JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Blockbuster: Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans

There goes another “fingerprint”…

It’s not just that man-made emissions don’t control the climate, they don’t even control global CO2 levels.

Judging by the speech gave at the Sydney Institute, there’s a blockbuster paper coming soon.

Listen to the speech: “Global Emission of Carbon Dioxide: The Contribution from Natural Sources”

Professor Murry Salby is Chair of Climate Science at Macquarie University. He’s been a visiting professorships at Paris, Stockholm, Jerusalem, and Kyoto, and he’s spent time at the Bureau of Meterology in Australia.

Over the last two years he has been looking at C12 and C13 ratios and CO2 levels around the world, and has come to the conclusion that man-made emissions have only a small effect on global CO2 levels. It’s not just that man-made emissions don’t control the climate, they don’t even control global CO2 levels.


CO2 variations do not correlate with man-made emissions. Peaks and falls correlate with hot years (e.g. 1998) and cold years (1991-92). No graphs are available from Salby's speech or paper yet. This graph comes from Tom Quirk's related work (see below).

The higher levels of CO2 in recent decades appear to be mostly due to natural sources. He presented this research at the IUGG conference in Melbourne recently, causing great discussion and shocking a few people. Word reached the Sydney Institute, which rushed to arrange for him to speak, given the importance of this work in the current Australian political climate.

The ratio of C13 to C12 (two isotopes of carbon) in our atmosphere has been declining, which is usually viewed as a signature of man-made CO2 emissions. C12 makes up 99% of carbon in the atmosphere (nearly all atmospheric carbon is in the form of CO2). C13 is much rarer — about 1%. Plants don’t like the rarer C13 type as much; photosynthesis works best on the C12 -type -of-CO2 and not the C13-type when absorbing CO2 from the air.

Prof Salby points out that while fossil fuels are richer in C12 than the atmosphere, so too is plant life on Earth, and there isn’t a lot of difference (just 2.6%) in the ratios of C13 to C12 in plants versus fossil fuels. (Fossil fuels are, after all, made in theory from plants, so it’s not surprising that it’s hard to tell their “signatures” apart). So if the C13 to C12 ratio is falling (as more C12 rich carbon is put into the air by burning fossil fuels) then we can’t know if it’s due to man-made CO2 or natural CO2 from plants.

Essentially we can measure man-made emissions reasonably well, but we can’t measure the natural emissions and sequestrations of CO2 at all precisely — the error bars are huge. Humans emits 5Gt or so per annum, but the oceans emit about 90Gt and the land-plants about 60Gt, for a total of maybe 150Gt. Many scientists have assumed that the net flows of carbon to and from natural sinks and sources of CO2 cancel each other out, but there is no real data to confirm this and it’s just a convenient assumption. The problem is that even small fractional changes in natural emissions or sequestrations swamp the human emissions.

UPDATE Inserted: E.M.Smith covered this point well in 2009

...

“It is often asserted that we can measure the human contribution of CO2 to the air by looking at the ratio of C12 to C13. The theory is that plants absorb more C12 than C13 (by about 2%, not a big signature), so we can look at the air and know which came from plants and which came from volcanos and which came from fossil fuels, via us. Plants are ‘deficient’ in C13, and so, then, ought to be our fossil fuel derived CO2.

The implication is that since coal and oil were from plants, that “plant signature” means “human via fossil fuels”. But it just isn’t that simple. Take a look at the above chart. We are 5.5 and plants are putting 121.6 into the air each year (not counting ocean plants). There is a lot of carbon slopping back and forth between sinks and sources. Exactly how closely do we know the rate of soil evolution of CO2, for example?”

Chiefio also found some interesting quotes pointing out that corn (a C4 plant) absorbs more C13, and our mass fields of corn might just muck up the stats… (it’s a good post).

The sources of CO2 don’t seem to be industrialized areas

Suspiciously, when satellites record atmospheric CO2 levels around the globe they find that the sources don’t appear to be concentrated in the places we’d expect — industry or population concentrations like western Europe, the Ohio Valley, or China. Instead the sources appear to be in places like the Amazon Basin, southeast Asia, and tropical Africa — not so much the places with large human emissions of CO2!

But CO2 is a well mixed gas so it’s not possible to definitively sort out the sources or sinks with CO2 measurements around the globe. The differences are only of the order of 5%.

Instead the way to unravel the puzzle is to look at the one long recording we have (at Mauna Loa, in Hawaii, going back to 1959) and graph the changes in CO2 and in C13 from year to year. Some years from January to January there may be a rise of 0 ppmv (ie no change), some years up to 3 ppmv. If those changes were due to man-made CO2 then we should see more of those rapid increases in recent times as man-made emissions increased faster.

What Salby found though, was nothing like what was expected

The largest increases year-to-year occurred when the world warmed fastest due to El Nino conditions. The smallest increases correlated with volcanoes which pump dust up into the atmosphere and keep the world cooler for a while. In other words, temperature controls CO2 levels on a yearly time-scale, and according to Salby, man-made emissions have little effect.

The climate models assume that most of the rise in CO2 (from 280 ppmv in1780 to 392 ppmv today) was due to industrialization and fossil fuel use. But the globe has been warming during that period (in fact since the depths of the Little Ice Age around 1680), so warmer conditions could be the reason that CO2 has been rising.

Salby does not dispute that some of the rise in CO2 levels is due to man-made emissions, but found that temperature alone explains about 80% of the variation in CO2 levels.

The up and coming paper with all the graphs will be released in about six weeks. It has passed peer review, and sounds like it has been a long time coming. Salby says he sat on the results for six months wondering if there was any other interpretation he could arrive at, and then, when he invited scientists he trusted and admired to comment on the paper, they also sat on it for half a year. His speech created waves at the IUGG conference, and word is spreading.

A book will be released later this year: Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate.

Roy Spencer wrote along similar lines last year

Could the Ocean, Rather Than Mankind, Be the Reason?” and Part II

“]

...In Fig. 5 we see that the yearly-average CO2 increase at Mauna Loa ends up being anywhere from 0% of the human source, to 130%. It seems to me that this is proof that natural net flux imbalances are at least as big as the human source. [Roy Spencer

“…   the human source represents only 3% (or less) the size of the natural fluxes in and out of the surface.  This means that we would need to know the natural upward and downward fluxes to much better than 3% to say that humans are responsible for the current upward trend in atmospheric CO2.  Are measurements of the global carbon fluxes much better than 3% in accuracy??  I doubt it.”

Roy Spencer

Tom Quirk in Australia has been asking these questions for years

Tom Quirk showed that while most man-made CO2 is released in the Northern Hemisphere, and the southern Hemisphere stations ought to take months to record the rises, instead there did not appear to be any lag… (ie. the major source of the CO2 is global rather than from human activity).

Over 95% of [man-made emissions of] CO2 has been released in the Northern Hemisphere…

“A tracer for CO2 transport from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere was provided by 14C created by nuclear weapons testing in the 1950’s and 1960’s.The analysis of 14C in atmospheric CO2  showed that it took some years for exchanges of CO2 between the hemispheres before the 14C was uniformly distributed…

“If 75% of CO2 from fossil fuel is emitted north of latitude 30 then some time lag might be expected due to the sharp year-to-year variations in the estimated amounts left in the atmosphere. A simple model, following the example of the 14Cdata with a one year mixing time, would suggest a delay of 6 months for CO2 changes in concentration in the Northern Hemisphere to appear in the Southern Hemisphere.

“A correlation plot of …year on year differences of monthly measurements at Mauna Loa against those at the South Pole [shows]… the time difference is positive when the South Pole data leads the Mauna Loa data. Any negative bias (asymmetry in the plot) would indicate a delayed arrival of CO2 in the Southern Hemisphere.

“There does not appear to be any time difference between the hemispheres. This suggests that the annual increases [in atmospheric carbon dioxide] may be coming from a global or equatorial source.”

Tom has done  a lot of work on this:

The constancy of seasonal variations in CO2 and the lack of time delays between the hemispheres suggest that fossil fuel derived CO2 is almost totally absorbed locally in the year it is emitted. This implies that natural variability of the climate is the prime cause of increasing CO2, not the emissions of CO2 from the use of fossil fuels.

‘Sources and Sinks of Carbon Dioxide’, by Tom Quirk, Energy and Environment, Volume 20, pages 103-119.  http://www.multi-science.co.uk/ee.htm

More info from Tom Quirk: SOURCES AND SINKS OF CARBON DIOXIDE  [17 page PDF]

But what about the ice cores?

The Vostok ice core record suggests CO2 levels have not been this high in the last 800,000 years, but if Salby is right, and temperature controls CO2, then CO2 levels ought to have been higher say, 130,000 years ago when the world was 2 – 4 degrees warmer than it is now.

Salby questions the ice core proxy and points out that in the ice cores, as temperature rises, C13 falls, much as it has been in the last 50 years. If it was also responding that way hundreds of thousands of years ago, then the C13 to C12 ratio can hardly be called a fingerprint of human emissions.

On the nature of science

According to Salby, science is about discourse and questioning. He emphasized the importance of debate: “Excluding discourse is not science”. He felt that it was not his position to comment on policy, saying the scientists that do are more activist than scientist.

After speaking in carefully selected phrases, he  finished his presentation saying that “anyone who thinks the science is settled on this topic, is in fantasia”.

Salby was once an IPCC reviewer, and comments, damningly, that if these results had been available in 2007, “the IPCC could not have drawn the conclusion that it did.” I guess he’s also giving them an out.

———————————————————

Prof Murry Salby has worked at leading research institutions, including the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, Princeton University, and the University of Colorado, and is the author of Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics, and Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate, due out in 2011. [Thanks to Andrew Bolt]

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Blockbuster: Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels -- not humans, 9.2 out of 10 based on 29 ratings

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770 comments to Blockbuster: Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans

  • #
    Mark D.

    “anyone who thinks the science is settled on this topic, is in fantasia”.
    Prof Murry Salby

    REFRESHING!

    When I think back to all the Warmists typing here with such confidence, I wonder what they’ll be doing with this?


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  • #

    Looks like this one is going to go viral in the blogosphere. Judith Curry has also picked up on it. Should be interesting to see how the story plays out in the mainstream media, and what the Team response will be.


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  • #

    How many times and in how many ways does this zombie theory have to be debunked? And they call us the deniers. Great post Jo, let’s see if these results get any more traction within the scientific community than previous papers.


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  • #
    BobC

    Good to see the evidence getting out there that, not only don’t we control the climate — we don’t even control the atmospheric CO2 concentration (!) — a point I’ve been pushing for some time.

    Can’t wait for the “climate scientists” to get defunded, but given the political component (after all they provide cover for political power grabs), it will probably take another election in the US.

    Too bad about “throwing the baby out with the bath water”, but there is so much “bath water” (junk science) now in AGW, that it’s best to just start over. All ongoing grants ended, and everyone re-applies — merit to be judged by scientists who have never been on the AGW funding stream. Let’s get the corruption out.


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  • #
    Grumpy Old Man

    “PLANTARY”?? You must have been really excited about this one.


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  • #
    Greg, San Diego

    To Grumpy Old Man at #5:

    When the AGW crowd cannot refute the facts, they turn to ad hominem attacks and glee over something as small as a spelling error! Pretty sad state of the AGW movement at this point in time – and on a track to get even worse.

    Nice work Professor Salby!


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  • #
    amcoz

    The guv(wo)men’s technicolour promo – a load of ‘crap’ if ever there was – on why we have to tax the biggest ‘car bung polluders’ must have got an update on the above ‘unsettled science’ as it makes no mention that carbon dioxide is the naughty ‘polluder’ as those of us who can think for ourselves clearly no otherwise. As has always been my cynical view, it’s only ever been about so-called tax reform to enable Woine Goose to fill his budget black hole while pandering to that tree-hugging Tazmaniac, the tanned shilling.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Sort of explains why high CO2 levels (e.g. 15 times present) predate humanity. And why rate of atmospheric CO2 rise appears to have no relationship to the change in industial intensity 1850 – 2011.

    So mother nature can look after herself…Who’d have thought???


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  • #

    I went over and checked out Judith Curry’s blog. Some of the comments by the alarmists are bizarre. They seem to think that the conclusions of the study are have no real impact on the ‘science of global warming’. They might be right, seeing as it’s all a fiction anyway.

    Murry Salby seems to be pretty clear about the implications of his results in his concluding remarks:

    The correspondence to obvserved changes in C02 on timescales of a couple of years, over the satellite era and to the degree seen even over the 20th century, makes it difficult not to conclude that sources involed in changes of C02 on short timescales are also involved in its change on long timescales. The popularised view has been that C02 is driving the bus and climate is along for the ride. The observed behaviour reveals just the reverse. Climate is at the wheel and to significant degree, C02 is at the back of the bus.

    Climate projections rely on the ability to predict C02. It’s the one thing believed to be known because of the presumption we control it. Namely, future atmospheric C02 is determined entirely by human emission. That’s what is specified in climate models which, will then predict how climate will respond in so-called climate senarios. The observed behaviour reveals that, much as we might like it, the real world doesn’t work that way.

    Net emission includes a substantial contribution from natural sources. If you don’t control C02, you can’t predict it and if you can’t predict C02, you can hardly predict how climate will respond.

    He also gets +10 denier points over feedbacks when answering a question about the IPCC projected temperature rise:

    The 4 degrees that your just quoted is essentially a model exprapolation based on the framework I described. So, what you’ve pointed to, that if temperature increases continually then you get increased C02 and it represesnts a positive feedback. More temperature, more C02. And if you think that the C02 is responsible for the tempurature then it would accelerate but, for reasons which I’m not going to go into with this audience, there has to be a negative feedback that bridles this positive feedback and holds things in check.

    Not sure why the warmistas at JC’s blog are stonewalling discussion on account of not having graphs(data) to view. I thought the speech was articulately delivered. So much so, that I could see in my head what was being described. Great stuff.


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  • #
    Alpha Tango

    This takes me back to the original debunking of Gore – when it was shown that warming drives Co2, not the other way around as he claimed. Somehow this got lost along the way, but its good to see real world observations (not models) proving the point.

    I cant wait to see how the team will try to deny this one.

    AT


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  • #
    DirkH

    Hobby scientists have been pointing this out for ages now… If official science is that slow to pick it up, we would be better off without it. No offence to Murry Salby, just criticizing the system.


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  • #
    Coldish

    “…for reasons which I’m not going to go into with this audience, there has to be a negative feedback that bridles this positive feedback and holds things in check.”
    I listened to the podcast but didn’t catch this reply from Prof Salby. But I don’t see why a negative feedback is required. Can anyone elucidate?


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  • #
    pattoh

    Fabian Barbie & Co. will not enjoy this if it cracks the MSM!


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  • #
    scott

    Getup has raised a complaint to the standards board “or what ever the official title is” complaining about a radio presentor stating this argument. Looks like a copy should be sent to the board to peruse.


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  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    There can’t be much wood left in the AGW coffin. The nails must be wall-to-wall by now. Only politics keeps it from failing altogether.


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  • #
    Dialla Ingalis

    This study shouldn’t have been published and the authors should be barred from government grants. Don’t they know we are trying to save the planet?

    We can’t let facts get into the way of bringing everyone together to save the planet.


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  • #
    Michael Larkin

    Jo, this piece shows the quality of your science journalism. I’ve been following the story today and I listened to the podcast, but yours is the first piece that has helped a layman like me understand properly what Salby is saying.

    Regardless of which side of the debate one is on (I’m agnostic), one can’t complain about the extraordinary clarity of what you have written. I’m very grateful for that.


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  • #

    [...] Blockbuster: Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans [...]


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  • #
    Bulldust

    Apologies for going O/T:

    It is with deep regret that I must inform you that the meltdown has probably started. Ironic, because I emailed and spoke to a couple colleagues yesterday (Wednesday) saying that it was “about that time”…

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/markets/wall-st-in-biggest-plunge-since-gfc/story-e6frg91o-1226108755605

    In the coming days climate change will seem a very small issue indeed. BTW I have no idea where the smart money is going … this one is different. I am thinking the “D” word, not just a normal recession.

    The SMH (haven’t read it yet) seems to be running a comprehensive article on what it all means:

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/debt-wrangling-your-guide-to-economic-chaos-20110804-1icr9.html

    Good luck everyone.


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  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    DirkH @10

    Exactly.

    This “revelation” is simply confirmation of the real science.

    When you quantify the “Green House” ( IF I CAN USE THAT TERM) effects we have a major winner in Water, followed by Natural produced CO2 and way behind both in magnitude, Human Related CO2 struggling to make any visible impression on the system.

    CCS and Carbon Abatement, Carbon Footprint, Responsible Energy and other catchphrases of the Church of AGW may now be consigned to the sin bin where they belong.


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  • #
    Slabadang

    This IS the death of AGWmowement!

    KABOOOOOOM!!!Now the only deasent thing for the AGWmob is to ask for mercy and forgivness!

    We WOOOOOOON!


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  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    Bulldust @15

    No need to apologise.

    These two disasters ( AGW & Stockmarket Crash GFC ) have ripped a hole in the lives of many older Australians.

    Fuzzy politics has created the GFC and the same Fuzziness is behind AGW.

    Both are costing us big.

    Years of savings vanished down that big hole with the label ” Political Mismanagement “.


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  • #
    Dr.TG Watkins

    It is so sad that Australian politicians are unable to listen to the many first class Australian scientists who point out the complete failure of the CAGW meme and instead rely on Flannery etc. to guide suicidal economic and energy policies.
    Salby suddenly finds himself in the exalted company of Carter, Plimner, Archibald, Nicol, Tisdale and so many others on the side of science and reason.
    Analyses of the recently released CRU temp. data, Spencer’s recent paper plus Salby’s contribution must make any sentient polltician think again.
    BTW Best of luck to the Cavalcade to Canberra, but please keep the petition simple and focused and work within the current constitutional rules.


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  • #
    Paul R

    The truth will be as it always is, simple, elegant and obvious. It won’t rely on turning a wholly beneficial molecule into banksters poison.


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  • #
    Madjak

    Bulldust@15,
    But one thing is for sure, until the root causes are addressed ( 3 years on and none have), then the reckoning will just get worse. The longer they delay and stall, the worse the reckoning will be and the more angry people will be. All rent seekers should know by now that their time in the sun is coming to an end.

    And yes, this statement applies equally to agw as it does to the global economic situation.

    The new world order is collapsing under the weight of it’d beligerant ideals.


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  • #
    John Whitman

    Jo,

    Good go at putting together Salby’s talk in a coherent way from just a podcast.

    His work is going to be a cause for bountiful discourse.

    His presentation style appeared to be top notch.

    John


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  • #
    DavidH

    The idea that planetary temperature affects CO2 levels and not vice versa is not new – it’s there in Jo’s Skeptic’s Handbook. However, that does say (based on the Vostok ice core data, I believe) that there is a lag of up to 800 years. This new report seems to agree on what is cause (higher temperature, through whatever means) and what is effect (increased CO2) but that the CO2 response is much more immediate. Or am I reading it wrongly or have missed something? Anyway, it seems there is a healthy ecosystem of climate theories and if nothing else that proves the science is not settled.


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  • #
    Ken Stewart

    DirkH re “hobby scientists”. I guess that makes me one. I showed this temperature/CO2 relationship back in April at
    Very pleasing to see this getting attention at last.
    Ken


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  • #
    Steven Howard

    Why are Gillard & Co taxing us? They are guilty of massive fraud.


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  • #
    Ross

    Jo , I can only say I agree with Mark @ 17 and John @ 20 , extremely well written and easy to understand.
    Suggest you see if the West Australian will print it in a weekend edition.


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  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    This is exactly the argument I have been having with another blogger

    , an “international contributor”,

    over on the “ Breaking Australian carbon tax …” thread.


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  • #
    pat

    i wouldn’t hold my CO2 breath waiting for the MSM to cover what Salby has said.

    meanwhile, today we have:

    5 Aug: Australian: Sid Maher: Land for carbon reforestation to take big cut
    But if the carbon price started at $47 a tonne, under a more ambitious scenario, the report estimates more than 60 million tonnes of carbon could be shed through plantation forests and carbon plantings by 2021…
    The modelling was released as Resources Minister Martin Ferguson named three leading corporate advisory firms to help the Gillard government negotiate a billion-dollar closure of a brown-coal electricity generator as it seeks to cut carbon emissions.
    Mr Ferguson announced Lazzards (sic), KMPG and Baker and McKenzie had been appointed to help the government with negotiations that the government hopes to finalise by the end of the year.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/land-for-carbon-reforestation-to-take-big-cut/story-fn59niix-1226108586239

    looking only at Baker & McKenzie: on page 19 of the following 2006 report, note Lihir Gold is listed – Ross Garnaut was Chairman of Lihir until 2010 when it merged with Newcrest.

    NAEM Annual Meeting
    White Plains, NY
    July 26-27, 2006
    Carbon Market OverviewLegal Issues and Opportunities
    Richard M Saines
    Baker & McKenzie LLP is a member of Baker & McKenzie International
    http://naem.org/Rick%20Saines.pdf

    NAEM – Corporate Members
    These highly recognizable companies belong to our Board of Regents. They are committed to advancing environmental, health and safety management excellence, and sharing best practices through our network…
    http://www.naem.org/

    worth noting the long list of “carbon vultures” in the following for future reference:

    2008: AdPartners (Avoided Deforestation Partners): Nobel Laureate Conversation
    Featuring Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Maathai
    Moderated by Dan Rather
    Protecting Rainforests, Communities and our Climate:
    How U.S. leadership can make a difference
    Richard Saines — AD Partners; Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP
    http://adpartners.org/news_ny_event.html


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  • #
    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Sorry boys and girls, I have been responding on several pages on this blog that it is pretty sure that near all of the increase of CO2 over the past 160 years is caused by human emissions.

    Professor Salby is completely wrong on several points, including the 13C/12C ratio.

    That humans are the cause is quite sure:
    - The mass balance: It is impossible that nature was a net contibutor to the increase, because the measured increase is less than the emissions. Thus nature was a net sink for CO2 over the past at least 50 years. As long as the Law of non-destruction of mass holds. Have a good look at graph A from Tom Quirk: In every year, the emissions were larger than what remains in the atmosphere, the difference must go somewhere (and it’s not escaping to space!), it is absorbed by oceans and vegetation. Thus there were (near) always more natural sinks than sources. Thus all natural emissions were completely absorbed (in mass, not in origin of the molecules) by natural sinks and the natural emissions were just part of the turnover, not contributing to the total mass in the atmosphere. It doesn’t matter if human emissions were 3% or 0.3% or 0.03% of the turnover, because the human emissions were additional, the natural emissions were not.
    - The 13C/12C ratio: Indeed there are two main sources of low 13C: fossil fuels and the decay of vegetation. But the earth is greening, thus there is more CO2 absorbed by vegetation than that organic matter decays. That is confirmed by the oxygen balance: less oxygen is used than calculated from fossil fuel burning, thus the biosphere was a net source of oxygen, thus a net absorber of CO2 and preferentially 12CO2, leaving relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere. But we see a decline of 13CO2 in the atmosphere…
    - The process charasteristics: The increase in the atmosphere follows the emissions with an incredible fixed ratio. There is no natural process which is able to follow human emissions in such a way, Natural processes are far more variable.

    A few other problems:
    - While there is an extremely good correlation between accumulated emissions and accumulation in the atmosphere, the correlation is less when one looks at the year by year increase, simply because temperature changes have a short term influence (about 4 ppmv/degr.C) on the increase rate, not on the trend! The long term influence, as seen in ice cores, is about 8 ppmv/degr.C. Even an increase of 1 degr.C since the depth of the LIA would not give more than 8 ppmv increase, not the 100+ ppmv as measured. BTW the pCO2 of seawater increases with not more than 16 ppmv/degr.C. And while temperature should decrease the total amount of carbon in the upper layer of the oceans, we see an increase in carbon (and a decrease in 13C/12C ratio)
    - Ice cores, tree carbon and coralline sponges all give small 13C/12C variations over the Holocene, but all show a steady and ever faster decline since about 1850. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.jpg

    Further, Jack Barett and I have reacted in E&E on the article by Tom Quirk: he made a fundamental mistake in his comparison of no lag, because his comparison made no differentiation between no lag or 12 months lag (as the SH does) or 24 months lag,…

    See further my take in this discussion:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html#The_mass_balance


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  • #

    7.30 Report ABC

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2011/s3184258.htm

    Juliar Gillard: “I’ve always believed we had to put a price on carbon in order to tackle climate change,absolutely.”

    Chris Ulhmann: “And Kevin Rudd says that you didn’t at one stage,that you urged him to abandon the former ETS scheme.”


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  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    Ferdinand @ 33

    I reaffirm all of my previous comments to you..Go back and read them.

    You are NO scientist but an incorrigible Warmenista.

    I could say you are cunning and sly, but that would be giving you too much credit.

    The whirlpool starts with credible comments and then descends into ever more convoluted rubbish as if to say to people, well you just aren’t smart enough for this part, just trust me.

    No one should trust you.

    Go Away.


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  • #

    I tried to listen to the podcast of Salby but found it too painful to make it all the way to the end.
    From the summary above, how does the “800 year lag” fit into all this?

    I suggest nothing is certain thus far. I also suggest commentors read Ferdinand Engelbeens comment at #32 and click on the links.
    Not because I necessarily agree with all of what he shows, but what he shows is that this subject matter is not settled and Salbys Sydney Institute presentation is not the end game.


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    Come on Mary!

    I do not agree with him either.But he has been a civil person who make a case for his position.He did so in my old skeptic forum of 3 years ago.And he did give ground on a few details.But still held his main position that most of the increase is from mankind.

    He is a skeptic,who differs from many on this one area.


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    Ferdinand @ 33

    “That humans are the cause is quite sure.”

    Have you ever wondered how the methane gas in the Earths crust is being created?

    Now I found this site to be of great interest in relation to your arguement:

    http://www.archive.org/details/GMM-10359

    “Biological Creation of Methane:NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center”

    “Note: Conceptual animation depicting how biological organisms [shown as oval shaped translucent structures] living beneath the surface of Mars may have produced methane…”

    Now if organisms can theoretically live beneath the surface of Mars, why would it be impossible to think that it can’t happen on Earth? Some estimate that the bacteria living deep within the Earths crust to be in the thousands of gigatons.

    Burning methane in the presence of oxygen produces carbon dioxide and water.

    All the factors have to be put in the mix before you can reach a conclusion.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Hi sunsettommy:

    At one time I would have agreed with you but he has deliberately tried to cover over his incorrect assumption that Natural CO2 is totally fixed and unchanging.

    Anyone with even basic science knows that the likelihood of Natural CO2 output being known accurately just not possible.

    Maybe he has been caught up in the European Science and not been able to see the wood for the trees.

    My only reason for challenging him is to give others the chance to have second thoughts about his central scientific belief; That We cause Atm CO2 increases.

    At one time I asked if he and MattB were brothers because MattB has been very caring about his welfare.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Kevin a@31

    Good point.

    The CO2 attributable to organic activity in soil is immense and any scientist who overlooks these sources is being deliberately unscientific.

    Such people are called Politicians.


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    MaryFJohnston

    I have just re read 33 above.

    I say again, tread carefully.

    It has the appearance of reasoned science.

    It is NOT science.


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    PeterD

    I wish these upstarts would stick to modelling.

    Observation of reality causes disturbance in the settlement. (Of science, that is).

    How can we have certainty in political agendas if we have to take account of reality?


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    RobJM

    Lol @ ferdinand!
    1/ IPPC based the estimates on past CO2 levels on Ice cores, an uncalibrated proxy with problems, where the results just happen to fit the decompression curve. They ignored stomata proxies and direct measurments that showed the CO2 levels to be similar to todays levels at the start the 20th century.
    2/ The atmospheric proportion of CO2 represents only 2% of the total in the system. 98% is dissolved in the oceans. The ratio between the two is controlled by Henrys Law, and the ratio is dependant on ocean temp. A small increase in temp (with a 800 year delay for deep ocean cycles) must dramatically increase the concentration in the atmosphere. Strangely enough the current increase in CO2 is most likely caused by the medieval warm period about 800 years ago!
    3/ It cant be natural because natural is more variable, what the? 120k year ice ages, 800 year deep ocean cycle, 60 year PDO, you must be on drugs if you can’t see the obvious long term natural cycles. It’s nice to know that you also cant see that increases in atmospheric CO2 have been virtually linear while Human CO2 production has grown exponentially.


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    [...] Fantasyland??? Almost every day now a new piece of evidence arrives debunking the theory that man is changing the climate.  Professor Murry Salby’s speech at the Sydney Institute included the statement:  “anyone who thinks the science is settled on this topic, is in fantasia” I think it’s abundantly clear that Gillard /Brown and co. are all living in fantasyland. How often have you heard the statement that climate sceptics are deniers, in la la land, extremists?  As time goes by, more and more evidence points to the reverse.  It’s the proponents of AGW who are now on the back foot and about bloody time.  My kids are over being scared to death by alarmist bullies especially when the scare is baseless! In the face of increasing distrust of the climate scientific community it would be foolish to implement a tax on Carbon Dioxide when more and more scientists suggest it has less and less to do with causing Climate Change, follows changes in temperature rather than causes them and have little to do with man made emissions. http://joannenova.com.au/2011/08/blockbuster-planetary-temperature-controls-co2-levels-not-humans/#m… [...]


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    Orson

    “Salby was once an IPCC reviewer, and comments, damningly, that if these results had been available in 2007, ‘the IPCC could not have drawn the conclusion that it did.’ I guess he’s also giving them an out.”

    Is it just me or do you notice the timing of this non-orthodox, thinking outside the box, scientific criticism? Salby held off on this for one year, plus six months… And that happened about 18 months ago? Climategate. Did this scandal make climate scientists more courageous?


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    I’ll second that, Mary. Go away Ferdinand.
    You lost me on a C14 point on WUWT about 3 years ago where you said something about C14 being rare and so the plants scarfed it all up. Nonsense then and nonsense now.


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    Ah, the devil is indeed in the detail… Assuming the ratio’s are somehow effected by a single source in a complex multi million year old climatic system is surely a sign of madness in the face of reality. Good to see some proper science being done.


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    According to Tim Flannery and Julia and it seems Ferdinand,the Earth is not capable of recycling carbon dioxide of its own accord:that it takes the intervention of the Man-God, Gaia to keep everything in balance. Looking at Julia and Tim’s record doesn’t provide the world with much hope.


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    BobC

    Ferdinand Engelbeen (@33):

    The mass balance argument only works if you assume a long lifetime for atmospheric CO2. However, there is ample empirical evidence that the atmospheric CO2 lifetime is quite short — 5 to 10 years. All “evidence” to the contrary is simply model results, that are incapable of replicating the actual measurements.

    The “gold standard” evidence is from the measured lifetime of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere. This (link) is a classic tracer measurement, where the tracer material (carbon-14) was in equilibrium with all the sources/sinks before the atmospheric a-bomb tests introduced an “impulse” of C-14 that was abruptly ended with the atmospheric test ban treaty of 1963. Because of the prior equilibrium, it is unarguable that the impulse response function thus measured is the same as for carbon 12. All of the arguments I have heard against this result (including from Gavin Schmidt) fail to understand the nature of a tracer experiment, and ignore the long history and experimental validation of such measurements.

    Thus, the mass balance argument fails due to the falsification of the basic assumption that anthropogenic CO2 largely stays in the atmosphere.

    The bomb spike graph also shows clearly that the mixing time between hemispheres (most atmospheric tests were in the Northern Hemisphere) is ~ 3-4 years. Thus, the lack of a similar lag between current CO2 increases (most anthropogenic CO2 is also generated in the N. Hemisphere) as shown in Tom Quirk’s paper is another piece of data indicating that the current CO2 atmospheric concentration increases are mostly due to natural sources.

    The mass balance argument is interesting, but it requires assumptions that violate empirical knowledge, so is moot.


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    Siliggy

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 5th, 2011 at 7:57 am

    …”temperature changes have a short term influence (about 4 ppmv/degr.C) on the increase rate, not on the trend!”..

    So for the growth rate to fall by 3 PPM the temperature must dive by about 0.75 Deg C.
    Which means you must agree that the global temperatures for April 2010 to April 2011 were 0.75 Deg cooler than nearly thirteen years earlier Sept 1997 to Sept 1998:
    April 2010 392.49ppm
    April 2011 393.29ppm
    Which is an increase over a year of only 0.80ppm
    Sept 1997 360.12
    Sept 1998 363.84
    Which is a huge increase over that year of 3.72ppm.
    So the variation in growth between these two years has gone the wrong way for panic by at least 3.72 – 0.80 = 2.92ppm (your 3/4 of a deg C).
    Where is the missing heat Ferdinand?


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    BobC

    Addendum to #49:

    Not to mention that the “hockey-stick-like” CO2 data from ice cores + modern measurements is a carefully crafted stalking horse — you have to ignore most pre-industrial measurements (cherry-picking the low ones) and also the bulk of the stomata proxies to believe it.

    Also, there is the “80 year” lag that was assumed so that the ice cores and modern measurements fit together nicely. Without this arbitrary and unjustified assumption, you would have to conclude that ice cores seriously under-estimate CO2 concentrations.


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    BobC, thanks. IIRC that was when Ferdinand claimed that the C14 fell quickly because it was rare and so the plants scarfed it all up quickly. Ferdinand goes to a lot of trouble to produce lengthy plausible, sounding articles that fall over. He’s no Chiefio.


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    KR

    Ferdinand Engelbeen – Well said, and IMO quite correct. This amount of atmospheric CO2 could not come from the biosphere unless we were losing said biosphere, but we’re actually greening, with the total biomass increasing. CO2 from the oceans has about a 500-800 year lag, due to circulation delays, so it can’t be that. The increase in atmospheric CO2 can only be from our emissions.

    Interestingly enough, if you correct that first graph in this post for seasonal effects (you know, plants growing in the spring, dying off in the fall), and the fact that about half (by mass balance) of our emissions are absorbed by ocean and plant sinks, those two lines will track each other very well. See this video for a history of CO2 – it’s not the oceans or the plant biosphere causing the rise in concentrations. Peak CO2 levels over the last million or so years (natural cycles) haven’t exceeded 290 ppm, but current levels are about 393.

    Professor Salby is indeed quite demonstrably wrong.

    It will be interesting to see whether ongoing responses on this thread are ad hominem’s, or considerations of the evidence.


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    1DandyTroll

    Finding oil, coal, and wood. Burning oil, coal and wood, is just recycling carbon that binds to yet another molecule namely oxygen.

    In essence we have not gotten slightly lower oxygen levels but slightly more carbon bound to oxygen molecules. And the the idiots want to put that oxygen down into the ground bound to the carbon that would otherwise be oil, coal and wood again.

    I’m not all knowing, but one thing I do know, if one want to save the planet it won’t be done by oxygen depravation just because it is too expensive to separate the oxygens from the carbon. :p


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    BobC

    KR:
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    CO2 from the oceans has about a 500-800 year lag, due to circulation delays, so it can’t be that. The increase in atmospheric CO2 can only be from our emissions.

    Uh, KR: 500-800 years ago puts us in the Medieval Warm Period. So, kindly explain why the current rise can’t be a lagged response to that. Argument by “blatant assertion” is not sufficient.


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    1DandyTroll @ 51

    There is a probability that the buried CO2 could convert to dry ice.


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    Curious Bystander

    Quick question that perhaps only reveals my ignorance. I assume that as CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere it’s ‘backradiation’ must be reasonably well averaged across the globe (ie measurements at any one place of backradiation must be similar to measurements elsewhere). Now, the argument is that the backradiation is what is heating the system (or I guess more accurately slowing the cooling of the system), and that heating is measurable in terms of average temperature.

