Mauna Loa eruption halts Keeling Curve measurements

News Brief by Kip Hansen — 30 November 2022

The latest news from Hawai’i from The Washington Post:

“The eruption of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, has interrupted a key site that monitors greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, officials said Tuesday.

“The carbon dioxide measurement equipment that maintains the famed Keeling Curve record lost power at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28 and is not currently recording data,” the University of California at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography said in a statement.”

The Post quotes Keeling’s son:

“It’s a big eruption, and it’s in a bad place,” Keeling’s son, Scripps geoscientist Ralph Keeling, said in a statement Tuesday about the lava flows at Mauna Loa, located at the heart of Hawaii’s Big Island. He described the outlook for future CO2 readings from the station as “very troubling.”

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Author’s Comment:

Time will tell whether the observatory survives the latest eruption.

Many reading here already understand that CO2 is not the control knob of Earth’s climate but rather has a small effect on the climate as it is a small part of the overall Greenhouse Effect that keep the Earth warm enough for life.

While it would be a shame to lose the continuity of the Keeling Curve data base, it will not end the international [sociopathic] effort to banish fossil fuels. 

Thanks for reading.

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Bryan A
November 30, 2022 10:03 pm

Looks like it was taken out by Local Warming

Rich Davis
Reply to  Bryan A
December 1, 2022 1:17 am

Why am I picturing a Far Side cleaning lady tripping over the power cord on the way out?

Reply to  Bryan A
December 1, 2022 7:29 am

I lava your comment but find it no laving matter.

abolition man
Reply to  Scissor
December 1, 2022 7:33 am

You could have used a Southern accent: “Aa lava your comment…”

Last edited 2 months ago by abolition man
Reply to  abolition man
December 1, 2022 7:57 am

That burns me up. 🙂

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Scissor
December 1, 2022 11:19 am

Please….stop int-erupting me while I think.

Bryan A
Reply to  Harry Passfield
December 1, 2022 11:24 am

I can’t help it…I graduated Magma Cum Lava

November 30, 2022 10:12 pm

I think there are a few more monitoring stations on volcanoes they can use. It seems to be key that these stations be located on volcanoes like in Antarctica.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  crosspatch
November 30, 2022 11:25 pm

Bryan, there are some 10 NOAA CO2 monitoring stations (and some 70 other maintained by other organizations from different countries) of of which one is on top of a volcano. The South Pole station is over 1000 km from the nearest volcano…

Even at Mauna Loa, most of the time CO2 levels are from the trade winds, passing thousands kilometers of ocean surface. If the readings show some influence from the volcano (seen in irregular elevated readings) there readings are rejected for daily, monthly and yearly averages.

One can discuss the effect of CO2 on temperature, but it doesn’t skeptics any good to reject the CO2 measurements or the Keeling curve, as that is based on real world measurements.

Philip Mulholland
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 6:21 am

One can discuss the effect of CO2 on temperature, but it doesn’t skeptics any good to reject the CO2 measurements or the Keeling curve, as that is based on real world measurements.

Ned Nikolov says otherwise.

Speaking of fraudulent data manipulations, we recently uncovered robust numerical evidence that the global atmospheric CO2 record (a.k.a. the Keeling CO2 curve) is actually a result of a model simulation rather than real measurements

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
December 1, 2022 7:24 am

Nikolov has not presented any empirical evidence that disputes the Keeling curve. (He says a paper is being worked on.)

Rather, Nikolov’s position seems to be based on his doubt that Broecker’s projection of atmospheric CO2 from 1975 should so closely match today’s observations.

Broecker’s paper extrapolated the Keeling curve forward from the previous 15 or 16 years of data into the future to about 2015 or so. Nikolov called Broecker’s assumption about CO2 rise to be unrealistic and, so, doubted his paper.

In my opinion, Broecker’s analysis of CO2 was reasonable as was his projection of a relatively smooth curve of observations. To me, Broecker’s temperature projections exaggerate the CO2 effect and today’s temperature is lower than he predicted.

This could be because he (Broecker) placed too much weight on local climate oscillations that are observed in the arctic, in addition to the general occurrence that CO2/ temperature models have run hot.

I’m sympathetic to Nikolov because things that appear to be too good to be true should raise suspicion. Whatever the case, Nikolov has not yet provided any evidence to support his claims.

