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


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CO2 hits record high: Antarctic temperatures do nothing

The terrifying effect of CO2

Feel the panic.

South Pole CO2 levels cross 400 ppm first time in 4 million years!

WASHINGTON: The Earth passed another unfortunate milestone when carbon dioxide levels surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) at the South Pole for the first time in 4 million years, according to US scientists.The South Pole has shown the same, relentless upward trend in carbon dioxide (CO2) as the rest of world, but its remote location means it is the last to register the impacts of increasing emissions from fossil fuel consumption, the primary driver of greenhouse gas pollution, researchers said.

In response, the South pole temperatures “pause”

Satellites show the real warming effect of CO2 on the air over Antarctica (thanks Ken Stewart)

For thousands of years temperatures in West Antarctica have been higher than now.

Graph via WattsUP

Temperatures (orange) peaked around 4,000 years ago (top graph). Graph: T.J. Fudge | University of Washington


Notice how CO2 controls the temperature in Vostok – Not. [...]

18 million square kilometers more greenery due to “carbon pollution” that the Greens hate

What kind of pollution do you want to feed your plants? The carbon kind.

Yet again, a satellite study of leaf area shows that the world is greener than it was in 1982. There are more plants mostly thanks to CO2 aerial fertilization. The biggest benefits from CO2 are in the warm tropics. The extra greenery in colder areas was due to that other disaster called “global warming”. About a tenth of the greening had nothing to do with either carbon pollution or extra warmth and was apparently thanks to nitrogen from man-made fertilizers.

Obviously we need a $10 billion dollar program to stop this immediately.

Click to enlarge.

Humans are Greening planet Earth — ABC

The most comprehensive modelling of remote sensing data so far shows the area on Earth covered by plants in this time has increased by 18 million square kilometres — about 2.5 times the size of the Australian continent — largely due to the fertilising effect of carbon dioxide (CO2).

“[The greening] has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” said Dr Zaichun Zhu, from Peking University in China and lead author [...]

Plants suck half the CO2 out of the air around them before lunchtime each day

A paper that is nearly 60 years old shows us just how intrinsically important CO2 is to life.

An acre of corn is a living machine drawing CO2 from the air around it. In windless conditions, CO2 concentrations over a cornfield build up each night as CO2 diffuses from higher air and the organic matter and bacteria create CO2 from the soil.  A paper by Chapman et al  from 1954[1], shows that as soon as the sun comes up, to power-up those dormant photosynthetic cells, the plants rapidly draw down as much CO2 as possible, and when the CO2 levels fall too low, plant growth surely slows.

On a windless day CO2 values rose to 410ppm overnight and fell to 210ppm during the morning.

This graph shows CO2 content of the air over a cornfield on a still day (no wind). Sunrise occurs at 5am and CO2 levels plummet til 8am, reaching their lowest by 1pm, which is nearly half the CO2 concentration of the peak reached overnight. The corn is affecting CO2 levels in air even as high as 150m or 500ft above. These level out by around 8am and only start to increase again, a couple of hours [...]

Blockbuster: Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans

There goes another “fingerprint”…

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

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

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

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

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

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

The higher levels of CO2 in recent [...]

Is man-made CO2 different? 1000 years? Try 4 years.

That CO2 you emitted last Tuesday: Is it coming back next month, next year, or in March 3011?

Tim Flannery makes it clear that CO2 circulates o-so-slowly, circa “a thousand years”. Remember that CO2′s “greenhouse” effect occurs at speed-of-light timescales, so if the temperature is affected, so must be the CO2 (according, at least, to the World of Flannery).

If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years… Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed and that only happens slowly.  [Thanks to Andrew Bolt]

There are a few clues that maybe CO2 doesn’t idle the centuries away aloft, and that (I know you’ll be shocked) the Climate Commission (and IPCC) have overstated things: If emissions are absorbed by the global system in a matter of months, it rather blows the idea that we have to act decades ahead to stop the catastrophe. If CO2 levels adjust quickly, our [...]