Why is the CO₂ Concentration Rising?

Frans Schrijver

Klimaatfeiten.nl (in Dutch)

Apr 15, 2022

The general view in society is that human emissions of CO₂ are the all-determining cause of the increased concentration in the atmosphere. Most scientists and even many climate skeptics do not question this. There is some debate about how long this extra CO₂ will stay in the atmosphere, but that’s about it. That’s remarkable, as several scientists have published extensively on the flaws and inconsistencies of this narrative. By looking at the significant increase in the CO₂-flows from and to land and sea it’s in fact easy to see that the CO₂-rise is largely due to natural causes.

The idea that human CO₂ is the all-determining cause of the increased concentration is based on the assumption that the natural inflows and outflows are always and exactly in equilibrium with each other. Based on this perfect equilibrium thinking, human emissions, even though they are relatively small, cause a perturbation year after year. In the so-called global carbon budget[2] about 10 PgC of CO₂ is added every year, while the absorption flux has only increased by 6 PgC/yr (1 Petagram = 1 Gigaton = 1 billion tons). The concentration therefore continues to rise indefinitely as long as people emit CO₂.

To support this idea it is also assumed that human emissions accumulate in the atmosphere. Where you would expect a single residence time for a reservoir with in- and outflows, the IPCC-models calculate with a small residence time of about 4 years for natural CO₂ and a large one for human CO₂: “The removal of all the human-emitted CO2 from the atmosphere by natural processes will take a few hundred thousand years (high confidence)”.

Several scientists, including Murray Salby[9] and Hermann Harde[3], have published extensively on the flaws and inconsistencies of this narrative. They also showed that it is very illogical to think that a slight increase in the up-flux cannot be compensated by a larger down-flux. It’s like increasing the heat energy flow in a house by 5% and expecting that the temperature will keep on rising forever.

Despite this, belief in the IPCC’s model for the increase in concentration is persistent. In this article we will focus on one of the strangest assumptions: the idea that the in- and outflows are stable and in perfect equilibrium. Although they are about 20 times larger than anthropogenic fluxes and have different drivers for up and down, natural flows are not included in the material balance used in the models.

It is in fact easy to see that the increase in the CO₂ concentration is for the most part the result of natural changes, based on the following unmistakable observations.

  1. Fluxes to and from land and sea have increased significantly since 1750.
  2. The increase in these fluxes is natural, i.e. not due to human emissions.
  3. The growth of the natural fluxes can only take place at a higher concentration in the atmosphere.
  1. Natural fluxes have increased since 1750

The IPCC’s AR5 report[6] clearly shows that natural fluxes to and from land and sea have increased. We can see this in the well-known figure 6.1 from the AR5 report. In this figure (Figure 1) you can see that the total human emissions are almost 10 PgC/yr. The natural fluxes are much larger. To and from the sea this is about 80 PgC/yr, to and from land about 120 PgC/yr.

The fact that these natural flows have grown considerably since 1750 is visible in the figure from the color of the arrows. The black arrows indicate the original equilibrium situation as it once was in 1750. The red arrows indicate the new flows or the changes since that time. Emissions from the oceans have increased by 17.7 PgC/yr, emissions from land by 11.6 PgC/yr, so all together this amounts to almost 30 PgC/yr. The natural down fluxes have increased even slightly more.

If we show the important flows horizontally and in the correct proportion, the simplified picture looks like this (Figure 2).

It is now clear at a glance that natural emissions have increased by a factor of 3 more than human emissions. We also see that the natural absorption has increased, but less than is needed for balance. This leaves a net increase of about 4 PgC/yr towards the atmosphere.

  • The increase in CO₂ flows is natural

The second question that has to be answered is what is the cause of this increase; is it a natural flux change or is it the result of human influence?

Oceans

Henry’s Law plays a central role in the inflows and outflows from the sea. This law says that the amount of dissolved gas in a liquid is directly proportional to the concentration of the gas. With a high CO₂ concentration in the air, water absorbs more CO₂; at a low concentration the absorption is lower. In addition, the ratio depends on the temperature. At a low temperature, water can contain a relatively large amount of CO₂; at a high temperature less (warm beer contains less carbonation than cold beer).

This means that temperature has a direct influence on the ocean’s emissions. A high temperature means more emission and less absorption, a low temperature exactly the opposite. We know that the global temperature has increased since 1750 by about 1 °C. The question is: how great is this influence?

Hermann Harde[5] has performed a calculation based on physical data. Using Henry’s Law, he calculated the change in partial CO₂ pressure with a temperature increase of 1 °C. From measurements it is known how much the outflow increases or decreases depending on the change in the partial pressure. At 1 °C temperature increase, this results in an increase in emissions from the oceans of 19 PgC/yr. This is in good agreement with the increase of 17.7 PgC/yr from the IPCC report of 2013.

It’s important to mention that this temperature sensitivity deviates from calculations that are based on ice core measurements in Antarctica. These data show a ratio of the order of 100 ppm at a temperature increase of 10 °C, so much smaller. However, it is highly questionable whether this ratio is correct. As early as 1978, Stauffer and Berner[12] concluded: “We estimate the fraction of CO₂, present in bubbles to be only about 20%. The remaining part is dissolved in the ice.” Other scientists such as Jaworowski[7] and Harde[4] have also discussed major imperfections of ice core measurements in various publications. Contrary to what is often assumed, the ice layers are not a closed system. The air in the air bubbles in the deep ice layers no longer has the same composition as when the air bubbles were formed.

The calculation of Harde is far more reliable as it is based on reproducible physical data and confirmed by the observed larger emission from the oceans. This greater emission leads to a higher concentration in the atmosphere and thus, under the influence of Henry’s Law, also to a greater absorption by the oceans.

Land

With respect to land emissions we have to distinguish between plant respiration and soil respiration. About half of the CO₂ that plants absorb through photosynthesis disappears almost immediately into the atmosphere in the form of plant respiration. The other half is converted into biomass (leaves, wood, roots, etc.) that ends up on or in the ground.

The study of Jae-Seok Lee (2011)[8] shows that the soil emission is strongly dependent on temperature. Lee’s graph (Figure 4) shows that there is an exponential relationship between soil temperature and emission. A 1 °C increase in soil with a temperature of 14 °C leads to 15% to 20% higher emissions.

A 2016 study by Zhang et al.[13] found that emissions in China from the soil had increased by an average of 28% over 50 years. If China is representative for the rest of the world, the increase in soil emissions is about 17 PgC/yr. This is greater but still comparable to the IPCC’s 11.6 PgC/yr.

The absorption of CO₂ on land has also increased. The world has become greener under the influence of the higher CO₂ concentration (Figure 5, left). According to NASA[14], the greening has resulted in an increase in plants and trees over an area equivalent to twice the size of the United States.

A 2017 study by Peng Li[11] has shown that the Net Primary Production (NPP) has grown by 11.8 PgC/yr since 1960 (Figure 5, right). The NPP is the amount of CO₂ converted to biomass by plants (during photosynthesis) minus the plant respiration. The growth of the NPP illustrates that the absorption on land has increased and confirms the aforementioned figures from the IPCC.

So also for land it is clear that temperature plays an important role in the rise of the CO₂ fluxes. The increase of the land fluxes is not related to human emissions, but can be well explained by the global warming of 1 °C. The absorption of CO₂ on land has increased as a result of the global greening, under the influence of the higher atmospheric CO₂-concentration.

  • The growth of the natural fluxes can only take place at a higher concentration in the atmosphere

So the increase in flows to and from land and sea has natural causes. Emissions from the sea and the soil respiration are temperature sensitive. Due to the increase in the average global temperature of about 1 °C, these flows have grown by about 30 PgC/yr since 1750.

The absorption flows have also increased, with concentration being the driving factor. At sea, absorption increases with a higher concentration in the atmosphere based on Henry’s Law. On land, the higher CO₂-concentration makes the earth greener: plants grow faster when there is more CO₂. This causes a higher NPP (Net Primary Production) and therefore more absorption.

Or to put it in another way: the larger down-fluxes to land and sea are only possible due to higher concentration in the atmosphere. Also in a situation with no human emissions at all, but still a similar temperature rise (like e.g. in the Middle Ages), the CO₂ concentration would have to go up.

The following graph (Figure 6) shows again the main atmospheric flows, but now with the main driving forces.

It’s also obvious from this picture that it makes no sense to assume that human CO₂ accumulates in the atmosphere, as the IPCC says. It would be very illogical if the down-flux under the influence of the higher concentration does increase for natural CO₂, but not for human CO₂. Nature does not distinguish between human CO₂ molecules and natural ones.

The IPCC still makes a distinction between residence time and adjustment time, where the adjustment time is defined as the time for atmospheric CO₂ to re-equilibrate following a perturbation. In their view the adjustment time is much longer than the residence time. But such a distinction makes no sense as all the (natural) sinks treat all CO₂-molecules in the same way. If the oceans can absorb more CO₂ based on Henry’s law, they will do that for both natural and human CO₂. The fact that in the ocean all sorts of biological and chemical processes take place is perhaps interesting, but not at all relevant. There is no separate drain for human CO₂.

To summarize:

  • The 1 °C increase in the average global temperature has resulted in a higher annual natural emissions from land and sea.
  • This increase in natural emissions is also visible in figure 6.1 of AR5 (+30 PgC/yr).
  • The increase in both natural and anthropogenic emissions has led to more CO₂ in the atmosphere.
  • The higher concentration results in a greater down-flux to both sea and land.
  • The increase in concentration in the atmosphere is the result of a combination of increased temperature and human emissions.

The calculated impact of human emissions

In 2019 Hermann Harde[5] worked out a calculation model to determine how great the influence of humans is on the rise in CO₂ and how great the influence of temperature is. In doing so, he applied the following principles:

  • The CO₂ concentration in 1880 was 280 ppm (parts per million).
  • Human emissions have gradually increased to 10 PgC/yr (based on emissions data).
  • The flow of CO₂ from land and oceans to the atmosphere has increased proportionally with the increase in temperature.
  • The annual absorption of CO₂ in is proportional to the concentration in the atmosphere. There is only one residence time for all CO₂.

It turns out that this simple model does an excellent job in describing the increased concentration in the atmosphere and also provides logical explanations for all the other observations made so far. In the following chart (Figure 7), the blue line shows the concentration increase due to anthropogenic emissions (human CO₂) and the purple line the concentration increase due to emissions due to increased temperature. The green line is the sum of the two. The green line corresponds well with the measurements in Mauna Loa (blue blocks).

It turns out that the impact human emissions on the CO₂-concentration is relatively small. In his calculations, only 17 ppm (less than 15%) of the total increase is due to human CO₂. The vast majority of the increase is the result of the increased global temperature.

The good correlation in the chart in Figure 7 is of course no proof of Harde’s model. As to speak with Richard Feynman: “We can’t prove anything. We can only disprove something.”. But at least his model is in line with the observed drivers of natural emissions and absorptions and similar to many other well-known physical processes. Unfortunately, that cannot be said about the standard model the IPCC is using.

References

  1. Chen et al.: China and India lead in greening of the world through land-use management, 2019.
  2. Friedlingstein et al., Global Carbon Budget 2020, 2020
  3. Harde: Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere, 2017
  4. Harde: Reply to Comment on “Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere”, 2017
  5. Harde: What Humans Contribute to Atmospheric CO2: Comparison of Carbon Cycle Models with Observations, 2019.
  6. IPCC: Fifth Assessment Report, 2013
  7. Jaworowski: CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time, 2007
  8. Lee: Monitoring soil respiration using an automatic operating chamber in a Gwangneung temperate deciduous forest, 2011.
  9. Murray Salby presentation in Hamburg: What is Really Behind the Increase of Atmospheric CO2?, 2018
  10. NOAA, National Centers for Environmental Information: Map of Total Sea-Air CO2 flux
  11. Peng Li et al.: Quantification of the response of global terrestrial net primary production to multifactor global change, 2017.
  12. Stauffer, Berner: CO₂ in natural ice, 1978
  13. Zhang et al.: Rising soil temperature in China and its potential ecological impact, 2016.
  14. NASA: Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds (website)
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Derg
April 22, 2022 2:09 pm

We need more CO2. Plants love it!

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Derg
April 22, 2022 2:34 pm

Halve atmospheric CO2 and the planet dies.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 22, 2022 3:02 pm

Actually, that happens experimentally about 150ppm. So from present levels a bit more than half.

J N
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 22, 2022 5:24 pm

Tell that to Nick Stokes. He said in a prior post that CO2 is not a limiting factor in the photosynthesis… one of the several NS gems….

PCman999
Reply to  J N
April 26, 2022 3:10 pm

That’s a red herring thrown out by alarmists, along with the difference between c4 and c3 plants – as though plants are currently at max productivity and any co2 couldn’t possibly help.

I guess the 15-20% greener planet in the past 50 years of co2 growth, as certified by woke NASA, is just a fluke?

I hope soon the positive environmental news will make its way out into the general public and shut up the destructive alarmists for good.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 23, 2022 2:55 am

Picky, picky. Humans are fine up to at least 10,000ppm.

April 22, 2022 2:13 pm

That is wrong. There is no “natural increase” in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Nature is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, each year, not adding it. Mankind has added about 180% of the measured increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1959.

We know from reliable measurements that every year since 1959 the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by less than the amount of CO2 which mankind has added to the atmosphere (with the arguable exception of 1973, a year in which the two numbers were very similar).

In other words, mankind increases the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, and nature reduces it (since 1959, at least).

That means the only reason that the atmospheric CO2 level continues to rise is that mankind is adding CO2 faster than nature is removing it.

I sometimes say that all of the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1959 is due to mankind’s emissions, but that’s not quite precise. Actually, in those 63 years, mankind has added about 180 ppmv of CO2 to the atmosphere, nature has removed about 79 ppmv from the atmosphere, and the atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen by the difference between those two numbers: about 101 ppmv.

So mankind can take credit for about 180% of the (beneficial!) rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1959.
 

