Corona-induced CO2 emission reductions are not yet detectable in the atmosphere

Effects of the pandemic will be detected in the atmosphere much later – To reach the Paris climate goals, decade-long measures are needed


Research News


Based on current data measured in the energy, industry, and mobility sectors, restrictions of social life during the corona pandemic can be predicted to lead to a reduction of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions by up to eight percent in 2020. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), cumulative reductions of about this magnitude would be required every year to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030. Recent measurements by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) revealed that concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has not yet changed due to the estimated emission reductions. The results are reported in Remote Sensing (DOI: 10.3390/rs12152387).

The corona pandemic has changed both our working and our private lives. People increasingly work from home, have video conferences instead of business trips, and spend their holidays in their home country. The lower traffic volume also reduces CO2 emissions. Reductions of up to eight percent are estimated for 2020. “In spite of the reduced emissions, our measurements show that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has not yet decreased,” says Ralf Sussmann from the Atmospheric Environmental Research Division of KIT’s Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-IFU), KIT’s Campus Alpine, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. “To reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the long run, restrictions imposed during the corona pandemic would have to be continued for decades. But even this would be far from being sufficient.”

To prove this, researchers additionally studied a long-term scenario that can be controlled well with atmospheric measurements: The goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius can only be reached by an immediate significant reduction of CO2 emissions and a further decrease down to zero by 2055. “The restrictions imposed during the corona crisis, however, are far from being sufficient. They have just resulted in a one-time reduction by eight percent. To reach zero emissions in the coming decades, cumulative reductions of the same magnitude would be required every year, i.e. 16 percent in 2021, 24 percent in 2022, and so on. For this, political measures have to be taken to directly initiate fundamental technological changes in the energy and transport sectors,” Sussmann says.

For the study, the team used data from the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON). It measured the concentrations in different layers of the atmosphere above Garmisch-Partenkirchen and at other places around the globe. “High-tech infrared spectrometers are applied, which use the sun as a light source. The measurement method is highly precise, uncertainties are in the range of a few thousandths,” Sussmann adds.Long Life of CO2 Prevents Early Detection

According to the researchers, the long life of CO2 and the high background concentrations that have accumulated since the start of industrialization prevent the changes in the atmosphere from being detected. “But also natural impacts make early detection difficult: Anthropogenic emissions, the main cause of the long-term increase in atmospheric CO2, are superposed by annual fluctuations of the growth rate due to natural climate variabilities of ocean sinks and land vegetation,” Sussmann says. Successful emission reduction, hence, is hard to detect by atmosphere measurements.

For their study, the researchers compared the TCCON measurements with the prognoses of the atmospheric growth rate for 2020 – with and without corona restrictions. “Precision analysis of atmosphere measurements revealed that the impacts of COVID-19 measures on the atmosphere might be measured after little more than six months, if the reference state without COVID-19 would be predicted precisely,” the climate researcher explains. “In any case, we would be able to find out within presumably two and half years, whether global political and social measures will help us find viable alternatives of fossil fuels and reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”


Original Publication:

Sussmann, R., and Rettinger, M.: Can We Measure a COVID-19-Related Slowdown in Atmospheric CO2 Growth? Sensitivity of Total Carbon Column Observations, Remote Sens., 12, 2387, 2020. doi:10.3390/rs12152387

More about the KIT Climate and Environment Center:

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

From EurekAlert!

225 thoughts on “Corona-induced CO2 emission reductions are not yet detectable in the atmosphere

  1. So its not possible that CO2 increases measured over the last 50 years is actually background natural variance then?

        • Could be. What everyone ought to acknowledge is the carbon cycle is so complex we really, “don’t know”.

          Like the virus that prompts this discussion: we don’t know enough about it (or viral contagion in general) to set public policy based on our knowledge.

          Speaking of the oceans, viruses and the carbon cycle did you know… ? Every ounce of seawater contains approximately three billion viral particles! Their central function is controling phytoplankton, which is central to understanding Earth’s carbon cycle.

          Which is part of the surface of what we don’t know. We observe much. If we divide our observations from the historical form of thought – we truly know nothing. Which is why no movement in atmospheric CO2 this year prompts cries of ignorance from the very people who are certain these input reductions are what is needed to save the world.

          “we don’t know” but we still believe we know.

          • Note from the graph at the link below:
            About 350,000 years ago the atmospheric CO2 level was about 190 PPM. But by about 330,000 years ago it was up to 300 PPM. That’s an increase of 50%. Did mankind do that? Of course not. There were no coal fired power plants and no gas powered SUVs at that time. Mankind could not have had any effect on atmospheric CO2 levels at that time. It had to be natural. The current CO2 level is about 415 PPM. Maybe some of it is due to us, but you cannot discount the possibility that nature did some of it too.
            Sometimes the correct answer is we “don’t know”.


          • We don’t know what happened 350,000 years ago and we don’t know what were the levels then, because nobody was measuring and proxies are subject to lots of uncertainties and interpretation.

            But we do know what has happened since 1960 because we have been measuring what we have put in the atmosphere and what is there. So we do know that the increase in CO2 levels since 1960 is due to us.

            No point in denying something so obvious. Regardless of what nature has been doing, the increase is caused by us. We have added double the measured increase.

          • Of the ~ 100 ppm increase in CO2 levels since 1960 (315 to 415 ppm), ~ 100 ppm are due to human activities. The ocean should have released some CO2 due to the slight increase in temperature, but due to the increase in CO2 partial pressure in the atmosphere the ocean has been a net sink as per Henry’s law. And we know the biosphere is a net sink from oxygen measurements.

          • Javier
            The graph I linked to was a key part of Al Gore’s famous PowerPoint presentation which started the Global Warming alarmism. Now you say it’s not accurate?
            Another graph Al Gore presented was the temperature over the same time period also determined from Vostok ice cores. The two graphs showed a strong correlation. Al Gore said see when CO2 is high temperature is high. That was the most compelling part of his presentation. If your saying the CO2 graph is not accurate it blows his whole presentation out the window. Also Al Gore forgot to mention that the temperature changes first and then the CO2 follows.

          • Now you say it’s not accurate?

            The graph is internally consistent and primarily dependent on past CO2 levels, but not accurate. The CO2 in ice cores is dependent on a firning process to seal it that lasts decades during which diffusion takes place, and then is subject to a chemical modification over time depending on the abundance of certain ions, that made Greenland ice cores unsuitable for CO2 measurements, and also affect Antarctic ice cores but to a much lesser extent. The end result is a low-band filter of CO2 changes on a multidecadal timescale, and a slight alteration of the final amount of CO2 that is dependent on climate.

            The result is that we can trust that Vostok, Law Dome, or EPICA CO2 levels represent what happened with CO2 in the past but don’t give us an accurate measurement of CO2 levels at the time and would not properly register a CO2 increase like the one we are living if it lasted less than a century.

          • Oceans could have been more of a net sink if they were not warming.

            But Javier is correct, we have been emitting astrominical quantities of CO2. Obviously a lot of that is going to remain in the atmosphere.

            Even if human emissions is only about 5% of the annual to and fro of the carbon cycle that cycle is a HUGE quantity and just 5% extra of that quantity each year is cumulative gain, not a cycle.

            However, since plant life is CO2 starved in our current climate epoch and since the biggest climate threat to humanity is the next glaciation, we need a much more objective assessments of the costs and benefits of extra CO2 , not a mindless assertion that all CO2 is “toxic”.

            The measurement method is highly precise, uncertainties are in the range of a few thousandths,” Sussmann adds.

            That is misleading and dishonest. Maybe the IR measurement of radiation claims 0.1% but that does NOT mean that what they are concluding about CO2 carries the same uncertainty.

            It is not even clear from this unscientific Urea Alert PR what exactly they claim they are measuring. AAAS is an appallingly politicised and activist group and there is very little science in what they are doing.

          • William, the increase of CO2 from a warming ocean is known from over 3 million samples of seawater taken over the past centuries.
            At an average 15ºC for the global ocean surface, that gives an equilibrium with the atmosphere at around 290 ppmv. That changes with some 16 ppmv/ºC, that is all.
            As we have about 415 ppmv in the atmosphere, the net direction of the CO2 flux is from the atmosphere into the oceans. That is about a quarter of our emissions, another quarter goes into vegetation and about half the emissions (as mass, not the individual molecules) remain temporarely in the atmosphere.
            That the Corona impact is not (yet) measurable is a matter of accuracy and time: you need about a year or more of continuous reduction in emissions to measure a significant difference in increase rate…

          • “Javier September 22, 2020 at 2:06 pm
            We don’t know what happened 350,000 years ago and we don’t know what were the levels then, because nobody was measuring and proxies are subject to lots of uncertainties and interpretation.

            But we do know what has happened since 1960 because we have been measuring what we have put in the atmosphere and what is there.”

            We have no more understanding of CO₂’s rise or fall in atmospheric levels now than we have of ‘why’ CO₂ changes 350,000 years ago.

            Nor has anyone been accurately “measuring what we have put in the atmosphere and what is there”.
            Estimating is the proper word. Estimates that are typical inaccurate government estimates from base assumptions and prejudices.

            The OCO satellite measurements prove mankind is not a significant contributor.
            Nature is.

          • ATheoK,

            As the different governements needs lots of money, they bas a substantial part of their income on taxing the use of fossil fuels. Thus they now for sure how much fossil fuels are sold in each country. Maybe somewhat underestimated, because of the human nature to avoid taxes and underestimated by some countries (China…) to look better than they are.
            The least one can say that CO2 emissions are known with reasonable accuracy and certainly not lower than what is known.
            CO2 levels are monitored at over 70 places in the world deemed “background” by different people from different groups and different countries. Worldwide they don’t differ more than 2% of full scale from each other, despite the fact that some 25% of all CO2 each year is exchanged between atmosphere and oceans or vegetation. I call that well mixed.
            Based on these two points, one can conclude that humans are the cause of the increase, as in the past 62 years, in every year, human emissions exceeded the increase in the atmosphere, with a few years borderline equal.

            If you have an alternative explanation that includes where all the human emissions went, I am all ear…

            BTW, OCO-2 doesn’t show anything of that kind. You need to add all emisisons and sinks at all points of the globe over a full year to know where the net sources and sinks are.

      • Yes it is possible and it is true. Natural CO2 outgassing is a function of the size of the ocean area above 25.6C, which has grown since the 1850s, the temperature within that area, and local dissolved inorganic carbon.

        The climate changes 100% naturally, to this day. If anyone wishs to have a decent discussion about CO2, your first job is to define what natural outgassing is along with the threshold for it, and how that applies historically, as I have done, otherwise you have no basis for argument.

        Javier likes to express doubt about my solar-ocean warming threshold work. Here I show the decadal ocean threshold of 95 v2 SN and the threshold for CO2 of 87 v2 SN:

        CO2 on a detrended annualized basis will continue to decline as 30y sunspot average crosses below 87 in the near future:

        Remember how the warmists get hyperventilated over the CO2 increase since the 1950s? It happened because the 30y sunspot average since then has exceeded 87, driving ocean warming and outgassing.

        If Javier has competitive solar warming and outgassing thresholds and analysis I’d love to see it.

        • If you really dig into the chemistry of how CO2 enters and chemically reacts with sea water (understanding such things as the Revelle factor and, most importantly, the Bjerrum plot), you will find that CO2 gas “solubility” into the ocean is not a reversible process, independent of water temperature, as long as the water pH remains above 8 or so. At the current ocean average pH of 8.1-8.2, far less than 1% of the CO2 entering the ocean remains available as dissolved CO2 that might possibly come out of solution gradually with increasing ocean temperatures.

        • It is not that I deny solar activity has a direct effect on tropical water temperature. It is a lot more complex than that. It also has an effect on ozone formation, stratospheric warming, winter polar vortex, winter atmospheric patterns, polar night jet stream position, storm tracks in the North Atlantic, NAO, precipitation patterns, the temperature difference that drives the monsoons, ENSO, the speed of rotation of the planet, and many other phenomena. All these have been described in hundreds of studies. The effect is therefore highly variable over time depending on conditions, and has multiple lags some of which have been described. That is why the solar effect on climate is so difficult to pin down.

          There is no way all that variability can be reduced to a constant sunspot threshold.

          • Too funny Javier. When you have to resort to rhetorically attempting to equate variability to a constant, you’re only describing your misconceptions. That isn’t what I said anyway and so your attempt at gaslighting me fails.

            Our water/ice world operates on fixed principles. Ice melts/freezes at a temperature threshold. Our ocean warms/cools similarly in a tight range of solar activity level near my threshold at different lags depending on location.

            It is a rare day when everything is in balance, such as in mid-March 2016 when the tropical ocean as I predicted reached the zero anomaly point as TSI fell through my threshold, confirming my threshold again.



            That the sun has other effects is interesting but since you can’t decipher the main one you’re very much behind the eight-ball Javier.

          • Let’s agree to disagree. I find your hypothesis interesting and worthy of consideration but unconvincing. It is not up to me to decipher the effect of solar activity on climate, but up to the scientific community. Why I think or believe is of little importance except to me.

          • Javier

            What on Earth (excuse the blasphemy) are you talking about??? We do NOT measure the amount of CO2 that humans put in the atmosphere each year. Those are only estimates regardless of which govt agency publishes them. We also have no way of precisely measuring the components of natural flux up and down (OCO-2 doesn’t do it).

          • I didn’t see any dip in the Keeling Curve ( global CO2 ) during the months of the industrial global lockdowns, due to the CO19. That would have been the ideal litmus test to end all arguments, on what portion is human induced. Negligible ?

          • So let’s just get this straight. Two non-believers whose work I follow quite closely, and whose judgement and opinions I value strongly, don’t agree on whether rising CO2 has a primary anthropogenic cause. Both can argue their positions at a level waaay above my pay-grade.

            To summarise: Javier says we’ve emitted x which must be contained within measurable increase y. Bob says prior increases of y have in the past occurred naturally, so no anthro component is required to explain the change. Fair?

            Both of these make sense on their own terms.

            However, I note that Javier, author of the astonishing Nature Unbound series (best long-read scientific writing I’ve read IMO), dismisses Bob’s thesis in large part due to the unreliability of proxies.

            I hate to do this, but I call foul: unless I misunderstood (possible!), the thesis underlying Nature Unbound rested very heavily on proxies. Can’t have that both ways Javier, sorry. That said, I’m sure you can explain this apparent contradiction, and apologies in advance if I’ve not summarised this accurately.

            Anyway, if even this most fundamental of questions is in intelligent dispute, then truly the science is not settled.

          • JaneHM,

            We do NOT measure the amount of CO2 that humans put in the atmosphere each year.

            Yes, we do. Human emissions of CO2 come essentially from the burning of fossil fuels and the production of cement. We know how much fossil fuels we burn and how much cement we produce to a very high degree because it is linked to the payment of taxes, so it is followed and registered.

            Peter K,

            I didn’t see any dip in the Keeling Curve ( global CO2 ) during the months of the industrial global lockdowns, due to the CO19.

