By: Admin – Climate Depot December 24, 2021 9:33 AM
Special to Climate Depot
Climate science prevails over politics
This is my reply to an opinion letter by Monica Tranel, Montana Democrat candidate for Congress, in Montana’s Daily Inter Lake. This is my attempt to make the argument as simple as possible in 570 words for public reading.
This letter does not criticize Monica Tranel, but focuses on her letter of Dec 19, 2021, about climate change. The journal Science of Climate Change published my landmark paper on this subject on December 14, 2021.
Mrs. Tranel’s letter makes the following invalid assumptions.
First, her letter assumes the definition of “climate change” is that human emissions cause it. However, “climate change” means that climate simply changes whatever the cause.
Second, her letter incorrectly assumes events prove their cause, writing “the impact of climate change is hitting hard… We already see its effects in Montana.” My book Climate Miracle shows why this assumption is invalid even in legal trials.
Third, her letter assumes we should believe the COP26 attendees who say, “the climate crisis will never be averted without international agreements and concerted action.”
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate change science. But the IPCC bases its conclusions on one big invalid assumption, namely, that natural CO2 stayed constant since 1750 and human CO2 caused all the CO2 increase. All climate laws, regulations, treaties, and taxes are based on this invalid assumption.
My paper uses IPCC’s own data to prove this assumption is false and shows natural CO2, not human CO2, dominates the CO2 increase. Other scientists have checked my calculations and proved them correct.
Here are some simple reasons to help you understand why the IPCC is wrong.
IPCC admits natural CO2 emissions are 20 times human CO2 emissions. So, to the first approximation, because CO2 that flows into the atmosphere flows out, like water flows through a lake, human CO2 is only 5 percent of today’s atmospheric CO2, not 30 percent as IPCC incorrectly assumes.
More accurately, my paper calculates the flow of human CO2 back into the atmosphere, which shows human CO2 is 8 percent while natural CO2 is 92 percent.
The IPCC counters that human CO2 stays in the atmosphere longer than natural CO2 causing the human portion to be 30 percent. Thus, the IPCC digs its own grave. This IPCC claim is absurd because human and natural CO2 molecules are identical, so they flow out of the atmosphere at the same rate.
IPCC’s story would require a magic demon in the atmosphere to separate human from natural CO2 molecules, and then detain the human molecules. IPCC’s climate fiction is so absurd that it proves the IPCC did not just error but committed a fraud of global proportions.
Even the 2021 emissions reduction due to COVID did not stop the inevitable CO2 increase caused by natural CO2, further proving climate treaties and green energy are useless because they ignore that unstoppable nature is the dominant cause of the CO2 increase. Carbon-14 data independently prove nature dominates the CO2 increase.
My paper shows if human CO2 emissions were to stop, the small human-caused increase would quickly fall, meaning there is no scientific basis to claim there is a climate emergency or worry about our grandkids.
My paper overturns IPCC’s climate fraud with a clarity that can win in a court of law. Good high school students can understand my paper. Now, we need lawyers willing to overturn climate laws, regulations, and taxes.
Honest people from all political parties should accept science truth. Renewable energy should compete on a level playing field with other energy sources without climate change concerns.
To read my scientific paper, go to https://edberry.com and press the “My Paper” button.
Edwin X Berry, PhD, Physics
IPCC’s basic climate change assumption is natural CO2 stayed constant after 1750 as human CO2 causes all (or dominates) the increase in atmospheric CO2.
To support its basic assumption, the IPCC claims “The removal of human-emitted CO2from the atmosphere by natural processes will take a few hundred thousand years (high confidence).” But the human-carbon e-time must equal the natural-carbon e-time because human and natural CO2 molecules are identical.
The 14CO2 e-time, derived from δ14C data, is 10.0 years, making the 12CO2 e-time less than 10 years. The IPCC says the 12CO2 e-time is about 4 years and IPCC’s carbon cycle uses 3.5 years.
After the bomb tests, δ14C returned to its original balance level of zero even as 12CO2 increased. This suggests the added 12CO2 came from a natural source.
The physics model calculates, deductively, the consequences of IPCC’s natural carbon cycle data. The physics model first replicates IPCC’s natural carbon cycle. Then, using the same IPCC data, it calculates that human carbon has added only 33 [24-48] ppmv to the atmosphere as of 2020, which means natural carbon has added 100 ppmv. The physics model further calculates if human CO2 emissions had stopped at the end of 2020, the human CO2 level of 33 ppmv would fall to 10 ppmv by 2100.
The IPCC argues the absence of ice-core data – that might show the natural CO2 level was greater than 280 ppmv before 1750 – supports its basic assumption. But the physics model shows IPCC’s basic assumption, and therefore IPCC’s ice-core assumption, contradict IPCC’s natural carbon cycle data.
Now sorry to pick this apart… But isn’t what you are talking about the carbon cycle at that point in time. This does not mean that the increase of CO2 in the cycle does not remain…
This is a silly example ( please do not take it as more than it is meant to be )
Imagine a simple pump system that takes water from the base and puts it back into a reservoir at the top of the pump… Lets say there is 16 fluid ounces of water. Now if I add an ounce, but then later say, well that ounce has gone through the pump and so it is no longer ‘added’ by me but rather it has been added by the ‘pump’, it would be a ‘true’ statement. This however does NOT mean that there is now 17 ounces of water where there had only been 16 ounces before.
So… maybe I am just not reading what you meant correctly? BUT the argument of to CO2 having the ‘manmade’ moniker or not seems to be a red herring. Just because the pump has recycled the water ( or CO2 in this case ) does not mean that the increase does not persist. You can argue that perhaps if we STOPPED adding then the rate of decrease may be faster than assumed due to the cycle.
Anyway just an observation, and again it may be off base.
The basic argument for the growing atmospheric concentration of CO2 is that ‘new’ CO2 is supplied from coal and petroleum when it is mined and burned. Volcanoes are dismissed as being something like 1% of human contributions. However, warming seas extract less CO2 and leave more in the atmosphere, giving the appearance of new CO2. When rain falls on limestone rocks, the rocks will be dissolved and give off CO2, again mimicking the production of ‘new’ CO2 that is indistinguishable from the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels. I don’t think that any of the Carbon Cycle studies look at the amount of CO2 from chemical weathering of widespread limestones.
Also to consider is the CO2 Airborne Fraction, which shows that even though the seas are warming, they (along with the earth) are absorbing more CO2 due to the higher concentrations … (see Fig 3) … https://www.countercurrents.org/hansen010413.htm
Doesn’t “…even though seas are warming, they … are absorbing more CO2 …” directly contradict C. Spencer’s comment above yours “… warming seas extract less CO2 …”?
The absorption rates depend of the partial pressure (pCO2) differences between atmosphere and ocean surface (and plant water).
While at one side the pCO2 in the atmosphere is increasing with good 2 μatm (~ppmv) per year in the atmosphere, the pCO2 of the oceans also increases with temperature at about 16 μatm/K, thus reducing the pressure difference and thus the uptake.
As the increase of pCO2 in the atmosphere is larger than the increase in the ocean surface, the atmosphere wins the contest…
Excellent, do you have a source for the 16 μatm/K?
A few references:
Historical, the CO2/temperature ratio in the Vostok ice core is about 8 ppmv/K, but as that is for the Antarctic temperatures (mainly where the snow is formed) that gives about 16 ppmv for global temperatures, see the Vostok graph.
The discrepancy between the average slope and the measurements is due to the lags, which is much longer during cooling (thus at the upper side) than during warming periods.
Current, as continuous pCO2 measurements on commercial sea ships are performed without skilled persons and the pCO2 at the equilibrator is compensated for the difference in temperature between the in-situ temperature at the intake and the temperature at the equilibrator, they use a formula of 0.0423% per oC to compensate for the difference. Which gives about
Here from a trip of a research vessel:
The (pCO2)sw at the in situ temperature, T in situ, was computed using a constant value of 0.0423 % per oC for the effect of temperature (Takahashi et al., 1993):
(pCO2)sw @ Tin situ = (pCO2)sw @ Teq x EXP[0.0423 x (Tin-situ – Teq)].
Which gives the correction, not the in-situ pCO2 (where the pCO2 at the equilibrator must be added in the formula!)
That gives about 12 ppmv/K at 295 ppmv up to 17 ppmv/K at 400 ppmv.
The same formula of Takahashi is given in another reference:
The about 0.8 K drop between the warm Medieval period and the LIA shows a 7 ppmv drop of CO2 around 1650 in the high resolution (~20 years) Law Dome DSS core, or near 9 ppmv/K change over a relative small period:
Several others can be found somewhere between 8 and 30 ppmv/K… Anyway by far not enough to explain the 120 ppmv increase since the LIA…
Go to your ice core data for the past two glacial, interglacial cycles.
Select warming and cooling phases of some duration, say100 year periods.
Select data from those groups and detail the temperature and CO2.
Put the two sets of data of warming and cooling in separate columns.
Create a scatter plot With temperature on the vertical axis, and CO2 on the base.
Color code the data points during the rising temperature periods red, and the cooling blue. Then put on a linear theoretical equilibrium line.
That will provide you with the most accurate chart that needs no commentary. It visually confirms that the CO2 in the atmosphere is at a higher rate of saturation during cooling than warming. I.E. the molecules are closer together, the density is greatest. The so called blanket effect is greatest during cooling.
I had a chart like this with commentary published in Energy and Environment in 2010.
Most use the term partial pressure, I prefer relative saturation.
That is, there is either a negative, neutral or positive equilibrium. Temperature of the two fluids or bodies is a strong influencer.
This is an example of equilibrium versus rate-controlled reactions. Warmer water holds less CO2 but it is not even close to being at equilibrium with the CO2 in the air. As the air has 25% more CO2 than a few hundred years ago, the rate of absorption is faster because it is dependent on the concentration of CO2 in the air as well as in the water. I saw this in an industrial setting on a CO2 absorber for a natural gas stream. I had measured the absorption data for CO2 between methane and our selective gas treating solvent. The solvent was mostly diethanolamine with some additives. The absorbing tower was not performing as well as predicted based upon my equilibrium measurements. In the lab we can get to equilibrium by waiting a while and stirring vigorously. In an absorber, the contact time is usually less than 60 seconds. The operating engineer warmed up the absorber, which moved the equilibrium to less CO2 captured by the solvent at equilibrium. However, the increased rate of mass transfer from the warmer solvent (lower viscosity, faster diffusion) more than compensated for the lower driving force caused by the shift in equilibrium and the absorber removed more CO2 than at the previous temperature.
Lake Nyos measured CO2 seepage x one million undersea seeps –> total volcanic CO2 is an order or two of magnitude higher than current estimates.
Not right, one has measured the CO2 emissions around mount Etna, one of the five most active volcanoes of the world and the total of all subareal volcanoes was less than 1% of human emissions:
Undersea volcanoes don’t count: under the high water pressure all CO2 is absorbed in the undersaturated cold deep ocean waters…
You shouldn’t dismiss underwater volcanic activity so casually. We really know little about the rate of release and locations. However, when that “understaturated” water upwells to the surface it becomes over-saturated and much of the CO2 is released into the atmosphere.
Clyde that is right, but don’t underestimate the mass of carbon already in the deep oceans. If all human emissions up to now were absorbed into the deep oceans (which will occur over time), that would increase the carbon level in the deep oceans with 1%, thus when returning increasing the atmosphere with 3 ppmv from the current 295 base…
The entire ring of fire continuously emits CO₂, 24/7/365.
Every hot spring continuously emits CO₂, 24/7/365.
Estimates for Yellowstone and Hawaii’s CO₂ show them as much larger emitters of CO₂ than assumed. There are thousands of craters still emitting CO₂.
As you point out, limestones, chalks, siltstones, etc. emit CO₂ whenever rain falls and runs down them. Rain is and has always been naturally acidic.
Decaying animal, plant and oceanic matter is constantly decomposing.
The listing of natural CO₂ emitters, actually goes on and on.
Fortunately, unfortunately or c’est la vie, plant life flourishes under higher CO₂ levels.
When plants flourish, life flourishes.
Unfortunately most all the “sources”, deposits, banks or whatever for CO₂ release or storage are estimated.
Did someone actually travel the world mapping every limestone/chalk/ reserve whether open to the atmosphere, under water or buried?
Did they bore test holes to measure the depth of the deposits?
Did they set up research apparatus capturing CO₂ emissions to learn just how much CO₂ is released over time?
Did they identify every magmatic caused CO₂ seep?
Have they observed 24/7/365 every active and inactive volcano’s CO₂?
The answers to all of these questions is No!”.
Some character desk jockey estimated CO₂ based upon their their concept of CO₂ emissions. One mustn’t ignore the fact that their estimates are meant to be used in purpose built calculations. Not as fully researched tested and verified realistic numbers.
CO₂ geologic sources should be identified as hundreds of thousands’ cubic kilometers over vast areas. Not a minor surficial temporary release.
ATheoK, all these sources were present before 1850. They didn’t increase CO2 in the atmosphere with the same rate as after 1850 in any ice core of any resolution in the past 800,000 years.
Moreover, humans emitted about twice the amount as observed as increase in the atmosphere, thus nature was a net sink for CO2, not a net source…
If nature is a net sink for CO2, wouldn’t that suggest the earth is in a cooling phase?
If there were no human emissions, the current CO2 level would be around 295 ppmv, up from around 280 ppmv during the Little Ice Age. Because humans increased the level up to 415 ppmv, the 100 ppmv extra pushes more CO2 into the oceans (and plants), thus the influence of the temperature increase is overwhelmed by the extra CO2 pressure caused by human emissions…
There is ZERO evidence that humans caused the CO2 increase from 280 to 415 ppm. It would have increased that much anyway regardless of human existance or not. Human carbon emissions were reduced by 10-20% due to covid tyranny, depending on who’s estimate one believes, and there absolutely no trace of that reduction in the CO2 record over the last 2 years. It’s so utterly insignificant it’s not perceptible.