The “effective” residence time (a/k/a the “adjustment time”) for CO2 added to the atmosphere is about fifty years, making the half-life about 35 years. That’s much longer than you would guess from the decay rate of the 14C “bomb spike.” This is a log scale plot of the decline of 14C levels in the atmosphere, following the atmospheric test ban treaty:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-G79oXdgIZC4/UnteTCVaGGI/AAAAAAAAAA0/AbSzY3s5ZP0/s1600/logc14.jpg

When atmospheric tests of A-bombs and H-bombs suddenly ceased (because of the atmospheric test ban treaty), the 14C concentration dropped on a near-perfect exponential decay curve, with a half-life of 11.5 years, implying a residence time of 16.6 years.

(Note: ¹⁴CO2 is 4.5% heavier than normal ¹²CO2, which affects biological uptake and diffusion rates slightly. But not much.)

16.6 years is obviously much shorter than the 50 year effective lifetime of atmospheric CO2 emissions. Can you guess why?

The answer is that some of the processes which remove ¹⁴CO2 from the atmosphere do so by exchanging it, one-for-one, for ¹²CO2. Those processes cause the fraction of 14C in the atmosphere to decline without actually reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. That means the 11.5 year half-life and 16.6 year residence time are necessarily less than the effective lifetime / adjustment time of CO2 emissions.

That 50 years effective lifetime is deduced from measurements.

It is the result that Prof. Richard Lindzen reported during the Q&A (3rd video) of this (excellent!!!) lecture:

● Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRAzbfqydoY

● Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-vIhTNqKCw

● The Q&A which followed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69kmPGDh1Gs (including his discussion of CO2 atmospheric lifetime)

That’s also the approximate result that Dr. Roy Spencer found:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2019/04/a-simple-model-of-the-atmospheric-co2-budget/

That’s also the approximate result that I got, first with a little program to simulate declining CO2 levels, based on the historical CO2 removal rate as a function of CO2 level, and then with a modified version of the program based on Dr. Spencer’s model; the source code is here:

https://sealevel.info/CO2_Residence_Times/

Ferdinand Engelbeen reported roughly the same result, here. He has done the clearest and most thorough examination of the cause of rising CO2 concentration which I’ve found, here:

http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_origin.html

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Burton
Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 2:33 pm

CO2 follows temperature. It does not force it. You have cause and effect mixed up.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 22, 2022 3:21 pm

What are you talking about, Chaswarnertoo? I said nothing about temperature.

In the ice core records we can see that CO2 trend reversals generally lagged temperature trend reversals during glaciation/deglaciation cycles. That is strong evidence that global temperature affects the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, but it does not mean nothing else affects the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Glaciation / deglaciation cycles are generally estimated to correspond to about a 5-10°C variation in average global temperature. (More where there’re ice sheets, of course.) That drives about a 90 ppmv change in atmospheric CO2 level (though it takes thousands of years to be fully realized).

But we’ve measured a 101 ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 level since 1958:

https://sealevel.info/co2.html

For global warming to cause such a large increase in CO2 level would obviously require MORE than than the 5-10°C global temperature change that the Earth sees when going from glacial maximum to peak interglacial warmth. So, are you contending that the Earth has warmed by > 5-10°C since 1958?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 4:21 pm

Chalk me up as agreeing with Dave Burton and Rud Istvan and anyone else agreeing with what they believe.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 5:05 pm

I don’t believe anything, I have stuff I know because scientifically proven, stuff I suspect is true but cannot prove, and lots and lots of stuff I know is just provably wrong. Like:

  1. Arctic summer ice will disappear by 2014.
  2. The Maldives will submerge from sea level rise.
  3. UK children soon won’t know snow.

You want to continue, I have another 20 or so facts to sling.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 22, 2022 5:25 pm

If I knew agreeing with you would make you so grouchy, I would have skipped doing so.

Mark BLR
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 23, 2022 3:16 am

Chalk me up as agreeing with …

“I’m smart enough to know that I’m dumb.” — Richard Feynman

While Rud Istvan (and Willis Eschenbach, and Nick Stokes, and Leif Svaalsbard, and …) will suffer from many magnitudes fewer “brain farts” than I do, he is not immune from them.

I will “chalk you up” as being “unwilling to download a global mean dataset, plot the results for myself, and check whether the specific proposition being made is ‘reasonable’ (or not)”.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Mark BLR
April 23, 2022 7:11 am

At what point did Dave Burton or Nicholas McGinley bring temperature into the discussion? Neither of them are saying (nor am I saying) that a change in CO2 is necessarily responsible for the observed minor beneficial increase in temperature. I would say that temperature normally drives CO2, CO2 can provide a very minor positive feedback (so-called enhanced greenhouse effect) that can be overwhelmed by the many natural negative feedbacks that maintain homeostasis, and it is quite possible to drive CO2 concentration out of equilibrium through a steady accumulation of emissions.

Why is it so hard to understand that human emissions have been nearly double the increase in the amount of CO2 measured in the atmosphere? We certainly don’t know the exact quantity that was emitted, and even the exact CO2 concentration change is not known with absolute certainty, but when the amount we emit is about double the amount that CO2 increases, it should be obvious to any scientifically-literate person that the extra human-emitted CO2 had to be absorbed by nature. If nature is a net sink, it can’t simultaneously be a net source.

Mark BLR
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 23, 2022 9:14 am

At what point did Dave Burton or Nicholas McGinley bring temperature into the discussion?

Did you click on the wrong “Reply” button ???

My post was an (admittedly bad) attempt at humour, highlighting the dangers of religiously accepting absolutely everything that a “guru” says without question.

It had nothing whatsoever to do with the specific scientific issues being discussed elsewhere in this sub-thread.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mark BLR
April 23, 2022 11:55 am

Well then what the hell were you saying?
Now you seem to be saying I have the opinions I do because of some slavish devotion to one or another “gurus”, to use your terminology.
I argue with anyone who says anything I disagree with, if I think it is worth my time, or if I feel irked, or any number of other reasons.
I never agree with anyone about anything just because of tribes or some perceived authority some person may have.
Thinking (and behaving) scientifically demands that we subsume ego, feeling, pride, and anything else that might interfere with an objective analysis of the facts and data at hand.

I have, in many comments below, gone into detail regarding why I am saying I agree with Dave’s opinion here.
It was faster to agree than to restate what they had said.

And look what happened. Rud felt the need to jump all over me for suggesting that what he said was a mere belief, even though in his comment below addressed to the author, he did not say he “knew” the author was wrong, but merely that “This post’s finding is probably (and unfortunately) not correct.”

Apparently he needed to give me crap because I referred to his view as a belief.

I had not even realized, until Dave Rich’s comment just above, that apparently there are people who feel that agreeing that human additions of CO2 to the air have had an effect of increasing the total amount measured in the atmosphere, is the same as agreeing with warmistas about the effect that CO2 has on the temperature of the planet.

And Mr. Rich is correct, and I wish to thank him for making his comment, that the two propositions are totally separate.

The more I read here, the more I like my swimming pool analogy:
“Okay, an analogy might be, we have a huge swimming pool, and it is raining. We do not know how much rain is falling into the pool, but we know we are adding 1″ of water a day to the pool with a hose.
But every day, the pool is only rising by 1/2 an inch.
So, no matter how much the rain is adding, just from what we are adding with our hose, we know a lot is leaking out, almost half of what we are adding with the hose is not showing up in the level of the pool.
So therefore, just what we do know, and not needing to account for what we are unsure of (the rain, someone pissing in the pool, etc), we know for sure that the ground under the pool is on a net basis absorbing water from the pool, not adding to it even more.
Even if water from the water table in the ground is adding water to the pool, it is more than made up for by some leaks in some other place in the pool.”

None of that analysis of CO2 accumulating or disappearing into one or more sinks, has anything to do with the effect of the CO2 once it is in the air, nor does it mean that what is happening right now with CO2 at 400+ ppm applies to all situations and all time periods that are not now .

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
PCman999
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 27, 2022 1:06 am

The reason temperature comes into play is that temperatures were increasing naturally after the end of the Little Ice Age up until say, 1940. This temperature change would obviously cause the seas and soil to give up some of their stored CO2 to establish a new equilibrium.

Human emissions are just the tail of the elephant. Just because it grew doesn’t mean it was responsible for the higher level of CO2 in the air, when natural fluxes are ten times bigger.

It’s interesting that even though human emissions have greatly incresed over the past half century, CO2 levels grow in the 2-3ppm level every year.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mark BLR
April 23, 2022 12:07 pm

“I will “chalk you up” as being “unwilling to download a global mean dataset, plot the results for myself, and check whether the specific proposition being made is ‘reasonable’ (or not)”.”

Then you should also chalk yourself up as attributing to me an entire compound sentence worth of things that I never said and that do not at all represent anything what I think.

I see now that you meant your comment humorously, but I am at a loss to see the humor.

“It had nothing whatsoever to do with the specific scientific issues being discussed elsewhere in this sub-thread.”

Then what did it have to do with?
Because the specific scientific issue at hand was ALL I was referring to when I indicated agreement.
If you somehow got the idea I am a sycophantic devotee of those with whom I agree, you are mistaken.

This idea that by agreeing or disagreeing with someone about one particular thing, automatically casts one’s self and all other thoughts and beliefs in with the totality of those others’ beliefs, is something like what people on the left do, when to disagree with any small part of their group think instantly and forever casts one down with the sodomites and forever taints one as “other”.

I do not think that way, never have, and never will.

I think for myself, and I agree or disagree with others on an issue by issue basis, strictly.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
letmepicyou
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 8:09 pm

The climate of the earth is governed by 2 prime movers, and 2 prime movers ONLY:

1: The output of the sun.
2: The temperature of this region of space.

In fact, “greenhouse gasses” is a misnomer and a term for idiots and morons, because to even use the term “greenhouse gasses” shows a 100% lack of understanding how a greenhouse works. Greenhouses don’t work because they use “special magic gasses that defy all laws of physics”. Greenhouses work because they deny convection. This will work regardless of what gasses propagate in the greenhouse.

You could have a greenhouse full of Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, or even Argon or Neon. It would still function in exactly the same way – the denial of energy removal through convection.

Reply to  letmepicyou
April 22, 2022 9:13 pm

letmepicyou wrote, “2. The temperature of this region of space.”

Eh, what?

Space has no temperature.
 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ 

letmepicyou wrote,In fact, ‘greenhouse gasses’ is a misnomer and a term for idiots and morons…”

You’re correct that “greenhouse gasses” is a misnomer, because greenhouses don’t work that way. But that doesn’t mean only idiots use the term. It is standard (albeit unfortunate) terminology for a fairly well understood warming effect.

You are nit-picking. Lots of terms have meanings which are different from the literal meanings of the words… like nit-picking, for example.

I sometimes write “so-called GHG” or “so-called greenhouse warming” but that gets cumbersome. Yes, is poorly named, but do you have an alternative term to suggest?

Nearly everyone knows that “GHGs” and greenhouses warm things in different ways. Well, everyone except Prof. David T. Suzuki, PhD, CC, OBC, FRSC, the Dean of Canadian Environmentalists.

comment image 

Anyhow, so-called (yes, misnamed) “greenhouse warming” is important. It is a major reason that that the Earth is not covered with ice nearly to the equator. The anthropogenic contribution to it is modest and benign, but it isn’t zero.

You can learn about it here:
https://sealevel.info/learnmore.html?0=physics#brief

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 7:15 am

Bravo Dave!
You suffer fools well.

Crisp
Reply to  letmepicyou
April 23, 2022 4:02 am

Seim and Olsen (University of Oslo) did experiments in 2021 that proved exactly what you are saying.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Crisp
April 23, 2022 12:17 pm

Two guys who did some experiments “proves” that everyone else and all other data are wrong, forevermore and by definition?

The entire basis of the scientific method is that no single set of observations or claims can be taken to be absolute, especially not until those findings are shown by multiple iterations to be both repeatable and reproducible.
Even then, the implications of the findings must be evaluated in the context of the totality of the evidence.
And no single interpretation of what something means can possibly discount and disqualify other interpretations of the meaning of such.

Such reasoning, or lack of it, seems to be exactly how it is that the warmistas discount, disregard, and ignore the entire library of information that is contrary to what they have concluded is an absolute fact.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 2:40 pm

Correct, Dave B, you said thing about temperature at all. The article above integrates temperature changes (which are real) with anthropogenic emission rates. Your long piece above is rendered moot when you fail to include the largest driver of CO2 increase and decrease: temperature.

All your numbers show nothing if you do not consider delta T over the same time period. And you don’t.

To learn how to do this, put down your old notes and read the WUWT article. It is very informative.

David Middleton(@debunkhouse)
Editor
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 25, 2022 5:22 am

Dave Burton is correct. If ΔT had that great of an effect on atmospheric CO2, the CO2 rise caused by the Medieval Warm Period would stick out like a sore thumb in the Law Dome DE08 ice core… It doesn’t.

comment image

The one observation that would support a large ΔT component to the recent rise in atmospheric CO2, isn’t present in the only observational data set that would resolve it.

While I have no doubt that the ΔT effect has generally been underestimated, particularly during the Early Holocene and Pleistocene, the Law Dome ice core has adequate resolution over the past 2,000 years. The Law Dome DE08 ice core matches plant stomata chronologies fairly well and overlaps the instrumental record. Ice cores with longer record lengths, that “see” farther back in time, are of much lower resolution and clearly do not capture centennial scale ΔT-driven CO2 fluctuations that are clearly resolved in plant stomata chronologies.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 22, 2022 3:26 pm

After the last glaciation, temperatures rose about 6°C. CO2 increased about 100 ppm.

In the last century CO2 has risen about 130ppm. This was preceded by no comparable temperature rise.

There is a very obvious cause. We have put directly about 500 Gtons C into the atmosphere. It needs 250 Gtons remaining to raise the ppm by 130.

comment image

Derg
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 22, 2022 6:35 pm

Hockey stick away 😉

Hopefully you won’t need your extra blanket

Rich Davis
Reply to  Derg
April 23, 2022 7:18 am

Just because Nick is nearly always wrong, doesn’t mean that he is always wrong. We’re talking about direct empirical measurements here, not overcooked models.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 23, 2022 12:39 pm

So if we both agree that the date presented here by Nick Stokes is correct, are we also saying he is our guru and everything he says is the gospel truth, by definition?

