Study: Earth’s vegetation is causing a global “pause” in CO2 growth

From the DOE/LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY and the Department of Hungry Biomass comes this encouraging news that throws cold water on climate alarmism.

Study: Carbon-hungry plants impede growth rate of atmospheric CO2 

New findings suggest the rate at which CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere has plateaued in recent years because Earth’s vegetation is grabbing more carbon from the air than in previous decades.

That’s the conclusion of a new multi-institutional study led by a scientist from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). It’s based on extensive ground and atmospheric observations of CO2, satellite measurements of vegetation, and computer modeling. The research is published online Nov. 8 in the journal Nature Communications.

To be clear, human activity continues to emit increasing amounts of carbon, and the atmospheric concentration of CO2, now at 400 parts per million (ppm), continues to rise. But the scientists found that between 2002 and 2014, the rate at which CO2 increased in the atmosphere held steady at about 1.9 ppm/year. In addition, the proportion of the CO2 emitted annually by human activity that remains in the atmosphere declined by about 20 percent. This slowdown can’t keep pace with emissions, so the overall amount of human-caused CO2 in the atmosphere increased, just not as quickly. And for that, new research suggests, we can thank plants.

Changes in the growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The black line is the observed growth rate and the beige line is the modelled rate. The red line indicates a significant increasing trend in the growth rate from 1959 to 2002, and the blue line indicates no increasing trend between 2002 and 2014. CREDIT Berkeley Lab

Changes in the growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The black line is the observed growth rate and the beige line is the modelled rate. The red line indicates a significant increasing trend in the growth rate from 1959 to 2002, and the blue line indicates no increasing trend between 2002 and 2014. CREDIT Berkeley Lab

“This highlights the need to identify and protect ecosystems where the carbon sink is growing rapidly,” says Trevor Keenan, a research scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Climate & Ecosystem Sciences Division and the corresponding author of the paper.

The scientists attribute the stalled CO2 growth rate to an uptick in land-based photosynthetic activity, fueled by rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions. It’s a snowball effect: as CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere, photosynthetic activity flourishes and plants take in more carbon, sparking more plant growth, more photosynthesis, and more carbon uptake.

They also identified another player. Plant respiration, a process in which plants use oxygen and produce CO2, did not increase as quickly as photosynthesis in recent years. This is because plant respiration is sensitive to temperature, and it was affected by the recent slowdown in global warming that was observed most significantly over vegetated land. So, between 2002 and 2014, plants took in more CO2 through photosynthesis, but did not “exhale” more CO2 into the atmosphere through respiration.

“These changes decreased the amount of anthropogenic CO2 that stays in the atmosphere, and thus slowed the accumulation of atmospheric CO2,” says Keenan.

Their findings provide a possible answer to a climatic mystery. The growth rate of atmospheric CO2 climbed steadily during the latter half of the 20th century, from 0.75 ppm/year in 1959 to 1.86 ppm/year in 2002. But Keenan and colleagues discovered an inflection point last year when they analyzed the latest data from the Global Carbon Project, which quantifies carbon emissions and their sources annually. Since 2002, the growth rate has remained flat.

This pause is especially surprising because it has occurred as human activity pumps more and more carbon into the atmosphere. All that CO2 must be going somewhere, so the scientists suspected something about the carbon cycle has recently changed in a big way.

“We believed one of the planet’s main carbon sinks had unexpectedly strengthened. The question was: which one?” says Keenan.

The scientists ruled out oceans as a dominant cause because most computer models agree the amount of carbon taken in by oceans has increased steadily in recent years. That left terrestrial ecosystems, which undergo a large year-to-year variability in carbon uptake, and the two biggest influences on this variability are photosynthesis and plant respiration.

To study these influences, the scientists used ten “global dynamic vegetation models” that predict how the terrestrial carbon cycle changes over time.

They also used a model that incorporates satellite measurements of vegetation cover and plant activity to predict global photosynthesis and respiration rates. They validated the model by comparing its results with data from AmeriFlux and FLUXNET, which are networks of eddy-covariance research towers that measure ecosystem carbon, water, and energy fluxes in North and South America. Berkeley Lab manages AmeriFlux for the Department of Energy.

Model projections were generated using different scenarios of atmospheric CO2 level, temperature, soil moisture, and other processes. This enabled the researchers to evaluate the impacts of these processes on the planet’s terrestrial carbon cycle.

Taken together, the models zeroed in on rising CO2 levels as having the biggest impact on photosynthesis and plant respiration. The result is a boost in terrestrial carbon uptake, particularly in tropical and high-latitude ecosystems. Specifically, the models suggest rising CO2 levels caused terrestrial ecosystems to double the rate at which they take in carbon, from between one and two petagrams of carbon per year in the 1950s, to between two and four petagrams of carbon per year in the 2000s. For comparison, human activity emits between nine and ten petagrams of carbon per year (one petagram is one trillion kilograms).

The scientists conclude this increase in carbon uptake put the brakes on the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 between 2002 and 2014.

[and here is the obligatory alarm statement -AW]

“Unfortunately, this increase is nowhere near enough to stop climate change,” says Keenan, adding that their results answer questions and pose new ones. “We’ve shown the increase in terrestrial carbon uptake is happening, and with a plausible explanation why. But we don’t know exactly where the carbon sink is increasing the most, how long this increase will last, or what it means for the future of Earth’s climate.”

###

The research is partly funded by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program of Berkeley Lab and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

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132 thoughts on “Study: Earth’s vegetation is causing a global “pause” in CO2 growth

  1. “Specifically, the models suggest rising CO2 levels caused terrestrial ecosystems to double the rate at which they take in carbon”

    On a simple basis, that might even be able to be understood by the climate modellers..

    Plant zero growth level is around 200ppm, that means that increasing aCO2 from 300 to 400 ppm, effectively doubles the CO2 available for plant growth.

      • I have to ask if that is the correct graph. It strongly resembles the temperature graph including the 1998 El-Nino and the unkarlized pause

      • Andy65
        Earth and its atmosphere (right out to the edge of space) has a relative saturation / relative density relationship regarding CO2. At any point you can measure the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere, but for relevance you must always measure for temperature. For a more precise position it is pertinant to understand if the atmosphere is warming or cooling at the time. This tells us a lot.

        For example, historical data confirms that CO2 ppm rise follows temperature rise when changing from a glacial to interglacial phase. When that phase change occurs the Vostok data confirms (absolutely) that there is a negative disequilirium occuring in the atmosphere. That is, the saturation or density of CO2 in the atmosphere is lower than at equilibrium. THis contradicts the foundation stone of the assumptions, of increased density. When Earth cools there was a positive disequilibrium. That is higher density than equilibrium that allows the movement into the sinks.

        There needs to be more focus on the historical state of relative saturation / density relationship rather than ppm. PPM alone tells us very little especially during temperature change phases. Earth has a dynamic CO2 equilibrium between the atmosphere and the various surface interfaces (sinks and processing).

    • Food released from ocean. Plants eat the food. Get more numerous and bigger plants, Getting more numerous and bigger animals. Food supply is eaten up by plants. It falls below 150ppm. Big things suddenly die off. See multiple extinction events or go to any garden near you.

    • Sorry to hijack the thread…but it looks like we have a Climate Skeptic in the White House!!!!

      • And precisely how does that improve the political view of reality? Both the AGW gang and luke-warmists think they know how “climate” works. The best work the “warmists” have done simply seems to indicate that CO2 has a very limited forcing capacity compared to the wildly exaggerated CAGW views. Both metaphorically are arguing over how long the handle on the spoon should be. Not whether a spoon is even useful for understanding climate. CO2 is biologically important and the majority of fossil fuels are “fossil” because that’s what they are. Biological processes “fixed” that carbon, and geological processes made it unavailable to further biological processes until we used it for energy.

    • Chemistry 101: Le Chatelier’s Principle: When a system in (chemical) equilibrium is subjected to a disturbance, it tends to change in a way that opposes this disturbance. That’s why it’s dangerous to assume linearity, i.e., increasing emissions of CO2 won’t necessarily cause a corresponding increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.