    If so, then surely we can directly measure that effect. For example, at large powerstations which are known to emit large quantities of CO2, or perhaps large cities. Sure in time CO2 emissions will mix well, but at the point of source they can’t instantly do that can they? A powerstation running 24 hours a day must have a sort of dome of higher density CO2 over it most of the time.

    Has the average temperature of such places been tracked? One would imagine that the locale of a powerstation must be quite hot indeed compared to surrounding areas. Particularly one located where winds or weather extremes are limited.


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    MattB

    I’m with Ferdy… the key piece of evidence is that atmospheric CO2 conc is rising slower than Anthropogenic CO2 emissions, you can’t argue with that.

    Dan F Johnston I simply cannot fathom how you can call Ferdy a Warmanista. Unfathomable.


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    MattB

    What it “could” show however is the dire straits academia is in. I’ve observed it myself… say the right thing and you progress… different unis promote different people depending on how they agree with the resident prof… so go fina a Uni where the prof agrees with you etc.

    Without writing this Prof off completely it appears to me he has probably gotten where he has today without really having a solid understanding of physics and maths and has panicked and just taken a guess and tried to sound like he knows what he is talking about. It could well be rats deserting a sinking ship… but it seems he is a rat. Watch for “esteemed” professors jumping ship claiming things like “AGW contravenes the 2nd law of thermodynamics” and you will realise they really don’t have a clue.

    I concede that is not a strong argument in favour of AGW… suggesting many profs are morons:) BUt based on experience of 1 – if universities rewarded smarts not brown-nosing I’d be head prof at MIT;)


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    Ross

    MattB –I note from above that Prof Salby was once an IPCC reviewer. Does that fit in with your assessment ??


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    mattB:”if universities rewarded smarts not brown-nosing I’d be head prof at MIT;)”

    a living example of the Dunning – Kruger effect.


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    Tom

    As others have noted, the IPCC Team has gone absolutely feral about Salby’s research and the most recent paper by Dr Roy Spencer, at the University of Alabama (On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance), for one simple reason: both are based on empirical, undoctored satellite observations, which, depending on the measure required, now extend into the past by up to 32 years, i.e. long enough to begin evaluating real climate trends; whereas much of the Team’s science in AR4 (2007) is based on primitive climate models generated from primitive and potentially unreliable land measurements and proxies, which have been “filtered” to achieve certain artificial realities (There are other more scathing descriptions of this process I won’t use). The IPCC’s crucial assumptions are getting precious little corroboration from reliable real-world data. Expect the Team and its sycophants, including those in Australia, to become more irrational as dragnet of evidence entraps them. Here at JN, my focus is moving towards establishing whether our resident trolls are more than amateur spoilers and are drawing part of their government pay cheques to proliferate the Team’s costly deceptions in the real world.


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    incoherent rambler

    Assumption is the mother of all …

    Some uses of the word from above:

    “scientists have assumed”
    “The climate models assume”
    “assumption that Natural CO2 is totally fixed and unchanging”
    “if you assume a long lifetime for atmospheric CO2″
    “falsification of the basic assumption ”
    “it requires assumptions that violate empirical knowledge”
    “assumed so that the ice cores and modern measurements fit together”
    “arbitrary and unjustified assumption”

    I thought Science was supposed to observe and deduce? Economics is the “assume we have a can opener” discipline.

    Should one go with the assumption or go with the (unadjusted) empirical data?

    One cannot just assume that chemical measurement of CO2, 150 years ago was wrong, because it does not fit with your other assumptions.


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    Jack Taylor

    No one tell the Labor Party or Bob Brown. They’re in their own world of make believe. Carbon is the problem and must be taxed. The legislation is in. Australian deniers will be labelled as anarchists next.


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    MattB

    Mike in 61 – did you miss the cheeky wink?


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    MaryFJohnston

    49
    BobC:

    The interhemispheric thing was a great piece of info.

    A good way of assessing human CO2 absorption.


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    Grant (NZ)

    Jack @ 64
    It reminds me…

    You can tell a politician.

    But they will just blithely ignore you.


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    MaryFJohnston

    MattB:
    @58

    I know you’re with Ferdy and I called him a Warmenista

    DAN


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    DWH

    I’m afraid that Ferdinand Englebeen is correct here. The relationships between atmospheric CO2ppmv increase, the del C13 signatures of current atmospheric (and oceanic (dissolved) “CO2″), the del C13 signatures of oil, coal, and wood, and the estimates of anthropogenic CO2 production since 1850, all indicate that the ~ 110ppmv atmospheric CO2 increase since then has a “non-natural”, i.e. anthropogenic source, even though the biosphere is absorbing approximately 55% of the total anthropogenic CO2 production. However, I am not a “warmista” by any means – we do not know how to properly quantify the albedo of aerosols, including clouds, with their consequent negative feedback effects in any of the climate sensitivity models as yet – and all models in the ensemble used by the “warmistas” are indicating the sensitivities (to atmospheric CO2 increase) are too high, by factors ranging from 2 to 4: which could indicate that climate sensitivity to a doubling of current CO2 concentrations will be of the order of 1 degree C or less outside the equatorial regions (none or very little in the equatorial regions)- i.e. an outcome which will likely be beneficial to all of us. I cannot be more certain of these conjectures written here, as the science is so horribly uncertain, although at the moment, observations, and “new science” favour lower climate sensitivities.


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    dlb

    Interesting reaction of the climate sceptics to this speech. Obviously there are credible and sceptical sceptics :) I would call myself the latter.


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    Bruce of Newcastle

    OT, sorry, but this has got to be the silliest most inane lie I’ve ever heard from the mouth of a politician:

    Carbon tax essential to growth, says Treasurer Wayne Swan

    This is a comment in response to the market tanking 5%!

    Arrrgh, why oh why do we have to have this guy running Australia when the financial markets do an imitation of Lucifer’s firey decent to hell in Paradise Lost?


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    John Brookes

    Interesting. I’ll wait until this new paper sees the light of day and decide if it holds water. But its always good to see people trying to get their heads around how things actually work. I hope its not another “2nd law of thermodynamics” debacle.


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    It is probable that a proposition as laid down as a base for this debate is wrong – that “The implication is that since coal and oil were from plants,that ‘plant signature’ means “human via fossilised fuels.”

    It is probable that oil existed before plant life – that fossils found in coal are merely plant life enveloped in solidified oil.

    Thomas Gold and the Future of Methane as as Fuel

    http://phe.rockefeller.edu/docs/yantovski_gold_future.pdf

    “The main arguement of biogenic proponents is the existence in crude oil of some molecules that indisputably belong to living matter because they manifest a a chiral effect [predominant rotation of polarised light]. The presence of biogenic molecules is actually an important part of the abiobenic concept as well, but it turns the old logic upside down. It is not that bacteria produced hydrocarbons, but that the primordial hydrocarbon “soup” gave food to bacteria.The total mass of organic substance of these microbes is estimated to be hundreds of thousands of gigatons,much more than the organic mass of surface biota.”


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen @ 33:
    The mass balance argument doesn’t makes sense at all. We have been increasing our production of C02 at an increasing rate. If this argument held true then atmospheric C02 concentrations would match this. But, C02 increase since 1960 has been largely linear over the long term. This was addressed by Murray but you’ve chosen to ignore this fact. Empirical evidence trumps guesses about C02 sources.

    And Mary, why try to shut down the debate? If you’re tired of debating Ferdinand then ignore his posts. I would prefer a debate so that everyone can get their points of view on the table. If you want to shut down the debate, I suggest you join the other camp.

    Orson @ 45:

    Is it just me or do you notice the timing of this non-orthodox, thinking outside the box, scientific criticism? Salby held off on this for one year, plus six months… And that happened about 18 months ago? Climategate. Did this scandal make climate scientists more courageous?

    What I find curious is that Chiefio’s 2009 post has a MiB quote and this speech by Murry also contains an MiB quote. Was Murry inspired?


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    KR

    BobC @ 55“…500-800 years ago puts us in the Medieval Warm Period. So, kindly explain why the current rise can’t be a lagged response to that.”

    Good point! I think, though, that since temperatures have been rather higher over the Holocene than now (http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev_png) and CO2 much lower, that the MWP could not have driven CO2 levels to 393 – especially with the LIA in between.

    Our emissions certainly explain current levels – otherwise we have to both figure out why our emissions don’t have the expected effect and why something else would.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Hi Curious Bystander: @ 57

    You are probably aware that you have already answered your own question..

    The Urban Heat Island Effect at a power station would make it a bit difficult to make sense of any data.

    I read somewhere that if you took the land area of every city and town in the world and put them together side by side you could see something interesting. The entire mass of habitation would fit neatly inside the borders of Spain.

    The point of this comment is that there are plenty of locations away from urban areas that can give us more useful readings than at hot spots.

    regards

    Dan


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    Crakar24

    The thing i find most interesting about all this is that we have 1 drive by and two usual suspects debunking a paper they have not seen nor read.

    They tell us the science is settled, they tell us there is a consensus but yet when they are faced with the science they reject it.

    They have all attempted to debunk this paper based on what would seem at face value as legitimate reasons but if you look a little deeper at what they have said you see it just a veneer thin piss poor attempt.

    So far they have all failed to explain how Antarctic measurements of ATM CO2 can lead the Nth Hemisphere, how can this be possible if the total increase in CO2 is from man?

    They fail to explain how CO2 levels can increase and decrease from year to year even though CO2 has a very long life in the ATM.

    They will not acknowledge the MWP even though there is a warehouse full of studies showing it existed therefore they will not entertain the idea of the 800 year lag playing a role in CO2 increases.

    Their responses to the imminent release of this paper and their reasons for debunking it shows only one thing, that is they have this idea fixed in their head and no matter what happens or what is said that idea cannot be changed. There are numerous words that can be used to describe this…..one that springs to mind is FAITH.

    Do you think they realise just how sad they look?


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    Gee Aye

    I also wonder about the story behind the lag between completing the work and publishing (I wonder what journal?). A cynic might suggest that he was holding off to time the release to use publicity generated in the media to maximally contribute to sales of a forthcoming book. I’d say not as peer reviewal is unpredictable – when and if you get published- and could ruin such plans. You’d need a compliant and complicit publisher.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Siliggy @ 50

    Sounds good but I’m going to have to sit down and work that out with a pencil.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Waffle.

    Like you apparently, I thought that Ferdinand was debating.

    If you have seen the extreme exchanges on the other thread you would understand that debate has been well and truly attempted.

    Graphs he links to may look professional but do you understand where the data came from that made them?

    Fig 4 for example I commented on a few days ago. I think we are supposed to be impressed by the fact that all curves seem to line up. Junk.

    The other item on sinks and sources is nicely coloured in but again what is the accuracy of the work?

    The certain point is that man made CO2 is inconsequential compared with natural CO2 and he wants to convince people of the EXACT OPPOSITE.


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    BobC

    Curious Bystander (@57):
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:02 am
    Quick question that perhaps only reveals my ignorance. I assume that as CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere it’s ‘backradiation’ must be reasonably well averaged across the globe (ie measurements at any one place of backradiation must be similar to measurements elsewhere). Now, the argument is that the backradiation is what is heating the system (or I guess more accurately slowing the cooling of the system), and that heating is measurable in terms of average temperature.

    If so, then surely we can directly measure that effect.

    Hi CB: The backradiation (or at least the total IR coming from the sky, known as downwelling radiation) can indeed be directly measured, and CO2 should have a similar effect (adjusted for lattitude) nearly anywhere on the globe, due to mixing. Here is a study that did that over a 14 year period over the Great Plains (US) and found that back radiation decreased at the same time that CO2 concentrations increased (discussion here )

    It’s hard to escape the conclusion that either A) The calculations of the CO2 GH effect are in serious error, or B) There exist negative feedbacks (or natural variation) that easily overwhelms the effect of CO2. Either way, the ability of the climate models (which don’t account for either possibility) to predict climate is shown to be nil. Since the only crisis in climate science is the one predicted by the models (which the IPCC has admitted can’t predict climate) pretty much all the air has been let out of the alarmist balloon.


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    BobC

    KR (@75):
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Our emissions certainly explain current levels – otherwise we have to both figure out why our emissions don’t have the expected effect and why something else would.

    Our emissions don’t have the effect you expect because of the short CO2 atmospheric lifetime. No, we don’t have to figure out what is causing CO2 to increase to know it is not us. The “argument from ignorance” (we dont’ know what else is causing it, so it must be us) is not even slightly compelling (besides being fallacious).


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    MaryFJohnston

    I have been requested to debate:

    IF

    Active Carbon Dioxide Distribution is:

    a. 98% of Earths ( active ) CO2 is dissolved in the oceans.

    b. 2% of Earths ( active ) CO2 is in the atmosphere.

    c. 97% of atmospheric CO2 is of Natural Origin.

    d. 3% of atmospheric CO2 is Human attributable.

    It would seem then that if we want to control CO2 levels we need to control two systems:

    1. The oceans

    and

    2. Natural CO2 emissions.

    Logically the Atmosphere and Human CO2 emissions are rendered impotent by the shear weight of the other two factors.

    Any comment?


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    Bruce D Scott

    Thank you Jo, this is doing no end of good for my mental well being.


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    pat

    5 Aug: BusinessGreen: EU carbon price plunges to record low as focus returns to Greece
    Analysts forecast poor outlook for third quarter after benchmark carbon price drops to 29-month low of €11.05
    Gray added that almost all movement lately has been associated with sovereign debt problems in the EU and the US, which have created significant downside risk for carbon in terms of low economic growth prompting waning demand for carbon, but also “a costly and cagey” credit market which could potentially drag EUAs lower as utilities seek to boost cash flows.
    The analyst forecast a “very poor” outlook for the third quarter because of the absence of utilities hedging their exposures for phase III of the ETS, which starts in 2013.
    “We expect to see an uptick in 2012 when utilities start to enter the market to cover their phase III obligations,” he said…
    More broadly, the market has been deflated by security concerns prompted by cyber attacks in January, as well as European Commission energy efficiency plans, which mean that companies need fewer credits to achieve their reduction targets.
    http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2099572/eu-carbon-price-plunges-record-low-focus-returns-greece

    2 Aug: GreenWiseBusiness: Carbon price floor to cost manufacturing £1.2bn, says EEF
    “UK Industry was already facing energy bills which made them uncompetitive before the substantial additional burden of the unilateral carbon price floor. We have now reached a tipping point where the cumulative burden of UK climate change policy will make it uncompetitive for some sectors to invest and create jobs in the UK,” EEF director of Policy, Steve Radley, said…
    According to Government figures, climate policies could add up to 52 per cent to electricity prices paid by energy intensive industry by 2020…
    http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk/news/carbon-price-floor-to-cost-manufacturing-12bn-says-eef-2509.aspx

    and the following is the standard of writing in Australia:

    4 Aug: Crikey: Ellen Sandell: Abbott’s European holiday might make him hot and bothered
    Abbott seems to still be confused about the science of climate change, moving between “climate change is absolute crap” and aligning himself with the climate deniers, and at other times accepting that climate change is a problem, but just not one worth acting efficiently on…
    All of this will be news to most Europeans, who have long accepted the science of climate change and have been measuring their CO2 emissions in tonnes through the trading scheme, and are benefiting from climate change solutions…
    Studies predict an increase of up to 6.1 million jobs in 2050, and the EU-wide emissions trading scheme is expected to generate between $143 billion and $296 billion over the next six years…
    Maybe on the plane on the way home to Australia, Abbott could use the time to catch up on some reading.
    We could recommend the eminent economist Sir Nicholas Stern’s report on climate change commissioned by the British Government, which found the economic impact of climate change to be greater than the Great Depression and World War Two combined.
    Or perhaps he could start with the basics: Global Warming for Dummies.
    Ellen Sandell is national director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition
    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/2011/08/04/abbotts-european-holiday-might-make-him-hot-and-bothered/


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    MaryFJohnston

    If anyone doubts the importance of Global Warming just look at this.

    Re 85

    Stated;

    “”EU-wide emissions trading scheme is expected to generate between $143 billion and $296 billion over the next six years…”"

    At a commission rate of 0.1% the banks handling these transactions will make somewhere between $143 million and $296 million.


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    MattB

    Dan all I’d say is that “Logically the Atmosphere and Human CO2 emissions are rendered impotent by the shear weight of the other two factors.” does not match with the observed data on CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and the fact that human emissions < annual increase in atmospheric concentration.

    The problem is your use of "logically"… as even if you were correct on the general situation, simply reading your post the conclusion is not a "logical" consequence of the preceding statements.


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    BobC

    MaryFJohnston (@83):
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:58 pm
    a. 98% of Earths ( active ) CO2 is dissolved in the oceans.
    b. 2% of Earths ( active ) CO2 is in the atmosphere.
    c. 97% of atmospheric CO2 is of Natural Origin.
    d. 3% of atmospheric CO2 is Human attributable.

    If we simply add the reasonable assumption that the atmosphere and oceans are in rough equilibrium, over the long run, then it is clear that only 2% of anthropogenic CO2 will remain in the atmosphere long term (the rest going into the oceans). This means that, at current emission rates, we might be able to double CO2 concentration in ~4000 years.

    The Warmistas try to slide past this by publishing hundreds of papers on Carbon models that “show” CO2 residence time in the atmosphere of 100s to 1000s of years, thus extending the transient effects into the distant future. These papers uniformly reference only other papers on models that agree with them (such as the much-hyped paper of Susan Solomon’s 3 years ago). They never address the actual measured data.

    It’s a perfectly hermetically sealed virtual reality.

    Back in the real world, however, CO2 residence time in the atmosphere is 5-10 years, and equilibrium is largely reached in a few decades, not a few thousand years.

    When I was a kid at the Grand Canyon on vacation, my Mom told me not to throw rocks because “if everybody did it, the canyon would be filled up”. Filling up the Grand Canyon is, however, something that we could do (with great difficulty), but controlling the natural flux of CO2 is not. It’s a fool’s errand to try.


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    This is off topic, but, gee, once you see the video, I just know you’ll all forgive me.
    I see Bob Brown has got his wish to have a study into high speed rail.
    Just that study alone will cost $20 Million.
    This is for a MagLev and this is Magnetic Levitation, which requires some explanation.
    The two main electrical ‘spinning things’ are generators and motors, (electrical Motors that is) and while the two items look similar in nature, the principle is the opposite.
    Generators use an magnetic field to induce a flow of electrons in a wire, or many wires hence current flow, hence electrical power.
    An electric motor has magnet for the rotor (similar) and an electromagnet for the stator.
    In the generator a drive mechanism spins the rotor which induces power in the Stator.
    In the electric Motor current flow in the stator induces a large magnetic field in that stator, and the reaction between the magnetic field causes the rotor to rotate.
    Typical applications are windshield wipers, and while the power is applied the rotor rotates in the one direction, and limit switches at the limit of wiper movement reverse the direction of the wiper blades while the rotor is still moving in the same direction.
    Or a starter Motor which uses more powerful stator windings to provide a greater magnetic field, hence more torque as, instead of driving much lesser wiper blades it has to turn over an engine.
    OK, now having laid the base, lets explain a MagLev Train.
    The Stator, wrapped as it is around the rotor in an electric motor is now laid out flat in lengths, and expended, and from ‘stator’ to ‘stator, (now wrapped flat) tey are added along the length of the ‘train track’, if you can visualise that.
    The ‘rotor’ now becomes the Train.
    As soon as the power is turned on, the interplay of magnetic fields lifts the train slightly off the track, hence the magnetic levitation.
    Then as the power is applied the rotor (train) now moves, as the magnetic fiels interplay with each other.
    Vastly huge speeds can be attained in this manner.
    BUT, and isn’t there always a BUT.
    These are huge consumers of electrical power.
    Bob Brown wants these to reduce the emissions from air travel, and the speeds attainable are comparable to air travel, making this MagLev train attractive.
    However, this will be a user of immense amounts of EXTRA electrical power, and 24/7/365 power at that.
    No wind towers or solar plants operating for 6 hours a day with this.
    So dear old Bob, have you thought about this?
    $20 million just for the study alone, and Billions for implementation.
    This is absolute madness.
    Great idea, and I can’t wait for them to come in, because I just love new technology, er, which has been around since the early 70′s no less.
    However, there is an absolutely wonderful alternative, and that is explained ever so neatly at this following video.
    You’ll be rolling around the floor, trust me!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzlqNp8R90A
    Tony.


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    MaryFJohnston

    BobC @88

    Very interesting;

    “”If we simply add the reasonable assumption that the atmosphere and oceans are in rough equilibrium, over the long run, then it is clear that only 2% of anthropogenic CO2 will remain in the atmosphere long term.”"

    Someone put up the 98 / 2 breakdown in an earlier post.

    This of course ignores CO2 held geologically in the mantle which is another factor entirely. We don’t need to get too complicated as the geo factor just adds to our case.

    “”It’s a perfectly hermetically sealed virtual reality.”" I like that, can I use it??

    “”my Mom told me not to throw rocks”" As a kid in the scouts we were told: never throw rocks over a cliff — there may be somebody down there.

    “‘controlling the natural flux of CO2 is not. It’s a fool’s errand to try”"

    How do we get this message into the public domain after so many years of “scientific” indoctrination in schools??


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    MaryFJohnston

    Tony @89

    Thanks for that moment Levity.

    Sorry bad joke.

    Hilarious – loved the $40 plastic nose attachments for the buses.


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    Winston

    Pat @ 85

    the eminent economist Sir Nicholas Stern’s report on climate change commissioned by the British Government, which found the economic impact of climate change to be greater than the Great Depression and World War Two combined.

    Sir Nicholas nearly got that one right- he forgot to insert the words “mitigating against” before the words “climate change” in the above quote. If he would have done so, I think he would have reached a complete consensus with skeptics on his conclusions.


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    Raredog

    KR @ 53, you realise that Ferdinand Engelbeen is, nonetheless, a warming skeptic don’t you? Also, you forgot to mention the role played by phytoplankton in atmospheric CO2 levels. Could it be that atmospheric CO2 levels have partially increased due to a decrease in phytoplankton, perhaps as a result of oceanic pollution such as oil slicks, etc? As you say, “considerations of the evidence” . .!


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    Codish @ 12:

    I listened to the podcast but didn’t catch this reply from Prof Salby. But I don’t see why a negative feedback is required. Can anyone elucidate?

    I just spotted your post following another thread of conversation. Think about it for a while. If the feedbacks in the climate system are positive then the planet would have entered a death-spiral billions of years ago. Either, completely frozen(more so than the snowball earth scenario) or completely vapourised. But it hasn’t. Run-away global warming is a fallacy becaue C02 concentrations have been more than 20 times their present levels in the past. If C02 feedback was positive we would not be here having this discussion and this planet would more closely resemble Venus.

    Lucky for us the Earth’s climate system has negative feedbacks which means, stability. That has allowed life to evolve and prosper.


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    MaryFJohnston

    MattB @87

    Can’t Really Accept your Post.

    The numbers are solid and the logic is solid.

    Any other attempts ??


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    bananabender

    The entire idea of a closed “carbon cycle” is absolute nonsense. It assumes (without any empirical evidence) that negligible carbon (CO2, methane etc) is released by geological processes into the atmosphere.


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    J.H.

    I’ll wait for the paper. But it sounds okay. I’ve never been happy with the vagaries of the residence time of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere and the lack of any lag between the industrialized northern hemisphere and the southern when charting anticipated Anthropogenic CO2 warming effects…… The AGW hypothesis is full of inconsistencies and problems that were never even address or explained, just hand waved away or ad hoc-ed with another hypothesis. From lack of Tropical Tropospheric warming to unrealistic CO2 residence times to cooling Sea Surface Temperatures to exaggerated sea level rise, etc… The AGW hypothesis is a mess. A rich alphabet soup of politics, funding opportunities and bias.

    ….Now we MAY find that not even the observed CO2 rise can be attributed to Humans….. This is going to go down as a period of infamy for science.


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    MattB

    Mary/Dan sorry this is twice int he last week you’ve used the word “logically” as though it is a magic wand to cover deficiencies in your argument. The fact you can’t accept my argument doesn’t make you right.


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    bananabender

    @Waffle:
    August 5th, 2011 at 3:04 pm
    Comment 94

    I have often used the same argument myself. If CO2 feedbacks are positive the Earth would either be frozen completely solid or boiled dry. Either way we wouldn’t be here to discuss it.

    The only other (rational and correct) alternative is that CO2 has essentially zero effect.


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    What argument was that MattB?

    the key piece of evidence is that atmospheric CO2 conc is rising slower than Anthropogenic CO2 emissions, you can’t argue with that.

    We’ve already had the science-is-settled ‘argument’. Doesn’t this just confirm that anthropogenic emissions are not significant to atmospheric concentrations of C02?

    The fact you can’t accept my argument doesn’t make you right.

    Actually, this is Ferdinand’s argument. I can’t remember the last time you’ve put an argument forward on this blog. It would years ago. But, if you want to go ahead and attempt to construct an argument for the good readers here, we could all get that nostalgic feeling back by tearing it the shreds.


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    J.H.

    I’d love to see his presentation…. You miss all the graphs and stuff with the podcast….Bummer.


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    memoryvault

    JH @ 101

    I understand a video will be released in the next few days.


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    Orson

    waffle74-”What I find curious is that Chiefio’s 2009 post has a MiB quote and this speech by Murry also contains an MiB quote. Was Murry inspired?”

    I caught that too. Is suspect so.

    First, Salby starts out as an “agnostic” on the issue of the carbon cycle. Then he takes maybe 18 months to step forward. Now, he declares himself. And unlike the AGW establishment, he has no press office

    Salby does all this detailed analysis while awaiting “resources” – funding, one suspects. Thus he does the book – revised? – plus this boldly anti-establishment paper. What does he have to lose?

    That’s how I read him.


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    J.H.

    thanx Memoryvault.


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    MattB

    Waffle and others… excuse ignorance, what’s MiB?


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    Orson

    MiB = Holllywood movie “Men In Black” from 1997


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    J.H.

    Orson…. Yep, I too noted that he said he was going to write a book and said that one doesn’t realize the extent of ones lack of specificity on a subject until you put pen to paper, or words to that effect.

    It would seem that his immersment in Australia’s more skeptical environment may have been beneficial to him?…


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    Whoa!
    This is scary.
    The Department of Education is using SpongeBob SquarePants in the U.S. as an educational ‘tool’ to warn young students about global CO2 emissions.
    There was a recent seminar about the efficacy of doing this, (not sponsored by the DOE) and it was jokingly referred to as Global Warming Math, but the title of the course that stuck the most was Al Gore ithms, and just say it slowly.
    This is becoming a little frightening.
    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/08/04/al-gore-ithms-and-global-warming/
    The video at the bottom of the Post is about ‘Nanny Statism’ in the Education process.
    Tony.


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    J.H.

    Sigh.. Immersion.


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    [...] Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans Judging by the speech Murry Salby gave at the Sydney Institute, there’s a blockbuster paper [...]


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    Andrew McRae

    Following the General Law of Stuff:

    AirChange = HumanSource + NaturalSources – NaturalSinks – HumanSinks.

    The first two terms are the only known quantities. The last one is mostly estimated to be so small as to be negligible (ie agriculture has both a source and sink component which are small compared to the rest of the biosphere).

    Some people here are claiming that…
    1) the HumanSource term is less than the NaturalSources term.
    2) the HumanSource term is more than 50% of the final AirChange result.
    3) the temperature causes more than 50% of the final AirChange result.

    My analysis of this chart….

    In the last 5 years of this chart the ratio of final carbon content increase net of all processes compared to anthropogenic emission component is approximately (5.5+4.8+3.25+5.5+3.9)÷(8.5+8.25+7.9+7.5+7.25) = 60%.
    In the 5 years 1974-1979 the same ratio was about (1.9+2.7+2+3.8+2.9)÷(4.6+4.6+4.8+5+5.1) = 55%

    Therefore, flipping it round the other way, humans have been emitting carbon at 166% to 180% of the final rate of atmospheric increase. So neglecting the small HumanSinks component, in air-relative terms the formula is now…

    100% = 180% + NaturalSources% – NaturalSinks%
    …so…
    -80% = NaturalSources% – NaturalSinks%

    The only conclusion one can draw from the above data is that for the LHS to be negative the NaturalSinks% must be larger than NaturalSources%, so clearly nature has been a net carbon sink from the atmosphere over this period and by a factor of around 80% of net annual carbon change. This is the essence of the “mass balance” argument.

    The truth of Claim 1 is ambiguous, because to show 180% > NaturalSources% you have to know either the NaturalSources% directly or calculate it via the NaturalSinks%, which we also don’t know. At a guess, the numbers could be…
    -80% = 200% – 280%
    …or maybe…
    -80% = 1900% – 1980%
    The size of the natural sinks and sources must be estimated to put limits on the relative contributions.
    By most reports the natural flux is around 30 times larger than the human flux (3% versus 97%), so the second guess is probably closer to the truth…
    NaturalSources% = 30*HumanSource% = 30*180% = 5400%
    … and from earlier…
    -80% = NaturalSources% – NaturalSinks%
    NaturalSinks% = 30*180% + 80% = 5480%

    The truth of Claim 2 is known by the above formula and data, and it is trivially true the HumanSource component is vastly more than 50% of the final rate of carbon accumulation, since 180% > 50%. This does not by itself tell us whether “humans dunnit” because that would require comparing the net effect of the two main components (Humans and Nature).

    Let’s look at Claim 3, which on the surface sounds plausible just based on the much greater amount of CO2 flux from the ocean than from human activity. Since CO2 from coal-generated electricity used for air conditioning would be tiny compared to ocean CO2 flux, the temperature influences CO2 as only a Natural mechanism and will affect both sources and sinks of carbon. So again in final AirChange relative quantities this claim is…
    NaturalSources% – NaturalSinks% > 50%
    …which is incompatible with the earlier conclusion of NaturalSources% – NaturalSinks% = -80% which was based only on the chart data. Well -80% > 50% is false and moreover the sign is totally wrong. This is due to the error in reasoning that because human flux is so much smaller than ocean flux we must surely make little difference compared to nature in the final trend. This neglects that a comparison of two sources does not tell you how the comparison between the net effects of one component versus another will turn out inclusive of sinks. In other words, humans are only a source and don’t do much sinking. (This was what Schneider called the bathtub analogy.)
    The CO2 trend would have been equal to the human emissions without Nature acting as a sink. Le Chatelier’s principle from physical chemistry guarantees that the oceans will always absorb around 50% of human emissions even without the help of the biosphere. The change in trend from 55% to 60% of emissions between 1979 and 2004 is probably due to ocean warming reducing it’s capacity to absorb CO2.

    So by the above reasoning basically all the recent increase in CO2 has been due to human activity. I can’t see much room for error in the reasoning process, but if I have made a mistake then please provide a correction. I have never heard any skeptics doubt this point until I read Jo’s headline today. Say all you want about the C13 isotope method being a furphy with regards to attribution, but the carbon accounting method is still believable.

    Which is all very good news because it means we are very helpfully returning CO2 to the atmosphere from which it originally came and thereby being good citizens in the carbon cycle… unlike the the greedy and stupid plants which sucked most the CO2 out of the atmosphere over the last 175 million years without giving any thought to the sustainability of what they were doing. Typical! Never let a plant plan anything.

    And CAGW is still a load of rubbish because the climate sensitivity isn’t high enough and the cosmically-influenced cloud subsystem operates as an IR thermostat anyway.


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    bananabender

    Tell the freakin’ physicists to get the hell out of “climate science” and let the chemists take over. They will tell immediately you that:

    a) The Greenhouse Effect is non-existent.
    b) CO2 concentration has no effect at all on temperature.
    c) The oceans warm the atmosphere.
    d) Atmospheric CO2 is controlled almost entirely by the temperature of the oceans.
    e) Ocean Acidification is unscientific and totally impossible.
    f) The closed Carbon Cycle is total BS.


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    bananabender

    TonyfromOz:
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:32 pm
    Comment 108

    Very Fast Trains use considerably more energy per passenger kilometre than aircraft. This is because planes operate at altitudes where air pressure is only ~1/3rd that of ground level which massively reduces aerodynamic drag.


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    Peter Lang

    Andrew McRae,

    I just looked at the second last paragraph and reckoned it needed a semi-light-hearted response.

    I think you may be blaming the wrong life form for selfishly sucking up all the CO2. You blamed plants. But I suspect it may be animals (e.g. corals) that suck the CO2 out of the oceans and form limestone that are mostly responsible for reducing the atmospherinc CO2 concentration. I don’t know, I am just guessing.


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    Siliggy

    MaryFJohnston:
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:25 pm
    Siliggy @ 50

    Sounds good but I’m going to have to sit down and work that out with a pencil.

    A laxative may be safer.

    If you are impling that someone pulled this out of their ..er ,well made it up. It is a very small look at things. I am suggesting that Ferdinands 4ppm/deg C is a little too high and the idea that

    “temperature changes have a short term influence “…” on the increase rate, not on the trend!”

    is going to fall apart if there are many short term increases or decreases in a row as has happened with the past high solar activity and now lower solar activity.


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    Gordon Walker

    BobC:
    I did a back of the envelope calculation yesterday and got similar results to yours.
    A sudden doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration would, after equilibrium with the oceans is attained, leave a residual 2% increase only in atmospheric CO2.


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    cohenite

    Mary@83 and elsewhere; there really is no necessity for comparing natural and anthropogenic CO2 because neither has more than a statistically minor correlation and causal relationship with GAT.

    The oceans and the Sun, however, are all we need to explain variations in GAT. David Stockwell has put his new paper up for comment:

    http://vixra.org/pdf/1108.0004v1.pdf

    Stockwell shows that CO2′s limited heating is downwards and therefore limited and not accumulative because it does not involve the ocean. Solar heating does involve the ocean and heats upwards. Figures 4-7 are fairly conclusive but the proof of the pudding is Figure 12. The models assume that ‘deep’ heating is by CO2; it is not; it is shallow and emphemeral. Likewise the models assume that small variations in TSI are too small to impact; but they ignore the accumulative nature of solar heating which to heat or cool only needs to rise or fall below the average TSI of a period.


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    CHIP

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    Even if we could discriminate between human-originated CO2 and natural CO2 isotopically with reliability I don’t see how carbon isotope measurements could prove we have increased atmospheric CO2 by 40% anyway (or 110ppm) because, problematically, CO2 has a very short atmospheric residence time. According to Wikipedia the residence time of a particle in a reservoir has a universal mathematical equation. This equation is as follows: T = M/S. Where T is the residence time, M is the atmospheric mass and S is the rate of removal (or creation/destruction). According to the IPCC’s figures (as presented in 2007 AR4) anthropogenic emissions amount to 29gtons/year while natural CO2 emissions amount to 771gtons/year and the atmospheric mass currently stands at about 3000gtons.

    Therefore if we slot the IPCC’s own figures into that equation we get a residence time for a CO2 molecule of 3.8 years (i.e. 3000/771). Let’s be generous and call it 4 years. Since the sinks should not significantly discriminate between anthropogenic CO2 and natural CO2 that residence time holds for all CO2 (except CO2 with C14 which takes longer due to kinetic absorption and dissolution differences). This means that the maximum amount of anthropogenic CO2 that can accumulate in the atmosphere before absorption is 116gtons/14.5ppm (i.e. 29*4) which is 3.8% of the total atmospheric resident CO2-greenhouse. Therefore 96.4% of atmospheric CO2 now residing in the atmosphere should be isotopically indistinguishable from naturally-occurring CO2 which is why atmospheric carbon isotope measurements are useless when trying to prove humans have increased atmospheric CO2 by 40%. It simply cannot be done.