            None was expected. Human addition is small compared to natural fluxes and annual variability, but large compared to net inter-annual fluxes. Think of a fish tank with a large water outlet to a filtering device that feeds back to the tank, with a large flux but a very small net effect due only to evaporation. If you add a small influx the tank will eventually overflow and it will be your fault.

            Mr Julian Forbes-Laird,

            To summarise: Javier says we’ve emitted x which must be contained within measurable increase y. Bob says prior increases of y have in the past occurred naturally, so no anthro component is required to explain the change. Fair?

            Past occurrences were natural. At the end of a glacial period there is an increase of about 100 ppm. Half of it is due to warming of the ocean. It has been calculated an increase of 8-10 ppm/°C of surface warming. The other half is produced by increased volcanism associated to the melting of the ice sheets.

            A 100 ppm increase during an interglacial cannot be natural. What is its source? The ocean could have released at most 8-10 ppm due to warming (less than 1 °C). It has actually not released it because it has been turned into a sink by the increase in atmospheric CO2. Volcanic activity for the past 100 years has been very low. And we know we have emitted double that during that time. Saying that the increase in CO2 is not due to humans is not only scientifically untenable, it is an absurd proposition. But people like to believe in all sort of impossible things.

          • Julian Forbes-Laird, thank you for your comments. Here I quote from Javier:

            Saying that the increase in CO2 is not due to humans is not only scientifically untenable, it is an absurd proposition. But people like to believe in all sort of impossible things.

            The evidence below emphatically shows MME and ML CO2 aren’t related, so the scientifically untenable absurd proposition is the idea that MME drives ML CO2:




            *Nino1234 is an annual timeseries index of the ratio of the first half of the year to the second half of year of area-weighted Nino 1-4 monthly averages. CO2 is outgassed most when the early part of the year is warmest, which is tied to both the annual insolation cycle and solar activity.

          • emphatically shows MME and ML CO2 aren’t related

            What an absurd proposition. It obviously does not show such thing. It has been known for many decades (since 1976) that the annual variation in CO2 depends on temperature changes. It is the long term trend that depends on emissions. Apparently the news didn’t reach you, as by detrending the data you eliminate the dependency that you claim does not exist.

            I suggest you start with Bacastow, R. B. “Modulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide by the Southern Oscillation.” Nature 261.5556 (1976): 116-118. in case you believe you are discovering something. It has been cited 316 times, so you do have some reading to catch up.

          • It is the long term trend that depends on emissions.

            Bacastow, R. B. – So what about it? How does a 44yo paper like that help you?

            ATMOSPHERIC CO2 records for the South Pole and Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, show a seasonal variation, presumably arising from the uptake and release of CO2 by vegetation, and a long term increase, almost certainly caused by combustion of fossil fuel.

            Do you actually think your argument is bolstered by this obvious speculation?

        • Bob, correlation is not causation…

          If the partial pressure of CO2 in solution (pCO2aq) is higher than in the atmosphere (pCO2atm), then CO2 will be released and reverse.

          Indeed with higher seasonal temperatures more CO2 will be released by the oceans where the pCO2aq is over 415 μatm, thus higher than of the atmosphere at 415 ppmv (ppmv is ~μatm, ppmv is in dry air, μatm is as is in wet air).
          That is continuously the case in the tropics and seasonally in the mid-latitudes.

          But you forgot the other – larger – driving force for seasonal CO2 levels: the spring growth of new leaves and stems in the mid-latitudes of especially the NH.

          That makes that the full seasonal CO2 cycle is dominated by vegetation, not the ocean surface, as CO2 in the atmopshere drops with higher temperatures…
          The same for the influence of El Niño on CO2 levels: that is more reaction of drying out (Amazon) forests than of less solubility in seawater.

          That can be easily shown bij looking at the simultaneous change in δ13C. If that is opposite to each other, then vegetation is dominant. If they parallel each other then the oceans are dominant.
          Here for the seasonal swing at Mauna Loa and Barrow:

          Here for the period 1991-2012 at Mauna Loa, including the 1991 Pinatubo and 1998 El Niño:

          Thus while temperature is the common driver, it is vegetation that leads the show…

          • Ferdinand I didn’t forget anything, but you seem to be neglecting reality.

            Your conception that the NH vegetation uptake is driving the ML CO2 annual downslope is largely wrong because the leaf area index and gross primary productivity shows a much higher CO2 uptake in the tropics. One must remember the size distortion of northern countries on these maps makes them appear much bigger than they really are when compared for true size to countries at the equator.




            You’ve claimed atmosphere CO2 changes from MME are driving the carbon cycle, and the δ13C is responding to only or predominately NH annual vegetation.

            I’m claiming these are independent systems from MME that happen to run concurrently while being driven by the annual seasonal cycle. The δ13C changes with vegetation are a fraction of the annual ML CO2 cycle downslope, not the whole amount, certainly when considering the much denser tropical LAI and forest CO2 uptake compared to the NH.

            Are the NH and tropical vegetation synchronized wrt annual CO2 uptake? I doubt it. So what net effect might the tropical uptake be if it is different that the NH, and how can you claim with certainty the NH uptake explains the whole ML CO2 downslope? I think you are grossly exaggerating both MME and the NH uptake, while neglecting to account for the effect of the ocean changes over time wrt Henry’s Law outgassing/sinking, and tropical GPP CO2 uptake.

          • Bob Weber,

            The main seasonal cycle is in the mid-latitudes, not the tropics. The tropics are responsible for the year by year variability (El Niño,…), in both cases vegetation is dominant.

            Proof: the largest seasonal changes are in the NH, where there is more land than ocean and near none in the SH where there is more ocean than land. If the tropical forests were responsible, then there would be more equality in the seasonal cycles in the CO2 measurements.

            Leaf area and NPP doesn’t say anything about the changes within a year, which are much larger in spring and fall for deciduous forests.
            The same for the δ13C changes. If there is a net continuous production, that is reflected in a continuous δ13C change, but the seasonal δ13C change is much larger than from the NPP. The same for the opposite O2 change, which also is mainly in the NH. δ13C and O2 changes are directly connected to each other and to vegetation (fossil or not).

            Based on these changes, the IPCC (and others) have made estimates of the natural fluxes:
            – 60 GtC diurnal within vegetation
            – 60 GtC in and out vegetation over the seasons
            – 50 GtC out and in the ocean surface over the seasons, opposite to the vegetation flux
            – 40 GtC continuously between upwelling zones at the equator and the uptake zones near the poles.

            Neither the diurnal (too short), nor the continuous fluxes (no influence) are measurable in the CO2 levels. The opposite seasonal ocean and vegetation cycles are visible as a 10 GtC (5 ppmv) amplitude: near zero in the SH and +/- 10 ppmv in the NH.

            The NPP of 2 GtC, if we assume that all uptake is in the tropics, has no measurable influence on the seasonal CO2 cycle, but is visible as a year-by-year change in net sink rate. In some (El Niño) years, the tropics are net producers of CO2, in others (Pinatubo) strong absorbers. That gives a year-by-year variability of +/- 1.5 ppmv.

          • Proof: the largest seasonal changes are in the NH, where there is more land than ocean and near none in the SH where there is more ocean than land. If the tropical forests were responsible, then there would be more equality in the seasonal cycles in the CO2 measurements.

            You’ve inverted the message of the LAI and GPP plots I showed you, which are visual proof the largest uptake happens in the tropics, not the NH.

            Leaf area and NPP doesn’t say anything about the changes within a year, which are much larger in spring and fall for deciduous forests.

            I didn’t say NPP, I said ‘GPP’. The LAI and GPP plots indicate the tropics consume more CO2 than the NH. It isn’t necessary to have a monthly timeseries of them to understand this derives from the annual CO2 cycle.

            If the tropical forests were responsible, then there would be more equality in the seasonal cycles in the CO2 measurements.

            I made the point your model has no allowance for tropical CO2 uptake. Here you wave off it’s impact. You start with the wrong presumption that CO2 uptake drives the annual downslope. Once you realize it is the SST changes in Nino3 driving ML CO2 this self-deception disappears.

            Your further explanation is really just handwaving. I believe you’re just not willing to say you don’t know.

            In some (El Niño) years, the tropics are net producers of CO2, in others (Pinatubo) strong absorbers.

            That’s an unfounded assumption, based on what? CO2 responded without fail in the 1990s to SST changes. I agree Pinatubo played a role in affecting CO2 solubility because of SO2 and aerosols, but it didn’t stop the SST from controlling the 12mo change in ML CO2, it didn’t stop Henry’s Law from working.


          • Bob,

            1. The influence of temperature over the seasons:
            Of course it is important to know the monthly uptake of vegetation, as that shows that vegetation in the mid-latitudes has the largest uptake in spring and the largest release in fall. The tropics don’t influence the fact that CO2 levels, mainly in the NH, drop with higher temperatures (including the Nino3) in spring, thus their seasonal impact is much larger than that of the oceans or forests in the tropics.

            2. The influence of temperature over short periods (1-3 years):
            Over shorter periods ENSO (El Niño / La Niña) and large volcanic eruptions (Pinatubo) have a strong influence on the CO2 uptake/release of the oceans and vegetation.
            Again it is vegetation and not the ocean release that has the largest impact. Not only visible in the opposite CO2 / δ13C rate of change changes, but also in the oxygen use/release. See Fig. 7 at the last page of:
            During months in 1996 and especially in 1998, (tropical) vegetation was a net emitter of CO2. In 1998, also the oceans were net emitters, whcih made that nature as a whole was a net emitter during several months.

            3. The influence of temperature on longer term (over 3 years).
            As already can be seen in the above Fig 7. of Bender e.a. despite a huge influence of temperature on short term variability, over that 10 years period, both oceans and vegetation were net sinks for CO2 except for a few months in 1998. As they were over the full period since 1958. Neither oceans or vegetation are the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.
            As said before, you can’t deduce anything about the long term trend from short term variability.

            The effect of the above seasonal and year by year temperature variability is not more than 4-5 ppmv/K with a maximum of 1.5 ppmv around the trend.
            The trend itself is over 90 ppmv with a temperature increase of around 0.8 K. That means a temperature effect of over 100 ppmv/K, which is impossible from the same processes that cause the seasonal and year by year variability.

            As an illustration that trend and variability have nothing in common, I combined a trend without any variability with a huge variability which has a small trend. There is a huge correlation between “temperature” and the combination and none between the “emissions” and the combination but still the “emissions” are largely responsible for the trend in the combination:

      • It is very simple mathematics, about first grade. If we add every year double the amount the atmosphere increases, then everything else combined must take half of what we emit. No way around that.

        • Javier,
          I don’t think you understand how complex feedback systems can be. In your example, doubling our output will cause an increase in the background level. Yet strangely, no matter how many people pee in the ocean, it still isn’t yellow. Maybe there is more to it, maybe you need to lift the blinkers and have a look for other causes/effects.

          • Then perhaps you can illustrate me how us adding twice the amount it increases, it can be explained by something different.

            Even if something else was soaking up everything we add and then adding all that it shows, that something else would still be a net sink and we would still be responsible for all that ends in the atmosphere, as without us there would be a net decrease in CO2 not an increase.

            Just waving your arms and saying “It’s complex!” doesn’t cut it. There is no denying we have added a humongous amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, enough to almost double its amount. Half of that has been retired by sinks. Saying we didn’t do it is infantile.

          • I have seen lots of comments on this topic in the past and even recently from Dr. Ed and discussed things out several times again…
            The problem is that every single alternative explanation fails one or more observations, while a human source fits all observations… See:

            No matter how complex the feedbacks in reality are, in the past 60 years the total of all feedbacks is highly linear with the extra pressure of CO2 over the equilibrium with the ocean for the average ocean surface temperature.
            That is about 1/50/year of the extra pressure or a tau of about 50 years or a half life time of around 35 years. One can calculate the theoretical increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, based on only total CO2 emissions and average ocean surface temperature:
            Which is midst of the -temperature variability- caused natural variability in sink capacity.

      • If cutting back 8% has no effect at all you have to wonder if adding 8% does.


        And if thats the case how about adding 100%?

        Fact is we just ran a ‘cut back CO2’ experiment and it has thrown us a curve ball.

        There must be carbon sinks of CO2 (involving plants) that we dont know about. It is the only logical conclusion.

          • A matter of accuracy and time…
            You need 30 years of continuous tide gauge measurements to show a few mm of sea level rise/year midst of the meters of change by tides and waves…
            You need at least several years of a continuous drop in emissions to get enough data to show the difference in increase…

            Humans emit about 4.5 ppmv CO2/year of which about half temporarely remains in the atmosphere. 8% less is 0.2 ppmv/year in the atmosphere. The accuracy of CO2 measurements worldwide is around 0.2 ppmv and the natural year by year variability is +/- 1.5 ppmv (Pinatubo, El Niño).
            If the drop in emissions is sustained (which you can better hope not to be the case), you need several years to show that in the data).

    • The question revolves around CO2 residence time. If you say that every bit of CO2 emitted by humans stays in the atmosphere for decades (or even as much as 1000 years) then the arithmetic sort of agrees that humans are responsible for the increase in atmospheric CO2.

      On the other hand, if the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is much shorter, then the human contribution is far to puny to explain the increase in atmospheric CO2.

      A long residence time demands that all contributors to the CO2 budget remain the same over very long periods. That clearly is not the case. Exhibit ‘A’ would be the fact that the Earth has greened a lot due to CO2 fertilization. link Biomass is a major component of the CO2 budget therefore we do not have the static conditions that support the assumption that CO2 has long residence times.

      So, it’s quite possible that CO2 increases measured over the last 50 years is the result of natural processes.

      • No. It is not possible. We have put double the amount it has increased. The rest combined is net negative. Otherwise the increase would have been bigger. No way around that simple fact.

          • Enough for that. And more importantly, people that know a lot more math and a lot more about the carbon cycle than you and me say the same. To disagree with the experts you have to know what they say and why they say it and have a better explanation supported on evidence. Those requisites are not present, and opinions are of little value. At two cents I think they are overpriced.

          • Enough for that.

            Apparently not. There are an infinite number of ways changing sources and sinks would result in exactly the same thing.

          • There are an infinite number of ways changing sources and sinks would result in exactly the same thing.

            But we are always the source of double the amount of the measured increase. All the rest of the infinite combinations don’t change that.

            Go ahead, make a numerical example with three compartments, ocean, biosphere and atmosphere in which we add double what the atmosphere increases yet we are not responsible for the increase.