      • I have a question, did the plants just evolve into up taking more co2 or were they always like that ? If plant life has had the ability to soak up more co2, and in the future when co2 levels may be higher, how is it that co2 levels have continued to rise ? I’ve made the point that current sinks are at least 1 and 1/2 times bigger today than all of the co2 produced in 1965. And in my calculations the sinks are even bigger than that as the difference between what is produced, what ends up in the atmosphere is 18 to 30% missing. ( and that’s including the official estimate that 50% is currently being sunk. I mean that there is 18 to 30% more co2 that is vanishing.)
        By that, not only should there have been no increase in co2, but co2 total by volume should have been decreasing until the system is overwhelmed. In other words, I’m challenging the balanced co2 model that changes slowly over long periods of time. Long enough that it causes ice ages and periods of warming. That is a key issue that C/AGW makes is that we are releasing so much co2 that changes will happen quickly.

    • There’s always some damn thing going wrong with what is supposed to happen. You are supposed to leave vast tracts of perfectly arable land lie fallow underneath a solar absorbing shield to gather free green clean renewable energy so we don’t have to endure diesel engine stink any more.

      What is wrong with these people who want to grow plants on all the available land, and stop the CO2 from going up to lethal levels.

      g

    • No. No the contrary, growing oceanic sink has not been growing fast enough to stop growth of the airborne fraction.

      Btw, the title is not exact.

      Study: Earth’s vegetation is causing a global “pause” in CO2 growth

      => pause in the CO2 growth of the growth speed (acceleration). And I don’t really think it is a pause in the growth of the growth speed. It depends of China so much, if they create so much more coal capacity till 2030, the growth will grow still.

      • Biological sinks will lag CO2 changes, just as CO2 lags temperature changes. Biological sinks are dependent on available CO2. Geologically, the empirical evidence is that over time, biological sinks will gradually overtake natural sources. That only changes temporarily during truly great mass-extinctions. As vegetation (biological carbon fixers) increases, animal populations can follow suit.

      • Another isolated case of that’s another nail in the coffin of AGW. First, we had 50 shades of why there was a pause. But after re adjusting the numbers there was no pause at all. Then low hanging clouds are now thought to be a negative feedback, and now this ! The sinks are growing due to plants consuming more co2 ? I’m still wondering if they found the tropical hot spot or if the heat is hiding in the deep oceans. Maybe plants didn’t like co2 back in previous history before …. oh, oh, wait.. wasn’t there a paper on plants exhaling co2… which one (sarc) should I believe ?

      • The plants flourish because more CO2 is available, and it allows among other things greater efficiency in the use of water. Dry land plants such as grass and sage brush are typically CAMS or C4 cycle plants with specialized metabolisms that actually segregate carbon isotopes to a degree. It isn’t because the plants know the difference in the isotopes, but because the metabolic processes act slightly different because of molecular mass. So, one of the first observations noted by satellite was that the edges of deserts were greener. That could be due to only two things, increased water availability (more rainfall), or more efficiency. Since rainfall really has not changed much in may decades (in California it has not varied significantly in over a century) the alternative is increased metabolic efficiency. And the sole current explanation for that is increased CO2.

        As far as geological history goes, the emergence of grasses and dry land plants parallels the withdrawal of CO2 from the atmosphere. During the Mesozoic plants ran to broad leaved trees, shrubs and ground cover. There is a latitudinal correlation between the geometric complexity of plant leaves and mean temperature. In the tropics, in wet situations plants survive happily with large, smooth edged leaves. As you move to more temperate climates the leaf-edge geometry becomes increasingly complex, with serrations, palmate, and other complex forms. By the time you enter colder, subarctic climates, the larger plants are employing needles that maximize the geometric complexity of the leaf area. The cause is transpiration. In warmer climates, simple leaves can transpire water rapidly enough to prevent wilting under most circumstances, but as things chill, the plant needs greater edge areas where pores release water through evaporation. Obviously in colder boreal and sub-boreal climates needles are a solution, and grasses flourish (but they have a specialized metabolism as well as good leaf geometry).

        Modern “climate science” of course ignores this because obviously it all happened too long ago to think about.

    • Exactly. Or at least it is that a component of the increase in CO2 is outgassing.

      The plateau in CO2 matches the plateau in SST.

      https://climategrog.wordpress.com/ddt_co2_sst/

      What this paper suggests seems pretty ludicrous, just wait for the next step : saying the temp plateau is due plants as well. Just when we thought they’d run out of tenuous excuses to explain it.

      Plants are responding to increased CO2 but there is no snap reaction in 2000 AD when they all woke and decided they were hungry. All that plants could do is provide gradual negative feedback to our increasing emissions.

      You can’t explain a plateau in either SST or d/dt(CO2) by a gradual response from plants.

      • MODS: What on earth was wrong with that last comment that it got caught in moderation??

        [links often cause automatic flagging -mod]

      • Bingo! It has nothing, or at least very little, to do with plant growth. It’s just the normal thermally dependent flow of the ocean currents. The paper blaming it on plant growth is just one more epicycle to try to salvage a paradigm that is diverging from reality.

    • Exactly. Or at least it is that a component of the increase in CO2 is outgassing.

      The plateau in CO2 matches the plateau in SST.

      https://climategrog.wordpress.com/ddt_co2_sst/

      What this paper suggests seems pretty ludicrous, just wait for the next step : saying the temp plateau is due plants as well. Just when we thought they’d run out of tenuous excuses to explain it.

      Plants are responding to increased CO2 but there is no snap reaction in 2000 AD when they all woke and decided they were hungry. All that plants could do is provide gradual negative feedback to our increasing emissions.

      You can’t explain a plateau in either SST or d/dt(CO2) by a gradual response from plants.

      • Note in that graph that there is a still a residual 2 ppmv / year rise. This could be very long term ( centennial scale ) out-gassing, human CO2 residual or a mixture of both. The latter mix is the most likely.

      • Note in that graph that there is a still a residual 2 ppmv / year rise. This could be very long term ( centennial scale ) out-gassing,

        Sigh. Do you realise that “[o]ceans are at present CO2 sinks, and represent the largest active carbon sink on Earth, absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide that humans put into the air.”

        This being Connolley-wiki. you should agree with that.

        I just wish I could plonk all the crap and comments to crap, though of course, there is not much in the Internet after that.

        Just to add a little bit recentism to the senseless thing going on. I just hit my head to the ground, because global warming cooling extreme average brought some snow here and I carelessly trotted over the yard. It is almost horrible with the wet bulb temps we have. If I see some outgassing, I’ll tell you.

      • Hugs @ November 9, 2016 at 5:56 am

        Sigh. More static analysis. The oceans absorb nearly all of human input with barely a shrug – they are a very small percentage of the natural flows. The pseudo-mass balance analysis of CO2 flows is a naive explication for people who do not understand dynamic systems. Do not be fooled by arguments that seem so simple that anyone should grasp them. They seem so simple because they are simplistic. And, wrong.

      • Bartemis
        November 9, 2016 at 11:22 am

        Hugs @ November 9, 2016 at 5:56 am

        Sigh. More static analysis. The oceans absorb nearly all of human input with barely a shrug – they are a very small percentage of the natural flows.
        ——————————————————
        Hello Batemis

        Bartemis you could be right with above, but from my point of view you have a contradiction in the above statement…
        Let start from the point that oceans do not distinguish between human or natural CO2. therefor according to the very high yearly natural emissions versus tiny human part, the oceans do absorb much less human CO2 than even in the case of what Hugs claim, much less I think, even in a case of a very short CO2 residence time in the atmosphere.

        Of course the overall CO2 yearly flux is so high versus the human CO2 emissions that even a tiny bit of erratic variation in that flux can nullify the impact of the human CO2 emissions into the atmospheric CO2 concentration., ESPECIALLY AT THE ESTIMATED POWER OF THAT YEARLY FLUX, BY THE “CLIMATE SCIENCE”,, WHICH FROM MY POINT OF VIEW IS estimated at ~ 3 X HIGHER THAN THE ACTUAL NATURAL ONE..

        Yes, as far as I can tell the oceans have the “Lion” share on the CO2 flux, for not saying almost all of it in the proper meaning power.

        That is a point showing how ridiculous the claim of the Bekerley scientists is……
        Their study does not show either a plateau in CO2 emissions or a plateau in CO2 concentrations, either by their models or their observations….

        And if actually the biomass could do what these guys claim that is doing than the amount impact of human CO2 emissions can be nullified, and according to the same guys that has being in action AND DONE since more than 15 years ago, when in the same time the CO2 concentration still has gone up meaning the CO2 emission still impacting the CO2 concentration and causing an increase of it…simply meaning that the CO2 concentration increase is due to a natural impact of the CO2 emissions, and non human.,

        So only a fluctuation in the absorbing power of the biomass can nullify the tiny effect as per human impact in the CO2 atmospheric concentration, where biomass does not have even the absorbing power of the oceans.