Truly, I do not understand why so many skeptics feel that conceding the point that burning fossil fuels has raised the concentration of CO2 in the air to present values, somehow also implies that anything else warmistas believe must therefore also be true?
It may be that CO2 has been as high as it is now at other points in time in recent geological periods, and we have somehow not found any evidence of that.
But it has to be taken as more likely than not that the data from earth history on CO2 concentration is in fact largely accurate.
Even if there have been brief excursions of far higher amounts of CO2 than our proxies have identified, if these were common or even occasional, we should have randomly seen some evidence of that in proxy data.

Beyond that, picking and choosing what to pay attention to is where the warmistas have gone wrong, and is their glaring blind spot.
If we somehow have no idea what the concentration of CO2 has been over the past millions of years, how can we have confidence in any other data from analysis of proxies?
Warmista want to argue that treemometers are the last word in determining past temperatures, even though there is no logical way to show that they contain any verifiable data at all of past temperatures. And at the same time, they make every lame excuse imaginable to discount the far more consistent and reliable and independently verified proxy temperature data from ice cores in Greenland and Antarctica.

Rewriting history, selective attention to data, dogmatic thinking…Doing such things obfuscates knowledge, and kidnaps rationality.

David Middleton(@debunkhouse)
Editor
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 25, 2022 7:04 am

The thing here is that half of our cumulative CO2 emissions aren’t still in the atmosphere. However, we have increased the total pool of CO2 being actively exchanged between the atmosphere, biosphere, oceans, etc. The result of this complicated material balance equation is an increase in atmospheric CO2.

Some of the increase (20-50%) is due to a combination of land use changes and post Little Ice Age warming. However, unpacking all of the individual components isn’t practically doable.

b.nice
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 23, 2022 12:44 am

Great News, isn’t it Nick

Finally, with a bit of human intervention, plant life has been lifted from basic survival rations of CO2.

Be very happy, and hope it continues to increase for many years to come. !

PS, notice how the CO2 helps tree rings.. refer to Mann et al who produced a wonderful graph showing the massive beneficial effects of decent amounts of CO2 plant food on tree growth.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 23, 2022 2:57 am

There is a lag. About 300 years, as you well know.

b.nice
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 23, 2022 3:07 am

shh.. don’t let the facts get in the way of Nick’s little fantasies.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 23, 2022 1:32 pm

In the past 170 years, CO2 leads the temperature increase…
With 0.8 C increase since the LIA, the CO2 increase should follow with 10-13 ppmv. The real increase is 120 ppmv…

b.nice
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 24, 2022 4:13 am

Oh dear, Ferdi doesn’t understand the huge amounts of extra relased by the warming land surface….

… even though the AGW glitterati go on and on about the huge releases from permafrost and peat etc.

These increases dwarf the human CO2.

But just ignore them

The whole carbon cycle is now operating at a faster rate, to the benefit of all life on Earth. !

Reply to  b.nice
April 25, 2022 7:01 am

b.nice, not so nice to accuse someone of not understanding physics, when you clearly do not understand that a cycle doesn’t add or remove CO2, only moves a lot of CO2… as long as ins and outs are equal.

As is clearly demonstrated by the oxygen balance, the biosphere is more sink than source, the earth is greening. Thus even if land releases of CO2 doubled, land uptake of CO2 more than doubled and the net result is more uptake than release and thus not the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere…
https://tildesites.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf
Fig. 7, last page.

Bob boder
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 23, 2022 6:33 am

Nick

And so much for AGW, you have just once again proved the point. I have been telling you for a long time you know the truth, just have courage to admit it.

Mike
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 23, 2022 8:37 pm

Interesting! So where would the temperature be according to your graph at year 1000? Oops, there goes your theory down the gurgler.
You walked right into that one. 🙂
Back to the drawing board……

letmepicyou
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 22, 2022 8:05 pm

Actually, CO2 and Oxygen are directly proportional. The more CO2 is in the atmosphere, the more OXYGEN is in the atmosphere.

Back when centipedes were 5 feet long and dragon flies were nearly as big as people are today, the earth was RICH in CO2, as evidenced by the titanic forests that covered the planet, and equally rich in Oxygen, which is what causes insect life to grow larger.

In fact, the fractalization of life is a natural phenomenon. Everything in the universe started out bigger and through the progression of the system repeats itself in ever smaller expressions. Generation 1 stars after the big bang were HUGE and unstable. Those stars quickly exploded (it’s likely NONE are left currently) to give rise to the next generations of smaller stars. Our own sun is a 3rd or possibly 4th generation star.

Eventually the fractal progression reaches a finite limit where the energy necessary to propagate the next fractalized emission has been depleted. This was evidenced right here on earth with the Nephilim and other “giants” that once roamed the earth. One of the main reasons the powers that be don’t want us to know about or believe in giants in earth’s history is because its solid evidence for bio fractalization.

Everything in the universe exists as a fractal expression of its progenitor.

Rich Davis
Reply to  letmepicyou
April 23, 2022 7:20 am

Duuuuuuuude, what are you smoking?

Reply to  letmepicyou
April 23, 2022 1:37 pm

Actually, O2 levels are falling while CO2 is increasing…
As far as I know, burning fossil fuels uses an equivalent amount of O2…

2015-06-01-b[1].jpg
Thomas
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 24, 2022 10:01 am

Or breathing, etc.

Chris Schoneveld
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 25, 2022 3:58 am

Nobody is denying that the burning of fossil fuels causes the reduction of O2 proportionally, hence the nice correlable graphics. But that does not preclude other important sources of CO2 that have contributed to the net increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, such as the increase of soil respiration with increasing temperature and ocean degassing.

Reply to  Chris Schoneveld
April 25, 2022 7:12 am

Chris, if humans add about 10 PgC/year as CO2 and the increase in the atmosphere is only about 5 PgC/year, then nature as a whole must be a net sink for 5 PgC/year CO2. Except if CO2 escapes to space, which it doesn’t.

A net sink is not a source of CO2, even if some natural source doubled over time, other natural sinks more than compensated for the extra input and at the end of the year the sum of all natural ins and outs was a net sink thus with negative contribution to the increase, now over 60 years since we measure the CO2 levels accurately at Mauna Loa and the South Pole…

Moreover, both the ocean surface and vegetation are proven net sinks for CO2, despite increasing temperatures for the ocean surface.

Chris Schoneveld
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 25, 2022 9:01 am

I think you should read Hermann Harde, 2019. (referenced by Frans Schrijver). Hermann covers all the arguments you have put forward over the years.

Reply to  Chris Schoneveld
April 26, 2022 8:24 am

Chris,

I have read Hermann Harde 2017 and as result wrote a rebuttal as he made several fundamental errors in his essay:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/Harde.pdf

The essential error he and many others (Salby, Berry,…) and now Frans, make is to assume that the atmosphere is a simple one-way container with unidirectional fluxes from input(s) to output(s), where the outflux is directly proportional to the height/pressure of CO2 in the container.
That view is completely wrong and all calculations based on that view have no connection with reality.
Almost all natural fluxes are biological and/or temperature caused, bidirectional and hardly influenced by the CO2 pressure in the atmosphere…

I don’t think his 2019 work is any better, as his newest work (2022) still contains the same fundamental error(s)…

PCman999
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 27, 2022 1:19 am

Note that the waveforms are not exactly the same.

There are independent processes, not just the dependent combustion. If the seas warm they outgas some of their CO2 without affecting atmospheric O2 immediately.

Reply to  PCman999
April 29, 2022 12:20 pm

That is right, also because warmer oceans degas some O2 and cooling absorbs some O2. But the general trend is that for each CO2 at least one O2 was used (plus for eventual present H)…

Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 2:55 pm

Frans wrote, “The idea that human CO₂ is the all-determining cause of the increased concentration is based on the assumption that the natural inflows and outflows are always and exactly in equilibrium with each other.”

That’s nonsense. The fact that the increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is due to our emissions is determined from measurements, not any sort of assumptions:

1.We know how much CO2 there is in the atmosphere, since we measure it quite precisely (since 1958), so we know how much it is increasing.

2.We also know how much CO2 is emitted from burning fossil fuels and making cement, because the bean-counters keep track of such things.

If you subtract the former from the latter, the difference is the amount of CO2 which Nature removes each year.
 

Frans wrote, the IPCC-models calculate with a small residence time of about 4 years for natural CO₂ and a large one for human CO₂: “The removal of all the human-emitted CO2 from the atmosphere by natural processes will take a few hundred thousand years (high confidence)”.

Very long residence times are calculated by integrating the hypothetical “long tail” of the CO2 decay curve. The practical “effective residence time” (a/k/a the “adjustment time”) for CO2 added to the atmosphere is about fifty years, making the half-life about 35 years.

J N
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 5:13 pm

How do you measure the sources I’ve talked about above: Primary and secondary volcanism; Rifting process; Hydrothermal vents (worldwide). Can you get me a credible source for this measurement (a single one with data).

Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 9:47 pm

As I just explained, J N, in the comment to which you replied, that is irrelevant.

All those things, along with biological sources and sinks, dissolution into the oceans, rock weathering, etc., are lumped together. When added together (with sources counted as negative and sinks as positive), all those things sum to be the net rate of natural CO2 removal from the atmosphere.

We needn’t know any of those parts of that sum to know the sum. We know what that sum is (approximately), because we know the rate at which the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, and we know the rate at which we’re adding CO2. The net natural removal rate is the difference between those two figures.

Let’s try an analogy. Suppose you have a tip jar on the bar, and:

  1. At the start of the night there’s $3.15 in the jar.
  2. Over the course of the evening you drop an additional $1.80 into the jar.
  3. At the end of the evening there’s $4.15 in the jar.

You don’t need to know anything else to be able to conclude that someone took 80¢ from the jar.

You needn’t be able to tell who took it, nor how many peopled contributed money and how many removed money.

It could be that some people put $50.00 into the jar and others removed $50.80.

You don’t need to know who took what to know with certainty that the net sum of other people’s additions and removals was 80¢ removed.

another Joe
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 3:53 am

Just for your information, nature puts 95% of the tip in the jar. humans about 5%.
Nature will claim most of the contribution and you will not have much of a claim on whats in the jar.

Rich Davis
Reply to  another Joe
April 23, 2022 7:28 am

Is it math or logic that eludes you?

another Joe
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 24, 2022 9:56 pm

If you have to ask, you probably dont know either. But convince me. Tell me how 95 becomes 97.5% from the next poster.
Makes sense to you?

Reply to  another Joe
April 23, 2022 1:43 pm

Joe, a balance has two sides: income and expenses. Some skeptics here have a one sided balance with only income and forget the expenses…

In: 95% natural, 5% human
Out: 97.5% natural, 0% human
Net result: -2.5% natural, 2.5% increase in the atmosphere.
The latter (near) entirely caused by humans.

another Joe
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 24, 2022 9:57 pm

Richard asked:

Is it math or logic that eludes you?
I can see you not good at math, but what is your logic?

Chris Schoneveld
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 25, 2022 4:33 am

Let me propõse an alternative:

In: 115% natural + 5% human (as compared to previous input, i.e. of the 20% extra input only a quarter is due to humans)
Out: 117.5% natural, 0% human

Net result: 2.5% increase. Is that net increase 100% due to humans or just 25% of that increase?

Reply to  Chris Schoneveld
April 25, 2022 7:30 am

Chris, it still is 100% human:
The net balance for natural fluxes is:
115% – 117.5% = -2.5%
The net balance for the human contribution is:
5% – 0% = 5%

A negative balance can’t contribute to an increase…
Again, a balance has two sides, but it seems that many skeptics here only look at the inputs and forget the outputs…

What we know is what humans emit with reasonable accuracy thanks to taxes on sales.
What we know is the increase in the atmosphere with reasonable accuracy, thanks to some 70 monitoring stations on least contaminated sites.

We don’t have accurate measurements of the natural fluxes, only rough estimates, but we don’t need them at all. Roughly:

increase in the atmosphere = human in – human out + natural in – natural out

2.5 ppmv/year = 5 ppmv/year – 0 ppmv/year + X – Y
X – Y = -2.5 ppmv/year.

No matter what X and y are:

If X = 10 ppmv/year, Y = 12.5 ppmv/year
If X = 100 ppmv/year, Y = 102.5 ppmv/year
If X = 1000 ppmv/year, Y = 1002.5 ppmv/year

The absolute heights of X and Y have not the slightest importance for the observed result, only the difference between both has and that is known with sufficient accuracy.

Chris Schoneveld
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 25, 2022 8:49 am

I understand your little arithmetics where you single out the human part of the increase. What I try to say is that if there are several sources that contribute to the increase of atmospheric CO2 (e.g. soil respiration due to higher T) why focus on the human portion? Who knows without the extra soil respiration natural sequestration/absorption would have coped easily with the human influx. You are assuming an equilibrium between natural in and out flux. That is not necessarily the case. You cannot just assign one culprit. In my hypothetical case a quarter of the increase is due to humans.

Reply to  Chris Schoneveld
April 26, 2022 8:43 am

Chris, I am not assuming anything, the result is calculated, not assumed.

If nature was a net source, the increase in the atmosphere would be larger than the human input.
If nature was a huge sink, there would be a decrease in the atmosphere, despite the human input.
As the increase is between zero and the human input, nature is a moderate sink

In all cases, the sink rate is proportional to the extra CO2 pressure above the equilibrium between ocean surface and atmosphere for the average ocean surface temperature.
Which is a nice example of Le Chatelier’s principle for a system in dynamic equilibrium.

Of course it is a matter of some extra abnormal input against all the rest.
If your local bank shows a gain of only $600 at the end of the year while your own deposit was $1200 in that year without any withdrawal, do you think that it is your neighbors, much larger, deposit that caused the gain of the bank?

David A
Reply to  another Joe
April 24, 2022 6:55 am

Yet, as far as I can tell, what Mr Burton says is not refutable.

