Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere 5-15 Years Only

IF carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels only stayed in the atmosphere a few years, say five years, then there may not be quite the urgency currently associated with anthropogenic global warming.    Indeed it might be argued that the problem of elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide could be easily reversed as soon as alternative fuel sources where found and/or just before a tipping point was reached.   The general consensus, however, is not five years, but rather more in the range of 50 to 200 years.     

But in a new technical paper to be published in the journal ‘Energy and Fuels’, Robert Essenhigh from Ohio State University, throws doubt on this consensus.   Using the combustion/chemical-engineering Perfectly Stirred Reactor (PSR) mixing structure, or 0-D Box, as the basis of a model for residence time in the atmosphere, he explains that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are likely to have a residence time of between 5 and 15 years.    He further concludes that the current trend of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is not from anthropogenic sources, but due to natural factors.

Here’s the abstract:

The driver for this study is the wide-ranging published values of the CO2 atmospheric residence time (RT), , with the values differing by more than an order of magnitude, where the significance of the difference relates to decisions on whether: (1) to attempt control of combustion-sourced (anthropogenic) CO2 emissions, if >100 years; or (2) not to attempt control, if ~10 years.  This given difference is particularly evident in the IPCC First (1990) Climate Change Report where, in the opening Policymakers Summary of the Report, the RT is stated to be in the range 50 to 200 years; and, (largely) based on that, it was also concluded in the Report and from subsequent related studies that the current rising level of CO2 was due to combustion of fossil fuels, thus carrying the, now widely-accepted, rider that CO2 emissions from combustion should therefore be curbed.  However, the actual data in the text of the IPCC Report separately states a value of 4 years.  The differential of these two times is then clearly identified in the relevant supporting-documents of the report as being, separately: (1) a long-term (~100 years) adjustment or response time to accommodate imbalance increases in CO2 emissions from all sources; and, (2) the actual RT in the atmosphere, of ~4 years. As check on that differentiation, and its alternative outcome, the definition and determination of RT thus defined the need for and focus of this study.  In this study, using the combustion/chemical-engineering Perfectly Stirred Reactor (PSR) mixing structure, or 0-D Box, for the model-basis, as alternative to the more-commonly used Global Circulation Models (GCM’s), to define and determine the RT in the atmosphere, then, using data from the IPCC and other sources for model validation and numerical determination, the data: (1) support the validity of the PSR model-application in this context; and (2) from the analysis, provide (quasi-equilibrium) residence times for CO2 of: ~5 years carrying C12; and of ~16 years carrying C14, with both values essentially in agreement with the IPCC short-term (4-year) value, separately, in agreement with most other data sources and notably a (1998) listing by Segalstad of 36 other published values, also in the range 5 to 15 years.  Additionally, the analytical results then also 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 outcome of the injection of excess 14CO2 into the atmosphere during the A-bomb tests in the 1950’s/60’s which generated an initial increase of approximately 1000% above the normal value, and which then declined substantially exponentially with time, with = 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 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 probably 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 outcome of combustion.  The economic and political significance of that conclusion will be self-evident.

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

Notes

THE POTENTIAL DEPENDENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING ON THE RESIDENCE TIME (RT) IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF ANTHROPOGENICALLY-SOURCED CARBON DIOXIDE
by Robert H. Essenhigh,  Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA. In press in the journal ‘Energy and Fuels’, but now available at ACS website http://pubs.acs.org/articlesonrequest/AOR-fAEJXMX3JgkNFmgAkdpu

Tom Quirk recently arrived at a similar conclusion using a different methodology, more here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/03/the-available-evidence-does-not-support-fossil-fuels-as-the-source-of-elevated-concentrations-of-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-part-1/

69 Responses to Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere 5-15 Years Only

  1. Nick Stokes April 17, 2009 at 2:07 am #

    Jennifer,
    I couldn’t access the full paper at ACS, but are you sure you are reading it correctly. There are two relevant time constants. The residence time (RT) is the time a particular C atom remains in the atmosphere. This is dominated by exchange via photosynthesis, and is generally agreed to be a few years. Essenhigh says that the IPCC gave 4 years in AR1, and his range is 5-15. He seems to regard the IPCC figure as verified by his analysis.
    Then there is the time constant for the total CO2 conc to return to equilibrium after a perturbation. This is much longer, and is the important figure. On this he says Additionally, the analytical results then also 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.
    He then seems to make an issue of the fact that the sustained rise in CO2 might not consist of the same atoms that were originally anthropogenically released. But what exactly that issue is is not clear from the abstract.

  2. Svend Hendriksen April 17, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    A ref. list compiled by prof. Tom V. Segalstad (Oslo, Norway)

    Based on natural carbon-14

    Craig [1957] 7 +/- 3
    Revelle & Suess [1957] 7
    Arnold & Anderson [1957] 10
    including living and dead biosphere
    (Siegenthaler, 1989) 4-9
    Craig [1958] 7 +/- 5
    Bolin & Eriksson [1959] 5
    Broecker [1963], recalc. by Broecker & Peng [1974] 8
    Craig [1963] 5-15
    Keeling [1973b] 7
    Broecker [1974] 9.2
    Oeschger et al. [1975] 6-9
    Keeling [1979] 7.53
    Peng et al. [1979] 7.6 (5.5-9.4)
    Siegenthaler et al. [1980] 7.5
    Lal & Suess [1983] 3-25
    Siegenthaler [1983] 7.9-10.6
    Kratz et al. [1983] 6.7

    Based on Suess Effect
    Ferguson [1958] 2 (1-8)
    Bacastow & Keeling [1973] 6.3-7.0

    Based on bomb carbon-14
    Bien & Suess [1967] >10
    Münnich & Roether [1967] 5.4
    Nydal [1968] 5-10
    Young & Fairhall [1968] 4-6
    Rafter & O’Brian [1970] 12
    Machta (1972) 2
    Broecker et al. [1980a] 6.2-8.8
    Stuiver [1980] 6.8
    Quay & Stuiver [1980] 7.5
    Delibrias [1980] 6.0
    Druffel & Suess [1983] 12.5
    Siegenthaler [1983] 6.99-7.54

    Based on radon-222
    Broecker & Peng [1974] 8
    Peng et al. [1979] 7.8-13.2
    Peng et al. [1983] 8.4

    Based on solubility data
    Murray (1992) 5.4

    Based on carbon-13/carbon-12 mass balance
    Segalstad (1992) 5.4

    Table 2. Atmospheric residence time (i.e. lifetime, turnover time) of CO2, mainly based on the compilation by Sundquist (1985; for references in brackets).

    Judged from the data of Table 2 there is apparently very little disagreement from early works to later works regardless of measurement method, that the atmospheric CO2 lifetime is quite short, near 5 years. This fact was also acknowledged early by IPCC’s chairman Bolin (Bolin & Eriksson, 1959).

  3. Sunsettommy April 17, 2009 at 3:09 am #

    There are many published papers attesting to short residence times in the atmosphere.

    The IPCC misleadingly focus on the longer and less valid equilibrium after a perturbation.Which happens all the time.

    LOL.

  4. RW April 17, 2009 at 6:01 am #

    Seriously, this is tragic.

    1. Why did this ‘natural source’ of CO2 start pumping it out just when mankind started producing CO2 in significant quantities?
    2. How does it have the same isotopic composition as the CO2 found in fossil fuels?
    3. Where is all the anthropogenic CO2 going?

    These are simple, obvious questions that you apparently cannot answer. There is no doubt at all that anthropogenic emissions are the cause of virtually the whole of the ~100ppm rise in CO2 concentrations. To deny it puts you in the same category as creationists, flat-earthers, Moon landing deniers, Lysenkoists and other pseudoscience believers.

    Each time you post another denial of basic science, you become more of a laughing stock.

  5. jae April 17, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    RW makes another brilliant observation:

    “Each time you post another denial of basic science, you become more of a laughing stock.”

    No matter what comments are made on about any subject, if they go even slightly against the Holy Grail of IPPC style AGW, you offer only some insulting nonsensical reply (instead of ANY demonstrated facts or references to prove your “point”). Provide some literature that refutes the paper, not just some more hostile arm-waving crap. You are acting like a far-left liberal. You have still not explained to us why we should believe that YOU know what the “basic science” is. You are the laughing stock, here, sir (madam, neither, whatever)!

  6. RW April 17, 2009 at 6:49 am #

    There are plenty of questions about atmospheric physics that are worth asking; where the extra CO2 came from is not one of them.

  7. John F. Pittman April 17, 2009 at 7:24 am #

    Nick, RW’s question #1 indirectly contains the answer to your “”But what exactly that issue is.”” There has been a rise in CO2. The way #1 is worded would make me conclude that RW accepts the CO2 based on the ice core data. The problem of course is that it is generally known that as it warms, CO2 will tend to be released by the oceans. This can be no more be denied than that in a still, homongenopus, 1-D world, the increase in CO2 should cause a rise in temperature. BOth of these are physical facts. Another physical fact is that we do not live in such a 1-D world. The GCM’s don’t assume we do, but do assume the effect of CO2 on water is positive, and that the increased evaporation rate does not increase heat transfer due to their assumption about lapse rates. This would bea psuedo-equilibrium constraint whish is not agreed to. However, they do agree to this psuedo-equilibrium constraint and 1-D world when it comes to the natural CO2 emissions. This paper does not agree with the IPCC model as stated in the abstract and concludes that it is natural in origin (the longterm rise).

    So, in answer to RW
    #1 That the phenomena occurs at the same time as the rise in use of hydrocarbons by man can be just that, a mere consequence. The science of the paper should be the determinination of its worth not assumed rejection by ad-homs comparisons with “creationists, flat-earthers, Moon landing deniers, Lysenkoists and other pseudoscience believers.”
    #2 How does it have the same isotope found in fossil fuels? As far as I know, the only data the world has on isotopic data is recent. He plainly states it is historical increase in CO2. How such is separated will be the science, or lack of science, in the paper. The science of the paper should be the determinination of its worth not assumed rejection by ad-homs comparisons with “creationists, flat-earthers, Moon landing deniers, Lysenkoists and other pseudoscience believers.” IMO if this is not well defined, the paper most likely will not survive reveiw in its present form.
    #3. Where is all the anthropogenic CO2 going? Well each year about half of it does not make it to the atmosphere, indicating that with one rate assumption, it would take about 4 years to reduce the extra CO2 to 10% above baseline, using another rate model, it would take about 15 years to reduce the extra CO2 to 10% above baseline. There is continued, unresolved disagreement about the rate equation. The science of the paper should be the determinination of its worth, not assumed rejection by ad-homs comparisons with “creationists, flat-earthers, Moon landing deniers, Lysenkoists and other pseudoscience believers.” As in #2, IMO, if this is not well defined, the paper most likely will not survive reveiw in its present form.

