Why I am an Anthropogenic Global Warming Sceptic (Part 3)

Carbon dioxide residence time“IN order for increased human carbon dioxide emissions to cause accelerated global warming, the climate models need to assume that carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for a very long time, up to 100 or more years. 

“Since the IPCC’s task is to prove any global warming is due to human CO2 emissions, they decided to proclaim that carbon dioxide was long-lived in the atmosphere – a fabricated assumption.

“They did this despite the overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed studies (and corroborating empirical measurements) finding that CO2 in the atmosphere remained there a short time. Literally, a fabricated assumption, driven by political agenda, became a cornerstone of fraudulent climate model science. As a result, billions spent on climate models that are unable to predict climate with any accuracy…

Via  http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a5e507c9970c-pi

and via Alan.

From ‘The Deniers: The World Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud**And those who are too fearful to do so’ by Lawrence Solomon
http://www.amazon.com/Deniers-Renowned-Scientists-Political-Persecution/dp/0980076315

281 Responses to Why I am an Anthropogenic Global Warming Sceptic (Part 3)

  1. RW September 25, 2009 at 3:07 am #

    “Since the IPCC’s task is to prove any global warming is due to human CO2 emissions”… so you’re a paranoid idiot then.

    Two distinct concepts may both be referred to as ‘residence time’. One is the time that a given CO2 molecule, individually, spends in the atmosphere before it is transferred into the oceans or the biosphere. All the black lines – every single one – refer to this ‘residence time’. The other is the time taken for the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere to reach equilibrium, after it’s been pushed out of equilibrium. The red line refers to this ‘residence time’

    So your comparison is meaningless, and it’s the old question once more – are you being stupid, or dishonest?

  2. barry moore September 25, 2009 at 3:55 am #

    RW I disagree with your definition of residence time. To the best of my knowledge residence time is the AVERAGE time a CO2 molecule will remain in the atmosphere in nuclear terms we would call this the half life. For example if we were able to inject 1 GT of carbon in the form of CO2 into the atmosphere once per year and the residence time was 1 year after the first year the carbon content would be 0.5 GT. Now inject another 1 GT after 1 year the content would be 0.75 GT with only 0.25 GT of the fist injection left. After 2 years inject a third GT of carbon after a year there will be 0.875 GT of carbon left with 0.125 GT of the original carbon in the atmosphere.
    In actual fact the atmosphere will never reach equilibrium so your definition is invalid. But after 9 years and 8 injections the atmosphere has 0.9961 GT of carbon and 10 years and 9 injections it has 0.9980 GT so the increase is insignificant.
    This is typical of how the IPCC often technically tell the truth but are vague enough that it leaves the wrong impression, a few molecules of CO2 from this years anthropogenic emissions will still be around a million years from now but their significance will be zero.
    After 5 half lives or residence times there is only 3.1% of the carbon left. I think this demostrates another gross distortion by the IPCC aimed at misleading the public.

  3. barry moore September 25, 2009 at 4:29 am #

    Getting back to one of my favourite subjects which is the piece of unbelievable fiction on page 515 of the AR4 Fig 7.3 which has been peer reviewed by the IPCC peer reviewers ( so much for peer reviewing IPCC style).
    Take a look at some of the numbers in the diagram. 244 GT of carbon has been released by humans since the start of the industrial revolution 100 GT has already be sequestered in the ocean bed. This leaves 144 GT in the ocean, land and air but they show 165 GT in the atmosphere?. They show the surface ocean as containing 900 GT natural and 18 GT anthropogenic carbon but when this water evaporates it magically becomes a ratio of 70.6 to 20. The ratio in the air is 597 to 165 but the vegitation uptake is in the ratio 120 to 2.6 how do those plants dicriminate?
    I wrote a simple xl program which would come up with a believable mass balance for the air ocean and land and it returned a residence time of 1.8 years with an anthopogenic CO2 content of the atmosphere of approximately 13 ppm.
    I could foward this through Jen to anyone who is interested. In addition RW I find your final remark re Jen particularly objectionable since neither is even remotely true but I realize this is standard procedure for debating techniques from the AGW cult since you do not have any scientific facts to support your assertions.
    Footnote to jeremy My quote from NASA was a cut and past from their web site so I really do not have to produce any supporting references and where are your references to rebut my statements. This produce references paranoia can go on ad infinitum if I am wrong produce your references. SJT I have down loaded the book but it will take some time to analyze as it is quite lengthy.

  4. RW September 25, 2009 at 6:24 am #

    Barry, your writing is extremely hard to make sense of, as it lacks grammar and punctuation. However, I can tell you that you have failed to understand the two separate concepts I described. Whether this is because you can’t understand them, or that you don’t want to, I have no idea. The graph is meaningless, and its presentation here is reflective either of stupidity, or dishonesty. There are no other options.

  5. John F. Pittman September 25, 2009 at 7:30 am #

    RW, Barry has given the general definition of residence time. If the IPCC used a different definition as you imply, could you state the page, etc? The definition that you give is usually used to describe depletion. However,just as the IPCC modified positive gain from common usage of engineers in order to describe what they were considering, perhaps this is another case as well.

  6. Pandanus September 25, 2009 at 7:49 am #

    RW,

    You need to go back to the FAR (First Assessment Reprt) and TAR (Third Assessment Report) to find the reasoning behind the IPCC statement on residence time. According to these documents the residence time for a molecule of CO2 is 4 days. However the 100 years came about not due to residence time per se but due to how the equivalence between the major greenhouse gases was determined by their methodology. They used perturbence of the atmosphere as a general guide for a number of periods, including 100 years, 200 years and more. The oft quoted “methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2” comes from this work. Yet methane has a short atmospheric life of about 11 years.

    Of the 6 major greenhouse gases all excepting CO2 breakdown in the atmosphere, so their atmospheric lifetimes are simple linear calculations. CO2 does not readily breakdown and instead cycles in and out of sinks such as biomass, soils, ocean, deep ocean. Therefore it’s atmospheric life is difficult to calculate and so residence time was created as a proxy. You need to back and read Houghton’s work to find the inconsistencies in his residence time hypothesis, there are many.

  7. RW September 25, 2009 at 8:15 am #

    John F. Pittman – there are not two definitions, there are two separate phenomena. That shouldn’t be hard to understand.

    Pandanus – you have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re managing to confuse a third entirely separate concept with the two related ones already under discussion. You need to learn the basics if you want to have a sensible discussion.

  8. barry moore September 25, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    RW you are waffling to the point of incoherence there is ony one definition of residence time i.e the time it takes to absorb half of the CO2 released at any one time and the lack of understanding due to grammer and punctuation is the lamest excuse I have heard yet. Calculations based on this principle are very simple they are only complicated by the waffle by people such as yourselves who are trying to evade the issue. The IPCC has consistenty reinvented definitions to try to divert the general public’s attention from the truth. How is it that a large number of researchers all provide a residence time in accordance with the generally accepted definition but IPCC choose to use its own definition.

  9. Tattymane September 25, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Rather like RW, I’m not going to contribute anything of value to this discussion other than to comment that I find his remarks entirely typical of the pro-AGW cult (it being religion, not science) insomuch that they play the person, not the issue. Another analogy springs to mind: ‘all feathers, no meat’.

  10. barry moore September 25, 2009 at 9:07 am #

    RW I have reread the posts, why do you consistently embarrass yourself with such incoherent nonsense. To claim you do not understand my post re the residence time calculation I think that says it all, you really are totally incompetent when it comes to understanding even the basic principles of this subject.

  11. Hunter September 25, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    “How is it that a large number of researchers all provide a residence time in accordance with the generally accepted definition but IPCC choose to use its own definition.”

    Oh yes! It’s impossible that you flunked a basic comprehension test! Must be the IPCC trying to defraud us all!

  12. SJT September 25, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    Barry, your writing is extremely hard to make sense of, as it lacks grammar and punctuation. However, I can tell you that you have failed to understand the two separate concepts I described. Whether this is because you can’t understand them, or that you don’t want to, I have no idea. The graph is meaningless, and its presentation here is reflective either of stupidity, or dishonesty. There are no other options.

    The same problem I have described many times before.

    “If I can’t understand it, you can’t prove it”.

  13. John F. Pittman September 25, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    RW, I’m afraid RW is right. You are incoherent. A diffferent phenomena with the same name will absolutely require a different definition.

  14. John F. Pittman September 25, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    Dam, that is what I get for trying to listen to Obama speech. It should be “”RW, I’m afraid Barry is right.”” Perhaps that is what happened to RW…he was listening to a politician when he was posting.

  15. Barry Moore September 25, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    RW and SJT you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel with this line ” I don’t understand” and I think no further comment is necessary this really is desperation and is further proof of your total ignorance.

  16. cohenite September 25, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Ferdinand distinguishes between residence time and the addition in atmospheric mass and as always is interesting; I have 2 queries about that; the first is in respect of Henry’s law; increased CO2 will increase atmospheric pressure and therefore cause more CO2 to be absorbed in the ocean; cynaobacteric and plankton preference may cause a decline in the C13 CO2 type which in any event are subject to ratio decline corresponding with El Ninos so the C13/12 ratio is not necessarily a good indication that the increase in CO2 is due to ACO2.

    Secondly, as barry has mentioned, the AR4 diagram, 7.3 on p515 is informative; the ACO2 contribution is 8Gt out of 218.2 Gt CO2 flux or 3.67%; DOE stats give an even lower figure of 2.91% of the emitted CO2 from the surface; DOE shows that about 98.5% of total emitted CO2 is reabsorbed so the proportion of ACO2 after one year is 3.67/100 x 1.5/100 = 0.000552 so that one ACO2 has a 1 in 1811.594203 chance of still being there after one year; the chance after 2 years is 1 in 120772.9469.

  17. barry moore September 25, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    SJT “If I can’t understand it, you can’t prove it”.
    This has got to be the most ridiculous statement ever made on this blog and heaven knows there has been a lot of dumb statements, IF YOU CAN NOT UNDERSTAND IT , IT IS BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO STUPID.

  18. SJT September 25, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    That graph is a lie, which was necessesitated by their ignorance. The IPCC did not “Choose to assume the residency lifetime of CO2 is 100 years”. That is, once again, a lie. The person who made that claim has misunderstood what the claim by the IPCC is, and manufactured a reason to reconcile their misunderstanding with the other evidence available. Rather than ask an expert for an explanation that could have been cleared up quickly, they have manufactured that lie, and actually gone to print without checking up.

  19. SJT September 25, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    This has got to be the most ridiculous statement ever made on this blog and heaven knows there has been a lot of dumb statements, IF YOU CAN NOT UNDERSTAND IT , IT IS BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO STUPID.

    I have been trying to be charitable, Barry. But if that is how you want to explain you inability to understand the science for AGW, that is your choice.

  20. BARRY MOORE September 25, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    cohenite
    I think there is a slight confusion here. Henry’s law deals with solubility and as the partial pressure of CO2 increases so the solubility in water increases this has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure which is literally the weight of atmosphere from the surface to the TOA. However in general you are correct in stating that as the concentration of CO2 increases the amount of CO2 in the oceans will increase.
    I did not want to get into the discussion of the relative absorbtion rates of C13 and C12 of both vegetation and the oceans which I believe distorts the residence time of CO2 which a number of the researchers use as a proxy to determine the residence time. I believe this is the reason many of the estimates are high.
    If the AGW cult can not understand a simple half life calculation they certainly could not understand the relative osmotic permeability of C12 v’s C13.

  21. barry moore September 25, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    SJT again for the 1000th time if you disagree with my logic or calculation please post a rebuttle not a lot of meaningless drivel. How come you people never come up with any thoughts of your own or counter arguments which make any sense of contain any facts, just a series of meaningless rhetoric.

  22. Ian Read September 25, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    The atmospheric lifetime of CO2, when measured directly or by inference, is vastly different to that quoted in the IPCC assessment reports. The IPCC uses carbon cycle modelling as one of its indicators that the observed atmospheric CO2 increase is (mostly) anthropogenic. Carbon cycle modelling is based on the assumption that the natural exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and ocean is already in equilibrium, and that most of the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 is therefore anthropogenic, based on the measured change in atmospheric CO2 levels recorded over the last half century at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and elsewhere. For these models to work it requires that CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere – this is based on the assertion that CO2 has a long atmospheric lifetime; the IPCC assumes an atmospheric CO2 lifetime of 50 to 200 years.

    Atmospheric CO2 has a directly and inferred measurable average resident lifetime of around five years. Therefore it is questionable whether or not the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and ocean continues to maintain that ‘original’ natural equilibrium, such that any additional CO2 derived from anthropogenic sources added to the atmosphere stays in the atmosphere and has resulted (in part) in the rise from the assumed pre-industrial levels of 280ppm (by volume) to today’s 380ppm. By making this assumption, though, means that anthropogenic CO2 is presumed to have an atmospheric lifetime of up to 200 years, thus allowing for the second assumption that atmospheric CO2 is well mixed. Neither of these assumptions is correct.

    The IPCC’s assertion of a CO2 residence time of up to 200 years cannot be valid as it dismisses Henry’s Law. The CO2 atmosphere-ocean equilibrium is governed by Henry’s Law that states: at a constant temperature the amount of a given gas dissolved in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid. In other words the partial pressure of CO2 in the air will be proportional to the concentration of CO2 dissolved in the water. The proportional constant is the Henry’s Law Constant, giving us a partition coefficient for CO2 between air and water of approximately 1:50. When the temperature of the system changes so does Henry’s Law Constant; as such, this could be described as Henry’s Coefficient. With increasing temperature gas solubility decreases thereby raising the partial pressure of the gas in the liquid allowing more gas to escape, in order to maintain equilibrium. The atmosphere-ocean equilibrium is maintained even with the addition of anthropogenic CO2 sources.

    The additional CO2 added to the atmosphere from anthropogenic sources is quickly absorbed by the oceans (and vegetation, etc) maintaining the atmosphere-ocean equilibrium as governed by Henry’s Law. Conversely, there is a temperature-dependent corresponding outgassing from the oceans to the atmosphere, again maintaining the equilibrium, equivalent to the measurable increase in atmospheric CO2 levels from both natural and anthropogenic sources. In other words it could be reasoned that, at an assumed constant temperature, and in order to maintain Henry’s Law Constant, the additional atmospheric CO2 derived from anthropogenic sources is making the transfers within the carbon cycle system operate slightly faster. This might be an area for future research.

    Segalstad partially summarises these arguments by stating: “an apparent atmospheric CO2 level rise, assumed to be due to Man’s burning of fossil fuel, is being treated with non-linear (non-proportional and non-chemical-equilibrium) non-steady-state modeling, giving theoretical far longer “lifetimes” than actually measured. When this is not explained to the readers, they are led astray to get the impression that the “artificial” un-real model “lifetimes” are real lifetimes.

    In other words, anthropogenic CO2 does not accumulate in the atmosphere, it is absorbed into the carbon cycle within relatively short time frames.

  23. Jan Pompe September 25, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    Barry “SJT “If I can’t understand it, you can’t prove it”.
    This has got to be the most ridiculous statement ever made on this blog”

    Little will is stating it just as it is if he can’t understand it no one can possibly prove it to his satisfaction.

    It’s pointless having a discussion with that anonymouse.

  24. SJT September 25, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    SJT again for the 1000th time if you disagree with my logic or calculation please post a rebuttle not a lot of meaningless drivel. How come you people never come up with any thoughts of your own or counter arguments which make any sense of contain any facts, just a series of meaningless rhetoric.

    I am giving you the big picture. I know my limitations. Have you read the climate textbook I linked to yet, and done all the exercises? Because if you haven’t, you really don’t have a chance of understanding climate to the depth you seem to want to. The fundamental but simple mistake that this whole topic here is based on is an excellent example. Due to the author’s ignorance of the case for AGW, he is out there lying about the case for AGW. That’s not the fault of the IPCC, that’s his fault. As you put it, “IF YOU CAN NOT UNDERSTAND IT , IT IS BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO STUPID.”.

    Actually, I wouldn’t go that far. We are all human, we all have our limitations. If you can’t understand the complexities of the whole case for AGW, it’s not because you are too stupid, it’s because you are just an normal human being. What is stupid is seeing people who are average human beings, such as myself, pretending they can understand the case for AGW, making a mistake of ignorance when they misunderstand it, and then calling the IPCC a bunch of liars. I know my limitations, but I can understand the point made by RW, and it makes perfect sense. The IPCC reference to residency times and the residency times referred to in other papers are two completely different things. Cohenite doesn’t get it either. I can understand what RW says, but it seems I’m the only other person here who does.

  25. el gordo September 25, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Love the banter, but maybe we should just concentrate on the main game.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N3/C1.php

  26. SJT September 25, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    In other words, anthropogenic CO2 does not accumulate in the atmosphere, it is absorbed into the carbon cycle within relatively short time frames.

    You have missed the point entirely. The point is what is the contribution of the ACO2 doing to the level of CO2 in the atmosphere as a whole. It’s going up. It’s measured to be going up. It’s that delta that is the issue, since that is what is causing AGW. The proportion of ACO2 to CO2 is just the same in that delta as with the rest of the CO2 up there. It’s been explained to you many times before, but you just don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept.

  27. Pandanus September 25, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    RW,

    No confusion what so ever on my part. Read Houghtons 1996 paper and it will all become clear to you.

  28. SJT September 25, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Little will is stating it just as it is if he can’t understand it no one can possibly prove it to his satisfaction.

    I am just making an observation on the level of debate here from the deniers. People supporting AGW make excellent points, and I have learned a lot from them. However, most of what is said seems to go completely over deniers heads. The end result, they have not changed their point of view, usually because they cannot understand the arguments presented to them.

  29. SJT September 25, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    SJT again for the 1000th time if you disagree with my logic or calculation please post a rebuttle not a lot of meaningless drivel. How come you people never come up with any thoughts of your own or counter arguments which make any sense of contain any facts, just a series of meaningless rhetoric.

    RW got it right in the very first post. There is really nothing more that needs to be said.

  30. el gordo September 25, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    SJT

    These characters aren’t deniers, they’re sceptics. It’s the ambivalence, you see.

  31. SJT September 25, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    These characters aren’t deniers, they’re sceptics. It’s the ambivalence, you see.

    A sceptic looks at all the evidence and makes up their mind. There are plenty of deniers here who refuse to look at evidence they don’t want to know about.
    A sceptic is aware of their limitations. When they know they are out of their depth on a topic, they will defer to the accepted authorities. That is the rational action to take. Instead, you constantly see people here floundering around, way out of their depth, and seeing some piece of arrant nonsense presented, such as Gerlich and Teuschner, and then saying how such nonsense makes perfect sense. Readily accepting nonsense makes you a denier.

  32. Dubious Green Davey September 25, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Naomi Oreskes may have a way with words. According to Myanna Lahsen (2005), Naomi wrote, in a reputable journal:

    ‘…there are certain similarities between a work of fiction and a model: just as we may wonder how much the characters in a model are drawn from real life and how much is artifice, we might ask the same of a model; how much is based on observation and measurement of accessible phenomena, how much is based on informed judgement, and how much is convenience?’

    I haven”t had time to dig the paper out and see if, and how, Naomi answers this question. Any offers?

    Refs:
    Lahsen, M. (2005) Seductive simulations? Uncertainty distribution around climate models. Social Studies of Science 35/6:895-922.

    Oreskes, N., Shrader-Frechette, K. and Belitz, K. (1994) Verification, validation, and confirmation of numerical models in the Earth Sciences. Science 263(4):641-646.

    P.S. After one look at her photo, Luke has stated he will believe anything that Myanna says.

  33. Tim Curtin September 25, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    RW in the first post on this thread said “The other [residence time of [CO2] ] is the time taken for the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere to reach equilibrium, after it’s been pushed out of equilibrium. The red line refers to this ‘residence time’”

    That begs the question what is the “equilibrium” level. Allegedly [CO2] was constant before 1750 at 270-280 ppm, and that is taken by IPCC et al to be the equilibrium before the “perturbations” of us wicked anthrobods beginning with shipping coal from Newcastle to London (actually that began at least 100 years earlier). So RW, it seems that you are one of those Platonists who think the best of all possible worlds for the majority of people who have ever lived was up to 1750. In reality, as Angus Maddison has shown, the majority of people alive now are better off than the total of all of those who ever lived before us (see his The Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD, Oxford, 2007, and The World Economy: Historical Statistics, OECD, 2003).

    RW, I leave it to you to work out the equivalent “residence time” for people as you do for CO2 from the basic data in Maddison 2007, p.71 – and then explain why equilibrium CO2 at 270 ppm is optimal for today’s world population of 6.8 billion. Recall that at equilbrium any increase in CO2 emissions is by definition taken up by the biota, otherwise [CO2] rises above 270 ppm.

    Nicholas Stern has a piece in today’s Canberra Times which shows his equal lack of understanding of the concept of equilibrium. For example, while he projects that annual global emissions will reach 50 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2011, and unilaterally sets his own goal of reducing them to 20 gigatonnes by 2050, he fails to mention that since 1958 about 60 per cent of total emissions (currently 30 GtCO2 p.a.) have been uplifted by the world’s oceans (by solution or by the phytoplankton which is the basic feedstock for all marine life) and the terrestrial biosphere (through additional photosynthesis by the world’s ever-growing food crop production– see http://www.globalcarbonproject.org for CSIRO data on the uplifts from 1958 to 2007). Thus the Stern target involves reducing emissions in 2050 to below the present level of uplifts. How will that be good for the world’s marine and terrestrial life-forms? It is clear Stern neither knows nor cares, still less Team Garnaut and their irresponsible failure to provide this sort of information to Kev and Pen, currently making fools of themselves in Pittsburgh, but I would hope you RW can rise above their eugenicist views.

  34. SJT September 25, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    TC, you have been told a million times, your simplistic view of how CO2 works is failing you. It’s far more complex than that. One example is the acidification of the sea, which is going to be a real problem. The ocean life is adapted to one level, it’s now changing to another level. The coral reefs, for example, are going to find this change difficult.

  35. kuhnkat September 25, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    RW, SJT, ET al;

    You lose. All you have been doing is arm waving with no references to your bible, AR4, TAR… or your other magic (peer reviewed science).

    Since this is an area I am ignorant of, and the deniers have actually backed up their info with refs and meaningful statements they win again!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  36. kuhnkat September 25, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    OH MY GOD!! ACIDIFICATION OF THE SEA!!!! RUN AWAY RUN AWAY RUN AWAY!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Hey SJT, haven’t you bothered to keep up on the FACT that many species originally EVOLVED (if you believe in evolution) in water more acidic than todays?? They have managed to survive through fairly wide swings in PH. You know, kinda like Polar Bears managed to survive with no Arctic sea ice!?!?!?!