  1. We KNOW our gross annual human contribution.
  2. We know our net annual PPM increase.
  3. Remove our gross annual contribution and what happens to the net annual PPM concentration?
Bob boder
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 6:37 am

Dave
Most of what you are saying is correct for right now. But CO2 has gone up and down by 1000s of ppm over geological time so clearly the environment is not just a sink. If that were the case all life would have ended a long time ago.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Bob boder
April 23, 2022 7:36 am

Nobody is saying that nature is “just a sink”. The reason why the net natural flux is a sink right now is that there is a driving force. There is more CO2 in the atmosphere than there “should be” based on Henry’s Law and the current average temperature of the ocean surface. The extra CO2 is the result of centuries of accumulation of our emissions.

The extra CO2 is transient but the rate of adjustment is slow enough that the gradual accumulation is possible.

The extra CO2 is NOT A PROBLEM.

The extra CO2 is BENEFICIAL.

The extra CO2 is THANKS TO MAN.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 23, 2022 12:58 pm

Agree 100%.

Reply to  Rich Davis
April 25, 2022 11:50 am

David said it many times

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bob boder
April 23, 2022 12:57 pm

Bob,
I should maybe let Dave speak for himself, but I want to respond because I am sure you are misinterpreting what he is saying.
He is not saying the situation at the present time is and has always been the case in any absolute sense, just that it is true right now, with CO2 at 400+ ppm, having increased sharply over a relatively short amount of time.
What you are saying about CO2 going up and down by 1000s of PPM over the geological record is factual, but in the context of geological time, the recent increase is instantaneous.

Dave is not saying nature is just a sink, only that it is right now a net sink. Clearly.
We are adding more than is showing up in the air over the course of each recent year.

As I have said on this thread, a cautious person ought to, IMO, leave some room for doubt.
But the things that would have to be believed in order to believe that human contributions from fossil fuel use is not adding CO2 to the air on a net basis, are a longish list of improbables, including the notion that we really have no idea what the level of CO2 has been for the past millions of years.

See again the swimming pool analogy.
One does not need to know how much CO2 is being emitted from volcanic and tectonic sources to know that there is a net absorption of CO2 by the biosphere and the oceans and wherever else it may be being absorbed, at the present time.

As determined from ice core data, we know CO2 has been increasing for thousands of years, presumably by ocean outgassing as the seas have warmed up, even as the Earth had been in an overall cooling trend. We cannot say, by any methodology I am aware of, what the actual amount of outgassing was in prior millennia, since we do not know how much was being taken up by the biosphere.
But we do know that more CO2 was escaping the ocean that was being absorbed and incorporated int the biosphere, because the amount retained in the air was increasing over time.

Holocene CO2 and temps and models.jpg
PCman999
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 27, 2022 1:31 am

Because the CO2 levels are an equilibrium between air and sea & land, very much dependent on temperature, and the fluxes are 10x bigger than human emissions, and the source/sink of the oceans so vast – CO2 levels growing while human emissions grow, is just a correlation, and explains why the decrease in human emissions was so hard to detect in the CO2 measurements during the worldwide lockdown.

Reply to  PCman999
April 27, 2022 3:24 am

The temperature dependent co2 level is now 295 ppm, the oceans and forests will continue to act as sink until that equilibrium is re-established.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 8:59 pm

The fact that the increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is due to our emissions is determined from measurements, not any sort of assumptions:

There is NO direct measurement that proves the atmospheric increase is exclusively the result of anthropogenic emissions. The increase is approximately half of the anthro’ emissions. It is assumed that the increase is anthropogenic. That is the point of the article!

How about addressing each of his points and demonstrating where and how they are wrong? All you are doing is reading out of your catechism book.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 7:43 am

Dave is just using the law of conservation of mass which is the basis for the mass balance. Yes, we make the assumption that matter cannot be created nor destroyed when we use the mass balance. No other assumptions. Not even any estimates of all the different sources and sinks. Those are irrelevant. I know from experience that you can’t get it. This comment is for others.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 23, 2022 11:50 am

Yes, we make the assumption that matter cannot be created nor destroyed when we use the mass balance.

You fail to acknowledge that carbon can be moved in and out of a closed system. That is, there are vast quantities of organic material temporarily sequestered in the permafrost of the tundra. Previous seasonal changes had little impact. However, once the freezing point started being crossed frequently, release of CO2 and CH4 increased. Carbon is effectively being ‘created.’ That is, it is being introduced into the Carbon Cycle where is was previously excluded.

As the Bahamian seas warm, the precipitation of limey muds increase.

But, probably most importantly, as the seas warm, they are less able to extract CO2 from the atmosphere. The NASA-documented greening of Earth has the potential of sequestering an imbalance in CO2, but it takes time for trees to grow and reach their optimum withdrawal. Thus, the Summer draw-down phase can’t keep up with increasing emissions.

In many instances, the error bars around the natural emissions are greater than the anthropogenic emissions, and, strictly speaking, we can’t say what the mass fluxes are with sufficient precision to reach a conclusion. Yet, many, such as yourself, are convinced humans are the responsible agent simply because they produce about twice the annual growth in atmospheric CO2. The author of this article addresses that point, yet no one has yet directly responded to it.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 2:02 pm

Clyde, please…

There is not the slightest reason to know any individual natural in or out flux of CO2. None. It is completely unimportant, as we know the exact result of all natural fluxes together at the end of the year: more sink that source. That is all we need to know.

I dispose $100 per month in my deposit at the local bank and at the end of the year, the local office shows its result: a gain of $600 over the full year.

Your reaction is that the bank makes a profit, due to your neighbor who disposed and did withdraw thousands of $$ a month, for I don’t know the exact amounts, only that it is many times more than my deposit.

My reaction is to get my money back as fast as possible, because that office is making a loss every year again…

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 25, 2022 5:46 pm

To make the analogy more realistic, instead of the bank sending you a monthly statement balanced to the nearest $0.01, they would have to adopt a policy of sending you a statement showing your balance (and everyone else’s) as $xxx +/- 68%.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 26, 2022 8:48 am

Clyde you clearly don’t understand what is said:

I do need only the result of my own deposit and the total result of the bank at the end of the year, without knowing anything of anybody else’s account there, to know that the bank without my money would make a loss…

PCman999
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 27, 2022 1:34 am

Sorry equilibriums don’t work that way.

Reply to  PCman999
April 29, 2022 12:09 pm

As far as I know, the dynamic CO2 equilibrium between ocean surface and atmosphere is a quite stable change of around 8 ppmv/K for Antarctic temperatures, or 16 ppmv/K for global temperatures over the past 800,000 years.

That is not by coincidence also the equilibrium change for a single seawater sample with temperature for the current average seawater surface temperature (12-16 ppmv/K) per Henry’s law.

Any excess CO2 injection (whatever the source) above that equilibrium (currently around 295 ppmv) would be met with less emissions form the warm parts of the oceans and more absorption in the cold parts. That is Le Chateliers principle.

That is exactly what we see today: the 120 ppmv above equilibrium pushes about 0.24 ppmv/year extra in the oceans (and plants), that is the difference between the ocean outgassing and absorption (both around 20 ppmv/year as base when in equilibrium) and plant absorption and decay.
That is a quite linear response to any extra CO2 above equilibrium, which gives an e-fold decay rate of over 50 years or over 35 years half life time.

Greytide
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 4:15 am

There has been a 3 fold increase in CO2 emitted by Termites over the last 20 years. I have derived this from a very accurate model and a count of Termites. If you doubt this, you are welcome to recount them.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Greytide
April 23, 2022 7:49 am

Sarcasm detected, but your implied point being that Dave is making assumptions or a bogus model is totally off base. Conservation of mass, total mass of the atmosphere derived from atmospheric pressure and surface area of the earth, concentration of CO2 in the air (change over time), fossil fuel production records, cement production records. Nothing else needed to prove that the sum of all other CO2 fluxes is a net sink by a margin so large that the small errors in each of those measurements are tiny in comparison.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 3:05 pm

DB, agree. But IMO there are simpler and more basic ways to show ‘That is wrong’. Just posted below.

migueldelrio
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 3:11 pm

Warming oceans outgas CO2.

Reply to  migueldelrio
April 22, 2022 3:28 pm

migueldelrio wrote, “Warming oceans outgas CO2.”

Not when the atmospheric CO2 level has increased by 49%.

The temperature dependence of Henry’s Law decreases effective CO2 solubility in water by about 3% per 1°C of surface water warming:

comment image

A 49% increase in atmospheric CO2 partial pressure increases effective CO2 solubility in water by 49%.

Which one has the greater effect, migueldelrio? +49% or -3%?

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Burton
J N
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 5:19 pm

So how do you justify the variation of CO2 in the atmosphere in the Carboniferous, in the Cretaceous, etc?? These periods are preceded by periods of smaller amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. What where the species “burning” in those times? how do you explain the highs and lows of CO2 in geological times?? Homo Sapiens has roughly 300 000 years and we are to blame only since 1950 for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, it seems…And we are talking about differences in the range of 1000 ppm. By the way, CO2 in the seas does not come only from the atmosphere, so your numbers have no meaning and Henry’s law cannot be directly applicable.

Last edited 1 month ago by J N
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 5:32 pm

Justify, or explain?
Here is one way it is removed from the air:
comment image

Here are two ways it can be released again:
http://cdn.sci-news.com/images/enlarge7/image_8936e-Chicxulub-Asteroid.jpg

comment image

J N
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 5:36 pm

Exactly!! Thanks for the Illustration. Clearly Dave must check for other sources of Carbon movement in nature other than anthropogenic, do you agree? 🙂
Rifting and hydrothermal vents still happen today…

Last edited 1 month ago by J N
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 6:19 pm

I understand your point.
And I think I understand what Dave is saying as well.
I do not know if I would have said it exactly as he did, but the point he is making is that CO2 is now so much higher a concentration in the air than it was a hundred years ago, and at all points in time prior to that were we have measured it, that ocean outgassing due to slight atmospheric warming has effectively ceased, on a net net basis.
He stated that in places the ocean is very warm, there is outgassing, but this is more than made up for by the parts of the ocean surface that are very cold and absorbing CO2.
He also seems to have done the math on the overall effect of increasing CO2 in the air, vs the tiny amount of overall ocean warming.

I would have added the caveat that the ocean was not in equilibrium with the air prior to any human caused effects, as the lag is nearly a thousand years between atmospheric warming and the ocean responding fully to this change, at least as determined by the ice core data.
I think it may even be likely the ocean is still warming up at the deepest layers due to the interglacial starting.
Even a small pond will not warm up at the bottom in an entire Spring, Summer, Fall cycle, after a single Winter of cooling.

So, yes, to the extend that one should always be cautious of speaking in absolutes, I see your point.
I took Dave’s point to be that the amounts of CO2 added to the air by burning fossil fuels is more than enough to account for the recent increases.
All that we know from Earth history and the ice cores backs up the view that CO2 would not be over 400ppm if not for burning fossil fuels.
I myself am only going to say it is highly probable, not assert it is an absolute fact. like the clear sky is blue.

J N
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 6:26 pm

“I would have added the caveat that the ocean was not in equilibrium with the air prior to any human caused effects” – Precisely, the caveat that makes all the difference. That’s why I disagree mostly with Dave. And the oceans are still not in equilibrium nowadays, due to the unaccounted thermal processes occurring in their bottom. Search for CO2 production processes near Hydrothermal vents for instance. This is a highly neglected process as well as the ongoing rifting process.

Last edited 1 month ago by J N
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 7:53 pm

I have made the point myself at various times that the amount of natural CO2 release from volcanic and tectonic sources is very poorly measured and almost certainly vastly underestimated.

But even taking that into account, it would be an amazing coincidence, one I cannot believe, that CO2 is randomly higher now that at any time for which we have proxy data from the past.
It is not impossible that all of those proxies are wrong, but there are so many of them, over such a long period of estimates by so many researchers, using so many methods and source of data, that I do not believe it, given the weight of the evidence.

Our knowledge of past values of global temps, or at least temps at many discreet points in time and location in the past, is one of the most compelling reasons to be sure the warmistas are full of crap.
If we cannot trust what geologists have learned about earth history over the past hundreds of years, then anything is possible, and we know nothing.
In that case, maybe warmistas are correct.
I personally aint buying any of that.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
J N
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 6:33 pm

You have all these potential “usines” of CO2 in the oceans. Who accounted their CO2 production and the consumption nearby by local biological comunnities?comment image

J N
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 6:51 pm

And their rhythm of CO2 consumption/production is not known. A slight increase in oceanic volcanism and be responsible for CO2 increase after by outgassing. We simply don’t know. That’s why all this CO2 thing is so controversial (and I’m not even talking about the controversy about his real role on climate, only about the net balance and possible sources).

Rich Davis
Reply to  J N
April 23, 2022 7:56 am

We definitely do not know and cannot know the details of how the myriad sources and sinks combine to result in the net sink. But we can absolutely show that there is a net sink.

Rich Davis
Reply to  J N
April 23, 2022 7:55 am

Do you grasp the concept of the mass balance?

J N
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 24, 2022 11:43 am

Do you grasp the concept of of the origin of plots to make a mass balance?

Reply to  J N
April 23, 2022 2:12 pm

Most CO2 from undersea volcanoes is simply dissolved in the deep oceans under the extreme pressure at that depth and the under saturated waters for that temperature. Except if the gases reach the atmosphere (Bermuda triangle someone?).
The volcanic vents around mount Etna were measured during several years, it is one of the five most active volcanoes on earth and when extrapolated for all subaerial volcanoes, the CO2 releases are about 1% of human emissions…
https://www.nature.com/articles/351387a0

J N
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 24, 2022 11:48 am

Convection, Upwelling, food chains (yes, there are lots of living beings near hydrothermal vents). Considering your justification, it was impossible to have volcanism because materials come from extreme pressure and huge depth (even more spectacularly in Cape Verde and Hawai which are “hot spot” volcanoes. I don’t know any reason why CO2 should not reach the atmosphere from ocean depths.

Reply to  J N
April 25, 2022 7:37 am

J N, it was about the undersea volcanoes, which top still is 1,000 and more meters below sea surface. Of course that CO2 will reach the top, but probably immediately dissolved in the cold waters of the deep oceans…

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 9:21 pm

… that ocean outgassing due to slight atmospheric warming has effectively ceased, on a net net basis.