  8. Nick Stokes April 17, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    John F
    The puzzle to me about this abstract is that he uses a PSR model which I would have thought to be very crude. Nevertheless, on my reading, he says he gets results in agreement with IPCC values. He then goes on to say that supports an alternative view.

    But if the results are the same, then the PSR doesn’t add anything new; if there is any merit in the alternative view, it could have been gotten from the IPCC figures.

    So when you say the science in the paper is the use of historical data to tune the PSR, that may be, but I don’t think that science leads to the conclusion.

  9. Neville April 17, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    As everyone knows as temp increases ( given enough time) you tend to get higher levels of co2.
    The ice cores show a lag of 800 years between higher temps and increased co2, so take 800 from 2009 and we arrive at 1209 exactly smack bang in the MWP.
    But what is surprising about this critically urgent problem ( always BS) is Ross Garnaut’s submission to the senate enquiry yesterday.
    He suddenly has a change of heart and wonders if this really is the right time to introduce an ETS, perhaps better to leave it to a later date.
    What do the resident feeble minded fanatics, urgers and religious fundamentalists think of Garnaut’s idea, because of course this is such an urgent problem.
    So urgent that it only has a lag time of 800+ years, talk about graduates of bonehead college.

  10. Louis Hissink April 17, 2009 at 8:53 am #

    RW,

    Obviously you are not a scientist or familiar with the scientific method.

    1. Isotope ratios based on D13C cannot be used to distinguish biotic from abiotic carbon sources. Demonstrably non biotic carbon sources have the same signature as biotic carbon sources. You are quoting moron science.
    2. The statement “There is no doubt” cannot be based in science but in belief. In science there is always doubt because science is about explaining natural phenomena with existing scientific knowledge under the proviso that tomorrow someone somewhere will discover that an existing scientific theory is wrong.
    3.It helps not to look in the mirror when vilifying us with ad hominems.

  11. jennifer April 17, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    Hi Jennifer

    I tryed to post a list on your web-blog, but something vent wrong….

    Attached a list compiled by Prof. Tom V. Segalstad confirms that CO2 has a lifetime of about 5-8 years in average

    Kind regards from

    The coolest place in the world….Greenland

    Svend

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

    Hi Svend, Sorry you had problems with the comment box, I couldn’t see anything in spam or find the list, but I’m posting below the abstract from the paper you sent me.
    Kind regards, Jennifer

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

    Carbon cycle modelling and the residence time of natural and anthropogenic atmospheric CO2: on the construction of the “Greenhouse Effect Global Warming” dogma.
    by Tom V. Segalstad, Mineralogical-Geological Museum, University of Oslo, Norway

    Abstract
    The three evidences of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that the apparent contemporary atmospheric CO2 increase is anthropogenic, is discussed and rejected: CO2 measurements from ice cores; CO2 measurements in air; and carbon isotope data in conjunction with carbon cycle modelling.
    It is shown why the ice core method and its results must be rejected; and that current air CO2 measurements are not validated and their results subjectively “edited”. Further it is shown that carbon cycle modelling based on non-equilibrium models, remote from observed reality and chemical laws, made to fit non-representative data through the use of non-linear ocean evasion “buffer” correction factors constructed from a pre-conceived idea, constitute a circular argument and with no scientific validity.
    Both radioactive and stable carbon isotopes show that the real atmospheric CO2 residence time (lifetime) is only about 5 years, and that the amount of fossil-fuel CO2 in the atmosphere is maximum 4%. Any CO2 level rise beyond this can only come from a much larger, but natural, carbon reservoir with much higher 13-C/12-C isotope ratio than that of the fossil fuel pool, namely from the ocean, and/or the lithosphere, and/or the Earth’s interior.
    The apparent annual atmospheric CO2 level increase, postulated to be anthropogenic, would constitute only some 0.2% of the total annual amount of CO2 exchanged naturally between the atmosphere and the ocean plus other natural sources and sinks. It is more probable that such a small ripple in the annual natural flow of CO2 would be caused by natural fluctuations of geophysical processes.
    13-C/12-C isotope mass balance calculations show that IPCC’s atmospheric residence time of 50-200 years make the atmosphere too light (50% of its current CO2 mass) to fit its measured 13-C/12-C isotope ratio. This proves why IPCC’s wrong model creates its artificial 50% “missing sink”. IPCC’s 50% inexplicable “missing sink” of about 3 giga-tonnes carbon annually should have led all governments to reject IPCC’s model. When such rejection has not yet occurred, it beautifully shows the result of the “scare-them-to-death” influence principle.
    IPCC’s “Greenhouse Effect Global Warming” dogma rests on invalid presumptions and a rejectable non-realistic carbon cycle modelling which simply refutes reality, like the existence of carbonated beer or soda “pop” as we know it.

  12. Julian Flood April 17, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    RW wrote:

    1. Why did this ‘natural source’ of CO2 start pumping it out just when mankind started producing CO2 in significant quantities?

    Would you care to define ‘significant’? AFAIK it is generally accepted by climate scientists that our contribution to global warming from the greenhouse effect is only important from 1945 onwards — before that, by their reckoning, we had not produced enough to make any difference to the temperature. I’ve heard that anthropogenic CO2 matches the rise in atmospheric CO2, but a little reading around refutes that. The amount in the atmosphere is going up by less than half of anthropogenic production. We are not pumping our gas into a non-reactive system, nor have we since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

    A better question for you to ask would be ‘what natural absorbtion mechanisms did we disturb when we started to industrialise?’ This question makes more sense of the figures and also allows us to hypothesise a different explanation for them, always a good thing. Why good? Because theories make predictions and predictions can be measured against reality.

    2. How does it have the same isotopic composition as the CO2 found in fossil fuels?

    I can give you… OK, here we go. a) farming has increased oceanic silica which is the limiting resource for diatoms. Diatoms are out-competing the calcium carbonate shelled phytoplankton so there is less pull down of carbon into the deep ocean sink as fewer CaCO3 shells sink. b) Starved phytos move to the C4 metabolism which is less discriminatory against heavy C. Shells containing more heavy C than heretofore sink, pulling heavy C from the atmospheric pool and giving a light C signal. c) Oil and surfactant pollution of the ocean surface mean fewer cloud generating nuclei over the oceans so less cloud and more insolation reduce cadmium and zinc supplies to the phytos as warming the surface reduces upwelling, the phytos move to C4 and see b) above. d) Oil and surfactant pollution smooths the ocean surface, reduce emissivity and lead to warming, then follow the argument in c.

    Prediction: undisturbed ocean sediments will show a move to the opal ocean over the last 250 years.

    Prediction: major volcanic eruptions with ejecta rich in soluble cadmium and/or zinc will cause a reduction in the heavy C signal.

    Prediction: ocean sediments will show an increased heavy C signal in synchronisation with the low atmospheric signal.

    Prediction: juvenile cod stocks on the Grand Banks will be starved of their correct diet by silica-fed diatoms dominating the early plankton bloom.

    Prediction: correlation will be high between oceanic temperature excursions and the amount of oil and surfactant on the surface.

    Prediction: the great ocean gyres will heat faster than surrounding waters as surface pollution is concentrated by the rotation.

    Prediction: waters polluted by river run-off will heat faster than unpolluted open ocean.

    Prediction: in times when large oil pollution events dominate the surface of the ocean, there will be a large temperature excursion which will subside rapidly when the pollution is allowed to decay. (Sub-prediction; Folland and Parker will find a plausible excuse to explain it away.) Google for MOHMAT 4.3

    Prediction; the light isotope signal will occur unreasonably early when one considers the actual amount of light C we have emitted. See Fergal Engelbeen’s graphs which begin to show the signal in 1750.

    3. Where is all the anthropogenic CO2 going?

    I wouldn’t lose any sleep over that if I were you. It worried me but then I looked at export of CO2 into the deep ocean. The science is settled and we know the figure very precisely, plus or minus 70 Gt. 70! Lots of room there to lose our measly 7 Gt.

    JF
    (I’ve always wanted to do the cod…)

  13. Luke April 17, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    E&E strikes again. Wouldn’t even bother reading it. It’s a trash journal. Let the denialist wingnuts go crazy about it.

  14. Dennis Webb April 17, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    Luke,

    You are wrong – as usual. The journal is ‘Energy and Fuel’ published by the American Chemical Society.

  15. Luke April 17, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    Conceded and withdrawn.

    “With the short (5-15 year) RT 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 probably 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 outcome of combustion.”

    So we go from missing sinks to missing climate drivers.

    And ignores all the work showing CO2 being sunk into the ocean upper layers to depth.

    Add E&F to E&E.

  16. kuhnkat April 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    Julian Flood,

    not to be disparaging or anything, BUT, your predictions sound an awful lot like CURRENT OBSERVATIONS!!

    Luke,

    if you think the Climate Driver is missing, order a different Limo Service next time. Or, get it on a Milk Carton. That almost always works here!!

    Of course, you might even try auditing the temperature data and find out whether there really IS a missing driver!!

  17. Julian Flood April 17, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Re Comment from: kuhnkat April 17th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    quote not to be disparaging or anything, BUT, your predictions sound an awful lot like CURRENT OBSERVATIONS!! unquote

    Really? Tell me more — heavy C sediments? High silica deposits? Warm gyres? The signal in WWII starting in 39 and not 35 as Hadcrut shows? Correlation with volcanoes with zinc and cadmium rich ejecta? Etc. I seem to have missed them. Peer-reviewed graphs would be nice — have a look at Engelbeen’s graph and see if you agree with him that the slope starts downwards in 1850.

    It’s warming, yes, but that’s a trivial prediction of any warming theory. It kinda comes with the territory, y’know?

    JF

  18. Louis Hissink April 17, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    Julian Flood,

    After having flooded us with scientific errors, I guess that heavy C sediments are those with a large quantity of C13 nuclei, high silica deposits – QUE????. Warm gyres, what, from too much gyration, thus causing friction, and for the rest of your ignorant post, one suddenly has to realise you seem to be probably an Acne pocket YOUF (in the present PC lexicon).

    One reason why YOUF need P Plates.

  19. eric adler April 18, 2009 at 2:01 am #

    If human industrial emissions have exceeded the amount of CO2 built up in the atmosphere, it is clear that natural sinks of CO2 have absorbed more CO2 in the land and oceans that sources have emitted and that human industry is responsible for the observed increase in CO2. The increase in temperature due to the greenhouse effect will come about regardless of whether the particular CO2 atoms emitted by industrial sources remain in the atmosphere 5 or 15 years, or whatever is the real figure. All CO2 atoms look alike to the laws governing the absorption and emission of radiation.
    I have yet to read a rational refutation of the this fact from those who set great store by the residence time argument. It has come up so often on this blog, and the people who claim that it makes a difference have never explained why it should. The arguments used are always a diversion.

