Going To Zero

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach [See update at the end]

I keep reading about all kinds of crazy schemes to reduce US CO2 emissions. Now, I don’t think that CO2 is the secret knob that controls the climate. I think that the earth has a host of emergent thermoregulatory mechanisms that act to keep the temperature within narrow limits (e.g. 0.6°C temperature change over the entire 20th Century). I don’t believe the claims that the modern changes in CO2 will affect the temperature.

But solely for the purposes of this post, let’s assume that the alarmists are correct. And for purposes of discussion only, let’s assume that the Earth’s temperature is free to go up and down any amount. Let’s assume that CO2 is, in fact, the secret control knob that controls the temperature of the earth. And let’s further assume that the pundits are right that the “climate sensitivity” is three degrees of warming for every doubling of CO2.

And finally, let’s assume that in 2018 the US magically stopped emitting any CO2 at all.

With all of those assumptions as prologue, here’s the question of interest.

Other things being equal, if the US stopped emitting CO2 entirely in 2018, and stayed at zero CO2 emissions indefinitely, how much cooler would that make the planet in the year 2050?

Five degrees cooler? Two degrees? One degree?

With the (probably untrue but very widely held) assumptions we’ve made above, we can actually calculate the temperature savings if the US could stop emitting CO2.

To start with, we need to look at the actual history of CO2 emissions. Figure 1 shows the emission records, divided into the US emissions and the emissions from the rest of the world.

Figure 1. Historical CO2 emissions. Data from CDIAC and BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

Now, this is interesting in itself. First, the current US emissions are about the same as they were back around 1978 (dashed black line). So over the last forty years, our emissions haven’t increased at all. Makes no difference to me, but if you think CO2 is important that’s not a bad record, I’d say.

In addition, US emissions peaked in 2007 and have decreased since that time. On the other hand, as Figure 1 shows, since 1959 the emissions of the rest of the world have steadily been … well … heading for the sky.

Next, we need to calculate what would happen to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere if US emissions went to zero. We can calculate that by noting that it takes 13.3 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions to increase the atmospheric CO2 by one part per million by volume (ppmv).

So to calculate future atmospheric CO2 levels, I assumed that CO2 would continue rising as it has in the past. This is called a “business as usual” (BAU) scenario. And for the purposes of this calculation, I assumed that the US emissions went to zero in the year 2018. Figure 2 shows the amount of difference that would make in the atmospheric CO2.

Figure 2. Historical and projected increases in atmospheric CO2. “Business as Usual” assumes that emissions continue to increase as they have in the past, so it is a smooth extension of historical changes in atmospheric CO2. The lower red line is done in the same way, but assuming that the US emissions went to zero in 2018. The yellow shaded area shows future projections.

Why so little difference?  US emissions are no longer a major player. In 1959, US emissions were about half those of the rest of the world. But by 2017, US emissions had fallen to only 20% of emissions of the rest of the world. And the emissions of the rest of the world are continuing to rise. As a result, US emissions going to zero doesn’t have a very large effect. It only decreases emissions by 11 ppmv by 2050, which is only about a 2% decrease in atmospheric CO2.

Next, we need to convert CO2 levels to temperature. According to the prevailing theory, a doubling of CO2 will increase the temperature by about 3° Celcius. Using that relationship gives us Figure 3, the temperature change theoretically due to the change in CO2.

Figure 3. Theoretical historical and projected temperature increases due to increasing CO2. The yellow shaded area shows future projections. These are temperature anomalies with respect to 1959.

So we’ve arrived at the answer to the question we started out with, and the answer is:

If we magically stopped emitting CO2 at the end of 2017, and stayed at zero CO2 emissions indefinitely, by 2050 the world would be cooler by a measly tenth of one degree …

How small is a tenth of a degree C? To start with, it is far too small for us to detect with our senses. It is also too small to detect with a normal thermometer. It’s the cooling you’d experience from going up three flights of stairs. Or in terms of weather and the ambient temperature, it’s a cooling equivalent to moving five miles (eight km) poleward from wherever you live …

However, the magnified scale of Figure 3 gives an exaggerated idea of the real-world difference that stopping US emissions would make. To get an accurate idea of just how trivial the temperature change would be, Figure 4 shows it on a normal outdoor thermometer scale:

Figure 4. Exactly the same data as in Figure 3, but to the scale of a regular thermometer. The yellow shaded area shows future projections. (As a side note, the blue line shows a warming of 1.6°C from 1959 to 2050 … greater than the dreaded 1.5°C warming target that everyone is hyperventilating about. Scary looking change, huh? But I digress …)

Just as in Figure 3,  in Figure 4 there are actually two lines showing the temperature—a red line for the US going to zero and a blue line for the business as usual scenario. But you can’t see the red line, because it only differs from the business as usual blue line by a tenth of a degree C …

And that means that regarding the question of how much cooling we’d get by 2050 if the US stopped emitting CO2 entirely, the real-world answer is … no perceptible difference at all. None. Far too small for anyone to sense directly. Far too small to register on your outdoor thermometer. The US could go to zero emissions and in 2050 we’d never notice the temperature difference.

So the next time someone tries to get you to sign on to yet another brilliant plan that the US is supposed to sign on to in order to “reduce our carbon footprint”, like the plans for everyone in the US to stop eating meat or to stop flying in airplanes or to buy electric cars or to cover half the US landscape with solar panels or to tax energy until the poor people put on yellow vests and throw rocks … well, the next time one of those charming folks proposes one of those plans, all of which come with a multi-billion dollar price tag, feel free to point them to this analysis and tell them “Even cutting US emissions to zero will make no perceptible difference by 2050! None!”.

[UPDATE] An alert commenter pointed out that Pat Michaels wrote about this issue in Forbes magazine, in which he pointed out an online calculator to show temperature savings from various reductions. Good stuff.

Best regards to all,


My Usual Request: When you comment, please quote the exact words that you are discussing so that we can all understand your subject.

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December 12, 2018 2:07 pm

As long as we’re playing with the knobs, let’s see what happens when we force a recession in the U.S. to drive down CO2 emissions faster. As the world’s growth engine, what will that do to emissions elsewhere?

Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 12, 2018 4:07 pm

China has a huge untapped internal market. China is working hard to get into a position where it doesn’t need America. link The American market was crucial in getting China’s economy going. That may not be the case for much longer.

If the American economy tanks, it could be that the Chinese economy and its CO2 emissions won’t be affected.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  commieBob
December 13, 2018 7:10 am

About 75 percent of U.S. GDP is generated internally, and about 75 percent of U.S. foreign trade takes place between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and trade with the rest of the world, including China makes up the other 25 percent.

