"worse than we thought" – Action is needed to make stagnant CO2 emissions fall



Without a significant effort to reduce greenhouse gases, including an accelerated deployment of technologies for capturing atmospheric carbon and storing it underground, and sustained growth in renewables such as wind and solar, the world could miss a key global temperature target set by the Paris Agreement and the long-term goal of net-zero climate pollution.

The finding, published in the Jan. 30 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change, is part of a new study that aims to track the progress and compare emission pledges of more than 150 nations that signed the Paris Agreement, a 2015 United Nations convention that aims to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels — the threshold that scientists have marked as the point of no return for catastrophic warming.

“The good news is that fossil fuel emissions have been flat for three years in a row,” said Robert Jackson, chair of the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. “Now we need actual reductions in global emissions and careful tracking of emission pledges and country-level statistics.”

In the new study, Jackson and his colleagues developed a nested family of metrics that can be used to track different national emissions pledges and thus global progress toward the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Applying their method to the recent past, the researchers found that global carbon dioxide emissions have remained steady at around 36 gigatons of carbon dioxide for the third year in a row in 2016.

“The rapid deployment of wind and solar is starting to have an effect globally, and in key players such as China, the U.S. and the European Union,” said Glen Peters, senior researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO) and lead author for the study. “The challenge is to substantially accelerate the new additions of wind and solar, and find solutions for effectively integrating these into existing electricity networks.”

However, wind and solar alone won’t be sufficient to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. When the researchers examined the drivers behind the recent slowdown, they found that most of them boiled down to economic factors and reduced coal use, mostly in China but also the United States.

In China, the decline in coal use was driven by reduced output of cement, steel and other energy-intensive products, as well as a dire need to alleviate outdoor air pollution, which is responsible for more than 1 million premature deaths annually.

The reasons for the decline in the United States were more complex, driven not only by a decline in coal use but also by gains in energy efficiency in the industrial sector and the rapid rise of natural gas and wind and solar power. “2016 was the first year that natural gas surpassed coal for electricity generation,” said Jackson, who is also chair of the Global Carbon Project, which tracks the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by humans each year.

Looking to the future, the researchers predict that the greatest challenge to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement is the slower than expected rollout of carbon capture and storage technologies. Most scenarios suggest the need for thousands of facilities with carbon capture and storage by 2030, the researchers say, far below the tens that are currently proposed.

Jackson notes that carbon capture and storage technology will prove even more crucial if President Donald Trump follows through with his campaign pledge of resuscitating the nation’s struggling coal industry.

“There’s no way to reduce the carbon emissions associated with coal without carbon capture and storage,” Jackson said.

Jackson is also a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy.


Other authors on the study, titled “Key indicators to track current progress and future ambition of the Paris Agreement,” include Robbie Andrews and Jan Ivar Korsbakken of CICERO; Josep Canadell of the Global Carbon Project; Sabine Fuss of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change; Corinne Le Que?re? of the University of East Anglia; and Nebojsa Nakicenovic of IIASA, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Funding was provided by the Research Council of Norway and the National Environmental Science Program-Earth Systems and Climate Change (NESP-ESCC) Hub.

122 thoughts on “"worse than we thought" – Action is needed to make stagnant CO2 emissions fall

    • We need to take out the El Niño effect, because it may have slowed down the rate of increase. Maybe the amount of CO2 taken by carbon sinks will increase slightly as CO2 concentration rises? Do they have a limit?

      • Maybe, but you can go back and look at events like the Yellowstone fires, volcanoes, etc etc, and nothing seems to alter the path of CO2 much. El Nino or not, IMHO we aren’t getting any benefit for the huge costs. CO2 simply isn’t a problem, it is a huge benefit. We feed far more people with far less farmland at far less cost. Also, cheap carbon powers the world and improves the lives of everyone that uses is.

      • I do not agree CO2 emissions are beneficial in the long term, nor do I feel subsidizing any particular energy makes much sense. We do have to worry about running out of fossil fuel resources (I believe we discussed that extensively in a post last week).
        I do want to repeat my earlier point: is it conceivable that flattening the emissions will flatten the concentration curve?

      • fernandoleanme:
        What has been shown to reduce CO2 emissions in the past is a nice, solid recession. During the Global Financial Crisis, human CO2 emissions went down in most countries.
        On the other hand, since humans only contribute about 5% of the world’s CO2 emissions, it shouldn’t surprise anybody that reductions in our emissions don’t show up in any of the measurements like Mauna Loa.

      • It is clear in the last 60 years that atmospheric CO2 increases have been linear, despite out rapid nonlinear increases in CO2 emissions. As we are having not effect on CO2, then we are having no effect on climate through CO2. That along obviates and negates all hyper expensive unsustainable wind, solar and biofuel money-wasting projects. It’s time to kill these programs, all subsidies, cut them lose and let them die. I would, however, not allow any bankruptcies that seek to reorganize. They need to go away and the Federal Superfund needs to be tasked to cleaning up the dead wind farms and environmentally unfriendly infrastructure.