      • commiebob,

        The residence time has nothing to do with how much the CO2 levels changes in a year.
        Even if the full amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is twice a year exchanged with the oceans and vegetation (that is a “residence time” of 5 months…), that doesn’t change the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere with one gram…

        If you add some CO2 from an external source to the atmosphere, the partial CO2 pressure in the atmosphere increases a little. That reduces the outgassing from the warm oceans and increases the uptake by the cold oceans and vegetation. That is a pressure dependent mechanism, while the largest natural fluxes are (seasonal) temperature dependent. Both are (near) completely independent of each other. Also in time period: the observed residence time is around 4 years, the observed decay rate for any extra CO2 in the atmosphere above the equilibruim is around 50 years…

        See it as the difference of the throughput of goods (and thus capital) through a factory and the gain (or loss) that the same factory makes from that capital… They are related, but an increase in throughput doesn’t necessary lead to more gain, it can be just opposite…

        • 1 – ““Residence time” is defined as as the time it takes for the fiftieth molecule in a pulse of 100 emitted CO2 molecules to be absorbed (in other words the half-life).” link
          2 – Suppose that I dump a bunch of CO2 into the atmosphere. If the residence time is one year, half the extra CO2 will have been absorbed out of the atmosphere after one year. If the residence time is 100 years, the vast majority of the extra CO2 will still be in the atmosphere after one year.

          Note that ‘residence time’ says nothing about mechanisms. In that way it neatly sidesteps around the facts you just raised.

          Anyway, the reason the IPCC et al. postulate long residence times is that their arithmetic wouldn’t work otherwise. It’s the only way you can get the relatively small human contribution to add up over time.

          • Coomibob, that definition is not for the residence time, that is the definition for a half life decay rate.

            The definition of residence time is:
            Rt = mass/throughput
            or if input = throughput = output:
            Rt = mass/input or Rt = mass/output

            The residence time only shows how much CO2 is EXchanged between reservoirs within a year, NOT how much CO2 has been changed within a year. That is only interesting to know how much human CO2 still is in the atmosphere as individual molecules, but says nothing about how fast an extra injection of CO2 is removed out of the atmosphere.

            That indeed is the decay rate. For a linear process, the formula is:
            tau = cause/effect

            In 1959: 25 ppmv extra in the atmosphere, 0.5 ppmv/year net sink rate: tau = 50 years, half life time = 34.7 years
            The figures for 1988 (from Peter Dietze):
            60 ppmv, 1.13 ppmv/year, 53 years, half life time 36.8 years
            In 2012:
            110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = 51.2 years or a half life time of 35.5 years.

            Seems quite linear to me at around 51 years decay rate or 35 years half life time.

            Far longer than the residence time, which moves a lot of CO2 back and forth, but doesn’t change the CO2 content of the atmosphere and much shorter than de IPCC’s decay rate, which is based on the Bern and similar models, which assume a saturation of the sinks. That is only the case for the ocean surface, which has a limited capacity, but not in the foreseeable future for the deep ocean sinks or vegetation.

          • Fernando Engelhort

            Here’s what the IPCC says:

            Namely, emissions of a greenhouse gas that has a long atmospheric residence time is a quasi-irreversible commitment to sustained radiative forcing over decades, centuries, or millennia, before natural processes can remove the quantities emitted. link

            It sounds to me like they’re talking about mean residence time. If we go by the textbook definition of residence time and consider the disappearance of 14CO2 from the atmosphere after the end of atmospheric bomb tests, it looks like the mean residence time is ten years. Naturally, the IPCC says that doesn’t count. link

            What I’m trying to do is explain the IPCC’s position on residence times. I am not trying to defend that position.

          • commieBob,

            I know, even the IPCC mixes the two definitions…

            The residence time is completely based on CO2 fluxes driven by temperature changes, mainly over the seasons and partly between tropics and poles.
            The “excess decay rate”, to make a differentiation, is completely based on the effect of the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere from the extra CO2 injection (Le Châtelier’s principle).
            Thus two complete different times, based on two complete different mechanisms.

            The long “residence time” of over 100 years of the IPCC is not the residence time, but the decay rate of extra CO2 in the atmosphere in their case based on the Bern or similar models, which assume a saturation of the deep oceans and vegetation, for which is not the slightest indication up to now. Only the ocean surface is rapidly saturated at about 10% of any change in the atmosphere.

            The decay rate of 14CO2 spike from the atomic bomb tests is much faster than of a 12CO2 spike, because what goes into the polar deep waters is the momentary isotopic composition, while what comes out of the equatorial waters in the same year is the composition of ~1000 years ago. That makes for the year 1960 (the peak year for 14CO2), only 45% of all 14CO2 returned the same year but for 12CO2 some 97.5% returned.
            That makes that the decay rate for an excess 14CO2 is much faster than for an excess 12CO2…

      • “The amount of CO2 emitted by humans is greater than the increase seen in the atmosphere.”
        Not before 1960 and the atmospheric CO2 was increasing before then. CO2 from coal combustion is identical to CO2 you breath so it cannot be treated differently by nature. The increase is thus a mixture of natural sources and human sources and is in the ratio of those sources. The rise in atmospheric CO2 is about 15% from human sources (Harde 2017)

          • Quite the contrary.

            “the journal asked three additional experts to review Köhler’s critical commentary; all three “supported the fundamental concerns raised,” noting that the 2017 paper “contains many mistakes, misconceptions and omissions and ignores a vast body of scholarly literature on the subject.”

            We are always complaining of pal review. Harde 2017 is a typical example of pal review. It is complete nonsense. As Gavin Cawley explains:

            “The problem is demonstrated by Prof. Harde’s (and Prof. Salby’s) continued failure to distinguish between residence time (the average time a molecule of CO2 remains in the atmosphere before being taken up by another reservoir) and the adjustment time (the timescale on which the atmosphere responds to changes in the sources and sinks). The former is about 4 years, and depends on the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere, the adjustment time is about 50-200 years and depends on the DIFFERENCE between uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere and the emission of CO2 into it. These are not the same thing.”

            It appears many of WUWT readers have not made their homework about CO2, as the same mistakes are posted over and over ad nauseam.

            Ferdinand Engelbeen has a great series of articles here at WUWT that should be required reading for climate discussion 101. Here is the link to part 4, that contains links to the other 3:

            More info can be found at his home page:

            Those were the days when lots of skeptics had a climate science in depth knowledge. Nowadays is all politics and slogans.

          • Jabber

            Not sure what you are saying. Ferdinand writes good articles but he is a Sceptic.

            Are you saying, like he does, that we do put this co2 into the atmosphere but it doesn’t have any great effect?


          • There’s no point in re-reading what is wrong and misleading.

            Engelbeen doesn’t know the extent of how the annual ML CO2 cycle is regulated by SST and controlled by the annual insolation cycle. Like most everyone in climate science, he also thinks emissions drive the upslope and the seasonal NH uptake of CO2 controls the downslope of the annual cycle. He couldn’t be more wrong, and you with him.


          • A convenient subterfuge, Javier. The towering issue was the silencung of Harde’s response to Kohler’s criticism. The truth could then be judged from both sides.

            Silencing one side of a debate is about as illegitimate as it gets. It’s equuvalent to holding a hearing with only one of the parties present. Kohler and the IPCC industry had to silence Harde’s reply (accessible at the above link) because it demolished Kohler’s claims and thereby the central premise of the IPCC.

            As to Gavin Cawley’s expert analysis, which sought to justify the IPCC’s erroneous tratment of CO2, Hardde’s reply destroys it. On pp. 5-6, Harde shows that Cawley’s tratment is complete nonsense. It removes CO2 from the atmosphere even if there is no CO2 in the atmosphere.
            So much for IPCC experts.

          • Tonyb,

            Are you saying, like he does, that we do put this co2 into the atmosphere but it doesn’t have any great effect?

            Ferdinand knows very well what he writes about. The CO2 is ours and it has great effects. It has a modest effect on temperature, but it has a huge effect on the planet’s primary productivity. The global terrestrial gross
            primary production (GPP) growth during the 20th century has been estimated at 30 % (Campbell et al., 2017).

            Bob Weber,

            Engelbeen knows very well what he writes about and has shown it. He understands what drives the annual cycle in CO2 and how that has nothing to do with the long-term increase in CO2.


            Silencing one side of a debate is about as illegitimate as it gets.

            There is no two sides on this issue. There is the position of 100 % of scientist believers and 99.9 % of scientist skeptics, and then there’s some very confused very wrong ones, mainly Salby and Harde. They have not been denied any opportunity. They have been allowed to give conferences and publish papers. The problem is they are wrong. Why would a scientific journal want to publish something that is wrong?

            I am not about to discuss what is wrong with Kohler’s and Cawley’s position, because it has no bearing on Harde’s mistake. Cawley is correct in that Harde and Salby make the common mistake of confounding molecular replacement with adjustment time. It is not the time that a molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere is exchanged by another molecule in a different compartment what matters. It is the time that it takes a molecule or any of its replacements to disappear from the atmosphere what matters, and that is a much longer time. The basis of Harde’s and Salby’s position is a basic mistake.

            Salby was very much discussed in 2013 for his conjectures on a natural origin of the CO2 increase. He said he was going to publish his views. He never did. He gave conferences until around 2017. I haven’t heard anything of him since. This is not suppressed knowledge. It has all the markings of a completely wrong hypothesis fading into obscurity.

            Rud Istvan wrote an article reviewing why Salby was wrong and it applies to Harde:

          • “There are no two sides on this issue.”

            Thank you, Javier. A more definitive admission of scientific ignorance could not be imagined.

            ‘No amount of experimentation can prove me right. A single experiment can prove me wrong.’ Albert Einstein

          • Javier, I don’t use Salby or Harde. If you think there’s a similarity to what I present, perhaps you could explain what it is.

            He [Engelbeen] understands what drives the annual cycle in CO2 and how that has nothing to do with the long-term increase in CO2.

            If that’s what he understands then he doesn’t understand it.

            The outgassing of CO2 today follows the same rules as ever, Henry’s Law. CO2 follows the Nino1234 index, which follows sunspot activity regulated TSI.

            The key to understanding natural CO2 outgassing comes from understanding the warming/cooling effect of high/low irradiance during the first half of the year nearest the annual January perihelion, when higher irradiance enhances the peak annual insolation cycle warming.

            I created the Nino1234 index to study the early-year long-term effect of solar activity on warming the tropics and CO2 outgassing. The 30y SN and 30y Nino1234 index correlate at R=.96 with a 13y lag, because using 30y averages significantly smooths out the variability, allowing for the determination of the 87 SN CO2 threshold.


            The tropics are responding to today’s 30y SN of barely over 87, cooling accordingly:


          • I don’t use Salby or Harde. If you think there’s a similarity to what I present, perhaps you could explain what it is.

            You make one of the mistakes they made. It is a very common mistake that many people make. You mistake the temperature dependency of the yearly changes in CO2 with the long-term dependency of CO2 levels on human emissions. At any given time natural fluxes are huge, and they are temperature-dependent, while human emissions are much smaller and are not temperature dependent. But over the course of several years natural fluxes have a net change of zero or near zero, while the small human emissions flux accumulates.

            The outgassing of CO2 today follows the same rules as ever, Henry’s Law.

            Yes, and Le Chatelier’s principle, and since the partial pressure of atmospheric CO2 has increased greatly, while the temperature of the ocean has changed very little, the ocean has become a net sink. There is no net outgassing from the oceans of the planet. There may be on certain years, but not on average over time. Zero, nothing, nada.

            The 30y SN and 30y Nino1234 index correlate at R=.96 with a 13y lag

            Sure they do. You are rediscovering here the ~ 60-yr multidecadal oscillation discovered in 1994 by Schlessinger and Ramankutty. It is not by chance that you get a good result with a half of its periodicity. To any keen observer the multidecadal oscillation is synchronized to the secular cycles in solar activity such that some of the cold periods tend to coincide with the centennial or bicentennial extended minima in solar activity (1900s-1920s cold period, 2000s pause). By detrending and averaging CO2 you are showing its annual dependency on temperature variations, and therefore on ENSO, as Bacastow showed in 1976. I find nothing remarkable about the graph and it does not mean what you think it means.

          • Javier,

            Thanks for remembering the discussions of already years ago here at WUWT. Unfortunately, we need to repeat them again and again as the same mistakes are made again and again…

            What many sceptics don’t realise is that this is one of the few points where climate science is rock solid. If sceptics attack climate science at this point, they shoot in their own foot and make that any further arguments where climate science is far from solid (climate models…) are discarded as from someone who knows nothing about what science shows…

          • You make one of the mistakes they made. It is a very common mistake that many people make. You mistake the temperature dependency of the yearly changes in CO2 with the long-term dependency of CO2 levels on human emissions. At any given time natural fluxes are huge, and they are temperature-dependent, while human emissions are much smaller and are not temperature dependent. But over the course of several years natural fluxes have a net change of zero or near zero, while the small human emissions flux accumulates.

            I didn’t make a mistake, you did.

            You are rediscovering here the ~ 60-yr multidecadal oscillation discovered in 1994 by Schlessinger and Ramankutty. It is not by chance that you get a good result with a half of its periodicity. To any keen observer the multidecadal oscillation is synchronized to the secular cycles in solar activity such that some of the cold periods tend to coincide with the centennial or bicentennial extended minima in solar activity (1900s-1920s cold period, 2000s pause). By detrending and averaging CO2 you are showing its annual dependency on temperature variations, and therefore on ENSO, as Bacastow showed in 1976. I find nothing remarkable about the graph and it does not mean what you think it means.

            This is how you gaslight me, by redefining what I say. I do not claim there is 60-70 oscillation so you are talking out your kiester again. Did they check the first half of year to the second, I doubt it. Apples to oranges Javier.

            It means exactly what I said it means and not what you said. I see how desperate you’re getting, it’s palpable.

        • DMA, the increase between 1900 and 1960 was also about half human emissions, be it with more uncertainty: that is based on a high resolution ice cores and firn, which still have an about 10-years smoothing, thus short, fast changes like during an El Niño are not noted in any CO2 variation. Here the full graph for the period 1900-2011 (needs some update…):

          The relation with temperature is far more dubious…

    • It is not only possible, it is necessary. Changes of human CO2 emissions and their disconnect from observed changes of CO2 in the atmosphere now show finally that the removal time of atmospheric CO2 is short – only a couple of years. This is far shorter than the removal time assumed by the IPCC, a false assumption that would enable CO2 to build up in the atmosphere. Because of its fast removal from the real atmosphere, human CO2 cannot build up and therefore cannot account for more than a few percent of the observed increase of atmospheric CO2.

      Diagnosis of exclusion: The observed increase of atmospheric CO2 can follow only from changes of natural emission and removal. Even if a Corona restriction of human emissions lasted for decades, it would not produce a visible change of atmospheric CO2.

      • Jakob, please…

        There is no disconnect between human emissions and increase in the atmosphere. The first still are twice the observed increase. The only problem is that the difference in human emissions is too small to be measured with the current methods. You need at least a year and probably years of sustained change to show up in the data.

        The removal time of that extra CO2 is not short. If that was the case, why is the increase in the atmosphere not (near) zero, instead of half the emissions, each year again?
        The removal rate is around 35 years half life time, much longer than the residence time of 4 years (which doesn’t net remove anything at the end of a full cycle) or the centuries time of the IPCC. The latter is based on the Bern model and assumes a saturation of the deep oceans and vegetation, for which is not the slightest indication.