China is currently not that big a market for the U.S. That’s why Trump’s tariffs are hurting China more than they are hurting the U.S. And that’s why China is going to make a new trade deal with Trump, because Trump and the U.S. economy have the upper hand.

John Tillman
December 12, 2018 2:09 pm

Agree that it’s idiotic for the whole Western world to destroy industrial civilization by decarbonizing, while India and China are free to keep fertilizing the air with more plant food.

But must disagree that “emergent phenomena” keep the planet at a balmy temperature within a few degrees up or down. That applies only to interglacials. In our present climate system, wild swings are much more common, ie during the glacial intervals which on average last about ten times as long as the clement interglacials.

On longer time frames, the swings are even wilder. The ballpark range of average T on our planet, setting aside the hot, hot, hot Hadean Eon, is from around -50 degrees C during Snowball Earth episodes to +25 degrees during hothouse intervals, or a bit more for brief spikes.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 12, 2018 2:15 pm

Earth is homeostatic, ie self-regulating, during interglacials, but can switch modes to glacial with frightening rapidity, and likewise out of glacial into toasty interglacial (or at least less frigid) again.

It’s also self-regulating during glacials, but then the regulation is to keep the planet in the cold mode, or coldest during glacial maxima.

Reply to  John Tillman
December 12, 2018 5:04 pm

Let’s see: Canada’s population and economy are about one tenth the size of that if the U.S. It’s a little cooler here, so our carbon footprint, although miniscule, is slightly larger than one tenth that of the U.S. Let’s say one ninth. So if we join our southern neighbours and go carbon dioxide free at the same time, what’s one ninth of one tenth of a degree Celsius? 0.011 degrees. Can we tag along without invalidating the reasoning here? If so, will someone please tell Junior Trudeau before he forces his stupid carbon tax on us and makes us even less competitive than we already are?

Another Paul
Reply to  Trebla
December 13, 2018 4:28 am

“If so, will someone please tell Junior Trudeau before he forces his stupid carbon tax on us”

I don’t follow Canadian politics, but after a quick glance at the parties that garner the popular vote, you’d better prepare for more taxes. 🙁

Reply to  Another Paul
December 13, 2018 5:17 am

Or buy some yellow vests.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Trebla
December 13, 2018 7:18 am

“Can we tag along without invalidating the reasoning here?”

I think so. Yeah.

Australia and the UK and others could also tag along. Their CO2 reduction efforts won’t make any difference if China and India and others are expanding their production of CO2. One is offsetting the other. So what’s the point? Why bankrupt yourself and freeze yourself for nothing?

Hokey Schtick
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 13, 2018 10:04 pm

“Why bankrupt and freeze for nothing?”

For the smug.

David Yaussy
December 12, 2018 2:12 pm

Thanks, Willis. I was looking for just this sort of analysis in preparing a response to an article promoting carbon taxes. All that pain for . . . what?

December 12, 2018 2:16 pm

And tiny little us, down under in Australia, is not even a blip on the radar.
I see more mainstream media reports not on the AGW train, but its still outweighed by the machine. Actvism has ramped up in highschool these days. Brainwashed kids.

Nice work…keep it up.

John Tillman
Reply to  Macha
December 12, 2018 2:18 pm

Even France and the whole EU are negligible. What a blatant scam!

US emissions are barely growing or falling, depending on the year. Yet signatories to the Paris scheme keep on enriching the air with plant food.

Reply to  Macha
December 12, 2018 3:02 pm

“And tiny little us, down under in Australia, is not even a blip on the radar”
This is like the old complaint – why should I pay taxes? It makes such a tiny difference to the Federal budget. Why should anyone do anything?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 3:13 pm

Nick Stokes

What a pathetic response.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 3:22 pm

When pensioners in the UK and Australia have to choose between eating and turning up the heat in the winter, those excess winter deaths due to fuel poverty are on your head and those like you because of the “carbon” tax schemes you are so fond of.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 3:37 pm

This is like the old complaint – why should I pay taxes? It makes such a tiny difference to the Federal budget. Why should anyone do anything?

Nick S, I can confidently say that you are totally wrong here. You compare the effect of ONE person to the effect of millions(?) of people. The correct analogous question would be, “Why should ALL Australian tax residents pay taxes?” And your answer, then, would be ridiculous, since ALL Australian tax residents [asking your question SIMULTANEOUSLY (compared to just one Australian tax resident asking your question)] paying taxes makes a huge difference to the Federal budget.

Why anyone should do anything is because it makes collective sense to act individually as part of a collective, when the collective, as a whole, takes the same action for a logical reason towards a common goal.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
December 15, 2018 5:57 am

Well, in South Africa, BizNews had it: “SA’s personal taxpayers are uniquely powerful. Although only one in fourteen of 56m people pay any personal taxes, almost 40% of tax revenue comes out their pockets. A minuscule 1% of individual taxpayers pay 61% of income tax.”

So, if any of those 1% go on a tax strike, the country would really feel it!

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 3:45 pm

“Why should anyone do anything?”

… such a question should be easy to answer then. What is your answer.

Why, if what the U.S. does is insignificant with respect projected outcome, should the U.S. utilize significant resources for said outcome?

What is your answer?

Reply to  DonM
December 12, 2018 5:36 pm

Considering that the vast majority of countries got a free pass to increase their emissions..
…with our money!

Last thing Obama did was write a $1/2 billion check to the green climate fund..and run out the door……….

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 3:54 pm

Even if we add Australia and all of Europe, we won’t get much more than an additional 0.1C of cooling by 2050. And this is all using a ridiculous (and impossible) assumption that CO2 emissions could actually go to zero overnight. If you use a more slightly more reasonable, but still aggressive, reduction scenario, say 10% per year, you get much less cooling. So it doesn’t really matter unless you can get India, China, and the other developing nations to give up on industrialization and accept abject poverty going forward. Good luck with that.

What a stupid game. Instead of playing it, we should be doing everything we can to prepare for whatever nature throws at us in the future, including warmth or cold. That means improving our technology as quickly as possible to increase our odds of surviving whatever comes our way.

Gary Ashe
Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 12, 2018 6:11 pm

No it is on the assumption of a radiative greenhouse effect, and the thermalising of photons emitted at sub-zero temperatures by the earths hard surfaces, we know the oceans do not absorb LWIR.