Cool-Engineer, I have the (non) influence of the Covid pandemic plotted and it is simply not detectable in the natural noise. One need years of reduced emissions to see that effect…
Further, never heard of a mass balance?
If humans add twice the amount of CO2 than observed as increase in the atmosphere, what then caused the increase and where did the human emissions go?
Your two statements seem to contradict: 1) “They didn’t increase CO2 in the atmosphere with the same rate as after 1850 in any ice core of any resolution in the past 800,000 years;” 2) “Moreover, humans emitted about twice the amount as observed as increase in the atmosphere, …”
Aren’t you basically saying that the anthropogenic influence being blamed for warming can’t be seen in ice cores?
It is generally accepted that the pCO2 is increasing in recent decades. That would lead to an expectation of a decreasing pH in rainwater, and accelerated dissolution of limestone. That should lead to a positive feedback. Are we seeing it, and if not, why not?
The first statement is that there never was any natural increase of the same order in any ice core as happened after 1850. Even in the worst resolution ice cores (Vostok: 600 years), that still would be visible as a peak of some 25 ppmv beyond the “normal” influence of temperature on CO2 levels.
The second statement is that human emissions in the period after 1850 were (and still are) twice the observed CO2 increase in the atmosphere, thus highly probable the main cause of the increase in the atmosphere, as the sum of all other natural sinks and sources must be a net sink, or you violate the carbon mass balance…
Of course, since 1850 the influence of human emissions on the CO2 level is clearly visible and there is a 20 years overlap (1960-1980) between the high resolution ice cores of Law Dome and direct measurements at the South Pole…
As the CO2 levels in the atmosphere increased with 40%, there should be 40% more CO2 in raindrops and thus also more dissolving of carbonate rock (from 1% to 1.4% of all CO2 returning to the oceans?). I have no knowledge of any investigation in that direction, but the reduction of pH in the ocean surface layer anyway is monitored and that shows that the direct dissolution of CO2 in the ocean surface has more effect than the buffering from more carbonates out of rivers…
see Fig. 7
Tut tut, Ferdinand, we’ve been here before. IIRC your error is to assume constant rates when nothing in the CO2 cycle is constant, production, sequestration, isotopic fractionation, pull down, outgassing etc etc.
When all is variable the ‘it must be humans’ argument fails.
I didn’t say or imply that everything is constant on this earth, but the natural variability over the past 10.000 years is very small, up to today.
Variability in CO2 levels:
Even in high resolution ice cores (~20 years) the LIA is visible as a drop of not more than 7 ppmv over a period of 100 years. The current natural variability is maximum 1.5 ppmv (Pinatubo, El Niño) around the 90 ppmv trend since 1959.
Thus the current 120 ppmv extra can’t be from temperature, as the MWP may have been at least as warm as the current period. Nothing to do with the over 200 ppmv human emissions?
Variability of isotopes:
Less than +/- 0.2‰ around -6.4‰ δ13C over the past 10,000 years and an accelerating decrease to currently -8.4‰ since 1850. Nothing to do with the addition of human emissions at -28‰ δ13C?
When the effect is a factor 10 larger than the natural variability, natural variability can’t be the cause…
No, they didn’t. And, anecdotally, the National Forest Service closed a campground near Mammoth Ski Resort a few years ago because in the course of investigating the cause of death of trees there, they discovered high levels of CO2 coming from the long dormant Long Valley Caldera. How many times that a grove of trees dies is it just assumed to be drought or insect infestation and not investigated? The error in the estimate almost certainly results in an under-estimate.
Clyde, nobody says that only human CO2 remains in the atmosphere, that is another misinterpretation of what the IPCC says.
Based on the historical (ice cores) and current sea surface measurements, the change of the CO2 partial pressure is about 16 ppmv/K by changing temperature of the sea surface.
That means that some 13 ppmv extra is to be expected from the warming oceans since the LIA. That is all.
Humans have added about 200 ppmv over the past 170 years of which some 110 ppmv remained in the atmosphere. As mass, not the original molecules, even if all human CO2 is absorbed by the next available tree, that doesn’t matter, as that prevented the absorption of natural CO2 by the same tree, thus the increase in mass is fully caused by human emissions…
Other sources like weathering, volcanoes, etc. are much smaller and/or slower than human emissions…
The solubility of Co2 in water is not a linear function, but exponential. here is one paper from NIST as an example: https://srdata.nist.gov/solubility/sol_detail.aspx?sysID=62_68
Agreed, but for a first approximation a linear increase of 16 ppmv/K is not far off…
Do you have a source for that assertion? I’m suggesting that researchers have made that assumption and haven’t actually investigated. I’m basing that on my background as a geologist and knowledge of how widespread limestone and calcareous cements are in rocks like sandstones. I think that the contribution can be huge, but doesn’t show up in the Carbon Cycle diagrams.
Clyde, as far as I know, they have investigated the bicarbonate/carbonate content of several rivers and extrapolated that to the whole world.
In the IPCC AR5-Chap.6-Fig.6.1 that is mentioned as “Export from soils to rivers” 1.7 PgC/year
The atmospheric CO2 concentration is in fact increasing, or do you dispute that? If it’s increasing above historic levels, then there must be some cause; something has changed. If the cause is not anthropogenic emissions, then what is it, and why is it happening? Ocean off gassing is not a valid explanation because we know the ocean CO2 concentration is actually increasing in response to the rising atmospheric CO2 concentration.
This is what is wrong with so much of climate science today. the AGW crowd makes assumptions and then couch them as fact. Their *assumption* is that human-generated CO2 is the cause of the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere and then they couch that as a *FACT*. All without knowing what else might be causing the increase, or at least a significant part of the increase.
If you don’t know *all* the factors going into the increase then assuming as a *fact* that it is totally anthropogenic is a fraud upon science.
It is not an assumption; it is an explanation based on observational data and calculations. Right now, it is the best explanation put forth. If people want to dispute this, then they need to produce some observational data and calculations to support that. Perhaps it is volcanic CO2. Is there data to support the idea that the additional CO2 is volcanic in origin, or is that just, to use your word, an assumption?
That humans are responsible for the CO2, CH4 and N2O increase in the atmosphere is supported by every single observation in this world:
At least by the carbon mass balance: humans add twice the amount of CO2 than the observed increase in the atmosphere shows.
Thus nature as a whole is a net absorbent for half the emissions (as mass, not the original molecules!). No matter how much natural CO2 is circulating between oceans, atmosphere and vegetation and back. Only the total sum at the end of the year counts and that is negative for nature…
All alternative explanations, like that of Dr. Berry, violate one or more observations and in the case of Dr. Berry’s work it is the reverse use of the residence time which gives impossible results…
“That humans are responsible for the CO2, CH4 and N2O increase in the atmosphere is supported by every single observation in this world:”
Sorry. That is an ASSUMPTION that you make from the observations. That doesn’t mean the assumption is a fact. Since you don’t know every sink, source, the rate of either, or the correlation (let alone the causation) of each, all you can do is make an assumption.
Even with that assumption you keep bumping up against the Happer result that the impact of CO2 is logarithmic. The differential impact gets less and less as the concentration goes up. If that is true then your “mass balance” is really meaningless as far as the so-called “global average temperature” is concerned.
Tim, as the observations show less increase in the atmosphere than emitted by humans, that is firm proof than humans are responsible for the increase, as all natural sources and sinks together must be a net sink, not a source.
You don’t need to know any individual sink or source, that is completely irrelevant, as we do know the net result of all individual ins and outs together, as that is the difference between human emissions and increase in the atmosphere, both known with sufficient accuracy and that is all that you need to know.
If that has much impact is not the point of discussion here, it is the cause of the increase of CO2 which is at discussion.
No, I don’t dispute it. However, the author of this article and I both suggest that assigning it to humans is not supported by the evidence.
Actually, we don’t know that. The researchers looking into this have decided that the measured historical pH data are unreliable. They therefore created a computer model to estimate past pH and use that as evidence that the pH is decreasing. Personally, I give more credence to measurements than models.
I have suggested that one of many possible alternatives is an increase in the rate of chemical weathering of limestones, resulting from increasing acidity of rainwater.
If all evidence points to human emissions as cause of the increase and all alternatives violate one or more observations, including this one, why not taking the evidence for what it is?
Further, DIC (CO2 + bicarbonates + carbonates) in the oceans are increasing over the past centuries, That are direct, accurate measurements, even 200 years ago.
And even for the pH, the older real pH can be calculated from other, accurate measurements, that is not a “model” but direct calculation. For the Hawaii station both calculated and measured accurate colorimetric pH were plotted together, see Fig. 1:
Then, the increase of CO2 in rainwater does dissolve carbonate rock, but that gives bicarbonates in the water with a pH around 8, as in seawater, thus buffering the water against acidification and allowing more CO2 to dissolve in water… About the opposite of what you expect.
The major problem is that the easy answer is used, not ALL evidence. The potential consequences to the world economy and lifestyles is too important to take the lazy approach and ignore other possible contributions.
Sorry Clyde, but ALL observations are pointing to the human cause of the increase in the atmosphere with zero counter evidence…
There were plenty of alternative theories, which all fail one or more observations, including this one from Dr. Ed…
That is over a period of 20 years that I have investigated that question myself and came to the conclusion that on this point (and this point only) the IPCC is right.
It is completely counterproductive to insist on alternative explanations which all fail, only because one doesn’t like the outcome…
It isn’t a question of “liking” the outcome. The issue is that the consensus model doesn’t explain the inability to measure substantial declines of anthro’ CO2 emissions, while rare anthro’ gases are easily measured and show a decline.
Clyde, that is not so difficult to understand: the rare anthro gases are not released by nature, thus any reduction is easily detected.
CO2 is also released and absorbed by nature and the small change of 10% in human emissions is could be detectable over a full year, if the variability of the natural sinks was not 7 times higher than that change in human emissions…
Once again, you are avoiding the inconvenient fact that the April 2020 decline was close to double the average annual decline, and teasing out any changes is made more difficult by looking at the net change, including the Summer drawdown. Why can’t you get past focusing on the annual net change?
Clyde, because it doesn’t make ant sense to expect a measurable decline in the CO2 rate of change within one month, if the expected decline is only 1/10 of the detection limit of CO2…
It is as expecting to see a change in increase of sea level change of a few mm/year in a year, within meters differences due to waves and tides. You need at least 30 years to see the difference.
For the Covid drop, you need at least one year to detect a sustained drop and several years to separate that from the natural noise…
Personally, I think it does not matter where the accumulating CO2 comes from.
Because the real questions when it comes to the important issue at hand involve consequences.
The IPCC and every warmista on the planet make a large number of unwarranted assumptions about the implications of rising CO2 concentrations.
Among them, just to list a few:
-That CO2 is a pollutant, rather than the essential raw material for the biosphere
-That the preindustrial amount of CO2 in the air was exactly the best amount to have
-That preindustrial temperatures were at the optimal values for humans and all life on Earth
-That CO2 increases are bad, always, and never good
-That CO2 is the temperature control knob of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans
-That more CO2 means a warming planet
-That a warming planet is a bad thing
-That global ice is decreasing, and it is somehow vital for human survival that it does not decrease
-That all bad weather and weather catastrophes are caused by rising levels of CO2
-That humans can control the weather and the temperature of a planet by self-imposed energy poverty
-That the Earth is experiencing a “climate change crisis” caused by rising CO2 levels
-That our modern industrial civilization can survive the elimination of every source of reliable, plentiful, inexpensive energy
Every single one of these ideas is false.
And not merely false, but provably false and in fact patently absurd
There is no crisis, CO2 is good, not bad, more of it is better, not worse, the planet is way to cold, not too hot, bad weather is not caused by CO2 increasing, bad weather events are not getting worse nor are they increasing in frequency, global ice is entirely within the range of variations known to have prevailed for over 150 years, CO2 is categorically NOT the temperature control knob of the Earth and in fact has very little impact on the climate regimes of the planet, and the 7 billion plus humans on Earth cannot survive the elimination of the energy sources that have vastly increased our prosperity and allowed for billions more of us than could exist without these sources of energy.
In short, what the warmistas would have us believe is completely wrong as well as utterly insane.
“However, warming seas extract less CO2 and leave more in the atmosphere, giving the appearance of new CO2.”
That is not what observations show …..
“The ocean is a sink for ~25% of the atmospheric CO2 emitted by human activities, an amount in excess of 2 petagrams of carbon per year (PgC yr−1). Time-resolved estimates of global ocean-atmosphere CO2 flux provide an important constraint on the global carbon budget. However, previous estimates of this flux, derived from surface ocean CO2 concentrations, have not corrected the data for temperature gradients between the surface and sampling at a few meters depth, or for the effect of the cool ocean surface skin. Here we calculate a time history of ocean-atmosphere CO2 fluxes from 1992 to 2018, corrected for these effects. These increase the calculated net flux into the oceans by 0.8–0.9 PgC yr−1, at times doubling uncorrected values. We estimate uncertainties using multiple interpolation methods, finding convergent results for fluxes globally after 2000, or over the Northern Hemisphere throughout the period. Our corrections reconcile surface uptake with independent estimates of the increase in ocean CO2 inventory, and suggest most ocean models underestimate uptake.”
“Global air–sea flux calculated by interpolating SOCAT gridded data using a neural network technique, followed by the gas exchange equation applied to the ocean mass boundary layer. The net flux into the ocean is shown as negative, following convention. The uncorrected curve uses the SOCAT fCO2 at inlet temperature as usually done. Correction of the data to a satellite-derived subskin temperature is shown, and the additional change in flux due to a thermal skin assumed to be cooler and saltier than the subskin by 0.17 K and 0.1 salinity units. Excludes the Arctic and some regional seas—ocean regions included are shown in Supplementary Fig 2”
“When rain falls on limestone rocks, the rocks will be dissolved and give off CO2”
That is the SLOW Carbon cycle….