        • Thanks for pointing that out about the the difference between the linear increase in co2 and the non linear production. NOAA is doing all sorts of things to cover this up. The amount of co2 missing in the environment is nothing short of astonishing. Most recently they’ve moved the production down from 38 to 36 gigatons. ” steady for the last 3 years ” … somehow they think a slight drop in US production outweighs the dramatic increase in China. It’s probably around 40 to 42 gigatons.
          While they were adjusting temperature over the last 15 or 20 years, they never adjusted the co2 record. Since it has been brought to their attention (Feb 2015) that co2 follows the temperature, they adjusted the co2 record. CAGW has a very big problem in their story.
          It’s just a matter of time before others start to see this. It really is the definition of fail for AGW.
          World output was 37 gigatons in 2013. As if production went to 36.. in their dreams.
          That same year in 2015, they started talking about production for the upcoming years as being flat. I believe I saw the first article from the chairwoman from the EEC.

      • There’s zero doubt CO2 emissions are beneficial in the long run. Not sure people realize the next Ice Age could lower CO2 concentrations and increase aridity to a point that could reduce overall ag yields by 90% even before we talk about the direct losses of arable land to colder temps. Humanity might not survive that, civilization probably would not.

      • “We need to take out the El Niño effect, because it may have slowed down the rate of increase.”
        No, the El Nino accelerated the rate of increase in concentration, at the same time emissions are said to have tailed off.
        At all times, the rate of change of atmospheric concentration tracks temperature anomaly – it slowed for the “pause” in temperatures while emissions were accelerating. It accelerated for the El Nino when emissions were leveling off.
        Sooner or later, people will realize that concentration isn’t actually tracking emissions at all.

      • “We need to take out the El Niño effect, because it may have slowed down the rate of increase.”

        Warming water is an emission source for CO2.
        Chilling ocean water increases CO2 absorption.

    • 1) “Flattening emissions” is not the same as reducing emissions, nor is it the same as “zero net emissions”. There is a delay in adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere vs a response in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. This has a lot to do with the carbon cycle.
      2) The concentration will continue to rise as long as the mass balance of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is positive. Worldwide 36 gigatonnes of CO2 are emitted each year. If the net removal of carbon dioxide due to rainfall and other effects is 28 gigatonnes per year, then you will still have an increase of 2 ppm per year.
      3) Volcanoes add ~0.2 gigatonnes of CO2 each year. Emissions from one major volcanic eruption is negligible. For instance, MT. Pinatubo added 0.05 gigatonnes of CO2. The fires from Yellowstone are less significant.
      4) CO2 concentration increases are only linear over a short period of time. The rate of removal increases with concentration, so it is not as steep a slope as would otherwise be.
      There are valid arguments against climate change dogma and invalid ones. One fact is clear — humans are the primary drivers behind CO2 increases. I don’t know of anybody who disputes that.

      • CO2 will continue to increase as long as the oceans continue to warm. The flux between the oceans and atmosphere dwarf anything man creates.

      • That is also true — certainly as long as the atmosphere is gaining more CO2 than losing it, then CO2 will rise. CO2 is removed through rain and plant photosynthesis. It is gained through a number of natural and man-made processes.
        The tricky part is the warming of the oceans — how much is natural and how much is a result of AGW. I tend to consider the positive feedback of AGW to be small (similar to Watts’ report yesterday that gives an ECS of ~ 1.2).

      • Lorcanbonda:
        Those numbers are estimates solely.
        From some desk bound bean counter who tallied subjectively selected sources as their confirmation bias.
        Not physical measurements of CO2.
        Some curiosities in USGS/NOAA carbon estimates.
        A) Their estimates do not match the actual observed CO2 emissions as captured by the OCO-2 satellite.
        B) Their volcanic CO2 emission estimates are, perhaps idiotic.
        — a) USGS estimates of Kilauea CO2 estimates range from eruption discharges between 8,000 and 30,000 metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each day.
        — b) Kilauea is not explosively violent with it’s rather fluid lava and Kilauea’s location over a hot spot, not a tectonic locations where extensive carbonaceous material is folded deep into the Earth.
        — c) Kilauea’s mild CO2 emissions still rate at 2.92 million metric tonnes to 10.95 million metric tonnes of CO2 per annum.
        — d) Whoever tallied up a CO2 emissions volume for all active and sleeping volcanoes worldwide had trouble with their basic math skill. 100 rather sleepy volcano emissions easily reach a billion metric tonnes per year. A truly eruptive volcano makes billions of metric tonnes of CO2 per year a rather easy target.
        — e) This is without an accurate estimate for tens of thousands of miles (kilometers) of rift emissions worldwide.
        C) Yellowstone is an active volcano, that is not currently truly active. Even as a sleeping giant it is an immense source of CO2.

        Ms. Werner and her colleagues found that Yellowstone’s Mud Volcano area produced about 176,300 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
        Loosely expanding those figures based on the park’s underlying geology, they suggest that each year the entire park may emit about 44 million tons of carbon dioxide, a colorless, odorless and incombustible gas.

        — a) Considering the size of the mud volcano and the sheer size of Yellowstone, that is likely an extremely conservative estimate. Yellowstone has several areas venting CO2 that are dangerous to wildlife when winds are mild. Suffocating wildlife with CO2 require very large volumes of CO2.
        — b) There is evidence that CO2 is a key component to erupting geysers. The entire park and surrounding regions are host to thousands of hot springs and geysers. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/26/us/yellowstone-park-emits-tons-of-carbon-dioxide-study-finds.html
        — c) Hot springs are common in the Western United States, and most if not all, bubble CO2 constantly.
        — d) There are numerous mud volcano spots in the American West, several that are famous. Just as the Yellowstone mud volcano area, these are also sources for CO2.
        D) Estimates for CO2 from past eruptions have been severely minimized.
        — a) Mount St Helens erupted March 18th: Recent estimates for CO2 emissions during the eruption are quite small.