All that means is that the proportion of CO2 from outgassing versus plant respiration and decomposition shifts as the Earth warms.

Burton focuses on CO2 in solution and ignores what is going on with plant/soil respiration and biological decomposition. It is basically cherry picking to only look at one source and ignore the others.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 7:58 am

No, Spencer. That’s not what Burton does.

He knows about conservation of mass and is able to do 2nd grade math.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 23, 2022 11:56 am

… is able to do 2nd grade math.

It has been said (many times) that when someone has run out of good reasons to object to an argument, they resort to insults.

Thank you for admitting you have run our of logical ripostes.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 24, 2022 9:40 am

LOL Clyde! I was remarking on how you reverted to disparaging Dave Burton, by dismissively referring to him as “Burton”.

And the subtraction problem admittedly may be 4th grade math now that the public schools have been decimated.

PCman999
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 27, 2022 2:02 am

He’s oversimplified the problem. CO2 levels barely reacted to decreased emissions during lockdown.

And why is it that nature seems to absorb half of human emissions regardless of the level? If human emissions resulted in levels increasing by ~2.5ppm a year say 50 years ago, why is that still the case today, with much greater worldwide emissions?

PCman999
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 27, 2022 1:54 am

As far as I know the co2 measurements done at Alert, where it always cold, were in agreement with Mauna Loa – though the ups and downs of the seasons was much greater.

To me, this would indicate that CO2 establishes an equilibrium fairly quickly – the seasonal cycle is also proof of this.

Though, I have to say it could be more likely proof of equilibrium established with ground sources, riding on top of the balance with the sea, which is probably taking longer to establish since the sea is so deep.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 9:11 pm

There is a third way that it can be released. When rain falls on exposed limestone and when the rootlets of plants breakdown limestone to obtain nutrients.

A fourth mechanism is when organic material is sequestered on shorter timescales than subduction. Notably, that is in the high northern latitudes. Now, warming is allowing microbial decomposition of the buried organic material and releasing CO2 and CH4.

A fifth mechanism to consider is that as the CO2 increases in the oceans, it encourages phytoplankton blooms. With the seasonal die off, the plankton immediately begins to decompose and release CO2. Because the surface waters are warmer than formerly, less CO2 can be absorbed and the CO2 will have to be released to the atmosphere.

Last edited 1 month ago by Clyde Spencer
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 22, 2022 9:21 pm

Of course there are a welter of such factors.
I only meant to list a couple of large ones that occur over vast amounts of time and involve vast amounts of CO2, and also which may not have occurred to everyone.

Rich Davis
Reply to  J N
April 23, 2022 7:51 am

CO2 was not lower prior to the Carboniferous, so there’s that.

J N
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 24, 2022 11:50 am

As a matter of fact was my fault. I should have said Permian after the Carboniferous depletion. Eve so, was lower in the silurian. These are examples that nature, without man, is not always a net sink of CO2.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 9:04 pm

Not when the atmospheric CO2 level has increased by 49%.

You are saying that the OCO-2 maps are wrong, that there is no significant out-gassing taking place in the oceans?

And, you are completely ignoring the soil and plant respiration, which Frans went to some length to explain.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 7:59 am

Nobody is ignoring any data or claiming anything except that the law of conservation of mass is true.

PCman999
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 27, 2022 2:09 am

The law of conservation of mass doesn’t apply when you have no idea of the masses involved.

I’d bet money that if humans get to net-zero or to a totally carbon free economy (maybe with the help of magic…) and if climate conditions were basically the same – those humans will be perplexed that co2 emissions will still be growing in that 2-3ppm range.

Reply to  PCman999
April 27, 2022 3:28 am

Wrong: Bookkeeping apllies also in a dynamic case.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 2:16 pm

Clyde, nobody says that there is no outgassing in the tropics, all what is said and proven, is that nature is more sink than source. Proven by the mass balance. That is all.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 25, 2022 5:54 pm

… nobody says that there is no outgassing in the tropics,

The way I read Burton’s statement, he is claiming that there is no longer any out-gassing after a 49% increase.

Last edited 1 month ago by Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 24, 2022 1:57 am

Clyde, The observed greening of the earth shows that plant and soil respiration is a net co2 sink.

PCman999
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 27, 2022 1:42 am

Interesting, and I upvoted you

But it brings up the question, has anyone measured the co2 dissolved in the oceans over the past few decades?

There are lots of processes to affect CO2 in the oceans, biological and chemical like buffering, so that needs to be studied before one can say d(CO2)=(human emissions)/2.

PCman999
Reply to  PCman999
April 27, 2022 1:44 am

Then again I really don’t care about the CO2 levels, CO2 is life so it could double and I would consider that a good start.

But for the sake of science, the whole cycle needs to be studied well.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  migueldelrio
April 22, 2022 4:25 pm

It takes hundreds of years for that response.
The ice core data on that is very clear, as is proxy data from many other sources.
We also know that it was very warm for 1000s of years earlier in the Holocene, warmer than now, and there was nothing like modern levels of CO2 in the air.

I do not see what is so hard to believe that we accidently saved the biosphere from CO2 starvation extinction.

J N
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 5:20 pm

Dave seems not to understand that CO2 was increasing and decreasing a lot in the atmosphere when we where not here as species….

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 5:35 pm

I did not see where Dave said anything that should cause you to say that.
I did not see him say that humans adding CO2 by burning fossil fuels is the only way that CO2 can increase.
Just that it is one way.
I think Dave Burton has it right.

J N
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 5:52 pm

The problem is here “There is no “natural increase” in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Nature is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, each year, not adding it. Mankind has added about 180% of the measured increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1959.”. This is nonsense.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 6:09 pm

How so?
Clearly we are adding more to the air than is staying in the air.
We have increased the amount of fossil fuels we burn hugely in just a few decades, and yet the amount it is increasing every year has only increased slightly.

J N
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 6:18 pm

We are adding some for sure. If it is more or less than nature we don’t know for the reasons I’ve pointed (lots of unknowns due to geological processes). You are probably not understanding my point. I think that Anthropogenic released CO2 is less than Dave is saying because he is not accounting with other natural release sources.

Rich Davis
Reply to  J N
April 23, 2022 8:05 am

You don’t need to account for the details to know that CO2 is accumulating at a rate LOWER than the rate of emissions. That can only be the result of nature being a net sink that absorbs about half of what we emit. Nature can’t simultaneously be a net sink and a net source.

Bob boder
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 23, 2022 7:01 am

Because if it was true all life would have died off long ago.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 6:25 pm

I took him to mean on a net basis.
Obviously he know that there are many sources of CO2 such as you have mentioned.

J N
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 6:36 pm

But I doubt his “net” estimation because we simply do not know that. The sources I mentioned are not accounted anywhere. We do not even know the amount of thermal activity and chemical reactivity of all these stuff (mostly hydrothermal vents).

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 8:26 pm

What he said, and I may have read him wrong, but after years of conversations here and on Twitter, etc, I think I know his point of view, anyway…what he said was that we have a very good idea of human additions of CO2 because bean counters keep track of how much fossil fuels we dig up and pump out of the ground and burn every year.
Given that this adds up to more than the amount that is showing up in the yearly increases in the atmosphere, then if everyone has underestimated natural sources, that simply means that even more is being absorbed by the ocean and the biosphere.

Okay, an analogy might be, we have a huge swimming pool, and it is raining. We do not know how much rain is falling into the pool, but we know we are adding 1″ of water a day to the pool with a hose.
But every day, the pool is only rising by 1/2 an inch.
So, no matter how much the rain is adding, just from what we are adding with our hose, we know a lot is leaking out, almost half of what we are adding with the hose is not showing up in the level of the pool.
So therefore, just what we do know, and not needing to account for what we are unsure of (the rain, someone pissing in the pool, etc), we know for sure that the ground under the pool is on a net basis absorbing water from the pool, not adding to it even more.
Even if water from the water table in the ground is adding water to the pool, it is more than made up for by some leaks in some other place in the pool.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Rich Davis
Reply to  J N
April 23, 2022 8:06 am

Do you grasp the concept of the mass balance?

J N
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 24, 2022 11:44 am

Do you grasp the concept of the origin of plots to make a mass balance?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 9:29 pm

Obviously he know that there are many sources of CO2 …

But, he astutely ignores discussing them.

Note what recent research is claiming:
https://scitechdaily.com/new-research-shows-estimates-of-the-carbon-cycle-vital-to-predicting-climate-change-are-incorrect/

Last edited 1 month ago by Clyde Spencer
Nelson
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 1:13 am

I have no idea if the result of the paper is accurate, but if it is it makes much of the discussion here not very accurate. The authors claim that the measurement used by the IPCC on the land flux of CO2 are off by 3X the amount of CO2 human produce. This was Freedman Dysons point Freeman Dyson – Scientist – The balance of carbon in the atmosphere – Web of Stories

This is similar in my view to the assumption that geothermic heat adds nothing to the surface temperature. What does new research show? 15% of ocean heat content comes from geothermic. If this is accurate, a bunch of changes are in store for out understanding of the earth’s energy budget.

J N
Reply to  Nelson
April 24, 2022 11:54 am

At last someone touches the spot!!!

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 8:10 am

There is no more point in discussing each and every source and sink than there is in discussing the middle names of each person in the census.

It would be interesting to know more about the many fluxes and how they are changing. It is utterly irrelevant to the question of whether those fluxes are a net source or a net sink.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 23, 2022 12:04 pm

There is no more point in discussing each and every source and sink than there is in discussing the middle names of each person in the census.

An analogical assertion without support.

I have provided support for changes in the fluxes and what the probable error bars are. You just pontificate.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/03/22/anthropogenic-co2-and-the-expected-results-from-eliminating-it/

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 24, 2022 10:06 am

Clyde,
You and I have discussed these points over probably going on a dozen head posts over the course of months.

Several others have likewise attempted to find some way to disabuse you of your pet beliefs. All without the slightest impact.

To my recollection, you have never acknowledged that conservation of mass requires a mass balance taken over the atmosphere to be a valid concept. In fact, I am pretty sure that you told me that the “mass balance doesn’t close”. (Which is like saying we have no way to figure out the value of x if x = 1 + 1).

You keep going back to the well to draw out another irrelevant example of a natural flux that we a) can’t measure accurately, or b) is bigger in magnitude than anthropogenic emissions.

I do not assume that you’re disingenuous, but a person trying to be a troll would not in the end, make different arguments.

Rich Davis
Reply to  J N
April 23, 2022 8:02 am

No J N, it is math and logic.

And what else? It is NOT a claim that the increased CO2 causes a temperature rise or that it is harmful in any way.

Trying to deny math and logic is not a good way to win the argument against climate alarmism.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 23, 2022 12:05 pm

Where is your math and logic?

J N
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 24, 2022 12:00 pm

What math and logic? The problem here is that most people are thinking in systems in equilibrium and CO2 sources change through time. Is that was not true, CO2 would be constant throughout geological times (prior to man), which is not true, even in the last 400000 years. Everything changes the balance of CO2 (amount of biomass, temperature, etc, etc.). most guys here are considering the Earth as a system perfectly in equilibrium and the Earth in an imbricated amount of sub-systems, Highly Chaotic and dynamical. So nature exchange periods of net sink of CO2 with periods of net source (with or without man). The rhythm and the reasons for this are highly unknown.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 9:28 pm

Burton is regurgitating the standard paradigm. This author is challenging the prevailing view and I have yet to see anyone even attempt to disprove Frans’ points, let alone succeed in dismissing them.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 2:33 pm

Clyde, the author uses the ideas of authors which were refuted long time ago (CO2 in ice, Jaworowski) and uses a complete wrong scheme of the CO2 cycle, used by many of his references (Salby, Harde, Berry,…): one-way input, container, output, while the bulk of the CO2 fluxes are bidirectional, and don’t change the amounts in the atmosphere when in equilibrium.

All completely wrong, because of that misconception, which is the base for his complete wrong conclusions.

The conclusions of his writings violate the mass balance: you can’t have one way human emissions and a net addition from all natural sources, as that would give an increase in the atmosphere that is larger than from human emissions alone.
We see a smaller increase than from human emissions alone, thus nature is a net sink not a net source.

Any nice theory that violates one single observation is rejected. That is the case for Frans Schrijver, Harde, Salby, Berry,..

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 9:25 pm

The ice core data on that is very clear, …

The author questions the reliability of the ice core data. Unless someone can come up with good reasons why the concern is invalid, then there is a cloud handing over the broad sweeping conclusions from ice core data.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 8:17 am

None of the discussion by the author is relevant to the question. Some of his points might be right, some wrong. None of them relevant.

If Biden gets 400 million votes, do we need to ask all 168 million registered voters how they voted and be certain they are telling the truth in order to be able to know whether there was fraud?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 23, 2022 12:09 pm

None of the discussion by the author is relevant to the question.

Yet another dogmatic assertion without support! To discredit the author’s conclusions you need to take them in order and demonstrate with “numbers and logic,” why they are wrong. Instead you present yourself as an authority whose statements need no support or citations.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 24, 2022 10:19 am

If you give me 37 claims of evidence that the moon is made of green cheese, I’m not going to be willing to review them each in turn and dispute them when it is demonstrably impossible for the moon to be made of coagulated dried bovine proteins and lipids.

If you claim that it’s invalid to use a mass balance calculation over the atmosphere to show that half of our CO2 emissions into the atmosphere are removed by the net effect of hundreds of highly complex and practically unmeasurable source and sink fluxes, then there is no common ground for discussion.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 2:37 pm

The author hasn’t read anything about the modern ice core measurements and relies on speculations of 30 years ago which meanwhile are fully rejected…

Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 4:25 pm

That’s complete B.S. and so is the original article. Neither of you account for volcanic action. Mount Saint Helen’s put more co2 into the atmosphere than one year’s worth of humans global contribution. 80% of the world’s volcanic activity occurs beneath the oceans. If there is an increase of the co2 it seems reasonable to assume an increase in underwater volcanic activity.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Platlin
April 22, 2022 9:33 pm

Do you have a citation for your claim about Mt. St. Helens?