Last edited 2 months ago by Scissor
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 8:34 am

There is some variation between stations. Why is Muana Loa always reported, rather than SPO?

John Hultquist
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 1, 2022 10:28 am

If you do an image search with the word “apples” for about 97% of the photos that get returned the fruits will be colored red with slight variations. Most folks are happy to see red apples and their expectations are matched by the search. A CO2 curve is expected to reference Mauna Loa so that’s what media does.
If any station is “out of whack”, the researchers will figure it out.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 1, 2022 10:41 am

Simply because Mauna Loa has (after this event had?) the longest continuous record, except for a few months when the Mauna Loa volcano erupted a few decades ago…

The continuous measurements at the South Pole started earlier but have a gap of a few years (but which may be filled with flask measurements).

The “global” CO2 measurements as reported don’t include Mauna Loa or SPO, but are a mix of several near sea level stations.

All stations show quite similar levels, only with a small lag between the NH and SH and more seasonal amplitude near ground in the NH.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 9:42 pm

There appears to be a smooth progression of increasing amplitude as one goes from the South Pole to Point Barrow.

Jim Ross
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 2, 2022 8:01 am

Indeed, but it is also worthy of note that there is only a very limited seasonal cycle throughout the southern hemisphere and the trend of increasing amplitude of the cycle is almost entirely limited to the area from near the equator northwards to a maximum at Point Barrow. This is nicely illustrated in the video here:

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Jim Ross
December 5, 2022 11:41 am

Interesting illustration of the tail wagging the dog. Thanks!

November 30, 2022 10:25 pm

Aren’t there other CO2 observatories around the world?

If the Muana Loa site is brought back on line in the future, I hope that there will be a thorough re-calibration.

Looks like, as with other climate measuring and reporting stations, it suffered from bad siting.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 30, 2022 10:47 pm

They regularly re-calibrate with or without eruptions.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 30, 2022 11:44 pm

The local equipment is calibrated every day against two calibration mixtures of exact known composition which are prepared by NOAA and used all over the world.
The calibration mixtures themselves are re-calibrated at the end of their active life at any station for eventual changes.

That is standard procedure, introduced by the late C.D. Keeling and is a textbook example of how measurements should be done…


Most of the time, winds are from the seaside and reflect the air masses of the whole NH.
Only in the afternoon there may be upwinds with depleted CO2 levels from the valleys around the volcano and very seldom downwinds from volcanic vents.
These are recognized and not used for averaging (but still are available).

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 8:36 am

Thanks, good to know that sound procedures are in place.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 10:31 am

These issues are explained on the various web pages of the Mauna Loa site. It is good reading.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 30, 2022 11:50 pm

CO2 global distribution is uneven and seasonally variable, making individual location measurements less relevantcomment image

Nick Stokes
Reply to  vuk
December 1, 2022 12:24 am

 uneven and seasonally variable”
Not really. Look at the color scale. Most are within a range of 5 ppmv out of 400.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 1, 2022 1:26 am

Nick old boy! First you make the case for only using gas and coal for powering the grid. Now you recognize the dishonesty of showing tiny variation as if it were a major difference. If you keep it up all the Climastrology doctrines will be debunked. Next thing you’ll be arguing that CO2 is only 0.042% of the atmosphere and its effect is effectively saturated.

Bryan A
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 1, 2022 2:14 pm

And you’re having a heart attack over a 0.5deg variance in ocean temperature measurements

Last edited 2 months ago by Bryan A
Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  vuk
December 1, 2022 1:30 am

Vuk, even with about 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere exchanged every year with the biosphere and the oceans, bidirectional over the seasons, the differences are less than 2% of full scale…
Seems quite well mixed to me…

michael hart
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 2:58 am

Ferdinand, the large differences in seasonal variations across the stations suggests to me that it is not well mixed. Or at least not rapidly mixed.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  michael hart
December 1, 2022 4:19 am

“Rapidly” is rather relative… A 20% change within a year and back at ground level needs some time to mix into higher air layers and the ITCZ forms an extra barrier between the NH and SH.

There is a lag of about 6 months between ground stations and Mauna Loa in the NH and the seasonal amplitude at Mauna Loa also is damped.
There is also a lag of some year between the NH and the SH measurements, due to the fact that the ITCZ only allows a 10%/year mixing of NH and SH air masses.

