A Simple Model of the Atmospheric CO2 Budget

Reposted from Dr Roy Spencer’s blog

April 11th, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

SUMMARY: A simple model of the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere is presented which fairly accurately reproduces the Mauna Loa observations 1959 through 2018. The model assumes the surface removes CO2 at a rate proportional to the excess of atmospheric CO2 above some equilibrium value. It is forced with estimates of yearly CO2 emissions since 1750, as well as El Nino and La Nina effects. The residual effects of major volcanic eruptions (not included in the model) are clearly seen. Two interesting finding are that (1) the natural equilibrium level of CO2 in the atmosphere inplied by the model is about 295 ppm, rather than 265 or 270 ppm as is often assumed, and (2) if CO2 emissions were stabilized and kept constant at 2018 levels, the atmospheric CO2 concentration would eventually stabilize at close to 500 ppm, even with continued emissions.

A recent e-mail discussion regarding sources of CO2 other than anthropogenic led me to revisit a simple model to explain the history of CO2 observations at Mauna Loa since 1959. My intent here isn’t to try to prove there is some natural source of CO2 causing the recent rise, as I think it is mostly anthropogenic. Instead, I’m trying to see how well a simple model can explain the rise in CO2, and what useful insight can be deduced from such a model.

The model uses the Boden et al. (2017) estimates of yearly anthropogenic CO2 production rates since 1750, updated through 2018. The model assumes that the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere is proportional to the atmospheric excess above some natural “equilibrium level” of CO2 concentration. A spreadsheet with the model is here.

Here’s the assumed yearly CO2 inputs into the model:

Fig. 1. Assumed yearly anthropogenic CO2 input into the model atmosphere.

I also added in the effects of El Nino and La Nina, which I calculate cause a 0.47 ppm yearly change in CO2 per unit Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) value (May to April average). This helps to capture some of the wiggles in the Mauna Loa CO2 observations.

The resulting fit to the Mauna Loa data required an assumed “natural equilibrium” CO2 concentration of 295 ppm, which is higher than the usually assumed 265 or 270 ppm pre-industrial value:

Fig. 2. Simple model of atmospheric CO2 concentration using Boden et al. (2017) estimates of yearly anthropogenic emissions, an El Nino/La Nina natural source/sink, after fitting of three model free parameters.

Click on the above plot and notice just how well even the little El Nino- and La Nina-induced changes are captured. I’ll address the role of volcanoes later.

The next figure shows the full model period since 1750, extended out to the year 2200:

Simple-CO2-model-fit-1750-2200-550x413Fig. 3. As in Fig. 2, but for the full model period, 1750-2200.

Interestingly, note that despite continued CO2 emissions, the atmospheric concentration stabilizes just short of 500 ppm. This is the direct result of the fact that the Mauna Loa observations support the assumption that the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere is directly proportional to the amount of “excess” CO2 in the atmosphere above a “natural equilibrium” level. As the CO2 content increases, the rate or removal increases until it matches the rate of anthropogenic input.

We can also examine the removal rate of CO2 as a fraction of the anthropogenic source. We have long known that only about half of what is emitted “shows up” in the atmosphere (which isn’t what’s really going on), and decades ago the IPCC assumed that the biosphere and ocean couldn’t keep removing excess CO2 at such a high rate. But, in fact, the fractional rate of removal has actually been increasing, not decreasing. And the simple model captures this:

Fig. 4. Rate of removal of atmospheric CO2 as a fraction of the anthropogenic source, in the model and observations.

The up-and-down variations in Fig. 4 are due to El Nino and La Nina events (and volcanoes, discussed next).

Finally, a plot of the difference between the model and Mauna Loa observations reveals the effects of volcanoes. After a major eruption, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is depressed, either because of a decrease in natural surface emissions or an increase in surface uptake of atmospheric CO2:

Fig. 5. Simple model of yearly CO2 concentrations minus Mauna Loa observations (ppm), revealing the effects of volcanoes which are not included in the model.

What is amazing to me is that a model with such simple but physically reasonable assumptions can so accurately reproduce the Mauna Loa record of CO2 concentrations. I’ll admit I am no expert in the global carbon cycle, but the Mauna Loa data seem to support the assumption that for global, yearly averages, the surface removes a net amount of CO2 from the atmosphere that is directly proportional to how high the CO2 concentration goes above 295 ppm. The biological and physical oceanographic reasons for this might be complex, but the net result seems to follow a simple relationship.

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261 thoughts on “A Simple Model of the Atmospheric CO2 Budget

  1. Since China, India,The Middle East are not curbing CO2 we may as well wait for the 500 point anyway, as the show will be then over.

      • With CO2 concentrations still rising exponentially and a ten year lag for the full affect, waiting may not be prudent. But lets just wait and see what happens what could go wrong?

        • What could go wrong right?
          The planetary flora growth will be significantly enhanced.
          More food will be available to feed all animals, including humans.
          The climate change fraud will be demonstrated to be false.
          We will collectively stop wasting Trillions of dollars and enormous amounts of human and capital assets on climate change fraud.

          • Don’t project your deceits onto others, sophist Loydo!
            You asked a ‘What could happen?’ question and I provided 4 things that could happen.

          • Loydo, as opposed to those that run the experiment on another earth-like planet and everything turns out bad? The burden of proof rests of the claimants, not on the ‘deniers’.

          • CO2 levels have been above 2000ppm in the not to distant past, and life thrived.
            Why do you assume that 500 ppm is going to be a problem?

          • MarkW – April 12, 2019 at 6:57 am

            Why do you (Loydo) assume that 500 ppm is going to be a problem?

            Well now, anyone that actually believes that earth’s atmospheric CO2 ppm concentrations have been rising exponentially is highly likely to believe just about any “junk science” being touted by the “warminists” and “funded interest” flim-flammers.

          • “anyone that actually believes that earth’s atmospheric CO2 ppm concentrations have been rising exponentially…”

            Do you think the rise is linear Samuel?

            No, its exponential and that is countering the logarithmic saturation leading to a steady rise in temperature. Interestingly human emissions have been roughly linear for 20 years. Either another source is increasing or the natural sinks are diminishing.

          • Loydo – April 13, 2019 at 1:15 am

            Do you think the rise is linear Samuel?

            No, its exponential and that is countering the logarithmic saturation leading to a steady rise in temperature.

            Loydo, I do not think it is linear, …… I know for a fact that it is linear …. and this copy of the Keeling Curve Graph is proof that it has been linearly increasing since 1958. And the factual evidence that proves the KC Graph is correct is the linear (yearly) increase in the ocean water’s temperature due to its recovery from the “chill” of the LIA.

            Loydo, …. anthropogenic emissions of CO2 have been increasing exponentially for the past 80 years simply because the world’s population of people has been increasing exponentially, … but anthropogenic emissions of CO2 have little to no effect on atmospheric quantities of CO2 as denoted by the following, …. to wit:

            I compiled the following statistics via reliable sources, to wit:

            Increases in World Population & Atmospheric CO2 by Decade

            year — world popul. – % incr. — Dec CO2 ppm – % incr. — avg increase/year
            1940 – 2,300,000,000 est. ___ ____ 300 ppm est.
            1950 – 2,556,000,053 – 11.1% ____ 310 ppm – 3.3% —— 1.0 ppm/year
            [March 03, 1958 …… Mauna Loa — 315.71 ppm]
            1960 – 3,039,451,023 – 18.9% ____ 316 ppm – 1.9% —— 0.6 ppm/year
            1970 – 3,706,618,163 – 21.9% ____ 325 ppm – 2.8% —— 0.9 ppm/year
            1980 – 4,453,831,714 – 20.1% ____ 338 ppm – 4.0% —– 1.3 ppm/year
            1990 – 5,278,639,789 – 18.5% ____ 354 ppm – 4.7% —– 1.6 ppm/year
            2000 – 6,082,966,429 – 15.2% ____ 369 ppm – 4.2% —– 1.5 ppm/year
            2010 – 6,809,972,000 – 11.9% ____ 389 ppm – 5.4% —– 2.0 ppm/year
            2017 – 7,550,262,101 – 9.80 % ____ 407 ppm – 4.4% —– 1.8 ppm/year

            Source CO2 ppm: ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt

            And Loydo, the following graph is PROOF that the yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 has nothing to do with anthropogenic emissions or near-surface air temperatures, to wit:

            1979-2013 UAH satellite global lower atmosphere temperatures & CO2 ppm data
            http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af315/SamC_40/1979-2013UAHsatelliteglobalaveragetemperatures.png

          • “I know for a fact that it is linear …. and this copy of the Keeling Curve Graph…”

            But your curve bends up Samuel.

            “anthropogenic emissions of CO2 have been increasing exponentially for the past 80 years…”

            So which is it?

          • But your curve bends up Samuel.

            HUUUMMMM, …. does the curve bend …… or does the bend curve?

            Loydo, ….. are you actually “learning disabled” ………… or just pretending to be?

            The KC Graph depicts nature’s (oceanic) emissions of 1-2 ppm linear (yearly) increase in atmospheric CO2 during the past 61 years.

            Anthropogenic (human) emissions of CO2 have been increasing exponentially for the past 80 years because the world’s people population has increased from 3 billion to 7.5 billion.

            So which is it?

            It is both, …… oh silly one, because human emissions have absolutely, positively NO EFFECT on atmospheric quantities.

            What a waste of money. Buy ya books, send ya to school, ….. and the “politically correct” teachers miseducate you.

          • “Loydo, I do not think it is linear, …… I know for a fact that it is linear…”

            Actually, you’re both wrong. The growth in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere hasn’t been linear (growing by the same number of ppm each year), and it hasn’t been exponential (growing at the same percentage each year).

            The growth in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been “superexponential”…the percentage growth rate has been increasing. In the years around 1960, the growth rate was approximately 0.26 percent per year (i.e., a growth rate of approximately 0.8 ppm per year). Now, the growth rate averages approximately 0.63 percent per year (i.e., a growth rate of approximately 2.6 ppm per year).

            But just because something is growing “exponentially” or even “superexponentially” does not necessary mean the change is very fast. Even at a growth rate of 0.7 percent per year, it would take approximately 100 years for the concentration to double from its initial value.

        • You are misinformed. CO2 concentrations are presently rising in linear fashion, as examination of the curve will clearly demonstrate.

          • So emissions control is even more unrealistic and given world emissions keep rising … the world has spoken 🙂

          • Loydo

            Rising CO2´s effect is logarithmic. It has done already all what it can. It make this planet greener, which is very good. It hasn´t been scary armageddon, because only warming can be seen is in fabricated false climate history.

            Just wait. Very soon AMO goes to cool phase, and iceage hysteria will begin, again. Then you can sleep well because cooling is very good to you. Just relax, everything is fine, don´t worry. Be happy.

          • Loydo

            It´s very good, nature loves CO2. It´s our duty to keep this planet happy. We can clean it, but we must give CO2 to mother nature, because she loves it.

          • Loydo
            Your NOAA link is not a compelling argument for acceleration in the rate of increase of CO2. A linear fit to the data gives an R^2 value of 0.550 while a poly2 fit gives an R^2 value of 0.552. With only slightly more than half of the variance being predictable by date, I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in an additional 0.002 variance prediction. Linear looks good enough for government work.

          • Loydo – April 11, 2019 at 11:48 pm

            You are incorrect, the annual rate is increasing, “as examination of the curve will clearly demonstrate.”
            https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/gr.html

            Loydo, ….. NOAA is talking “trash” with that cited graph …… and therefore you are mimicking “TRASH”.

            NOAA’s “weazelworded” explanation of your cited graph pretty much defines and explains their deceitfulness and dishonesty with their scientific reporting, ……. to wit:

            [excerpted from cited url link] “Therefore, we finalize our estimate for the annual mean growth rate of the previous year in March, by using the average of the most recent November-February months, corrected for the average seasonal cycle, as the trend value for January 1. Our estimate for the annual mean growth rate (based on the Mauna Loa data) is obtained by subtracting the same four-month average centered on the previous January 1. Preliminary values for the previous year are calculated in January and in February.

            Loydo, ….. GETTA CLUE, …….. humanity’s (humans) annual (calendar) year is from January 01 to December 31, ……. whereas the annual cycle of earth’s atmospheric CO2 ppm is from mid-May of one calendar year to mid-May of the next calendar year (due to the biyearly [seasonal] cycling of atmospheric CO2), …… therefore the difference between the maximum quantity of CO2 ppm that is recorded in May of each calendar year determines the annual rate of increase.

          • Clyde, so with a ten year baked in lag, by 2030, are we going to be at 1850 +1.3 or is it 1.35C.
            Not much difference…
            Unfortunately the concave shape of that curve is going to counteract any log decline, which is a pity. When do you think the curve starts to flex the other way? and in what direction will this unprecedented rate of change send a delicately balanced chaotic system? My species was kind of enjoying the Pleistocene, I actually hope it continues.

          • Loydo
            You made my point by stating, “… by 2030, are we going to be at 1850 +1.3 or is it 1.35C.” There isn’t a lot of difference, but you insist that the increase is accelerating. My point is that your claim is poorly supported by the data, and I’m suspicious that you are pushing the ‘accelerating’ increase to try to make the problem seem worse than it is. In any event, your response is a Red Herring. Your statement was that the temp’ increase is accelerating, and I provided evidence that your claim is poorly supported.