  37. Tim Curtin September 25, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    SJT: Really? do explain again. But as for pH, show me where the “global” level is measured. There is in fact no such data, and no evidence for any trend change. No doubt you have an enormous swimming pool (only the seriously rich like you and the Goldsmiths can afford to be true greens), so please reveal your hourly pH measurements, especially before during and after rain.

  38. Michael September 25, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    SJT
    “The end result, they have not changed their point of view, usually because they cannot understand the arguments presented to them.”

    Not so SJT. It is because we do understand that we reject the arguments presented to us.

  39. cohenite September 25, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Hey luke, el gordo has linked to a paper which like your beloved Parker et al decomposes the temperature history into EOFs; however the new paper has 4 EOFs, one better than Parker!

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N3/C1.php

  40. J.Hansford September 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    Thanks for that explanation Barry….. Very well done.

    RW does not want to accept it, but often times the truth does hurt in the face of willful ignorance.

    The fact remains, that CO2 does not remain in the atmosphere for the time that the IPCC says it does…. Their models do not reflect that fact. It is bad science on their part.

  41. PJP September 25, 2009 at 12:45 pm #

    “IN order for increased human carbon dioxide emissions to cause accelerated global warming, the climate models need to assume that carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for a very long time, up to 100 or more years”

    No. this statement is false.

    Carbon dioxides greenhouse effect is a function of its concentration and physico-chemical properties: the statement simply doesn’t make any sense. unless it is suggesting that the concentration is going to fall away because of some sort of natural phenomena.

  42. cohenite September 25, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    rw, your comments about climate equlibrium are confusing; climate sensitivity has 2 components; the transient and the equilibrium response; Arthur Smith explains the difference according to the AGW lexicon;

    http://arthur.shumwaysmith.com/life/content/heat_transfer_in_the_two_box_model

    This explanation is simply and empirically wrong; this is demonstrated by the recent Wong/Fielding smack-down where Wong, through her ‘scientific’ spokesperson, Will Steffen, argued that AGW heating is now manifest in thermosteric sea-level increase and ocean heat content; but neither thermosteric sea-level increase [where the rate is declining] nor OHC [which is declining full-stop] can support this. It would seem despite a number of papers on how long the equilibrium sensitivity takes to occur [ ie Schwartz: http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/HeatCapCommentResponse.pdf ] that there is little effective difference between the transient and equilibrium response and that the system produces a response to forcing in a matter of months as various authors have shown through an analysis of the ocean/atmosphere coupling [ie Trenberth]. The problem for ACO2 here is that if the increase was going to produce a response, either transient or equilibrium, it would have already done so; it hasn’t so the IPCC has invented the implied time constant/lag of hundreds of years consistent with the equally false idea of the century long residency time.

    Barry, my explanation on Henrys Law was perhaps not clear but I see that Ian Read has kindly and clearly explained what I was trying to say about the effect of Henrys Law on ACO2 residency. Also of interest is the paper by Chilingar where he and his associates show that an increase in ACO2 causes cooling through the operation of Henrys Law!

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15567030701568727

  43. SJT September 25, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    The fact remains, that CO2 does not remain in the atmosphere for the time that the IPCC says it does…. Their models do not reflect that fact. It is bad science on their part.

    Read again what RW said, and try to understand.

  44. steve from brisbane September 25, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    Ah, ocean acidification finally gets mentioned here again. Tim Curtain, for your benefit:

    “Monthly research cruises to Station ALOHA, north of Oahu, have yielded after 20 years the most detailed record to date on ocean acidification in the Pacific.

    Reporting in this week’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, lead author and former SOEST researcher John Dore (now at Montana State University) presents an analysis of the changes of pH at Station ALOHA over time and depth.

    Dore, along with SOEST co-authors Karl, Lukas, Matt Church and Dan Sadler, found that over the two decades of observation, the surface ocean grew more acidic at exactly the rate expected from chemical equilibration with the atmosphere. However, that rate of change varied considerably on seasonal and inter-annual timescales, and even reversed for one period of nearly five years. The year-to-year changes appear to be driven by climate-induced changes in ocean mixing and attendant biological responses to mixing events.

    The authors also found distinct layers at depth in which pH declines were actually faster than at the surface. ”

    From here:

    oceanacidification.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/station-aloha-data-reveal-ocean-acidification/#more-2504

  45. Neil Fisher September 25, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    SJT wrote:

    One example is the acidification of the sea, which is going to be a real problem. The ocean life is adapted to one level, it’s now changing to another level. The coral reefs, for example, are going to find this change difficult.

    I would be pleased if you would show me some published research where the researchers have actually tested this by physically varying the pH of the water. I did a quick search on google scholar, and most papers have this sort of thing:

    Preindustrial to Modern Interdecadal Variability in Coral Reef pH
    Carles Pelejero,1*{dagger} Eva Calvo,1*{dagger} Malcolm T. McCulloch,1{dagger} John F. Marshall,1 Michael K. Gagan,1 Janice M. Lough,2 Bradley N. Opdyke3

    The oceans are becoming more acidic due to absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems is unclear, but it will likely depend on species adaptability and the rate of change of seawater pH relative to its natural variability. To constrain the natural variability in reef-water pH, we measured boron isotopic compositions in a ~300-year-old massive Porites coral from the southwestern Pacific. Large variations in pH are found over ~50-year cycles that covary with the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation of ocean-atmosphere anomalies, suggesting that natural pH cycles can modulate the impact of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems.

    However, very little in the way of actual experiments where the effect could be quantified – none, in fact, from the quick search I did. If you find something, please let me know. Until then, such talk is speculative at best – especially given that the paper listed above suggests that pH varies naturally over a 50 year cycle anyway – note they say “Large variation in pH are found…”.

    Life is flexible, adaptive and highly resilient – certainly coral reefs did not disappear when CO2 reached levels more than 10 times the current concentration in the deep past, so why would anyone expect them to now?

    So, your evidence, sir? A reference that shows actual experiments in this area? Thought not…

  46. steven from brisbane September 25, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    Neil: if you care to read something like the Royal Society’s 2005 paper on the topic, you would know that the problem is the rate of increase in CO2. Ocean chemistry can deal with increases in CO2 over long enough time, but we’re in the midst of a doubling or tripling of CO2 in the space of a couple of centuries; a mere blink in geological terms.

    As for the actual tests of ocean acidification, see my previous link. Yes, it’s not a straight line thing, just like temperature, but the overall picture is consistent with theory.

  47. Larry Fields September 25, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    Jennifer,
    Some of the Alarmist lies about CO2 residence times inter alia are even worse than you suggest.

    Global Warming Is Irreversible, Study Says

    by Richard Harris

    All Things Considered, January 26, 2009 · Climate change is essentially irreversible, according to a sobering new scientific study.

    As carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, the world will experience more and more long-term environmental disruption. The damage will persist even when, and if, emissions are brought under control, says study author Susan Solomon, who is among the world’s top climate scientists.

    “We’re used to thinking about pollution problems as things that we can fix,” Solomon says. “Smog, we just cut back and everything will be better later. Or haze, you know, it’ll go away pretty quickly.”

    That’s the case for some of the gases that contribute to climate change, such as methane and nitrous oxide. But as Solomon and colleagues suggest in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it is not true for the most abundant greenhouse gas: carbon dioxide. Turning off the carbon dioxide emissions won’t stop global warming.

    *snip*

    “People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide that the climate would go back to normal in 100 years or 200 years. What we’re showing here is that’s not right. It’s essentially an irreversible change that will last for more than a thousand years,” Solomon says.

    This is because the oceans are currently soaking up a lot of the planet’s excess heat — and a lot of the carbon dioxide put into the air. The carbon dioxide and heat will eventually start coming out of the ocean. And that will take place for many hundreds of years.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99888903

  48. steven from brisbane September 25, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    Oh sorry Neil, I misread your comment. I think you were asking for studies on the effect of decreasing pH on sea creatures?

    There have been heaps of these over the last several years. The studies have been done in tanks of sea water, some (but not many, I think) in situ in the ocean. It is proving to be a tricky area of research: quite a few studies have had contradictory results, and they’ve had to look carefully as to how the experimental set up is contributing to the confusing results.

    That said, it is hard to believe that anyone could look at the number of studies that have indicated problems for some important species and conclude that it is not a matter of concern. Off the top of my head, the species that seem to be headed for trouble include: pteropods (an important fish food, with a recent paper noting “A decline of their populations would likely cause dramatic changes to the structure, function and services of polar ecosystems”), some (but not all) corals, sea urchins, bivalves (including oysters), some (but not all) types of plankton, and some physical changes in fish (larger ear bones) the effect of which is currently unknown.

    You can take the optimistic view if you want that everything in the oceans will just sort itself out as a result of us turning up the CO2, and we’ll all be cheery and happy. But I can’t see how you can realistically deny that it will be one huge experiment, instigated by humans, with highly uncertain outcomes. I would argue that it is much more sensible to take the cautious approach and not continue with big, global, experiments on the environment when you don’t know where it will end.

    The simplest resource for you to follow about the topic is that Ocean Acidification blog I referred to in my previous post.

  49. cohenite September 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    For an insight into the orthodox thinking about CO2 residency and some responses to that thinking;

    http://www.john-daly.com/dietze/cmodcalc.htm

  50. SJT September 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    So, your evidence, sir? A reference that shows actual experiments in this area? Thought not…

    You have already found plenty of references on Google, there is nothing I can tell you that you already don’t want to know.

  51. steven from brisbane September 25, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    I could have sworn I had seen two comments by me on ocean acidification published earlier this afternoon, but they aren’t there now.

  52. steven from brisbane September 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Oh sorry, I see moderation is happening.

  53. David Archibald September 25, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    Jennifer,

    That is a great graph and thanks for posting it.

  54. Allan September 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    What is the current pH value of “The Oceans”?
    WolframAlpha puts it at 8.2 which is alkaline

  55. Tim Curtin September 25, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    Re the paper by Susan Solomon et al (Plattner, Knutti, Friedlingstein) in PNAS January 2009 mentioned above, I have previously noted some of the outrageous deceptions that permeate the paper (but expertly blocked by Herr H-J Schellnhuber, climate editor at PNAS).

    1. The paper’s claim “It is not generally appreciated that the atmospheric
    temperature increases caused by rising carbon dioxide concentrations
    are not expected to decrease significantly even if carbon
    emissions were to completely cease (see Fig. 1).” What then is the purpose of Copenhagen (with its hoped for only 60% reduction in emisisons from base line?

    2. The paper goes on to make the same point crystal clear: Future carbon dioxide emissions in the 21st century will hence lead to adverse climate changes on both short and long time scales that would be essentially irreversible (where irreversible is defined
    here as a time scale exceeding the end of the millennium in year 3000″. Yet our Kev and Pen talk as if they can save us from all this within their own lifetimes. But wait for it, I can save the day for all at Copenhagen (Jen can forward my ticket)

    3. The paper’s claim that “Advances in modeling have led not only to improvements in
    complex Atmosphere–Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) for projecting 21st century climate, but also to the implementation of Earth System Models of Intermediate Complexity
    (EMICs) for millennial time scales (sic)” is untrue, as all these models like the Solomon paper itself assume that biotic oceanic and terrestrial uptakes of CO2 emissions (over and above the partial solution of CO2 in the oceans) are zero, whereas in total they account for around 50% of current emissions.

    4. The paper goes on: “On the time scale of a millennium addressed here, the CO2 equilibrates largely between the atmosphere and the ocean and, depending on associated increases in acidity and in ocean warming … typically c20% of the added tonnes
    of CO2 remain in the atmosphere while c80% are mixed into the ocean”. That is simply untrue. Since 1958 c.57% of total emissions has been absorbed by both land and sea, so only 43% has remained Airborne.

    5. It adds “Given an instantaneous airborne fraction (AFpeak) of 50% during the period of rising CO2, and a quasi-equilbrium airborne factor (AFequi) of 20%, it follows that the quasi-equilibrium enhancement of CO2 concentration above its preindustrial value is c40% of the peak enhancement. For example, if the CO2 concentration were to peak at 800 ppmv followed by zero emissions, the quasi-equilibrium CO2 concentration would still be far above the preindustrial value at c500 ppmv. Additional carbon cycle feedbacks could (sic) reduce the efficiency of the ocean and biosphere to remove the anthropogenic CO2 and thereby increase these CO2 values. Further, a longer decay time and increased CO2 concentrations at year 1000 are expected for large total carbon emissions.” Solomon & co have simply no idea of how to do carbon budgeting, and even less idea of the role of the partial pressure of [CO2] on biotic uptakes, which at 800 ppm will be very large.

    Thus the paper’s claim of “irreversible” if true means all tickets to Copenhagen should be cancelled, and if not, where is mine? But then, as I have shown here already (see my Mauna Loa thread and also “More Smearing…” at about #98) ) there is in any case no evidence of [CO2] having a material effect on temperature anywhere. That is because at only 1.66 watts/sq.metre in 2005, the Radiative Forcing is only 1/36th of that of a 60 Watt light bulb over 1 sq. metre. Oh dear, what a shame, especially as I had a great time when I spent 3 months in Copenhagen in 1972.

  56. MAGB September 25, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    “Comment from: SJT September 25th, 2009 at 11:58 am
    TC, you have been told a million times, your simplistic view of how CO2 works is failing you. It’s far more complex than that.”

    That’s right – far too complex to model.

    Fortunately the politicians are realizing just how silly and impractical all this talk about trying to change the climate really is.

  57. Neil Fisher September 25, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    SJT wrote:

    You have already found plenty of references on Google, there is nothing I can tell you that you already don’t want to know.

    Ah – I don’t want to know, huh? As I said, I did a quick google scholar and didn’t see anything apropos. If you know of something, please post a link and I’ll be happy to look at it. I have already suggested that you have no basis to make the claim you did – speculative explainations are all very nice, but surely such a basic work has been done, right? It’s your claim, and I merely pointed out that I looked and couldn’t find the data to show that it’s true. So I’ve been doing your job – trying to find a reason to accept what you say, but it’s not there. Hey, not that I tried hard or anything, but I did look. So now, I’m asking you to support your claim – and so far, you haven’t. You made the claim, so I say: show me the evidence!
    It’s assumed that life cannot overcome moderate changes to the environment because of chemistry – yet a paper I picked fairly randomly from google scholar, and which I contend is by far the majority, cite no papers on experiments on calcifying organisims ability to withstand varying pH; even going as far as to suggest that no such data exists. If you think such data exists, please point me to it. If you can’t, please stipulate that you cannot.

  58. jennifer marohasy September 25, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    Steve from Brisbane,
    Apologies, I’ve been busy with other things today and turned on the computer just now to find a few comments caugh in spam – including four from you – now released. Apologies again.

  59. Nick Stokes September 25, 2009 at 8:19 pm #

    RW has it exactly right from the start. There is a recent major review article in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences (free to download – you have to click a license). They put it thus:

    There are rival definitions of a. lifetime for anthropogenic CO2. One is the amount of time it takes until a substantial portion, say 50% or perhaps 1-1/e which is about 63%, of the excess CO2 goes away. Another is the average lifetime, or transit time, of the individual carbon atoms before they leave the atmosphere. The misinterpretation which has plagued the question of the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 seems to arise from confusion of these two very different definitions.

    As the Nature summary puts it:
    Because the oceans suck up huge amounts of the gas each year, the average CO2 molecule does spend about 5 years in the atmosphere. But the oceans also release much of that CO2 back to the air, such that man-made emissions keep the atmosphere’s CO2 levels elevated for millennia. Even as CO2 levels drop, temperatures take longer to fall, according to recent studies.

    It’s like what happens when someone gives you 1000 dollars in cash. There’s one lifetime for the money in terms of how long you retain the actual notes. There’s a second relating to how long your increased prosperity lasts. For climate, it’s the second that counts.

  60. Mack September 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    The thing that cracks me up the most about these AGW wackos is that they actually are deluded enough to believe that man has somehow got the ability to send the graphs at Manau Loa in a different direction,and by doing so lower the global temperature!
    Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Ahahahahahaha.
    Yes, I know, I’ve got a wicked laugh.
    Btw somebody referred me over to Taminos site for the 1st time.
    Guess what he calls his site.
    Wait for it……
    “Open Mind”!!
    Ahahahahahahahahahaha. Ahhahahahaha.

  61. Neil Fisher September 25, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    steven from brisbane wrote:

    Oh sorry Neil, I misread your comment. I think you were asking for studies on the effect of decreasing pH on sea creatures?

    Well, SJT was suggesting that it will be a problem, especially with coral reefs, so I wanted to know the source of that, yes.

    There have been heaps of these over the last several years. The studies have been done in tanks of sea water, some (but not many, I think) in situ in the ocean. It is proving to be a tricky area of research: quite a few studies have had contradictory results, and they’ve had to look carefully as to how the experimental set up is contributing to the confusing results.

    So as yet, we do don’t know how much, if any, “damage” it will do. That’s what I thought I said – that I couldn’t find the data to confirm or deny it. Do you have any links that are apropos please Steven?

    That said, it is hard to believe that anyone could look at the number of studies that have indicated problems for some important species and conclude that it is not a matter of concern. Off the top of my head, the species that seem to be headed for trouble include: pteropods (an important fish food, with a recent paper noting “A decline of their populations would likely cause dramatic changes to the structure, function and services of polar ecosystems”), some (but not all) corals, sea urchins, bivalves (including oysters), some (but not all) types of plankton, and some physical changes in fish (larger ear bones) the effect of which is currently unknown.

    But no data on how much of a decline we could expect solely from changing the pH, is that correct?

    You can take the optimistic view if you want that everything in the oceans will just sort itself out as a result of us turning up the CO2, and we’ll all be cheery and happy. But I can’t see how you can realistically deny that it will be one huge experiment, instigated by humans, with highly uncertain outcomes. I would argue that it is much more sensible to take the cautious approach and not continue with big, global, experiments on the environment when you don’t know where it will end.

    Indeed – to date, our inadvertant geo-engineering seems to have done little harm, and may even have helped somewhat in keeping us all fed. I feel reluctant to change the way we are doing things because it might be a problem – our path to date seems to me to be one of stricter environmental laws, less damage per unit of GDP, hell even less carbon per unit of GDP. Cleaner water, cleaner air and greater properity for society in general seems like a good trend to be on to me. No-one seems to notice that we apparently know the consequences of what we are doing, but not the consequences of, say, moving to a hydrogen-based energy system. What unintended consequences are we handing our kids if we go down this path? What problems happen when we scale these sort of technologies up to service a larger and larger portion of our energy needs? I have no idea, and I’d suggest no-one does. If we try to rush this stuff – if we “fast-track” it – what will we miss?
    So if you want to invoke the precationary principle to say we should act, then I will invoke it to say we should not! That’s why I want the data – not for myself per se, but so we can know what might happen and plan accordingly. If we can’t agree on CO2 limits, we will need an adaptation strategy (assuming AGW is true), and for that we will need some heavy duty civil engineering. We are going to need that sort of data; if we don’t have it, then we are basing our decisions on guesses and luck. We may have to do that, but I’d rather we had as much hard data as possible so that we can minimise the number of guesses we need to make and reduce the number of possible failure modes.
    Aren’t we both wanting the same thing here? Correct action for the correct reasons, right? We need more information! Pointing that out isn’t being a denier, or a delayer or anything else – it’s just common sense! As I keep saying to SJT, if you want me to change, you need to convince me that I need to, and that the cure is not worse than the disease – something that has yet to happen. That doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t be convinced, just that I don’t think it’s clear yet. If that makes me a denier, then so be it – I don’t care what label you want to apply to me, because such labels have no impact on what my decisions are, the data does.

  62. SJT September 25, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

    Cleaner water, cleaner air and greater properity for society in general seems like a good trend to be on to me.

    So the only criteria for changing the side effects of our normal actions are if your eyeball can detect them?

  63. SJT September 25, 2009 at 10:48 pm #

    the data does.

    You can’t handle the data.

  64. SJT September 25, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    Acidification and coral.

    http://www.ucar.edu/communications/Final_acidification.pdf

  65. Michael Hammer September 25, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    This seems wierd to me. I agree with Nick that what is important is not the lifetime of an individual CO2 moelcule but rather the system time constant of the effect. But the point is that IPCC and many other AGW advocates have already defined the time constant. They state in many places that each year the biosphere absorbs about half the anthropogenic emissions. Now remember before we started to release all that CO2 the AGW proponents claim the CO2 level was more or less constant ie: in equilibrium so the plants were absorbing just enough CO2 to maintain that balance. Now we are emitting, if half of our emissions are being absorbed in the year of emisson this has to be due to an increase in absorption by the biosphere. Presumably the increase in absorption is negative feedback arising from the increase in CO2 levels (higher CO2 accelerates plant growth which absorbs more CO2). This build up has, according to the AGW proponents occured in the last 20-30 years. These claims define the system feedback time constant and it is around 20 years or so. That is further re-inforced by the IPCC claim in their 4th assessment report that if our emissions stabilised at the current level the impact would level off over the next 20 years – again a time constant of around 20 years.

    By their own data it is certainly not a time constant of centuries.

  66. Michael Hammer September 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    To refine by previous comment. Since our emissions are supposedly continuously increasing the time constant is determined by the lag time of the response which is actually shorter than the 20 years I mentioned. Also in time to stabilise, it depends on how stable, 1 time constant gives 63% of the final value, 2 time constants gives about 90%. Looking at the IPCC graph for emissions held steady at current levels the result after 20 years is more than 63% more like 90% or even a bit more so the time constant is some where around 10 years (or a bit less) which is what every one else is also saying according to Jennifers graph. I admit its not a rigorous exact computation (although that would not be hard to do but not at 11.20 pm when I am starting to feel very woolly) but quite good enough to give a ball park value.

  67. cohenite September 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    Nick;

    “Even as CO2 levels drop, temperatures take longer to fall, according to recent studies.”

    That is demonstrably wrong;

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

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1998/offset:-347/scale:0.008/trend/plot/uah/from:1998/trend

  68. sod September 26, 2009 at 1:47 am #

    the very first comment basially told everything, that needed to be said.

    Two distinct concepts may both be referred to as ‘residence time’. One is the time that a given CO2 molecule, individually, spends in the atmosphere before it is transferred into the oceans or the biosphere. All the black lines – every single one – refer to this ‘residence time’. The other is the time taken for the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere to reach equilibrium, after it’s been pushed out of equilibrium. The red line refers to this ‘residence time’

    So your comparison is meaningless, and it’s the old question once more – are you being stupid, or dishonest?

    imagine you borrow money to a (rather good) poker player (or invest in an investment fund). you could measure, how long the dollar bills you hand over stay in the possesion of the player. or you could measure a meaningful thing, like how his money level will change, when you stop borrowing money to him. comparing those two measurements is simply idiotic.