    Interestingly, Tom Segalstad has confirmed this with C12/C13 isotope measurements, showing that only 4% of CO2 in the atmosphere could be anthropogenic in origin (that includes other natural sources as well). There are so many sources that can account for the decrease in the relative amount of C13 in the atmosphere, such as vegetation decay (I remember you and Spencer had a long-winded discussion about this and he pointed out that increased phytoplankton decay could result in the same signature), as well as increased bacteriogenic activity which when oxidises into CO2 is even more depleted in C13 than anthropogenic CO2. I dare say there are others that I haven’t thought of. But this is all irrelevant anyway, because CO2′s short residence time means it can only accumulate in the atmosphere for about 4 years before it is absorbed, principally by the ocean. This eliminates the possibility that humans can control the atmospheric CO2 level to any significant extent.

    Another problem, as has been mentioned before, is that about 98% of anthropogenic CO2 should be absorbed by the oceans in order to preserve the 1:50 partitioning ratio of CO2 between air and water at earth’s average surface temperature that is governed by Henry’s law.

    After considering all of your arguments, I have to say, that I remain unconvinced.


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    bananabender @112

    I’d like to see the detailed numbers on fast trains vs aircraft. I take the point about air density but the drag to hold the train up is only that of steel wheels on steel rails which is very low. Aircraft create profile drag (skin friction + shape drag) plus Induced drag also called lift dependent drag. Typically at cruise in a modern jet airliner these are approximately equal which minimises total drag. So the drag on an airliner is around twice what you might think(trust me on this, I’ve spent 45 years flying sailplanes and 36 years designing and manufacturing instruments for them. Lift and drag are vital considerations in this activity.)
    The economics of any transport mode are determined by the propulsive efficiency and the lift /drag ratio. The propulsive efficiency of an aircraft is lower than that of a wheel driven train and the the train drag due to lift is much lower.
    There are other considerations. Aircraft can go anywhere you build a runway. This is easier than building many kilometers of rail track. Given my druthers I’d rather spend only 30 seconds at each end of a flight at high speed in contact with the ground rather than the whole trip. It is easier to ensure no wombats, kangaroos, cars or trucks on crossings on a runway than on hundreds of kilometers of track.


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    cohenite

    Chip@118; Ferdinand is here? He should listen to Professor Salby’s talk; it should be front-page news just like TonyOz and Peter Lang’s work on energy should be. Unfortunately, we are working within a corrupt system where the msm, mainly, is not interested in the now overwhelming evidence against AGW.


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    cohenite

    Lambert’s post on Salby’s talk is revealing and worthy of discussion here;

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/08/murray_salby_and_conservation.php#comments

    Lambert says Salby’s analysis is faulty because he falls into the same trap that McLean fell into [will they ever let that go]; namely first differencing to [inadvertently] remove the trend. Lambert uses this graph from his mate Tamino:

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/dco21.jpg

    The immediate comparison to be made is with Tom Qurik’s graph above which is not differenced but simply plots the yearly values of human emissions [ACO2] against annual variations in total atmospheric CO2 [TACO2]. This clearly shows that ACO2 has little bearing on or relationship with TACO2; no further statistical fiddling including differencing is required.

    We haven’t seen Salby’s graph but it is evident from his talk that he has something similar to Quirk’s graph; if so then Lambert has misrepresented Salby and gone of on his usual toad hunting expedition. Anything but accept the obvious.


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    John Marshall

    It is a pitty that the Aussie and UK politicians will not be able to understand any of this so their stupid rules will remain.


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    Mike Borgelt at comment 119,
    I’m not sure if I got the point across at my original comment 89.
    This MagLev train does not run on rails.
    It is levitated a few inches or so from the main central core, the only way to explain it.
    The interplay of magnetic fields provides the propulsion.
    Tony.


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    Richard C (NZ)

    Got this response at CCG to Joanne’s post:-

    by Mike Palin

    This is embarrassing – for the fellow making the claim. It also shows how little Nova and Curry know about the subject, although Curry admits, “The Earth’s carbon cycle is not a topic on which I have any expertise.”

    Tracing the source of CO2 in the atmosphere is not just about 12C and 13C. Radioactive 14C is important as well. Fossil fuels have no 14C because it all decayed away millions of years ago (14C half-life is 5730 years). Living things – including you and me – contain 14C that is continuously generated in the upper atmosphere (and from above-ground nuclear tests in the 50s and 60s). All CO2 released from respiration or decay of living tissue has 14C in a precise proportion to the 13C/12C ratio. So CO2 generated from fossil fuels can be easily distinguished from that of more recent biologic origin. In fact, atmospheric CO2 has exhibited a decrease in 14C that is exactly balanced by the amount of 14C-dead fossil fuels that have been burnt. Look up “Suess effect” on Wikipedia. Good god, someone give me a (14C-bearing) beer!

    http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2011/08/a-wee-debate/#comment-64341

    I’m not up to speed on this, not having expertise on the Earth’s carbon cycle either but I can’t see that Mike Palin’s (an NZ AGW proponent and vocal identity) comment is relevant to what Salby is expounding in view of Tom Quirk’s work (seems to be in the “so what?” category of argument to me).

    I invite anyone with a high level of expertise (Bob C ?) to reply to this comment either here at JoNova (I’ll copy it across) or at the link in the quote (thnx).


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Wow, already over 100 comments in less than a day… Impossible to react on all of them (sometimes I have another life than Internet, especially since we have at last a few nice days here…). I will respond to the most important ones.

    The last one by CHIP at 118 is a good start:

    CO2 has a very short atmospheric residence time

    That is true, but completely unimportant. The residence time only shows how long a certain molecule of CO2 (whatever the origin) resides in the atmosphere, before being captured by a tree or the oceans. That is about 5 years in average and is based on the exchange rate of about 150 GtC/year of inflows and outflows for 800 GtC present in the atmosphere. That doesn’t tell you anything about how long it takes to remove an excess amount of CO2 (whatever the origin) from the atmosphere. If the inputs and outputs are in equilibrium, that doesn’t change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, whatever the real amount that circulates. Only the difference at the end of the year is important. And that is about 4 GtC/year (2 ppmv/year) sink capacity. Thus the real speed that removes the extra 200 GtC currently in the atmosphere is only 4 GtC per year. That makes that it takes a lot more than 5 years to remove the excess, about 38 years half life time. Peter Dietze has explained that much better than I at the website of the late John Daly:
    http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

    Interestingly, Tom Segalstad has confirmed this with C12/C13 isotope measurements, showing that only 4% of CO2 in the atmosphere could be anthropogenic in origin
    Again that is true, but irrelevant. The moment that a fossil CO2 is released, it may be captured within a minute by the next tree or 10 years later in the oceans. The average is 5 years residence time. But when a fossil CO2 is captured, that prevented a natural CO2 to be captured at the same place and moment. The net result is that the total amount of CO2 increased with one molecule CO2, no matter if all fossil CO2 was replaced by natural CO2 within minutes. To make that visible, here a plot of the fate of a one-time shot of CO2 added to the atmosphere: while the total increase is 100% caused by the addition, the exchange rate replaces most of the anthro CO2 with natural CO2 in a short time. But still the slowly decaying excess amount in total CO2 is caused by the one-shot aCO2:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/fract_level_pulse.jpg
    where FA is the fraction of aCO2 in the atmosphere, FL the same in the upper ocean level, tCA total CO2 in the atmosphere and nCA natural CO2 in the atmosphere. All based on realistic exchange and sink rates…

    Another problem, as has been mentioned before, is that about 98% of anthropogenic CO2 should be absorbed by the oceans in order to preserve the 1:50 partitioning ratio of CO2 between air and water at earth’s average surface temperature that is governed by Henry’s law.

    Henry’s law only says something about the ratio between free CO2 in the water surface and CO2 in the atmosphere. That ratio is not 1:50 for CO2, because CO2 in the deep oceans plays no (immediate) role at the surface (except for deep ocean – atmosphere exchanges, but that is a different topic). In reality, a 100% increase in the atmosphere is followed by only a 10% increase of CO2 (in mass) in the upper layer of the oceans, because of chemical equilibrium reactions which happens in the oceans. Henry’s Law still holds, as the amount of free CO2 in the water follows the increase in the atmosphere, but free CO2 is less than 1% of the total amount of carbon in the oceans surface layer, the bulk are bicarbonates and carbonates, which don’t follow Henry’s Law, but influence the amount of free CO2.


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    cohenite

    RichardC@124; I used to have some stuff on C14 but all I could find is this paper which is a bit long in the tooth but which addresses the point:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v280/n5725/abs/280826a0.html


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    Albert

    I heard Tim Fisher talking about fast trains, when he mentioned ”carbon footprint” I switched off completely.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Sunsettommy at 37:

    Long time ago that discussion on your blog. The positions indeed didn’t change, the emotions still going skyhigh…

    MaryFJohnston at 35:
    I have tried to explain in many different ways, why it is pretty sure that humans are the cause of the increase in the atmosphere. If you don’t understand what I say, that may be in part my fault. If you don’t want to understand what I say (because you don’t like the result), then it is entirely your problem…


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    Louis Hissink

    Salby’s research seems to have described the tip of the ice berg, since the carbon cycle diagram above is quite incomplete – it omits:

    1. Carbon emissions (CH4, CO2) from volcanic eruptions,
    2. ocean spreading ridges, petroleum seeps on the ocean floor,
    3. emission of CH4 from fractures associated with coal mines, \
    4. exhalation of CH4 via crustal fractures emission of CH4 from Archaean cratonic areas,
    5. CH4 being emitted from the artesian water around the world,
    6. methane being emitted prior to earthquakes –

    Too many sources are being ignored, and most are not being measured, so any “firm” statements that we absolutely know what the human component is, are based on an incomplete appreciation of the geochemistry of carbon. Natural variability of C12 and C13 sources seem to be an order of magnitude larger than that inferred from the limited data produced from human emissions. If so, then the human emissions can be, for all intents and purposes, practically ignored.

    And I’ve quickly scanned some arguments from the usual suspects – the point I make, yet again, is that C12/13 ratios cannot uniquely discriminate between natural and biospheric sources of Carbon. Just because a hydrocarbon is C13 depleted does not mean it was sourced from a biogenic process. Crustal abiogenic processes also produce C12 enrichment.

    This argument is the logical fallacy of arguing the consequent, that as my cat has 4 legs, as does my dog, then my dog must be a cat.

    In this case as this hydrocarbon is C12 enriched, as is vegetation likewise depleted, then the hydrocarbon has been sourced from a vegetation source.

    Unfortunately geology is dominated by this line of reasoning, the outcome of lawyer Charles Lyell’s influence on the science during the early 19th century; we haven’t unshackled geology from his influence yet, but the chains are starting to corrode and break.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Kevin Moore at 38:

    Have you ever wondered how the methane gas in the Earths crust is being created?

    I have some knowledge of biological processes and indeed, bacteria are at work even somewhere at the most harsh places on earth: from boiling geisirs to deep freezing ice cores…

    But that doesn’t play much role in the current mass balance. 130,000 years ago temperatures near the poles were higher than today, forests growing up to the Arctic Ocean, all permafrost melted, ice free North Pole at least in summer. Despite that, CH4 levels in the atmosphere were around 700 ppbv (thawing permafrost gives a lot of CH4 by bacteria), while now CH4 is around 1900 ppbv, again mostly from human emissions, which are visible in ice cores with the same hockeystick (a real one this time) than of CO2. Any increase of CH4 from bacteria is completely dwarfed by human (livestock) emissions…


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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    What happened to carbon in the past?
    By following the salt trail, it shows that we have had vastly more water on this planet.
    In doing so, the volcanic activity of the past was underwater at extremely high pounds per square inch.
    This would hinder escaping gases to stay in a liquid or semi-solid state.
    Due to the lack of solar penetration.
    The water would be extremely cold and dense at those depths preventing escaping gases to form which would be under sediments over time.


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    Louis Hissink

    And before any of the usual suspects start to pontificate on my comment, please consider the genesis of the widespread sedimentary rock called dolomite – a Calcium Magnesium Carbonate rock. This rock is not being formed today and despite all the research, no one knows how this rock was formed. Biogenic? Chemogenic? No one knows, and until a satisfactory explanation is offered here, and to the scientific community in general, I would suggest that those of you who are certain of their “position” on the carbon cycle consider the possibility that, as Oliver Cromwell appealed during his time, “ye might be mistaken”.

    Put more bluntly, true scientists are not dogmatic because their own understanding of science is such that because the more they study a particular topic, the greater the realisation of their scientific ignorance.

    It’s the scientific ignorati who are sure that they have the physics and chemistry solved.


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    Richard C (NZ)

    cohenite #126

    Yes I saw that paper but quantification of fossil fuel CO2 by using C14 to determine the recently added CO2ff mole fraction seems to be the accepted method nevertheless going by this paper:-

    Assessment of fossil fuel carbon dioxide and other anthropogenic trace gas emissions from airborne measurements over Sacramento, California in spring 2009

    Turnbull et al 2011.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/11/705/2011/acp-11-705-2011.pdf

    From the abstract:-

    …we estimate emission ratios between CO2ff and these species, and compare these with bottom-up inventory-derived estimates

    [...]

    The resulting CO2bio varies dramatically from up to 8±2 ppm in the urban plume to −6±1 ppm in the surrounding boundary layer air. Finally, we use the in situ estimates of CO2ff mole fraction to infer total fossil fuel CO2 emissions from the Sacramento region, using a mass balance approach. The resulting emissions are uncertain to within a factor of two due to uncertainties in wind speed and boundary layer height. Nevertheless, this first attempt to estimate urban-scale CO2ff from atmospheric radiocarbon measurements shows that CO2ff can be used to verify and improve emission inventories for many poorly known anthropogenic species, separate biospheric CO2, and indicates the potential to constrain CO2ff emissions if transport uncertainties are reduced.


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    Louis Hissink

    Ferdinand, @ #130

    ” 130,000 years ago temperatures near the poles were higher than today, forests growing up to the Arctic Ocean, all permafrost melted”

    Now please tell me what the climate state of the rest of the earth was at 130,000 years ago, and the evidence for this – you cannot invoke continental drift by the way.


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    bananabender

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:45 pm
    Comment 130

    What makes you think most methane is biogenic?

    A near-infinite source of methane is available via the reaction of limestone and water using an iron oxide catalyst. This can occur under the high pressures and temperatures found in the mantle. It has been proven in laboratory experiments at Harvard.
    http://harvardmagazine.com/2005/03/rocks-into-gas.html


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    Louis Hissink

    Thanks BB :-)


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    Louis Hissink

    I’ve noticed that “mass balance” is invoked to support an argument. This is an interesting side issue, and depends, partly, on the understanding of the difference between intensive and extensive variables.

    It’s pretty easy to dismiss arguments based on this line of reasoning when studying the use of maths on the variables. Those who simply aggregate intensive variables in isolation, don’t understand the difference.

    :-0


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    bananabender

    Richard C (NZ):
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:07 pm
    Comment 124

    The assumption here is that hydrocarbon fuels are millions of years old and of biological origin. The Russian-Ukrainian Oil Theory essentially states that all hydrocarbon fuels (except brown coal) are of non-biological origin and are created continuously in the mantle before migrating upwards into the crust. If correct this totally destroys the entire carbon 12/13 ratio argument.


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    Richard C @124

    I suppose that there is an assumption that 14C production is roughly constant. It comes from cosmic rays interacting with nitrogen in the atmosphere. Is the constant rate assumption a good one in the light of the solar magnetic field shielding us from cosmic rays when it is stronger?

    Seems the 12C/13C thing is a bust and we’ve moved to 14C. Best to examine all the assumptions.

    Ferdinand seems to think all methane is biogenic. Fail.


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    Tony, I’m aware of maglev trains. Doesn’t change the argument vs aircraft though.
    Anyone got any hard numbers on this?


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen @ 125:

    The average is 5 years residence time. But when a fossil CO2 is captured, that prevented a natural CO2 to be captured at the same place and moment.

    Here lies the basic assumption or your argument. This is contestable, as Murry Salby points out in his lecture. There are studies both ways but, I can direct you to Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing? by Wolfgang Knorr, the abstract is as follows:

    Several recent studies have highlighted the possibility that the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems have started loosing part of their ability to sequester a large proportion of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This is an important claim, because so far only about 40% of those emissions have stayed in the atmosphere, which has prevented additional climate change. This study re-examines the available atmospheric CO2 and emissions data including their uncertainties. It is shown that with those uncertainties, the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero. The analysis further shows that the statistical model of a constant airborne fraction agrees best with the available data if emissions from land use change are scaled down to 82% or less of their original estimates. Despite the predictions of coupled climate-carbon cycle models, no trend in the airborne fraction can be found.

    If what you claim is true, then the airborne fraction would be increasing. I’m not saying this is definitive but, the premise of your argument is shaky indeed.

    The truth is, we don’t know what the earth’s capacity for sequestering carbon is. What Salby does observe from the two-year carbon cycles is that absorption capacity and rate are as highly variable as the emission rate and volume. These are unknown at this point in time.


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    Dave

    Is it possible that C12 & C13 ratio is influenced by the different plant physilogy pathways such as C4 or C3 and their ability to use C12 or C13? Do the models include grasses (dominant species) which mainly utilise the CAM pathway along with many succulents – that seem not to be affected by temperature. So seasonal adjustments may have to be made in this regard.

    What if CO2 is totally irrelevant in temperature change and we find that sun spot cycle length is the dominant factor? There is too much unknown to formulate economic solutions that cannot and will not change the result.

    P.S. High Speed Trains – how many Kilowatts (or Joules) per passanger is used compared to Air travel?

    Will the ETS encompass the different CO2 sequestration schemes in use currently and validate the storage of C12 or C13?


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    MaryFJohnston at 39:

    but he has deliberately tried to cover over his incorrect assumption that Natural CO2 is totally fixed and unchanging.
    Anyone with even basic science knows that the likelihood of Natural CO2 output being known accurately just not possible.

    Again, you are accusing me of what I never said or implied. I have repeatedly said that you don’t need any detailed knowledge of the amounts of natural CO2 going in or out the atmosphere or their natural variability. What we know quite exactly is the difference between natural sources and sinks at the end of the year: a net sink over the past 50 years at about half the height of human emissions. And we know quite exactly the variability of the net natural sink. Again about halve the human emissions around the trend. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg


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    John Finn

    it looks as though Professor Salby is simply repeating many of the same arguments we see on numerous blogs.

    We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall.

    There was an increase of ~100 ppm (180ppm -> 280 ppm) following the last ice age but this was in response to a 5-6 deg increase in global temperature. The temperature increase since ~1850 has only been about 0.7 deg yet there has been another 100+ ppm increase in CO2 concentrations.

    According to many sceptics, we’ve had no warming since 1998. In 1998 CO2 concentrations were ~366 ppm. In 2010 CO2 concentrations were ~390 ppm. According to UAH, 2010 and 1998 pretty much tied for warmest year. Why was there ~24 ppm more CO2 in 2010 than in 1998?

    Human emissions are causing the increase in CO2. Temperature simply determines the rate of that increase.


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    Louis Hissink

    Dave: @ #142

    Good point and well put! :-)


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    MaryFJohnston

    Andrew McCrae @110

    You ask

    “‘So by the above reasoning basically all the recent increase in CO2 has been due to human activity. I can’t see much room for error in the reasoning process, but if I have made a mistake then please provide a correction.”

    Andrew I can confirm that: Yes you have made a mistake.

    Sorry try again or ask Ferdinand to help you.

    It was a long piece but as usual, size is not always important


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Waffle at 141:

    I have not the slightest problem with the notion that the airborne fraction of human emissions remains constant, but one shouldn’t misinterprete the result: What remains in the atmosphere is a rather fixed percentage of the emissions in mass not of the original molecules. I did find the same, up to 2006 (need some update for the last years), be it that it is 55% if you don’t include land use changes (which are quite unsure) or 45% if you include land use changes. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2.jpg

    It is quite simple: oceans and vegetation react in proportion to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. As the emissions increase over time, so does the increase in the atmosphere and so does the sink rate. With a slightly exponential increase in emissions, the increase in the atmosphere is increasing exponentially too at a surprisingly fixed ratio with the emissions. Thus nature reacts to a disturbance like a simple linear first order process…


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    MaryFJohnston

    Louis Hissink: Thank you for @ 130.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Andrew McCrae @110

    Andrew I can confirm that: Yes you have made a mistake.

    Sorry try again or ask Ferdinand to help you.

    It was a long piece but as usual, size is not always important


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    MaryFJohnston

    Ferdinand @

    Just in case anyone else reads that post where you say:

    “”What we know quite exactly is the difference between natural sources and sinks at the end of the year:”"

    That should read:

    What we know quite exactly is the difference between Natural sources plus Human sources and Total sinks at the end of the year.

    As Louis has pointed out, the top statement is not going to give anything useful because it is incomplete .


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    Louis Hissink

    It’s pretty easy to dismiss arguments based on this line of reasoning when studying the use of maths on the variables. Those who simply aggregate intensive variables in isolation, don’t understand the difference.

    :-0

    Liked it? 2 3

    And your problems are ?


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    Anon

    Congrats for making it to prisonplanet.com, Jo. That’s a huge web site. :)


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    MaryFJohnston

    Ferdinand @128

    “”MaryFJohnston at 35:
    I have tried to explain in many different ways, why it is pretty sure that humans are the cause of the increase in the atmosphere. If you don’t understand what I say, that may be in part my fault. If you don’t want to understand what I say (because you don’t like the result), then it is entirely your problem…”"

    Ferdinand; I do want understand and have been learning much over the last few years as aresult of comments and postings.

    Unfortunately in your carbon dioxide mass balance there are inconsistencies that I have pointed to in 149 above.

    The contention that residual (after sinks) man made CO2 can be quantified by your calculations is not correct.

    It is just basic algebra.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Louis @ 150

    Could you, perhaps give a bit of an idea of the difference between intensive and extensive variables?

    Thanks


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    David

    Don’t tell me that ‘observations’ have been getting in the way of computer models again..!
    There really is no justice…..


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    RobJM at 43

    IPPC based the estimates on past CO2 levels on Ice cores, an uncalibrated proxy with problems, where the results just happen to fit the decompression curve. They ignored stomata proxies and direct measurments that showed the CO2 levels to be similar to todays levels at the start the 20th century.

    Your objections against ice cores (from Jaworowski/Segalstad?) were refuted already in 1998 by the work of Etheridge e.a. on three Law Dome ice cores. Because of the high accumulation rate (1.2 m ice equivalent per year), they could make a detailed history of gas behaviour in firn and ice. 2 out of three ice cores had a resolution of about a decade for CO2 and a 20 year overlap with atmospheric composition at the South Pole. Quite a nice match. Direct measurements as collected and interpreted by the late Ernst Beck suffer from hugh local disturbances, if taken over land. Taken over the oceans, the levels are around the ice core values over the same period.
    Further, stomata index data are corrected for local bias (because taken over land) against direct measurements and… ice cores. They are matched over the full 20th century, and conflict with the “peak” value of CO2 around 1942 found by Ernst Beck.
    See further:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html
    and
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

    2/ The atmospheric proportion of CO2 represents only 2% of the total in the system. 98% is dissolved in the oceans. The ratio between the two is controlled by Henrys Law, and the ratio is dependant on ocean temp.

    Quantities are not important, as long as there is no flow. Flows are not important, as long as there are no differences between inflows and outflows. Henry’s Law is only important for the oceans surface layer (the “mixed” layer), not for what resides in the deep oceans. The amount in the surface layer is about 1000 GtC, in the atmosphere about 800 GtC. Any increase in temperature of the surface layer of 1 degr.C will increase the CO2 pressure of the oceans in equilibrium with the atmosphere with about 16 microatm. Thus an increase of 16 microatm (about 16 ppmv) or 32 GtC in the atmosphere is enough to fully compensate for the temperature increase, so that no more CO2 is released from the oceans. But the increase in the atmosphere is over 100 microatm. That means that more CO2 is going into the oceans than is coming out… That is observed by regular ships measurements and buoys and by a few longer term series.

    3/ It cant be natural because natural is more variable, what the? 120k year ice ages, 800 year deep ocean cycle, 60 year PDO, you must be on drugs if you can’t see the obvious long term natural cycles. It’s nice to know that you also cant see that increases in atmospheric CO2 have been virtually linear while Human CO2 production has grown exponentially.

    That is exactly what I said: natural means lots of variability on short and on long term. The increase in the atmosphere is very constant, by far not looking like any natural process. Or do you know of any natural process that can or does follow human emissions at such a constant rate?
    The increase in the atmosphere is not linear, it is a near fixed percentage of the emissions and a fixed percentage of a non-linear increase is a non-linear increase. Even if it was linear for increasing emissions, that only shows that the process parameters for the absorption rate are a little different. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg


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    MattB

    Mary… ummm…. you say:

    ““”What we know quite exactly is the difference between natural sources and sinks at the end of the year:””
    That should read:
    What we know quite exactly is the difference between Natural sources plus Human sources and Total sinks at the end of the year.”

    we know human sources… if we know the difference between Natural +human and sinks…. and we know human, then we know the difference between natural sources and sinks….

    It’s called algebra… I have a junior school text book here if you want to borrow it.


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    BobC

    Gordon Walker (@115):
    August 5th, 2011 at 6:36 pm
    BobC:
    I did a back of the envelope calculation yesterday and got similar results to yours.
    A sudden doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration would, after equilibrium with the oceans is attained, leave a residual 2% increase only in atmospheric CO2.

    This exact experiment has been done (using C-14 as a tracer), see HERE. The equilibrium level of C_14 – containing CO2 is marked by the horizontal blue line on the graph. C_14 levels were nearly doubled by the time the test ban treaty stopped atmospheric testing on Oct 10, 1963.

    (Note that the peak in the Southern Hemisphere is delayed by ~2 years, and the two curves merge by ~4 years.)

    By 1993, levels had decayed back to ~6% higher than equilibrium. More recent data shows that there is <4% of the excess C-14 left in the atmosphere, and it is most probably heading for a "permanent" increase of ~2%. (Not really permanent, as C-14 decays radioactively with a 5000 year half life.)

    This graph shows a CO2 residence half life in the atmosphere of ~ 8 years. Since the tracer was in equilibrium at the start of the "experiment", linear systems theory tells that this curve is the characteristic curve for ALL CO2. Hence anthropogenic CO2 will also follow this curve, as will any increase in atmospheric CO2. There is NO "long tail" or long term effects beyond the 2% residual.

    Ferdinand claims (@146) that:

    Thus nature reacts to a disturbance like a simple linear first order process…

    And, linear systems theory tells that ALL CO2 behaves just like the C-14 tracer CO2.

    (There may be a slight difference because of the mass difference, but if that were significant then Carbon-14 dating wouldn’t work — and Carbon-14 dating is extremely well validated.)


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    MattB

    Mary: “Ferdinand; I do want understand and have been learning much over the last few years as aresult of comments and postings.”

    Have you tried any science literature…. if your learning is comments and postings on a blog… ummm…. but you go Dan, graduate of the university of Blogoland.


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    MaryFJohnston

    CHIP: @ 120

    great comment.


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    BobC

    MattB:
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:49 pm
    Mary…
    It’s called algebra… I have a junior school text book here if you want to borrow it.

    Get a college introductory text on Linear Systems Theory and really educate yourself.

    Ferdinand invokes linear system theory (in 146), not “junior school algebra”.

    I think Mary is way ahead of you…


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    BobC

    MaryFJohnston:
    Feel free to use anything I post — I’ve been beating this drum for several years now and would appreciate any and all help!


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    MaryFJohnston

    Cohenite @ 119

    “”Mary@83 and elsewhere; there really is no necessity for comparing natural and anthropogenic CO2 because neither has more than a statistically minor correlation and causal relationship with GAT.

    The oceans and the Sun, however, are all we need to explain variations in GAT.”"

    I agree with your statement and believe I have indicated that myself in a couple of posts to Ferdinand on another thread.


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    Louis Hissink

    Louis @ 150

    Could you, perhaps give a bit of an idea of the difference between intensive and extensive variables?

    1. An intensive variable describes the physical state some system is, temperature, for example.

    2. An extensive variable describes a countable physical quantity.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Hi Silligy @115

    “”A laxative may be safer.

    If you are impling that someone pulled this out of their ..er ,well made it up. It is a very small look at things. I am suggesting that Ferdinands 4ppm/deg C is a little too high and the idea that”"

    No! I found your work genuinely interesting but at my age new stuff like that needs a lot of concentration. Sorry couldn’t help myself with that old accountants joke.


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    Charles Higley

    If the Vostok ice cores are considered in terms of the traumatic microfracturing that occurs during extraction, the Vostok data shows much more familiar values.

    Z. Jaworowski, one of the one core experts considers there to be about a 40% loss (20-60%) of CO2 during extraction. Back calculating using these losses, we find that the CO2 concentrations then are the same or a bit higher than now. So, it’s pretty much right on and a tempest in a teapot.

    The IPCC likes ice cores as they provide low CO2 readings and, as we all know, indirect measurements are superior to direct measurements every time. [Ignore the picture they took of the bank robber, as the witnesses a year later to describe him—always better.]


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    Dave

    MattyB

    I have a junior school text book here if you want to borrow it

    Did you loan this same textbook to the IPCC?


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 49:

    As explained before to CHIP in 127: the residence time like from the 14C outfall from nuclear weapens testing doesn’t tell you anything about the time needed to remove an excess amount of CO2. If the residence time was leading, then any addition (whatever the source) of CO2 would be removed in 5 years, or with the current continuous addition, the increase in the atmosphere wouldn’t be more than (the notorious) 3% as claimed for human inputs. Thus not more than 300 ppmv. But we are over 390 ppmv nowadays, where only halve the human emissions are removed (as mass) each year, not 80% nor 97%.

    Further, Tom Quirk was completely wrong about the lags: both CO2 levels and d13C decrease show lags of 1 and more years of the SH compared to the NH, which shows that the source of d13C decline and CO2 increase is in the NH. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/d13c_trends.jpg
    and
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends_1995_2004.jpg


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    Charles Higley

    By the way, people love to talk about what would happen if atmospheric CO2 doubled, but they never also mention that it is impossible to occur from human activities. This leads the average person the false impression that it is a possibility.

    As CO2 partitions 50 to 1 into the oceans, we would have to release 50 times more CO2 than it would take to physically double the atmospheric CO2. We simply do not have enough available carbon to burn to do this, ignoring that photosynthetic organisms and calcium carbonate deposition would fight us every step of the way. The best we could do, if we tried, would be about 20%. [Darn! At least it would be a goal.]


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    Snowlover123

    I find it interesting that when there are years with high volcanic activity, the amount of CO2 increase is not as much, because of cooler temperatures. Don’t volcanoes pump CO2 into the atmosphere, though?


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    KR

    BobC @ 82

    Our emissions don’t have the effect you expect because of the short CO2 atmospheric lifetime

    Individual molecular lifetimes are fairly short, ~5 years, cycling in and out of the atmosphere/ocean/biosphere, swapping with carbon there. But total concentration adjustment times for CO2 levels are on the order of hundreds of years. And that’s the important issue.

    Raredog @ 93

    …you realise that Ferdinand Engelbeen is, nonetheless, a warming skeptic don’t you?

    I do know that. I’ve also read his blog postings, and although I disagree about the impact of CO2, his mass balance discussions are quite good. I try not to reject a persons arguments based upon a label – each point deserves consideration.

    Could it be that atmospheric CO2 levels have partially increased due to a decrease in phytoplankton?

    That might be a contributor in the future. Right now, though, half of the amount of CO2 we emit is matched in the atmosphere as a concentration increase, thus the other half must be going elsewhere, such as in ocean acidification. Nature is acting as a net ‘sink’, or we would see atmospheric concentrations rising as fast or faster than our emissions.


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    MattB

    Ferdinand between here and Climate Etc you indeed are a voice of reason! Any chance of a guest post on why you think CAGW is not the issue the IPPC would conclude? May actually be worth reading. Seriously kudos to you for a Herculean effort.


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    Speedy

    Louis @ 134

    That’s right – the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know.

    I think this was also the basis of Socrate’s Paradox – that someone’s wisdom is limited only by their understanding of their own ignorance.

    Ignorance is “very likely” associated with overconfidence.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Dave @169

    Doesn’t matter if he gave the text book to the IPCC.

    I don’t need it and he wouldn’t be able to understand it.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Siliggy at 50:

    Temperature variability is largely a matter of volcanoes and ENSO. Both are short living and the average temperature doesn’t change that fast. If it changes over a longer period, then the change in CO2 level will be higher over that period, from 4 ppmv/degr.C to 8 ppmv/degr.C over (very) long periods. For the full period since the depth of the LIA, that is about 6 ppmv for an increase of 0.8 degr.C.

    That doesn’t say anything about the influence of CO2 on temperature, that is a complete separate debate.


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    Louis Hissink

    Ferdinand,

    And we wait for your opinion on the climate state of the planet 130,000 years ago.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Louis @166

    Thanks for that.

    May have known that 45 years ago but only the concept remains; the labels were lost.

    So Intensive describes the quality (T, P,)of an item

    Extensive describes the quantity (Vol, Mass).


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    Louis Hissink

    Correct.


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    Wayne, s. Job

    Cost per ton mile for freight on a train is miniscule compared to an aircraft. Cost per passenger per mile not so good on trains. Cost per passenger on a very fast Maglev not a profitable venture. The chinese have given up on them. The fast trains in Europe seem to run at a loss. Slow rail good very fast no good.

    The case for high quality rail at a good speed for freight is profitable, add some passenger cars and your in business. Very high speed rail is a money pit.

    I have to thank the good Professor for his candid research and fearless openness against the consensus.
    Perhaps the true Australian spirit of telling it like it is will break the back of this warming BS.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen @ 149:

    It is quite simple: oceans and vegetation react in proportion to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. As the emissions increase over time, so does the increase in the atmosphere and so does the sink rate. With a slightly exponential increase in emissions, the increase in the atmosphere is increasing exponentially too at a surprisingly fixed ratio with the emissions. Thus nature reacts to a disturbance like a simple linear first order process…

    I can see your your point about mass within the cycle increasing. This would mean that your position is that approximately 2% of human emissions remain in the atmosphere. Do you have data which confirms this exponential trend? I’ve seen Tamino’s analysis and it was weak. If you do, I think it would be a good line of correlation evidence to support this mass view. However, I’m not sure any proof can be established until the volumes of exchange in C02 are more precisely known.


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    BobC

    KR @172:
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    BobC @ 82
    Our emissions don’t have the effect you expect because of the short CO2 atmospheric lifetime

    Individual molecular lifetimes are fairly short, ~5 years, cycling in and out of the atmosphere/ocean/biosphere, swapping with carbon there. But total concentration adjustment times for CO2 levels are on the order of hundreds of years. And that’s the important issue.

    In fact, it’s a critical issue for maintaining that Human emissions are responsible for most (if not all) of the CO2 concentration increases of the last century. This is why all of the carbon cycle models proposed by government-funded climate scientists assume adjustment times of hundreds (at least) of years. You are simply repeating the conclusions of these invalidated models, none of which are capable of reproducing the measurement data.

    Unfortunately for the AGW hypothesis, the best measurement we have of CO2 adjustment time (the C-14 bomb spike) shows that the adjustment half-life is ~8 years.

    To avoid the inescapable conclusion that the AGW hypothesis is flat wrong, appologists resort to illogical handwaving (like Ferdinand Engelbeen @170), or just “argument by blatant assertion” as you do above.

    To repeat what I said in @49:

    All of the arguments I have heard against this result … fail to understand the nature of a tracer experiment, and ignore the long history and experimental validation of such measurements.

    (And, I might add, ignore Linear Systems theory.)

    Linear systems theory and tracer measurements are not new subjects, both having been around for the better part of a century. It is clear from your argument that you have no working knowledge of either, and do not know how they apply to this measurement.


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    BobC

    KR: A valid argument against the adjustment time as measured by the bomb spike experiment would be to argue that, while the atmospheric/sink CO2 system is linear at the ppb level, it is non-linear at the ppm level.