And this is all using a ridiculous (and impossible) assumption that CO2 emissions could actually go to zero overnight.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 4:00 pm

Try answering your own question

John Tillman
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 4:03 pm


In the case of CO2, indeed no one should do anything. There is no problem requiring solution. More CO2 is better. As Arrhenius and Callendar observed.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  John Tillman
December 12, 2018 6:57 pm

Exactly, the goal should be to get CO2 to 800 to 1200 ppm. We have 7 to 10B people to feed. Any other approach is profoundly immoral.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 4:40 pm

‘ … why should I pay taxes? It makes such a tiny difference to the Federal budget. Why should anyone do anything? …’.
False analogy.
It’s not a tax it is extortion, if people didn’t give in to blackmailers, ‘protection’ rackets and ransom demands etc. the racketeers would go away.
The same applies to the IPCC scam.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 12, 2018 8:09 pm

I think what Nick is saying is similar to building a dyke around a city. If you build one mile out of a one hundred mile perimeter, you can feel good about it especially if the water never rises.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 5:08 pm

Nick Stokes: if you want the reason why nobody should do anything, I suggest you look up the study by Bjorn Lomborg that shows the same reasoning applied to every nation adhering to their Paris commitments. The effect is miniscule.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 6:16 pm

That was Biden’s argument too.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 7:27 pm

And then factor in Australia being a net carbon sink. 😛

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 7:39 pm

“This is like the old complaint – why should I pay taxes? It makes such a tiny difference to the Federal budget. Why should anyone do anything?”

If no one paid taxes in the U.S. or Canada, or Australia, the effects would be noticeable. If no one in the U.S., or Canada, or Australia emitted CO2, the results would not be noticeable.

Dale S
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 13, 2018 9:49 am

You should pay taxes because if you don’t, you face fines and worse from the government. Taxes are not voluntarily.

However, if your government, like most governments, spends far more than it receives, should you *voluntarily* make donations to the government to solve the problem? Not really. First, if you donate your entire income to the government, it will make little practical difference while being devastating to you personally. Second, the problem really isn’t that your government isn’t taking in enough money — it probably is at or near record levels. The solution to the problem is the government spending less.

The US reducing its emissions to zero would be devastating for the US, and make practically no difference to the scale of global warming. It’s not sensible. Would it become sensible if *everyone* did it, not just the US? Not at all, because the “damage” from future temperature raises is trivial compared to the economic damages that would be caused by abandoning fossil fuels.

Hokey Schtick
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 13, 2018 10:10 pm

Oh dear. Reducing CO2 emissions is like paying taxes. So let’s see that would mean exhaling is like tax evasion. Hold your breath or be prepared for jail time.

Reply to  Macha
December 12, 2018 4:06 pm

Agree Macha December 12, 2018 at 2:16 pm Activism is rampant here, and no one wants to check the validity of science, just promote propaganda to encourage our kids to strike and take a day off school. That is how smart our media and teachers are as they encourage activism.

It will take a brave child to stand up and point out like the emperor, (the CO2 meme) has no science, no data i.e. clothes, but it does show the power of propaganda and needs an even braver government to walk away from this madness and restore the scientific method to prominence in our schools.

December 12, 2018 2:17 pm

In the spirit of being pure while the warmists cheat, it would be good if you provided the calcs and data sources. Not that I am suggesting theere is any fault with them, but just so e remain pure.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 12, 2018 3:24 pm

While we’re on the subject of calculations, does that 13.3 gigatonnes include the approximate 50% of emissions that apparently get sequestered?

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 12, 2018 8:32 pm

I dont even know why we would want to stop warming, a warmer world is a better place.

December 12, 2018 2:32 pm

The fact that there is a difference in both temperatures and the rate of temperature increase between the northern and southern hemispheres despite the claims of CO2 being well mixed in the atmosphere, points to factors other than CO2 being relevant mechanisms. The properties of water being a major one.

December 12, 2018 2:34 pm

I remembered to turn the lights off last night. I hope it’s enough to stem the tide of runaway catastrophic fiery global hellification. I know I feel a lot better for doing it!

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  BallBounces
December 12, 2018 4:19 pm

I’m sorry, I forgot to turn off the porch light last night. So we canceled each other out. I guess we’re still doomed.

Carbon Bigfoot
December 12, 2018 2:36 pm

Willis love your posts mostly. However I wish you and others would stop using the term EMMISIONS when referring to the BY-PRODUCTS OF COMBUSTION, i.e., CO2 & H2O, natural substances in the environment necessary for life as we know it.
As a professional engineer with 50 years experience in energy, much of it involving combustion design, construction and implementation of appropriate equipment and processes, I submit to you that adopting and continuing the use of the nomenclature of the opposition is counter-productive and wrong.
I suffer from Anomic and Expressive Aphasia ( a result of three strokes ) as a result I can’t understand why you folks continue the use of this misrepresentation???
Heartland Folks and many other well-meaning think tanks are guilty of the same transgression–so I’m not picking on you per se.
Stealing from Dennis Miller who is fond of saying…..that’s my view…I could be wrong.

Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
December 12, 2018 3:48 pm

The phrases that I saw were, first, “emissions” in the context of what Willis had been reading about, and so he was referencing the words of what he had been reading about — he was using it in a descriptive context about what others were writing. Second, I noticed that he later qualified his specific use in the phrase, “CO2 emissions”, which seems perfectly descriptive to me. I only wish that more alarmists would spell it out this way, instead of opting to use only the single word, “emissions”.

My beef is with people who use the word without qualification and without regard for context, as a means of manipulating minds towards unspecified agendas — in other words, hijacking a word in a lazy fashion. I’m okay with how Willis incorporated the term.

Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
December 12, 2018 5:05 pm

Emissions is the correct term for anything emitted from an exhaust or stack; not to be confused with pollution or harmful gas.

However also note that a US Supreme Court ruling on so-called greenhouse gasses considers CO2 a harmful gas and EPA has the authority to regulate it.

Michael C. Roberts
Reply to  RickWill
December 12, 2018 7:04 pm

IIRC, the Endangerment Finding was a court ruling where, should EPA provide a scientific conclusion where an emission is considered a HAP or Hazardous Air Pollutant, then the EPA have a mandate under existing CAA (Clean Air Act) regulations to develop and promulgate rules to mitigate the supposed ‘hazard’. To the detriment of emission sources of CO2 in the USA, the preponderance of ‘evidence’ produced by the EPA at the time to support the Endangerment Finding was from none other than your friend and mine, that font of climate fiction – the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and their Climate Assessment, more specifically the SPM or Summary for Policy Makers.
And the rest is history…



Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
December 12, 2018 8:05 pm

Actually, the situation was that the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA had the authority to regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act as long as the EPA found that CO2 endangered public health.

Hazardous Air Pollutants, or HAPs, such as arsenic, nickel, benzene, toluene and approximately 185 more, are regulated under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. So the issue of EPA regulation of CO2 is not related to EPA regulation of HAPs.

