JoNova

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The mystery of a massive 9Gt of CO2 that came and went — could it be phytoplankton?

There is a mystery peak in global CO2 levels in 1990. For some reason from 1989 suddenly global carbon levels jumped higher than they normal would and by 9,000 million tonnes (that’s equivalent to 2,500 mT of carbon)*. It’s only a little blip in an upward line, but as a deviation from the long steady norm, it’s a dramatic change (see the second graph below). Within a few years the excess disappeared and the reasonably straight line increase in CO2 resumed. The sudden jump is equivalent to nearly half of our total annual human fossil fuel emissions. Nothing about this peak fits with the timing of human induced fossil fuel emissions. These were not big years in our output (indeed it coincides with the collapse of the soviet block when inefficient Russian industry was shut down) .

The mystery of the massive CO2 bubble exposes how little we know about why CO2 levels rise and fall, and whether human emissions make much difference. The world is spending $4 billion dollars a day trying to change this global CO2 level of 0.04% (400ppm) but apparently other large forces are at work pushing up CO2, and then absorbing it, and we don’t even know what they are.

Tom Quirk has been dedicated in isolating this quixotic spike, and hunting for the cause.  He wondered if the ocean was responsible. By looking at isotopes of carbon he finds that it was not produced out of the dissolved CO2 from the ocean. Instead the CO2 was released from  a biological source, and mostly one in the Northern Hemisphere. With some great sleuthing he finds a remarkable paper from 15 years ago that documents a sudden drop in fish stocks at the same time. He puts forward a suggestion that there was a regime shift in the ocean then, and the currents stopped stirring up as many nutrients. This meant phytoplankton activity was lost, fish starved, and the lack of activity by marine biology meant CO2 accumulated in the air. Within the next few years the phytoplankton recovered and drew out that extra CO2.

It’s as if there was an extra three China’s on Earth for a year — pouring out extra CO2. We see how fast biology absorbs that extra load, and wonder (yet again) what the fuss is all about. Tax the krill instead eh?

–Jo

————————————————————————–

Some inconvenient measurements

Guest Post by Tom Quirk

There is an unexplained atmospheric CO2 “bubble” centred around 1990. The apparent smooth and continuous rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations is broken by an anomaly that can be seen in the figure below.

 

CO2, global variability, 1989

Average yearly CO2 concentrations at the South Pole and Point Barrow from Scripps measurements. The straight line is a best fit to the South Pole data.

 

Average yearly CO2 concentrations at the South Pole and Point Barrow from Scripps measurements. The straight line is a best fit to the South Pole data with an annual increase of 1.5 ppm per year.

Plotting the residual differences of measurements from the straight line fit shows that as the world cooled in the 1960s excess CO2 accumulated at low annual rates. During the 1970s and 1980s CO2 was accruing at about 1.5 ppm per year, the average rate of the last 55 years. Then suddenly in 1989 – 1991 large amounts of CO2 were added to and withdrawn from the atmosphere. A further turning point occurred in 1995 when the annual rate of increase reached its highest level.

 

Residual differences from straight line fit to average yearly CO2 concentrations at the South Pole *see above). Also similar residuals for Mauna Loa and Point Barrow. Note the break in the trends in 1977 and 1995 at the times of phase changes in the PDO and ADO

Residual differences from straight line fit to average yearly CO2 concentrations at the South Pole *see above). Also similar residuals for Mauna Loa and Point Barrow. Note the break in the trends in 1977 and 1995 at the times of phase changes in the  PDO and ADO[1]

The anomaly does not vary significantly from summer to winter.

Carbon Dioxide, CO2, emissions, atmospheric concentration, residuals

The figure above shows the residual differences in the annual value of the CO2 anomaly by latitude for SIO and NOAA measurement stations at the peak years of 1988 to 1991. Notice also that there is no reduction in the anomaly in the Southern Hemisphere where the oceans are said to be the main sink of CO2.

CO2 levels, Latitudes,

Average atmospheric CO2 concentration for 1988-1991 (Source: Scripps).

This anomaly extends from the north to the south latitudes and is the equivalent of 2.5 +/- 0.4 GtC of CO2 entering and leaving the atmosphere.

Where did the CO2 come from?

The isotopic composition of the CO2 tells us whether it comes from the ocean, or from something biological. Carbon has two stable isotopes and is 99% carbon-12 and 1% carbon-13. Let us track the changes in carbon-13 from measurements at SIO sites at the South Pole, Mauna Loa and Point Barrow. The measure δ13C is the difference in tenths of a percent of total carbon from a carbon standard where the ocean is δ13C ~ 0. Plants (alive or dead – fossil fuels) are δ13C ~ -26. This is the result of photosynthesis depleting the fixing of carbon-13 as the lighter carbon-12 CO2 is favoured by having a higher reaction rate.

 

CO2, isotopes, differences, global levels.

Annual values of d13C from monthly measurements at SIO sites at the South Pole, Mauna Loa and Point Barrow. There is a step like decrease in d13C with step changes particularly in 1983, 1987 and 1997 at the time of El Nino’s. The trends from 1989 to 1994 show an increase in d13C

 

There is a step like decrease in δ13C with step changes particularly in 1983, 1987 and 1997 at the time of El Nino’s. The trends from 1989 to 1994 show an increase in δ13C.

Now a simple analysis is to consider the ocean and plants as the two original sources of CO2. We know the isotopic composition of the CO2 so the components in the atmosphere can then be found. These contributions are shown below. There is no peaking in the ocean source CO2 in 1988-91 but a peak in the plant source.

CO2, Global atmospheric levels,  emissions, plant or ocean origin

The residual contribution for the peak can be obtained using the same analysis that was applied to the total CO2 concentration measurements. So the ocean residual differences in the CO2 anomaly show no contribution by latitude for SIO and NOAA measurement stations at the peak years from 1989 to 1991. Thus the original source of the anomaly is a plant contribution. But notice again that there is a constant component in the Southern Hemisphere with no detectable evidence of an ocean interaction.

 

CO2, emissions, residuals, global atmospheric levels, plant or ocean origin.

 

The cause of the anomaly might be variations in sea surface temperatures and winds or biological activity.

In 2000, Hare and Mantua published a detailed study[2] of 100 time series for biological and physical measurements that showed “regime shifts” in 1977 and 1989 in the Northern Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea. The shifts included significant falls in fish growth and size of catches.

So the explanation may be that the fall off in biological activity is due to a fall off in phytoplankton growth as phytoplankton are at the base of the food chain  Wind changes will drive ocean current changes with consequent  changes in the level of nutrients in the water and these may limit the growth of phytoplankton. This is found in El Nino years on the west coast of South America.[3]

The loss of phytoplankton results in less CO2 being removed from the ocean and hence less removed from the atmosphere. So in 1988 the atmosphere becomes enriched in carbon-12 CO2 with a dramatic fall in δ13C.

This 2.5 +/- 0.4 GtC bubble is natural variability on a significant scale. For comparison total fossil fuel emissions were 6.1 GtC in 1990 and only some 50% of these emissions would be absorbed by the oceans according to the present accepted explanation.

This analysis raises the question whether the sources and sinks of CO2 are fully understood.


REFERENCES

[1^] Tom Quirk: Did the Global Temperature Trend Change at the End of the 1990s? (2012) Asia-Pacific J. Atmos. Sci., 48(4), 339-344, DOI:10.1007/s13143-012-0032-4 PDF

[2^] S.R. Hare, N.J. Mantua (2000): Empirical evidence for North Pacific regime shifts in 1977 and 1989. Progress in Oceanography 47, 103–145

[3^] Michael J. Behrenfeld, Robert T. O’Malley, David A. Siegel, Charles R. McClain, Jorge L. Sarmiento, Gene C. Feldman, Allen J. Milligan, Paul G. Falkowski, Ricardo M. Letelier & Emmanuel S. Boss (2006) Climate-driven trends in contemporary ocean productivity: Nature Vol. 444| doi:10.1038/nature05317

* UPDATED to clarify. The bubble is bigger than first thought. The post originally said “2.5Gt of CO2″ but actually it is much more than that. It’s 2.5Gt of carbon, but that is equivalent to a monster sized 9.2Gt of carbon dioxide. (1Gt = 1,000 Mt. 44 tons of CO2 contains 12 tons of carbon.) One extra China on Earth for a year was also changed to “three extra China’s”. h/t to Richard in comments for spotting the incongruent numbers.

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269 comments to The mystery of a massive 9Gt of CO2 that came and went — could it be phytoplankton?

  • #
    overseasinsider

    Woo Hoo! First again. Maybe I can get a red thumb from the Phantom Thumbdowner just for calling them out!!

    215

  • #
    TdeF

    For step functions in CO2 consider

    El Chichón 1982 3,500 Ejected 7 million metric tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere
    Mount Redoubt 1989-1990 Second costliest volcanic eruption in United States history. Caused engine failure of all four engines on KLM Flight 867 after it flew through the ash cloud.
    Mount Pinatubo 1991 847 Largest stratospheric disturbance since Krakatoa eruption in 1883

    100

    • #
      TdeF

      Also

      “The North American Drought of 1988 ranks among the worst episodes of drought in the United States. This multi-year drought began in most areas in 1988 and continued into 1989. The drought caused $60 billion (1988 United States dollars) in damage ($120 billion in 2014 United States dollars, adjusting for inflation). The drought occasioned some of the worst blowing-dust events since 1977 or the 1930s in many locations in the Midwestern United States, including a protracted dust storm, which closed schools in South Dakota in late February 1988. During the spring, several weather stations set records for lowest monthly total precipitation and longest interval between measurable precipitation, for example, 55 days in a row without precipitation in Milwaukee. During the summer, two record-setting heat waves developed, similar to those of 1934 and 1936.”

      If you calculate the amount of vegetation which died across the US, you may have the CO2 you need. Some is locked up in trees, but a huge amount is in perishable grasses and leaves. Similarly in Australia in our most recent major drought. CO2 would have been released. Similarly in the greening of Australia since, the CO2 capture would have the world owing us carbon credits.

      As for feasibility of a drought in the US alone producing a step function of 2ppm in the world’s CO2?

      The weight of the atmosphere 5.1*10^18 kg. So 2ppm means 10^13 kg of extra CO2.

      The area of North America is 24.7 million km^2 or 24.7*10^6*10^6 or 2.5*10^13 square metres. To produce the step function, the production of excess CO2 from unusual loss of grasses in the drought would have to be 1×10^13 kg/2.5*10^13 or 400 grams of extra CO2 per square metre. Of course my calculations could be wrong, but it seems easy for large scale vegetation changes to alter CO2 levels noticeably over a single year. The end of the Australian drought should be similarly noticeable as a step in CO2, at least in the Southern Hemisphere.

      110

      • #
        TdeF

        We know from the C14 bomb graph, that CO2 takes about two years to travel from the North to South Hemisphere across the barrier at the equator. A similar step phenomenon, but reduced and delayed should be visible in CO2 in the Southern Hemisphere around 1991. It seems to be visible in 1990 and 1995, if you allow for the relaxation half time of CO2 of 14 years for reabsorption into the oceans under Henry’s law, as evident in the same C14 graph.

        100

      • #
        Dave in the states

        1988 was the year of the great wild fires throughout the entire western part of North America. I was back east that year but it was in the news on CNN ect… constantly. 1/2 of the forests in Yellowstone Park were burned up…. Idaho, Oregon, Washington, BC, California, New Mexico… it was on fire…

        20

  • #

    I should look up the original data but from your little graph it looks like the up trend in C02 was in 1988 which means whatever the cause it started prior to 1988 and we don’t know what lag there is between production and detection. My point is that you could totally miss a correlation if you look for one in 1990/1 when production of whatever caused this ceased.

    63

  • #
    pat

    as this is about accounting for CO2 emissions…

    Fairfax, which still hasn’t reported the China burning more coal story, finds space for this:

    5 Nov: AFR: IEA set to revise down coal demand forecasts as carbon pledges bite
    by Angela Macdonald-Smith
    It is far from the end for thermal coal, but the path ahead is a difficult one.
    In a move no doubt to be seized on by the anti-coal lobby, the closely-watched International Energy Agency looks to be preparing to revise down its forecast for coal demand growth.
    ???The unexpected slowdown in Chinese coal demand that was particularly evident in 2014 is a factor, but the IEA’s director for energy markets and security, Keisuke Sadamori, points more so to the commitments made by countries in their submitted pledges on greenhouse gas emissions before the COP21 global climate talks in Paris at the end of the month…
    ***But Mr Sadamori’s words signal the IEA is expecting the deceleration in growth to pick up, as long as the estimated $US13.5 trillion in investment in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies required to implement the pledges is indeed forthcoming…
    Mr Sadamori still expected “fairly robust” growth in demand in India and the Association of South-East Asian Nations, given the new coal-fired generation capacity still being built there, ***while hinting at a “substantial slow down” in China…
    http://www.afr.com/business/mining/coal/iea-set-to-revise-down-coal-demand-forecasts-as-carbon-pledges-bite-20151104-gkqhw4

    20

  • #
    me@home

    Tom Quirk says in relation to Fig. 1 that “The straight line is a best fit to the South Pole data with an annual increase of 1.5 ppm per year.” This covers the period from pre-1960 to the present. Haven’t man-made CO2 emissions increased in that time? If so, shouldn’t the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased at an accelerating rather than a steady rate of 1.5 ppm pa if man-made emissions were the culprit they are claimed to be?

    51

  • #
    ExWarmist

    My apologies – OT.

    Exxon Mobile is apparently going to be charged for “Climate Denial”.

    From Zerohedge: NY Attorney General Launches Crack Down On Exxon Over Global Warming Denial

    80

    • #
      ianl8888

      Yes, astonishing – being threatened with prosecution for heresy

      Quite some years ago, I suggested that the daily temperature record may eventually be declared a secret on national security grounds. Scary …

      When will OBummer just go away ? (But Hillary will be worse)

      180

    • #
      wert

      This attack has been expected.

      https://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/rico-teering/

      They have a plan. They try to create some public outrage by getting and publishing company confidential documents from Exxon. Then the outrage could be leveraged to lock climate shackles into the feet of world economy. They seek for influence by attacking a random oil company.

      These are very pestering type of activists. NY Attorney General might be one of them.

      80

  • #

    I was just thinking earlier that no matter how hard we try and what we try, we can’t seem to make it rain when and where we want. Yet we are constantly being told that we have this astounding capability to alter the entire climate of the earth. If we can’t achieve the former, how can we do the latter? I somehow suspect that Mother Earth just rolls along and does her own thing, despite what the insignificant beings on this planet think and do.

    401

    • #
      me@home

      Well said bemused

      60

      • #
        ROM

        Very roughly quoted as posted a few years ago on a blog somewhere!
        ———
        So you want to control the World’s climate?

        Well when you can clearly demonstrate to me that you have full control over a volcano then come back and we will discuss how to control the global climate!

        111

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          I understand your intent, ROM.

          But I have to admit that I find it frustrating when people compare singular events, like volcanic ejecta, with cyclic phenomina, like weather and the climate.

          80

  • #
  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Nathan Mantua, mentioned in the text, is one of the group at UW Seattle, that investigated fish numbers in the north Pacific and thereby “discovered” the PDO.
    See:
    Pacific Decadal Oscillation and …

    30

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘… cool PDO regimes prevailed from 1890-1924 and again from 1947-1976, while warm PDO regimes dominated from 1925-1946 and from 1977 through (at least) the mid-1990′s.’

      The PDO is a major CC driver and apparently CO2 has no case to answer.

      50

  • #

    Basically what Murray Salby was saying (Mr broken record here). The sources of CO2 are not well understood or measured and the variance in the natural emissions often masks or exceeds our contributions.

    160

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Noted.

      The VARIANCE exceeds .

      In absolute terms human emissions (CO2 that is) are lost in the error count for all the other sources.

      KK

      110

      • #

        KK,

        Even the variance doesn’t exceed current human emissions…

        Human emissions increased a fourfold 1958-2013 and are currently ~9 GtC/year or ~4.5 ppmv/year.
        Increase in the atmosphere is ~4.5 GtC/year or ~2.25 ppmv/year.
        The year by year variance is not more than +/- 1 ppmv/year, thus mostly within the increase in the atmosphere and less than half the human contribution:

        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg

        12

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Hello Ferdinand

          Long time no see!

          Welcome back.

          I see nothing has changed though, still reading things that aren’t there?

          My comments related to total OUTPUT of human and natural origin CO2 components.

          I see you haven’t quoted a figure for NATURAL emissions of CO2 nor the variation in that output!

          The variation of output of Natural Origin CO2 is so large that human out put could double and not be noticed in the world atmospherics process.

          Still you want to attribute the increase in atm CO2 to human cause rather than the very obvious natural one.

          Do you want us to be converted to the faith?

          Sorry that’s not possible.

          KK

          10

          • #

            KK,

            We have no exact figures of all the natural emissions and sinks (the latter are always forgotten in these discussions…) but rough indications (based on O2 and δ13C changes) show:

            ~150 GtC/year going in and out the atmosphere within a year (gives a residence time of ~5 years)
            of which:
            ~60 GtC in/out the biosphere over the seasons.
            ~90 GtC in/out the oceans of which:
            ~50 GtC in/out the ocean surface over the seasons.
            ~40 GtC in/out the deep oceans continuously from equatorial upwelling to polar sinks.

            Human emissions are ~9 GtC/year of which:
            ~4.5 GtC/year resides in the atmosphere.
            ~1.0 GtC/year sinks in the biosphere.
            ~0.5 GtC/year sinks in the ocean surface.
            ~3.0 GtC/year sinks in the deep oceans.

            The only parts we know with reasonable accuracy is human emissions (from industry, land use changes are questionable) and increase in the atmosphere. From the natural balance, the sink rate in the biosphere also is known with reasonable accuracy, based on O2 and δ13C balances.

            The absolute height of natural emissions is not of the slightest interest, the difference between natural emissions and natural sinks at the end of the seasonal cycle, a full year, is what changes the CO2 level in the atmosphere. That was negative in every year if the past 57 years of accurate measurements. Nature did exchange lots of CO2 between the different reservoirs, but did add zero, nada CO2 to the atmosphere at the end of each seasonal cycle every year in the past 57 years…

            It doesn’t make any difference if natural emissions were 50, 150 or 500 GtC/year; in all cases the difference with the sinks was negative and last year it was ~4.5 GtC negative, growing with the increase in the atmosphere…

            12

            • #
              KinkyKeith

              “We have no exact figures of all the natural emissions and sinks”

              Exactly!!

              If nature pumps out an extra dose of CO2 for any particular year then THERE WILL NOT BE A SINK AVAILABLE FOR IT.

              It, like human origin CO2 must wait the 5 years before all that CO2 is naturally sequestered by the plant and animal

              life that has developed because of the additional driving CO2 in the air.

              CO2 is a growth forcing.

              A 3% variation in “natural” output of CO2 is 4.5 GtC or half the “Human Origin” CO2 we produce.

              Possibly there are other natural sources which warmers have not owned up to?

              All in all a very showy but glib assessment of CO2 + and – but still capable of fooling the unaware.

              KK

              10

    • #

      But with a difference Safetyguy. Not exactly the Salby view — this is about the life in the oceans rather than just the oceans…

      But yes, similar implications. Human emissions are not that big an influence.

      182

      • #
        Andrew McRae

        So 200% of the atmospheric trend is “not that big an influence”??
        Your continued dismissal of the implications of conservation of mass have been the main reason I haven’t donated to your web site tip jar in the last 4 years. I can’t donate to someone who tears down the credibility of skeptics on such a simple and fundamental topic. We’ve been through this many times, both public and in private emails, yet still you shy away from applying logic to measurements.

        Partition the Earth’s many gigatonnes of carbon atoms into 3 repositories. Atmosphere is the only repository whose contents can be gauged directly, but to settle the causality issue we only need to know inter-annual changes in each repository. As carbon is conserved, over any time interval: ΔIndustry + ΔAtmosphere + ΔEverythingElse = 0 .
        As ΔAtmosphere is absolutely positive and ΔIndustry is surely negative, the sign on ΔEverythingElse will depend on the actual numbers for ΔAtmosphere and ΔIndustry. Get the two known quantities and solve for the unknown quantity. Pick any time period in the last 40 years and get the observational data for these variables (e.g. from CDIAC). Substitute the measurement of ΔAtmosphere, and the estimate of ΔIndustry including whatever uncertainty is realistic, then solve for ΔEverythingElse.
        Is ΔEverythingElse positive or negative, and what does that imply about the cause of ΔAtmosphere?

        Even Dr Quirk was not audacious enough to imply that “Human emissions are not that big an influence”. Saying “the sources and sinks of CO2 are [not] fully understood” is true only in the detail. Indeed, in the very paper Tom cites for support of his plankton die-off theory, the authors stated about the plankton data:

        Even the time series we have assembled have large gaps in them, relatively large annual coefficients of variation, and may not be reliable as indicators of secondary oceanic productivity.

        You see how this game works. Whenever data supports an anthropogenic cause you’ll say there’s huge uncertainties that make the conclusion unreliable… when it isn’t, and when some data supports natural CO2 emission events you’ll treat it as reliable… when it isn’t.

        At the gross level though, no, the direction and magnitude of net flux is easily understood from the measurements we have and conservation of mass. We do not need to know how many plankton were dying in the Pacific North East in 1990 to understand where the global rise in CO2 of the last 40 years originates. You know perfectly well that since global temperatures stopped rising, but CO2 has continued rising, the Henry’s Law argument is on hiatus. In your desperation to shift blame away from industry you’ve played the plankton card. Dr Quirk tells you “Plants (alive or dead – fossil fuels) are δ13C ~ -26″ which implies the observed δ13C downtrend is due to some mixture of fossil emissions and modern plant decay. You exploit the ambiguity of this argument, whereas the proper response is to use an alternative argument which can distinguish between the industrial and natural causes.
        Basically, even plankton are subject to conservation of mass.

        Many of your readers advocate humanity taking CO2 up to 700ppm for the biomass and food benefits it would surely bring. One wonders how they think humanity will achieve that benefit if “Human emissions are not that big an influence”. It isn’t humanity’s achievement unless humanity can cause it.

        313

        • #
          Richard

          Jo, 2.5 Gts of CO2 corresponds to only 0.3ppmv and the increase in CO2 frequently varies by over 0.3ppmv year-to-year. I think you mean 2.5 Gts of carbon – which is equivalent to about 1.2ppmv.

          So 200% of the atmospheric trend is “not that big an influence”??
          Your continued dismissal of the implications of conservation of mass have been the main reason I haven’t donated to your web site tip jar in the last 4 years. I can’t donate to someone who tears down the credibility of skeptics on such a simple and fundamental topic.

          You are not the only one to accuse Jo and Salby of ignoring the consequences of the mass-conservation law of basic physics. However it is not Jo who is ignoring the mass-conservation law; it is the IPCC who are ignoring Henry’s law. The IPCC would have noticed that there is no violation of the mass-conservation law if they had taken notice of Henry’s law, which ordains a fixed ‘partitioning ratio’ of about 1:50 between the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the amount dissolved in the oceans at equilibrium and at current ocean temperature. This implies that only about 2% of human CO2 emissions can stay in the atmosphere to be added to the CO2 greenhouse while the other 98% must be absorbed into the oceans. I explain here (and illustrate with Henry’s law) why the mass-conservation law is not a valid argument when trying to argue that the increase in CO2 must be anthropogenic. I think you should give Salby and Jo more credit. The conservation of mass is not lost on them.

          You know perfectly well that since global temperatures stopped rising, but CO2 has continued rising, the Henry’s Law argument is on hiatus.

          Not necessarily. An increase in atmospheric CO2 could arise without any temperature changes simply due to an increase in CO2 in the oceans which would force more CO2 into the atmosphere and this could occur due to changes in biological activity. A temperature increase of 1C under Henry’s law would only give us an increase in atmospheric CO2 of about 20ppmv (depending on who you speak to), but small changes in biological activity could potentially have larger effects. According to Jaworowski et al (1992) if all biological activity in the ocean were removed “the partial pressure of CO2 would increase by a factor of 5. Hence variations in marine biologic activity alone could account for larger variations in atmospheric CO2 than anthropogenic contributions from burning fossil fuels at the current rate”. I think it’s also worth pointing out that 13C and 14C would be decreasing in the atmosphere regardless if the increase were natural or anthropogenic, because it would decrease simply based on i) the atmospheric CO2 mass increasing which increases residence time and ii) the fact that our emissions are increasing.

          100

          • #
            Richard

            I wrote:

            I explain here (and illustrate with Henry’s law) why the mass-conservation law is not a valid argument when trying to argue that the increase in CO2 must be anthropogenic.

            Just to clarify, of course, the mass-conservation law holds – but warmists are misapplying it by ignoring Henry’s law.

            50

          • #
            Andrew McRae

            Richard exhorted:

            However it is not Jo who is ignoring the mass-conservation law;

            That remains to be demonstrated by Jo, who does not need your help in doing so.

            it is the IPCC who are ignoring Henry’s law.

            Misdirection. No matter what Henry’s Law predicts, observations to date must conform to conservation of mass. It’s also false that the IPCC ignores Henry’s Law:

            [AR5 Ch6, FAQ 6.2] The extra carbon from anthropogenic emissions has the effect of increasing the atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 , which in turn increases the air-to-sea exchange of CO2 molecules. In the surface ocean, the carbonate chemistry quickly accommodates that extra CO2 .As a result, shallow surface ocean waters reach balance with the atmosphere within 1 or 2 years.
            [...] warmer seawater, for instance, has a lower CO2 solubility, so altered chemical carbon reactions result in less oceanic uptake of excess atmospheric CO2.

            Heh, that’s Henry’s Law. In AR5. Written by the IPCC. (That means they didn’t ignore it.)

            I explain here (and illustrate with Henry’s law) why the mass-conservation law is not a valid argument

            No you didn’t, that page was a load of strawmen and hed herrings. We’ve been there, done that. The conclusion back then is the same as the conclusion today:
            → There is no incompatibility between the real ocean actually absorbing aCO2 emissions at a rate of 20% today and a Henry’s Law prediction about pure water that a cumulative 98% quantity would be absorbed by equilibrium time.
            The past is not the future, a rate is not a quantity, and the ocean is not pure water. Or in the words of the IPCC [AR4, Ch7]: “The marine carbonate buffer system allows the ocean to take up CO2 far in excess of its potential uptake capacity based on solubility alone”.
            Henry’s Law alone is insufficient for describing the ocean carbon flux.

            07

            • #
              Richard

              There is no incompatibility between the real ocean actually absorbing aCO2 emissions at a rate of 20% today and a Henry’s Law prediction about pure water that a cumulative 98% quantity would be absorbed by equilibrium time

              You and the IPCC may feel that this is ‘actually’ happening but the problem is that you and the IPCC cannot demonstrate it scientifically. The IPCC’s rationalisations for their beliefs do not hold water and do not stand up to rational scientific scrutiny. That has been demonstrated time and again here on JN’s blog and elsewhere. If the oceans were absorbing only 20% of anthropogenic emissions as you claim then as our emissions increase then so should the rate at which they accumulate in the atmosphere. However, Salby has shown that after a 300% increase in the growth of our emissions there was essentially no change in the growth of atmospheric CO2, which is at odds with your explanation that the oceans are absorbing only 20% of our emissions. However, it is expected consequence of Henry’s law – which predicts that essentially all of our emissions (98%+) will be removed from the atmosphere upon equilibrium. This ‘equilibrium’ should not take very long (definitely not in the order of hundreds of years) considering CO2 molecules are rapidly removed from the atmosphere and rapidly transported to the deep oceans. In the case of CO2 entering and outgassing from the oceans, the rate at which this can happen is surprisingly fast, depending on relative partial pressures of CO2 in atmosphere and oceans respectively of course. Salby’s analysis of the growth rates (and Quirk’s analysis regarding the non time-lag for CO2 distribution between hemispheres suggesting the excess CO2 is absorbed the year it is emitted) would support the fast-equilibria of Henry’s law. Salby’s and Quirk’s analysis are radically at variance with the predictions of the conventional scientific theories which the IPCC pretends its claims are based upon.

              “The marine carbonate buffer system allows the ocean to take up CO2 far in excess of its potential uptake capacity based on solubility alone”. Henry’s Law alone is insufficient for describing the ocean carbon flux.

              I agree that this biological process of CO2 sequestration would allow the oceans to absorb more CO2 through dissolution alone because that CO2 is locked away in phytoplankton and marine animals as POC. Essentially this biological process of CO2 sequestration takes CO2 out of the DIC pool decreasing the partial pressure and allowing the oceans to absorb more than they could before. However it is a separate and independent process of atmospheric CO2 absorption by the oceans, namely simple dissolution according to Henry’s law.

              Heh, that’s Henry’s Law. In AR5. Written by the IPCC. (That means they didn’t ignore it.)

              Yes they do ignore it because they apply the Revelle Factor which violates Henry’s law (see my post or Segalstad 1998). In fact upon testing for the Revelle Factor the IPCC re-discovered Henry’s law but deleted the results from their report as Jeff Glassman explains:

              In trying to rehabilitate the Revelle Factor for AR4, an IPCC author showed that it was temperature dependent, and as can be seen, resembling Henry’s coefficient for CO2 in water. Expert reviewer Nicolas Gruber explained that this dependence was a “common misconception”. Thereupon the IPCC editor deleted the figure for the final report “in order not to confuse the reader”, supposedly with uncomfortable solubility effects.

              No you didn’t, that page was a load of strawmen and red herrings.