  69. sod September 26, 2009 at 2:11 am #

    That is demonstrably wrong;

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1998/offset:-347/scale:0.008/trend/plot/uah/from:1998/trend

    master cherry picker cohenite is absolutely, totally and 100% sure, that 1998, and not a year earlier or later, is the single and only right year to start a trend.

    if it wasn t just sad, it would be pretty funny.

  70. Nick Stokes September 26, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    Michael: They state in many places that each year the biosphere absorbs about half the anthropogenic emissions.
    I wish people would quote sources (properly) for these things. What I’ve seen them state is that the ocean absorbs about half our emissions, which leads to a quite different interpretation.

    And sod’s right about Coho’s cherrypicking, but the woodfortrees site has a remedy. Just change 1998 to 1999 on both graph forms, and there is a totally different picture.

  71. John F. Pittman September 26, 2009 at 7:04 am #

    Comment from: Nick Stokes September 25th, 2009 at 8:19 pm “”RW has it exactly right from the start…The misinterpretation which has plagued the question of the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 seems to arise from confusion of these two very different definitions. “”

    But when it was pointed by myself and several others, my comment “”RW, Barry has given the general definition of residence time. If the IPCC used a different definition as you imply, could you state the page, etc? The definition that you give is usually used to describe depletion.”” to which RW said “John F. Pittman – there are not two definitions, there are two separate phenomena. That shouldn’t be hard to understand.” And you claim that RW got it exactly right?!? Half the comments are because he did no such thing and you are wrong to say he did, since you yourself said “”these two very different definitions. “”

    Stating, it is the lifetime of CO2 or as RW did “”The other is the time taken for the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere to reach equilibrium, after it’s been pushed out of equilibrium. The red line refers to this ‘residence time’”” puts it as an integrated rate analysis. Otherwise known as a solution to a rate equation with inputs. In other words the output from the rate equation.

    By stating the basic equation, assumptions, and integration mehtodology, a coherent discussion could follow.

    The graph highlights one aspect well. That the average residence time is about 4 to 16 years. For one to get to the ultimate residence time, it makes no sense to discuss it without the proper information. Most important in such a discussion are additions, depletions, and assumptions as to the nature of the rates of additions/depletions. An obvious one is whether the assumption that carbon sinks will fill up and the present ratio of about 50% cannot besustained.

    FROM AR4 “”In fact, the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations does not reveal the full extent of human emissions in that it accounts for only 55% of the CO2 released by human activity since 1959. In all cases, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and their increases, are determined by the balance between sources (emissions of the gas from human activities and natural systems) and sinks (the removal of the gas from the atmosphere by conversion to a different chemical compound)…The natural carbon cycle cannot explain the observed atmospheric increase of 3.2 to 4.1 GtC yr–1 in the form of CO2 over the last 25 years. (One GtC equals 1015 grams of carbon, i.e., one billion tonnes.)”” Yet the IPCC say “”Natural processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, decay and sea surface gas exchange lead to massive exchanges, sources and sinks of CO2 between the land and atmosphere (estimated at ~120 GtC yr–1) and the ocean and atmosphere (estimated at ~90 GtC yr–1; see figure 7.3). The natural sinks of carbon produce a small net uptake of CO2 of approximately 3.3 GtC yr–1 over the last 15 years, partially offsetting the human-caused emissions. Were it not for the natural sinks taking up nearly half the human-produced CO2 over the past 15 years, atmospheric concentrations would have grown even more dramatically. The increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is known to be caused by human activities because the character of CO2 in the atmosphere, in particular the ratio of its heavy to light carbon atoms, has changed in a way that can be attributed to addition of fossil fuel carbon.””

    There is plenty of sceptic fodder here. Massive exchanges, but cannot be explained by the natural carbon cycle. This is unsupportable statement. One simply has to take the error of the 120 GT and 90 GT and one can explain the increase. It is and has to be more than such simplistic, easily falsifiable by different assumptions, statements.

    How about putting some of these up rather than berate people and as SJT does, call then denialists. Let’s go from the assumption that natural variability CAN explain the increase, and falsify this using data. BTW models, will be suspect if the code and supporting documrntation is not available. It should not be too difficult since the IPCC said that the natural carbon cycle does not explain the phenomena.

  72. Michael Hammer September 26, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    Nick;

    IPCC forth assessment report summary for policy makers. Page 13 line 5 from the top “even if all radiative forcing agents are held constant at year 2000 level a further warming trend would occur in the next 2 decaades at a rate of about 0.1C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans”.

    You make a change to the input conditions and hold that change constant, the rate at which the system responds is the time constant of the system. They state it would continue to increase for 20 years which implies to me that they meaqn it takes about 20 years to reach the new equilibrium. A reasonable engineering approximation of equilibrium is about 3 time constants. if 20 years = 3 time constants then the time constant is 6.7 years. If yiou want to chose 2 time constants it is 10 years.

    The time constant is what it is irrespective of the mechanisms.

    It is also worth noting that according to many text books the majority of our oxygen is produced by blue green algea in the oceans. Some reports say up to 90% although I believe later information has suggested it may only be around 70%. What I said was absorption by the biosphere. That is not in any way incompatible with absortion in the oceans.

  73. Nick Stokes September 26, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    John P Massive exchanges, but cannot be explained by the natural carbon cycle. This is unsupportable statement.

    It’s quite supportable, and the AR3 devotes a whole chapter to doing that. As well as the fluxes, you can observe the totals. There’s nearly 200 extra Gtons of carbon in the air. The plant biosphere has about 500 GTons, so you’d notice if it came from there. The ocean has increasing CO2. And then, there’s the isotope story.

  74. cohenite September 26, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    sod, the master nuisance; alright smartie-pants, try 1999;

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1999/offset:-347/scale:0.008/trend/plot/uah/from:1998/trend

    Now sod, you pick a time between 1998 and 2009 where CO2 and temperature are fellow travellers; and as I have said before 1998 is a time when there were major, empirically documented oceanographic events and a phase change in PDO; for those reasons 1998 is the year to ascertain temperature trend changes; not that you honest folk would admit that.

    And Nick you know better than to say temperature lingers while CO2 drops; I supplied you with the historical record; point to some-time where your thesis occurs, or in the modern record for that matter.

    As to the difference between residence time of an individual CO2 molecule and the time constant of CO2 mass; it is an interesting academic exercise; why academic because as I said the temperature response, transient or equilibrium isn’t occurring, not in the atmosphere, not in the oceans, only in the rabbit hole on the way to Alice in AGW-wonderland.

  75. Nick Stokes September 26, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    Coho temperature lingers while CO2 drops
    It isn’t my claim – it’s from the Nature quote. And what they mean is that in the future, if CO2 were to drop, temperature would remain elevated.

  76. John F. Pittman September 26, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    Comment from: Nick Stokes September 26th, 2009 at 8:09 am said
    “”John P Massive exchanges, but cannot be explained by the natural carbon cycle. This is unsupportable statement.

    It’s quite supportable, and the AR3 devotes a whole chapter to doing that. As well as the fluxes, you can observe the totals. There’s nearly 200 extra Gtons of carbon in the air. The plant biosphere has about 500 GTons, so you’d notice if it came from there. The ocean has increasing CO2. And then, there’s the isotope story.”””

    From AR3: “”The first panel of Figure 3.1 shows the major components of the carbon cycle, estimates of the current storage in the active compartments, and estimates of the gross fluxes between compartments. The second panel shows best estimates of the additional flux (release to the atmosphere – positive; uptake – negative) associated with the human perturbation of the carbon cycle during the 1980s. Note that the gross amounts of carbon annually exchanged between the ocean and atmosphere, and between the land and atmosphere, represent a sizeable fraction of the atmospheric CO2 content – and are many times larger than the total anthropogenic CO2 input. In consequence, an imbalance in these exchanges could easily lead to an anomaly of comparable magnitude to the direct anthropogenic perturbation. This implies that it is important to consider how these fluxes may be changing in response to human activities.””

    Look at this AR3 crap. “”…are many times larger than total anthropogenic CO2 input. In consequence, an imbalance in these exchanges could easily lead to an anomaly of comparable magnitude to the direct anthropogenic perturbation.”” SO what do they say “”This implies that it is important to consider how these fluxes may be changing in response to human activities.”” No, it implies that if you are not precise and accurate enough you cannot assign whether it is antropogenic or naturally occurring, much less even the order of magnitude these flux effects have on the input from human activities or its total effect. (This is what this chapter is about for those who do not wish to read it.

    Yes there is a whole chapter and it starts out with an unsupportable position. Unless of course you can show it. So show it.

  77. John F. Pittman September 26, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    Comment from: Nick Stokes September 26th, 2009 at 9:14 am said “”Coho temperature lingers while CO2 drops It isn’t my claim – it’s from the Nature quote. And what they mean is that in the future, if CO2 were to drop, temperature would remain elevated.””

    Nick what this shows with

    1. Temperature rises before CO2 by about 800 years;and
    2. That natural variation is stronger than CO2 (admitted by IPCC sotto voce for prehistoric conditions);
    proves that the cause of the change of temperature causes CO2 changes. Temperature changes may (and do) have a cause, but that response by temperature is the cause of the CO2 increase through the known relationship of Henry’s Law. Based on the assumption that physics and chemistry works then. just like it does now.

    If an item is both leading and lagging, it is the determinant, the cause for a secondary effect. CO2 may be a minor effect but is not the cause. Even the IPCC agree that before man, unknown(s) caused climate change.

    One can suppose a system where CO2 is the cause, but it relies on unknown mechanisms of unknown magnitude, except that it is greater than the effect of CO2. If the mechanism is unknown and the magnitude is greater than the effect of CO2, then the IPCC’s justification that CO2 MUST be the cause of the modern record is falsified.

    This paper indicates that if the IPCC cannot explain the mechanism and its effects, all the assessment reporrts are simply hypotheses.

    This and many other luke warmists would agree to. Thank you for providing support to our position.

  78. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    SJT wrote:

    So the only criteria for changing the side effects of our normal actions are if your eyeball can detect them?

    Are you suggesting that we have not cleaned up our act in recent decades? That Sydney harbour for instance, is more polluted than it was 30 years ago? It most certainly is not. And while I would certainly wouldn’t suggest that only what’s visible is important, if it’s not immediately obvious on inspection, then I’d like some solid data to back it up – and since it’s your claim that these “unseen” things are having a significant effect, it’s up to you to provide the data; something you have yet to do.

    You can’t handle the data.

    As I said, you don’t appear to have the data.
    Your reference says :

    A wide variety of mechanisms have been identified
    that could alter ocean carbon uptake, but in many
    cases even the sign of the biogeochemical response,
    let alone the magnitude, is uncertain

    (page 17, section 2.1.2) and also this:

    Predictions of the response of the ocean
    carbon cycle to increased atmospheric CO2 are thus
    poorly constrained.

    (page 18)
    and this:

    These processes
    and how they will change in response to future
    CO2 increases must be better understood in order
    to obtain a global carbonate budget and to predict
    the future state of ocean seawater chemistry. Without
    this understanding, we cannot close the global carbonate
    budget or have a proper understanding of how
    ecosystem changes might impact the calcium carbonate
    cycle.

    and this:

    Carbonate
    dissolution also remains poorly determined; i.e., the
    controls on dissolution rates in the water column and
    in sediments, how dissolution affects alkalinity fluxes,
    and the potential role of dissolution in buffering the
    carbonate system.

    and this:

    Only two studies have tested the combined temperature-
    saturation state effect on coral calcification,
    and these have produced confusing results.

    and this:

    Several years may be necessary to determine
    whether benthic calcifiers can adapt or acclimate
    to different carbonate chemistry conditions.

    and, of course, the real kickers, which are:

    The effects of changing calcification and dissolution
    on reef ecosystem functioning are unknown.
    […]
    The effects of reduced saturation state on bioerosion
    rates are unknown.
    […]
    The molecular and physiological mechanisms
    that control the calcification response in planktonic
    organisms to changes in the CO2 system are poorly
    understood.
    […]
    Long-term impacts of elevated pCO2 on reproduction,
    growth, and survivorship of planktonic calcifying
    organisms have not been investigated.
    […]
    The potential impacts of increased CO2 on planktonic
    ecosystem structure and functions are unknown.
    […]
    CaCO3 dissolution is substantial in the upper water
    column, but little is known about the mechanisms
    that control this dissolution or how they
    may change with future increased CO2.

    which is exactly what I said: you do not have the data to back up your claim that “ocean acidification” will be disasterous.

    So I ask again: do you have the data, or not? Because this reference certainly does not. There is much speculation on what may happen, but very little in the way of data to constrain the limits as specifically stated in that document.

  79. SJT September 26, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    How about putting some of these up rather than berate people and as SJT does, call then denialists. Let’s go from the assumption that natural variability CAN explain the increase, and falsify this using data. BTW models, will be suspect if the code and supporting documrntation is not available. It should not be too difficult since the IPCC said that the natural carbon cycle does not explain the phenomena.

    This topic is a perfect example of being a denialist rather than a skeptic.

    For the topic’s claim to be true, the IPCC must be committing a massive fraud, or be incredibly incompetent. The graph indicates that, the way it is drawn. A skeptic would instantly wonder what is going on, and check the validity of the claim, rather than just accept it at face value. Jennifer did not do that. She did what the deniers here do all the time. She saw a claim that fitted in with what she wants to believe, did not question it, and used it was a reason why she was a sceptic.

  80. steve from brisbane September 26, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    Neil, as I pointed out in my post, ocean acidification is not just all about coral. Australia takes a particular interest in coral due to the Great Barrier Reef, but as ocean acidification is likely to have its first impacts in polar waters, that may be where the first important changes happen. A major concern, as I noted, is a big reduction in pteropods, with subsequent reduction to the salmon population (amongst other fish species).

    Although I haven’t read anyone making this point, I was surprised to learn via a recent Attenborough show on ABC that pacific salmon dying upstream are a (perhaps “the”) major source of fertilizer for the great forests of north west America. I presume that the disruption to the sea food chain is therefore going to affect those forests as well.

    Amongst other issues, I forgot to mention the prediction that hypoxic areas of the ocean will greatly increase with increasing CO2. This alone is bad for fisheries and the countries that get a significant amount of food from them.

    As to your ‘wait and see’ approach, the problem is (as with AGW) that turning around CO2 production is a huge undertaking. If you’re going to wait for another 20 years of research, and then discover all the negative early indications (and there are many – go read that ocean acidification blog over the last 2 years for yourself,) are indeed correct, it’s too late to do anything about it. Especially with ocean acidification, because it is already “committed” to a decrease of pH with the amount of CO2 already around.

    And please, stop expecting other people to do all your reading for you. One Google scholar search that didn’t satisfy you is hardly a sign of good intentions that you are seriously considering the topic.

  81. SJT September 26, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    Are you suggesting that we have not cleaned up our act in recent decades? That Sydney harbour for instance, is more polluted than it was 30 years ago? It most certainly is not. And while I would certainly wouldn’t suggest that only what’s visible is important, if it’s not immediately obvious on inspection, then I’d like some solid data to back it up – and since it’s your claim that these “unseen” things are having a significant effect, it’s up to you to provide the data; something you have yet to do.

    No, I am asking why the only pollution that matters is that which is obvious.

  82. SJT September 26, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    which is exactly what I said: you do not have the data to back up your claim that “ocean acidification” will be disasterous.

    I think you misunderstand science. We cannot predict exactly what will happen to coral in the future, but you can identify that there is vast range of factors that will be affected. They have also done experiments. It is a wide ranging study, so if all you do is concentrate on the less well understood parts of it, you will miss this.


    A variety of evidence indicates that calcification
    rates will decrease, and carbonate dissolution rates
    increase, as CaCO3 saturation state decreases. This
    evidence comes from principles of thermodynamics,
    the geologic record, and the evolutionary pathways of
    CaCO3 secreting organisms. Further evidence, from
    controlled experiments of biocalcification under increased
    CO2 conditions, confirms that calcification
    rates of many organisms decrease with decreasing
    CaCO3 saturation state.
    Extrapolation of these results
    to the real world suggests that calcification rates will
    decrease up to 60% within the 21st century. We know
    that such extrapolations are oversimplified and do not
    fully consider other environmental and biological effects
    (e.g., rising water temperature, biological adaptation);
    nor do they address effects on organism fitness,
    community structure, and ecosystem functioning.
    Any of these factors could increase or decrease
    the laboratory-based estimates, but it is certain that
    net production of CaCO3 will decrease in the future.

  83. John F. Pittman September 26, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Comment from: SJT September 26th, 2009 at 10:09 am who said in quoting me “How about putting some of these up rather than berate people and as SJT does, call then denialists. Let’s go from the assumption that natural variability CAN explain the increase, and falsify this using data. BTW models, will be suspect if the code and supporting documrntation is not available. It should not be too difficult since the IPCC said that the natural carbon cycle does not explain the phenomena.”” SJT said “”This topic is a perfect example of being a denialist rather than a skeptic. For the topic’s claim to be true, the IPCC must be committing a massive fraud, or be incredibly incompetent. The graph indicates that, the way it is drawn. A skeptic would instantly wonder what is going on, and check the validity of the claim, rather than just accept it at face value. Jennifer did not do that. She did what the deniers here do all the time. She saw a claim that fitted in with what she wants to believe, did not question it, and used it was a reason why she was a sceptic.””

    1. RED HERRING ALERT: I did not claim they were committing a massive fraud, I offered that we examine “”the assumption that natural variabilty CAN explain explain the increase”” as SJT correctly quoted. I also invited all to discuss this explanation and try to falsify it supporting the IPCC position. SJT first comment is falsified.

    2. RED HERRING ALERT: Next he proposes that the graph indicates that, the way it is drawn that, according to SJT and Jennifer’s claims, the IPCC “”must be committing a massive fraud, or be incredibly incompetent.”” Another strawman, it shows that a large number of papers show that the residence time is about 4 to 16 years and the IPCC shows 100 or more. Yet, he and others have stated that it is a difference in the definition of residence time. One can look up at wiki or engineering, physics papers the definition of residence time, which are accepted by regulation and law as the correct definition, but does not limit the definition, at least in the USA and since Australia has It does not match the SJT RW Nicks Stokes definition.

    Quote of Australian code”” EA1 KNOWLEDGE BASE EA1.1 Knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals Engineers Australia considers it essential for Engineering Associates to have a level and breadth of fundamental knowledge that ensures portability of their skills across different operating environments. a. Knowledge of mathematics sufficient to understand from an analytical viewpoint the physical phenomena relevant to the field of engineering and to the technologies commonly employed, and the functioning and limitations of relevant plant and equipment; and to solve problems commonly encountered in the field b. Knowledge in the physical sciences, life sciences and information sciences sufficient to understand situations addressed by the field of engineering and the functioning and limitations of relevant plant and equipment c. Sound basic knowledge of the engineering sciences that support the field of engineering and the technologies employed, and ability to apply this knowledge in normally-encountered situations; awareness of the further scope of relevant engineering sciences
    d. Knowledge of the properties of materials commonly used in the field of engineering
    e. Analytical skills sufficient to understand and quantify operating situations and to recognise when they may exceed the limits of accepted procedures f. Appreciation of the future need to apply fundamental knowledge to ongoing developments in the field of engineering and to new technologies relevant to the field
    EA1.2 Knowledge and understanding of engineering and technology
    a. Sound knowledge and understanding of the functioning, performance and operating characteristics of plant and equipment used in the field of engineering
    b. Ability to apply analytical techniques and knowledge of engineering science to quantify requirements, and to the specification of equipment and materials (where appropriate, including software) to perform satisfactorily in particular situations
    c. Competence in applying mathematics, science and engineering science to the solution of problems and situations routinely encountered in the field of engineering
    d. Awareness of current technical and professional practice, critical issues, and the current state of developments in field of engineering
    e. Ability to relate changing practices to existing knowledge and to question apparent departures from established principles
    f. Understanding of how new developments in the field of engineering relate to established theory and practice, and to other technical areas with which they may interact
    EA1.3 Techniques and resources
    a. Awareness of standard design practices and tools currently used in the field, particularly computer based tools and packages, and competence in their use
    b. Proficiency in laboratory and testing procedures relevant to the field, and strong grasp of principles and practices of laboratory safety
    c. Ability to calibrate and use measuring instruments, conduct relevant measurements and tests, analyse and interpret data and form reliable conclusions
    d. Knowledge of common sources of error and their avoidance: ability to recognise known sources of error, eliminate or compensate for them where possible, and quantify their significance to results and conclusions drawn
    e. Ability to construct and test representative components or sub-systems in a laboratory setting.

    SO perhaps SJT can show me where climatologists have such regulated definitions.

    3.RED HERRING ALERT SJT said “”A skeptic would instantly wonder what is going on, and check the validity of the claim, rather than just accept it at face value.”” Not only did I wonder. I proposed that we examine it. SJT’s response see Comment from: SJT September 26th, 2009 at 10:09 am.

    4. Strawman Alert: SJT said “She did what the deniers here do all the time.” Yep, she presented a graphical form of data. SJT goes on about how somehow presenting graphical data makes one a denier.

    5. Strawman Alert: “”She saw a claim that fitted in with what she wants to believe, did not question it, and used it was a reason why she was a sceptic.”” She did not question “it”, she questioned how can there be many peer-reveiwed papers that show 4 to 16 years but the IPCC shows 100+. 1.) That the IPCC is out of step with the common definition of reesidence time is hardly her problem. The question is can the IPCC support their definition. As I indicated in my post of Comment from: John F. Pittman September 26th, 2009 at 9:30 am, there are items to be discussed. Perhaps the IPCC is right perhaps they are wrong. One thing is for sure, SJT’s acceptance that questioning a result means that one is claiming “”to be true, (THAT) the IPCC must be committing a massive fraud, or be incredibly incompetent”” is truly one of the worst strawmen that I have seen outside of climate change al;armism. It appears to be common among the climate change alarmism proponents, my personel expierence.

    Finally SJT said “”She saw a claim that fitted in with what she wants to believe, did not question it, and used it was a reason why she was a sceptic.”” What I have found to be true is “”IPCC saw a claim that fitted in with what they wanted to believe AND were instructed to deliver, did not question it, or could not per Rule 10, and used it was a reason why they were right in ARx”” plus demanded that I and my family pay them $1500 US for their beliefs per the pre Copenhagen talks, U.S. Climate Change Bill approved by the US House of Repesentatives.

    I see that SJT does not consider questions a serious topic.

  84. John F. Pittman September 26, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    SJT says “”I think you misunderstand science. We cannot predict exactly what will happen to coral in the future, but you can identify that there is vast range of factors that will be affected.”

    This should be expressed as “”I think I misunderstand science. I should have said “We cannot predict exactly what will happen to coral in the future, but that one can identify that there is vast range of factors that may be affected, and that the magnitude of the effects depends on physical constraints that are admitted by the the IPCC to be poorly defined at this time.”

    You’re welcome!