        On May 18, 1980, the volcano lost an estimated 2.6 billion cubic meters (3.4 billion cubic yards or 0.63 cubic mile) of its cone (about 400 m or 1,300 ft in height)

        — b) Perhaps USGS believes it was toothpaste that blew 3.4 billion cubic yards of rock along with the volcano’s magma chamber high into the sky.
        E) Expanding these considerations to worldwide volcanic CO2 emissions simply dwarfs the dismally politic USGS/NOAA volcanic CO2 emissions.

    • The Exxon 2040 report clearly shows that in Germany the increase in renewables barely compensates for the phasing out of nuclear. Renewable subsidies having priced natural gas out of the market, coal use is increasing rapidly as the German economy attempts to cope with the fall-out of the “energiewende” and keep the factory lights on in the high value-added industries in the South.

      • Out of all the countries on earth, Germany is one of the least likely to be able to rely on alternative energy, especially Solar. WWII should have taught them something about the importance of fossil fuels. An industrial nation doesn’t run well without it.

    • So what is the red curve and what is the black curve??
      They can’t both be the MAUNA LOA CO2.
      I smell a rat.
      Why did NOA disremember where they stashed that global pole to pole 3-dee CO2 graph that shows just how well unmixed CO2 is in the atmosphere.

      • Wind and solar make up only 0.5%? How is that possible? Official data for the U.S. says wind and solar made up 6.7% of their energy consumption in 2015 (7.4% of energy production). China’s wind and solar production is supposedly at around 5% and it is not worse in Europe.

      • According to the BP world energy review, in 2015, renewables (wind, solar and biomass) contributed 364.9 million tonnes of oil equivalent to the world’s primary energy consumption. The total energy consumption was 13147.3 million TOE. According to my math, renewables therefore contributed a whopping 2.8% of the total . This had an effect on CO2 emissions? Can we measure things that precisely? And by the way. The contribution of renewables will grow quickly to reach about 9% by 2035, However, fossil fuel consumption will also grow, albeit at a slower rate, so in absolute terms, CO2 will continue to increase, notwithstanding the contribution of renewables.

        • I’m not sure demand for fossil fuel demand will taper. There are a lot of people in India and China still riding bikes.

    • fernandoleanme on January 31, 2017 at 12:42 am
      What do the carbon cycle and climate models predict if emissions stay flat for 83 years until 2100? I could try to estimate it with my spreadsheet.
      No need for spreadsheet, fernandoleanme.
      if that’s worth knowing it’ll be in the news in 2100.

      • The prediction is for a world total economic collapse.
        That’s the only way that CO2 is going to go down.

  1. So we employ draconian measures to gut our own industries and thus cut CO2 emissions.
    But China is off the hook and will let its emissions skyrocket. All the industry that we destroy in our country will simply be taken over by China. Our likely foe. While we work overtime to knock out our own productive capability, China’s will soar and so will their military development. China will have us between a rock and a hard place, and they will laugh at our elitist driven self-destructive idiocy.
    End all funding for politicized science!
    No more money for the doomsaying leftists and their very dangerous climate propaganda.

  2. If your science is good. If you can fairly and honestly convince the people to vote it in you will have it
    If don’t do the above we will continue to do what we are doing to you today.
    Not that complicated really

  3. “The good news is that fossil fuel emissions have been flat for three years in a row”
    Well, that’s very positive progress in my books. It looks like renewables are having an effect. To be honest, if CO2 levels don’t fall, it’s probably nowhere near as serious as if they start rising again. Now and again, humanity needs a pat on the back when it is making progress, even if the progress is minor.

  4. ” …….. the world COULD miss a key global temperature target ….. ”
    On the other hand, it might not.
    And either way, how much would it matter?

  5. So, in other words, cutting to the chase, could, expected, projected, Carbon Capture…Send More Money!

  6. If CO2 reallly acts as the global warming control knob then an analysis of global temperature and CO2 and temperature over the past 500,000 years indicates that temperatures will continue to climb unless we very significantly reduce the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere which is way beyond the Paris Climate Agreement’s effort. The Paris Climate Agreement effort will make no real difference so that rather then spending the money to reduce the increase in CO2 in our atmosphere we would be better off spending the money to better adapt to a warmer climate. However if we consider what the IPCC has actually accomplished and the true state of the science involved, one will conclude that CO2 has no affect on climate and hence the Paris Climate Agreement will have no effect on climate and we would all be better off if the money were spent on other problems. The best way to sequester carbon is to leave it in the ground and to promote more forests. The key to all of this is to gradually reduce human population and hence the human demand for energy. A smaller human population will make it easier for Mankind to adapt to future climate change. We do not need to change human population very rapidly because the climate change we have been experiencing is so slow that if takes very sophisticated instrumentation operating for many years to even detect it.

    • Your first word says it all, really. “If”. Measurements have shown that CO2 has no effect on the world’s temperature. The rest is just virtue signalling by moving funds from first world people into the private accounts of the world’s most corrupt.

    • Willhass: The best way to reduce population growth is to improve living standards around the globe. Where they are highest (Europe, America, Japan, Australia, etc.) the population growth isn’t sufficient to maintain population levels. The best way to improve living standards is to make cheap, reliable energy available to all. Cheap, reliable energy means fossil fuels and/or nuclear.