“Through a series of chemical reactions and tectonic activity, carbon takes between 100-200 million years to move between rocks, soil, ocean, and atmosphere in the slow carbon cycle. On average, 10^13 to 10^14 grams (10–100 million metric tons) of carbon move through the slow carbon cycle every year. In comparison, human emissions of carbon to the atmosphere are on the order of 1015 grams, whereas the fast carbon cycle moves 10^16 to 10^17 grams of carbon per year.”
A quick perusal of your first link suggests that they are principally addressing temperature-controlled outgassing. They seem to have overlooked upwelling of carbon-enriched deep oceanic water along the continental coasts.
Roughly speaking, the terrestrial Slow Carbon cycle is estimated to be about 1-10% of the anthro’ carbon. Are you suggesting that if the Slow Carbon cycle is increasing the rate of release of CO2 that we won’t see it? After all, the anthro’ contribution is only about 5% of the total flux and you and others are claiming that is is evident because the previous balance has been disturbed. Isn’t that potentially true of the CO2 coming from the Slow Carbon cycle?
Clyde, the point is that all natural CO2 fluxes are cycles and human emissions are one-way additions.
If one of the natural cycles has a sudden huge unbalance, that would be visible as a sudden increase in the atmosphere, beyond the human addition: the increase in the atmosphere would be larger than human emissions alone…
But over the past 60+ years human emissions were near always larger than the increase in the atmosphere, this the sum of all natural cycles was negative… No matter how they changed over time…
Who said anything about “sudden” or “huge?” I’m suggesting that whatever caused the end of the LIA is a slow, continuous contribution that acts in conjunction with anthro’ emissions and chemical weathering and biogenic emissions that may be reinforcing.
I’m not denying that anthro’ emissions have an effect. I’m saying that nearly a 20% decrease in one month can’t be seen and that a reasonable alternative explanation is that there are other sources that aren’t being considered, which are at least of a magnitude similar to anthro’ emissions.
Clyde, all natural fluxes together, all natural ins and outs together, are negative for at least the past 60+ years of accurate measurements. Nature was a net sink for CO2, whatever any individual flux did or didn’t…
Natural variability (Pinatubo, El Niño) over the 60+ years was not more than +/- 1.5 ppmv around the trend. There is very little variability in high resolution (8-22 years) ice cores over the past 10,000 years (the Holocene). But all ice cores with that resolution show the rapid increase of CO2 since about 1850.
Of course a small change over a month is not measurable, even a 10% drop in emissions over a years is lost in the natural noise, but that doesn’t prove than humans are not the cause of the increase… That simply needs more time to get detected…
Which happens to also coincide with the end of the LIA.
I get the feeling that you have not read my analysis of the seasonal changes. You assert that as being fact, while I demonstrated why one should be able to. If it is lost in the ‘noise,’ it is because the noise is the variance in the other 96% of montly flux. Why is it that all of the anthro’ gases EXCEPT CO2 showed a measurable decline during the height of the shut downs?
Clyde, a 10% change in human emissions is less than 10% of the detection limit of CO2 measurements, thus you need at least a year to detect that change, if there were no natural sources and sinks with their own variability.
As the variability in natural sink rate is 7 times the change in human emissions, you need several years of a sustained drop in human emissions to detect the change.
I made reference to measurements that were at a finer temporal resolution than annually. Your comment is not responsive to my point.
You seem to be unable to look beyond the net annual changes even though much finer temporal resolution is readily available.
Clyde, again. the accuracy of CO2 measurements in the atmosphere is 0.2 ppmv.
The expected drop in the atmospheric increase caused by the Covid pandemic is 0.02 ppmv/month. That is simply not detectable…
Incidentally, the multi-year trend in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is about 2.5 PPM/yr. However, the seasonal changes, clearly driven by the Rapid Carbon Cycle is about 14 PPM (ramp-up) to 21 PPM (draw-down) per year, nearly an order of magnitude faster than the Slow Carbon Cycle. This suggests that the Slow Carbon Cycle might be making a significant contribution to the long-term trend.
Clyde, you are comparing cycles with a one-way addition.
A cycle in equilibrium doesn’t add to or remove out any CO2 of the atmosphere.
Only a disequilibrium between ins and outs does. The latter is measured: a sink rate of about 2%/year of the pCO2 difference between the real CO2 pressure in the atmosphere and the equilibrium pressure for the current ocean surface temperature.
For the current 120 ppmv (*) difference, the net absorption rate thus is about 2,4 ppmv/year.
Of which 10% (0.24 ppmv) goes into the ocean surface (observed),
50% in vegetation (observed).
40% into the deep oceans (the difference between observed total sinks and the other two main sinks).
The short term trend is caused by human emissions, which is twice as high as the observed increase in the atmosphere. If the slow natural cycle has changed over time, its contribution is only modifying the sink rate thus indirectly the increase rate in the atmosphere, but still not the cause of the increase itself…
(*) The real pressure difference is expressed in μatm. The difference with ppmv is that ppmv is expressed in dry air, while μatm is in the atmosphere as is, thus including water vapor, which is important for the gas exchange with the ocean surface with several % of water vapor…
There are cycles and there are cycles. Clearly, the trend could be a cycle with a period much longer than one year. In fact, even the human contributions are almost certainly a cycle because even if nothing is done, we will eventually exhaust the available fossil fuels and then the “one way” change will change.
This is at the core of our disagreement. I’m suggesting that the source rate can be increased by increasing temperatures and increasing concentration of CO2.
Clyde, the trend is already over 170 years and in that whole period, humans emitted about twice the amount of CO2 as observed in ice cores, firn and direct measurements of the atmosphere.
Temperature is a much small contributor (maximum 13 ppmv since the LIA from a warming ocean surface) and nature was a net sink near all the time…
Herewith the correlation between emissions and increase in the atmosphere since 1900…
If you know from any natural alternative which shows such a nice correlation…
That only speaks to the average outgassing rate and does not address the increase in metabolic rate for respiration of plants, bacteria, and fungus, or the decline in absorption with warming oceans.
It seems that you feel that the correlation coefficient actually says something about cause and effect.
Clyde, the 16 ppmv/K is the change of solubility of CO2 in seawater at the current average temperature. It also is what is observed as CO2/temperature ratio over the past 800,000 years in ice cores, taking into account the double change in temperature of the polar regions compared to global.
That means that the ocean temperatures were the driving force of CO2 levels in the atmosphere in pre-industrial times and the biosphere as a whole had only a secondary influence.
In the case of the emissions vs. increase in the atmosphere: I don’t expect that the increase in the atmosphere drives human emissions and as human emissions are about twice the observed increase in the atmosphere, all other sources and sinks together must be net sinks to close the carbon mass balance…
The only way the IPCC’s arithmetic works is if the natural sources and sinks do not change at all. The planet has greened a lot in the satellite era. I’ve seen the effects stated as an area the size of the Amazon rain forest to an area the size of Australia.
Clearly, the ecosystem responds to increased atmospheric CO2 in a predictable manner. (ie. more CO2, more plant growth) So also, clearly, the natural sinks and sources do not stay constant.
The IPCC’s carbon budget, which somehow keeps anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere for hundreds of years is risible because it is based on at least one faulty assumption.
Satellites have documented that virtually anywhere over the whole Earth that has plants have greened.
Someone saying the “Amazon” or “Australia” is just tossing a size off the top of their opinions.
The greening area includes the Amazon, the rest of South America, and Australia. Along with Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, India, Malaysia, North America.
Plants appear to respond with CO₂ levels.
ATheoK, NASA reports this greening as 10%. The sensors aboard imaging satellites do not measure green directly, they measure an increase in the reflected energy of chlorophyll in the near IR band, which is easy to accomplish with good accuracy. Saying it is “easy” is an understatement as image processors searching for the mineral jarosite, which has a reflectance peak essentially coincident with chlorophyll, haven’t found a way to nullify the robust chlorophyll reflectance. So, yes, the earth is greening.
Chlorophyll has a strong fluorescence line that was initially discovered with a Fraunhoffer-line discriminator. I believe that the OCO-3 instrument on the space station is routinely using the spectrometer to assess vegetation fluorescence.
Clyde, you got me sufficiently curious to investigate the fluorescence detection of chlorophyll issue to investigate. The peak of reflected/radiated/excited energy measured by spectrometers on satellites is at 685nm, which is where chlorophyll has always been measured. Maybe the term “fluorescence” is added because their is UV excitation involved in the radiated signal? Still masks jarosite, which is an annoyance.
The fluorescence of chlorophyll is a very narrow line, similar to the Fraunhaufer absorption lines in width. That is how and why it was first discovered with a F-L discriminator. It is true fluorescence caused by solar UV. You can observe it in house plants with a 405 nm pen laser.
There are a couple of ways I would explore this if tasked with the problem. First, using multispectral imagery, try to obtain imagery from an F-L discriminator at the fluorescence wavelength, or from a hyperspectral imager such as AVIRIS or a system designed for mineral prospecting. Check to see if OCO-3 imagery is available for your area(s) of interest. Subtract the narrow-band fluorescence image from the NIR multispectral image or maybe the NDVI image.
Alternatively, work with selected bands from a hyperspectral imager, as you would with multispectral imagery, including the band(s) closest to the fluorescence line, and maybe a clean each band from the red and NIR regions. Alternatively, subtract the fluorescence band from the NIR band before doing any subsequent compositing to make a false-color image.
Depending on the scale of the imagery, you might want to make an image of the degree of polarization, because the light emitted from the sky at right angles to the sun is highly polarized, and the leaves of plants will maintain the polarization. However, the gossans you are looking for will probably be diffuse reflectors that will scramble the polarization.
Should you be wondering, remote sensing is my area of expertise, especially imaging polarimetry.
The proposition that “satellites” document greening is in it’s own way a model if used to assert “virtually anywhere.” A recent assessment using additional data asserts there has, from 1982-2016, not actually been an increase of biomass everywhere that plants grow.
The below cited authors investigated a plant feature of what is called “gross primary productivity”. See below that citation’ appended Figure 1, which in the report itself bears the legend “Trend of global primary productivity” for 1982-2016; whose color codings indicate outside of the tropics yes plant gross primary productivity has increased, but the reverse trend (decrease) has occurred in significant tropical regions.
Now, WUWT has it’s contingent of commentators who reject reports on the basis of a formulation (model) – I don’t intend to argue against categorical dismissals, nor attempt to validate components like FLUXNET data. This cited report does explain it’s model & gives reference to the published science papers which elaborate their contentions; anyone can read for themselves those technical sources regarding how/why gross primary productivity was chosen as an appropriate model.
Here’s the core assertion of how the below diagram: “… tropical rainforest gross primary productivity is a factor of photosynthetically active irradiance & the contrary influence of vapor pressure deficit … [&] …soil moisture…”. Put in other words irregardless of other factors there are tropical regions which underwent a trend (not constant in every year from 1982-2016) where those regions experienced relative dryness (ie: deficit of water vapor & soil moisture) compared to previously – they are green and yet their trend is toward producing less total biomass than we assume by using just satellite leaf monitoring as a modeling proxy.
Citation, free full text available on-line = “Recent Amplified Global Gross Productivity Due to Temperature Increase is Offset by Reduced Primary Productivity Due to Water Constraint”
Not the topic of discussion here, but the investigation ends in 2016, a super El Niño year. It is known that during an El Niño the rain patterns are diverted and especially the Amazon is drying out, which gives a negative CO2 balance: more release than uptake. In later years, especially during a La Niña, the reverse happens…
“The only way the IPCC’s arithmetic works is if the natural sources and sinks do not change at all.”
Nonsense. The IPCC arithmetic documents how sinks and sources are changing.
“The planet has greened a lot in the satellite era.”
Which means that sink in increasing as atmospheric CO2 increases. The problem is people here arguing that the increase in CO2 is mostly natural need to be arguing that sinks are decreasing.
“Clearly, the ecosystem responds to increased atmospheric CO2 in a predictable manner.”
Which explains why the increase in atmospheric CO2 is less than the amount added by humans. It doesn’t explain where the additional atmospheric CO2 came from if humans aren’t mostly responsible.
The IPCC uses the Bern (and similar) model(s), which includes the saturation of the ocean surface and other reservoirs for the uptake of CO2.
The only reservoir where they are right is the ocean surface: that follows the CO2 change in the atmosphere with about 10% in the surface waters: an increase of 40% in the atmosphere is met with an increase of only 4% of DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) in the ocean surface and then the buffer of the seawater is saturated.
That is called the Revelle/ buffer factor.
Still that is 10 times more CO2 than can be dissolved in fresh water that has no buffering capacity.
For vegetation there is no saturation in sight, as most (C3 type) plants have their optimum growth around 1000-1500 ppmv.
Neither for the deep oceans: while the ocean surface largely isolates the deep oceans from the atmosphere, that is not the case for the cold sinking waters near the poles which are highly undersaturated for CO2 and bypass the rest of the surface taking the extra CO2 down to the deep.
That is the main problem of the Bern model, as they use the ocean surface as an average, without taking into account the direct exchange between deep oceans and the atmosphere at the sink and upwelling areas…
And, the work that I have shown previously suggests that the upramping phase of the seasonal CO2 can be, and probably is, increased by biogenic decomposition of plant detritus. If it isn’t completely removed by the photosynthetic drawdown phase, then there is a net gain.
Clyde, the biogenic cycle is a net sink for CO2: plants currently use more CO2 than they release from decay or getting eaten by the rest of the bio-world…
That is measured by the oxygen balance:
From the abstract of your link:
I think that you are being dismissive of the role of bacteria and fungus in removing oxygen from the atmosphere and water.