            Where is the citation for your claimed “10-year lag?’

            “Unprecedented?” Unprecedented compared to what? I try to avoid making predictions for trends that are poorly understood. That is a difference between us.

          • Mark Bahner is right. CO2 growth % rate has been increasing. But not as fast as emissions have.

        • Loydo;
          But lets just wait and see what happens what could go wrong?

          Well yes, let’s. We could stop using fossil fuels and the watch the world economy collapse, billions of people die from food shortages, and all but a fraction of a percentage of the remaining population sentenced to a short brutal life.

          Decisions have consequences and the likelihood of economic collapse is orders of magnitude more certain than what “might” happen, not to mention our ability to adapt is what separates us from the animals and has put us where we are today.

          • NOAA’s graph has actual ppm on the y axis , whereas Spencer’s graph has the fraction removed as a %(actually expressed as decimal). The geometrical growth rate % can be expressed by the following formula
            The Keeling net CO2 in atmosphere curve is approximated mathematically by the formula:

            ppm = 0.013 t^2 + 0.518 t + 310.44 where t = the time in years since 1950

            The UK andUS workplace safety laws for ppm CO2 is 5000 ppm.
            setting the equation = 5000 and using the quadratic formula of (-b +/- ( (b^2 -4ac)^ 1/2)) / 2a

            gives t= 580. Adding that to 1950 gives the year 2530. That is 511 years away, where we might start choking on CO2 . However if Roy is correct about the 500 ppm limit then we have nothing to worry about. Notice that until we get close to 5000 ppm, the real indicator of worry will be either sea level rise or temperature. Since sea level rise isn’t accelerating that is no worry and since UAH long term temperature trend is still 1.3 C per century with no acceleration in sight , that doesnt seem worth worrying about either. SO WHAT IN THE HELL ARE THESE BEDWETTING ALARMISTS WORRIED ABOUT?

        • “But lets just wait and see what happens what could go wrong?”
          Could you at least provide SOME actual observable, measurable (not modeled or guessed about) evidence that the danger is real? Having spent literally trillions of dollars, how many years later with no more evidence than “consensus” and “high confidence” I do not think that is an unreasonable request.

          • I know what exponential means. It means that something grows at a constant percentage rate per unit of time.

            In the case of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, the percentage rate of growth per year is not constant, it has been *increasing* since measurements at Mauna Loa began. That is greater than exponential, or “superexponential” growth.

        • Loydo, if we converted all declared reserves of hydrocarbons, coal, oil, natural gas to CO2, assuming no natural removing, we would reach 1200ppm or so.
          Earth had already 2000ppm in history.
          So we simply never get there. It is really more probable that CO2 peak will be around 500ppm and then strong natural removing will plummet CO2 content to icea age levels of 160ppm. And we will have no mean to replenish it by burning hydrocarbons.

          • “Loydo April 12, 2019 at 12:43 am

            My guess is that we’ve just ended the Pleistocene.”

            Better than any climate “science” model. I would take a $5 two way bet on your guess! My guess is you are wrong.

          • Loydo

            That´s just another guess from you. You have a lot of guesses.

            Do you have any facts? I guess you don´t.

          • Loydo could be a troll bot. OK, maybe giving too much to some supposed AI, but then again it could be a stupid AI. Am I starting to feel sorry for a stupid AI? Does it qualify for handicapped parking?
            But it does manage to liven up the discussion.
            Many valuable points raised here.
            Thank you Loydo!

          • Loydo, I’m not sure what species you are, but the Pleistocene ended 11,700 years ago. The rest of us are living in the Holocene.

        • CO2 and water makes bicarbonate. I was not aware that bicarbonate had a greenhouse effect, or was a long wave radiation emitter.

        • There hasn’t been any noticeable affect so far, why do you assume that the effect will not only soon get noticeable, but be catastrophic as well?

        • We need to save nature from industrialization, you, and the Green plan to spend $127 Trillion on Massively unsustainable RE: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/05/monumental-

          Do the Math, by 2050 we need to add 3-5 cubic miles of oil energy equivalents; or 12 to 20 Billion solar rooftops, 9 to 15 million turbines or just 4 container ships of the Seaborg.co 20′ 30-ton shippable Molten Salt Reactors:

          Save nature and $117 Trillion: The Case for the Good Reactor https://spark.adobe.com/page/1nzbgqE9xtUZF/ unsustainable-environmental-impacts/

        • “Empirical studies and theory suggest that increases in temperature and CO2 will interact to enhance leaf photosynthesis (Long et al., 2004).” – Soyface (Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment) University of Illinois

          Many actual experiments document the positive beneficial effect of elevated CO2 AND temperature, resulting in increased plant growth, crop yields, drought tolerance, ozone tolerance, water use efficiency, the list goes on and on.

          CO2 is Free Arial Fertilizer. Even Chicken Little produces fertilizer.

        • Loydo, you lost this one. The rise in CO2 is definitely NOT exponential and I have to believe that you know that. I think you are trolling.

          • I wrote: “It is in fact *greater* than exponential.”

            [?? .mod]

            As I explained in my previous comments, exponential growth increases at a constant average percentage per interval, such as 0.5 percent per year. When growth is *greater* than exponential, the percentage per year actually increase, which is what has happened with CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Circa 1960, the average increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was approximately 0.3 percent per year, now it’s approximately 0.6 percent per year.

            IMPORTANT NOTE: Most people do not understand the term “exponential growth”…let alone “superexponential growth”. They think that such grow must “very fast!” But the key is to exponential growth is the doubling time. Even at an exponential growth rate of 1 percent per year, the doubling time is approximately 70 years. So even though CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are growing “superexponentially” that’s not necessarily a big deal.

            [Thank you for expanding on your claim. .mod]

          • [Thank you for expanding on your claim. .mod]

            You’re welcome. But I think calling it a “claim” is like calling it a “claim” if someone says 2 times 3 is greater than 2 times 2.

            It’s simple math. (Well, not quite that simple, I guess.)

            🙂

      • “as the show will be then over.”
        Perhaps that could be interpreted to mean that the overheated hype will be revealed for the lie that it is.

          • Where in the discussion is the amount of CO2 emitted by the planet versus humans every year? That should be part of the budget.

            All of the above discussion pretty much assumes, by omission, that human emissions drive CO2 atmospheric changes and they only consider the fraction of human emitted CO2 taken up by the planet each year. This is a bogus approach.

            John O’Sullivan has published a fine paper regarding CO2, describing the dominance of natural CO2 emission over human emissions. His observations regarding Pinatubo are important, as the volcano has emitted more CO2 than mankind has ever overall.

            Natural emissions dwarf human emissions, which is why our escalating emissions are not accelerating CO2 rise.

            In the above, the authors make the ridiculous excuse that, for some reason, an increasing fraction of human emissions are being absorbed by the planet, supposedly the reason for our escalating emissions not altering CO2 growth.

            This model only “works” be cause it is simple and simply based on false assumptions and missing factors. How about the half-life of CO2 in the atmosphere? Where is that considered? a 5 year half-life changes everything.

            Also, if you go back before 1950, the REAL record shows that CO2 was much higher than now during the 1940s and two other times in the 1800s (E Beck, real chemical CO2 data). I want to see that compared to their model.

        • Yes, this UN show will be then over.

          We just have to wait for the next science bastardisation scheme to make a brand new “end of the world” hysteria.

      • The plants are telling us that they would like to see CO2 at least at 1,000 and better still 1,200 ppm. Plants have been around longer than we have and know more than some people that I know.

    • CO2 does not determine climate. Climate is determined by location on the planet relative to the sun. Latitude, altitude, nearby large bodies of water, etc. A couple of degrees change in the “average” (which is not a temperature) won’t change your climate biome. Temperatures vary greater than that on a daily basis.

    • Btw, all it takes to raise the “global mean” (which again is not a temperature) is for it to not get quite as cold. If it’s only getting down to -50F in stead of -51, at the South Pole (as one story indicated), it’s hardly getting “hotter”.

      • You nailed it. All the global warming alarmists want you to believe the earth will turn into a cinder from ever increasing high temperatures. Yet the “average” global delta simply cannot confirm that is what will happen. The average can go up for the very reason you state. If you take samples of the cooling-days at various locations over the globe for the past three years it is difficult to find a location where the annual cooling-day total is going up. In most places it is either constant or going down. Meaning maximum temperatures are not going up at all.

  2. This modeling effort demonstrates that not all CO2 emitted by fossil fuel burning and natural sources stay in the atmosphere as wrongly assumed by CO2-AGW ClimateChange hypothesis propagated by some in U.S. agencies and IPCC. The UN declared CO2 as air pollution in the 2018 UN report issued in Seoul meeting.
    Our 2017 ARIMA model of Mauna Loa monthly CO2 time series predicts 457 ppm CO2 in year 2050, about 13% increase from year 2016 average.
    Remarkably close is the Spencer’s model result of about 455 ppm in 2050 (Figure 3).
    The other point I like to draw attention that the atmospheric equilibrium level of CO2 is probably 280 ppm for which strong evidence was found in Antarcritica ice cores. Recall, there has never been a settlement or industry in that ice cover land mass in the known history.

    • “…as wrongly assumed by CO2-AGW ClimateChange hypothesis propagated by some in U.S. agencies and IPCC.”

      Waheed, you appear to making things up.

      • No Loydo, you are making things up. That´s very understandable because you are pseudoscience believer. You have nothing to backup your believe so you are a member of climate religion.
        But don´t worry, it´s cureable. Just don´t listen false prophets.

        You must understand that UN is politicians playgroung. This whole issue is pure politics, nothing else. Follow the money, tells you the truth.
        And declaring CO2 as air pollution is extreme stupid and dangerous way to deny an innocent molecule which is the cornerstone of life on this planet.

        And they call us deniers.

    • This modeling effort demonstrates…

      Modeling efforts only demonstrate effort and mathematical/computer skills. They never provide evidence for anything. Evidence is exclusively provided by observation of real phenomena, never by computer simulations.

      Models are tools to understand and calculate, but if they are your only tool you are not doing science.

      As I show in a comment below I reached the same conclusions as Roy Spencer without a model and posted it 10 months ago, because if you already understand what happens to CO2 the calculations are simple and a model is not required.

      • “Modeling efforts only demonstrate effort and mathematical/computer skills. They never provide evidence for anything.”

        They do provide evidence of understanding the subject being modeled (assuming sufficient effort and mathematical/computer skills). The greater the understanding, the greater a model’s performance will match observations of reality, and vice versa.

        • Maybe so, but if modelers don´t have ALL knowledge of climate, they are only guessing, as we have seen.

          There is a long road to go from no understanding to a little better understanding. And I think it´s not possible to understand unlinear chaotic system = climate, to hundreds years future.

          It´s just a joke. Bad, expensive, and very harmful joke.

        • I am talking about scientific evidence which is the only one I care. I leave evidence of understanding for teachers that have to grade their students.

          Models are useful but they don’t advance science. Models don’t know anything that hasn’t been programmed into them. The use of models as a scientific argument would be quickly defined as a fallacy if philosophy of science was still a functioning subject.

          • If scientific argument is not proved by empirical evidence it´s not science. It´s BS.

            When the claim is “end of the world” level, evidence must be exceptionally strong. There´s no evidence at all. Just pure stinking BS.

            And they call us deniers.

    • “This modeling effort demonstrates that not all CO2 emitted by fossil fuel burning and natural sources stay in the atmosphere as wrongly assumed by CO2-AGW ClimateChange hypothesis propagated by some in U.S. agencies and IPCC.”

      Can this study tell us how long a given amount of emitted CO2 stays in the atmosphere before it is removed from the atmosphere?

  3. Willis previously did work which I recall showed that a 39 year half-life of CO2 I the atmosphere fitted the data. The problem is not showing that a much more optimistic model structure fits the data, but rather that it is provably statistically preferable to the Bern model, or whatever the IPCC is using today, in fitting the data. It also needs a sound ‘physical’ basis for its structure.

    Since what we have is a slowly accelerating straight line from a Mauna Loa, I can see that will be tough.

  4. “The model assumes that the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere is proportional to the atmospheric excess above some natural “equilibrium level” of CO2 concentration.”
    The notion of natural equilibrium, though, gets a bit tenuous when it hasn’t been there for a long time. There is an alternative view of the arithmetic here, which is based on dynamic behaviour, not deviation from a static level. It notes that if there is an exponential decay variation with time, as there often is, then an exponential rate of rise should lead to a similar exponential rate of removal, and hence to a constant airborne fraction. We have had exponential rise, and the cumulative airborne fraction has been remarkably constant.

    • Static natural equilibrium????

      The levels moved around a hell of a lot when there weren’t any humans on the planet which rules out any idea there is a static natural equilibrium. There is a natural equilibrium but static it is not.

      • Indeed. But this article says:
        “the natural equilibrium level of CO2 in the atmosphere inplied by the model is about 295 ppm, rather than 265 or 270 ppm as is often assumed”

        • On that we agree, the whole article is a pointless graph matching exercise.

          If I give Roy an Elephant Drawing I am sure he can come up with some values to draw it 🙂

          • I agree, but there is a real point here. If you look at the Bern Model, it appears contrived to ensure that part of emitted CO2 never comes out of tha atmosphere. Crazy, but quite convenient if you want to forecast catastrophe.