              So you say. But it’s all so vague and indeterminate, isn’t it? I have shown (as to have others such as Bart on WUWT) how it is theoretically possible for the oceans to absorb human CO2 while also contributing to the concentration in the atmosphere. Quote:

              The idea that the oceans could have absorbed virtually all the anthropogenic CO2 we have emitted since the industrial revolution (amounting to 2000Gts) while also contributing to the atmospheric increase is entirely consistent with the mass-conservation law.

              To understand why this is true we must understand Henry’s law. The current partitioning ratio at the earth’s average surface temperature of 15C is about 1:50. Let us imagine what would happen when we apply Henry’s law to an increase in atmospheric CO2 and an increase in ocean temperature. Suppose the earth’s oceans contained 40,000Gts/carbon and the atmosphere contained 800Gts/carbon which (according to the IPCC) is approximately how much carbon resides in them both.

              Now suppose the temperature of the oceans increased by 5C above the average surface temperature of 15C to a new temperature of 20C. Under this action the equilibrium partitioning ratio would shift from ~1:50 to ~1:40 (see below) and 200Gts/carbon would be released into the atmosphere upon equilibrium, although this release of course would not be instantaneous.

              Now suppose we injected a pulse concentration amounting to 2000Gts/carbon into the atmosphere, thereby giving it a substantial increase in CO2. Upon that CO2 entering the atmosphere it would create a disequilibrium between CO2(g) and CO2(aq) and thereupon 97% of that CO2 would be absorbed by the oceans upon equilibrium in accordance with the new 1:40 partitioning ratio.

              In this case the oceans have caused the increase in atmospheric CO2 due to an increase in their temperature while also absorbing virtually all the CO2 that we dumped into the atmosphere, which was ten times as much as the oceans released. When you increase the ocean temperature and increase the atmospheric CO2 concentration at the same time you create a displacement in the atmospheric/ocean interface from equilibrium conditions and to maintain equilibrium these perturbations force the reaction to the ‘left’ and ‘right’ simultaneously in accordance with Le Chatelier’s Principle.

              The end result in our hypothetical earth scenario is that upon equilibrium 97% (i.e. 1940Gts/carbon) of CO2 that we injected into the atmosphere will be absorbed by the oceans and 200Gts/carbon will be emitted by the oceans due to the temperature-change. The point here is that the oceans should have no trouble easily absorbing the vast majority of anthropogenic CO2 and if they warmed they could also account for a portion of the increase in atmospheric CO2 as well.

              That remains to be demonstrated by Jo, who does not need your help in doing so.

              Perhaps, but given her non-response I suspect she’s probably given up trying.

              We’ve been there, done that. The conclusion back then is the same as the conclusion today:

              Stop kidding yourself Andrew. You haven’t blown my argument down with that exchange. The supposed failure in my argument that you perceive arise from your own misunderstanding. If I remember, you assumed that I was applying the equation for residence time in an attempt to refute the IPCC’s long adjustment time, but that is not what I was doing. I was applying Henry’s law to the excess human CO2 in the atmosphere. That was all. Upon the oceans absorbing that excess CO2 due to the increased partial pressure the oceans of course would not discriminate between natural or anthropogenic CO2 (i.e. that is to say that the natural CO2 forced down to the oceans for all intents and purposes could be counted as ‘anthropogenic CO2’) – so the residence time argument is moot here and I only brought it up to show that isotopic measurements are not valid proof when arguing that humans have increased the concentration by 40%. That was all. You have been looking repeatedly for gaping flaws in Salby’s argument for a long time already Andrew. Needless to say, you have not found any so far. On the contrary, you seem to have just thrown quotations from pseudoscientist Sabine at me.

              Don’t misconstrue any failure on my part to reply to your future responses as acquiescence.

              I have others things to do, and anyway, I’m sure I would just be banging my head against the wall of your party-script.

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                Richard,

                Another reply of me still is in moderation but here a short reply:

                Henry’s law is for free CO2 only, which is only 1% in the oceans. A 100% change in the atmosphere gives a 100% change in free CO2, but that is only a 1% change in total carbon in the oceans. In equilibrium that gives a 10% increase in the oceans thanks to the Revelle/buffer factor. That factor increases the CO2 uptake and is fully compatible with Henry’s law.

                Dr. Salby is wrong by attributing variability + slope to temperature, while variability is temperature dependent, but slope is hardly. Tom Quirk looked at seasonal changes, but that gives the same lag if you look at 0, 12, 24, 36,… month lags. In reality both the CO2 and δ13C changes start in the NH, where human emissions are. See the graphs in the story above…

                Under this action the equilibrium partitioning ratio would shift from ~1:50 to ~1:40

                Which shows that you don’t understand Henry’s law. The fast response is between surface and atmosphere. The much colder deep oceans play zero role, neither does CO2 content of the liquid. Only temperature (of the surface) counts. It doesn’t make a difference if you shake a 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 bottle of Coke from the same batch: under the screw cap you will measure the same CO2 pressure at the same temperature.

                What we inject in the atmosphere ultimately will mix with 1:50 with the deep oceans, but that is not instantly, that a slow process with a half life time of over 40 years. Reason why there still is an increase in the atmosphere and only half human emissions is absorbed…

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                Andrew McRae

                Similarly, Richard, you should not misconstrue an absence of response to any of your other specific points as a concession of the same. Not that I should bother with wading through so many nebulous handwaving, strawmen, True Scotsmen, and red herrings. (You’re still ignoring the mass deficit of your argument, despite the measurements that show it being in the first data table of your own blog post.)

                Despite your attempt to personalise the issue, this isn’t about me. People do not give up arguing against me, they give up arguing against the mass-balance principle. That is not unusual as the principle is real and applies to the Earth independent of any observer’s preferences. This explains why you give up arguing against everyone who offers the mass-balance principle in debate, such as Ferdinand most recently. You eventually cannot debate with the person because you cannot disprove the argument – no matter who presents it.

                The key indicator that your position is due to your stubborn ideological fanaticism and not to any objective argument is the regularity with which you believe products of your imagination without checking. Your original complaints about the mass-balance argument simply revealed you don’t understand the argument, and you are arguing against what you imagine the mass-balance argument to be rather than what it actually is. You didn’t check. All subsequent efforts made to explain the argument to you were evaded with red herrings, strawmen, and True Scotsmen.

                You’ve provided a new example of your imagination gone wild in your last reply:

                You have been looking repeatedly for gaping flaws in Salby’s argument for a long time already Andrew. Needless to say, you have not found any so far.

                It’s a rather bold move to claim that an event has never happened as it requires you to check all of history everywhere. Had you made sufficient effort at checking your hypothesis against reality, instead of simply believing the products of your imagination (see the pattern), you would have found in fact that I did find a gaping flaw in Salby’s argument 13 months ago.
                But you didn’t check.

                Following the pattern, you will now ignore the gaping hole in Salby’s argument by either never replying to this point, or by introducing some No True Scotsman fallacy about Salbyism to pretend the true Salbyism doesn’t have that hole, or importing a red herring to distract from the gaping hole, or inventing a strawman about mass balance.

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            Richard,

            We have been there before, somewhere else (WUWT?), don’t remember…

            You need to make a distinction between residence time, which is a measure of how much is going in and out as mass and the decay rate of an extra mass above steady state. Only the latter does change the amounts in the atmosphere and the ocean surface against the deep oceans. The residence time has zero influence on mass changes, as long as ins and outs are equal.

            Henry’s law is for the solubility of CO2 as gas in atmosphere and seawater, in the latter dissolved free CO2 is only 1% of all carbon species, 90% is bicarbonate and 9% is carbonate, which play no role in Henry’s law, but they enhance the solubility of total carbon: a 100% change in the atmosphere will give a 10% change in the ocean surface instead of a 1% by Henry’s law. That is what the Revelle/buffer factor says. That is easily proven by the figures: the increase of DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) in the ocean surface in several longer time series (Bermuda, Hawaii), show an increase at about 10% of the increase in the atmosphere. See:
            http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/27-1_bates.pdf

            Further, forget the ideas of the late Dr. Jaworowski and Ernst Beck. Let them rest in peace together with their ideas about ice cores (completely refuted already in 1996 by the work of Etheridge e.a. on three Law Dome ice cores) and historical measurements (mostly at places completely unsuitable to measure “background” CO2)…
            See:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html
            and
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

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          Peter C

          Hi Andrew,

          I think that I have read you on this before.

          However could you explain this?

          Partition the Earth’s many gigatonnes of carbon atoms into 3 repositories. Atmosphere is the only repository whose contents can be gauged directly, but to settle the causality issue we only need to know inter-annual changes in each repository. As carbon is conserved, over any time interval: ΔIndustry + ΔAtmosphere + ΔEverythingElse = 0 .

          I understand the mass equation. But Industry is not a repository. So what is delta Industry?
          Should industry be considered a term in delta Everything Else?

          On a different tack; you consider that Jo is peddling false science. On another view she is providing a platform for you to explain your views. I think that this forum is invaluable on that issue alone.

          This post is a bit old now, but I will check back incase you notice and reply.

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            Andrew McRae

            Industry is not a repository.

            Okay, yes, it’s a poor choice of words. Assume by industry I mean “Fossil Fuels, limestone quarries, and Crops under management”. I thought “Industry” was more succinct, but sorry the intended meaning was not obvious.
            As industry is not just a process but is also a thing, including stockpiles of carbon, I thought “Industry” would be okay. Coal mines are stocks of carbon under human accounting and isolated from EverythingElse, for example.
            In future I will try to find a better term for it. Thanks for the feedback.

            Should industry be considered a term in delta Everything Else?

            No, that would be completely contrary to the purpose of the equation, which is to decide if Industry or Nature is the main cause for recent CO2 rise. Technically the model should include a transfer of carbon from EverythingElse to Industry to account for where the CO2 emitted by cement production comes from, but this is such a small number compared to fossil fuels it doesn’t change the conclusion. Look up the measurements of both and you’ll see what I mean.

            Even if you were to include a transfer from EverythingElse into Industry to recognise new fossil fuel mines and wellheads, it still would not change the result by much. That is because the consumption rate of fossil fuels has been greater than the discovery rate for about the last 25 years (at least until 2010 when I last checked the stats), implying ΔIndustry is still negative. So the amount being removed from EE by discovery is less than the amount being returned to EE via the atmosphere, with the remainder being the amount accumulating in the atmosphere.

            Even if you account for in-ground carbon as part of EverythingElse right up until it is actually extracted, in which case the Industry extraction rate is nearly equal to the emission rate and the ΔEverythingElse is negative 4.2 GtC/y, the answer is still that Industry makes a net contribution of 7.8GtC/year into the Atmosphere whereas EverythingElse subtracts 3.8GtC/y from it. If that sounds incredible or counter-intuitive, okay you don’t have to believe me, but instead you must work through the numbers yourself.
            There are no massive carbon sequestration projects. Industry could only be a net sink of carbon by the smallest amount, due to building things out of wood and concrete. Therefore, even with the natural fluxes being 10 times larger than the Anthropogenic ones, even with phytoplankton going gangbusters, the only way the numbers can meet conservation of mass and the observational constraints always leads to the same conclusion.
            It’s no contest as to what has caused the rise in CO2.

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      TdeF

      Selby found no correlation between CO2 and temperature. He did find a good correlation between the integral of temperature and CO2. To me that rings like integration, turning an impulse, a hot day, into warming. So something big is being warmed. That would be the oceans which cover 2/3 of the planet. So warming the oceans releases CO2. It all fits.

      As for not knowing where CO2 comes from. Someone is kidding. 98% of the CO2 gas is in the oceans. Another tiny 2% released and aerial CO2 would double. By my calculations that would take about a 2C average increase in the top layer. The IPCC do their best to argue that the oceans have little to do with CO2. They are wrong.

      Psuedo scientists always talk about the temperature where we live, in the first 1km of air over land in tropical and temperate climates largely. This is 1/10th of the world area, but it is all we know. For example Antarctica is the size of South America and no one live there. One day even Tim Flannery will realise that the oceans and water (liquid, gas, clouds, steam, rain, snow, rivers, fog, lakes) and the sun control every aspect of our climate. Man’s contribution is almost insignificant.

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        TdeF

        Prof. Salby made the same error as many before him: there is a high correlation between the variability around the trend, but that says next to nothing about the cause of the trend. When he integrates the whole bunch, he integrates both the variability (which is certainly temperature driven) and the trend (which is hardly temperature driven) and thus attributes the full trend to temperature which is highly questionable, as that violates Henry’s law.

        Moreover, near all the variability is the reaction of (land + ocean) vegetation on temperature changes, while the long term trend (>3 years) in vegetation is more sink than source. Vegetation is not the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere, the earth is greening…

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          KinkyKeith

          The Earth’s oceans have been getting warmer for the last 800,000 years.

          Would that mean that CO2 is continually being expressed from the oceans in greater amounts each year?

          Check the post: No human involvement was involved in this “warming”.

          http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/weekend-unthreaded-100/#comment-1762743

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            KK,

            The deep oceans have hardly warmed (0.002°C according to the ARGO data), but that is not even relevant, as Henry’s law shows about 16 ppmv/°C for seawater in dynamic equilibrium with the atmosphere. For the current average 15°C of the ocean surface, that gives ~290 ppmv at steady state. We are at ~400 ppmv, thus the net CO2 flux is from atmosphere into the oceans, not reverse (at ~3 GtC/year net sink rate).

            Over the past 800,000 years the deep oceans warmed and cooled, but the last interglacial was ~2°C warmer than the current one, forest growing at the North Slope of Alaska up to the Ice Sea with CO2 levels at ~300 ppmv, not 400 ppmv…

            The link you provided shows an incoherent story, while surface measurements show a real increase in IR back radiation in polar regions over time in the CO2 active bands…

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              KinkyKeith

              Between glaciations there are temperature maxima.

              Over the last 800,000 years the ocean maxima have increased by 2.2 C deg.

              That’s NATURAL global warming.

              It’s contrary to what I expected.

              KK

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    pat

    6 Nov: ABC triple j: James Purtill: Indonesian fires: Forget the orangutans, is the blaze a tipping point for carbon emissions?
    They have shortened by up to two years the window to reduce carbon emissions and avoid runaway climate change, according to one of the CSIRO’s leading climate scientists.
    The head of the Global Carbon Project at the CSIRO, Pep Canadell, said the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may have exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in 2 million years, because of the 1 billion tonnes of carbon released by the fires in a two-month period…
    Dr Canadell said the daily emissions of the Indonesian fires had been equal to the daily emissions of the US, accelerating humanity’s progress along the upward line of global emissions by about one to two years.
    “The atmosphere has not seen 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in 2 million years. It’s an incredible thing,” Dr Canadell said…
    ***What Dr Canadell is not saying is that from now on climate change will be a runaway process. The tipping point is socio-economic, not physical…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-06/indonesian-fires-forget-the-orangutans2c-is-this-a-tipping/6916872

    20 Oct: Uni of Alaska Fairbanks: Alaska fires release more carbon than trees absorb
    More frequent forest fires have turned Alaska’s Yukon Flats into a net exporter of carbon to the atmosphere, according to a new analysis. This is worrisome, researchers said, because Arctic and sub-Arctic boreal forests like those of the Yukon Flats contain roughly one-third of the Earth’s terrestrial carbon stores.
    The research is reported in the journal Nature Climate Change…
    For the new analysis, the research team plugged their data into a computer model of carbon cycling for the study area developed by co-authors Helene Genet, A. David McGuire and colleagues of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and U.S. Geological Survey.
    “Having these data allowed us to simulate not only recent decades, but the entire past millennium of carbon cycling,” said lead author Ryan Kelly, a former graduate student at the University of Illinois and a former visiting student with McGuire at UAF…
    http://news.uaf.edu/alaska-fires-release-carbon-trees-absorb/

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    pat

    nothing ever disproves CAGW!

    5 Nov: WaPo: Stephen Stromberg:No, China’s bad emissions numbers don’t disprove global warming
    “Oops!” Post contributor Ed Rogers responded..
    “If the climate change activists were off by 1 billion tons of emissions just from coal use from one country and that’s data they used to contrive the models that “prove” the “settled science” of man-made global warming, what else are they wrong about? And what makes us think these numbers are accurate now?”
    Perhaps the fact that the “settled science” of global warming doesn’t rest on recent Chinese government emissions numbers — but, rather, on the basic physics indicating that heat-trapping gases trap heat; on various measurements of how much carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere and how that number has increased; on the patterns of warming we have seen suggesting human influence on measured temperature changes; on comparisons of carbon dioxide concentrations to global temperature over the course of decades and centuries, not a handful of years; and so forth. Dodgy Chinese emissions numbers since 2000 raise a few interesting questions for climate scientists. But they don’t discredit the field…
    Perhaps China’s recent admission that it has been releasing a lot more carbon dioxide into the air than it previously disclosed is a sign its government will be more straightforward from now on…
    But the world can’t rely on assurances from China — or anyone else. The Paris agreement must have accountability at its core. If climate negotiators weren’t convinced before, they should be now.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/11/05/no-chinas-bad-emissions-numbers-dont-disprove-global-warming/

    5 Nov: Council on Foreign Relations Blog: Michael Levi: China Recalculates its Coal Consumption: Why This Really Matters
    (This was originally posted by my colleague and co-author Elizabeth Economy on CFR’s Asia Unbound blog)
    What does all this mean? The short answer is nothing good. Here are just a few of the implications:
    2.Assuming that Chinese industrial production and manufacturing statistics are accurate, the dramatic increase in coal consumption that is now reported suggests that the gains in Chinese energy efficiency, as well as the reductions in energy intensity (the amount of energy consumed per unit of GDP), that have been touted over the past decade are much less than assumed—or perhaps they are nonexistent.
    3.China’s pledge that its CO2 emissions will peak around 2030 is suddenly much less significant than it was one year ago—and even then many analysts argued that it wasn’t significant enough. After all, we are now dealing with a baseline of CO2 emissions that is substantially higher than we originally believed…
    http://blogs.cfr.org/levi/2015/11/05/china-recalculates-its-coal-consumption-why-this-really-matters/

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    Kenneth Richard

    http://www.clim-past.net/11/647/2015/cp-11-647-2015.pdf
    Despite the substantial dispersion of CO2 estimations, a character and a chronology of CO2 concentration changes are much closer to temperature changes rather than to heat flux variations. It may mean no significant contribution of CO2 forcing to climatically caused heat flux and thus to the temperature increase during Pleistocene–Holocene warming. About 10 kyr BP the increase of carbon dioxide concentration was replaced by its fall which ended about 8 kyr BP. This local minimum [in CO2 concentration] is not consistent with either GST [ground surface temperature] or SHF [surface heat flux] histories. It is possible that the CO2 decrease was associated with a sharp increase of vegetation absorbing its excess. … The reconstructed surface heat flux reflects impact of all possible sources of radiative forcing. In addition to solar insolation, greenhouse gases (such as CO2) can be a source of additional forcing. On the other hand the increase of carbon dioxide may be a consequence of temperature increasing. Comparing the chronology of surface flux, temperature and carbon dioxide concentration changes, we can draw some conclusions about the causes of climate change. … The increase of carbon dioxide concentrations occurred 2–3 thousands of years later than the heat flux increase and synchronously with temperature response.
    —–
    http://www.atmosfera.unam.mx/jzavala/OceanoAtmosfera/Physics%20of%20the%20Atmosphere%20and%20Climate%20-%20Murry%20Salby.pdf
    “Revealed bynatural perturbations to the Earth-atmosphere system, the sensitivity accounts for much of the observed variation of CO2 emission on interannual time scales (Fig. 1.43). It establishes that GMT cannot increase without simultaneously increasing CO2 emission – from natural sources. … The results for the two periods are in broad agreement. Together with the strong dependence of CO2 emission on temperature (Fig. 1.43), they imply that a significant portion of the observed increase in r˙CO2 derives from a gradual increase in surface temperature.” pg. 253

    —–

    Warming of SST (by any mechanism) will increase the outgassing of CO2 while reducing its absorption. Owing to the magnitude of transfers with the ocean, even a minor increase of SST can lead to increased emission of CO2 that rivals other sources.” pg. 546
    —–
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/9045/2010/acpd-10-9045-2010.html
    The ratio of CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere to the CO2 flux into the atmosphere due to human activity, the airborne fraction (AF), is central to predict changes in earth’s surface temperature due to greenhouse gas induced warming. This ratio has remained remarkably constant in the past five decades
    —–
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009GL040613/full
    Abstract: [T]he 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.

    Conclusion: From what we understand about the underlying processes, uptake of atmospheric CO2 should react not to a change in emissions, but to a change in concentrations. A further analysis of the likely contributing processes is necessary in order to establish the reasons for a near-constant AF [ratio of CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere to the CO2 flux into the atmosphere due to human activity] since the start of industrialization. The hypothesis of a recent or secular trend in the AF cannot be supported on the basis of the available data and its accuracy.
    —–
    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/281111296_RESPONSIVENESS_OF_ATMOSPHERIC_CO2_TO_ANTHROPOGENIC_EMISSIONS_A_NOTE
    A statistically significant correlation between annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions and the annual rate of accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere over a 53-year sample period from 1959-2011 is likely to be spurious because it vanishes when the two series are detrended. The results do not indicate a measurable year to year effect of annual anthropogenic emissions on the annual rate of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.
    —–
    http://ej.iop.org/images/1748-9326/8/1/011006/erl459410f3_online.jpg
    “However, it is the dependence of the airborne fraction on fossil fuel emission rate that makes the post-2000 downturn of the airborne fraction particularly striking. The change of emission rate in 2000 from 1.5% yr-1 to 3.1% yr-1 (figure 1), other things being equal, would [should] have caused a sharp increase of the airborne fraction” —- Hansen et al, 2013
    —–
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL023027/full
    There is clear similarity between Figures 1b and 1c, with the positive CO2 growth rate anomalies corresponding to El Niño events, and the negative growth rate anomalies corresponding to La Niña events. The largest positive CO2 growth rate anomalies are coincident with large Niño3 values in 1973, 1988 and 1998. By contrast, the 2003 CO2 growth rate anomaly follows a small Niño3 value suggesting a weak El Niño, and the Niño3 preceding the 2002 CO2 rise is actually slightly negative.

    We have shown that the 2003 ΔCO2 was anomalously large given the size of the preceding El Niño, and that 2002 was larger than expected but not significantly so. It is unlikely that these anomalies can be explained by an abrupt increase in anthropogenic emissions, as the anomalies are much larger than annual increases in fossil fuel emissions. Most interannual variability in the CO2 growth rate is attributable to variations in land-atmosphere CO2 exchange with climate (e.g., associated with ENSO or volcanic perturbations), and the same is likely to be true for 2002 and 2003.
    —–

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ef800581r
    [T]he analytical results also then support the IPCC analysis and data on the longer “adjustment time” (∼100 years) governing the long-term rising “quasi-equilibrium” concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. For principal verification of the adopted PSR model, the data source used was the outcome of the injection of excess 14CO2 into the atmosphere during the A-bomb tests in the 1950s/1960s, which generated an initial increase of approximately 1000% above the normal value and which then declined substantially exponentially with time, with τ = 16 years, in accordance with the (unsteady-state) prediction from and jointly providing validation for the PSR analysis. With the short (5−15 year) RT [residence time] results shown to be in quasi-equilibrium, this then supports the (independently based) conclusion that the long-term (∼100 year) rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is not from anthropogenic sources but, in accordance with conclusions from other studies, is most likely the outcome of the rising atmospheric temperature, which is due to other natural factors. This further supports the conclusion that global warming is not anthropogenically driven as an outcome of combustion.

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      KinkyKeith

      An assessment by MFJ from 2011 of the relative place of Human Origin CO2 in the Greenhouse Effect.

      http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/new-science-18-finally-climate-sensitivity-calculated-at-just-one-tenth-of-official-estimates/#comment-1762105

      I have stood near the relatively controlled lava flow on the big island of Hawaii and have also been at the rim of the volcano on the island of Tanna in the outlying islands of Vanuatu.

      Massive amounts of heat and energy coming through.

      If a rough estimate was needed they would each be pumping out as much off gas and heat energy as a few iron and steel making plants. Multiply this effect by all the volcanoes around the place and you have a huge NATURAL input of gas to our “pure” air.

      Of course what is not seen is out of mind; at least to the ipccc and the u n.

      Oceanic rents and tears emitting gas , perhaps even the dreaded CO2, are arguably many times what humans could even dream of creating.

      The whole thing is a quantitative joke.

      KK

      KK

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        KK,

        Even the Pinatubo eruption (larger than all other volcanoes of the past century together) didn’t increase the CO2 levels that year, to the contrary. The temperature drop and increased photosynthesis by light scattering of the aerosols show a drop in CO2 rate of change…

        CO2 emissions from volcanoes are estimated 1% of human emissions, based on direct emission measurements around active volcanoes, e.g. mount Etna in Italy.

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      Kenneth Richard,

      Increase in the atmosphere from warming oceans is not more than 16 ppmv/°C or ~10 ppmv of the 70 ppmv since 1958.
      A more or less constant airborne fraction means a fourfold increase of CO2 rate of change in the same period. But that is no law: human emissions increased slightly quadratic in the past 57 years, which gives a slightly quadratic increase in the atmosphere and thus of the net sink rate, as the latter depends of the total CO2 pressure above steady state, not the momentary human emissions. That results in a near-linear CO2 emissions rate of change and a near-linear atmospheric CO2 rate of change.

      All the variability is from temperature variability, but only 10% of the slope is from warming oceans and 90% is from human emissions.

      23

  • #
    handjive

    Why The News Of China’s Underreported Coal Consumption Won’t Derail A Climate Deal

    We have known for some time that China was underreporting coal consumption,” Nicole Ghio, a campaign representative of the Sierra Club’s International Climate Program, told ThinkProgress.

    “This is not entirely news,” Li told ThinkProgress.

    “The information in relation to this particular issue has already been known for at least a year and a half.”
    . . .
    Just contemplate for a moment how many world leaders have kept this quiet for two years, whilst making, and claiming, planet saving deals.

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    • #
      Peter C

      On the one hand they say the China’s coal use is much higher than has been reported. On the other hand it is claimed that China’s coal consumption is declining.

      I don’t know how anyone can have confidence in the second statement after reading the first.

      120

    • #
      Mike

      In any case, the article is a load of bollocks if it does not include information about the collapsed Baltic Dry Index, the mega crash of the Au commodities boom, the mega crash of coal mining companies being sold for pennies in the dollar, the mega collapse of the global economy so that austerity is swallowing up most of Europe and the rest of the world….

      Time to start thinking for ones self.
      Ok, the clue is that any form of economic collapse will reduce emissions of all kinds, and that includes CO2.

      20

    • #
      Mike

      What An Industrial Depression Looks Like: Photos From An Australian Heavy-Machinery Auction.

      How about we all give ourselves a pat on the back and include the china (A geographical location) … I am sure deliveries of coal to that location have fallen sharply and so this should cover the bogus under reporting article which does not include this startling fact in it.

      The article is your typical article about these matters which completely fails to be the ‘full two bob’ as we say here in Au.

      00

  • #
    el gordo

    The 1989-90 CO2 burp remains an enigma, so I’m going out on a limb by suggesting it might be related to ‘a severe geomagnetic storm which struck Earth on March 13, 1989. It occurred during solar cycle 22 and caused the collapse of Hydro-Québec’s electricity transmission system.’

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    pat

    MotherJones’s James West wrote a gotcha piece (forget the fact all MSM/pollies/NGOs have been pretending China has cut back on coal even tho they knew this not to be true. however, MotherJones had to include an ***Update from Chris Buckley/NYT, which explains why West’s gotcha was a fail.
    read the article for the timeline of what was kind of known prior to Buckley’s article this week:

    4 Nov: MotherJones: James West: Sorry, New York Times: Your Big China Story is “Old News.”
    ***Update, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 10:30 p.m. EST: New York Times China correspondent Chris Buckley told me that the Chinese statistics made available in February were known only as a preliminary statistical “abstract.” So while the actual data has been public for some time, the fresh figures to which Buckley refers in his article, he says, “fleshes out in much greater detail the revisions flagged in the statistical abstract”, and there might be some “slight differences” between the preliminary abstract and the later, completely finalized data.
    As to whether the new revisions scramble climate negotiators in the run up to Paris, Buckley acknowledges the Chinese likely had input into the latest UN synthesis report. But he says there are still questions and uncertainties to grapple with about how the upward adjustments translate into actual emissions. “The other point, too, is that making muted, conjectural adjustments in a background report is one thing; having explicit official and detailed confirmation from China that coal consumption has been greatly underestimated is another,” Buckley wrote.
    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/11/sorry-new-york-times-your-big-china-story-old-news

    from MotherJones: James West is senior digital editor for Mother Jones, and before that, the senior producer for its reporting project Climate Desk…ames has a masters of journalism under his belt from NYU, and has produced a variety of award-winning shows in his native Australia, including the national affairs program Hack.

    ***not surprised!

    Wikipedia: James West (Australian journalist)
    He was born in Sydney and attended high school at Barker College, an independent school in Hornsby, a North Shore suburb of Sydney. He is a graduate of the University of Sydney (Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications) and New York University (Masters of Journalism). He has worked as a radio producer for the ***Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney, in Beijing as a Foreign Expert at China Radio International where he was the inaugural producer of leading Australian podcast Mr Science Show, and as Producer of ***Triple J’s national, daily current affairs program, Hack. He has also worked in television as a producer of the Insight program at ***SBS Television…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_West_(Australian_journalist)

    20

    • #
      toorightmate

      My guess is that of the people who know of VW’s emission fiasco, less than 0.1% would know it related to emissions gases of nitrogen.