December 12, 2018 2:41 pm

Well done Willis

Jame M. Davidson
December 12, 2018 2:57 pm

You show emissions of CO2 each year and then show levels of CO2 in the atmosphere increasing each year inviting the conclusion that putting CO2 into the atmosphere is like putting garbage into a landfill, – the more garbage you add, the bigger the pile. In fact, there is a carbon cycle. CO2 is absorbed by plants who use the power of sunlight to knit CO2 with water to make more plant stuff. CO2 is absorbed by water where crustaceans use it to make shells. I have seen an estimate that the lifetime of a molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 6-7 years. And how about non-human emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere? Humans emit about 10GtC/yr, oceans put about 78GtC/yr into the atmosphere, and plants decaying and animals breathing out and decaying put about 112GtC/yr into the atmosphere, yet these other producers are missing from your calculations.

Paul Blase
Reply to  Jame M. Davidson
December 12, 2018 3:38 pm

Actually, Willis, that’s an interesting question. The chart shows emissions, but how do those correlate with actual levels? If something is taking CO2 out as fast as we put it in, it doesn’t matter how fast we make it.

Paul Blase
Reply to  Paul Blase
December 12, 2018 3:45 pm

Oh, sorry. I misread Figure 2.

Reply to  Jame M. Davidson
December 12, 2018 6:08 pm

For every two molecules of atmospheric CO2 produced by human activities that move into oceans, plants, and soil, those carbon reservoirs give back one molecule. It’s called chemical exchange.

December 12, 2018 2:58 pm

“it takes 13.3 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions to increase the atmospheric CO2 by one part per million by volume “
Is that right?
Mass atm = 5.15e+18 kg
1 ppmv CO2 = 5.15e+18 * (44/29=density ratio) * 1e-6 = 7.81 Gtons
Is there an allowance for airborne fraction? If so, how much?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 3:57 pm

This may be the answer to my question above, as apparently, based on atmospheric increases vs. anthropogenic production, about 50% of emissions get sequestered each year.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 3:58 pm

I’d also like to see the source for the 13.3 GT figure, but if I had to guess, I’d say they are accounting for the CO2 sinks, like plants, that remove it.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 12, 2018 4:27 pm

The amount of CO2 taken up by the terrestrial biosphere and oceans is a function primarily of the atmospheric CO2 level. It is unaffected by the CO2 emission rate, except as the emission rate affects the level.

So to calculate the immediate effect of a change in emission rate, you should not adjust by the airborne fraction. If you add 8.053 Gt more CO2 to the atmosphere, the atmospheric level of CO2 will rise 1 ppmv, and if you emit 8.053 Gt less CO2 then the resulting atmospheric CO2 level will be 1 ppmv lower than it otherwise would have been.

Things are more complicated in the long term, because changes in emission rates now affect CO2 levels in the future, which, in turn, affects the rates at which the terrestrial biosphere and oceans remove it.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 12, 2018 9:45 pm

Willis: Today, the US is emitting 5 Gt/yr of CO2, about 20% of the world’s total (Figure 1). Figure 2 shows a 100 ppm rise in CO2 by 2050. If the US continued to emit 20% of the world’s total, it would have contributed 20 ppm of that rise. Instead, your calculations show that the US would only have contributed 11 ppm of that rise. That would mean that the US’s fraction of emissions under business as usual would have AVERAGED only 11% of world emissions during the next 30 years. To go from 20% of emissions to an average of 11%, means that US emissions in 2050 under business as usual would need to be near 0% of world emissions by 2050. Something seems strange with these numbers.

For example, today’s global emissions of about 25 Gt/yr are producing a observed 2 ppm/yr rise. A 100 ppm rise by 2050 requires an average rise of 3 ppm/yr, which means the rise will be about 4 ppm/yr in 2050. That means global CO2 emission under BAU are expected to double or the airborne fraction is going to rise dramatically (or both).

Do you know what the BAU scenario projects for the US?

Let’s suppose the airborne fraction remains constant. If the BAU scenario predicted that US emissions remained constant at 5 Gt/yr, the US would be contributing 10% of global emissions in 2050 and would have averaged 15% of global emission over 30 years. That’s 15 ppm of the 100 ppm rise.

If US emissions gradually fell to 0 Gt/yr in 2050, the average US contribution would be 10% or 10 of that 100 ppm rise – very similar to your value 11 ppm. A gradual reduction to zero shouldn’t give the same US contribution as an instantaneous drop

Another way to get reach an increase of 4 ppm/yr by 2050 and an average rise of 3 ppm/yr is for global emissions to remain constant and the airborne fraction to rise to 100%. Most likely, the IPCC projects a rise in both global emissions and airborne fraction.

Reply to  Frank
December 12, 2018 10:39 pm

Despite my above comment, Willis is correct when he says future projections of rising GHGs and forced warming depend far more on what the rest of the world does than what the US does. The same is true for the whole developed world – the future depends far more on what the developing world does. China went from emitting as much CO2 as the US to twice as much as the US in a little more than a decade. (I personally think the plateau in their emissions for the past few year is false). Chinese emissions per capital have already reached the same level in the EU. India and the rest of the developing world are likely to follow a similar growth strategy based on cheap fossil fuels.

Willis tells us: “Even cutting US emissions to zero will make no perceptible difference by 2050! None!” The 100 ppm different between today and 2050 is a 20% difference or 1/4 of a doubling. (1.2^4 = 2.07). That is 0.75 degC of global warming assuming an ECS of 3.0, but more correctly 0.45 degC using a TCR of 1.8 K. Of course the US contribution to this small warming by 2050 is going to look small. We shouldn’t really be concerned about calculating warming by 2050, when the serious problems could three times longer to develop.

AGW is a long-range GLOBAL problem whose solution depends mostly on the developing world. They are certainly going to do nothing about the problem if the US does nothing. The perceptible difference a US reduction in emissions could make will arise from any perceptible difference the behavior of the US and the developed world make on the developing world. IMO, it is perfectly logical to believe that what the developed world does will have LITTLE IMPACT on the developing world chooses to do, but I won’t criticize idealists who are marginally more optimistic.

Any sensible person looking at the US budget deficit and inability to cut spending might say that we need a new source of revenue. What source of revenue causes the least harm to the economy (supposedly consumption taxes) and might even result in some modest benefits in the very distant future? What leader could possibly get away with a large rise in the tax on gasoline, the one product whose price is posted on dozens of street corners in the average community. (Hint: Not Macron.)

Michael Keal
Reply to  Frank
December 14, 2018 2:28 pm

Frank co2 IS a control knob. Not for global temperatures but for national economies. Countries that use fossil fuels to generate cheap energy grow while countries like the UK which introduce unreliable, expensive ‘renewables’ shrink. Ever since Margret Thatcher stood up in front of the UN and promoted the whole global warming boondoggle the UK’s economy has shrunk in proportion to their deployment.