  85. SJT September 26, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    Finally SJT said “”She saw a claim that fitted in with what she wants to believe, did not question it, and used it was a reason why she was a sceptic.”” What I have found to be true is “”IPCC saw a claim that fitted in with what they wanted to believe AND were instructed to deliver, did not question it, or could not per Rule 10, and used it was a reason why they were right in ARx”” plus demanded that I and my family pay them $1500 US for their beliefs per the pre Copenhagen talks, U.S. Climate Change Bill approved by the US House of Repesentatives.

    There is nothing you said there or in the rest of your rant that makes any sense at all.

  86. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    SJT wrote:

    No, I am asking why the only pollution that matters is that which is obvious.

    Since there was a typo I missed before hitting the submit button, I will give you the benefit of the doubt on this. To clarify, this is what I meant to say:
    And while I certainly wouldn’t suggest that only what’s visible is important, if it’s not immediately obvious on inspection, then I’d like some solid data to back it up – and since it’s your claim that these “unseen” things are having a significant effect, it’s up to you to provide the data; something you have yet to do.

    I see nothing wrong with this attitude – if it’s obvious (like an oil slick) then we need little extra evidence to show the damage we are doing. However, if it’s not obvious, we do need extra evidence.

  87. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    SJT wrote:

    I think you misunderstand science. We cannot predict exactly what will happen to coral in the future, but you can identify that there is vast range of factors that will be affected. They have also done experiments. It is a wide ranging study, so if all you do is concentrate on the less well understood parts of it, you will miss this.

    Where previously, you had written:

    One example is the acidification of the sea, which is going to be a real problem. The ocean life is adapted to one level, it’s now changing to another level. The coral reefs, for example, are going to find this change difficult.

    And when I called you on it, you presented a bare link – as if that contained all I’d need to know. Presumably, you thought I wouldn’t read it. Well, I did have a look, and I found, as I quoted above, numerous issues with a large number of unknowns. And now you are suggesting that I focus on what is known, and ignore the unknowns. When the unknowns are such a large area, how can I ignore them? Just what about pointing out how sketchy the whole proposition is makes me an idiot? It’s your reference to support your claim – and the unknowns are absolutely huge, and directly contradict your position that reefs will find this change difficult; that report specifically states that we don’t know how they will respond! It directly supports my position that there is no data on how these things will react! They might fall over tomorrow, or they might flourish with 1000ppm CO2 – we don’t know! That’s what I said, and what you deny.

  88. sod September 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    sod, the master nuisance; alright smartie-pants, try 1999;

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1999/offset:-347/scale:0.008/trend/plot/uah/from:1998/trend

    Now sod, you pick a time between 1998 and 2009 where CO2 and temperature are fellow travellers; and as I have said before 1998 is a time when there were major, empirically documented oceanographic events and a phase change in PDO; for those reasons 1998 is the year to ascertain temperature trend changes; not that you honest folk would admit that.

    your temperature trend does not start in 1999. just correcting your error brings them in good agreement.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1999/offset:-347/scale:0.008/trend/plot/uah/from:1999/trend

    the 1997 and 2000 trends are also both upward.

    the source that you are constantly quoting does not legitimate this cherry pick against simple statistical rules and against the basics of climate science.

    and that is with you, cherry picking the data set to use…

    (the one starting in 2008 ias steeply upward as well. this should be very important, for you denialist short time span lovers. in arctic sea ice for example, a “one year trend” was very significant for you folks…)

  89. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    steve from brisbane wrote:

    Neil, as I pointed out in my post, ocean acidification is not just all about coral.

    I didn’t say it was all about coral – I was calling SJT on his statement that coral reefs would find it hard to adapt. As I showed from SJT’s reference, we simply don’t know that this is true. We suspect it’s likely from simple chemical reaction basics, but life itself often “beats the odds” in these sorts of situations. And certainly what we know of past climate suggests that reefs are fairly resilient to these sorts of changes.

    Australia takes a particular interest in coral due to the Great Barrier Reef, but as ocean acidification is likely to have its first impacts in polar waters, that may be where the first important changes happen. A major concern, as I noted, is a big reduction in pteropods, with subsequent reduction to the salmon population (amongst other fish species).

    Although I haven’t read anyone making this point, I was surprised to learn via a recent Attenborough show on ABC that pacific salmon dying upstream are a (perhaps “the”) major source of fertilizer for the great forests of north west America. I presume that the disruption to the sea food chain is therefore going to affect those forests as well.

    You may presume and speculate all you like, but when you decide that you are going to be taking money from my pocket, you’d better have more than presumptions and speculation to base it on! That sounds harsh I know, but that’s the reality for millions of people. For billions more, limiting cheap energy keeps them in grinding poverty – so finding evidence is important.

    Amongst other issues, I forgot to mention the prediction that hypoxic areas of the ocean will greatly increase with increasing CO2. This alone is bad for fisheries and the countries that get a significant amount of food from them.

    On what data and basis are these predictions made? Do we have numbers and a model, or is it expert opinion? Has the model been validated? Has it been verified? What are the confidence intervals? What forcing scenarios are assumed? You may think that I am asking too much, that I am looking for excuses not to act. That is not the case at all – I am asking for people to show me the data, explain how the analysis was done, provide all the assumptions, and do the same for anyone who is interested enough to care. When there is a lot at stake – and there certainly is for this issue – what is the problem with this? Haven’t I been told it’s beyond question? Can’t you show me that it’s true? Shouldn’t I be suspicious if you can’t or won’t?

    As to your ‘wait and see’ approach, the problem is (as with AGW) that turning around CO2 production is a huge undertaking. If you’re going to wait for another 20 years of research, and then discover all the negative early indications (and there are many – go read that ocean acidification blog over the last 2 years for yourself,) are indeed correct, it’s too late to do anything about it. Especially with ocean acidification, because it is already “committed” to a decrease of pH with the amount of CO2 already around.

    What effects are likely from pulling several TW out of the climate system from wind power?
    What effects are likely from the inevitable leaks associated with a H2 energy system?
    What effects are likely from albedo changes associated with solar energy?
    What makes you think that any of these effects, and these are only three effects out of many I could pick, are not worse than the effects of CO2?
    If we are already “committed” to a decrease of pH, and this will have a significant effect, what makes you think it’s not already too late?

    And please, stop expecting other people to do all your reading for you. One Google scholar search that didn’t satisfy you is hardly a sign of good intentions that you are seriously considering the topic.

    I was responding to SJT’s suggestion that coral reefs would suffer. I did a quick google scholar search and found nothing apropos. I asked SJT for a link. I asked you for a link. I couldn’t find supporting evidence. You didn’t provide any. The only evidence SJT provided said we didn’t know. I did try, but not very hard – why should I? It’s not my contention I’m supporting, it’s someone elses that I happen to disagree with – I shouldn’t need to try at all! And now you are suggesting I am lazy because I didn’t spend a large amount of time looking for evidence that I’m wrong and you’re right. Perhaps you could take some of your own medicine and look for reasons you might be wrong. Perhaps, instead of suggesting we’re all gonna die, you could actually read some of the material yourself and make a list of assumptions that your theory relies on and actually check to see if those assumptions are supported by hard data in the appropriate literature. Of course, you’ll usually have to dig several references deep to find that hard data – if you can find it at all. It’s my experience that for much of climate science, the “ultimate” reference is to a proposition advanced based on lack of any evidence whatsoever, and then referenced and re-referenced until it’s forgotten that there is no hard data at all, just a tentative explaination that has managed to morph into a “fact”.

  90. sod September 26, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    Yep, she presented a graphical form of data. SJT goes on about how somehow presenting graphical data makes one a denier.

    well Jennifer has chosen to use a short time cherry pick graph as the background of the graph showing the CO2 “residence times”.

    to anyone with any knowledge of climate, she is saying “i don t know anything about this topic”.

  91. SJT September 26, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    to anyone with any knowledge of climate, she is saying “i don t know anything about this topic”.

    Yet on that basis, she declares herself to be a sceptic.

  92. steve from brisbane September 26, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Neil: “It’s not my contention I’m supporting, it’s someone elses that I happen to disagree with – I shouldn’t need to try at all!”

    Funny, but I would have thought that if you disagree with someone else’s contention, especially when you seemingly acknowledge that you’ve never read a thing about the topic, you in fact already do have a presumptive opinion on the topic. Sometimes, such as if the contention were that a UFO took me to Venus and back last night, that’s fair enough. But it is lazy in my books for you to sit back and tell others that, even though you know there is a large number of scientists working in a field supporting action, a lay person in a forum such as this has an obligation to take you by the hand and provide all the links necessary to dissuade you of your gut reaction that inaction is appropriate.

    But, even though I am not at all confident that you have a genuine interest in being persuaded, go and start with the 2005 Royal Society paper on ocean acidification. http://royalsociety.org/displaypagedoc.asp?id=13539

    Then, as I have suggested a couple of times already, you appear to have no inclination to do, go read the Ocean Acidification blog: http://oceanacidification.wordpress.com/
    You don’t have to read every post; many of them are just about media reports on the topic. But most significant papers on the latest research are usually noted there as well.

  93. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    SJT quoted:

    We know
    that such extrapolations are oversimplified and do not
    fully consider other environmental and biological effects
    (e.g., rising water temperature, biological adaptation);
    nor do they address effects on organism fitness,
    community structure, and ecosystem functioning.
    Any of these factors could increase or decrease
    the laboratory-based estimates, but it is certain that
    net production of CaCO3 will decrease in the future.

    So, we have an admittedly simplified extrapolation based on variance of one parameter and it is not controlled for the result of that paramater changing. That is, CO2 produces warming, not just ocean acidification, right? We don’t know what warming does to the thing we are measuring, and we note that there are many other environmental and biological conditions that could significantly change the result that we do not quantify even to general direction, but we are certain that the one thing we do know about and have measured will overpower the rest (that we know very little about). Sounds familiar…
    I would not be surprised to find – without even looking to check – that somewhere, someone has cited this and based a study of one description or another on the equivicable and unproven assertion that “net production of CaCO3 will decrease in the future”, thence showing how this will affect, oh, I dunno, dugongs in Malaysia or something (the dugongs in Malaysia part is not a serious suggestion to be “proved” I might add – just my twisted sense of humour). Then again, maybe not – but I trust the point is made.

    Dig a a little deeper SJT – chase down the references on a few things, you might be surprised. Not that you need to do it and report back – just next time you read a paper and find a reference to something that takes your interest, track it down to the “ultimate” reference with hard data. Read the caveats. Read the assumptions. Propogate up the reference chain you followed with all the caveats and assumptions from each level being kept in mind at the next and subsequent levels. Note any discrepencies. See if they propogate up and what that means. Hey, it’s just a suggestion – but truely, once you do this once or twice, you’ll be amazed at what’s NOT there in climate science, and just how shakey some of it really is. I’m not saying they don’t know anything – I’m saying that despite massive progress over the last few decades, it’s incredibly complex and we have a long way to go before it’s a “mature” discipline. A few wrong turns on the way should probably be expected. CO2 may or may not be such a turn – only time will tell.

  94. Michael B September 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    Jees you blokes are patient with SOD and SJT, how do you keep your cool and such persistant crap.

  95. steve from brisbane September 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    Hey Neil, that digging down to references you suggest is kind of ironic, given that many claim that doing that to Ian Plimer’s book show that many references he cites do not support his proposition.

    Also, the issues you want to be considered before reducing CO2 (what effect will solar power have on albedo, etc) is just excuse making you’re pulling out of mid-air. You would well know that many AGW advocates are increasingly moving towards nuclear as a significant part of the answer. Are you a Greenie who has something against nuclear?

    As I said, waiting for the science to get to the degree of certainty that you appear to require is not really an option, if you actually want to have the ability to do something in response to the problem.

  96. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    steve from brisbane wrote:

    Funny, but I would have thought that if you disagree with someone else’s contention, especially when you seemingly acknowledge that you’ve never read a thing about the topic, you in fact already do have a presumptive opinion on the topic. Sometimes, such as if the contention were that a UFO took me to Venus and back last night, that’s fair enough. But it is lazy in my books for you to sit back and tell others that, even though you know there is a large number of scientists working in a field supporting action, a lay person in a forum such as this has an obligation to take you by the hand and provide all the links necessary to dissuade you of your gut reaction that inaction is appropriate.

    Bloody hell! I went out of my way to have a look before asking for evidence – I had presumed that such evidence would exist, and what better place to start when you don’t have an academic style library in your back pocket than google scholar? I didn’t find it, so I asked where it was. I presumed that since SJT had made this claim, he was aware of where I might find such evidence, or where else I might look. I certainly haven’t read widely on ocean acidification, but I am as informed as anyone else who takes an interest in climate science, but not specifically acidification, would be – that is, not completely ignorant, but neither particularly well informed. So when I ask someone who appears to have investigated this particular facet of this particular science where he gets his information, so that I might investigate it for myself, I am now lazy? Well, I suppose you could say that – after all, I could spend all eternity just trolling the literature, couldn’t I? I thought it might save some time to ask someone “in the know”, and I guess that could qualify me as lazy – or perhaps “efficient”.

    In any case, I was not suggesting that anyone has any obligation to take me by the hand and lead me down the garden path, as I’m sure SJT is wont to do. I just asked him to do as he himself has asked many others in this very forum to do: to provide references in support of his claim. But now it seems that when the shoe is on the other foot, I am being unreasonable in this request. Funny – I thought turn about was fair play; that what’s sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. Or do I not “deserve” this because I am a “denier”?

    Be that as it may, I believe I have shown that SJT’s reference does not supply anything like support for his claim – see my other posts. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to now suggest to SJT that he has to do better than that – after all, I’m fairly certain that’s exactly how he’d react. In fact, I think I remember reading several posts he’s made in that very vein. Funny that.

  97. SJT September 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    Dig a a little deeper SJT – chase down the references on a few things, you might be surprised. Not that you need to do it and report back – just next time you read a paper and find a reference to something that takes your interest, track it down to the “ultimate” reference with hard data. Read the caveats. Read the assumptions. Propogate up the reference chain you followed with all the caveats and assumptions from each level being kept in mind at the next and subsequent levels. Note any discrepencies. See if they propogate up and what that means. Hey, it’s just a suggestion – but truely, once you do this once or twice, you’ll be amazed at what’s NOT there in climate science, and just how shakey some of it really is. I’m not saying they don’t know anything – I’m saying that despite massive progress over the last few decades, it’s incredibly complex and we have a long way to go before it’s a “mature” discipline. A few wrong turns on the way should probably be expected. CO2 may or may not be such a turn – only time will tell.

    I don’t know what you expect of scientific research, but it seems to be some kind of fairy tale. Bleeding edge research is the act of looking into the unkown. And what you are discussing here is not climate research, but biology and chemistry.

  98. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    Steve from brisbane wrote:

    Hey Neil, that digging down to references you suggest is kind of ironic, given that many claim that doing that to Ian Plimer’s book show that many references he cites do not support his proposition.

    Oddly enough, I was thinking of the IPCC AR’s – funny how your experiences colour your perceptions, isn’t it?

    Also, the issues you want to be considered before reducing CO2 (what effect will solar power have on albedo, etc) is just excuse making you’re pulling out of mid-air. You would well know that many AGW advocates are increasingly moving towards nuclear as a significant part of the answer. Are you a Greenie who has something against nuclear?

    The point of the questions was not to get answers, but rather to point out that there are likely to be unintended consequences to all these things – after all, how long did it take for us to realise that fosil fuel combustion exhaust needed to be “clean”? If we are going to fast-track some technology, we should be looking out for this type of thing, IMO – we should learn from the past.
    And for the record, I am a fan of nuclear – although I’d prefer we investigate thorium reactors rather than uranium, uranium is at least mature enough for us to start down that road. Fusion would be nicer still. 😉

    As I said, waiting for the science to get to the degree of certainty that you appear to require is not really an option, if you actually want to have the ability to do something in response to the problem.

    I’m afraid that I disagree on that point – a trend of less than 1C/century in a series with resolution of 1C and corrections on the same order, of a variable that is not well coupled to average atmospheric temperature, is hardly “convincing” to me of massive change, when at least similar if not greater changes have been observed during historical times. We are undoubedly altering the climate of our planet, but I am concerned that we think we know more than we do – a common failing in human history. Therefore, I advise caution and will continue to do so – for what it’s worth, which is probably not much.

    Thanks for keeping it civil, BTW – makes a nice change from SJT and Luke et al. I believe we can be confronting while maintaining civility, as you so clearly demonstrate – I hope you find my posts the same, as that is my aim (although I do backslide from time to time with SJT etc – it’s bad form and I know it; my only excuse is to plead repeated provocation).

  99. sod September 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Bloody hell! I went out of my way to have a look before asking for evidence – I had presumed that such evidence would exist, and what better place to start when you don’t have an academic style library in your back pocket than google scholar? I didn’t find it, so I asked where it was. I presumed that since SJT had made this claim, he was aware of where I might find such evidence, or where else I might look. I certainly haven’t read widely on ocean acidification, but I am as informed as anyone else who takes an interest in climate science, but not specifically acidification, would be – that is, not completely ignorant, but neither particularly well informed. So when I ask someone who appears to have investigated this particular facet of this particular science where he gets his information, so that I might investigate it for myself, I am now lazy?

    Neil, i consider you to be one of the more clever denialists posting here. but please train your google skills!

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/45/17442.abstract

    Using a 30-tank experimental system, we manipulated CO2 levels to simulate doubling and three- to fourfold increases [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projection categories IV and VI] relative to present-day levels under cool and warm scenarios. Results indicated that high CO2 is a bleaching agent for corals and CCA under high irradiance, acting synergistically with warming to lower thermal bleaching thresholds.

    they also simulated warming…

    on a more general note, the effect that you describe (“me, a layman, can not find the basic data on the internet”) is a systematic error on your (and the denialist) side.

    it is caused by those three conditions: you are a layman,. you are looking for basic data. you are looking on the internet.

    that you are a layman (and many people here even have zero experience with science at all) is a massive handicap. you are unfamiliar with the basic techniques of the field. you don t know, which experiments are easy, which are complicated. which are often done or even routine work and which are performed rarely.

    looking for basic data is also difficult. it odes not get published in high end magazins, but more in technical papers. those will be hard to understand and often unavailable, simply because no layman will read them.

    and the internet has a time and subject bias. more recent and more computer related subjects are overrepresented, other stuff is completely absent.

    about 99.9% of the “missing data” topics posted by you denilaists are completely explained by those 3 factors.

  100. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    SJT wrote:

    I don’t know what you expect of scientific research, but it seems to be some kind of fairy tale.

    It would be a long and boring post if I tried to explain that – suffice to say that what I expect from scientific research, at least in terms of how it affects public policy, is the unvarnished truth. If there are uncertainties, we should know what they are. It is not the job of scientists to decide on trade-offs between wealth and risk, or the economy and the environment – that is the job of politicians. They may do a terrible job, but one thing is certain – they will do a worse job still if you don’t give them the information they need.
    Oh, and just so you know: in a previous job, I was on the research staff at CSIRO, so I do have some idea of how scientific research is conducted – not the publishing papers bit, but the get-your-hands-dirty bit.

    Bleeding edge research is the act of looking into the unkown. And what you are discussing here is not climate research, but biology and chemistry.

    What I was discussing applies to any part of science you care to name – you should be able to follow a chain of references back to the basic hard data that defines the original equations or approximations. If such hard data do not exist, then there must be some paper that proposes an explaination of some sort, and surely it contains assumptions and limitations. None of this is remarkable or even unexpected – the job of science, apart from extending the limits of knowledge, is to fill in the blanks and prove the assumptions. Sometimes that takes centuries, as these things can be very hard to prove. Until then, all those assumption remain speculation – certainly they are the way to bet if they have survived peer review and are well cited, but it is very brave to assume that they are “proven” at that point. They may even be completely wrong, yet still make usefully correct predictions due to chance, serendipity or by being “tuned”. There is still nothing unusual in any of this.
    Perhaps it’s a perspective thing – I mean, I tend to look at things from an engineering perspective, and that means it’s not just all pretty papers and number of citations that matter, it’s making something work. So you can understand that I’m somewhat concerned that we are trying to make something work as it were, without engineering quality data. Not that there’s anything wrong with scientific quality data, it’s just that it’s not up to engineering standards. And in my opinion, we need that engineering quality data before we can fix the problem. Ask any scientist and I’m sure they’ll tell you that the support engineers always ask annoyingly specific questions about what the scientist wants built – either that, or they’ll tell you that they can’t get what they want (because the engineers have given up asking and just build something that sounds like what they want, and bugger it, we’ll make the next one better anyway when we have a better idea of what we actually need).

  101. sod September 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Neil, your approach will not work in a technical field either.

    here is a picture of a big bridge that i crossed during a trip last week.

    http://www.karl-gotsch.de/Kleinbild/Weitingen3.jpg

    (a81 crossing the neckar)

    please provide experimental evidence, that this bridge will not fall down. i wnat the most basic data, of the screws and bolts that were used. happy google search!

  102. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    Sod wrote:

    Neil, i consider you to be one of the more clever denialists posting here. but please train your google skills!

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/45/17442.abstract

    Using a 30-tank experimental system, we manipulated CO2 levels to simulate doubling and three- to fourfold increases [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projection categories IV and VI] relative to present-day levels under cool and warm scenarios. Results indicated that high CO2 is a bleaching agent for corals and CCA under high irradiance, acting synergistically with warming to lower thermal bleaching thresholds.

    they also simulated warming…

    OK, we have some data – thank you sod! Problem solved.
    It will certainly be interesting to note how well this stacks up to reality over the next several decades.

    on a more general note, the effect that you describe (”me, a layman, can not find the basic data on the internet”) is a systematic error on your (and the denialist) side.

    it is caused by those three conditions: you are a layman,. you are looking for basic data. you are looking on the internet.

    that you are a layman (and many people here even have zero experience with science at all) is a massive handicap. you are unfamiliar with the basic techniques of the field. you don t know, which experiments are easy, which are complicated. which are often done or even routine work and which are performed rarely.

    I neither know nor care about which experiments are hard and which are easy, but when someone like SJT makes a claim, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask him to back it up. I went a little further and tried – not very hard, but I did look – to find it myself. IOW, I initially accepted what he said and tried, somewhat briefly, to confirm it. Is it too much to ask that he provides what he asks of others?

    looking for basic data is also difficult. it odes not get published in high end magazins, but more in technical papers. those will be hard to understand and often unavailable, simply because no layman will read them.

    Yes, but there is – or at least should be – a tracable series of cites back to the data, right? I mean, I might not be able to access it, but it should be there.

    and the internet has a time and subject bias. more recent and more computer related subjects are overrepresented, other stuff is completely absent.

    about 99.9% of the “missing data” topics posted by you denilaists are completely explained by those 3 factors.