            I think they have moved on from the Bern Model while i’ve Not been watching. However. The point that a better model could easily make a big difference to forecasts is sound.

            Invidentally, I think volcano chart above is quite eye-catching.

    • Nick
      I tend to agree, the historical equilibrium was about 285pp during interglacial. Given that there is no clear evidence of where the current excess will ultimately reside, there is no new equilibrium in such a short period of surplus. It is just speculation.
      Regards

      • the historical equilibrium was about 285pp during interglacial.

        Everything is a contradiction in this phrase. It was not historical, there was no equilibrium, and it was not 285 ppm. During the Holocene, as defined, CO2 levels first increased to ~268 ppm, then decreased to ~260 ppm, then increased to ~283 ppm, then decreased to ~273 ppm, before the final increase we are in. This is according to Monnin et al. 2004.

    • The equilibrium level is set by the temperature and changes with the changes in temperature. It is affected by biosphere expansions and retractions. The atmospheric levels are always trying to catch up to the equilibrium level, but the oceans are very slow and the biosphere tries to grab as much as possible. So yes, there is an equilibrium level that can be calculated, and yes it is changing all the time driven by temperature changes and affected by biosphere changes that are sensitive to both temperature and CO2 changes.

      Our intervention has set the system to work in only one direction, trying to remove as much as possible. This was completely predictable yet climatologues failed to do so and for years talked about missing sinks. It shows Climatology is an infant unreliable field of science. Skepticism is the only rational position.

  5. Just how accurate are the readings from Mauna Loa ? What about the volcanic vents around it.

    Are any readings taken from a much better site, such as the mountains on the West Coast of Tasmania. ?

    MJE VK5ELL

      • It’s accurate to itself as a site 🙂

        I am sure CO2 levels in downtown New York or in the middle of the Amazon probably don’t look like that.

        When you want to claim something is accurate you need to stop and think.

        The reading is a proxy of world CO2 levels like most things in climate science and it has all the problems that go with that. There will be places higher and lower and there is a range which itself may be changing.

          • Loydo:
            You need to LINK your brain to some critical thinking before evaluating the evidence in the LINK. Ever been to Mauna Loa? I have it– it spews CO2 and H2S continuously from a caldera the size of Center City Philadelphia from the Delaware River on the East to 2nd & Schunk on the South to Pennypack Park on the North, to Fairmount Park on the West.
            The CO2 is NOT representative or accurate on anything but the atmosphere near the station above the caldera.

          • @Loydo
            It’s a graph of 4 sites around the world which actually differ in CO2 levels ENORMOUSLY WITH A HUGE CYCLE in them.

            Still looking for what is supposed to be accurate?

      • They try hard to keep it accurate, and very likely succeed. If they didn’t, we’d likely see random noise spikes — always upward — in their CO2 estimates due to volcanic CO2 spikes.

    • “Are any readings taken from a much better site, such as the mountains on the West Coast of Tasmania. ?”
      Cape Grim, NW Tasmania, is another site. They all give much the same results. Mauna Loa is much quoted, because it has the longest record, but only by a decade or so.

  6. The assumption that CO2 emission rates remained capped at 2018 seems highly unlikely.
    While the model may have its defects (i.e that sinks get saturated and lose their ability to
    absorb CO2 over time) the fact that the input seems highly implausible means that any
    results are also highly debatable. The usual principle of GIGO applies here as well.

    • Who said they capped in 2018?

      They rose 2.7% in 2018 and are looking like 3.6% this year unless China does something drastic.

      • LdB,
        the author of the post states that CO2 emissions remain capped at 2018 levels for ever. Look
        at Fig. 1. This is as you agree a ridiculous assumption and so we should not trust any conclusions
        resulting from such an assumption.

        • It would seem a better assumption would be for increases until at least 2030 and possibly capped at that time. This is based on China plans to move to nuclear over the next decade. After that in increases in the rest of the world will likely be countered by decreases in China.

          What this would do is move the end of the curve out a decade and up as well but the shape of the curve is probably identical. The key is that large increases assumed in many RCP papers today would never occur and the temperature rises would be much less even if a person believes the IPCC climate sensitivity numbers.

        • Agree with Izaak. Why would emissions stop increasing? But the model looks good.
          The main point it seems is that we do not have to rapidly reduce emissions as many politicians now claim. And if can predict emission growth, we can estimate CO2 growth. Incidentally, exponential growth is merely a constant annual percentage growth. For CO2 now it is about 0.55% with the rate slowly increasing.

    • Agree with Izaak. Why would emissions stop increasing? But the model looks good. The main point it seems is that we do not have to rapidly reduce emission as many politicians now claim. And if can predict emission growth, we can estimate CO2 growth. Incidentally, exponential growth is merely a constant annual percentage growth. For CO2 now about it is about 0.55% with the rate slowly increasing.

  7. The model proposed has some similarities to enzyme kinetics.

    Enzyme kinetics is governed by the Michaelis-Menten equation:

    V(S)= V(max)* S/(Km + S)

    where:
    V(S) is the rate of reaction at substrate concentration S;
    V(max) is the rate of reaction at infinite concentration;
    Km is the substrate concentration at half maximal reaction rate.

    If S <> Km, then reaction rate tends toward V(max).

    The main responsive variable in climate systems is photosynthetic capacity. There are rapidly responsive modes. like photosynthetic bacteria, algae and phytoplankton; and there are steadily responsive modes like grasses, plants and trees. The model assumes that in the long run, short-term rapid-response-mode perturbations are like noise in the system.

    Photosynthetic activity globally is not limited usually by water (even if in deserts it is), but rather is limited daily by light inputs and continuously by carbon dioxide concentrations. So at all points on earth where nutrient availability is not limiting, photosynthetic activity increases linearly in response to increased carbon dioxide, thus increasing the rate of removal of carbon dioxide and increasing levels of oxygen.

    The assumptions of the proposed model is that this photosynthetic capacity can increase sufficiently to match current carbon dioxide forcings to create a new equilibrium. That is an assumption which needs examining and verifying.

    The real question is whether detailed mathematics suggests that humans will let such an increase in photosynthetic capacity take place (forest regeneration etc), whether they will promote it or whether waning oil 100 years hence will see huge tree chopping re-emerging.

    To me, this model assumes that nature will be allowed to act unfettered by human behaviour to allow a new equilibrium to be found.

    That is the assumption which must be probed carefully if the presented model is to be relevant and applicable in the hard world of human behaviour.

    • Very interesting that after volcanic eruptions there are falls in CO2. Many would wonder why not a rise given the much discussed CO2 emissions, but it indicates that the limiting factor could be Fe starvation in the oceans.

      It also points to a solution for CO2, Fe fertilization.

      Regarding so called initial CO2 levels that must change rather than being a fixed number and maybe due to temperature as they have been very different before our fascination with fossil fuels and wealth.

      It is a bit interesting that we emit maybe 18X the CO2 per year now relative to 1950 yet we can see the rise very clearly in 1950 the world is absorbing a lot and its good at it.
      It also indicates to me that the linear nature of the rise is like an approximation which allows the 500 ceiling to be possible, if not proven.

  8. What is being described “rate of removal proportional to excess over 295 ppm” is just about the simplest most basic first order feedback system. A single pole system. It happens all the time in all sorts of systems. Occams razor says look for the simplest explanation. If such a common system fits the data so well why not accept it as the most likely scenario? Or are we looking for complex alternatives to support a pet agenda.

  9. What is the average CO2 of the Earth? It must be much higher at Hawaii than in the cold areas of the world. Similar to the differentiation of H20 concentration?

      • Absolutely. Water at 32 degrees F holds ~3x the amount of CO2 as water at 120 degrees F. And because we are coming out of an ice age, the warming oceans are degassing CO2. Given the fact that the mass of the oceans is ~270 times the mass of the atmosphere, the oceans contain at least 50x the amount of CO2 (Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore says 70x as much) and possibly much, much more. Because the oceans and atmosphere are a coupled system, (joined at the hip so to speak) the concentration of CO2 in both depends almost entirely on the temperature of the oceans. A great deal of the increase in CO2 we are observing in our atmosphere is degassing from our warming oceans. It’s basic physics. The notion that a slight increase in atmospheric CO2 can turn the oceans acidic is beyond stupid. It’s a perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.

        • No, oceans are not generally degassing. Didn’t you get what doctor Spencer said above?

          Ocean + land sinks are eating about 40% of human emissions, that’s petagrams.

          We have some greening but it is not explaning the 40%. Some goes to the ocean, which has a very stable temperature.

          • Hugs,
            OCO-2 shows clearly that there is significant out-gassing in tropical waters. However, the colder high-latitudes are absorbing CO2, perhaps less effectively as the Arctic warms. It is the net difference between the tropical source and high-latitude sinks that is important.

          • Exactly. And, because there is a persistent flow involved, a net imbalance leads to accumulation.

    • It must be much higher at Hawaii than in the cold areas of the world.

      Surprisingly perhaps, no. Part of Charles Keeling’s mid twentieth century CO2 measurement program is weekly flask measurements of CO2 at a number of sites at different latitudes. As I recall, there are about 10 collection sites at latitudes from near the poles to near the equator in both hemispheres. They have been making weekly measurements for about 60 years. They do show a small fall off in CO2 at high latitudes relative to the tropics. But overall, they show CO2 (unlike H2O) to be “well-mixed.” “Well-mixed” = pretty much the same everywhere.

      • Don K

        “… pretty much the same everywhere.”

        Exactly.

        Each time a thread starts concerning CO2’s atmospheric concentration, the same blah blah appears again and again.

        In French I would say: “au plus une opinion est fausse, au plus longtemps elle vivra”.

        • Bob – Yep. But I think the issue here is that based only on logic and some knowledge of solubility curves for CO2, one might expect substantial drop off in atmospheric CO2 concentration in the higher latitudes. The data from Keeling’s flask measurements and more recently from the OCO2 satellite says there is a bit of drop off, but not much.

      • Its well mixed except even on the graph shown there are 4 sites with massive variation 🙂

        I will give you they have the same trend and same signal but not much beyond that.

  10. CTM

    “Two interesting finding are that (1) the natural equilibrium level of CO2 in the atmosphere inplied (implied?) by the model

  11. There’s something interesting in the Mauna Loa data which I detected long ago. Every year it goes down in the NH growing season and up in the remaining months. Globally, it goes up because it increases more when it increases, than what it reduces in the growing season. But if you have a look at “by how much” it increases and reduces every year, you will find that it goes down in the growing season BY THE SAME AMMOUNT NOW than it was going down 60 years ago. It is only the increase in the other half of the year that is changing.

    As we do emit waaaaay more CO2 now, the whole year
    round including the growing season, than we were emitting 60 years ago, if CO2 concentration still reduces by the same ammount than then, it necessarily means that the biosphere’s natural carbon uptake in those months has increased AS MUCH AS our emissions in those months. It is only in winter where it can’t do better yet.

  12. LdB

    “I am sure CO2 levels in downtown New York or in the middle of the Amazon probably don’t look like that.
    When you want to claim something is accurate you need to stop and think.”

    What about having a closer look at information instead of guessing?

    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html

    Of interest for you is the stuff below “Observed variations of CO2 in the atmosphere”, an experiment made in northern Wisconsin.

    • In your link it claims

      We have confidence that the CO2 measurements made at the Mauna Loa Observatory reflect truth about our global atmosphere.

      What does that even mean, it’s not a science term … it is a religous or psychology term 🙂

      See they are playing hide the problem …. it’s a proxy … that is the scientific term for it.

      Now because it is a proxy you need to be very careful about how you use it because it comes with a huge set of problems.

  13. I wrote an analysis of future CO2 atmospheric levels that bears a lot of resemblance to Roy Spencer’s analysis here:
    https://judithcurry.com/2018/06/28/nature-unbound-ix-21st-century-climate-change/

    “The reason why sinks are taking up more CO₂ from the atmosphere is that we are farther from equilibrium. Since atmospheric CO₂ changed very slowly before anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuels, it can be assumed that sinks (K) and sources (S) were at equilibrium at 280 ppm (ΔK = ΔS). Due to warming the oceans release ~ 16 ppm/°C, so current equilibrium is ~ 290 ppm. Since the current level (~ 400 ppm) is above equilibrium level, sinks are larger than sources (ΔK > ΔS), and the the farther we are from equilibrium, the larger the difference between sinks and sources (ΔK–ΔS). If we stabilize emissions (E) near present levels, as current trend suggests, the difference between sinks and sources will continue increasing until it matches emissions (ΔK–ΔS = E), reaching a new equilibrium for constant emissions. Since we are ~ 120 ppm above equilibrium and sinks are absorbing 55% of our emissions (ΔK–ΔS = 0.55E), it can be calculated that for constant current emissions the new equilibrium lies at 220 ppm (120/0.55) above the present equilibrium value of 290 ppm, or 510 ppm.