    • “The key to all of this is to gradually reduce human population and hence the human demand for energy. A smaller human population will make it easier for Mankind to adapt to future climate change.”
      Yes, and fortunately, no one needs to do anything because this ( populations deceleration/decline ) is already happening as a result of economic development ( The irony being that environmentalists have worked against economic development when that actually reduces human footprint ).
      As I posted below, (more than)72% of CO2 emissions are occurring from countries with below replacement fertility rates.

    • But Al Gore said that the science is settled and if Al Gore said it then it must be true. Hence the statements in this article must be wrong so the entire article must also be wrong. Long life Al Gore.

  7. We are squandering the natgas bonanza on electricity. Use coal. 1,500ppm should be our target level of CO2, the average for the late Phanerozoic. As we develop new nuclear power, promote concrete construction as a way to keep CO2 at a healthy level. In any event, the interglacial is ending and CO2 may drop back to depletion levels no matter what we do, especially if the Left succeeds in destroying industrial civilization.

  8. including an accelerated deployment of technologies for capturing atmospheric carbon and storing it underground,
    WHen should we stop? When all lif is dead?

    • I think that is what many of these morons would like. Having read millions of words about climate and warming I have come to the conclusion that we need to do nothing, except to live our lives freely and comfortably, with cars, and heat and air conditioning.

  9. Never understood their plans of storing carbon in the ground. Do they not realize CO2 will be expelled when they build said facilities? Do they really think a trace gas is going to stay locked in the ground? It’s as if these lads have never tested a science experiment in their lives.

    • They are not storing it as a trace gas in the ground. Sounds like you haven’t been involved in much science during your lifetime.

    • What I don’t understand is why fools who actually WANT to sequester CO2 think this is a difficult or expensive, highly technical problem. All we would need to do is bury unwanted biomass and unwanted woody plants in a dry hole. Millions if not billions of tons of this stuff are burned along roadsides and ditches every year. Of course, it would require an organized effort of cutting and baling and moving the biomass over long distances, which would not be free and which would use valuable energy and labor to solve a non-problem. But we’re already doing this in part, via the wood pellet program that sends wood to England to be burned in former coal generating plants. We would not need to capture gaseous CO2 or store CO2 gas underground under high pressure. Burying biomass would be akin to making future (renewable) coal. I’m NOT advocating for doing this. I’m only pointing out that this would be a smaller, simpler, less technological idiotic folly than are all the other scalable CCS plans I’ve seen.

  10. The graph shows CO2 emissions from the “EU28” from 1990 to the present day. But the EU has only had 28 states since 2015, so I’m guessing the data is for states that happened to be in the EU at each particular year. As poorer states were admitted over the years it doesn’t appear to be a consistent way to measure EU emissions per capita to me!
    I’m interested to know how much the graph line has been affected by states gradually joining over the years. Maybe a better graph from them would have been CO2 emissions per capita from only states that were in the EU in 1990?

  11. “Explosive and policy-driven growth in wind and solar has contributed to the global emissions slowdown, but has been less important than economic factors and energy efficiency. … the continued lack of large-scale carbon capture and storage threatens 2030 targets and the longer-term Paris ambition of net-zero emissions.”
    “It is uncertain whether bioenergy can be sustainably produced and made carbon-neutral at the scales required. Compounding this, without large-scale CCS deployment, most models cannot produce emission pathways consistent with the 2 °C goal. Despite its importance, CCS deployment has continued to lag behind expectations. Emission scenarios require a rapid ramp-up of CCS facilities, potentially 4000 facilities by 2030 … compared to the tens currently proposed by 2020. ”
    The paper also shows that hydro is maximized already, nuclear in most scenarios should grow as well, as should traditional biomass. Furthermore, bioenergy + CCS should simply explode in 25 years from nowhere/near zero to become the dominant energy source.
    In summary: RE has remained minor in controlling CO2 recent emissions, and the future looks bleak.

  12. There is no manmade technology that captures CO2 out of the atmosphere and stores it underground to deploy. Unless one counts planting trees. The authors of the Stanford article should apologize. Stanford should be ashamed.

  13. The Eemian interglacial 128,000 years ago was 2.5C warmer than the pre-industrial, let’s say about 1.8C higher than today’s temperatures.
    Did the world end? Most of the evidence says that it was quite nice. CO2 peak 285 ppm.

  14. That’s a way of trimming a little co2 here a little co2 there, see none missing. When did it become 36 instead of 38 gigatons ? Do you really believe that world production remained flat ? So for the offical record they were able to use magic numbers to account for an additional 6 gigatons by reducing the amount produced over 3 years. … I think the real production is between 40 and 42 gigatons.

    • tony mcleod
      January 31, 2017 at 4:59 am
      Pretty quick to jump to the ‘tangled web’ conclusion there. No other possible explanations?
      Please present your other explanations in detail

    • In 2013 it was 37 and 38 in 2014, and close to 39 sometime in 2015. Perhaps if I drink the same acid laced cool aide I’d see it at 36 too.

    • I have one Tony, co2 follows temperature.
      The point is that I don’t believe that world production fell to 36 gigatons. It was 37 in 2013, and was increasing and has been increasing a gigaton a year, 38 in 2014 and was close to 39 in the middle of 2015. And all of a sudden, it fell to 36 ? CAGW theory has a big problem with co2. ..
      Why did I stop in the middle of 2015 ? The offical numbers started changing AFTER they were shown that co2 follows temperature.