For such huge changes, the levels in 95% of the air mass are quite similar… Only near ground on land, there are much higher variations near huge sources and sinks.

Ron Long
Reply to  vuk
December 1, 2022 2:08 am

Interesting, Vuk. Why is there higher CO2 over the large jungle areas, like Amazon Basin, sub-Sahra Africa, and Indonesia? Aren’t the green areas supposed to breathe in CO2 and breathe out O, and save us from a burning hell on earth?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Ron Long
December 1, 2022 2:35 am

Tropical forests are about CO2-neutral and are very responsive to temperature and rainfall. An El Niño dries them out and then they are huge sources of CO2, during a La Niña, or the Pinatubo eruption, the opposite happens.

The real bio-sinks are the extra-tropical forests, which take about half the net natural CO2 sinks out of the atmosphere. The other halve are the (deep) oceans.
Together about half the mass (not the original molecules!) of human emissions per year.
The picture is from Bender ea. (Fig, 7, last page):
Based on the oxygen balance.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 1, 2022 8:56 am

Here’s a good practical joke.

While the station is down, sneak in and add some CO2 into their calibration gas tanks, so that when they start up (this assumes that the station survives) all their measurements read low by 40% or so.

I imagine there would be some racing hearts.

Martin Brumby
November 30, 2022 10:51 pm

All the “expert” climate activist- psyentologists are so good at plucking homogenised and adjusted ‘data’ from between their plump, if smelly cheeks, that I have no doubt that they have already revised “reality” to keep the scam going.

And don’t forget that human fossil fuel use (apart from India and China, who only emit Dioxygen Carbide, naturally) is the reason we have volcanic eruptions in the first place.

Dodgy Geezer
November 30, 2022 11:10 pm

Never mind. They can just start measuring the local increase in heat – that will surely prove Climate Change is going to cook us all…..

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
December 1, 2022 2:05 am

Why do you jump to the conclusion that it’s localized? If you homogenize the 1250C lava at Mauna Loa with the temperature in Anchorage, Alaska, the north Pacific is around 625C.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
December 1, 2022 7:35 am

See. It’s worse than we thought.

November 30, 2022 11:13 pm

Another problem sorted. CO2 no longer rising.

I put it down to Albanese in Australia. He sorted electricity prices in Australia – now back to a tolerable level (some might argue it has a been a mild spring). He fixed global warming in Australia. It has been a bit cold in the South but the BoM are still suggesting he hasn’t fixed the warming yet; rather just taking a nap. He fixed the reef – the coral has all come back and UNESCO told to “go jump” on their endangered nonsense. He fixed sea level rise; been declining since he came to power. He fixed the drought in Australia but may be blamed for overshooting on that one. Half the country under water. Actually Australia being under water and sea level rate of rise levelling are linked so two birds with one stone there.

If there is anyone who actually wants to know what CO2 is doing they can always resort to the CSIRO greenhouse gas portal. These CO2 demonisers do not mince words. All those nasty “greenhouse” gasses at one location:

And take heed that you are looking at data from the “cleanest” air on Earth. Way better than the dirty air over at Mauna Lau.

Last edited 2 months ago by RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
November 30, 2022 11:35 pm

Beside Cape Grim and Mauna Loa, there is a third leading BAP data recording site at Alert in Canada on Ellesmere Island.
It is the most northerly inhabited place on earth.
I suspect that tte Canadians may want to claim it is the “cleanest” Greenhouse gas recording site on earth but we can let the Canadians and Australians fight that one out.
Incidentally,BAP stands for Baseline Air Pollution data site so all three are misnamed as part of the alarmist rhetoric.

Reply to  Douglas
December 1, 2022 10:17 pm

Douglas, Cape Grim in Tasmania has been closed

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  RickWill
December 1, 2022 1:04 am

Wot? No water vapour?

Reply to  RickWill
December 1, 2022 8:02 am

Rick, I wondered what you make of the climate data (not projections) in this paper that concerns Philip Mulholland’s comment above.

Reply to  Scissor
December 1, 2022 1:30 pm

One interesting observation is that glaciation terminates with the rising northern hemisphere solar intensity. This is the same part of the precession cycle that terminates interglacials. Interglacials last one precession cycle – per attached. This means something changes. There is some sound evidence indicating dust is the culprit.