    Given constant emissions at present levels, atmospheric CO2should increase logarithmically towards 510 ppm, at which point sinks should match sources plus emissions (ΔK = ΔS + E). One of the biggest mistakes in the climate change debate is assuming that we need zero emissions to stabilize CO₂ levels. Deep ocean carbon stores are so large that carbon sinks can be considered unlimited in terms of anthropogenic emissions. The planet has dealt with much higher perturbations of CO₂ atmospheric levels in the past, as supported by the large δ¹³C excursions associated with the formation of large igneous provinces that formed over tens of thousands of years. The IPCC hypothesis predicts that under constant emissions there should be a constant increase in atmospheric CO₂ levels and the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO₂ should increase as sinks saturate. However, after 10 years of stabilizing CO₂ emissions it should become apparent that the airborne fraction of fossil fuel CO₂ is decreasing and the rate of increase in total atmospheric CO₂ is slowing down. Once more we are poised for another positive surprise by carbon sinks.

    Fossil fuel CO₂ emissions are growing more slowly (figure 117) and there is the possibility that they will decrease in a few decades. Once our emissions decrease, atmospheric CO₂ will start slowly decreasing, as sinks and sources equilibrate to our decreasing emissions.”

    Bold added to highlight the similarity of my calculations to Roy Spencer’s model results.

    • Javier

      My question has always been what would happen if emissions suddenly decreased? Would we see an eventual rapid decrease in atmospheric concentrations because the sinks are too large? how would it end would it smoothly slow down to reach the equilibrium level or could we have overshoot and end up in a dangerously low concentration level? I have often wondered whether some of the great extinction events followed a rapid increase in CO2 concentrations followed by a huge increase in sinks and a corresponding collapse of CO2 concentrations when the emissions suddenly stopped?

        • OK forget Manmade, imagine a huge volcanic event over several thousand years dumping huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, Co2 concentration jump to 1000 ppm. the natural sinks start increasing to meet this level, and start pulling it down while the emissions continue, then suddenly the emissions dwindle to nothing. Then what happens? do CO2 concentration come in for a soft landing at the equilibrium level for whatever temperature is prevalent at that time or do CO2 levels collapse until the sinks are eliminated and then start slowly rising again?

          • There is no “equilibrium” level so I would agree more with the second part, however sinks aren’t likely to ever be eliminated as a cold ocean always absorbs and flora is ever present.

            It only looks like an equilibrium. It, like the ocean temperature is “kiting” on the irregular warming/cooling effect of solar activity over all times scales.

        • Any change in manmade emissions will be below the threshold of detection compared to ocean outgassing.

          You have that wrong. The oceans are a net sink. This is 1960s science or earlier.

          • You have misunderstood what I said.

            The only way I think you will get it right is to discern that the relative portion of manmade emissions as compared to ocean outgassing are not mathematically discernible from the action of Henry’s Law depicted in my graphic, via ocean warming/cooling that inherently includes ocean sinking.

            The ocean sinking action is depicted there along with the outgassing, so where’s the problem again? My 2019 science is just fine.

          • I call bullshit! This idea defies basic physics. A repost of my comment above:

            Water at 32 degrees F holds ~3x the amount of CO2 as water at 120 degrees F. And because we are coming out of an ice age, the warming oceans are degassing CO2. Given the fact that the mass of the oceans is ~270 times the mass of the atmosphere, the oceans contain at least 50x the amount of CO2 (Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore says 70x as much) and possibly much, much more. Because the oceans and atmosphere are a coupled system, (joined at the hip so to speak) the concentration of CO2 in both depends almost entirely on the temperature of the oceans. A great deal of the increase in CO2 we are observing in our atmosphere is degassing from our warming oceans. It’s basic physics. The notion that a slight increase in atmospheric CO2 can turn the oceans acidic is beyond stupid. It’s a perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.

          • I call bullshit! This idea defies basic physics.

            I think you need to study more so you won’t look so ignorant. Your argument is obviously not new and has been satisfactorily answered decades ago. I’ll give you a hit. It has to do with partial pressures.

          • You have misunderstood what I said.

            I am still trying to understand what you say.

            If you are the ocean and I am the man, and we both have a bank account, and every month you draw ~ 1000 $ and put back ~ 1000 $, and every month I put 10 $ in the account, and the account is going up by 5 $ every month, it doesn’t matter that my operations are tiny and barely detectable. All the savings is being made by me.

          • Javier based on your answer to Louis and myself, I feel today that you need to take some to appreciate some things.

            Louis’s post is very logical and follows from Henry’s Law.

            Try to see if you can determine from the 12mo change in CO2 graphic data and any other source whether the manmade portion of the curve is above 0.00001%. Or 0.00000000001%. If you claim its even 0.01% I’d like to see the math. Whoever thinks they know the answer to that can speak now.

          • Bob:

            Start with:
            Sabine, C.L., Feely, R.A., Gruber, N., Key, R.M., Lee, K., Bullister, J.L., Wanninkhof, R., Wong, C.S.L., Wallace, D.W., Tilbrook, B. and Millero, F.J., 2004. The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2. science, 305(5682), pp.367-371.
            https://courses.seas.harvard.edu/climate/seminars/pdfs/Sabine_etal_2004.pdf

            And follow with:
            Gruber, N., Clement, D., Carter, B.R., Feely, R.A., Van Heuven, S., Hoppema, M., Ishii, M., Key, R.M., Kozyr, A., Lauvset, S.K. and Monaco, C.L., 2019. The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2 from 1994 to 2007. Science, 363(6432), pp.1193-1199.
            http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6432/1193.abstract

          • Thanks for dredging those up links Javier.

            The state of ocean CO2 uptake

            The ocean is an important sink for anthropogenic CO2 and has absorbed roughly 30% of our emissions between the beginning of the industrial revolution and the mid-1990s. This effect is an important moderator of climate change, but can we count on it to remain as strong in the future? Gruber et al. calculated the ocean uptake of anthropogenic CO2 for the interval from 1994 to 2007, which continued as expected. They also observed clear regional deviations from this pattern, suggesting that there is no guarantee that uptake will remain as robust with time. -my bold

            It’s curious that they used two time periods. 30% of emissions are said to be sunk into the ocean.

            I hope people realize if that were true the clearly close relationship between ocean temperatures and 12mo change in CO2 would have a pronounced divergence.

            The true relationship has a shorter-term effect dominated by the change in sea-surface temperature, and a long-term trend that follows the trend in sea surface temperature. I can see a second order differential equation in that. There is no real difference in the post mid-1990’s relationship as compared to before.

            Secondly, there is no visual difference in the magnitude of the CO2 swings in the 12 mo change curve throughout the 60 year data relative to sea-surface temperature changes.

            If it were true that the ocean sinked 30% of increasing emissions that are thought to be the majority of atmospheric accumulation, the trend in 12mo CO2 change wouldn’t follow the ocean temperature, it would follow human emissions, which are claimed to be now most of the whole of the atmospheric CO2, and there would be random spikes in the graphic that correspond to changes in human emissions. I don’t see that.

            The CO2 warmists get away with circular thinking by saying the ocean warms from absorbed manmade CO2, for which there is no evidence.

            Why bother with their second paper.

          • Javier: Do you believe the Global Circulation Model projections or the empirical temperature data (reality)? Hopefully, you believe empirical data over climate porn, and if so, why on Earth would you believe the alarmist claptrap in the articles you cite?

            We are told ad nauseum that the Earth’s ice is melting and sea levels are rising due to human activities. Both are happening but mostly due to natural causes. That’s because the earth is still coming out of an ice age. And if the temperature of the frozen water on planet Earth is still equilibrating, so is the temperature of the liquid part. It’s basic physics and common sense. You can test it by opening a cold beer and letting it warm up. No matter how much CO2 you put into the head space of the beer bottle, NONE will go into solution as the beer warms, unless you jack up the pressure enormously. You’re smart enough to know this. Use your head. Don’t fall for fake alarmist science.

          • Bob,

            We’ve all been there, wondering if the CO2 in the atmosphere was being produced by us, since our emissions are so small compared to carbon stores fluxes. And then looking on amazement to the similarity between the CO2 derivative and temperature graph. But some of us researched the issue, understood it, found that the explanation is trivial and known since the mid-1970s and moved over.

            Those that get stuck with this issue and reject the explanations that science provides don’t get a lot of respect. They should research it more. By insisting on questions that have been satisfactorily answered without adding anything new, those people give a poor impression of skeptics as anti-science.

            It is not productive to keep discussing it. I try to provide education to the constant stream of skeptics that raise this issue over and over. I do it because other did that for me. But if they reject it, it is up to them. People have a right to be wrong.

          • Louis,

            Science has nothing to do with believing, quite the contrary. The evidence that a major part of our emissions is being absorbed by the oceans and the biosphere is pretty good. And it fits rather well what we know about physics, chemistry and biology. So if you think otherwise you better have really good evidence.

            We are told ad nauseum that the Earth’s ice is melting and sea levels are rising due to human activities. Both are happening but mostly due to natural causes.

            How do you know? Probably a major cause of cryosphere melting is due to the increase in light absorbing particles coming from soot that is generated from biomass burning, industrialization, and fossil fuel burning, all of them anthropogenic factors. And the increase in cryosphere melting is related to the sea level increase, so the anthropogenic factor is likely there too.

            That’s because the earth is still coming out of an ice age.

            You really need to study more. The Earth is currently in an interglacial within one of the hardest Ice Ages of the last 540 million years, the Late Cenozoic Ice Age. It is not coming out of anything. If anything our interglacial is growing long in the tooth.

            It’s basic physics and common sense.

            Climate is anything but simple, so don’t come to me with 101 Physics, and as my father used to say common sense is the least common of the senses. My opened beers don’t stay around long enough to warm.

            I see you are new to WUWT so I will forgive you for accusing me of falling for fake alarmist science. You can run a search with my name here at WUWT or at judithcurry.com if you are interested in what my position is respect climate change.

          • You’re now starting to talk to me the way some special people you always argue with here talked to me about my views and work on solar activity, in a condescending tone, five years ago when I challenged to solar consensus.

            I appreciate that you’re not going to understand what my arguments mean regarding the carbon consensus because like those people you rely too heavily on science papers.

            You are entitled to your opinion but your attempts to diminish me are pathetic abuse.

            There is no distinguishable manmade emissions impact on ML CO2, period.

          • By insisting on questions that have been satisfactorily answered without adding anything new, those people give a poor impression of skeptics as anti-science.

            You’re using the usual smear tactic warmists use. The question hasn’t been satisfactorily answered, since human emissions can’t be identified in the 12mo change in CO2.

            Someone might say the sun’s effect on the earth was satisfactorily answered by James Hansen, or Michael Mann, and since they’ve published papers stating warming is caused by mm emissions, why should anyone say otherwise?

            You’re exhibiting a double standard today Javier

          • Do you have any scientific article backing your position? I’ve got many hundreds backing mine. That’s not determinant but it is an indication that you are stranding out of mainstream science. You better be as good as you believe you are out there.

            Climate skepticism is full of loonies with wacky theories that explain everything and not supported by a single scientific article. Some of them are very insisting publishing comments all the time on how they are right and everybody else is wrong. How are we to know you are not one of them? You fit the profile rejecting published science and having such a high concept of yourself without much to show.

          • Javier you are under the mistaken notion that existing published papers are the final word, a fallacy the warmists rely on and use to attack skeptics. Those criticisms are attempts to silence dissent and nothing more.

            Your continual attempts to denigrate me personally indicate you aren’t up to the challenge.…

            If it isn’t obvious, I’ll re-state that the 12mo CO2 change follows ocean temperature changes, and the trend in 12mo CO2 change follows the ocean temperature trend.

            Please demonstrate why there are no apparent changes in the 12mo CO2 change that obviously aren’t related to ocean temperature? That is, where can you find any human CO2 influence in that graphic that isn’t already dominated by the ocean temperature?

            If you refuse to answer without the manipulative attitude, I’ll have to conclude you simply aren’t intelligent enough to comprehend the very simple underlying concept.

            What’s it gonna be, more insults?

          • Please demonstrate why there are no apparent changes in the 12mo CO2 change that obviously aren’t related to ocean temperature?

            Human emissions are small compared to natural fluxes and relatively constant over a period of months, increasing slowly over time.
            By taking the first derivative of CO2 or analyzing 12 mo change you concentrate on short term changes that human emissions don’t show. You essentially are making everything possible to don’t see an anthropogenic effect by looking at the wrong place with the wrong magnification and then claim success.

            The easiest person to fool is yourself. Well done.

          • Javier you’re being dense. I asked you or anyone to show a single sign that the 12mo CO2 changes aren’t related to ocean temperature and you don’t do it yet respond with bile.

            The truth is you can’t do it so you take your frustration out on me. The reason you can’t do it isn’t your fault, it’s because there’s no way to do it. There isn’t any significant manmade signal in there that anyone can pull out. You’re trapped, it’s over. You lost the argument by default. Get over it and stop badgering me with your stupid sh*t.

          • Bob, Louis, Javier….great thread.

            My understanding of the issue, is nothing more than a SWAG.
            Your comments are most welcome.

            The instrumental temperature record, such as it is, indicates the planet has been sporadically warming since the coldest period (The Little Ice Age) of the current interglacial. From the early 17th century what evidence there is in the data indicates mean temperature has increased around .5 degrees C. per century. Given what we know from the ice-core temperature reconstructions the idea of an ongoing recovery out of the LIA is reasonable.