      80

  • #
    pat

    final for tonite.
    Fairfax believes the banks will limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees!!!

    6 Nov: SMH: Elizabeth Knight: Being green is the new black for Australian banks
    In the lead-up to Paris climate change talks, it seems that green is the new black for several large Australian companies, and, in particular, the Commonwealth and National Australia banks
    If their actions live up to the public commitments regarding control of carbon emissions and global warming targets, they will show up our government’s action as being well behind the curve.
    ***In particular, all the banks are talking about limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees.
    The banks have upped the ante on climate, which, alongside gender and a focus on promoting innovation, has become a touchstone issue…
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/green-is-the-new-black-for-australian-banks-20151105-gkrj4o.html

    Bloomberg sees the financial sector as CAGW saviours too:

    6 Nov: Bloomberg: Anna Hirtenstein: Investors From Blackrock to HSBC Call for Better Emissions Tests
    A group of institutional investors with a total of 12 trillion euros ($13 trillion) of assets under management have called for changes to be made to the European Union’s carbon emissions-testing program for road vehicles.
    The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change has 118 members including BlackRock Inc., Aberdeen Asset Management Plc and HSBC Investments. They are urging for the EU to restore confidence in testing procedures and examine vehicle performance while driving on the road rather than just in laboratories. The investors are also asking for other pollutants to be tested for…
    “Some investors have lost significant investment value. Trust in emissions data urgently needs to be restored so that investors can be sure that official data is reliable,” Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the IIGCC, said in the letter addressed to EU policymakers…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-06/investors-from-blackrock-to-hsbc-call-for-better-emissions-tests

    11

  • #
    Peter Azlac

    Tom
    “The cause of the anomaly might be variations in sea surface temperatures and winds or biological activity”.

    This topic was discussed over at ClimateAudit in 2007 with no definitive conclusion:
    http://climateaudit.org/2007/11/29/co2-levels/

    40

    • #

      Thanks Peter,

      Did remember my contribution there, but didn’t remember that it was already 8 years ago… Still many skeptics think that humans which emit about double the increase in the atmosphere are not the cause of the increase…

      01

  • #
    RoHa

    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me.

    (A methane spike, yes. That’s a possibility. Those curried chick peas…)

    50

  • #
    Ruairi

    Alarmists kick up a great fuss,
    And for reasons they never discuss,
    Why they blame an increase,
    Or sporadic release,
    Of carbon dioxide on us.

    141

  • #

    How well do phytoplanckton cope with being nuked?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Worldwide_nuclear_testing.svg
    I am still waiting for the evolution of the Granny Smith phytoplanckton to double the ocean uptake every day for 14 years or so. 2,4,8,16,32……no other living thing left alive on the surface.

    40

  • #
    toorightmate

    If the bubble is a concern and appears inexplicable, simply apply a drop of homogenisation.

    41

  • #

    Maybe people would be interested in my little analysis where I show the uptake of CO2 from the Mauna Loa monthly.

    Here’s the graph:

    We see the big uptake in 1991 at around 6.79 ppm

    40

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    Looks like the html tag for images does not work… here’s the file: http://simonfiliatrault.com/Climate/CO2_Seasonal_Uptake.png

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  • #
    King Geo

    “The world is spending $4 billion dollars a day trying to change this global CO2 level of 0.04% (400ppm)” – quoting from Jo’s 2nd paragraph – this article. Well this quote immediately made me think of that very catchy 1988 Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t worry be happy” – well in light of that $4 billion dollars a day being squandered maybe Bobby should release another version of his hit song entitled “Yes worry be unhappy” with lyrics including

    “Oh my fellow man we should all worry and be very very unhappy because Religious Warmist Zealots in our Society have been very very rash”,

    “You see they are promoting a myth called the Theory of AGW which results in them burning $4 billion dollars daily of our hard earned cash”.

    140

  • #
    ROM

    When you only have an hour or so to try and research a challenge as Jo has presented us here, its a bit hard to round up any sensible ideas that just very remotely might have some faint hope of contributing to the answer to the questions posed.
    And being untrained in science makes it just that much harder

    I was in a nearly two decade long farming partnership with one of my brothers. We got involved a lot of hairy projects and gained somewhat of a reputation in the local farming scene for being slightly crazy but usually accompanied by considerable head scratching as we seemed to usually get away with whatever rabbit hole we had currently got ourselves into.
    This was partially due to us having a “Crazy Ideas Department”.
    The other party wasn’t allowed to directly criticize the current crazy idea being thrown up but had to dissect it which nearly always led to the whole thing being considered from a number of completely different angles and a way out of current rabbit hole being found even if it made the employees and locals eyes roll.

    So heres my crazy ideas contribution, not the answer but maybe a contribution to “Jo’s” softly suggested question on where the hell did that late 1980′s pulse of CO2 come from”.
    ————
    I would very much like to see the equivalent graph from the same period for Methane to see if there was also a massive pulse of Menthane a short time before the CO2 pulse was registered.
    IF [ ! ] there was a major pulse of methane shortly before or around the time of the CO2 pulse thats probably where the answer lays.
    If not then the rest of this my post is a waste of good space.

    Methane is darn good bacteria food for a couple of ocean dwelling bacteria.

    The classic case here being the Gulf of Mexico’s Deep Horizon oil well disaster a few years back where immense quantities of methane as well as oil were released into the Gulf waters with all sorts of doomsday scenarios being promptly predicted by every instantaneous savant expert who knew instinctively when a good disaster could be milked of everything it had.

    The problem got a bit serious for the “savant experts” when all that methane , and there was one hell of a lot of it, failed to appear and in fact dissappeared to everybody’s astonishment.
    Our little bacteria friends had got themselves a brand new supermarket sized load of tucker and promptly do what bacteria do and turned all that immense amount of methane deep in the gulf waters into other things, including as biological creatures are wont to do, lots and lots of CO2.

    [ Bacteria ate up all the methane that spilled from the Deepwater Horizon we]

    Thats the first part of my suggested solution;

    The next part is to find a decent source on billions of tonnes of Methane

    Astonishingly I never knew that methane laden Permafrost underlies around an extraordinary 25% of the global land surface plus also underlaying some of the shallow continental shelves particularly under the Arctic ocean.

    The Siberian Permafrost, despite ll the usual alarmist claims doesn’t seem to be doing anything more than it has ever done. Sometimes it melts a bit and other times it freezes up again . But its deep and its been there in its immensity for a few hundred thousand years past .

    Some of the following is based on Joachim Jansen ‘s thesis ; Methane emissions from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf

    The East Siberian Shelf is a very large , shallow continental shelf located in the Arctic, north of eastern Siberia [ map page 18 ]

    During the Last Glacial Maximum (19 kyr ago), the sealevel was 100 m lower and the Arctic Ocean coastline was located ±1000 km up north. Continuous subzero air temperatures enabled deep (1500m) and continuous permafrost formation in the entire Arctic coastal plain at that time. The ESAS has been submerged in relatively warm seawater (ΔT= +12°C) during most of the Holocene, and as a result the subsea permafrost has started to thaw

    The East Siberian Shelf is also located adjacent to the deep ocean very volcanic and tectonically active Arctic Ocean’s Gakkel Ridge which runs from the central Siberia’s coast right up to the North Pole.

    Along with a lot of other global oceanic changes and shifts in currents that occurred around the 80′s including of course and the further shifts in the ocean’s systems were due to the still not understood or cause explained Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1978, there were large changes in the arctic sea ice flows and ice accumulations in the late 1980′s.
    Variability in Arctic sea ice drift

    As the very shallow East Siberian Shelf was one of the areas affected by the large shift in the Arctic ice patterns, just maybe there was a very heavy flux of warm water made its way into the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait as has also happened recently, and had a big effect on the increasingly unstable permafrost that lays under the East Siberian Shelf , releasing very large amounts of Methane from the shelf which was promptly digested by a methane eating bacterial species and emerged from the Arctic ocean as a CO2 pulse over some three or more years.

    Yeh ! I know, another crazy idea. But is the suggestion any worse than others made by the experts?

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    • #
      Robk

      If the biological agents responded fairly quickly to methane release then your proposition wouldn’t necessarily require a large atmospheric methane response. Any residuals would be dealt with by the sun within a couple of years, again, adding to the CO2 blip.
      There were reports of sinkholes forming somewhere in Siberia I think, not sure of the timing. In any case I find it reassuring that the earth systems take these fluctuations it it’s stride and we hardly notice.

      10

      • #
        Robk

        Alternatively, if there was a marked decrease in atmospheric methane around the same time as CO2 blip, perhaps there was a solar flare or increased ozone activity burning off background atmospheric methane?

        10

        • #
          Robk

          There may also be an issue with fugitive gases from the energy sector. I believe Russia had an issue with lots of leaky pipe work, again, not sure of the timing, or the amounts.

          10

  • #
    pat

    wasn’t planning to return here tonite, but…

    6 Nov: SMH: Tom Arup: How climate change influenced Australia’s extreme weather in 2014
    PHOTO CAPTION: Adelaide is the hottest city on the planet
    On January 16, 2014, forecast temperatures for Adelaide surpassed all other cities in the world, although Kuwait City experienced a whole month of heatwave conditions with average temperatures above 46 degrees.
    LINK: How to tell if you’re in the midst of a heatwave
    Scientists have linked climate change to several extreme weather events that hit Australia last year…
    They are part of a series of new studies – published in a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – examining the emerging scientific area of extreme weather “attribution”…
    The results are largely drawn from computer modelling techniques comparing current climate conditions to pre-industrial times. They are then expressed as probabilities – a reflection that the climate system is influenced by natural and human factors, and that it is a developing area of scientific examination.
    But the journal says recent scientific developments suggest that “event attribution that detects the effects of long-term changes on extreme events is possible”…
    These studies were undertaken by researchers at the following institutions: American Meteorological Society; Bureau of Metrology; ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, National Centre for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado; University of Melbourne; CSIRO.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/how-did-climate-change-influence-australias-weather-in-2014-20151030-gkmww3.html

    American Meteorological Society: Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective
    This BAMS special report presents assessments of how climate change may have affected the strength and likelihood of individual extreme events.
    DOWNLOAD 2014 REPORT
    https://www2.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/publications/bulletin-of-the-american-meteorological-society-bams/explaining-extreme-events-from-a-climate-perspective/

    what planet are these people living on?

    21

  • #
    pat

    Karoly & co have written this for The Conversation, it seems:

    6 Nov: Business Spectator: A year of records: the human role in 2014′s wild weather
    by Mitchell Black, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne; Andrew King, Climate Extremes Research Fellow, University of Melbourne, and David Karoly, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Melbourne
    Australia has just had its hottest October, and we can already say that human-caused climate change made this new record at least ten times more likely than it would otherwise have been…
    As part of the annual extreme weather issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society released today, five papers by Australian authors including us, investigate the role of climate change in extreme weather in 2014…
    Australia was hit hard in 2014 (although perhaps not quite as hard as 2013, which was Australia’s hottest year ever)…
    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/11/6/science-environment/year-records-human-role-2014s-wild-weather

    11

    • #
      AndyG55

      Let’s not mention that September in Australia was 26th out of 37 in UAH.

      And as UAH for Australia isn’t actually out yet, they must be basing their claim about October on the much manipulated BOM data.

      I think I’ll wait for the real data from UAH to come out, thank you.

      62

    • #
      AndyG55

      2013 was NOT Australia’s warmest year (except in BOM’s fabricated data)

      Here are the first 10 on a whole year basis from UAH Australia.

      2005 0.645
      1998 0.641
      2013 0.613
      2002 0.595
      2009 0.516
      2014 0.461
      2007 0.428
      2004 0.387
      2006 0.364
      2003 0.347

      On a “Year to end of September” basis…… (waiting for the final October UAH data)

      2015 is currently in 20th place in UAH Australia

      133

      • #
        AndyG55

        red thumbs.. do you have any contrary evidence or data, from a reliable source?

        Or is the fact that you don’t have any , the reason you continue to run and hide under your rock?

        51

  • #
    gai

    This is additional evidence of what Dr Tom Segalstad wrote in a guest editorial in 2009 about the residence time (RT) of anthropogenic CO2 in the air.
    Correct Timing is Everything – Also for CO2 in the Air

    Dr. Robert H. Essenhigh… finds that the RT for bulk atmospheric CO2, the molecule 12CO2, is ~5 years, in good agreement with other cited sources (Segalstad, 1998), while the RT for the trace molecule 14CO2 is ~16 years…..

    So why is the correct estimate of the atmospheric residence time of CO2 so important?

    The IPCC has constructed an artificial model where they claim that the natural CO2 input/output is in static balance, and that all CO2 additions from anthropogenic carbon combustion being added to the atmospheric pool will stay there almost indefinitely. This means that with an anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 residence time of 50 – 200 years (Houghton, 1990) or near infinite (Solomon et al., 2009), there is still a 50% error (nicknamed the “missing sink”) in the IPCC’s model, because the measured rise in the atmospheric CO2 level is just half of that expected from the amount of anthropogenic CO2 supplied to the atmosphere; and carbon isotope measurements invalidate the IPCC’s model (Segalstad, 1992; Segalstad, 1998).

    The correct evaluation of the CO2 residence time — giving values of about 5 years for the bulk of the atmospheric CO2 molecules, as per Essenhigh’s (2009) reasoning and numerous measurements with different methods — tells us that the real world’s CO2 is part of a dynamic (i.e. non-static) system, where about one fifth of the atmospheric CO2 pool is exchanged every year between different sources and sinks, due to relatively fast equilibria and temperature-dependent CO2 partitioning governed by the chemical Henry’s Law (Segalstad 1992; Segalstad, 1996; Segalstad, 1998).

    Knowledge of the correct timing of the whereabouts of CO2 in the air is essential to a correct understanding of the way nature works and the extent of anthropogenic modulation of, or impact upon, natural processes. Concerning the Earth’s carbon cycle, the anthropogenic contribution and its influence are so small and negligible that our resources would be much better spent on other real challenges that are facing mankind.

    So we now have addition evidence that CO2 is not the driver of the Earth’s climate.

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      One of the most important concept familiar to anyone who has studied chemistry.

      Provide more reactants and a reaction will move forward.

      More CO2 more front lawn to mow.

      Need sun and water as other main ingredients.

      70

    • #

      Gal,

      You make the same recurrent error that many before you have made: the residence time has zero influence on the fate of an extra shot CO2 (whatever the cause) into the atmosphere. The residence time only shows how much CO2 is passing by over a full seasonal cycle (~150 GtC in and out the atmosphere of 800 GtC, or ~5 years residence time), while the decay rate of an extra shot above steady state is about the difference between ins and outs, which is only ~4.5 GtC/year more sink than source at an extra CO2 pressure of ~230 GtC (~110 ppmv) in the atmosphere above steady state… The e-fold decay rate of the extra CO2 is over 50 years, not 5 years and not 200 years or more (per Bern model) as the latter is based on a saturation of the deep ocean sink, for which is not the slightest indication (yet).

      Indeed the oceans have an enormous capacity to absorb human CO2, but the atmosphere – deep ocean and back exchanges are limited in capacity, thus it takes a long time to get a new equilibrium…

      14

      • #
        AndyG55

        The oceans have FAR more capacity than just the water content. !

        30

        • #

          AndyG55,

          Indeed the deep ocean capacity to absorb our emissions is enormous and once in equilibrium with all our emissions up to now, the total carbon (in different species) of the deep oceans would increase with less than 1%. That means that with that equilibrium, levels in the atmosphere would be 3 ppmv higher than pre-industrial…

          That is not the problem. The problem is that the exchanges between atmosphere and deep oceans are limited and only ~3 GtC/year of the ~9 GtC/year human emissions sinks into the deep oceans. Even if we should stop all emissions today, it will take 40 years to halve the extra 110 ppmv in the atmosphere, 80 years to get a quarter, etc…

          Not that the extra 110 ppmv gives problems, as the response of temperature to the extra CO2 is very limited, except in climate models, which all fail to predict current temperatures…

          So taking the wrong decay rate (residence time) is a bad argument, as that is completely at odds with the real decay rate of some extra amount of CO2 above dynamic equilibrium (“steady state”)…

          24

  • #

    Jo, which is it:

    2.5 Gt or 2500 billion tonnes?

    [EGad! Thanks. Fixed. It's 2500 million tonnes. And I was thinking "m" when I typed that. Darn. ] Jo

    10

  • #
    manalive

    From The West Australian August 18 1953;
    Science Answers The Poser: Are Our Seasons Changing?
    When you convert the annual daily average temperatures to Celsius you find not much has changed in the past sixty years at least for Melbourne and Sydney.
    What is most remarkable is the relative insouciance apparent in the remarks of the guy from the BoM, in stark contrast to current hysteria from them over fractions of a degree C.

    30

  • #
  • #
    TdeF

    The CO2 shown here is an average. Significantly it varies cyclically every year by 10ppm! Tom is talking about the underlying average.

    It would be interesting to see the Southern Hemisphere to if the large cyclic variation is shifted by six months. This is significant because most of the land and 80% of the world population is in the much warmer Norther Hemisphere. If the Southern hemisphere has the same magnitude of variation, CO2 variation is not plant driven, although phytoplankton is much more significant and there are no droughts in the ocean.

    Then the correlation with surface temperature as CO2 seems to peak in the spring and dip in the fall. Why? What is driving this huge annual variation? It can explain so much.

    Is this biological or is it simply proof of the outgassing and absorption of CO2 every year by ocean surfaces which rise and fall in temperature dramatically in high latitudes, giving a direct measure of the sensitivity of CO2 to ocean surface temperature. It would also confirm the rate and magnitude and capacity of exchange of CO2 with the ocean which in turn could be used to confirm or deny that the 50% increase in CO2 over 100 years was due to slight ocean warming.

    After all, the IPCC maintains that the half life for the unstoppable and undeniable absorption of all man made CO2 by the huge ocean resevoir is 80 years, so they ignore it. The motivation is simple. If the oceans are not able to control CO2 quickly, AGW is possible. Man can significantly change long term CO2 levels. If oceans control CO2 levels rapidly, as shown by the cyclic changes, AGW is simply not possible.

    60

    • #
      ROM

      Scrips; Atmospheric CO2 Research Global Map of stations and data

      Barrow, Alaska Observatory

      Cape Grim Greenhouse Gas Data [ CSIRO Tasmania ]

      Palmer Station; Antarctic Peninsula

      Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Record from the South Pole [ go to "data" for monthly information. ]

      10

    • #

      TdeF,

      Most seasonal amplitude is in the NH, where land vegetation is the main driver: in spring leaves start to grow and at a certain moment pass the CO2 release from decaying vegetation of the previous year(s). The ocean surface at the same time releases CO2 by warming. Amounts are estimated around 50 GtC out and in the oceans over the seasons and 60 GtC in and out the biosphere, countercurrent of each other with temperature.
      The 10 GtC extra from the biosphere is what we see in the atmosphere, mainly in the NH, as that is mostly land, while the opposite season in the SH shows little amplitude: ~1 ppmv as that is the result of much water and less land.

      Here the seasonal variations for a few NH and SH stations:
      http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/month_2002_2004_4s.jpg

      The mid-season peak at Samoa (SH) is thought to be from the shift in the ITCZ, which brings NH air towards that near equatorial station.

      The seasonal changes are globally about 5 ppmv/°C, vegetation leading. Year-by-year variability is 4-5 ppmv/°C, vegetation leading but opposite to seasonal variability. Long term variability is ~16 ppmv/°C (multi-decades to multi-millennia) and oceans leading. The latter fits in the range of 4-17 ppmv/°C according to Henry’s law for the solubility of CO2 in seawater.

      Thus from the 0.6°C warming in the past 57 years, maximum 10 ppmv CO2 increase is from warming oceans (negative for plant growth) and ~100 ppmv from human emissions…

      12

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Considering Jo’s background it’s of little surprise she touched on this possibility back in March 2013 in “Ocean plankton suck up twice the carbon we thought they did.”

    But with the new consensus science even someone qualified to comment on certain subjects will be ignored, especially if you deny their failed hypothesis.

    60

  • #
    pat

    hopefully, more countries will get fed up with the antics of CAGW-empowered Greenpeace:

    6 Nov: NDTV India: Reuters: India Orders Greenpeace to Shut Down Over Fraud
    New Delhi: India has cancelled Greenpeace International’s license to operate and gave the group 30 days to close down, citing financial fraud and falsification of data, the environment watchdog said on Friday.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has turned the spotlight on foreign charities since he took office last year, accusing some of trying to hamper projects on social and environmental grounds.
    Last year, the government withdrew permission to Greenpeace to receive foreign funding, saying the money was used to block industrial projects…
    Under the latest order issued by authorities in Tamil Nadu where Greenpeace is registered, the government said it had found that the organisation had violated the provisions of law by engaging in fraudulent dealings.
    Greenpeace denied any wrongdoing and said the closure was a “clumsy tactic” to silence dissent…
    http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/greenpeace-india-claims-its-registration-cancelled-slams-intolerance-1240860

    2 Nov: Local Sweden: Greenpeace barred from Vattenfall brown coal bid
    Greenpeace said on Monday that it has been barred from bidding for the German coal operations of Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, which the environmental activists intended to shut down…
    Citigroup, which had been in charge of the sale, had informed Greenpeace of its decision on Friday, arguing that the environmental protection group had no intention of standing as a bidder…
    Greenpeace offered no money to purchase the activities, arguing that the lignite mines and power plants in eastern Germany were in fact a liability.
    It hoped to transfer the operations into a charitable foundation, paid for by Vattenfall and the German and Swedish governments, in order to phase them out by 2030…
    Two other bidders reportedly in the running are the Czech energy groups CEZ and EPH.
    http://www.thelocal.se/20151102/greenpeace-barred-from-vattenfall-brown-coal-bid

    10

  • #
    pat

    6 Nov: UUNICEF welcomes Kevin Rudd as chair of global sanitation and water partnership
    New York
    — Statement attributable to Sanjay Wijesekera, Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF
    “We at UNICEF welcome the appointment of Mr Kevin Rudd as chair of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership.
    “Mr Rudd brings to the position leadership, passion, drive and enthusiasm, which will be crucial as we strive to meet the sanitation, water, and hygiene goals in the new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda…
    About SWA
    Sanitation and Water for All is a global partnership aimed at achieving universal and sustainable access to sanitation and drinking-water for all, by firmly placing sanitation and water on the global agenda with an immediate focus on the most off-track countries.
    http://www.unicef.org/childsurvival/media_86047.html

    Fairfax has:
    Lisa Cox: Higher ambitions in sight? Kevin Rudd appointed to water and sanitation role with UN partner
    Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has taken a new key post with a global agency in a move that will further stoke speculation he has the role of UN Secretary-General in his sights…
    Clarification: An earlier version of this story described Mr Rudd’s new position as a UNICEF-appointed role. In fact, UNICEF is one of many partners of Sanitation and Water for All.

    Wikipedia: Sanitation and Water for All
    Over 90 partners, including governments, civil society and development partners, work together as part of SWA to coordinate high-level action, improve accountability and use scarce resources more effectively…
    Donors (governmental donor agencies, or private foundations, providing funding to water and sanitation)
    Australia
    Austria
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    France
    Germany
    Japan
    Netherlands
    Switzerland
    United Kingdom
    United States…
    Development Banks (global or regional development banks)
    African Development Bank (AfDB)
    Water and Sanitation Program at the World Bank (WSP)
    World Bank…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanitation_and_Water_for_All

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      TdeF

      Yes, the UN is a retirement home for all faithful carbon tax people. You are guaranteed a place in the feast for the billions you generate. World first class travel, international credentials and even employment for old PMs. A life after democracy or even dictatorship. The UN is the perpetual money machine which never stops giving.

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    pat

    6 Nov: Irish Independent: Press Association: France to reinstate border controls for UN climate conference
    Authorities are on alert for violent protesters as well as potential terror attacks around the November 30-December 11 conference.
    Some 80 heads of state and tens of thousands of other people, are expected in Paris for the conference opening.
    Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that the controls will be in place for a month “in the context of terrorist threats that could come and stain this large international gathering that is carrying a grand message for humanity”…
    France submitted a note to European Union authorities last month announcing border checks at all airports with international flights and at 131 land crossings with Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Luxembourg, according to an EU document.
    The French note cites Schengen rules allowing controls “when there is a serious threat to public policy”…
    Organisers expect at least 40,000 people in addition to tens of thousands of activists from environmental, human rights and other groups from around the world.
    A big march is planned through Paris on November 29, and protest groups plan to try to blockade the conference site on December 11 and 12, as well as several other smaller-scale actions.
    France faces routine protests that are largely peaceful but sometimes degenerate into violence by an extremist fringe…
    http://www.independent.ie/world-news/france-to-reinstate-border-controls-for-un-climate-conference-34176044.html

    6 Nov: Politico: Nicholas Vinocur: France to reinstate border controls during COP21
    Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, said the step was not unusual for such a high-profile event.
    “This is a measure that has been taken at every COP, it is evidently for security reasons,” he said at a press conference. “It is taken as a precaution to be certain that there will not be any people that want to disturb the peace of the conference.”…
    http://www.politico.eu/article/france-to-reinstate-border-controls-during-cop21/

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    Ross

    O/T But this data from Scotland is just another sign for those who say it is going to cool are on the right track

    http://theiaincameron.tumblr.com/post/130550839541/12-august-snow-survey-2015

    Bishop Hill reporting this data shows a lovely hockey stick graph

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2015/11/6/snow-grow-situation.html

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      Yonniestone

      A hockey stick graph based on empirical evidence?, climate heresy! fudged data fornicator!

      Show mercy Gaia they know not what they do….

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        @Yonniestone

        Show mercy Gaia they know not what they do….

        That was so LOL funny I almost choked when I read that.
        Cheers for the good medicine, I needed a chuckle :)

        Michael Mann will shriek out in righteous indignation:

        That’s my Icon … SIMULACRUM HERESIUM!

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    dp

    What happened in 1990 that would benefit from a spike in CO2? Well, the second World Climate Conference took place in Geneva in 1990. [Snip speculation]
    We know that rumors exist that Hansen enjoyed turning up the heat for the 1988 meeting in the US House of Representative by turning off the air conditioner. And he had a 1988 prediction that was going terribly wrong by 1990.

    [Dp: I think that kind of mischief is too advanced for the team that is thinking of sweating for camera's. I think the CO2 figures are probably reasonable. The "spike" hasn't been noticed til someone did residual differences - jo. ]

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    des reputable

    So I see the blip was absorbed by phytoplankton et al coming back online. And now I’m playing catchup – what’re the current hypotheses as to why CO2 is still increasing? Are we saying a large amount of ocean life can ‘blip’ and outperform a bunch of volcanoes in doing CO2? (good ol’ ocean for fixing itself) Pls point me to some resources looking at cause of CO2 increase, without going IPCC nutto? Ta

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    pat

    6 Nov: Quadrant: Tony Thomas: The King Canutes of Climate Science
    The monarch of old ordered the tide to recede as a lesson to his courtiers that no mere human, not even a king, can make the world to do as it’s told. Will Steffen, the CSIRO and other grant-fed warmists face a similar problem: while modern enablers still profess to believe them, actual sea levels pay no heed
    http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2015/11/king-canutes-climate-science/

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    pat

    7 Nov: ReutersCarbonPulse: Green Climate Fund approves first eight projects
    The Green Climate Fund (GCF) board on Friday gave its approval to channel $168 million into eight climate mitigation and adaptation projects across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, the first award from the fund almost five years after it was set up…
    Most of the projects focus on adaptation, but the board gave strong backing to an energy efficiency green bond programme in Latin America and the Caribbean, approving $22 million in funding for now while also allocating up to $195 million for the programme’s future phases, a move the GCF said would mobilise an additional $630 million in private funding…
    At the meeting, Australia’s Ewen McDonald and South Africa’s Zaheer Fakir were elected as next year’s co-chairs. The next GCF board meeting will be held in Songdo, South Korea in March…
    http://carbon-pulse.com/green-climate-fund-approves-first-8-projects/

    6 Nov: Bloomberg: Alex Morales: UN Green Climate Fund Approves First Projects for $168 Million
    The United Nations Green Climate Fund approved $168 million of funding for its first eight projects…
    The projects range from a wetlands protection program in Peru to development of early warning systems in Malawi, the fund said Friday in an e-mailed statement. The total cost of the programs, including input from UN agencies and private investors, is $624 million, though over the next five years they may generate as much as $1.3 billion of investments, according to the fund…
    The other projects awarded funding on Friday are in Senegal, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Fiji, with regional projects in eastern Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-06/un-green-climate-fund-approves-first-projects-for-168-million

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    pat

    6 Nov: Reuters: Valerie Volcovici: U.N. climate fund approves first projects ahead of Paris summit
    The fund approved $12.3 million to improve early warning systems to help Malawi respond to extreme climate events. It also approved $23.6 million to manage climate change-induced water shortages in the Maldives and ***$217 million for an green bond*** to spur renewable energy investment in Latin America.
    Some civil society groups that participated in the GCF approval process said it was rushed ahead of the Paris summit and ***lacked transparency…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/06/us-un-climatechange-finance-idUSKCN0SV1F020151106

    lacks transparency? impossible to even find any MSM that lays out all eight projects and their funding. of course, it makes sense to give millions to The Maldives at present!