However it is now apparent to me that glacial episodes terminate when the water cycle gets shuts down not by dust but the calving of glaciers. That thought came about by observations of the only region of the northern oceans actually cooling in the present era. A small pool of water south of Greenland.

The current ice free land will eventually store 470,000,000,000,000 tone of ice if the current glaciation repeats depths of the last four. For that to mostly get melted over a few thousands years is going to have an impact on ocean surface temperature that will certainly shut down the northern water cycle. Deglaciation is truly a tipping point because once the sea level starts rising, the melting of the glaciers accelerates and the cool fresh water sits around on the surface.

Last edited 2 months ago by RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
December 1, 2022 2:34 pm


November 30, 2022 11:37 pm

Another hazard closer to home, the explosive problem of ‘zombie’ batteries.
BBC: “Lithium-ion batteries can explode if damaged or crushed.
Batteries thrown in household rubbish bins cause about 700 fires every year in dustcarts and waste-processing centres, local authorities say.”

Javier Vinós
December 1, 2022 12:03 am

Men argue, nature acts.

Coeur de Lion
December 1, 2022 1:40 am

It’s important for Moana Loa to continue its record because when we had that Thunbergian industrial reduction due to the COVID pandemic, even the detailed idiosyncrasies of the sawteeth’ did not change let alone the amplitude. This means that human produced CO2 is insignificant and/or we don’t understand the carbon cycle. I’ve laid a bet that CO2 levels will be 27ppm higher in 2032 but may not live to see it. Keep an eye open for me, fellers

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
December 1, 2022 2:40 am

The influence of Covid was less than 10% on human emissions, too small to be detected in the year by year noise of around 50% of human emissions.
Despite that, it remains clear that human emissions are the cause of the increase as in near every year in the past 60+ years, emissions were higher than the increase in the atmosphere.
Thus nature was a net sink and all natural variability was a variability in sink capacity, not source capacity…

Janice Moore
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 10:35 am

Natural CO2 sources and sinks, at ~ 150 gigatons outweigh human CO2 emissions by 2 orders of magnitude. Even a small imbalance (i.e., natural source not exactly = to natural sink) is highly likely to outweigh human emissions, i.e., net natural CO2, outweighs human CO2.

This makes the high confidence of your “clearly” unwarranted.



The rate of increase in human CO2 emissions over the past several decades has been rising significantly. The rate of increase in total net CO2 continues to mirror natural CO2 emissions (temperature induced), unperturbed by the large increase in human emissions.
comment image

(Source: )

Last edited 2 months ago by Janice Moore
Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Janice Moore
December 1, 2022 11:52 am

Dear Janice,

The “temperature induced” increase in that graph is based on following erroneous assumption in your link:

“For each year the net annual emission of CO2 is proportional to the annual global mean temperature.

This means the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will be related to the sum of temperatures in previous years.

That is simply impossible: if the sea surface temperature increases with 1 K and is maintained at that temperature, then CO2 would rise indefinitely without any restriction until eternity…
In reality the increase stops because the CO2 level in the atmosphere increases and pushes CO2 back into the oceans. For a 1 K increase in SST that would be at about 12-16 ppmv extra in the atmosphere for a new equilibrium (per Henry’s law). Not 120 ppmv/K as in your graph.

The late Dr. Salby and many others forgot to take into account the feedback from the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

Further, compare variables with variables and derivatives with derivatives, like I have done in my comment. Then it is clear that temperature swings are the cause of the swings in net CO2 uptake by nature, but temperature is NOT the cause of the increase, as there is no slope in the temperature derivative, while the slope of human emissions in the derivative is near twice that of the increase in the atmosphere…

Never integrate temperature, as that is an unphysical variable that makes no sense in real life.

That there is huge correlation between temperature variability and CO2 rate of change variability is only the result of the mathematical effect that a sinusoidal function has exactly the same form in its original form and in its derivative, only pi/2 moved back in time.
The real correlation with temperature is between the derivatives and results in not more than +/- 1.5 ppmv variability around the 120 ppmv trend.

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 5:16 pm

Sad to hear that Dr. Salby passed away. Was this recent?

Jim Ross
Reply to  Scissor
December 2, 2022 7:46 am

Yes, sometime earlier this year. Sad too is that it seems that it was not very widely communicated. See here for some tributes:

Last edited 2 months ago by Jim Ross
Reply to  Jim Ross
December 2, 2022 3:03 pm

Thank you.