        And don’t refer to Dr. Salby. His video’s were repeatedly discussed here at WUWT and grave errors were pointed to by me and others. He never responded here or anywhere else…

    • Yes. You cant say they are due to man if when man cuts 8%, and there is sod all change in the atmosphere, then you have to look elsewhere, even if the isotopic structure says the CO2 came from trees.

      Perhaps it came from plankton in the ocean for example.

  2. “In any case, we would be able to find out within presumably two and half years, whether global political and social measures will help us find viable alternatives of fossil fuels and reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”

    So they want yet another 2.5 yrs of grant funding to research the ‘settled science’ !!

  3. Did we expect any reduction? No.

    But would it not be reasonable to expect that the steady increase would at least, pardon my French: pause?

    Where is the missing pause?

    Even when the whole world is effectively brought to its knees, we cannot make even a small dent? What does that say about the hypothesis that the increase in CO2 levels is all us?

  4. The yearly/seasonal ebb and flow of CO2 from the natural world is detectable as it happens. Why would a reduction in human produced CO2 not show up until some time later?

    • 97% of CO2 emissions are natural so an 8% reduction of 3% anthropogenic is only a quarter percent. Hard but not impossible to see. Then there is accounting. Biofuels (mostly wood) are one of the biggest renewable energy portions in the renewable portfolio but their favorable treatment in CO2 accounting is not reflected in reality. Then there is the insistence that carbon emission burdens must be born by developed countries as developing countries rapidly expand their economies with low cost energy leading to CO2 leakage via off shoring. Elite green mandates are a house of cards built on a shell game.

      • 97% of CO2 emissions are natural so an 8% reduction of 3% anthropogenic

        You could approach it from another angle: 100% of CO2 increase is (supposedly) anthropogenic, i.e. the increase should decrease by 8%. The rate of increase was 2.40 ppm/year. The post lock-down rate of increase should thus be 2.208 ppm/year. However the rate has remained 2.4 ppm/year. Hence the assumption that 100% of the increase is due to humans is wrong.

      • 97% of CO2 emissions are natural so an 8% reduction of 3% anthropogenic……

        You could approach it from another angle: 100% of CO2 increase is (supposedly) anthropogenic, i.e. the increase should decrease by 8%. The rate of increase was 2.40 ppm/year. The post lock-down rate of increase should thus be 2.208 ppm/year. However the rate has remained 2.4 ppm/year. Hence the assumption that 100% of the increase is due to humans is wrong.

        • Chris,

          Your calculation shows the problem:
          Human emissions were 4.5 ppmv/year, which dropped to 4.1 ppmv/year.
          The resulting drop in increase would be from 2.4 ppmv/year to 2.2 ppmv/year.

          The accuracy of CO2 level measurements (NDIR method) is about 0.2 ppmv.
          The year by year natural variability is +/- 1.5 ppmv

          You need several years to show a sustained change in increase rate…

      • You mistake emissions with fluxes. Fluxes in and out of carbon compartments are large, but net flux is actually smaller than human emissions.

          • In 10 years, yes.

            Nope, while it’s popular to think so, ML and MME don’t match up:




            *Nino1234 is an annual timeseries index of the ratio of the first half of the year to the second half of year of area-weighted Nino 1-4 monthly averages. CO2 is outgassed most when the early part of the year is warmest, which is tied to both the annual insolation cycle and solar activity.

          • Bob Weber,

            Short term changes and long term changes have nothing to do with each other.

            Short term temperature variability causes short term variability in CO2 sink rate (NOT source rate!) of +/- 1.5 ppmv/K
            Long term temperature increase caused and causes an increase of ~16 ppmv/K. Thus maybe 13 ppmv may be the result of warming oceans since the LIA.

            Humans emitted over 200 ppmv CO2 in a period of 170 years
            CO2 increased in the atmosphere with 120 ppmv over the same period.

            Thus sorry, temperature is not the cause of the bulk of the increase…

          • Ferdinand apparantly you didn’t look at those graphics to understand there is no significant connection between MME and ML CO2, whereas the long-term connection between tropical temperature and ML CO2 can be and was established easily.

            All the blather in the world won’t change those FACTS.

            Isn’t it about time you acknowledge the supposed connection isn’t there?

            Short term changes and long term changes have everything to do with each other.

            Your maths and ideas about ‘equilibrium’ are false.

          • Bob Weber,

            The short time connection between temperature changes and CO2 rate of change changes are well known by the scientific community. See the speech of Pieter Tans at the 50th anniversity of measurements at Mauna Loa (from slide 11 on):

            Slide 12 shows that the growth rate of CO2 and the decline rate of δ13C are exactly opposite to each other, what I have shown to you too.
            That proves beyond doubt that the reaction of vegetation to temperature changes is the dominant reaction for both CO2 and δ13C rates of change.
            That is for short term changes, as good as for seasonal as for year by year changes.

            Everybody agrees with you that the short term variability is caused by temperature variability, no matter if that are the oceans or vegetation or both.

            Very few people (warmists and sceptics alike) agree with you that any short term variability influences the long term changes.

            1. The oceans are a proven sink for CO2.
            The amount of CO2 in the ocean surface is measured as DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) in several stations over a few decades. That shows an increase of DIC with about 10% of the increase in the atmosphere (Fig. 3):
            The oceans as a whole are a net sink for CO2, not a source thus can’t be the cause of the increase in the atmosphere.

            2. Vegetation is a proven sink for CO2.
            That is based on the O2 balance:
            Again: a proven sink is not responsible for the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.

            Other sources are either too small (volcanoes) or too slow (rock weathering).

            Even if there were other sources, human emissions don’t disappear in space and are not magically replaced with some other unknown source at average half the emissions for at leats 60 years or even 120 years…

          • The oceans are a proven sink for CO2.

            Ferdinand there is a misunderstanding about the source of the increase in DIC.

            The solar-warmed ocean provided a better growing environment for coral reefs, which increased in base size long before MME started in earnest, indicating the increase in DIC started a long time ago, and is still natural albeit with a touch of MME included over time.


            It’s not just the temperature it’s the effect of warmth and sunshine on biological productivity. The higher irradiance through the modern maximum provided the energy for increasing DIC, on top of the CO2 venting from seamounts and fissues and sinking at the surface.

            Thanks for the links; the Bates paper author thanks Dave Keeling on page 139, who told me 2 years ago rather assertively that CO2 was 100x more powerful than solar irradiance.

          • Bob Weber,

            As said far below,

            Higher temperatures give more CO2 loss to the atmosphere (if the pCO2 gets higher than in the atmosphere) and more biological productivity uses bicarbonates to build the skeletons of carbonate bearing plankton (coccoliths) and the growth of reefs. That would decrease DIC, but we measure an increase…

  5. Of course is not detectable. We emit about 5 ppm of CO2 every year and the atmosphere increases on average about 2.5 ppm its CO2 level (it varies from year to year). An 8 % reduction of 5 is 4.6 ppm. A 50 % of that is 2.3 ppm, so the difference due to the coronavirus is expected to be just a 0.2 ppm reduction in the 2020 expected increase of 2.5 ppm. The annual variability in CO2 levels between October and June is of 10 ppm.

    Try to detect a 0.2 ppm reduction in a 10 ppm yearly noise. Thinking that it should be detectable is nuts.

    We would need corona lockdowns every year for 10 years to start detecting a reduction in the increase in CO2.

    I guess if people start to think about this numbers they will understand why despite all the talk since 1988 there hasn’t been any global reductions in CO2 emissions for the past three decades until the corona. Countries that have reduce their emissions have accomplished it by moving their CO2 production to other countries that have increased theirs by a lot more.

    • Yes. It seems that people, including many researchers, have difficulty comprehending basic principles of signal vs noise. That lack of understanding is evident in atmospheric CO2 variation, weather events in climate change and even in COVID-19 cases vs. positive test results.

    • “Try to detect a 0.2 ppm reduction in a 10 ppm yearly noise. Thinking that it should be detectable is nuts.”

      The satellite sea level people do that daily with sea level measurements and don’t think it is nuts.

      • Are you arguing that it’s nuts for the sea level people to do this, but not nuts for people who are looking for a human signal in the CO2 data to do it?

  6. I seem to remember that when this scare first started there was more recognition of the fact that absorbance of IR by co2 followed a logarithmic relationship, in other words, the first doubling of concentration had the greatest effect and after that the effect diminished substantially. The alarmists seemed to accept that but were not deterred by it. They claimed that the warming increased water vapour in the atmosphere and being a potent greenhouse gas, this is what would drive massive warming that could run out of control.

    Since then, we have had evidence that humidity has not increased, there is no hot spot, warming has not accelerated, there is no tipping point and so on, yet the alarmism continues. Is it not time for a review of the scientific arguments? Today, the so called science seems to consist of endless claims of ice melting, sea rise, record temperatures and wild fires most of which are unconvincing as evidence when properly examined. Lots of new papers make wild claims that are based on worthless models.

    Do the alarmists have any scientific arguments left? Is the alarmism now proceeding under its own momentum? It seems to me that society has accepted the entire can of worms and the science is no longer relevant.

    • Schrodinger’s Cat.
      “How dare you” have you not realised the absolute authority of ignorance overwhelms any scientific knowledge?
      Proof positive of this new all powerful phenomena, operating in the world of celebrity and media projection, was our very own super know nothing Prince Charles, taking time out from chatting to the trees, to inform everyone, there is only a very short time left to save the world. Il Tampone should know, he has been there, he has even spoken to Sir David Attenborough about such things. What greater authority do we need? Other than the elders of the oak forest uprooting themselves to demonstrate their dismay in Mordor….

  7. “Successful emission reduction, hence, is hard to detect by atmosphere measurements”. Yet the only objective of CO2 emissions reduction is a reduction in atmospheric CO2 concentration. If this can’t be measured, what is the point?

  8. The atmospheric content of CO2 is increasing (actual monitors, like on Mauna Loa) and the earth is getting greener (actual satellite measurements of chlorophyll wavelength spectra). These two are for sure. Some cult members want to cripple our economy (restrict the point of origin of carbon-based energy while denying nuclear power) for what, exactly? Alex, I’ll take “What ended the Roman Culture” for a thousand, please.

  9. Of course there’s no change, most if not all, of the CO2 is coming from soil erosion and forest clearance.

    Being a totally heartless and horrible Malthusian c**t, or Devil’s Avocado – take your choice, the only thing that would slow the CO2 increase would be a (large) reduction in the number of people.
    The CO2 curve is following population rise (= food production) – just as it has it has done since the end of WW2 – when nitrate was repurposed from explosive to fertiliser.

    Therein lies one of THE biggest oxymoronic phrases of recent history – Nitrogen Fertiliser is NOT= Fertiliser
    Yes it makes things grow like fook but it comes at a cost -soil erosion = the removal of organic material from the world’s farmlands.

    Not just organics – all the trace/micro nutrients that critters like us need/use to remain healthy with strong immune systems.

    Because dirt, unlike oil, gas and coal as we’re repeatedly told, is NOT an infinite resource. (The trace elements & micro nutrients in same especially)

    So, despite us all recently marvelling at the beauty of a fire-induced Cumbulowninbumbilusspyroflastic Cloud flying over California, it is in fact more hideous sight than a real Thermonuclear Cloud.

    The nuke kills you quickly and blows your house down.
    The ClumboLimbo is starving you, slowly, to death, burning your house down and leaving you wide open to any opportunistic little bug/microbe/germ/virus that might happen along
    It is also what flies over deserts as they’re being created
    Go figure

    BTW. As per weekly roundup – what exactly is ‘saturation’ inside this thermodynamic garbage that is the GHGE?

    Is it actually saying that as the concentration of (lets say) black ink in a glass of water increases, the water starts to become transparent (again)
    Or does it say that increasing the strength of a light shining on an opaque material, the material becomes transparent at high light levels?

    The Emperor is naked.

  10. ” Anthropogenic emmissions, the main cause of the long-term increase of atmospheric CO2 …… ”

    Please supply proof.


    Thought not.

  11. “The measurement method is highly precise, uncertainties are in the range of a few thousandths,” Sussmann adds.”

    Meaningless statement. A few thousandths of what?

    • Normally a few thousandths of the measured quantity.

      The accuracy of the NDIR method is within 0.2 ppmv. At 415 ppmv, that is a few thousandths…

  12. lets see, 70% of the surface is occupied by the Oceans which dominate the CO2 levels. Case closed.
    Plants live on CO2 and sunlight. We live on plants and some animals. MORE CO2 GOOD. Less CO2 Bad!

    • Dennis H Cowdrick

      Correction: …by the oceans which dominated the CO2 levels until about 1850. After that, humans did take over by emitting increasing amounts of CO2, which removal needs some 35 years half life time. As humans continued to add – until recently – increasing amounts of CO2, part of the extra CO2 accumulated in the atmosphere.

  13. Fascinating. So they can measure CO2 to “within a few Thousandths”, but just in one or a handful of places, acting as a proxy for the whole world. What accuracy would a scientist or engineer not addled by climate orthodoxy infer for this proxy? Then any long term changes are masked by natural variability, so they say, so what would the non-addled engineer say about the accuracy of any inferred long-term value?
    If you then started to collect the inaccuracies in climate prediction in an organised fashion, as engineers do in many other fields, what value would you put on the accuracy of any climate prediction?
    Uncertainty is the Achilles heel of warmism. It amazes me that no one attacks it.

    • Therein lies the problem. Worse, are temperature measurements. With models, the data can be spun to support any so desired narrative.

    • That’s exactly why ‘they’ claim ‘the science is settled’, and ‘there is no room for uncertainty.’ Precisely to avoid scrutiny in an area where there’s obvious uncertainties!

    • If the world’s CO2 levels were rock solid steady, it would be trivial to detect the change.
      The problem is that the noise in the system is orders of magnitude greater than the signal being searched for, and the nature of the noise is not well enough understood to subtract it from the signal.

    • Dr. Andy Edmonds,

      Co2 is measured at over 70 places deemed “background”, as far away from local sources and sinks as possible. In general on islands or coastal where is measured with the wind from the seaside.

      As CO2 is a well mixed gas, one well sited station would be sufficient, if there there were not that much fast changes. In the case of CO2, about 25% of all CO2 is exchanged between the atmosphere and oceans and vegetation over the seasons within a year. That results in small differences of maximum 2% of full scale over all stations in the world. Due to 90% human emissions in the NH at the surface there is a small gradient between surface and high level stations and between NH and SH. That is all difference there is.

      Here the result for several stations over the years:

      The measurments worldwide use very stringent calibration procedures. One can only hope that one day the temperature measurements would be of the same quality…

  14. And what is the information from the OCO2 satellite saying. Are there detectable decreases in CO2 emissions from the major emitter countries? There is a remarkable absence of information on the web about OCO2 info.

  15. So …. If you think the Corona virus lockdowns in the name of “public safety” were something, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  16. The rise in CO2 concentrations is directly caused by Human burning of fossil fuels!

    We cut back on our burning of fossil fuels, so that should change the rate of change in the atmosphere!