        Hope that the point made in this reply of mine is not very difficult and it is clear enough to understand….:)

        The main point made, simply put is;
        “if this study has some substance than it only shows that the human CO2 emissions are completely insignificant to nature and with no any measurable effect or impact in the actual CO2 atmospheric concentration and its variation.
        “Only a variation in the biomass can nullify the human effect, so easy, when actually that variation it self is so insignificant to the rest of the CO2 flux.”

        cheers

      • From a base line of zero with regards to temperatures. Some years it 0.3 C above, some years 0.5 C, think very carefully about this, ” would you want to take 50 ppm of co2 out of the atmosphere right now “. Providing of course AGW is right. Work your own numbers backward and see what happens. Don’t use your graph when temperature was x and co2 was y . Do the math.

      • Whiten –

        “Let start from the point that oceans do not distinguish between human or natural CO2. therefor according to the very high yearly natural emissions versus tiny human part, the oceans do absorb much less human CO2 than even in the case of what Hugs claim, much less I think, even in a case of a very short CO2 residence time in the atmosphere.”

        You have to start at the position that this is a dynamic process. The Thermohaline circulation is a flow of CO2 laden waters which takes centuries to complete a circuit. When waters with some given concentration, which they transported down long years ago, emerge back at the surface, they equilibrate themselves with the atmosphere according to Henry’s Law, which is temperature dependent.

        If surface conditions favor it, they will release a portion of their CO2 into the atmosphere. At the same time, downwelling waters at the poles carry CO2 back down again. An imbalance between what is carried down, and what is emerging, will create a steady rise or fall in the overall content of the surface waters, and hence in the atmosphere. As the balance between what is upwelling and what is downwelling is modulated by temperatures, and rise or fall in the concentration of surface waters is modulated by temperatures.

        The total amount that downwells is proportional to the total amount in the surface system, to which our emissions contribute a tiny addition – upwelling waters contribute far more to the surface system than we do. The downwelling removes almost all of it from both sources, and the amount remaining is proportionately much greater from the upwelling source than from the anthropogenic source.

        Let me see if I can clarify with some math. Let U be the amount upwelling. Let D be the amount downwelling. And, let A be the amount we contribute. Let I be the imbalance. That is

        I = U + A – D

        But, as you say, D reacts the same on U as it does on A. So, we can say that D is proportional to U + A:

        D = k*(U + A)

        Now, the imbalance becomes

        I = (1-k)*(U + A)

        k is just slightly less than unity, so that there is an imbalance. But, the proportion of it due to U is U/(U+A), while the proportional of it due to A is A/(U+A). But, A is much less than U, so the proportion of it due to A is tiny.

        “…IS estimated at ~ 3 X HIGHER THAN THE ACTUAL NATURAL ONE.. “

        Actually, it is estimated at more like 30X higher, and is probably more than that.

        “That is a point showing how ridiculous the claim of the Bekerley scientists is……
        Their study does not show either a plateau in CO2 emissions or a plateau in CO2 concentrations, either by their models or their observations….”

        The plateau is in the rate of change. See here:

        That plateau happens to coincide with the plateau in temperatures. Actually, there is no “happens to” about it. It is a direct response to the plateau in temperatures.

        As I pointed out above, the imbalance between upwelling and downwelling content is temperature modulated. That is what the plot above shows. The rate of change of atmospheric CO2 is proportional to appropriately baselined temperature anomaly. Human inputs have negligible impact. If you give me the record of temperatures, I can tell you what the change in atmospheric CO2 will be at the end of the record to a high degree of fidelity, without even considering the negligible impact of human emissions. They are, for all intents and purposes, superfluous.

      • Bartemis, can you point me to the observational study that measures the CO2 in upwelling waters?

      • I don’t have a study to reference, GC. I expect it is at least as concentrated as the surface waters into which it is feeding. And, I know the volume of turnover is immense.

        But yes, this is a weak point in my argument, because I cannot at this time back it up with quantification, but can only appeal to plausibility. I am not a dedicated researcher in these matters, and I am only putting forward an hypothesis. But, it is an hypothesis that is consistent with the observational evidence that the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 is proportional to temperature anomaly, and addresses the question of, “how could this possible come about?” This is one way it could.

      • Bartemis, your “hypothesis” is based on the assumption that up welling waters release CO2. It is equally probable that up welling water is deficient in CO2, and absorbs it from the atmosphere. Until the measurement is made your “hypothesis” is questionable.

      • I understand where you are coming from, GC, and gave you that point above. However, atmospheric CO2 is increasing, and it is increasing at a rate proportional to temperature anomaly. That alone says that the rise is not due to humans, because human release is not proportional to temperature anomaly.

        So, you begin looking at mechanisms that could explain a proportional dependence of the rate of change of CO2 on temperature anomaly, and the first and most obvious is from the continuous release of CO2 from upwelling waters coming to equilibrium with the surface system into which they emerge.

        As I say, just an hypothesis at this stage. But, a plausible one that matches the observations, while a dependence on anthropogenic release does not match the observations.

      • Bartemis:

        Maybe we agree to disagree about the temperature-stimulated natural source of atmospheric CO2? You say it is the upturning ocean water and I say it is decay of organic matter from soils?

        But what I think we can agree upon is that the net emission of CO2 is highly correlated with atmospheric temperature. There has been a “pause” in the increase, a plateau actually, of global temperature, and there has been a correlated pause in the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2, with that rate of increase being simply the net emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.

        Net emission of CO2 correlates with atmospheric temperature on a broad range of time scales — that is the elephant in the room that is escaping notice let alone discussion in polite circles.

  2. Can you please quit this “CO2 follows temperature” nonsense? One glance at Mauna Loa CO2 graph would convince anyone that this smooth curve has nothing to do with temperature (which graph is essentially random walk).

    • tegririnenashi:
      You are conflating the daily CO2 measurements with Greenland ice core reconstructions.

      If you seriously consider the Mauna Loa measurements, ask your self why the daily temperatures fail to track CO2.

      The oceans form a massive CO2 sink. Only cold water can absorb more CO2 than the same amount of warm water.

      When the oceans cool, they absorb CO2.
      When the oceans warm, they emit CO2.

      The process of net CO2 absorption or net CO2 emissions takes a long time. Though even seasonal CO2 emission/absorption rates are visible here.

      • That is 18 month old data from OCO-2.

        What matters are the kinetics of the sinks and sources. Kinetics come from the deltas between 2 snapshots, then the deltas between at least a years worth of seasonal data examined. Then it takes another seasonal set of data to confirm what you saw in the first year’s seasonal data kinetics.

        Kinetics of CO2 sinks and sources are what matter to determine where the regional emissions and sinks are playing out.

        My gut feel from the few OCO-2 snapshots is that the natural sources of CO2 kinetics are making man’s source kinetics look puny.

      • Actually when the oceans really cool and freeze then they emit copious amounts of CO2 which is not happy in the solid state environment of ice.
        In fact the CO2 annual cycle at the north pole is more like 18-20 ppm p-p and there isn’t much grass growing at the north pole. So you can’t blame the north pole CO2 cycle on growing greenery; it all comes out of cold water when it freezes. It’s called the segregation coefficient. Gradiant freezing is one of the most efficient ways of removing impurities from materials that can be frozen (solidified). The CO2 is rejected along with the ocean salts. Since the cold ocean waters are already loaded to the Henry’s law limit with CO2, all the CO2 excluded from the ice phase, is vented to the atmosphere, since the ocean can’t hold any more.
        And that 18-20 ppm cycling CO2 in the arctic is removed in about five months when the ice melt starts, and all that melted fresh water can take up its usual CO2 from the atmosphere.

        G

    • Tegirinenashi, co2 does follow temperature. The graph you allude to is misleading. If you look at the last 60 years, the co2 ppm per year follows the temperature for that year. The only thing that you can tell from your graph is that there has been a slight underlying warming trend. And it is evident from the other graph that matches co2 with temperature, a slight warming. Mauna Loa matches total co2 with yearly temperature changes. That’s why it’s misleading.

      • I really have difficulty with this because this argument comes over and over as like a jack-in-a-box. It doesn’t help how many times it has been explained how bad argument it is for the current affairs.