I never had the honor to meet him, but I travel in his footsteps.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 9:56 pm

The influence of Covid was less than 10% on human emissions, …

That was the average annual reduction. In April 2020 it was over 18%. Even 9% should have been discernible when the seasonal photosynthesis-draw-down had not yet kicked in. Other so-called greenhouse gases were observed to have declined, on contrast to CO2.

michael hart
December 1, 2022 2:32 am

They’ll just model it.

December 1, 2022 3:39 am

I have always wondered why they put these measuring stations on top of active volcanoes that are spewing out all sorts of exotic gasses including lots of CO2. How can they be certain that the CO2 they are measuring is not coming from under their feet?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Herrnwingert
December 1, 2022 4:30 am

Simply a question of wind direction: if the wind is downslope from the volcanic vents, the values are very irregular with upswings. The same for upslope winds in the afternoon which are slightly depleted in CO2 due to photosynthesis in the valleys.
These data are retained, but not used for daily to yearly averages.

Makes hardly a difference as you can see if you plot both the “selected” data or all the data:

Reply to  Herrnwingert
December 1, 2022 5:27 am

I think that they think that the site is “upwind” of the volcano so any contaminants from the volcano are blown toward California.

Joseph Zorzin
December 1, 2022 3:39 am

Lost power? Nobody thought of installing a generator?

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 1, 2022 7:39 am

Yes, and solar panels and batteries might give them another taste of reality.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 1, 2022 9:36 am

Below flood level, even. That will force a [local] Greenhouse effect where where attribution is not in doubt.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 1, 2022 10:49 am

Pele doesn’t like generators or helicopters which is why both are banned for use on Mauna Loa. It’s a cultural courtesy.

Ben Vorlich
December 1, 2022 4:08 am

Two things
First with such an important piece of kit why was there no backup?

Second, and this has puzzled me for a while. Global temperature is calculated using dozens/hundreds/thousands of measuring stations or by satellites constantly monitoring. So why is a single measuring station sufficient for CO2.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 1, 2022 7:41 am

It’s not as others above have pointed out, there are multiple stations. Mauna Loa is “special” because it has the longest record of measurements using modern instrumentation.

December 1, 2022 4:27 am

Well, that curve looks pretty smooth, but this eruption would have shown a big, scary spike. I think it’s viewed as a lost opportunity.

December 1, 2022 4:41 am

Does a shield volcano like Mauna Loa emit less CO2 than subduction volcanos that are cycling limestone?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  tmitsss
December 1, 2022 6:37 am

Generally yes. The lava is basaltic rather than andesic.

December 1, 2022 5:02 am

So, because they shut off their “monitoring” equipment they are going to trot out the “Volcanoes don’t affect the climate.” lie. Got it.

Reply to  2hotel9
December 1, 2022 7:45 am

More likely they evacuated to some beach resort to “hunker down.”

Rough work, but someone has to do it.

joe x
December 1, 2022 5:35 am

“The carbon dioxide measurement equipment that maintains the famed Keeling Curve record lost power at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28 and is not currently recording data,” the University of California at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography said in a statement.”

oh the irony, the gold standard co2 monitoring station used to promote the hoax is off line and has no solar or wind backup.

Reply to  joe x
December 1, 2022 6:40 am

Wouldn’t work anyway.

December 1, 2022 7:24 am

The Mauna Loa volcano right now is spewing vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. It won’t impact the level of atmospheric CO2 one iota. The COVID economic shutdown did nothing to the trend in atmospheric CO2. People need to start asking why these huge changes in CO2 production don’t impact atmospheric CO2. HInt, Henry’s Law.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  CO2isLife
December 1, 2022 11:02 am

Herny’s law is good for 13 ppmv CO2 increase in the atmosphere by warmer ocean surfaces since the LIA (if that was an about 0.8 K increase in SST), that is all.
The real increase is 120 ppmv, of which 100 ppmv since Mauna Loa and South Pole started measurements.
Thus Henry’s law doesn’t explain the increase, but over 200 ppmv human emissions over the same period do.