      • Yes, it was published. On the NOAA websites, and further referenced from argument on this site and others. Also the world Almanac quotes the original sources, as well as the Economist sends out a little booklet every year with the amounts and source of reference.

        • You have to work with what you have. It’s their data, and my analysis of it showed co2 following temperature. They’ve changed both co2 and temperature. 2005 the ppm stood at 2.52 ppm until 2015 until it magically became 3.10 ppm. Why is that important ? First, it didn’t follow the temperature and second, no where in the record for the last 60 plus years did the co2 record exceed the record of the sunspot lows where cosmic rays where a factor. Notably in 1962/1963. 2005 all of a sudden exceeded 1998. All of their records show that there has been an underlying warming trend and co2 follows. That’s wha
          As someone else has pointed out the rise is linear while the production has been non linear.. I just responded to that this morning. And to Pam as well.
          They put what I was thinking into words that I think most can understand.

          • Because the amounts are small, temperatures are measured in tenths of a degree and ppm are measured from 1 to 3, on a yearly time scale. It’s a good fit. A really good fit. With multivariable it’s even better with solar cycles and cosmic rays.
            I haven’t seen the cosmic ray activity lately. However, if last year 2016 came in at just 3. Something … that’s too low. Either a combination of cosmic rays and temperature or they are telling stories about the temperature and co2 levels. Since NOAA has started to change the data, it’s difficult to know. But the count of co2 is too low for the temperature they claim. Only an increase in cosmic ray activity would lower it.

      • Once upon a time the method used was using the published data for fossil fuel extraction, they had a pretty good estimate on how much co2 was produced from each ton of coal, barrel of oil or natural gas. Each of the fossil fuels could be further refined by type of product and type of plant burning it. In the absence of anything else, I believed the numbers to be reliable until recently. I really don’t think the world consumed less fossil fuels. Part of that is the massive amounts of oil and gas produced in the US.
        There are a lot of variables in the concentration of co2 per anthropogenic in the atmosphere. One of which is forest fires. It was discovered that one forest fire produces as much as California does in a year. That wouldn’t be a problem if the number of fires from year to year were about the same. In the climate circles it is assumed that burning wood is carbon neutral. That’s why Germany is burning so much of it from the US.
        There is a disconnect between the assertions and how much AGW and associates are guessing. Directly, the difference between 1998 and 1999 that didn’t make it in to the atmosphere was 2 ppm which is 12 BMT… and if the sink is included is 24 BMT. CAGW likes to say that’s variation. Each and every year the co2 never comes up to what it should be.
        Don’t take my word for it, download the data into a speadsheet, and analysis it. The simplest is in one column temperature anomolies for each year, and co2 ppm for the year and graph it. You can produce more sophisticated graphs with interdependent variables.
        The co2 increase is from an underlying warming trend. From solar cycle to solar cycle it peaks a little higher nothing is/was higher until a new solar cycle. NOAA is working very hard to change that. CAGW has a big problem.

  15. The most deranged notion in this article is Stanford’s press for “an accelerated deployment of technologies for capturing atmospheric carbon and storing it underground.” We’re talking baby vs. bathwater on a vast scale. Both carbon AND oxygen separately, and carbon and oxygen together are necessary for life. Every CO2 molecule has two oxygen atoms buttoned to each carbon. That means “storing it underground” throws out two babies each time you empty the tub.
    On top of that is the NIMBY problem. Who’s going to vote for a gigantic “carbon dioxide sequestration facility” located under their town or county? CO2 in parts per million is no big deal. Venting high concentrations of it in the event of a storage leak, could be a big deal. In view of the worst-case scenarios “deployed” by activists against spent nuclear fuel, ordinary garbage dumps, pipelines, factories and ordinary power plants, what’s the likelihood anyone’s going to favor sequestration?
    Just another indicator that enviros prefer arguing how many eco-angels can dance on the heads of pins, rather than reality.

  16. Maybe human emissions have plateaued but the environment has become a larger source or a smaller sink or both in that time.

  17. Obviously these people are pretty damn ignorant about the coming nuclear power revolution in the form of molten salt reactors, which can be deployed very quickly and eliminate any ideas of using solar/wind for power. Do these people live on Mars?

    • They live in Grauniad horror-fantasy land, a so miserable world, where children are world-destroying pest, more awful than gremlins, that women have rather not giving birth.

  18. I could be wrong here, if so please correct me gently.
    Regarding Portland cement and concrete, making Portland cement releases carbon dioxide from two sources. The first is the source of heat required to drive the chemical reactions, the second is the carbon dioxide liberated from the lime or chalk BY those chemical reactions. Most if not all of the second category of carbon dioxide is taken up again by the concrete or mortar curing process. Does the emission data quoted in the post account for this?
    If I’m right, surely making Portland cement by using nuclear power for heating would be largely ‘carbon neutral’.

    • The hydration (curing) of Portland cement in concrete does not take up carbon dioxide. The hydration process uses water to form calcium silicate hydrates as the main reaction product and creates a by-product in the form of calcium hydroxide, which can be brought to the surface of the concrete by water movement through the concrete. There, the calcium hydroxide can combine with carbon dioxide to form calcium carbonate, that undesirable whitish substance that forms on concrete called efflorescence. Additives such as fly ash and metakaolin can stop or greatly reduce even that reaction by reacting with the calcium hydroxide to form more cementitious material within the concrete, thus dramatically reducing or preventing its reaction with carbon dioxide and, thus, eliminating efflorescence on the surface.