Reply to  Platlin
April 22, 2022 10:06 pm

Platlin wrote, Mount Saint Helen’s put more co2 into the atmosphere than one year’s worth of humans global contribution.”

Where on earth to people hear such nonsense? Mankind adds about 35 Gt of CO2 to the atmosphere each year, not counting “land use change” effects. The USGS estimates that the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption added 0.01 Gt of CO2 to the atmosphere.

https://www.usgs.gov/programs/VHP/volcanoes-can-affect-climate#:~:text=The%201980%20eruption%20of%20Mount%20St.%20Helens%20vented%20approximately%2010%20million%20tons%20of%20CO2%C2%A0into%20the%20atmosphere%20in%20only%209%20hours.

See if you can see the spike in CO2 level from any volcano?

comment image

The biggest volcanos actually cause a slight, transient reduction in the rate of CO2 level increase.

What’s more, “volcanic action” is irrelevant to how we know that mankind is responsible for about 180% of the increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1958. Volcanic action is just a component of the natural fluxes, the sum of which we can calculate from the available information.

We needn’t know any of those parts of that sum to know the sum. We know what that sum is (approximately), because we know the rate at which the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, and we know the rate at which we’re adding CO2. The net natural removal rate is the difference between those two figures.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 12:11 pm

The biggest volcanos actually cause a slight, transient reduction in the rate of CO2 level increase.

Probably because the atmospheric CO2 is more sensitive to temperature changes than anything that Man does.

J N
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 24, 2022 12:03 pm

Perfectly agree!

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 25, 2022 8:07 am

No, it is the reaction of mainly tropical forests to the increased scattering of sunlight after the Pinatubo, that enhances photosynthesis. That can be seen as an opposite change in CO2 and δ13C. If the reaction was from the ocean surface, CO2 and δ13C would change in parallel.

temp_dco2_d13C_mlo.jpg
J N
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 5:06 pm

There is no “natural increase” in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Nature is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, each year, not adding it.”
My oh my!! Another everythingologist that does not have the slightest clue about Earth Systems. Apparently the authors from the Figure 1 do not have the same clues either, considering that their oceans are a monotonous bottom covered by sediments… The primary and secondary continental volcanism is always adding CO2 to the atmosphere. The amount is clearly in default in the Figure 1 (only considers volcanoes, not secondary volcanism processes). Go to Iceland and you will see gases coming from several places without an active volcano (CO2 included). There is another source, always forgotten, which are submarine volcanoes and the rifting process itself, as well has the huge amount of hydrothermal vents (that seems to have also a role in convert organic Carbon in CO2 (imagine that)(search google). In a warming world is perfectly logical that the oceans “outgase” more CO2 including this new added one (and isotopically similar to the one coming from burning fossil fuels).

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 5:37 pm

I think he meant as a practical effect over the time scale in question, IOW a few decades.
Obviously CO2 has been increasing over the entire interglacial period, as it has always done until full glacial conditions reemerge.

J N
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 5:48 pm

Even so, in few decades, you can have great increases or decreases of CO2 balance in the sources I mentioned. The geological records miss resolution to be comparable to instrumental measurement of atmospheric CO2, just that. We simply do not know if we were getting the same amount of variation in the past because the data comes from proxies, not instruments. Considering this, we cannot directly compare data. If you had only a point representing the last 100 years of CO2 what that would be? That’s more or less what’s possible from geological proxies at best.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 6:29 pm

That is true, there is a resolution issue with proxy data.
It is unclear exactly how much adjacent layers in the ice cores may have exchanged CO2 over long stretches of time, for example. Although there is also a large degree of disagreement on the question of how uncertain or not this data is.
I am also aware that there are some samples of air from past historical times which show a high CO2 concentration.
Which is why I try not to speak in terms of “facts” and “knowing”.
I can only say what I believe to be the case based on the total weight of all of the evidence I am aware of.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
J N
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 6:41 pm

And if we go back a few years before Ice Cores could be used to study CO2, for instance in varved deposits, things are even worst. We simply do not know if the rhythm of CO2 change then was similar or comparable to nowadays. Saying that we are now increasing the CO2 quicker than anytime in the past it is a feeling, not science.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 7:27 pm

I am pretty sure it is more than a feeling.
*cues music*
https://youtu.be/ufQUxoidxkM

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  J N
April 22, 2022 7:31 pm

I would not say at anytime in the past.
Just that we have zero data that it has ever been at present levels over the past many millions of years.
So if there have been belches in the recent geological past that raised CO2 to present day levels, it must not have persisted for very long.
Likely if that has happened from a large impact or volcano or whatever, the CO2 itself did no harm. On the contrary, it must have made everything grow much faster, just like it does now.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 9:41 pm

… it must not have persisted for very long.

True, because it will induce greening and extract it from the air. Increased availability of CO2 in the oceans will accelerate the rate of deposition of limey muds in the tropics, sequestering the CO2 as carbonates. What happens with calcareous shell-building organisms when the raw material becomes more abundant and it takes less energy to extract it from the water?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 12:52 am
Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Burton
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 12:14 pm

So, you are agreeing with me?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 4:16 pm

No, I think he is agreeing with you.
As do I.
What you said was exactly what I was referring to.

Nevertheless, I am still waiting for some hard evidence that CO2 was ever as high as it is now over the past several million years.
The long standing proxies used by geologists and published in Earth history texts before the era of global warming alarmism, showed that it has been many tens of millions of years since CO2 was over 400ppm.
Keep in mind that I am aware of the temporal resolution of geologically derived proxy data.
Anyway, I do not think anyone here is disputing that data.

The impasse seems to be regarding how much CO2 is being released worldwide on a yearly by fossil fuel usage, vs the total amount that is accumulating in the whole of the atmosphere per year, and how those two numbers compare.

Just so I can understand what we are supposedly disagreeing about, are you disagreeing with estimates of how much CO2 is released every year by fossil fuel usage, or do you disagree with estimates of the amount of CO2 is represented by the several PPM of increase every year in recent decades?
Or is it something else?
I think it is something else, but please, so we can make some progress, lets go over it one thing at a time, eh?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 25, 2022 6:10 pm

My position is that we know the fossil fuel releases better than anything, although there is reason to believe that they are a lower bound.

I believe that the monthly MLO values have a greater uncertainty than the anthropogenic emissions. MLO, while approximately mid-point to the range in seasonal and annual changes, may not be a good indicator of the global mean.

Those who are relying on the mass balance argument are treating the global fluxes as though they are exact when I and Roy Spencer are of the opinion that the natural values have been manipulated to make a case for mass balance.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 26, 2022 9:12 am

Clyde,

You are probably not aware that Mauna Loa is NOT used for the global CO2 content of the atmosphere. The average of several near-surface stations is what is used as “global”. Accuracy +/- 0.2 ppmv, better that for human emissions (+/- 0.25 ppmv), but the latter may be underestimated by human nature to avoid taxes…
https://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/about/global_means.html

But the difference between MLO and “global” anyway is small…

Dr. Spencer BTW also is sure that humans are the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere, after some initial doubt and following discussions.

If you can manipulate CO2 measurements at some 70 “background” stations all over the world, maintained by different organizations of different countries, one must have a lot of power to silence everyone involved…

Bob boder
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 23, 2022 7:04 am

But I don’t think that is what Dave means.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bob boder
April 23, 2022 4:18 pm

If not, then I am misunderstanding something here which I thought I understood.

David A
Reply to  J N
April 24, 2022 8:30 am

The Assertion is a NET atmospheric increase from 280 PPM to 419 PPM, requiring a NET 295 GtC increase in the atmosphere.
( What are you disputing? What are you asserting is the correct answer?)
The assertion is that over the time period of this increase, total human CO2 output has been 650 GtC
(What are you asserting if this is wrong?)



Jim Veenbaas
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 5:38 pm

Are you saying there would be some dangerous cooling if it wasn’t for man’s contribution of C02?

Reply to  Jim Veenbaas
April 22, 2022 10:14 pm

Jim wrote, “Are you saying…”

If you have a question about something that I’ve written, please quote it. Otherwise I have no way of knowing what you’re asking about (especially when your comment is far down the page from mine).

Rich Davis
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas
April 23, 2022 8:23 am

In fact he did not say a single thing about temperature. Temperature drives CO2 concentration under most circumstances but not all circumstances. In the current state of things, many decades of steady accumulation of emissions in excess of what dynamic natural sinks are able to absorb, has resulted in CO2 rising faster than it would have risen due to warming out of the Little Ice Age.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 6:02 pm

“Nature is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, each year, not adding it.”

If that statement were true, all green plant life would have gone extinct. long ago. Of course nature is adding CO2 to the atmosphere, that is why it is called a “cycle”.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 22, 2022 7:35 pm

I think what he means is for the past 60+ years or so, since we have been adding it by burning fossil fuels.
Adding so much CO2 has tipped the scale to net absorption by the biosphere and the ocean.
It must be doing that, because just what we add from burning fossil fuels is way more than we can measure staying in the air over each year.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 22, 2022 10:20 pm

I wrote, “Nature is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, each year, not adding it. Mankind has added about 180% of the measured increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1959.”

Robert of Texas replied, “[you wrote] ‘Nature is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, each year, not adding it.’ — If that statement were true, all green plant life would have gone extinct. long ago.

Come on, Robert, can’t you at least read the very next sentence before replying? What part of “since 1959” is unclear?

David A
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 24, 2022 8:36 am

up-voted, yet the word “NET” preceding “CO2 from the atmosphere” would have helped.

Tom.1
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 8:38 pm

Very clear Dave. Thanks.

Reply to  Tom.1
April 22, 2022 10:22 pm

Judging from some of the other comments, apparently it’s not clear enough. But thanks, Tom.

Tom.1
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 2:27 am

You cannot make people understand that which they are determined to not understand. It appears from the rating of your post that a substantial number, perhaps a majority, of the readers here reject the logical explanation for the atmospheric CO2 increase since the Industrial Revolution. I find this somewhat discouraging.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Tom.1
April 23, 2022 3:05 am

Prove it. You may be so dim as to not see any other possibilities but I, and others, are not. You have the elephant’s tail and I am suggesting there is an elephant attached.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 23, 2022 8:26 am

We know how to use math and logic to inform opinion and emotion.

Do you grasp the concept of the mass balance?

Bob boder
Reply to  Tom.1
April 23, 2022 7:08 am

Except they started rise before that. You gloss that other pretty easy with your “logic”

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bob boder
April 23, 2022 4:25 pm

I personally would like to delineate what exactly we all agree on and from there we can isolate just those items various individuals here are disputing.
Certainly we all agree on a large number of separate details.

Can we agree that the rate of increase has changed dramatically in recent decades?

dbstealeyco2vst.png
Bob boder
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 7:07 am

The problem is that is not even a blink in geological time. So your statements for all intensive purposes are meaningless, aside from the fact that CO2 started rising 50 years prior to that.

Reply to  Bob boder
April 24, 2022 5:18 am

Bob, we don’t have very detailed CO2 levels from geological times. We have a much better resolution (560 years) for the past 800.000 years and these did show a rather constant ratio between CO2 levels and temperature. For the current ocean surface temperature, that would be around 295 ppmv, not 415 ppmv…

Even better resolution (20-25 years) for the past 120,000 years, very good resolution (8 years) for the past 150 years and monthly values since 1958. Before 1958 nobody did even know that there were seasonal variations…

There is some 5-10 ppmv CO2 rise over the Holocene and a similar rise in CH4. No origin known, but even for that small rise, humans may be the cause by shifting their lives from hunting to agriculture and burning forests to clear land.
Since about 1850 the origin of the CO2 rise is completely clear: human use of fossil fuels. Every single observations supports that conclusion and none refutes that.
Every alternative explanation violates one or more observations, so insisting that everything else than human emissions is to blame is a lost case, as that is one of the few points where the IPCC is on solid ground. There are better arguments, where the IPCC is wrong on multiple observations…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 26, 2022 5:05 am

comment image

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 26, 2022 5:13 am

Ferdinand

Are you really trying to say that the only natural control on how much CO2 is in the atmosphere is temperature? Where does the CO2 that out gases from the oceans come from in the first place? is it 100% animal respiration driven? I am not debating your calculations but there is much more to this cycle over geological time spans, and while i don’t have the time to go looking I am sure I have read many studies that show swings of over 70 PPM over the last 200,000 years.

Reply to  bob boder
April 26, 2022 10:47 am

Bob, please, I was talking about the past 800,000 years, not millions of years, where there is a nice correlation of about 8 ppmv/K between temperature and CO2 levels in the atmosphere. That includes the swings of 100 ppmv between glacial and interglacial periods. See the Vostok ice core measurements. Most of the differences is from the (long) lags between temperature and CO2 changes.

8 ppmv/K is for Antarctic temperatures, for global temperatures that should be around 16 ppmv/K. Not by coincidence about the change of solubility of CO2 in seawater with temperature (12-16 ppmv/K for current average seawater surface temperatures).

Antarctic ice cores sample global CO2 levels, proxies like stomata data sample local/regional CO2 levels, but in general have a better resolution to see local/regional variation, still not necessarily global.

BTW, the current increase of 120 ppmv in 170 years would be visible in all ice cores, including the 800,000 years Dome C record (560 years resolution) at a lower amplitude (around 35 ppmv), still certainly visible in the record.

Vostok_trends.gif
M Courtney
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 11:50 pm

Good point about the C14 residence time being too short because of exchange with C12.
You’re clearly right.

Julian Flood
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 3:14 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen has been pushing his mass balance argument very persuasively for years. With a great deal of head-scratching I worked out that by his argument then any separate CO2 production sub-unit in the world’s CO2 system could, by the same arguments, be considered the cause of atmospheric CO2 increase. Please don’t ask me to repeat the process, it made my brain hurt.

The isotope changes could be simply explained by the fact that planktonic carbon fixation may or may not be changed by nitrogen pollution (Haber process, changes in dominant species), dissolved silica run-off (diatom increases), sewage, phosphate, organic fertiliser etc runoff, or all three (see the Sea of Marmara for the way these may have catastrophic effects on the warming rates of affected sea areas).