I’m sure the Chinese are as aware as most of us here how inconsequential the effect of using fossil fuels on the global temperature is. So no amount of posturing and virtue signalling with poor energy policy in the West will change their behaviour. They might be a lot of things, but stupid they’re not.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 5:44 pm

A more significant question is:

Since natural CO2 sources are 20 x those of human sources, do these figures matter at all?

Reply to  Hivemind
December 12, 2018 8:11 pm

“Since natural CO2 sources are 20 x those of human sources, do these figures matter at all?”

Natural CO2 sources and sinks are in balance. So without human emissions resulting from fossil fuels, the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere stayed constant at approximately 280 ppm prior to the Industrial Revolution.

Reply to  Hivemind
December 12, 2018 8:17 pm

Yes, it does. Most natural sources and sinks are very transient: CO2 absorbed by water, and escaping from water; CO2 absorbed by growing grass and leaves in the spring & summer, and release by rotting grass and leaves in the winter; etc. That’s different from the liberation of CO2 which was sequestered in coal a very, very long time ago.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 13, 2018 3:02 am

I am afraid you are completely wrong.
If as you say the worlds natural CO2 is “in Balance” how did it get from 6000ppm down to just over 200ppm?

Robert Stewart
Reply to  A C Osborn
December 13, 2018 9:01 am


It’s a dynamic system, and we can only make guesses about 95% of the sources and sinks. There’s no reason to believe we have a good understanding of the variability of most of these phenomena, given our limited sampling. The money wasted on CAGW models would be better spent on environmental monitoring. In fifty or a hundred years we might learn something useful assuming we approached the problem with a realistic understanding of the state of our knowledge. Meantime, it’s unicorns and social justice, and “research” papers that at best can be considered anecdotal factoids useful for he favored side of the current adversarial policy debate.

December 12, 2018 3:06 pm

Of course the reason given for the need of the US to reduce emissions is the symbolic gesture. If we just pledge to reduce emissions then the rest of the world will follow suit and we all live happily ever after.

The flip side is that by pulling out of the Paris accord it provides an excuse for other countries that miss their commitments.

France certainly is finding out it’s not that easy!

Some honestly (ignorantly?) believe that is the US commits to massive reductions in Co2 emissions then the rest of the world will just follow along. Sure.

Reply to  BillJ
December 12, 2018 3:44 pm

Ah, but France is now saying “Leave our nation be” We’re not implementing new carbon taxes.


Macron didn’t like it when Trump commented on France’s climate issues which could endanger the Paris Agreement if other countries follow suit.

Yet the US is supposed to remain mute if other countries comment on it’s policy.

James Clarke
Reply to  BillJ
December 12, 2018 4:22 pm

“The flip side is that by pulling out of the Paris accord it provides an excuse for other countries that miss their commitments.”

Yes…it does provide an excuse….IF YOU ARE SIX YEARS OLD!

December 12, 2018 3:09 pm

“Even cutting US emissions to zero will make no perceptible difference by 2050! None!”

That is, if the Earth’s “emergent thermoregulatory mechanisms” allow that much of a difference to be visible.

However, “cutting US emissions to zero” will make a massive negative difference to industry, civilization and human life!

leaving us the result that “cutting US emissions to zero” is a fool’s errand; worthless to society and civilization.

December 12, 2018 3:11 pm

“Why so little difference?”
Partly the time interval – 32 years. On the graph given here, the total increase in that time would be about 0.8°C. So the US (about 1/22 world pop) would reduce the warming by 1/8 by stopping emissions.

Loren Wilson
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 6:53 pm

The past temperature record almost assures us that natural variability in the next 32 years will dwarf any man-caused effect. And I have also wondered why we always assume that natural sources are constant. Natural processes tend to fluctuate – look at populations of animals. I think the answer is that you assume that natural sources of CO2 will be constant because you don’t have good data, and can’t project differently with any confidence.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2018 10:05 pm

Nick Stokes
Do you really believe that this world is going to increase the temperature by .8C in the next 32 years .
As they say in OZ your land “You’r dreaming mate”
To much IPPCC lager I would think .
Doubling CO2 will only increase the world temperature by .6C without positive H2O feed backs and the tropical hot spot and neither have been identified at this time.
We all know that you are a true believer that CO2 is evil and it controls the climate but
You’r bloody dreaming mate

Kevin Hearle
December 12, 2018 3:28 pm

Hi, great post Willis – another way to look at it is that if stopping US emmissions is 0.1 C and US is 20% of world emmisions then if everyone stops emmitting then the temperature will fall by 0.5 C unfortunately at this point the human race will have collapsed into anarchy (read worldwide riots at 10 times the violence of the yellow vests in France.) It puts the circus in Poland into perspective.

December 12, 2018 3:34 pm

We’ve the same nonsense going on in Ireland where our own climate activists are blaming the “broken global climate” on our country’s use of fossil fuels and demanding that we quit using them in order to make reparation for our non-demonstrable contribution to the alleged 0.8° rise in the average global temperature.

There is no scientific explanation for calling on us to rapidly go carbon zero, as doing so will have a similar non demonstrable effect on the global average temperature.

One thing we must give the IPCC credit for is it’s recent acknowledgement that implementing it’s agenda means that society will have to deal with the consequences of making “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.

How society will be impacted by “the solution” will be the unintended consequences resulting from taking such rapid and unprecedented action.

Nobody will be able to say the IPCC didn’t warn us about them in advance.

Reply to  Dee
December 12, 2018 6:42 pm

You can always tell what the purpose of a socialist policy was, by the “unintended consequences”. If Western civilisation comes to an end, that was obviously the purpose of the climate change measures.

December 12, 2018 3:37 pm

“But by 2017, US emissions had fallen to only 20% of emissions of the rest of the world”

I’ve seen 14-15%….but never 20%…I think that’s too high

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 12, 2018 5:39 pm


December 12, 2018 3:38 pm

It has nothing to do with CO2. I am sure that at the top of the Green Blob, they are well aware of that fact.

The whole exercise is to destroy the worlds economy and for us to revert to o being pheasants. Then the Leaders of the Green blob will think that they will rule us.

Of course long before that we will have reverted to our basic way of thinking, and will have hung them from the nearest lamppost or tree.

Trouble is it may take many generations to recover from such a giant sized mess.


December 12, 2018 3:45 pm

A neighbor of mine pointed out that we’ve off-shored a lot of our manufacturing which implies that we’ve off-shored a lot of our CO2 emissions. I didn’t have a good response to that.

Reply to  Bear
December 12, 2018 4:00 pm

This is a good point that people don’t bring up enough.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Bear
December 12, 2018 4:11 pm

So, when Toyota opens a plant in the U.S. they’re doing the same thing. Countries are responsible (if you want to look at it that way) for emissions within their own borders. “Off-shoring” is a bald-faced attempt to make us feel guilty for loosing our manufacturing capabilities to an unfriendly foreign power. That is utterly perverse.