      • Thank you, Don Perry, for putting me right and for doing it gently. Can I now claim that my theory/hypothesis/conjecture has been falsified?!?

      • Pete W. Your “theory” is not entirely without merit. The reaction that takes place on the surface of concrete to cause efflorescence also, over time, will take place within the concrete mass itself and is dependent on a number of variables that influence how much carbon dioxide is introduced into the concrete matrix. The same production of calcium carbonate within the concrete matrix does occur and carbon dioxide is thus taken up by concrete, but over a long time period. The concrete slowly is returned to its original calcium carbonate “limestone”. The actual degree to which this takes place and over what period of time is not well-documented. The cement industry would like to tout concrete’s “carbon neutral” nature, but there just is no enough data to support that. Also, modern concretes, as I have said, work to eliminate the carbonation reaction, as it is called, as that is a source of the long-term deterioration of concrete. So, your hypothesis is not totally falsified at this time, as the data are scarce. From a practical standpoint, however, there is not a strong argument for “carbon neutrality:.

  19. Or even worse :
    Without a significant effort to reduce greenhouse gases, the world could REACH the key global temperature target set by the Paris Agreement (very unlikely that temperature rise by 2 K).
    That would disprove the theory and expose the CAGW scheme.
    So you must make every effort to prevent this catastroph, that is, curb CO2, so it can be pretended that the effort succedeed when temperature won’t rise.

  20. The question is, should we be worried about the warming caused by GH gases and of course by CO2? No, we should not.
    According to IPCC the RF (Radiative Forcing) is related to the surface temperature according to a very simple equation dT = CSP * RF, where dT is a temperature change at the surface and CSP is a climate sensitivity parameter (lambda). According to IPCC the value of CSP is 0.5 K/(W/m2) and it is almost constant. IPCC has used a lot of of work and money for composing AR5 and showing that the RF value of 2.34 W/m2 has been caused by the anthropogenic drivers (98 %) and by the sun (2 %). But surprise, surprise, in AR5 IPCC does not inform what is the dT value of RF value of 2.34 W/m2. Missing calculation skills are not the reason. There are 1552 pages in the Physical Science Basis of AR5, but this information cannot be found. I have challenged many people to find it but no results so far.
    Well, the connection between the RF and dT is as simple as it could be: dT = 0.5 K/(W/m2) * 2.34 W/m2 = 1.17 K = 1.17 Celsius degrees. The error between the IPCC model and the observed temperature is 1.17 C – 0.85 C = 0.32 C, which means a substantial error of 38 % in 2011. What is this error in the end of 2016? NOAA a very IPCC-minded organization and they publish the annual RF values of GH gases. The increase from 2011 to the end 2016 is 0.15 W/m2. It means that the estimated RF value of 2016 would be 2.34+0.15 = 2.57 W/m2 corresponding to the global temperature increase of 1.27 C. This value is 49.4 % higher than the observed temperature 0.85 °C, which has stayed about constant since 2000. This is illustrated in figure below.

    • Aveo–
      Very nice discussion and graph. However, you state that the IPCC value for lambda is 0.5, but I think that AR5 finally punted on a value for lambda. Previous reports had always estimated climate sensitivity at 3K per CO2 doubling, but AR5 chose to present only the range (1.5-4.5K) without selecting a best value. No doubt they were seeing the handwriting on the wall from Otto et al, Nic Lewis, etc. showing that the climate sensitivity was lower, perhaps half of what they said previously. In that case, they are no longer making an error as large (32-50%) as what you show. Perhaps they are right on! This would be a first for IPCC.

  21. If emission models do not correlate with direct measures then the current paradigm has false parameters. Those parameters could be any number of things, even that human emissions have no affect on the rise in CO2, leaving the null hypothesis in place, that is that the measured trend in CO2 is from natural processes.

    • Pamela. This claim is easy to prove to be wrong. The percentage of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere is 8 %. Where does it come from? It is very obvious that it is there, because there are human emissions into the atmosphere every year. They cannot disappear directly into the ocean or into the biosphere.

      • aveollila @January 31, 2017 at 8:19 am
        “It is very obvious that it is there, because there are human emissions into the atmosphere every year. They cannot disappear directly into the ocean or into the biosphere.”
        They surely can, and they do. I outlined a toy model that describes how it can do so here.
        There is very little doubt about it. Concentration does not track anthropogenic emissions.

    • Pam that’s exactly what the record of co2 and temperature showed. ( before they started changing it) . I’ve been saying something like this for a year and a half now. Thank you, it is well said.
      You are probably familiar with the early arguments that they could tell anthropogenic co2 from natural by the isotopic ratios. Meaning that since anthropogenic co2 came from burning buried fuels it would have have less isotopes. Then the greens forgot about this argument in favor that anthropogenic co2 was producing co2 that was higher in isotopes than normal co2. They don’t know. ( it was a major point in that gas leak near Los Angeles, they included in all anthropogenic co2) it’s also the reason they put up a satellite to measure co2 world wide.

  22. If emissions plateaued, that’s the rate of the rate of increase (I repeat: rate of rate; acceleration) that gets reduced. The rate of increase keeps the same instead of getting stronger, getting linear instead of quadratic, but that won’t show in just three (or even 10!) years.