  20. AnyBlackBody April 18, 2009 at 3:31 am #

    1. Why did this ‘natural source’ of CO2 start pumping it out just when mankind started producing CO2 in significant quantities?
    * Is there a connection? The planet started warming after the Little Ice Age in the 1800s. Maybe the ocean released CO2 as it warmed after the Little Ice Age. Chart CO2 levels and temperatures during recent decades and you see CO2 increases a few months after warming.
    2. How does it have the same isotopic composition as the CO2 found in fossil fuels?
    * Or does the fossil fuel have the same isotopic composition as naturally released CO2? If CO2 from the deep ocean is released, has CO2 in the deep ocean been away from the cosmic rays long enough to resemble oil carbon? Also, we didn’t start burning a lot of oil until after 1940; why was there warming before then?
    3. Where is all the anthropogenic CO2 going?
    * Do we know? Do we know where all of the other CO2 is going? No, we don’t. The “carbon budget” is full of holes, starting with the assumption that the budget is balanced.

  21. Jeff April 18, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    Hey RW…

    Does “RW” stand for “Rude Writer”?

  22. John F. Pittman April 18, 2009 at 7:06 am #

    Nick, I think on the level a PSR model is used, it will be the same 1-D model that the IPCC used. The question is whether he shows that the difference is because of the assumptions and if his assumptions are better than the IPCC’s. If they are of the same rank then it indicate why several have come to conclusions similar to his and why have come to conclusions similar to the IPCC.

    However, it, if and only if done well will show that once again the IPCC is giving in to an alarmist position.

    I find it humorous that the 1-D is so wrong for CO2/H2O raising temperature with an assumed natural psuedo equilibrium, but is so good for determining a half-life of CO2 depletion with an assumed natural psuedo equilibrium.

  23. InfernoJones April 18, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    I am going to do a post on the co2 subject for my blog. There are plenty of doubts on this subject. I don’t get why everyone is assumin co2 is rising. Why explain a rise that isn’t even occuring?

    Lets look at some inconvenient facts for the warmists:

    1) co2 is measured on top of one of the world’s most active volcanoes – Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

    2) Volcanoes produce a LOT of co2 (another fact ignored by the warmists)

    3) 1 + 2 = 3! In this case it’s obvious that the co2 measurements are contaminated by the volcano.

    4) There is no co2 rise in recent years, in fact co2 levels have fallen since at least 1996:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/mlo_co2_rateofchange_1996-20091.png
    (perhaps a decrease in volcanic activity could be due to a very low solar minimum)

    5) co2 measurements are unreliable anyway. There is too much error to accurately measure a trace gas at just 0.038% of the atmosphere.

  24. eric adler April 18, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    Comment from: InfernoJones April 18th, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I am going to do a post on the co2 subject for my blog. There are plenty of doubts on this subject. I don’t get why everyone is assumin co2 is rising. Why explain a rise that isn’t even occuring?

    Lets look at some inconvenient facts for the warmists:

    1) co2 is measured on top of one of the world’s most active volcanoes – Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

    Other measurements made at Barrow, South Pole and Samoa agree with Mauna Loa.
    The people who run Mauna Loa know when the wind is blowing from the vents and do not use the data when that is happening. If you took the trouble to read up on this subject you would know that. If you included this argument in your blog, you would be spreading ignorance.

    2) Volcanoes produce a LOT of co2 (another fact ignored by the warmists)

    The best estimates we have show that worldwide volcanic emissions are a tiny fraction of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide
    It is estimated that volcanoes release about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere each year
    Human industrial and agricultural activities release about 8000million tons.


    3) 1 + 2 = 3! In this case it’s obvious that the co2 measurements are contaminated by the volcano.

    It is obviously wrong.

    4) There is no co2 rise in recent years, in fact co2 levels have fallen since at least 1996:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/mlo_co2_rateofchange_1996-20091.png
    (perhaps a decrease in volcanic activity could be due to a very low solar minimum)

    You are totally confused. The data that shows this has the increasing trend subtracted out in order to focus on the seasonal variations. It The original data shows the annual trend increasing at about 2ppM/year.

    http://www.mlo.noaa.gov/programs/esrl/co2/co2.html

    5) co2 measurements are unreliable anyway. There is too much error to accurately measure a trace gas at just 0.038% of the atmosphere.
    The error is a small fraction of a ppM.
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html#Accuracy_of_modern_CO2_measurements:
    If I thought it would make any difference, I would have taken the trouble to provide links to support what I have written.

  25. eric adler April 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Comment from: InfernoJones April 18th, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I am going to do a post on the co2 subject for my blog. There are plenty of doubts on this subject. I don’t get why everyone is assumin co2 is rising. Why explain a rise that isn’t even occuring?

    Lets look at some inconvenient facts for the warmists:

    1) co2 is measured on top of one of the world’s most active volcanoes – Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

    Other measurements made at Barrow, South Pole and Samoa agree with Mauna Loa.
    The people who run Mauna Loa know when the wind is blowing from the vents and do not use the data when that is happening. If you took the trouble to read up on this subject you would know that. If you included this argument in your blog, you would be spreading ignorance.

    2) Volcanoes produce a LOT of co2 (another fact ignored by the warmists)

    The best estimates we have show that worldwide volcanic emissions are a tiny fraction of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide
    It is estimated that volcanoes release about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere each year
    Human industrial and agricultural activities release about 8000million tons.


    3) 1 + 2 = 3! In this case it’s obvious that the co2 measurements are contaminated by the volcano.

    It is obviously wrong.

    4) There is no co2 rise in recent years, in fact co2 levels have fallen since at least 1996:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/mlo_co2_rateofchange_1996-20091.png
    (perhaps a decrease in volcanic activity could be due to a very low solar minimum)

    You are totally confused. The data that shows this has the increasing trend subtracted out in order to focus on the seasonal variations. It The original data shows the annual trend increasing at about 2ppM/year.

    http://www.mlo.noaa.gov/programs/esrl/co2/co2.html

    5) co2 measurements are unreliable anyway. There is too much error to accurately measure a trace gas at just 0.038% of the atmosphere.
    The error is a small fraction of a ppM.
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html#Accuracy_of_modern_CO2_measurements:

  26. Luke April 18, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    With guys like Inferno out there – it’s obvious why there are earthquakes.

  27. RW April 18, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    AnyBlackBody – have you really thought any of that through?

    1. “Maybe the ocean released CO2 as it warmed after the Little Ice Age”

    If any observation ever had shown declining CO2 concentrations in the oceans, that might be a possibility. None has; it is not a possibility.

    2. “Also, we didn’t start burning a lot of oil until after 1940; why was there warming before then?”

    Where do both you and Julian Flood get this weird belief from? By 1940, atmospheric CO2 was already 30ppm higher than it had been at any point in the 800,000 years before the industrial revolution. This undoubtedly contributed to the warming in the early 20th century.

    3. I think you’re missing the point. You seem to be concerned that about half of the anthropogenic emissions don’t go in to the atmosphere, and yet you seem to believe that there is some other source of CO2 that just happens to have an isotopic ratio that mimics fossil fuel CO2, that just happened to have started being released at the same time the fossil fuels started being burned, that just happens to be increasing in synchrony with fossil fuel CO2 emissions, and somehow emits CO2 that stays in the atmosphere, while the fossil fuel CO2 disappears.

    When I put it like that, does it sound ridiculous to you?

  28. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 18, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    This is a classic example of confusion between residence time of any molecule of CO2 (whatever the source) in the atmosphere and the time that an additional amount in mass (whatever the source) stays in the atmosphere. That is indeed rightfully remarked by Nick Stokes in the first reaction…

    The residence time indeed is based on the exchange rates of 150 GtC over the seasons within a year between the atmosphere (containing about 800 GtC) and the oceans/biosphere. Thus about 20% of all molecules (including from the emissions) is replaced by molecules from the oceans surface and vegetation, which is partly from the previous year(s) as isotopic composition and from the deep oceans which has the same isotopic composition for hundreds of year to come. The residence half life time (when 50% of all CO2 molecules, whatever the origin, are exchanged) indeed is slightly over 5 years. This is purely a matter of exchange in molecules back and forth, and doesn’t change the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere, as long as the amounts emitted and absorbed are equal.

    This has NOTHING to do with the half life time of an excess amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, whatever the origin. We do add over 8 GtC/yr as CO2 to the atmosphere nowadays. Every year about 4 GtC is absorbed by the biosphere and the oceans. The main mechanism is that one need a (partial) pressure difference between the CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans to get more CO2 into the (cold) oceans than is emitted by the (warm) oceans. The average pressure difference nowadays is 7 microatm more in the atmosphere than the ocean surface.
    See: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml .
    Some similar mechanism is at work in the biosphere (alveoles air CO2/water exchange).

    If we should stop all emissions today, next year we would see a drop of about 4 GtC (2 ppmv CO2) in the atmosphere. The second year a drop of about 3.5 GtC, etc. Why a lower drop? Because the CO2 level (= pressure) in the atmosphere is a little less than in the previous year and the CO2 pressure in the upper oceans is a little higher, thus the pressure difference is smaller and less CO2 is pushed into the oceans (similar for vegetation). At the other side, some excess CO2 is transported to the deep oceans, which reduces the partial pressure in the upper ocean layer. All together, the excess time is governed by the sink rate of 4/800. That is far less than the 150/800 exchange rate which governs the residence time. The real excess half life time is about 40 years. See Peter Dietze at:
    http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

    The IPCC uses 50-200 years as excess life time and for some 10% of the emissions, even thousands of years. That may be true if we burn all available oil and a lot of coal, but it is irrelevant for the current and near future emissions.

    The PSR used as example can be used as follows: If you have a lot of non-colored liquid inputs and outputs of a perfectly stirred reactor, which are at a certain moment in equilibrium for level, and you start to add a small, but increasing flow of red colored liquid, what happens with the level in the reactor and what happens with the color?
    The color will fade with the ratio between total flows in/out the reactor and the volume of the reactor. The level of the reactor wil increase in ratio with the difference between (increasing) additional flow and (increasing) difference between total inflow and total outflow of the reactor (the outflow increases due to the increasing level).

    I have made a graph that -hopefully- makes it clear: What happens if you add suddenly 100 GtC into the pre-industrial atmosphere and let nature do its work after that. Based on realistic exchange flows this results in following graph:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/fract_level_pulse.jpg
    Where FA is the fraction of “human” CO2 in the atmosphere, which rapidely declines at 5.2 years half life time, FL in the human fraction in the upper oceans, FA/FL their ratio (not relevant here). tCA is total carbon in the atmosphere, which declines at 40 years half life time, and nCA total natural carbon in the atmosphere.