    Good luck finding evidence of that.


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    BobC

    Blockbuster: Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans

    You mean — just like in the ice core data? Who would have thought?


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Waffle at 181:

    I have a logistics problem at this moment, as the power supply of my regular computer blew up yesterday, I am responding via a reserve laptop by now, but I miss all references I have in the other one (needs 4-5 days repair…).

    The emission data can be obtained (if I remember well) from the US department of energy, the Mauna Loa data are available from the NOAA website.

    I have made a Excel sheet where all more or less known emissions and flows were incorporated, inclusive the possibility to change the emissions between one-shot, steady state and real emissions. That was compared to real world observations of quantities and isotope changes in atmosphere and the oceans mixed layer. With some experimentation (the main problem is in the partitioning of the sinks between oceans and vegetation), the result is not bad:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/fract_level_emiss.jpg

    The fraction of aCO2 in the atmosphere is already about 9%, partly because the human fraction of the inputs did grow to 5% (8/150 GtC) over time, partly because it accumulates over 5 years, as only 20% of all CO2 is exchanged per year, thus also only 20% of the aCO2, but only the deep oceans exchange it with aCO2 free fresh deep ocean natural CO2, while ocean surface and vegetation give some aCO2 back in the next season.

    That leads to estimates of 13C/12C ratio changes:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/d13c_calc_obs.jpg
    where the L’s are in the oceans mixed layer and the A’s in the atmosphere.
    Not bad for a first attempt…


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    BobC

    When it is convenient, Ferdinand argues that the atmospheric CO2 system is highly non-linear:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:15 pm
    BobC at 49:

    As explained before to CHIP in 127: the residence time like from the 14C outfall from nuclear weapens testing doesn’t tell you anything about the time needed to remove an excess amount of CO2. If the residence time was leading, then any addition (whatever the source) of CO2 would be removed in 5 years, or with the current continuous addition, the increase in the atmosphere wouldn’t be more than (the notorious) 3% as claimed for human inputs. Thus not more than 300 ppmv. But we are over 390 ppmv nowadays, where only halve the human emissions are removed (as mass) each year, not 80% nor 97%.

    Or, he argues that it is linear:

    It is quite simple: oceans and vegetation react in proportion to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. As the emissions increase over time, so does the increase in the atmosphere and so does the sink rate. With a slightly exponential increase in emissions, the increase in the atmosphere is increasing exponentially too at a surprisingly fixed ratio with the emissions. Thus nature reacts to a disturbance like a simple linear first order process…

    You need to pick one and stick with it Ferdinand.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Louis Hissink at 178:

    Ferdinand,

    And we wait for your opinion on the climate state of the planet 130,000 years ago.

    Have a look at the ice core record:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/eemian.html

    The dD record is directly related to the temperature of most of the SH oceans, where the pecipitation of the Vostok ice core originated. That shows a temperature 2-3 degr.C higher than today, thus only for the SH, but most of the SH.

    The CH4 level was about 700 ppbv, which reflects CH4 levels for the whole planet, wherever their origin was, as these are readily mixed within about a year, but destroyed in about 10 years.

    For Alaskan and Siberian temperatures, I need my broken computer for the references, but here a few I found on the web:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian (not bad this time)
    and from a well known Spanish sceptic, Anton Uriarte:
    http://web.me.com/uriarte/Earths_Climate/6._The_Eemian.html
    about Siberia:
    http://permafrost.gi.alaska.edu/content/late-saalian-and-eemian-palaeoenvironmental-history-bol%E2%80%99shoy-lyakhovsky-island-laptev-sea-re
    and so on…


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    KR

    BobC @ 183

    You are once again confusing (a) the time required for individual molecules of CO2 (including a particular isotope release/tracer experiment) to swap in the carbon cycle, with (b) the time required for a total concentration change. Individual molecule lifespan is a red herring in this regard – they just get swapped for another CO2 molecule. Your bomb spike example simply shows the spike getting mixed into the full carbon cycle – not a decrease in atmospheric CO2 levels.

    I’m always saddened when someone makes this ~5yr assertion, as it’s so completely wrong.

    Given the current ‘sink’ rates of ~2 ppm of our emissions not staying in the atmosphere, if constant, if we stopped emitting CO2 it would take 50-60 years to absorb the 100 ppm over pre-industrial levels. But that absorption rate must be relative to the imbalance (otherwise we wouldn’t have had any pre-industrial CO2), and if it declines at a rate relative to the imbalance the minimum adjustment time to absorb the imbalance goes to hundreds of years.

    That’s not “argument by blatant assertion”, BobC – that’s basic math.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 187:

    The first part is what is NOT observed (but what you propose), the second part is what is observed…


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    David, UK

    Coldish:
    August 5th, 2011 at 4:49 am

    “…for reasons which I’m not going to go into with this audience, there has to be a negative feedback that bridles this positive feedback and holds things in check.”
    I listened to the podcast but didn’t catch this reply from Prof Salby. But I don’t see why a negative feedback is required. Can anyone elucidate?

    I’m not a scientist – but I would think that the reason for assuming a negative feedback is that the world has had myriad opportunities in the past to spiral out of control along a heating trend and boil away – but it never has. If the climate really were that fragile (as suggested by the positive-feedback scenario) then it’d be a bloody miracle we ever got this far.


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    The edifice is crumbling. Proper skeptical science wins the day. Please feel free to visit my names’ weblink.


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    John Brookes

    i remember arguing with BobC about CO2 lifetime in the atmosphere. I still think your wrong Bob…


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    JP

    The edifice is crumbling. Proper skeptical science wins the day.


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    David, UK

    Curious Bystander (@57):
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Quick question that perhaps only reveals my ignorance. I assume that as CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere it’s ‘backradiation’ must be reasonably well averaged across the globe (ie measurements at any one place of backradiation must be similar to measurements elsewhere). Now, the argument is that the backradiation is what is heating the system (or I guess more accurately slowing the cooling of the system), and that heating is measurable in terms of average temperature.

    If so, then surely we can directly measure that effect. For example, at large powerstations which are known to emit large quantities of CO2, or perhaps large cities.

    I must admit I’m a little taken aback by your naivete! But anyway, there IS a fingerprint we can definitely detect over powerstations and cities. It’s called the Urban Heat Island effect.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 51:

    Not to mention that the “hockey-stick-like” CO2 data from ice cores + modern measurements is a carefully crafted stalking horse — you have to ignore most pre-industrial measurements (cherry-picking the low ones) and also the bulk of the stomata proxies to believe it.

    See my take on the historical data by Ernst Beck. Many of the historical data were taken near huge sources and sinks. The 1942 “peak” doesn’t show up in ice cores, stomata data or coralline sponges (or any other proxy you can think of):
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

    Also, there is the “80 year” lag that was assumed so that the ice cores and modern measurements fit together nicely. Without this arbitrary and unjustified assumption, you would have to conclude that ice cores seriously under-estimate CO2 concentrations.

    So, you believe Jaworoski, an ice core specialist who ended his knowledge in 1991. In 1996, Etheridge e.a. refuted most of the objections against ice cores by drilling three ice cores at Law Dome, measuring CO2 in firn and still open pores and closed bubbles in ice at closing depth. Both measured in different ways (direct and by crushing the ice core) showed the same CO2 levels. Further there was an overlap of about 20 years between CO2 in the ice core and CO2 measured at the South Pole. All in the same range:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_overlap.jpg

    If Jaworowski was an up to date ice core specialist, then he should know that cracks in the ice always give too high values, not too low. Or how do you think that one can measure 200 ppmv in the ice, while the surrounding air is currently at 390 ppmv?
    And about the 80 year “assumed” lag, he has never heard that there is a diffence in age of the ice layers and the average age of the enclosed gas bubbles at the same depth in an ice core? Something that was clearly indicated in the work of Neftel, Jaworowski used the wrong column (for ice age) of the tabel. See further:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html


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    Siliggy

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:34 pm
    Siliggy at 50:
    Temperature variability is largely a matter of volcanoes and ENSO.

    Solar variation has nothing to do with it? I think ENSO is a symptom and not a cause.

    Both are short living and the average temperature doesn’t change that fast.

    “Volcanic eruptions caused major weather and climatic changes on timescales ranging from hours to centuries ”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/06/30/1104923108.abstract

    average temperature doesn’t change that fast

    “In the year following the eruption, global temperatures were lowered by as much as 1.2 degree Centigrade on the average.”
    http://www.drgeorgepc.com/Volcano1883Krakatoa.html
    The temps remained noticably down for alt least five years. Does the official record show the CO2 levels falling by 5ppm for the first year because of Krakatoa and some for the following years or did they forget to fudge that in?

    If it changes over a longer period, then the change in CO2 level will be higher over that period, from 4 ppmv/degr.C to 8 ppmv/degr.C over (very) long periods.

    Henry’s law is a two speed thing now?
    Where do these numbers come from?
    Volcanoes as shown above can cause effects that last for centuries. The ash will stimulate plants on the land to sequester more CO2 and with phytoplankton able to double in population every day how many days does it take a significant volcanic fertilisation of the oceans to sequester most all the available CO2?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOJ9vBdHZGM


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    Siliggy

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:34 pm
    Siliggy at 50:
    For the full period since the depth of the LIA, that is about 6 ppmv for an increase of 0.8 degr.C.

    While the 0.8 degrees C seems like an untrustable low number. Lets look at the short term CO2 growth rate change due to temperature change and notice that the fudged record does not track growth rate change as well as the charts do here:
    http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/
    When I try to understand why the CO2 levels may have been kept low by the LONG effects of volcanic activity as well as Krakatoa in 1883 I see a VE6 in 1902 and another in 1912 but then none that large until 1991 and I do not remember it being anything like the descriptions of Krakatoa.
    So there seems to have been plenty of overlapping short events that would have had multiple cooling and CO2 reducing effects a century ago.
    “In addition we demonstrate that the binary H2SO4 – H2O nucleation scheme, as it is usually considered in modeling studies, underestimates by 7 to 8 orders of magnitude the observed particle formation rate and, therefore, should not be applied in tropospheric conditions.”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/11/new-study-suggests-that-the-volcanic-impact-on-climate-may-be-significantly-underestimated/

    That doesn’t say anything about the influence of CO2 on temperature, that is a complete separate debate.

    Agreed. It is obvious the enhanced endothermic photosynthesis and chemosynthesis would be causing global cooling. The increased effective radiating surface area of atmospheric CO2 would also act like a stepping stone for heat to leave the planet but how much cooling these effects have is anyones guess.


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    Siliggy

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 6th, 2011 at 4:09 am
    BobC at 51:

    The 1942 “peak” doesn’t show up in ice cores, stomata data or coralline sponges (or any other proxy you can think of):
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

    Apply your own 4ppmv/degc to the global temperature record of “the 1940s blip” and use that!


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Crakar24 at 77:

    So far they have all failed to explain how Antarctic measurements of ATM CO2 can lead the Nth Hemisphere, how can this be possible if the total increase in CO2 is from man?

    That is an error: the increase in the NH leads the SH with 1-2 years for CO2 levels and 2-3 years for d13C levels. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends_1995_2004.jpg
    and
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/d13c_trends.jpg

    They fail to explain how CO2 levels can increase and decrease from year to year even though CO2 has a very long life in the ATM.

    CO2 levels are steady increasing, never decreased, at least not in the past 50+ years, but the increase rate goes up and down, as the natural sink capacity is influenced by temperature…

    They will not acknowledge the MWP even though there is a warehouse full of studies showing it existed therefore they will not entertain the idea of the 800 year lag playing a role in CO2 increases.

    I am pretty sure that the MWP was at least as warm and maybe even warmer than today, as good as the Roman WP was warmer and the Holocene Climate optimum of 6,000 years ago was warmer…
    The MWP had a CO2 level about 6 ppmv higher than the LIA, that is all you can expect as increase in the atmosphere from the current warm period. The 800 year lag is not that fixed, the lag is 800 years at the end of a cold period, but several thousands of years at the end of a warm interglacial.


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    Siliggy

    Better still notice that Ernst George Becks 1940s blip on his chart shows the level going up from about 320ppm to about 380 ppm over about 18 years. That is a long period and thus qualifies for your:

    8 ppmv/degr.C over (very) long periods

    320 to 380 over 18 years is a growth rate of 60/18 = 3.33/yr.
    3.33/8ppmv = 0.41 deg C
    Do not forget this:

    It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip,
    but we are still left with “why the blip”.

    Why the blip? how about solar activity was high and volcanic activity was low.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen said: The 800 year lag is not that fixed, the lag is 800 years at the end of a cold period, but several thousands of years at the end of a warm interglacial.

    Then why all the discussion and angst about human trace addition to the level of a trace atmospheric gas: CO2? Since CO2 concentration LAGS temperature, it is an effect of temperature and not the cause of it. It would seem that should settle the discussion about CO2 levels and what to do about them. We should do NOTHING and get down to the business of making sure we can create and maintain a sufficiently high level of technology and economic productivity so that humans can continue to live, prosper, and thrive. How to do this should be the central topic of conversation.

    My argument is that because humans must chose to think, know, and act consistent with that knowledge in order to live and thrive, anything that goes against thinking, knowing, and acting must be prohibited. There is only one external thing that can prevent a living human from doing that. It is the initiation of force by others – especially, but not only, by governments. Hence, a proper government must refrain from the initiation of force and must protect its citizens from the initiation of force by others as well as each citizen must also refrain. By this standard, EVERY government on earth is 180 degrees (plus or minus a degree or so) out of phase with what a proper government. The risk of a trace addition to a trace gas in the atmosphere pales to insignificance by comparison to the damage done to individuals by governments.


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    KR

    Looking at Salby again, sparked by a discussion at RealClimate:

    Temperature increase since pre-industrial times = 0.8 C
    CO2 increase since pre-industrial = 393 – 285 = ~107 ppm
    Salby claims 80% of the increase is CO2 released due to temperature = 80% * 107 = ~85 ppm, so call it about 100 ppm / degree C sensitivity, more or less.

    Degrees colder at the last glacial maximum = 8 C
    CO2 at last glacial maximum = ~ 190 ppm

    CO2 predicted by Salby’s regression/sensitivity = -500 ppm. That’s negative 500, folks.

    Salby should take up new hobbies – this one isn’t working out.


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    KR

    Lionell Griffith @ 202

    That’s an 800 year lag for CO2 to change due to a temperature change – as feedback. In 150 years we’ve put >100 ppm into the atmosphere, by burning things, which is a cause for temperature change, not a feedback to it. Your claims otherwise are really astounding.

    We should do NOTHING and get down to the business …

    Sorry, I don’t like the do nothing, “burying my head in the sand” option. I prefer to deal with the facts.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Snowlover @172

    That’s interesting.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Siliggy at 197:

    Solar variation has nothing to do with it? I think ENSO is a symptom and not a cause.

    We were talking about the variability of the CO2 increase over the past 50 years. That had 2 episodes with a huge influence on temperature: the 1992 Pinatubo eruption and the 1998 El Nino. Both show the influence of a short term relative large temperature change on the CO2 sink rate. The solar influence during that period was high, leading to an increase of a few tenths of a degr.C until 1998, since then there is little change in the average temperature. That may have given a permanent increase of a few ppmv, but that hasn’t much influence on the variability of the CO2 sink rate.

    It takes about 1.5 years to bring the oceans surface layer in equilibrium with the atmosphere. If the temperature rise or drop doesn’t change in the meantime, the 8 ppmv/degr.C may be reached, but that also depends of what vegetation does, and that is more difficult to know (dry, wet, scattering of sunlight,…). All we know is that the long term change, as measured in ice cores, is about that high over the past 800,000 years. It may be 6 or 10 ppmv/degr.C, but that doesn’t make a lot of difference.

    The 0.8 degr.C is the maximum variability between MWP and LIA (and LIA-current) from reconstructions (bore holes, glaciers, trees, sediments,…). If you prefer the smaller ones: Mann’s HS has only a difference of 0.1 degr.C between the MWP and LIA… Both figures include a fixed maximum 0.1 degr.C temperature drop caused by volcanoes.

    The effect on CO2 levels was about 6 ppmv, with a lag of about 50 years after the temperature drop:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_1000yr.jpg
    The resolution of this Law Dome ice core is about 40 years. I don’t see the influence of the Krakatau eruption, but if the drop was 1.2 degr.C the first year, that would give a drop of 5 ppmv, increasing to 7-8 ppmv the next year and dropping again after that as the temperature increases again. Even a 10 ppmv drop during 5 years would be within the error margins of the ice core CO2 measurements…

    The temperature record shows a peak of about 0.2 degr.C around 1942. That translates to about 1.6 ppmv maximum, because it lasts several years. Borderline measurable in the high resolution Law Dome (1 & 2) ice cores. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_co2.jpg
    The ice cores even show a small dip in the period 1940-1945.

    Neither do stomata data show any unnormal behaviour around 1942:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/van_Hoof.jpg

    Neither do coralline sponges:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif
    Coralline sponges show d13C levels, not CO2 levels, but any huge supply of CO2 from the oceans should increase the d13C level while a huge supply from vegetation would show a spectacular drop…


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    MaryFJohnston

    Hi Silligy

    When I first read your earlier post I was caught by the unusual way you presented the data.

    It was interesting and I thought I understood what you were getting at.

    Were you saying that for two periods with the same temperature Difference, there were corresponding CO2 differences that didn’t make sense?

    When I looked at it again I could see that I had been puzzled by something that was missin, a bit more explanation or background.


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    Lionell Griffith

    KR said: I prefer to deal with the facts.

    Then how about dealing with the fact that, in the real world, causes LEAD effects and not the other way around? Thus, CO2 concentration cannot be the cause of temperature it is a consequence of temperature.

    By lowering our output of CO2, we cannot change the temperature. We won’t even be able to have an effect on the level of CO2 to any significant degree. Even then, the effect will be only local and for a very short period of time. Hence, the global drive to control the sources of energy and to limit consumption of energy will have NO effect on global temperature.

    The global drive to control such things will have a profound negative global effect upon the quality of life and the freedom to act of every individual on earth. This, I contend, is the real purpose behind all the fake angst about catastrophic global warming or whatever the current PC phrase for it. The drive has NOTHING at all to do with global temperature and has every thing to reducing every individual on earth to the level of a surf (aka slave).

    Why do you wish to own slaves or be one yourself?


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Siliggy at 201:

    320 to 380 over 18 years is a growth rate of 60/18 = 3.33/yr.
    3.33/8ppmv = 0.41 deg C

    Be aware that the effect of temperature on CO2 levels is 8 ppmv/degr.C in (dynamic) equilibrium, NOT 8 ppmv/degr.C/year!

    Thus if the temperature changes 1 degr.C, CO2 levels will change with 8 ppmv over time and there it ends.


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    MaryFJohnston

    BobC @183

    Again a very readable post.

    The speed of adjustment of the sink syetm is as you say critical to the whole AGW thing.

    Someone earlier described CO2 meaasurements taken near growing crops and the image I have of that post is that the experimenter could a lsmost see the CO2 being absorbed by the vegetation iit was that rapid.

    A simple experiment would be to take ambient CO2 readings near such a field over 24 hours and compare night and day values.

    A suitable control field (empty ) some distance off would also give some basis for assessing speed of CO2 sink adaptation.

    I don’t think Ferdinands method of measuring Atm CO2 levels is useful in detailing adaptation rate of sinks. It’s a circular argument. Maybe he just doesn’t want to see that.

    The sink adaptation rate seems to be reasonably rapid given the half life estimates I have seen of 5 years or so.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Lionell Griffith at 202:

    Then why all the discussion and angst about human trace addition to the level of a trace atmospheric gas: CO2? Since CO2 concentration LAGS temperature, it is an effect of temperature and not the cause of it.

    A little careful here: it is not because CO2 lags temperature changes, that that excludes the possibility of a feedback the other way round. The effects in both directions may be small or huge, in the latter case you may have a runaway effect. But it is perfectly possible that an effect in one direction leads to a small response back, without much problems.

    The basic effect of temperature on CO2 levels is about 8 ppmv/degr.C.
    The basic effect of 2xCO2 on temperature is about 0.9 degr.C, based on radiation properties.

    Both effects can mutually exist, without problems (the second one even beneficial in my opinion). If there are lots of positive feedbacks (which most models assume) then we may run in trouble, if there are negative feedbacks (which I expect), then the effect is hardly measurable.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Lional Griffith at various

    “”We should do NOTHING and get down to the business of making sure we can create and maintain a sufficiently high level of technology and economic productivity so that humans can continue to live, prosper, and thrive. How to do this should be the central topic of conversation.”"

    I totally agree.

    Despite my posts I feel that, as a scientist, we should be investing money into the development or exploration of alternative energy sources. I would like that, but only if done propertly.

    Government should dismantle the green empires currently sucking money out of our taxes and put it towards real alternates research. More money would be available because the middle man is cut out.

    the current system of roof top solar power and heaters is uneconomic and wasteful (see I can be very green when pushed) and the money saved there could be put to research.

    This (AGW) is not about renewables or being Green, it is about VOTES from the misled, the oppressed and the gullible.

    Votes are about access to the Nations (or States or Local Govts ) coffers.


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    BobC

    2Lionell Griffith (@208):
    August 6th, 2011 at 6:19 am
    KR said: I prefer to deal with the facts.

    Then how about dealing with the fact that, in the real world, causes LEAD effects and not the other way around? Thus, CO2 concentration cannot be the cause of temperature it is a consequence of temperature.
    & etc….

    Bravo! Well Said.

    The main problem with the rank and file warmists is that they aren’t dealing with facts — they’re living in a fantasy world, where the “reward” is that they get to feel morally superior to everyone who doesn’t agree with them. The people at the top know what they’re doing (or, at least, they know what they want). The Useful Idiots follow.

    (And no, KR — I don’t know where you fit in, and I’m not hypothesizing, so don’t get all huffy-breath about ad homimen.)


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    Robert of Ottawa

    As I posted at Judith Curry’s web apage, I firstly became concerned about AGW in the early ’80s. But, then when I explored the carbon cycle, I realized it was a qualative cycle … not understood quantatively (which is important for a engineer :-)

    Also, being a history buff, I knew temperatures have changed before, over periods of centuries and millenia. So, in the end, I stopped buying the BS.

    I liked this guys presentation (only heard in pod-cast) he was very persuasive.


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    KR

    Lionell Griffith @ 208

    This, I contend, is the real purpose behind all the fake angst about catastrophic global warming or whatever the current PC phrase for it. The drive has NOTHING at all to do with global temperature and has every thing to reducing every individual on earth to the level of a surf (aka slave).

    Why do you wish to own slaves or be one yourself?

    Ah, nothing like seeing false motives being ascribed. I have said nothing of the sort, and my motivation is all about avoiding/mitigating/correcting the rather significant costs of our actions (you know, that whole ‘being responsible’ thing).

    Your political views have nothing whatsoever to do with the physical facts of increasing CO2 due to our emissions, the warming that will cause (~1.1C / doubling), the feedbacks that will occur (to a total of about 3C / doubling), crop movements, sea level rise, ocean acidification, precipitation changes, etc.

    I know you don’t agree with those points, but a question for you, Lionell – if you were to believe (just as a what-if) that our CO2 emissions were going to cause these problems, what, in your political framework, would be the right way to approach the issue? Would you have some approach you were happy with that could/would reduce the impacts, or would it be an anarchistic “every man for himself” situation, where the cost to the commons was just not your problem or responsibility?

    I’m genuinely interested in the answer – What, if any, mitigation of oncoming costs (of whatever sort) would be acceptable under your political views?


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    Robert of Ottawa

    Ferdinand, comment #211

    You cannot be that precise. We are just hand-waving as to the quantities. The only true measurements are over the past 30 years, with satellites giving us global data. This proves ….. Forget the hand-waving junk you spew ….. GET WITH THE DATA!


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    KR

    Lionell

    Then how about dealing with the fact that, in the real world, causes LEAD effects and not the other way around? Thus, CO2 concentration cannot be the cause of temperature it is a consequence of temperature.

    Yep, causes lead effects.

    CO2 feedback to temperature: Temperatures change ->> CO2 changes solubility in the oceans and hence atmospheric concentration by about 8-10 ppm per degree.

    Temperature from CO2: We burn stuff (most effectively) that’s been buried for hundreds of millions of years, CO2 levels rise, slowing energy loss to space ->> temperature goes up.

    Politics: Costs of our actions to everyone become apparent, folks quite reasonably consider passing those costs back to those who are causing them ->> people and corporations get upset over losing what had been up to that point a free lunch for them…


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    MaryFJohnston at 210:

    A simple experiment would be to take ambient CO2 readings near such a field over 24 hours and compare night and day values.

    There are lots of such experiments in use, even available online. Early research in the 1940′s used CO2 measurements in glasshouses and even in sacks bound around leaves to see how much CO2 was absorbed at different initial CO2 levels.

    Here the CO2 data from an open air experiment in Giessen, Germany:
    http://fss.plone.uni-giessen.de/fss/fbz/fb08/biologie/pflanzenoek/alte_homepage/forschung/Foeinr/UKL/projekte/GiFACE/GiFACE/CO2regimes/file/CO2regimes.pdf


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    MaryFJohnston

    Lionell

    I really liked your 202 comment.


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    MaryFJohnston

    What is coming out in many of the posts now is a new phenomenon.

    The Summary post.

    These summaries are now looking past the science of AGW, which is almost finished, to the world as we would see it if things were done well for the benefit of all.

    We must quantify the outrageous costs of roof top solar, windmills, Departments of Climate Change (??), paid advocates (Tim the plant Biologist), University Law Deparments specialising in Climate Change, departments of Climate Change Ethics, AGW propaganda in schools which is damaging our scientific future, the Tax Sucking UN and its hangers on and so on.

    We are not rich enough to afford all this waste and it is dispiriting to see our our hard work and tax money P***ed up against the proverbial.

    The Public will react IF they are made aware of the outrageous waste of their taxes.

    The job now is to make the message understandable scientifically and financially so that people can vote to create real government for themselves.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Robert of Ottawa at 216:

    The 8 ppmv/degr.C comes from ice cores, where the ratio between a temperature proxy (deuterium against hydogen or 18O/16O) and CO2 level is quite linear over 800,000 years. It may be that the temperature proxy is not that good, and the temperature is only for the SH oceans. But even so, it will not be far off. Even if the ratio in reality is double the value, that doesn’t explain the 100+ increase of the last 150 years. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/Vostok_trends.gif

    The 0.9 degr.C for 2xCO2 is from the Modtran program, carefully composed from laboratory measurements, where line by line absorption characteristics were measured and implemented for different air pressures (heights), water, CO2 and CH4 levels, for different parts of the globe and with or without clouds, rain,… That is a basic “model”, without any real life feedbacks (except water vapor, which may be included in different ways).

    satellites in this case may be helpfull to show where the real feedbacks are and how they behave…


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    BobC

    KR (@189):
    August 6th, 2011 at 2:06 am
    BobC @ 183

    You are once again confusing (a) the time required for individual molecules of CO2 (including a particular isotope release/tracer experiment) to swap in the carbon cycle, with (b) the time required for a total concentration change. Individual molecule lifespan is a red herring in this regard – they just get swapped for another CO2 molecule. Your bomb spike example simply shows the spike getting mixed into the full carbon cycle – not a decrease in atmospheric CO2 levels.

    I’m always saddened when someone makes this ~5yr assertion, as it’s so completely wrong.

    I suppose I should also be saddened that you are so completely ignorant of Linear Systems Theory and tracer measurements of the IRF — but I’m just frustrated by your stubborn refusal to educate yourself.

    Like I said KR, you can look this up. It’s not new stuff — much of it was developed in the 1920s.

    Here it is in a nutshell:

    It is an absolutely incontrovertable result of LST (when applied to tracer measurements) that, when you start with a tracer that is in equilibrium throughout a system, and you apply an impulse to that tracer, the Impulse Response Function you measure with the tracer is exactly the same IRF that you would measure if you applied the impulse to the general system.

    In other words, the decay rate of the C-14 is exactly the same decay rate you would measure if you added a much larger impulse to the CO2 concentrations as a whole. It is exactly what happens to all anthropogenic CO2 additions.

    This is not something you can wave away with facile arguments — it has been experimentally verified thousands of times in virtually every field of engineering and science.

    Your ‘argument’ above relies on the contra-factual assumption that there is no C-14 in the sinks before adding the bomb impulse to the atmosphere (which would mean that the C-14 system wasn’t a scale model of the C-12 system, and hence the IRFs would be different) — but C-14 is well mixed in all parts of the carbon system: That’s why carbon dating works. Look at the graph I linked — the blue line is the equilibrium level of C-14 before the bomb spike.

    ***************************

    Let’s be more specific: A ‘linear system’ is one for which, if input A gets you output B — and input C gets you output D; Then input (A+C) will result in output (B+D). Currently, there is no empirical evidence that the CO2 atmosphere/sink system is not linear by this definition.

    The Impulse Response Function (IRF) is a convenient way of completely characterizing the input/output characteristics of a Linear System (LS). Since any possible input function can be decomposed into a (possibly infinite) sum of input impulses, you can calculate the output of any arbitrary input by simply summing the IRFs for each constitute input impulse. The application here is: If “A” is an impulse of concentration of C-14 and “B” is an inpulse of C-12 (meaning CO2 containing these isotopes), then the IRF you measure by input “A” is exactly the same IRF that you would get with input “B” (by burning fossil fuel, for instance).

    We pause to consider why the CO2 atmosphere/sink system appears to be linear. The answer is that the transfer between the atmosphere and oceans dominates the system and that is controlled by a linear law — Henry’s law. (If there is some nonlinearity in the system, most probably it is due to biological transfers.) Henry’s law tells us (and again, it is well verified experimentally) that, for instance, the rate that a gas diffuses from air to water is dependent ONLY on a (temperature-dependent) constant and the concentration of that gas in air; The concentration of the gas in the water does not enter. Likewise for the rate of diffusing from water to air — it depends only on the constant and the concentration of the gas in the water.

    Also, the diffusion rates of each type of gas is completely independent of the concentrations of every other type of gas. In particular, the rate at which C14-containing CO2 (which I’ll abbreviate (C_14)O2) is independent of the rates and concentrations of (C_12)O2.

    Hence, when you start with (C_12)O2 and (C_14)O2 both in equilibrium in the system and with each other — then add an impulse of concentration to the (C_14)O2, the decay rate (IFR) that you measure with the (C_14)O2 is exactly the same as the decay rate you would measure if you added a concentration impulse (say anthropogenicily generated) to the (C_12)O2. The two are independent inputs with independent responses, as mandated by Henry’s law.

    If you want to deny this, you have 90 years of theory and experiment to falsfify (better get cracking!) — facile, handwaving arguments, blatant assertions, and non-verifiable models don’t do it.


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    BobC

    KR: I will also mention that your argument above (@189) is a violation of Henry’s law, as it requires the rate of diffusion of C12-containing molecules to be dependent on the concentration of C14-containing molecules.

    Henry’s law is quite clear (and well verified) that the diffusion rate of a molecular species is ONLY proportional to the concentration of THAT species alone.


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    KR

    BobC @ 222

    As it happens, I am quite familiar with linear systems theory, impulse responses, and the like. I work with them on a daily basis.

    What we are discussing in the climate, however, is not an open-ended one directional linear system response, but rather a multi-directional diffusion process between multiple containers (biosphere, ocean, atmosphere, etc.). Much as a drop of dye in a set of connected containers will diffuse between them until reaching some equilibrium concentration, at rates dependent upon exchange rates, bomb-spiked C14 CO2 will reduce its level in the atmosphere at a fairly quick rate, replaced by other isotopes in relation to their concentration, because quite frankly there is more C14 at the spike point (atmosphere) than in the oceans.

    And you continue to miss the point. Regardless of the exchange rates (5-8 years half-life) between containers, this exchange is bidirectional. Sequestration rates, on the other hand, changing the total of CO2 in the atmosphere, and hence the ppm concentration, has another timeframe entirely (regulated primarily by ocean circulation exposing water that can absorb CO2), which you seem strangely unaware of.

    In other words, the decay rate of the C-14 is exactly the same decay rate you would measure if you added a much larger impulse to the CO2 concentrations as a whole. It is exactly what happens to all anthropogenic CO2 additions.

    Yeesh. You are completely ignoring the carbon cycle exchanges. Enough – read up on that. Until you do, it’s just not worth my while to discuss the topic with you.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Re 224

    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard stuff like;

    “”As it happens, I am quite familiar with linear systems theory, impulse responses, and the like. I work with them on a daily basis.”"

    Yeeeeesh!!!

    ????????????

    Also this wondrous piece of RealClimate University Science: “”(regulated primarily by ocean circulation exposing water that can absorb CO2), which you seem strangely unaware of.”"

    If you were any kind of scientist you would know that it is normal procedure to investigate one factor at a time before reassembling the whole answer in any analysis.

    The only group that doesn’t put ALL factors together is the UN IPCC which curiously left MM CO2 out on its own to cop all the blame for Global Warming. They forgot Water (how could that happen) and so on……


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    Lionell Griffith

    KR said: Ah, nothing like seeing false motives being ascribed. I have said nothing of the sort, and my motivation is all about avoiding/mitigating/correcting the rather significant costs of our actions (you know, that whole ‘being responsible’ thing).

    Your wanting to establish a top down global control over the use of energy and the lives of everyone on earth will achieve the end I state. That you did not say that is what you wanted is irrelevant.

    To use your “logic”, suppose I picked up a fully loaded and armed gun, pointed at your head, and pulled the trigger. Suppose also, I didn’t say I intended to kill you. Then I could say, I didn’t kill you, the bullet did. Or more exactly, that the bullet killed you was YOUR fault because you let your brains splatter on the wall behind you. No, the one who advocates and supports the means is part of all of the CAUSE of the consequence. That you did not expect the consequence or did not intend it to happen or did not say that it was your goal is irrelevant and immaterial.


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    cohenite

    KR: the CO2 lag is a myth: Frank Lansner’s simple anlysis shows there is no correlation between temperature and CO2:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2,Temperaturesandiceages-f.pdf

    Over the 20thC the r2 between CO2 movements and temperature is 0.44; in the 21stC it is negative.

    Your reference to Salby and the RC ‘treatment’ of his talk is a bit funny; comparing the less than predicted by AGW temperature increase over the 20thC with the rise in CO2 [ie the temperature increase should have been ~1.3C] with the supposed sensitivity to do with a drop in CO2 is grotesque; even AGW theory recognises a log relation with temperature with temperature response and climate sensitivity greatest with increases of CO2 from a small base or 0; so naturally that relation would be reversed with a decline in CO2 with the greatest temperature response being manifest when CO2 starts to reach low levels.

    But, as we know, CO2 and temeprature don’t have any correlation.


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    Speedy

    KR @ 224

    I fully agree that AT EQUILIBRIUM individual molecules of CO2 will exchange between two phases (e.g. ocean and atmosphere)with no net mass transfer. But if the system is not at equilibrium, then the net mass transfer will be in the direction that brings the system into equilibrium. BobC is quite right in his comments.

    If, as I suspect you are, talking about kinetic effects due to mixing of the oceans, then you seem to have ignored them in your discussion of ocean acidification. You can’t have it both ways, sorry. You can’t have the same CO2 molecule acidifying the oceans while it’s cooking the atmosphere – if either of those were possible. CO2 molecules don’t multi-task.

    And at the risk of being pedantic, ocean acidification, like acidification anywhere, occurs when the pH is less than 7. My guess is that the oceans are about pH 7.6 (+/- 0.2 pH) so this means that the hydrogen ion concentration has to increase by a factor of 4 before the oceans become acidic.