            The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis suggests the late 20th century warming (.5°C.) is mostly man-made. Those advocating this position cite the heat “trapped” by the additional CO2 (est.40-80 parts per million of the current 410 ppm level) from our fossil fuel emissions along with the supposed lack of any other valid explanation for the warmng.

            CO2 does not actually trap heat, rather it convects it, (think hot air rises, even if that “air” is CO2). Heat flux at the surface is “evaporation and convection”, scientifically described as “latent and sensible” where CO2, other than convection and plant food, has no role.

            However, the CO2 so called “greenhouse effect” although not actually a “greenhouse effect” is well understood and not in question. CO2 is a radiatively active molecule and is resonant in the far (longwave) infrared (IR) at an amplitude range of 13-18 microns, for which the corresponding temperature (minus 50-80°C.) is found 5 to 6 kilometers above the surface. It’s called the Top Of the Atmosphere (TOA), above the cloud deck where there is no water vapor yet still well within the troposphere. Heat flux at TOA is primarily radiative, it is the estimated Equilibrium Radiation Level (ERL) where incoming solar shortwave IR is balanced with outgoing terrestrial longwave IR (Newton’s 3rd law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). The man-made CO2 raises the ERL to a colder altitude thus delaying the radiative cooling process ergo surface temperatures must increase to re-establish equilibrium.

            How much it warms is the debate, as the climate’s sensitivity to CO2 has not been determined.

            So man’s additional CO2 does increase the optical path of Outgoing Longwave terrestrial Radiation (OLR). To what extent this light speed radiative “delay” disturbs the equilibrium so as to increase surface temperatures and supposedly change the climate is unknown and not in evidence. There are estimates ranging from .5°C to the IPCC’s range of 1.5 to 4.5°C. increase to the mean per atmospheric doubling (540ppm) of the ice-core measured pre-industrial CO2 levels (270ppm). Obviously there is no cause for concern with the low side of the estimates.

            Furthermore, the 0.5 degree C. attribution of the late 20th century warming to Anthro CO2 is nowhere near affirmed. The academic emphasis on CO2 seems to have removed the importance of the scrutiny required for the dismissal of the other arguments……Cloud cover variance, ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) in combination with the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) and the AMO (Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation), variances in solar activity and irradiance, libration’s impact on the magnetic fields and Earth’s orbital mechanics including the subtle changes of insolation in response to the Precession nutations….to name a few.

            What “evidence” there is amounts to extrapolations of short-term trends apparent in the instrumental record, numerical model simulations, comparing the mush of proxy data with instrumental temperature data and treating the taxpayer funded academic “consensus” as truth.

            My guess is time will tell.

          • Javier April 12, 2019 at 7:32 am

            “If you are the ocean and I am the man, and we both have a bank account…”

            Oh GOD no! Not the pseudo-mass balance argument using inappropriate banking analogies again!

            I have a lot of respect for you, Javier, but you have fallen for a simple fallacy here.

            “…it doesn’t matter that my operations are tiny and barely detectable.”

            Yes it DOES!!! This is a dynamic system. CO2 is removed in proportion to total accumulation. Sink activity is induced by all inputs. That means that the portion of sink activity induced by the anthropogenic forcing is, for all intents and purposes, anthropogenic sink activity, and must be accounted for on the anthropogenic side of the ledger.

            Take away the anthropogenic forcing, and the anthropogenically induced sink activity disappears as well. Then, you will find that nature, on its own, is in fact a net source.

          • Bartemis,

            This is a dynamic system. CO2 is removed in proportion to total accumulation.

            CO2 is not really removed in a relevant timeframe. It is added to the carbon cycle and starts cycling through the carbon stores increasing the fluxes.

            We can calculate how much CO2 we have added from our fossil fuel use accounting, and it amounts to 166 ppm between 1959 and 2017. It more than explains the observed 91 ppm increase over the period.

            For the increase in CO2 to be natural, some natural source would have to have emitted another 166 ppm and 91 ppm more, and then some natural sink have removed our 166 ppm and 166 ppm from the natural source.

            Now try to explain how the ocean could have released 257 ppm of CO2 between 1959 and 2017. You need a new law, because Henry’s law can’t.

            I tire easily of people that ignore the elephant in the room. The increase in CO2 is huge and unprecedented in the Pleistocene as far as we know, and can’t be natural no matter how you look at it. We know from glacial terminations that a warming of 5°C at the start of an interglacial releases less CO2 than what we have added since 1959, and about half of it has a volcanic origin. The anthropogenic origin of the recent CO2 is the only explanation that is consistent with the evidence, and we hold the smoking gun, literally. Quite frankly I don’t understand how people can fool themselves about this issue.

          • ”CO2 is not really removed in a relevant timeframe.”

            Of course it is. It is being removed and replenished every second of every day. And, the system is dealing with much larger flows than just our puny inputs.

            ”It more than explains the observed 91 ppm increase over the period.”

            No. It makes it possible for it to account for it. This is sufficiency, but it is not necessity.

            ”Now try to explain how the ocean could have released 257 ppm of CO2 between 1959 and 2017. You need a new law, because Henry’s law can’t.”

            I present a viable candidate here that is fully consistent with Henry’s law.

            ”I tire easily of people that ignore the elephant in the room.”

            I have a neologism for this type of comment: smugnorance. It combines smugness with ignorance. Don’t be smugnorant.

          • “This is sufficiency, but it is not necessity.”

            Got that sort of backwards. That the amount released by humans is sufficient to explain the rise is a necessary condition for it to be a candidate for attribution. But, it is not a sufficient condition to pin the blame on human release.

            It all depends upon sink activity. With sinks active enough, they can take out virtually all of our input, and what remains is necessarily the residual of the much larger natural flows.

          • Bartemis,

            I present a viable candidate here that is fully consistent with Henry’s law.

            I see you have built your position around a wrong interpretation so it doesn’t matter the arguments you won’t change that. It is useless to discuss. It is amazing that you have managed to convince so many people of something that is clearly wrong. A lot of people wanting to be deceived, I guess.

            The ocean is a net sink. We Know that not only because we can measure it, but because CO2 partial pressure in the atmosphere has increased by almost 40%, so the ocean has no choice but to take it. The biosphere is a net sink. We know that because it is expanding. Volcanoes haven’t changed. We are the only new source.

            It is not possible that a natural source would produce between 1959 and 2018 an increase in CO2 that is bigger than any increase for the past 800,000 years, at a time when we know natural sources are acting as sinks.

            I am not interested in discussing this further. This discussion goes back over a decade and your side has failed to produce any science supporting your position. It is a dead end because it is wrong.

          • ”The ocean is a net sink.“

            Which oceans? Equatorial or poleward? Because the former are definitely overall sources, and the latter are definitely overall sinks. Any prolonged imbalance between the two shows up as a steady accumulation or decline in the surface oceans, hence the atmosphere.

            ”We Know that not only because we can measure it, but because CO2 partial pressure in the atmosphere has increased by almost 40%, so the ocean has no choice but to take it.”

            Or, the surface oceans’ content increased, and the atmosphere had no choice but to take it. The atmosphere is a flea on the ocean elephant’s back.

            ”I am not interested in discussing this further.”

            Surprised you didn’t run away sooner.

          • Yes, the oceans are a small net sink, but their enormous annual flux with the atmosphere (~160 Gt/Pg) ensures that they control the atmosphere’s Carbon isotopic composition, which is about -8 PDB.

            The oceans are not the source of the atmospheric increase, both because they are a net sink and because they add heavy Carbon, and the atmosphere is trending toward lighter.

            Two factors confound the presumption that all the atmospheric increase is human.

            The first is that soil respiration produces similar light Carbon to human combustion (-21 as opposed to -24 for human combustion). This difference is indistinguishable when mixed into an atmosphere at -8. Soil respiration responds linearly to temperature:
            graph_showing_soil_respiration_increasing_with_temperature-credit-steve-bonnage
            The response is a bit over 5% per degree. With a 60 Gt (one way like human combustion) annual input to the atmosphere, the degree warming since 1850 is good for a 3 Gt annual increase from soils. Humans currently produce 10 Gt annually. In my opinion soil temperature sensitivity contributes roughly equally to ocean sensitivity to explain the generally agreed phenomenon that temperature still controls the variability around the trend of increasing atmospheric CO2.

            The second confounding factor is that both oceanic and photosynthetic absorption favor light Carbon. This does not change the total atmospheric concentration, but it skews the atmosphere’s ratio and makes it difficult to fingerprint the sources.

      • Sinks and sources work approaching their equilibrium level logarithmically, so they slow down the closer they are as the figure in Spencer’s article shows.

        If we stop emitting CO2 completely, atmospheric CO2 levels would probably start declining in a year or less. The speed of their decrease would slow down over time. An overshooting over equilibrium levels is possible if driven by fast response reservoirs (biosphere) over slow response reservoirs (oceans). All the extra vegetation gained would pull down on CO2 levels while the ocean would release extra CO2. The CO2 we have introduced in the carbon cycle will likely remain in it for hundreds to thousands of years so its benefits won’t be lost for a long time, but we don’t have enough information to predict how the CO2 will distribute over the different stores.

        • To me its an interesting thought experiment, not really concerned with present day conditions because I think they are relatively close to normal natural variations, the planet surely sees this type of fluctuations on a “regular” basis. But during extraordinary events like I postulated above would the result be a mass extinction event not because of huge CO2 concentrations, but because of the collapse of these huge CO2 concentrations to levels too low for plant life to thrive thus destroying the food chain?

          • In theory no, and some evidence from the end of interglacials supports it. When CO2 levels become very low, high altitude areas become deserts and plants and ecosystems start dying and releasing CO2. At the end of the Eemian CO2 levels remained elevated for many thousands of years despite plunging temperatures. The best explanation is a biosphere contraction, that instead of absorbing CO2 releases it.

            It works in the same way as a predator cannot extinguish its main prey because it depends on it, plants cannot reduce CO2 levels beyond certain levels because they depend on it. The abundance of plants depends on CO2 levels as we are seeing. Less CO2 less plants to draw it down.

          • Javier

            Not sure i agree, i think you just as easily make the case for collapsing ecosystems with you argument as not. I think the stress on the animal kingdom could be severe, but of course no way for us to know, however when they try to tie CO2 concentrations to extinction events there always seems to be weird timeline issues and I wonder if it’s related to the CO2 concentrations collapsing after the event. Unfortunately I am mostly just guessing and dont have the time or resources to investigate it. Thanks for commenting.

          • but of course no way for us to know

            What we do know is that cold, low-CO2 glacial periods are really bad for life on land. Large parts become deserts, tundras, or are covered by ice. Only the tropics remain relatively untouched, but contract in size. Part is due to the cold, part to the decrease in precipitations, and part to the decrease in CO2.

            We don’t know the contribution from the CO2 decrease to the biosphere contraction, but if we know that a significant part of the biosphere expansion we are observing is due to the increase in CO2, we must assume that the decrease in CO2 is also important for the biosphere contraction during glacial periods.

  14. CO2 induced “greening” has been reported to be equivalent to adding a continent of vegetation to the earth. (I’m not sure what that means exactly…but it sounds pretty significant)

    I’m sure someone has estimated the Gton equivalent of CO2 sequestration (and sinking) this equates to, but I can’t find that reported anywhere.

    I expected that an extra continent of vegetation might show up in the amplitude of the Mona Loa seasonal fluctuations in the Kerling Curve. Not seeing that, probably because the N – S differential is unaffected with equally increased plant growth in both hemispheres.

  15. ”We have long known that only about half of what is emitted “shows up” in the atmosphere (which isn’t what’s really going on), and decades ago the IPCC assumed that the biosphere and ocean couldn’t keep removing excess CO2 at such a high rate. But, in fact, the fractional rate of removal has actually been increasing, not decreasing.”

    Roy comment highlights an inescapable conclusion in global CO2 sinks from the MLO behaviour from observation. The CO2 seasonal cycling (currenlty about up 8 ppm Oct-April, down 6ppm May-Sept, net ~+2 ppm/yr) recorded at MLO and the rapidly increasing anthro-emissions 1996 -2016 (mostly China) is a clear indication that the flux rate of sinks is increasing not decreasing. Such a behavior is clear evidence that sinks are far from saturated as they are expanding to keep pace with the emissions acceleration. If this were not the case, then we would see emission artifacts (global economic slowdowns reducing emissions) in the MLO record. And We don’t.
    Yet the IPCC simply assumes rhe opposite, that sinks are becoming saturated. The IPCC needs them to be getting saturated because that is the only way the high forcing scenarios (RCP 6.0 and 8.5j can be plausible if one makes that assumption.
    Just one more piece of evidence the IPCC makes provably false assumptions that has major principle ramifications in order to push its bad science on the world.

  16. My intent here isn’t to try to prove there is some natural source of CO2 causing the recent rise, as I think it is mostly anthropogenic.

    What you did was interesting, but manmade CO2 emissions are really really small compared to ocean CO2 outgassing via Henry’s Law. The truth is you can’t even find the anthro part in this graphic.

    This is a perfect example of how a seemingly logical ‘model’ fails to pass a simple reality check.

    The AGU is having a conference on carbon budgets so it is a hot topic, no pun intended.