    Thus while 100% of the increase in the atmospheric carbon is due to the “human” CO2 injection, that is initial 14% of all carbon, but rapidely declines to near zero with the seasonal exchanges. The total amount (in mass) declines much slower and still 100% of the excess until near equilibrium is caused by the injection, even if no “human” carbon is left in the atmosphere.

    I hope I made it clear to everybody that the residence time and the excess life time are totally different items which don’t influence each other. The residence time is of no interest for any greenhouse effect, but the excess life time is of interest.

    Even if near all CO2 increase is caused by human emissions, that doesn’t tell us anything about the effect of the increase in CO2 on temperature/climate. That too are totally different items…

  29. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 18, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    John F. Pittman April 17th, 2009 at 7:24 am

    “The way #1 is worded would make me conclude that RW accepts the CO2 based on the ice core data. The problem of course is that it is generally known that as it warms, CO2 will tend to be released by the oceans.”

    That is right, but warmer temperatures (+ more precipitation) also increase vegetation growth…

    From ice cores we know that there is a surprisingly linear ratio between CO2 and temperature (CO2 lagging 600 to many thousands of years) of about 8 ppmv/°C. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/Vostok_trends.gif

    The current impact (with only a small lag of 1 to a few months) of temperature on CO2 levels is about 3 ppmv/°C around the trend. Even using the (very) long term 8 ppmv/°C, the impact of 0.8°C temperature increase LIA-current on CO2 levels is only good for about 6 ppmv of the 100+ ppmv CO2 increase…

    Further, isotopic data are known from ice cores too. The Holocene up to 1850 shows little change (mainly from temperature variation): +/- 0.2 per mil around -6.4 per mil in the atmosphere. Coralline sponges in ocean surface water were at about +5 per mil. Since then there is a rapid decline in the atmosphere (from ice cores, firn and direct measurements) to current below -8 per mil and in the ocean surface to +3.9 per mil (from coralline sponges), all in ratio to the emissions of fossil fuels… See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif

    And last but not least, the excess decay is 4/800 GtC, not 4/8 (we add 4 GtC/year nowadays, but if we stop adding, the excess built up over the years is in the 800 GtC of the atmosphere).

  30. John F. Pittman April 18, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    Ferdinand Engelbeen April 18th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Where does your 0.8C for LIA-current temperature come from?

  31. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    John,

    If one looks at the “spaghetty” graph of the temperature reconstructions made in recent years, that are the reconstructions with the largest difference MWP-LIA-current: Moberg e.a. and Esper e.a. each about 0.8°C difference. All others (MBH98/99) have a smaller difference.
    Huang (bore holes) reaches 1°C for 1600 AD – current.

    The MWP-LIA drop in CO2 levels is about 6 ppmv in the Law Dome ice core (air age is an average of about 40 years CO2 levels), with a lag of about 50 years:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_1000yr.jpg

    If the MWP was as warm or warmer than today, then current CO2 levels would be equal or below the MWP levels, but these are now 100+ ppmv higher…

  32. John F. Pittman April 19, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    MBH has recognized flaws and the Moberg etc use non-recommended, due to these flaws, proxies. One of the problems with associating any historical or palentological temperature is the assumptions that go to make that temperature. And for the carbon cycle, I also am one to question the assumption of equilibrium. If that is not enough, the basis of the modern temperature rise due to CO2 had to be separated from the known historical rise in temperature by an assumption as well. Thus you have a physical increase in CO2 that is natural, whether or not the ice cores show it, and a temperature increase that is supposed NOT to be CO2. The arguments with the assumptions don’t match. The positive CO2 partial pressure in the air wrt water is also based on the CO2 you have assumed to be correct from the ice-cores?

  33. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 19, 2009 at 3:38 am #

    John, boreholes don’t use any of the other proxies (but have their own problems: less signal towards the past) and give not more than 1°C increase since the LIA. Buut indeed every type of proxy has problems. In this case, one need to think about what to chose: the smallest temperature difference is from MBH98/99, that would give the largest CO2 change… But that is Mann’s hockeystick, not directly the most reliable source of temperature information of the past…

    More important is that the ice cores CO2 is not a proxy but a direct measurement of the ancient atmosphere, be it smoothed over several years. The interesting point is that the MWP-LIA difference is only 6 ppmv (with an accuracy of +/-1.2 ppmv within the same ice core), thus either the MWP was not warmer, or the current CO2 levels (measured in the Law Dome ice core with an overlap of 20 years with the south pole CO2 levels: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_sp_co2.jpg ) are not natural…

    All Antarctic ice cores with very different accumulation rates, temperature, (sea salt) dust inclusions,… show similar (within +/- 5 ppmv) CO2 levels for the same average inclused gas age:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/antarctic_cores_001kyr_large.jpg

    Thus the pre-industrial CO2 levels over the past near million years show a quite stable equilibrium with a near-linear temperature-CO2 level ratio, which is firmly disturbed in the past 150 years.

    The partial pressure difference is from measurements in the last decades, done with increasing frequency up to hundreds of buoiys in the past few years:
    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/CO2/carbondioxide/pages/air_sea_flux_2000.html

  34. Julian Flood April 19, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    re Comment from: Ferdinand Engelbeen April 19th, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Not really on topic for what you were writing about, but since you’re here…

    You know your graph of C isotope change? I think it starts to fall, slowly, in 1750 and then really goes down about 100 years later. Do you have an explanation for the early fall-off?

    Sorry about getting your name wrong above. Thanks for your most valuable site — while I disagree with some of your conclusions I appreciate your commitment to the science. This whole subject could do with a bit less advocacy and a little more respect for data.

    Re: Comment from: RW April 18th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    2. “Also, we didn’t start burning a lot of oil until after 1940; why was there warming before then?”

    quote Where do both you and Julian Flood get this weird belief from? By 1940, atmospheric CO2 was already 30ppm higher than it had been at any point in the 800,000 years before the industrial revolution. This undoubtedly contributed to the warming in the early 20th century. unquote

    Have you not seen any suggestion that pre-1945 the amount of extra CO2 produced by fossil fuel burning produced warming that was indistinguishable from background noise? Perhaps you need to do a bit of background reading — might I suggest you look carefully at Mr Engelbeen’s site? That fact is one of the less impressive aspects of the CO2 = AGW theory, because if you look at the warming from 1910 to 1939 it’s very similar to current figures.

    “3. I think you’re missing the point. You seem to be concerned that about half of the anthropogenic emissions don’t go in to the atmosphere, and yet you seem to believe that there is some other source of CO2 that just happens to have an isotopic ratio that mimics fossil fuel CO2, that just happened to have started being released at the same time the fossil fuels started being burned, that just happens to be increasing in synchrony with fossil fuel CO2 emissions, and somehow emits CO2 that stays in the atmosphere, while the fossil fuel CO2 disappears.”

    You have this base about apex. The amount of light isotope release is back-calculated from what’s there. Of course the figures will agree with a 50% non-take-up. I’d be amazed if they didn’t. Maybe nearly all of the extra emissions are absorbed and so is the extra from something else. The balance, 3 to 3.5 Gt, is assumed to be anthropogenic, maybe it’s 2% anthropogenic and 98% something else. Show me a molecule marked ‘produced in Drax’ and you might convince me.

    Re: Comment from: Louis Hissink April 17th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    quote Julian Flood,

    After having flooded us with scientific errors, I guess that heavy C sediments are those with a large quantity of C13 nuclei, high silica deposits – QUE????. Warm gyres, what, from too much gyration, thus causing friction, and for the rest of your ignorant post, one suddenly has to realise you seem to be probably an Acne pocket YOUF (in the present PC lexicon).

    One reason why YOUF need P Plates. unquote

    I quote your post in full because I didn’t realise that English was not your first language. If you would like to rephrase it I will do my best to address whatever point you were trying to make.

    JF

  35. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 19, 2009 at 9:06 am #

    Julian Flood April 19th, 2009 at 7:03 am

    “Not really on topic for what you were writing about, but since you’re here…

    You know your graph of C isotope change? I think it starts to fall, slowly, in 1750 and then really goes down about 100 years later. Do you have an explanation for the early fall-off?”

    There was a variability of d13C levels during the whole Holocene of about +/-0.2 per mil around an average -6.8 per mil. Most of the variation is temperature related (as is also the case for the total CO2 levels). The 1750-1850 values were about the same as the 1400-1600 values. In the period inbetween (the Maunder Minimum) d13C values were a little higher and CO2 levels a little lower. In general there is an inverse temperature related correlation between the two.

    But human influences like land clearing for agriculture occured already long ago, increasing in ratio with population growth. Further, forest clearing for ships building and warming, (iron) ore processing etc… Then the emissions inventories show an increasing growth of coal use: around 3 MtC/yr in 1750, 8 MtC/yr in 1900, 54 MtC/yr in 1850,… Thus emissions in the period 1750-1850 were low, but not zero.

    “Maybe nearly all of the extra emissions are absorbed and so is the extra from something else. The balance, 3 to 3.5 Gt, is assumed to be anthropogenic, maybe it’s 2% anthropogenic and 98% something else. ”

    You make here the same mistake as many others: the injection of human CO2 adds to the total mass of CO2, no matter if it is captured next to the stove by a room plant within a minute or 50 years later into the oceans. In all cases it replaces a CO2 molecule of natural origin which would have been captured instead. Thus while most CO2 from human origin is replaced by natural CO2 within a few decades, the excess of CO2 in total mass still is fully caused by the emissions…

  36. John F. Pittman April 19, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    FE you said “The interesting point is that the MWP-LIA difference is only 6 ppmv (with an accuracy of +/-1.2 ppmv within the same ice core), thus either the MWP was not warmer, or the current CO2 levels (measured in the Law Dome ice core with an overlap of 20 years with the south pole CO2 levels: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_sp_co2.jpg ) are not natural…” You have assumed the limits (both minimum and maximum with respect to the historical record) of “natural” have you not??

    I say you have confused natural with your own confirmation bias! NOTE are you saying each and every item of the Law dome and all other ice data have been archived in specifiec, and all manupilations are open to reveiw, and have been confirmed. Or are they just discombobulateded! OR you are just blowing smoke. Hard to say with “grey” versions of data don’t you think!! Show me all these data (in an open format) and permutations in a complete auditable form! I find no interest in circular arguments, or “grey” publications. If you do show that any and all discombobulated information has been provided, I will apologize and state for the record that FE is the most honest, open, and professional of all professionals I have known.

    1. You state “”MWP-LIA difference is only 6 ppmv (with an accuracy of +/-1.2 ppmv within the same ice core).”” This assumes that ice-core measurements going backward to LIA and then to MWP are acuurate to +/-1.2 ppmv . What is your basis for claiming such an accuracy. I did CO2 diffusion with modern equations and equipment as a professional and it is +- 30% which for your example is +/- 5.4 ppm based on historical CO2 ppm. In case you can’t do math that is almost a half of an order of magnitude difference from reality and your postulates for historical differences much less current 95% Confidence Intervals. With current CO2 ppm, it is much worse.

