2 readings are based on the absorption at the CO2 spectral lines at 1.6 and 2.04 microns.

        But, … but, … but, ….. doesn’t the earth’s surface radiate IR at the 1.6 and 2.04 micron frequencies?
        So just how does the satellite sensors determine the difference between surface radiation and atmospheric CO2 radiation of those two (2) frequencies?
        Is it not idiotic to assume that all IR surface radiation at the 1.6 and 2.04 micron frequencies is being intercepted, absorbed and re-emitted by atmospheric CO2 molecules?
        Is it not idiotic and asinine to assume that all IR radiation at the 1.6 and 2.04 micron frequencies that is being radiated by atmospheric CO2 molecules ….. is always radiated vertically toward space (aka: the satellite sensors)?
        Is it not a fact that molecules of N2, O2, H2O, CO2, etc. will absorb thermal energy from the earth’s surface via “conduction” …. and will transfer part of that thermal energy to other gas molecules in the atmosphere via “conduction” if they come in contact with each other?
        And when that other molecule in the atmosphere is CO2, …. just what is the frequency that said CO2 molecule re-radiates its newly absorbed thermal energy? And if any of that “newly absorbed” re-radiated energy from said CO2 molecule is at the 1.6 and/or 2.04 micron frequency …… would it not really screw up the satellite measurements?
        A curious mind would like to hear/read intelligent answers.

      • Samuel,
        The Sun and Earth both radiate electromagnetic radiation in distinct distributions which approximate a “black body”:
        http://www.azimuthproject.org/azimuth/files/earth_and_sun_emission.jpg
        The Sun’s radiation is centered around 0.5 microns (‘visible light’) and the Earth’s radiation is longwave IR, centered around 10 microns, as you can see in the plot above.
        Surprisingly, the Earth’s IR radiation distribution is not reflected sunlight. It is true “earthshine” from heating effect of absorbing sunlight (i.e. mostly visible). Virtually all of this IR has a wavelength greater than 4 microns. In fact this 4-micron-and-above radiation is stronger than the Sun’s own output at this wavelength.
        How can that be? you say. Well, the Sun is 93 million miles away, while the Earth is zero miles away. Earthshine outshines sunshine at wavelengths greater than 4 microns.
        So the IR energy absorbed at 1.5 and 2 microns detected by OCO2 represents absorbed sunshine, not absorbed earthshine. Because there is no 1.5/2 micron component of earthshine to absorb. It’s all sunlight.
        Does that help?

  41. Do any of you WUWT readers have the video editing capability to superimpose the time lapsed video showing LWIR data (and/or perhaps temperature data or temperature anomaly data) as 3D “stick” graphs onto the changing CO2 video. CO2 is supposed to be a greenhouse gas and therefore should have an immediate and direct effect on local heat retention and and an opposing effect on the radation of IR back into space. If so and if CO2 is having such a dramatic impact on surface temps, then creating these kinds of superimposed videos should show visual evidence of this correlation. The visual evidence should show the simultaneous impact of local CO2 changes to the local IR radiation back to space and either simultaneous or slightly delayed change in the local surface temp. If on the other hand there is visual evidence showing both positive AND negative correlation in equal amounts, then it could be argued that CO2 is not the magic “control knob” affecting temperature the way everone has been led to believe.
    It should also be possible now to create a video of time lapsed data showing the relationship between the “greening” of the planet from season to season, and the local changes in CO2. These should directly correlate and validate the degree to which plant life is a potent CO2 sink.
    Also if local temp data correlates but actually precedes the local changes in CO2, then it can be argued quite strongly that CO2 outgassing follows temp change – ie. temp change effects CO2 concentration, NOT CO2 concentration effects temp change.
    What do you all think? Do we have sufficient time lapsed data to create this kind of video?

  42. Thank you for this post, and your kind words Ric. It is nice to see rough agreement with my evaluation and the NASA animation.

  43. @Johanus, 8:52 AM
    I do not accert that my findings interfere with the OCO2 findings, only that you need
    to look for the unoxidized hydrocarbons, partially shown on the maps by the methane
    reading satellites.I also do not know if the satellite reads all hydrocarbons as methane
    or if they do not read ethane, propane, and butane.
    Most of the papers I have read which found methane in the topsoil found only the
    presence of methane because the instruments they uses tested only for flammable
    gas which was assumed to be methane.
    The original publication of OCO2 readings comport much better with my findings.
    t

    • Why would OCO2 have to “look for unoxidized hydrocarbons” if it is known that their spectra do not interfere with the CO2 readings?