    Interestingly, note that despite continued CO2 emissions, the atmospheric concentration stabilizes just short of 500 ppm. This is the direct result of the fact that the Mauna Loa observations support the assumption that the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere is directly proportional to the amount of “excess” CO2 in the atmosphere above a “natural equilibrium” level. As the CO2 content increases, the rate or removal increases until it matches the rate of anthropogenic input.

    So everything said there about anthro CO2 and equilibrium is just not applicable. Sorry Dr Roy. I am a fan of yours and I read your blogs regularly.

    The problem is people think we humans are so much more powerful than nature, when we aren’t.

    • Bob Weber

      I would understand and appreciate your critique much more if you were able to present us a similar graph, but starting in… 1700.

      How much of this ocean outgassing is in your mind due to previous CO2 intake by the oceans?

      • …if you were able to present us a similar graph, but starting in… 1700.

        That would be very beneficial Bindidon, but we don’t have reliable monthly data that discerns at a few ppm before 1958. But it’s not necessary as even 30 years of data in 1988 would’ve allowed people then to understand this natural relationship as statistically significant.

        How much of this ocean outgassing is in your mind due to previous CO2 intake by the oceans?

        Most of it. The problem I’m alluding to today is people claim the growth in CO2 is all manmade when clearly the natural relationship drives the atmospheric accumulation. No one knows whether the manmade part is even 0.00001% of the whole. Get it?

    • This is a perfect example of how a seemingly logical ‘model’ fails to pass a simple reality check.

      Your simple reality check is bogus. Emissions are small compared to the amount of CO2 that moves between stores, but they are double the amount required to explain the increase in CO2 levels.

      • It is spot on, not bogus.

        but they are double the amount required to explain the increase in CO2 levels.

        Says who? Where’s the data for that claim?

        • Says who? Where’s the data for that claim?

          Have you bothered to read Roy’s article?

          The main source for our emissions is Boden et al., 2107. You have the data kindly provided in the Excel linked by the good doctor Spencer.

          I got that data myself long ago from its source and converted it to ppm to calculate the airborne fraction, as Roy has done in his figure 4.

          Our emissions are double what is required to explain ALL the increase in CO2. For a time the question was what was happening to the other half. The obvious answer is that the biosphere is grabbing it and is still hungry for more.

          • First of all you didn’t cite Roy’s article about that so how was I to know you specifically meant that? Then how do you know Boden etal is right? How do you know they didn’t miss the obvious as I’ve been pointing out?

            When you see papers about carbon budgets, emissions, and anthropogenic warming, just know you’re dealing with people who have and promote false premises, which end up distorting everything they conclude, even in peer-review. It’s called groupthink.

            It is patently obvious the ocean has always controlled atmospheric CO2. Distortions in climate science papers interfere with proper logical assessments.

          • I don’t need to cite Roy. If you understand what the airborne fraction is and how it is calculated, and you should after reading Roy’s article, then you know that we are emitting double what is needed to raise CO2 levels to meet Mauna Loa observations.

            Let’s just say that I trust Boden et al. a lot more than I trust you, and your anti-science stance has no credit with me. I always trust data until better data comes along. Boden et al. provide the best data on global CO2 emissions available. If you have better data get it published. If not, supporting your arguments on raising unsupported doubts about other scientists work is in no way a scientific argument.

            You keep saying things are logical or not, yet logic is a philosophical concept related to the human mind that has nothing to do with science. Things are or aren’t regardless of how logical they appear to you.

          • You just went off the deep end, and I can see you need more time to appreciate the simplicity of nature’s rule over CO2.

            If it were true that the ocean sinked 30% of increasing emissions that are thought to be the majority of atmospheric accumulation, the trend in 12mo CO2 change wouldn’t follow the ocean temperature, it would follow human emissions, which are claimed to be now most of the whole of the atmospheric CO2, and there would be obvious random spikes in the graphic that correspond to changes in human emissions. I don’t see that, do you?

            I don’t care what your stance is, things have to make sense, logically. So far today you haven’t realized the simple truth that no one has discerned the true relative portion of manmade emissions compared to ocean outgassing. Nothing you said passes the smell test. Your belief is scientism is astonishing. Being a skeptic is wrong then, right?

            The use of data and logic by skeptics is wrong then, right Javier?

          • If it were true that the ocean sinked 30% of increasing emissions that are thought to be the majority of atmospheric accumulation, the trend in 12mo CO2 change wouldn’t follow the ocean temperature, it would follow human emissions

            That’s faulty reasoning. Short term changes follow Southern Ocean temperature changes. It is known since 1976. The reason is that ENSO has a disproportionate effect on CO2 natural fluxes. Seasonal changes follow the seasons for the same reason.

            I wonder if you know what the Suess effect is and what it means.

            things have to make sense, logically

            It is clear that you are not a scientist. Science doesn’t care about logic or sense.

            Nothing you said passes the smell test. Your belief is scientism is astonishing. Being a skeptic is wrong then, right?

            You keep using the wrong arguments with me. As a scientist I couldn’t care less about your smell tests. And as a scientist I am skeptical by training. And I am terribly skeptical of everything you say. You haven’t given me a single argument that hasn’t been known and thoroughly researched already. Your position on this issue is old and wrong. Your self-confidence is working against you on this occasion. But as I said it is your right to be wrong, and quite frankly I couldn’t care less what you believe.

            WUWT is quite infected by anti-science, which is kind of funny because the great life a big part of the world enjoys is thanks to science. I won’t have any of that. The scientific method is the only way to add new true knowledge and it took a lot of effort and even people’s lives to develop it against religion and superstition. What Willis and you ignore is that the scientific method requires that you know the evidence other scientists have produced on the subject because science is cumulative and as Isaac Newton said in 1675: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” If you think you can do better than him you are dead wrong.

          • Believe or not Javier the person here today who isn’t skeptical enough of what they think they know is you. As far as being a scientist, what you said was wrong. On a personal level Javier, in spite of all your articles, you haven’t come close to my solar climate achievements, which only happened by ignoring the consensus and peer-reviewed science, by dealing directly with data and by using logic.

            Today you haven’t touched what I posed, that no one can identify the human impact on 12mo change in CO2. Until that is satisfactorily accomplished peer-reviewed CO2 ‘science’ has nothing but bluster and wrong thinking to stand on.

          • What Willis and you ignore is that the scientific method requires that you know the evidence other scientists have produced on the subject because science is cumulative and as Isaac Newton said in 1675: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

            What Willis does is irrelevant to this discussion. I will say he’s had a similarly hard time understanding the solar influence as you apparently are having with CO2 today.

            Excuse me Javier but science results are subject to interpretation and re-evaluation. I have re-framed the argument and you don’t want to go along, because you’re too willing to accept I think is easily disproven. Instead of accepting my challenge to show a manmade impact on 12mo change in CO2 you’ve spent your day attacking me.

            If you can’t show a manmade emissions CO2 impact in 12mo CO2 change, don’t expect me to accept atmospheric CO2 levels are dominated by them.

          • Thanks Javier but I don’t need luck, not when logic, sense, and data, and a lot of time and effort will do.

          • Instead of accepting my challenge to show a manmade impact on 12mo change in CO2

            Because it is a fallacious challenge. Why should there be an appreciable impact from emissions in the 12-month averaged first derivative of CO2? You set your assumptions and then you run with then without checking if your assumptions are valid or not.

            If temperature is producing CO2 why there was no decrease in CO2 during the 1945-1975 cooling period?

          • If temperature is producing CO2 why there was no decrease in CO2 during the 1945-1975 cooling period?

            Engelbeen’s fourth article contains a compilation of historical CO2 measurements by Ernst Beck for 1820-1960.

            He goes on to say And as one can see, the “peak” around 1940-1942 is completely based on measurements at places which were heavily influenced by local/regional sources and sinks. That doesn’t say anything about the real background CO2 level of that period.

            So what CO2 data are you referring to for 1945-1975 and how reliable is it?

            Getting back to my legitimate challenge to you…

            If it isn’t obvious, I’ll re-state that the 12mo CO2 change follows ocean temperature changes, and the trend in 12mo CO2 change follows the ocean temperature trend.

            Please demonstrate why there are no apparent changes in the 12mo CO2 change that obviously aren’t related to ocean temperature? That is, where can anyone find any human CO2 influence in that graphic that isn’t already dominated by the ocean temperature?

            Ferdinand’s carbon cycle budget data is from NASA, with a net annual CO2 mass balance change of -4Gton.

            CO2(in1 + in2 + in3 +…) – CO2(out1 + out2 + out3 +…) = – 4 GtC

            According to this budget ocean CO2 mass flux is negative: sourcing 90 and sinking 92.

            NASA has the annual flux for Fossil Fuel and Cement Production at 5.5Gt. CO2 fluxes for Vegetation and soils almost balance out with a net flux of 0.3Gt, with combined outgoing veg+land fluxes being larger than the entire ocean outflux.

            In other words Ferdinand based his entire conclusion on the indirect NASA claim that humans are outputting 18.3X more CO2 than veg+land, while the ocean has negative outgassing every year!

            In order for that to work Henry’s Law must be violated.

            Therefore I must logically conclude both NASA’s data and Ferdinand’s evaluation are wrong.

          • So what CO2 data are you referring to for 1945-1975 and how reliable is it?

            Mauna Loa data between 1958 and 1976, when temperature decreased and CO2 increased. Doesn’t fit your conjecture. The same problem why we reject the CO2 hypothesis. It doesn’t fit either. It only fits with our emissions.

            It is quite simple. The world cooled while CO2 increased. CO2 didn’t drive temperature and temperature didn’t drive CO2. Your ability to ignore the obvious is surprising.

          • Mauna Loa data between 1958 and 1976, when temperature decreased and CO2 increased. Doesn’t fit your conjecture.

            The early ML record in 12mo CO2 change to 1976 shows a similar response pattern to sea surface temperature change so you’re barking up the wrong tree there.

            As Ferdinand said, the CO2 history from 1940-42 is questionable, but it is possible there was a high point in CO2 in that data from which CO2 fell that is not represented in ML. The problem is compounded by multiple CO2 datasets aka tree rings and hockey sticks.

          • Javier April 12, 2019 at 1:35 pm

            “The world cooled while CO2 increased. CO2 didn’t drive temperature and temperature didn’t drive CO2.”

            The observed relationship is

            dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

            where k is a coupling constant, and T0 is the equilibrium temperature. In the plot below, we have k = 0.18 ppm/month/K, and T0 = -0.8:

            http://woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/from:1979/derivative/plot/uah6/offset:0.8/scale:0.18

            It is not a contradiction to observe T decreasing and CO2 increasing. CO2 only decreases when T goes below T0, and the rate of change goes negative.

      • Javier April 12, 2019 at 6:52 am

        “…they are double the amount required to explain the increase in CO2 levels.”

        This says nothing about attribution. It is a necessary condition for anthropogenic attribution, but it is not a sufficient one. The purveyors of the ridiculously bad pseudo-mass balance argument make this mistake. Sink activity is not constant. It is not the same as it would be if there were no anthropogenic forcing.

        • This says nothing about attribution.

          It says everything about attribution. We had the opportunity, we had the means, and we had the motive. Our gun is still in our hands smoking. We’ve done it and continue doing it.

          Otherwise we need another explanation that would be exceptional within the Pleistocene and exactly coincides with our gun operation between 1950s and now. How’s that for improbable?

          This is such a silly issue that serves to differentiate between true skeptics and reverse gullibles. Reverse gullibles just believe the opposite than alarmist gullibles and fool themselves equally well.

          • It says nothing about attribution. And, a feedback system that resists perturbative inputs in order to go its own way is not only not improbable, it is the raison d’etre of feedback systems we employ ubiquitously.

            You’re really digging your hole deep here, and the funny thing is, you have no idea of it.

  17. The assumption of a rate proportional to atmospheric CO2 concentration seems superficially reasonable in the context of normal chemical thermodynamics….except that CO2 absorption for photosynthesis is probably not a classical reversible chemical equilibrium case. It is energetically driven (“forced”) to one side of the equation by the energy absorbed from the sun during photosynthesis.

  18. Clive Best argued much the same thing in a couple of posts on his blog.

    http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=7486

    http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=7433

    The argument makes sense. When I was young and single, I used to work out regularly, jogging and lifting weights on alternate days. After marriage, work , and chores around the house, I figured the hell with exercise, and gradually quit. My food intake didn’t change, so I was taking in as many calories as before, but not burning as many in exercise. Climate catastrophe models would have me gaining weight forever. Now, 30 years later, the models might predict that I would weigh 800 pounds or more. Needless to say, I did not continue gaining weight forever- my weight stabilized at a new level about 15 pounds more than my original weight. Of course, some of my original weight was heavy muscle, which was replaced by less heavy fat.

    The Earth itself is in a similar situation. It would not have had liquid oceans and life for 4 billion years unless there were strong negative feedbacks stabilizing climate.

    • Body fat takes care of itself, if you do violent exercise you might expect to lose some weight, but the body simply lowers its resting metabolism to preserve its fat.

    • Alan D. McIntire

      Thanks for reminding these excellent head posts. I had completely forgotten them.

      The problem however seems to be quite a bit more complex to handle as the posts suggest.

      How deep the discussion can become you see when you follow the comment thread following 7433 and 7486, and watch the discussion between kap55, Frank, Clive, ATTP and later dikranmarsupial.