    If we assume that the bicarbonate ion is the predominant specie at pH 7, then we only get one proton per CO2 molecule in forming carbonic acid. (CO2 + H2O => HCO3- + H+). This would require the ocean’s CO2 content to be about 4 times it’s existing concentration before it was even possible (at the simplest theoretical level) for the oceans to be acidic. The fact that marine life has fluorished when atmospheric CO2 has been significantly higher than now indicates that the above is a conservative approximation.

    Please be nice to BobC in the future.

    Regards,

    Speedy.


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    incoherent rambler

    But, as we know, CO2 and temeprature don’t have any correlation.

    Thank you. Nevertheless, I am sure that many will deny the statistics and deny the data.

    The assumptive among us, assume that long term data is wrong and the only valid data is satellite measurements. And then extrapolate cherry picked/adjusted satellite data into the past. That is getting desperate.

    What does it take for them to drop the assumptions?


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    Lionell Griffith

    Ferdinand Engelbeen said: A little careful here: it is not because CO2 lags temperature changes, that that excludes the possibility of a feedback the other way round. The effects in both directions may be small or huge, in the latter case you may have a runaway effect. But it is perfectly possible that an effect in one direction leads to a small response back, without much problems.

    The measured lag INCLUDES any and all feedback from increasing CO2 concentration upon temperature. Hence, the feedback must not be very profound if it exists at all. To prove your point, you would have to hold ALL other causes of temperature change constant and show that the temperature increase was more with a free to increase CO2 level than not. Your experiment would last several thousand years and have to be repeated several times.

    We do have another experiment, an approximately 4.5 billion year one, that already gives us useful information. Since we are not living on a burning globe after billions of years of possibility of the runaway happening, I suggest the feedback of CO2 on temperature is more the product of too many fevered imaginations rather than a real physical effect with any real consequence.

    The mere assertion that “it” is happening backed up by the words “it is possible” is not a sufficient bases to justify the proposed global takeover of energy production and use by unaccountable government thugs. Nor are bogus computer simulations that do not correctly include ALL the causal links in the weather system to a sufficiently fine granularity to predict the weather more than a few days into the future.

    Like I said: the focus on CO2 concentration and control is totally and absolutely a bogus focus. Our focus should be on how to create a society in which real people can live real lives without them being used, abused, and consumed for purposes not of their own choosing. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is the last thing we need to worry about or even discuss.


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    rjm385

    Guys, am I missing something but from some comments on this blog.. it is assumed that CO2 is the only gas which is dissolved in the planets oceans..If indeed the ocean were to warm wouldnt these gases all be released at the same proportions.

    So how could the oceans getting warmer increase the concentration of gases in the atmosphere. Wouldn’t the proportions be the same?

    Hence there is only one way for a gas to be more prevalent. That would be to release more of that particular gas or do I have this assumption wrong?

    Say YES to an election now !!


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    Raredog

    KR @ 173, thanks for your reply though I’m not sure why a decrease in phytoplankton might be a “contributor in the future”, rather than right now.

    I am also not sure that, “half of the amount of CO2 we emit is matched in the atmosphere as a concentration increase, thus the other half must be going elsewhere, such as in ocean acidification”, is also correct. This presupposes that all of the atmospheric CO2 increase is of anthropogenic origin without regard to increases from non-anthropogenic sources such as changes in phytoplankton, volcanic eruptions, breakdown of methane emissions, deep ocean turnover, etc. This is an assumption that relies on the mass balance equation or notion of equilibrium and while in useful in understanding flux changes at any point in time it may mask longer-term natural flux changes. In other words rather than CO2 levels returning to equilibrium, based on the mass balance equation (a la Flannery’s “thousand years” statement), perhaps it might be better to consider atmospheric CO2 fluxes as oscillating, or continually “falling towards” equilibrium.

    Of course Ferdinand is right not to project catastrophism onto anthropogenic CO2 levels for as you likely know there is a inverse logarithmic relationship between changes in temperature and CO2 levels such that without the assumed positive feedback from water vapour there is no chance of runaway global warming, tipping points or whatever. Needless to say this aspect of the science is certainly not settled. Therefore I do not agree when you say, “total concentration adjustment times for CO2 levels are on the order of hundreds of years. And that’s the important issue.”


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    Bulldust

    A timely “It’s the economy, stupid!” piece in The Australian:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/pollies-wake-up-to-the-economic-reality/story-e6frg9if-1226109414412

    The question needs to be asked once again… why introduce two massive taxes to the Australian economy when the world economy is on the brink of the precipice? It is pure lunacy to pursue the MRRT and “carbon price” when the rest of the world is on the verge of collapsing.

    Time for Labor to show some leadership and admit that despite believing these taxes are the right thing (in their opinion) the timing is not. Greens can go &*^*# themselves… we cannot be held hostage to political ideology when the economy is about to tank. It would be gross political negligence of the highest order.


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    BobC

    KR:
    August 6th, 2011 at 8:33 am
    BobC @ 222

    As it happens, I am quite familiar with linear systems theory, impulse responses, and the like. I work with them on a daily basis.

    Ya sure, ya betcha. Then why do you seem to be unable to grasp its application here?

    What we are discussing in the climate, however, is not an open-ended one directional linear system response, but rather a multi-directional diffusion process between multiple containers

    What you’re saying is total nonsense. Tracer measurements (and LST) are not in any way limited to “one directional” systems, but are completely capable of measuring and describing multi-dimensional equilibrium and perturbed systems. That’s what they are used for in the real world, duh — measuring systems that are too complex to deal with other ways.

    However special you think the climate is, when you have two species of molecule that are distinguishable from each other, but follow the same laws while traversing the system, AND are in equilibrium with each other throughout the system, it is a denomstratable fact that the response of each to an impulse will be the same. That you are completely ignorant of this, does not make it false, just makes you ignorant.

    Yeesh. You are completely ignoring the carbon cycle exchanges.

    No, you idiot — we’re measuring them by the tracer method. Reality is determined by measurements, KR — not by unverified models and theorizing. This is really pretty basic.

    it’s just not worth my while to discuss the topic with you.

    I quite agree — because you’re dumber than a sack of hammers.


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    janama

    Deltoid’s Tim Lambert is at it again – he has already rubbished Murry Salby’s work. I’m dumbfounded.

    Here we have a scientist who is Chair of Climate Science at Macquarie University and has worked at leading research institutions, including the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, Princeton University, and the University of Colorado and has a long list of publications in field yet a lecturer (Note, not even a senior lecturer) in computer graphics at the UNSW has the hide to pretend he has the right to be critical of his science.

    That’s what’s wrong with climate science commentary in a nutshell IMO.


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    Jimmy Haigh

    I remember about 3 or 4 years ago when I first discovered Global Warming blogs. The first one I found was Real Climate. I made the mistake of asking if the rise in CO2 seen in the recent past was in fact caused by the MWP 800 years ago. I was shot down in flames. I must heve relased a ton oc CO2 in the process.


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    Sean McHugh

    This is refreshing. Even though many sceptics seem to have accepted it, I never couldn’t see how man’s tiny contribution, to the the emissions of CO2, could cause a massive increase of that gas in the atmosphere. I have heard the tap and leaking bath argument but found it very unconvincing. It would require that the earth has relied on a loss of CO2 that just happened to match its output and that man has upset that fine balance by adding a further tiny percentage. This seems unlikely. Aside from fortuitous coincidence, it would need remarkable uniformity. But we know that the earth is very dynamic in its processes and by much more so than a few percent. Far more likely is that the earth eventually regulates itself by adjusting the expenditure of CO2 in accordance with the production.


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    Ross

    Jimmy @ 236. I’ve read a number of comments on various blogs lately saying a similar thing about RC. People went on there and asked what they thought was reasonable question , in a polite way but got treated like an idiot
    ( because the question suggested the person was not an AGW believer even though at the time the person either had not made up their mind or in some cases were inclinded to belive in AGW. ). Most have said that after a couple of attempts they just got put off RC and they went else where to learn more and made up their mind accordingly.


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    KR

    MaryFJohnston @ 255

    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard stuff like…

    The only reason I brought those factors up was in response to BobC, who had just filled several posts with such wonders as:

    BobC @ 183 – “Linear systems theory and tracer measurements are not new subjects, both having been around for the better part of a century. It is clear from your argument that you have no working knowledge of either, and do not know how they apply to this measurement.”

    I really prefer to speak to the issues, rather than insult others knowledge as BobC did. But I will not give such insults a free pass – they are a combination of the Ad Hominen and Appeal to Authority logical fallacies.

    The only group that doesn’t put ALL factors together is the UN IPCC which curiously left MM CO2 out on its own to cop all the blame for Global Warming. They forgot Water (how could that happen) and so on……

    That, MaryFJohnston, would be a completely incorrect statement. Please look at the table of contents for the Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007, where all of those factors are listed as major sections. Oceans are Chapter 5, water vapor is in Chapter 2 and other sections.

    In fact, that’s a good reference for everyone. A lot of statements are made about what the IPCC did and did not consider – there’s the table of contents for you to check.

    Speedy @ 228

    The base of the mass balance discussion is that we’re emitting 28-29 GT/year of CO2, into the otherwise closed carbon cycle. The yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 is just over 15 GT/year, so 14 GT or so is being absorbed somewhere. The pH change in the ocean (standard terminology, acidification means moving towards acid, just as taking 10 steps from the South Pole means I’m moving North) matches up with much of that.

    Yes, you’re absolutely right, the system is out of equilibrium, with CO2 moving into the oceans. But treating the climate as an open ended linear system (as BobC seems to indicate), rather than a closed system with multiple transfers in different directions, is an incorrect mental and mathematical model. His ‘bomb spike’ example seems to require an open ended system with one-directional transfer of CO2 out of the atmosphere, which is simply wrong.

    The phrase carbon cycle includes the very important word “cycle”.

    “Please be nice to BobC in the future.”

    Let’s see how he does with his attitude.

    Raredog @ 232

    See the previous paragraphs about mass balance. We emit about 130x the CO2 volcanoes do, 0.2 GT, incidentally.

    In other words rather than CO2 levels returning to equilibrium, based on the mass balance equation (a la Flannery’s “thousand years” statement), perhaps it might be better to consider atmospheric CO2 fluxes as oscillating, or continually “falling towards” equilibrium.

    That’s actually not a bad way to look at things. The yearly vegetation cycle in the NH as reflected in the Mauna Loa CO2 measurements shows a great deal of oscillation, albeit superimposed on a rather trend of rising values.

    To the extent that CO2 affects climate, the “hundreds of years” number is critical.

    Lionell

    My question still stands. Say an asteroid is spotted heading towards Earth. It’s going to wipe out an entire quarter of the planet, with unpleasant effects over the rest. Would you consider an effort to work together, to combine resources to deflect the asteroid, “a top down global control over the use of energy and the lives of everyone on earth” that you would oppose with every fiber of your being? The way you seem to oppose dealing with global warming?


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    cohenite

    Ferdinand is too dismissive of Jaworowski and too accepting of the official ice core measurement of CO2 levels; he should read comments 17 and 87 here:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/03/david-evans-carbon-modeler-says-its-a-scam/#more-14022

    In respect of Lambert’s response to Salby, Lambert is wrong as I noted at comment 123 above.


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    Siliggy

    MaryFJohnston:
    August 6th, 2011 at 6:19 am
    Hi Silligy

    I was unfairly mean to you. Sorry!
    Bits of the explanation you seek are in my posts after that one. That post was bait intended to get Ferdinand to more clearly state his position. I should have pointed out that despite the supposedly increased human output of CO2 and the supposed positive feedback from it the CO2 growth rate can still fall to near zero after a mildy cooler year and this means that the growth rate could go negative. If it were to go negative then postive feedbacks that the warmists promote should act to drive CO2 down even more. I have not drifted too far from the topic. The general gist of it is that the ERNST GEORGE BECK CO2 plots make more sense if temp follows CO2 (That is the question behind this whole page) and since this:
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt
    only goes back to 1958 what happens now should agree with what happened in the past. Warmists need this to work one way in the past and a different way in the future. The 1940s blip is the smoking gun that shows the effort to hide the real CO2 behaviour! Also volcanic activity is being blamed for the lack of global temperature rise yet it is not accepted as part of the reason for the cold a century ago.
    Have a look at the 1940 blip in Sweden:
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/making_sweden_warmer/
    Compare how many US records were set in the 30s and still stand to the puny number set in the last decade.
    Note the more extreme weather then also:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._state_temperature_extremes


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    MattB

    Janama “Deltoid’s Tim Lambert is at it again – he has already rubbished Murry Salby’s work. I’m dumbfounded.
    Here we have a scientist who is Chair of Climate Science at Macquarie University and has worked at leading research institutions, including the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, Princeton University, and the University of Colorado and has a long list of publications in field yet a lecturer (Note, not even a senior lecturer) in computer graphics at the UNSW has the hide to pretend he has the right to be critical of his science.
    That’s what’s wrong with climate science commentary in a nutshell IMO”

    And yet you are happy to follow commentary from Jo who is critical of the majority of such scientists? Is appeal to authority valid when you are appealing to a view you agree with?


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    BobC

    KR, I want to appologize — I went too far. I should have stayed with observable facts such as “you don’t seem to be able to understand this issue”.

    To wit:

    KR:
    Yes, you’re absolutely right, the system is out of equilibrium, with CO2 moving into the oceans. But treating the climate as an open ended linear system (as BobC seems to indicate), rather than a closed system with multiple transfers in different directions, is an incorrect mental and mathematical model. His ‘bomb spike’ example seems to require an open ended system with one-directional transfer of CO2 out of the atmosphere, which is simply wrong.

    Nowhere, in anything I said, did I limit myself to an “open ended” linear system. Wherever did you get that from? Perhaps the carbon system is open ended at a long enough time scale, if you consider, e.g., subduction and contintental drift. However, it should have been perfectly clear that I was talking about a system in perturbed equilibrium — the Atmospheric CO2 / sink system with extra CO2 added to the atmosphere. Your statement above indicates that you completely failed to follow what I was talking about.

    It’s not as if I’m trying to convince you of some crazy idea I just had — I’ve been trying to explain a 90 year old scientific technique that you could easily learn about yourself. Instead, you continue to make inane statements about it, while refusing to do any research on it and claiming knowledge you obviously don’t have.

    Hence, my conclusion in the first paragraph.


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    Winston

    KR @ 239

    Say an asteroid is spotted heading towards Earth. It’s going to wipe out an entire quarter of the planet, with unpleasant effects over the rest. Would you consider an effort to work together, to combine resources to deflect the asteroid, “a top down global control over the use of energy and the lives of everyone on earth” that you would oppose with every fiber of your being? The way you seem to oppose dealing with global warming?

    I would suggest to you, KR, that the fixation on the non problem of CAGW by our scientists, with government funding exclusivity to what should be a minor backwater of science, combined with governmental incompetence and avarice with determination to fleece the populace of every last red cent in the process, are exactly the reasons why the world would not pull together to even detect, let alone react to the threat of an asteroid bearing down on the earth. NASA is now in the Climate Science business, and so it is certainly not going to be able to be in a position to respond in such an instance if time was of the essence. The best way to defeat an enemy is to distract their full and focussed attention from the tasks at hand with diversionary tactics and then striking when they are not looking. This pseudo-religious zealotry has distracted us from any progressive thinking in other areas of science, and as such is counterproductive to finding solutions to extraneous problems (such as the asteroid scenario, space exploration, better understanding of astrophysical phenomenon, etc), plus I would argue it detracts from proper environmental management (which it is meant to be all about- CO2 is not pollution IMO but many other toxic pollutants go unchecked because we are fixated on this harmless gas), as well as limiting technological advancement across the spectrum of humankind’s fields of endeavour (dumbing down science and analytical thought at an education level as a deliberate government policy- very clever). So, we need to stop fudging data to ventilate the corpse of CAGW, and stop offering life support to it’s terminally ill cousin AGW, and instead pool our resources to REAL problems that DO exist rather than waste time and energy focussing on a “problem” that at worst we must adapt to, and at best we can just ignore.


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    Ross

    KR @ 239

    ” The way you seem to oppose dealing with global warming? ”
    So in real practical terms how do you think we should be dealing with Global Warming ??


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    KR @ 239:

    The base of the mass balance discussion is that we’re emitting 28-29 GT/year of CO2, into the otherwise closed carbon cycle.

    This is an unsupported assumption. We don’t know whether increases in C02 levels in the cycle will increase sequestration rates. Given the large variations in C02 levels over the earth’s history, not to mention the amount of coal in the ground, it would be fair to say that the rate of carbon entering and exiting the cycle is variable.

    This is the important point of quantifying the carbon cycle. Without knowing how much carbon is circulating through the biosphere we can’t says whether measured increases of C02 are man-made or not.

    In the mean time, I’ll await Fredinand’s 1st derivative analysis of C02 levels for more clarity about man’s contribution. So far, I’ve been highly suspicious that I’ve yet to come across peer-reviewed work that accurately maps C02 rise against industrial growth. All we see from the alarmists is the flat Mauna Loa chart. Strikingly absent is China and India’s last 20 years of economic and industrial growth.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Ferdinand

    @218

    I had a look but the graph of daily stuff (Giessen) were interesting they don’t tell much without crop details and info on the experiment.

    Not useful at this point.


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    You should all scroll back to Lionell Griffith @ 230 and see what he had to say about there being more important things to worry about.


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    BobC

    KR: I seem to have overlooked a correct statement you made:

    His ‘bomb spike’ example seems to require an open ended system with one-directional transfer of CO2 out of the atmosphere, which is simply wrong.

    You are quite correct: To assume that tracer measurements and linear system theory only work with “one-directional transfer” systems is not only wrong, it is completely without logical or empirical foundation and demonstrates a significant lack of knowledge about the subject.

    Perhaps you have been misled by 1) A poor understanding of Linear Systems Theory, and 2) Never having applied it to to anything but feed-forward electronic systems? This could describe a number of EEs I know.


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    MaryFJohnston

    KR @239

    Can’t Really Accept your Post.

    is water in the executive summary as a bigger factor than CO2 and then man made CO2???? Haaa??


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    Joe V.

    MattB @242.
    Expect nothing less from Deltoid, it’s only a comic to keep the students amused. Full of Jolly Japes, student pranks & pseudo-scientific noise, where the presumption is to ‘debunk’ all and everything that threatens the the cosy CAGW meme.

    And to your point, likening what Jo does to this intellectual hooliganism: Jo goes to great lengths to identify and communicate the essence of the science for those less familiar with it, while Lambert is intent on simply making mischief for the sake of it from nitpicking trivialities.

    You must have a strong stomach for bothering to try reading that.


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    KR

    BobC @ 249

    What I am having issues with (and I’ll admit, that may be my error) is in statements like:

    Thus, the mass balance argument fails due to the falsification of the basic assumption that anthropogenic CO2 largely stays in the atmosphere.

    That would be a Strawman argument, as I have certainly not stated that. An individual molecule of human emitted CO2 has the same atmospheric half-life as anything else – 5 to 8 years, much as C14 concentrations drop off rapidly. That’s due to basic diffusion/solution chemistry/biosphere exchanges. I have no argument with that whatsoever – trace analysis certainly shows the speed of diffusion of a particular chemical through the various climate compartments.

    The total concentration of atmospheric CO2, however, is increasing at ~2+ ppm/year. Our emissions are sufficient (in total) to cause ~4 ppm increase, which means that the rest of the carbon cycle is shifting ~2 ppm into other climate containers. This is driven, not by diffusion exchange rates, but rather by the difference in diffusion rates between the various containers – diffusion imbalance. Tracer analysis does not show this – measuring total concentration changes in the various containers does.

    So yes, anthropogenic CO2 has a 5-8 year half-life, no argument there. But a concentration change in a particular compartment of the climate (in particular, into sequestration) has a different time frame. The oceans and biosphere are taking up ~2 ppm/year, which indicates a roughly 35-40 year half-life for the 100 ppm imbalance over pre-industrial levels, or ~125 years at minimum to a 10% imbalance (sorry, don’t have the detailed calculations ready to hand). That’s the rate to be concerned about, the difference in inter-compartment rates, not the base inter-compartment rates measured by tracer analysis.

    Winston @ 244

    My (unanswered) question stands. If you see a danger approaching, one that requires considerable effort from everyone to address – what kind of solution is acceptable to people like Lionell, who consider group action to be “slavery”? What level of social action, and to some extent personal sacrifice from those who may have contributed to the problem, is acceptable to address a threat? The answer I seem to get is “Uh, none”…

    My sincere apologies, but tomorrow AM I’m heading off into the hinterlands for a week+, where the InterTubes will not be available. Hence I won’t be able to reply to anything until the 14th or so – I’ll be back then. But in regards to the question I asked Lionell and Winston – What level of social cooperation is acceptable to address a perceived threat? I would love to know, because pretty much all of the ‘skeptics’ I’ve discussed global warming with seem to indicate that the answer is zero. And that would really leave us hanging out to dry, wouldn’t it?


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    KR

    MaryFJohnston @ 250

    is water in the executive summary as a bigger factor than CO2 and then man made CO2?

    In terms of GHG effect, water vapor is a considerably larger factor, much more powerful than CO2. In terms of causation, water vapor responds to temperature with a delay of 9-10 days, and is strictly a feedback, whereas CO2 (as a non-precipitable gas) stays around for hundreds of years, and hence CO2 is a far bigger causal factor.

    But those are rather obvious points… and if you read the chapters involved, the IPCC notes them.


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    bananabender

    Speedy:
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Louis @ 134

    That’s right – the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know.

    I think this was also the basis of Socrate’s Paradox – that someone’s wisdom is limited only by their understanding of their own ignorance.

    Ignorance is “very likely” associated with overconfidence.

    This has been formalised as the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect


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    Bob_FJ

    Whilst this all looks very exciting, and I look forward to seeing the paper with graphs etc, I fear that it may all come to nought. The problem is that most politicians and certain “experts“, like Karoly, Flannery, MSM, and alarmist elements in the ABC, appear to have very fixed simplistic minds. It seems to me that intuitively, they could not accept the hypothesis that human emissions may not be responsible for an apparent increase in atmospheric CO2, no matter how good the correlation to natural sources might be. And, of course, there will be plenty of loud team members and the IPCC eager to trash it. (or maybe the IPCC will ignore it)

    I already feel that the evidence against CAGW is overwhelming, but those that rule our lives and fund CAGW are not interested. Also, the “Complaints Rejection Unit” in the ABC is determined to deny proof that some of the stuff put out by the Science Show etc is junk, and they give strange interpretations of their Editorial Policies. (So far in the complaints I’ve laid) Maybe we need another few years of continued cooling, greater public scepticism, and worsening World economy before things start to change?


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    KR

    Ross @ 245

    So in real practical terms how do you think we should be dealing with Global Warming ??

    Personal opinion? Phase a straightforward carbon tax in on all producers over a few years. Invest those monies into CO2 reduction, renewable resources, energy efficiency. The actual estimates I’ve seen indicate somewhere between $80 and $170 cost for this per household in the US, I don’t have numbers for the rest of the world. Extremely conservative cost/benefit analysis (no costing of ocean acidification, for example, no consideration of reef loss) indicates that this would be better than break-even, we would make (some, not a lot) money doing so, from new industries and investments.

    I don’t agree with analyses such as Monckton’s, which over-estimate costs and completely ignore benefits of these strategies.


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    Winston

    KR @ 252
    The problem you refer to comes down to a lack of trust. Pure and simple. For 1000′s of years, those in power (the Church, Religious Leaders, Prophets, Cultists, Dictators, Governments of all persuasions, Monarchs, Despots, Druids, Arms Dealers, Drug Lords, Bankers, Capitalist Scumbags…. You Name It) have successfully controlled the population by providing a myriad of perceived “threats” to our safety and security, prophesying certain annihilation or impending doom. Most, if not all, have been grossly exaggerated or imaginary, in order to gain various political, financial, sexual or other advantage over the general population- in other words control by the few and disempowerment of the many. These various threats have weakened our resolve and our collective accomplishments as a species. This is not the fault of those intelligent enough not to believe every bit of cow pat served up to us on a plate at the whim of the powers that be. It is the very behaviour of the proponents of CAGW that makes it unbelievable, by shutting off proper discourse, marginalising all non-believers and then applying character assassination techniques upon any one who dares question them. The blogosphere emphasises this point, with behaviour at RC and (un)Skeptical Science enough to convince any unbiased commentator that you are on extremely tenuous and shaky grounds with your CAGW assertions. Modern people have become expert at identifying spin and propaganda techniques (from over exposure over the last 30-40 years) from vested and corrupt influences within the political spectrum so that a lie or attempted deceit is immediately noted and the case for “action” is weakened further.

    To answer your question directly, what it would take for collective action is HONESTY (possibly initially in this debate, but now long gone), HUMILITY (in severe short supply), ACCEPTANCE OF DIFFERENTIAL OPINION (never had it from the vey beginning), TRANSPARENCY (sorely lacking- even FOI requests fall on deaf ears or are avoided, sidestepped,etc); plus the removal of elitists, bankers and various other parasites from the CAGW payroll is required to convince us that a “threat”, as you put it, is worthy of a collective social response on such a scale that is proposed. And finally, the response has to MAKE SENSE, which an ETS and Carbon tax certainly does not!


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    janama

    MattB: @ 242

    Joanne Nova is a professional science communicator with a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication. This blog is an extension of that.

    Tim Lambert is a lecturer in computer graphics – chalk and cheese.

    Additionally Joanne is married to Dr David Evans who I’m sure vets all she presents. ;)


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    Raredog

    KR @ 239, thank you again though your reply appears limited – volcanoes are never a good example but possible CO2 sources from deep oceanic turnover, bacteria, soils, methane breakdown, reduced phytoplankton might be quite significant if we assume the mass balance equation to cover a range of variables and a range of fluxes over a period of time. The fact is we still do not know the values of these variables; also the various throughputs within the carbon cycle are subject to large margins of error as well. Therefore we cannot assume that natural inputs always equal natural outputs except perhaps over long time scales. By “falling towards equilibrium” I mean that equilibrium is never achieved but always oscillates around an equilibrium point, with each variable presumably operating on a number of different time scales.

    For instance, deep water replacement varies from around 250 years for the Indian Ocean up to around 500 years for the Pacific. For example, over a century 100/250th of the Indian Ocean volume is that oceanic volume capable of absorbing CO2. This would suggest that the oceans’ capacity to absorb CO2 is greater than the Revelle effect suggests and that, perhaps, the rate of ocean acidification is much less than that currently postulated, bearing in mind other factors are at play. Does modelling of CO2 uptake of oceans include a similar proportion of total ocean circulation of the period being modelled?

    Nonetheless we are adding CO2 to the atmosphere and atmospheric CO2 (both natural and anthropogenic) levels are rising. However, you have avoided my last comment that without a positive feedback from water vapour there is no chance of runaway global warming arising from increasing atmospheric CO2 levels.


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    Steve Schapel

    For a bit of light relief, there are some brilliant videos going around. For example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbOEUFKh-SU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGHiJF4TWw8


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    bananabender

    Bob_FJ:
    August 6th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I already feel that the evidence against CAGW is overwhelming, but those that rule our lives and fund CAGW are not interested. Also, the “Complaints Rejection Unit” in the ABC is determined to deny proof that some of the stuff put out by the Science Show etc is junk, and they give strange interpretations of their Editorial Policies. (So far in the complaints I’ve laid) Maybe we need another few years of continued cooling, greater public scepticism, and worsening World economy before things start to change?

    The ABC had a story claimed that bees were disappearing and that humanity would starve as a result. They dragged out a scientist who even claimed that cereal crops were pollinated by bees.

    I complained that the story was blatantly false eg grain crops are wind pollinated and bee numbers are dropping mainly because honey production has shifted to low wage countries. I got a generic email brush-off letter in reply.


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    Steve Schapel

    Bananabender (#261)…

    At the risk of going way off topic – there are some very nasty and difficult to combat bee diseases going around, that are affecting the viability of bee-keeping in a lot of places.


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    The ABC reported yesterday that water has been discovered on Mars.It has been known for some time that it is probable that organisms living below the surface of mars are producing methane.Burning methane in the presence of oxygen produces carbon dioxide and water.But anyhow -

    With the Greens converting everything from coal to gas will that factor alter any of the previous CO2 and water vapour calculations?


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    The _observer

    Dear Jo Nova;

    Just thought you may be interested in this.

    Yesterday, I started a topic at the ABC’s Dr Karl’s, Self Serve Science Forum (SSSF)on this subject & used this webpage of yours to initiate it. See http://www2b.abc.net.au/science/k2/stn/newposts/5191/topic5191618.shtm

    This morning I had a look back at SSSF to check for any new responses.
    I got one directly from ‘The Lab Moderator’, which is highly irregular.

    It reads;

    From: The Lab (moderator) 5/08/2011 10:47:31 PM
    Subject: re: Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not hu post id: 5191940

    Dear The_observer,

    If there is a blockbuster research paper coming that disproves the past 100 years of accumulated science about CO2, why not wait until it is published and everyone can see it?

    In the meantime, it is completely insincere to pretend that links to self-reinforcing climate denier websites somehow amount to a scientific argument.

    To pretend otherwise is spam.

    - – - – - –

    Talk about gagging debate.
    I found this insulting, & very unusual for the Mod to directly address a member participant in such a way.
    I’ve sinced replied to the Mod, but how long it remains posted, who knows.


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    Mark

    Well writ, Winston #257:

    KR throws in the other golden oldie (ocean acidification) for good measure after equating CAGW with an imminent asteroid impact. Ridiculous analogy. Wonder he didn’t bring up the cancer canard as well.

    Not only does he not believe that he has to falsify the hypothesis but he can’t or won’t even state in his own words what might change his mind.

    Then again, I suppose he’d just tell us all to keep waiting…and waiting… and more importantly, keep sending the money.


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    cohenite

    KR: you are being mischievious when you say this:

    “In terms of GHG effect, water vapor is a considerably larger factor, much more powerful than CO2. In terms of causation, water vapor responds to temperature with a delay of 9-10 days, and is strictly a feedback, whereas CO2 (as a non-precipitable gas) stays around for hundreds of years, and hence CO2 is a far bigger causal factor.”

    WV is not strictly a feedback; when it phase changes to clouds or precipitation it is a forcing. Also, in the overlapping spectrum extra water reduces the combined emissivity of the total CO2/WV content [as does CO2].

    Your comment about CO2 being a “far bigger causal factor” is straight out of the Lacis bag of tricks:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6002/356.abstract

    It is demonstrably false to say CO2 is a bigger ‘causal factor’ than WV when there is little correlation between CO2 levels and temperature as I point out at comment 227 above.


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    Cohenite @ 266

    Sounds as though Tony Abbott gave KR: a science lesson. Non precipitable means that CO2 can go up but can’t come down. Where does plant life get find the necessary CO2 for growth then?


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    Louis Hissink

    Following intensive/extensive variables further, we have this simple example:

    Eq 1 : 3 + 3 = 6 makes these extensive variables – say mass, length, or volume.

    However if we are dealing with in intensive variable then

    Eq 2: 3 + 3 = 3, such as temperature, percentage composition, density, etc, parts per million, (ppm) etc.

    Intensive variables are normally used to factor extensive ones to yield countable quantities. Doing maths on intensive variables without linking those to some physical object is simply meaningless numerology – a number is produced but it’s physically meaningless.


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    theRealUniverse

    No GHGs..Kevin Moore: @263 Mars has ~97% CO2 same as Venus and about 2% N2. Surface temp ~ -55C


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    cohenite

    Excellent point Kevin. In addition it staggers me that KR, Ferdinand and others have argued against Salby without addressing the manifest evidence Salby brings forward to support his claim.

    Basically Salby shows that CO2 does not affect climate. In fact, it is changes in the climate, in particular temperature and to a much lesser extent, soil moisture, which controls CO2 levels. Man’s minute contribution to CO2 has no impact on climate whatsoever. That being the case this means that the Greenhouse theory is debunked. This research therefore destroys the concept of AGW and the need for a carbon tax, a CPRS or the huge cost of alternative energy programs.

    The research reveals that CO2 varies randomly from year to year from 0% up to 3%ppmv with a mean of 1.5%ppmv/yr. This has been observed over 30 years by satellites. And this is a crucial point; Salby’s conclusions are based on the best measurements; his critics are rabbiting on about ice core data and other proxies which are up there with how’s your mother in terms of evidence.

    Net deviations of CO2 can exceed 100% so this proves it changes independently of human contribution. Even a minor change in natural emissions of CO2 can dwarf human emissions as natural sources are 2 orders of magnitude (100times) larger. During 1991/92 net emissions decreased by 70% and then recovered within 3 years [so much for extended, long-lived CO2 and its impact on climate sensitivity!]. This coincided with the eruption of Mt Pinatabo which decreased global temperature over the same timeframe. During 1997/98 net emission increased by 200%. This coincided with the El Nino which increased global temperature. CO2 has a strong sensitivity to temperature and this is enhanced over continents by precipitation and therefore the average level of moisture in soil. An increase of either temperature or soil moisture leads to increased emissions of CO2 from most natural sources. This accounts for nearly all (90%) of net global emission; temperature being 80% responsible.

    Natural sinks absorb CO2 and these approximately balance sources of emission.

    As well as primary measurement of temperature and CO2, modern global distribution of CO2 is also obtained from satellites. Source regions for CO2 are NOT found in the industrialized centres. They appear over tropical regions that have little human population let alone industrialization such as the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa and SE Asia. Even in these source areas, CO2 only deviates from its global mean by less than 5%.

    End of bloody story! Again!


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    cohenite

    And I’ll mention this again, given that it has been overlooked by Salby’s brave work; David Stockwell has a new paper which relies on the variations of TSI above and below a period average to determine GAT, with the oceans acting as heat reservoirs; see his comment here:

    http://landshape.org/enm/accumulation-theory-of-solar-influence/

    AGW is a plucked goose.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Louis @268

    Thanks — more bells ringing


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    cohenite

    I should point out that my comment at 270 draws substantially on a summary Gregg Thompson made after being at Murry Salby’s lecture.


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    KR,

    You are welcome to expend all your wealth, time, and energy on fighting perceived threats. However, simply because you think you perceive a real threat does not give you the right to FORCE me to do a damn thing about it. I have the right, the self responsibility, AND the technical ability to make up my own mind on the topic and I have stated my reasoning and conclusions repeatedly.

    There is NO threat from CAGW except from those who want to FORCE me to do something about a fantasy threat and I am not to have a choice in the matter. To that I say NO! I will continue to say NO in as many ways I can and for as long as I can. There are many things that take higher priority. If you need an example, I suggest clipping my toenails is at least as important to the fate of humanity and the earth than anything that man’s puny addition to a trace gas in the atmosphere could possibly do. Meaning zero, zip, nada, nothing, no way, no how, and never.

    You can take your psychotic fear of ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night and stuff them where the sun don’t shine! You can also stuff the entire dogma of CAGW there as well.


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    The Real Universe @ 269

    http://www.archive.org/details/GMM-10359

    Mars – Methane

    Biological Creation of Methane:NASA/Goddard


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    Steve Schapel

    Lionel (#274)…

    Don’t beat around the bush, Mate. Why don’t you tell us what you really think. LOL!


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    Albert

    Andrew Bolt has a very funny clip here:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/panic_panic_panic/P20/

    The sad thing is this is what they are teaching our children.


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    CHIP

    @KR

    “Your political views have nothing whatsoever to do with the physical facts of increasing CO2 due to our emissions, the warming that will cause (~1.1C / doubling), the feedbacks that will occur (to a total of about 3C / doubling)”.