    I would presume that the 99.9% you suggest relates to plebs like me and thee, while the other 0.1% refers to the McIntyres and Pielkes of the world. An interesting take on how to lie with statistics is one reply that springs to mind.

  103. Neil Fisher September 26, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    Sod wrote:

    Neil, your approach will not work in a technical field either.

    here is a picture of a big bridge that i crossed during a trip last week.

    http://www.karl-gotsch.de/Kleinbild/Weitingen3.jpg

    (a81 crossing the neckar)

    please provide experimental evidence, that this bridge will not fall down. i wnat the most basic data, of the screws and bolts that were used. happy google search!

    While I am sure that I would have difficulty in doing what you ask, I have no doubt that such data exists.
    I also have no doubt that an engineer somewhere has written a document that certifies all this basic data, all the calculations that went into the bridge design, and lists all the assumptions used. She will have signed her name to it and placed her professional career on the line for all eternity (so to speak). If it falls down because she made a mistake, she doesn’t get to shrug her shoulders and say “It was the best we could do at the time” and continue to design bridges, she is held responsible for it! It’s likely that if it does fail, it won’t be because she made a mistake, it will be because the design specifications were wrong in some respect – perhaps the definition of 100 year flood was badly considered or something similar. It’s unlikely to be a mistake in the engineers work because of the simple fact the she is held accountable for her decisions, and with an entire career on the line ( a degree isn’t cheap!) has double- and triple-checked everything. That’s the demands of the job when peoples lives and livelyhoods are on the line – that’s why I want climate science to rise to the same standard, because what the science is saying we need to do directly affects the lives and lielyhoods of everyone on the planet. And that it surely more people than will be directly affected by any bridge.

  104. SJT September 26, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    . That’s the demands of the job when peoples lives and livelyhoods are on the line – that’s why I want climate science to rise to the same standard, because what the science is saying we need to do directly affects the lives and lielyhoods of everyone on the planet. And that it surely more people than will be directly affected by any bridge.

    You are confusing engineering and science. One is pushing the boundaries of knowledge, the other is putting into practice what has been learned. According to the science, people’s lives, and much of the rest of the species on the planet, are having the lives put on the line. We don’t have a spare planet to practice on, and do repeated tests on. By the time the 100% definitive answers are in, it will most likely be too late to do anything.

  105. j braggins September 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    There are some papers in this list that show that there are are at least as many benefits as harm from increasing CO2 and temperatures on corals.

    http://www.co2science.org/subject/c/calcification.php

    Note that some of the experiments that showed deleterious effects used lab acids to alter ph, not CO2

  106. el gordo September 26, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    ‘By the time the 100% definitive answers are in, it will most likely be too late to do anything.’

    You’re right about that SJT, whether you believe in global warming or global cooling. At least you are treated reasonably, whereas my heretical views are not appreciated anywhere.

    Frustrating business… still, its the glorious uncertainty of life that makes it so interesting.

  107. Geoff Larsen September 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    Steve from brisbane in addressing Neil says: –

    “But, even though I am not at all confident that you have a genuine interest in being persuaded, go and start with the 2005 Royal Society paper on ocean acidification”.

    http://royalsociety.org/displaypagedoc.asp?id=13539

    Be very careful reading this paper, it has a glaring error which makes me suspicious of the whole paper. See p43, Annex 1, A1, “A brief account of measures of acidity such as pH, and the acid-base chemistry of the CO2- carbonate system in the sea”.

    Quote “Carbonic acid is an acid because it can split up into its constituents, releasing an excess of H+ to solution and so driving pH to lower values. Carbonic acid splits up by adding one H+ ion to solution along with HCO3- (a bicarbonate ion)…This increase in H+ causes some CO32- (called carbonate ions) to react with H+ to become HCO3-…Thus the net effect of the dissolution of CO2 in seawater is to increase concentrations of H+, H2CO3 and HCO3- , while decreasing concentrations of CO32-“

    This is unbelievable rubbish; the opposite being the case as anyone with high school chemistry should be able to pick out. The equilibrium formula for dissolving CO2 in water is: –

    CO2 + H2O H2CO3 H+ + HCO3- H+ + H+ + CO32-

    As more CO2 is dissolved Le Chatelier’s principle says the reaction will be forced to the right & more carbonate ion (CO32-) be produced, not less.

    Perhaps their error was influenced by the graph they show also on p43, showing concentrations (fractional log) of CO2, bicarbonate ion & carbonate ion-, for pHs in the range 4-11. Indeed carbonate ion concentration will decrease as pH reduces; however did it not occur to the person or persons who wrote this that the pH range in the chart could only be achieved by introducing hydroxonium ions [H3O]+ (to decrease pH) or hydroxyl ions [OH]- (to increase pH)?. Their argument is a contrived one; carbonate ion concentrations would indeed decrease if say a large number of tanker loads of hydrochloric acid were tipped into the oceans. This is in essence what their graph is saying.

    No Steve, I for one would find it difficult to be persauded about anything in this “esteemed” paper. Reader beware.

  108. Geoff Larsen September 26, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    For some reason the reversible/equal signs dissappeared in the above reaction. I will redo it slightly differently. Also I don’t know how to do superscripts or subscripts here so: –

    HCO3- means a bicarbonate ion made up of one hydrogen atom, one carbon atom & three oxygen atoms; the ion having a charge of 1- .

    CO32- means a carbonate ion made up of one carbon atom & three oxygen atoms; the ion having a charge of 2-.

    CO2 + H2O in equil H2CO3 in equil H+ + HCO3- in equil H+ + H+ + CO32-

    “in equil” meaning that the reaction continues left to right or right to left till an equilibrium is reached.

    Hope this makes sense.

  109. John F. Pittman September 26, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    What sod left out from the PNAS. “”Interestingly, the intermediate, warm CO2 scenario led to a 30% increase in productivity in Acropora, whereas high CO2 lead to zero productivity in both corals. CCA were most sensitive to acidification, with high CO2 leading to negative productivity and high rates of net dissolution. Our findings suggest that sensitive reef-building species such as CCA may be pushed beyond their thresholds for growth and survival within the next few decades whereas corals will show delayed and mixed responses.”” Translation some win, some lose. Been going on since evolution broke out.

    On the sod “”(a81 crossing the neckar)”” which he asks.””please provide experimental evidence, that this bridge will not fall down. i wnat the most basic data, of the screws and bolts that were used. happy google search!”” You will find the sizes and compositions of screws and bolts in the cerified drawings submitted to the district, state, municipality, and/or national government. sdo you may FOI them to your heart’s content. The screws will have AMSE or ASTM or some other stamp upon, by paying or going to a library, you can recieve the standards and how the standards were developed. It will cost you a small fortune, or you can go to the library. The design will have the moments of inertia, stress loadings and other data that you requested. However, unless you are a PE for one of the companies involved, or the government(s) involved, or a member of a transportation safety board you may run into difficulties. However, you can get the drawings and the specifications, and if you cannot figure it out yourself from advance civil engineering books, you can get verified and validated computer programs that will do these calculations for you. You can even get upon purchasing the software, its history of debuggging, errors, and even assumptions. As a commercial entitiy not paid by taxpayers, they do not have to give you the code. You may buy it by buying the comapany if you wish.

    sod your ignornace of standards to be met by engineers is showing. Your reductio ad absurdum backfired and you shot yourself in the foot. As you did with the PNAS and as Comment from: j braggins September 26th, 2009 at 8:29 pm showed many species actually have improved growth with increased CO2 and increased temperatures and this DOES include some corals. Thus we are talking about what nature will be doing and what we should be doing…adapting.

    One of the obviuos problems is that the result of doom and gloom about CO2 and temperature increase carries a basic assumption, it is “good” that the species make up and proportion stay the same. The problem is that this has never been true. The geologic record shows unconditionally that the earth changes and species change, and most species perish. Whether we do something or not this will not change.

    SJT said “”According to the science, people’s lives, and much of the rest of the species on the planet, are having the lives put on the line. We don’t have a spare planet to practice on, and do repeated tests on. By the time the 100% definitive answers are in, it will most likely be too late to do anything.”” What SJT and others fail to realize is that life has been a grand experiment since its birth. Nothing you or I can do to change this fact. Species, all species lives are on the line 100% of the time. It is called life. It is your belief SJT that it will most likely be too late to do anything. The evidence does not support you.

    Besides not looking at nuclear, another possibilty not looked into in depth is the CO2 recovery using “pure” oxygen where CO2 already in the atmosphere can be sequestered along with CO2 generated. Of interest is the hypothesis that if we change certain manufacturing techniques and use CO2 capture, a net loss of CO2 to the atmosphere results.

    The problem with this, wind, solar, etc, is that it is expensive. However, in that it can be done, SJT your claim of “”likely be too late to do anything”” carries the assumption of powerlessness. If we are powerless, why bother doing anything at all except adapt? We have technology already that can reverse the dreaded CO2 buildup. The question is simply a matter of money. Proving to people that they should bother with all the fuss and cost is a necessity not an option. Something the AGW alarmists seem intent on refusing to do, prove it to the people.

    Free the data. Free the code. Get rid of Rule 10.

    For those who don’t know. The AR’s are not scientific papers due to rule 10 of the IPCC charter. Basically, Rule 10 states that if there is disagreement, the majority rules. Not scientific resolution, but a popularity contest.

  110. RW September 26, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    The failure of so many to understand such simple concepts would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. As many have noted, you can draw incredibly simple analogies; I have yet to see the deniers explain their views in relation to these analogies. Let me request a simple answer to a very simple question:

    I always have x ten pound notes in my pocket . The average time one sits in my pocket before I spend it is three days. If someone gives me £100, how long will it take for the number of tenners in my pocket to fall from x+10 back to x?

    If you believe there is one single definition of one single phenomenon called “residence time”, then you should have all the information you need to answer the question.

  111. cohenite September 26, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    Steve Short had some valid observations concerning the alarmist hysteria about ocean acidification and coral reefs which I see has stooped low enough now for sod to link to a Hoegh-Guldberg paper;

    “The two forms of biogenic calcium carbonate found in the ocean, aragonite e.g. corals and forams (calcareous plankton) and calcite e.g. pteropods have well-defined and easily (chemothermodynamic) model-predicted Saturation Indices (SIs) under a variety of partial pressures (volumetric concentration) of CO2 in air and air/water equilibrating ocean layer depth scenarios.

    SI = log (Ion Activity Product)/log (Mineral Solubility Product)

    If SI>0.00 the mineral is stable (insoluble). If SI ~0.00 the mineral is metastable (on the brink of dissolving). If SI <0.00 the mineral is dissolved (soluble).

    It is quite easy to show that it would require pCO2 in air to rise to ~2500 ppmv before the SI of calcite = 0.00. For aragonite it is about 1800 ppmv. It will be many centuries if ever that such atmospheric CO2 concentrations are attained.

    These simple equilibrium thermodynamic constraints explain why most marine aragonite- and calcite-forming organisms have evolved over many 100s of millions of years during which time pCO2 has been as high as 2500 ppmv or more DURING WHICH TIME corals, forams etc have NOT been rendered extinct.

    Technically it is not quite as simplistic as this but suffice to say in my view the risks of ocean acidification are grossly overblown in line with many other aspects of the effect of increased atmospheric CO2. The key issue is just what layer of seawater equilibrates with the atmosphere and how rapid is the mixing of CO2 to greater depth?

    I get really annoyed when I see on the TV (the latest instance for Australia was only a few days ago) a certain ’scientist’ showing comparative SEM pictures of the shells of forams etc suggesting they have been getting thinner since say the 1930s etc., and baldly claiming this is unequivocal evidence for ‘ocean acidification’.

    It is no such thing.

    Fact is, if you look at sediment cores from various locations around the world with fossil forams in them going back many 100s of 1000s of years you will inevitably find periods and regions when shells were thinner and others when they were thicker.

    There is an enormous body of established literature evidence to show that a host of environmental factors unrelated to atmospheric CO2 levels affects the thicknesses of shells.

    Seawater dissolved organic carbon (DOC) levels, water temperature effects, regional exogeneous inputs of sulfate, phosphate strontium and barium, heavy metals etc from volcanic fallout, marine viruses (yes they do exist) etc….the list is very long.

    Once again, even in the case of ‘ocean acidification’ we have a cadre of AGW-driven ‘proselytizer-scientists’ emerging for whom spoken or written untruths, big or small, are permissible in order to fool the vast masses out there and once having been heard or read and drilled into an Internet-driven folklore, are hard to combat."

  112. SJT September 27, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    The problem with this, wind, solar, etc, is that it is expensive. However, in that it can be done, SJT your claim of “”likely be too late to do anything”” carries the assumption of powerlessness. If we are powerless, why bother doing anything at all except adapt? We have technology already that can reverse the dreaded CO2 buildup. The question is simply a matter of money. Proving to people that they should bother with all the fuss and cost is a necessity not an option. Something the AGW alarmists seem intent on refusing to do, prove it to the people.

    For some reason, it’s quite within our capabilities and no problem at all to remedy the problem after it has happened, but disaster if we try to prevent it.

  113. sod September 27, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    On the sod “”(a81 crossing the neckar)”” which he asks.””please provide experimental evidence, that this bridge will not fall down. i wnat the most basic data, of the screws and bolts that were used. happy google search!”” You will find the sizes and compositions of screws and bolts in the cerified drawings submitted to the district, state, municipality, and/or national government. sdo you may FOI them to your heart’s content. The screws will have AMSE or ASTM or some other stamp upon, by paying or going to a library, you can recieve the standards and how the standards were developed. It will cost you a small fortune, or you can go to the library. The design will have the moments of inertia, stress loadings and other data that you requested. However, unless you are a PE for one of the companies involved, or the government(s) involved, or a member of a transportation safety board you may run into difficulties. However, you can get the drawings and the specifications, and if you cannot figure it out yourself from advance civil engineering books, you can get verified and validated computer programs that will do these calculations for you. You can even get upon purchasing the software, its history of debuggging, errors, and even assumptions. As a commercial entitiy not paid by taxpayers, they do not have to give you the code. You may buy it by buying the comapany if you wish.

    sod your ignornace of standards to be met by engineers is showing. Your reductio ad absurdum backfired and you shot yourself in the foot.

    your claim is false. nothing backfired. the most simple demonstration that i was right is this: your reply does include a single piece of hard measured data about one of the tiny bits used to build that bridge!
    instead, you note that it will cost a small fortune to get the data. that it is available in obscure library books. (not on the web?) and even while we know that some data does exist at a company, it will be completely unavailable to us without special access. ( i loved the part about the computer programs, that will do the calculations!)

    guess what, exactly the same is true in climate science! some stuff is unavailable, at least without cost. some stuff is not on the web. the most important database doing calculations for you about the atmosphere is named HITRAN. it has been verified and validated.#

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

    we both know how things work in engineering, because we have some basic (professional) knowledge on the subject. i guess both of us (and Neil) lack that knowledge on the topic of corals.

    What sod left out from the PNAS. “”Interestingly, the intermediate, warm CO2 scenario led to a 30% increase in productivity in Acropora, whereas high CO2 lead to zero productivity in both corals. CCA were most sensitive to acidification, with high CO2 leading to negative productivity and high rates of net dissolution. Our findings suggest that sensitive reef-building species such as CCA may be pushed beyond their thresholds for growth and survival within the next few decades whereas corals will show delayed and mixed responses.”” Translation some win, some lose. Been going on since evolution broke out.

    you got that one wrong. what it says is: some will die. the others will show a mixed result. that is something very different to “there is a mixed result”.

  114. sod September 27, 2009 at 12:52 am #

    funny, i left out one important word:

    your reply does NOT include a single piece of hard measured data about one of the tiny bits used to build that bridge!

  115. dribble September 27, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Steve from Brisbane: “As I said, waiting for the science to get to the degree of certainty that you appear to require is not really an option, if you actually want to have the ability to do something in response to the problem.”

    Isn’t this what the whole issue of AGW skepticism is all about? What this believer is saying is, in effect, “Although we cannot prove our claim one hundred percent, we are ourselves one hundred percent certain that such and such environmental effects will arise due to anthropogenic CO2 increase. Therefore we consider your skepticism to be detrimental to our cause. ”

    As a skeptic I would say that unless you are prepared to provide rigorous evidence for your position you are simply talking politics. This is clearly the preferential position for AGW believers considering the amount of politicized AGW junk science being pushed out by the establishment gang. By all means take a political position if you prefer, just don’t call it science.

  116. John F. Pittman September 27, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    sod said “”we both know how things work in engineering, because we have some basic (professional) knowledge on the subject. i guess both of us (and Neil) lack that knowledge on the topic of corals.””

    Wrong sod. I have both a biology degree and an engineering degree, and I took geology courses as well.

    Cohenite has it right. Estimates of burning all fossil fuel put the the atmospheric concentration at about 1000 ppm ranges vary widely. However, calciforms did flourish at levels 2 to 4 times this amount. There is a claim, unsubstantiated, that it was different in that time period. What is unknown, thus just more speculation. As cohenite points out, these are really hypothesis and speculations, not proven science.

    As far as outlining the bridge, I would point out that I have over 30 sucessful treatment systems designed by me that worked as advertised. I had to provide the information, and it was reveiwed in depth. All this before the first work started. All the information you would want from the bridge, or one of mine, was specified from technical journals and engineering standards where the data is available. You just have to get it; it is available. Data is not available from those who lecture us on doing our civic duty and help with what may well be a non-issue. No thanks.

  117. sod September 27, 2009 at 3:23 am #

    sod said “”we both know how things work in engineering, because we have some basic (professional) knowledge on the subject. i guess both of us (and Neil) lack that knowledge on the topic of corals.””

    Wrong sod. I have both a biology degree and an engineering degree, and I took geology courses as well.

    so will you specify your detailed knowledge of corals?

    most of the time people bring up their credentials to compensate a lack of substance on the topic.

    Cohenite has it right. Estimates of burning all fossil fuel put the the atmospheric concentration at about 1000 ppm ranges vary widely. However, calciforms did flourish at levels 2 to 4 times this amount. There is a claim, unsubstantiated, that it was different in that time period. What is unknown, thus just more speculation. As cohenite points out, these are really hypothesis and speculations, not proven science.

    this is a plainly stupid argument. nature will of course adopt in the long run. but this is irrelevant for a situation, where people are livng on an island, that depends on the corals it has NOW.
    bringing up prehistoric examples does not help your cause. xyes, over millenia, nature will adopt.

    As far as outlining the bridge, I would point out that I have over 30 sucessful treatment systems designed by me that worked as advertised. I had to provide the information, and it was reveiwed in depth. All this before the first work started. All the information you would want from the bridge, or one of mine, was specified from technical journals and engineering standards where the data is available.

    the data is NOT available. if it was, you would have linked already.

    how does a mixture of the concrete and metal bolts used to build that bridge react when it gets exposed to acid rain? if you can not provide the expertimental data now, i will conclude that the bridge does not exist.

    you are applying completely different standards to the two situations. on engineering, you accept that there is data that is hard to come by. data that is not on the web. data that exist but will not be available to people outside the company.

    on climate science, you folks assume that if people can not immediately provide a link to basic experiments, that those experiments were never performed.

    You just have to get it; it is available. Data is not available from those who lecture us on doing our civic duty and help with what may well be a non-issue. No thanks.

    i simply love your proclamation. the data is available. i said so.

    funny, how i was able to provide the link to experimental results about corals. i haven t seen any link from you so far…

  118. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 27, 2009 at 5:56 am #

    Wow! Missed one day and 120 responses…

    Wel to put sime oil on the fire: RW is completely right on this.

    There are several definitions of residence time possible. The most common definition is the residence time of an individual molecule in the atmosphere, whatever the origin. That is governed by the exchange rate of CO2 between the atmosphere and the oceans/vegetation of about 150 GtC over the seasons on a total of about 800 GtC present in the atmosphere. That means that about 20% of all CO2 is going in and out the atmosphere within a year. That gives a half life time (the time that e.g. half the molecules CO2 emitted by humans are exchanged) of slightly over 5 years.

    That doesn’t change anything in the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, as long as the exchanges are in equilibrium. But that is not the case. Besides some natural year-by-year variability (+/-1.5 GtC), we add some 8 GtC per year, of which about 4 GtC per year is removed. And there we have the other residence time: how long stays an extra amount of CO2 (whatever the origin) in the atmosphere? That is governed by the amounts removed per year, thus 4 GtC/year on a total of 800, if we should halt all emissions totday. That means that the excess residence time is much longer than the 5.2 years of the first definition. Here we have some quarrels between the IPCC and Peter Dietze, already mentioned before, at John Daly’s website:
    http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm which obtains a half life time for excess CO2 of 38 years.
    The IPCC makes it more difficult by adopting a mix of different residence times, depending of the type of sink (upper oceans, deep oceans, rock erosion,…). That is the Bern model, which has a long tail which makes that their average residence time is hundreds of years. But they forget to tell you that the long tail is only for 10-15% of the CO2 in the atmosphere.

    A very nice graph of the difference in residence time between the Dietze model and the Bern model is made by Hans Erren. It is in Dutch, but the last graph makes it clear for everybody:
    http://www.vkblog.nl/bericht/262958/De_CO2-cyclus

    As you can see, the two residence times (individual, extra mass) have nothing to do with each other. As the origin of the CO2 is of no importance for IR capturing, but the total amount is (whatever the origin), the fate of an individual molecule, thus the first residence time, is of no improtance at all. The second one, used by the IPCC is what is important. But we can have a good discussion about the real half life time of this extra CO2…

    I have tried to give a good example to explain the difference between the two half life times, as I know that this is quite difficult to explain:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html#Extra:_how_much_human_CO2_is_in_the_atmosphere

    Bottomline: The residence time of an individual molecule CO2 is average 5.2 years, the residence time of an extra mass of CO2 is average 38 years. These are completely independent of each other.

  119. BillM September 27, 2009 at 7:14 am #

    Ferdinand, yours is an excellent post and an excellent link.
    If RW had used his first post to explain things better, rather than wasting his effort with words like paranoid idiot, stupid, and dishonest, it would not have taken 120 responses to get to here.
    RW is right on the science but expresses it poorly in context and can take no comfort from holding the moral high ground – only the dedicated will have read this far.
    Sneering is never an effective communication device.
    That goes for Jennifer’s original post too. Was “fraudulent” the best word to use and does she stand by it now?

  120. cohenite September 27, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    Ferdinand; a couple of things; the equilibrium time for CO2 as described by RW is confusing the difference between the residence time of an individual CO2 molecule, or at least a parcel of CO2 molecules smaller than a threshold amount and the time the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere returns to pre-existing conditions with the IPCC promulgated effect on the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, in the short-term, the transient response, and over the long-term, the equilibrium response. As I have explained earlier in reference to OHC and thermosteric sea rise there is no relationship beyween the physical residence and mass times of CO2 and the alleged effects; or at least none consistent with AGW.