Even so: plants are net sinks for CO2 at the end of a full seasonal cycle and that is what counts…
Bacteria and fungus can’t live from O2, they need O2 to produce CO2 as energy source from plant material that first did remove the same CO2 from the atmosphere…
From the same source:
“Yan said Earth’s biosphere didn’t contribute to the decline because it is balanced, drawing as much O2 from the atmosphere as it produces.”
As the oxygen balance shows: in the past decades, the biosphere evolved into a net, increasing source of O2, thus a net, increasing sink for CO2…
The IPCC “carbon budget” may well be a flawed depiction of reality, but don’t let the complexity of the system cloud the basic concept of a mass balance, which follows from conservation of mass.
(1) In – out = accumulation
When we account for a mass balance over the atmosphere, accumulation means the increase in mass of CO2 in the atmosphere. “In” means all sources entering from land and sea into the atmosphere. “Out” means all sinks, removing CO2 from the atmosphere, in other words, mass flow out of the atmosphere into land and sea.
I think that those who reject Ferdinand Engelbeen’s argument need to first explain how the basic mass balance equation is flawed.
The mass balance basic equation (1) can be made slightly more complex by observing:
(2) In = In(ff) + In(c) + In(other)
where In(ff) is the CO2 emissions due to fossil fuel burning, In(c) is the CO2 emissions due to calcining of limestone into lime for concrete production. Every other source of CO2 whether natural or anthropogenic is included in the term In(other).
Again, please address whether there is some invalid assumption entailed in this definition.
Now substitute equation (2) into equation (1):
(3) In(ff) + In(c) + In(other) – Out = accumulation
Rearrange equation (3):
(4) In(other) – Out = accumulation – In(ff) – In(c)
Please let me know if there’s a flaw in my algebra.
Now what can we say about equation (4)? The three terms on the right side of the equation are known accurately. Accumulation is proportional to the change in atmospheric concentration. Emissions from fossil fuel burning and lime production are known from production records.
Here is the key observation: the sign of that sum is negative. The accumulation is about half as great as the emissions. If the right side of the equation is negative, then the left side of the equation is also negative, which we can express as:
(5 ) In(other) – Out < 0
(6) Out > In(other)
All sinks, whether natural or anthropogenic are bigger than all natural sources plus any anthropogenic sources other than emissions from fossil fuel burning and lime production.
NATURE IS A NET SINK
We can reduce any uncertainty due to measurement error in CO2 concentration or inaccurate fossil fuel and lime production records by choosing a long enough period of 10-20 years. We don’t need any measurements of any of the natural sources or sinks, nor do we need to enumerate the non-emission human-caused sources such as those related to land use, therefore any question of how well or poorly we can measure individual natural sources or sinks is completely irrelevant.
(Had a formatting issue trying to use the less than and greater than symbols)
I suppose that discussion on this thread is dropping off after 3 days and over 350 comments. Yet no one has pointed out any error in the basic algebra of my comment. Several other commenters have tangled with me and I pointed them directly to my comment for feedback.
I’m sure that the topic will arise again as it seems to do every few weeks. Maybe eventually someone will be willing to comment. Anyway if you comment please look for me on a current posting and let me know, because I won’t be checking here any more.
The Indian Monsoon removes CO2 from the atmosphere and the rainwater reacts with the rocks of the Himalayas to produce CaCo3. Nature has been removing CO2 from the atmosphere for hundreds of millions of years…CO2 was 25 times higher in the past. Maybe Man is a hero if he stopped this decrease in CO2 from dangerous to life low levels?
No argument to that. I was simply saying that saying that man’s activity has no impact seems… foolish. Now if you are suggesting that this causes major issues like warming the planet to a point of no return – I do not think so.
I was simply commenting that the logic in the article seems overly simplistic and flawed.
That includes emissions from the calcining of limestone to make cement, and numerous other industrial anthro’ sources that are improbable to be eliminated. If, for the sake of argument we assume that fossil fuel emissions were to be eliminated, the potential reduction in anthro’ CO2 will be less than implied by the 20:1 ratio. It is a fools errand for which little evidence exists that a significant reduction in atmospheric CO2 will be achieved by so-called renewable energy and electric cars.
“…potential reduction in anthro’ CO2 will be less than implied by the 20:1 ratio. ”
The ratio was 30:1 only a few years ago, what happened ?
I don’t know. My estimates based on an analysis of two Carbon Cycle models suggest that humans contribute less than 5% of the total emissions flux annually. 5% is 1/20th of the whole.
To make a balance, you need emissions and sinks.
How much percent are human sources of total sources? 5%
How much percent are human sinks of total sinks? 0%
How much percent are natural sinks form total emissions? 97.5%
How much (temporarily) remains in the atmosphere? 2.5%)
What causes that 2.5% increase? Human emissions…
I don’t think that you fully appreciate the role of uncertainty in doing the mass balance calculation. What if the natural sinks are only 95%? How certain are you that the nominal values used for calculation are correct? If measurements are correct and of high precision, such as in a chemistry laboratory setting measuring reaction products, then mass balance is invaluable. However, in the real world, with low precision and unknown accuracy, and not even taking those uncertainties into consideration, you are fooling yourself.
Clyde we have two quite accurate measurements:
Human emissions: 9 +/- 0.5 PgC/year
Increase in the atmosphere: 4.5 +/- 0.4 PgC/year
That is all you need to know, as the net result according to the mass balance of all other carbon fluxes must be 4.5 +/- 0.9 PgC/year more sink than source.
That is all you need to know: nature is a net sink, according to the mass balance, no matter if human emissions are 1%, 5% or 50% of the natural input.
BTW, the natural fluxes are rough estimates, but based on different measurements like the oxygen balance, δ13C balance etc.
Actually, it is my understanding that the nominal value only accounts for fossil fuels and cement production. I have made the case that it is not quite accurate and is really a lower bound:
Clyde, I agree that it is a lower bound, as that doesn’t include the under-the-counter sales of fossil fuels to avoid taxes and some countries (China…) may cheat to lower their emissions for the rest of the world and land us change is not included (far to uncertain)
That all are reasons to believe that human emissions are underestimated, which only strengthens the fact that almost all the increase in the atmosphere is form human emissions and that natural sinks are larger than calculated…
Thus nature may be a larger sink, not at all a source of CO2…
As I think you know, I agree with you that CO2 whatever its source is no problem and indeed a benefit to man and the natural environment.
My reason for arguing vigorously but I hope you will agree, respectfully, about this is my concern that we do not discredit the views that we share in common by associating them with a provably wrong hypothesis that CO2 rise has been mostly a natural phenomenon.
I would love to be able to dismiss the risible claims of catastrophic human-caused climate change by being able to argue that our emissions have little or no effect on atmospheric CO2 concentration. The only problem with that convenient argument is that it’s wrong.
While evidence supports the lack of emergency or of any problem from human activity CO2 emissions, the logic employed in this argument does not support the claim that human activity emissions are responsible for only a small part of the measured increase. It may be true that human human activity emissions are responsible for only a small part of the measured increase but one doesn’t get there by this route.
Andy, Why not?
If the non-human CO2 flow into the atmosphere remained constant (unlikely, but IF) and human flow into the atmosphere increased, while the outflow from the atmosphere did not decrease, then regardless of which particular molecules remained and which left the atmosphere over some defined period (such as a year), clearly the net increase has to come from the increased human source.
The sinks may not select for any particular isotope or some of the sink (e.g. growing plants) might in part select for the fossil fuel produced CO2, but the total atmospheric increase will be the same, regardless. The source of any particular molecules still in the atmosphere is totally irrelevant.
However, all source quantities, however expressed, involve large uncertainties. Which sources, and which sinks might be changing, and by how much, due to reasons unrelated to human activity, are unknown. Quite a few papers have been review here discussing recently realized CO2 sources not previously included in official estimates or ‘natural’ sources believed to be increasing due to increase warmth or other reasons. Whether or not there would still be an increase in atmospheric concentration, all human activity source CO2 subtracted out, cannot be know, therefore the “actual” human activity contribution to the net cannot be calculated. Anyway, the volcano gods never cared an iota how many virgins were sacrificed.
If that were true then there would have been a significant drop in the yearly increase in co2 emissions as measured at Mauna Kea, say. But you have to squint real hard to see it. Same goes for other recessions. The biggest drivers of the carbon cycle is the outgassing of co2, or more accurately the equilibrium of co2 from the oceans depending on temperature and the sinking of co2 during northern spring and summer. The level of human emissions are inconsequential. Heck, termites produce about 30% more co2 than all human emissions, and that’s just one aspect of the natural emissions.
Even squinting doesn’t produce the hoped for results!
I’m not arguing for any one explanation, only pointing out that the argument made in this essay is based on unprovable assumptions.
The explanations of why the tiny drop in human CO2 production was not measurable against the bulk flux, even given the assumption that all increase are from human production, is logical and convincing. The estimated reduction from reduced activity was just too small to matter.
The numbers are consistent. I’ve seen no claim that this is not so actually address the calculations.
Your reasoning is right, but in the last paragraph you were wrong about the influence of natural variability: there is no need to know any natural flux, or how it changed over time. as we have two quite accurate measurements or calculations:
human emissions (based on sales -taxes!- and burning efficiency)
and the increase in the atmosphere.
atmospheric increase = human emissions + natural emissions – natural sinks
As there are hardly any human sinks, for the last years per year:
2.25 ppmv = 4.5 ppmv + X – Y
X – Y = -2.25 ppmv/year
whatever the height of X and Y or any of the underlying fluxes.
Near always negative over the past 60+ years. Nature was a net sink, not a source…
Even the small dent of the Covid influence had no measurable influence on the increase…
For me the best argument is simply to point out that all of the best evidence indicates that for a very long period of geologic time, CO2 in the air was confined to a certain range, and since we have started to burn fossil fuels, the amount in the air has increased well beyond this long-standing historical range.
It is illogical to think that this is a mere coincidence.
By a happy stroke of luck, the burning of fossil fuels that we have been using to increase the prosperity of the entire human race, has had the side effect of increasing CO2 in the air, and this is a bountiful blessing for the entire biosphere.
For several thousand years in the early Holocene, during a period centered on roughly 7,000 to 8,000 years ago, the Earth was far warmer, and CO2 was nowhere near as high as it is now.
I will post the two most relevent of those graphs separately for clarity…they are hard to read in that collage:
And the second:
That is exactly what Dr.Ed’s analysis does. It supports Salby and Harde and expands their efforts. Human emissions to the flux of CO2 is small. IPCC assumption that it is alone the cause for increasing atmospheric CO2 is falsified.
DMA, that is exactly where r. Ed is wrong: if you have an income and expenses in balance and you add a new income, that will increase the balance, no matter what the balance was.
The strange thing is that some skeptics like Dr. Ed, Salby, Harde and several others only count the income and not the removal of CO2. That is not what a balance is…
It is very curious why obviously smart and sensible guys can’t admit that we are adding to the aCO2 load. We are and it is cumulative and increasing over time as we grow in numbers and activity.
The real question is “does it matter and is it a bad thing?”. We are the newest contributor, source, and that is over and above all of the previously existing sources. We are not a sink, and new new sinks have been created by our outputs. The good news the planet is doing better than ever. We are doing a good thing. Thank you, Ferdinand Engelbeen, for you clarity.
The logic here escapes me.
Rising CO2 has created a large greening on the earth. This is a new sink and can’t be ignored.
CO2 does not warm the oceans, the sun does that job. As the sun has warmed the oceans, more CO2 has been added to the atmosphere. It is improper to not count this as added CO2 just like anthropological CO2.
If CO2 actually causes the increase in warming, then there should be more water in the atmosphere resulting in an increase in the volume of precipitation. This increase will also cause more CO2 as Clyde has pointed out.
An extraction of a heterogeneous solution will have a similar percentage of whatever molecules makes up the solution. This applies to whatever extraction method is used. The only way to change the percentage of an extraction is to use some kind of extraction method that is sensitive to only one kind of molecule. I don’t believe sinks are generally permeable to only one kind of CO2.
The only proposed reason for human caused CO2 being entirely responsible for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is that natural CO2 would be in balance. I go back to my first paragraph. Rising ocean temperatures due to increased insolation will also result in an imbalance.
Unless a better method of determining the various increases in CO2 is developed there is really no way to address the actual attribution of sources or even the attribution of changes in sinks. Using overall averages of ppm values just doesn’t address the issue properly. It is simply another way of using a statistical mean to ascribe a cause to something that is multimodal.
There’s a lot we don’t know about CO2, as Jim points out.
The more I read about the surmised comings & goings of the dreaded CO2, the more I conclude that we really know s.f.a. about this inconsequential natural atmospheric trace gas.
Jim, two things:
The latter is about the carbon mass balance, and doesn’t discriminate between the source of the extra CO2. Thus even if all human CO2 emitted was captured by the next available tree, that was at the cost of a natural CO2 molecule, thus in total the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is the same ánd caused by the human CO2 addition.
I have shown that the seasonal ramp-up phase is sensitive to temperature, particularly the last major El Nino. See particularly Fig. 3. Do have any thoughts on why you think that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is relatively insensitive to temperature, and yet it is the only thing that clearly shows a correlation?
Clyde, the seasonal cycle is negatively correlated with temperature: when the temperature rises in spring/summer, extra CO2 is released from the oceans and extra CO2 is absorbed by new leaves and growth in mostly the deciduous forests in the NH.
Vegetation wins that contest: there is more uptake than release in spring/summer.