    Really? What physical facts is this based on, exactly? It doesn’t appear to be based on any physical facts as far as I can see. In fact, if anything, it conflicts with them. A radiative forcing increment of 3.7W/sq.m (that’s the computer-predicted radiative forcing on a doubling of atmospheric CO2) is only enough to increase the mean global surface temperature by 0.68 degC at a baseline temperature of 288K according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law. Furthermore considering that the IPCC’s feedback-inclusive equation (expressed simplistically as ΔT = 0.8/ΔRF) takes the initial amount of radiative forcing produced by the CO2-greenhouse and multiples it by the constant 0.8 to get the answer in degC then that temperature-increase of 0.68C automatically includes all the hypothesized positive feedbacks inherent in the climate-system as well. That’s hardly the stuff of which the eco-cult’s doomsday scenario is made, is it? You appear to have got your green knickers in a twist over this.


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    Louis Hissink

    Ferdinand @ #188

    Globally the Eemian was warmer and moister – NH 5 degrees warmer according to Greenland ice cores, and 2-3 degrees warmer from Vostock ice cores.

    So both Greenland and Antartica were still repositories of snow buildup (had to be otherwise no ice core record) and this isn’t a problem? Yet the arctic is interpreted to have been ice free at this time.

    So much for a global rise of temperature of 5 degrees producing catastrophic ice cap melting.


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    Thanks Albert @ 277

    Thinking themselves wise they became fools – they are so stupid that you can’t help laughing – but then you have to come back to the fact that they in control of parliament – the lunatics are in charge of the assylum.


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    Louis Hissink

    I’ve just noticed another gross error in the carbon Cycle cartoon at the head of this post by Jo – where is the fossil fuel cycle portrayed, the one in which vegetation is subducted into the earth to produce coal etc – that is the way it’s supposed to work, isn’t it? And where are all the proto coal deposits ready to be subducted in the oceans, come to think of it.

    Big flaw in the fossil fuel cycle model I would contend.

    And petroleum – there aren’t any oil shales on the ocean floors, the precursors of petroleum, so where is the carbon for this coming from? And why not include it in the carbon cycle as well?

    It rather seems that the carbon cycle has been created by scientists with a complete ignorance of geology.


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    Louis @ 281

    What size would the fossil mass have to be to equal the oil and coal mass in the ground?

    How is Methane gas created?


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    Andrew McRae

    MaryFJohnston@148

    Andrew I can confirm that: Yes you have made a mistake.

    I didn’t ask anybody to confirm anything, plus confirmation tells us nothing new.

    I asked for people to provide a correction to any error they find in my comment #111.

    It’s been 26 hours and 170 comments since then and I’m still waiting for someone to identify a mistake.


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    Siliggy

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 6th, 2011 at 6:27 am
    Siliggy at 201:
    320 to 380 over 18 years is a growth rate of 60/18 = 3.33/yr.
    3.33/8ppmv = 0.41 deg C
    Be aware that the effect of temperature on CO2 levels is 8 ppmv/degr.C in (dynamic) equilibrium, NOT 8 ppmv/degr.C/year!
    Thus if the temperature changes 1 degr.C, CO2 levels will change with 8 ppmv over time and there it ends.

    That seems so very simple. Yet it is very simply wrong!
    It would be the case if every place on earth had average temperature all day every day but that is not what happens. The warmer years will have more offgassing hours the cooler years more ingassing hours but equilibrium required by Henry’s Law may take many many years to be appoximately reached and each change means it never happens. The changes include the seasons. Thus the annual CO2 variation and the reason both years mentioned in post 50 were full years.
    There will be a per year rate of growth or decline change proportional to the earths thermal time constant rate of change.


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    Sere

    The point made by Lionell Griffith:

    “We do have another experiment, an approximately 4.5 billion year one, that already gives us useful information. Since we are not living on a burning globe after billions of years of possibility of the runaway happening, I suggest the feedback of CO2 on temperature is more the product of too many fevered imaginations rather than a real physical effect with any real consequence.”

    Is *necessarily* the most important point that can be made in this discussion. I have made it repeatedly over at DotEarth and directed it to the consideration of the Team members who occasionally post their garbage there. They cannot answer it.

    “AGW” is a model-based fantasy. We are supposed to be concerned over some possible “catastrophic” effects. Hansen’s idea is that we risk a “Venus Syndrome” as a result of “positive feedbacks.” “Runaway global warming.”

    But as Lionell states so concisely, the experiment has been run for *billions* of years. And the answer is this: there is no possibility whatever of any “runaway global warming” due to the effects of carbon dioxide on temperature.

    Period. Sorry, human-haters.


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    Louis Hissink

    Kevin Moore @ #282

    Thanks for the question – I’ll do my best :-)

    1. Fossil mass = coal and oil

    I don’t know, to be frank. You might be able to calculate it chemically by working out the carbon mass of each and every living organism, and then from an independently derived estimate of petroleum and coal reserves, then estimate what the mass of the biosphere would be if all of it were converted to petroleum and coal.

    There are problems with this model since we don’t know what proportion of the biosphere ends up as a fossil. Can’t be all since then life becomes extinct.

    2. Origin of Methane gas, aka natural gas. (Ferdinand would be better asked)

    Methane (CH4) is a hydrocarbon, a member of the H-C system. It is the stable molecule of the H-C system at the earth’s surface. It can be produced by the surface biosphere from the chemical reduction of carbohydrates (bovine flatulence etc).

    It can also be produced from non biogenic materials as mentioned by Banana previously, which fact has been confirmed by at least two labs using diamond anvil experiments. Depending on the Pressure and Temperature (P-T) domain, hydrogen and carbon spontaneously form compounds characteristic for that P-T domain.

    So not only can methane be produced biogenically, but also abiogenially, from, what we suppose, from the earth’s mantle. The existence of methane on the outer planets in our solar system, (assuming existing scientific assumptions) implies that biology is a minor source of methane.

    Do these explanations answer your questions? If not, say so :-)


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    theRealUniverse

    Piffel. ‘forcing’ = BS. backradiation = BS. GHS = BS. No calculations to determine the so called average average temperature of a rotating tilted planet.
    At any one time the surface temp range in a season is of order 100C! -50 to +50.
    The LTE applies, conservation of energy applies. Conservation of mass applies. Ice ages probably formed because of lack of thermal input. If the heat leaves the atmosphere its gets cold if it heats nothing will stop it i.e. if the sun cooks us it cooks us. If it freezes us it freezes us. Theres mo magic.


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    Michael Nielsen

    The really sad thing is, that before this AGW hype exploded – where the ice cores were cited as the data that proved it, I got a hold of the ice core data, and it showed very concisely that First temperature increases, and Then some 800 years later CO2 goes up..

    Anyone who knows about causality and science, knows that this indicates that temperature drives CO2, and gives no indication of CO2 driving temperature – though it does not exclude the possibility that CO2 can have an effect on Temperatur…

    Shortly after this became common knowledge then suddenly the ice cores were irrelevant, though they were what started all this hype.

    Yes sure we have an affect, but no one knows what the effect is, we only have very artificial models that make some predictions based on assumptions, all indications are that we don’t really know the atmospheres sensitivity to CO2, and the sensitivity seems to be highly exaggerated.

    It seems reasonable to assume the reason that this has been blown up to this degree, is that there is a severe economic interest in AGW, both from governments (carbon taxes), and big businesses – carbon trade, and so forth, all of these are potentially multi-billion dollar industries, who has a very large interest in at AGW is promoted, and proven true.


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    The _observer

    RE post 264 (mine) – http://www2b.abc.net.au/science/k2/stn/newposts/5191/topic5191618.shtm

    If anyone has attempted to post at the ABC SSSF on this topic, your post will not appear for a couple of days unless you become a registered member. That’s easy; just hit the ‘Reply’ button at the bottom of any message, the Login name -Password page will appear, scroll down to ‘Become a member’ & away you go.

    Plenty of pro warmers there to argue with. ;)


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    MaryFJohnston

    TRU @286

    I agree that the concept of “” backradiation = BS. “”

    Any energy increase enjoyed by CO2 molecules is immediately transferred to surrounding N2, O2 molecules in the parcel of air and they all get hot and sweaty.

    Then of course they do what all hot air does, it rises until that parcels temp is indistinguishable from the new surrounds.

    Just gases doing what gases do.


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    bananabender

    Steve Schapel:
    August 6th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Bananabender (#261)…

    At the risk of going way off topic – there are some very nasty and difficult to combat bee diseases going around, that are affecting the viability of bee-keeping in a lot of places.

    Scientists now know that honeybees are extremely poor pollinators. They also outcompete many other useful species and attack native fauna. Other insect species are now being widely used to pollinate field crops and greenhouses. Many scientists consider honeybees to be feral pests that should be eliminated.


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    the RealUniverse @ 286

    You mentioned a rotating tilted planet. If the Earth wasn’t tilted at 22.5 degrees from the upright so to speak as it circles the Sun there would be no seasons and the equatorial regions would be super hot while the Arctic regions would be much colder.It is the thickness of the atmosphere above any given part of the Earth in relation to the direction of the Sun that matters.The Suns rays pass through more atmosphere and are dissipated over a greater area at the Poles than at the equator.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Andrew McRae: @ 283

    Yes again I can confirm a mistake. @111

    Actually two.

    1. You made it too long which gave away the fact that you didn’t know what you were talking about.

    and

    2. You claimed that “” So by the above reasoning basically all the recent increase in CO2 has
    been due to human activity.”"

    Conclusion: You Have No Clue.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    cohenite at 240:

    Ferdinand is too dismissive of Jaworowski and too accepting of the official ice core measurement of CO2 levels; he should read comments 17 and 87 here:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/03/david-evans-carbon-modeler-says-its-a-scam/#more-14022

    I have read the comments: while the (small) fractionation at closing time is of concern for oxygen levels, it is not observed for CO2 (maybe the effect is too small, less than 1.2/290 ppmv), as the 20 year overlap of the Law Dome cores with South Pole measurements shows. The second comment is not relevant, as the fractionation only takes place at closing time, not further when the bubbles are near to fully closed.

    Further, there is firm evidence that migration of CO2 isn’t important in the Vostok and Dome C ice cores over the past 800,000 years: each glacial/interglacial period shows the same ratio between temperature and CO2 changes: about 8 ppmv/degr.C. If there was any migration, the difference between high and low levels of CO2 would fade over time, decreasing over each 100,000 year period. That is not observed.

    But the “arbitrary” shift of ice core data to match the Mauna Loa data is a horrible mistake of Jaworowski. No real ice core specialist would take the ice age as base for a comparison of CO2 levels, the more that the gas age range is in the next data column of Neftel’s table.
    The same for the possibility that CO2 escapes from ice cores via cracks, while the outside world has CO2 levels 100-200 ppmv higher than measured in the core.
    It seems that Jaworowski is a nice person, but what he says is impossible to take serious.


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  • #

    Kevin Moore, earlier we talked about abiogenic oil etc including methane. Do your self a favour and read Tommy Gold’s “Hot deep Biosphere”. Available in Kindle on Amazon and they have a free Kindle for PC reader. $10 US.

    Sorry I no longer believe in life on Mars or elsewhere until someone shows me a living organism or something that is indispuatbly a fossil of one or a dead body. The very small amounts of methane on Mars are just outgassing of methane left over when Mars was formed. Methane volcanos or seeps. There are far more hydrocarbons in the rest of the solar system than there are on Earth and no swamps or dead dinosaurs or trees on Titan.


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    MaryFJohnston

    @ 279 was magic!!!

    More.


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    theRealUniverse

    Well Mars has a tilt of 25deg. Temp range -55 to -170C ish. (dont quote me Im looking into it!)


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    John Finn

    Cohenite
    Re: #270 where you say

    The research reveals that CO2 varies randomly from year to year from 0% up to 3%ppmv with a mean of 1.5%ppmv/yr. This has been observed over 30 years by satellites.

    Firstly, I would suggest that you don’t really mean to include the “%” in your statement. The numbers refer to Parts Per Million (ppm). Secondly, any annual change since 1958 has never been as low as 0, i.e. it’s never been negative. Is this important? YES –IT IS.

    Even in a generally warming world, temperatures don’t increase year on year. Factors such as ENSO mean that some years will be cooler than the previous year.

    However, this is not the case with CO2. Every year has seen an increase – regardless of Sea Surface or atmospheric temperatures.

    Following a transition from La Nina to El Nino, say, SST may rise by 0.5 deg and more. According to Ferdinand’s figures, this is enough to cause a ~2ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.

    We know there are fluctuations but they cannot explain the long term underlying trend in CO2 data. If you were to remove the 1.5 ppmv trend (your claim) from the data the resultant graph would track ENSO pretty closely.

    In a nutshell: Human activity is increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration by 1.5 ppm per year (I think it’s now nearer 2 ppm per year) but this increase will be amplified in warmer (e.g. El Nino) years and dampened in cooler (e.g. La Nina) years. As a result we might see a ~3 ppm increase in a strong El Nino year (e.g. 1998) but only a ~1 ppm increase in a La Nina year (e.g. 1999).

    Points To Consider:

    1. According to UAH, global temperatures (include SST) during 1998 and 2010 were pretty similar. There were no warmer years in between. Yet the CO2 concentration in 2010 was ~24 ppm higher than at the end of 1998. That’s an average increase of ~2 ppm per year. How on earth does this support Professor Salby’s claims.

    2. In 1958 CO2 levels were 315 ppm; In 1975 they were 331 ppm. This was a La Nina dominated period characterised by a lack of warming yet we still had an increase of 16 ppm.

    I am not a “warmer”, by the way (well not much)


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    Louis Hissink

    John Finn @ # 296

    Prempting Cohenite,

    The facts you point to, increases in atmospheric CO2, despite contradictory temperature numbers, leads to, at least,

    That our present model of the earth climate is wrong.

    If the observation that CO2 lags temperature by 800 years is accurate, then debating short term variations of atmospheric CO2 when compared to short term temperature variations of that atmosphere seems pointless.


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    John Finn

    Bob C

    Having read some of your comments I take it that you believe that CO2 levels could return to 300 ppm within about 5 years.

    Under what circumstances would you expect this to happen.

    I, like a number of others, feel you may be confusing the average life-time of a single CO2 molecule with the time taken to remove a pulse of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    You talk about a residence time of 5-8 years which implies you expect the ~100 ppm excess to be removed in that time. This implies a removal rate of 12-20 ppm per year.

    Ok then, 2011 looks like being considerably cooler than 2010. The average CO2 concentration for 2010 was ~390 ppm. Humans emit about 8GtC (~29 GtCO2) which is good for a ~4 ppm increase, but your removal rate should more than offset the increase.

    Can we assume you expect average CO2 levels for 2011 to be 8-16 ppm lower than for 2010?


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    cohenite

    John; I don’t know what a ‘warmer’ is.

    And: “Secondly, any annual change since 1958 has never been as low as 0, i.e. it’s never been negative. Is this important? YES –IT IS.”

    Well, its gone close; look at Tom Quirk’s graph above and this one:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960.5/every:12/derivative

    It’s a warming world; or at least it has been since 1850. How did CO2 levels go during the LIA?


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    Mike Borgelt @ 293

    Re Thomas Gold:

    This site gave me plenty of information,

    http://phe.rockefeller.edu/docs/yantovski_gold_future.pdf


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    John Finn

    1. Louis Hissink:
    August 6th, 2011 at 10:31 pm
    John Finn @ # 296

    Prempting Cohenite,
    The facts you point to, increases in atmospheric CO2, despite contradictory temperature numbers, leads to, at least,
    That our present model of the earth climate is wrong.

    I believe that Professor Salby’s understanding is wrong. I believe that the data strongly supports the fact that the underlying trend in CO2 is caused by human emissions. I do believe that temperature fluctuations do influence the rate at which CO2 rises in the short term

    If the observation that CO2 lags temperature by 800 years is accurate, then debating short term variations of atmospheric CO2 when compared to short term temperature variations of that atmosphere seems pointless.

    Incredible. This again does nothing to support any of Professor Salby’s assertions – but is not really relevant anyway.

    The 800 year lag is observed in ice core records following (and prior to) Glacial Minima (Gm). The whole transition process from GM to interglacial involves gradual warming and CO2 feedback over thousands of years. The lag is due to ocean circulation ‘digging’ out CO2 from the depths of the ocean to the surface. It is a continual process. The warmer SST (due to the warming world) means that more CO2 can be periodically released into the atmosphere.

    However the key point in this continuing process is that the temperatures are warmer than they were ~800 years previously. The whole thing takes about 5000 years and results in a 5-6 degree increase in temperature and a ~100 ppm rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    The 800 year lag is irrelevant to the last 150 years or the MWP, LIA or any other relatively (compared to when ice sheets extended down to the A4 in England) small temperature shift.


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    Louis Hissink

    John Finn @ # 301

    You start your comment with “I believe….”

    I’m a physical scientist, and belief has nothing to do with science.

    Ball in your court.


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    theRealUniverse

    Louis @ 302 hear hear!
    The cause of the IAs are most likely extraterrestrial.
    Worth a look – http://www.landscheidt.info/.


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    Louis Hissink

    Kevin Moore @ #300 &
    theRealUniverse @ #303

    interesting links but I’m into this so study that, and then catch up.


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    BobC

    John Finn:
    August 6th, 2011 at 10:31 pm
    Bob C

    Having read some of your comments I take it that you believe that CO2 levels could return to 300 ppm within about 5 years.

    Under what circumstances would you expect this to happen.

    I have no clue as to how you made that deduction. I do not know what is driving current CO2 levels upwards, except I have made my case (based on actual measurements) that anthropogenic CO2 probably accounts for less than 5% of the last century’s increase. Hence, that is also the limit to which we could effect it by controlling our emissions.

    Since I don’t know what drivers are behind the current increase, I also don’t know what to expect in the near future.

    *****************

    You have made the comment that the 800 year lag is irrelevant to the present. I think that what it tells us about CO2′s effect on the climate is very relevant:

    A) I find the argument that increased temperatures (eventually) result in increased CO2 reasonable (Henry’s law and other theoretical arguments).

    B) Hence, whatever positive pressure on temperatures that CO2 generates will operate as a positive feedback — increased temperatures produce increased CO2 which drives temperatures even higher, etc. Hence the positive feedback of CO2 argument is also reasonable.

    C) However, since the ice core record shows many instances where temperatures reverse and drop while CO2 is still increasing and vice versa, it is evident that there are other (largely unknown) climate drivers that routinely overwhelm whatever effect CO2 has on temperatures (positive feedback included).

    Current climate models (which consider CO2 the major climate driver) obviously do not include the unknown (hence unpredictible) and more potent drivers that the ice core record tells us must exist. Hence, these models have virtually nothing to say about future climate.

    Since the only climate crisis is a predicted one, and the current models have no predictive skill (either theoretically, by the above argument, or demonstrated), there is no crisis and the current alarmism is bogus.


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    Louis Hissink

    BobC: @ #305

    “I have no clue as to how you made that deduction. I do not know what is driving current CO2 levels upwards, except…”

    Given a petrie dish with some bacteria, energy and food, and time, we notice that there is a proliferation of those bacteria, and, surprise, surprise, heat from metabolism.

    The process is – increase the thermal state of the bio-environment and life proliferates, which when based on carbon, emits carbon dioxide.

    The alternative is to lower the temperature, or thermal state of the bio-environment and life diminsishes, or if you are a bear, hibernate. Emissions of CO2 decrease as a consequence.

    So experience informs us that higher temperatures allows life to proliferate, while lower temperatures, not.

    So, go figure.


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    BobC

    KR @254:

    What I’m trying to get you to see is that the C-14 tracer measurements are measuring residence time. I agree that exchange time is not nearly as interesting as residence time. It is informative to examine why:

    The basic question we want the answer to is: If CO2 is added to the atmosphere, how long does the concentration remain increased, and what, if any, parts of that are semi-permanent? This question would be answered if we engineered a very large impulse increase of CO2 to the atmosphere, then measured the CO2 concentration changes over time.

    (Note that what I have been calling an “input” is a disturbance of a system in near equilibrium, and the “output” is the system’s response to that disturbance. This use of “input” and “output” has absolutely nothing to do with “one way”, “one dimensional”, or “feed-forward” systems, as it routinely does in electronic system characterization. Perhaps this has been a sticking point in our communications.)

    Some large part of the carbon cycle system is dependent on Henry’s law (the exchange with the oceans). I realize that there are other parts of the system that may or may not be linear, but let’s focus on Henry’s law for a moment:

    The diffusion rate of every gas species (by Henry’s law) is independent of the concentration of every other gas species. Thus the diffusion rates of C13-CO2 depend only on the concentrations of C13-CO2. The same with C12-CO2 and C14-CO2. Since these isotopes are all in the same chemical (CO2) the diffusion constants of each are nearly equal and they accordingly act nearly identically.

    If we were to engineer as sudden increase in C12 and C13 – containing CO2 in the atmosphere, then measure the decrease of the atmospheric concentration of these two isotopes over time, we would have answered the basic question above by direct measurement. (Presumably no one would try to claim that C14 CO2 was being subsituted by the system to replace them — that would be absurd and would violate the linearity assumption anyway.)

    Because of the great amounts of C12 and C13 containing CO2 in the atmosphere, the above experiment is impractical. However, the relative rareness of C14 allows the exact experiment to be done with it.

    This experiment has been done, and the result is that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes a concentration increase that decays with a ~8 year half life. The experiment is ongoing, and the residual fraction is still to be determined, but current data limits it to < 4% of the increase.


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    AllanMRMacRae

    Coincidentally, I wrote this note to Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell on July 28, 2011.

    Hi Roy and Danny,

    Congrats on your recent paper “On the Misdiagnosis Of Surface Temperature Feedbacks From Variations In Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” By Spencer and Braswell 2011.
    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/

    Roy, you may recall we corresponded in early 2008 on this subject, and we both wrote papers on the subject. Mine is at
    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

    While I am not certain, I still really wonder if the mainstream debate (human fossil fuel combustion primarily drives atmospheric CO2, which primarily drives temperature – the two camps just argue about how much warming will result) is mostly wrong.

    I think there is more real-world data to suggest that temperature primarily drives atmospheric CO2, not the reverse, although it is possible that humanmade CO2 emissions have a significant influence (or not).

    I realize that putting forward such a heretical hypothesis is high-risk, tin-foil hat stuff. Nevertheless, it would not surprise me if this becomes the conventional wisdom in less than a decade.

    Best, Allan MacRae

    Regrettably, I cannot upload the podcase of Dr. Salby’s paper, so cannot comment.

    Summary of my paper:

    Wednesday, February 06, 2008

    Carbon Dioxide in Not the Primary Cause of Global Warming: The Future Can Not Cause the Past
    Paper by Allan M.R. MacRae, Calgary Alberta Canada

    Despite continuing increases in atmospheric CO2, no significant global warming occurred in the last decade, as confirmed by both Surface Temperature and satellite measurements in the Lower Troposphere. Contrary to IPCC fears of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, Earth may now be entering another natural cooling trend. Earth Surface Temperature warmed approximately 0.7 degrees Celsius from ~1910 to ~1945, cooled ~0.4 C from ~1945 to ~1975, warmed ~0.6 C from ~1975 to 1997, and has not warmed significantly from 1997 to 2007.

    CO2 emissions due to human activity rose gradually from the onset of the Industrial Revolution, reaching ~1 billion tonnes per year (expressed as carbon) by 1945, and then accelerated to ~9 billion tonnes per year by 2007. Since ~1945 when CO2 emissions accelerated, Earth experienced ~22 years of warming, and ~40 years of either cooling or absence of warming.

    The IPCC’s position that increased CO2 is the primary cause of global warming is not supported by the temperature data. In fact, strong evidence exists that disproves the IPCC’s scientific position. This UPDATED paper and Excel spreadsheet show that variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration lag (occur after) variations in Earth’s Surface Temperature by ~9 months. The IPCC states that increasing atmospheric CO2 is the primary cause of global warming – in effect, the IPCC states that the future is causing the past. The IPCC’s core scientific conclusion is illogical and false.

    There is strong correlation among three parameters: Surface Temperature (“ST”), Lower Troposphere Temperature (“LT”) and the rate of change with time of atmospheric CO2 (“dCO2/dt”). For the time period of this analysis, variations in ST lead (occur before) variations in both LT and dCO2/dt, by ~1 month. The integral of dCO2/dt is the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (“CO2″).


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    Louis Hissink

    BobC

    “Because of the great amounts of C12 and C13 containing CO2 in the atmosphere, the above experiment is impractical. However, the relative rareness of C14 allows the exact experiment to be done with it.”

    Que?


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    Siliggy

    John Finn:
    August 6th, 2011 at 10:12 pm
    Cohenite…
    “any annual change since 1958 has never been as low as 0″

    Jan 1964 319.57
    Jan 1965 319.44
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt
    or May 1964 322.25
    May 1965 322.16
    or
    Sept 1973 327.51
    Sept 1974 327.41


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    Andrew McRae

    Still waiting, Mary.
    Confirmation bias and ad hominems aren’t going to get you anywhere.


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    BobC

    Louis Hissink (@310):
    August 7th, 2011 at 12:21 am
    BobC

    “Because of the great amounts of C12 and C13 containing CO2 in the atmosphere, the above experiment is impractical. However, the relative rareness of C14 allows the exact experiment to be done with it.”

    Que?

    Since all three species (of CO2) follow the same laws while in the system, and are independent of each other (in a linear system — say one that largely goes by Henry’s law), then injecting a concentration impulse of any one of them, and measureing the subsequent concentration decrease with time will give the same decay function.

    Also, increasing ALL of them will also give the same concentration vs. time response, thus answering the question of “how long will atmospheric CO2 concentrations remain elevated after an input?”

    The atmospheric bomb tests doubled the amount of C14 in the atmosphere, thus performing this test. We have no ability to double (or even come close) either of the other isotopes, since the total amount in the atmosphere is so large.


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    Pete H

    33
    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 5th, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Oooo! A new bundle of laughs that still never answers the basic questions!

    1. Show empirical proof..not models that prove CO2 is responsible.

    2. Show us the Hotspot.

    Seems simple enough!


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Waffle at 246:

    What data do you like to see exactly?


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 309:

    What I’m trying to get you to see is that the C-14 tracer measurements are measuring residence time. I agree that exchange time is not nearly as interesting as residence time.

    I think that I am starting to see the misunderstanding between us: residence time is used by me (and others I suppose) as the time an individual molecule is residing in the atmosphere, before being exchanged by another molecule of one of the other reservoirs. I know it is confusing, as even the IPCC uses it in both ways: as “exchange” time (turnover) and as “decay” time for some excess amount over the dynamic equilibrium.

    Next problem: is 14C suitable as tracer to measure the excess decay time (to avoid the confusion)?
    The answer is no, because the amounts of extra 14CO2 from the nuclear tests are too small (10^-10) to have any influence on the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus that doesn’t help for testing the effect of an extra mass of CO2 on the sink rate.

    14C is exchanged with the other reservoirs at a rate of 20% per year, but part of it returns from rotting vegetation and from the oceans surface in other seasons. Only the deep oceans give a one-way exit. Reason why the half life is some 8 years and not a few years as to be expected from the exchange rate.

    Thus how then can we calculate the excess decay time? Peter Dietze has an elegant solution, including comments on the very long decay times of the IPCC:
    http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
    He shows a half life time of about 38 years.


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    Michael Nielsen

    It’s interesting that people dismiss the lag in temperature-CO2 out of hand… And say the lag is irrelevant.

    We widely define the industrialisation to have started in 1940, and AGW to have started somewhere around that time.

    notice the MWP was in 950–1250.

    Which oddly enough that is between 690-990 years ago. The interesting thing is that CO2 is lagging behind temperature (in the ice cores) seems to be 800 +/- 200 years – due to obvious problems with reading scales, that are low resolution, giving up to a 25% error… However nearly the entire range of the lag falls within the 690-990 year range..

    (Lol this actually surprised me that I’d find the time intervals to be THIS close)

    I’m *NOT* saying this is *THE* reason for our current increase in CO2, but the time intervals magically seems to be in the right intervals which is observed in CO2-temperature relation from the ice cores.

    It then follows that we *MIGHT* actually be seeing the after effects of the Medieval warm period… Though I’ve read this wasn’t a worldwide phenomena, though, it is likely that ocean current would have circulated the effect, and after 800 years, a localised heating of this type, might have an effect in all the deep ocean areas.

    This was then followed by the little ice age 1400 to 1700, which would indicate that we should expect to see a a decrease (or flattening of the curve) in CO2, starting in the interval 2000-2400 (depending on how accurate the 800 year estimate is).. IF temperature is driving CO2, and not vice versa.

    If we presume that the MWP gives an indication of the true lag, with the lower bound being around 690 years, we could make an estimate of when a significant decrease/flattening should appear, which is approximately in 2090 – beyond my lifetime.

    However, given the fact that we *ARE* putting a significant amount of CO2 into the atmosphere, this may not be observable. But it would be a grand proof whether, CO2 or Temperatur is driving the atmosphere. (hopefully we know by then).


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    Roy Hogue

    Ferdinand Engelbeen,

    Source of the CO2 aside — where is the damned problem?

    You ain’t got one! But even if you did, Bulldust at post 19 has nailed the real one. CO2 won’t be worth bothering with. The problem has hit the fan and there’s no stopping it now. It’s going to play out. There’s not a government I can name that understands it, much less can deal with it. Even mitigation is impossible when you’re part of the problem and want to continue in that roll (they are and they do).

    So as Bulldust said, good luck to all! For myself, I have just three bits of hope:

    1. Become as much more self sufficient as possible as fast as possible.

    2. Figure out which of my friends and neighbors I can actually count on if things get really bad and which fall in the other group. Then plan accordingly.

    3. Pray that Italy doesn’t fail (if they haven’t already).

    I was never, ever worried about CO2. The case against it never stood up to examination.

    My apology for being so blunt. But the time fo plain speaking has arrived. :-)


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    John Finn

    Bob C

    I have no clue as to how you made that deduction. I do not know what is driving current CO2 levels upwards, except I have made my case (based on actual measurements) that anthropogenic CO2 probably accounts for less than 5% of the last century’s increase.

    Could you provide a link to the “actual measurements” the human produced CO2 is less than 5% of the total.


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    Brian Macker

    “if these results had been available in 2007, “the IPCC could not have drawn the conclusion that it did.” ”

    Err.. the IPCC concluded the Himalayan glaciers would melt in 15 years, despite all evidence to the contrary. I believe they can draw any insane conclusions they want about anything.


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    John Flynn at post 320 writes:

    Could you provide a link to the “actual measurements” the human produced CO2 is less than 5% of the total.

    The IPCC themselves show it is that low.

    LOL


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Roy Hogue at 319:

    Source of the CO2 aside — where is the damned problem?

    I have no problems with CO2 either. My only problem is to make as much trips in the world I still can do with my wife (including Australia, but Antarctica is high on my wish list) as long as our health and money allows. The latter is the main problem until now (especially for Antarctica).

    But as I am always been interested in science, I have difficulties if someone tries to convince others with arguments which are at least discutable. For me that goes both ways: I don’t trust climate models for one cent (I have some experience with models in chemical processes). And I don’t trust scientists who say things which are simply impossible like diffussion of CO2 out of ice cores, while the outside world is 100-200 ppmv higher…

    That is why I defend sound science, here as well as in other places. I only did give up to react on RealClimate since over halve my comments disappeared in cyberspace, despite always on topic…


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    In all the arguements about CO2 levels,to my knowledge nobody has yet mentioned what the optimum or normal level is.


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    Alan D McIntire

    Years ago I read an article in “Scientific American” called “Goldilocks and the Three Planets”

    “This is the complete carbon cycle: rainwater removes CO2 from the atmosphere and puts it in the crust, and volcanic action releases CO2 from the crust and puts it back in the atmosphere.” The article went on to argue that the earth has a natural thermostat: When temperatures are warm, there is more rain, which removes CO2 from the atmosphere. When temperatures are cool there is less rain. CO2 builds up, warming the planet until there is a rough balance.

    Your description of Salby’s paper and my familiarity with the Goldilocks argument made me think of another analogy. I admit I’m a layman. I know nothing of atmospheric chemistry or equilibria, but I AM familiar with getting older, getting less exercise, and putting on weight. The CO2 naturally occurring in the atmosphere is my body weight. At one point my body is in balance- I consume and burn the same amount of calories each day and maintain a steady weight. I then discover blueberry pie-fossil fuel, and consume an additional 150 kCAL slice of pie each day. Since 3000 additional kiloCalories puts on a pound, A CAGWer would assume that I would gain 1 additional pound every 20 days, or 18 pounds a year, or 720 pounds in 40 years. I DID run that experiment over 40 years. Needless to say I didn’t gain 720 pounds between the age of 20 and my current age of 60- more like 30 pounds – from 190 to 220. Carrying that extra weight burned additional calories and my body quickly reached an equilibrium at a somewhat higher weight.

    The same argument will work with our atmosphere. If we were able to continue burning the same amount of fossil fuel each year, atmospheric CO2 would not increase indefinitely, but would reach a somewhat higher equilibrium. The question to be answered is, what fraction of earth’s calorie intake is CO2? CAGWers would argue that we’re currently a 97 pound inactive weakling, burning only 1200 kCAL a day- in that case consuming that 150 kCAL pie will result in a significant weight increase.

    Salby is arguing that the earth is a 250 pound pro football player during the regular season – consuming 3000 kilocalories a day. That additional slice of blueberry pie will have a negligible effect on his weight.


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    BargHumer

    Very interesting but the Alarmists claim to have heard it all before. See http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/08/murray_salby_and_conservation.php

    It would be good to sweep up the warmists objections to this this idea especially if it has been around for a few years.


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    cohenite

    Thanks for responding Ferdinand @294; I found the Jaworowski/Oeschger dispute interesting; Oeschger, while he was alive, was also dismissive of Jaworowski; the basic dispute here is whether trapped CO2, sealed in ice under high pressure maintains a contemperaneous atmospheric correlation. J says it doesn’t.

    Even if you accept that the ice core data is fine there are still surprises in past levels of CO2 as the Luthi paper shows:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7193/full/nature06949.html

    But there still remains the potential problem between the ice and CO2 gas age differences as Drake outlines:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jdrake/Questioning_Climate/userfiles/Ice-core_corrections_report_1.pdf

    Some commentators, notably the formidable DeWitt Payne, suggest Drake gets it wrong because a simpler explanation is that snow accumulation during the deepest part of the ice age is slower than it is during interglacial periods. However, DeWitt did not know about the Luthi paper which confounds that explanation.

    What do you think Ferdinand?

    At 33 Fredinand, you say to the “boys and girls”:

    “It is impossible that nature was a net contibutor to the increase, because the measured increase is less than the emissions. Thus nature was a net sink for CO2 over the past at least 50 years.”

    This does not necesarily follow; nature could be putting out more and taking in more. The Knorr paper proves that sinks are expanding but that does not preclude natural CO2 being capable of increasing CO2 levels; if natural CO2 was not capable of exceeding natural sinks how could CO2 levels ever increase, as they did between 15000 and 12000 years ago when they went from below 200 ppm to 270 ppm and enabled modern agriculture to begin; or when, as shown in the Luthi paper, they went from as low as 172 ppm to 300ppm during the late Quaternary?


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    MaryFJohnston

    Michael Nielsen: @ 318

    An interesting piece and an idea that is worth following.

    One thing that is possible is the nominal lag between applying heat and the presence of increased CO2 (and vice-verse ) may vary with conditions.

    Conditions that existed way back when the lag was 800 years +/- may not be exactly the same and so lag may also be different.

    Looking at Jo’s re-plots of the ice core records for the last 400,000 years requires a lot of patience. Some parts of the plots show very clear lag and others seem to be contrary. Perhaps the most convincing things were temperature spikes that were followed by very clearly defined CO2 spikes.


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    [...] related to this peer reviewed audio artice on planetary temperature controlling CO2, not humans: Blockbuster: Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans « JoNova: Science, ca… __________________ Red to red and black to black, or it's ashes to ashes and dust to dust. [...]