  44. Johanus, I said “look for the unoxidized hydrocarbons, partially shown on maps by the
    METHANE READING SATELITTES.”

    • OK. So that is bit off-topic, since we’re discussing the mapping of CO2 by orbiting carbon observatories. 😐

  45. Johanus, I believe explaining the original source of hydrocarbons and their subsequent
    oxidation IS the subject.
    Most people don’t understand that carbon is recycled deep in the earth by tectonic plate
    sebduction of carbonaceous rock combining with water, iron oxide, et.al,+ heat and
    pressure to create Hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons then rise to the surface, some oxidized in
    volcanoes, some trapped under or in impermeable layers of sedimentary rock, as in the
    Bakken or the Permenian,and a large quantity which rises through semi-permeable rock
    layers, then into the soil where microbes consume them, creating the CO2 which we are
    discussing today.
    Discovering the source of the CO2 is the reason for OCO2′ existence. The un oxidized
    hydrocarbons are read by other satellites.

  46. Didn’t the Japanese JAXA satellite already show that the western world used more co2 than it produces over the course of a year with the opposite being true of the third world.
    It is the third world who should pay climate change reparations to the first world.

  47. The following tables and observations are based on a fao.org (farm & agricultural.org of UN) global CO2 balance Bing image. This diagram is typical of many variations.
    How much carbon is there? Carbon, not CO2!
    Reservoir……………………………..Gt C………%
    Surface ocean………………………1,020……..2.2%
    Deep Ocean……………………….38,100……81.2%
    Marine Biota…………………………….3……..0.0%
    Dissolved Organic Carbon……..….700………1.5%
    Ocean Sediments………………….150……..0.3%
    Soils…………………………………1,580……..3.4%
    Vegetation…………………………….610……..1.3%
    Fossil Fuel & Cement……………..4,000……..8.5%
    Atmosphere…………………………..750……..1.6%
    Total………………………………….46,913
    Carbon moves back and forth between and among these reservoirs, the great fluxes.
    Atmospheric Fluxes, Gt C/y………Source………Sink
    Soils…………………………………….60
    Vegetation……………………………..60…………121.3
    Fires…………………………..…………1.6
    Ocean Surface………………………..90…………..92
    Forests………………………………………………….0.5
    Fossil Fuel & Cement…………………5.5
    Total………………………………..217.1………..213.8
    Net………………………………………………3.3
    The net of 3.3 (seen this before?) is exactly 60% of FF & C. How convenient. How dry labbed.
    Now this is all carbon. Carbon is not always CO2. Carbon can be soot from fires, tail pipes, volcanoes. Carbon can be carbonates in limestone and coral. But let’s just say all of this carbon converts to CO2 at 3.67, 44/12, units of CO2 per unit of carbon. How many Gt of CO2?
    Atmospheric Fluxes, Gt CO2/y…….Source……..….Sink
    Soils…………………………………..220.2
    Vegetation……………………………220.2……….445.171
    Fires…………………………..…………5.872
    Ocean Surface………………………330.3……….337.64
    Forests………………………………………………….1.835
    Fossil Fuel & Cement………………..20.185
    Total………………………………….796.757……784.646
    Net………………………………..……12.111
    Now is it ppm volume or ppm gram mole? If one is to compare the number of molecules it must be CO2/atmosphere ppm gram mole, 44/28.96.
    Atmospheric Fluxes, ppm/y………Source……..Sink
    Soils…………………………………28.42
    Vegetation…………………….…….28.42…….57.45
    Fires……………………………………………..0.76
    Ocean Surface…………………….42.63……43.57
    Forests……………………………….…………..0.24
    Fossil Fuel & Cement…………………………..2.60
    Total………………………………102.83…..101.26
    Net………………………………….1.56 (Let’s just blame this all on FF & C.)
    Per IPCC AR5 Table 6.1 some of these sources and sinks have uncertainties of +/- 40 & 50%!! IMHO anybody who claims that out of these enormous reservoirs and fluxes they can with certainty, accuracy, specifically assign 1.56 ppm/y to FF & C is flat blowing smoke.
    Arguing the validity and meaning of all these numbers is moot since they were all pulled out of some academic’s hiney!

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