    6 Nov: BBC: Maldives police raid TV station over ‘threatening video’
    Police in the Maldives raided a private television station in connection with a YouTube video allegedly threatening President Abdulla Yameen…
    The video reportedly shows three masked men issuing a death threat against the president.
    President Yameen imposed a state of emergency on Wednesday after the military said it found a bomb in a vehicle near the presidential palace…
    The men reportedly give the president and Mr Adeeb 30 days to agree to their terms, which include a call on the government to release the president of the Adhaalath Party, Sheikh Imran Abdulla, who is awaiting trial for terrorism charges…
    There are growing concerns about radicalisation in the Maldives. According to local media, dozens of Maldivian nationals have joined IS, and at least five have died.
    Political infighting has led to growing unrest. On Wednesday, the country’s parliament voted to remove Vice-President Ahmed Adeeb from office after he was charged with treason in connection with an explosion on the president’s boat…

    5 Nov: UK Independent: Mariyam Shiuna: Corruption threatens progress on climate change. Here’s how to stop it
    The Green Climate Fund needs to work out strategies to stop cash frittering away
    My country, the Maldives, is desperate to stop climate change – our islands will be the first to sink if the world keeps warming.
    For that very reason, we are prime candidates for “climate finance”…
    But when the Fund does begin to spend, a new danger arises: what if the money never reaches us? What if it vanishes to corruption? A legal case in the Maldives shows why we – and the Green Climate Fund – should be concerned. Put another way: we have been there before…
    The GCF should also commit to working more with communities, civil society, and anti-corruption activists like the group I lead, Transparency Maldives.
    The communities on the frontline of climate change are best placed to make complaints or give tip-offs. Groups like mine can train networks of citizens to gather evidence of corruption or abuse…
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/how-the-maldives-can-avoid-yet-another-corrupt-relief-effort-in-the-face-of-climate-change-a6718416.html

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      pat mentions this: (my bolding)

      But when the Fund does begin to spend, a new danger arises: what if the money never reaches us? What if it vanishes to corruption?

      Perhaps a similar question is this.

      Will the Sun rise in the East tomorrow morning?

      Tony.

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    pat

    7 Nov: ReutersCarbonPulse: UN nations to agree on HFC phase-out plan in 2016
    by Stian Reklev and Mike Szabo
    UN nations agreed in Dubai in the wee hours of Friday morning to develop a plan next year to phase-out HFC emissions, a move observers say can prevent emissions of upwards of 100 billion tonnes of CO2e by mid-century.
    The latest round of talks under the Montreal Protocol failed to hammer out the details of the phase-out, but concluded with a commitment to use the treaty to end emissions of the dangerous greenhouse gas.
    “The progress in Dubai also indicates that the world is ready for a new chapter in the fight against climate change. In agreeing to address HFCs together, we have laid the groundwork for even greater co-operation toward a successful outcome in Paris – and the entire planet will be better off for it,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry.
    “Many parties including the US, Mexico, Canada, island states, and the 54 countries of the Africa Group wanted to move faster with the details this week, but Gulf States and India demanded delay on details until after COP 21 in Paris next month, ***raising a red flag about their tactics in Paris,” Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, wrote in a blog for the Huffington Post…
    http://carbon-pulse.com/un-nations-to-agree-on-hfc-phase-out-plan-in-2016/

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    pat

    who would believe a word this man said?

    4 Nov: Guardian: Adam Vaughan: Al Gore’s plan for huge global climate concerts downgraded to Paris webcast
    Second round of Live Earth music concerts promised by former US vice-president and Pharrell Williams were due to be broadcasted to billions around the world
    In January, the duo and producer Kevin Wall used the World Economic Forum in Davos to announce a global event that would reach 2 billion people across 193 television networks, with promotional materials promising 100 artists in seven shows.
    In May organisers delayed the event from a scheduled date of 18 June and said a free, public concert would be held in Paris in the autumn instead.
    But this week organisers told the Guardian that Live Earth had been reduced to an event on the 13 and 14 November at the Champ de Mars in Paris that will be ***closed to the public and streamed online instead…
    Spokeswoman: “We are partnering with several distribution partners worldwide to make sure this is the most accessible 24 Hours event in history.”…
    Details of the webcast distribution and the acts performing are due to be announced on ***Thursday…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/04/al-gores-plan-for-huge-global-climate-concerts-downgraded-to-paris-webcast

    Thursday has now come and gone without any further announcement.

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    pat

    5 Nov: The Carbon Brief Interview: Lawrence Slade
    Lawrence Slade has been chief executive of Energy UK, the trade association for the UK energy industry, since July 2015. Energy UK represents more than 80 of the UK’s suppliers and generators of gas and electricity. Lawrence previously led the Energy Retail Association and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
    •Slade on the challenges facing the industry: “It’s quite a confusing time I think for the industry. But, generally speaking, when you talk to people there is optimism, as long as we can get a clear [policy] framework.”
    •On phasing out coal: “I think coal has to come off the system. Coal will come off the system. I think, from the government’s point of view, it’s about making sure you do it in a structured fashion.”
    •On baseload versus distributed generation: “Do I think that we would need some form of baseload [in 2030]? Yes, I do…But we’re certainly evolving into a market that is looking at more localised, distributed generation, than I think anyone dreamed possible.”
    •On headlines warning of blackouts: “Do I think the lights will go out? I’m actually confident that they won’t. I’m confident that the grid and the industry have the tools available to keep those lights on…having a lower capacity margin is not such a worry given how the market is structured, and how grid can use these tools.”…(READ ON, OR AT LEAST READ HIS ANSWERS ON UK ENERGY FUTURE AT END OF INTERVIEW)
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/the-carbon-brief-interview-lawrence-slade?utm_content=buffer0c848&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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      pat mentions this: (my bolding)

      •On baseload versus distributed generation: “Do I think that we would need some form of baseload [in 2030]? Yes, I do…But we’re certainly evolving into a market that is looking at more localised, distributed generation, than I think anyone dreamed possible.”

      Huh! Just SOME base load!

      How about 66% of every watt of power capable of being generated.

      See this link. (top left load curve diagram – 28GW for 24 hours versus 42GW Peak)

      Tony.

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    Tax the krill instead eh?

    I hope that wasn’t sarcasm, why, pray tell, should krill be exempt from the carbon bureaucracy?

    Obviously we will have to tag and track all of the little buggers to avert KrillAgeddon, or Krill Chaos (le chaos de krill … in Laurent Fabius speech =)

    ‘Market’ maker Goldman Sachs could setup a Krill Index … we’ll call it KrillX … KrillFutures anyone? It’s the way of the futures … and it’s all in the name of the environment, of course, for a fee.

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    Peter C

    Sure, there is a demand for a lot of baseload power.

    Localised distributed generation is also possible. Ceramic Fuel Cells fuel cells demonstrated a 60% conversion efficiency for electricity generation from CO2. Essentially they produced baseload power since the unit did not adapt rapidly or efficiently to fluctuating demand. They have now gone broke because their units cost too much to produce and had too short a life on the ceramic catalyst electrodes.

    If those problems are solved people will choose to install this technology, just on cost grounds. Now I am not saying it can be done yet. In fact the demise of Ceramic Fuel Cells shows that it cannot be done yet. However I would not predict out to 2030.

    Another possibility is Thorium Nuclear Power, which might be suitable for local generation, at least at a suburban level. Still not there yet but 2030?
    https://www.pinterest.com/curvex/lftr/

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    crosspatch

    We can learn a lot of things from looking at various data. For example, note the fairly linear rate of global atmospheric CO2 rise compared with the non-linear rate of human CO2 emissions, particularly from China and India as they have undergone recent industrialization. It is obvious that this recent increase in human emissions has not been reflected in a change in the rate of increase in CO2 of the atmosphere globally. Also, if you note the emissions from the rest of the world compared to the emissions from the US it becomes clear that if you took US CO2 emissions to zero, it would likely have no impact on global atmospheric CO2 rate of increase. Doing so would simply place human emissions at a rate they were several years ago when the atmospheric CO2 was increasing at roughly the same rate it is today.

    If human emissions were a significant factor in global atmospheric CO2, we would see the atmosphere’s rate of CO2 change track changes in human CO2 emissions. It doesn’t. We have roughly doubled human CO2 emissions in the past 20 years and the rate of atmospheric CO2 increase has remained basically unchanged.

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      crosspatch,

      There is no law that says that the increase in the atmosphere must follow the increase of human emissions at any exact rate. During and a few years after the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, the increase in the atmosphere was much lower than the average 50-55% of human emissions and much lower than expected from the temperature trend. Reason: increased photosynthesis caused by light scattering from the aerosols from the Pinatubo: leaves which were part of the day in the shadow of others received more light…
      The increase in the atmosphere is a matter of human emissions and sink rate. The latter is a matter of increased pressure in the atmosphere, temperature (which gives the “steady state” level) and a host of natural variability in sink capacity, of which bio-life is the most important influence (not only temperature, but also rain patterns, clouds/sunlight,…)

      Still human emissions quadrupled in the past 57 years, so did the increase in the atmosphere and the net sink rate…

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    Peter C

    If human emissions were a significant factor in global atmospheric CO2, we would see the atmosphere’s rate of CO2 change track changes in human CO2 emissions. It doesn’t. We have roughly doubled human CO2 emissions in the past 20 years and the rate of atmospheric CO2 increase has remained basically unchanged.

    Interesting observation!

    I have read that the atmospheric increase in CO2 is about half of the rate of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Hence humans must be responsible for all of the increase and the other half of our emissions are absorbed by the natural processes.

    Your observation puts a different spin on it and re-emphasizes the importance of natural processes in the production of CO2.

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    Richard S Courtney

    Jo Nova:

    I write to congratulate Tom Quirk on his very fine essay pertaining to the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    He assesses variations from the trend of the rising CO2 as being indicative of mechanisms which contribute to the trend. He says of a variation from 1989 to 1991:

    The cause of the anomaly might be variations in sea surface temperatures and winds or biological activity.

    Then he does an analysis which determines the cause of that anomaly is probably variation of biological activity in the oceans.

    Much more such analysis is needed to determine the cause(s) of the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. I say this because of findings published in one of our 2005 papers:
    Ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005)

    Our paper reported attribution studies that used three different models to emulate the causes of the rise of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the twentieth century. These numerical exercises are a caution to estimates of future changes to the atmospheric CO2 concentration. The three basic models we used in these exercises each emulate different physical processes and each agrees with the observed recent rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration. They were used to each demonstrate the observed recent rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration may be solely a consequence of the anthropogenic emission or may be solely a result of natural effects, for example, desorption from the oceans induced by the temperature rise that preceded it; i.e. they were a total of six models where three assumed the rise was caused entirely by the anthropogenic emission and three assumed variation in natural effects.

    Extrapolation using these models gives very different predictions of future atmospheric CO2 concentration whatever the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    Each of the models in our paper matches the empirical data for annual atmospheric CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa without use of any ‘fiddle-factor’ such as the ‘5-year smoothing’ the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses to get its model to agree with the empirical data.

    So, if one of the six models of our paper is adopted then there is a 5:1 probability that the choice is wrong. And other models are probably also possible. And the six models each give a different indication of future atmospheric CO2 concentration for the same future anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide.

    Data that fits all the possible causes is not evidence for the true cause. Data that only fits the true cause would be evidence of the true cause. But our findings findings demonstrate that there is no data that only fits either an anthropogenic or a natural cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Hence, the only factual statements that can be made on the true cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration are

    (a) the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration may have an anthropogenic cause, or a natural cause, or some combination of anthropogenic and natural causes,

    but

    (b) there is no evidence that the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has a mostly anthropogenic cause or a mostly natural cause.

    Hence, using the available data it cannot be known what if any effect altering the anthropogenic emission of CO2 will have on the future atmospheric CO2 concentration. This finding agrees with the statement in Chapter 2 from Working Group 3 in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001) that says; “no systematic analysis has published on the relationship between mitigation and baseline scenarios” that has never been retracted.

    Analyses of the kind demonstrated by Tom Quirk’s essay may resolve the true cause(s)of the continuing rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    Richard

    PS I ceased posting here because discussion was being disrupted by the number of people making posts disliking my contributions. I have made this post because I consider the work of Tom Quirk is important and all such studies deserve support.

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      Richard,

      As usual:

      (b) there is no evidence that the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has a mostly anthropogenic cause or a mostly natural cause.

      The main problem with many alternatives that even if they all fit mathematically the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere from a (mainly) natural cause is that they all violate one or more observations… The only alternative that fits all observations is human emissions…

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        KinkyKeith

        Of Course.

        It’s the ONLY possible explanation: Mankind.

        Paris, here we come.

        Welcome back Ferdinand.

        KK

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          KK,

          Even if humans are the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere, for which is little doubt, that doesn’t mean that we need to reduce our CO2 emissions with one gram, as the effect of more CO2 is trivial.

          The main problem is that using the non-human rise of CO2 is a bad argument in any discussion, as that undermines the far more important argument of the (lack of) effect of more CO2 on temperature/climate…

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            KinkyKeith

            I agree Ferdinand.

            Extra CO2 from any source has very little effect so my question is how did it all get so far out of hand?

            Why is there such a big industry/religion built up around making CO2 a scapegoat?

            KK

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              KK,

              My impression is that it started with the fact that the warming 1976-1998 paralleled the CO2 increase. With the knowledge of that time: CO2 is a GHG and the temperature goes up, they calculated the influence of CO2 far beyond its physical properties by attributing all warming of that period to CO2 into their models. That was without any knowledge of natural influences, which makes that all models today run (much) too hot.

              Meanwhile the IPCC, a political institute, was build with the only purpose to show that humans were to blame. Lots of research money was spent in one direction. Political decisions (and money) were taken in the same direction, until enormous amounts of money are going all in the same direction up to today…

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    Richard S Courtney

    Ferdinand:

    You make two untrue assertions; viz.

    The main problem with many alternatives that even if they all fit mathematically the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere from a (mainly) natural cause is that they all violate one or more observations… The only alternative that fits all observations is human emissions…

    The fact that both your assertions are untrue is demonstrated, for example, by the above essay by Tom Quirk. It says

    Plotting the residual differences of measurements from the straight line fit shows that as the world cooled in the 1960s excess CO2 accumulated at low annual rates. During the 1970s and 1980s CO2 was accruing at about 1.5 ppm per year, the average rate of the last 55 years. Then suddenly in 1989 – 1991 large amounts of CO2 were added to and withdrawn from the atmosphere. A further turning point occurred in 1995 when the annual rate of increase reached its highest level.

    If atmospheric CO2 rise is induced by the human emissions overloading the sinks for CO2 then the “large amounts” nature added to the the atmosphere in 1989-1991 would also have overloaded the sinks. Those “large amounts” were 9.2Gt of CO2 and were equivalent to three times the output of CO2 from China. But the sinks mopped-up those “large amounts” with no difficulty and in less than three years.

    Richard

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      Richard,

      The “large” amounts of extra added CO2 is simply natural variability in sink rate. In the period 1989-1991 humans emitted 2.6-2.8 ppmv CO2, the increase in the atmosphere was high at 2.0-2.2 ppmv, thus still a net sink rate of about 0.6 ppmv. As said by Tom Quirk, probably by a sudden release (or less sink) of CO2 from a biological source. Then it reversed in 1991 by the Pinatubo eruption. All natural variability, mostly temperature induced, except of course for the Pinatubo.

      Thus at no point in the past 57 years, the natural sinks were overloaded by natural emissions, as human emissions were larger than the increase in the atmosphere.

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        KinkyKeith

        Paris here we come:

        “Thus at no point in the past 57 years, the natural sinks were overloaded by natural emissions, as human emissions were larger than the increase in the atmosphere.”

        Pray tell, do “natural” sinks have a special human origin CO2 filter on them?

        A proportion of those sinks are always available to human origin CO2 but may be 5 years or so behind in building new capacity to “sequestrate” the new additions over the average.

        KK

        Really.

        KK

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          KK,

          The – all natural – sinks react on total CO2 above steady state, whatever the source, which is ~290 ppmv for the current weighted average sea surface temperature. The extra pressure in the atmosphere now is 110 ppmv above steady state. That gives a net sink of about 2.15 ppmv/year in average. That means that for a linear process, the e-fold decay rate for the extra CO2 above steady state is 110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = 51.2 years
          That the sink process is quasi-linear can be seen by looking at the e-fold decay rate of near 20 years ago:
          http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

          Humans emit ~4.5 ppmv/year
          Natural variability gives a net unbalance of 2.15 +/- 1.5 ppmv more sink than source. So in one year you may see an increase in the atmosphere of 3.95 ppmv, next year 0.95 ppmv. In all cases over the past 57 years human emissions are responsible for the increase and nature for the year-by-year variability.

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        Richard S Courtney

        Ferdinand:

        You contradict yourself.

        I wrote

        If atmospheric CO2 rise is induced by the human emissions overloading the sinks for CO2 then the “large amounts” nature added to the the atmosphere in 1989-1991 would also have overloaded the sinks. Those “large amounts” were 9.2Gt of CO2 and were equivalent to three times the output of CO2 from China. But the sinks mopped-up those “large amounts” with no difficulty and in less than three years.

        You have replied

        The “large” amounts of extra added CO2 is simply natural variability in sink rate. In the period 1989-1991 humans emitted 2.6-2.8 ppmv CO2, the increase in the atmosphere was high at 2.0-2.2 ppmv, thus still a net sink rate of about 0.6 ppmv. As said by Tom Quirk, probably by a sudden release (or less sink) of CO2 from a biological source. Then it reversed in 1991 by the Pinatubo eruption. All natural variability, mostly temperature induced, except of course for the Pinatubo.

        Thus at no point in the past 57 years, the natural sinks were overloaded by natural emissions, as human emissions were larger than the increase in the atmosphere.

        Yes, the “large” amounts of extra added CO2 is simply natural variability. But, no, we don’t know the variability is in “sink rate” or natural emission, or both. You are – as you often do – making an unsubstantiated assumption because it fits with what you want to be true.

        Tom Quirk makes no such assumption but analyses data (which you find inconvenient) and concludes

        Now a simple analysis is to consider the ocean and plants as the two original sources of CO2. We know the isotopic composition of the CO2 so the components in the atmosphere can then be found. These contributions are shown below. There is no peaking in the ocean source CO2 in 1988-91 but a peak in the plant source.

        If the rise were purely a result of change in sink rate then neither or both of the sources would have peaked.

        So, Quirk demonstrated that one of your rationalisations is plain wrong.

        And you provide this rationalisation that is plain daft

        Thus at no point in the past 57 years, the natural sinks were overloaded by natural emissions, as human emissions were larger than the increase in the atmosphere.

        No, Ferdinand, if you were correct that the sinks were overloaded then they were overloaded by the total emission (i.e. both natural and anthropogenic). The natural pulse of CO2 from “the plant source” in 1989 – 1991 provided an addition to any overloading of the sinks. But there was no such addition to the overloading because the sinks ‘mopped-up’ that addition within three years.

        You are claiming the sinks are overloaded when humans emit CO2 but the sinks are not overloaded when nature increases its emission of CO2. That is self-contradictory unless you can suggest a mechanism which enables the sinks to discriminate which CO2 is emitted by human activity.

        Richard

        51

        • #

          Richard:

          we don’t know the variability is in “sink rate” or natural emission, or both.

          It is completely irrelevant for this discussion if the sudden extra CO2 increase in the atmosphere is from less natural sinks or more natural CO2 release, as the net result is the same. Still the full increase is from human emissions, as that is more than the sum of all natural sinks and sources together: nature still is a net sink for CO2.

          If the rise were purely a result of change in sink rate then neither or both of the sources would have peaked.

          Some basic math:
          Increase in the atmosphere = human emissions + ocean (emissions – sinks) + bio (emissions – sinks)
          At the “peak”:
          2.1 ppmv = 2.7 ppmv + X + Y
          X + Y = -0.6 ppmv
          If Y during a few years was positive, X had to be more negative to fulfill the 0.6 ppmv sink rate.
          For Y it doesn’t matter if the bio sink decreased or the bio source increased, all what matters is the net balance…

          Thus Richard, the natural variability only shows a variability in net sink rate, never was a net source over the past 57 years…

          12

          • #
            Richard S Courtney

            Ferdinand:

            You are deluding yourself.
            For a moment, please try to consider the issue and not the narrative you want to promote.

            The issue is as follows.
            1.
            You say the sinks are overloaded.
            2.
            If so, then any increase to emission from any source must increase the overloading.
            3.
            Quirk demonstrated that the pulse of CO2 in 1988-91 was provided by output from plants.
            4.
            The extra CO2 of the pulse was sequestered by the sinks within three years.
            5.
            Point 4 demonstrates that the sinks are NOT overloaded.

            When you remove your blinkers you will understand this issue.

            This issue does not resolve whether natural or anthropogenic CO2 emission is mostly responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration,
            but
            this issue demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that overloading of the sinks (by CO2 from any source) is NOT causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

            Richard

            42

            • #

              Yes Richard,

              As you have a bank account and you add each month $1,000 to your account and at the end of the month you see one month a rise of $200 and next month of $800, your conclusion is that the rise is NOT from your monthly contribution, but from the in between expenses and earnings?

              12

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You are still refusing to consider the issue under discussion.

                In hope that you will address the issue, I will refute your red herring.

                You say to me

                As you have a bank account and you add each month $1,000 to your account and at the end of the month you see one month a rise of $200 and next month of $800, your conclusion is that the rise is NOT from your monthly contribution, but from the in between expenses and earnings?

                NO! When I see my increasing bank account gain a sudden increase that is followed by a fall to normal then I understand the fall was because SOMETHING TOOK THE MONEY OUT.

                Richard

                51

              • #

                Richard:

                the fall was because SOMETHING TOOK THE MONEY OUT.

                Yes Richard, that is exactly the same with the fate of CO2 in nature: You have a constant increasing stream of human CO2 input and a variable stream out of CO2, where some years there is an extra shot (1989-1991) from vegetation and next years (1992-1994) an extra sink caused by a huge volcanic eruption…

                15

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                Please try, genuinely try, to understand the issue.
                To that end, please read my post in this sub-thread at November 10, 2015 at 10:25 pm which enumerates the issue for you.

                It concludes, and I repeat

                When you remove your blinkers you will understand this issue.

                This issue does not resolve whether natural or anthropogenic CO2 emission is mostly responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration,
                but
                this issue demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that overloading of the sinks (by CO2 from any source) is NOT causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

                And that is all I have to say until you discuss the issue instead of spouting your narrative.

                Richard

                41

              • #

                Ferd,

                you could get narky with RSC and go back to his earlier posts in this thread and start pulling apart the confused and self absorbed analysis. The easiest one is this one – where he possibly thought that the sentence following saved it from being a fallacy.

                So, if one of the six models of our paper is adopted then there is a 5:1 probability that the choice is wrong.

                which of course is only true with a prior assumption that one of them has to be right. An assumption with no basis. As I said, the sentence that follows is actually a non-sequiter, a fact that is easily lost in a mire of bad writing.

                23

              • #

                Gee Aye,

                Thanks for the help. I have had years of discussion with Richard and indeed a little tired of all his repeated fallacies… One point he doesn’t (want to) understand is that while there are many ways to mathematically fit the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, only one fits all observations: human emissions. All other possible sources violate the mass balance and/or the 13C/12C ratio and/or oxygen balance and/or…
                See: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_origin.html

                That debate is a completely lost case, but still a lot of skeptics, stick to that argument of “it is all natural” or Richard: “we don’t know for sure but want to know”… only because it is one of the pillars of AGW. That is no reason to abandon science, only reason to look at better arguments where (C)AGW is on more shaky grounds: the (small) sensitivity of temperature / climate for the human induced increase in CO2…

                12

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Gee Aye:

                Ferdinand would be buried even deeper by more of the kind of “help” you have provided .

                The correct quote from my above post includes both of the two adjacent sentences you mention and not only the first of them which you do quote. The two adjacent sentences say

                So, if one of the six models of our paper is adopted then there is a 5:1 probability that the choice is wrong. And other models are probably also possible.

                to which you reply

                which of course is only true with a prior assumption that one of them has to be right. An assumption with no basis. As I said, the sentence that follows is actually a non-sequiter, a fact that is easily lost in a mire of bad writing.

                There is no such “prior assumption”: you are ignoring the word “if”.

                And the point that there are several possible explanations is emphasised by the subsequent sentence – which you wrongly assert is a non-sequiter – that says “And other models are probably also possible”.

                In other words, you provide no evidence of my “mire of bad writing” but clearly demonstrate your (possibly deliberate) lack of ability at reading comprehension.

                If what you have provided is the best “help” you have to offer to Ferdinand then I suggest you don’t help because it could lead people to suspect you are providing nefarious undermining of Ferdinand with which I don’t want to be associated.

                Richard

                41

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                It is not acceptable that you have asserted a falsehood about me as attempt to distract from your failure to address the findings of Tom Quirk which refute the narrative you persist in promoting.

                You say

                I have had years of discussion with Richard and indeed a little tired of all his repeated fallacies… One point he doesn’t (want to) understand is that while there are many ways to mathematically fit the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, only one fits all observations: human emissions. All other possible sources violate the mass balance and/or the 13C/12C ratio and/or oxygen balance and/or…

                I provide no “fallacies – none, zilch, nada – and you don’t cite any I have provided.

                As my first post in this (at #51 said), there are many possible ways to mathematically fit the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere that are NOT refuted by any observations.

                This thread is about the fact that observations reported by Tom Quirk refute the “mass balance” argument which is used to bolster the unsupported assertion that “human emissions” are the sole possible cause of atmospheric CO2 rise.

                I repeat my above listing of the subject of this thread because you are still persisting in failure to address it. Indeed, you have yet to make ANY mention of the findings of Tom Quirk

                The issue is as follows.
                1.
                You say the sinks are overloaded.
                2.
                If so, then any increase to emission from any source must increase the overloading.
                3.
                Quirk demonstrated that the pulse of CO2 in 1988-91 was provided by output from plants.
                4.
                The extra CO2 of the pulse was sequestered by the sinks within three years.
                5.
                Point 4 demonstrates that the sinks are NOT overloaded.

                When you remove your blinkers you will understand this issue.

                This issue does not resolve whether natural or anthropogenic CO2 emission is mostly responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration,
                but
                this issue demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that overloading of the sinks (by CO2 from any source) is NOT causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

                Richard

                41

              • #

                Richard:

                this issue demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that overloading of the sinks (by CO2 from any source) is NOT causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

                What you don’t see is that such a rule is only applicable if all natural sinks and sources were caused by one overall process. That is not the case. There are a host of processes at work, each with their own response to temperature and/or pressure and each with their own e-fold rate of change.

                Take temperature: enormous influence on ocean surface in/out fluxes (~50 GtC each way) and leave growth and wane (~60 GtC in and out) over the seasons.
                Much smaller influence of temperature on the continuous flux between upwelling deep ocean waters at the equator and sinking waters near the poles (~40 GtC continuously): less than 3% of the fluxes each way (1.3 GtC) for 1°C change, temporarily until a new steady state is reached. That process is also influenced by pressure: 110 ppmv extra in the atmosphere above steady state pushes ~3 GtC/year extra CO2 into the deep oceans.

                Temperature changes are also responsible for the short-term (1-3 years) variability in CO2 rate of change around the trend (+/- 3 GtC – +/- 1.5 ppmv, that zeroes after 1-3 years). That is mainly the response of tropical forests during El Niño / La Niña episodes as can be seen in the opposite CO2 and 13C/12C ratio changes:
                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_dco2_d13C_mlo.jpg

                Pressure + temperature is responsible for the long term uptake of CO2 into vegetation: about 1 GtC/year, but only temperature influences CO2 release from decaying vegetation, pressure has no influence.

                Neither has pressure or temperature much influence on human emissions, except for the extra releases during extra cold or hot days.

                So what brings that in the current discussion?

                - Temperature is the main driver for the steady state level of mainly oceans. Its influence on vegetation on longer term (>3 years) is negative: more growth than decay, the earth is greening. Thus it looks like that the extra input from plankton 1989-1991 is temporarily and once the temperature decreases, the extra pulse of bio-CO2 simply is removed again by vegetation.
                - Huge volcanic emissions like the Pinatubo emit a lot of CO2, but that is overwhelmed by lower ocean temperatures and surprisingly by increased photosynthesis as is clear around 1992-1994 in the above graph.
                - The current average sink rate of 4.5 GtC/year is mainly pressure related (110 ppmv extra pressure above steady state for the current average ocean temperature), hardly temperature influenced. Human emissions overwhelm that with about twice that amount in emissions…

                You see, the release and removal of CO2 by vegetation is mainly temperature related, while the decay of human CO2 in the atmosphere is mainly pressure related, with very little cross influence.

                12

              • #

                Richard,

                if all natural sinks and sources were caused by one overall process.

                in the above should be read as:

                if all natural sinks and sources were governed by one overall process.

                which is more clear…

                12

              • #
                Gee Aye

                RSC,

                Your “if”, assuming you have not messed up your sentence structure, refers to adopting one of 6 models. Then you claim that assuming this choice you have a certain chance of choosing incorrectly. This, as you incorrectly state to the negative, actually requires a prior assumption that one of the 6 is correct. Your reply post to me compounds your error by actually pointing it out. You seem wilful in your ignorance of your own inability to parse sentences.

                32

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Gee Aye:

                To get rid of your nit-picking distraction I will admit that you have not made a silly mistake but have sunk me with a ‘gotcha’. (Purely for the record I point out that my fingers were crossed behind my back when I posted this).