    We checked, and the rate of change is no different now.

    So, Humans are not really the cause of the rise in CO2 emissions?

    No no, humans are!


    SHUT UP!

    I did a write up a while back on this. The Oceans hold over 90% of the carbon that is circulated on the Earth’s surface zone. The Atmosphere is a tiny bit of that, and plant life is the bulk of the remainder. 92% in ocean, 6% in biomass, 2% in the atmosphere.
    The amount of carbon dioxide that is passed back and forth between the ocean surface and the atmosphere in any given year is greater than the entire amount that is in the atmosphere at any given point in time.
    Basically, the only CO2 that is in the atmosphere is what ever the ocean is incapable of holding due to temperature. Humans have no real influence here.

    • There is a world of difference between not being able to detect a tiny signal in a noisy environment, and there being no signal at all.

  17. This was the largest industrial shutdown real-world experiment in human history, and the results are in.

    Human emissions dwarfed into irrelevance against natural variation.

    No human signal.

    No lockdown signal.

    How can human CO2 emissions be so small that they don’t show up anywhere during the greatest industrial lockdown in history, while simultaneously being so large as to be driving the greatest threat to the planet in history?

    It cannot be both.

    • CheshireRed

      As I understand the theory, the recent drop in human CO2 emissions is relatively small and they remain more that high enough to push natural CO2 sinks beyond their absorption capacity.

      Human emissions of CO2 are a relatively small fraction of total CO2 emissions, about 29Gt annually, or ~4%. As some have mentioned already, an 8% reduction of the human component amounts to -1.2Gt per year, which is just 0.15% of total CO2 emissions. We’re still producing ~28Gt of CO2, adding to the 771Gt produced naturally.

      This, the theory goes, pushes atmospheric CO2 concentrations beyond the absorption capacity of natural CO2 sinks, which is estimated to be ~881Gt per year. The bath is still overflowing, so to speak.

  18. I guess the KIT researchers (as well as many other “scientists”) are so enamored with their specialized instruments for CO2 measurements, their field work, and their speculations on the possible significance of such that they overlook the “experimental” facts that nature has already provided.

    Examine the periods of MEASURED overall global cooling that occurred from about 1940 to 1975 and the documented hiatus (aka “pause”) in global warming that occurred from about 1988-2015, and compare these long intervals against the constantly-increasing rate of rise is atmospheric CO2 that was MEASURED over these same time spans (the Keeling curve). These observations are clearly contrary to the speculation that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is the major driver of global atmospheric warming. And that is true if the ever-increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration—well, at least over the last 250 years—is due to human emissions, natural emissions, or a combination of both.

    Note that nature’s “experimental” data is the best possible: it includes all the detailed factors in play and forcings/feedback loops necessary to obtain REALISTIC (duh, isn’t that obvious) data over a significantly long continuous time interval and with a very significant signal-to-noise ratio.

    As Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman advised:
    “If it disagrees with experiment (observation), it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is. It doesn’t make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”

  19. Nothing can be detectet when it goes down, therefore nothing can be detected when it goes up, so where is our influence? – at least it can not be proved. The year to year variation for change in concentration is too big. 1998: 3 ppm up. The year after only 1 ppm up – was that caused by human influence? What we can see, is that it goes up from year to year – that’s the naked observation, but correlation to human influence ? none.

    • Bjarne Bisballe,

      Human emissions increased a fourfold since 1958 when the first accurate measurements at the South Pole were done, followed by similar measurements at Mauna Loa.
      The increase in the atmosphere also was a fourfold at average half human emissions.
      What natural temperature variability does is changing the net sink rate from year to year, but in near all years less than what humans emit. That simply proves that the variability is caused by temperature, but the slope by human emissions…

  20. Something that I have seen neither alarmist or skeptic address is the role of bacteria in CO2 increases. Bacteria are more active when it warms. It is generally acknowledged that most of the measured atmospheric warming is at night and in the Winter. There is a strong increase in measured atmospheric CO2 in Fall, Winter, and Spring, before photosynthesis resumes on land in the Spring, which is the result of the decomposition of perennial and annual detritus . So, it should be expected that if there is some exogenous force increasing temperatures on Earth, it would be expressed as increased production of CO2 by bacteria. While the oceans are a major sink for CO2, it might well be that even in the absence of anthropogenic CO2, the oceans would absorb a similar quantity of CO2 to the claimed approximately half of human production. That is, the anthropogenic production is so low (~5% of total carbon cycle) that the influence is essentially negligible and easily swamped by natural variation.

  21. “According to the …(IPCC), cumulative reductions of about this magnitude would be required every year to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030. Recent measurements by researchers of …(KIT) revealed that concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has not yet changed due to the estimated emission reductions.”

    What is wrong with this picture? Ten times zero is still zero. If there was no detectable reduction in CO2 during the initial severe lock-downs, or six months later, what sort of convoluted logic leads the authors to believe that it will show up after a longer period of time? CO2 is considered to be a well-mixed gas, with lag times between photosynthesis reductions and measured reductions being apparently a couple of weeks. With something like an initial 15% reduction in anthropogenic emissions over a three-month period, prior to trees leafing out, when the annual CO2 cycle was increasing, one would expect to see a 15% reduction almost immediately. It is not detectable. The alternative hypothesis is that the annual year-to-year increases are natural and the anthropogenic contributions are negligible (~5%). Therefore, 15% of 5% (0.8%) IS down at the noise level.

    • Clyde,
      You make an excellent point!

      Even the Keeling curve (Mauna Loa Observatory CO2 measurements) shows the regular seasonal variations of about ±4 ppm about the trend line, with an indicated data plotting resolution of about 0.3 ppm CO2 (see detailed plots at: )

      Heck, that referenced NOAA website in now reporting atmospheric CO2 concentration values to the second decimal place (e.g., 412.55 ppm for August 2020), equivalent to a precision of .002%. This, of course, is ridiculous and one would think NOAA scientists would know better. Nevertheless, even at the plotting-indicated level of precision of 0.3 ppm, the impact from the COVID-19 responses (i.e., reductions in mankind’s CO2 emissions) around the world should clearly be evident by now, assuming of course that mankind’s CO2 emissions into the atmosphere ever reached a level of significance in the first place.

      • I taught a chemistry class for non science majors many years and most of them would know better how to use significant figures.

        Then a few years ago, I met a scientist that spent time in Antarctica and he was handing out vials of air that were labelled with a CO2 concentration to hundredths of ppmv. Whatever happened to close enough for government work?

      • Clyde and Gordon, they are playing the “reduction” gambit. Get the gaze on “no reduction visible” to keep everyone from spotting what you just did, that there should be at least some ding in the sawtooth.

        May I add, the phrase “The Keeling Curve” is a sophisticated lie. “Curve” means the change in gain is accelerating, it’s curving so it is getting worse, this is an exponential explosion.”

        No, it is not a curve. It is only a slope.

        • I don’t know where you get the idea that a curve means it’s accelerating. A curve is just a line that isn’t straight. Nothing more, nothing less.

          As to that saw tooth, given the fact that the height of the saw tooth varies tremendously from year to year and always has, why do you believe a tiny “ding” in that saw tooth must be visible?

          • A curve means acceleration. Keeling’s data plots a slope, only – its rate of change is zero. Didn’t you study calculus?

            That varying you cite has nothing to do with my claim. My claim is: the large reduction in human emissions ought to be reflected – even with a tiny indication – in the hyper-accurate, hyper-decimal-place measurements.

            Since there is absolutely nothing, just the normal (tremedosus, if you insist!) sawtooth we have been seeing for 60 years, the conclusion is inescapable: human release has zero effect on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The sloped increase is steady, and due to other natural impetus.

          • windlord-sun, you posted: “Keeling’s data plots a slope, only – its rate of change is zero. Didn’t you study calculus?”

            I can only gently suggest that you consult the Keeling curve as presented by NOAA at

            You will find that it is a curve with slight, but ever increasing SLOPE. Trust you eyes.

            BTW, one does not need calculus to understanding the difference between a straight line and a curved line . . . geometry and algebra are sufficient. But maybe you missed those classes.

          • @Gordon A. Dressler

            That is very snarky. Fine.

            1) The use of “curve” when – upon serious optical examination – it is clearly a slope with the tiniest smallest immaterial bend, is propaganda. What is your motive for spinning up an acceleration of gain? Do you want to terrorize people, rather than recognize that there are no straight lines in nature? It is a slope.

            2) it is problematic enough for Alarmists to make hay out of the facts of Keeling since the “rise” in the raw number is from 300 to 400 Parts Per Million [0.0001] over sixty years. If you are ambitious to additionally make hay out of the increase/acceleration of the rate of change, given the even more nearly-undetectable eyeballing, you are very brave. {What is your calculation of the rate of change, by the way?}

            3) My calculus comment was intended to counter the person claiming there is no difference between a curve and a straight line. If I overshot, I deserve to be kidded about that, but not pilloried with your snark. If, in your opinion, that target ought to have a double-down slap from you to wit: “you should have known you only need Alg/Geo” then please redirect your intent to him.

          • @MarkW

            You are the one who made the mistake that “A curve is just a line that isn’t straight. Nothing more, nothing less.”

            Straight lines chart increase on a steady basis. Curves chart increase that is accelerating. There is a tremendous difference in the implication.

            If my tone when posting against this seemed over-sensitive to you, I apologize and withdraw that emotion. There. Now the way is clear for you to correct your error.

          • windlord-sun posted on September 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm, obviously in reply to MarkW :
            “A curve means acceleration. Keeling’s data plots a slope, only – its rate of change is zero. Didn’t you study calculus?”

            If that’s not snarky, I don’t know what is.

            Old saying: “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”

        • I agree my comment to MarkW was snarky. His claim was off-color in tone, but I admit I escalated. My apologies, MarkW.

          Meanwhile, the actual important point remains standing: “Keeling Curve” is an erroneous formulation, and, I submit, a deliberate spin. The amount of CO2 is increasing at a steady rate, which charts as a straight slope. That rate is not changing. Therefore, calling it a “curve” is misleading.

          You hear the results in the panic of both activists and innocent dupes of activists, “The CO2 problem is accelerating at a terrifying rate.”

    • Clyde Spencer, the alternative explanation is that the small change in human emissions (0.2 ppmv/year) is too small to be measurable with a method accurate to 0.2 ppmv in less than 6 months and in year by year natural variability of +/- 1.5 ppmv…

  22. it’s very … unwelcome no, this story of CO2 curve that reproduces from one year to another, we would be unable to detect the slightest fluctuation, despite the covid crisis
    It should still be noted a certain bad faith: it is an 8% reduction in emissions, if we spread this over the year, but the reduction was indeed 20% at least, for at least 4 months, It’s not the same thing at all
    Yet they measure with diabolical precision, don’t they?
    and nothing, nada?
    Curious to say the least, no? Oh of course, the residence time … from 5 to 1000, for thousandth precision …
    Natural variability … about which we know absolutely nothing, but who did the job well, since, if we follow this lead, it has compensated to the thousandth?
    In short, they know absolutely nothing, but they insist that we do more, much more
    Will they commit to having their arm cut off if, after having reduced our emissions by 40%, things do not change?
    I have a hypothesis that I like.
    The rise in CO2 levels, due to a period of natural and inexplicable warming, as there have been many, follows the slow and continuous warming of the ocean.
    Trade depends on partial air-ocean pressures,
    If we inject CO2 into the atmosphere, the concentration of course changes, but also the value of the degassing of the oceans, which will be less than without our contribution. And if our emissions decrease, the effect is the opposite, and the curve follows its progression without any variation. And of course, the natural and anthropic convcentrations have changed.
    Must calculate all this to 3 decimal places
    I told my dog about it, he seems to approve, he wags his tail.
    Will it be the same … with our scientists

    • joletaxi,

      The difference in emissions results in a change of 0.2 ppmv over a year.
      The accuracy of the measurements is 0.2 ppmv (that is a few thousandths of 415 ppmv)
      The natural year by year variability is +/- 1.5 ppmv

      Thus you need several years of measurements to detect the change…

      The natural equilibrium between the ocean surface and the atmosphere at the current average sea surface temperature is around 290 ppmv. Even if the human emissions are reduced, they still are larger than the net sinks and the CO2 levels in the atmosphere still go up, now at 415 ppmv, thus more CO2 is pressed into the ocean surface.

  23. @Joletaxi
    “”””””I told my dog about it, he seems to approve, he wags his tail.””””””
    I see , dogs understand you better that humans , even if they are not scientists

  24. Corona reduction will NEVER be detected–because fossils are NOT the primary source of the Keeling curve rise in carbon dioxide. Fossil emissions are absorbed by plants making more Life. Indeed, the craziest conspiracy theory I have seen says space aliens are behind the whole climate hysteria, trying to sucker humans into destroying our biosphere so they can move in with some other form of life!

    Once Dr. Keeling got past the seasonal variation in CO2 levels and discovered the year-by-year rise, one wonders what is causing that. Could it be natural? It could, and WUWT has had a number of articles and posts about ocean CO2 cycles. But what “hits you over the head” is fossil fuels. All those cars, trucks, buses, coal–of course!

    WRONG. Challenging assumptions is one of the fundamentals of science. Your idea can be as obvious and logical as you please , but you still have to test it.

    My favorite T-shirt says “Lord, make my words as sweet as honey, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.” I laughed my head off when I first saw that, because I had just made a fool of myself in Biology over speciation.

    I have largely joined the other side on the Climate. It IS changing, and dangerously. The facts are the same as they always were about global temperatures–nothing of interest is happening worldwide. Monckton and our other heroes remain correct on those analyses. But something else IS going on.

    My degrees are in agriculture, and I have a lifelong interest is that subject, and shelves of books on it. A few years ago, I was reading a Peter Bane book about Permaculture when my head spun around. He was talking about enhancing the soil to sequester carbon in the soil, and I realized that goes both ways. Since 1920, chemicals have been heavily involved in agriculture. At first, this was fertilizers, but today, most crops are sprayed before planting and several times during growth with poisons. This is crazy–we EAT that. It has gravely harmed our younger generations, and it has almost sterilized agricultural land.

    Thankfully, this group is smart enough to grasp chemistry. When life forms die, the carbon compounds in them OXIDIZE to CO2 and H2O. Plants REDUCE them (basic meaning–reduces oxygen) to carbohydrates and fats, which have much less oxygen in them. This has no significant effect on atmospheric levels of oxygen because the carbon involved is too small in quantity or percentage (about .04% atm currently).

    Despite coronapanic, the relentless killing of Terrestrial life forms continues. That is why the reductions in driving and fossil fuel use have produced no detectable drop in CO2.

    It was shocking to me to realize that the carbon dioxide is not coming from fossils. Oh, SOME of it must–but that is taken up by plants fairly quickly.

    This shock explains why the two sides in the climate debate are so stuck. Both are wrong about the same thing!