    You ignore, as does IPCC that CO2 diffuses to air, water(ice) ,or land according to physical principles. Where is your proof that CO2 has a positive/neutral/negative partial differntial wrt historical ice/land/air formations and not the converse or unknown?? And does not CO2 diffuse as has been demonstrated over and over again with respect to physical limits? What is your diffusitivity constants with respect to time, CO2 concentration, temperature, atmospheric pressure (Oh, did you assume this pressure is a modern constant but refuse to accept other modern constants such as CO2 diffusivity, cliamte sensitivity are incorrect?!?) water. ice. land. Just how did you do discombobulate all these physical limits? Just what modern assumptions of pseudo-equilibrium do you accpt or not?

    Please NOTE ALL physical limits are LIMITS that cannot be physically exceeded. You can exceed them if you think that you and Obama are gods. To FE what the physical limits of CO2 diffusion that you accept and what are the physical constraints in the 1000AD world you say are different??

    Please explain how climate sensitivity can be different now versus 1100AD, or explain how the IPCC can separate the temperature signal of pre 1960′s with post 1960′s? Please use IPCC FAR to show that any and all comments of yours are not based on the IPCC assumption that the warming from about 1960 was caused by anthropogenic and not natural inputs.

  37. John F. Pittman April 19, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    from: Ferdinand Engelbeen April 19th, 2009 at 3:38 am “”I quote your post in full because I didn’t realise that English was not your first language. If you would like to rephrase it I will do my best to address whatever point you were trying to make.

    JF””

    JF English is my first and only language. I try not to point out all the problems with it. You have assumed it is my “fault” rather than the idiomatic nature of English. You are wrong. I ask specific questions…however, I try to couch them in the language of the person I am responding to (an assumption I know). You have made several “claims” or assumptions. I accept that you “believe” in them. I don’t believe in much except skepticism. You wanted or assumed a 3 part response. I believe it is 6 part.

    The problem is that you are not stating your arguments as has been shown to be real. Perhaps you can help me…I believe it goes like this .., I am goining to XXXX, are you ready for XXXX? You say I am ready for XXXX. I say here is XXXX. You say I got XXXX. I say yes you got XXX. Simple yes??

  38. John F. Pittman April 19, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    FE says “”You make here the same mistake as many others: the injection of human CO2 adds to the total mass of CO2, no matter if it is captured next to the stove by a room plant within a minute or 50 years later into the oceans. In all cases it replaces a CO2 molecule of natural origin which would have been captured instead. Thus while most CO2 from human origin is replaced by natural CO2 within a few decades, the excess of CO2 in total mass still is fully caused by the emissions””

    Your ”injection of …total mass of CO2″ assumes that our injection makes a discernible difference. WELL, I agree it can make a difference, but before I admit to something I did not agree to, tell just what is the flux in the natural system, what is the confidence interval and what are the total a based on,

  39. John F. Pittman April 19, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    Jennifer, sorry but your site is crashing when I take a bit of time to consider. Delete as necessary!

  40. eric adler April 19, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    Comment from: John F. Pittman April 19th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Your ”injection of …total mass of CO2″ assumes that our injection makes a discernible difference. WELL, I agree it can make a difference, but before I admit to something I did not agree to, tell just what is the flux in the natural system, what is the confidence interval and what are the total a based on,

    We don’t need to know the natural flux. We are dividing the fluxes into the atmosphere into two types, human industrial, and natural. We know the net change in atmospheric content, and the human emissions.
    Human emissions are 8Gtons +/- about 1.25
    Net Change in atmospheric content 4 Gtons
    The third quantity, natural flux is therefore about – 4 Gtons and the natural environment has been a net absorber of CO2 on an annual basis.

    The individual components of the natural fluxes do not need to be known to compute their net effect on the atmosphere. It is simple arithmetic.

  41. John F. Pittman April 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    Eric you say
    “”We don’t need to know the natural flux. We are dividing the fluxes into the atmosphere into two types, human industrial, and natural. We know the net change in atmospheric content, and the human emissions. Human emissions are 8 Gtons +/- about 1.25””

    Does your CI of +/- 1.25 agree with the UNKNOWNS of the carbon cycle?? State references please! You show a PROOF that the carbon cycle HAS BEEN DETERMINED between 6.75 and 9.35 gtons for 1 SD (assumed) with “”around 42,000 gigatonnes of carbon are present in the biosphere”” accordinging to WIKI and Global Warming Alarmist Connelly. Does your +/-1.25 of 42,000 Gtons express a measured statement??

    You talk about flux, but offer a difference. How do you know what the net is unless you measure the individual components and their rates?? Please give references. Flux is not necessarily a difference of absolutes but a discernment of different RATES.

    Just what are your assumptions?

    Your claim would be correct if the difference was constant. However, as stated before in many blogs and the IPCC, CO2 tending to increase as temperature increases, due to degassing of the ocean, is just as established as CO2 causing an increase in temperature due to “retarding” transit of photons.

    If you assume solar is not constant within the CI of your measurements, please post citations. If you claim solar is constant ,please demonstrate that your assumptions of AR(1) or whatever, are correct. The 12 years minus 1 month indicate that temperature is not increasing with respect to CO2. Please show that, other than length of conditions, that a 30 year length (assumed by IPCC and others) is statistically significant from a 12 year lenghth within the constraints of statistical discernment, as published in the peer reveiwed statistical literature OTHER than length of prediction. Please note that the IPCC 2001 “””projection”” is suffering from NOT meeting the 90% (whatever that means) criteria.

    And if your claim, as the IPCC “”claim”” is of increasing CO2 means increasing temperature””…of course, with an assumed equilibrium, increasing temperature means increasing CO2, ETC, ETC from the assumed equilibrium of the oceans. If you do not agree, please show references. If you do agree with any assumptions of the IPCC that have two unknowns and one known, please show us how you discombobulate these phenomena.

    You claim that””Net Change in atmospheric content of 4 Gtons within a 42,000 gigatonnes of carbon that are present in the biosphere”” accordinging to WIKI. PLease provide references and data.

    “”The third quantity, natural flux is therefore about – 4 Gtons and the natural environment has been a net absorber of CO2 on an annual basis.”” Show basis without assumptions, only measurements or please change you statement “”The third quantity, natural flux is therefore about – 4 Gtons”” that is assumed to be “”4 Gtons and it is not measured””.

    “”The individual components of the natural fluxes do not need to be known to compute their net effect on the atmosphere. It is simple arithmetic.”” Without PROOF or an assumption (please provide documentation that your assumptions are correct), your statement cannot stand on its own. As indicated above it is not “simple arithmetic””; it is simply simplistic assumptions.

  42. Julian Flood April 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    Ferdinand Englelbeen wrote:

    “You make here the same mistake as many others: the injection of human CO2 adds to the total mass of CO2, no matter if it is captured next to the stove by a room plant within a minute or 50 years later into the oceans. In all cases it replaces a CO2 molecule of natural origin which would have been captured instead. Thus while most CO2 from human origin is replaced by natural CO2 within a few decades, the excess of CO2 in total mass still is fully caused by the emissions…”

    Aren’t you assuming a balance with this argument? With variation at both ends of the equation (much of it anthropogenic — I would like to see less attention paid to CO2 production and the land use changes you mention) I don’t see how one can say anything meaningful about contributions from any of the sources.

    I’ll think about it.

    JF

  43. Julian Flood April 19, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Oops. read that as ‘and more to the land use changes’.

    JF

  44. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    John F. Pittman April 19th, 2009 at 9:53 am

    You have assumed the limits (both minimum and maximum with respect to the historical record) of “natural” have you not??

    I say you have confused natural with your own confirmation bias! NOTE are you saying each and every item of the Law dome and all other ice data have been archived in specifiec, and all manupilations are open to reveiw, and have been confirmed.”

    My “knowledge” is mainly based on the work of Etheridge e.a.:
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1996/95JD03410.shtml

    It seems that it was made especially to answer a lot of objections made by Segalstad/Jaworowski in their 1992 work. Etheridge e.a. drilled 3 ice cores with different techniques (wet and dry), measured firn CO2 levels and compared the firn/ice air composition with the atmosphere at the south pole. The results of the three cores (two with very high accumulation: 1.5 m ice equivalent per year, the third about halve of that) are within 1.2 ppmv (one sigma) for the same gas age. The south pole measurements for the same gas age, with an overlap of about 20 years, are within these limits.

    There may be some bias amongst the (relative small) group of ice core scientists. But if a lot of ice cores of different origin and local circumstances, handled and measured by different people in different laboratories find near the same CO2 levels for the same gas age and the same proxy temperature (of the SH oceans), then I don’t expect that there is manipulation going on.

    About diffusion in ice cores: as far as I know there is no diffusion at all, once the bubbles are closed. There was a migration test under the same deep core pressure and temperature as in the Vostok ice core, which showed a small migration compared to ambient pressure. In the real world, there is no practical difference in pressure between ice at 2,000 m and 2,001 m. Thus no migration. That there is no migration is further confirmed by the temperature/CO2 ratio which is the same for all glacials/interglacials each separated with 100,000 years. If there was any migration, the ratio would fade over time.

    I know Segalstad/Jaworowski accuse Neftel e.a. to have deleted inconvenient high measurements in subsequent publications. But if you read the original work, Neftel explains why he has deleted these data: that was in parts of the ice contaminated with drilling fluid. Measurements of that part show a huge range of differences, uncontaminated subparts had the lowest values, in line with measurements of the rest of the ice core.

    And for me Segalstad/Jaworowski lost all credibility because it seems that they don’t know that there is a difference between the age of the ice and the enclosed air bubbles. For ice core specialists this is an incredible error.

    Thus I have no knowledge of any manipulation of the data of ice cores, and I have reasonable confidence in the CO2 (and other) data the ice cores show. If you have any proof of manipulation, or the real migration of CO2 out of the ice cores at -20 to -40°C, I am willing to consider that.

    Back to the data:

    Over the last 800,000 years there is a long-term ratio of about 8 ppmv/°C. The CO2 levels are direct measurements, the temperature is by proxy (dD and d18O). The latter can be interpretated differently, but in general for the inland Antarctic ice cores, the dD and d18O levels reflect SH ocean temperatures. In the same ice core, one can see that for the whole Holocene, or moredetailed, the last millennium, there is little variation in CO2 levels. That means that there was little change in temperature (which is confirmed by a lot of other proxies). Only in the past 150 years there is an enormous increase of about 80 ppmv (up to 1980 for Law Dome ice core) above the temperature/CO2 ratio. Thus either the MWP was a lot cooler (10°C!) than current temperatures, or the CO2 increase is not natural, or all the ice cores of different accumulation rate and temperature show the same migration over the past 150 years, which miraculously stops before 150 ago, or all ice core people involved manipulated the data to show the same (hockey) curve…

    This is all about the observations of CO2 in ice cores. That has nothing to do with what I, or Obama, or the IPCC thinks about the effect of the human induced 100 ppmv increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, where I think that there is little effect, far less than what the climate models “project”…

    Neither does one need any detailed knowledge of where the CO2 of 1,000 or 100,000 years ago resided or transformed from oceans to atmosphere to vegetation and back: the remarkable point is that the result of all these exchanges, including land ice cover and (deep) ocean flow changes is quite linear with temperature (proxies) over the past near million years.