        Yeah, it is warming and CO2 is up, but CO2 is not up nearly as much as humanity creates CO2. The sea is a net sink, so increasing CO2 is not because oceans are leaking.

        There are lots of arguments and wrong arguments around, so it becomes heated and stubborn discussion every time. Sure, it is also a complex issue with uncertainties. However, don’t be fooled to think humanity has not caused ppm’s. It just gives lukewarmers bad name like d3n1er.

      • That’s another argument Hugs. I only have the data that’s available. The published data from NOAA is that there has been a slight underlying warming trend, and increased co2 is the result….. comprehensive analysis would determine why the sinks today are 1 and 1/2 times greater than all of the anthropogenic co2 produced in 1965. I am a skeptic, not a Luke warmer. And no, I cannot determine whether the rise in co2 was natural, anthropogenic, or a combination of the two.

      • @tegirinenashi
        If you look at the physics of out-gassing it is the rate of change of CO2 that needs to be compared to SST. The Keeling curve is the integral of that rate of change which is why it looks relatively smooth. This masks what is happening. Once you look at the derivative, as I plotted above, you start to see the variability that is there and you can start to look for physical explanations.

        Part of the variability is caused by temperature; that does not necessarily mean that all the change is. I think some mix of out-gassing and residual of human emissions is the most logical but no one seems to have made a serious attempt at distinguishing the two so far.

        This latest paper totally misses the mark and is not even logical.

    • @ tegirinenashi – November 8, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      It is factually correct science to state that “CO2 follows temperature”.

      And if you comprehend what you are actually looking at, one (1) glance at the Mauna Loa (Keeling Curve) CO2 graph would convince you that the “rise and fall” of atmospheric CO2 ppm does in fact “follows temperatures”, ……. but it is the surface temperature of the ocean waters, ……. NOT the near-surface air temperatures.

      @ tegirinenashi, this 1st graph is visual proof that the “rise and fall” of atmospheric CO2 ppm is NOT directly associated with the ”seasonal” near-surface air temperature changes, to wit:

      @ tegirinenashi, this 2nd graph is visual proof that the “rise and fall” of atmospheric CO2 ppm is a direct result of the ”seasonal” temperature changes in/of the ocean surface waters, to wit:

      • Whatever happened to : ” Correlation is NOT causation .” ??

        Why don’t you show the annual CO2 cycling at the north pole and the rest of the Arctic Ocean where not a shred of grass grows. Incidently it is 18-20 ppm p-p compared to only 6 ppm at Mauna Loa.

        So much for CO2 being well mixed in the environment.

        And at the south pole where grass growth is excruciatingly slow, and there never is a melt and refreeze cycle, there is virtually no CO2 cycling at all, and what little there is (less than 1 ppm p-p) is actually bass ackwards in phase compared to ML.

        Good luck on finding the NASA NOAA three dimensional graph on that; which got disappearated, once they realized what it depicted.

        G

      • Tegirinenashi
        In 1977 co2 ppm increased by 2.10 only exceed that value by 0.03 in 1983 volcano, exceeded that value in the next solar cycle at 2.29 ppm in 1987, co2 ppm per year declined for the next 11 until 1998 where co2 levels exceeded 1987 to 2.93 ppm. Throughout the time period from 1999 till now co2 levels did not exceed 1998. In fact 8 of those years did not exceed the level of 1977 and of those 8 none exceeded 2.0 ppm per year in spite of billion metric tons added on top of each and every year. If you bothered to graph the temperature per year and the co2 ppm from 1960, you will see that the co2 follows, temperatures, and further graphing the solar activity and cosmic ray levels gives a very detailed level that co2 is a result of not the cause. Combining the sinking rate of co2 and what I consider missing co2, way above what NOAA calculates, there is no way co2 is responsible for temperature. C/AGW community is hard at work to explain these events, recent papers talk of increased could cover as a negative feedback, and increased uptake by plants. I would suspect, if they are producing papers on this, I’m right. Further there is no explanation as to why when anthropogenic co2 was so small that it took 30 years to produce as much as we produce in one year, how it ended up as a positive and not a negative. There is no explanation as to why plants weren’t sinking that amount then. Without a doubt 2 items stand out in all C/AGW missives as far as sinks go, 1. The oceans were cooler and tropical rainforest were much, much larger than now.
        Already in other conversations it was argued that the variations in co2 ppm per year were random, it is not. It is consistent for the last 60 years…. at some point I view the amounts so small as to be outside error ranges and not accurate.
        I am on really solid ground with this analysis. Anybody, anywhere can reproduce these results. Co2 follows temperature.

      • george e. smith – November 9, 2016 at 2:37 pm

        Whatever happened to : ” Correlation is NOT causation .” ??

        George, of course ”correlation is NOT causation”, ….and neither is “association”, ….. but both “correlation” and/or “association” is one hell of a good place to start looking/investigating for the actual “causation” …… which you should damn well know that fact.

        george e also sayith:

        Incidently it is 18-20 ppm p-p (at your north pole) compared to only 6 ppm at Mauna Loa.

        Well surprise, surprise, George e., ……. Barrow, Alaska is not the North Pole
        • the North Pole is at latitude 90° North,
        • Barrow, Alaska (9.8 feet elevation) is at latitude 71.2° North, … with 4,373 CO2 emitting people, plus dogs and vehicles
        • Mauna Loa, Hawaii (13,678 feet elevation) is at latitude 19.4° North

        And George e., ……. read my writing, …… green grass growing and feces decomposing has very, very very little to nothing …… to do with the average 6 ppm bi-yearly (equinox seasonal) cycling of atmospheric CO2 and absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the average 1 to 3 ppm yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 …… which has been “steady and consistent” for the past 58 years as per the Mauna Loa CO2 Record (see above Keeling Curve graph).

        Hint: the only thing in earth’s natural world that is/has a highly accurate “steady and consistent” bi-yearly cycling is the “changing of the equinoxes”.

        George e., I can,. right now, on 11-10-2016, …… with the atmospheric CO2 just starting its bi-yearly increase cycle, ……. make a fairly accurate prediction, within +- 6 days, the date that the 2016/2017 maximum atmospheric CO2 ppm will occur, ….. as well as what that CO2 ppm quantity will be in mid-May of 2017.

        And neither you or anyone else can make such a prediction based on the stupidity of the unknown quantities of CO2 ingassing/outgassing attributed to ……… “green grass growing and feces decomposing”.

        More info on Barrow, AK, and its CO2 https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/annual-cycle-of-co2/

      • rishrac – November 9, 2016 at 6:15 pm

        In 1977 co2 ppm increased by 2.10 only exceed that value by 0.03 in 1983 volcano, exceeded that value in the next solar cycle at 2.29 ppm in 1987, co2 ppm per year declined for the next 11 until 1998 where co2 levels exceeded 1987 to 2.93 ppm.

        I don’t know from where you obtained your above atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities, …. but actual factual ones are listed below and were obtained from NOAA’s Mauna Loa Record, to wit: ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt

        CO2 “Max” ppm Fiscal Year – mid-May to mid-May
        year mth “Max” _ yearly increase ____ mth “Min” ppm
        1979 _ 6 _ 339.20 …. + …… __________ 9 … 333.93
        1980 _ 5 _ 341.47 …. +2.27 _________ 10 … 336.05
        1981 _ 5 _ 343.01 …. +1.54 __________ 9 … 336.92
        1982 _ 5 _ 344.67 …. +1.66 __________ 9 … 338.32
        1983 _ 5 _ 345.96 …. +1.29 __________ 9 … 340.17
        1984 _ 5 _ 347.55 …. +1.59 __________ 9 … 341.35
        1985 _ 5 _ 348.92 …. +1.37 _________ 10 … 343.08
        1986 _ 5 _ 350.53 …. +1.61 _________ 10 … 344.47
        1987 _ 5 _ 352.14 …. +1.61 __________ 9 … 346.52
        1988 _ 5 _ 354.18 …. +2.04 __________ 9 … 349.03
        1989 _ 5 _ 355.89 …. +1.71 __________ 9 … 350.02
        1990 _ 5 _ 357.29 …. +1.40 __________ 9 … 351.28
        1991 _ 5 _ 359.09 …. +1.80 __________ 9 … 352.30
        1992 _ 5 _ 359.55 …. +0.46 Pinatubo __ 9 … 352.93
        1993 _ 5 _ 360.19 …. +0.64 __________ 9 … 354.10
        1994 _ 5 _ 361.68 …. +1.49 __________ 9 … 355.63
        1995 _ 5 _ 363.77 …. +2.09 _________ 10 … 357.97
        1996 _ 5 _ 365.16 …. +1.39 _________ 10 … 359.54
        1997 _ 5 _ 366.69 …. +1.53 __________ 9 … 360.31
        1998 _ 5 _ 369.49 …. +2.80 El Niño ___ 9 … 364.01
        1999 _ 4 _ 370.96 …. +1.47 __________ 9 … 364.94
        2000 _ 4 _ 371.82 …. +0.86 __________ 9 … 366.91
        2001 _ 5 _ 373.82 …. +2.00 __________ 9 … 368.16
        2002 _ 5 _ 375.65 …. +1.83 _________ 10 … 370.51
        2003 _ 5 _ 378.50 …. +2.85 _________ 10 … 373.10
        2004 _ 5 _ 380.63 …. +2.13 __________ 9 … 374.11
        2005 _ 5 _ 382.47 …. +1.84 __________ 9 … 376.66
        2006 _ 5 _ 384.98 …. +2.51 __________ 9 … 378.92
        2007 _ 5 _ 386.58 …. +1.60 __________ 9 … 380.90
        2008 _ 5 _ 388.50 …. +1.92 _________ 10 … 382.99
        2009 _ 5 _ 390.19 …. +1.65 _________ 10 … 384.39
        2010 _ 5 _ 393.04 …. +2.85 __________ 9 … 386.83
        2011 _ 5 _ 394.21 …. +1.17 _________ 10 … 388.96
        2012 _ 5 _ 396.78 …. +2.58 _________ 10 … 391.01
        2013 _ 5 _ 399.76 …. +2.98 __________ 9 … 393.51
        2014 _ 5 _ 401.88 …. +2.12 __________ 9 … 395.35
        2015 _ 5 _ 403.94 …. +2.06 __________ 9 … 397.63
        2016 _ 5 _ 407.70 …. +3.76 El Niño ___ 9 …

        The “Max” CO2 occurred at mid-May (5) of each year … with the exception of three (3) outliers, one (1) being in June 79’ and the other two (2) being in April 99’ and 2000. ( result of El Nino)

        The “Min” CO2 occurred at the very end of September (9) of each year … with the exception of eleven (11) outliers, all of which occurred within the first 7 days of October.

      • A word about the numbers, thankfully I didn’t submit a paper. I would have gotten the same response or simply ignored and thrown in the garbage. In no other science is the manipulation of data so rampant. It is infuriating. AGW is a scam. They not only changed the co2 levels ppm per year, but NOAA has changed the temperature record as well. They’ve changed the reporting start and ending times as well. In temperature, when things weren’t going to plan they changed the starting and ending times from Jan to Dec, to Jun to July. How convenient ! You can nitpick a discussion to death without ever saying anything worthwhile. Beyond that, no matter what types of psychology games you play, I am firmly convinced that the entire C/AGW mime is wrong. You just run back to your comrades and say” see he’s a crackpot, using wrong data, he doesn’t do real science “. The are so many flaws with the data, analysis, rounding, misrepresenting of information, error ranges, C/AGW is all makebelieve.
        Unless research agrees with C/AGW, it doesn’t matter, does it ?

        By the way, even with changes the pattern is still there, not as pronounced, and certainly not for the last 5 years where most of the changes were made.

        I stand by those numbers and analysis I’ve made on them. It’s temperature, solar activity, and cosmic rays that lead co2. C/AGW has done some really bad things with regards to science.

    • No, atmospheric CO2 concentration does not follow temperature. It is net CO2 emission that follows temperature. And net CO2 emission, by mass balance, is simply the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2. So the thing that is correlated with temperature is not the Keeling curve but the derivative of the Keeling curve with respect to time.

      Hence it is the slope of the Keeling curve — not the curve itself — that is highly correlated with temperature over a broad range of time scales. This is not nonsense, it is not even scientific inference, it is pure mathematics.

      The scientific inference is that industrial CO2 emissions are relatively steady hence the large variability seen in the net CO2 emission curve must be from a temperature-stimulated natural source.

      • @ Paul Milenkovic -November 10, 2016 at 8:02 pm

        Paul, your above commentary sounds pretty scientificity ….. but I feel obligated to disagree with most all of it.

        So “Yes”, atmospheric CO2 ppm concentration does follow temperature.

        The data that is plotted on the Keeling Curve graph represents the increases/decreases in/of the measured ppm quantity of atmospheric CO2 as recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii.

        The data that is plotted on the Keeling Curve graph does not represent(s) the increases or decreases in/of any temperatures, …… neither near-surface air temperatures or ocean water surface temperatures.

        But ….. the CO2 ppm data that is plotted thereon the Keeling Curve graph can be directly and unquestionably associated, correlated and/or compared to or with the increases and decreases in/of the temperature of the ocean surface water in the Southern Hemisphere, …… NOT the near-surface air temperatures and NOT the temperature of the ocean surface water in the Northern Hemisphere.

        And Paul, there are two (2) distinct “temperature-associated” components depicted on the Keeling Curve graph, to wit:

        1) The bi-yearly or seasonal cycling of 6 ppm average atmospheric CO2 which is a direct result of the “Equinox” seasonal “warming” and ”cooling” of the SH ocean waters.

        2) The yearly 1 to 3 ppm average increase in atmospheric CO2 which is a direct result of the overall “warming-up” or “recovery” of ocean water temperatures that had drastically “cooled down” during the Little Ice Age (circa 1300 to 1870).

        Paul, Henry’s Law defines the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and bodies of water.

      • Sam, strictly speaking from a chemistry point of view, Henry’s law described the pressure and temperature dependent relationship of A(g) -> A(aq) and its reverse reaction. If there are any other chemical effects going on, like buffering, or the formation of insoluble products, you can’t use that form of Henry’s law. You can use a modified form that has been verified through rigorous analytical chemistry with a proper error analysis and propagation.

      • @ cdquarles – November 11, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        Sam, strictly speaking from a chemistry point of view, Henry’s law described the pressure and temperature dependent relationship of A(g) -> A(aq)

        Shur nuff, …….. cdquarles, …. both myself and the Chemistry Department at the University of California at Davis agrees with you. To wit, with my inclusions for clarity:

        Henry’s Law – Last updated:20:14, 14 Jul 2016

        Henry’s law is one of the gas laws formulated by William Henry in 1803 and states: “At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas (CO2) that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid (H2O) is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas (CO2) in equilibrium with that liquid (H20).

        An equivalent way of stating the law is that the solubility of a gas (CO2) in a liquid (H2O) is directly proportional to the partial pressure of the gas (CO2) above the liquid (H2O):

        http://chem.libretexts.org/Core/Physical_and_Theoretical_Chemistry/Physical_Properties_of_Matter/Solutions_and_Mixtures/Ideal_Solutions/Dissolving_Gases_In_Liquids,_Henry's_Law

        So,….. cdquarles, ….. now that you have read the above definition/description of Henry’s Law, ….. please tell me:

        1) If the temperature of the surface water of the ocean begins to “INCREASE” along with the increase in temperature of the near surface air above it, …… will a portion of the CO2 in the “water” be outgassed into the “near-surface air” as that ocean water warms up? [aka: Summertime in the Southern Hemisphere]

        2) If the temperature of the surface water of the ocean begins to “DECREASE” along with the decrease in temperature of the near surface air above it, …… will a portion of the CO2 in the “near-surface air” be ingassed into the “cooling” surface water of the ocean? [aka: Wintertime in the Southern Hemisphere]

        The answers to those 2 questions are depicted hereon this graph, to wit:

        Carbon dioxide (CO2) is soluble in water, in which it reversibly forms H2CO3 (carbonic acid), which is a weak acid since its ionization in water is incomplete. ….. [snip] ….. the majority of the carbon dioxide (CO2) is not converted into carbonic acid, but remains as CO2 molecules, not affecting the pH. Read more @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide

  3. So the constant screaming can stop now, since the runaway CO2 has met it match by causing increased plant growth. That in turn increases the available food supply. Oops, that will cause the CO2 to rise as more people create more CO2.