The opposite happens in fall/winter when leaves fall down and a lot of CO2 is released in a few months and the rest over the next year or rest forever as peat and (brown)coal…
The effect of an El Niño is exactly the opposite: warming and drying out of the Amazon releases more CO2 than there is uptake…
Thus the same cause has opposite effects on the biosphere…
That doesn’t say anything about the influence of temperature on plants over longer periods…
You are overlooking the role of sunlight in the photosynthesis, which confounds the correlation with temperature.
The ramp-up phase in Fall-Winter, ending in May, is not influenced by photosynthesis. Again, I get the feeling that you have not read my analysis of the seasonal changes.
During the Pandemic has CO2 fallen because of lower human activity?
If not, then when will it occur?
The influence of the pandemic was too small to be detected in the huge natural noise… You need 3-4 years of reduced emissions to have a measurable effect.
See the graph at:
Sure it was 😉
I strongly disagree with your assumption of 3-4 years to see an effect. That may be true for an annual net change, but it should be evident at the monthly level! As I have demonstrated, there is no substantive difference in the seasonal ramp-up phase in 2019-2020 versus the preceding year! Where were you when my article on comparing the seasonal changes was published?
Clyde, I had a lot of comments on your contribution at that time, didn’t you read them?
Do you really think that one can see a change of 10% in emissions over a month in the natural variability of the seasons?
Point 1: 10% of 2.5 ppmv/year is 0.25 ppmv/year or 0.02 ppmv/month while the detection limit of CO2 measurements in the atmosphere is around 0.2 ppmv. Thus only detectable after a full year.
Point 2: natural variability can be as high as 1.5 ppmv from one year to the next. Or 0.13 ppmv/month still not detectable by measurements, but detectable after 2 months.
The natural noise thus is 6-7 times higher than what you want to detect and you need several years of reduced emissions to see the real effect, not one or several months…
My apologies. My short-term memory is not what it once was. I checked and see that you had 113 comments. My question was based on your most recent comment, which left me with the impression that you had not seen the graphs and read the dialogue.
You asked, “Do you really think that one can see a change of 10% in emissions over a month in the natural variability of the seasons?”
First off, 10% is the current estimate for the annual average reduction in anthro’ CO2 during the start of the pandemic. The estimate I used was >18% reduction for the month of April. The 2019-2020 ramp-up phase was about 1.2 PPM/month, average. Eighteen percent of 1.2 PPM is 0.21 PPM decline from the actual April value. That is within the resolution of the MLO measurements, but is not reflected in the shape of the curve. Furthermore, the seasonal graphs often look similar, except for El Nino years. What we don’t see is random variations. The graph for 2019-2020 is almost indistinguishable from the preceding year! One would expect at least a flattening of the curve for April and/or May. It is not to be seen. Such a flattening is seen for the following year (this year), which is similar to what happened in 2015-2016, an El Nino year.
You, like Roy Spencer, have focused on the annual net changes. The point I was making was based on the gross monthly changes, which should have greater sensitivity to perturbations.
Clyde, the ramp up in spring/summer is 1.2 ppmv/month, of which 95% is natural!
Even if there was a 18% reduction in human emissions of 4.5 ppmv over a full year, that is only 0.8 ppmv difference over a year or 0.06 ppmv/month… Of which half remains in the atmosphere…
Simply undetectable by current instruments and even with better instruments undetectable within the natural noise which is much larger…
Your financial analogy is not reasonable. The known inputs to the analysis are human emissions and atmospheric content. The natural sources are largely unmeasured, changing in time and location, and huge compared to the human sources. The individual sources must flow through the system nearly as their percentage of the total sources. Ed’s main point is that the IPCC assumption is wrong. His analysis may not give perfect percentages of natural to human CO2 in the atmosphere but his logic is sound so it is a reasonable approximation and there is no valid argument to support the IPCC assumption. Humlum’s work supports Berry. If Berry is very wrong in his percentages he is high on the human CO2 as it is possible it is absorbed near its source in a short time but it does not hang around longer than natural CO2 as IPCC assumes. The concept of long term balance being demonstrated in the ice cores is countered by actual chemical measurements and stomata proxies that show much more variability.
“The individual sources must flow through the system nearly as their percentage of the total sources”
That is exactly where Dr. Ed, Humlum, Salby, Harde and many others are completely wrong:
Their basic assumption is that the atmosphere is a container with one (or more) inlet(s) and one (or more) outlet(s). All input fluxes are flowing unidirectional from inlet to outlet and the outlet flux(es) are set by the height (pressure) of CO2 in the atmosphere:
That “classic” view is completely wrong.
To begin with:
The CO2 fluxes are between three containers: oceans, atmosphere and biosphere.
That is an important point, as the outlet of the atmospheric container is not to zero CO2 pressure, but to the CO2 pressure (pCO2) already in the ocean’s surface (and plant alveolars) and thus the outlet depends of the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean surface.
Then the most important point:
Most of the natural CO2 fluxes are seasonal and therefore bidirectional: inlets get outlets and reverse. Almost only temperature dependent, not pressure dependent!
For the residence time, it doesn’t matter that the fluxes are reverting over a year: the residence time only counts the throughput, whatever the direction of the fluxes.
For the real decay rate of an extra shot CO2 in the atmosphere, that does matter as that doesn’t respond as a percentage of the height of the fluxes, but of the difference between inputs and outputs: the unbalance in the “normal” equilibrium between atmosphere, oceans and vegetation. That is of a complete different order than for the residence time and around 50 years e-fold decay rate.
That makes that the basic assumptions of Berry and all others who use the residence time as base are completely wrong…
BTW, the atmosphere contains currently already 10% human CO2, based on the 13C/12C ratio, which according to Berry and others should be impossible…
Here the real mass changes and exchange fluxes in the atmosphere, oceans and vegetation:
Just to put things in context, if the e-folding time is 50 years as Ferdinand says, then 36.8% of the excess CO2 will be removed by the natural sinks in 50 years (The strange % is equal to 1/e, where e is the exponent of the natural logarithm).
Ferdinand estimates that given current ocean temperatures, the equilibrium CO2 concentration would be 295 ppm. In other words at 295 ppm, the natural fluxes (sources and sinks) would be equal. There would be no driving force causing CO2 to move from the atmosphere to the various sinks or vice versa.
So at 415 ppm, there is an excess of (415-295=120ppm). If we stop emissions tonight, at the end of 2071, CO2 concentration would be (120*0.368=44ppm) lower or (415-44=371ppm).
At 371 ppm, if temperature has not changed the equilibrium target, the residual excess would be (371-295=76ppm). So after another 50 years or at end of 2121, another (76*0.368=28ppm) would be removed, and the atmospheric concentration would drop to (371-28=343ppm). Bill McKibbens’ corpse will roll over in his grave because 350.org will need to disband.
In other words, in little more than one human lifetime, CO2 would be back down to a level that some of the loudest alarmist fanatics consider “safe”. Of course our current level is already safe, but let’s humor them.
What if we increase CO2 at 2.5ppm/yr for 50 years and then taper off to 0 ppm/yr over the following half century (a net zero 2121 target)? That implies adding 125ppm by 2071 and another 63ppm by 2121. So (415+125+63=603ppm) which is probably not even possible.
Then the excess would be (603-295=308ppm). After 50 years, CO2 would drop by (308*0.368=113ppm) or (603-113=490ppm).
Then after another 50 years, (490-295=195ppm excess) leads to (195*0.368=72ppm) reduction to (490-72=418ppm)
Essentially back to today’s levels at the end of 2221. 373ppm at the end of 2271and 344ppm at the end of 2321.
Let me sum up. We can spend the next 50 years burning all the fossil fuels we can find, doing absolutely nothing to sequester CO2, while building nuclear power plants. Then take another 50 years tapering off fossils. 200 years later it will all be a fond memory.
If ECS is 1.7K and 603ppm is 2.2x pre-industrial 280ppm, then maybe the additional warming peaks out at another beneficial degree before beginning to decline.
This is the skeptics’ case.
Why would we choose poverty in the near-term when we could have ever-increasing prosperity?
CO2 flows through the atmosphere as part of the biogeochemical carbon cycle.
Just as water flows down a river, the sink is infinite.
If you add 4 percent to the flow rate of a river, the river does not “accumulate” any added water. The total flow just increases to 104 percent.
The added CO2 in the atmosphere is also 4 percent, as stated by the IPCC. Therefore, the amount of human CO2 in the atmosphere is also 4 percent of the total.
Therefore the amount of human CO2 in the atmosphere is .04 times 400ppm, which is 16ppm.
The addition of CO2 to the atmosphere never accumulates, any more than adding water to a river causes water to accumulate in the river.
That is why the bucket models are fundamentally wrong, CO2 calculations should use a flow (flux) model.
The 14CO2 from the bomb testing is a perfect confirmation that CO2 never accumulates in the atmosphere. As soon as the atmospheric bomb tests stopped, the 14CO2 started to drop. There was only the 1 year global mixing delay.
Human addition of CO2 to the atmosphere only helps agriculture, which is well known.
CO2 emissions have no negative impact to life on earth whatsoever. Never has and never will.
Your reasoning is true if and only if all water flows are unidirectional, which in the case of the natural CO2 fluxes is not true at all.
The largest fluxes are seasonal, thus bidirectional and the net result was about zero change over a year.
By adding extra CO2 (whatever the source), you disturb the balance and the uptake will increase somewhat and the release drop somewhat. It is the difference between uptake and release that gives the real, net change in CO2 in the atmosphere, whatever the height of the total flows passing the atmosphere.
The net, natural change is only half human emissions and that is why there is an increase in the atmosphere, near totally caused by human emissions.
Further, the 13C/12C balance shows that currently about 10% CO2 in the atmosphere is from the use of fossil fuels, thus already refuting the “river analogy”…
The 14C argument is wrong for another problem: what goes into the deep oceans is the isotopic composition of today, what comes out is the isotopic composition of some 1000 years ago… That makes that for 1960 at the peak 14CO2 levels, some 97.5% of 12CO2 returned the same years as it was sinking in the deep oceans while for 14CO2 that was only 45%…
Why do you keep using the term “balance” implying even unintentionally there is some pre-determined mass that CO2 in the atmosphere should be whatever the source. In Earth’s history when has any atmospheric gas been in any defined sense of balance? No one doubts that humans have added CO2 to the atmosphere, the issue is has this been harmful?
Hysteria apart the consequences seem to be all on the positive side for life. I think there is a reasonable argument to be made that even the weather has improved, contrary to the popular view, as a result of the recent rise in CO2 levels – even assuming it is all down to us.
I have seen nothing in the knowns of Earth history to suggest the use of “balance” is meaningful or helpful in trying to understand the enormous unknowns and complexities of the gas exchanges and fluctuations.
I do keep the word “balance” as over the past 800,000 years the only factor influencing the CO2 level in the atmosphere was the temperature of the ocean’s “mixed layer”.
There is a lot of CO2 going in and out the ocean surface and vegetation and the deep oceans, but all together, that gives a quite rigid balance of about 8 ppmv/K for Antarctic temperatures in the 420,000 years Vostok ice core, based on the 18O/16O ratio. For global temperatures that is about 16 ppmv/K.
Not by coincidence about the change in solubility of CO2 in seawater with temperature…
For older periods, other balances may have been established, but for the past 800,000 years that is what is observed…
That means that the warming oceans since the LIA may have increased the CO2 level in the atmosphere with about 13 ppmv, that is all.
The real increase is about 115 ppmv, while humans have emitted over 200 ppmv in the same period.
Of course that doesn’t say anything about the consequences, which in my opinion are far more beneficial than negative, but the cause of the CO2 increase is from human emissions and any insistence that it is non-human only weakens the credibility of the skeptics for arguments where the “consensus” is not on firm grounds…
You are ignoring the additional CO2 from a warming ocean that is warmed due to increased insolation. There are recent studies that attribute a reduction in clouds to an increase in insolation reaching the surface of the globe. This will upset the “balance” you are describing.
Have you included the increase in the ocean source or the increase of respirated CO2 from the increase in greening of flora or the increase of CO2 from rocks due to an increased water cycle?
You just can’t assume that the past CO2 cycle was in “balance” so that human CO2 accounts for the total increase.
The term balance in “mass balance” does not imply equilibrium or “steady state”. It is a balance in the sense of a balance sheet of a business, or a bank account. It’s possible to have your spending match your income (equilibrium) but most people aim for accumulation which requires a non-equilibrium condition where deposits exceed withdrawals.
Exactly right! We must maintain credibility to win the important argument which is that the increase in CO2 is beneficial to the biosphere, as is the mild warming which may be partially due to the rise in CO2 concentration.
Whatever complex calculations Ed Berry wants to concoct, must be in error if they are incompatible with the mass balance. The only assumption inherent in the mass balance is that there is only one well-mixed atmosphere.
It follows from the fact that the rate of accumulation is roughly half the rate of emissions that nature is a net sink.
He seems to be saying natural CO2 is in a steady, unchanging state except for the introduction of human-derived CO2.
When have CO2 levels ever been in a steady state?
Bingo. Some people believe the world was a magical place before humans arrived and messed it up according to their religion.
Not magical at all. Just mathematical.
Please refute my explanation in the comment above:
The atmospheric CO2 prior to 1750 was relatively constant. Something has caused it to go up.
How about the sun warming the oceans?
The measured CO2 concentration in seawater is going up, not down. There is nothing we know from chemistry and physics that would make a case for the increase being the off gassing of CO2 from seawater.
How about biology? One possibility might be that an increase in surface temperatures and pCO2 will cause increased algal blooms. When the sunlight decreases at the end of the seasonal bloom, there will be more CO2 in the phototropic zone resulting from bacterial decomposition of the algae. With a warming Earth, one can expect that the CO2 will increase every year.
It seems to me that everyone defending the “It’s got to be humans!” meme are operating with blinders.