Reply to  Bear
December 12, 2018 5:50 pm

They also will not bring up that moving the products back into the US increases CO2 due to shipping. I wonder how much CO2 is used shipping a ton of steel from China, or a ton of aluminum from an EU nation? I also read that manufacturing steel in other nations is less efficient, burns more or emits more CO2?

I have not looked into that.


Reply to  Bear
December 13, 2018 8:43 am

On the other hand US previously “on-shored” a lot of the natural gas and oil.

No longer true.

US was always a very large coal exporter, and is a growing LNG exporter, and very recently became a oil net exporter. The nations importing have “off-shored” their energy production to the US.

Bill Illis
December 12, 2018 3:46 pm

Since the airborne fraction of CO2 is only 45%-50%, we really only to need reduce human emissions by about 50% to stablize the CO2 level.

A little bit more than that and CO2 will actually fall. I fail to see the reason why we need Zero emissions because we don’t.

Reply to  Bill Illis
December 12, 2018 4:09 pm

That is true, Bill.

The amount of CO2 taken up by the terrestrial biosphere and oceans is a function primarily of the atmospheric CO2 level. It is unaffected by the CO2 emission rate, except as the emission rate affects the level.

Currently, the removal rate of CO2 from the atmosphere is about half the CO2 emission rate (and perhaps increasing). AR5 estimates about 55% is removed by greening & the oceans, leaving the “airborne fraction,” as you mentioned, around 45%.

So, if CO2 emissions were merely halved, then CO2 levels would cease rising, entirely.

That’s why the flurry of “carbon budget” papers and articles are all wildly unscientific.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 12, 2018 10:53 pm

Not that it makes any difference to reality, but just for the sake of understanding the math, if 1/2 of emissions are being removed, the net change = 1/2 of emissions. Putting a hypothetical number to it, if current emissions are 100, net change is 50.

If emissions dropped to 50, then net change would drop to 25, not 0, as proposed above.


Bill Illis
Reply to  Steve Reddish
December 13, 2018 4:58 am

No, that math is wrong.

The absorption rate of oceans and vegetation depends on the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (NOT how much we are emitting each year).

Plants and oceans would go on absorbing about 5 Billion tons of Carbon net each year because the CO2 level in the atmosphere is 405 ppm.

So we cut emissions from 10 Billion tons to 5 Billion tons. Now plants and oceans are absorbing the same 5 Billion tons and CO2 stabilizes at 405 ppm.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Bill Illis
December 13, 2018 11:24 pm

Bill Illis:
“The absorption rate of oceans and vegetation depends on the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere”
This is correct. The question is – How much do human emissions affect atmospheric levels?

You are assuming atmospheric CO2 is not affected by rate of human emissions. My math was based on assumption that as our rate of emissions dropped the rate of rise of CO2 in atmosphere would correspondingly drop.
I make that assumption because over the last 20 years we have been told that levels of CO2 have been rising at a rate consistent with approximately 1/2 of our emissions remaining in the atmosphere. This statement contains within it the assumption that natural net change has been at most a slow increase.


December 12, 2018 3:50 pm

Great exposition Willis. I’ve summarized the situation this way (tweet length). All increased CO2 emissions since 1995 and all projected increases are from non-OECD countries that account for 80% of global population. Even zero US emissions would be offset in decades by non-OECD countries.

December 12, 2018 3:52 pm

Clearly China and India are the culprits responsible for accelerating CO2 emissions. If alarmists truly believe we are on our way to an uninhabitable world, I will take them seriously when they demand and take all necessary action, including military conquest, to stop these countries from using fossil fuels. Their current course of extorting other countries is not working.
I am most fearful of alarmists winning their argument and getting the politicians to try to alter the world’s climate by salting the atmosphere. Have they watched The Matrix?

December 12, 2018 3:53 pm

“Even cutting US emissions to zero will make no perceptible difference by 2050! None!”

Well great. two things:
1. Paying my taxes makes so little difference in the greater scheme of things that I really shouldn’t bother paying them. That is what you are saying, in a way.
2. The US is still one of the major emitters of CO2 (behind China), and we make a difference in two ways. One by example and one by volume. If the US doesn’t curb emissions, why should anyone else?

Truth be told, no matter what we do now will have little affect on 2050. It’s what happens in 2100 and 2150 that matters.

Reply to  trafamadore
December 12, 2018 11:44 pm

Sooo whats the issue about C02. Do you have some new science that added C02 is an issue, if so post the source.
Present science has not shown there is an issue with added C02 out side of greening the earth. Before this somewhat increase in C02 the earth was starting to get stressed from low levels of C02.

December 12, 2018 3:57 pm

It is clear to me that any co2 accord won’t hold. Ruling parties change and they can easily pull their country out. This is the political reality. Look at France. Look at the USA under Trump. Look at Washington state. An Ozone agreement did happen but billions of dollars were not at stake for keeping the agreement. So assuming that temperature does increase the world will adapt. Life will go on.

December 12, 2018 3:58 pm

It is really too bad that a coal powered smoke stack, or the exhaust from a diesel semi truck, didn’t smell like a large bed of roses. Because I honestly believe that most of the world has real particulate pollution mixed up with CO2. Which is a tasteless (no pun intended) gas, not to mention invisible and ordorlous trace GHG that is absolutely essential to life on the good Earth. But as it seems, the truth is mostly persecuted.

December 12, 2018 4:17 pm

It’s never really been about the climate for those in power that are running the propaganda machine in academia, media, law, and (sadly) science. Evidence: any time a means for CO2 remediation is proposed that doesn’t include central control of emissions, that remedy is shot down. Also, nuclear energy is scoffed at…COMPARED TO THE TOTAL RUINATION OF CIVILIZATION? WHAT?

Most of the rank and file “useful believers” do believe it but mostly because the (centrally) prescribed remedies synch with their political leanings.

Temperatures are reaching their expected interglacial peak levels…so some natural cooling should commence soon. Unfortunately, “soon” in climate is 30 to 50 years… So I hope the solar guys are right.

Percy Jackson
December 12, 2018 4:37 pm

Surely this is just another example of the tragedy of the commons. Clearly no one’s personal footprint is
going to make a significant difference but collectively there is a huge impact. Perhaps Willis should look
at projections for the number of home’s flooded in the USA assuming that the climate projections are accurate
and then wonder if the USA should do nothing.

Reply to  Percy Jackson
December 12, 2018 8:52 pm

“Perhaps Willis should look at projections for the number of home’s flooded in the USA assuming that the climate projections are accurate and then wonder if the USA should do nothing.”