  23. Well spotted Anthony.
    I rather fancy that the Stanford School of Climate Clowns will now realise that their asylum is a crock. They probably do not even realise how much their nonsense is detested, especially when you get to know how much grant money they have sucked out of the eco-tard-approved system.
    Millions and millions of OPM.
    Well, look who’s in charge (of OPM) now. Let their “carbon-waling” begin. Yippee !
    LMofBr has rumbled their little game (yet again). Bloody marvellous !

  24. I love the chart by co2islife, comparing dollars spent on the “CO2” scientific chart. However, the chart is doing a great disservice by not expanding the CO2 side of the chart to the actual dollars spent. If this chart reflected CO2 concentration to dollars spent properly, it actually would look more like Al Gore’s hockey stick, with spending starting below 100 PPM and showing CO2 concentrations above 750PPM currently. (The left side of the chart should correlate with the actual dollars spent, not stop at 400 PPM). If this chart was placed side by side to Al Gore’s hockey stick I think it would be a stunning wake up call to the vast waste of taxpayer dollars.

  25. Until someone explains how Russ George’s iron seeding experiment couldn’t be replicated around the world, expanding fisheries and feeding hundreds of millions, I will continue to view atmospheric CO2 as a resource, not a problem.

  26. I like how those per capita emissions graphs always seem to ignore those nations who have similar or higher per capita emissions than the United States.
    Among those nations are Australia and Canada (along with most of OPEC). The common connection between these nations is the continent width and an effective desert in the middle. This increases transportation costs relative to other nations as good or fuel are moved from one coast to the other. (Ironically, Luxembourg and Montserrat are among the highest per capita nations),

  27. “The finding, published in the Jan. 30 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change, is part of a new study that aims to track the progress and compare emission pledges of more than 150 nations that signed the Paris Agreement, a 2015 United Nations convention that aims to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels — the threshold that scientists have marked as the point of no return for catastrophic warming.”
    What scientists have determined this 2C is a tipping point? I keep hearing it quoted but have never seen any evidence it has even been considered by scientists. It was originally dreamed up by WWF as a point of political motivation. has anyone questioned these authors about their source for this statement?

  28. According to a study reported in The Economist a few months back, renewables have not yet achieved any reduction in C02 emissions. (No I wont go looking for it, take my word for it). One can usually find these articles by using different key words in a search
    This relates to R&D, installation, and inefficient manufacturing as compared to the hydrocarbon industry. Remember that all those modern materials used in renewables have to be mined, and/or processed. Composites are usually manufactured from hydrocarbons
    A wind farm was erected nearby from where I write. The earth works alone was substantial – powered by diesel (bring on the electric bulldozers!). A whole new access road was formed. The heavy equipment coming in stuffed our existing road, much of which had to be re-sealed. With what? bitumen. If we could calculate all the diesel alone used in that development it has an awful lot of catching up to do. I wonder if ever will, given that its lifetime is (apparently) 30 years
    I don’t think that you will find a factory producing the alloys used in a wind turbine blade being powered by wind turbines 🙂 – or a renewable-powered cement factory that is required to build the substantial concrete foundations
    The Economist study predicts that any savings “should” show up from here on in
    I have also been told about a study that shows a gas-guzzling 1960 Chevy V8 has a lower environmental impact throughout its manufacture and lifetime than a modern electric car.
    These are the issues that need to be exposed to the public

  29. All peer reviewed data that I have found show that CO2 is coming from the ocean and not from Fossil Fuels. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257343053_The_phase_relation_between_atmospheric_carbon_dioxide_and_global_temperature?enrichId=rgreq-9cd45871f5c4b32573881229a9638562-XXX&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzI1NzM0MzA1MztBUzozMzg4NzQyODM5MDUwMjRAMTQ1NzgwNTMzMzYyOA%3D%3D&el=1_x_3&_esc=publicationCoverPdf being the moat recent of such correlational studies.
    Murry Selby uses the figure of approx. 30% of atm CO2coming from Fossil Fuels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCya4LilBZ8&t=1205s around 45 min point.
    Why do we constantly hear that all CO2 is coming from Anthropogenic sources. Anyone? Because this obviously is no where near being factual!
    CO2 LAGS temp both historically AND currently. Please, lets change the research focus. At least if we are serious about mitigation and not simply funding LIBERAL AGENDAS.

    • Stephen: You have misunderstood the message of the article published by Humlum et al. I am very well aware about the results of this study. The message is that there is about 11 months delay between the temperature change of the ocean and the corresponding change in the atmosphere. It does not mean that all the CO2 entering the atmosphere originates from the ocean. It looks like that you are not familiar with the basic fluxes in the recycling process atmosphere – ocean – biosphere. About 25 % of the CO2 content of the atmosphere is changing every year. Figure below shows these huge fluxes.

      • Aveollila
        The conclusions of the Humlum paper include:
        “(6) CO2
        released from anthropogenic sources apparently has little influence on the observed changes in atmospheric CO2,and
        changes in atmospheric CO2are not tracking changes in human emissions.
        (7) On the time scale investigated, the overriding effect of large vol-
        canic eruptions appears to be a reduction of atmospheric CO2
        presumably due to the dominance of associated cooling effects
        from clouds associated with volcanic gases/aerosols and volcanic debris.
        (8) Since at least 1980 changes in global temperature, and presumably especially southern ocean temperature, appear to represent
        a major control on changes in atmospheric CO”
        I think 6 and 8 confirm Stephen’s contention. This aligns with Salby’s presentations and Hertzberg and Schreuder, 2016. Ellis and Palmer, 2016 ,Marohasy and Abbot, 2016 , and Easterbrook, 2016 have results that imply the same in that they show a lack of correlation of fossil fuel emissions and warming.