How about you address my comment outlining the mass balance argument rather than resorting to unfounded assertions that we’re operating with blinders?
I think the weakness in the mass-balance approach is that nobody takes account of the uncertainties in the measurements or the fact that sources or sinks might be missing.
Back when I wrote the article on the carbon cycle, I went around and around with a couple of Aussies who hyped the mass-balance. As I recollect, I demonstrated that ignoring the uncertainties leads to results that are nowhere as supportive as you would like to think.
I guess your blinders also prevented you from seeing the importance of uncertainties in measurements and calculations.
No Clyde, by definition, the only uncertainties in the mass balance argument are the amount of the change in CO2 concentration of the atmosphere during the measurement period, and the quantity of fossil fuel and lime production emissions in that same period. All sinks are included in one term (Out) and all sources other than fossil fuel and lime production emissions are included in the In(other) term. It is not necessary to measure, estimate, or assume anything about the size or type of any of the sink fluxes or the natural sources. By definition we cannot have “missed any sources or sinks”. The only thing that the mass balance argument proves is that nature can’t be a net source. It tells us nothing about how big any of the fluxes are. But if nature can’t be a source, then the accumulation of our emissions has to be the explanation for the long-term rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
Why will you not step through my argument line by line and show me specifically which line is in error and why?
I have avoided responding specifically because I have previously gone around and around on this with Dikran Marsupial and Rasmussen. For a summary of what I have previously written see here:
Just out of curiosity, did you even read what I wrote?
It is radically simpler than the arguments that you summarized.
My comment bears virtually no resemblance to anything you referenced. If it is wrong, it should be easy for you to point out the deficiencies. It is just grade school algebra.
The sun warmed the oceans even more than today during the MWP wouldn’t you agree?
Oh dear! A hockey schtick!
It’s a fair point that the instrumental record should not be grafted onto much lower resolution ice core proxy data.
That is why I don’t attempt to use that line of argument to buttress the argument from the mass balance. The argument from the mass balance does not rely on any knowledge of the natural fluxes. Swatting down FE’s supporting evidence does not touch the argument from the mass balance.
While probably true, it is not essential to the argument from the mass balance. There is some legitimate dispute about whether ice cores accurately reflect decadal fluctuations.
Tom, they have been in steady state with only the ocean surface temperature as the main driver for CO2 changes over the past 800,000 years…
In the past 170 years the steady state was disturbed by human emissions, not only for CO2 but also for methane and N2O.
That includes a 20 year overlap (1960-1980) between the Law Dome ice core and direct measurements at the South Pole and 20 years overlap for methane for firn at Law Dome and direct measurements at Cap Grim.
No, that is a misunderstanding. All of the fluxes can be varying (and they most likely all are). The earth system is never at equilibrium.
The argument from the mass balance just compares the accurately measured accumulation with the accurately known emissions and observes that the emissions are about twice as big as the accumulation. That requires the natural sinks to be bigger than the natural sources so that some of the emissions could be absorbed. If that were not the case, then accumulation would need to be equal to or greater than emissions.
“The net, natural change is only half human emissions and that is why there is an increase in the atmosphere, near totally caused by human emissions.”
What is the net, natural change in CO2? Doesn’t the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere vary from something like 7000+ppm to 180ppm over time? And this, before humans had anything to do with it.
It hasn’t been over 7000ppm for over 500 million years. And hasn’t been under 200ppm since the last ice age.
Bellman I think that you have just proven his “vary…over time?”
question. Good job.
I have to thank Bellman for that confirmation. 🙂
No need to thank me, the information is freely available.
But I think you saying CO2 varies from 7000 to 180ppm is a little misleading if you don’t specify what time periods you are talking about.
Tom, you can’t compare ancient times with modern times, as e.g. much of the 2000-1000 ppmv CO2 of the Cretaceous period now is buried in thick chalk layers all over the world, including the white cliffs of Dover…
Over the past 800,000 years there is a clear connection between temperature and CO2 levels at about 8 ppmv/K (for Antarctic temperatures) or about 16 ppmv/K for global temperatures. That is all. By far not enough to explain the sudden 120 ppmv increase after 1850…
But the over 200 ppmv emissions by humans nicely can explain the increase…
Instead of using the Antarctic extreme and the global average, maybe you should use the Tropic extreme.
Clyde, if you have any reliable figures for the current and past tropical temperatures in relation to CO2 then I am very interested…
You are the one who has been specializing in CO2 for the last 20 years. I’m surprised you don’t have that information.
It has been more or less an inexorable decline for millions of years, approaching plant starvation levels. It is a solid theory that this has been due to steady accumulation of carbonate sediments and fossil fuels.
Proxy data resolution and diffusion processes may be a reason to argue that ice core data underestimates short-term fluctuations in CO2 concentration. That is irrelevant to the mass balance evaluated over the past 10-20 years.
Nothing in the mass balance argument depends on knowing either the current or past magnitude of the natural sources or sinks.
Ferdinand, you say: “Further, the 13C/12C balance shows that currently about 10% CO2 in the atmosphere is from the use of fossil fuels, thus already refuting the “river analogy”…”
Could you please either provide the calculation of this 10% (specific numbers, formulae used) or a link to a paper that fully explains how this estimate has been derived.
About the δ13C ratio in the atmosphere and in surface waters, there is a nice work done on coralline sponges which contain carbonates at about the same δ13C level as the surrounding waters:
Fig. 4 shows the variability of δ13C in both ocean surface and in the atmosphere, the latter from ice cores, firn and direct atmospheric measurements in recent times.
Both show an increasing drop in δ13C from 1850 on.
Here the reference for the ice cores used in the above reference:
Similar changes of δ13C in organic material of different ages can be found:
About the percentage of human emissions in the atmosphere:
I assumed that the natural equilibrium of -6.4‰ +/- 0.2‰ found in ice cores over the past 10.000 years didn’t change in the past centuries.
With -6.4‰ as base and the addition of fossil fuels at average -28‰
and an atmospheric ratio content of currently -8.6‰ that gives 10.2% fossil fuels CO2 in the current atmosphere…
So, Ferdinand, you are stating that 10.2% of the current atmospheric CO2 is from fossil fuels (with a δ13C of -28 per mil). Based on a current atmospheric CO2 level of (say) 410 ppmv, that means that 41.8 ppmv or 32% of the incremental CO2 since the end of the LIA (410-280 ppmv) is from fossil fuels. You failed to provide the formula used to make your determination but, as far as I can see, it reflects conservation (mass balance) of 13C. This point is of course fine. However, it makes one other rather important assumption, that the other 68% of the incremental atmospheric CO2 has had a δ13C of -6.4 per mil. This is why I asked to see the formula used. Proof:
(280 * -6.4) + (0.32 * (410 – 280) * -28) + (0.68 * (410 – 280) * -6.4) = 410 * -8.6
As you know, I have demonstrated on a number of occasions that the incremental CO2 has had a net δ13C of -13 per mil since the end of the LIA and the above relationship is entirely consistent with that position (as it must be, because it also reflects the 13C mass balance):
(0.32 * (410 – 280) * -28) + (0.68 * (410 – 280) * -6.4) = (410 – 280) * -13.3
So thank you for proving that my own conclusion was valid, despite you previously describing it as a coincidence! I should point out that your conclusion supports my interpretation but the reverse is not proven; I have not made any assertions regarding the reason why the incremental CO2 has a net δ13C of -13 per mil.
Jim, we have been there before, but so what.
The main reason that there is an apparently constant supply of “something” with a δ13C of -13 per mil is:
At one side a more or less constant supply of deep ocean CO2, which in the past maintained the -6.4 per mil in the atmosphere over 10,000 years with only a very small variability of +/- 0.2 per mil.
On the other side, human emissions with -28 per mil are slightly quadratic increasing, which gives a linear decrease in δ13C, as the formula for the calculation of δ13C gives a slight logarithmic decrease for a constant supply of low-δ13C CO2…
The main point is that there is no known source of CO2 with a δ13C of -13 per mil, while there is a known, increasing source of CO2 at -28 per mil…
I disagree that “we have been here before”, but here I prefer to focus on what you have now demonstrably accepted: that the atmospheric isotopic mass balance requires that the cause of the observed decline in atmospheric δ13C is that of incremental CO2 with a NET δ13C value of -13 per mil.
Your model boils down to this simple relationship where the additional CO2 since the end of LIA comprises:
32% of incremental atmospheric CO2 with a δ13C of -28 per mil plus 68% with -6.4 per mil, which leads to a net value for the total additional atmospheric CO2 of -13 per mil. This reflects (superficially at least) a possible model to explain the known net δ13C content of -13 per mil.
I have long-maintained the position that the observed fact of -13 per mil for the additional atmospheric CO2 was a net effect, so I am pleased to see that your model explicitly fits my observations (as it must, due to the isotopic mass balance requirement). Of course, your model, like all models, is a non-unique possible solution and the net δ13C value of -13 per mil makes zero assumptions about the relative effect of all sources and sinks. It does, however, impose a major constraint on any proposed explanatory models.
I expect that many of the commenters here on this thread (mostly moved on now) would be more than a little surprised that your model reflects incremental atmospheric CO2 (since the end of the LIA) that comprises only 32% from fossil fuels with the remainder being from the deep oceans. The general assumption (based on CO2 mass balance) is that half of the estimated fossil fuel emissions remain in the atmosphere while the other half is split between terrestrial biosphere and oceanic sinks. Your atmospheric model would appear to account for only one third (32%) of one half of the estimated emissions being of fossil fuel origin. So I think your simple model may have some CO2 mass balance issues, but here I want to continue focusing on the isotopic mass balance, since that is almost completely ignored in these WUWT discussions.
First, as I have demonstrated many times on WUWT, Keeling plots (which are based on mass balance requirements) of both the recent measurements at observatories around the globe and of the Law Dome data all show that this net δ13C content of -13 per mil has been essentially constant since the end of the LIA (linear fits with very high r-squared values). This observation does not tell us what the correct model is for the balance between sources and sinks, but it certainly provides a major constraint on any proposed models. For example, your model would have to have maintained its 32:68 split over time to match this observation.
FYI, Keeling plots provide the following estimates for net δ13C content for additional atmospheric CO2 over the period of observations:
Point Barrow -13.2 per mil, r squared 0.96 (data source Scripps CO2 program)
Mauna Loa -13.3 per mil, r squared 0.98 (data source Scripps CO2 program)
South Pole -13.0 per mil, r squared 0.99 (data source Scripps CO2 program)
Law Dome -13.1 per mil, r squared of 0.96 (source Figure 1 in Kőhler et al (2006) available at: https://bg.copernicus.org/articles/3/539/2006/bg-3-539-2006.pdf)
I believe that the most recent published attempt in the literature to achieve an isotopic mass balance over the period of direct observations was Keeling et al (2017). This paper and the supporting information can be found and downloaded from here: https://www.pnas.org/content/114/39/10361. Their model was initiated in 1765 using CO2 of 278 ppmv and δ13C of -6.4 per mil. They then used an average of the observations from Mauna Loa and South Pole, with the seasonal cycle removed, so we need to do the same for comparing the appropriate CO2 and δ13C values (though averaging two sets of observations is not something I would normally choose to do).
We can see in their Figure 1A that the “standard model run” failed to match both the starting point of δ13C observations in the late 1970s and the gradient of δ13C decline through to end of 2014. So how would my observed data relationship (my ‘model’) of a constant δ13C value of -13 per mil have performed as a predictive tool?
February 1980 was the first month for which both sites had CO2 and δ13C observations, giving an average of 337 ppmv and -7.52 per mil. Based on their graph, their standard model run predicted about -7.75 per mil. My ‘model’ predicts -7.56 per mil, much closer to the measured value of -7.52.
(278*-6.4 + (337-278)*-13)/337 = -7.56.
December 2013 was the last month used in the Keeling et al (2017) model, where observations gave an average of 396 ppmv and -8.36 per mil. Based on their graph, their standard model run predicted about -8.78 per mil. My ‘model’ predicts -8.37 per mil, again much closer to the measured value of -8.36 per mil. Note that my ‘model’ estimate is based solely on the values used by Keeling et al for 1765, the measured CO2 in December 2013, and an assumption of a constant δ13C of -13 per mil.
(278*-6.4 + (396-278)*-13)/396 = -8.37.
The main point of this exercise was to demonstrate that using a constant δ13C for incremental atmospheric CO2, even going back as far as 1765, provides a much better match to observations than the “standard model run” of a recent and highly sophisticated mass balance model constructed by experts. The value of that constant δ13C was derived entirely from observations and did not require any assumptions about sources and sinks. Keeling et al had to add an additional variable to their already complex model in order to match the trend gradient.
Note that I am not endorsing anyone’s 13C mass balance model; I am simply pointing out that proposed models must provide a mass balance for the stable isotope of 13C as well as for CO2 as a whole (98.9% of which is 12CO2) and are required to match observations which demonstrate a consistent net δ13C content of additional CO2 of -13 per mil since the end of the LIA.
Jim, two points:
That both the mass balance and the δ13C balance are such straight lines is pure coincidence and the result of the rather constant increasing human emissions.
If human emissions are increasing linear per year, that gives a slightly quadratic increase in the atmosphere and a slightly quadratic increasing sink rate, which makes that the “airborne fraction” of human emissions stays more or less constant.
The same happens for the δ13C level: if one has a rather constant supply of deep ocean CO2 which tries to keep the atmosphere at -6.4 per mil, and at the other side a slightly quadratic increasing supply at -28 per mil, that will give an apparently decrease as if there was an increasing supply of mass from a source at -13 per mil.