  45. w murdoch April 19, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    One thing I don’t understand about this CO2 debate about how long CO2 stays in the atmosphere is that CO2 has a SG >1.5. would’t it mean it settles quickley. And at what heights are measurements of CO2 taken in the atmosphere? Are the CO2 levels differant at a higher altitude compared to sea level? If some body could answer in laymans terms, thank you.

  46. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 19, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    John F. Pittman April 19th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    “Your ”injection of …total mass of CO2″ assumes that our injection makes a discernible difference. WELL, I agree it can make a difference, but before I admit to something I did not agree to, tell just what is the flux in the natural system, what is the confidence interval and what are the total a based on.”

    The mass balance. If you add 8 GtC/year and find an increase of 4 GtC/year then there is none, zero, nada,… net natural addition in mass to the atmosphere. No matter if the natural circulation within a year is 10, 100 or 1,000 GtC. That doesn’t matter, as that doesn’t add anything to the total mass in the atmosphere over a year.

    The accuracy of the emissions inventory is -0.5/+1 GtC/yr, the accuracy of the measurements is better than +/-0.4 GtC for yearly averages. The variability in emissions is rather small and the emissions are steady increasing (if that still holds for the current economic recession is a good question).

    The seasonal exchanges show a global amplitude of about +/- 10 GtC (of the same order as the emissions), probably caused by the fact that ocean and vegetation are opposite in reaction to temperature changes. The natural variability of the natural (temperature related) year-by-year sink capacity is +/-2 GtC around an increasing sink rate of currently 4 GtC/yr. The average sink rate shows a remarkably linear ratio with the emissions (around 55%).

    The latter shows a typical behaviour of a simple linear first order equilibrium. If one backcalculates the emissions/increase ratio to zero emissions, one ends at about 300 ppmv.

  47. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    w murdoch April 19th, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    “One thing I don’t understand about this CO2 debate about how long CO2 stays in the atmosphere is that CO2 has a SG >1.5. would’t it mean it settles quickley. And at what heights are measurements of CO2 taken in the atmosphere? Are the CO2 levels differant at a higher altitude compared to sea level? If some body could answer in laymans terms, thank you.”

    W., depends of the quantities released and wind speed. If you measure near ground near huge sources over land, one can find hundreds of ppmv’s higher than at higher levels or over the oceans. With high wind speed, the lower level air is readily mixed with higher air layers and CO2 is distributed over a larger air volume.
    Once mixed, CO2 is not readily dropping out as the levels are quite low and the air molecules push the CO2 molecules around all the way.

    Seasonal differences are largest near ground and in the NH (more vegetation), but yearly averages differ not that much over latitudes and altitudes: less than 2 ppmv between Barrow (7 m asl) and Mauna Loa (3,400 m asl) and less than 5 ppmv between the NH and SH:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends.jpg

  48. Louis Hissink April 19, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    w murdoch:

    CO2′s sg=1.5 might well be correct but obseration tells us that all gases expand to fill the available volume. We do see lateral variations in chemical composition of the atmosphere, but I have not seen any reporting of measurements of any vertical compositional change.

    We could also point out that in terms of clouds and air, the former a suspension of liquid droplets of water, the latter a gas, there is an obvious physical “layering” with many clouds having flat bottoms but bulbous upper boundaries or surfaces. What causes this layering? It cannot be due to turbulence in air, for that cannot be compatible with the flat lower surfaces of the clouds.

    One possible reason could be vertical electrical zonation in the atmosphere, water being a weakly ionised liquid and thus, in one sense, plasma.

    That’s the beauty of science – it’s ever settled and fresh approaches to phenomena generally tend to result in new insights.

    These new ideas are fiercely resisted by the scientific clergy of the scientific establishment.

  49. Nick Stokes April 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    On vertical distribution of CO2, the AIRS people did a “ground truth” experiment to check their satellite measurement of CO2. They took samples from commercial jets flying between Australia and Japan. The results are in this paper, figure S2 (in the appendix). The readings at 10 km compared very well with the AIRS measures, which in turn are very close to surface measurements. They are between 375 and 380 ppm.

    Earlier, CSIRO in the 1970′s looked extensively at CO2 in the atmosphere. They maintained a DC 3 aircraft just for measuring atmospheric gases. They found it was vertically well mixed.

  50. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 19, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    John:

    “You talk about flux, but offer a difference. How do you know what the net is unless you measure the individual components and their rates?? Please give references. Flux is not necessarily a difference of absolutes but a discernment of different RATES.”

    To make it simple:

    dCO2 = natural releases – natural sinks + emissions
    or
    natural releases – natural sinks = dCO2 – emissions

    The flow of natural releases/sinks is not known, but the emissions and the increase in the atmosphere are known with sufficient accuracy over the past 50 years. For the past few years about:

    natural releases – natural sinks = 4 GtC – 8 GtC = -4 GtC.

    Even without any knowledge of any individual or overall natural flows, we know that the natural sinks were 4 GtC larger than the natural sources. With a large variation (+/-2 GtC) over the years, but always negative over the past 50 years. It doesn’t matter how much CO2 is present in any reservoir, it doesn’t matter how much is exchanged every year through the atmosphere, it doesn’t matter how much any of the individual or general CO2 flows changed over the years, what matters is that nature as a whole was a net sink for CO2 all over the past 50 years…

    It is a simple matter of bookkeeping: even if you don’t have a clue about how much your bussiness sold and bought over a day, neither the number of transactions or the height of the transactions, what counts is what you find in your cash register at the end of the day…

  51. John F. Pittman April 19, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    FE you state “”The flow of natural releases/sinks is not known, but the emissions and the increase in the atmosphere are known with sufficient accuracy over the past 50 years. “”

    Yet the estimate of how long it would take such as, on the order of 40 years, depends on knowing that flow or rate. Thus, the 40 year estimate is based on assuming it is constant, IIRC. Also, IIRC, the estimate of 100+ years depends on the unmeasured assumption that the sinks will be less effecient.

    So, it is not a matter of simple bookkeeping. And looking at the year by year change of the carbon balance it is hard to tell about those unmeasured quantities.

    Take for example: assume that the natural rate has slowly been increasing for 300 years. Next assume that it increases suddenly. From an unmeasured point of veiw, it would be claimed that the sinks had been exhausted. Yet that would not be true. Or the converse, assume that the world’s ecosystem has a lag and that it starts consuming CO2 twice as fast, one would not know if it was the sink increasing or the natural rate declining. The year by year rate could and has been trending. Do you know of a good paper on this? When I did it with what I could find on decade numbers, it indicated that the sinks were inceasing (or the natural flux was declining).

    Though I agree with the CO2 having increased by man’s input as can be easily seen with your difference equation. I am not in agreement that the CO2 measurements are correct.

    You state “”Thus I have no knowledge of any manipulation of the data of ice cores, and I have reasonable confidence in the CO2 (and other) data the ice cores show. If you have any proof of manipulation, or the real migration of CO2 out of the ice cores at -20 to -40°C, I am willing to consider that.”” I have no knowledge either of ice core manipulation nor do I have knowledge of manipulation of the “wet” chemistry measurements of CO2 that disagree with the ice core data. I do know however, that diffusion occurs in that I have been having to deal with it professionally for over 25 years in one form or another. Whether it makes a difference over the short-term unlikely. Over the long term, well it is modelled and I have used it successfully, as a function of temperaure^1.76. Power laws and centuries for t (time) do not give me confidence in the claims of no diffusion.

    If we only had to deal with CO2 for one day I would be in agreement. But that is not the case.

  52. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 20, 2009 at 1:34 am #

    John F. Pittman April 19th, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    “Yet the estimate of how long it would take such as, on the order of 40 years, depends on knowing that flow or rate. Thus, the 40 year estimate is based on assuming it is constant, IIRC. Also, IIRC, the estimate of 100+ years depends on the unmeasured assumption that the sinks will be less effecient.”

    Forget for the moment the 100+ years, that is the IPCC scale after enormous releases of CO2 from burning all available oil and a lot of coal. The 40 years half life indeed is based on current sink rates, which are relative constant over the past 50 years (a little more coarse over the period 1900-1960, based on ice cores), the increase in the atmosphere is about 53% of the emissions:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_2004.jpg
    Thus, indeed the sinks are increasing, in ratio with the emissions (which is the case if the “old” equilibrium sink/source process acts as a simple first order process).

    The (small) variability around the trend (thus the increase ratio) is mainly temperature induced, but with a maximum influence of 8 ppmv/°C, that doesn’t play much role over relative small temperature changes (except if we are plunging into a new ice age…). Of course, it is always possible that the ratio changes, but this is a ratio which is near fixed over the past 800,000 years…

    Compared to the surface temperature measurements, the current CO2 measurements are a dream for any scientists: the calibration procedures are quite rigorous and are an example of how to do that for any type of measurement. See the MLO procedures (the same procedures are in use for all baseline stations):
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html

    For ice core CO2 measurements, there are a few more problems to overcome, and handling of the ice core is crucial to avoid huge deviations. But even there, the old wet methods (at best +/- 10 ppmv) were no match for the current ice core accuracy (+/- 1.2 ppmv). The main problem with the old methods is not the accuracy but where was measured: measurements over the sea and several coastal places overlap with the ice core CO2 levels. Measurements over land near huge sources/sinks still overlap in range but the diurnal range is extreme (250-600 ppmv is no exception), where the averages are completely biased to higher values, but still the ice core values are above the minima. See more about Beck’s historical data at:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

    A question to you: there is much more migration in sea ice (by salt inclusions) and in ice near melting point (as often is the case for mountain glaciers). For what kind of ice is your migration experience?

  53. Tom L April 20, 2009 at 4:07 am #

    RW wrote… “1. Why did this ‘natural source’ of CO2 start pumping it out just when mankind started producing CO2 in significant quantities?”

    A question that you should be asking yourself is this. Since we know that 93% of all of the CO2 is in the ocean vs. 2% in the atmosphere, since the ocean/earth has gotten warmer since 1930, reqardless of the driver, why would you expect CO2 to have not increased. As sea water warms, it expells CO2.. No one questions that. Since the time when intense global industrialization really started to kick off – 1930 or so – the amount of atmospheric CO2 has increased at an average rate of only 1 ppm/year. Since the ocean contains 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere, the slightest warming of the ocean would easily expell enough CO2 to account for most of that 1 ppm. This has certainly occured after nearly every past global warming period.