                Happy now? Any other mistakes you want to make and force me to ignore?

                Richard

                32

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                I have repeatedly explained to you that
                this issue demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that overloading of the sinks (by CO2 from any source) is NOT causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
                And – at last – you have mentioned that, but you try to evade it by saying to me (your corrigendum applied)

                What you don’t see is that such a rule is only applicable if all natural sinks and sources were governed by one overall process.. That is not the case. There are a host of processes at work, each with their own response to temperature and/or pressure and each with their own e-fold rate of change.

                No, Ferdinand, that wriggle does not get your error off the hook.

                The process(es) governing the sinks are not relevant.
                At issue is whether the sinks are – or are not – overloaded.
                And that is the pertinent issue whatever the processes of the sinks.

                I yet again point out to you that the issue is as follows.
                1.
                You say the sinks are overloaded.
                2.
                If so, then any increase to emission from any source must increase the overloading.
                3.
                Quirk demonstrated that the pulse of CO2 in 1988-91 was provided by output from plants.
                4.
                The extra CO2 of the pulse was sequestered by the sinks within three years.
                5.
                Point 4 demonstrates that the sinks are NOT overloaded.

                When you remove your blinkers you will understand this issue.

                This issue does not resolve whether natural or anthropogenic CO2 emission is mostly responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration,
                but
                this issue demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that overloading of the sinks (by CO2 from any source) is NOT causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

                I yet again beg you to – at long last – please consider the issue under discussion.

                Richard

                42

              • #

                Richard,

                The process where a sudden release of CO2 is caused by plankton/vegetation is caused by temperature, wind, upwelling, changing rain patterns,… or a mix thereof, temperature in this case is leading. Anyway a very fast response by a natural process, which with changing conditions levels off as rapidly to below zero: vegetation is a net, growing sink for periods longer than 1-3 years. A peak in CO2 caused by vegetation is rapidly removed by vegetation. Any such peak is only temporarily.

                Human emissions are ~9 GtC/year. CO2 removal in vegetation is ~1 GtC/year in average up to 2.5 GtC/year and down to -0.5 GtC/year (a net source of 0.5 GtC/year). Human emissions always overwhelmed the sink capacity of the biosphere in each year of the past 57 years and it also overwhelmed the sink capacity of all sinks (biosphere, ocean surface, deep oceans) together in the same period.

                In none of the past 57 years the temperature influence on the biosphere overwhelmed the total sink capacity of all natural sinks together, it only modulated the part of the sink capacity in the biosphere itself, which varied between negative (a net source) to a strong sink within 1-3 years and in average a small, increasing sink over time.

                It keeps me surprising that you and so many others try to deduce the cause of a trend of ~70 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere over the past 57 years from a bunch of noise around the trend of not more than +/- 1.5 ppmv, while humans emitted near 140 ppmv CO2 over the same period…

                12

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You say

                It keeps me surprising that you and so many others try to deduce the cause of a trend of ~70 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere over the past 57 years from a bunch of noise around the trend of not more than +/- 1.5 ppmv, while humans emitted near 140 ppmv CO2 over the same period…

                Allow me to help you by explicitly stating your error that causes your “surprise”.

                There is no evidence – none, zilch, nada – that the variations around the trend can be ignored because thety are “noise” containing containing no useful information: that is your unfounded ASSUMPTION that is denied by observations.

                Please consider how much effort I took in this thread before I managed to get you to mention the work of Tom Quirk which is the subject of this thread. Quirk assessed a deviation from the trend and, therefore, you refused to consider the possibility that he had found anything interesting and/or useful.

                In my first post here (comment #51, I said of the paper I there referenced

                Each of the models in our paper matches the empirical data for annual atmospheric CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa without use of any ‘fiddle-factor’ such as the ‘5-year smoothing’ the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses to get its model to agree with the empirical data.

                If variations about the mean were information-free “noise” then our models would not have done that.

                The most probable explanation for the “trend” – as you call the rise – is that something has altered (or is altering) the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle system. Some processes of the system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades. Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to a new equilibrium. And that possibility enabled our match of the annual data for each of our models without need for any other assumption.

                The cause of the possible change to the equilibrium may be some natural disruption or – less likely – a disruption caused by the small anthropogenic addition of CO2.

                In his above essay, Tom Quirk provides results that demonstrate beyond any reasonable that the sinks are NOT overloaded by CO2 from any source, and this refutes the narrative you promote. But it does not refute the possibility that the ‘trend’ is a result of the carbon cycle system adjusting to an altered equilibrium.

                In summation, your refusal to consider any and all information that does not fit your desired narrative is the cause of your surprise. Fortunately, as Tom Quirk’s above essay demonstrates, there are people willing to assess what is actually happening and don’t deliberately ignore data that fails to fit a desired narrative (as you say you do).

                Richard

                32

              • #

                Richard,

                Some reading problems from your side? I did look at the data from Tom Quirk and showed that most variability in CO2 rate of change is the result of the influence of temperature variability on vegetation. That is clearly visible in the graph I mentioned at November 11, 2015 at 7:57 pm.
                In the same response to you, I mentioned that vegetation is a net, growing sink for CO2. Thus despite some spikes, the average contribution of vegetation to the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is negative. The earth is greening.

                Thus the not even “huge” spike in the years 1989-1991 is caused by temperature and temperature (and the Pinatubo eruption) did remove the spike in the following years (1992-1994). That is all: no positive influence on the 70 ppmv increase over the past 57 years, just noise around the trend.

                Any temperature change moves the “setpoint”, the steady state or dynamic equilibrium between ocean surface and atmosphere. Thus the CO2 spike, probably from plankton, does not “overwhelm” the sinks, it is caused by temperature changes which move the endpoint where the natural sinks are in equilibrium with the natural sources. Only human emissions (and volcanoes and other one-way sources) can be beyond the sink capacity of the natural sinks. But that is a pressure (difference between atmosphere and ocean surface) dependent process, hardly influenced by temperature.

                As vegetation is a net sink for CO2, the only alternative (relative) fast natural source/sink is the deep oceans. But that would violate the observed 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere, if there was a substantial increase in deep ocean – atmosphere exchange: a fourfold increase in carbon cycle over the past 57 years to mask the fourfold increasing human contribution over that period.

                Thus Richard, Tom Quirks analyses only shows that vegetation is the cause of a lot of variability around the trend (+/- 1.5 ppmv), but not the cause of the trend of 70 ppmv, to the contrary, and oceans can’t be because their 13C/12C ratio is too high. Only human emissions do fit all observations…

                12

            • #
              Richard S Courtney

              Ferdinand:

              That is some misinformation from you!
              In attempt to ‘hide Oz behind the curtain’ you write

              Thus Richard, Tom Quirks analyses only shows that vegetation is the cause of a lot of variability around the trend (+/- 1.5 ppmv), but not the cause of the trend of 70 ppmv, to the contrary, and oceans can’t be because their 13C/12C ratio is too high. Only human emissions do fit all observations…

              Sorry, Ferdinand, you don’t stop ‘Toto pulling down the curtain’ with that nonsense!

              You are making a false comparison.
              The “70 ppmv” is over 57 years (n.b. these are your figures in an above post) and compute to 1.3 ppmv/year. That is very similar to – indeed, it is less than – the +/- 1.5 ppmv/year you claim is too small for it to be relevant.

              And you say

              vegetation is … not the cause of the trend of 70 ppmv, to the contrary, and oceans can’t be because their 13C/12C ratio is too high.

              and you immediately follow that with

              Only human emissions do fit all observations…

              But the 13C/12C ratio is wrong – indeed, it is wrong by 300% – for the cause to be the human emission.
              It is possible that this discrepancy may be an effect of dilution, but that possibility does NOT allow you to use a bad fit of changes in the 13C/12C ratio to reject one hypothesis and not the other; ‘What is good for the goose is good for the gander’.

              Their bad fits to 13C/12C ratio changes indicate that either
              (a)vegetation, oceanic degassing and human emission are each possible causes of the rise
              OR
              (b)vegetation, oceanic degassing and human emission are each not possible causes of the rise.

              I repeat, your refusal to consider any and all information that does not fit your desired narrative is the cause of your surprise. Fortunately, as Tom Quirk’s above essay demonstrates, there are people willing to assess what is actually happening and don’t deliberately ignore data that fails to fit a desired narrative (as you say you do).

              Richard

              51

              • #

                Richard,

                Vegetation is a proven net sink for CO2, at least since 1990 when the accuracy of O2 measurements were good enough to measure the small changes in O2 over the years at a ratio of 1:210,000. Quite an achievement.
                See:
                http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.short
                and
                http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf
                Thus vegetation is not the cause of the CO2 rise in the atmosphere, neither of the δ13C drop in the atmosphere and ocean surface waters. It is a net sink.
                It seems quite difficult for you to understand that variability and trend have proven different causes. Even if the variability in uptake was larger than human emissions in one year, in another year it would be a larger sink, as the trend average is an increasing sink for any period of over 3 years since at least 1990.

                Despite your waning of the “bad fit” of the δ13C change in the atmosphere, it is a perfect fit if there is zero contribution from the oceans to the increase and only a 40 GtC carbon cycle between deep oceans and atmosphere:
                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/deep_ocean_air_zero.jpg
                where the discrepancy in the early years is probably from vegetation which is thought to have been a small net source at that time, gradually changing into a net sink.

                The oceans could be a net source, if and only if the total carbon cycle increased a fourfold in the past 57 years in complete lockstep with human emissions and specifically the ocean carbon cycle increased to 290 GtC/year, as vegetation is a proven sink. If that was the case, the δ13C level in the atmosphere would go up, not down:
                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/deep_ocean_air_increase_290.jpg

                You can’t fit a negative with a positive addition…

                12

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You say to me

                You can’t fit a negative with a positive addition…

                But I don’t! YOU are supporting a pseudo mass balance: I AM NOT!

                I explained above

                The most probable explanation for the “trend” – as you call the rise – is that something has altered (or is altering) the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle system. Some processes of the system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades. Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to a new equilibrium. And that possibility enabled our match of the annual data for each of our models without need for any other assumption.

                The cause of the possible change to the equilibrium may be some natural disruption or – less likely – a disruption caused by the small anthropogenic addition of CO2.

                But you ignore that and pretend your narrative has some merit. It does not.

                Richard

                31

              • #

                Richard,

                This is NOT about the mass balance, which anyway needs to be obeyed, but it is about the δ13C balance: the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere and in the ocean surface layer is going down in exact ratio with human emissions. Vegetation decay can’t be the cause, as the biosphere as a whole is a net sink for CO2. Oceans can’t be the cause as that would INcrease the 13C/12C level of the atmosphere…
                You can’t fit an increasingly negative δ13C with something that has a higher δ13C, as good as you can’t make something more alkaline by adding an acid…

                Human emissions fit all observations without any problem, the biosphere is certainly not the cause of the increase and the oceans are certainly not the cause of the increase, as both should violate one or more observations.

                Thus instead of inventing unproven theories of changing equilibria, while temperature is the only clear cause of changing equilibria in the past pre-industrial 800,000 years, try to prove that something “natural” (not oceans or vegetation) delivers an increase of 2-2.5 ppmv/year while at the same time letting 4.5 ppmv/year human emissions disappear (in space?)…

                Until then I stick to the “consensus” (how I hate that word) that human emissions are to blame, this time and only for this item at very solid grounds…

                12

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                At last you have got something right in this discussion; Hallelujah!
                You say

                This is NOT about the mass balance,

                YES! YES! YES!
                I wish you had recognised that from the start instead of repeatedly waving that red herring. Indeed, the ridiculous ‘mass balance argument’ is an especially stinking fish.

                And you say

                it is about the δ13C balance

                Yes, partially.
                This discussion is about Quirk’s investigation of the the pulse of CO2 in the years 1988-91. His investigation of the isotope ratio changes revealed that the pulse was provided by output from plants.

                As I pointed out and YOU KNOW, the isotope ratio balance does NOT fit for the human emission of CO2 to have been the cause of the recent – and continuing – rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration: but you write

                Human emissions fit all observations without any problem

                And you have the gall to post that falsehood after having posted in this thread an untrue assertion that I have provided falsehoods!

                Every system always moves towards its equilbrium state. And there is no reason to suppose that the carbon cycle system uniquely does not move towards its equilbrium state. Furthermore, the system is subjected to changes at a variety of time scales from annual (with the seasons) to millions of years (with Milankovitch cycles). Nobody has the omniscience to know all of these changes. So, you are again refusing to face reality when you assert that consideration of such changes is “inventing unproven theories of changing equilibria”. No, Ferdinand, the consideration is called the scientific method.

                And – because I apply the scientific method – I refuse to accept your demand that I try to “prove” anything.
                Scientists seek the closest approximation to ‘truth’ by attempting to disprove existing understandings and amending understanding in light of falsifications.
                Pseudoscientists adopt an understanding as being ‘truth’ then attempt to ‘prove’ the understanding by seeking corroborating evidence and ignoring evidence that falsifies the understanding.

                Furthermore, the human emissions do NOT as you assert “disappear”. They are sequestered by their sinks. And one of those sinks is change to atmospheric CO2 concentration in response to altered equilibrium state.

                You claim the sinks are overloaded but the work Tom Quirk reports in his above essay demonstrates that the sinks are NOT overloaded. I have repeatedly explained this to you in this thread and you have doggedly refused to address it and instead you have spouted your narrative.
                I yet again again repeat the matter.

                the issue is as follows.
                1.
                You say the sinks are overloaded.
                2.
                If so, then any increase to emission from any source must increase the overloading.
                3.
                Quirk demonstrated that the pulse of CO2 in 1988-91 was provided by output from plants.
                4.
                The extra CO2 of the pulse was sequestered by the sinks within three years.
                5.
                Point 4 demonstrates that the sinks are NOT overloaded.

                When you remove your blinkers you will understand this issue.

                This issue does not resolve whether natural or anthropogenic CO2 emission is mostly responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration,
                but
                this issue demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that overloading of the sinks (by CO2 from any source) is NOT causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

                Richard

                41

              • #

                Richard,

                You don’t understand that:

                1. We have a process where the known human CO2 addition shows a 4-fold increase in emissions and the measured increase in the atmosphere also increased a 4-fold and thus the net sink rate also increased a 4-fold over the past 57 years.
                To overwhelm the net result from the human addition, the total natural carbon cycle needs to have increased a 4-fold. Not a 3-fold or 5-fold, as the sinks don’t make a differentiation between human or natural CO2.
                Or there was no increase in the natural CO2 cycle at all and all increase is human.

                2. As the biosphere is a proven, increasing sink for CO2 and there is hardly any change in seasonal cycle (both CO2 and δ13C), it can’t be the cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere or the decrease in δ13C.

                3. If the ocean carbon cycle increased over time to give a 4-fold total carbon cycle, that means that it must have increased from ~40 GtC/year to ~290 GtC/year over the past 57 years.

                4. Such an ocean carbon cycle increase would:
                - Increase the δ13C level in the atmosphere, but only a firm decrease is measured in lockstep with human emissions.
                - Decrease the residence time to 1/4th of the original RT in 1958, while the average of RT estimates slightly increased over time.

                Thus the scientific method shows that there is no increase in the total natural carbon cycle at all and almost all increase of CO2 in the past 57 years is from human emissions.

                Further,

                - The mass balance always must be obeyed, at any moment of the day and night. That gives that point 1. above is only possible for an increase in natural carbon cycle, not a one-way addition of the total natural inputs: the natural outputs always must remove the difference between human emissions and the observed increase in the atmosphere plus the natural inputs.

                - the isotope ratio balance does NOT fit for the human emission of CO2. That only demonstrates that you don’t understand what happens in the real world: the decrease of δ13C is only 1/3rd of what it would be if all human CO2 was remaining in the atmosphere. As about 20%/year of all CO2, whatever its origin, is replaced with CO2 from other reservoirs, human CO2 and its isotopic composition is redistributed over all reservoirs, especially the deep oceans.
                That allows us to estimate the deep oceans – atmosphere carbon cycle: about 40 GtC/year, the same exchange as was estimated from the 14C bomb spike decay.

                - The extra CO2 of the pulse was sequestered by the sinks within three years. Again you demonstrate that you have no idea what happens in the real world: the pulse and drop that Tom Quirk showed was not overwhelming the sinks, it was a change in the sink capacity itself! Temperature (and other items) makes that the biosphere is either a sink, a large sink or a source and even a strong source in cycles of 1-3 years. Overall it is a small, growing net sink at least since 1990 over periods longer than 3 years.

                Thus Richard, simply said the biosphere can’t be the source, the oceans can’t be the source, human emissions fit all observations and you have no evidence that the natural carbon cycle increased in the past 57 years…

                12

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                Your error is succinctly stated by you when you write

                The mass balance always must be obeyed,

                and then you assume you can conduct a mass balance which you believe in contravention of all logic and evidence. Indeed, ALL your statements are attempted justifications of your pseudo mass balance

                But, as Gregory Lawn says at #57

                Please stop the bank account analogy. The argument is bankrupt.

                A business receives payment from Tom Dick and Harry, 1,000 1,200 and 30,000 respectively.
                Payments are made to attorneys Duey Cheatum and Howe, 900, 1,100, and 29,900 respectively.

                $300 is left in the account.

                Ferdinand says 300 is left from Tom because if tom had contributed only 700 there would be nothing.
                Richard says we don’t know because Tom Dick and Harry all contributed. This is true.
                I don’t care, cash is fungible.

                He is right and you are wrong.

                Richard

                21

              • #

                Richard,

                I didn’t see one scientific argument in your latest reply.

                Which one of the above four points is wrong and on what base?

                How can there be a one-way extra input from all natural sources together, if the increase in the atmosphere is smaller than from human emissions alone?

                Do you have any observation that shows that the natural carbon cycle increased over the past 57 years?

                How can Tom’s supply of 1,000 not be the cause of the 300 increase, if Tom has no expenses at all?

                Thus please, some real answers, no hand waving…

                12

              • #

                Richard ,

                Herewith a graph which shows the relative contribution of humans, oceans and vegetation to the atmosphere since 1979 (RSS satellite temperature measurements). I am working on the HadCRUT4 measurements for the full Mauna Loa CO2 period:

                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/trans_rss_em.jpg

                The “peak” calculated by Tom Quirk is hardly visible in the upward trend.
                The calculation of the human contribution is based on the ~51 years e-fold decay rate of the current sink rate (2.15 ppmv) for the CO2 level (400 ppmv) above steady state (~290 ppmv). For CO2 from oceans and vegetation, appropriate levels (Henry’s law) and fast responses were used.

                12

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You say to me

                I didn’t see one scientific argument in your latest reply

                Of course you did not! You only “see” what you want to “see”. As I said to you in that post

                you assume you can conduct a mass balance which you believe in contravention of all logic and evidence. Indeed, ALL your statements are attempted justifications of your pseudo mass balance

                That is a complete refutation of ALL your twaddle in this thread.

                I have NO intention of pandering to your silly ‘mass balance arguments’ by discussing points of detail that all lack sufficient data to be resolved. You only raise them because your interpretation and their uncertainty makes your ‘mass balance arguments’ hypothetically possible, and you then proclaim those arguments are true because they are possible. The scientific response to your points is – as I and Gregory Lawn each did – to refute the fallacy of applying ‘mass balance arguments’ using inadequately certain data.

                Your assumptions are WRONG and that makes WRONG all the conclusions you draw from your arguments using those assumptions.

                You assert that the sinks are overloaded. But, as I have repeatedly explained to you in this thread – and you have repeatedly refused to address – Tom quirk’s work on the “peak” demonstrates that the sinks are NOT overloaded.

                And, having ignored Quirk’s analysis that is the subject of this thread, you post a graph constructed from your unsubstantiated assumptions that you justify to yourself by saying

                The “peak” calculated by Tom Quirk is hardly visible in the upward trend.

                Whether or not you think the “peak” is hardly visible does not overcome the fact that its sequestration demonstrates the sinks are not overloaded.

                Richard

                21

              • #

                Richard:

                ALL your statements are attempted justifications of your pseudo mass balance

                Well, point 1. has hardly to do with a mass balance, almost all with the behavior of CO2: the sinks don’t differentiate between CO2 from human origin or natural origin (except for the small difference in isotopic composition, but that is not of importance here).
                Or do you even refute the fact that the increase rate of CO2 in the atmosphere increased a 4-fold in the period 1958-2013? And that human emissions did the same and thus that the net sink rate increased also a 4-fold?

                Some simple math may help: here the solution why the natural cycle must have increased a 4-fold, or not at all:

                For 1958: dA/dt = H + N – S

                Where dA/dt = the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere per year, known.
                H = human emissions per year, known.
                N = the natural sources over a year, unknown.
                S = the natural sinks over a year, unknown.
                N – S = net sink rate, known.

                For 2013: 4*dA/dt = 4*H + 4*(N – S)
                or
                4*N = 4*(dA/dt – H + S) in 2013, compared to 1958
                where N = dA/dt – H + S in 1958
                or N(2013) = 4*N(1958)

                So, whatever big the natural sources and sinks were, they must have increased a 4-fold between 1958 and 2013 or the increase in the atmosphere couldn’t have been a 4-fold.

                There is not one observation that confirms any increase in the natural carbon cycle over the past 57 years.
                The only valid alternative is that the natural sources didn’t increase at all (or very limited), which matches all observations, including a small increase in residence time…

                Thus I repeat my question:
                Do you have any observation that shows that the natural carbon cycle increased over the past 57 years?

                If you don’t, all the rest are attempts to divert attention from real arguments…

                Tom quirk’s work on the “peak” demonstrates that the sinks are NOT overloaded
                If you don’t understand that some sinks are mainly temperature dependent and others are mainly pressure dependent, then please take advice from someone who has some practical experience in chemical/physical processes. I can only repeat:
                The pulse and drop that Tom Quirk showed was not overwhelming the sinks, it was a change in the sink capacity itself! That was caused by temperature or precipitation or wind or anything else that influences the uptake/release of CO2 by the biosphere. That lasted a few years and completely vanished a few years later.

                you post a graph constructed from your unsubstantiated assumptions .
                After 34 years practical process (automation) engineering in chemical factories, I think I know what the behavior of a simple linear first order process looks like. You clearly don’t.

                13

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                I wrote

                I have NO intention of pandering to your silly ‘mass balance arguments’ by discussing points of detail that all lack sufficient data to be resolved.

                And you have replied by saying

                There is not one observation that confirms any increase in the natural carbon cycle over the past 57 years.

                YES! And there is not one observation that confirms NO increase in the natural carbon cycle over the past 57 years.

                However, the fact that the increase to atmospheric CO2 concentration is less than the anthropogenic CO2 emission over the last 57 years SUGGESTS there has been an increase in the natural carbon cycle over the past 57 years.

                As I said, your narrative is enabled by lack of sufficient data to resolve how and why the carbon cycle is changing with resulting increase to atmospheric CO2 concentration.

                Importantly, you are asserting a falsehood when you assert that your narrative is “the real argument”. In this thread the “real argument” is the analysis in Tom Quirk’s essay above, and that analysis refutes your narrative.

                Richard

                21

              • #

                Richard,

                No one is so blind as he/she doesn’t want to see…

                YES! And there is not one observation that confirms NO increase in the natural carbon cycle over the past 57 years.

                The strongest indication is the residence time: about 150 GtC is going in and out the atmosphere within a year. The current CO2 content of the atmosphere is about 800 GtC, which gives a residence time of 800 / 150 = 5.3 years.
                If there was a substantial increase in natural carbon cycle, the residence time (RT) would get shorter, down to 1/4th of the original RT, if the natural cycle should outpace the human 4-fold increase in emissions and be the cause of the 4-fold increase in the atmosphere…

                If we take the list of RT estimates from Segalstad at:
                http://www.co2web.info/ESEF3VO2.pdf
                and split the RT list in two equal parts for year of publication, the more recent average RT is longer than the older one, which points to a rather stable carbon cycle within an increasing amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

                Further, any substantial increase in natural carbon cycle would influence the δ13C rate of change, both in atmosphere and ocean surface, the 14C decay rate of the atomic bomb tests spike,… for which is not the slightest indication.

                Thus Richard, there is not the slightest indication that the natural carbon cycle increased over the past 57 years, but several indications that it didn’t increase.

                However, the fact that the increase to atmospheric CO2 concentration is less than the anthropogenic CO2 emission over the last 57 years SUGGESTS there has been an increase in the natural carbon cycle over the past 57 years.

                Wow, where is that based on? The net sink rate indeed increased in direct ratio to the increase in the atmosphere above steady state, but that is the difference between natural inputs and outputs. That says nothing about the height of the natural inputs and outputs…

                In this thread the “real argument” is the analysis in Tom Quirk’s essay above, and that analysis refutes your narrative.

                Again, you are blind to any argument. Taken from the real data 1985-2000, the trend and variability in temperature, assuming some 4 ppmv/°C short-term transient response of CO2 to temperature changes, compared to the trend in atmospheric CO2:

                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/wft_trends_rss_1985-2000.jpg
                Source: Wood for Trees

                As you can see: all CO2 variability is visible in the CO2 trend, with a ~90° lag and a small amplitude. The contribution from temperature to the CO2 increase was about 2 ppmv, while the total increase is about 21 ppmv. Thus 19 ppmv increase was not caused by temperature. Human emissions in the same period were over 35 ppmv without any indication of another huge contributing natural process.

                Further, as said before: Tom Quirk used a linear trend to compare the variability, while he should have compared with the quadratic least squares fit. Even in this plot with a linear trend over a smaller period, it is clear that the “peak” is not that special, but the sink after the Pinatubo eruption is far more interesting. All peaks and drops in rate of change seems to be temperature related, which influences the sink capacity of oceans and vegetation, the latter only short term (1-3 years), as that reverses to more sink capacity on longer term.

                Any surplus of CO2 above the steady state (which is temperature dependent) gives extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere, which decays to steady state with its own decay rate, which is much slower than the fast response of vegetation and ocean surface to temperature.

                12

              • #
                Richard

                I haven’t been following this exchange but saw Ferdinand’s response in the side-bar and thought I may as well reply just this once. I’m surprised you’re here Courtney because you know more than anyone that debating Ferdinand is like charging a mountain of putty. Your energy is absorbed and the mountain remains unmoved. For me, these ‘debates’ have too much of an emotional toil on me and so I tend to avoid them.

                Ferdinand says in response to Courtney:

                The strongest indication is the residence time

                Ferdinand argues that if what Courtney were saying was correct then we should expect to see a reduction in the residence time for CO2 which Ferdinand argues is currently 5.3 years whereas Segalstad’s estimates in his 1998 paper of older measurements was about 5 years. Ferdinand, for someone who portrays themselves as an authority on the carbon-cycle (the ice-core, Henry’s law, the C12-C13 ratio, Stomata and just about everything else) I would have guessed that you would have known that the recent estimates of the residence time are much less than 5.3 years. According to the IPCC’s 2013 AR5 estimates (which cover the years from 2000-2009), natural emissions are 724 Gts, absorption is 745 Gts and the atmospheric mass is about 3,000 Gts. Therefore the residence time comes out straightforwardly as 3,000/745 = 4 years. Furthermore the IPCC’s 2007 AR4 estimates (which cover the 1990′s and stop at the end of 1994) show a similarly smaller residence time. If you are unable to get something as simple as the residence time correct then I think it’s time for you to go back to the drawing board and reassess what you think you “know”.

                31

              • #

                Richard (not Courtney),

                I have had many years of discussion about the carbon cycle with a lot of persons, one of the first was at ClimateAudit, already 7 years ago. But that is not relevant for the discussion, only relevant for the buildup of knowledge on this topic over time…

                Some years ago, I grouped the different RT estimates mentioned by Segalstad in two periods, the first period was less than 5 years as group average, the second was near 6 years (if I remember well).

                Thus if the IPCC has a different (average?) RT, that depends on what base they have calculated the RT. The point of discussion is not the absolute RT, which varies with the method used (between 2 and 15/25 years in the list of Segalstad), but the trend in RT over time, which at best is quite stable or more likely, slightly increasing…

                My 800/150 GtC estimate was from the main ocean + biosphere fluxes over the seasons (see http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle/ ), without the day/night respiration of plants(60 GtC in and out). If you include plant respiration, then you get 800/210 or even shorter than 4 years. But the day/night respiration doesn’t even reach the bulk of the atmosphere or is leveled off in the (purposely) remote CO2 measurements…

                BTW, in this case, one should take the input of the cycle as throughput to calculate the RT, as the output includes the extra CO2 from the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere, although that doesn’t make much difference.

                11

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                Your post at #52.1.2.1.12 purports to be a reply to my post at #52.1.2.1.11 but only consists of non sequitur. Please think about what you are writing.

                Richard

                11

              • #

                Richard,

                Still open questions:

                - Do you agree that if the natural carbon cycle was the cause of the increase, that the increase in cycle must be substantial (a factor 4) and that should be visible in a lot of observations (like the residence time)?
                - Do you agree that the biological carbon cycle (plants, bacteria, molds, insects, animals,…) are a net, increasing sink for CO2 over periods longer than 3 years?
                - Do you agree that if the ocean carbon cycle was substantially increasing, that would lead to an increase of the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere?
                - Do you have one (only one would already be nice) observation which shows that the natural carbon cycle substantially increased in the past 57 years?