    As to the actual physical time differences between a molecule of CO2 [residence time] and the total increased mass of CO2 above a base amount [the additional amount in mass]; in respect of residence time that can be simply calculated by reference to IPCC official estimates; from Figure 7.3 we see the proportion of ACO2 is 3.67%; from DOE Table 3 we see that ~ 1.5% of emitted CO2 is not reabsorbed; one ACO2 molecule therefore has a one in 3.67/100 x 1.5/100 chance of still being in the atmosphere after one year; that is one in 1811.594203; after 5 years the odds are one in 35784576847; vanishingly small; I think your 5.2 years is optimistic.

    As to total mass; this source is helpful;

    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Carbon_Dioxide_The_Houdini_of_Gases.pdf

    Alan has done some useful calculations but the issues here are increasing sinks and increasing natural sourced CO2; if humans stop emitting today the concentration of 390 ppm will not follow your calculations based on the ACO2 excess of ~ 4 GtC PA/800 GtC, the total annual flux, because that assumes that natural increases in CO2 will also stop and sink capacity will remain unvaried; since these dominant attributes of the carbon cycle are unknown and unpredictable the whole issue of ACO2 residency [which has no apparent, transient or delayed/equilibrium, effect] is academic.

  121. steve from brisbane September 27, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    Now that we’re getting into recycled Steven Short territory, I think I can take this paper, and its preliminary explanation of ocean chemistry and carbonate dissolution, as indicating that his explanation of dissolution issues was oversimplified:

    http://www.biogeosciences.net/6/1811/2009/bg-6-1811-2009.pdf

    It is also exactly the type of paper Neil Fisher has been calling for. In fact, however, if he had taken my suggestion and just gone to the Ocean Acidification blog, he would have found it himself. (It was only published in August.)

    I would also point out that it cites the work of numerous previous studies. It’s not as if scientists have just woken up with a notion that hasn’t been worked on.

    It’s also pretty clear, as I indicated in an earlier post, that it is a pretty complicated thing to do experiments on entire eco-systems such as a reef. But if the experiments and field studies are often turning up negatives, it’s enough given the difficulties of turning around CO2 production.

    As to this “evolution is always changing life on earth” argument. Indeed it is, but at its current point in time life on earth includes 6 billion humans who need feeding and don’t find 45 degree days very comfortable. Maybe “denialists” are more like Deep Greens than they realise: they don’t care about the mix of life, just that life in whatever form continues. (Yes, I know there is a trade off in terms of energy use and quality of life for humans.)

    Humans have a self-interest in keeping the environment overall pretty much in the state it currently is. Insects, plants and ocean slime might prefer a high CO2 world, but that doesn’t mean we should sit around encouraging such a world.

    As it’s Sunday and I am feeling generous, I’ll link to some other negative studies:

    * A short term study on pteropods show significant decreases in calcification in conditions expected in 2100:

    http://www.biogeosciences.net/6/1877/2009/bg-6-1877-2009.pdf

    which concludes: ” This result supports the concern for the future of pteropods in a high-CO2 world, as well as of those species dependent upon them as a food resource. A decline of their populations would likely cause dramatic changes to the structure, function and services of polar ecosystems.”

    (I would also comment that this study also shows the difficulty of such research because of the natural behaviour of pteropods:

    “pteropods are vertical migrators that can cover several hundreds of meters per day (Wormuth, 1981). With the shoaling of the aragonite saturation state (Orr et al., 2005), pteropods might be exposed to increasingly corrosive waters during their daily migrations.”

    I imagine it is going to be tricky to replicate that in an experimental tank.)

    * Here’s the abstract for a paper reporting a way in which higher CO2 may lead to greater coral dissolution, (again, contra Steven Short’s over-simplified version):

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008GB003286.shtml

    * More on coral reefs, this time some field research on the ones around Bermuda, which concludes:

    “A strong correlation was found between the in situ rates of calcification for the major framework building coral species Diploria labyrinthiformis and the seasonal variability of [CO32-] and Ωaragonite, rather than other environmental factors such as light and temperature.”

    * Finally, for all those who keep saying “but corals survived geological periods of much higher CO2”, I keep telling you why it’s an invalid argument, but you keep ignoring it. I’ll give you a long quote (summarising a talk at the AAAS):

    “During the Ordovician, atmospheric carbon levels were much higher, but had risen gradually, allowing the oceans to remain saturated with calcium carbonate, and life had flourished.

    But, 250 million years ago, the formation of the Siberian Traps through a massive volcanic eruption caused a sudden and massive shift in oceanic pH, and nearly 90 percent of oceanic species went extinct. He noted that the extinctions followed lines that were predictable; species we’d expect to be sensitive to carbonate concentrations died, while those that have finer control over their physiology largely made it through the extinctions.

    His take-home is not that we have to worry about simply having lower oceanic pH, but that we do need to worry about the rate of change. Riebesell echoed that by noting that species with rapid generation times will be better able to adapt. The basic conditions will also produce some winners—cyanobacteria, green algae, and dinoflagellates were all mentioned. In the historic analysis, however, corals come out as losers. Not only do they have a relatively long generation time, but they evolved after the first high-carbon period Knoll spoke of, and so have never faced conditions like those we’re heading for. ”

    Source: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2008/02/aaas-that-other-carbon-problem-ocean-acidification.ars

  122. sod September 27, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    Ferdinand; a couple of things; the equilibrium time for CO2 as described by RW is confusing the difference between the residence time of an individual CO2 molecule, or at least a parcel of CO2 molecules smaller than a threshold amount and the time the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere returns to pre-existing conditions with the IPCC promulgated effect on the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, in the short-term, the transient response, and over the long-term, the equilibrium response.

    no. the confusion is in Jennifer’s graph, and no where else. fact.

  123. Themistocles September 27, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    Ferdinand, I always admire your take on things. But the real question here is: why does the UN/IPCC feel compelled to exaggerate CO2 sensitivity 500% more than the others? Just look at that graph up top.

    The answer is because the UN’s Assessment Reports are written by political appointees who have their marching orders. And they know that they must show that CO2 has a very long atmospheric residence time, or their CO2 = AGW conjecture falls apart.

    If CO2 drove global temperature, then we would be seeing steadily higher temps. In reality, there is near zero correlation between rising CO2 and temperature; the R² correlation is so low it cannot be separated from the noise. The central reason given for reducing “carbon” [by which the ignoratii mean carbon dioxide] is because rising CO2 will cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe. But as we see, that is not happening.

    As the planet cools, we can already see the alarmist contingent backing and filling, moving the goal posts to other factors beside CO2, and generally acting like anyone caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Their repeatedly falsified CO2 = AGW conjecture is going down in flames, and everyone knows it. So, time to blame something else, so they can keep both front feet in the taxpayer trough.

  124. Neil Fisher September 27, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    SJT wrote:

    You are confusing engineering and science.

    No, I’m not.

    One is pushing the boundaries of knowledge, the other is putting into practice what has been learned. According to the science, people’s lives, and much of the rest of the species on the planet, are having the lives put on the line.

    So what we have learned (the science) tells us the path we must take – reduced CO2. But it doesn’t say how – that’s the engineering bit. In order to actually do it, the engineering types need hard data – how much do we need to reduce, how soon, what monetary limitations apply and so on. Much of this comes from the science, but some also comes from the political arena. I see much hand-waving about what we need to do, but very little in the way of these hard data – even the parts that are “pure” science. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to reach a target that is so ill defined. And even if we manage to get close, the target may have moved – we might have based the solution on pumped water storage, only to find out that building the required number of water storage facilities is unacceptable, for example; perhaps from a political point of view, or perhaps from an environmental point of view. So we’d have to start again – and given the time-frames involved, it seems we do not have that luxury to do that even once, let alone several times. If you truely believe that we must do these things, then you should be joining with me in demanding this! If we only have one chance to get it right, I’d rather start a little bit later and have “all my little ducks in a row” than try to blunder through relying on pure luck!

    We don’t have a spare planet to practice on, and do repeated tests on. By the time the 100% definitive answers are in, it will most likely be too late to do anything.

    So you are prepared to exchange a known problem for several unforeseen and ill-defined ones? There are always unforeseen issues with massive change, especially when it’s done in a hurry. Did anyone foresee an issue with wind turbines killing birds? Not that I know of – it only came up when we scaled up such facilities to a size that produces useful amounts of energy. What other issues – potentially quite a bit more serious than a few dead birds – await the unprepared? Who can say? No-one, because we don’t even know what the problems might be yet – we have no experience to guide us. That’s why so many practical-minded people are looking at CCS – the changes required are somewhat smaller, which limits the possible problems and makes it tractable and practicle. It seems that this sort of thing is no longer acceptable to the greenies – and that’s exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about with ill-defined goals!
    If we are going to act on a scale and in the time-frames suggested, then we need more and better data than we currently have – that’s undeniable fact. If we push it anyway, as it seems likely we will, what unintended consequences – financial, environmental and political – are we handing to future generations? Will they thank us for “saving the planet” from CO2, or will they curse us for these problems? If history is any guide, they will call us short-sighted fools – after all, even as late as the 1950’s, no-one would have suggested that coal and oil were anything other than a boon to humanity, giving us clean, cheap, abundant energy, improving not only our health, but our livestyles and our environment as well. It’s only now that it’s been scaled up that the problems “appeared”. Likely none of these new problems will be insurmountable, but they will appear – exactly what problems and how large remain a mystery for the present. I’d prefer that we take these considerations into account – there may not be much we can do, but we should at least try, wouldn’t you agree? Perhaps you can now understand why I want engineering quality data and systems in place and why I feel we should be pushing this aspect – I don’t want to see us lurching from one crisis to the next, each coming from the “solution” to the previous one (think cane toads).

  125. cohenite September 27, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    Maybe “denialists” are more like Deep Greens than they realise: they don’t care about the mix of life, just that life in whatever form continues. (Yes, I know there is a trade off in terms of energy use and quality of life for humans.)

    The studies are welcome Steve but the ham-fisted insults aren’t; here are a couple of contrary studies;

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0810/0810.3596.pdf

    http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/corals/p2ch1.php

    I don’t think you have addressed the solution thermodynamics which Steve Short explained either.

  126. Neil Fisher September 27, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    j braggins wrote:

    There are some papers in this list that show that there are are at least as many benefits as harm from increasing CO2 and temperatures on corals.

    Not only that, but even the PNAS paper sod cited raises some interesting questions. For example, it seems that there is a “sweet spot” for at least one species where CO2 increases help as long as the temperature is within a certain range. The abstract doesn’t say, but it would certainly be interesting to know if this sweet spot matches the temperature rises we expect from increased CO2. Perhaps such organisms have evolved in such a way that they can make use of the extra CO2 when the temperature rises because of that CO2 increase. This certainly seems reasonable to me – even likely. If that was the case, well… it’s obvious, isn’t it?

  127. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 27, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    cohenite September 27th, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Cohenite, you are missing one point: The CO2 emitted by humans is mixed in in the total atmosphere, can be captured in the next tree (instead of a natural CO2 molecule) within a few minutes or it can be captured in the oceans 100 years later. That means that of the 8 GtC of human emissions, in average less than 20% is captured in any year, not half of it, because the exchange between atmosphere and oceans/vegetation (150 GtC) is on the total mass of CO2 (800 GtC), not only on ACO2. Thus the half life time of any individual CO2 molecule (human emitted or natural) is slightly over 5 years. We can call that the “exchange rate” to make a differentiation between the different definitions. This governs the fate of e.g. atomic bomb 14C in the atmosphere.

    I have seen the graphs by Alan and Joe before, and there is something wrong with them, but can’t find my comment back. Anyway, their conclusions can’t be right:

    1. Human emissions are far lower than the actual rise of carbon in the air
    2. Accumulated emissions exceed the actual rise
    3. Correcting for the excess necessitates that carbon sinks keep growing
    4. But an expansion of carbon sinks means that CO2 is getting recycled
    5. A long-term accumulation profile for total carbon content leads to below-zero outcomes

    1. They compare emissions per year with total accumulation in the atmosphere. That simply is wrong. Human emissions per year are average twice the increase per year in the air.
    2. Right, and that excludes any net contribution of nature as a whole.
    3. Why “correcting”? Indeed sinks are growing (and natural sources are decreasing), as long as CO2 in the atmosphere keeps increasing (= more pressure difference between atmospheric CO2 and ocean CO2 at sink places, less pressure difference at source places).
    4. Recycled? The main sink is into the deep oceans, where the extra CO2 is only a small addition and may “recycle” some 1,000 years from now with a small increase in CO2 level.
    5. Not since the emissions exceed the natural year-by-year variability, which is the case in the past 50+ years.

    See for the past 50+ years:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg
    and since 1900, the accumulate emissions vs. accumulation in the atmosphere (and the temperature profile):
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg

    There is more to say about the paper by Alan and Joe, but that will be for another day…

  128. Neil Fisher September 27, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Sod wrote:

    your reply does include a single piece of hard measured data about one of the tiny bits used to build that bridge!

    No, it doesn’t – however, as you are well aware, such data unequivicably exists. There is absolutely no doubt that such data has been collected, collated, analysed and archived. It’s been repeated many times, and we have a complete list of exactly what tests have been done, what the variations are, what the consequences of minor changes are and so on. Coral reef biology under varying CO2 and pH could in no way be said to rise to such a standard.

  129. SJT September 27, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    Ferdinand; a couple of things; the equilibrium time for CO2 as described by RW is confusing the difference between the residence time of an individual CO2 molecule, or at least a parcel of CO2 molecules smaller than a threshold amount and the time the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere returns to pre-existing conditions with the IPCC promulgated effect on the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, in the short-term, the transient response, and over the long-term, the equilibrium response.

    No, that is what Jennifer did, in posting this topic. That is why it is claimed the IPCC is at odds with all the research, when it isn’t. RW pointed out her confusion.

  130. sod September 27, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    The studies are welcome Steve but the ham-fisted insults aren’t; here are a couple of contrary studies;

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0810/0810.3596.pdf

    http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/corals/p2ch1.php

    I don’t think you have addressed the solution thermodynamics which Steve Short explained either.

    cohenite is using multiple denialist tactics in a really short post.

    he starts by moving the goal post. (two times, as we will see)
    the question asked was about experimental evidence of a ph effect on corals. plenty sources have been given.

    the first link given by cohenite does not mention corals in the abstract. but still makes wild claims about them in one paragraph. (an obvios sign of a pretty bad paper. has it been published under peer review?) the basic argument of the paper is, that ph values of the sea will not drop.
    it is obviously a paper with zero relevancy to this topic, and shows no experimental results at all.
    basically this paper does the opposite, of what you denialists ask from a paper. you folks still like it, because it fits your bias.

    the second link takes a completely different approach. (another typical denialist tactic). it argues that sinking ph is good for corals. of course it isn t a real scientific paper either. but a report on (among all sources!) CO2science.a closer look will show that 90% of the papers they cite are utterly misrepresented. a trademark of CO2science.
    experiments? hard data? completely absent.

  131. sod September 27, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    No, it doesn’t – however, as you are well aware, such data unequivicably exists. There is absolutely no doubt that such data has been collected, collated, analysed and archived. It’s been repeated many times, and we have a complete list of exactly what tests have been done, what the variations are, what the consequences of minor changes are and so on. Coral reef biology under varying CO2 and pH could in no way be said to rise to such a standard.

    you still accept the claim that such data exists, without any questions.

    you still want links to experimental data for climate science.

    your bias is obvious.

    i have received ZERO links about experimental data about the basic components of that bridge so far.

  132. SJT September 27, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    Cohenite, that paper you linked to, it says.

    The authors say they used a novel multi-timescale analysis method known as Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) to “diagnose the variation of the annual mean temperature data of the globe, Northern Hemisphere and China from 1881 to 2002.”

    A ‘novel’ method? Come on, I want proof, not speculation.

  133. SJT September 27, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    he starts by moving the goal post. (two times, as we will see)

    A favourite tactic of his. He also has the problem here of being on the wrong sports field most of the time, and completely misunderstanding what RW said.

  134. cohenite September 27, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Sod and little will, the chipmonk chorus; RW’s mistake was this; he conflated the two ways of measuring atmospheric retention rates for CO2, that is the residency period for single and sub-threshold amounts of CO2 and the time required for the increase in total CO2 mass from all sources to return to a specified amount, with the supposed different, chronologically distinguished, effects of increased CO2 on climate, that is the transient or immediate effect and the equilibrium effect at which time all the effects have slowly filtered through the total ocean/atmosphere/land coupled areas; I merely pointed out that there are no transient effects and the 2 designated proxies for equlibrium or stored effects, thermosteric sea-level rise and OHC, are contradicting these AGW mechanisms. If you can’t understand that distinction, give up.

    In respect of Ferdinand’s comments about the residence time of the extra mass of CO2 of 38 years; this supposes in the scenario of immediate cessation of ACO2 imput that the natural sinks, which must have been increasing at an increasing rate for the full effect of the annual imput of ACO2 of 8Gts not to be fully represented in the annual increase in CO2, will not increase and that, most importantly, that natural increases in CO2 have not been occuring and will not continue to occur. Supposedly the way of concluding that natural CO2 has not been increasing at the same time as ACO2 has been increasing is the C12/13 ratio mechanism; but that is problematic; CO2 atmospheric levels have increased by 40% since 1750; of that 40% increase 84% is natural; this is based on the change to delta C13 according to Professor Segalstad and Alan Siddons as calculated by isotopic mass balance; since CO2 concentration has gone up ~ 100ppm over the 20thC, ACO2 is responsible for about 16ppm of that increase; on that basis, if AGW is correct, and there has been a CO2 forced increase in temperature of ~0.7C over the last 100 years, then ACO2 is responsible for 0.112C of that increase; that is, if AGW is right.

  135. RW September 27, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    cohenite – your misunderstandings are desperate and your willingness to learn is negligible.

    “of that 40% increase 84% is natural” – wrong. Utterly wrong. Essentially all of it is anthropogenic. It is pathetic that you can’t even understand the incontrovertible evidence that shows this.

    I note that no-one has yet answered my very simple question based on a very simple analogy. How curious!

  136. cohenite September 27, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    Curiouser and curiouser; you’re so far down the rabbit hole RW it doesn’t matter; but just for the record why “wrong, Utterly wrong”?

    As for your money RW, Tim Lambert does the same trick with cars, only better than you; if you always have x ten in your pocket RW but the average time one tenner stays in your pocket is 3 days then you live in fantasy land because once you get an increase of 10 tenners then the rate of replenishment will also change, and so will the time one ten stays there before it is spent since people always spend to their income; which is to say, as I have said, natural sinks and supply increase. So get your hands out of your pockets, RW, stop fiddling with yourself and start thinking instead of spending.

  137. John F. Pittman September 27, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    sod said “”i have received ZERO links about experimental data about the basic components of that bridge so far.”” This is because you asked the wrong folks. Contrast this with those who have asked Jones, Mann, Hansen (better than some), Peterson, Briffa, Thompson, Steig, The people who did it and it has not been available. The data is available. As someone who has helped with ASTM and ASME codes, not only is the data available, but all the conversations and data that led to accepting one particular condition versus another are also available. IT is available, but sod does not know how to get it. I have had it and reveiwed it. IT being the nuts and bolts of many design standards. I have never been refused.

    Contrast this with professionals asking Jones, Mann, Hansen (better than some), Peterson, Briffa, Thompson, Steig and not getting it. They have never recieved it!!! EXCEPT, except, they load it quietly on a public serer somewhere and don’t tell the professionals asking. While I have never been refused by those who set the standards in my fields of expertise. Only commercial entities. sod you are clueless it appears.IPCC is not commercial they claim to be opan and extragovernmental. sod you claim “”your bias is obvious”” It is your lack of expertise that is obvious.

    Also, you ask of me “”so will you specify your detailed knowledge of corals?”” It is not corals that is my expertise but modelling and ecology. A major aspect of my expertise is the examination of assumptions with respect to known bio/chem/phys phenomena. The violations of known attributes of alkalinity, palentology, chemistry and even biology that cause me to post as I do. An example is Mann (not a biologist) using a linear relationship of temperature and growth. The peer-reveiwed literature, at least before AGW, pointed out that growth versus almost all, if not all was a bell curve. Even though, Mann et al assumed that for a reasonable span, a linear relationship could approximate the relationship well, the divergence problem falsified this position. That AGW alarmists icluding IPCC do not recognize the falsification shows that they do not understand the constraints of biological phenomena. Considering many are astrophysicists, physicists, climatologists, etc, it is not suprising. That they, and present day biologists do not question this only, and rightfully, gives fuel to denialists.They should win at the present debate level.

    I am a luke warmist. Not a “denialist.”

    Comment from: cohenite September 27th, 2009 at 8:50 am One of the reasons that residence time, the way engineers use it, is used is that you do not attempt to talk about a single atom of carbon. Zero atoms is an undefined phenomena. I don’t know if the confusion of residence time and rate is purposeful by the IPCC, but it serves little purpose. Persons like to use the bank analogy without realizing that such an analogy is static. And I think that is how the IPCC veiws the carbon cycle. However, it has been known since at least the 1950’s that ecosystems are not static, hell they are not linear, they are dynamic.Their rate equations indicate a linear not a dynamic mindset.

  138. Neil Fisher September 27, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    Sod wrote:

    you still accept the claim that such data exists, without any questions.

    you still want links to experimental data for climate science.

    your bias is obvious.

    i have received ZERO links about experimental data about the basic components of that bridge so far.

    Sod, there is a legal obligation on the engineer to have such data – he could end up in gaol if this data is missing, falsified or obviously wrong. He could end up in gaol if he does not justify his assumptions. He could end up in gaol if he does not document every aspect of his work – every decision, every piece of data.
    A scientist, on the other hand, will not face such draconian limitations – and neither should they, because for the most part, peoples lives and livlyhoods are not at stake over whether or not coral reacts badly to acidification. However, now that we do appear to be taking the science to the point where peoples lives and livelyhoods are at stake, I don’t think it’s asking too much that such science rises to engineering level standards and that it does so before we act. That such information is not available to all and sundry on a simple request is, perhaps, understandable, but that it should exist is, I think, self evident. Nor does such information need to be, as SJT keeps suggesting 100% complete – if it is not, then the assumptions, limitations and caveats should be carefully laid out so that there is no confusion about what we are doing, why we are doing it, what we are sure of, what we are unsure of, how much it’s likely to cost and so on. This is all very basic stuff for civil engineering types, and is expected by politicians as well – at least for engineering works such as bridges. I fail to see why such a set of documents, which would be de rigour for minor engineering efforts such as a short bridge over a creek, is suddenly of lesser importance for, say, geo-engineering, or energy supply changes – especially given, as I keep saying, that such works affect many, many more people than any bridge.