    The alarmists are damaging the global economy by attacking our best energy sources. The economic loss is harmful to the environment by reducing our resources for dealing with problems. But these are the people eating organic foods and driving improvements in agriculture that will heal the water cycle and other troubles. These things must be done. Indeed, the poison-based monocropping which produces almost everything we eat is unsustainable–it cannot possibly continue. It is already failing–yields are going down on many farms despite ever-more desperate pesticides and herbicides.

    The best introduction to food production is Michael Pollan’s book [i]The Omnivore’s Dilemma[/i]. That is written for laymen. After that, you can read Judith Schwartz’s books or [i]Restoration Agriculture[/i]

    • LadyLifeGrows,

      You have a small bussiness and start the day with adding 100 dollar into the cash register. The rest of the day you have a lot of transactions buys and sells. At the end of the day you have 50 dollar more in your cash register than at the start.
      That repeats every day for a month.

      After a month, you make the balance and the cash register contains 1500 dollar more than at the beginning of the month. Do you have a good bussiness?

      Of course, not at all, you have invested 3000 dollar and returned 1500 dollar, that is far from good.

      The same with human emissions: we have added over 200 ppmv CO2 into the atmosphere and the atmospheric CO2 content increased with 120 ppmv. The only conclusion you can have is that humans are the cause of the increase…

      • Exactly, Engelbeen. We added that much CO2 by fossils. That is why alarmists are so stubborn.

        And that is not the whole story. NASA’s satellites have shown increased leaf area as a result. Plant life should have turned all the extra CO2 into plants and life. (Animal that ate the plants, decay organisms, etc.) But energy is not the only way humans have added CO2 to the atmosphere.

        We have shattered natural ecosystems by relentless poisoning, which includes fertilizers. We have trashed soil organic matter content. THAT is why CO2 levels stayed so high as we burned more fossils. This also damages water holding capacity, causes very high surface temperatures (e.g. 140F instead of 68F) which further killed bacteria. We spray our crops several times with -cides and then EAT the result. Then we wonder why chronic ailments are now the rule in CHILDREN, not just old geezers.

        This real problem is much easier to solve than the warmist fantasy. Farmers may lose money for a while, but after 10 years with restorative agricultures, they are seeing profits. No outrageous government action is needed, no monster taxation. Just get out of the way and the changes needed pay for themselves.

  25. This is the “reduced” smokescreen. They loudly declare that a reduction is not visible, and that it would take years of emission reduction for a “reduction” to show up.

    So …………………………

    How about a ding?
    Just give me a tiny little blip.
    A perturbance.
    A miniscule deviation

    …………. in the data.


    CO2 Alarmists are caught on the horns of a dilemma.

    Keeling is measuring normal CO2 slope, human contribution is so small it does not matter. Or …
    Keeling slope is unstoppable, no matter how much the smashing down of fossil fuel use.

    Not matter what, the conclusion is: let the coal burn, it has raised living standards to the sky over the past 100 years, and there is no danger from continuing this life-saving practice.

    • windlord-sun

      Correction: human contribution is not too small to be measured, the difference in human contribution is too small to be measured…

      And if we – completely unnecessary – would reduce our emissions to half of what they were, then the increase in the atmosphere would be stopped as emissions and sinks are equal…

  26. As a non scientist it is interesting to read the comments from people who have a suitable background to debate this topic.
    What confuses me is that while trying to determine whether human produced CO2 does or does not have a detectable affect on the level of this gas in the atmosphere where is the more important debate on whether/how this human contribution impacts the climate and if this is good or bad. That is surely the main issue?

  27. You dont need to be a Rhodes scholar not even a dodgy climate scientist to work this out.

    Firstly lets assume all historical and current data measurements are accurate for if we dont then we all have no idea what is going on and nothing to argue about, so here goes.

    1, The ice core data clearly shows CO2 changes lag temp changes by 800 years
    2, The MWP is dated 950 to 1250

    Ergo we should expect to see a rise in CO2 levels from 1750 to 2050.

    I invite everyone to google historical CO2 graphs which start around 1750 to see when the CO2 rise began, you can clearly see CO2 rise began prior to 1800.

    Not so hard was it.

    • Impressive. How much warming occurred during the MWP? And this correlates with a predictable time and quantity of future CO2 increases? All based on ice core proxies? So 800 years after the LIA we should expect what? Unfortunately most of us won’t be around to see.

    • crakar24,

      Not quite right…

      Natural CO2 changes lag temperature changes with ~800 years but with not more than 8 ppmv/K
      Even if we assume that the MWP was 1 K warmer that today, that is only 8 ppmv extra (in fact a little more).
      The recent rise of 120 ppmv CO2 doesn’t lag temperature, it is far beyond what the change in solubility of CO2 in seawater shows at current temperatures (around 290 ppmv).

  28. Regarding the many posts here debating the anthropogenic contribution since 1950 or indeed since pre- industrial times, here is the official position of mainstream scientists explained by Stefan Rahmstorf at Real Climate on 25 January 2018, “The Global CO2 rise: the facts, Exxon and the favourite denial tricks”.
    Here are his points:
    1.Since the beginning of industrialisation, the CO2 concentration has risen from 280 ppm ( the value of the previous millennia of the Holocene) to now 405 ppm ( presently ~ 418 ppm).
    2. This increase by 45% (or 125 ppm) is completely caused by humans.
    3.The CO2 concentration is thus now already higher than it has been for several million years.
    4.The additional 125 ppm CO2 has a heating effect of 2 watts per square metre of earth surface, due to the well known greenhouse effect- enough to raise the global temperature by around 1 C until the present.
    He then attacks the “myth” of denialists as again reported in Die Welt a German newspaper.
    This myth is that human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is only 5%.
    He follows with 5 Figures detailing (1) Mauna Loa,
    (2) CO2 concentration during the Holocene ( from Scripps Institute,
    (3) Scheme of the Global Carbon Cycle,
    (4) CO2 budget for period 2007-2016,
    (5) Annual émissions from fossil fuels,deforestation, the biosphere, atmosphere and ocean (“ the latter are negative meaning net uptake”).
    He then states the climate sceptics have, as it were, confused turnover and profit, in economic terms.
    He states didactically and confidently that “ if one takes in Figure (3)as the total emissions a natural part ( 60 GT C from soils+ 60 Gt C from land plants ) and the 7 Gt C fossil emissions as anthropogenic, the anthropogenic part is about 5% as stated by Die Welt.
    The percentage is highly misleading however since it ignores that the land biosphere does not only release 120 Gt C but also absorbs 122 Gt C by photosynthesis which means that net 2 GtC is removed from the atmosphere.Likewise the Ocean removes around 2 Gt C……it becomes plain wrong when that 5% number is then understood.”
    Or is it?
    In discussing the Figure 5, annual emissions of Carbon etc. he shows a large grey shaded area described as “ Total estimated sources do not match total estimated sinks. This imbalance reflects the gap in our understanding.”
    In Friedlingstein et al 2019 “ Global Carbon Budget 2019,” there also appears to be a significant degree of uncertainty of S Land , S Ocean etc in arriving at a reconciliation of the Carbon Budget.
    In 2007, Tim Ball did an estimate of human production of CO 2 as being more than 4 times less than the combined error on the estimated production of CO2 from all other sources.
    Even if human emissions were reduced to zero, the difference would be lost among other uncertainties in the global carbon budget.
    While it may well be that annual human emissions are more than twice the total increase shown at Mauna Loa, the actions of the remainder of the climate system parts seem far from settled and this is before we examine the question of residence time.

    • Herbert,

      Except for point 4 (which is way too high, 1 degr.C is only reached at 2xCO2, that is 560 ppmv), Rahmstorf is right, even if I don’t like the rest of his alarmism or that of his institute (PIK).

      The uncertainty has zero influence on the net budget of all these natural in/out fluxes. We know with reasonable accuracy the heighth of human emissions (taxes!) and with high accuracy the increase of CO2 levels. The difference is what alle natural fluxes have done and that was a net sink for the past 60 years. No matter if that was more in oceans or more in vegetation…

  29. The atmosphere is an absolutely lousy medium to hold CO2, which is why 98% of all CO2 is held in the 1.3 billion KM^3 of oceans as carbonic acid.. ye olde Henry’s Gas law…

    Since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850, there has been some ocean warming, resulting in some ocean CO2 outgassing, which contributed to a significant portion of the CO2 rise since 1850 (280ppm to 415ppm); scientists aren’t sure how much is due to outgassing, but they should before declaring Armageddon.

    It’s ludicrous to say 100% of the atmospheric CO2 increase since 1850 was caused by manmade CO2 emissions, because much of it was simple CO2 ocean outgassing.

    The atmosphere is also an absolutely lousy conductor heat, which is why 1000 TIMES more heat is stored in the oceans than in the atmosphere..

    We should be ecstatic CO2 is recovering to healthier levels, and we should equally enjoy the 0.85C of beneficial warming recovery we’ve been blessed with since the end of the Little Ice Age, but alas, Leftists say these benefits will “kill us all in just 12 short years”….. Oh, my…

    • Samurai,

      The solubility of CO2 in seawater is accurately known and also the change with temperature and the resulting equilibrium with the atmosphere. That changes with about 16 ppmv/K, that is all. Good for about 13 ppmv increase since the LIA. The rest is from us, humans…

  30. If mans emissions are twice what Mauna Loa shows then there is a very big sink sucking up a lot of CO2.

    That sink is adapted to sucking in large amounts of CO2, and while there is an excess, it will keep sucking it up at 2019 rates even if the excess drops by 8%.

    Mauna Loa should have shown an 8% drop.

    It didnt and that is a big problem for the suggestion that man produced all the CO2 increase since 1900.

    • Matthew Sykes,

      It is a matter of accuracy and a matter of time.
      The difference in human emissions is 0.2 ppmv/year
      The accuracy of the measuremenents is 0,2 ppmv, so you need at least a year to measure the difference.
      Then you have a lot of natural noise: +/- 1,5 ppmv from year to year (Pinatubo, El Niño), so you need several years to be sure of the change…

  31. I have been thinking about this for a while now. The impact of a global lockdown and the associated reduction in fossil fuel emissions should be clearly visible by now. Not as a significant reduction of the levels of CO2 but as a slowing down of the increase. The derivative in other words. The difference may be small, but as many here have pointed out, the climate community claims to be able to measure with double digit precision elsewhere, so why not here? In any case, the global economy seems to be set for another couple of months on a diet, so early next year it should definitely be possible to measure an effect.
    So, what if we do see a difference? Well, then I suppose that we have to admit to ourselves that anthropogenic emissions cause the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. But, it doesn’t mean that CO2 causes global warming. That would remain an open issue.
    If we measure no difference, the conclusions could be two: 1) The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere are all natural and humans’ use of fossil fuels plays a very limited role, or none whatsoever. 2) The reduction is too small to be measurable. This would indicate that the global temperature is way less sensitive to an increase in CO2 levels than what the climate research establishment believes.
    In either of the above two cases, the CO2 theory falls.
    Personally, I think the CO2 increase is due to outgassing of CO2 in the oceans. This is a non-linear, temperature dependent process. The warmer the water gets, the more it releases and the less it absorbs. Only a small increase in temperature will release large quantities of CO2. As many here have noted, there is a lot more CO2 in the oceans than in the atmosphere. This “theory” would also account for the many observations where the temperature increase seems to come before an increase of CO2.
    Finally, most of you have probably already seen this but I attach a link anyway. Many years ago, I was puzzled by the “reconstruction” of historic CO2 values based on ice core measurements. Why on earth didn’t anyone do a science literature search? Surely, there had to be CO2 level measurements in the past. And oh yes, there were. Check it out.

    • Svan Olaf,

      The current reduction is below the detection limit and far below the natural noise, but the natural noise is below the human emissions and these are twice the increase in the atmosphere.
      Whatever you try, you can’t change the mass balance that shows that humans are the cause of the increase.

      That there is much more CO2 in the oceans than in the atmosphere is of zero interest, all what matters is the equilibrium between the CO2 pressure in the atmosphere and in the ocean suface. At the current average ocean surface temperature, that is at 290 ppmv in the atmosphere. Not 415 ppmv.

      I have had years of discussion with the late Ernst Beck. I do admire the enormous amount of work, but he ignored the problems with the historic measurements, not the accuracy (+/- 10 ppmv), but where was measured: midst towns, woods, over, inbetween and under growing crops,… See:

      • Interesting that the historic measurements are criticized as to their locations. Especially since the most prominent of the modern measurements takes place on top of an active volcano.

        • That’s a red herring. The conditions for measurements to be considered valid at Mauna Loa are strict. Wind comes from the sea and rises through the slopes of the volcano. They are measuring the CO2 level over the ocean in the middle of the Pacific, not what comes out of the volcano. I did research that issue instead of just repeating that wrong meme.

          There is nothing wrong with Mauna Loa measurements. They are highly precise and repeated at many locations over the world.

          • I was hoping that you would understand the irony. However, on a more serious note, I find it intriguing that both you and Ferdinand Engelbeen seem to be convinced that the historic measurements were done by scientists who produced sub-standard quality measurements and were unable to detect flaws, such as the impact of certain locations, in their results. At the same time you seem to accept the reconstruction of historic CO2 levels, based on ice core analyses.

            So, in the left corner we have the 19th or 20th century chemistry scientist, going about his business and in most cases being really careful with his measurements, happily unaware of the impact such measurements could have, politically. In the right corner, we have a climate doomsday scientist whose purpose in life is to scare people of the pending climate disaster and persuading them to buy a Tesla. He is thawing small samples of ice and measuring a tiny bit of CO2, then trying to correlate that particular piece of ice to a certain year and inputing the data into a model on his MacBook.

            I know where my money would go. Do you?

            I know w

          • Sven Olof Andersson Hederoth,

            I never said or implied that the historical measurements were done by people who were not skilfull. The problem was not the people or to a lesser extent the method (+/- 10 ppmv), the problem was where the samples were taken.

            I had many discussions with the late Ernst Beck about the old data and proposed to reject all data that were taken over land, as these are unreliable. He refused that, as the main series that caused the 1942 “peak” were taken at the edge of a forest (Giessen, Germany). That is what Keeling had seen in one of his first ever CO2 measurements over a full day in Big Sur state park: an enormous diurnal CO2 difference between day and night. Fortunately he could measure the the 13C/12C ratio too and did know that vegetation was to blame.
            That was the main reason that he started at the South Pole and Mauna Loa, far away of any vegetation.

            If you take only the historical data taken on board of seaships or coastal with wind from the seaside, then these are all around the CO2 levels that the ice cores show. Unfortunately there are no such data for the period 1935-1950, so no comparison is possible.

            About the accuracy of ice core measurements, That question was definitely answered by drilling 3 ice cores at Law Dome which has a very high precipitation rate (1.2 meter ice equivalent per year). Etheridge e.a. 1996 measured CO2 from the atmosphere to closing depth in firn and ice with the same equipment (GC) and found a difference of only 7 ppmv between atmosphere and closing depth (that is a time difference of about 10 year for the measurements at the South Pole. There were no differences between still open pores and already closed air bubbles at the same depth.
            The exact age of the surrounding ice was easy to detect by counting the layers. That made a comparison of the CO2 levels between ice and atmosphere quite easy: an overlap of 20 years (1960-1980) between ice core CO2 and CO2 measurements at the South Pole:
            No need for “models”, just measurements.