The point Willis is making is that if the USA does even as much as it theoretically possibly could to reduce emissions, it will make no difference. If the USA reduces its emissions to zero tomorrow, it will not make any appreciable difference in 2050, or even decades beyond 2050.

If you’re truly worried about flooding in the U.S., support development of portable systems consisting of tubes filled with water and air that can be moved in to reduce both storm surge and inland flooding.

Reply to  Percy Jackson
December 12, 2018 8:56 pm

Yeah..like move out of the flood plain. How can people just be so ignorant to think that living in harms way is somehow caused by ‘climate change’. Sooner or later the 1-100 event will strike, and whether that is increased by an atmosphere that holds 4% more water, has nothing to do with why the house in the flood plain still gets flooded. Some people just don’t learn. The house up the hill didn’t flood.

December 12, 2018 4:46 pm

What about pulling co2 out of water and sequestering ? What is that cost ?

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Stevek
December 12, 2018 11:04 pm

CO2 in water IS sequestered already. A large portion of the 50% of emissions that gets sequestered is done by water.


Richard bell
December 12, 2018 4:52 pm

Wonderful Willis …… Happy Christmas to All .

December 12, 2018 5:19 pm

Nothing wrong with the calculation, but I do believe that a substantial portion of the ROW emissions is due to consumption of products manufactured there but consumed by Americans and Europeans.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 12, 2018 11:07 pm

My mass is teeming?


Tom Graney
December 12, 2018 5:47 pm

What this highlights more than anything is the futility of current efforts to curtail CO2 emissions.

December 12, 2018 7:03 pm

The funny part is so few activists actually realize that fact. I know for example Kristi S who posts on here got caught by that one she had no idea. Really all small nations like Australia are doing is virtue signalling it really isn’t important if they comply or not.

Strangely now human rights has been removed from the COP rulebook it would be easier to just get the top 10 emitter countries and work agreements between them. You can do away with the whole world junk and that approach might actually work to get emissions down if that is what is required.

The guarantee at the moment is if they do manage to cobble an agreement at COP24 it is almost going to be meaningless as without human rights it is just an agreement between soverign states with no punishment AKA business as usual.

Bill Treuren
December 12, 2018 7:39 pm

even worse than that is the daft stuff that passes as CO2 reducing, such as clearing forests and backing out coal in power stations. We now know that this is will not be CO2 neutral for I think 200 years.

It depends on the people of the earth not thinking of a better way to sidestep CO2 emissions if it proves to be a good idea in the next 200 years. But it will result in higher emissions in the interim in spite of a cost increase for the poor and a big transfer of cash to the ruling class while they virtue signal to their fellow welfare class colleagues.

John F. Hultquist
December 12, 2018 7:57 pm

Thanks Willis.

We live in the Great Left State of Washington. The State’s governor wants to do as much as possible to make us pay to reduce our emissions. Getting the State to zero emissions will do wonders for the Earth’s climate. Well, no one thinks that.
Some of us think (a) he just wants to have the money to spend, and (b) he wants to be President and this “green” agenda will improve his chances. I go with a + b.
We think Bernie and Alexandria are even worse choices for America but the initial field will be quite large and may yet include a reasonable centralist that doesn’t hate America.

Gerald Machnee
December 12, 2018 8:13 pm

Unfortunately, the striking students and others who should be reading this post will not be doing so.
And I know too many who will reply like Nick did.

steven mosher
December 12, 2018 10:08 pm

Nash equilbrium.

long ago they used to dump poop out the window. Every person could apply willis logic and conclude that their personal chamber pot amounted to nothing. and they would continue to dump shit out the window.

now think about kantian ethics.
now think about nash.

driving now, so pardon the brevity.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  steven mosher
December 12, 2018 11:34 pm

SM, I see that you have not read through the responses, as your point has been more than adequately addressed several times. As you are driving, you must be using a mobile device. I’ve noticed that my mobile device presents the last posted response at the top. This explains why you have not read other’s responses before making yours.

I suggest it is better to wait until you are in a place where you can read through all responses before making your response. That way your response would be more sensible, and you and others on the road would be safer.


Reply to  steven mosher
December 12, 2018 11:46 pm

A drive by comment.

richard verney
Reply to  steven mosher
December 13, 2018 2:06 am

Your argument fails, because to have a clean street relies upon all households not throwing out their poop.

Likewise if CO2 emissions are to be reduced then all countries, especially the largest emitters must reduce their CO2 emissions. But the largest emitter, China is not reducing its CO2 emissions, but instead it will at least double its CO2 emissions. The number 3 emitter, India, is also not reducing its emissions but will more than double its CO2 emissions such that by 2030 it will probably have become the 2nd largest emitter (assuming that the US continues to reduce emissions with its switch to fracked gas).

Unless China and India reduce CO2 emissions, it does not matter what the rest of the world does. Without these countries reducing their CO2 emissions by 2030 CO2 will have significantly increased.

The Paris Agreement was never about reducing global emissions, and that is why the likes of M@nn have called it out as a fr@ud. The globalist elite understand that we live in a consumer world and there would be an uprising if people in the developed nations could not continue to buy consumer goods. The US and European nations have essentially off-shored their industries to China and India, and the globalist elite know that in order to allow the people to have the goods they want. and which goods fund the lifestyle of the globalist elite, without causing an uprising, China and India must continue to manufacture these goods for western consumers. That is why these countries have been given a free pass with respect to CO2 emissions..

Reply to  steven mosher
December 13, 2018 2:20 am

“Long ago they used to dump poop out the window. Then laws were implemented making it crime only for white people to do so….”
– Steve Mosher (paraphrased creatively)

The following letter was written and addressed to the leader of the Greens here in Victoria, Australia. As anticipated, all my questions were ignored. I now address the letter to Nick Stokes and Steve Mosher—especially to Nick Stokes (because he’s Australian and says nothing about China burning our coal).

* * * * * * * * * * *
Dear Nick Stokes and Steve Mosher,

Australia produces less than 1/3 of 1% of all human CO2 emissions. Assuming for the sake of argument that global-warming pseudo-science is true (and it’s not), the elimination of all Australian CO2
emissions would make no difference whatsoever to global average temperatures.
As a matter of fact, the NASA OCO2 satellite shows Australia to be a net SINK of CO2 – not a net producer. This is probably because CO2 accelerates plant growth, causing our deserts to green, and our forests to become more dense. See for yourself:

But you don’t care. Just as you don’t care about non-multicultural-Japan, or non-multi-cultural India burning Australian resources for peanuts, totally guilt free.