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    Peter Lang

    This question may be off topic for this thread, but I’d like to ask anyway:

    Even if the planet does warm as the alarmists project, does it matter? If so why? What is so bad about warming?

    I’d point out that the planet is in an unusually cold phase. There have been only three such cold phases in the past 500 million years (that is, since animal life began to flourish). So why is warming so bad?

    This schematic chart – “Ice House of Hot Househttp://www.scotese.com/climate.htm
    - shows the three cold phases (since the start of the Cambrian Period).

    Figure 6.1 in IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 6 shows the temperature and CO2 concentration over the past 400 million years. http://accessipcc.com/AR4-WG1-6.html#6-3-1

    - Notice the two cold phases. (The earlier one was about 425 million years ago which is just before the start of the chart.
    - Notice that our planet had polar ice caps only twice in the past 400 million years (the blue bars hanging from the top of the chart).
    - Notice, during the current cold phase, there has been permanent ice caps in Antarctica for only 10 million years and at the North Pole for less than 5 million years (demonstrating that ice caps are a rare event in Earth’s history, which shows we are in a cold phase)
    - Notice that the planet has had no ice caps – therefore it has been much warmer than now – for about 80% of the past 500 million years. Therefore, the planet is normally significantly warmer than now.
    - Notice how the planet has been in a long-term cooling trend for the past 50 million years (that’s what we should be concerned about).

    IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 6 also says (buried in the text) life thrives when the planet is warmer and struggles when colder (we all know that anyway but it’s nice to see IPCC admit it).

    So, I repeat my question, why is warming so bad? Has the assessment of the consequences of warming been impartial? Or is it scaremongering?


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    MaryFJohnston

    Cohenite @325

    Found your post very interesting, especially the intuitively obvious but previously unstated;

    “”if natural CO2 was not capable of exceeding natural sinks how could CO2 levels ever increase”.

    One of the things that bothered me with Ferdinand has been his “blind spot” with regards to Human related CO2 sinks and in particular their size and rate of response. His assumption is that “natural” origin CO2 is in perfect equilibrium give or take annual seasonal fluctuations.

    “Human” CO2 is treated as an add on to this perfectly stable base and therefore any changes ( currently up) are the “fault” of people.

    When I suggested an experiment to measure the capacity of crops to increase the rate of uptake and quantify it Ferdinand responded.

    The response was a pdf that showed daily CO2 readings (24 hrs) but strangely NO other detail and I was none the wiser.

    He seems smart enough not to have misunderstood what I was after, which was a comparison of CO2 readings near two fields, one left empty and one planted with a crop.

    Over time as the crop grew it would be possible to build up a picture of a possible “sink response rate”.

    I know lab experiments have been done with varying CO2 levels which give this data anyhow but Greenies will just say – that was in a lab.

    Anyone who has the unpleasant job of mowing the lawn knows the rate of sequestration anyhow (as Ferdinand says, this material will quickly decay and recycle) but the point is the assumption of a fixed sink rate for human CO2 is wrong and nature will escalate human associated sinks to meet rising CO2.

    After all that, in reality both Human and Natural CO2 is mixed together and the same sinks handle both lots.

    If nature provide 97% of all CO2 and Humans 3% then after the sinks have done their job the final proportions remain unchanged.

    And after all that CO2 is only a bit player in all this and Human CO2 is an even smaller part of that.

    As Ferdinand says : it’s just about being seen to be accurate with our science. I wonder.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Peter @327

    Your post, like many others, quotes good reliable science from sections of the IPCC reports.

    That is the sad thing about this whole AGW mess. Good science is there but has been obscured deliberately for personal gain.

    It is the executive summaries which not only ignore but contradict the “good science” in the basic reporting.

    It is the nature of politics and human greed that prevents this Wrong from being Righted.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Louis Hissink: @308

    Hi, found your Petri dish analogy interesting..

    Just one thing; we could also look at the accumulation of mass in the living material in the dish.

    This would include some “sequestrated” carbon and consequently reduce the amount vailable to the atmosphere.


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    MaryFJohnston

    TRU @305

    After reading :

    “”The cause of the IAs are most likely extraterrestrial.”" thought I was going to find something crazy on extra Ts.

    Had a quick look;; Reeaaaly interesting – will go back there.

    Thanks for the link.


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    kevin @302, Looks like a good article. Thanks. I’ll read it later.


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    MaryFJohnson,

    You might find this interesting.Especially these two presentations:

    Carbon Dioxide: The Houdini of Gases

    by Alan Siddons and Joe D’Aleo

    and,

    Proof that anthropogenic CO2 is not accumulating
    by Alan Siddons

    Total CO2 amount in the atmosphere have grown much faster than what mankind’s speed of CO2 emission growth rate adds to that total.It is obvious that Nature itself has a growing emission rate over the decades too.The chart in the second link shows that well.

    More related articles HERE at my forum.


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    cohenite

    Yep, Siddons is right; he confirms Knorr; as I have said before, the principle is a constant in an increasing total: say ACO2 is 20% of CO2 which is 100, so ACO2 is 20; when CO2 is 200 ACO2′s 20% will be 40 so other CO2 has contributed 60; at 300, ACO2 is 60, other is 140 and so on; natural CO2 must be contributing to the increase in total CO2 and sinks must be expanding more than the 4GTPA.


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    BobC

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 7th, 2011 at 1:51 am
    BobC at 309:

    Next problem: is 14C suitable as tracer to measure the excess decay time (to avoid the confusion)?
    The answer is no, because the amounts of extra 14CO2 from the nuclear tests are too small (10^-10) to have any influence on the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus that doesn’t help for testing the effect of an extra mass of CO2 on the sink rate.

    You appear to be assuming a non-linear model (not specified well enough for me to understand, however) that behaves differently depending on the total mass in the atmosphere. I am assuming a linear model that operates according to linear laws (e.g., Henry’s law). In such a model, each carbon isotope will behave according to the same laws, regardless of the relative abundance.

    An absorption law that became non-linear between ratios of 10^-10 and 10^-2 would be very unusual — I would like to see such a proposed law specified well enough to test. It seems very improbable that simply hypothesizing such a law for convenience would be correct. (If this is what you’re doing — perhaps you have a specific law in mind and can apprise me of it and any supporting empirical data you’re aware of?)

    For a linear model if you, say, increase all three CO2 isotope variants by 50%, you could then measure what you call the ‘excess decay time’ (what I meant by ‘residence time’ as opposed to ‘exchange time’) by watching the excess CO2 concentrations decay with time back to (or near to) the original amount.

    Since the system is linear (we are assuming — I’m open to empirical data showing it is not, but I currently don’t know of any), the above decay time will be measured for each isotopic species individually and independently from the others. Thus, if you were to engineer a 50% increase in C12 (leaving the C13 and C14 alone) and measured the decay of the excess C12 you would get the same decay curve as if you had increased and measured all together.

    It is impractical to engineer large increases in C12 or C13 in the atmosphere, since there is such large quantities already there. However, it is practical (and has been done) to engineer a 100% increase in the C14 CO2 variant. The Bomb Spike is just that “experiment” and the measurements of the excess C14 decay curve give us an 8 year half life for the atmosphere’s recovery time from excess CO2.


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    BobC

    Mining some old comments to see if I can spot a theme in this frustrating argument.

    KR, at post #189 you said:

    But that absorption rate [of CO2] must be relative to the imbalance (otherwise we wouldn’t have had any pre-industrial CO2), and if it declines at a rate relative to the imbalance the minimum adjustment time to absorb the imbalance goes to hundreds of years.

    What you’re just described is the differential definition of an exponential decay curve: If a quantity (“the imbalance” of CO2) declines at a rate that is proportional to the size of the quantity (“the imbalance” again), then, when integrated over time, this definition gives an exponential decay curve: c = C*exp(-a*t), where a is the time for the value of c to reduce to 1/e of the initial value, ‘C’ (about 37%).

    When you say that “the minimum adjustment time to absorb the imbalance goes to hundreds of years” you are completely wrong. Regardless of the value of the decay constant, ‘a’, be it millions of years or millionths of a second, the time for an exponential curve to go to zero is infinity. This is why it is common to refer to ‘lifetime’, or ‘decay time’ in an exponential decay as either the time it takes to go from 100% to 37% (t = a), or sometimes the time to halve the initial value (t ~= 0.7a) — which is also called “half-life”.

    Interestingly, you give this definition apparently as a rebuttal to my assertion that “the system is linear” — but a system that decays exponentially IS linear.

    That’s not “argument by blatant assertion”, BobC – that’s basic math.

    I agree — the system is linear (as far as we can measure) and thus follows linear laws. Why do you agree with the first half of this statement and not the second?


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    MaryFJohnston

    BobC @335

    The patience of job??

    Or alternatively building the case?


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    MaryFJohnston

    Cohenite @334

    Would it be possible to clarify this “” as I have said before, the principle is a constant in an increasing total”".

    Not sure what is meant by “constant’? Is that percentage or mass?

    It seems that it should read percentage the way you have done the calcs but is that reality??

    Ferdinand would probably agree with you.


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    BobC

    Correction to #336:
    If ‘a’ has the units of time (as I implied), then the equation would be c=C*exp(-t/a)


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    BobC

    MaryFJohnston (@337):
    August 7th, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    BobC @335

    The patience of job??

    Or alternatively building the case?

    Just trying to bring the focus onto science and math, rather than hand-waving. I’m going to have to sit in on some climatology classes next fall — honestly, if I tried to pass off the kind of BS I hear from warmists about CO2 lifetimes in an engineering class I would be reprimanded or dismissed (after my students intellectually lynched me in class first).

    I suspect these people aren’t leaning this from actual science classes (I hope!), but are picking it up from appologist sites like RealClimate. I have a friend who’s a climatology professor at Univ of Colo (Rich Keen) — I think I’ll have coffee with him soon and get his opinion.

    (Rich is infamous for his sarcastic put-downs of AGW. CU takes some of his posts off his CU site (for being “too controversal” — e.g., likely to offend funding agencies), but they are archived on ICECAP. Here’s a quiz he gives in his classes.)


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    cohenite

    BoBC; that p/p is very good; I hadn’t heard of this Keen chap till now.


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    MaryFJohnston

    BobC @341

    An interesting thing to do is look at the course outlines for Climate Change type degrees in the US and compare them with Basic Science or in my case Metallurgy courses from Australia.

    Climate change courses are basically Environmental Awareness degrees with no basic maths. physics or chemistry associated with the work.

    It’s hard to call that science and it’s hard to blame people who have been taught that Algores movie is real science.

    In Australia our universities now have separate “Climate Science” faculties and Law Departments have specialization in Climate Change Ethics” (in itself something of an anomaly).

    The Climate Change faculty of a NSW university was very active in the media just prior to our Prime Ministers attendance at an overseas Climate Conference recently, which says a lot for their job descriptions.


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    BobC

    sunsettommy (@333):
    August 7th, 2011 at 11:50 am
    MaryFJohnson,

    You might find this interesting.Especially these two presentations:

    Carbon Dioxide: The Houdini of Gases

    by Alan Siddons and Joe D’Aleo

    and,

    Proof that anthropogenic CO2 is not accumulating
    by Alan Siddons

    Thanks, Tommy — Siddons article is very good. It makes it very clear the slight of hand being used to claim long CO2 lifetimes:

    On the one hand, warmists are OK with assuming linear models of the Carbon cycle when they are using isotope ratios to “prove” anthropogenic origins of CO2.

    In the next breath, however, they invoke fantastically non-linear (also non-physical and non-verified) models to claim that anthropogenic CO2 has extrordinary lifetimes.

    Siddons points out with devastating clarity that the AGW proponents have incorporated a magical absorption into their models, whereby 50% of anthropogenic emissions are absorbed — but only the current year’s emissions — previous years get a free pass. Apparently this absorption method can distinguish between this year’s and last year’s emissions!

    One reason these models get so bizarrely disconnected from reality is that they are never tested, except against other models. This is easy to see by simply reading a selection of the model papers. Here, for example, is a classic by Susan Solomon that proportedly shows that “climate change (due to CO2) is irreversible” by exclusively referencing other models, which themselves never reference actual data. One wonders if Dr. Solomon has ever seen the Vostok ice core graphs.

    Climate modelers live in a hermetically sealed virtual reality — the way the “pal-review” process works in climate science also.


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    BobC

    MaryFJohnston (@344):

    Good idea, thanks. I’ll check out our course catalog.


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    MaryFJohnston

    BoBC

    We have a local climate change expert here in our city but he is different from your usual Climate Change professor.

    Stewart Franks is attached to the University Engineering Department and his expertise is in the real world of Hydro-Climatology. His is strongly outspoken on the unreality of man made global warming and would be a good match for Rich Keen (scanned his test paper).


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    BobC

    cohenite (@343):
    August 7th, 2011 at 3:00 pm
    I should have added that the usual ratbags have got hold of it:

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/climate-change-and-picking-cherries-with-richard-keen/

    Thanks for the link, cohenite — it’s hilarious. Rich would have a field day with this.

    I’ve always thought greenfyre was an idiot, and this does nothing to dispell that.

    For example: Greenfyre thinks that Keen’s comparing old IPCC predictions to today’s climate is cherry-picking and unfair — he should use current up-to-date predictions, which are much more accurate!

    Does Greenfyre ever listen to himself? Apparently, IPCC predictions can be trusted only right after they’re made — later they become out of date and can’t be used.

    Strangely, I’m OK with that.


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    Siliggy

    “where a is the time for the value of c to reduce to 1/e of the initial value, ‘C’ (about 37%).”
    Are we confusing “Half life” with “Time constant” or have i lost the plot?
    I alway understod half to be 50 percent.
    Time constant.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_constant
    Half life.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-life


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    Siliggy

    Ooops sorry. i did lose the plot.
    “or sometimes the time to halve the initial value (t ~= 0.7a) — which is also called “half-life”.”


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    Louis Hissink

    Salby’s speech at the Sydney Institute is worth listening to


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    theRealUniverse

    nobody has yet mentioned what the optimum or normal level is.

    Kevin..there just isnt one!


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    theRealUniverse @ 356

    Next question,

    What amount of “carbon pollution” in the atmosphere would be low enough for Julia?

    You would think there would be an optimum level similar to what doctors assume when measuring blood pressure.


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    Michael Nielsen

    MaryFJohnston @ 329

    I agree the lag does not appear to be constant, and does vary, and may not explain everything, however, someone earlier dismissed the lag between temperature and CO2 as irrelevant, so I made some simple calculations, and surprised myself, in that (possibly) co-incidentally the lag of roughly 800 years +/- 200 (my own estimate), matched the time between the MWP and the start of Industrialisation, where CO2 levels are said to start rising, of course it’s a very rough estimate.

    The lag is very obvious when we look at the endings of the interglacial periods, because the changes are so distinct, they are much harder to detect in the noise, of the interglacial period it self, however, it would seem logical that if it exists at the end of the interglacial periods, that it might also be present in the interglacial period itself. But trying to detect a correlation in data that is fluctuating wildly is hard to do by inspection.

    However, the more I look at it, the more interesting I find the idea of lag, as I’ve rarely heard people talk about that lag, and not in any meaningful way.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Hi MichaelN @358

    “”so I made some simple calculations, and surprised myself, in that (possibly) co-incidentally the lag of roughly 800 years +/- 200 (my own estimate), matched the time between the MWP and the start of Industrialisation, where CO2 levels are said to start rising, of course it’s a very rough estimate.”‘

    I was impressed by this!

    Just taking a horizontal line across from the CO2 line to the Temp line should give the lag value provided you are in a zone which started with a defined lag event.

    As I mentioned, I saw a couple of temp spikes which seemed to have corresponding delayed CO2 lifts so that helps clear up any doubt about whether lag occurs.

    There is some talk of the accuracy of the absolute CO2 values, in ice cores, but I think the main thing is we are looking at some good data showing at least accurate Relative values.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Kevin and TRU @ 357

    Have heard mention that under 200 ppm v CO2 plants don’t grow too well so there may be a minimum.

    There are experimental details available for vegetative growth rates under different CO2 concentrations but don’t have any refs.

    Greater pp CO2 does give more rapid growth which in itself indicates that veg can very quickly respond to increased atm CO2 and provide Quick Sink Increase.


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    bananabender

    MaryFJohnston:
    August 7th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Climate change courses are basically Environmental Awareness degrees with no basic maths. physics or chemistry associated with the work.

    It’s hard to call that science and it’s hard to blame people who have been taught that Algores movie is real science.

    One of my friends is an extremely sceptical retired geologist. A few weeks ago he was talking to a University of Queensland marine biology student. He asked her whatt she thought the pH of seawater was. She replied ‘around 7′.

    If a marine biology student doesn’t know that seawater has a pH range of 7.5-8.4 we are in deep trouble.


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    bananabender

    Michael Nielsen:
    August 7th, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Yep. The rise in CO2 is due to the MWP. Henry’s Law in action.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Hi bananabender: @ 361

    “”If a marine biology student doesn’t know that seawater has a pH range of 7.5-8.4 we are in deep trouble.”"

    It illustrates the point, then I think back to my student days and recal how dumb I must have seemed to my lecturers and that it takes time and work to build up a reliable accurate picture of any system. At least she didn’t say 2 or even worse 15 ha ha.

    On another post someone asked why engineers didn’t blow the whistle on CCS schemes which received quite a lot of money.

    Any metallurgist could do a quick outline of factors and say the idea of CCS was Idiotic.

    But if you have a chance of a good salary for a couple of years you might hold off on telling the truth.

    Lots of people have.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Michael N from earlier

    The main point was that lag rate may vary depending on the period.

    Lag may have been 800 years at one point but could become more or less if physical conditions change.

    Small point but the fact that you have pegged current rise in CO2 to events about 800 years ago means that the same heat transfer mechanisms could still be at work.


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    The _observer @ 264:

    Talk about a double standard, the catastrophists have been doing science by press release for the last 20 years. Most of the papers which are reported on turn out to be junk long after the headlines fade.

    Mark @ 265:

    KR throws in the other golden oldie (ocean acidification) for good measure after equating CAGW with an imminent asteroid impact.

    KR really needs to stick with scientifically correct terminology, which is, ocean neutralization. Doesn’t sound so scary, does it?

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    I’d like to see the C02 levels plotted against known C02 emissions. I know you’ve supplied something, but I can’t make heads or tails of the labeling. This means I don’t know what I’m looking at or where the data has come from so, ultimately, the graphs aren’t useful. If there is a correlation between man’s C02 output and global C02 levels then we could have something to go on. Specifically, the data needs to show and increase in atmospheric C02 at an increasing rate in line with industrial growth.

    I’m not a climate scientist but, I can analyze data. I know Tamino has done the very thing I’m discussing here but, his 1st differential analysis of of atmospheric C02 levels did not show an increase at an increasing rate outside a margin of error caused by the smoothing he applied. Nor did he show any correlation with man’s industrial emissions of C02. Additionally, I expect the Chinese spike of the last 10 years to be clear as day.

    If your mass balance hypothesis is correct then that data should already be well developed and properly presented as one of your main lines of evidence.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    sunsettommy at 337:

    Allan Siddons is completely wrong in his approach: the sink rate doesn’t depend on the emissions in one year of about 4 ppmv, but of the total increase over the years, which nowadays is over 30% (100 ppmv)higher than expected from the current temperature. The emissions simply are going directly in the atmosphere and spread over the world. The sinks capture any CO2, man made or not, at 2 ppmv/year, because of the increased atmospheric pressure of CO2. By coincident (in fact not by coincident, it reflects the process dynamics) that is about halve the amount of the emissions. What is seen over time is that the increase in the atmosphere follows the emissions with an incredible fixed ratio, until today. Thus any natural process that may be the cause must be aware of the human emissions…


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    MaryFJohnston

    Ferdinand Engelbeen: @366

    Again figures from assumptions.

    Ferdinand why don’t you get big sheet of paper.

    Take step back.

    Sketch out the problem.

    List the factors.

    Quantify as many as you can.

    Look at it afresh.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 339:

    Since the system is linear (we are assuming — I’m open to empirical data showing it is not, but I currently don’t know of any), the above decay time will be measured for each isotopic species individually and independently from the others.

    I agree that the system is linear, but Henry’s Law makes a differentiation for different species, but far less for different isotopes of the same species, as these follow the same chemical and solubility laws. Only the difference in molecular weight and resulting differences in kinetics play a role. See:
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/x653585vq7833876/

    Thus applying 14CO2 as tracer simply follows the bulk of CO2 in the atmosphere which is 12CO2 and 13CO2. As the extra 14CO2 didn’t contribute to the total mass of CO2, it doesn’t offer any insight in the fate of an increase of total CO2.


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    BobC

    Ferdinand Engelbeen (@368):

    You’re missing my point, and your arguments do not support your conclusion:

    I agree that the system is linear, but Henry’s Law makes a differentiation for different species, but far less for different isotopes of the same species, as these follow the same chemical and solubility laws. Only the difference in molecular weight and resulting differences in kinetics play a role. See:
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/x653585vq7833876/

    We agree on this. The conclusion is that the three carbon isotopes (when in CO2 molecules) follow very (but not exactly) similar solubility and diffusion laws. This is a requirement if one of them is to act as a tracer for the others. So far, so good.

    Thus applying 14CO2 as tracer simply follows the bulk of CO2 in the atmosphere which is 12CO2 and 13CO2.

    Again, agreed. This is simply a restatement of the above.

    As the extra 14CO2 didn’t contribute to the total mass of CO2, it doesn’t offer any insight in the fate of an increase of total CO2.

    Here’s where you’ve taken an unmarked turn. Who cares what the total mass of CO2 is, or how much it is increased by a particular injection of excess CO2 (or whatever isotope)? Did I miss some statement where you show that the solubility and diffusion laws (e.g., Henry’s law + others) are different depending on the “total mass of CO2″ in the atmosphere? As you have already admitted, these are linear laws hence don’t change due to concentration levels.

    Here’s a more proper conclusion: Since the three isotopics of Carbon (in CO2) follow almost exactly the same laws, the response of any of them (or all of them together) to an injected excess in the atmosphere will be almost exactly the same. Because the laws are linear, we know that the response of each isotope is independent of the concentrations of the other isotopes.

    If we inject excess amounts of all isotopes of CO2, then measure the recovery time of the atmosphere (as the excess amount is removed) we will have directly measured the item of interest: How long does it take the atmosphere to remove an excess of CO2?

    If we inject an excess amount of any one of the three isotopes, and measure the decay time of that isotope, we will measure the same decay time.

    Hence, the C14 Bomb Spike tracer experiment, that injected excess C14 in to the atmosphere and is measuring the removal time, does give (by your argument above, minus the wrong conclusion) the recovery time of the atmosphere to injected CO2.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    MaryFJohnston at 367:

    Again figures from assumptions.
    Ferdinand why don’t you get big sheet of paper.
    Take step back.
    Sketch out the problem.

    Already done:

    Form Siddons work:

    A linear reduction rate would be very rapid, erasing a year’s emissions in two years. A logarithmic rate would be more gradual, and it would look like the above chart. That is, 2 ppm in the year 2000 would be reduced to 1 ppm the next year, and so on, gradually diminishing every year. That is, 2 ppm in the year 2000 would be reduced to 1 ppm the next year, and so on, gradually diminishing every year.

    What Siddons does is looking at the emissions, and as the increase in the atmosphere is only halve the emisions, the other halve is removed in sinks. He takes that literally: halve the emissions and nothing else is removed. Thus the second year, the other halve is removed (if the sink rate remains the same) or a quarter if it was a linear reduction.

    But nature doesn’t make any differentiation between natural or human CO2. Thus what is removed is not 50% of the human emissions of 4 ppmv only, but 0.5% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere of 400 ppmv. Thus for every year that humans add 4 ppmv, about halve of the same amount is removed out of the total mass, not from the original human emitted molecules.

    Because about halve the added CO2 as mass remains in the atmosphere, the total mass increases, which pushes more CO2 into the oceans and vegetation. Thus over time, while the emissions increase, the sinks increase too. But what rests in the atmosphere also increases. The net result is that the increase in the atmosphere remained quite constant at about 50% of the human emissions (again as mass, no matter the origin). That is also what Knorr found…

    I suppose that BobC will agree with me on this point…


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 369

    Here’s a more proper conclusion: Since the three isotopics of Carbon (in CO2) follow almost exactly the same laws, the response of any of them (or all of them together) to an injected excess in the atmosphere will be almost exactly the same. Because the laws are linear, we know that the response of each isotope is independent of the concentrations of the other isotopes.

    There it goes wrong: for the same species but different isotopes, you can’t say that the response for each isotope is independent of the other isotopes, because the solubility coefficients are near equal. That means that it is the partial pressure difference between air and water of all isotopes together which governs the co2 exchanges, not that of the individual isotopes.


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    BobC

    Ferdinand Engelbeen (@370):
    August 8th, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I suppose that BobC will agree with me on this point…

    Given the required assumptions, I would agree.

    One of those assumptions is that the current natural CO2 sources are insufficient (by about 0.5%) to maintain a constant CO2 level. If anthropogenic sources went to zero, CO2 concentrations would decline. Hence it is only anthropogenic sources that are creating the rise.

    If that were true, I would expect to see stronger correlation between CO2 increases and anthropogenic sources. One would also expect to see an effect of rare natural events that release enormous amounts of CO2, like the artic tundra fires, on CO2 rates. No correlation is evident above the noise level of the measurement.

    I also think that this scenario is precluded by the measurement of the CO2 cycle’s Impulse Response Function to extra CO2 added to the atmosphere (as I have argued before). For a half-life of 8 years, this requires >8% of the atmosphere’s CO2 to be removed per year. Thus I think it highly unlikely that the current situation results from a delicate natural balance upset by Mankind, but rather is due to robust natural CO2 sources that are slightly augmented by Human emissions. This would explain the lack of detectable correlation.

    No, I don’t know what those natural sources are, but I would place outgassing from the oceans high on the suspect list.


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    BobC

    Ferdinand Engelbeen (@371):
    August 8th, 2011 at 12:52 am

    There it goes wrong: for the same species but different isotopes, you can’t say that the response for each isotope is independent of the other isotopes, because the solubility coefficients are near equal. That means that it is the partial pressure difference between air and water of all isotopes together which governs the co2 exchanges, not that of the individual isotopes.

    You are misrepresenting Henry’s Law, which implies no such thing. Here is the statement of it by William Henry himself:

    At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.

    Note that is does not say “…the amount of a given gas that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas and any other gas with a similar (or even equal) proportionality constant ….” That would constitute a non linear modification of the law. To make this specific, you would have to specify (and experimentally verify) the interaction strength as a function of concentrations and difference in proportionality constants. I don’t suppose you have a proposed modification like that?

    It is experimentally well verified that Henry’s Law holds for each gas independently of the concentration state of any other gas. This is why tracer measurements work (which have also been experimentally verified).


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    BobC

    Ferdinand: I would also note that Henry’s Law can be derived from the kinetic theory of gases. Your non-linear proposed modification cannot.


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    BobC

    Ferdinand Engelbeen (@317):
    August 7th, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Thus how then can we calculate the excess decay time? Peter Dietze has an elegant solution, including comments on the very long decay times of the IPCC:
    http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
    He shows a half life time of about 38 years.

    I agree that Dietze’s calculation is simple and elegant. One of the inputs, however, is the assumption that the excess atmosphere concentration decays by ~2.4 Gt/year. He gets this from the assumption that Anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for the current increases of CO2, and half of that (the 2.4 Gt) is removed each year. He then puts a 33% fudge factor in to cover other sinks than the oceans, and calculates his 38 year half-life.

    His rate assumption suffers from the same problem I noted in post #372: Lack of any observed correlation between CO2 concentration rates and changes in emissions.

    If you do the calculation backwards, and insert the (tracer) measured half-life of 8 years, the calculated (net) rate at which the atmosphere dumps CO2 to the oceans becomes ~12Gt/yr. This solution has the advantage of being based on measurements instead of guesses, and also explains the lack of correlation.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 373:

    Henry’s Law:

    At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.

    Isotopic different versions of a molecule are the same gas (I was not alluding at a different molecule). The different versions have near the same chemical, physical and solubility parameters. The differences in these parameters are small, but may give some fractionation if passing physical borders (gas-liquid) or reaction speed for chemical reactions (but larger for biological reactions).

    For e.g. 13CO2 vs. 12CO2, the fractionation gas – liquid is 2 per mil less 13CO2 (the opposite way it is 10 per mil), that gives a reduction in total 13CO2 of about 0.2%. Thus for Henry’s Law, there is little difference between 12CO2 and 13CO2 and the effects are from the sum of both.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 372:

    If that were true, I would expect to see stronger correlation between CO2 increases and anthropogenic sources.

    Most of the problems I have met in these discussions is that one is overfocused on the year by year increases. These show far more variability than the emissions. But that simply is noise, of which the cause is largely known: temperature variations. The effect can be calculated and is around 4 ppmv/degr.C around the trend. See e.g. the work of Pieter Tans (mid his speech for 50 years Mauna Loa measurements):
    http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/pdfs/tans.pdf
    Others also have made the same calculations.

    But besides the variability caused by temperature (which largely levels out over a few years), we have the trend. And that one is caused by the emissions. Have a look at the correlation between the accumulation in the atmosphere and the accummulated emissions:
    ftp://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_2004.jpg
    That is a near fit…

    and compare that with the influence of temperature on the CO2 increase:
    ftp://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_co2_1900_2004.jpg

    It is clear that temperature is not the driver of the trend: temperature changes of halve the scale have little effect on CO2 levels. Moreover, the global seasonal variability is good for 5-6 ppmv/degr.C and the ice cores show a ratio of 8 ppmv/degr.C on century to millenium scales.

    It would be quite strange that CO2 would have a much higher sensitivity for temperature at decade to century scales as Salby now proposes.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Waffle at 365:

    I’d like to see the C02 levels plotted against known C02 emissions. I know you’ve supplied something, but I can’t make heads or tails of the labeling. This means I don’t know what I’m looking at or where the data has come from so, ultimately, the graphs aren’t useful. If there is a correlation between man’s C02 output and global C02 levels then we could have something to go on. Specifically, the data needs to show and increase in atmospheric C02 at an increasing rate in line with industrial growth.

    OK, need a few days for the repair of my computer, where most of the data and references are. Currently I can only access the graphs on the Net that I uploaded before for other discussions…


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    MaryFJohnston

    Ferdinand

    You are too close to the topic.

    Back off and start again from scratch.

    You continue to use data, models and support material based on fudge factors and ASSUMPTIONS.

    NOBODY knows that 50% of human CO2 remains active….. Nobody!

    I have said this over many threads and posts; because IT IS ONLY A GUESS.

    Guessing is not science.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    MaryFJohnston at 379

    You continue to use data, models and support material based on fudge factors and ASSUMPTIONS.
    NOBODY knows that 50% of human CO2 remains active….. Nobody!

    The emissions are known (calculated from fossil fuel sales)
    The increase in the atmosphere is measured
    I never said or assumed that 50% of the human CO2 remains active.

    Where are the fudge factors and assumptions?


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    John Watt

    Ferdinand,Mary F and Bob C @ above

    Does the John Nicol analysis come into play here?
    Nicol claims that extra CO2 cannot increase temperature. So in that sense it doesn’t really matter where it comes from?


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    MattB

    I’m going to put on my alter ego and just ask this…

    Is the argument that CO2 levels relate to temperature, and in fact if there were no human emissions then the “environment” would not be a sink and in fact would be a source… as the atmospheric concs are driven by temps and it is just a coincidence that the anthropogenic emissions are greater than the increase in atmospheric concentrations? Just a coincidence that can easily be ignorantly interpreted as anthrop emissions causing the rise?


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    Crakar24

    Ferdinand in 381,

    I am going to turn the tables on you here, what are your qualifications? Are you qualified to critique
    Salby’s paper?

    I dare the answer is no, therefore you are a denier of science go get a tattoo.

    MattB in 383,

    The argument is that man is virtually the sole contributer to the increase in CO2 and this is the cause of a modest rise in temps over the past 100 odd years or so say the IPCC. This study casts doubt on that theory by suggesting mans contribution to the increase in CO2 is almost immeasurable. Now you can still maintain the faith that the world is headed towards climmaggeddon but by us stopping our CO2 emissions will do absolutely nothing or as Flannery put it, it will be thousands of years before any difference is felt.

    Any more stupid questions?


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    MattB

    Crackar – I’ll just leave it at the one stupid question and see if anyone has a polite answer thanks.


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    Crakar24

    Sorry if i bruised your alter ego MattB (not hard to get someones name right is it) but it is a stupid question.

    You have a number of religious barriers in front of you that you need to discard before you can begin to understand the concept. The barriers include:

    1, Al Gore lied to you in his movie when he said CO2 drives the temp

    2, The hockey stick was nothing more than scientific fraud

    3, The life of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is not thousands of years (or whatever the IPCC have told you)

    Once you have reconciled your self with this “NEW” religion you can start asking questions.

    By the way in your religion my answer was not polite the reason being is because you see me as a heathen, an unbeliever, a devil worshipper etc but in the reality most people live in my response was perfectly acceptable. Once again you show yourself to be nothing but a preening faux intellectual.


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    MattB

    “1, Al Gore lied to you in his movie when he said CO2 drives the temp”
    Not seen the movie sorry.

    “2, The hockey stick was nothing more than scientific fraud”
    blah blah blah

    “3, The life of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is not thousands of years (or whatever the IPCC have told you)”
    no one has said it is, especially not the IPCC.


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    Crakar24

    Like i said

    “You have a number of religious barriers in front of you that you need to discard before you can begin to understand the concept”


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    MaryFJohnston

    John Watt: @ 382

    Of course the matter of whether CO2 is potent enough to do any harm is something I mention accasionally.

    If we can use the GHG term.

    The big daddy of GHGs is Water.

    Followed by Natural CO2

    and

    Way back is man made CO2, if it can get a look in.

    I have only been responding to Ferdinands comments which need to be put in perspective in case someone reads them who might be taken in by his mantra of “Man’s CO2 did it”.

    We could fart, belch, burn coal and oil till we get tired of it. There would be no climate change resulting from our actions.

    Chemical pollution is another matter and is a very serious issue which has been sidelined by the CO2 thing.

    Now isn’t that curious? Wonder who benefits?


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    MaryFJohnston

    Re the Algorithym movie:

    “”Not seen the movie sorry.”

    Get it out, they’ve moved it to the comedy section now where I live.

    Watch it with a few beers.

    Heaps funny.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Doesn’t look right

    May be Algorythm or Algorithm ??

    Who cares He’s done for.


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    I shouldn’t get involved when I’m about to rush off to work but I can’t let my mate Matts polite request go unanswered at #383

    Hi Matt

    The simple answer is this.
    The environment (oceans, biosphere etc) is both a sink and a source of atmospheric CO2. Almost always one is greater than the other.

    The thing is, not a single person on this god given Earth yet knows about the CO2 cycle in detail. Not enough detail to be able to say if a 50,100 or even 200 year rise and or fall in atmospheric CO2 is the result of this that or the other.

    We know generalities; yes. Details; definately no.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Re 382

    Sorry, didn’t answer the question.

    The density of CO2 concentration in the atm means that re-radiated IR energy from the ground, at the main CO2 absorption frequencies, can all be absorbed in the first 10 metres of air above ground.

    Adding more CO2 simply allows this same amount of heat energy to be absorbed in maybe 9.5 metres.

    There is no extra heat, it just concentrates a little quicker, expands the local parcel of air it’s in and rises to lose energy and blend with air higher up.

    It makes no difference.

    The only way we can get Catastrophic Global Warming is if the Sun pumps out more heat.

    If the Earth tilts a bit differently to change total heat entry there could also be temperature consequences..