            Of course, if the layers are much smaller, as is the case for Vostok or Dome C then the exact age of gas and ice need to be calculated with a model. That influences the timing and the resolution, but not the measurements themselves.

    • Sven,
      Thank you for that excellent link.
      I had heard of E.G.Beck but had not read the 2006 paper setting out the long history of recording CO2 levels stretching back to the early 19th Century.
      In November 2008, Dr. Tim Ball wrote a paper, “Measurement of pre-industrial CO2 levels”.
      Here is the abstract-
      “A major part of the focus on human produced CO2 as the cause of global warming is the claimed increase in atmospheric levels from pre-industrial CO2 to the present. Ice cores provide the historic record and data collected at Mauna Loa the recent record.Both records are drastically modified to produce a smooth apparently continuous curve.This was apparently necessary to confirm the evidence from many 19th Century measures that pre-industrial levels were approximately 270 ppm. These records were adjusted and selected but a rigorous study of the data confirms that CO2 levels are generally higher and vary considerably and annually.”
      Beck indicates that the CO2 readings over the 19th and early 20th Centuries moved about considerably and were certainly not the linear line that Keeling shows at Mauna Loa from 1959.

      • Herbert,
        Thanks for your comment. I believe we should not ignore the work of previous generations of scientists. Just because they didn’t have computers, they were not stupid. In many respects, those scientists were equal or even superior to today’s, BECAUSE they didn’t have access to modern technology. They knew that if they hadn’t thought through the experiment properly and really considered the mechanics of the calculations, the faced the risk of having done a lot of time-consuming work in vain.

        To me, the Beck report is as close to a “smoking gun” as we will ever get with regards to historic CO2 levels. It proves that atmospheric CO2 fluctuates more than what some want to believe.

      • Herbert,

        As already said to Sven Olof, the problem was not the skill or the measurements (although +/- 10 ppmv was not even enough to detect the seasonal changes), the problem was where was measured. Callendar used several a-priory criteria to include or exclude the historical data. Beck used none.
        One can discuss the criteria of Callendar (like within +/- 10% of the bulk of the data, not taken for agricultural purposes,…) but Beck used all data: the good, the bad and the ugly.
        After a lot of debate, he removed the ugly data, but still included the bad data.
        Like a whole series of the ’30’s with a German research vessel that made a lot of sampling of seawater, including the equilibrium CO2 with the atmosphere at different depths. According to Beck, the samples of 0 meter represented the CO2 levels of the atmosphere, which is completely wrong, as the pCO2 of seawater today changes from 750 μatm to 150 μatm, while the atmosphere is 410-430 μatm everywhere over the oceans. He never admitted that this was wrong.

        Why do you think that the extreme large changes between individual years of hundreds of ppmv suddenly disappeared when Keeling started to measure on the South Pole and Mauna Loa and nowadays at over 70 places deemed “background”?

  32. For the 62 year period 29 March 1958 to 24 May 2020, the linear rate of increase of CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory was 1.575 ppm per annum. Through to 02 August 2020, the rate had increased to 1.578 ppm pa and through to 13 September 2020, the rate was higher again at 1.58 ppm pa as the CO2 concentration continues to increase at an ever increasing rate.

    The earliest seasonal maximum was 317.69 ppm on 12 April 1958. The latest seasonal maximum was 417.49 ppm on 23 May 2020. The concentration is currently in its annual seasonal decline being 411.17 on 19 September 2020.

    There is no sign of any anthropogenic effect but there are distinct inflections in the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 corresponding to the time of the volcanic eruptions at Mount Agung, Bali, Indonesia, 17 March and 16 May, 1963, and Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, 12 June 1991. All of puny mankinds’ efforts are nothing compared to a single volcanic eruption.

    The annual rate of change of CO2 concentration reflects the Oceanic Niño 3.4 Index showing that climate change causes CO2 change not the opposite as claimed by the UN IPCC.

    Furthermore the autocorrelation function for the annual rate of change of CO2 showed a clear repeated pattern with a period of 1313 days, the average period for the El Niño event. This is confirmed by the Fourier Transform amplitude spectrum which has the greatest amplitude at a period of 1308 days, again the El Niño event.

    Remarkably the spectrum shows maxima at 27.17 days, the Moon’s draconic period, and at 29.42 days, the Moon’s synodic period showing that the rate of generation of CO2 is sensitive to the small changes in temperature caused by the Moon passing between the Sun and the Earth.

    Climate scientists and the UN IPCC have made two fatal mistakes. Firstly they used the Stefan-Boltzmann equation in calculating temperatures and energy flows. This equation only applies to a steady state situation of a perfectly smooth surface in thermal equilibrium, neither cooling nor heating. The Earth’s surface and atmosphere is never in thermal equilibrium. For example, at the Equator the spot receiving the full Sun’s radiation is moving along the Earth’s circumference at 1674 km/hr so it is impossible for the surface to reach the temperature predicted by the inappropriate Stefan-Boltzmann equation.

    Secondly we are told that CO2 causes global warming. However we are not told that there are at least 300 times as many photons in the 15 micron CO2 absorption band as in the rest of the bands combined so there is a better than 300 to 1 chance that a CO2 molecule will absorb and, perhaps, re-radiate a photon from the 15 micron band. 15 microns is the peak radiation from a source at -80 degrees Celsius. Radiation from such a source will never increase the temperature of anything on the Earth’s surface or in the atmosphere.

    • Bevan,

      Did you realize that the rate of change of the CO2 increase dropped after the Pinatubo eruption?
      That means that what the Pinatubo emitted as CO2 was completely dwarfed by the extra CO2 uptake by oceans and vegetation (the latter from the extra photosynthesis due to the light scattering from the volcanic dust_…

      • Yes Ferdinand, that is what I alluded to in my third paragraph. A slightly lesser effect is seen for the Mt. Agung eruption, perhaps reduced because Mt. Agung was 9598 km while Mt. Pinatubo was 8859 km distant from the Mauna Loa Observatory.

        I suspect that the temperature drop resulting from the volcanic dust may have increased the solubility of the CO2 and, perhaps, rain associated with the cloud may have washed the CO2 out of the atmosphere, a common phenomenon that produces weakly acidic rain.

        I fail to see how the scattering of sunlight would cause extra photosynthesis as the latter is evident in the morning as the Sun rises and in Spring as the Sun’s radiance increases in intensity. An interesting example of the relationship between the Sun’s irradiance, photosynthesis and temperature may be seen on my web page describing my analysis of the Barrow, Alaska, Observatory data (click on my name at the top of the article to go to my web site).

      • Bevan,

        The increased photosynthesis was mainly in the tropical forests. If there is much scattering, some leaves that are normally part of the day in the shadow of other leaves then receive more sunlight from a different angle. That was measured as a strong dent in the δ13C drop caused by the use of fossil fuels. That even surpassed the extra uptake by the ocean surface due to colder temperatures.

        The last sentence on your interesting Barrow analysis is not right:

        “Presumably the ash cloud from the eruption reduces the Sun’s radiation to a significant degree

        If that was true, that would give an extra increase of CO2 not a drop. Maybe the same point as above: extra uptake by colder temperatures and more photosynthesis?

        • Thank You Ferdinand,
          For Your interest. You can see more about the Mt Pinatubo eruption in my description of the Mauna Loa weekly data on my web site.

          I think that there are two actions resulting from the Sun’s irradiance of the Earth. One is photosynthesis dominated by phytoplankton which consumes CO2 in the mornings and Spring time. The other is the decay of organic matter by yeasts and such like, driven by the temperature which determines the rate of generation of atmospheric CO2.

          The combination of the two effects draws carbon from the soil and rocks with seawater being a go-between. The increase in CO2 concentration may cease when the temperature falls to a critical low, possibly zero degrees Celsius, when water freezes and is no longer available to organic processes – nothing whatsoever to do with mankind.

  33. From the article: “Based on current data measured in the energy, industry, and mobility sectors, restrictions of social life during the corona pandemic can be predicted to lead to a reduction of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions by up to eight percent in 2020. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), cumulative reductions of about this magnitude would be required every year to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030.”

    Meanwhile, the Chicoms are increasing their CO2 production by leaps and bounds completely nullifying any and all efforts at CO2 reduction by Western nations.

    Just a little bit ridiculous, don’t you think?

    We have some really dumb people in high offices.

  34. High-tech infrared spectrometers are applied, which use the sun as a light source.

    But hang on.
    There’s no infrared in sunlight – that’s what we’re taught at CO2 Sunday school.
    Only shortwave radiation comes from the sun.
    IR only comes from the warmed earth, to be bounced back down by CO2.
    This I know. For the IPCC tells me so.
    How can there be IR in sunlight?
    If there is, then at the top of atmosphere CO2 will re-radiate IR out to space, DECREASING TSI.
    There’s a Caucasian in the woodpile.

  35. CO2 residence time in the atmosphere is 16 years, as measured by bomb test fallout clearence.
    Arguments to eel out of this by making residence longer run away to intractable (and irrefutable) complexity and are pure BS.
    Just like the CO2 supposed warming effect.
    IR photons from earth’s surface are extincted within a mile or so of the surface.
    So changing CO2 concentration will make no difference.
    But arguments to eel out of this by talking about peak shoulders etc., also run away to intractable (and irrefutable) complexity and are thus also utter BS.

    • Phil,

      The speed of a reduction for any 14CO2 excess is way higher than for an excess 12CO2 injection.
      The problem is that what goes into the polar deep waters is the isotopic composition of today, what comes out of the equatorial upwelling is the isotopic composition of ~1000 years ago.
      For 1960, at the heighth of the bomb spike the returns were as follows:
      97.5% of all 12CO2 returned the same year
      45% of all 14CO2 returned the same year.

      That makes that the removal rate for 14CO2 is about 3 times faster than for 12CO2

      • The difference in mass makes a small difference in isotopic composition (14C/12C ratio) at the air-water and water-air border, because the heavier one is always a little slower than the light ones. But that is a matter of tenths of a percent.
        The main problem is the very long time that water with the extra bomb 14CO2 needs to return, which is about 1000 years (if not completely diluted). Thus what returns today is water with the 14C/12C ratio of ~1000 years ago long before the atomic bomb experiments. That is a lot of difference with what returns as 12CO2.

    • Agree.

      The only counter I can imagine is “Wait for it.”
      In other words, ‘It will take “a while” for the very large reduction in emission to show up as even the most subtle blip at Moana Loa.’


    • windlord-sun
      Indeed the absence of a lockdown effect on CO2 will be used as an argument for a long residence time.
      Because in these people’s minds, cause and effect can be inverted at will, for no reason. As can the arrow of time.

    • It’s actually embarassing that the covid19 shut-down has had no measurable effect on atmospheric CO2.

      None was expected, so no embarrashment. The decrease in emissions is very small (8 %, 0.4 ppm), the yearly noise in atmospheric CO2 is very high, human emissions are a small part of yearly fluxes, and year to year variations due to temperature are several times higher than variations in human emissions.

      You just can’t measure a small signal when there is a lot of noise. About 5 years would be necessary for the signal to increase and the noise to decrease to the point that we see a measurable effect of the reduction in emissions.

  36. The idea of there being an equilibrium level of atmospheric CO2 back in the 1800’s that could’ve only been perturbed by man-made emissions is not supported by the evidence, and therefore Ferdinand’s calculations and many comments asserting how much man-made emissions have changed ML CO2 are merely fanciful ungrounded speculations.

    There can’t be a fixed outgassing equilibrium over time as the ocean temperature rise and falls through the solubility range of CO2 all the time in many tropical locations while not so much in others. Henry’s Law is a fixed law, a physical reality for the ocean, and as the ocean warmed, the ratio of the area of warm enough waters for outgassing to the area of colder CO2 sinking waters changed over time, no matter what threshold one would calculate, so by definition there couldn’t possibly have been any physical equilibrium for atmospheric CO2 wrt the ocean, irrespective of MME.

    Therefore calculations based on this non-existent equilibrium are invalid, so F. Engelbeen is wrong in his estimates of CO2 origins because he discounts Henry’s Law and doesn’t apply it correctly. Futhermore he has provided no information as to how the ocean in various places outgasses or sinks, his discussions are general and vague, with the only value given an amount of CO2 in ppmv, not wrt ocean temperature or location, indicating an unformed conceptualization of outgassing, without detail, specificity. Without that information he is not in a position to estimate how the changes in SST could have affected CO2 outgassing at all, nor is he in a position whatsoever therefore to claim there is even a possibility of such an equilibrium he claims MME upset and overwhelmed.

    The whole idea of a static CO2 equilibrium is therefore false, but some may spend the rest of their lives believing it.

    It just so happens that I developed the right principles empirically, starting first with confirming Henry’s Law using Nino3 and ML CO2, see inset #8, finding the threshold first, then I applied that knowledge by finding out how the ocean changed since the 1850s wrt this threshold, with the warming area expanding in size with time, see plots #1-5 below, which demonstrates the impossibility of a static ocean and CO2 equilibrium.

    The CO2 residence time is short as evidenced by the occasion of peak tropical forest uptake in the 1990s occurring simultaneously with peak ML CO2 years (CO2 on a detrended annualized cumulative basis).

    The DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) is driving the other part of the pCO2 equation and it has an interesting history too that is temperature and solar activity related.

    • You are leading yourself to deception. An equilibrium is not needed and everybody agrees nature is never in equilibrium. It is just a useful abstraction. In any case before fossil fuel emissions conditions weren’t far from equilibrium as demonstrated by the small changes in CO2 levels prior to industrialization.
      Since then it becomes evident that we are becoming farther and farther from equilibrium. Why? If the CO2 increase is due to warming then the most extreme of the warmists must be correct and we must be suffering the worst warming comparable only to the last deglaciation. Such a lack of self-consistency in people’s beliefs is typical of religions. A modest warming can only produce a modest increase in CO2.

      It just so happens that I developed the right principles empirically

      And it just so happens that the rest of the world scientists including all prominent scientists skeptic of the climate crisis are wrong on something so easy and basic and you are right. Henry’s law, Raoult’s law, and Le Chatelier’s principle were all worked out by the scientists of the 19th century. Many generations of scientists have passed without anyone knowing how to properly apply it to the ocean’s CO2 until Bob Weber came along and “developed the right principles empirically”.

      You should dedicate 1/10 of your criticism to others to yourself. Self-criticism is absolutely essential. When you are working with something so basic, so well-known, to think that you have found something that proves all the scientists of the past 150 years wrong should give you pause. The chances you are suffering from a severe case of Dunning-Kruger effect are staggering.

      • The equilibrium concept is not a useful idea, despite your endless faith.

        The chances you are suffering from a severe case of Dunning-Kruger effect are staggering.