  30. Forrest. IPCC says that all the CO2 increase in the atmosphere (850 – 600 = 250 GtC) from the year 1750 to this years originates from human emissions. If you look the figure above, you can see that it cannot be true. The ocean absorbs any CO2 molecules – not only human emitted. On the other hand this mean that the mixing layer of the ocean is getting more and more anthropogenic CO2 and it is recycling back into the atmosphere. The total process is much more complicated than you think.

    • Aveollia, explain the sinks. There are no negative numbers from 1750 to 1900. Today the sink is sinking 1 1/2 times the amount of all co2 produced in 1965. How is that ? Colder oceans and certainly huge forests, both temperate and tropical existed then. Did plants change ? Did the nature of the ocean chemistry change ? According to all the warmist, it shouldn’t be doing that, should it ?
      And that’s the offical calculation. If you do the math the amount produced and the amount that is unaccounted for the last 10 years is an additional 17 to 30 % that is going somewhere other than the atmosphere. For example, in 2011 34.75 BMT was produced, co2 ppm rose 1.88 for that year, leaves 7.46 BMT short. A variation ? No every year is short.
      2013 came in with a higher short at 7.49 BMT, even though co2 ppm rose 2.05. The reason is that 36.63 BMT were produced.
      All numbers are/were from NOAA.

    • This is merely narrative, aveollila, plausibly consistent with some data points, but not uniquely explanatory so as to exclude other possibilities. See earlier comments interspersed above.

    • Thank you all so much. I am a Neuroscientist and as such an expert at many stats. I now spend a few hours a day studying CAGW and have learned much with the help of this site and others. THANK YOU sooooo much!

  31. It looks like that answers and comments are linked to the wrong person or comment.
    I replied to this comment:”Stephen, I can’t recall anybody saying that all CO2 is coming from anthopogenic sources”. I commented that there is somebody who says so and it is IPCC. IPCC says that the whole increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is anthropogenic.
    Yes, you are rigth, I do not know how well you know the CO2 recycling process.

  32. To rishrac. I just give few numbers according to my studies. These numbers are cumulative figures from 1750 to 2013. The CO2 emissions have been 394 GtC, 67 GtC stayed in the atmosphere, 181 GtC came from the ocean into atmosphere, 87 GtC of anthropogenic CO2 was absorbed by the ocean and 59 GtC of anthropogenic was intaken by the biosphere. Yearly flux values in 2013 for the anthropogenic fluxes: emissions 9.9 GtC, into the deep ocean 5.6 GtC, into the biosphere 2.5 GtC, and the increase in the atmosphere 1.8 GtC.

    • From 2000 till now, not one year should have been below 3.0 ppm. They are were except for 2016.
      You can hide information in long time spans and gross amounts.
      Beyond any doubt at this point, I am totally convinced that co2 follows temperature. Temperature has little to do with co2. And that is the co2 record. The amount claimed that was produced in each of the last 10 has not matched the rise in co2 ppm . So much co2 is missing that it is not a fluke.
      Additionally, co2 level are also dependent on both the interaction of solar cycles and cosmic ray levels.
      The major problem I have is getting you to understand it.

    • So alveollila are you also saying that observed greening is thus also anthropogenic? You seem to be using models as observation or direct measures. They are not. Direct measures should trend with models, else the model assumptions, at least in part are wrong. Since they do not trend together, what part of the emission models do you think need tweaking? That is the only direction this discussion can go. So speculate or move on to birds of a feather where no one is challenged to defend their particular thesis.

  33. Forrest – it’s probably a pretty good measurement. Energy is heavily taxed the world over for the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks. So, the quantities are tracked with all the vigor the tax authorities can muster.

  34. From the press release stuff in the above article.

    “In the new study, Jackson and his colleagues developed a nested family of metrics that can be used to track different national emissions pledges and thus global progress toward the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
    Applying their method to the recent past, the researchers found that global carbon dioxide emissions have remained steady at around 36 gigatons of carbon dioxide for the third year in a row in 2016.”

    I tried to track down some of the information regarding this article.
    Wasn’t free and I ain’t going to buy it.
    That said, read their words:
    “nested family of metrics”
    “applying their method”
    It is a model!!
    Fill in your assumptions and estimates, then Voilà! It’s magic.
    Where, I wonder, did they obtain their estimates for China, Russia and many other countries that are not investing much effort into seriously tracking emissions of any sort.
    Nor have we heard that Beijing’s smog is flat lined.

    At Stanford Earth, we develop the knowledge, talent, and leadership to understand the changing Earth and help solve the enormous resource and environmental challenges facing the world. We are committed to a collaborative, collegial, inclusive, and tolerant community.”

    Imagine that, their url includes Pangea. I wonder why.
    Robert Jackson, chair of the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, is also a fellow at “Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment” and “Precourt Institute for Energy.
    Doctor Jackson is apparently quite the activist.

  35. If I cease all weed control, never again cut back the chaparral, and stop pruning and thinning the timber … thaaaaaaat’s the ticket. That will increasing carbon fixing. Sounds like a plan all I need to do is convince my wife and neighbors. 😉

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