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    MattB

    Bah in 392. Cheers but more specifically… as Ferdinand points out repeatedly, for all the unknowns in the cycle we KNOW the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and we KNOW the human emissions… thus we KNOW that the rise in concentration is less than human emissions and it is in that context that human emissions “look” like much more than a minor player. I’m trying to figure the sceptical argument here… hence wondering if the atmospheric concentration would be the same even if there were no Anthropogenic emissions.


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    MaryFJohnston

    MattB @ 394

    Amazed.

    You actually said something!!!!

    “”hence wondering if the atmospheric concentration would be the same even if there were no Anthropogenic emissions”"


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    cohenite

    MattyB; we DON’T know the human emissions; we don’t know how much is coming from land clearing; I’ve seen no studies which compare the CO2 uptake of new crops compared to established forest, or anything conclusive about cyanobacteria which are potentially one of the biggest and most living fluctuating sinks and which extent seems to be correlated with ACO2 emissions; and as Louis Hissinck noted, perhaps the biggest sink, ocean/mantle recycling is not considered in any discussion on CO2/ACO2 flux.

    Ferdinand, as Mary notes, has a case based on assumptions.


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    MattB

    What do you mean we don’t know how much is coming from land clearing. Our very own rocket scientist did the maths!


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    MaryFJohnston

    MattB

    All we can do is get rough estimates of these CO2 related quantities.

    As Ferdinand says, Human attributable CO2 is found by totaling all fossil fuel sales.

    This is just one item and while it may be acceptable it mainly gives a Relative amount compared with previous years usage.

    There are many billions of people whose sole means of cooking is scavenge and burn what’s available. That probably doesn’t get counted.

    Still, when rough estimaytes are compared Natural CO2 is huge compared with MM CO2. 97 to 3 approx.


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    cohenite

    ? Who’s measured crops compared with established forest?


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    Crakar24

    MattB,

    And after doing the math what did the rocket scientist conclude?


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    Mary @ 398

    Animal flatulence produces Methane [natural gas].Is it counted as a fossil fuel and human attributable to CO2 levels?


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    MattB

    “And after doing the math what did the rocket scientist conclude?”

    The same as most of us… avoid an argument and just agree with the wife.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Kevin @ 401

    Ha That’s a lawyer problem.

    Some people use cow dung in small clay ovens to produce gas to cook from – just how well it works I don’t know but have seen it on TV.

    In the end it doesn’t make much diff what the answer is.
    H
    Human activity pales compared with natures production of CO2 and H-C-H
    H


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  • #

    [...] a full explanation and significance at Joanne Nova’s excellent blog. August 9th, 2011 [...]


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    BobC

    MattB:
    August 8th, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    “3, The life of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is not thousands of years (or whatever the IPCC have told you)”
    no one has said it is, especially not the IPCC.

    MattB: Pretending to be dumb (I assume you’re pretending?) is not a very effective argument. As you should know (indeed, anyone who can read should know), the issue is not the lifetime of a specific molecule, but how long an added amount of CO2 elevates the atmospheric concentration. The IPCC indeed does say that is hundreds to thousands of years. AGW scientists routinely publish unverified models as “proof”. ( Link )

    When confronted with actual measurements demonstrating the models are wrong, AGW proponents routinely claim that scientific methodology and laws accepted for ~100 years either doesn’t exist or is wrong, because it contradicts their models.

    Either this is the “big lie” technique, depending on the public’s ignorance of science, or they actually are astoundingly ignorant. (Or, perhaps, they are just desperate to maintain their sinecures during a recession.)


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    MattB

    Yes Bob – you know that, I know that, Crakar doesn’t seem to. I’m more than happy with the IPCC, or rather the accepted scientific, version of events


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    BobC

    MattB:
    August 8th, 2011 at 2:38 pm
    … hence wondering if the atmospheric concentration would be the same even if there were no Anthropogenic emissions.

    Obviously, it would be different — since the inputs to the atmosphere would be different.

    The interesting question is; How different?

    My opinion (based on empirical evidence) is that Humans can affect the total atmospheric CO2 concentration by < 5%.


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    MattB

    But if temp drives Atmospheric CO2 conc, then is it obvious? You are assuming things Mary would be critical of.


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    MattB

    So just to confirm BobC you think that based on observation human emissions are only responsible for 5% of the post industrial rise, despite all the emissions. Emissions which are far in excess of the rise, have all been sunk in to the sink which has then via unrelated factors chosen to release a whole heap back… it’s a real stretch.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Crakar24 at 384

    Ferdinand in 381,

    I am going to turn the tables on you here, what are your qualifications? Are you qualified to critique
    Salby’s paper?

    Wow, a sceptic who appeals to authority? I am not that impressed by authority, even if one has 20 titles before and after his/hers name. Heard too many idiotic statements about a different subject (dioxin…) by professor Dr. X…

    But if you are interested, here is my short CV:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/en_aut.html


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    BobC

    MattB (@410):
    August 9th, 2011 at 1:24 am
    So just to confirm BobC you think that based on observation human emissions are only responsible for 5% of the post industrial rise, despite all the emissions. Emissions which are far in excess of the rise, have all been sunk in to the sink which has then via unrelated factors chosen to release a whole heap back… it’s a real stretch.

    Gosh, that’s a tightly-knit, logical argument. Perhaps you should hire yourself out to solve scientific problems based on your gut feel :-)

    Here it is, if you’re interested:

    1)Recovery time of the atmosphere (to added CO2) is measured to be 8 years (half-life). See posts # 49, 309, 314, 339, etc.

    2) Given this, it takes much more than human emissions can supply simply to keep CO2 concentrations from dropping. Hence, human emissions are only augmenting a much larger source of CO2. (See post #375 for a rough estimate that this source is at least 12Gt/y.)

    3) 5% is a very rough estimate, based on a discrete simulation that adds the human contribution (from Wikipedia — don’t know how accurate that is) each year, and discounts by the yearly rate determined by the 8 year half life (about 8%/year). (I’m presuming you don’t want the Matlab code.)

    PS I don’t know why you would think it strange that inputs to the atmosphere should be “far in excess” of the concentration rise — the IPCC estimates ~100Gt/y is input into the atmosphere, from the other reservoirs.


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    BobC

    Ferdinand:

    I have been making statements about Henry’s Law like:

    “Because the laws are linear, we know that the response of each isotope is independent of the concentrations of the other isotopes.”

    I base these statements on the logical and mathematical statements of Henry’s Law.

    You have been countering with statements like:

    “… for the same species but different isotopes, you can’t say that the response for each isotope is independent of the other isotopes, because the solubility coefficients are near equal. That means that it is the partial pressure difference between air and water of all isotopes together which governs the co2 exchanges, not that of the individual isotopes.”

    So,

    Here’s a thought experiment (it could be done, though):

    Expose water to a concentration of 13CO2 (no 12C), until it reaches equilibrium. Then quickly change the atmosphere over the water (this is in a closed system, obviously) to exactly the same concentration, but of 12CO2 only. What do you think happens?

    Do you think that, because “12CO2 and 13CO2 are the same gas”, that nothing happens? That the isotopic concentrations remain fixed? That, somehow, the 12CO2 in the air prevents the 13CO2 in the water from leaving?

    Here’s what Henry’s law says would happen:

    1) The differential form of Henry’s Law says that the diffusion rate of a gas from water into the air is a function only of the concentration of the gas in the water (given the diffustion coefficient, which is constant for a constant temperature). Likewise, the rate at which the gas diffuses from the air into the water is a function of the concentration of the gas only in the air.

    2) Hence, at time = 0 (atmosphere just exchanged) there will be diffusion of the 13CO2 from the water to the air, and diffusion of the 12CO2 from the air to the water.

    3) As time progresses, a concentration of 13CO2 will build up in the air, producing (by Henry’s Law) a diffusion rate back into the water. Eventually, when the concentrations are equal in the water and the air, these two opposing rates will equal and the concentrations will remain fixed.

    4) Precisely the opposite thing will happen to the 12CO2: Initially, the diffusion will be all from the air to the water. Eventually 12CO2 concentration in the water will equal that in the air and equilibrium will be reached.

    NOTE: If you trace the concentration vs. time for 12CO2 and 13CO2 they will be the exact opposite of each other.

    Each gas follows Henry’s Law independently of the other.

    That’s what Henry’s Law says. Comments?


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    BobC

    411Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    August 9th, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I am not that impressed by authority, even if one has 20 titles before and after his/hers name. Heard too many idiotic statements about a different subject (dioxin…) by professor Dr. X…

    The KGB obviously believed “Dr. X” also — when they tried to assassinate Viktor Yushchenko (3rd president of Ukraine) with a massive dose of it, they only succeeded in giving him the world’s worst case of acne.


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    BobC

    Siliggy:
    August 7th, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    “where a is the time for the value of c to reduce to 1/e of the initial value, ‘C’ (about 37%).”
    Are we confusing “Half life” with “Time constant” or have i lost the plot?
    I alway understod half to be 50 percent.

    For a substance that decays exponentially, from initial value A0, according to the formula A = A0*exp(-t/a), then:

    a is called the ‘time constant’. When t = a, the value of A is A0/e = ~0.37*A0

    When t = ~0.7*a, then A = ~A0/2 — (since exp(-0.7) ~ 1/2) — so 0.7*a would be the “half-life”.

    So, for example, if the time constant, a=11.4 years, then the half-life would be 0.7*11.4 = 8 years.


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    BobC

    Siliggy:

    Oops! Didn’t read your next post.


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    MaryFJohnston

    MattB

    Asking :”"But if temp drives Atmospheric CO2 conc”‘

    Temp is not the only driver; but it is best to isolate effects when assessing them otherwise some people might get confused, or even misled.

    But remember isolated effects (eg human co2) cannot have the entire effect attributed to them as

    happens with CAGW themes (like forgetting water as a greenhouse gas, and forgetting that natural

    CO2 is 30 times larger than human effect).


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    MaryFJohnston

    In the Church of AGW repeat this prayer:

    “5% of the post industrial rise, “”

    The important bit is the accumulation we humans are guilty of since we lit our first blast furnace
    on the first of January 1850 at 8.00 am.

    Sorry for the sarcasm but every scientist knows that the max half life of CO2 in the air
    is 5 years which means that any CO2 from that blast furnace would have been gone in
    10 years. Possibly absorbed within 12 months if the new analysis is relevant.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Ferdinand 411

    An intersesting item & link.

    Put my first green tick on your post.

    I still think that deep inside your armory of weapons regarding understanding of

    CO2 and global warming there are some things taken as “holy writ” which are based
    on assumptions made by other people and presented as real.

    The main problem I have is with the assumption made by others (and adopted by you) that 50% of human CO2, by subtraction and ignoring other possible factors, remains in air after absorption by sinks.


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    Sean McHugh

    MattB @ 407:

    I’m more than happy with the IPCC, or rather the accepted scientific, version of events

    I’m happier going with nature’s (not the magazine’s) version of events.


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    Larry Rogak

    This is blasphemy and you are all climate infidels. What part of “the debate is OVER” didn’t you understand?


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    Larry Rogak

    Al Gore is infallible in matters of faith.


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    Crakar24

    Ferdinand in 411,

    Wow, a sceptic who appeals to authority?

    Now i have seen it all thanks for the laugh Ferdinand, where you gave the game away was when you debunked a paper you have not read that my friend is nothing more than faith.

    I have debated your kind before (MattB here for example)but there are many others who claim to have an indepth knowledge of things to the point where they consider themselves to be the experts.

    Salby makes claims in his brief podcast that you have failed to respond to, you wont respond to them because you have no answer so you just ignore them and continue to repeat the mantra “All CO2 is from man”.

    I will acknowledge one thing Ferdinand you are a more pleasent believer than most.

    Cheers

    Crakar


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    John

    Roy Spencer wrote along similar lines last year
    “Could the Ocean, Rather Than Mankind, Be the Reason?” and Part II

    Spencer actually commented on this two and a half years ago (jan 2008) … so is this really new research ?


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    MattB

    Mary in 419 you say “The main problem I have is with the assumption made by others (and adopted by you) that 50% of human CO2, by subtraction and ignoring other possible factors, remains in air after absorption by sinks.”

    But Ferdy isn’t saying it does remain in the air… what remains in the air is an amound of CO2 equivalent to about 50% of human CO2 emissions. We know that as we know human emissions and we know the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    We are back to my beans in a bowl analogy.


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    MattB

    Mary “Sorry for the sarcasm but every scientist knows that the max half life of CO2 in the air is 5 years which means that any CO2 from that blast furnace would have been gone in 10 years.”

    Indeed – but it has nothing to do with the issue at hand which is increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.


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    MattB

    “But remember isolated effects (eg human co2) cannot have the entire effect attributed to them as

    happens with CAGW themes (like forgetting water as a greenhouse gas, and forgetting that natural

    CO2 is 30 times larger than human effect).”

    lies lies lies lies lies, and more lies… is that all you have Mary. Oh yes and strawmen.


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    Crakar24

    Hang on a second MattB lets not get ahead of ourselves, the IPCC and its followers (thats you) have created pretty graphs which show CO2 levels have not changed one iota for many, many years because the planet or as some call it Gaia was in perfect equilibrium. Then man began burning fossil fuels and the CO2 levels began to rise ergo man was increasing the CO2 content.

    This CO2 will last in the ATM for hundreds upon hundreds of years which is why Flannery made the claim that even if we stopped emitting CO2 the temp would not begin to fall for a thousand years and whats more the temp would continue to rise until equilibrium is reached again.

    There is another pretty little graph called MBH98 AKA the hockey stick, this shows us the temp going back about one thousand years and it shows us the temp had not changed one iota until man started to burn fossil fuel, this graph coupled with the CO2 graph clearly showed how mans CO2 emissions where drivng the temps. Throw in a mislabelled out of date ice core data graph from AL Gore and the science was/is settled.

    Your only evidence to support this claim is a simple math equation of A – B = C, A being total global emissions, B being man made emissions and C being the difference. However when asked to provide material support for these assumptions you are left a mumbling and a fumbling. In other words the values for A and B are nothing but a guess therefore C is noting more than an arse pluck.

    Enter the science

    Salby has found it is impossible to distinguish between CO2 derived from plants, oceans and FF and the amount of co2 increase from year to year is less than your simple math equation, he has also found the largest sources of CO2 are NOT from industrialised areas of the globe. These two facts alone suggest your simplified version of events are wrong, but lets continue.

    TQ has shown that the Sth Pole leads ML in CO2 rise but how can this be when a vast majority of CO2 emission is from the Nth Hemisphere? How can CO2 from the NH appear in the SH before it is emitted? Spencer chimes in with a similar opinion.

    Now Mattb if you attempted to debate these points people would listen, people would appreciate your posts and more importantly for your ego you would recieve less thumbs down but you dont do this. You ignore these points and accuse people of lies and strawmen and people wonder why and conclude you ignore these points because it falsifies your position. So prove me and countless others wrong and address the issues presented by Jo, Salby, TQ and Spencer or continue to be known as a mindless warmbot, the choice is yours.

    Crakar


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    MaryFJohnston

    MattB @427

    I was going to something but I’m going to follow BobC’s example and be moderate.

    So Matt, thank you for the comment.


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    Wayne, s. Job

    To the IPCC followers on this blog logical thought would prohibit the CO2 in the atmosphere from having any effect at all. The misnomer of the green house effect is at odds with reality, take a ride through our solar system and you will find that the heat of a planet has diddly squat to do with the composition of the atmosphere but its depth. The atmosphere acts not as a green house but as a blanket, put on more blankets and you are warmer. The atmosphere inhibits the loss of heat in the hours of darkness, toss in a liquid water ocean and you have a heat bank, throw in the latent heat from ice to water to vapour and mixed with the circulatory atmosphere you have.

    The largest unplumbed chaotic heat pump in the world that gives us climate and weather in all its glory.
    CO2 is irrelevant for climate but essential for life, our body holds in our lungs artificially much higher concentration than the atmosphere for our well being. Plants in all their glory revel in a much higher level of CO2. Logic would have us believe we all evolved in a much higher level of CO2 and we have all been deprived.


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    John Finn

    MaryFJohnston:
    August 9th, 2011 at 8:58 am

    ….

    Sorry for the sarcasm but every scientist knows that the max half life of CO2 in the air
    is 5 years which means that any CO2 from that blast furnace would have been gone in
    10 years. Possibly absorbed within 12 months if the new analysis is relevant.

    Oh dear – this takes the usual confusion over the half-life of a pulse of CO2 and the average life-time of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere to a new level.

    To illustrate the difference let’s imagine a pre-industrial time where there are 600 units of CO2 in the atmosphere. During the annual carbon cycle, 120 units are emitted from the biosphere…and 120 units are absorbed. First thing(s) to notice here are:

    1. Co2 in the atmosphere doesn’t change – it remains in equilibrium at 600 units.
    2. The average life-time of a unit in the atmosphere is 5 years.

    Suppose we now introduce a new (non-naural) source of CO2 which adds 2 units a year (less than 2% of the natural emissions). The carbon cycle continues whereby 120 units are emitted and 120 units are absorbed but the atmospheric level has increased to 602 units. After 10 years the level is 620 units and after 100 years it’s 800 units. Second thing to notice:

    Even though the non-natural source is less than 2% of the natural source, it has, over time, increased the atmospheric concentration by 33%.

    Things are a bit more complicted than I’ve just described but that’s the basic concept in a nutshell.

    The 2 things you are confusing are:

    1. The average time an individual ‘unit’ spends in the atmosphere which is still only a few years and
    2. The time taken to remove the excess 200 units (800-600) from the atmosphere.

    I haven’t discussed (2) but this will depend on observed decay rates. Using available data I reckon the ‘half-life’ of the excess is 35-40 years. This doesn’t necessarily mean all 200 units will be gone in 70-80 years (though most will be) – the decay curve has a long tail. Theoretically it could take a couple of hundred years for complete removal but to all intents and purposes we’d be back to within a few ppm of pre-industrial levels long before then.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Wayne, s. Job: @ 430

    Liked that.


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    MaryFJohnston

    John Finn: @ 431

    I noticed your first comment where you seemed a little distressed:

    “”Oh dear – this takes the usual confusion over the half-life of a pulse of CO2 and the average life-time of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere to a new level. “”

    Please , please don’t worry , it’s all OK.

    The half life I was using, 5 years, it may be 8 who cares, refers to the capacity of nature to Develop and Build a Sink for the annual Additional CO2 from human sources.

    It has been variously reported as about 5 yeas.

    New work indicates it may be much more rapid, who cares , we don’t need to rush things since extra CO2 is good for us and plants.

    So, what happens is that each year we sum up the new CO2 input and track it through as it is absorbed.

    After about 10 years it is gone, finished, no more.

    But we do have the next years CO2 to deal with and likewise this decays to nothing in 10 years.

    Yes, there is a buildup of CO2 but even this would attract a new sink to deal with that excess.

    The sinks (soil bacteria, Coca Cola factories, vegetation and trees ) do respond rather quickly

    to increases in CO2 so the residual Human CO2 from the industrial revolution accumulation

    is about or very close to ZERO or NIL.

    So: No Worries mate.


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    MaryFJohnston

    John Finn @ 431

    After reading the rest of the comments I must admit the I Can’t Really Accept that Post.

    The collection of cliches might seem scientific to someone without science training but it really fails abysmally.

    My sincere advice would be to find a good science tutor who could help you gain entry to a University science degree course where, in a few years, your skills could be improved out of sight.

    Good luck.


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    MaryFJohnston

    UNIPCC Draft Report 564d Aug 2011 New York.

    The New Glass and Tin Can Sink

    The UN IPCC has authorised the supply of free carbonated beverages in all developing countries in a desperate attempt to tie up 3.5 GtC over the next year.

    It is known that the CO2 tied up in the bottles and cans prior to use represents a sink of enormous magnitude that can’t be ignored.

    It is suggested that in wealthy countries people could assist by storing half a dozen cans in the kitchen as a permanent sink.


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    Twodogs

    KR asks the correct question finally, as to what we would do if human CO2 production was the cause of significant global warming with significant adverse effects. We would act to limit production to the extent that it would negate the adverse effects subject to a proper risk assessment and subsequent cost/benefit analysis.

    Firstly, the risk analysis would require certainty not only of warming, but to what extent. As such, the positive feedbacks claimed would require the same level of scrutiny as the principle of global warming via human CO2 production, in order to ascertain the impact. This leads into the benefit of mitigating action, to be compared against the cost of doing so.

    All costs and benefits can be quantified to some extent, so no matter how bad global warming may be at a given extent, any cost is comparable. A trillion $ of benefit still ain’t worth it if it costs 2 trillion $ to achieve it, no matter how warm and fuzzy it makes you feel inside. That said, it’s easy to feel warm and fuzzy inside with other people’s money.


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    BobC

    John Finn (@431):
    August 9th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Oh dear – this takes the usual confusion over the half-life of a pulse of CO2 and the average life-time of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere to a new level.

    To illustrate the difference let’s imagine a pre-industrial time where there are 600 units of CO2 in the atmosphere. During the annual carbon cycle, 120 units are emitted from the biosphere…and 120 units are absorbed. First thing(s) to notice here are:

    1. Co2 in the atmosphere doesn’t change – it remains in equilibrium at 600 units.
    2. The average life-time of a unit in the atmosphere is 5 years.

    Suppose we now introduce a new (non-naural) source of CO2 which adds 2 units a year (less than 2% of the natural emissions). The carbon cycle continues whereby 120 units are emitted and 120 units are absorbed but the atmospheric level has increased to 602 units. After 10 years the level is 620 units and after 100 years it’s 800 units. Second thing to notice:

    Even though the non-natural source is less than 2% of the natural source, it has, over time, increased the atmospheric concentration by 33%.

    Things are a bit more complicted than I’ve just described but that’s the basic concept in a nutshell.

    A bit more complicated? Mate, your model is completely aphysical and impossible in the real world. I would say quite a bit more complicated.

    To wit: It is impossible to increase atmospheric concentration of CO2 without also increasing most (if not all) sink rates. Henry’s law would mandate that absorption rates by the ocean would be linearly related to atmospheric concentration, and biosphere growth would also increase absorption, perhaps not linearly.

    Your assumption of stability of a delicate balance is highly unlikely, given our knowledge of past climate and CO2 concentrations. Why make such an assumption?

    But, you don’t need to make up fictional, impossible models to know how this works — it can be directly measured — see posts # 49, 309, 314, 339, among others. The result is that atmospheric concentration of CO2 recovers from an input pulse with a half-life of ~8 years.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 413:

    Sorry for the delay, indeed still have (sometimes) another life besides reacting on three blogs on the same subject…

    But thanks for your example, that is very clear and gives a good insight of what happens with different isotopes when the pressure differences ar zero. I agree that what you wrote is what will happen when enough time is given for the exchange. There I was wrong.

    The problem is in the time frame. If the pressure difference is zero, there is no extra driving force and any exchange is purely by diffusion (which is very slow for CO2 in water).

    But let us consider the same example, where you start with 100% 13CO2 in the water and 100% 12CO2 in air, but the p12CO2 in air is twice the p13CO2 in water. That drives 12CO2 at double speed into the water, compared to 13CO2 getting out. Thus the increase of 13CO2 in the atmosphere is halve the speed of the increase of 12CO2 in the water, until the equilibrium for 12CO2 is reached. After a (much) longer period, the 13CO2 will also reach equilibrium.

    I am not sure in how far 14CO2 follows the throughput, compared to the real sink rate (hope that KR will give a better explanation when he is back), but there are two additional problems for the 14CO2 life time:

    1. The total amount of 12/13CO2 increased over time, concurrent with the decrease in 14CO2. That dilutes the 14C/12C ratio and substantially shortens the real half life time. The increase since 1960 is about 36%.

    2. The 14CO2 content of the added fossil fuels CO2 is virtually zero. Even if it is only 3% of the inflows, the accumulation in the atmosphere is substantial (around 9% nowadays), thus again shortens the real half life time.

    I am computer handicapped for the moment, can you calculate how the real half life time lengthens because of these two points?


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    DavidE

    Presumably, the warmists will look to discredit him as a scientist now. He is obviously a tool of _________ (the Republican Party, oil companies, OPEC, Zionists) in denying the truth of carbon dioxide causing global warming. How can he possibly deny carbon dioxide causing gloabl warming when _____________ (all real scientists accept man-made global warming, the hot weather in the U.S. this summer proves man-made global warming, increased snowfall in the Northern U.S. proves global warming, lack of snowfall in the U.S. and Britain proves global warming).


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Crakar24 at 423:

    Salby makes claims in his brief podcast that you have failed to respond to, you wont respond to them because you have no answer so you just ignore them and continue to repeat the mantra “All CO2 is from man”.

    and from 424:

    Salby has found it is impossible to distinguish between CO2 derived from plants, oceans and FF and the amount of co2 increase from year to year is less than your simple math equation, he has also found the largest sources of CO2 are NOT from industrialised areas of the globe. These two facts alone suggest your simplified version of events are wrong, but lets continue.

    Well Salby is right and wrong: it is impossible to distinguish between fossil fuels and vegetation decay based on the 13C/12C ratio (the oceans can be excluded, these have a quite different ratio). But it is possible to distinguish between the two on the 14C/12C ratio: fossil fuels don’t contain 14C, new vegetation does. Further, it is possible to know if the biosphere is a net sink or source of CO2, based on the oxygen use. That shows that the biosphere is a net source of oxygen, thus more CO2 uptake than decay (the “greening earth”), preferably more 12CO2, thus leaving more 13CO2 in the atmosphere. But we see a decline in 13C/12C in the atmosphere, thus only fossil fuel burning is responsible.

    If Salby had read the literature over the last decade, he should have known that. You even don’t need a title of professor to do that, a computer with Internet connection and Google is sufficient:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.abstract (free abstract) and
    http://bluemoon.ucsd.edu/publications/ralph/25_Partition.pdf

    But as we didn’t see the article/book or graphs by Salby yet, I am very interested where his knowledge is based on…

    TQ has shown that the Sth Pole leads ML in CO2 rise but how can this be when a vast majority of CO2 emission is from the Nth Hemisphere? How can CO2 from the NH appear in the SH before it is emitted? Spencer chimes in with a similar opinion.

    TQ had a serious problem to show the lag (graphs 18 and 19 in his article): he finds a lag of the NH after the SH, but his method doesn’t distinguish between zero lag, or any multiple of 12 months lag. In reality, the SH lags the NH with 12-24 months for CO2 levels and 5-10 years for d13C levels, as we (Jack Barrett and I) wrote in E&E, based on the real world data:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends_1995_2004.jpg
    and
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/d13c_trends.jpg
    Dr. Spencer (who I respect on other matters) made the same mistake…


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    BobC at 437:

    But, you don’t need to make up fictional, impossible models to know how this works — it can be directly measured — see posts # 49, 309, 314, 339, among others. The result is that atmospheric concentration of CO2 recovers from an input pulse with a half-life of ~8 years.

    Whatever the supposed half-life deduced from the fate of 14C is, the real sink rate can be directly calculated from the emissions and the increase in the atmosphere. That is currently about 4 GtC/year (2 ppmv per year) at the current difference between what is found in the atmosphere and what the equilibrium level is/was. If we should stop all emissions today, that would give a 4 GtC sink or about 0.5% of the atmospheric CO2 (or 2% of the extra input) in the first year, etc… Anyway that takes a lot longer than 8 years to halve the extra CO2…


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    BobC

    Ferdinand Engelbeen (@438):
    August 10th, 2011 at 2:32 am
    BobC at 413:


    But let us consider the same example, where you start with 100% 13CO2 in the water and 100% 12CO2 in air, but the p12CO2 in air is twice the p13CO2 in water. That drives 12CO2 at double speed into the water, compared to 13CO2 getting out. Thus the increase of 13CO2 in the atmosphere is halve the speed of the increase of 12CO2 in the water, until the equilibrium for 12CO2 is reached. After a (much) longer period, the 13CO2 will also reach equilibrium.

    I would say that both isotopes would decay with the same half-life (~8 years). Since the p12CO2 starts out twice the p13CO2, it will always remain twice, as the two decay. So, wherever the p13CO2 is today, the p12CO2 will be there 8 years from now (and the p13CO2 will then be half as much).

    Although the absolute rates will always be different, the time constant of the decay will be (almost) the same.

    To do justice to the calculations you suggest, I think one would need to know what the historical concentrations of C14 were (it’s not totally constant, but varies with cosmic ray intensities, etc.) Right now, I’m playing hookey from work and have to get back.


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    Sean McHugh

    MattB @ 425:

    But Ferdy isn’t saying it does remain in the air… what remains in the air is an amound of CO2 equivalent to about 50% of human CO2 emissions.

    We know that as we know human emissions and we know the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    MattB, how do you know what is the percentage of CO2, in the air, that is due to humans?

    We are back to my beans in a bowl analogy.

    That does not tell us the percentage.


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    MaryFJohnston

    mattB
    Thru 443

    “”But Ferdy isn’t saying it does remain in the air… what remains in the air is an amound of CO2 equivalent to about 50% of human CO2 emissions.”"

    Matt that deceptiveness of that statement can best be illustrated by analogy.

    OK Analogy;

    MattB weighs as much as one one hundredth of an average elephant.

    You could reinforce the message by saying ” One average elephant weighs about as much as 100 MattBs.

    Naturally you would say “that is ridiculous”, the two things have nothing to do with each other.

    You would be correct.

    Likewise, measuring global atmos CO2 increase in “Human CO2 Emission Units’ is equally flawed.

    And then you wonder why this happens, what is the motive or intention???

    Is there an answer Matt?


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    MattB

    No Mary… the analogy is:

    If that elephant walks on some scales and scales read “1 elephant unit”.

    Then I stand on the scales as well and they read “1.01 elephant units”

    Then I am responsible for 100% of the 0.01, I am not responsible for 1/101 of the 0.01.

    If we were standing on a bridge that had an upper capacity of “1 elephant”, and it broke, then I would be entirely responsible for the collapse of the bridge, even though I was only contributing 1/101th of the load on the bridge.


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    MattB

    “You could reinforce the message by saying ” One average elephant weighs about as much as 100 MattBs.

    Naturally you would say “that is ridiculous”, the two things have nothing to do with each other.

    You would be correct.”

    I can’t be the only person here who thinks that saying “One average elephant weighs about as much as 100 MattBs” would be perfectly appropriate way of discussing the weight of an elephant. I would absolutely not even for one second consider saying “that is ridiculous”. I’d say “good description, that means a lot more to me than just saying “elephant ways X tonnes”.


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    MattB

    ways… oh dear.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Re Matts Efluent analogy

    “”If we were standing on a bridge that had an upper capacity of “1 elephant”, and it broke, then I would be entirely responsible for the collapse of the bridge, even though I was only contributing 1/101th of the load on the bridge.”"

    Spoken like a true warmer, well done.


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    MaryFJohnston

    If

    You are under 30 you have a problem.

    If you are over 55 it’s OK it happens to all of us.

    The brain detects the sound and has two option: mass equivalent or a pathway.

    Just a little plaque blocking the nervous system but its normal.

    “”ways… oh dear.”"


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    MattB

    Mary in 448… the elephant can’t read the warning sign… it’s just crossing a bridge as it has done so for years. Are you saying it’s the elephant’s fault?

    I’m looking forward to being 55 so I can just blame it on age:)


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    MaryFJohnston

    MattB @450

    The good news for all of us is that the brain keeps repairing pathways well into old age and just builds around the plaques associated with ALZ :-)

    The only condition to that is we need to keep our brain active and doing New things.

    I’ll have to check with BobC on that warning sign business – I’m not sure we can accept that, but it was funny.


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    Crakar24

    MattB in 445 and various other posts,

    If said elephant weighed 1 unit and you weighed 0.01 unit you might have a case but what if you had your head stuck up the elephants arse? You would then together weigh 1.01 units and you would cause the bridge to collapse….correct?


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    Crakar24

    FE in 440,

    TQ has shown using the 14C isotope that there is a delay of up to 6 months in the mixing of co2, am i reading this right?

    “If 75% of CO2 from fossil fuel is emitted north of latitude 30 then some time lag might be expected due to the sharp year-to-year variations in the estimated amounts left in the atmosphere. A simple model, following the example of the 14C data with a one year mixing time, would suggest a delay of
    12
    6 months for CO2 changes in concentration in the Northern Hemisphere to appear in the Southern Hemisphere.”

    Why do you say in 440

    “TQ had a serious problem to show the lag (graphs 18 and 19 in his article): he finds a lag of the NH after the SH, but his method doesn’t distinguish between zero lag, or any multiple of 12 months lag. In reality, the SH lags the NH with 12-24 months for CO2 levels……”

    Please explain

    Cheers

    Crakar


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    MaryFJohnston

    @ 452
    Hi Crakar24:

    I didn’t think Americans were that expressive Crackar.

    Now if the elephant was full of CO2 it wouldn’t blow the bridge.


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    Crakar24

    I am not American which may explain your confusion.

    By the way i have a joke for Kevin Moore if he is watching

    Q, Why does Israel refuse to become the 51st state?

    A, Because then they would only have two Senators


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    Mark D.

    Isn’t the elephant in the room; how much of the elephant’s weight caused by humans?

    I aweight your replies…….


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    Crakar24

    MFJ,

    I beg to differ on the elephant, they are after all full of methane and as we all know methane is 20,000 odd times more powerful than CO2……………


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    Crakar24

    Mark D,

    Correct the elephant is in the room but nobody likes to talk about it and yes you are correct again when you say the elephants weight is caused by humans as weight is a human construct….mass however is another thing so what is the mass of MattB’s elephant?


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    MaryFJohnston

    I aweight your replies…….

    Come on , enough of the “weigh” jokes

    How many senators do they have now?


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    Mark D.

    Crakar, weight a minute are you saying that without human thought we’d be weightless?

    Heavy man, really heavy……..


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    Crakar24

    MFJ 459,

    All but one.


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    Crakar24

    Mark D,

    The correct phrase is Massive man, really massive but as MFJ says enough with the whey jokes.


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    Mark D.

    curds to you man….


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    Crakar24

    Pleased to see that you got that weight of numbers off Mary’s mind.


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    MaryFJohnston

    Re 461

    It must be a heavy weight on the shoulders of that one man out?

    How does he cope.


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    Mary @ 465

    The elephant lets him ride.


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    Blimey

    And the peer-reviewed paper on this “science” is found … where ???? In order for Salby to be right he’ll need to overturn a lot of science.

    From the podcast it seems like he’s highlighting natural variability and saying “hey, manmade emmissions are smooth therefore we can’t be to blame”. Fooled by his own dumb expectations I expect. Time will tell.

    Plenty of science from many sources already show CO2 is now at levels not seen for more than 800,000 years. Coincidence?

    I’m skeptical of Salby’s claims, but hey Nova, others, go ahead and swallow it all without question if that’s your idea of being “skeptical”.


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    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    Crakar24 at 453:

    More explanation of the error by TQ:

    He correctly shows that the 14C spike of the nuclear bomb tests needed 6 months to reach the SH from te tests in the NH.

    He then looks at the variability of CO2 and d13C between the hemispheres, but he doesn’t do that on the real figures, but on the yearly variation in measurements. There is no need to do that as the question of what leads what is about the real data, not their variation. That is the first point.
    Then, the method he used looks over a year, but can’t make a differentiation between a lag of zero or 12 month or 24 months,… Neither if a lag was 3 months or 15 months or 27 months…

    Thus a real lag of the SH of 21 months may show up as a negative lag of 3 months, which gives the false conclusion that the SH leads the NH.


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    BobC

    MattB:
    August 10th, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I’m looking forward to being 55 so I can just blame it on age:)

    I’m looking forward to being 55, as soon as I get my time machine to work. (Don’t tell Lionell!)

    451MaryFJohnston:
    August 10th, 2011 at 3:24 pm
    I’ll have to check with BobC on that warning sign business

    Are you talking about the warning signs of ALZ? Why would you ask me, anyway?

    Wait … what was the question again?


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