    • chaamjamal
      Take a look at the 30 sequential OCO2 images on this site – link below.
      The main post above is attributing the movement of CO2 to biospheres without any imperical data. Just models.

      http://www.blozonehole.com/blozone-hole-theory/blozone-hole-theory/carbon-cycle-using-nasa-oco-2-satellite-images

      Then look at this paper regarding loss of CO2 to higher altitudes >100km here.
      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281034394_Increasing_carbon_dioxide_concentration_in_the_upper_atmosphere_observed_by_SABER

      Then tell me that the carbon cycle is balanced. Look at the transport of the bulk of the CO2 into the Southern Hemisphere from May onwards. And please dont suggest it is SH outgassing.
      Regards

      • I looked at the research gate publication

        The Carbon Cycle is balanced

        I looked at the transport of the bulk of CO2 into the SH from May

        I wont suggest it is SH outgassing………

        ok (couldnt resist)

      • @ ozonebust – November 8, 2016 at 9:46 pm

        Then look at this paper regarding loss of CO2 to higher altitudes >100km here.

        Ozonebust, from your cited link, ……. and please note what I “boldfaced”, to wit:

        Abstract

        Carbon dioxide measurements made by the Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument between 2002 and 2014 were analyzed to reveal the rate of increase of CO2 in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. The CO2 data show a trend of ~5% per decade at ~80 km and below, in good agreement with the tropospheric trend observed at Mauna Loa. Above 80 km, the SABER CO2 trend is larger than in the lower atmosphere, reaching ~12% per decade at 110 km. The large relative trend in the upper atmosphere is consistent with results from the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS). On the other hand, the CO2 trend deduced from the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) remains close to 5% everywhere. The spatial coverage of the SABER instrument allows us to analyze the CO2 trend as a function of latitude for the first time. The trend is larger in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere mesopause above 80 km. The agreement between SABER and ACE-FTS suggests that the rate of increase of CO2 in the upper atmosphere over the past 13 years is considerably larger than can be explained by chemistry-climate models.

        Ozonebust, the 2002 May CO2 = 375.65 ppm …… and 2014 May CO2 = 401.88 ppm, which was an increase of 26.23 ppm of atmospheric CO2 ….. or a 6.98% increase in atmospheric CO2 in 12 years (decade +2).

        So, there is nothing magical or unexplainable with the above highlighted “study results” simply because, …… if the low altitude atmospheric CO2 ppm increases …… then so will the high altitude atmospheric CO2 ppm increase …… but somewhat less than the low altitude increase.

        @ ozonebust

        Look at the transport of the bulk of the CO2 into the Southern Hemisphere from May onwards.

        Mercy me, ……. “the bulk of the CO2” you refer to is a quantity of “6 ppm average”.

        And that per se “transport” of CO2 into the Southern Hemisphere is determined by the NH Vernal (March) Equinox or start of Summer ……….. and which also signifies the start of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere ….. with the SH ocean waters cooling down and beginning its ingassing of copious amounts (6 ppm average by end of September) of atmospheric CO2.

  4. So now CO2 is hiding in the plants. Who’d have thought a natural sink could be so devious? Except it’s still accumulating in the atmosphere at the same rate since we started keeping track so it’s only hiding enough to stop global warming.

  5. duh

    What do you think contributes to the lag between temperature and CO2 seen in the ice cores? It takes a while for biology to sequester enough natural CO2 to sustain a larger biomass and if biology doesn’t bring that carbon into the biosphere, natural CO2 is otherwise absorbed by the oceans which have a nearly infinite capacity to hold CO2 (think water under pressure, like a soda, except much higher pressures) and this is why CO2 levels drop as it gets colder and the biomass shrinks.

    • co2isnotevil
      November 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      duh

      What do you think contributes to the lag between temperature and CO2 seen in the ice cores?
      ———————————
      The simplest answer about the actual lag is…… the actual residence time of CO2 in atmosphere in accordance with the natural response of the CO2 emission variation to the temp variation.

      The actual lag in consideration consist as a consideration of a lag lag of the CO2 concentration variation in atmosphere to the temps variation, is not a lag of CO2 emissions variation To temps variation..

      In a way the lag in question can be considered as a lag of the CO2 concentration variation to the CO2 emission variation as a result of the residence time of CO2 in atmosphere, while the CO2 emissions variation (or the natural Co2 flux) are connected and “synchronized” with the temp variation.

      Simply, a CO2 concentration increase actually directly lags the CO2 emission increase in accordance with the actual given residence time of CO2 in atmosphere and the actual given amount or acceleration of CO2 emissions at any given time.

      The CO2 concentration in atmosphere does not depend in temps directly as it is not directly effected by temps variation, it depends and it is effected directly by the CO2 emissions variation….

      hopefully this reply does not make it more confusing..:)

      cheers

  6. We have a previous WUWT story today about land use causing climate change. The contention that CO2 is the climate control knob is beginning to look a bit frayed and shop worn as more factors come into consideration. :-)

  7. Over a forest during the day, if the treetop level CO2 is 400 ppm, the ground level C02 will be 300 to 350 ppm due to raging photosynthesis (I saw this on the internet somewhere, I wish i could post a link but I think the warmists deleted it) . At night CO2 levels stabilize throughout and CO2 is the same treetop to ground. If you think about it, ground level plants need 100 ppm more than the theoretical CO2 minimum of 200 ppm or so because the taller plants are scavenging all the CO2. Perhaps ground level plant growth is surging … this is a good thing!!!

    • CO2 is converted to sugars by the dark cycles of Photosynthesis. The Calvin-Benson cycle is the dark reaction catalyzed by the enzyme RuBisCO, with the energy from the photon-fueled light reactions which cracked water to hydrogens and free oxygen. The plants stomata open at night to take in CO2. During the day they close to conserve water.

    • Over a forest during the day, if the treetop level CO2 is 400 ppm, the ground level C02 will be 300 to 350 ppm due to raging photosynthesis

      Scott, but you also have …… “raging microbial decomposition of dead biomass on the forest floor” …… during both the day and the night ….. which is outgassing copious amounts of CO2, thus the ground level C02 should be far greater than 400 ppm.

      And joelobryan, ….. please read the following:

      Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert sunlight into usable energy. During photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is taken in from the atmosphere through the stomata and oxygen is released as a waste product. http://study.com/academy/lesson/stomata-of-plants-function-definition-structure.html

  8. With the plants absorbing all that carbon pollution it’s only a matter of time before they are so contaminated that they become toxic to eat and we will all die!!

      • The green and red baby kale from California’s Central Valley that I like on my salads is packed with Carbon Pollution!!!

        The HORROR!!!

      • No, not cancer. It must be eco-dementia, given the great number of green voters there… ;-)

        Oh – BTW: If our poor plant friends still are “carbon-HUNGRY (!)”, can this only mean, there is still far too little of this valuable stuff in the air, that is to say:

        LONG LIVE THE GAS OF LIFE – LONG LIVE CO2 !!! HIP HIP HOORAY ! :-)

  9. This is most interesting, and expectable, given that the greening of the Sahel, for example, is so clear and obvious. It is far more difficult to see the benefit when there is already ground cover, as in the Arctic and Siberia. If the far north gets a few extra days per year, say, 7, then the growing season is 10% longer. That is a big deal. There are a huge number of highly stunted trees on the tundra looking for warmth. The Taiga is a massive carbon sink just waiting to explode into luxuriant growth if it would just stay warm for a little longer.

    This good news points to the fact that we discussing on this list have pretty much sorted out the major elements of the carbon cycle. Drive up the level, the sink rate increases. Opposite, ditto. Kinda obvious.

    Warming, on the other hand, is a different matter. The temp goes up and it goes down and if CO2 has much to do with it, its influence is not confidently detectable with modern instruments. I will not lose sleep over that.

  10. CO2 stops, apparently, climbing quickly and researchers are on the case…

    Maybe.

    “Unfortunately, this increase is nowhere near enough to stop climate change,” says Keenan, adding that their results answer questions and pose new ones. “We’ve shown the increase in terrestrial carbon uptake is happening, and with a plausible explanation why. But we don’t know exactly where the carbon sink is increasing the most…”

    But it is worse, far worse, than they claim.

    “The scientists ruled out oceans as a dominant cause because most computer models…”

    “To study these influences, the scientists used ten “global dynamic vegetation models” that predict how the terrestrial carbon cycle changes over time.”

    “They also used a model that incorporates satellite measurements of vegetation cover and plant activity to predict global photosynthesis and respiration rates. They validated the model by comparing its results with data from AmeriFlux and FLUXNET…”

    “Model projections were generated using different scenarios of atmospheric CO2 level…”

    Well now. These blokes have thoroughly proven their confirmation bias. Their models worked just as they expected they would.