                If you can’t answer these questions, then any further discussion is just a waste of my and everybody’s time…

                11

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You follow your list of irrelevant questions by saying to me

                If you can’t answer these questions, then any further discussion is just a waste of my and everybody’s time…

                NO! HOW DARE YOU!?
                You are wasting the time of everybody – including me – with your attempt to use this thread to promote your mistaken narrative.

                Your list of silly questions consists of attempted justifications for your silly narrative.

                This thread is about the analysis in Tom Quirk’s above essay. That analysis shows the sinks for atmospheric CO2 are not overloaded, but your mistaken narrative asserts the sinks are overloaded. Your narrative is wrong, and that is why you are attempting to usurp this thread from its subject.

                Richard

                31

              • #

                Richard,

                You just lost the debate: you have no answers to my questions, which are fundamental to the cause of the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere.

                As I repeatedly said, Tom Quirk’s analyses is skewed, as he compared the increase to a linear slope, not a quadratic least squares curve, which shows a small increase 1989-1991 and a larger drop 1991-1993. Thus instead of “overwhelming the sinks”, which is in fact a change in sink capacity, the cooling + Pinatubo eruption increased the sink rate more than it was decreased in the period before.

                The outliers are not 1989-1991, the outliers are the 1991 Pinatubo and the 1998 El Niño:

                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg

                But that doesn’t fit your zeal to refute everything that may remotely show that humans are to blame for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

                11

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You say to me

                But that doesn’t fit your zeal to refute everything that may remotely show that humans are to blame for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

                You can withdraw that egregious falsehood and apologise for it immediately!

                I have a zeal to determine the truth. At present the truth is as I said in my first post here at #51

                Data that fits all the possible causes is not evidence for the true cause. Data that only fits the true cause would be evidence of the true cause. But our findings demonstrate that there is no data that only fits either an anthropogenic or a natural cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Hence, the only factual statements that can be made on the true cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration are

                (a) the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration may have an anthropogenic cause, or a natural cause, or some combination of anthropogenic and natural causes,

                but

                (b) there is no evidence that the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has a mostly anthropogenic cause or a mostly natural cause.

                You have a zeal – repeatedly demonstrated in this thread – to promote your mistaken narrative by any means.

                And you also make this daft assertion to me

                You just lost the debate: you have no answers to my questions, which are fundamental to the cause of the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere.

                You can declare that you won your debate if you want to delude yourself with that. But others can see that your irrelevant questions are attempts to distract from Quirk’s finding that the sinks are NOT overloaded. That finding refutes your mistaken narrative.

                So, no, my refusal to agree to your framing of the discussion does NOT mean I “lost the debate”. It means that I refuse to be dragged away from discussion of the finding of Quirk which refutes your mistaken narrative.

                Richard

                11

              • #

                Richard you say:

                I have a zeal to determine the truth

                At the same time that you are blind and deaf for any argument which shows that you are wrong. Would you ever accept anything that shows that there is a possibility that humans are the cause of the increase in the atmosphere? You didn’t once in the many years behind us…

                In this discussion again: the findings of Tom Quirk only show the variability of the natural sinks, a temporarily decrease in sink capacity, followed by an increase in sink capacity. Both influenced by the reaction of vegetation on temperature (and light scattering from the Pinatubo aerosols).
                That has nothing to do with overwhelming or not of the sinks, as vegetation is a part of the sinks itself (at least since 1990). The overwhelming is by human emissions only, all the time, every year of the past 57 years.

                there is no evidence that the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has a mostly anthropogenic cause or a mostly natural cause.

                Why did I pose my four questions? Because the true answers prove that the rise in CO2 has a mostly human cause, because there is not the slightest indication that there was a substantial increase in the natural carbon cycle in the past 57 years.

                Your refusal to answer these questions only proves that you aren’t interested in finding the truth.

                That is my last word here on this topic, until we meet again…

                11

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You say to me

                Your refusal to answer these questions only proves that you aren’t interested in finding the truth.

                That is my last word here on this topic, until we meet again…

                NO, Ferdinand.
                I seek truth and your mistaken narrative is NOT the truth:
                indeed, as e.g. Quirk’s analysis shows, your narrative is wrong.

                My refusal to answer your irrelevant questions in this thread is because you have posted your silly questions as a method to usurp this thread to promote your mistaken narrative. The subject of this thread is Tom Quirk’s analysis and NOT your mistaken narrative.

                And when I refused to pick up your silly questions you have run away because you cannot face evidence – such as Quirk’s analysis – that does not promote your mistaken narrative but refutes it.

                I have repeatedly explained to you how Quirk’s finding demonstrates the sinks are NOT overloaded. You have adamantly refused to address that, you have made outrageous evasions to avoid addressing it, and you have run away when I have insisted on promoting discussion of it instead of your mistaken narrative. Your behaviour demonstrates to everybody that you are only interested in your narrative and you know Quirk’s analysis shows your narrative is wrong but you cannot face that truth.

                Richard

                11

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  • #

    Ferdinand,

    The overall system is a net sink for Carbon. No question. It always has been. A very good question is where all the Carbon went that was produced by volcanoes in earth history. Posited reservoirs don’t even approach.

    But the increase in atmospheric CO2 (due necessarily to excess production over sink) can be either human or “natural” as long as the isotopic composition matches and the source is one way (without a corresponding sink as with plant respiration/photosynthesis).

    Soil respiration is a good candidate. Similar isotopically, strongly skewed one way to atmosphere, a total volume about six times human production. The recent private OCO-2 visualizations show a strong net production from the southern edge of the boreal forests…

    Be that as it may, the best argument that the atmospheric increase is substantially human is that it was warmer in the MWP, the hollowscene thermal maximum, and each of the last three interglacials without producing anywhere near the current atmospheric level.

    It seems possible, however, that CO2 fertilization may be producing an excess of litter over photosynthetic consumption that must be integrated before arriving at the purely human contribution.

    40

    • #
      Wim Röst

      Gymnosperm,

      “A very good question is where all the Carbon went that was produced by volcanoes in earth history. Posited reservoirs don’t even approach.”

      On this German site you can find a graph (“Bild 5”) which tells you where the carbon has been gone, in billion tons C (Mrd. T C):
      http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/climategate-anzeige/rubrik-unbequeme-wahrheiten-die-biologisch-geologische-co2-sackgasse/

      Limestone 60.000.000
      Kerogen 15.000.000
      Oceans 38.000
      Gas hydrate 10.000
      Coal, oil, Gas 4.100
      Soil 1.500
      Athmosphere 800
      Biomass 740

      Patrick Moore tells you the story: http://technocracy.news/index.php/2015/10/30/former-president-of-greenpeace-scientifically-rips-climate-change-to-shreds/

      Wim

      30

      • #

        Wim,

        So I quickly add up your reservoirs and get maybe 76 x 10^6 GTC.

        3.5 billion years x 10^-1 (current presumed volcanic production GTC) gives 3.5 x 10^8 (if it is not too late for me tonight). If half of that were subducted it would still leave 1.75 x 10^8…

        These things are very uncertain. We flatter ourselves to even play this game, but it is fun, and there is no other game like this in town.

        Only the elements Hydrogen and Helium are thought to be able to achieve escape velocity, so all the Carbon should still be here. Probably we’ve underestimated something…again.

        20

    • #

      gymnosperm,

      Volcanoes: depends of the type. Subduction volcanoes recycle organic and inorganic deposits of the sea bottom which are pressed under another plate. Deep magma volcanoes produce CO2 from deeper layers, thus that is extra CO2, but the total amounts are only about 1% of current human emissions, thus even with a slow half life time of 40 years, you wouldn’t find much increase in the atmosphere. With some exceptions: the Deccan and Siberian traps which were enormous and long lasting.

      While it is probable that more plant growth gives a larger seasonal cycle and more soil respiration, in principle that is included in the oxygen balance as any CO2 release from carbohydrates needs oxygen. That shows an overall net sink of ~1 GtC/year…

      14

  • #

    Ferdinand,

    Soil respiration is substantially anaerobic. Nobody knows to what extent, but to whatever extent it is anaerobic it is exempt from the O2 balance.

    My understanding is that subduction only recycles about half of the carbonate because the other half is too light to subduct. I will dig up the source if you are interested.

    There is no question that current volcanic CO2 production at .1GTC or whatever is lunch money in the current Carbon cycle. There are good reasons to believe that in the Cretaceous volcanic CO2 production was much higher than today. We really have no credible baseline, but if you just postulate that .1GTC per year was average for earth history and multiply it by, say, 3.5 billion years, a period for which continents and life nearly certainly existed; you get a hellofalot of Carbon I don’t believe is accounted for, even with 50% subduction of historic carbonates.

    That was my only point about volcanoes.

    50

  • #

    [...] Footnote:  In truth, we simply don’t know a great deal about the sources and sinks of CO2, and the flow among them. Everything, reasonably enough, is based on estimates.  Tom Quirk has a fascinating piece about one aspect of it here. [...]

    10

  • #

    Some additional comment to the article by Tom Quirk here:

    The increase in the atmosphere is slightly quadratic, as human emissions are and thus also the net sink rate is slightly quadratic as that is the difference between emissions and increase in the atmosphere.
    Comparing the CO2 levels to a straight line gives a skewed result. On should compare it to the least squares quadratic fit.

    That makes that the 2.5 +/- 0.4 GtC spike is rather evenly distributed between a 1.0-1.5 GtC spike and 1.0-1.5 GtC drop in CO2 rate of change around the trend. Both as direct effect of the temperature rise and drop + Pinatubo eruption on vegetation.

    Indeed much is unknown of the individual carbon/CO2 inputs and outputs, but what is surely known is that the variability in CO2 rate of change is mainly temperature/vegetation driven and the increase in the atmosphere is mainly human emissions driven with a small contribution of temperature from a warming ocean surface layer…

    03

    • #
      Richard S Courtney

      Ferdinand:

      There seems to be a typographical error in your post. Seeing a phrase has been missed out is difficult when proof reading one’s own writing; we have all done it.

      Your post says

      Indeed much is unknown of the individual carbon/CO2 inputs and outputs, but what is surely known is that the variability in CO2 rate of change is mainly temperature/vegetation driven and the increase in the atmosphere is mainly human emissions driven with a small contribution of temperature from a warming ocean surface layer…

      Of course, for that to be true it should say

      Indeed much is unknown of the individual carbon/CO2 inputs and outputs, but what is surely known is that the variability in CO2 rate of change is mainly temperature/vegetation driven and some people promote their unsubstantiated assertion that the increase in the atmosphere is mainly human emissions driven with a small contribution of temperature from a warming ocean surface layer…

      Richard

      51

  • #
    Gregory Lawn

    Please stop the bank account analogy. The argument is bankrupt.

    A business receives payment from Tom Dick and Harry, 1,000 1,200 and 30,000 respectively.
    Payments are made to attorneys Duey Cheatum and Howe, 900, 1,100, and 29,900 respectively.

    $300 is left in the account.

    Ferdinand says 300 is left from Tom because if tom had contributed only 700 there would be nothing.
    Richard says we don’t know because Tom Dick and Harry all contributed. This is true.
    I don’t care, cash is fungible.

    31

    • #

      Gregory,

      Sorry, bad analogy:

      Tom did add 1,000, but didn’t use anything for payments. Thus the 1,000 from Tom are balanced with 700 more payments than contribution from Dick and Harry (no matter who from these two was the big spender). Without the 1,000 from Tom, there would be a net negative…

      You would be right if Tom also had expenses.

      Humans induced lots of emissions, hardly any sinks: even the extra tree planting in some regions is overruled by land slash/burn at other places…

      12

      • #
        Richard S Courtney

        Ferdinand:

        In response to the excellent comment from Gregory Lawn, you say

        You would be right if Tom also had expenses.

        Humans induced lots of emissions, hardly any sinks: even the extra tree planting in some regions is overruled by land slash/burn at other places…

        Riiiight! OK, but volcanoes provide lots of emissions, and no sinks.
        So, according to you, volcanoes must be major contributors to the rise in atmospheric CO2.

        I now await your excuse for why you think volcanic emissions differ from human emissions.

        Richard

        22

        • #

          Richard,

          If volcanoes were huge emitters, at the same level as humans (which was the case during the basalt floods of the Deccan and Siberian traps), that surely would increase the CO2 level in the atmosphere, as good as humans do.

          The largest eruption of the past century, the Pinatubo was stronger than all other volcanic eruptions of that century together. The net result was a drop in CO2 rate of change: temperature drop and extra photosynthesis (due to scattered light) did sink more CO2 than the Pinatubo emitted…

          The emissions of all volcanoes, active or passive (vents), is estimated at about 1% of current human emissions, based on CO2 emissions of active volcanoes like mount Etna in Italy:
          http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v351/n6325/abs/351387a0.html

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          • #
            Richard S Courtney

            Ferdinand:

            You asserted that human emissions overload the sinks because you said

            Humans induced lots of emissions, hardly any sinks: even the extra tree planting in some regions is overruled by land slash/burn at other places…

            I pointed out that if that is so then volcanoes must also overload the sinks because

            volcanoes provide lots of emissions, and no sinks.

            Your response is to say that volcanoes don’t emit much CO2.

            The magnitude of volcanic emissions is not relevant to the fact that if the human emissions must overload the sinks (because humans don’t provide sinks) then – for the same reason – volcanic emissions must overload the sinks, too.

            As always, you ignore anything and everything which refutes your narrative.

            Richard

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              Richard,

              Before responding like this, can you please consult someone who has some knowledge of chemical/physical equilibrium processes?

              Have a look at the quantities and fluxes involved:

              Human emissions: ~4.5 ppmv/year.
              Sink rate: ~2.15 ppmv/year at 110 ppmv pressure above steady state.
              To reach an equilibrium between current (not further increasing) human emissions and sink rate, you need an increase of 4.5 / 2.15 * 110 = 230 ppmv above steady state.

              Volcanic emissions: ~0.045 ppmv/year
              To reach an equilibrium between volcanic emissions and sink rate for the same ratio as above:
              0.045 / 2.15 * 110 = 2.3 ppmv above steady state.
              Simply negligible…

              23

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                Before responding like this can you please think instead of merely again asserting your mistaken narrative.

                Richard

                12

              • #

                Richard,

                It is quite clear that you have not the slightest idea what a steady state process is. That wouldn’t be a problem if you did take advise from someone in your neighborhood which has that knowledge, before accusing me or anyone else of avoiding to respond to what you think is important.

                In this case it is true that human emissions overwhelm the natural sinks: human emissions are twice the net sink capacity of the natural carbon cycle at the current 110 ppmv above steady state in the atmosphere.

                Volcanic emissions are not overwhelming the natural carbon cycle: they are too small to have much influence as with only 2.3 ppmv more in the atmosphere, volcanic emissions are removed the same year as emitted, despite the slow removal rate by the sinks (~51 years e-fold decay rate or ~40 years half life time).

                22

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                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You say to me

                It is quite clear that you have not the slightest idea what a steady state process is. That wouldn’t be a problem if you did take advise from someone in your neighborhood which has that knowledge, before accusing me or anyone else of avoiding to respond to what you think is important.

                It is very, very clear that you don’t know anything about the scientific method and you attempt to self-agrandise by promoting your CO2 narrative at every available opportunity.

                See, there is nothing useful in such mud-slinging because – as I have shown – it can be thrown back. However, my ‘mud’ is true and yours is not.

                Importantly, it is simply true that – as I said – in this thread your mistaken narrative is NOT the “important question”: Tom Quirk’s analysis IS.

                Richard

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                Yes Richard and Tom Quirk’s analyses is completely wrong in quantities (but right in origin of the variability), as he skewed the increase/decrease rates, see:
                http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/the-mystery-of-a-massive-2-5gt-of-co2-that-came-and-went-could-it-be-phytoplankton/#comment-1764599

                11

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                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                Yet again you try to avoid the refutation of your repeated but unsubstantiated assertion that the sinks are overloaded which is provided by Tom Quirk’s analysis.

                You say

                Yes Richard and Tom Quirk’s analyses is completely wrong in quantities (but right in origin of the variability), as he skewed the increase/decrease rates, see:
                http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/the-mystery-of-a-massive-2-5gt-of-co2-that-came-and-went-could-it-be-phytoplankton/#comment-1764599

                That is pure red herring.

                The important point is that Tom Quirk’s analysis shows the sinks are NOT overloaded.

                In hope that you will read it this time, I yet again repeat the matter.

                1.
                You say the sinks are overloaded.
                2.
                If so, then any increase to emission from any source must increase the overloading.
                3.
                Quirk demonstrated that the pulse of CO2 in 1988-91 was provided by output from plants.
                4.
                The extra CO2 of the pulse was sequestered by the sinks within three years.
                5.
                Point 4 demonstrates that the sinks are NOT overloaded.

                When you remove your blinkers you will understand this issue.

                This issue does not resolve whether natural or anthropogenic CO2 emission is mostly responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration,
                but
                this issue demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that overloading of the sinks (by CO2 from any source) is NOT causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

                Richard

                11

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                Richard,

                I responded to that in the other part of the discussion, but I repeat it here:

                The findings of Tom Quirk only show the variability of the natural sinks, a temporarily decrease in sink capacity, followed by an increase in sink capacity. Both influenced by the reaction of vegetation on temperature (and light scattering from the Pinatubo aerosols).

                That has nothing to do with overwhelming or not of the sinks, as vegetation is a part of the sinks itself (at least since 1990). The overwhelming is by human emissions only, all the time, every year of the past 57 years:

                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg

                I have done my best to show you the difference, but if you don’t want to understand the difference between overwhelming the sinks by average twice as high human CO2 emissions and the year by year variability in sink capacity, because you don’t trust me, then I can’t help you further. Maybe others who you trust can convince you of the difference…

                Which is (again) my final word here.

                11

            • #

              Richard,

              OK, I will go on point by point:

              1. You say the sinks are overloaded.

              By human emissions, not anything else (including volcanoes)

              2. If so, then any increase to emission from any source must increase the overloading.

              If it is a substantial increase, yes.

              3. Quirk demonstrated that the pulse of CO2 in 1988-91 was provided by output from plants.

              Completely right.

              4. The extra CO2 of the pulse was sequestered by the sinks within three years.

              Completely right.

              5. Point 4 demonstrates that the sinks are NOT overloaded.

              Nonsense: the sinks were overloaded by human emissions all the time, 57 years of the 57 years. Temperature (and Pinatubo) only changed the sink capacity, which variability is temperature dependent, but the average capacity was around 50% of human emissions and the variability also around 50% of the human contribution. If the sink capacity was higher, less to zero of the human emissions (as mass, not the original molecules) would remain in the atmosphere…

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                Dave

                All your SINK data is over 13 years old

                Where is the latest data links to confirm that sinks are overloaded?

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              • #

                Dave,

                The graph is up to 2011 for emissions and sinks, the emissions data are up to 2012 now, but that year extra makes no difference.

                Emissions are based by country official fossil fuel sales and global average burning efficiency, but these data are always slowly coming in and probably underestimated by under the counter sales (and policy: China…). That makes the real sinks somewhat larger and the relative “airborne fraction” somewhat smaller.
                See: http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=90&pid=44&aid=8

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              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You assert with no argument and/or evidence

                Nonsense: the sinks were overloaded by human emissions all the time, 57 years of the 57 years.

                IF THE SINKS WERE BEING OVERLOADED BY ANYTHING THEN THE INCREASED EMISSION OF THE PULSE OF 1989 – 1991 MUST HAVE INCREASED THE OVERLOADING.

                The fact that the pulse was sequestered within three years demonstrates that the sinks were NOT overloaded at the time of the pulse and there is no reason to suppose they are now being overloaded.

                OBSERVED REALITY TRUMPS YOUR UNSUBSTANTIATED ASSERTIONS.

                Richard

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                Richard Courtney,

                Yelling by using all capitals doesn’t help much if you are completely wrong…

                What you don’t understand is that the biosphere is part of the sinks, a very variable part of the sinks, heavily influenced by temperature.

                Take as more or less comparable example a river which flows in an artificial lake, where the outflow is regulated by a fixed drain and a hydro plant, which let water pass as far as power is needed.

                During years the inflow to the lake was relative constant and the outflow variable, but its average was equal to the inflow, thus the lake level didn’t change much.

                Now upstream a huge glacier starts melting (you know, global warming…), increasingly fast while the outflow of the hydro plant remains constant in average.

                Of course the lake level will go up increasingly fast, as the fixed drain was not designed to remove all that extra water.

                Now the power plant had an off-time due to the installation of a few more generators. Result: an extra fast increase in lake level above average. After the installation, all generators were used at full speed, because another plant was under repair. Result: the extra increase in the lake was gone in a few years during which the increase in the lake was below average, but still an increase.

                According to your reasoning, the fact that the lake level increase changed from more than average to less than average in a few years time, “proves” that the lake drain is not overloaded by the lake input…

                Sorry but that doesn’t add up.

                For every single year in the past 57 years the human input was larger than the sum of all natural ins and outs together: CO2 increased at average 53% of the human emissions. In some years (1989-1991) it was more than average, in other years (1992-1995) it was far less than average. In all cases human emissions overloaded the natural cycle, not the year by year variability in sink rate…

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                KinkyKeith

                More unscientific nonsense from Ferdinand.

                As Richard said.

                ” no argument or evidence”.

                My conclusion as well.

                KK

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                KK,

                You disappoint me… I am used to what Richard Courtney seems to think what is “science”, but from you?

                Let us formulate it different:

                Do you agree with Richard Courtney that a change in sink rate from less fast than average to faster than average shows that the sinks are not overloaded by human emissions?

                See again the graph of human emissions, increase in the atmosphere and net sink rate:

                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg

                Especially for the periods 1989-1991 and 1992-1994…

                12

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                KinkyKeith

                Don’t be disappointed Ferdinand, it’s just science.

                Even IF human origin CO2 was a factor in global warming, which it is not, then we can look at that sytem on its’ own.

                OK Year 1. An amount of Human Origin CO2 is emitted. In 5 years that will have been sequestered by sinks which specifically grow to use that CO2. ie grass, tress and soil/ground organisms to name a few.

                Year2 The same emissions partly countered by new sinks specifically developed because of CO2 increase. But all done after 5 years.

                Just imagine: if humans stopped breathing and emitting for 5 years there would be a huge oversupply of SINKS and CO2 levels would DROP to dangerous levels worldwide; possibly 150 ppm???.

                What you have always been saying is that Human Origin CO2 cannot develop sinks????????????

                HUH

                How does nature know what is nature / human??? It doesn’t.

                KK

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                KK,

                A few problems with your reasoning:

                The decay rate of any injection of extra CO2 in the atmosphere (humans, volcanoes, coal seems fires,…) is not 5 years, it is over 50 years. 4-5 years is the residence time, that is the average time that any CO2 molecule, whatever its origin, resides in the atmosphere, before being exchanged by a CO2 molecule from another reservoir. That doesn’t change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Only the difference between CO2 inputs and outputs does change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

                That difference is a matter of CO2 pressure above equilibrium. The equilibrium between CO2 in the atmosphere and the ocean surface layer is a matter of temperature: at the current average ocean temperature (~15°C) that is 290 ppmv. The temperature dependency of seawater, per Henry’s law is about 16 ppmv/°C. That can be seen in the 800,000 years ice cores where CO2 follows temperature changes with a lag of ~800 years.

                The extra CO2 above equilibrium needs time to mix into the deep oceans (the ocean surface has a limited capacity to absorb extra CO2). How much time, that can be calculated out of the pressure difference (110 ppmv nowadays) and the net sink rate (~2.15 ppmv):
                110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = ~51 years.
                That is the current e-fold decay rate for an extra shot CO2 in the atmosphere for a linear process. That the process is linear is clear as a similar calculation of 18 years ago shows a similar decay rate of over 50 years:
                http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

                Thus the net sink rate is directly proportional to the extra CO2 pressure above equilibrium (“steady state” in the jargon, as it is a dynamic equilibrium: the amounts going in and out still are huge, but the total ins and outs after a full cycle of a year are equal). That means that if humans should stop all emissions today, after ~40 years (that is the current half life time for a ~51 years e-fold time), the current 110 ppmv above equilibrium would be 55 ppmv, after 80 years 27.5 ppmv,… until equilibrium is reached. Still at 290 ppmv for the current ocean surface temperature, not below it.

                Humans emit about 4.5 ppmv/year. The net sink rate at 110 ppmv is only 2.15 ppmv/year. That means that the sinks are not strong enough to remove all human emissions in the same year as emitted and the difference is remaining in the atmosphere, thus increasing year by year the total amount in the atmosphere.

                Both oceans and biosphere (all plants, bacteria, molds, insects, animals,… together) are currently net sinks for CO2, but quite variable sinks, depending of the temperature variability. That can be seen in the year by year variability in net sink rate where especially vegetation varies between a weak sink (even a temporarily source) and a strong sink. The latter is what happened between 1991 and 1993. That has nothing to do with an overloading of the sink capacity, as in all years the total sinks (oceans + biosphere) were more sink than source… The main source which overloads the sink capacity is human emissions.

                You know that we do agree that CO2 is only a small factor in global “warming” which stopped 18.5 years ago, but there is little doubt that humans are responsible for the recent increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. A non-human CO2 increase is one of the worst arguments skeptics can use, while all the focus should be on the non-warming with record increasing CO2 in the atmosphere…

                13

              • #
                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You say

                The decay rate of any injection of extra CO2 in the atmosphere (humans, volcanoes, coal seems fires,…) is not 5 years, it is over 50 years. 4-5 years is the residence time, that is the average time that any CO2 molecule, whatever its origin, resides in the atmosphere, before being exchanged by a CO2 molecule from another reservoir. That doesn’t change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Only the difference between CO2 inputs and outputs does change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

                So what!?
                As you say
                “Only the difference between CO2 inputs and outputs does change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.”
                If the sinks are overloaded then that means ANY addition to the inputs must add to the “total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere”.

                You assert – with no evidence and no argument – that only the human emissions “change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.” NO! If the sinks are overloaded then ANY addition of CO2 from ANY source changes “the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.”

                The pulse of CO2 from plants analysed by Quirk demonstrates that the sinks sequestered all the CO2 of the pulse within three years. That demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that the sinks are NOT overloaded. Live with it.

                Richard

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              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Richard

                It is beyond belief that Ferdinand has been perpetuating this idea for many years now.

                Additionally there are so many papers which confirm the absolute outside time required to develop additional sequestration capacity in response to an upturn in CO2 out put by man beast and nature.

                That time is SEVEN years max and more often centred around 5 years.

                As I pointed out a few posts back the Earth has been on a warming trend long before Adam was a boy and while it has eased off

                over the last 8,000 years there is no appreciable man made component evident UNLESS you bond high tech temperature recordings

                fromm the last few years with thousands of tree ring and ice borne records.

                Easy to manipulate.

                KK

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              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Richard

                It is beyond belief that Ferdinand has been perpetuating this idea for many years now.

                Additionally there are so many papers which confirm the absolute outside time required to develop additional sequestration capacity in response to an upturn in CO2 out put by man beast and nature.

                That time is SEVEN years max and more often centred around 5 years.

                As I pointed out a few posts back the Earth has been on a warming trend long before Adam was a boy and while it has eased off

                over the last 8,000 years there is no appreciable man made component evident UNLESS you bond high tech temperature recordings

                from the last few years with thousands of tree ring and ice borne records.

                Easy to manipulate.

                KK

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              • #

                KK,

                I suppose that even Richard Courtney agrees that the residence time has nothing to do with the decay rate of an extra shot CO2 into the atmosphere (whatever the source)… The short residence time doesn’t remove one gram of CO2 out of the atmosphere, it only moves lots of CO2 in and out the atmosphere, but at the end of the full cycle, only the difference between total ins and total outs is what counts. That is 2.15 ppmv more sink than source. Humans currently emit 4.5 ppmv/year…

                Tree rings need a lot of interpretation, which can lead to a lot of manipulation, but CO2 in ice cores are direct measurements of CO2 levels in ancient air, be it averaged over 10 to 600 years, depending of local snow accumulation rate. For the 20 year resolution of the Law Dome DSS core, the last 1,000 years show the MWP-LIA dip in CO2 level and the increase caused by humans from about 1850 on:

                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_1000yr.jpg

                Humans emitted a lot of CO2 with a low 13C/12C ratio, that is visible as good as in ice cores as in coralline sponges which make their skeleton with CO2 at the same 13C/12C ratio from the surrounding waters. The 13C/12C ratio in ocean surface water closely follows the ratio in the atmosphere in complete lockstep with human emissions:

                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.jpg

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                Richard Courtney,

                The pulse of CO2 from plants analysed by Quirk demonstrates that the sinks sequestered all the CO2 of the pulse within three years. That demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that the sinks are NOT overloaded. Live with it.

                If you don’t know the difference between overloading the sinks and the variability in sink capacity, then it is impossible to have a scientific discussion…

                The variability in sink capacity is governed by temperature variability, the overall average sink rate is governed by the pressure difference between CO2 in the atmosphere and in the oceans.

                The variability in sink capacity is about 4-5 ppmv/°C while the pressure difference is currently 110 ppmv, hardly influenced by the ocean surface temperature variability.

                Temperature and Pinatubo absorbed momentarily a lot of extra CO2, but that has nothing to do with “overloading the sinks” or not, that is only the natural variability in sink capacity, which is highly short-time temperature dependent.

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                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                In reply to my having rightly said

                The pulse of CO2 from plants analysed by Quirk demonstrates that the sinks sequestered all the CO2 of the pulse within three years. That demonstrates beyond any possibility of doubt that the sinks are NOT overloaded. Live with it.