Both are the result of the slight quadratic increase in emissions and nothing else…
If human emissions were constant from now on, both the increase in the atmosphere and the δ13C level would level off until an equilibrium where sinks and emissions are equal with the resulting δ13C for a steady mix between the deep ocean CO2 and human emissions…
The second point is that the deep ocean – atmosphere exchange is a cycle, where inputs and outputs were more or less the same, thus not influencing the mass balance, except for the influence of temperature, while maintaining the δ13C level at -6.4 per mil. Thus for the δ13C level it is an input, for the change in mass it is not an input.
Nowadays the deep ocean – atmosphere circulation is a net sink of about 15% of human emissions, which gives a slight extra positive shift in δ13C, but that is of minor interest, the mass balance is the main point…
Ferdinand, a Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope that 2022 will be a better year for everyone. I will try to make my three points as simple and as clear as possible.
The following calculations are based on three pairs of CO2 and δ13C observations:
End of LIA, CO2 280 ppmv, δ13C -6.4 per mil
January 1980, CO2 336 ppmv, -7.50 per mil
January 2019, CO2 406 ppmv, -8.44 per mil
The first pair is for the “preindustrial mean” from Böhm et al (2002).
The other two pairs are direct measurements from the South Pole observatory after removal of the annual cycle (very minor at that location), as published by Scripps CO2 program.
The average, net δ13C of atmospheric CO2 growth between the end of the LIA and January 1980 is: (336*-7.50 – 280*-6.4)/(336-280) = -13.0 per mil
The average, net δ13C of atmospheric CO2 growth between January 1980 and January 2019 is: (406*-8.44 – 336*-7.50)/(406-336) = -13.0 per mil
These calculations are based on mass balance of 13C and make no assumptions about sources or sinks of 13C. The result is not a coincidence; it is a simple mathematical consequence of mass balance principles. The δ13C value of -13.0 per mil is, obviously, a net outcome and must include all material effects on 13C, including the estimated (disputed) effect of anthropogenic emissions on atmospheric δ13C, the net of uptake or release by the terrestrial biosphere and by the oceans, and the 13C consequences of differential fractionation by source/sink interactions. (There is a non-material approximation in this equation, but I am sure you are aware of that.)
The calculations shown in point 1 only determine the average value of δ13C between the pairs of observations/measurements. However, the Keeling plots published by Kőhler et al (2006) for Law Dome and generated by myself using the Scripps data, all show a strong linear relationship between the three pairs of data. This assertion is further substantiated by the ability to predict the “intermediate” value for December 2013 as shown in my earlier discussion of the Keeling et al (2017) model. Variations from a constant δ13C of, or due to, the incremental atmospheric CO2 are evident on these observation-based Keeling plots, and these appear to be directly associated with ENSO effects and Pinatubo. Keeling et al (2017) did not attempt to match these short-term fluctuations.
My goal here was simply to ascertain what constraints the actual observations impose on any proposed δ13C model. I have not had the time to investigate Dr Berry’s model in any detail, but perhaps I will get around to it this year. My prior discussion of the adjustments required by Keeling et al (2017) to match the δ13C observations are an example of this approach. In fact, one of the drivers for me was this long-standing assertion by many commenters here and elsewhere that the observed decline in atmospheric δ13C is consistent with it being mostly or entirely due to anthropogenic emissions. I find this questionable, not least because 80% (!) of the adjustments required by Keeling et al (2017) to match the observed decline are due to isotopic disequilibrium terms which do not affect atmospheric CO2 levels (as per Table S5).
I keep an open mind on this issue because, as far as I am aware, there are no recently published δ13C models that fully explain the behavior of the decline of atmospheric δ13C since the end of the LIA, or which can replicate the observed inter-annual variations, or which provide a predictive tool which can be validated in the future. Perhaps this is partly due to their failure to recognize the constraints I have noted above.
You and others are trying to assign all the atmospheric change to anthropogenic CO2. However, there are other increases such as increased respiration from trees, increased bio-degradation, increased outgassing, and increased chemical weathering (from both increasing acidity of rainwater and increasing temperature). Summing all of them may give you an amount comparable to the anthro’ CO2. Yet, they are basically ignored in favor of anthro’ emissions. It would seem that you are operating with blinders to alternatives.
“It would seem that you are operating with blinders to alternatives.”
In the context of this argument:
“Summing all of them may give you an amount comparable to the anthro’ CO2. Yet, they are basically ignored in favor of anthro’ emissions.”
If your premise is true that a summation from the various sources you offer as alternatives is comparable to the anthro’ CO2 of Englebeen, and from this that Englebeen ignores this as an alternative, then why isn’t it also true the same logic applies to your argument, i.e., that it is you who are ignoring the alternative explanation that is Englebeen’s?
I have acknowledged in this thread that humans make a contribution to CO2. However, inasmuch as the effects cannot be observed, I think that there is more to the problem than just “It’s the humans!”
But if, as you say, the effects cannot be observed, then they cannot be observed either way, thus, it would seem we’re still where we were at the beginning of my question.
Anyway, no harm no foul. Just an observation (pun intended! Ha!).
Using simple statistical means as a “bucket” just won’t allow a proper assessment of a constantly changing phenomena. Only proper calculus based on flows in time will suffice. The same applies to Blobal Average Temperature. It a bucket of averaged data that has little meaning.
That would only be a valid claim if the atmosphere is not well mixed. It is not perfectly well-mixed to be sure. But if our emissions (mostly land-based) are fully absorbed by the biosphere, then land-based CO2 sources must likewise be fully absorbed, since sinks cannot distinguish between natural and anthropogenic sources. That would leave open the possibility that there is a neutral or net-sink carbon cycle on land, while the oceans could be a net source.
For that hypothesis to work, the biosphere sink must be a very non-linear dynamic function of CO2 concentration and the diffusion of CO2 into the bulk atmosphere must be slow enough for the trees, etc. to act on the elevated local CO2 levels.
I think that this is unlikely but as a hypothesis it ought to be falsifiable.
If you don’t come up with some physical explanation for how the atmosphere over the oceans are a net source, yet the atmospheric accumulation rate is slower than our rate of emissions, then the the math can’t add up
“For that hypothesis to work, the biosphere sink must be a very non-linear dynamic function”
by linear do you mean y = mx +b? If y = mx^b is that a linear function? You can make y = mx^b into a linear function -> log y = log m + b(log x) but that’s not quite the same thing as what you are speaking of. Happer has shown the logarithmic response of CO2 to radiation as the amount of CO2 goes up. It’s the impact of the CO2 that must be analyzed, not just the rate of source/sink.
I don’t know why you mention warming, because I have said nothing about warming. The discussion here has nothing to do with CO2 causing or not causing warming. For the record, I think CO2 has a very modest, entirely beneficial effect on warming, on the order of 1.7 degrees per doubling of CO2 concentration.
The topic under discussion is whether the increase in CO2 concentration over the past decades has been primarily due to the accumulated effect of fossil fuel emissions, or not.
If not, then somehow there are physical mechanisms by which it is possible for our annual emissions to be twice as great as the annual increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere while natural emissions are nevertheless still the cause of rising CO2 concentration. I was trying to imagine what those processes might look like while still obeying the law of conservation of mass.
The mass balance is an expression of the law of conservation of mass. It must be obeyed and this has nothing to do with equilibrium or steady state assumptions.
If you don’t question the amount of CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuels and producing lime, and you don’t dispute the quantity of CO2 added to the atmosphere when concentration increases, then in order for conservation of mass to be obeyed, there must be some physical process that absorbs most of our emissions close to their source allowing for a balanced flux over land where most of our emissions occur. But if there is a sink like that, somehow you need to explain why our emissions get consumed before they can diffuse into the bulk atmosphere and yet we don’t see CO2 levels drop to zero in those areas.
So that would imply a sink that is not very effective at lower CO2 concentrations but quickly becomes extremely efficient above some limiting concentration. I don’t know of such a mechanism and don’t believe it exists, but if there is no such sink then I believe that it must be conceded that CO2 concentration rises each year because our our small contribution.
Such a function would likely be S shaped, with a more or less linear almost flat response at ambient concentration then an exponential rise at some limiting concentration followed by a leveling off as other physical limits are reached. If such a highly non-linear function described the function of this as-yet unidentified sink, atmospheric concentrations below the limiting concentration might not elicit enough response to have CO2 drop very much in the presence of the sink. That could explain CO2 not dropping to zero. But if human emissions raise the localized concentration above the limiting concentration, substantially all of the “excess” above the limiting concentration would be consumed. That would explain how elevated concentrations from our emissions might be consumed rapidly near the source.
This requirement that the emissions don’t diffuse rapidly is why I also said that the assumption of CO2 being a well-mixed gas would need to be falsified in order for Berry/Salby ideas to be compatible with the mass balance.
What I was doing there was engaging in a conjectural flight of fancy to try to give Berry/Salby, et al the maximum benefit of the doubt.
If land fluxes are balanced despite the human emissions, that would leave open the possibility that ocean fluxes could be a net source that rises as a response to surface sea temperature rise.
I think that Ferdinand Engelbeen has already provided empirical evidence that oceans are a net sink, so that certainly complicates the situation for those trying to make the case for natural fluxes being responsible for CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.
“The topic under discussion is whether the increase in CO2 concentration over the past decades has been primarily due to the accumulated effect of fossil fuel emissions, or not.”
Frankly, if the increase in CO2 has no impact on the earth then who cares? It’s like asking if there is x + 1drop or x-1drop of bourbon in the bottle. Who cares?
Maybe you should ask Ed Berry, that question. My guess as to motivation is that it would be very convenient for our skeptical cause if we could prove that no matter how much CO2 we emit, or how much we switch to ruinables, it wouldn’t have any effect. It would indeed be convenient but too bad it’s wrong.
A 135ppm increase in CO2 has had a very noticeable effect, though. I expect that India and China would be sites of famine if it hadn’t been for our emissions. And it may also have modestly warmed winter nights and expanded the arable land as well.
“Frankly, if the increase in CO2 has no impact on the earth then who cares?”
Because on the one hand there are misguided individuals in positions of power who believe that it does. And on the other there are more cautious, scientifically minded individuals who don’t, or don’t yet know, or don’t think it’s all that much. The ramifications of who in the end wins the debate are enormous for everyone who lives on the planet. That’s the scenario we’re in.
If Rich and Ferdinand, et al. are correct versus Dr. Berry and you, then making the contrary argument (i.e., you) isn’t going to help the skeptic position, rather, it’s clearly going to hurt it. There’s no point taking positions that are false. It’s hard enough to get a decent hearing anywhere as a skeptic, thus, let’s get our ducks in a row as much as possible.
What Rich and Ferdinand and others are trying to do is clarify the skeptic position as they believe it ought to be.
Frankly, all the above need not even be said, Tim, if emotion hadn’t begun to overtake reason. Or so it seems to me.
Thanks syscomputing. Well said!
Grateful to learn from your contribution to this discussion over these last two days!
The ‘narrative’ claims all CO2 increases are the product of burning fossil fuels …. false opinion/assumption but nonetheless so what. Nothing proves a direct correlation between increased CO2 at the levels being experienced and temperature. History proves otherwise.
Yes, there is nothing connecting CO2 and adverse weather on Earth.
It is not merely a narrative, but in order to discard the prevailing explanation, you should provide a better explanation, with observational data and calculations, you know, science.
Rubbish – that’s not the way science works. You specifically do not need to provide some alternative theory – you only need to falsify the hypothesis as presented.
And that has not been done.
The little ice age does.
The discussion is not about what is causing the temperature to change, but what is causing the CO2 to change.
Because of the oceans, you can not remove temperature from the equations. Simple ruling out components is not scientific.
Nobody is ruling out or assuming that any source is constant over time.
But the whole premise of the IPCC is that CO2 controls temperature. Pay attention Tom.
The paper presented here is about why we have more CO2 in the atmosphere than in the past.
So you disagree with the IPCC models?
I think all of the climate models have yet to prove themselves. To the extent that they have been tested by post design data, they mostly run hot. Any fool can predict the future based on a trend; that doesn’t mean it’s valid science. But, this is a digression from the discussion of why the CO2 has increased.
Why do you need more time to see models prove themselves?
“ but in order to discard the prevailing explanation, you should provide a better explanation, with observational data and calculations, you know, science.”
It was warmer in the mid evil time period with low CO2. Science.
The pandemic dramatically slowed down human CO2 production, so where is the drop in CO2? Science indeed.
Today’s discussion on WUWT has precisely nothing to do with the effect that CO2 concentration may have on temperature. I’m afraid that Tom is not the one who needs to pay attention, Derg.
How does the LIA invalidate the mass balance calculation?
Rich the IPCC has models that tie CO2 to temperature. We had a pandemic that drove society to a near standstill. Where is the drop in CO2? Where is the drop in temperature?
According to your math when will this happen? The drop in CO2 and the drop in temperature?
Please address the basic algebra in my comment above. I would prefer to defer discussion on your question until you point out what is in error there. Any such discussion is necessarily conjecture without good empirical data. The mass balance only depends on having a good estimate of the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration and emissions over a reasonably long period.
Reasonably long period 😉
When will that be?
I was not addressing your new question in that response. I was referring to my original comment outlining the mass balance, which I am asking that you address before we get into a conjecture about what the 2020 MLO data may show.
In reality, a year is an adequately long period for purposes of the mass balance. Emissions could be overestimated by 50% or more without changing the fact that the accumulation rate in the atmosphere is lower than our rate of contribution from fossil fuel burning and lime production. However I suggest 10-20 years so that the change in atmospheric concentration is very large compared to measurement error on concentration. In the longer period, random errors in estimates of fossil fuel consumption and lime production should balance out and also be a small fraction relative to the CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere over the longer period.
After you explain why my discussion of the mass balance is wrong, I’ll be happy to speculate on how the MLO data should be interpreted.
I am just asking A simple question human CO2 dramatically dropped worldwide during the pandemic when does it show up?