    Anyway, you could try googling it yourself (or I could just say your are lazy, or need to sharpen your googling skills, I suppose 😉 ). Then you would see things like this:
    http://www.alcoa.com/global/en/products/info_page.asp?info_page_id=161&prod_id=806
    Now, I don’t know if these bolts are used in the bridge you linked to, but I am certain that if you could precisely specify the actual bolts used, such information as is listed above could be found in short order. You may have difficulty in finding out the nature of the bolts on that particular bridge, but that is a political decision, and in no way negates the fact that such information does exist and has been scrutinised by independant “auditors”. And while some manufacturers might ask you to pay for such documentation, so some academic journals ask for fees to view their published papers – you don’t seem too concerned about the idea that journals need financial support to continue to operate, and so charge fees, so why are you concerned that bolt manufacturers – or for that matter the ISO – do the same thing?

  139. Neil Fisher September 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

    SJT wrote:

    A ‘novel’ method? Come on, I want proof, not speculation.

    And yet MBH9x and Steig et al – two cite two climate papers that were widely reported to be definative and put forward as “proof” of AGW – both used a similar method; they both used “novel” methods that were unproven, and untried on known data sets with known qualities. If such use of “novel” methods is insupportable, will you now also suggest that the same standards apply to all papers, and that MBH9x and Steig et al are “speculation” and “not proof”?

  140. Neil Fisher September 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    Sod wrote:

    he starts by moving the goal post. (two times, as we will see)

    “climate reconstruction show we have changed GMST – we’re doomed!”
    “climate reconstructions may be wrong, but the instrumental record shows GMST increasing – it’s AGW!”
    “GMST increase may have paused for 10 years, but OHC is what really matters”
    “Argo data may show OHC failing to rise, but the polar caps are melting!”
    “We expect the Antarctic to cool”
    “Now we know the Antarctic is warming just as we predicted”

    Shifting goalposts indeed! Then again, maybe not – maybe we have such a wide variation in what is “consistent with” the AGW hypothesis that pretty much anything that happens can be said to have been predicted by someone, somewhere. The problem then, of course, is deciding which of the the two or more opposing predictions is the “right” one before nature provides us with the answer.

  141. John F. Pittman September 27, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    Comment from: Neil Fisher September 27th, 2009 at 12:02 pm said “”Sod, there is a legal obligation on the engineer to have such data – he could end up in gaol if this data is missing, falsified or obviously wrong. He could end up in gaol if he does not justify his assumptions. He could end up in gaol if he does not document every aspect of his work – every decision, every piece of data.”” Dammit Neil you stole my pig and gave it to sod. It is hilarious from a professionals veiw to read sod , SJT, and Luke’s comments. They wnat all of us to accept the legal and moral liability of CO2 generation, without holding the AGW/CO2 alarmists to similar high standards.

  142. SJT September 27, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    SJT wrote:

    A ‘novel’ method? Come on, I want proof, not speculation.

    And yet MBH9x and Steig et al – two cite two climate papers that were widely reported to be definative and put forward as “proof” of AGW – both used a similar method; they both used “novel” methods that were unproven, and untried on known data sets with known qualities. If such use of “novel” methods is insupportable, will you now also suggest that the same standards apply to all papers, and that MBH9x and Steig et al are “speculation” and “not proof”?

    For much of science, the best we can get is ‘supports the theory’. I was just using the usual argument here against anything people don’t want to believe in.

  143. John F. Pittman September 27, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

    Comment from: SJT September 27th, 2009 at 1:17 pm said “”For much of science, the best we can get is ’supports the theory’. I was just using the usual argument here against anything people don’t want to believe in.””

    I agree wholeheartedly. HOWEVER, MBH9x, Briffa, etc., ignore about 100 years of development of the biological sciences and statistical math. Historically, biologists and statisticians got together and produced the “”BELL CURVE!!” So Mann, Briffa, et al came along and came up with a linearization that invalidated 100 years of bio and stats and what happened?? Mann got “Man of the Year”. That divergence came along and falsified the linearization of Mann, Briffa and others, was ignored. Instead the claim by Briffa that it must be an (unsupported) antropogenic cause was accepted. Falsifying YOUR position of “”For much of science, the best we can get is ’supports the theory’.”” The Briffa hand waving supported his and Mann’s contentions not the 100 years of bio and stats preceding the claim. “”I was just using the usual argument here against anything people don’t want to believe in.”” UNLESS you join us luke warm sceptics, it is you who refuse to “beleive” in science. Instead you are just a mouthpiece for psuedo-science.

    If you take exception to “”UNLESS you join us luke warm sceptics”” this is exactly what the public has been offered with “the science is settled” paradigm. I offer the “UNLESS’ as a joke. The IPCC is not joking about “the science is settled” paradigm, though I have shown that such claims have real problems, whether it is me or the IPCC.

  144. barry moore September 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    There is a substantial amount of data published by NOAA regarding the CO2 content in the atmosphere of the entire globe, it is interesting to note that although this data is at the core of the climate change question it receives very little attention from IPCC.
    The first atmospheric monitoring station to use the new cryogenic method of analysis was located at Mauna Loa in Hawaii and published results are available from 1960 to the present for many atmospheric constituents and are available on the NOAA, iadv website. By 1980 there were approximately 22 stations and a research ship located around the world and the number has increased since then.
    An examination of these records yields some interesting and surprising observations which are summarized as follows.
    1. The average annual CO2 level for all sites covering the entire globe are remarkably similar irrespective of location.
    2. The increase in CO2 level has likewise been uniform over the past 25 years for all sites.
    3. All the sites in the Northern Hemisphere are characterized by a significant annual cycle in concentration from a maximum in the winter to a minimum in the late summer.
    4. All the sites in the Southern Hemisphere show little or no such cycle.
    As stated earlier the IPCC claim the CO2 is “well Mixed” which is a very nebulous and misleading statement.

    From an examination of the air circulation patterns around the world, the globe is divided into 6 distinct zones.
    1. From the Equator to 30 deg north and south.
    2. Between 30 deg and 60 deg north and south.
    3. From 60 deg north and south to the poles.

    The air circulates on the surface and lower altitudes from the high pressure regions at the poles and 30 deg latitudes to the low pressure regions at the Equator and 60 deg latitudes then returns at higher altitudes. Due to the rotation of the earth, a phenomenon known as the Corriolis effect causes the air streams to turn so that they flow parallel with the lines of latitude which gives rise to prevailing winds, jet streams etc. Areas of High Pressure and Low Pressure cause the jet streams to snake around the globe causing a significant effect on weather that should not be confused with climate.
    These circulation patterns cause limited mixing of the air from one zone to another. Evidence of this is seen in the CO2 data from around the world.
    Surface observations on either side of the Equator and adjacent to each other show a dramatic difference in the annual cycle observed in the north, if there were any significant mixing of the air the cyclical pattern would be seen south of the Equator, however, none is observed.
    This conclusion is supported by the world CO2 distribution maps on the NOAA web site http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/carbontracker/maps.php?type=us&prod=columns.
    This site allows one to select North America or the world and provided a daily or monthly (currently not available) average from 2002 to 2008 of the CO2 levels in the form of coloured maps with dark red as the highest value and dark blue as the lowest with graduated colours in between. It is very clear from an inspection of the world maps for all 12 months of any year that there are very distinct and unbroken horizontal layers of uniform CO2 concentrations, thus there is no north south mixing as shown below.
    After some nuclear tests in the northern hemisphere in the 1960’s it took several years for the fallout the become equally distributed in the southern hemisphere mixing clearly does take place but it is assumed from this data that it occurs at the upper atmospheric levels and takes some time.
    From an examination of the location of the man made CO2 emissions from the IPCC web site, approximately 94% of all anthropogenic CO2 is released in the northern hemisphere and largely between latitudes 30 deg N and 60 deg N and yet the annual average CO2 levels in this zone are indistinguishable from anywhere else in the world. Even if one considered the entire northern hemisphere, if there is a time delay in the mixing between the hemispheres man made CO2 should elevate the average CO2 concentration in the NH by approximately 7.06 ppm per year compared to the southern hemisphere’s increase of 0.68 ppm per year, however such a difference has never been detected. The IPCC frequently use the term “well mixed” when referring to the CO2 in the atmosphere which is another example of vague terms that can cause confusion and misunderstanding. Clearly one look at the NOAA CO2 maps will indicate that the CO2 is anything but “well mixed”.
    Researchers from the University of York in the U.K. have identified a “Chemical Equator” which divides the atmospheres of the hemispheres and supports this principal.
    The IPCC have attempted to claim that the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is 10 years or more, this is in order to justify the large amount of anthropogenic CO2 they claim is in the atmosphere. Clearly if the residence time was 1 year with an emissions rate of 8 gigatonnes (billion metric tons) of carbon per year then there could only be 8 gigatonnes in the atmosphere, even a 10 year residence time would cause the atmosphere to contain 80 gigatonnes. In the atmosphere of the world it takes approximately 2.2 gigatonnes to cause 1 ppm increase so 80 would increase the CO2 concentration by 36.4 ppm which is a far cry from the 100 ppm that the IPCC claim.
    Now if the residence time were 10 years then considering the theoretical case when there is no mixing the northern hemisphere would be 63.8 ppm higher than the south. Even allowing for some exchange between the north and south it would be at least 14 ppm higher allowing for a 2 year mixing time.
    Therefore if man made CO2 emissions were having any significant effect on the atmosphere there would be a significantly higher level of CO2 in the north, unless there was rapid mixing of the air from pole to pole which the cyclical CO2 data and distribution maps show does not exist
    In addition it is clear that the residence time is nowhere near 10 years and in all probability the anthropogenic emissions created in the north are consumed by the seasonal vegetation in the same year they are emitted so there is no noticeable effect of man made emissions. This subject is also addressed when considering a mass balance calculation of the carbon cycle on Fig 7.3 of 4AR.

  145. SJT September 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    Clearly one look at the NOAA CO2 maps will indicate that the CO2 is anything but “well mixed”.

    The differences are trivial.

  146. kuhnkat September 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    SOD, SJT, RW…

    I am glad to hear none of you AGW types believe the 100 year residency number!! I will tell the next alarmist I talk to that his buds have debunked this number!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    SJT whines,

    “We don’t have a spare planet to practice on, and do repeated tests on. By the time the 100% definitive answers are in, it will most likely be too late to do anything.”

    Exactly!!!!! We do not have a spare planet to practice your moronic atmospheric modification experiments on. What the heck do we do when you really reduce CO2, find it has no effect on temps, and STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH INCREASED POPULATIONS AND REDUCED AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT!!

    Since we can’t practice anywhere, what happens if the reduction itself causes problems?!?!?!?!
    Remember, this won’t be private companies where there is occasionally accountability, this will be Gubmint contracts with associated inefficiencies, corruption, and CYA!!

    I can smell unintended consequences without having the predictive power of a GCM!!

  147. cohenite September 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    Barry, Tom Quirk looked at the hemispheric mixing and concentration proportions as an indicator of retention rate and ACO2 contribution to the CO2 increase;

    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/

    Your link to the NOAA CO2 distribution site is not working but the AIRS graph from 2003 shows what you are saying;

    http://yly-mac.gps.caltech.edu/A_EGU2008/YungEGU08CO2/SCIENCE%20CO2_Paper_V2F%20copy.pdf

  148. barry moore September 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    cohenite I just accessed the web site as follows
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/carbontracker/co2weather.php
    maybe they changed it.
    This is an extract from a paper I wrote 10 years ago unfortunately I cannot post the data tables graphs and downloaded NOAA figures but they could be made available through Jen if requested.

  149. barry moore September 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    SJT how can the differences be trivial when 94% on all anthropogenic CO2 is released in the northern hemisphere, according to the IPP data. The NH has a lower CO2 level than the southern hemisphere for 5 months of the year according to the NOAA data and the average CO2 levels over the entire globe are within 2 ppm. according to the NOAA data.
    Wake up and smell the coffee guy all the data blows the IPCC hypothesis totally out of the water.

  150. SJT September 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    I can smell unintended consequences without having the predictive power of a GCM!!

    We are already to playing the game of unintended consequences whether we like it or not.

  151. SJT September 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    A guide for high school students on CO2 mixing in the atmosphere.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/education/carbon_toolkit/Student%20Activity%20on%20the%20Carbon%20Cycle.pdf

    Explains the north and south hemispheres.

  152. RW September 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    “just for the record why “wrong, Utterly wrong”?”

    I very much doubt that you haven’t been told before; like I say, your willingness to learn is negligible so why would I waste my time telling you again?

    “if you always have x ten in your pocket RW but the average time one tenner stays in your pocket is 3 days then you live in fantasy land because once you get an increase of 10 tenners then the rate of replenishment will also change, and so will the time one ten stays there before it is spent since people always spend to their income; which is to say, as I have said, natural sinks and supply increase. So get your hands out of your pockets, RW, stop fiddling with yourself and start thinking instead of spending.”

    A lot of waffle and few extra random unjustified assumptions – so what you are saying is that you don’t have enough information to answer my question. But if there is one single definition of one single phenomenon called “residence time” then there must be enough information in the question for you to answer it.

  153. cohenite September 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    little will, this part of your school link seems to be the relevant section in respect of the lack of hemispheric differences that Barry was talking about;

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/globalview/co2/co2_intro.html

    But this rather assists Barry because the intra-annual oscillations in the northern hemisphere relate to natural fluctuations not ACO2 emissions which are constant; when allowance is made for the intra-annual oscillations the parity between the hemispheres is apparent and this works against the idea that ACO2 is both the sole cause of the increase in CO2 and that retention, however defined, is lengthy. Detention for little will.

  154. cohenite September 27, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    Aw, go on RW, waste your time, tell me; I’ll pay attention, I promise.

  155. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    cohenite September 27th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    ” this supposes in the scenario of immediate cessation of ACO2 imput that the natural sinks, which must have been increasing at an increasing rate for the full effect of the annual imput of ACO2 of 8Gts not to be fully represented in the annual increase in CO2, will not increase and that, most importantly, that natural increases in CO2 have not been occuring and will not continue to occur.”

    There is no reason to suppose that the natural input of CO2 is static. The natural variation of the net difference between sources and sinks over the past 50 years is well known and was always negative (from -0.5 to -7 GtC): in the past 50 years there were always more natural CO2 sinks than sources.

    Not all individual flows are known (the “missing sink”, that is NOT a “missing source”!), but that doesn’t matter at all if you look at the mass balance over a year:

    natural sources + emissions = increase in the atmosphere + natural sinks
    natural sources + 8 GtC = 4 GtC + natural sinks
    natural sources – natural sinks = 4 – 8 = -4 GtC

    It doesn’t matter if the natural sources are 10, 100 or 1,000 GtC over the seasons, in all cases the difference between sources and sinks is negative. Even if the sources increase over time, the sinks must increase too, as the difference must be obtained.

    Of course there is some (temperature induced) variation in the difference, but that was always negative in the past 50 years, thus nature had zero net contribution to the increase in CO2 mass (except for maximum 8 ppmv over the LIA-current warming), even if a lot of molecules are exchanged per year.

    I have some not so good experiences with Segalstad: he omits relevant evidence in several of his writings (like the experiment with CO2 and lime) and makes claims (e.g. about ice core CO2) which are physically impossible. In the case of the 13C decline, he is wrong too: while the decline is fully the responsability of the burning of fossil fuels, the decline is diluted by the 150/800 GtC seasonal exchange, mainly from the oceans, which have a higher 13C/12C ratio than the atmosphere. Thus the ratio is subject to the first (exchange rate) residence time, but the total quantity of CO2 is not affected by the exchange rate.

    The point is simple: there are only two known sources of low 13C carbon: living and dead organic material. One can make a differentiation between the two by looking at the oxygen use: fossil fuel efficiencies are calculated and the oxygen use shows that there is a slight deficit, thus living material is producing more oxygen than the decay of leaves etc. uses oxygen. Thus vegetation is a net sink of CO2, not a source. All other sources of CO2 have equal to higher levels of 13C in CO2. That excludes the oceans as main source. Thus, again the only source of the increase of CO2 and decline of d13C is fossil fuel burning…

    Thus the effect (as far as there is an effect) of the increase in total CO2 is 100% from the emissions, even if 95% of the original anthro CO2 molecules are already exchanged for natural molecules.

  156. SJT September 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    Cohenite, they say “C. It takes about one year for the atmosphere to mix between the northern and southern hemispheres—can you pinpoint the hemisphere where most of the CO2 originates? Does one hemisphere appear to “lag” behind the other in terms of increasing CO2 concentrations?”

  157. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

    All,

    About the “well mixed”. Well mixed doesn’t mean that over the whole globe at any moment all values are exactly the same. We are talking about a dynamic system, where a lot of sources and sinks are at work. For CO2, one can say that it is well mixed for 95% of the atmosphere, that is not near ground near huge sources and sinks.

    For 95% of the atmosphere, the NH shows a seasonal amplitude which is largest near ground (+/- 8 ppmv at Barrow, or 2% of the absolute level), with a few months delay at higher altitudes (+/- 4 ppmv at MLO, or 1% of the absolute level) and with about 12 months delay from the NH to the SH, due to the small exchange of air masses between the hemispheres. Over a year’s average the trends everywhere on the globe are the same and the differences are minimal, except for the delay from the NH to the SH:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends.jpg

    Thus CO2 levels are well mixed, but modulated by the huge growth and decay of vegetation in the NH over the seasons. That btw. proves that the oceans are a slow sink/source for CO2, as these can’t follow the seasonal changes caused by vegetation. That is also the reason why not all human emissions are absorbed in as short time.

  158. Tim Curtin September 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    re Andersson et al (linked above) “However, the role of acidification in this
    decline is far from settled. In the laboratory,
    Alina Szmant, a coral physiological ecologist
    at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington,
    and her colleagues found that neither low
    pH nor a lowered calcium carbonate concentration
    (which results from increased acidity
    and is considered key to calcification) slowed
    coral growth. Instead, calcium bicarbonate
    proved key, her team reported at ICRS. She
    faults previous lab studies because they used
    hydrochloric acid, not carbon dioxide, to
    lower the pH of the water in the calcification
    studies. Hydrochloric acid and carbon dioxide
    have different effects on seawater chemistry
    and bicarbonate concentration, she says.
    Her conclusion: “It’s not clear that carbon
    dioxide enrichment will have negative effects
    on calcification rates.””
    Science, Jan 2009 Comment on De’ath, Lough Fabricius.,

  159. sod September 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    thanks for another really reasonable post Ferdinand.

    this topic has been moved into denialist wonderland. the claim that the increase in CO2 is not caused by humans is simply false.

    it is extremely weird, that this topic constantly is brought up.

  160. SJT September 27, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    But this rather assists Barry because the intra-annual oscillations in the northern hemisphere relate to natural fluctuations not ACO2 emissions which are constant; when allowance is made for the intra-annual oscillations the parity between the hemispheres is apparent and this works against the idea that ACO2 is both the sole cause of the increase in CO2 and that retention, however defined, is lengthy. Detention for little will.

    You don’t seem to be able to differentiate between short term cycles and long term trends. You have displayed this shortcoming before. The animation shows the seasonal changes, but it also shows that the actual content is continually rising.

  161. sod September 27, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    Sod and little will, the chipmonk chorus; RW’s mistake was this; he conflated the two ways of measuring atmospheric retention rates for CO2, that is the residency period for single and sub-threshold amounts of CO2 and the time required for the increase in total CO2 mass from all sources to return to a specified amount, with the supposed different, chronologically distinguished, effects of increased CO2 on climate, that is the transient or immediate effect and the equilibrium effect at which time all the effects have slowly filtered through the total ocean/atmosphere/land coupled areas;

    again: Jennifer made that error, not RW. you are demontrating your extreme bias!

    if you always have x ten in your pocket RW but the average time one tenner stays in your pocket is 3 days then you live in fantasy land because once you get an increase of 10 tenners then the rate of replenishment will also change, and so will the time one ten stays there before it is spent since people always spend to their income; which is to say, as I have said, natural sinks and supply increase. So get your hands out of your pockets, RW, stop fiddling with yourself and start thinking instead of spending.

    you said absolutely nothing in this reply.

    This is because you asked the wrong folks. Contrast this with those who have asked Jones, Mann, Hansen (better than some), Peterson, Briffa, Thompson, Steig, The people who did it and it has not been available. The data is available. As someone who has helped with ASTM and ASME codes, not only is the data available, but all the conversations and data that led to accepting one particular condition versus another are also available. IT is available, but sod does not know how to get it. I have had it and reveiwed it. IT being the nuts and bolts of many design standards. I have never been refused.

    it is not my job, to get the data.

    i was asked to provide experimental results about ph and corals. i provided a link. and more data exists, but it will be extremely difficult to get hold of it. (basically every aquarium will need to check ph values and collect experience about ph)

    i asked a similar question about engineering. i have not received any link to experimental data so far. we know that there is additional data, but it will be next to impossible to get access to it. (the companies will simply not provide experimental test data to strangers)

    the two situations are extremly similar. but you folks just believe that data exists in one case, and deny the existence in the other one. just bias.

    It is not corals that is my expertise but modelling and ecology.

    so when i guessed that we don t have any professional knowledge on corals, and you replied that i was wrong, i was in fact right?

    I am a luke warmist. Not a “denialist.”

    if you wee not a denialist, you would not deny the existence of experimental data on corals and ph. you would also oppose cohenites claim about the CO2 increase being not caused by humans.

  162. sod September 27, 2009 at 7:07 pm #

    Anyway, you could try googling it yourself (or I could just say your are lazy, or need to sharpen your googling skills, I suppose 😉 ). Then you would see things like this:
    http://www.alcoa.com/global/en/products/info_page.asp?info_page_id=161&prod_id=806
    Now, I don’t know if these bolts are used in the bridge you linked to, but I am certain that if you could precisely specify the actual bolts used, such information as is listed above could be found in short order. You may have difficulty in finding out the nature of the bolts on that particular bridge, but that is a political decision, and in no way negates the fact that such information does exist and has been scrutinised by independant “auditors”. And while some manufacturers might ask you to pay for such documentation, so some academic journals ask for fees to view their published papers – you don’t seem too concerned about the idea that journals need financial support to continue to operate, and so charge fees, so why are you concerned that bolt manufacturers – or for that matter the ISO – do the same thing?

    your link provides zero experimental data.

    it would be te same, as if i had linked to a ph – coral list on an aquarium page, like this one for fish:

    Preferred pH of Common Frewhater Fish
    Angelfish 6.5 – 7.0
    Clown Loach 6.0 – 6.5
    Goldfish 7.0 – 7.5
    Harlequin 6.0 – 6.5
    Hachetfish 6.0 – 7.0
    Neon Tetra 5.8 – 6.2
    Plecostomus 5.0 – 7.0
    Silver Dollar 6.0 – 7.0
    Tiger Barb 6.0 – 6.5
    Zebra Danio 6.5 – 7.0

    http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/waterchemsitry/a/waterph.htm

    i have serious doubts, that this would have satisfied you.

    so you provided a link to a different bolt without experimental data. but you are 100% sure, that the data i ask for exists. even without any evidence of this. same difference, eh?