    Lazy research.
    Confirmation bias.
    Use of “Argumentum ad Ignorantiam” fallacy; “We don’t know, so we assume…”
    Useless findings.

  11. Oh good! Another computer model study! Just what we all needed to greatly increase the depth of our understanding of the world and how it works!! JEEEEEZ!

  12. Interesting, but so what?

    Earth’s carbon cycle contains 46,713 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 Gt (+/- 1.8%) of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred fluxes Gt/y (+/- ??) flowing among those reservoirs. Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind’s net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%. (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1) Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know? BTW fossil fuel between 1750 and 2011 represented 0.34% of the biospheric carbon cycle.

    Mankind’s modelled additional atmospheric CO2 power flux (W/m^2, watt is power, energy over time) between 1750 and 2011, 261 years, is 2 W/m^2 of radiative forcing. (IPCC AR5 Fig SPM.5) Incoming solar RF is 340 W/m^2, albedo reflects 100 W/m^2 (+/- 30 & can’t be part of the 333), 160 W/m^2 reaches the surface (can’t be part of the 333), latent heat from the water cycle’s evaporation is 88 W/m2 (+/- 8). Mankind’s 2 W/m^2 contribution is obviously trivial, lost in the natural fluctuations.

    One popular GHE theory power flux balance (“Atmospheric Moisture…. Trenberth et al 2011jcli24 Figure 10) has a spontaneous perpetual loop (333 W/m^2) flowing from cold to hot violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws. (1. Spontaneous energy out of nowhere, 2. perpetual loop w/o work, 3. cold to hot w/o work, 4. doesn’t matter because what’s in the system stays in the system) Physics must be optional for “climate” science. What really counts is the net W/m^2 balance at ToA which 7 out of 8 re-analyses included in the above cited paper concluded the atmosphere was cooling, not warming (+/- 12.3 W/m^2). Of course Dr. Trenberth says they are wrong because their cooling results are not confirmed by his predicted warming, which hasn’t happened for twenty years. (“All of the net TOA imbalances are not tenable and all except CFSR imply a cooling of the planet that clearly has not occurred.”) Except it also hasn’t gotten hotter.

    Every year the pause/hiatus/lull/stasis continues (IPCC AR5 Box TS.3) IPCC’s atmospheric and ocean general circulation models diverge further from reality.

    • For heaven’s sake Nicholas, stop telling us the heat supposedly ‘flows from cold to hot’ and how impossible that is. It doesn’t ‘flow’, it radiates. All objects, hot and cold, radiate heat continuously. Two objects of the same temperature in a perfectly insulated box continuously, perpetually, radiate heat to each other in a loop that has no end. That is how the universe works.

      • Crispin @Crispin in Waterloo
        November 8, 2016 at 9:28 pm:
        Except there is no such thing in the real universe. More to the point, Temp ’causes’ radiation via ‘heat’. Radiation does not cause heat unless by ‘doing work’ first, remembering always the T4 relationship. Lesser energy or even, even heat, can not perform work. You merely have spectral readings doing nowt but travel fast. Quantum oscillators do the thinking in your hypothetical situation luckily. Or no universe, just an eternally recurring ‘Big Bang’ stuck in a groove.

        Of more importance here is the work of real atmospheric physicists like Murry Salby. Perhaps Rud might give us the nuts and bolts of his dialogue with Murry, the points of difference re Murry’s solution, real physics hopefully that we can bite on…..

  13. Perhaps we’ve reached a tipping point and the triffids finally have sufficient CO2 to begin their takeover of the Earth. It could be worse than we thought.

    • The wording of the paper you link to is ambiguous it could be read as 3.4 petagrams a year. Although that is not what it says the rest of the paper does not make sense if you assume it is the total over 18 years. The paper in the above article says “between 3 and 4 petagrams a year” (a petagram is roughly a billion tons) which makes more sense. 200 million tons of carbon fixed a year does not sound anything like enough – particularly given our production of wheat biomass alone each year is 730 million tons – and that is just the seeds of the some plants grown on a small fraction of available agricultural land.. Add in all the rice, soya, grass and other agricultural crops along with the trees in all the forests and it seems to make more sense that it is more like the 3-4 billion tons a year.

      Guess you may need to recalibrate your BS sensor… ;-)

      Personally I think it is BS, but not for the reason you state. My view is that the level off in CO2 growth is much more likely to be linked to the pause in temperature.

  14. So warmth and CO2 yields more plants. And the climate kooks find in this news something to be worried about.

  15. My first thought was: On no, not another pause to argue about!

    My favorite word for vegetation is “relentless.” It grows and grows unless something is done about it. I do various things to keep it away from my house because of the potential for fire.
    [We are on the dry side of the Cascades in central Washington State where the main tree is the Ponderosa Pine.]
    We went to a presentation last month about wildfire in the Western USA. The term “megafire” is used. Here’s why:
    Prior to settlement by Europeans there were two sources of fire on the landscape. Lightening and Natives set fire. Nature could put the fires out. Natives learned to live with this, setting fires in spring and fall when the burn rate was slow. The advantages to fire included helping the growth of food plants and depressing very large hot fires – megafires. Natives lost these lands in sometimes slow and sometimes fast processes – another story.
    White settlers and, then in the early 1900s, the government began to put out fires and learned how to do so.
    For about 100 years, especially the last 50 or 60, fire suppression has been very successful. The landscape has been filling with trees and low woody plants. These grow, die, and produce fuel. The extra CO2 helps the growth. Meanwhile the forest products industry has declined.

    The presentation we witnessed included a small amount of climate change comments but not enough to destroy the message. That being that the landscape is growing increasingly prone to big hot destructive fires and top political types are ignoring the issue.

    A problem, also, is that homes are being built in the wildland – urban interface (the WUI — woo-E) where it is either impossible to protect or very costly to protect from a wildfire.

    When you see CAGW types jump on news of wildfires, be prepared. It is not really about climate change.

  16. without getting into politicking, even though we’re all watching tonite – with respect to the global warming issues, note that in this race ALL OF THE COMPUTER MODELS WERE WRONG! ALL OF THE PROJECTIONS WERE WRONG!!!

    A huge part of the country is in total shellshock tonight because they have never considered the possibility that all of their precious numbers were total crap!

  17. I am sure I have seen global temperature graphs with a very similar shape for the same time period. Makes you wonder if temperature is driving CO2 rather than vice versa.

  18. “And for that you can thank plants”…AND cyanobacteria. Anything photosynthetic will suck it up anywhere they can get it on this Pleistocene Carbon Starved Planet. Especially the premium grade more 12C product of human hydrocarbon combustion.

    And not only green things. Everything living on this planet evolved in a higher CO2 environment. The survivors of the many past crises have multiple facultative options. The carbonate shell critters can get their Carbon from carbonate, bicarbonate, or free swimming CO2. They are sucking it up too, the previously sequestered 12C in particular.

    Thinking there is a lesson for us here…

  19. To study these influences, the scientists used ten “global dynamic vegetation models” that predict how the terrestrial carbon cycle changes over time.

    So they modeled vegetation but didn’t bother to monitor phytoplankton in the ocean? Gotta love this modeling…

  20. ironic that in their modelling of the “greenhouse effect” they undervalued the very purpose of what greenhouses are actually used for…..

  21. For once, I would like to see a climate scientist use the actual numbers. They can’t. They just need to make up the numbers. They were the students who were failing math classes and switched to environmental science. That is what this is all about. We have an entire science that just ignores the actual data and makes it up because they don’t understand numbers but they like the narrative that GHGs are BAD.

  22. george e. smith November 8, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    “Actually when the oceans really cool and freeze then they emit copious amounts of CO2 which is not happy in the solid state environment of ice.”

    As someone who never progressed beyond school physics and has long forgotten even that, how then can ice cores provide accurate evidence of CO2 levels in previous centuries?

    (As someone who has been involved in fruit farming, I do not believe that dendrology can really provide accurate records of past levels of CO2 without significant subjective input.)

    So how do we know the true level of pre-industrial CO2? Should we cease disparaging Ernst Georg Beck?

    • The CO2 is preserved as microscopic bubbles in the ice, it is not dissolved in the ice like it is dissolved in the water.

      • TLM

        Thanks but how do we differentiate the between the bubbles that have been formed from “the copious amounts of CO2” that have just been emitted from the freezing water and that which is already in the surrounding atmosphere? And, while CO2 might not dissolve in ice, does that apply to other atmospheric gases? Particularly when under pressure?