And I am declining to derail the discussion into a rabbit hole of speculation until you give me the courtesy of explaining where you find an error in what I commented on first.
But this is your simple math. C’mon tell us when?
My argument cannot answer your question. The mass balance can only show that emissions are greater than accumulation but not by how much nor can it identify the size of any of the fluxes. The only thing it does is falsify any hypothesis that nature is the cause of rising CO2 concentration.
Ok so I have compromised to answer you in part before you show me the courtesy of addressing my argument which I had made before you raised your question. Are you now going to read my comment and explain what is in error?
I am not holding my breath.
The answer to your question is best given by skeptic climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer
So, how about answering my question now?
The “dramatic” drop was about 5%. Everything else being equal you would expect the rise in atmospheric CO2 to be 5% less than the previous year. That would be around 0.1 – 0.2 ppm. But the year on year variance in the rise is much greater than that.
The rise in average annual CO2 from 2018 – 2019 was 2.9ppm, from 2019 – 2020 it was 2.6ppm.
All this people quarantined as non essential workers and working from home…gotcha 5% indeed.
Global Total emissions in GtCO2
a drop of 5.2%.
If you have different figures feel free to show them.
Nobody can argue with those figures I mean 5% was enough to pay people not to go into work. 5% seems legit 😉
With human emissions representing ~4% of natural sources, a temporary decline in human emissions of 11% (as mentioned by Dr Roy Spencer) would be a decline of about 0.4% in the total sources. It is of course the net of total sources and total sinks that determines the Keeling curve.
If by random chance natural sources increased by 0.4% or natural sinks decreased by 0.4% or some intermediate combination, then we would see nothing at all. Weather patterns could easily bring about that minor level of variation.
I will happily grant you that under a hypothesis where emissions are always consumed near their source, a dynamic decrease in emissions should be matched by a corresponding dynamic decrease in the total sink.
The fact that the limited empirical data is consistent with Dr Roy’s explanation doesn’t prove he’s right and you’re wrong. Conversely the fact that the data is also consistent with your view or that of Ed Berry, doesn’t prove that you and he are right and Dr Roy is wrong. There simply isn’t enough data to answer the question.
See if you can get your head around this. The mass balance has to be met, whichever description of physical reality proves to be correct.
If Berry and Salby are correct, then there must be dynamic sinks tightly coupled to land-based emissions and the well-mixed gas assumption must be wrong. Under those circumstances the carbon fluxes over land could be in balance or nearly so, while the fluxes over the oceans could be in a net-source condition. Consequently human emissions could be responsible for zero-to-100% of the CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.
I hope that statement demonstrates that I understand how you could be correct. But if there is a tightly-coupled dynamic land-based sink and a significant outgassing imbalance over oceans, then you should be able to show evidence of it.
Exactly. The mass balance is straightforward math and algebra. It depends only on the amount of CO2 emissions over a given period, and the increase in CO2 concentration over the same period. There are no other assumptions.
Jay, that is exactly the point:
The explanation of the IPCC that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is caused by humans is supported by every single observation.
Dr. Ed Berry’s alternative theory violates several observations, not at least the carbon balance:
If humans add 4.5 ppmv/year CO2 and the increase in the atmosphere is only 2.25 ppmv/year then nature is a net sink, not a source…
“ The explanation of the IPCC that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is caused by humans is supported by every single observation.”
Except in a pandemic…we were secretly producing more C02 than evah 😉
Derg, we were producing some 10% less, but the natural sinks were seeing that and responded by sinking even less CO2 in oceans and vegetation than humans have less emitted, thus increasing the CO2 level even more than in previous years, but still less than human emissions…
If you can’t follow that reasoning, just ask any housewife with a tight budget per month, what happens if she spends more money than she earns per month…
You are comparing a gross anthro’ increase to a net increase, and not taking into account the uncertainties in the natural fluxes or potential increases in natural fluxes since last measured.
Clyde, for the mass balance, there is no need to know any individual natural carbon flux. Even if a source quadrupled over time or a source changed into a sink, that is not of the slightest interest for the mass balance.
The mass balance is about the net result at the end of the year, which is negative for all natural fluxes together for near all years of the past 60+ years.
Take again the simple formula of the mass balance, which must be obeyed at any moment in time or over any period in time:
atmospheric increase = human emissions + natural sources – natural sinks
4.5 PgC/year = 9 PgC/year + X – Y
X – Y = -4.5 PgC/year
no matter what X and Y are…
If X = 10 PgC/year then Y = 14.5 PgC/year
If X = 100 PgC/year then Y = 104.5 PgC/year
If X = 1000 PgC/year then Y = 1004.5 PgC/year
You see, the absolute height of the sum of all natural sources and the sum of all natural sinks is completely unimportant for the mass balance, neither is the fate of any individual in or out flux, as we know the end result with sufficient accuracy to know that: nature in the past 60+ years was more sink than source and can’t be the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.
Which falsifies any attempt of Dr. Ed, Salby, Humlum, Harde,… to prove otherwise…
Dr Berry’s hypothesis is falsified by the mass balance, is it not? More complex refutations merely invite further misunderstandings and diversions into doubt about how accurately we can measure fluxes and time constants.
But even the mass balance seems to be difficult to follow by some readers here…
But the mass balance argument has not been falsified.
In fact some new hypothesis would be needed that would be compatible with the mass balance but could be shown to allow for human emissions to be fully absorbed and then for the oceans to be a net sink. Mathematically it could be possible if land and sea carbon cycles behave very differently.
Sorry, I mistyped and it’s too late to edit.
Should say “… and then for the oceans to be a net SOURCE.”
Many of us are senior in our respective disciplines. We have many decades of dealing with such things. What we bring to the table is the wisdom gained from looking at similar problems for many years. That is why those in graduate school have thesis and dissertation advisors. They don’t ask the advisors to ‘prove’ their concerns. They respect the experience and wisdom of their advisors.
I think that it behooves the younger academics who are still getting a paycheck, and are under the ‘publish or perish’ threat, to either do the drudge work themselves, or get one of their graduate students to do it — Not to ask retired experts to do their work for them for free.
And then there is the issue of whether the radiative greenhouse effect is even correct at all.
In this paper physicist John Leslie Nicol uses a 12-hour diurnal surface illumination model to study the partition of solar energy between a solid planetary surface and a radiatively transparent nitrogen atmosphere. No need in his study for the continuous 24-hour surface illumination with artificially weakened magic nighttime sunshine over the whole dark surface of the globe.
NicoL J.L., 2020. Planetary temperatures in the presence of an inert, nonradiative atmosphere.
Quaestiones Geographicae 39(3), pp. 69–85.
This is a very interesting paper.
First, it doesn’t assume a simple average of insolation over the entire area of the earth. It develops a varying amount based upon trigonometry.
Second, It assumes the “skin” of the earth is a storage mechanism for heat. This is done by showing that the heat mechanism is semi-sinusoidal, i.e., day or night. This then follows with showing that the skin is both a sink and source for heat.
The “radiation” only theories ignore all this and ascribe the “increase” in the earth’s temperature entirely to CO2 “trapping” heat radiated from the earth. They ignore that the earth’s skin contributes a large amount to the “increased” temperature.
Nicol hasn’t really done anything in his paper that hasn’t been done many times by undergrad students as part of their term papers. Anyone “skilled in the art” knows that the specific heat of the surface is what releases the daytime suns’ energy at night, the SB equation results in more watts at higher T, and he only chooses a non radiative atmosphere to simplify his calculations, so hasn’t shown anything about increased CO2 levels.
For example the use of surface specific heat:
Par for the course with climate science then.
What Dr Nicol has in fact done is eviscerate the fiction at the heart of all climate science models that, by averaging insolation over a 24-hour period, solar power input is too weak to drive the climate
I agree totally with what you say. The issue is that fluxes can’t be determined by mere averages. Additionally, the storage of energy in the soil and oceans is not necessarily totally released during every 24 hour period.
Sure, Jim. Distract attention from the question raised in the head post by bringing up a totally irrelevant point.
There are rival definitions of a lifetime for anthropogenic CO2. One is the average amount of time that individual carbon atoms spend in the atmosphere before they are removed, by uptake into the ocean or the terrestrial biosphere. Another is the amount of time it takes until the CO2 concentration in the air recovers substantially toward its original concentration.
…until the CO2 concentration in the air recovers substantially toward its original concentration.
Libs want to cling to the idea that the pre-industrial 280 ppm ATM CO2 concentration was ideal, three hundred short years after the low plant growth centuries of the “Little Ice Age”. How they decided that value would be utopian escapes me, but they angst over the idea that it will take thousands of years before we get back to that imagined utopia.
I say, it will be more like 100 thousand years, when we are deep in the next invasion of an ice sheet covering NY city before “the air recovers substantially toward its original concentration”. BTW I think 700 ppm is more utopian than 280 ppm. I live on a different planet, my planet loves CO2, libs planet hates CO2 at >280 ppm.
By similar contrived reasoning as climate alarmists, I assert that co2 levels were about 2000-1000ppm for most of the time before primates came on the scene, and so it must be our fault that the levels are so low now, seriously hurting the environment and so it is our duty to get those levels back up.
Dennis, one wrong word in the first sentence:
“One is the average amount of time that individual carbon atoms spend in the atmosphere before they are removed, by uptake into the ocean or the terrestrial biosphere”
That is the definition of the residence time that Dr. Ed and several others use, but the real definition is:
One is the average amount of time that individual carbon atoms spend in the atmosphere before they are replaced, by exchange with CO2 from the oceans of biosphere”
That is an essential difference: the residence time is about how long an individual molecule in average remains in the atmosphere, which depends of the total mass and the total fluxes through the atmosphere, no matter the direction of these fluxes…
Nothing to do with how long it takes to remove an extra injection of CO2 above equilibrium…
To reiterate, you assume a static rate of absorption. That is not the case. Similarly, the oceans do not have a static rate of emission of CO2. The “balance” you are tied to does not exist. Nothing in nature is in balance, not even in prey/predator analysis. One is going up while the other is going down, and then it reverses.
Jim, the CO2 balance was quite static over the past 800,000 years, with the temperature of the ocean surface as the main driver to change the balance level of CO2 with the atmosphere.
Even today, the year by year variability (Pinatubo, El Niño) is only 1.5 ppmv around the 90 ppmv trend since Mauna Loa started its CO2 measurements.
The short-time influence of temperature on CO2 levels is only 3.5 ppmv/K/year and over very long periods (ice ages – interglacials) about 16 ppmv/K with the “fastest” change during a deglaciation of only 0.02 ppmv/year.
Seems quite stable to me…
Further the rate of absorption is surprisingly constant: near linear with the extra pressure of the atmosphere above the dynamic equilibrium, if you look beyond the temperature variability induced CO2 rate of change variability:
In 1959: 25 ppmv extra CO2 in the atmosphere, sink rate 0.5 ppmv/year,
tau = 50 years, half life time 34.7 years
In 1988: 60 ppmv extra, 1.13 ppmv/year,
tau = 53 years, half life time 36.8 years
In 2012: 110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year,
tau = 51.2 years or a half life time of 35.5 years.
Looks very linear to me, widely within the borders of accuracy of the emission inventories and natural sink capacity variability…
Tell you what, show us a 150 year period from 800,000 years ago. Or maybe 100,000 years ago.
You should realize the time resolution of these reconstructions simply won’t allow knowledge of the short term ups and downs of CO2 or temperature.
Jim, even in the 560 years resolution of the 800,000 years long Dome C ice core, the current increase of 120 ppmv over 170 years would be visible as a peak of 36 ppmv (if it would drop back to zero from now on in a similar time span) beyond the CO2/temperature ratio…
Last but not least, the mass balance is violated: if you add about 9 PgC/year from fossil fuels and the increase in the atmosphere is only around 4.5 PgC/year, then all natural fluxes together MUST remove 4.5 PgC/year, no matter if the residence time is 1 or 4 or 100 years… Thus nature is a net sink for CO2 NOT a net source.
I’ve read the 100 plus responses to your extensive comments. If any of them successfully disproved the above I missed it. I’ve long been a fan of Dr. Ed Berry, and Alan McRae. Surely they don’t disagree with your mass balance position. Something must have gone wrong in all the “he said, I said” communication. Not that it matters, in the big scheme of things, all three of you agree that CO2 is a minor component of warming and that the IPCC is wrong.
The problem that several skeptics, including Dr. Spencer and Rich Davis and Sycomputing and others here and I have with the viewpoint of Dr. Ed, Harde, Salby and others, is that it is so obviously wrong, that it harms any other real good arguments that skeptics have to counter the alarmist’s side of the discussion.
All the other side has to do is pointing to this kind of wrong theories to show that all those skeptics don’t even know what a mass balance is, thus all their other arguments, even on the false claims of the IPCC or climate models running much too hot, must be wrong too…
“Not that it matters, in the big scheme of things, all three of you agree that CO2 is a minor component of warming and that the IPCC is wrong.”
That’s too simplistic of a view, Dennis. It does matter because: 1) it seems to me that the two positions end up being mutually exclusive, and more importantly in this case, 2) it seems that either one or the other position must be true, but not both. That is, the ultimate result of the disagreement is either man is responsible for excessive CO2 in the atmosphere or he is not. When I say “excessive,” I don’t mean that in the pejorative sense. I simply mean that otherwise unexplained CO2 is quite empirically attributable to the behavior of mankind, rather than some ethereal “Unknown” that Mr. Spencer and the rest have offered as an alternative. I don’t mean that excessive CO2 is a bad thing.
Truth is always important in the grand scheme of things. I said somewhere else that skeptics have a difficult time even getting a hearing in the debate, so let us have the truth on our side when we do get that hearing. Denying the empirically obvious only makes us look foolish, as Mr. Engelbeen has already pointed out here in several comments.
All the best!