                You wrongly respond

                If you don’t know the difference between overloading the sinks and the variability in sink capacity, then it is impossible to have a scientific discussion…

                If the sinks respond to an increase of CO2 emitted to the air such as to sequester all of the increase within three years then the sinks are NOT overloaded because the response of variability in sink capacity PREVENTS them being overloaded.

                As I said, the pulse analysed by Quirk demonstrates that the sinks are not overloaded. And no amount of your weasel words can overcome that fact. You really do need to live with that fact.

                Richard

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                Richard S Courtney,

                If the sinks respond to an increase of CO2 emitted to the air such as to sequester all of the increase within three years then the sinks are NOT overloaded because the response of variability in sink capacity PREVENTS them being overloaded.

                I will repeat it again: the sinks are overloaded by human emissions, which were twice the average sink capacity over the past 57 years. That is a matter of the CO2 pressure difference between CO2 in the atmosphere and in the oceans, which was then 60 ppmv above dynamic equilibrium. The extra CO2 uptake 1991-1993 was not a result of the pressure difference, it was a combination of a temperature drop and the Pinatubo eruption, which increased the photosynthetic uptake by plants due to scattered incoming light. Completely independent of the overloading due to the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere.

                Different causes, different processes, different results. You really do need to understand that fact…

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                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                You are incorrigible.

                The processes of the sinks are NOT – repeat, NOT – relevant.

                The issue is whether or not the sinks are overloaded.

                As I keep telling you, if the sinks are overloaded then ANY increase to the CO2 emitted to the air from ANY source will increase the overload: that is true whatever the mechanisms of the sinks may be.

                The increase of the pulse in 1989 – 1991 was sequestered by the sinks and, therefore, it is observed that the sinks are NOT overloaded.

                Your waffle, excuses, irrelevancies and evasions are intended to obscure but do not overcome the fact that it is observed that the sinks are NOT overloaded. You really do need to understand that fact…

                Richard

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                Richard S Courtney,

                Your consistent assertion that the sinks are not overloaded by human emissions, because some independent temperature related natural process can absorb a lot of CO2 in short term, only shows that you have no idea where you are talking about.

                As I repeatedly said to no avail, some natural sinks and sources are temperature dependent (seasonal, year by year), some are pressure dependent and some are a mix of both (oceans). One process is even temperature and light dependent (photosynthesis).

                Human emissions give a pressure dependent response of the sinks.
                Temperature variability gives a temperature dependent response of the sinks and sources.

                Human emissions in average are twice the observed response of the sinks, thus overloading the pressure dependent sinks.
                Temperature variations change the momentary source/sink ratio, independent of the overloading pressure. Even if there was no increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, that would show the same momentary pulse and sink rate.

                Temperature has little influence on the pressure related sink processes on periods of longer than 3 years, where most variability levels of to zero.

                The take away point is that temperature changes the momentary natural source/sink ratio, thus the sink capacity itself, independent of the overloading in the atmosphere. See the “enormous” influence that temperature has on the increase rate (and thus the sink rate, as that is the difference between human emissions and increase in the atmosphere):

                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/rss_co2_emiss_1985-2001.jpg

                Anyone who still thinks that the sinks are not overloaded by human emissions?

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                Richard S Courtney

                Ferdinand:

                All the “assertions” are yours, and they are lacking any evidence and/or argument in support.

                I “assert” nothing. I merely observe that Quirk’s analysis demonstrates the sinks are NOT overloaded.

                Your evasions, irrelevancies and unjustifiable assertions do not alter the fact that it is observed that the sinks are NOT overloaded.

                And that is my last word because I am fed up with stating fact while you respond with evasions, irrelevancies and unjustifiable assertions.

                Richard

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                Richard S Courtney,

                I have added the real impact of vegetation on the increase rate of CO2 in the atmosphere to the graph. That shows the impact of Tom Quirks analyses of vegetation variability in the sink rate over the period 1985-2001, which includes several ups and downs, but in all cases more sink than source. In all cases human emissions by far overload the sinks (bio + oceans, the latter not plotted) all the time:

                http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/rss_co2_emiss_1985-2001.jpg

                If you don’t understand that different processes are at work, largely independent of each other, then any further discussion indeed makes no sense.

                01

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                Richard Courtney,

                One last word:

                Tom Quirk said in his story:

                The loss of phytoplankton results in less CO2 being removed from the ocean and hence less removed from the atmosphere. So in 1988 the atmosphere becomes enriched in carbon-12 CO2 with a dramatic fall in δ13C.

                What part of “less CO2 being removed” don’t you understand that shows that the sinks were overloaded all the time?

                01

    • #

      Gregory,

      To be more specific:

      Human emissions are largely one-way. Natural emissions are more than compensated by natural sinks: the main natural carbon cycles are two-way: oceans and the biosphere, both more sink than source.

      To go back to the bank account: there are many accounts, each with their own input and output. You dispose 1,000 each month on your account and have no withdrawals. You don’t know what the others do, but at the end of the year the local bank shows its balance: a net gain of 6,000.

      You may think that one or more of the other clients were, together with you, responsible for the “gain” of that bank, but I would withdraw all my money and look for a safer bank that is not at the brink of bankruptcy…

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        Richard S Courtney

        Ferdinand:

        My reply to you at #57.1.1.1.1 explains why your being “more specific” in your reply Gregory is both plain wrong and irrelevant.

        Richard

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        Richard

        I have replied although my comment appears to be in moderation.

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    Richard

    My 800/150 GtC estimate was from the main ocean + biosphere fluxes over the seasons, without the day/night respiration of plants (60 GtC in and out). If you include plant respiration, then you get 800/210 or even shorter than 4 years.

    The question that concerns us is that of the average residence time for all CO2 molecules in the general mass, i.e. the bulk rate of flow into and out of a reservoir. And that is what the IPCC’s formula which I applied would define. The IPCC’s formula is as follows T = V/q. The IPCC define ‘q’ as the removal rate. The mean residence time inside the system is simply the length of time it takes for the CO2 molecules to travel from one end to the other and if the flow-rate (‘q’) and the volume of the system (‘V’) can be regarded as constants that is a simple mathematical problem to solve. Indeed, the IPCC’s formula ‘V/q’ describes it perfectly, regardless of the number of inputs and outputs and what the flow-rates in each of them individually might be. Putting the IPCC’s own figures into the equation we get a residence time of 3,000/745 = 4 years. This is even confirmed by the IPCC when they say “The turnover time of CO2 in the atmosphere, measured as the ratio of the content to the fluxes through it, is about 4 years”. I am sorry if you do not like the result of this calculation but it does appear to me to be the result to which the IPCC’s formula and its figures for inputs and outputs of CO2 compel us. With a residence time of 4 years that would support Courtney’s hypothesis. I think your apparent inability to use the IPCC’s own figures to calculate a definite, unambiguous residence time for CO2 in the atmosphere has more to do with your need for prevarication and wiggle-room than with any mathematical ambiguities inherent in the argument.

    Regarding the question of CO2’s interactions with plants you say:

    Without the day/night respiration of plants (60 GtC in and out). If you include plant respiration, then you get 800/210 or even shorter than 4 years. But the day/night respiration doesn’t even reach the bulk of the atmosphere or is levelled off in the (purposely) remote CO2 measurements.

    The reason your residence time is longer than the IPCC’s is because you have ignored the 60 Gts of CO2 emitted and absorbed by plants. In NASA’s diagram the 60 Gts of absorbed CO2 by plants is being mixed with a reservoir of 550 Gts! Thus any anthropogenic CO2 added to the atmosphere would be absorbed by plants and thereupon be rapidly become mixed with the reservoir of 550 Gts. This also implies that when the two reservoirs (i.e. atmosphere and plants) have reached equilibrium (which would not take long given the sheer size of the inputs and outputs) the ratio of anthropogenic to natural CO2 residing in the two reservoirs would reduce to about 1:3 for plants and the atmosphere respectively. Suffice to say, that 60 Gts of absorption by plants has a profound effect on the residence time and that is probably why the IPCC includes it in their calculations.

    One should take the input of the cycle to calculate the RT

    The residence time is the removal time by definition, not the amount that is being added to the system. The IPCC explains the residence clearly with the following equation T = V/q, with ‘q’ being defined as “the total rate of removal from the reservoir”.

    You need to make a distinction between residence time, which is a measure of how much is going in and out as mass and the decay rate of an extra mass above steady state.

    I find it amazing that you should still be misconstruing my argument. For the very last time, I am NOT applying the residence time to argue against adjustment time and I have not implied anywhere that this could be done. That is your own personal hobby horse. I am simply applying Henry’s law to the additional CO2 in the atmosphere. If you increased the atmospheric CO2 level then to maintain equilibrium CO2 would get forced down to the oceans indiscriminately, i.e. that is to say that upon increasing the partial pressure from anthropogenic additions of CO2 as a consequence natural non-anthropogenic CO2 would be getting forced down to the oceans to restore equilibrium, hence my saying above that the residence time argument was “moot”.

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      Richard S Courtney

      Richard:

      You quote Ferdinand as saying to you

      Which shows that you don’t understand Henry’s law.

      But – as e.g. this thread repeatedly shows – whenever people demonstrate Ferdinand has made an untrue assertion then Ferdinand always claims the demonstrators “don’t understand” the scientific principle which Ferdinand has misrepresented.

      Ferdinand intends nothing personal by his assertions that people “don’t understand”. It is merely one of the methods he uses to evade refutations of his mistaken narrative.

      Richard

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      Richard,

      I have no problems with using the output to calculate the residence time, although it is not completely right (as you add the extra output due to extra pressure into the equation), as indeed that is not important. The difference between natural inputs and outputs is what is important, as that is what removes CO2 out of the atmosphere.

      The graph of NASA shows 60 GtC respiration and 120 (natural equilibrium) + 3 (human) GtC uptake. The 60 GtC is night respiration while the 120 GtC is 60 GtC daylight uptake + 60 GtC seasonal uptake of all land plants together in (pre-industrial) equilibrium with 60 GtC soil respiration + decomposition.
      The day/night respiration/uptake is locally measurable, but is not measurable after mixing into the bulk of the atmosphere, where all measurement stations are situated. I don’t think that one should include the 60 GtC local day/night carbon cycle, but that is just my opinion. That makes the residence time shorter, but again, that is not of importance…

      So we agree that the residence time is not of any importance in sequestering any increase of CO2 above steady state of the oceans (whatever the cause). Sorry if I did misunderstood that part of your opinion…

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    Richard

    Regarding the 1:50 partitioning ratio predicted by Henry’s law you say:

    Henry’s law is for free CO2 only, which is only 1% in the oceans. A 100% change in the atmosphere gives a 100% change in free CO2, but that is only a 1% change in total carbon in the oceans. In equilibrium that gives a 10% increase in the oceans thanks to the Revelle/buffer factor.

    But then, immediately after you acknowledge the 1:50 partitioning by saying:

    What we inject in the atmosphere ultimately will mix with 1:50 with the deep oceans

    You then add the caveat:

    But that is not instantly, that a slow process with a half-life time of over 40 years

    And your reason for this “slow process” is explained in the same sentence when you say:

    Reason why there still is an increase in the atmosphere and only half human emissions is absorbed

    That’s circular logic ^^^

    Which shows that you don’t understand Henry’s law.

    Thanks, but I and Tom Segalstad (an expert on geochemistry) understand Henry’s law fine. The Revelle Factor is at odds with Henry’s law because the Revelle Factor applies at equilibrium and gives a partitioning ratio at odds with Henry’s law and it applies to CO2 in all water. When calculating the value of the Revelle Factor the value sky-rockets at higher partial pressures when the solution in pure water is essentially nothing but CO2(aq). The total amount of CO2 dissolved in water at equilibrium predicted by the Revelle Factor at higher partial pressures in pure water is unrealistically low and as Segalstad consequently points out would therefore “make carbonated drinks impossible”. The total amount of CO2 dissolved in water at equilibrium at higher partial pressures predicted by the Revelle Factor can be calculated straightforwardly with your own sources and yields results that are utterly ridiculous.

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      Richard S Courtney

      Richard:

      I made a post to you in the wrong place. It is at #58.1. Sorry.

      Richard

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      Richard (not Courtney),

      You need to make a distinction between the ocean surface layer (the upper few hundred meters of the oceans) which is readily exchanging gases in solution and the atmosphere (equalizing in 1-2 years) and the deep oceans, which have very restricted exchanges with the atmosphere and needs much longer times to get in equilibrium with the atmosphere or reverse (e-fold decay rate ~51 years).

      At rapid equilibrium with the atmosphere, the 30% increase in the atmosphere gives 30% increase of free CO2 in the ocean surface per Henry’s law, but as free CO2 is only 1% of all forms of inorganic carbon in seawater, the increase is only 0.3% of total inorganic carbon in the ocean surface. That is all what Henry’s law has to say. Fortunately, seawater is slightly alkaline, it is a weak buffer for CO2. The 1% free CO2 is in equilibrium with the 99% other species (bicarbonates and carbonates) and the 1.3 times more free CO2 is working through the equilibrium chain until a new equilibrium is reached. Not at 30% more total carbon, but at about 3% more total carbon, as seawater is a weak buffer, not a strong one. That is the Revelle factor, which shows how much more CO2 is dissolved in seawater than in fresh water.

      Fresh water has no buffer capacity at all and as free CO2 in fresh water is 99% of all carbon species, the Revelle factor is of no influence there, only Henry’s law which gives for a 100% increase in the atmosphere, a 100% increase in free CO2 of the water. The same amount as in seawater, but nothing extra in other forms.

      The ocean surface layer contains some 1,000 GtC. With the 30% increase in the atmosphere, one can expect an increase of 3% of total inorganic carbon (DIC) in the surface layer or not more than 30 GtC, 10% of the atmospheric change. That is what is measured, if you look at the DIC increase at different stations vs. the increase in the atmosphere:
      http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/27-1_bates.pdf

      Thus in short: Henry’s law works equally for fresh and seawater, but the Revelle factor shows how much extra is distributed in seawater…

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    Richard

    You need to make a distinction between the ocean surface layer (the upper few hundred meters of the oceans) which is readily exchanging gases in solution and the atmosphere (equalizing in 1-2 years) and the deep oceans, which have very restricted exchanges with the atmosphere and needs much longer times to get in equilibrium with the atmosphere or reverse (e-fold decay rate ~51 years).

    In an attempt to diffuse my argument that the majority of CO2 that we emit into the atmosphere (albeit not the same molecules) would be absorbed within a year or so (as implied by the growth-rates) due to fast-equilibria of Henry’s law you say that the e-folding time (or the adjustment time) is 50 years. However this calculation is based on the assumption that CO2 in the atmosphere and CO2 in the biosphere/hydrosphere is out of equilibrium by 110ppmv and is only absorbing about 2.15ppmv of our emissions each year. Hence you get your e-folding time of 110/2.15 = 50 years. But you cannot prove that the e-folding time is 50 years thereby proving that the increase in CO2 must be anthropogenic on the assumption that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic to begin with. That’s circular reasoning. I’m sorry Ferdinand, but what you are doing here is not real science. You have started off with a belief and a conviction – that human emissions of greenhouse gases are causing the increase in atmospheric CO2 – and you have calculated an e-folding time based on that conviction.

    Which have very restricted exchanges with the atmosphere and needs much longer times to get in equilibrium with the atmosphere or reverse

    The idea that the system must be out of equilibrium by 110ppmv is based on the assumption that 1) The atmospheric CO2 content at the time of the industrial revolution is known (of course paleoclimate ice-core conjectures are ultimately uncheckable by direct observation and contradicts other data) and 2) That natural (temperature-induced solubility) changes can only be responsible for about 10ppmv of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere above the assumed pre-industrial level of 280ppmv. However this ignores the fact that equilibrium between CO2(aq) and CO2(g) is not just temperature dependent. For example if the concentration of CO2 in the oceans increased (due to changes in biological activity) that would force more CO2 into the atmosphere upon equilibrium. And as mentioned above, it’s estimated that if all biological activity in the oceans were removed (and all POC converted into CO2) the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase by a factor 5. So, your assumption that the system must be out of equilibrium by 110ppmv ignores these other factors. Consequently any calculation which ignores these factors are barking up the wrong tree and are bound to produce inaccurate and incorrect results.

    Fresh water has no buffer capacity at all and as free CO2 in fresh water is 99% of all carbon species, the Revelle factor is of no influence there, only Henry’s law which gives for a 100% increase in the atmosphere, a 100% increase in free CO2 of the water.

    First of all, I don’t think it’s accurate to refer to the Revelle Factor as a ‘buffer’. As Segalstad points out the Revelle “buffer factor is not related to a buffer in the chemical sense. A real buffer can namely be defined as a reaction system which modifies or controls the value of an intensive (i.e. mass independent) thermodynamic variable (pressure, temperature, concentration, pH, etc.)” Secondly, I see no reason why the Revelle Factor should not apply to fresh water. From your own sources the value of the Revelle Factor can be calculated by taking the relative concentrations of DIC as their ratios and adding the ratio of HCO3 and CO32 together and then dividing the result by the ratio of CO32. Depending on who you speak to the current relative concentrations of DIC in the surface-ocean occur in the proportions: 1:89:10 for CO2(aq), HCO3 and CO32 respectively. Therefore we get a Revelle Factor of 89+10/10 = 10. Now, in a carbonated drink at 2.5atm the relative concentrations of DIC exist in the proportions: 1,500,000,000:16,000,000:1 for CO2(aq), HCO3 and CO32 respectively giving a huge value and thereby leading Segalstad to conclude that it would be “impossible for breweries to put CO2 in soda-pop”. And I agree.

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      Richard

      That should read: “respectively giving a huge Revelle Factor value and thereby leading”

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      Richard (not Courtney),

      The steady state level of 290 ppmv for the current weighted average ocean surface temperature is based on 800,000 years of ice cores and Henry’s law which gives 290 ppmv for seawater in equilibrium with the atmosphere at 15°C.

      That is the base, no matter what increased the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. The 110 ppmv extra is what is measured, again no matter what has caused the increase. The 2.15 net sink rate is the overall difference between human emissions and increase in the atmosphere. No matter how much CO2 circulated through the atmosphere: that is the net sink rate. That is the mass balance which must be obeyed at every moment of the day and night.

      Thus without knowing what caused the increase in the atmosphere, the 110 ppmv extra caused a net sink of 2.15 ppmv/year or an e-fold time of over 50 years. As human emissions are twice the increase in the atmosphere, humans are responsible for most of the increase, with one exception:
      If the natural carbon cycle increased a 4-fold, as human emissions did, and the natural sink rate was extremely fast, then and only then the natural cycle may dwarf the human contribution, but there is not the slightest indication that the natural carbon cycle increased in the past decades…

      your assumption that the system must be out of equilibrium by 110ppmv ignores these other factors.

      If there was no disequilibrium, there was no net sink rate at all.

      If we may assume that there is currently a 110 ppmv difference in pCO2 between atmosphere and ocean surface, that gives a net sink of 2.15 ppmv/year and an e-fold time of 51.3 years.
      If we look at the ratio in 1988:
      http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
      The figures are: 60 ppmv above equilibrium and a sink rate of 1.13 ppmv/year or an e-fold decay rate of 53 years.

      Which shows that the sink rate is quite linear in ratio to the extra pressure in the atmosphere and other influences had little effect…

      Now, in a carbonated drink at 2.5atm the relative concentrations of DIC exist in the proportions…

      The Revelle factor calculation is under the assumption that free CO2 is negligible, which is the case in seawater. Then DIC ~= [HCO3-] + [CO3--]. In the case of fresh water, free CO2 is 99% of DIC (your example is for a soda drink, that is somewhat buffered), see the Bjerrum plot for pH 4 (Coke is even lower). In that case the Revelle factor can not be calculated the same way and is of no interest at all in fresh water. The Revelle factor is just an indication of the extra CO2 that seawater can absorb beyond fresh water.

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    Richard

    Just to clarify for the readers what Ferdinand has done with his e-folding time calculation of 50 years. He has assumed that the system is out of equilibrium by 110ppmv because temperature changes in the ocean consequently decreasing CO2’s solubility can only account for about 10ppmv of the increase of the assumed 120ppmv since 1750 when the concentration was apparently 280ppmv. So he concludes that the system must be out of equilibrium by 110ppmv and since (he says) the sources are only absorbing 2.15ppms of our emissions each year he gets his e-folding time of 110/2.15 = 50 years. However, as noted above, the system does not have to be out of equilibrium by 110ppmv because if the amount of CO2 in the oceans increased (due to changes in biological activity for instance, which is just one possibility) that would force more CO2 into the atmosphere upon equilibrium. Ferdinand ignores this in his calculation.

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    • #

      Out of my previous response:

      Current:
      110 ppmv, 2.15 ppmv/year, 51.3 years
      1988:
      60 ppmv, 1.13 ppmv/year, 53 years
      1959:
      25 ppmv, 0.5 ppmv/year, 50 years

      Looks very linear to me, widely within the borders of accuracy of the emission inventories and natural sink capacity variability…

      03

  • #
    Gregory Lawn

    Ferdinand,

    I may be mistaken (I am not scientist you may recall) but I recall that ruminating insects (i.e. termites) generate more CO2 than humans with our fossil fuels. They also take back zero CO2. Are they not the cause of the increase? We can not take a single small source of CO2, correlate that to a small increase (relative to all increases), and claim we have identified the source. Correlation is not causation.

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      Gregory,

      Insects are part of the biological cycle, as good as bacteria, wood rotting fungi, animals, including humans. We have only rough ideas about what plants absorb as CO2 out of the atmosphere and the rest of the biosphere releases as CO2 back into the atmosphere, but we have a quite good idea of the overall effect: since 1990 the biosphere is a net, increasing sink for CO2, currently at about 1 GtC/year (~0.5 ppmv/year), see:
      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.short
      and
      http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

      Thus no matter how much the termites released, that is part of the bio-cycle and the bio-cycle is a net sink for CO2 for periods longer than 3 years, but quite variable with temperature for periods of 1-3 years.

      The difference is that human emissions are largely one-way. A few natural emissions are that too: coal seems fires, volcanic emissions,… but these are much smaller in released quantity than human emissions.

      05

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        For the last time Ferdinand.

        Get one of your chemistry colleagues at the uni to explain it to you.

        Assessing graphs on paper is one thing you do well.

        Trouble is you are creating your own story about the meaning of those graphs and have no idea of the underlying physical and chemical processes at work.

        KK

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        • #

          KK,

          I suppose that your reaction is for 61.1?

          No need to consult any (former) colleague, as I have 34 years of practical experience of industrial chemistry myself. But you are right, I shouldn’t look at the graphs, but look at the (linear) least squares slope. Oh, now I remember (getting older, my memory…) I have done that already:

          http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1960_cur.jpg

          Seems that the increase in the atmosphere is in a near perfect linear ratio with human emissions, thus the net sinks are that too.
          Just coincidence? Maybe, but it must be a hell of a coincidence that some natural release or cycle started in exact timing and exact ratio with human emissions to be the cause…

          03

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            KinkyKeith

            you are obviously not a scientist or very poorly trained.

            Correlation is NOT causation.

            As I said; ask somebody who didn’t sleep through lectures.

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            KK,

            I don’t often ask about someone’s background as I have heard to many stupidities from people with a lot of titles, but in this case I wonder what your background is as you seem to judge my knowledge of process dynamics.

            Of course, correlation is not (always) causation, but correlation doesn’t exclude causation… In this case, the slightly quadratic increase in the atmosphere is in very constant ratio with human emissions and so is the sink rate:

            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg

            The sink rate is not dependent of human emissions, it only depends of the extra pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere above the dynamic equilibrium (“steady state”) between ocean surface and atmosphere. For the current average ocean surface temperature, that is 290 ppmv. The measured CO2 level in the atmosphere is 400 ppmv. That is what pushes 2.15 ppmv/year more CO2 into the oceans than is released by the same oceans.

            The past 57 years shows that the sink process of the extra CO2 is quite linear: if the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere halves, the extra sink rate halves.

            I may have forgotten a lot of theory about process dynamics, but I still recognize a linear process if that is before my nose…

            So, what is your take here: is the net sink rate for any extra CO2 in the atmosphere (whatever its origin) a linear process or not?

            04

  • #
    Gregory Lawn

    Ferdinand,

    I have great respect for your depth of knowledge, Richard as much too, but I have not yet accepted mass balance. I hope you understand that I only expect to learn from my contrarian view, not win this argument (I doubt this argument will end in our lifetime).

    I think the notion that termites are part of the biosphere and humans are not is another argument. I believe we evolved with all other forms of life. I do not believe in creationism or that we were put here by aliens. Termites consume organic matter and release CO2, humans consume hydrocarbons (organic in origin) and release CO2. Both termites and humans do so in this atmosphere all be it humans more cleverly. Both are part of the same ecosystem. Clearly, in the past before humans existed, the ecosystem was in a state of a massive out of balance sink state and vis versa. Why would we take the position that our small contribution is suddenly solely responsible for throwing the entire biosystem out of balance?

    In my analogy above the bank account is the atmosphere. Tom, Dick, and Harry are customers that provided revenue (sources), Duey Cheatum and Howe are vendors (sinks). The point is you cannot identify any customer as the source of the remaining cash. You only know that total deposits are 32,200, withdrawals are 31,900 and 300 is left. Attributing the 300 to anyone is meaningless, the cash is fungible. Even if Howe is both a customer and a vendor you know only his net contribution to the total, you do not know which customers cash is left in the bank.

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      KinkyKeith

      Greg

      I really think that Ferdinand is a Pre-Paris Plant.

      Running interference for those who pay the bills.

      Just imagine how many carbon credits he will earn for all of the churn he has recently produced on this blog.

      KK

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        KK,

        We do visit Paris about once a year, just 1 hour 20 minutes by high speed train from Brussels. Always interesting and busy, although these days not so…

        But I am waiting my paycheck from the IPCC to go this year, not seen it yet. I suppose they are a little late due to what they have to spend for extra security…

        I have heard rumors that the Paris terrorist attacks were a consequence of global warming (drought in Syria), or maybe a conspiracy between Big Oil (Saudi Arabia) and skeptics to sabotage the climate conference…

        13

      • #
        gai

        Dr Jeff Glassman identified him as such years ago in this piece from October of 2006:

        Rocket Scientist’s Journal

        THE ACQUITTAL OF CARBON DIOXIDE

        by Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD

        Revised 11/16/09

        ….Another observer of current climatology examined Vostok data in a similar coordinate system. He is Ferdinand Engelbeen, a gadfly and regular commenter to RealClimate.org, a major public outlet for IPCC climatologists…..

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          gai,

          Instead of just looking at one sentence of a third party (where I did make a lot of comments too), have a look at the comments I did write at RealClimate, like this one:
          http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/02/an-aerosol-tour-de-forcing/ comment #6 and further on.

          You see, I was discussing with warmistas about their mistakes as good as I am here discussing the mistakes skeptics make…

          While RealClimate allowed a quite good scientific debate in the first years of its existence, after a few years half of my comments disappeared in cyberspace thanks to the censoring hand of Gavin Schmidt and I did give up to comment there. Nowadays it is just an echo chamber, no critique allowed…

          In fact a pity, as it could have been a point of fruitful discussion between both camps…

          02

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Thanks Gai,

          I know he is wrong but anybody else reading it might be taken in, it sounds plausible, and that’s the only reason I respond.

          It’s funny how all these roosters all came out just before Paris :)

          The attached link looks good, so far only read the intro and will go back to it.

          KK

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      Gregory Lawn,

      The definition of what contributes to the increase is more or less fixed: the use of current organics like wood burning, organic decay, food, feed,… doesn’t add to the current atmosphere, as that was CO2 that was removed out of the same atmosphere a few months to a few decennia before. Over middle-long term, that is leveling off to zero, except for a long-term more permanent storage of ~1 GtC/year in humus, peat,… The maximum average CO2 release from practically all life on earth is what photosynthesis first had removed out of the atmosphere, currently more sink than source over periods longer than 3 years.

      Fossil fuels were made from CO2 out of the atmosphere millions of years ago (which CO2 level was much higher than today) and are released in the atmosphere of today. That is what increases current levels…

      Of course every analogy is somewhat wrong, but the main take away point is that almost all human emissions are one-way additions, while most of the natural contribution is 2-way exchange and more sink than source.

      04

  • #
    Gregory Lawn

    Kinky,

    Ferdinand is not a warmest. I have had discussions with him on WUWT and learned a great deal. Do not be afraid to learn from those with differing opinions, that is how I have learned the most valuable lessons. But be willing to have your point of view altered.
    Ferdinand is very willing to share knowledge, take advantage of that.

    12

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      KinkyKeith

      Greg

      While I respect your views I have very serious doubts about Ferdinand’s take on the mass balance and associated sequestration additions.

      He seems to lose all contact with chemical and engineering reality and I feel that after pursuing this for several years now he has no intention of looking at reality.

      All he wants to do is push a barrow. I know he makes concessions but in the end HE WANTS US TO ACCEPT THAT WE DID IT!!!!!!.

      It is a physical impossibility.

      KK

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      • #
        Gregory Lawn

        Kinky,

        Thanks for your kind response.

        IMO his real issue is that this is the wrong argument to have with the alarmists. Temperature is not nearly as sensitive to CO2 as the IPCC models predict/project; the 19 year pause and actual observations have falsified the models and that is the stronger argument. I doubt the mass balance argument will be resolved before it matters. It does not matter if humans are responsible for the increase in CO2, the impact appears to have been very beneficial to civilization.