Here’s one guess about the light isotope signal: oil/surfactant/lipid pollution warms the sea surface, increases stratification and by supressing wave action reduces stirring and hence the bringing of nutrients up into the light zone. Oleaginous plankton release lipids which smooth the surface and allow light penetration to the still nutrient rich lower levels, while countering the reduced CO2 levels (less stirring from the lack of breaking waves) by switching their carbon fixation to the carbon concentration mechanism (CCM) that prescient evolution has prepared for just this situation. The CCM discriminates less against the heavier carbon isotopes so the carbon export to the deep sea is isotopically heavier: light isotope is misinterpreted as a fossil fuel burning signal.

We do not live on a planet ruled by Gaia — we are dominated by the Goddess Oceana, more than three times the size of the terrestrial ecosphere.

JF

Reply to  Julian Flood
April 23, 2022 11:37 am

Julian its all about CHANGE in co2 fluxes in the last century.

J N
Reply to  Hans Erren
April 24, 2022 12:08 pm

Exactly : CHANGE, the central word here is Change!!!! Most opinions here think the Earth as a system in perfect equilibrium. The problem is that sources and sinks of CO2 CHANGE depending on many factors, including temperature. Thanks Hans.

Last edited 1 month ago by J N
Reply to  J N
April 24, 2022 9:59 pm

Sure! From the vostok ice core we can derive the value of current natural temperature dependent co2 equilibrium: that is 292 ppm, the rest of the observed rise is human addition.

Crisp
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 3:59 am

No, that 50 year residence period was not measured. It was invented out of thin air by Houghton. He needed it to be that high for the models quoted in the IPCC reports to work. There is a graph I have not seen for many years that compares all the different empirical and experimental measurements of CO2 residence time. They all came in at less than 10 years.

Reply to  Crisp
April 23, 2022 3:04 pm

Crisp the decay rate of any excess CO2 in the atmosphere is measured, not invented.
Residence time and excess decay rate are two complete different things with very little in common. Residence time is comparable to the flow of goods (thus capital) through a factory, decay rate is how much gain (or loss) the capital put in that factory makes.
You can double the throughput and make a loss (because you have to pay more overtime) or get from a loss to a gain. No clear connection between the two…

The formula for residence time is:
Mass / throughput
For the current atmosphere that is:
830 PgC / 210 PgC/year = about 4 years
No matter the direction of the fluxes. If half a year the fluxes are from the oceans to vegetation through the atmosphere and the other half the fluxes reverse, the residence time still is 4 years, while the net effect may be zero change in the atmosphere or a small loss or a small gain at the end of the year.

The formula for the e-fold decay rate for a linear process is:
Tau = cause / effect
To get 1/e or 37% of the initial extra amount above equilibrium.

For different years that gives roughly:
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 quite linear to me.

J N
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 24, 2022 12:13 pm

Ferdinand, once again you make the system as static. The Earth’s greening can decrease residence times for instance. If emissions cease, it can do that in a logarithmic way due to CO2 starvation.

Reply to  J N
April 25, 2022 8:32 am

J N,

Nothing is static in what I said…

The residence time nowadays is around 4 years.
As the earth is greening, that gives more in and out flows for vegetation, thus reducing the residence time.
On the other side, as the CO2 mass in the atmosphere is increasing, the residence time also is increasing if the throughput remains the same.
I have looked at the older and younger estimates of the residence time and it seems that the more recent give a longer residence time…

Not important at all, as to remove any extra CO2 above a dynamic system in equilibrium, that is a totally different mechanism than what makes the residence time and involves the differences between inputs and outputs, not the height of the throughput.

The difference between inputs and outputs is a matter of extra CO2 pressure (pCO2): if that increases, less CO2 will be released out of the warm parts of the oceans and more will get into the cold parts.
That has no influence on the CO2 release of starving vegetation, but enhances the uptake by living vegetation.
The net effect is a remarkable linear response of both together on the extra CO2 in the atmosphere above the dynamic equilibrium between ocean surface (dictated by its average temperature) and the atmosphere.
That is a measured about 0.2%/year of the ΔpCO2 between atmosphere and ocean surface. Or about 2.4 ppmv/year for the current 120 ppmv above equilibrium.

If human emissions ceased today, the above sink rate would remain the same in the first year, thus reducing the atmosphere with 2.4 ppmv, next year thus a little less and so on until equilibrium is reached and then gets zero. The e-fold decay rate then is about 50 years or a half life time of around 35 years…

Reply to  Crisp
April 24, 2022 1:46 am

Crisp, the decay time of any excess CO2 (whatever the cause) above the temperature established equilibrium between ocean surface and atmosphere is measured, not invented.

The formula for the decay of any excess for a linear process is:

Tau = cause / effect
Where Tau = the time needed to reach 1/e or 37% of the initial excess.

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.

Nothing to do with the residence time which has a totally different formula:

Residence time = mass / throughput
No matter the direction of the throughput.

Currently: 830 PgC / 210 PgC/year = about 4 years.

J N
Reply to  Crisp
April 24, 2022 12:10 pm

Perfectly agree!

Willem post
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 4:58 am

The earth is warming up and that causes many natural sources of CO2 to increase their emissions.
The growing human population using more energy is just another source of CO2.
Proper bookkeeping, on a year by year basis, should be performed.

This bookkeeping should also be done regarding CO2 sinks.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Willem post
April 23, 2022 8:28 am

Do you grasp the concept of the mass balance?

J N
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 24, 2022 12:14 pm

Again? Do you understand the concept of a dynamical system?

Reply to  J N
April 25, 2022 8:33 am

J N, too many here only look at the increasing sources and forget the increasing sinks… For a balance you need both sides…

DMA
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 10:10 am

DB says “We know from reliable measurements that every year since 1959 the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by less than the amount of CO2 which mankind has added to the atmosphere (with the arguable exception of 1973, a year in which the two numbers were very similar). In other words, mankind increases the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, and nature reduces it (since 1959, at least).”
We are told that termites emit over 2 times the CO2 that humans do. It follows from your logic that all the atmospheric increase is from termites or at least 2/3 of it. The rest of nature emits 20 or 30 times what humans do. Isn’t it reasonable to think the increase id due proportionally to the sources?

Reply to  DMA
April 23, 2022 3:16 pm

DMA, that reasoning is wrong.

To repeat the same example as in other places: if I dispose $100 per month and the local office of the bank at the end of the year proudly announces its yearly balance that shows a gain of $600 all over the year, I am pretty sure that the local office makes a loss without my contribution, whatever my neighbor disposed that year (even if that were millions that year).

It is not about what individual natural fluxes did or didn’t. It is about the effect of our CO2 emissions on the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Even if some natural source doubled, some other natural sink(s) must have increased to get the net result, which is more natural sinks than sources over the past 60+ years.

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 26, 2022 10:50 am

Except again, prior to man contributing to the mass balance what kept the net sinks of nature from depleting the atmosphere a long time ago? You can’t say that nature is a net sink right now without explain how at some point it wasn’t and how that mechanism isn’t functioning today.

Reply to  bob boder
April 26, 2022 3:05 pm

Current equilibrium CO2 level is 295 ppm, so the natural exponential sink is between 400 and 295 ppm.

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 3:58 pm

In your comments you contradict the head posting here, but it is not readily apparent that the head posting is really wrong or misrepresenting somehow, even though you seem to say that it is?

In particular, you say:

“That is wrong. There is no “natural increase” in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Nature is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, each year, not adding it.” Mankind has added about 180% of the measured increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1959.”

However, in the head posting, following the author’s “Figure 2”, it says the thing which you appear to be contradicting:

“It is now clear at a glance that natural emissions have increased by a factor of 3 more than human emissions..”

— note that the head post’s author lists natural water body outgassing, land use, plant respiration and volcanism as natural emissions, all of which sounds like reasonable data to look at? The author pays special attention to which part of the outgassing is an *increase* measured since 1750, at about the height of the Little Ice Age, I suppose.

Now this is quite a discrepancy in what we might define as ‘truth’ here, i.e., Nature is *not* tending to increase CO2 according to *you*, *no* natural increase, while the article posting shows a very large natural production or output since 1750 !

If I go back to quoting your (Dave Burton’s) comments, maybe some explanation can be found for the seeming discrepancy right away, as you say

“Mankind has added about 180% of the measured increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1959.”

So, it would seem that you are talking *net* increase in CO2, *not* the total increase as such? So which is the fair or helpful way to compare the human contribution, as contributing to ‘net’ amount, or as contributing to ‘total’ CO2 output, or total *change* in output, actually?

If we were operating in a context where we could readily switch energy sources and stop all CO2 production, it might make sense to consider us humans as responsible for ‘net’ increase, as we might be able to change that quite soon then, lowering the net addition to the atmosphere in a significant way. However, as far as I can tell, we aren’t currently in that position at all. That is the point of the head article here!

The author is not comparing *absolute* numbers, he is comparing what we have done in the last 272 years, vs. what Nature has done,
That is , he is comparing the change that Nature has made in the same time span of over 200 years. If we are expecting a lead time of a hundred years or more in our own ability to *reduce* CO2 emmissions again, which I think is reasonable (especially given fuel burning developments in China and India), *then* what should we expect Nature to be doing by that time? Even if we eventually succeed in switching to some other energy source, might not Nature have left us behind again, doing other things to alter either gas levels or temperature or both? It seems to me that the head posting author here is making the fairest comparison, given the lead times involved (for humans in general) to meaningfully change what is happening with fuel burning!

The other consideration, of course, is whether some particular increase in CO2 is really much of a problem, no matter *who* does it. So what if, say, there might be 20 centimeters of sea level rise in the next hundred years, why, just move back from the water line a bit, how about that?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
April 23, 2022 6:13 pm

If we were operating in a context where we could readily switch energy sources and stop all CO2 production, it might make sense to consider us humans as responsible for ‘net’ increase, as we might be able to change that quite soon then, lowering the net addition to the atmosphere in a significant way. However, as far as I can tell, we aren’t currently in that position at all. That is the point of the head article here!”

You seem to be saying that the factual source of increases in CO2 depend on whether or not we can readily stop burning fossil fuels?
From a scientific or logical perspective, this makes zero sense whatsoever.
Are you claiming the point of asserting that humans have nothing to do with increasing levels of CO2, is that we are not in any position to stop emissions anytime soon?
This is the point of the article?
Physical reality has nothing to do with the relative imperatives of human activity.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 24, 2022 4:22 am

I wasn’t imposing anything on physical reality, just taking reality into account.

Let’s say I decide that the room that I’m standing in has a certain surplus of CO2, so the best thing to do is for me to stop breathing for an hour or so! I mean, on the level of personal consequences, I am contributing CO2, right, even if other people, or maybe animals, even, are in the same room? Without changing the physics at all, how you compare my CO2 output to everyone else’s might well depend on what you expect me to do about it!

Reply to  David Blenkinsop
April 25, 2022 8:49 am

In fact your CO2 is just recycling CO2 back to the atmosphere where it was taken out by plants a few months to a few years before… That is a CO2-neutral cycle

The difference with fossil fuels is that its CO2 was taken out of the atmosphere many millions of years ago and now released at high speed in the current atmosphere…

If that has dire consequences, that is doubtful…

Reply to  David Blenkinsop
April 25, 2022 8:45 am

David,

The essential error Frans makes is looking only at the changes in natural inputs and doesn’t take into account the natural sinks, which have grown even faster.

That makes that according to him (and several others) nature is responsible for the bulk of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere, while in reality nature is a net sink for CO2, not a source and near all increase is from the human contribution.

If that has consequences is a complete separate question and is not the main point of discussion here…

Bill Everett
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 4:09 pm

Various mappings using OCO-2 data have shown the highest CO2 levels on Earth corresponding to the locations of the densest vegetation on Earth. If this vegetation is not increasing CO2 at a higher level than areas of human activity, then what is causing this mapping result?

Reply to  Bill Everett
April 24, 2022 5:29 am

Bill, that is caused by the ocean’s temperature. Vegetation in the tropics is about CO2 neutral: a source during El Niño and a sink during La Niña or with huge volcanic events (Pinatubo). The upwelling of deep ocean waters near the equator releases a lot of CO2 while a lot of CO2 is absorbed near the poles which sinks into the deep oceans to returns hundreds of years later at the surface near the equator.
The amount of CO2 circulating that way is estimated around 40 PgC/year, again slightly more sink than source (currently about 1.5 PgC/year) in the past 1.5 century.

J N
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 24, 2022 12:19 pm

Ferdinand, did you see the map? Better to. Bill is right. Sometimes, these values, over rainforests, are overall 16 ppm higher than other places over the oceans and less vegetated landmasses. These fluxes are measured in almost realtime, so the ocean’s temperature is not the cause. More biomass decaying can also be a reason. After all we use some fermentation organisms to make bread and beer by harvesting their released CO2.
I’m also confused by this phrase you said before (“Most CO2 from undersea volcanoes is simply dissolved in the deep oceans under the extreme pressure at that depth and the under saturated waters for that temperature. Except if the gases reach the atmosphere (Bermuda triangle someone?).”. I answered “upwelling”. Are you contraditing yourself?

Last edited 1 month ago by J N
Reply to  J N
April 25, 2022 9:02 am

J N, the response of tropical vegetation depends a lot of temperature and drought conditions, with extremes during Pintubo, El Niño and La Niña. I want to see the OCO-2 data for Enso-neutral and each of these extreme conditions, before one can calculate the long term contribution of these forests…

Deep ocean cold water upwelling counts for a lot of CO2 release near the tropics and cold water sinks near the poles for a lot of CO2 uptake. Undersea volcanoes are emitting CO2, but in a medium where already enormous quantities of CO2 are present. As far as the undersea volcanoes don’t recycle carbonate deposits from the sea floor.