The Covid epidemic was good for a 10% drop in human emissions, not detectable in the 50% year by year “noise” in natural sink capacity.
All sub areal volcanoes on earth together emit less than 1% of human emissions, based on measurements around Mount Etna (Sicily, Italia), one of the five most active subduction volcanoes in the world.
Deep ocean volcanoes emissions probably are immediately dissolved under the high hydraulic pressure of the undersaturated deep ocean waters…

Walter Sobchak
December 1, 2022 8:17 am

Can anybody explain why they have used a station on the side of an active volcano to be a bench mark for gasses that the volcano must emit copiously?

I would think that there should be at least three monitoring sites but far away from active volcanoes and other stationary sources of CO2.

How about Midway, St. Helena, and the Maldives?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 1, 2022 11:07 am

There are lots of stations besides Mauna Loa, but MLO was choosen because most of the time the station received trade winds air. Only in the afternoon some upwind could interfere with slightly depleted CO2 levels from the valleys and quite seldom elevated levels from downslope wind caused by the volcanic vents…


Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 2, 2022 12:40 pm

I don’t know about that logic. “Most of the time the station received trade winds”… “some upwind could interfere with slightly depleted CO2 levels”… “quite seldom elevated levels from downslope wind caused by the volcanic vents.”

When an observatory was being built, I’m pretty sure the builders looked for a site with the best possible conditions for observing, not places where they had to hope normally-occurring conditions wouldn’t futz with seeing stuff every few days.

December 1, 2022 9:04 am

There have been periods of massive forest fires, volcanic action, and other events that result in huge increases in CO2 production, and yet the trend in atmospheric CO2 is effectively unchanged from year to year. You can burn millions of acres of Yellowstone and nothing happens to atmospheric CO2. You can have multiple volcanoes in a single year and nothing happens. Someone needs to graph the natural production of CO2 by forest fires and volcanoes, and demonstrate that the huge variation in annual CO2 production doesn’t change atmospheric CO2 at all.

Forest fires can change dramatically from month to month and year to year, but atmospheric CO2 changes are basically unchanged.

Jim Ross
Reply to  CO2isLife
December 2, 2022 10:37 am

I am not disagreeing with you in general, but the primary natural event that certainly does show up in the atmospheric CO2 trend data is the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Strong El Niño events show up (with a delay of a few months) as increases in CO2 growth rate (above the general trend) and strong La Niña events as decreases in growth rate below the general trend. In addition, the major Pinatubo eruption correlates with lower atmospheric CO2 growth rates.
This is best seen by looking at changes in growth at a monthly level where the average seasonal cycle has been removed, such as the black line in the NOAA plot shown below, to which I have added a schematic indication of the timing of the 2015-2016 El Niña as reflected by the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI). The ONI is based solely on the sea surface temperature (SST) within the Niño 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean (rolling three month average expressed as an anomaly against a 30-year average).
comment image


Last edited 2 months ago by Jim Ross
Jim Ross
Reply to  Jim Ross
December 4, 2022 6:19 am

Sorry, typo half way down second paragraph. El Niña should of course be El Niño.

John Mauer
December 1, 2022 10:26 am

At Mauna Loa, they determine the CO2 ppm by titrated chemical measurement, and leave out outliers where the volcano burped. If this eruption is longer, the measurements will discontinued for a time. Please notice other sites that are impacted by volcano.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  John Mauer
December 1, 2022 11:19 am

They don’t use titrated measurements, these were abandoned together with Mauna Loa, as too coarse (+/- 10 ppmv) (*). C.D. Keeling introduced the continuous NDIR (infrared) measurements which were far more accurate to better than 0.2 ppmv and since this year they even introduced an even more accurate measurement device…
All above stations use continuous NDIR equipment by NOAA and Scripps only checks these by regular flask samples.

(*) In the pre-Mauna Loa time they didn’t even know that there were seasonal swings over a year, even Keeling was surprised when he saw that in the first years of his measurements…

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 1, 2022 10:04 pm

… even Keeling was surprised when he saw that in the first years of his measurements…

Was that because he thought all the change was from humans?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 2, 2022 11:03 am

He expected a small upward trend, due to human emissions, but Revelle and he expected at that time that most human emissions would be absorbed by the oceans. That was the other surprise. They didn’t expect any (relative large) amplitude from seasonal changes…

John Hultquist
December 1, 2022 10:38 am

A “thank you” to Ferdinand Engelbeen for commenting on this thread. A few years ago (8 or so) FE provided informative comments when CO2 was prominent in the climate discussions.
There have been various folks over the years that have helped us learn about multiple topics. There are too many to name, so I won’t try.
Thanks to them all.