        10

      • #

        KK,

        Come on KK, if a human origin of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere meets all observations and all alternative explanations fail one or more observations, who has lost sight on reality?

        Like the mass balance: humans emit twice what is measured in the atmosphere, quite certain over the past 115 years and very certain over the past 57 years. Both oceans and the biosphere are proven sinks for CO2. Volcanoes negligible sources. What alternative explanation do you have that fits all observations and at the same time what happens then with the human emissions?

        14

        • #
          Gregory Lawn

          Ferdinand,
          While I am open to the possibility that the recent rise in CO2 is of human origin I don’t accept the bank account analogy. After 40+ years in financial management it just does not ring true for me.
          I need to learn much more before I am convinced, but I will be open to where ever the facts take me.
          I think a lot hinges on ones perspective. While humans have emitted more than the increase over the past 150 years and I can understand why that would lead to the conclusion that humans are responsible for the entire increase, we are still only a part of a much larger process. I do not view humans as mutually exclusive from the ecosystem. If natural sinks were a little more active (still less than they have been in the past) this conversation would be moot. It seems to me there are numerous variables in the system and we are focused on only the human output when it is very small relative to a much larger process that happens to be near equilibrium for the present.
          Perhaps, depending upon our relative perspectives, we are both correct. As far as the science is concerned I will continue to learn from you.

          10

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          Rollo

          Ferdinand said 57.1.1.1.16

          I will repeat it again: the sinks are overloaded by human emissions, which were twice the average sink capacity over the past 57 years

          During the Phanerozoic Eon CO2 levels have ranged from 7000ppm down to 180ppm. You have obviously studied the various sources and sinks in some detail and it is reasonable to say that fossil fuel emissions play some small part in the current CO2 level.

          The word “overloaded” implies that something is not normal and is going to break. Forget the minutiae for a minute and tell us what you think are the consequences this increase?

          20

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            Rollo,

            The word “overloaded” implies that something is not normal and is going to break. Forget the minutiae for a minute and tell us what you think are the consequences this increase?

            Overloaded in this case is that human emissions are larger than the current sink capacity as result of the 110 ppmv extra in the atmosphere. That is all.

            The consequences of the 110 ppmv increase – still going strong – above dynamic equilibrium, whatever the cause, is a complete separate discussion.
            The theoretical consequence, based on measured IR absorption in laboratories, for a CO2 doubling is about 1°C warming at ground level. The rest of the climate hype (1.5-4.5°C and beyond) is based on positive feedbacks in climate models which all fail to show the current “pause” in warming. The real world shows a warming of 1.0-1.5°C at the end of this century without saving one gram of CO2 emissions, that is all. Quite benign and the extra CO2 is good for extra plant growth (especially in dry areas).

            What many skeptics don’t (want to) see is that a non-human cause for the CO2 increase is a completely lost case and undermines the much better arguments of failing climate models which exaggerate the coming warming and thus all alleged consequences…

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              Gee Aye

              The sceptics who are truly de nie ing or ignoring the evidence are those that say CO2 is not rising or is non anthropogenic and that temperatures are not rising whether or not anthropogenic. The knots they tie themselves into should be the subject of a…. Hmmm

              13

              • #
                KinkyKeith

                “The knots they tie themselves into should be the subject of a…. Hmmm”

                ??? perhaps a “scientific inquiry????

                Ferdinand’s manipulation of scientific fact is so transparent even he doesn’t believe it but he is a gadfly;

                just annoying people or racking up the blog count for his supervisors so he can get next years funding approved.

                The descent of science into farce.

                KK

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                KK,

                Just because we differ in opinion about one point, the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere, I must be paid by my “supervisors”?

                I have a pretty good retirement pension from my former work (base chemicals), already 10 years now, which allows my wife and me to do what we like: travelling around the world, even a few times in Australia (East and West).
                As long as we can do that, we are quite happy with what we have.

                If that is all that you have as “scientific” arguments, you are not any better than the warmistas who are sure that the “consensus” is the only truth and the IPCC reports are as infallible as the Bible…

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    Richard

    If there was no disequilibrium, there was no net sink rate at all.

    But I did not say there we no disequilibrium. The disequilibrium would be created by the additional CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere which I believe would be rapidly absorbed by the sources as Salby’s analysis of the growth-rates (and Quirk’s findings here) appear to indicate.

    That is the base, no matter what increased the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. The 110 ppmv extra is what is measured, again no matter what has caused the increase.

    I strongly suspect that empirical measurements are impossible without a two-way time machine. No-one was measuring atmospheric CO2 concentrations during 1750 and we know that other paleo-climate data such as Stomata show higher concentrations. In the absence of real evidence people can assert any theory they like, because others cannot show that they wrong. But that does not make such theories right.

    The 2.15 net sink rate is the overall difference between human emissions and increase in the atmosphere. No matter how much CO2 circulated through the atmosphere: that is the net sink rate. That is the mass balance which must be obeyed at every moment of the day and night.

    Still trying to cast your post-normal spells over everyone’s minds, I see. You don’t seem to have realised that you have been rumbled though. You still seem to think that you can pull off the Great Bamboozlement with your mass-balance argument. But you can’t, you know. You will fail. How do I know? Because your claims do not match up with perceived physical reality and as more and more people discover this fact the more untenable your position will become.

    Thus without knowing what caused the increase in the atmosphere, the 110 ppmv extra caused a net sink of 2.15 ppmv/year or an e-fold time of over 50 years.

    Assuming for argument’s sake that the atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased by 120ppmv since 1750 (and according to you, only 10ppmv can be accounted for by natural factors) that does mean to say that the system must be out of equilibrium by 110ppmv. No, you don’t really know any of this. You are merely choosing to think that you do. It is all just conjecture. You are also completely ignoring my point while appearing to think that you are addressing it. You are not addressing it and you cannot address it until you have first allowed your mind to entertain it. So let me repeat it in a nutshell for you. How do you know that the concentration of CO2 in the oceans has not increased since 1750 which would force more CO2 into the atmosphere upon equilibrium? If that were the case then the CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans does not have to be out of equilibrium by 110ppmv, does it?

    Again, if we may assume that there is currently a 110ppmv difference in PCO2 between atmosphere and ocean surface

    Ferdinand says “Again, if we may assume that there is currently a 110ppmv difference in PCO2 between atmosphere and ocean surface”. But you have just admitted it is an assumption the CO2 in the oceans and atmosphere are out of equilibrium by 110ppmv and so your 50 year calculation is also an assumption.

    In the case of fresh water, free CO2 is 99% of DIC (your example is for a soda drink, that is somewhat buffered)

    The concentration of CO2 in the surface ocean may only be 1% relative to HCO3 and CO32 but CO2 in the surface ocean exists in chemical equilibrium with HCO3 and CO32, so when calculating the ‘equilibrium ratio’ for CO2 in the atmosphere and CO2 in the oceans one must surely take all DIC into account, no?

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    Richard

    The Revelle factor calculation is under the assumption that free CO2 is negligible, which is the case in seawater.

    If this were true then as the pH increased the total amount CO2 as DIC in water would be expected to decrease. However if you look at the total amount of CO2 as DIC in water relative to the partial pressure of CO2 in air at 7 pH (where CO2 is at a lower concentration relative to HCO3 and CO32) the ratio of total DIC to PCO2 in air comes out at approximately 1:50 (rounded to the nearest whole number). At a pH of 7 and PCO2 of 10^-8 atm the concentration (in moles per litre) of dissolved CO2 is 3.36×10^-10, HCO3 is 1.42×10^-9, with H2CO3 and CO32 existing in negligible amounts. Meanwhile at a pH of 4.92 and PCO2 of 10^-2 atm the concentration of dissolved CO2 is 3.36×10^-4, H2CO3 is 5.71×10^7 and HCO3 is 1.19×10^-5, again with CO32 existing in negligible trace amounts. The ratio of total DIC to atmospheric PCO2 also comes out at about 1:50 rounded to the nearest whole number despite the concentration of CO2 decreasing relative to HCO3 and CO32. Based on this observation, I am inclined to think that the Revelle Factor is probably wrong.

    Do you know yet why people here do not buy what you are saying Ferdinand? It’s really quite simple you know. It’s because you don’t really know anything about climate science although you are setting out to represent it to others as though you know all about it and even own it. There is a visible disparity between your professed knowledge and understanding of climate science and your ability to perform as a credible climate scientist. You cannot represent climate science to the public until you have learned what climate science actually is. I myself admit that I do not know anywhere near as much as Salby, Segalstad, Courtney or Quirk, but unlike you I am not pushing my narrative down everyone’s throat at every given opportunity.

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      Richard (not Courtney),

      I have been looking at climate for over 35 years, after reading a book about the influence of the sun on our climate and a lot of other aspects of our life on earth… I know I make it difficult for people who simply believe everything that someone with a(n) (lot of) academic title(s) says (especially if that fits their belief). But that is not what I do. I try to look at that what is said in depth at the source and try to weigh if what is said can be true or not.
      I do that as good for what warmistas say as to what skeptics say.

      I did made the effort to look behind climate models to see what they do and followed a one-day course in Oxford on that topic. What I have learned is that climate models are just expensive rubbish, as a simple spreadsheet with the basic ingredients performs better. See:
      http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/oxford.html
      Confirmed by Kaufmann and Stern in a simple model – GCM comparison:
      http://www.economics.rpi.edu/workingpapers/rpi0411.pdf

      I discussed the (minor) influence of aerosols at RealClimate, against the “consensus”, another hobby of me, and produced an article for E&E on that topic in the special issue of VOLUME 24 No. 3 & 4 2013, together with many others on different climate topics.

      I have been in London last year to hear Prof. Salby’s speech in the Parliament buildings (unfortunately not enough time to discuss things out) and listened to his speeches in Germany and this year in London. On several points he is completely wrong:
      - He says that ice cores are not showing the real ancient CO2 levels due to migration of CO2 through the ice over time. Which is extremely small in “warm” coastal ice cores and non-existing in the much colder inland cores. If Salby was right, CO2 levels during glacial periods should have been much lower than measured, thus killing all life on earth. That point was not repeated last time in London.
      - He integrates the whole temperature graph to show that temperature is the sole cause of the CO2 increase, but by doing so, he attributes the human part of the increase to temperature too. Temperature is mainly responsible for the year by year variability, only partly for the increase.

      - Segalstad uses the residence time for the decay rate of an injection of CO2 in the atmosphere, completely wrong. I had a direct discussion with him one day in the European Parliament in Brussels, already several years ago…

      - Richard Courtney: 6-7 years of discussion with him without much movement (of both of us)…

      - Tom Quirk: no problem with his analyses here at all. His previous work in E&E had a response from me (and a companion), also in E&E because he concluded that the CO2 increase was not from humans, as the source was spread out or near the equator, based on the fact that there was no seasonal lag in 13C/12C ratio between the NH and the SH, while human emissions are 90% in the NH. What he forgot is that you can’t see a lag in seasonal changes if the lag is 0, 12, 24 or 36 months…

      Thus you may think that I don’t know much of climate science, but I suppose that is more because you don’t like what I say than it isn’t true what I say…

      Back to science in next message…

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      Richard (not Courtney):

      If this were true then as the pH increased the total amount CO2 as DIC in water would be expected to decrease

      I suppose that you mean that if the pH DEcreased? Indeed if you add an acid to a (bi)carbonate solution, CO2 will be emitted and DIC decreases. In the case of an increasing CO2 pressure in the atmosphere, it is reverse: more CO2 enters the ocean surface – per Henry’s law – and DIC increases, while the pH somewhat decreases. That is what is measured in all oceans: the CO2 (in average) increases from the atmosphere into the oceans, not reverse…

      I am not sure what you are exactly doing further on as I don’t see what you are using as underlying mechanism (Bjerrum plot?). Anyway it doesn’t make sense to use the Revelle factor for anything else than slightly alkaline, buffered seawater, as the calculations are based on very low levels of free CO2…

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        Richard

        I suppose you mean that if pH DEcreased

        No, that it is not what I mean. I am talking about the concentration of CO2(aq) relative to the concentration of HCO3 and CO32. CO2(aq) decreases (relative to HCO3 and CO32) as pH increases (i.e. there is less CO2(aq) compared to HCO3 and CO32) and so the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere relative to total DIC should decrease as pH increases if the Revelle Factor were correct. The concentrations of DIC at different partial pressures I took from Wikipedia’s ‘Carbonic Acid’ page. Remember, according to what you say the surface ocean can only absorb 10% of our emissions upon equilibrium because the concentration of CO2(aq) only makes up a small fraction of DIC (some 1%). If this were true then the solubility of CO2 would decrease as partial pressure decreases and pH increases since there is less “free CO2″ relative to HCO3 and CO32 at those lower partial pressures. This doesn’t appear to be the case though. Total DIC appears to be more or less the same regardles of the partial pressure or pH; it is only the relative concentrations of DIC that change.

        Thus you may think that I don’t know much about climate science, but I suppose that is because you don’t like what I say than it isn’t true what I say

        Let’s have a moment of honesty. If you knew so much about climate science then one would think that you would at least get the residence time correct. It was only a few days ago that you were rubbishing Courtney’s suggestion that the carbon-cycle could have increased, with you saying that the residence time had increased from 5 years to 5.3 years (while stressing that there was ‘no evidence whatsoever’ that such a thing could have occured – you seemed 100% sure and so confident), despite the fact that a simple calculation based on the IPCC’s own figures give a residence time of 4 years (with the IPCC even ackowledging the 4 year residence time), thereby supporting what Courtney was saying.

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          Richard (not Courtney),

          The concentrations of DIC at different partial pressures I took from Wikipedia’s ‘Carbonic Acid’ page.

          Sorry Richard, that is only for fresh water, without any buffering, thus no Revelle factor at all calculable. Absolutely not comparable with what happens in seawater…

          If you knew so much about climate science then one would think that you would at least get the residence time correct.

          Sorry Richard, you do misinterpret the discussion with Richard Courtney: the only way that a natural cause can dwarf the human contribution is if the total natural carbon cycle increased a fourfold over the past 57 years, in lockstep with the fourfold increase of human emissions. A fourfold increase in natural carbon cycle means a fourfold decrease in residence time, while we see a slight increase.

          That I calculated a 5 years residence time and the IPCC a 4 years is not of the slightest importance, that is just a matter of what you take into account. The IPCC includes the day/night uptake/respiration of vegetation, I didn’t, as that is not measurable in the bulk of the atmosphere. But even with a 4 years residence time, there is no sign of a firm decrease, only a small increase…

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    Richard (not Courtney):

    The disequilibrium would be created by the additional CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere which I believe would be rapidly absorbed by the sources as Salby’s analysis of the growth-rates (and Quirk’s findings here) appear to indicate.

    Have a look at the relative growth rates by the influence of temperature and the influence of humans. Take into consideration that the fast response that Tom Quirk found was caused by vegetation (marine or terrestrial, doesn’t matter), so does vegetation react quite fast on temperature changes all the time. But remember that vegetation is a net sink for CO2 at least since 1990, thus the slope in CO2 caused by vegetation is slightly negative…

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/rss_co2_emiss_1985-2001.jpg

    No-one was measuring atmospheric CO2 concentrations during 1750 and we know that other paleo-climate data such as Stomata show higher concentrations.

    When, oh when, will skeptics learn to make a differentiation between what is reliable and what not? Ice cores show very accurate (1.2 ppmv, 1 sigma) CO2 measurements of ancient air. The only drawback is that it is in an air mixture of several years to several centuries, depending of the resolution, which depends of the local snow accumulation rate. Over the past 150 years, we have ice cores with a resolution of about a decade. Over the past 1,000 years with a resolution of ~20 years.

    Stomata data are proxies, not direct measurements, based on plants with grow in an atmosphere with a local bias, which may have changed over the centuries. Stomata data are calibrated against ice cores over the last century, thus if they differ in average with ice cores in other centuries, one need to recalibrate them with the ice cores…

    BTW, CO2 was already measured in the 18th century, but (too) many measurements were at unsuitable places for “background” CO2 levels: midst of forests, towns,… The measurements made on board of ships and coastal with wind from the sea were around the ice core values for the same period.

    Because your claims do not match up with perceived physical reality and as more and more people discover this fact the more untenable your position will become.

    Big words without any content, you can do better Richard…

    Let us see what adds up and what not:

    increase in the atmosphere = human emissions + natural sources – natural sinks

    4.5 GtC/year (measured) = 9 GtC/year (calculated inventory) + natural sources (X, unknown) – natural sinks (Y, unknown)

    X – Y = -4.5 GtC/year
    No matter what X or Y is.

    For X = 100, Y = 104.5
    For X = 150, Y = 154.5
    For X = 1000, Y = 1004.5

    Now your turn: show me any combination of X and Y which does give a natural increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, together with human emissions and still obeys the mass balance…

    How do you know that the concentration of CO2 in the oceans has not increased since 1750 which would force more CO2 into the atmosphere upon equilibrium?

    We don’t know that, but if that was the case, the sink rate wouldn’t remain in constant ratio with the pressure difference for the dynamic equilibrium with the ocean surface temperature.

    Take e.g. that the seawater concentration increased so that the new equilibrium at the current temperature was 55 ppmv higher, the measured sink rate would halve to 1.07 ppmv/year.
    The fact that the sink rate is in complete linear ratio to the theoretical increase in the atmosphere proves that the theory is not far off reality and that there was little change in natural factors over the past 57 years and even 115 years. Before that, emissions were smaller than natural variability…

    But you have just admitted it is an assumption the CO2 in the oceans and atmosphere are out of equilibrium by 110ppmv and so your 50 year calculation is also an assumption.

    I said “assumption”, as that is an assumption for you, not for me: at the current 15°C area weighted average sea surface temperature, the average pCO2 of seawater is 290 μatm, at equilibrium that is ~290 ppmv in the atmosphere, not 400 ppmv. It is more complicated than that, but in average that is the right figure.

    CO2 in the surface ocean exists in chemical equilibrium with HCO3 and CO32, so when calculating the ‘equilibrium ratio’ for CO2 in the atmosphere and CO2 in the oceans one must surely take all DIC into account, no?

    I have a feeling, but may be wrong, that you expect that the ratio between atmosphere and DIC remains the same if you double CO2 in the atmosphere. That is certainly not the case. If you double CO2 in the atmosphere, free CO2 in fresh water and seawater doubles per Henry’s law. In fresh water, that is all what happens. In seawater the other carbon species increase too, but these don’t double: the new equilibrium is around 10% more DIC for a 100% increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and thus a 100% increase of free CO2 in seawater. You know, that pesky Revelle factor…

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    Richard

    Now your turn: show me any combination of X and Y which does give a natural increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, together with human emissions and still obeys the mass balance.

    You’ve got the wrong idea about this. I don’t have to do anything. You are the one making the claim and so you are the one who has to provide the evidence that you say proves it. Your mass-balance argument has already been addressed by Gregory and you are only wasting everyone’s time by repeating it.

    Ice cores show very accurate (1.2 ppmv, 1 sigma) CO2 measurements of ancient air.

    How do you know that ice cores are “very accurate CO2 measurements of ancient air” when no-one was around to take the necessary measurements of ancient air hundreds of years ago to confirm the accuracy of the ice core? Why would you expect CO2 in ice core to give a neat 1:1 correlation with the atmosphere, as we would need it to do if it was going to serve as a reliable proxy? Surely you are aware that the ice core suffers from fractionation issues such as gravitational compression? Sorry Ferdinand, but the ice-core is a proxy and the reliability of proxies for CO2 are intrinsically uncheckable because no-one could go back to the times of interest and actually make direct empirical observations that might validate them. Furthermore, there are glaring contradictions of direct measurements of concentrations of CO2 in the surface snow and concentrations in the atmosphere. These measurements show that the concentration of CO2 in the surface snow underestimates atmospheric CO2 concentrations by 20-50% (Jaworowski et al 1992).

    I said “assumption”, as that is an assumption for you, not for me: at the current 15°C area weighted average sea surface temperature, the average pCO2 of seawater is 290 μatm, at equilibrium that is ~290 ppmv in the atmosphere, not 400 ppmv. It is more complicated than that, but in average that is the right figure.

    The practical problems of measuring the average concentration of CO2 in the oceans involved are immense and seemingly intractable at the present time. Unless we are willing and able to cover the earth’s entire surface in a rather fine-meshed network (e.g. 10km grid) of PCO2 sensors covering the entire surface ocean then our readings of the global mean PCO2 from a relatively few sensors clustered in convenient locations where we can easily get at them for maintenance are liable to be too inaccurate to be useful and to be misleading accordingly. You say that “at the current 15°C average sea surface temperature, the average PCO2 of seawater is 290 μatm, at equilibrium that is ~290 ppmv in the atmosphere, not 400 ppmv”. However, according to Feely et al (2001) “The average PCO2 of the global ocean is about 7 μatm lower than the atmosphere”.

    Big words without any content, you can do better Richard

    The ‘content’ that you are looking for is this very thread. As Courtney has pointed out, Quirk’s findings show that the sinks are not overloaded. During the period when plants emitted 9 Gts of CO2 into the atmosphere this was entirely re-absorbed by the sinks within a few short years. This would not be possible if the sinks were overloaded and only absorbing 50% of our emissions. The sinks would not discriminate and continue to absorb only 50% of our emissions while at the same time absorbing all of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere by plants.

    The IPCC includes the day/night uptake/respiration of vegetation, I didn’t, as that is not measurable in the bulk of the atmosphere.

    No. I think that your residence time of 5 years would have to be a miscalculation because it ignores the fact that the 60 Gts absorbed by plants in the NASA diagram is mixed with a reservoir of 550 Gts as I said. Thus any human CO2 added to the atmosphere would be absorbed by plants and become mixed with the 550 Gts of natural CO2. My calculation takes this into account. Yours does not. But if you want to believe that my residence time of 4 years is faulty, that is your choice of course, which you are free to make and whose consequences you will have to bear. However, unless you actually provide some real evidence to demonstrate the truth of your criticisms, I think no reasonable and sensible-minded person will take them seriously.

    Sorry Richard, that is only for fresh water, without any buffering, thus no Revelle factor at all calculable. Absolutely not comparable with what happens in seawater.

    What’s the difference? You have claimed that the surface ocean’s ability to absorb atmospheric CO2, which the Revelle Factor implies is only 10% upon equilibrium, is because there is only 1% of CO2(aq) in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2, with the rest of that dissolved CO2 existing as HCO3 and CO32. This implies that the total amount of CO2 water can absorb (be it fresh-water or sea-water) is dependent on the concentration of CO2(aq) relative to HCO3 and CO32. The smaller the concentration of CO2(aq) relative to HCO3 and CO32 then the less CO2 water can absorb from the atmosphere according to what you are saying. That is what you mean when you said “The Revelle Factor calculation is under the assumption that free CO2 is negligible.” But this doesn’t appear to be the case, at least not according to the information on Wiklipedia’s ‘Carbonic Acid’ page, which shows that the total amount of DIC relative to atmospheric PCO2 is essentially the same irrespective of the considerably smaller concentration of CO2(aq) relative to HCO3 and CO32 at lower partial pressures.

    I have been looking at climate for over 35 years, after reading a book about the influence of the sun on our climate and a lot of other aspects of our life on earth… I know I make it difficult for people who simply believe everything that someone with a(n) (lot of) academic title(s) says (especially if that fits their belief). But that is not what I do. I try to look at that what is said in depth at the source and try to weigh if what is said can be true or not.

    Who are you trying to convince with these self-affirmations, me or you? Take an honest, objective look at what you have done and tried to do in your exchanges with people here and I think you will get a rather less self-flattering impression of what the real you is really like.

    If that was the case, the sink rate wouldn’t remain in constant ratio with the pressure difference for the dynamic equilibrium with the ocean surface temperature.

    Sorry, but I can’t make any sense of this.

    —————————————

    Anyway, I’m done here. Good day to you.

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      Richard,

      One last word:

      Tom Quirk said in his story:

      The loss of phytoplankton results in less CO2 being removed from the ocean and hence less removed from the atmosphere. So in 1988 the atmosphere becomes enriched in carbon-12 CO2 with a dramatic fall in δ13C.

      That shows that the sinks were overloaded by human emissions all the time…

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    Richard (not Courtney),

    I don’t have to do anything. You are the one making the claim and so you are the one who has to provide the evidence that you say proves it.

    Come on, what you ask from me is to prove that 4.5 – 9 = -4.5

    I do ask you to prove that the above calculation is not right…

    Gregory may be right if, and only if, the natural carbon cycle increased in exact ratio and timing with human emissions. In all other cases, the net result wouldn’t give the 4-fold increase of CO2 as measured in the atmosphere. For which is not the slightest indication that the natural carbon cycle increased.

    How do you know that ice cores are “very accurate CO2 measurements of ancient air”

    - The overlap of ~20 years between ice cores and direct measurements in South Pole air.
    - The distribution of recent human gases (CFC’s, 14C bomb test spike), which confirms the calculated distribution.
    - The equal CO2 levels in firn and ice at bubble closing depth.
    - The equal (+/- 2.5 ppmv) CO2 levels in ice cores with extreme differences in temperature and layer thickness / resolution for the same periods.
    - The overlap of different ice cores with different resolution from the recent past (1980) back to 800,000 years ago.

    The “fractionation issues such as gravitational compression” are around 1% and are compensated for by measuring the 15N/14N ratio in the air at closing depth.

    Jaworowski et al 1992

    Forget Jaworowski, let him rest in peace, together with his ideas about CO2 in ice cores (the behavior of CO2 is not the same as for metal-ions in ice which he studied). All his objections were one by one refuted by the work of Etheridge on three Law Dome ice cores, already published in 1996. See my take on Jaworowski at:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html
    There is no discrepancy between CO2 in snow/firn and in the atmosphere:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_firn.jpg

    The average PCO2 of the global ocean is about 7 μatm lower than the atmosphere

    Agreed, that is the current average pressure difference for the surface, because the surface is in fast equilibrium with the atmosphere. That also shows that the flux is from atmosphere into surface, not reverse and that the surface layer is easily saturated. The non-saturation is in equatorial waters (+350 ppmv difference) and the polar waters (-250 ppmv difference) where the current total flux difference is ~3 GtC/year more sink than source. As I said, more complicated…

    As Courtney has pointed out, Quirk’s findings show that the sinks are not overloaded.

    Richard Courtney is wrong, as the different sources and sinks react in different ways to temperature and pressure.
    Human emissions, or any injection of CO2 are only removed by pressure sensitive processes. Vegetation is extremely sensitive to temperature changes and light changes, less to pressure. Thus if there is a change in (ocean) temperature that may make that there is an outburst of CO2 from decaying vegetation, followed by an increased uptake if the temperature changes again, or is helped by light scattering after the Pinatubo. The (ocean) process that removes the extra injection of CO2 above steady state in the atmosphere is largely independent of temperature and simply goes on as before.

    That makes that even in the period 1989-1991 of the outburst, human emissions were overloading the sinks as good as in every year of the past 57 years. That there was an extra CO2 sink in the period 1991-1993 is also temperature dependent + the Pinatubo influence. Nothing to do with the overloading or not of the pressure dependent sinks… See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/rss_co2_emiss_1985-2001.jpg

    it ignores the fact that the 60 GtC absorbed by plants in the NASA diagram is mixed with a reservoir of 550 Gts as I said

    Richard, the NASA graph gives 60 GtC respiration and 120 GtC photosynthesis. The latter is 60 GtC uptake within a day in daylight and 60 GtC uptake during the whole growing season. That makes that 60 GtC goes in and out within 24 hours, while the other 60 GtC is compensated by 60 GtC soil respiration and vegetation decay over a full year, plus some uptake of part of human emissions in the cycle.
    The IPCC does take the daily cycle into their RT calculation, I don’t do that, as that doesn’t even reach the bulk of the atmosphere and is only locally measurable.
    As already said, that doesn’t make any difference in the discussion of a decrease or increase in RT.

    The smaller the concentration of CO2(aq) relative to HCO3 and CO32 then the less CO2 water can absorb from the atmosphere according to what you are saying.

    You have it upside down: there is no difference at all between fresh water and seawater for the uptake of CO2 as free CO2, the ratio between CO2 in the atmosphere and free CO2 in both is exactly the same, no matter the ratio between free CO2 and (bi)carbonates. That is what Henry’s law says.

    For fresh water, it ends there: as most of “DIC” is free CO2, a 100% increase of CO2 in the atmosphere gives a 100% increase of CO2 (DIC) in fresh water and then it stops.

    For seawater, it doesn’t end there: a 100% increase in the atmosphere gives a 100% increase of free CO2, that pushes the chemical equilibrium towards more bicarbonates and more carbonates, but also more H+, the latter pushes the equilibrium back to the other side with as net result that at the new equilibrium total DIC increased with about 10%.

    A 100% increase in the atmosphere doubled DIC in fresh water, while the increase in seawater is a factor 10 higher than in fresh water (as DIC from free CO2 was only 1% of total DIC in seawater, after that 2%)

    Again, you can’t calculate the Revelle factor for fresh water, as that doesn’t include free CO2 in DIC in its formula at all and assumes that free CO2 is negligible.

    Sorry, but I can’t make any sense of this.

    It does make sense to anyone who knows something of process dynamics. If a process – any process – is linear, any disturbance of the process is met with a response in direct ratio to the disturbance. In this case, if the (theoretical) difference with the equilibrium doubles or halves and the response of the process doubles or halves, then you may be sure that it is a linear process…

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