      It is amazing. And shows us how much some know, understand and are able to explain in comparison to us lay(wo)men.

      But… I had a big laugh when reading 7486’s very last comment by ‘man in a barrel’:

      “The climate enforcers are here. Strangely they do not realise that their enforcement activities strengthen scepticism”

      Yeah.

  19. No. A better model examines greening in a warm interstadial. Consider a cold dry greenhouse, unattended. Consider a warm, moist greenhouse unattended. You would have yearly greater decay and yearly reduced vegetation in the former, leading to less and less greening, while vegetation continues to increase annually, along with a buildup of soil, decomposers, and insects, in the latter.

    The data is there, waiting to be modeled. But no one wants to consider that a warm, humid world will annually increase flora and fauna, thus increase CO2. And the only place the source of that increase in warmth has to be is what is coming out of our Earth’s only place of heat storage. The oceans.

    • I completely agreed up to this point:

      And the only place the source of that increase in warmth has to be is what is coming out of our Earth’s only place of heat storage. The oceans.

      The oceans are incredibly cold because we are in an Ice Age. Despite 12,000 years of interglacial their average temperature is only about 3 °C. The oceans are a temperature stabilizer. They resist warming during interglacials and resist cooling during glacials. Good old negative feedback as required for a stable planet.

      The Sun is the only significant source of heat. As the land surface cannot retain much heat, the Sun acts through the ocean surface and subsurface. Milankovitch forcing is the main forcing in multi-millennial timescales, while solar variability is the main forcing in multi-centennial timescales. At multi-decadal timescales internal variability becomes the main factor, as the geometry of the ocean basins and their interaction with the cryosphere create multi-decadal oscillations that irregularly distribute the heat over time.

      The main mechanism for cooling or warming the Earth is not through global atmospheric outgoing longwave radiation. It is the amount of heat that is transported through the latitudinal temperature gradient to the winter pole that gets lost to space. At the winter pole the ice insulates the surface and the sky has very reduced cloud cover. All the heat carried there at that time is lost to space regardless of CO2 levels. The difference between an icehouse planet and a hothouse planet is in the temperature gradient, and that determines the amount of heat driven to the winter pole and lost to space.

      Current climatology is focused on CO2 and that is like worrying about getting a double glazing in the windows to warm the house in winter, when the door to the outside winter at the poles is open. A little closing of the door has warmed the house and attributing it to the windows is wrong.

      On timescales relevant to us the planet warms when solar activity is above average, and cools when it is below average. Multidecadal oscillations move the heat provided by the sun from certain periods to others confusing the issue. Increasing CO2 adds an extra oomph. There is not really much more to it.

      • The main mechanism for cooling or warming the Earth is not through global atmospheric outgoing longwave radiation. It is the amount of heat that is transported through the latitudinal temperature gradient to the winter pole that gets lost to space….

        Victor Starr maintained that the polar regions are effective radiators even at their low temperature because of size. I live in a dry valley between mountain ranges, just like most of the U.S. West, and even in summer we have dry air and simply radiate to clear night skies. I know of cases of death by exposure on August nights. A very large fraction of the daily delivery of solar radiation has to be lost locally back to space over the dry regions of the Earth, which are even more substantial in size than the polar regions. The vertical delivery of heat carried upward by convection and latent heat just adds to this.

        While I agree that horizontal transport to the polar radiators is very important, no one ever seems to mention the local responses. Willis is fond of speaking about the iris effect of deep clouds which develop with a little solar heating. These have a sort of conjugate system in which the convection clears large regions of ocean atmosphere to enable IR radiation back out to space through the clear sky.

      • Oceanic/atmospheric ability to variously force the oceans to spit out or store heat in short term, long term and mellinial terms, is far more significant than the tiny variation in solar output.

        • They are wrong. The increase in CO2 for the past 70 years is due to human emissions. There is no doubt about that. But we are lucky because CO2 has a very small effect on temperature, so a major part of climate change is natural.

          • Javier,
            My simple idea is the CO2 increase lags LIA temperature increase by 350 years.

            No matter. Little change in temperature has been seen in Japan Ireland CET? USA Ozarks(USA) China Antarctica WillieSoon(world) Lansner/Pedersen(world) UAH

            Only one is good enough to show NASA/NOAA/GISS are cooking the books and many data sets are colluding.

  20. Another simple model may be based on the assumptions that :
    – CO2 concentration evolution is mainly due to temperatures evolution,
    – according to Henry’s law, and since oceans are 71% of the Earth’s surface, CO2 concentration increases when T increases and vice versa,
    – the guess that when temperatures increase, the biomass increases and thus also the CO2 concentration,
    – CO2 emissions by volcanoes may (and do) act on CO2 concentrations, but the guess is that this interaction is rapidly absorbed (some months to some years) and thus should not impact much (in the long run) the relation between CO2 and T,
    – there also seems to be a discrepancy between T and instantaneous CO2 concentration rates because of hemispheres asymetry (mainly with respect to seasons, sun irradiance with respect to seasons, biomass, oceans/soils). In order to tackle this, we should take a 12 months mean of CO2 concentrations.

    The simplest function describing how the CO2 concentration rate evolves with respect to temperatures T is a linear function of the temperature T. This gives us the following dissipation equation :

    d[CO2]/dt = a*T + b

    where a and b are constants,
    T is the global mean lower troposphere temperature anomaly,
    [CO2] is the 12 months mean CO2 concentration.

    This simplistic model can be tested here :

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/mean:12/derivative/plot/uah5/from:1979/scale:0.22/offset:0.14

    Used constants :
    a = 0.22
    b = 0.14

      • The model has clearly and extensively been presented in M. Salby in some lectures. E.g. :
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8niiyDn2FI

        and if I’m not wrong, was confirmed by Ole Humlum :
        – I thought that any one well informed knew that. May be I was wrong, I apology.

        The aim of my post is to propose a “simple” model and to compare it with actual measurements :
        – to show that there are other “simple” models that seems to match with observations (here, CO2 vs T).

        Please argument with facts and logic if you want to falsify this model and how it matches with measurements :
        – Ad hominem attacks do not prove anything, nor your link which is mainly about the concept of background CO2 levels and presents historical CO2 level.

        Regards.

        • Both Murry Salby and Ole Humlum are wrong on this. Despite saying that he would publish it, Murry Salby has failed to do so and limits his defense to talks. His arguments have been debunked multiple times. Run a search for “Salby” at judithcurry.com and read the comments for examples.

          Ferdinand Engelbeen’s series of four articles clearly shows that atmospheric CO2 increase is due to anthropogenic emissions.

          • Javier, thanks for your comment.

            From Ferdinand Engelbeen :
            “By integrating temperature, Dr. Salby attributes all the CO2 increase to temperature. My stake is that temperature is responsible for all the variability, while human emissions are the cause of the slope (a fourfold increase in CO2 rate of change per year since 1958)…”

            Ferdinand Engelbeen acknowledges that all the CO2 variability is due to temperatures, but he assumes that the CO2 slop is mainly due to human emissions.
            For this assumption to be true, since the slop of a function f is totally determined by its derivative df/dt, CO2 slop induced by human emissions must introduce a positive discrepancy between d[CO2]/dt and global temperatures anomalies (d[CO2]/dt trend must be greater than temperatures anomalies trend) :

            – clearly, this is not the case.

            Thus, Ferdinand Engelbeen’s stake is contradicted by 40 years of CO2 and temperatures anomalies observations (using UAH data) and either Ferdinand Engelbeen is wrong either the UAH data and/or the Mauna Loa CO2 data are wrong.

            Note that Ferdinand Engelbeen claim that Salby’s model agreement with observations was “spurious” was before the big El Niño of 2016 with which the Salby’s model agrees too.

            Regards

          • There is a huge difference in the long term slope of CO2 and temperature, something that alarmist defenders that the warming is due to CO2 and unrealistic defenders that the increase in CO2 is not due to our emissions are equally unable to explain.

            https://i.imgur.com/GGL0CoL.png

            You see, to defend that the increase in CO2 is due to temperature you have to agree with the alarmists that CO2 and temperature are locked in tight correlation, while the rest of us know that is not true.

          • First of all, Ferdinand is a dilettante, and not someone in whom you should place all your faith.

            “You see, to defend that the increase in CO2 is due to temperature you have to agree with the alarmists that CO2 and temperature are locked in tight correlation, while the rest of us know that is not true.”

            No, the alarmists believe CO2 is driving temperature anomaly. We know they have causation reversed – it is the temperature anomaly that is driving CO2. And, the relationship is Petit_Barde’s

            d[CO2]/dt = a*T + b

            or, as I prefer

            dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

            A reasonable explanation for how this relationship comes about can be found here.

            Open your mind, Javier. You have closed it based on fallacious arguments.

          • Javier
            April 13, 2019 at 4:08 am
            ———————

            Jav,

            One thing you should seriously consider, as a “die hard sunist”;

            whether there no any proper or significant applause of consideration in regard of causality, not as yet,
            still in any given circumstances of reason and rationale or evaluation;
            still there, in all the data and info of any kind from past to present and even into the future projectiles considered, still the correlation of temps with CO2 is
            non disputable….
            it is real in all consideration of the data…very real, even in the context of low accuracy, still the same deductive indisputable outcome in the whole of the time period segment of the whole data there…as real as the sunshine, I would say.

            cheers

          • Bartemis,

            Ferdinand is a dilettante, and not someone in whom you should place all your faith.

            I don’t place my faith on anybody because I am faithless. When I read Engelbeen’s argument I checked if they were scientifically correct and according to evidence and they are. He is quite good at explaining it.

            No, the alarmists believe CO2 is driving temperature anomaly. We know they have causation reversed – it is the temperature anomaly that is driving CO2.

            Both are wrong. Since the mid-20th century our emissions are driving the long-term increase in CO2. It is not that I have closed my mind, it is that your position is inconsistent with the evidence.

            Whiten,

            the correlation of temps with CO2 is non disputable

            It is very disputable. I have analyzed in detail CO2 data and temperature data for the past 540 million years and the correlation is very weak and breaks down quite often. It is clear that CO2 does affect temperature at certain times, and it is clear that temperature does affect CO2 at certain times, but it is a complex relationship as other factors affect CO2 or temperature a lot more than they affect each other.

            When people obtain the derivative of CO2 I think many of them don’t understand what they are doing to the data. The derivative gives you the instantaneous rate of change, so when you compare it with the change in temperature you are comparing apples and oranges. Short term changes in CO2 are due to changes in natural fluxes between stores that are dependent on temperature.

            And it is quite simple really. The increase in CO2 over the past 200 years is huge, almost double the Pleistocene average, while the increase in temperature is quite modest, within Holocene variability. It is stupid to think that the small increase in temperature could have driven the large increase in CO2. There is no way to go around that simple fact. It doesn’t add up.

          • Javier:

            “The derivative gives you the instantaneous rate of change, so when you compare it with the change in temperature you are comparing apples and oranges. “

            No. The coupling constant takes care of the unit conversion. E.g., for a generic 1-box model, you have

            dx/dt = -k*x + u

            The k constant has the units of x over time. This is pretty standard fare in the realm of modeling systems using differential equations.

            I outline a scenario by which the dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) model can arise here.

            You really need to give this more thought.

          • You really need to give this more thought.

            I have given it ample thought already. The way the instantaneous rate of change in CO2 changes over time does not reflect the CO2 increase over time. That’s why the conclusion is absurd. After adding 166 ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere between 1959-2017 and observing an increase of 91 ppm, some people believe those 91 ppm were magically generated by some other natural cause and our 166 ppm did not have any effect.

            Gosh, skeptics are really infected by lack of skepticism if they can believe such fairy tales. And a graph is all it takes.

          • ”The way the instantaneous rate of change in CO2 changes over time does not reflect the CO2 increase over time.”

            Modulo an integration constant, they are identical information.

          • Javier
            April 14, 2019 at 9:11 am
            ——————
            Sorry Jav,

            My reply to you was about your faulty assumption about the temp CO2 correlation.

            It most probably still to you that correlation is disputable, no any doubt I have about it.
            My reply to you was not in the intention of changing your mind about it, but simply telling you to consider it as it stands, as far as the data and basic knowledge in climatology thus far permits.

            Again that correlation still stands indisputable, regardless of your assumptions or guesses.
            It happens to be the most clear correlation on the climate data, in the whole of the time segment considered.

            So, you still free to believe and claim whatever in that regard..but the matter of fact will
            not change in accordance to one’s or the other’s believe or assumptions.

            Please do feel free with your beliefs…

            cheers

  21. Dear Dr. Spencer, you’re wrong.
    Your model would work when CO2 dynamics could be described by a single order ODE – as you assume.
    It cannot.
    It is described by a higher order ODE with several time scales.
    The longest time scales we know are several hundreds years – this is the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • The longest time scales we know are several hundreds years – this is the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere.

      That’s an assumption by the same people that got the sinks response wrong a few years ago. We have no idea how long a pulse of CO2 would remain in the atmosphere, but given how hungry the biosphere is for our CO2 I would guess a lot less than we think. That is, unless the world starts cooling a lot. As long as the global temperature doesn’t decrease the biosphere will continue having a feast with the CO2 we keep producing.