As far as I know, the CO2 level in the deep oceans didn’t increase a lot.
In comparison: if all human CO2 since 1850 gets ultimately dissolved in the deep ocean waters, that increases the total amount in the deep oceans with less than 1%. When in equilibrium with the atmosphere, that gives an increase of 3 ppmv in he atmosphere…

Reply to  Dave Burton
April 24, 2022 12:19 pm

Dave, I never denied that there is a net emission to the atmosphere as we can see from the rising CO2 concentrations. My point is that since 1750 also the natural fluxes have changed. Also the IPCC confirms that these fluxes were smaller before the industrialization. The simple fact that at the end of the year we have more sink than source does not proof anything. Both natural emissions and absorptions are now larger. 

David A
Reply to  Frans Schrijver
April 24, 2022 10:26 pm

…and if you remove human emissions, what does the annual PPM CO2 level do?

Reply to  David A
April 24, 2022 11:10 pm

See Figure 7, magenta line.

Reply to  Frans Schrijver
April 26, 2022 11:03 am

Which is completely wrong, as that is based on the one-input-reactor-one-output picture of Harde e.a.

The current net CO2 absorption by nature is some 2.4 ppmv/year for 120 ppmv extra pressure above equilibrium with the ocean surface according to Henry’s law.
If you remove human emissions, that would be the drop in the first year.
At the end of the year the pressure difference drops to 117,6 ppmv and the absorption drops to 2.35 ppmv/year in next year, etc… until equilibrium is reached again at about 295 ppmv.

E-fold decay rate over 50 years, half life time over 35 years.

PCman999
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 26, 2022 3:15 pm

Then in your world the seas don’t respond to temperature, nor change their uptake or emissions of co2. The world warmed up to almost current temps by the late 1930s from the cold depths of the 1700s – co2 would have to have started increasing from just the increased ocean emissions.

Human emissions just conveniently came along when natural fluxes were already increasing.

Please read the article again.

April 22, 2022 2:21 pm

This line of argument does not really help. First of all, atmospheric CO2 rises at a much lower rate than anthropogenic emissions anyway. Second, if this raises temperatures, which leads to more CO2 emissions from natural reservoirs (is that not one of the “tipping points”?), the cause would still be anthropogenic. Nothing has changed.

The big question is, if temperatures possible rise because of something else than CO2. And there is one big thing you all have totally overlooked..

https://greenhousedefect.com/contrails-a-forcing-to-be-reckoned-with

rd50
Reply to  E. Schaffer
April 22, 2022 2:51 pm

A BIG CHANGE is happening in CO2 according to Mauna Loa.
You can go to the Mauna Loa site showing this.
Click on this: https://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends/graph.html
At this site select the CO2 “Interactive Plot”
The first graph shows the CO2 seasonal cycles from 1958 to now.
Just below the graph there is a slider on the left.
Move the slider to the right until about 2010 is shown on the left and then up to now.
You can now easily read that the month of MAY is always the highest level of CO2 each year.
This changed in 2021 and drastically changed in 2022. FEBRUARY is now the maximum. Then a DECREASE in MARCH.
I don’t know why such a major change occurred.

Scissor
Reply to  rd50
April 22, 2022 4:23 pm

That is interesting and unusual. Something similar occurred in 2000 but not to the same degree, with April higher than May.

rd50
Reply to  Scissor
April 22, 2022 5:13 pm

Yes, I agree with you. I was surprised at this very large change. No statistical analysis needed!
It will be very interesting to follow the levels of the next months.

I also try to see the relationship between CO2 at Mauna Loa and a variety of temperature measurements. How is the correlation between the two variables?
I find such on the following site: https://www.climate4you.com/
However this is the only site showing this possible correlation.
I find that from 1958 to about 1978 while CO2 was increasing slowly, temperature was decreasing slowly. Then from 1978 to 200, certainly both increased and a correlation is OK. Then after 2000 we have very large variations in temperatures (El Nino etc.) and hard to see a correlation.

If somebody knows other sites showing graphs with some possible correlation of these two variables, I would be very happy to visit them.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Scissor
April 22, 2022 5:39 pm

My understanding is that the raw measurements at Mona Loa have always been very noisy.
The smoothly formed Keeling curve is a highly smoothed average of many readings, at least as far as I understand what it is saying.

Scissor
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 5:50 pm

Yes, but RD is talking about the monthly trend that consists of many data points.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Scissor
April 22, 2022 6:37 pm

IDK.
I do not have the patience for such minutia.
I was doing some house painting recently.
I painted a whole wall with smooth even strokes, but some places were still wet long after the rest had dried completely.

rd50
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 6:03 pm

So, what are you depending on for CO2 measurements and possible correlation with increasing temperatures?. You have a better source of monthly CO2 concentrations? Can you share it? I am certainly more than whiling to use it.
Can you give a reference to it?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  rd50
April 22, 2022 7:05 pm

No, and I did not mean to imply that I have any sources for month to month CO2.
I certainly do not try to make correlations which I have long since become satisfied do not exist.
I am more of a big picture guy.

All I was saying is that the measurements are noisy, I do not see any compelling reason to look at them so closely as month to month, and that what matters is the overall increases over time.

It is clearly increasing by several ppm per year, and there is no discernable correlation with global temps at the scale of decades or centuries.
There is a clear correlation at the scale of many thousands of years, and equally clear that at this scale, temperature leads CO2 concentration.

Also, it is clear that the biosphere is made of CO2, every molecule of everything that has ever lived can be traced back chemically to 6CO2 + 6H2O, catalyzed by chlorophyll, and using the rays of the sun as an energy source, gives one molecule of glucose and 6 molecules of O2.

rd50
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 7:26 pm

This is your statement:

“It is clearly increasing by several ppm per year, and there is no discernable correlation with global temps at the scale of decades or centuries.
There is a clear correlation at the scale of many thousands of years, and equally clear that at this scale, temperature leads CO2 concentration.”

OK. You believe numbers from thousands of years, but not the numbers of Launa Loa. OK.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  rd50
April 22, 2022 7:41 pm

When did I say I do not believe them?
I said clearly it is increasing year to year.
How is that saying I do not believe the numbers from Mona Loa?

Short term data from individual locations is noisy, clearly.
Measurements taken at polar locations varies, maps of local CO2 concentration show blobs and bubbles moving around, etc.
I am not at all sure what you are disagreeing with at this point.

Look, if you find the monthly reading peculiar, by all means have at it.
I just do not see how it fits in with the subject at hand, is all.

https://youtu.be/x1SgmFa0r04

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 9:53 pm

Sometimes there is information in higher temporal-resolution data that can help explain the big picture.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/06/11/contribution-of-anthropogenic-co2-emissions-to-changes-in-atmospheric-concentrations/

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 4:44 pm

“Sometimes there is information in higher temporal-resolution data that can help explain the big picture.”

I am not going to disagree with you, because I would not even know what I was disagreeing with at this point.
I am honestly not sure what exactly is being disputed in this sub thread.
Somewhere here you asked about the OCO satellite data.
Do you know what the heck ever happened with that data?
It was a whole satellite sent up to visualize CO2, and it has been pretty much memory holed AFAICT.
But what was published that I am aware of showed that CO2 is not very well mixed.
It moves around in bubbles and swirls, looking more or less like imagery of upper level moisture flows.
The variations are not very small either, tens of PPM over short distances.
But most of the images released are averaged values.
There is stuff like this from nullschool.
You can run it backwards and see how much a given spot has changed just in a matter of days:

earth :: a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions (nullschool.net)

Capture 10.PNG
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 24, 2022 5:34 am

Nicholas, a variability of 2% of full scale for CO2 where 20% per season is exchanged with other reservoirs is very well mixed…

Moreover, all measurements over land are very noisy, as e.g. in the first few hundred meters in a forest you can measure between 250 and 500 ppmv, depending of sunlight and inversion…

J N
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 24, 2022 12:27 pm

And are always noisy over rainforests in the direction of more CO2 release?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 24, 2022 12:32 pm

Fernando,
It is pointless to quibble over what is meant by the term “well mixed”.
If the subject at hand is a discussion of a variance of a few PPM on a month to month basis, then it is not well mixed.
If 2% is the criteria for what constitutes well mixed, then it is well mixed.
But 2% is over 8ppm, which is more than the variance seen in the swirls on any of the charts I have seen, including the nullschool data, the OCO data I have seen, etc.

I started out with the simple comment that the measurements taken at particular locations is noisy, so I do not think we disagree on anything substantive, not even basic definitions.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 24, 2022 12:39 pm

When I say that CO2 is not well mixed, I am talking about the data presented in visualizations such as this.
I know this is made from modelled results, but I assume those models use as input various measurements taken at discreet points.
As you say, there is a large amount of variation on short term basis at individual locations, but overall, the air is mixing up everything all the time.

https://youtu.be/x1SgmFa0r04

https://youtu.be/syU1rRCp7E8

Taken to be actual data, the swirls and bubbles of varying concentrations of CO2 show in these videos demonstrate to me that it may not be very fruitful to look at tiny discrepancies in the month to month levels shown in the plots at the top of this subthread.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
April 25, 2022 7:56 pm

So, even using your definition of “well-mixed,” you appear to be acknowledging that locally CO2 can have a variation of +/-125 PPM. That becomes questionable as to whether it is always well-mixed.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 26, 2022 12:05 pm

Clyde, CO2 is well mixed in 95% of the atmosphere, even including the seasonal variability, when over 20% of all CO2 moves in and out the atmosphere. Less than 2% of full scale or less than +/- 8 ppmv, seasonal swings included.

For 5% of all air, near huge sources and sinks, the local CO2 levels are not well mixed. That is the case for the first few hundred meters over land, in the middle of towns, middle of vegetation, near a cement factory, a power plant, etc.

That is why you shouldn’t look for “global” CO2 levels on land, except on the top of mountains, in the middle of deserts or coastal where the wind in general is from the seaside…

Well mixed doesn’t imply that any release at any point on earth is immediately seen on the other side of the globe…
It takes 6 months to see the CO2 increase at sea level in the NH to reach Mauna Loa and it takes about two years to reach the South Pole.

Still we may call that well mixed.

The simple message thus is: don’t measure CO2 levels over land except where a minimum of contamination is:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 25, 2022 8:09 pm

Somewhere here you asked about the OCO satellite data.

Burton asserted that after a 49% increase in CO2 there was no longer any out-gassing. I sarcastically pointed out that the original OCO-2 maps clearly delineated out-gassing.

It seems that NASA has removed all the early compilations of CO2 concentrations and only provides raw data for internal and academic use. While it it theoretically available to everyone, they don’t make it easy. While NASA hasn’t disavowed the early finished maps, and they can sometimes be found on YouTube, they have apparently removed all the finished maps from official NASA websites. [Somebody prove me wrong, please!]

CO2 concentrations vary temporally, laterally, and vertically. So, it all depends on how one defines “well-mixed.” I would prefer that a 2-sigma variance be associated with a nominal value and side-step the argument about “well-mixed.” It is clear that it is not as well-mixed as nitrogen and oxygen, and may be similar to WV, as you suggested it resembled.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 26, 2022 12:12 pm

Clyde, the variability of O2 is as “high” as for CO2, but the difference is that 8 ppmv on 400 ppmv (today) is easily measurable and visible in graphs, but 8 ppmv on 210.000 ppmv is far more difficult to measure and need a detailed plot.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  rd50
April 22, 2022 7:11 pm

One thing that complicates any such effort to correlate recent temps with CO2 is bound to be obfuscated by the fudging of the global temperature records.
Remember the pause?
Remember how it was erased a few years back?
The climate chiropractors have made it very difficult to trust any recent temperature data. Impossible for me.

But overall:

dbstealeyco2vst.png
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  rd50
April 22, 2022 9:50 pm

This changed in 2021 and drastically changed in 2022.

No, it did not change in 2021! I think you are getting ahead of the data. There have been several times in the past when there was a halt in the Winter CO2 growth showing up around February-March, probably because it is so cold that it shuts down biological decomposition. Check it again in a couple of months.

rd50
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 12:03 am

“There was several times in the past……”
OK. Show me when. Can you? Show me.
I have no problem waiting a couple of months.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  rd50
April 23, 2022 12:29 pm

You can show yourself. Just go to the graph whose link you provided. Take a look at 1972, 2008, and 2019. They, and others, have shoulders during the January-March time-frame resulting from a slowdown in the seasonal growth.

Keep in mind that the most recent data are subject to change by the suppliers, and they often change even older data.

rd50
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 23, 2022 12:28 am

OK. Show me when.

Reply to  rd50
April 22, 2022 10:32 pm

It looks like April is on track to probably be higher than either February or March.

rd50
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 22, 2022 11:54 pm

OK with me. Never seen this before. I am not making predictions. I simply noted the BIG CHANGE in the annual CO2 cycles. Do you agree with this?
Where do you get that April is on track to “probably” be higher than either February or March????? This would really be something. I am not predicting, simply waiting.

rd50
Reply to  Dave Burton
April 23, 2022 12:30 am

And you have data to predict this? Show me.

Peter W
Reply to  E. Schaffer
April 22, 2022 3:15 pm

David,

Based on my personal observations and study since 2006, I find your presentation far more believable than the discussed presentation. I also find Richard Lindzen to be far more believable than his opposition. The presentation ignores the higher temperatures which existed for several thousand years prior to the Little Ice Age, and the fact that no one has shown any higher CO2 back then.

I continue to claim that the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is due to our burning of coal especially, is highly beneficial to plant growth, and has minimal effect on temperature, which in turn is affected more by the likes of cloud cover and changes in solar input by natural causes including planetary effects on earth’s orientation and orbit.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  E. Schaffer
April 22, 2022 4:03 pm

The slower rate of atmospheric rise compared to fossil fuel consumption/CO2 atmospheric production is very easy to explain. Roughly 50 percent of fossil fuel emissions are biologically sequestered annually. We haven’t enough data to parse this on decadal, centennial, millennial, and geologic time scales. But roughly half.
BtW, that simple observation also proves the Murray Salby nonsense was just that. Nonsense.

J N
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 22, 2022 5:39 pm

Rud, you are clearly omitting several geological sources of CO2 emission and sinking… Not as simple as you say. Instead of naming nonsense to Murray Salby words, check for your own ocasional involuntary nonsense.

Kalsel3294(@kalsel3294)