December 1, 2022 10:57 am

This is a good time for all readers here to review Willis Eschenbach’s

Look for:

As a result, the Mauna Loa record does accurately measure the background CO2 levels, despite the fact that it is on an active volcano. The samples that are identified as volcanic CO2 are not thrown away, however. They are used for analyses of the volcanic emission rates, such as this one (pdf).

paul courtney
December 1, 2022 1:08 pm

Mmmmm. I wonder, if a global cooling trend shows up, how do they turn off all the thermometers?

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 1, 2022 2:27 pm

Mauna Loa used to erupt more frequently. In the period 1832 – 1900 there were 23 recorded eruptions with 9 in 1870-1879 alone. Seldom more than 5 years passed between events. From 1901 – 1950 there were 12 with the longest pause being 7 years. 1951 – 2000 saw just two eruptions: 1975 and 1984. The 38 years between this eruption and the previous one is the longest interval since Westerners began observing the island.

The eruption from April 26 to May 10 1942 was kept secret out of fear the Japanese would use the nighttime glow from the crater to guide bombers.

Most eruptions last a month or less; some just a few days. I found three lasting more than a year. The 1984 eruption lasted three weeks and the 1975 event just one day. The current one shows no signs of winding down based on continuing earthquake activity.

On Nov 28 lava flows cut across the access road to the observatory taking down the power line (presumably internet as well). According to news reports from Bloomberg and AP there are discussions about flying in a generator to get the site running again. Like others I also found it curious there was not already an emergency generator installed. It may be that on-site staff are required to conduct the calibration and recording procedures and the staff have all been evacuated.

I have made an inquiry to the observatory information office and will post any response I receive.

The main worry is that lava will reach the Daniel K Inouye Highway (a.k.a. the Saddle Road) connecting East and West sides of the island across the middle. The road remains open at present with the lava about 3.5 miles away. But if it is closed the alternate routes will add about 40 minutes each way for workers who commute daily between the Hilo area and the various resorts along the western Kona/Kohala cost.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 1, 2022 6:49 pm

Hell of a commute as it is.

December 1, 2022 7:59 pm

WHAT??? No self-sufficient power back-up at all? You would think that they could at least have installed Solar Panels to provide emergency power during outages…..of course if they had a DIESEL or GASOLINE or PROPANE powered GENERATOR with a fuel storage tank on site, they would still be taking measurements.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
December 2, 2022 11:13 am

Including higher CO2 readings due to the exhausts? Even car traffic is limited in the neighborhood of the observatory to prevent interference with the measurements…

At the South Pole they have frequent problems with readings, when the wind blows from the exhausts of the generators and when taking flask samples that must be done upwind of the people that take the samples, not easy with temperatures around -60 C and below…

December 1, 2022 8:20 pm

I found this article very interesting….your mileage may vary.

“The lack of deviation in the Mauna Loa CO2 curve is a proxy for a stable ocean current, i.e. no slowdown of for example the Gulf Stream.”

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
December 2, 2022 11:23 am

That web site makes the same error as too many before: the CO2 exchanges between the atmosphere and the deep oceans is a cycle and a cycle may double or may halve, it will not have any effect on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere…
Only the difference between ins and outs will have an effect on CO2 levels.

The calculated cycle (based on the 13C level changes) is about 40 PgC/year with slightly more sink than source of about 2 PgC/year…

December 2, 2022 11:42 am

Even if MLO was operational , they would be binning all the data because it was contiminated by CO2 from the volcano. There will be a gap in the data and it won’t be the first one. Allegedly all the data from 1964 was invented to fill a gap when monitoring was temporarily defunded. There are many shorter breaks in the daily data series due data being removed as unreliable.

Apart from wind direction bringing contamination from the volcano, there is a 2 std dev. cut-off where any variations are removed regardless. When I studied this data it seems they were removing natural variation as “outliers” on this basis.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  climategrog
December 5, 2022 11:50 am

It would seem to me that they should probably use a higher cutoff of 3 or 4 SD unless it starts to resemble a bimodal distribution after only 2 SD.

December 2, 2022 11:44 am

Higher CO2 causes more eruptions. There is an undeniable correlation !

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