      And if the global temperature falls then we will not worry about elevated CO2 in the atmosphere, will we?

      • will we?

        Very likely. Hell could freeze over and it would be put down to anthropogenic CO2. As we enter the next glaciation, there will still be the AOC’s and Stephan Schneiders of this world calling for “urgent action” on “carbon”.

    • The longest time-scale is undoubtedly the time over which the carbonate buffering system of the surface oceans eventually reaches the deep ocean where it comes into contact with weathering oceanic crust. This has got to be several millennia at least.

  22. The most ridiculous statements in this thread come from those who apparently are skeptical about carbon levels stabilizing, some implying that C2 levels will rise rapidly well intoi the fututre, for no apparent reason or logic. Everybody and his brother seems worried about CO2 levels, so the notion that nothing is being done is an example of future energy technology ignorance of an extreme degree.
    It is true that China, India and Russia, Britain, the Middle East, etc in particular are building nuclear at a fairly rapid rate, but the nuclear generation explosion that is clearly arriving within the next decade is molten salt small modular reactors, being developed at a rapid rate by two countries (China, India) and more than half a dozen private firms. This technology removes all of the fears and deficiencies of conventional nuclear power and doe snot require any technological leap to acheive not only practicality, but become by far the preferred and cheapest method of prodcing power. The motivation to convert to Molten salt nuclear comes from many angles, no emission power production but one of several. Simple economics is ushering in this transition. No Earth saviors required. In fact, anyone who spends money on preposterously inferior renewable power generation technologies is throwing money down a rat hole and severely damaging the country’s economic competitiveness.

    • kent beuchert

      “This technology removes all of the fears and deficiencies of conventional nuclear power and does not require any technological leap to achieve not only practicality, but become by far the preferred and cheapest method of producing power. ”

      Any valuable proof for that?

      If molten salt technology was that valuable, it would have been experienced since many decades.

      The only reason for China and India to try to develop this technology is that is is based on Th232->U233 breeding, and thus allows them to escape out of the usual uranium/plutonium technology paywalls installed by US and French firms.

      Thorium breeding was abandoned very long time ago because it is extremely difficult to avoid the parallel production of U232 near U233.

      U232 is not only highly toxic and completely useless: its presence makes U233 fission processes far less efficient. And… you can’t separate these two isotopes at low cost.

  23. ‘the assumption that the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere is directly proportional to the amount of “excess” CO2 in the atmosphere above a “natural equilibrium” level.’

    It’s more than an assumption. It’s a knock-on effect of the observed decline of carbon 14. The exponential decline of C14 after the end of nuclear testing shows that the removal rate of CO2 is proportional to the level of CO2.

    With this empirical fact, changes of CO2 much as found here have been shown by Salby, Harde, and Berry. They show further that the same empirical fact makes the increase of CO2 from human emissions SMALL. It’s much too small to account for the actual increase of CO2, which must therefore be caused by natural emissions.

    https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/contradictions-to-ipccs-climate-change-theory/

    https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/what-is-really-behind-the-increase-in-atmospheric-co2/

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818116304787

        • was not published in an unreasonable effort to censor Harde’s science.

          That’s conspiranoid. The journal recognized the editor had made a mistake, published the criticism and moved on.

          There is no Harde’s science. The only people that agree with him are non scientists that like what he says. His articles are not cited by anybody.

          • “There is no Harde’s science. The only people that agree with him are non scientists that like what he says.”

            As you have probably noticed Harde thanked Dr. Soon for help and review of the response to Kohler that the journal promised to publish but didn’t. I asked Dr. Soon about that review and he agreed with all that Harde had written in the paper and the response and stated that Professor Harde was a very solid physicist and good friend. I also think Professor Salby’s review of Kohler is telling but maybe that is because my own review came to a similar conclusion in 2017.

          • I don’t know about Dr. Soon, but if he is a friend he might not be objective. These are clearly complex issues and on one side we have Dr. Harde and in the other everybody else that has published on the issue. That rings all sort of alarms in my skepticometer. Occam’s favorite explanation is that Harde is wrong. That is the most parsimonious, most probable explanation.

  24. Bear with me. In 2002 I filled an area of my garden’ lined with concrete edging, with topsoil, seedcd it with grass..and just mowed it leaving all the leaves from the trees and clippings on it.

    The gravel drive it adjoins having become grass covered I started to remove the gravel – now also full of organic material.

    The soil level is a full 2 cm above what it was…due to accumulated organic material.

    Any archaeologist can tell you the same. Land not covered in concrete or rock accumulates organic matter constantly.

    About a meter every thousand years of mainly pure carbon…teh black peats of the world.

    That is one hell of a lot of carbon capture…

  25. Roy Spencer

    I’m at a loss to explain why a significant volcanic eruption would cause a decrease in CO2. Clearly sulfate aerosols and ‘dust’ increases, and I would expect CO2 to increase proportionately.

    One possibility that occurs to me is that with a decrease in temperatures, ocean out-gassing decreases. That would suggest that out-gassing is the most important CO2 source and that the correlation of the Keeling Curve with anthropogenic emissions is a spurious correlation.

    Any additional thoughts on the issue?

    • Clyde Spencer

      “I’m at a loss to explain why a significant volcanic eruption would cause a decrease in CO2.”

      A layman’s question: if a huge volcanic eruption (I mean one similar to Tambora in 1815, or better: Mt Samalas in 1257) causes a corresponding aerosol coverage in the lower stratosphere, will that not result in

      – a significant ocean cooling worldwide, and thus to
      – a decrease of oceanic CO2 outgassing (a process I intuitively link to oceanic temperature) ?

    • I’m at a loss to explain why a significant volcanic eruption would cause a decrease in CO2.

      I have the same problem, Clyde.

      It is clearly related to the climatic effect of the eruption. Pinatubo had a significant impact on temperature and a huge impact on CO2 rate of increase. El Chichón had a smallish effect on temperature and it is almost invisible in CO2 rate of increase.

      First possibility: Volcanic eruptions with big sulfate injection into the stratosphere interfere with stratospheric circulation and imitate the effects of ENSO. If I remember correctly the first look like an El Niño and then a year or two later like a La Niña. But the effect of Pinatubo on CO2 is much larger than the effect of a strong La Niña.

      Second possibility: volcanic aerosols disperse incoming solar radiation producing diffuse radiation that is more effectively used by plants to photosynthesize. A higher rate of photosynthesis would reduce CO2 levels. The radiation diffusion effect has been researched and published. I am not aware if the increase in photosynthesis has been documented.

      I am sure there are additional possibilities I can’t think of right now.

  26. DocSiders

    CO2 induced “greening” ? Where does that exist – right now?

    I recommend you to look at the following chart:
    http://tinyurl.com/y5dwmeut

    Actually, most greening on Earth barely could have anything to do with CO2.

    It is mostly due to human activities, above all
    – China’s billion-tree fight since decades against World’s most intensive desertification
    and
    – India’s urge in increasing crop production at rates corresponding to the increase of population.

    The next greatest increase also is not related to CO2, but rather to increased warming in the Arctic regions, where the tundra is rapidly losing permafrost and thus greening since quite a lot of time. (Where that warming comes from is quite secondary here).

    *
    The greatest greening losses are there where you would expect them the least: in the globally greatest rain forest region (Amazonas).

    Brazil loses forest at a rate of round 100,000 km^2 per decade. The second greatest greening loss region is Indonesia: palm trees account for ridiculous amounts compared with rain forests.

    And the following paper might be of interest for you:
    https://www.atmos.umd.edu/~nigam/JCLIM.African.Sahara.Desert.Expansion.published.29March2018.pdf

    What is correct is that the African Sahel region for example might over the long term experience this CO2-related greening:
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266031206_CO2-Induced_Sahel_Greening_in_Three_CMIP5_Earth_System_Models

  27. The resulting fit to the Mauna Loa data required an assumed “natural equilibrium” CO2 concentration of 295 ppm, which is higher than the usually assumed 265 or 270 ppm pre-industrial value:

    Interestingly this is exactly the same value that I arrived at in2014, by a different method.
    https://climategrog.wordpress.com/co2-log-rise/

    This method leads to a pre-industrial estimation of 295 ppmv. Somewhat higher than the usual estimation of about 280 ppmv.

    • Basically I took the log of accumulated emissions according to CDIAC and scaled it fit MLO observations. I took the log of CO2 and found three distinct exponential growth periods described the record quite well.

      The intercept of the earliest growth period intercepted y axis at a value corresponding to 295 ppmv.

      No ENSO, no volcanoes, no account of the excess above base value. A unique scaling factor is applied, being inferred from MLO period which covers the latter two growth periods: essentially 1900-1960 and 1960 onwards.

      The MLO does rise a little faster than the model near the end ( a result of the choice of fitting period ). This probably explains why my extrapolated 2050 is slightly lower at 462ppmv.

  28. The model assumes the surface removes CO2 at a rate proportional to the excess of atmospheric CO2 above some equilibrium value.
    ——————–
    Sorry but the above explanatory approach seems to me more like a circular reasoning.
    There could not be excess to contemplate when an equilibrium considered, unless in matter of projections….

    So if there the equilibrium maintained there can not be any excess observed….whatever the value of such as equilibrium considered at some given point.

    An equilibrium and an excess in a given relation could not co-exist, or be observed in the same data for the same period of time….
    especially when considering CO2 concentration in and as for regard of CO2 equilibrium….where any CO2 equilibrium can only be considered as in direct means only in the context of CO2 flux and in matter of CO2 mass and its relation in that flux…
    The ppm value for such could only consist as ‘valid” only in the context of indirect, with a big error margin to count for,
    where simply comparing a value of 270ppm versus 295ppm will still be within error bars as per means of such model calculations…..

    Oh well, maybe I just missing the point…

    cheers

    • Greg
      April 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm
      ———————

      Greg,

      You should read my comment again, I think…. or let me help.

      “There could not be excess to contemplate when an equilibrium considered, unless in matter of projections….”

      So using a simple model based, as you say, in “pre-industrial” time and data of the past to project an “excess” into “present”, the ML data period,
      is not to be considered simply as circular reasoning but also as backwards.

      When it comes to CO2 concentration measurements, the ML period consist as the best and higher resolution and direct measurements in the atmosphere, where the only projections about CO2 concentration within model means is from present to either the future or to the past, where ether in one case we have no any data at all yet or in the other the data is to be considered as subject to validation and correction or necessarily adjustments due to the very low certainty and very low poor resolution and accuracy of what these data suppose to represent.

      Where also considering a low accuracy in expression and relation of an equilibrium (response) to CO2 by relying on the CO2 concentration and a given ppm value by a model estimation of far more uncertain data of the “past”, as per my understanding stands as a very high error risk approach, in this case.

      And yes I do agree with your point of IPCC being a champion with such approaches when it comes to climate data and especially the CO2 concentration and CO flux budget…
      within the realm of models and projections.

      Oh well, anyway I still may be missing the point.

      No hard feelings. Your reply appreciated. 🙂

      cheers

      [Please clarify your “ML” term for other readers. .mod]

  29. “Oh well, maybe I just missing the point…”

    Yes, read it again. He is suggesting a pre-industrial “equilibrium” which is what IPCC etc do too. Values after 1750 are assumed to be out of equilibrium. That is what the model is based on.

  30. A Simple Model of the Atmospheric CO2 Budget

    A little too simple I’m afraid. If you assume that a certain set of variables explain changes in atmosco2 then you can surely come up with the math to present the mass balance but without empirical evidence of such causation it is circular reasoning. First and foremost it must be shown with data and not with talk that the effect of fossil fuel emissions on atmosco2 is even detectable given large uncertainties in natural carbon cycle flows that can’t be directly measured but must be inferred.

    Pls see

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/05/31/the-carbon-cycle-measurement-problem/

  31. “What is amazing to me is that a model with such simple but physically reasonable assumptions can so accurately reproduce the Mauna Loa record of CO2 concentrations.”

    Of course that may just mean that Boden calibrated his estimates to the Mauna Loa data; perhaps inadvertently.

  32. A different perspective to that of many commenters:

    Roy’s model is that the changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration (besides the anthropogenic additions) C are proportional to (X – C), where X is a constant. This is equivalent to two sources of change, a positive CONSTANT one (the X term), which can be regarded as the “natural” flux from sources such as respiration and ocean outgassing, and a negative one proportional to C, which is effectively the assumption that CO2 molecules have a constant probability of leaving the atmosphere, so twice as many gives twice the flux.

    Thus, the model seems to me to be well rooted in the basic phenomena, and in the mathematical technique of perturbation theory.

      • Correct. One cannot just take the natural equilibrium as a given, and then construct an arbitrary system response on top of that which gives the output one desires. Whatever dynamics enforce the natural level also dictate how the anthropogenic inputs are treated.

        And, this is where it all falls down. Natural inputs are so much greater than anthropogenic that, if they were subjected to the same dynamics, they would quickly drive the equilibrium level far higher than just 300 ppm.

  33. If I read this right, according to this new model atmospheric concentration of CO2 tops out at 500 ppm. I’m sure I’ve read elsewhere that at previous geological times atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were in the 1,000 to 1,200 range. Is this model questionable or is my memory defective?

    • Just your reading skills. The article very clearly specifies the condition that emissions don’t increase. CO2 has to come from somewhere.

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