    I would think that the question you should be asking is how much of the increase in global CO2 is likely the result of oceanic warming.

    As for where the anthropogenic CO2 has gone, look at the carbon cycle. What goes up must go down and back into the earth. CO2 is 30 times more soluble in salt water and 70 more soluble than N2, so CO2 is removed more quickly than is Oxygen and Nitrogen. The carbon cycle is atmospheric CO2 enters the ocean as dissolved CO2. Much of it than becomes carbonic acid, which than unites with CA, Mg, and numerous other atoms to form various forms of caronates, mostly coral. Coral than morphs into limestone. That’s where your mankind CO2 end up!

  54. eric adler April 20, 2009 at 11:04 am #

    Comment from: Tom L April 20th, 2009 at 4:07 am


    RW wrote… “1. Why did this ‘natural source’ of CO2 start pumping it out just when mankind started producing CO2 in significant quantities?”

    A question that you should be asking yourself is this. Since we know that 93% of all of the CO2 is in the ocean vs. 2% in the atmosphere, since the ocean/earth has gotten warmer since 1930, reqardless of the driver, why would you expect CO2 to have not increased. As sea water warms, it expells CO2.. No one questions that. Since the time when intense global industrialization really started to kick off – 1930 or so – the amount of atmospheric CO2 has increased at an average rate of only 1 ppm/year. Since the ocean contains 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere, the slightest warming of the ocean would easily expell enough CO2 to account for most of that 1 ppm. This has certainly occured after nearly every past global warming period.

    I would think that the question you should be asking is how much of the increase in global CO2 is likely the result of oceanic warming.

    As for where the anthropogenic CO2 has gone, look at the carbon cycle. What goes up must go down and back into the earth. CO2 is 30 times more soluble in salt water and 70 more soluble than N2, so CO2 is removed more quickly than is Oxygen and Nitrogen. The carbon cycle is atmospheric CO2 enters the ocean as dissolved CO2. Much of it than becomes carbonic acid, which than unites with CA, Mg, and numerous other atoms to form various forms of caronates, mostly coral. Coral than morphs into limestone. That’s where your mankind CO2 end up!

    Only 1/2 of the CO2 of human origin ends up absorbed in the oceans or land. The other half ends up in the atmosphere. Comparison of the annual amount emitted by man, 8 Gtons, with the total increase in amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, 4 Gtons, shows that.

  55. John F. Pittman April 20, 2009 at 11:04 am #

    CO2/ fresh water.

  56. RW April 20, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    Tom L – it’s really boring hearing the same nonsense time after time, from people who obviously haven’t bothered to do the slightest bit of research. It’s idiotic to form opinions on scientific matters without doing research first.

    The rise in CO2 is not due to oceanic outgassing. CO2 concentrations in the oceans are also rising.

    Quite simple, really. If you’d even bothered to read this thread, you’d see some detailed workings from Ferdinand Engelbeen which demonstrate this clearly.

  57. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 21, 2009 at 12:31 am #

    Tom L April 20th, 2009 at 4:07 am

    [i]“I would think that the question you should be asking is how much of the increase in global CO2 is likely the result of oceanic warming.”[/i]

    That is known for short term (oceans + vegetation): about 3 ppmv/°C around the current trend, with a lag of one to a few months. For very long term (oceans + ice sheets + vegetation): about 8 ppmv/°C between glacials and interglacials with a lag of 600 years to several thousands of years.

    Thus with the 1°C or so temperature increase since the Little Ice Age of 400 years ago, the maximum result of the warming is 8 ppmv CO2 increase, while there is a 100+ ppmv increase since the start of the industrial revolution, of which 60+ ppmv since 1960…

    Further, one need to take into account that quantities in a reservoir are not important: even if the (deep) oceans contain much more CO2 (in different forms) than the atmosphere, there is only exchange with the atmosphere if there is a pressure difference: if the CO2 pressure in the oceans is higher than in the atmosphere (at the warm equator and during summer in mid-latitudes) more CO2 is released to the atmosphere, more is absorbed near the poles and winter in mid-latitudes. The average is about 7 microatmosphere more CO2 pressure in the atmosphere than in the ocean surface, thus more CO2 is absorbed than released by the oceans, despite increased temperatures. See Feely e.a.:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml

  58. Author April 23, 2009 at 5:51 am #

    With the number of responses evidently now topping out (at 57) I thought that some short terminating comments might be in order. Regarding the questions raised, many or most will be seen to be answered by the full article that will be available when the next E&F issue is formally published – or which you can get immediately if you log in to ACS: this might be worth doing to be able in the future to keep track of articles being continuously published in E&F (and other ACS journals) on CO2 and on the atmosphere (check out past E&F issues in the library). On the matter of independent Climate Drivers (comment 14), this is looked at in this “Viewpoint” article http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/ci/31/special/may01_viewpoint.html if you can call it up. Finally, on the broader factor of which gases are GHG’s, the answer is: primarily water, at about 80%, with CO2 minor, at about 20% (and a 1% balance of other generally insignificant gases because of their low concentration and/or low optical absorbtivity/emissivity). So what’s the big deal about combustion-sourced CO2? Some of this is in this article: Essenhigh, R.H.: “Prediction of the Standard Atmosphere Profiles of Temperature, Pressure, and Density with Height for the Lower Atmosphere by Solution of the (S-S) Integral Equations of Transfer and Evaluation of the Potential for Profile Perturbation by Combustion Emissions: Energy & Fuels 2006, 20, 1057-1067. [available in any qualified technical library].

    Hope this may resolve some of the questions

  59. peterd April 24, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    I am not sure who “Author” is here, but I find the responses to the various criticisms of the Essenhigh article, or abstract, to be rather cavalier. (“The questions are answered in the published article”? In my own experience using a good technical library at my closest university, journals such as this one are not always available. I have just wasted time trying to access the full article at ACS, but as Nick Stokes noted at the very start of the discussion, it is not accessible to non-subscribers; why waste readers’ time sending them in pursuit of material that they cannot read?)
    First, on the question of “independent Climate Drivers”, the reader might like to consult the response made to the earlier (2001) Viewpoint article by Ole John Nielsen: http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/ci/31/i12/html/12box.html

    Second, the Viewpoint Essenhigh article linked above by “Author” was based, in part, on an astonishing mis-reading of the Mauna Loa seasonal CO2 variations (not “oscillations”), a mis-reading that was perpetuated in Essenhigh’s responses to two published criticisms of his article, in Chem. Innov. For the record, and to try and straighten this out one last time, at Mauna Loa CO2 levels peak in autumn and winter, then fall again, beginning around April, or early spring. See the data here: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
    As the climate warms through spring and early summer, the CO2 falls. Now, if is being suggested that warming oceans are the cause of global atmospheric CO2 increase, it becomes hard to reconcile this with the Mauna Loa data: as the oceans around Hawaii warm, and release CO2, the atmospheric CO2 should increase, which is precisely the opposite to what is observed at Mauna Loa in the northern summer, as pointed out in the two published responses. The Mauna Loa seasonal behaviour is inconsistent with the hypothesis of warming oceans as source of global CO2 increase. It appears that Essenhigh is totally confused about this.

    Third, “Author” above appears to claim that water vapour contributes about 80% to the total greenhouse effect, CO2 20%, and other GHGs can be ignored. In Essenhigh’s 2001 Viewpoint article, in Chemical Innovation, linked above, the number attached to water’s greenhouse contribution is given as 95%. So, which is it: 80% or 95%? In fact, neither figure appears to be very accurate, “on average”, and the role of GHGs other than water vapour and CO2 is downplayed.
    His data for water vapour is represented as some kind of Great Discovery, implying that atmospheric scientists have not recognized the importance of water vapour in the atmospheric radiative processes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Writing in Contemporary Physics, Sir John Mason stated that “. . . total net absorption [of infrared radiation] over the whole globe is about 75 × 1015 W, an average of 150 W/m2, roughly one-third by CO2 and two-thirds by water vapor” (Mason, B. J. Contemporary Physics, 1995, 36, 299–319). In the article by Kiehl and Trenberth mentioned in earlier posts here by Michael Hammer, those authors state: “For the clear sky, water vapor contributes to 60% of the total radiative forcing, while carbon dioxide contributes 26% to the clear sky radiative forcing.” Nothing in Essenhigh’s reasoning persuades me that these other estimates calculations for the contribution due to water vapour, taken from line-by-line calculations- are wrong.

  60. peterd April 24, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    Correction: Sir John Mason stated that “. . . total net absorption [of infrared radiation] over the whole globe is about 75 × 10^15 W

  61. Author April 25, 2009 at 6:01 am #

    In (partial) reply to Mr. peterd first let me say that comment, even if “alternative”, is still appreciated as it says that someone is listening, even if they don’t agree; but that can be resolved by discussion.

    On the first point. regarding web access to the paper, this is something I have no control over as it is set by ACS. Web posting ahead of journal publication is evidently the new style and I think we are going to see more of it from all journals. I can say that my copy of the “current” (March-April) issue of Energy & Fuels recently arrived so the next, May-June, issue should be within the next 2 months or so, and I expect to see my article in that issue; and if the university library that peterd goes to is a good one it will have Energy & Fuels. He can check that right away to see if it has past copies. Next, moving on to the Nielsen commentary that he cites, read my replies to that at the end of his commentary and you will find answers. I don’t think I need to say more on that one.

    On point 2, regarding the Mauna Loa oscillations (i.e., moving regularly up and down: and if that’s not an oscillation, I don’t know what is): the graphs clearly show that the levels peak in (late) spring, and bottom out in the fall. But (coming out of some partial background in geology as a component of my original Tripos degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge) I have always understood that the sea temperatures round Hawaii were largely controlled by the sea currents moving from south(west) to north(east) so that – unexpectedly back-to-front – they were cool in the (northern) spring and warmer in the summer, which could then account for the CO2 oscillation driven by the sea emissions/removals. This could still be open-ended, but in the context of the overall matter of GW it is essentially on the side and can be taken out of the discussion for the time being. It doesn’t directly affect the main focus of the argument though it does remain an interesting point.

    On point 3, regarding the change in (average) water concentration in the atmosphere, this was changed in the (cited) 2006 E&F article for reasons given, essentially to take into account the more rapid drop in water concentration with altitude than with the other gases (particularly, of course, CO2). But this still didn’t alter the final conclusions. Additionally, the factor of including water as a major GHG does have substantial background — but only in some sources. As alternative for example, there is Rotman’s book: “IMAGE: Integrated Model to Assess the Greenhouse Effect” (Kluwer: 1990) which completely excludes water as a GHG! And check out what you can of the radiation models. Water is very often minor – or omitted. The moment you properly add it in, CO2 then becomes minor (at about 20%), and adding in the factor that 95% of CO2 is from natural sources and only 5% from combustion, then for the total, 5% of 20% is 1%. That’s significant?