You only seem to care about making energy unreliable and affordable for the western societies that invented…
► industrial steel,
► aluminum,
► the steam engine,
► the internal combustion engine,
► the diesel engine,
► the jet engine
► electricity generation
► electric motors
► semiconductors
► digital computing
and all the things that make life worthwhile and especially attractive to the 3rd world barbarians that ONLY western nations have to endure.

And you don’t see any irony in the perpetual charges of “racism” leveled at THE ONLY NATIONS ON EARTH to have multiculturalism rammed down their throats by hateful, undemocratic people like you; even while our streets are littered with homeless WHITE MEN so that Chinese investors can have a good time on the housing market; even as we provide free welfare, housing, education and hand-held computers to violent barbarians from Africa.

The Dalai Lama recently pointed out that so-called “refugees” should return to their broken countries and try to fix them, instead of flooding western nations and trying to break them.

I’m sure you wouldn’t dare call the Dalai Lama a racist, however, because his skin color and heritage don’t fit your conception of “racist”: that’s a charge only to be leveled by social justice warriors at white Europeans–the only people in the world who have multiculturalism forced down their throats by undemocratic, anti-European racist charlatans.

When informed, via peer-reviewed incontrovertible studies, that carbon dioxide fertilization from the burning of hydrocarbons, is GREENING the planet at a fantastic rate, you prefer to jam your fingers in your ears and pretend it isn’t happening.
It is a bizarre fact that the last people on Earth who want to know that the planet is greening call themselves greens!

Global Garden Gets Greener
NASA Earth Observatory
(June, 2003)
* * * * * *
Evidence for a recent increase in forest growth
(PNAS, January 2010)
Sean M. McMahona,b,1, Geoffrey G. Parkera, and Dawn R. Millera
* * * * * *
Deserts ‘greening’ from rising CO2
(CSIRO, July 2013)
* * * * * *
Earth getting greener due to rising carbon dioxide levels, global snapshot shows
(Australian Broadcasting Corp, April 2016)
“The most comprehensive modelling of remote sensing data so far shows
the area on Earth covered by plants in this time has increased by ►18
million square kilometres — about ► 2.5 times the size of the
Australian continent◄ — largely due to the fertilising effect of
carbon dioxide (CO2).”
* * * * * *
Greening of the Earth and its drivers
(Nature, March 2016)
“We show a persistent and widespread increase of growing season
integrated LAI (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated
area, whereas less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI
(browning). Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem
models suggest that ► CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the
observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate
change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%).”

But then, you don’t seem to care if China opens 100 new coal fired plants that will burn Australia’s life-enriching coal, just so long as Australians are forced to endure unreliable and unaffordable energy supplies.

Your silence on the matter of brown-skinned people burning our coal guilt-free is DEAFENING!!
I think that’s because you are a European-hating racist – like most so-called “greens.”

No Regards,
Leon Carter
(proud white male, and true humanist)

Denier Joe
Reply to  Khwarizmi
December 13, 2018 10:29 am

Excellent letter but there was one typo. In the sentence with the triangle points the word “affordable”, should be “unaffordable”. It’s a terrifyingly emotionally excruciatingly painful beyond tragic truth that racism is alive and politically correct in progressive circles. If any wealth was actually being shared by the guilt ridden self hating whites there might be some purpose. The hilarious thing is, the rich socialists aren’t giving up anything for their beliefs. The money saving us from the evil C02 all comes from working class and middle class taxpayers.

December 13, 2018 2:00 am

So what about the idea that the rise in temperature due to CO2 increase is logarithmic?

December 13, 2018 3:36 am

Willis – Has this been blocked by the alarmists as none of us engineers and scientists at work can get it to work at the moment. Cheers 🍻

Don K
December 13, 2018 5:56 am

Willis — As usual, no argument with your article

From the Everybody_Has_Their_Own_Numbers department, compare this chart from the World Bank https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC with your figure 1. Same story more or less, but the emissions in the period 1970-2000 in the World Bank data is flatter than yours. Flat enough I think to call into question the assumption that human CO2 emissions are closely correlated with atmospheric CO2.

I wonder how many other emissions data sets are out there and what they look like? I’ll look into that … someday

I’m GUESSING that the common assumption that human CO2 emissions are closely related to atmospheric CO2 levels is quite likely correct. But if so, that suggests that emissions estimates are pretty awful.

FWIW, Scripps Institute atmospheric CO2 measurements are at http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/data/atmospheric_co2/

Don K
Reply to  Don K
December 13, 2018 6:19 am

Ooops. World Bank data are CO2 per capita. Figure 1 is presumably total emissions. Probably the agreement is better than I thought.

Don K
Reply to  Don K
December 13, 2018 8:35 am

Now that I think upon this for a while, I guess one could argue that as long as US total emissions decrease year over year — which they have been doing since we started hydraulically fracturing tight shales to produce natural gas — the US is more than doing its part to save the planet (from what?) Now get off our lawn and go bug someone else.

Seriously — the US truly is currently not contributing to additional global warming. And, as Willis points out, even if we somehow cut our emissions dramatically, the affect on global temperature would be negligible. Those who want to save the planet should take their concerns to the developing world — who will, I believe, listen politely then ignore their advice completely.

December 13, 2018 6:14 am

Skeptics should stick with the data. CO2 rise follows temperature rise after a lag of several hundred years.

Most of the CO2 rise that we see is due to the temperature recovery from the Little Ice Age (LIA) with a lag of 300 years . Coincidentally, a much smaller amount is being added by humans. It’s an accident that warmists, the IPCC and their much-amplified propaganda machine have taken advantage of.

December 13, 2018 8:01 am

Are these figures based on per country or per person? What would a comparison look like? Just asking

December 13, 2018 1:18 pm

Something nether mentioned is that if a small increase of 1 or even 2 Celsius is dangerous to us humans then we should ban all long distance travel by planes. After all think of the shock factor to a person travelling from say a Australian summer of up to 40 C, to the winter in say the UK or Europe.

In the old days a ships slow rate of travel allowed us to get used to a slow increase in the temperature, but today its within a 24 hour period.


William Everett
December 13, 2018 2:04 pm

The biggest contribution to CO2 levels on Earth is made by its vegetation. Since the growth in CO2 level is overwhelmingly caused by that vegetation, and since this growth in CO2 level, together with global warming, fosters the more rapid growth of vegetation, we will continue to see rising CO2 levels until the Earth begins the next 500 year cooling cycle.

Linda Goodman
December 18, 2018 12:32 am

Let’s assume the alarmists are committed to a Big Lie: the breath of life is the gas of death.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Joseph Goebbels

“[Hitler’s] primary propaganda rules:
* people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one;
* if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it;
* never admit a fault or wrong;
* never accept blame;
* never leave room for alternatives;
* never concede that there may be some good in your enemy;
* concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong;
* never allow the public to cool off.

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