        I am sure the answers must be simple. I really must start learning more chemistry, which I also gave up after leaving school!

      • “how do we differentiate the between the bubbles …”

        Not necessary since both source of CO2 track together. All the cores tell us is that there are relative differences, the size of the difference and absolute magnitude of the concentrations are just guesses.

        Its the same with temperatures which are determined primarily by the ratio of Deuterium to Hydrogen in the water since heavy water and light water have slightly different temperature dependencies on evaporation. Again, all we can tell is that there are relative differences, but the size of the differences and the absolute magnitudes are also just guesses. In addition, the ratio of D to H is dependent on the temperature of the ocean water that evaporated to produce the snow that turned to ice and not dependent on the temperature of where the core was drilled.

  23. > Kinetics come from the deltas between 2 snapshots

    I have never heard that argument used in context of climate change.
    If we assume climate as average over 30 years, so in _worst case_ since start of warming in 1970 we have already one data point!
    In 2020 we can draw a line.
    In 2050 we can use Taylor series to get a curve, and so on.

  24. **Unfortunately, this increase is nowhere near enough to stop climate change,” says Keenan,**
    He has to get his lick in even though he cannot prove it.

    • The only nearby astronomical body that doesn’t undergo climate change is the Moon. Arguably, Venus and Mercury don’t, but Mars does.

  25. Important findings. Remember, the relationship between emissions and concentrations is what caused Hansen’s 1988 predictions that were the basis of his Senate testimony to be so completely wrong.

    • Good point.

      Emissions have been dramatically higher than Hansen’s worst case Scenario A. But actual concentrations in the atmosphere have verified lower… more like Scenario B.

      So, Hansen apologists always say that “Scenario A did not happen” so his forecasts just look bad instead of terrible.

      But part of the error in forecasting is knowing all the feedbacks. Duh! One of the negative feedbacks is that CO2 drives plant growth which mitigates CO2.

      So, lets be clear. Hansen verified an “A+”. More emission have been dumped than his highest estimates. His errors… more was mitigated naturally and the ECS is also lower. The combination has been mighty rough on the famous 1988 forecasts.

      Forecasting is tough, especially when it concerns the future. Just ask pollsters.

      My comments above are broad-brushed…. would love to hear from some who know more specifics about exact Hansen values than I do

      • 2016 is being touted as the warmest on record. The problem is that it’s still below the lowest predictions. The models are wrong. A, b, or c .

    • I think this is in response to the huge amount of anthropogenic co2 that is is missing. During one year, I estimate that 80% of anthropogenic co2 just up and vanished. Over the last 10 years, NOAA says 50% goes into the sink. Overestimating the atmosphere, no year since 1998 has the amount been below 67% . Only this year has co2 ppm been consistent with production. And of course the rhetoric is 2016… warmest ever. Waiting for NOAA to adjust the numbers.

  26. I don’t know about anyone else, but the WUWT site has become almost unusable to me. The screen is constantly flipping back to whatever ad video is playing, and it freezes up constantly, with a message that I have an unresponsive script.

  27. Excerpted from article:

    In addition, the proportion of the CO2 emitted annually by human activity that remains in the atmosphere declined by about 20 percent. This slowdown can’t keep pace with emissions, so the overall amount of human-caused CO2 in the atmosphere increased, just not as quickly.

    And of course you had to ask yourself ……. just how in hell do those Climate Scientists tell the difference between the atmospheric CO2 that was emitted annually by human activities ……. and the atmospheric CO2 that was emitted annually by other processes?

    Well now, that is a CAGW secret they don’t want you to know ….. but I will tell you what it is, to wit:

    This is that nasty ole Anthropogenic Global Warming secret about CO2 that the proponents of CAGW are not telling you. Surprise, surprise, there are actually two (2) different types of CO2.

    There is both a naturally occurring CO2 molecule and a hybrid CO2 molecule that has a different physical property. The new hybrid CO2 molecule contains an H-pyron which permits one to distinguish it from the naturally occurring CO2 molecules.

    The H-pyron or Human-pyron is only attached to and/or can only be detected in CO2 molecules that have been created as a result of human activity. Said H-pyron has a Specific Heat Capacity of one (1) GWC or 1 Global Warming Calorie that is equal to 69 x 10 -37th kJ/kg K or something close to that or maybe farther away.

    Thus, said H-pyron is very important to all Climate Scientists that are proponents of CO2 causing Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) because it provides them a quasi-scientific “fact” that serves two (2) important functions: 1) it permits said climate scientists to calculate an estimated percentage of atmospheric CO2 that is “human caused” ……. and 2) it permits said climate scientists to calculate their desired “degree increase” in Average Global Temperatures that are directly attributed to human activity.

    As an added note, oftentimes one may hear said climate scientists refer to those two (2) types of CO2 as “urban CO2” and ”rural CO2” because they can’t deny “it is always hotter in the city”.

    And there you have it folks, the rest of the story, their secret scientific tool has been revealed to you.

    Yours truly, Eritas Fubar

  28. Once again researchers tie themselves in knots trying to make their results fit the IPCC statement “we are certain that increasing CO2 concentration causes increased temperature”. The error in this proposition can clearly be seen in a plot of the residual time series, after removal of the seasonal variation, for CO2 concentration, almost a straight line of positive slope, against satellite lower tropospheric temperature, a fluctuating time series whose slope is small compared to the variations from that trend.
    For example, the CO2 record for Mauna Loa relative to the satellite lower tropospheric temperature for the Tropics – Land component has been analysed using a First Order Autoregressive model. The correlation coefficient was 0.002 with 451 degrees of freedom and a t statistic of 0.047 implying a probability of 96% that the correlation coefficient is equal to Zero from the two-sided t-test.
    The authors contradict themselves with their statement “ we report a recent pause in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2, …………..We attribute the observed decline to increases in the terrestrial sink during the past decade, associated with the effects of rising atmospheric CO2 on vegetation and the slowdown in the rate of warming on global respiration.” The fact is that CO2 concentration has been rising continuously at the Mauna Loa Observatory since measurements began in 1959 so the supposed cause of their pause would always have been in effect.
    Instead of the multitude of effects, mathematical equations and computer simulations invoked by the authors there is one simple explanation, namely, that the rate of change of CO2 concentration is dependent on the temperature level. There was a pause in the increase in temperature for the 2002 to 2014 period which has been reflected in a pause in the rate of change of CO2 concentration.
    Confirming of this thesis is the analysis of the annual rate of change for CO2 at Mauna Loa verses the satellite lower tropospheric Tropics – Land temperature again using a First Order Autoregressive model. The correlation coefficient was 0.25 with 445 degrees of freedom and a t statistic of 5.38, implying an Infinitesimal probability that the coefficient is equal to zero from a two-sided t-test.

  29. This quote from the article is bass-ackwards, no?

    “Plant respiration, a process in which plants use oxygen and produce CO2, did not increase as quickly as photosynthesis in recent years.”

  30. Billions on carbon capturing has been spent. How about stopping the production of biofuels and giving the land back to nature instead. Seems like it does a better job than we can ever do.

  31. I predicted here at wuwt this would happen after it was reported that the planet is greening and that photo-plankton were increasing a few years ago. I recall that although Ferdinand Engelbert was active on the thread, my idea didn’t get any traction with commenters. Could it be that Berkley Labs noticed my simple, self evident prediction? One day with the internet it will be possible to claim prior “discovery” and one can have their idea added to the bibliography at least.

  32. Bartemis & gallopingcamel

    Not exactly what you are looking for, but this may be of interest: http://www.biogeosciences.net/1/101/2004/bg-1-101-2004.pdf.

    The d13C data is the key here, but in the absence of specific numbers there are some general concepts worth keeping in mind.

    1. During a La Nina, upwelling of nutrients is high, CO2 content in the ocean waters is high and O2 is very low. In this situation, phytoplankton are busy reproducing like there’s no tomorrow and using up lots of CO2 and hence less is released to the atmosphere (but with a d13C of around zero). In addition, O2 is very low and hence one might expect more to move from air to ocean (see paper).

    2. During an El Nino, the upwelling of nutrients is shut off and the phytoplankton die off. This will presumably lead to high levels of CO2 in the near surface waters and, in these warmer waters,, this might lead to an increased release of CO2 into the atmosphere with plant-level d13C content (i.e closer to -26 per mil).

    Just saying.

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