    Mr. petard, if you can’t access the 2006 E&F article and would like to check it, I can send you the article if you send me an e-mail address. This is mine: essenhigh.1@osu.edu.

  62. Bernard J. April 25, 2009 at 10:15 pm #

    On 24th April 2009, at 6:28 pm, peterd said:

    “For the record, and to try and straighten this out one last time, at Mauna Loa CO2 levels peak in autumn and winter, then fall again, beginning around April, or early spring…
    As the climate warms through spring and early summer, the CO2 falls. Now, if is [sic] being suggested that warming oceans are the cause of global atmospheric CO2 increase, it becomes hard to reconcile this with the Mauna Loa data: as the oceans around Hawaii warm, and release CO2, the atmospheric CO2 should increase, which is precisely the opposite to what is observed at Mauna Loa in the northern summer, as pointed out in the two published responses. The Mauna Loa seasonal behaviour is inconsistent with the hypothesis of warming oceans as source of global CO2 increase. It appears that Essenhigh is totally confused about this.”

    Except that Essenhigh is not confused, and peterd is.

    A cursory bit of fact-checking at the 6th grade level would hit sources such as:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeling_Curve

    which quite nicely explains what is common knowledge, and trivial science…

    “The Keeling Curve … shows a cyclic variation of about 5 ppmv in each year corresponding to the seasonal change in uptake of CO2 by the world’s land vegetation. Most of this vegetation is in the Northern hemisphere, since this is where most of the [planet's] land is located. The level decreases from northern spring onwards as new plant growth takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis and rises again in the northern fall as plants and leaves die off and decay to release the gas back into the atmosphere.”

    For the record, peterd, you are the party that requires ‘straightening out’.

    Big oopsadaisy, huh?

  63. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 26, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    Robert Essenhigh,

    The main problem with your (and Segalstad’s and many others) approach is that the residence time (of about 5 years) of any molecule in the atmosphere (whatever the origin) has nothing to do with the excess life time of any additional CO2 (whatever the origin) injected in the atmosphere (which is about 40 years).

    The first is about how much CO2 molecules in the atmosphere are exchanged with CO2 from vegetation/oceans (about 150 GtC of 800 GtC) within a year over the seasons. The second is how much CO2 as mass is removed each year from the atmosphere into the other reservoirs (currently about 4 GtC/yr of 800 GtC). Thus while the first is about where the molecules CO2 reside (the quality), the second is about what the mass balance shows (the quantity).

    In your PSR example, if you add a small stream of red colored liquid to a PSR where 100 time more other (colorless) flows are added and removed (in equilibrium at start position). The 5 years residence time is about what the fate is of the color in the PSR, the 40 years residence time is about what the level in the reactor does if you stop the addition after a while.

    Even if 95% of all current CO2 is natural and only 5% human (due to year by year exchanges of molecules), that doesn’t change the fact that over 90% of the increase in mass (100+ ppmv) since the industrial revolution is caused by human emissions (maximum 10% by the temperature increase since the LIA), because nature (at least in the past 50 years) has always been a net sink of CO2. Thus the realistic influence of humans on the total radiation balance is about 7% (+30% CO2).

    If that has any (disastrous) consequences, that is a complete different question…

  64. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 26, 2009 at 2:59 am #

    Robert Essenhigh,

    I have read your Viewpoint now, I don’t know how I did reach it, previous attempts failed…

    There are a few points where I differ in opinion:

    “The numbers are instructive. In 1995, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) data on the carbon balance showed ~90 gigatons (Gt) of carbon in annual quasi-equilibrium exchange between sea and atmosphere, and an additional 60-Gt exchange between vegetation and atmosphere, giving a total of ~150 Gt (3). This interpretation of the sea as the major source is also in line with the famous Mauna Loa CO2 profile for the past 40 years, which shows the consistent season-dependent variation of 5–6 ppm, up and down, throughout the year—when the average global rise is only 1 ppm/year.”

    The point is that there is zero effect of the seasonal changes, as long as there is no change in average temperature. The effect of average temperature on the CO2 levels is small: currently 3 ppmv/°C around the trend, up to 8 ppmv/°C for the previous 800,000 years of glacials/interglacials. The latter includes long term changes in ocean currents and land ice/vegetation cover.
    Thus the increase of about 1°C since the LIA can’t have added more than 8 ppmv of the 100+ ppmv rise…

    And indeed as PeterD said, the seasonal variation is opposite to the general trend: warmer ocean degassing and vegetation growth are in opposite directions, where the summer growth encompasses the ocean degassing.
    Further, the average global seasonal variation (+/- 5 ppmv or +/- 10 GtC) is of the same order as the emissions (currently about 9 GtC), but the latter is one-way addition, the former only a cycle…

    Another point:
    “but no such profile with that [note: seasonal] amplitude is known to have been reported at any mainland location.”
    Please have a look at the seasonal profile of Schauinsland (now defunct):
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/graphics/schauinsland.gif

    Next point:
    “the CO2 contribution to the atmosphere from combustion is within the statistical noise of the major sea and vegetation exchanges, so a priori, it cannot be expected to be statistically significant;”
    This is not true: The noise of the year-by-year (mainly temperature related) variability in natural sink capacity is +/- 2 GtC, while the average increase is + 4 GtC and the emissions are around +9 GtC. For every year in the past 50 years, nature was a net sink for CO2 and the average CO2 level increase is around 55% of the emissions. Even after 2-3 years already statistically significant above the noise caused by temperature (and precipitation). See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg

    And compare the accumulated emissions with the accumulation in the atmosphere:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_2004.jpg
    or temperature with the accumulation in the atmosphere:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_co2_1900_2004.jpg
    Which one is the cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

    More reasons why humans are to blame for the CO2 increase:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

    But again, that humans are responsible for the CO2 increase doesn’t tell us anything about the impact of the increase on temperature/climate…

  65. peterd April 28, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    Bernard P: I do not understand what point you are trying to make. The Wikipedia link you have given makes- in a different way, through explicit mention of the terrestrial growth and decay cycles- the same point I had tried to make. The seasonal CO2 variation around Mauna Loa is dominated by terrestrial uptake and release, not by the oceans, as Professor Essenhigh appears to claim. Essenhigh explicitly claimed, in his original Viewpoint article- and by providing the link back to it, I assume he still endorses his original arguments- that…“[i]n the literature, this [~5ppm seasonal] oscillation is attributed to seasonal growing behavior on the “mainland.” ” Essenhigh then went on to question this, asserting that “…there is lack of evidence for such behavior.” As Ferdinand Englebeen has noted separately here, there is abundant evidence for the influence of terrestrial growth and decay cycles on the CO2 variations.
    All of this is not to say, of course, that outgassing from the warm oceans does not occur. There is, however, good evidence that outgassing from warm oceans does not dominate the overall net oceanic uptake and the CO2 variations.
    We know that southern hemisphere CO2 “oscillates” with a much lower amplitude than does the northern hemisphere, only 2 ppmv or so, compared with 5-6 ppmv in the northern. If the oceans dominate the CO2 signal, then why is that variation so much smaller in the SH? After all, oceans are a much larger fraction of the SH than they are of the NH. The reason is, of course, the influence of terrestrial processes. (Most of the forests are in the NH, most of the ocean area in the SH.) The evidence is of a piece: the total CO2 data and d13C data fit together to support the notion that the terrestrial cycles dominate the seasonal variation, in the NH. “These data, therefore, indicate that the seasonal trend in [CO2] concentration observed in the northern hemisphere is the result of the activity of land plants.” (C.D. Keeling, Tellus, 12(2), 1960)

  66. peterd April 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    Response to Professor Essenhigh:
    (1) E&F is available at my local (good) university library. But I must go there.
    (2) I will continue to chip away at the interpretation of the Mauna Loa data. In my first post here, I claimed that “…at Mauna Loa CO2 levels peak in autumn and winter, then fall again, beginning around April, or early spring.” I based my claim about the decline from April on a too-hasty inspection of the weekly Mauna Loa data, which are accessible somewhere within the NOAA site I linked. I cannot find that data quickly enough now, but I have the full data set through 2001 copied into an Excel sheet. In fact, a closer inspection of those weekly data indicates that the Mauna Loa maximum occurs more usually in May than in April, so “late spring” rather than “early spring” would be a more appropriate description. My mistake. However, the basic point remains: from May through September, when Mauna Loa CO2 is decreasing, the northern oceans are warming. So, how can the NH oceans’ warming be the major, or sole, cause of the fluctuations? (By the way, I still profess an aversion to the term “oscillation”, which I do not see used in the specialised literature. To me, the word implies a higher degree of regularity in the variations than does in fact exist; one thinks of those highly regular behaviours we all studied in high school physics. Such “oscillation” as exists is superimposed on a changing baseline. But this is just a quibble.)
    (3) I do not have home internet at the moment and any comments here must be made during my lunchtime (or out of!) work hours. My more detailed response to follow later.

  67. Ferdinand Engelbeen April 29, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    peterd and prof. Essenhigh,

    The Mauna Loa data at 3,400 m show a delay and a smaller amplitude compared to near ground data like at Barrow or Alert. That was already noticed in the 1960′s by Bert Bolin (Sweden), where CO2 levels between ground level and altitude (from regular flights) were compared:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/seasonal_height.jpg

    The d13C variations are just opposite to the CO2 trends, which shows that vegetation is the dominant force of the CO2 variation over the seasons.

    The “cleaned” monthly data up to 2007 can be downloaded from the CDIAC web site:
    ftp://cdiac.ornl.gov/pub/trends/co2/
    up to date monthly data for Mauna Loa and “global” CO2 levels are at:
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/
    And uncorrected hourly averages based on 40 minutes raw voltages of four baseline stations are at:
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/in-situ/
    Where you can find daily and monthly “cleaned” averages too.

  68. David Neisen May 9, 2009 at 12:26 am #

    Gentlemen and ladies, thank you for your spirited discussion regarding CO2, its causes and effects on and to the planet. As an interested party with NO scientific background, I have been able to understand and educate myself on this issue through your discussions. Apparently the science is not as Finalized and Determined as Mr. Gore would lead us chattering class to believe.
    I entered this comment to thank you all for furthering this debate and the scientific research on these types of issues. I thought I would download all of the comments and send them to friends so they too could learn from you… but I doubt they would spend the time to read pass the opening article.
    Thank you again, for allowing me to peek into your world to try and better understand our world.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Climate-gators at Copenhagen « The Tizona Group - December 9, 2009

    [...] models. The red lines are the models, the green lines are the observed data. Anyway, it probably doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for long [...]

Website by 46digital