        The chances are very good that this statement applies to yourself. I successfully confirmed Henry’s Law and applied it, and no one else has done that. You can’t even find an independent confirmation and application of Henry’s Law using ocean data from someone else.

        Many generations of scientists have passed without anyone knowing how to properly apply it to the ocean’s CO2 until Bob Weber came along and “developed the right principles empirically”.

        That’s right Javier, I did, and nothing you have said here matters at all. The real bottom line here is you can’t think through these problems and as such you are an impediment to everyone else’s progress.

        • “That’s right Javier… The real bottom line here is you can’t think through these problems and as such you are an impediment to everyone else’s progress.”

          Bravo. Perhaps the most insightful remark in this entire lengthy thread. The relentless marketing of carbon propaganda by Ferdinand Engelbeen and “Javier” (in which they demand the last word) is not surprising. What is surprising is that people allow themselves to remain engaged in it – which is the objective.

          All of their fuzzy arguments cannot prove the UN’s critical assumption: that increasing CO2 in air is caused by human emissions. But a single insight is sufficient to disprove it. In fact, that insight has now been found. Harde, Berry, and Salby have, through half a dozen independent analyses, demonstrated that human emissions are much too small to account for the observed increase of CO2. All of the other arguments in the relentless marketing of UN ideology are academic.

        • Alex,

          The difference between you and me is that I try to be an objective observer and let the observations guide the science.
          It is not because the warmists say something that it MUST be wrong. Just look at the observations and if these show what they said, then they are right, even if you and I don’t like the result.

          If you think, like Bob Weber does, that a short time correlation between temperature and CO2 rate of change “proves” that the long term change in CO2 is not caused by humans then he and you only show that you don’t have the slightest insight in process dynamics.
          If all contrary evidence then is ignored, you are not better than the alarmists who ignore all evidence contrary to their believes…

    • Javier
      I’m not sure how accurate or precise the CO2 record is. From ice cores there are serious questions of gross smoothing at best abd possibly alteration, with air not being isolated.

      Plant stomatal data paint a very different picture compared to ice cores. They indicate a much wider amplitude of variation of atmospheric CO2 concentration. I don’t doubt that human activity has increased CO2 in air in the last century (but this is more beneficial than harmful). But I never believe assumptions of Edenic stasis in any past climate parameter. That’s just bad data.

      • Phil,

        There is a large difference between ice core CO2 and stomata CO2:
        Ice core CO2 are direct measurements of CO2 in air of the bubbles as used in direct measurments of ambient air (GC, NDIR, mass spectrometer). With one huge drawback: that is an average of 10 years to 600 years, depending of the local snow accumulation rate, thus the time needed to close the bubbles.
        Migration of CO2/air in ice was theoretically calculated (based on measurements at ice with a melt layer) is minimal and only broadens the resolution with about 10% (20 to 22 years) after 70.000 years to a doubling (20 to 40 years) at full depth (~150.000 years).

        Stomata (index) data are proxies with a better resolution, which are dependent of CO2 levels of the previous growing season. But influenced by other points like drought too. And one enormous drawback: they grow on land, where there is a local variable CO2 level bias above “background”. To compensate for that, stomata data are calibrated over the past century against… ice cores, firn and direct measurements.

        The main problem is that nobody knows how the local bias changed over time as there were land use changes in the main wind direction, or even that the main wind direction changed in specific periods (MWP-LIA).

        Anyway, stomata data may give a better resolution and therefore larger amplitudes, but that are local/regional data, not global and if the average of the stomata data differs from the ice core data over the same time period (larger than the ice core resolution), the stomata data need to be recalibrated for that period.

        • Ferdinand
          Thanks again.
          Those uncertainties and other ecosystem dependencies that affect stomata, no doubt affect all biological proxies such as those used as temperature proxies (pollen, midges etc.) Someone needs to explain that to the likes of Marcott, Shakun et al.

          • Phil, agreed… Especially tree ring widths/density which reflect temperature during the growing saison, but also drought/rain and the availability of fertilizers (CO2…), minerals,…
            Treemomethers are not that good as thermometers…

    • Bob,

      Until recently, there was a near fixed dynamic equilibrium between glacial temperatures in ice cores and CO2 of about 8 ppmv/K. Here for Vostok over the past 420.000 years. Dome C recently expanded that to 800.000 years:
      The discrepancy between temperature and CO2 around the trendline is mostly due to the huge lag with which CO2 follows temperature changes.

      The residence time of any excess CO2 – whatever its origin – is about 51 years and thus is not short. That is the influence of the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere on the uptake. Nothing to do with shorter responses like El Niño or Pinatubo, which are temperature dependent.

      And please, if I give you a reference to plots of 6 stations over the world which show an increase in DIC over time, together with an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, where does the increase of DIC in the ocean surface comes from? If the ocean surface was a source of CO2, that should give a decrease in DIC…


      • What happens is people mis-attribute the DIC increase as being mostly from MME. The increase in DIC began long before MME as a result of more favorable biological growing conditions for corals and their food chain as a result of irradiance-driven warmer waters over time.

        The ocean DIC/pCO2 naturally increases when it warms via more productive marine biology. High irradiance and hot spots also breaks down coral skeletons that recycle into more DIC. There’s no sense in trying to attribute the increase in DIC to just MME.

        • Bob,

          What I don”t understand is that you simply ignore all evidence that contradicts your theory.
          If the food chain increases, including the growth of carbonate shell plankton (coccoliths) and extra growth of the reefs, they use bicarbonates from the surrounding waters, thus DIC should decrease NOT increase. Higher temperatures do increase pCO2, but that only matters if the pCO2(aq) gets higher than in the atmosphere and then CO2 is lost from the ocean surface waters into the atmosphere. Again a decrease of DIC!

          But we measure an increase of DIC! Exact the opposite of your theory and in exact ratio to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. That are the measured facts.
          If the facts contradict the theory, the theory is wrong.

          Thus sorry, all evidence points to humans as cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. That means that the warmists on this point (and this point only…) are right, even if you and I don’t like that…

  37. Has anyone simply deducted the yearly estimated human CO2 emissions from the years measured total CO2 emissions?

    Since humans yearly CO2 emissions doesn’t account for the total PPM yearly increase, thus humans are NOT causing the entire increase.

    It appears to me that Nature IS adding to the yearly CO2 growth.

    • Nature IS subtracting to the yearly CO2 growth. Don’t make the mistake of confounding human emissions with natural fluxes. Natural fluxes just move carbon between the three highly mobile stores (shallow ocean, atmosphere and biosphere) in a temperature-dependent manner. They are very large but over several years they average to a small negative, about half of what we emit. Our emissions are much smaller and not temperature dependent, but they are cumulative and over several years they constitute double of the net fluxes resulting in the increase in atmospheric levels.

  38. Overall I think that attempts at carbon accountancy are a road to nowhere. We have little clue how much is where and where it is going. To find what is happening to CO2 and carbon one must instead make intelligent use of observational data, involving as few inductive assumptions as possible. I’m OK with CO2 increase being either anthropogenic, or not, or not much. One must simply follow where the data leads (models are not data).

    For instance the CO2 observing satellites showed that often forests in Africa and South America emit more CO2 than the biggest conurbations in USA and China. Waterlogged land or forest emits more CO2 than cities. What happened to that observation. Too hot to handle? Climate scientists don’t seem to be talking much about the OCO satellites anymore.

    And zero change to atmospheric CO2 after the biggest reduction in CO2 emissions in history, from the pandemic, is awkward to say the least. Models can be massaged to accommodate that, by positing an ever longer CO2 residence time. But that’s pure fiction as we all know.

    The earth is greening. In a rational world this fact would be celebrated. But of course it’s not being. In the next few decades the Sahara desert will start greening over to an extent that will be hard to hide or ignore (it’s starting already). Land and ocean primary productivity are increasing at a rate that is truly unprecedented. This – almost uniquely in climate science – is a justified use of the word “unprecedented”. The media and academia focus on projected doom which remains by and large confined to computer models while in the real world ecosystems increase in vitality.

    Climate science is “catas-trophic” in the sense that it feeds exclusively on the perceived approach of catastrophe. For them news can only be bad. Looking at life they see only death, since it is in reality a death cult.

  39. Any discussion about models purporting to explain the CO2 balance must also address the 13CO2/12CO2 (δ13C) balance, since that provides a critical constraint on the models. The most recent attempt to establish a model of the CO2 and δ13C balance that I have seen was Keeling et al (2017): (this site also provides a link to supporting information for the paper). The authors have used a very comprehensive (complex) model which, when they updated it with more recent observations, led to the comment:

    “Here, we update the longest direct time series for δ13C of CO2, starting in 1978, from the flask program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Rather than resolving carbon sinks, we use data/model comparison to show that there must exist an additional process, previously neglected, that reduces the atmospheric 13C-Suess effect.” (emphasis added)

    So, once more we see the settled science (and this was only three years ago). It may not seem too surprising that more data leads to a need for a more complicated model, but the problem is that the actual observed trend in δ13C decline (which is linear when plotted against 1/CO2) did not change as a consequence of the new data!

    My model (ha ha) is that the additional atmospheric CO2 since 1765 (where their model runs were initiated) has had, on average, a constant net value of -13 per mil. The average needs to be derived over periods of several years in order to balance fluctuations due to ENSO variations and major volcanic eruptions such as Pinatubo. This value of -13 per mil is derived from a lot more data than I am using here, but the following should illustrate the point.

    Mathematically, this relationship is very simple to show by using the mass balance equation for 13C. Keeling et al adopt 278 ppm and -6.4 per mil in 1765 for atmospheric CO2 and δ13C respectively. Referring to their Table S3 (supporting information) they show that observed δ13C in January 1980 was -7.51 per mil and had declined to -8.37 per mil by December 2013 (they average the Mauna Loa and South Pole data). On the other hand, their model had predicted values of around -7.75 per mil and -8.75 per mil respectively (based on Figure 1A in the paper). Atmospheric CO2 levels at these two times were, based on Scripps CO2 program (, 337 ppm and 396 ppm.

    The calculation is based on CO2 level multiplied by 13C/12C ratio to give (approximately) the 13C amount. The use of δ13C as a proxy for 13C/12C has no impact at all since all values are referenced to a single standard and the use of 13C/12C instead of 13C/(13C+12C) leads to a negligible error due to 12C being 99% of 13C+12C. These two points are easily confirmed, plus Keeling et al use the latter approximation themselves.

    My predicted δ13C value in January 1980 (based on constant δ13C since 1765):
    ((-6.4*278) + (-13*(337-278)))/337 = -7.56 per mil. This compares with observed -7.51 per mil and the unadjusted Keeling et al prediction of -7.75 per mil.

    My predicted δ13C value in December 2013 (based on constant δ13C since 1765):
    ((-6.4*278) + (-13*(396-278)))/396 = -8.37 per mil. This compares with observed -8.37 per mil and the unadjusted Keeling et al prediction of -8.75 per mil.

    Just to check how well my “model” is still behaving, the most recent δ13C values at Scripps are for October 2019 and are -8.52 with CO2 at 410 ppm.
    My prediction: ((-6.4*278) + (-13*(410-278)))/410 = -8.52 per mil.

    Of course, knowing that all of the CO2 that has been added to the atmosphere since 1765 has had the same 13C/12C ratio (on average and obviously a net effect) does not tell us exactly which sink/source model is correct, but it certainly provides a key constraint. For those who are not familiar with δ13C values, the flux from fossil fuels is generally estimated to be around -28 per mil. To see how Keeling et al get that to match observations, see their Table S5 (supporting information).

    • Jim,

      Your “constant” δ13C level of -13 per mil is based on a relative continuous increasing addition of fossil fuel CO2. I wonder if you will find the same ratio now that the increase is less than normal…

      • Hi Ferdinand,

        My constant δ13C level of -13 per mil is not based on anything other than the observations. I make no assumptions as to the possible sources or sinks. It is a simple demonstrable fact, based solely on the available data.

        As I did mention, the most recent δ13C data is for October 2019 so no, it is not possible as yet to see or infer any change that might reflect the reduced estimate of emissions. Something to watch for but, like CO2 levels, I doubt anything will be discernible.

        What concerns me most is the climate science approach of generating a model that appears to explain what we see (and can measure), finding that it doesn’t actually fit the observations, then modifying it with a new hitherto unknown (or unproven) variation that fixes the failure to match the data, then considering that as evidence they now understand what is going on. They don’t.

        • Jim,

          Agreed that they don’t understand everything that happens in nature, but still disagree with you that the “source” of extra CO2 has a constant δ13C level of -13 per mil. In my opinion still just coincidence because human emissions are constantly increasing. The current dip in emissions still may be too small to be detectable in the δ13C level…

          • Ferdinand,

            OK, in that case you need to accept three coincidences. First, the Keeling plot of the observations (I prefer to use the South Pole data because the adjustment by Scripps to remove the annual cycle is minimal):
            Average δ13C content of -13.0 per mil, R2 0.99.

            Second, the Law Dome data as shown in Figure 1 here:
            Average δ13C content of -13.1 per mil, R2 0.96.

            Third, as per a plot that you frequently show yourself:
            You can only match the CO2 with the δ13C observed trends by assuming a δ13C of the incremental CO2 of -13 per mil (relationship between far left and right hand graph scales, noting the use of 1/CO2, reflecting (again) the validity of the relationship that underpins the Keeling plot).

            To be clear, I am referring to the -13 per mil as (i) average and (ii) net, the latter point being that it includes all sources and sinks of CO2, plus interchanges between them (disequilibrium effects). The fact that the average net value is -13 per mil is actually marginally less important than the fact that it has not changed since 1765, the reason being that it is a lot harder to develop a model that matches that consistency over time (as Keeling et al discovered).

  40. For a long time, I used to ask people who were convinced that IPCC and other climate alarmists are right, what could make them sceptical or even realize that they’d been bamboozled. Most people would just stare at me with a kind of goldfish look on their faces. The others would ask me what would make me change my mind. One of my criteria was that someone should make a really big experiment, verifying the theory in Earth-like conditions. This would be the mother of all experiment rigs, but I figure it could be done.

    Now, we’ve had that experiment. A transient in the release of human CO2. If those climate scientists are worth their salt, some kind of conclusion must come out of it. Just saying that it is too little to be noticed is just ridiculous and only tells me that they are not honest. If it is too little, why would we want to further reduce CO2 emissions and strangle the economy if it achieves nothing?

    • Sven Olof Andersson Hederoth,

      You can’t show or prove anything that is smaller than the detection limit of your measurement method and way smaller than the natural noise in the real world.

      If we could – without destroying the economy – halve the emissions, then there would be a clear response within a year or so: at that point human emisisons and net sink rate are equal and the CO2 increase in average would be zero. That would be detectable on short notice, even within the huge natural variability.

      Better for the ecomomy would be the experiment the other way out: substantially increase the CO2 output (1.5-2 times current) and look what happens…

  41. Pure IPCC dreaming here; human emissions increase threefold in 2002 and fell as much in 2009; neither of which changes were recorded in the atmospheric CO2 record

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