  163. cohenite September 27, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    Ferdinand, you say;

    “The natural variation of the net difference between sources and sinks over the past 50 years is well known and was ALWAYS [my emphasis] negative (from -0.5 to -7 GtC): in the past 50 years there were always more natural CO2 sinks than sources.”

    This isn’t necessarily correct, is it? At times during the year the trend exceeds the ACO2 contribution when a combination of CO2 and ACO2 sources exceed natural sinks; at other seasonal times the sink exceeds the combined ACO2/CO2 sources considerably so that the trend is actually negative.

    The dC13 issue aside, as I understand you your point is that ACO2 must be causing the entirity of CO2 increase because the approximate increase is 4Gts or ~ 1.5% of the total ACO2/CO2 emissions, or about 1/2 of the ACO2. But doesn’t this assume a constant proportionality between the total CO2 and sinks? Why should it be the case that the ratio between CO2 and sinks be such that CO2 cannot cause variation in CO2 concetration in the atmosphere? After all prior to the 20thC the atmospheric CO2 concentration has varied by at least 130ppm, up and down. An example will illustrate [and I don’t assert the amounts are accurate], hopefully for RW [with his magic pockets], sod and little will’s benefit;

    say dCO2 is 178 and natural sinks 178; the net increase in CO2 is 0; this is the alleged pre-AGW state; now say CO2 = 210 + ACO2 = 8 = 218 – natural sinks = 214 = increase = 4; CO2 has increased by 32 while ACO2 by 8 for a total net increase of 4; however CO2 has contributed to the net increase by a ration of 32:8; of the 4Gt increase, 3.2 [80%] is natural increase, CO2, and .8 [20%] ACO2.

  164. Tim Curtin September 27, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

    To sod, SJT, Kev & Pen, please tell where I can send you a consignment of beer, cokes, and tonics all with hydrochloric acid in place of that pollutant CO2.

  165. SJT September 27, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    After all prior to the 20thC the atmospheric CO2 concentration has varied by at least 130ppm, up and down. An example will illustrate [and I don’t assert the amounts are accurate], hopefully for RW [with his magic pockets], sod and little will’s benefit;

    Are you referring to Beck?

  166. SJT September 27, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    To sod, SJT, Kev & Pen, please tell where I can send you a consignment of beer, cokes, and tonics all with hydrochloric acid in place of that pollutant CO2.

    Are you allowed to make personal threats on this forum?

  167. SJT September 27, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    This isn’t necessarily correct, is it? At times during the year the trend exceeds the ACO2 contribution when a combination of CO2 and ACO2 sources exceed natural sinks; at other seasonal times the sink exceeds the combined ACO2/CO2 sources considerably so that the trend is actually negative.

    A negative trend? Now you’re pulling my leg.

  168. SJT September 27, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    say dCO2 is 178 and natural sinks 178; the net increase in CO2 is 0; this is the alleged pre-AGW state; now say CO2 = 210 + ACO2 = 8 = 218 – natural sinks = 214 = increase = 4; CO2 has increased by 32 while ACO2 by 8 for a total net increase of 4; however CO2 has contributed to the net increase by a ration of 32:8; of the 4Gt increase, 3.2 [80%] is natural increase, CO2, and .8 [20%] ACO2.

    FE has already explained, you can calculate if that is happening or not by looking at the isotope ratios.

  169. steve from brisbane September 27, 2009 at 11:53 pm #

    Tim Curtin, Alina was wrong anyway. From the ocean acidification blog:

    “This is incorrect as many perturbation experiments carried out on corals did use gas bubbling rather than acid addition. All of them indicate a decline of coral calcification at elevated pCO2.”

    http://oceanacidification.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/calcification-rates-drop-in-australian-reefs/

    By the way, I note that earlier in this thread, you said:

    “But as for pH, show me where the “global” level is measured. There is in fact no such data, and no evidence for any trend change.”

    I referred you to the recent report on the Aloha measurements for 20 years, consistent with predictions about pH decrease, and you have no comment.

  170. cohenite September 27, 2009 at 11:54 pm #

    Yeah, negative, going down, as opposed to up or positive;

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/mlo_co2_rateofchange_bracketed1.png

  171. cohenite September 28, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    Isotopes, problematic little will; atmospheric CO2 has increased 40% since 1750; dC13 was -7; biogenic fuels have a C13 value of -26; if the 40% increase is entirely due to ACO2 then the current C13 should be -14.6; it is -8.2, only a 6% change; the other 34% must be natural; back to detention little will.

  172. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 28, 2009 at 1:34 am #

    cohenite September 27th, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Cohenite, you need to make a differentiation between the seasonal cycle and the one-way continuous addition of CO2 by the emissions. Many see the increase in fall/winter (mainly due to bacterial degradation of leaves and other organics) as “emission”, but nearly the same amount is absorbed in spring/summer by growing vegetation. That is a very short cycle and doesn’t add to the year-by-year increase we see over the past 50+ years, as long as the input and outputs remain in balance. Thus you can’t say that what cycles in nature is “emission”, it is only going in and out within a short time frame. Only the endresult after a full seasonal cycle influences the total balance, but that is negative over the past 50 years.
    It doesn’t matter if the inputs increase from 178 to 210 (GtC or ppmv, that doesn’t matter), that only means that the outputs MUST increase from 182 to 214 to keep the balance and again the anthro emissions are the sole cause of the increase. Just think what will happen to the endresult, if there were no anthro emissions…

    Compare that to a fountain where you have a huge circulation pump at 10,000 l/hour and add a small stream at 1 l/hour. After some time there will be an overflow of the fountain, completely caused by the small addition at 1 l/hour (only 1/10,000th of the total “addition”), as there is zero NET addition from the 10,000 l/hour cycle…

    If we may look at the global amplitude: for about 1 degr.C seasonal cycle (the NH warms more in summer than the SH cools in their simultaneous winter), we see a global average amplitude in the CO2 cycle of about 5 ppmv. That is of the same order as the continuous emissions with +4 ppmv/year.

    Thus the short term effect of the seasonal temperature amplitude is about 5 ppmv/K. Something similar for the (very) long term dCO2/dT ratio: Indeed we see a large amplitude of about 130 ppmv over the glacial/interglacial cycles, but that is a quite constant about 8 ppmv/K over the past 800,000 years of ice core measurements. Even so for the MWP-LIA: 6 ppmv frop in the LIA (Law Dome ice core) for about 0.8 K drop in temperature… Thus the temperature increase since the LIA may have added some 8 ppmv CO2 to the atmosphere, but the rest of the 100+ ppmv increase is all from humans burning fossil fuels.

    About the d13C ratio’s: as already said, the addition of low d13C fossil fuels is diluted by the CO2 cycle from the oceans, which has a higher d13C content than the atmosphere. I have calculated what will happen with the 13C levels in the atmosphere for different exchange rates with the deep oceans (the ocean surface has less influence on the d13C levels, as these are in equilibrium with, and decreasing together with the atmosphere) for the amounts of emissions over the past 150 years. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/deep_ocean_air_zero.jpg
    As you can see, a yearly circulation of about 40 GtC from the deep oceans gives about the same composition of d13C as observed in the atmosphere. In all cases, the decrease is only caused by the anthro emissions.

  173. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 28, 2009 at 1:53 am #

    steve from brisbane September 27th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    From the same Science article:

    Cohen also has some reservations. Commenting on De’ath’s work, she says “the timing is later, and the magnitude and rate of the calcification decline is greater than one might expect if seawater saturation state [acidification] were the primary driver.”
    Temperature and other environmental factors likely come into play.

    Still more questions than answers…

  174. steve from brisbane September 28, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    Ferdinand: I’m not denying that there are indeed still questions. But as I’ve said, it is obviously a complicated thing to study, and it is not as if the experiments thus far (taken as a whole) give grounds for optimism. (CO2 Science may disagree, but if it was up to them, we’d be burning every bit of fossil fuel we could lay our hands on to improve the world.)

  175. Eyrie September 28, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    Ferdinand,

    You seem to think you have the source of the extra CO2 all nicely explained. However I think you need to have a look at all the *assumptions* you make in order to do this.

  176. Neil Fisher September 28, 2009 at 8:33 am #

    Sod wrote:

    so you provided a link to a different bolt without experimental data. but you are 100% sure, that the data i ask for exists. even without any evidence of this. same difference, eh?

    Not quite – as I said, there is a legal obligation on the engineer to have the required data, while there is no such obligation on the scientist. The scientist is supposed to speculate and generate new theories, while the engineer is supposed to follow well established procedures. The engineer cares what can be demonstrated to work, while the scientist cares about explaining how it works. If the scientist is wrong, this is expected and normal, while if the engineer is wrong, this is unexpected and abnormal. When the scientist is wrong, they have learned something (something negative, but learned it all the same), when the engineer is wrong people get hurt. In the case of action WRT AGW, this has changed – if the scientist is wrong about this, it’s not just their reputation as a mover and shaker that’s at stake, it’s not just the derision of their peers that happens, the consequences are the same as the engineer being wrong – people may be harmed; physically, emotionally, financially. When this situation (risk of harm) presents itself as part of the job for the engineer, we regulate and legislate to make them responsible for their actions. But because science does not generally present such risks, no such regulation and legislation covers the scientists actions – and this is right, reasonable and fair. So when the scientist finds themselves in the same position as the engineer, when people may be harmed by results of what they do, I take the view that they should be held to the same level of accountability as the the engineer. Frankly, I do not see why this is controversial. In fact, I do not see any cogent arguement that rejects this position, although you are free to present one if you have it. Do you see this position as wrong? Do you think I am asking too much? And if so, do you think that we should relax the regulations and legislation WRT engineering works to the same level as that which applies to science?

  177. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 28, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    Eyrie September 28th, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Indeed it is a mix of what is hard, based on measurements and what are indications.

    The hardest point is the mass balance: we add 8 GtC per year and we measure an increase of 4 GtC per year. That in fact is already enough to prove that only the emissions are responsible for the increase. No matter how much circulates within nature over a year, no matter how that changes over the years, nature as a whole is a net sink of CO2, not a source.

    The rest is additional evidence, and no observation contradicts that humans are responsible, while all other possible explanations (oceans or vegetation as source) contradict with the mass balance and one or more other observations (ocean/air d13C, d14C, ocean pH, oxygen use,…).

    Thus the case of a human cause is very strong. The case of the effect of the increase on temperature, that is a complete different, independent item and is far from strong, especially for the strength (and even the sign) of the feedbacks.

  178. SJT September 28, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    Yeah, negative, going down, as opposed to up or positive;

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/mlo_co2_rateofchange_bracketed1.png

    I have seen this ‘rate of change going down’ meme on a few topics now, and all it means is sheer ignorance of basic calculus.

  179. cohenite September 28, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    Thanks for the reply Ferdinand; by way of explanation as to why I am perservering about this issue of ACO2 being the sole cause of the increase in CO2 concentration; if it is, as you say, then the AGW knuckle-heads are 1/2 way to proving AGW; all they need do is manufacture some consistent ’empirical’ data then they have both sides of the coin; the deus ex machina of ACO2 and the effects consistent with AGW.

    Getting back to your last comments; I know the use of seasonal variation is cherry-picking but apart from wanting to stir the knuckle-heads the point I was making is that there is nothing sacred or rigid about the quantity of the relationship between the natural sources and sinks and that sometimes the sources exceeded the sinks. The annual figures provide another example where there is obviously considerable variation from year to year between the quantity of the sinks and sources. But let me be more precise:
    1 CO2 levels at 1900 were ~ 290 ppm
    2 CO2 levels current are ~ 390ppm, an increase of ~ 100ppm
    3 The issue is whether over that period you can say CO2 has maintained an average -ve relationship with sinks such that the ACO2 has supplied the full extent of that 100ppm increase
    4 We know that sinks have increased from 1900 because at most, on average, no more than 1/2 of the ACO2 is accountable in the CO2 trend
    5 Therefore, if sinks have been increasing then CO2 must have increased as well
    6 This is more than just methodology; for instance, if CO2 has increased from 290ppm [the assumption being that all of the 1900 amount of 290 ppm was from natural sources] it doesn’t matter that sinks have increased to more or less exceed the increase in CO2 to the extent that ~ only 1/2 of the increase in ACO2 contributes to trend; it still must be the case that CO2 has contributed to trend because of that approximately constant relationship between the quantity of the CO2 and the sinks; so the questions are;

    1 How much in ppm has ACO2 increased since 1900
    2 How much in ppm has CO2 increased since 1900

    The answers to those 2 questions will give us the proportionate contribution of both CO2 and ACO2 to trend because as I have shown above there is nothing sacred about a fixed relationship between CO2 and sinks; if there was CO2 concentration would never vary which is plainly not the case;

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7193/full/nature06949.html

    I note that you also that you refer to a constant response between levels of CO2 and temperature; if this were the case how do you explain the decline in temperature form ~1942-1976 and from 1998-current when CO2/ACO2 were both increasing?

  180. SJT September 28, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    Thanks for the reply Ferdinand; by way of explanation as to why I am perservering about this issue of ACO2 being the sole cause of the increase in CO2 concentration; if it is, as you say, then the AGW knuckle-heads are 1/2 way to proving AGW;

    Can’t have that, can we. Head them off at the pass.

  181. cohenite September 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Yuk, yuk; the only pass here is between your ears.

  182. SJT September 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    Nothing to say, Cohenite?

  183. barry moore September 28, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    Been away for about 12 hours since my last post and there has been quite a lot of discussion since, which I have skimmed through. It would appear that some people are proposing that natural sinks and sources are realtively constant thus the increase is due to emissions only.
    There has been a vast amount of research over the past 15 to 20 years which shows that an increase of 300 ppm in the atmospheric CO2 increases the average plant growth rate and abundance by 40% thus 40% more CO2 is sequestered in the biosphere. Henry’s law of solubility shows that the increase in solute dissolved in a solvent is directly proportional to the partial pressure of the solute. In the case of the oceans this CO2 is taken up by photoplankton which is eaten by the fish and becomes sequestered as fish bones or it converts to carbonates and is sequestered. Now since 1900 according to the IPCC the CO2 levels have gone up from 290 to 387 ppm so that indicates the plants are absorbing 13% more CO2 and the oceans about 33% more. The plants absorb about 150 GT/yr and the oceans 90 GT/yr so I figure the natural sinks are absorbing about 50 GT more carbon than they did in 1900. Human emissions are 8 GT/yr do we really need to say more.
    Carbon dioxide levels are controlled by global temperatures not the other way round. Global temperatures have been cycling but have shown an average increase since 1750 and the little ice age. Reasonably strong evidence suggests the temperature increases are due to solar activity which is now declining and so are the temperatures.

  184. SJT September 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    Reasonably strong evidence suggests the temperature increases are due to solar activity which is now declining and so are the temperatures.

    How do you explain the cooling of the stratosphere? If the warming was due to solar activity, the stratosphere would have warmed, not cooled.

  185. SJT September 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    It would appear that some people are proposing that natural sinks and sources are realtively constant thus the increase is due to emissions only.

    No, that they were relatively balanced. The anthropogenic component can be detected using isotope analysis, much as is done with radio carbon dating.

  186. cohenite September 28, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    You are hopeless little will; you have been shown continually that the stratosphere is not cooling; in fact, outside of the volcanic effects there is at best flat and maybe slight warming between the eruptions but you still persist in peddling this drivel about the stratosphere. Time to ignore.

  187. SJT September 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    Cohenite, you get it wrong, again. http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/20c.html

    The volcanic effects are to make it warm.

  188. cohenite September 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    Barry, I see your point by Ferdiand makes a resonable case; see his graphs from the Mike Hammer thread;

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg and
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_2004.jpg

  189. Louis Hissink September 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    SJT:

    “No, that they were relatively balanced. The anthropogenic component can be detected using isotope analysis, much as is done with radio carbon dating.”

    Carbon isotope analyis CANNOT be used to differentiate biotic from non biotic carbon. Analysis of a diamond 3,700Ma as biogenic demonstrates this. Isotope analysis of C12/C13 ratios for the Fischer Tropsch method indicates isotope ratios “indicative” biogenic origin.

    Carbon dating uses C12, C14. Istope Analysis involves C12, C13, so you know not of which you write here.

    So please reconsider your statement – it is wrong.

  190. cohenite September 28, 2009 at 6:06 pm #

    “Cohenite, you get it wrong, again. http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/20c.html

    The volcanic effects are to make it warm”

    You’re a troll; refute this;

    Comment from: cohenite November 16th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    In regard to John Pittman’s comments about stratospheric cooling; I must say this cooling, as noted primarily by satellites, has given me pause; it is a supposed AGW fingerprint because the AGW model says that ACO2 layer trapping of SU, upward LW, will not only create a THS, but also extend the photosphere, or CEL. vertically into the stratosphere where the accumulating ACO2, due to a lack of a LTE, can unload its LW into space and by doing so have an energy deplenishing effect and cooling at that level. There has been no THS so a stratosphere cooling spot (SCS) was at least 1/2 a result. This is where it becomes a bit complicated and I will ignore the Fu et al study which merged troposphere and stratosphere temperatures because it has been adequately dealt with by Christy and Spencer. Volcanoes have a complex effect on the atmosphere’s temperature both at different levels and over different timespans; as I understand it, the orthodoxy is that volcanoes cause troposphere cooling because of particulate reflection of SW and stratosphere warming because the particulate absorb the high energy wavelength radiation; here is a graph of the lower stratosphere temprature after El Chichon in ‘82 and Pinatubo in ‘92;

    http://junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Stratosphere1278-1204.gif

    Both the eruptions show an immediate heating effect consistent with the theory but then there is a drastic dropping off; is this due to the resumption of the AGW effect or is it due to another effect of the eruption, namely SO2 ozone-destruction? This ozone depletion has been well documented with extra UV reaching the ground and enhanced photosynthesis as a result; some other factors to consider; Lucia has done a couple of posts about the duration of volcanic effects, and 7-9 years is likely; this dovetails with Pinutubo because since 2001 stratosphere temperatures have been moving back up while surface temperatures have been declining (with the exception of GISS, of course); since 2000 there has been a decline in solar activity and PDO phase has changed but ACO2 is still increasing; at the very least it shows that AGW is of far less consequence than natural factors, which is contrary to AGW

  191. SJT September 28, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    Carbon dating uses C12, C14. Istope Analysis involves C12, C13, so you know not of which you write here.

    So please reconsider your statement – it is wrong.

    I was just saying it it’s a similar idea, compare ratios of isotopes. Why don’t you tell me more about Velikovsky? What’s the strangest thing he said that you believe?

  192. SJT September 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    “Cohenite, you get it wrong, again. http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/20c.html

    The volcanic effects are to make it warm”

    You’re a troll; refute this;

    Look at a better graph, without the cherry picking and helpful ‘comments’, over a longer period of time, in the link I provided. It’s pretty clear cut. The cooling can’t go on forever, but that there was a distinct period of cooling indicates it’s not the sun. If it was the sun, there would have been no period of cooling.

  193. SJT September 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    Junkscience should take a few pointers from this guy.

    http://denialdepot.blogspot.com/2009/09/arctic-sea-ice-staggering-growth.html

  194. Louis Hissink September 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

    SJT,

    “Why don’t you tell me more about Velikovsky? What’s the strangest thing he said that you believe?”

    Shifting the goal posts are we?

    Sorry SJT, you need to do better than that to weasel your way out of your self inflicted rhetorical quagmire.

  195. SJT September 28, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    Sorry SJT, you need to do better than that to weasel your way out of your self inflicted rhetorical quagmire.

    No, it was all your own work, Louis. Your standard MO, in fact, take a statement, completely ignore what it says, then just add your own drivel as commentary.

  196. cohenite September 28, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    Double-troll; re Arctic;

    http://www.lanl.gov/source/orgs/ees/ees14/pdfs/09Chlylek.pdf

    And use your hockey-stick to riposte this;

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7168#comments

    BTW, your stratosphere graph ends in 2000.

  197. SJT September 28, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    Moving the goal posts again. The cooling trend was clear. If it was the sun causing the warming it would have been in the opposite direction.

  198. Louis Hissink September 28, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    SJT

    “No, it was all your own work, Louis. Your standard MO, in fact, take a statement, completely ignore what it says, then just add your own drivel as commentary.”

    No SJT, I did not ignore what you wrote, just politely pointed out that you don’t understand what you write here. You said that the anthropogenic component can be detected by isotope analysis – I answered it directly by stating it cannot, and supplied, again known experimental examples.

    One might wonder what you are smoking at present.

  199. cohenite September 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    I don’t say the sun is causing the warming, if you read what I say, I say since 2000 there has been a decline in solar activity.

  200. RW September 28, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    Cohenite – why haven’t you answered my simple question? Re CO2 and how much of the rise since ~1750 is due to human activities – anyone who questions this is horrifically ignorant, desperately stupid, or both. A decent explanation of how we know that essentially all of it is due to human activities can be found here.

    It does appear that you actually know this. What you seem to be arguing, in fact, is that a large fraction of the 390ppm of CO2 currently in the atmosphere did not come from fossil fuels, because of the regular transfer of CO2 between the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere. This is perfectly true and also totally irrelevant.

  201. cohenite September 28, 2009 at 8:03 pm #

    RW, your post is incoherent and your link doesn’t work

  202. SJT September 28, 2009 at 9:54 pm #

    Carbon dating uses C12, C14. Istope Analysis involves C12, C13,

    C12, C14 and C13 are all isotopes of carbon.

  203. sod September 28, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    Carbon dating uses C12, C14. Istope Analysis involves C12, C13, so you know not of which you write here.

    So please reconsider your statement – it is wrong.

    Louis, please stick to plate tectonics and subsurface thunderbolts.

    everything that SJT said was fine. what you wrote was rubbish.

  204. John F. Pittman September 29, 2009 at 2:06 am #

    Frdinand said “The hardest point is the mass balance: we add 8 GtC per year and we measure an increase of 4 GtC per year. That in fact is already enough to prove that only the emissions are responsible for the increase. No matter how much circulates within nature over a year, no matter how that changes over the years, nature as a whole is a net sink of CO2, not a source.”” As stated here this is correct.

    However, if one is going to predict the “residence time” as depicted by the IPCC, and not as is usually depicted by engineers, then cohenite’s points of the changes (+/-ve) for sources or sinks becomes most important. The relationship and integration can result in linear, exponentional, logarithmic, or power functions, if solved. This is the discussion that needs to be had.

  205. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 29, 2009 at 4:23 am #

    barry moore September 28th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    The plants absorb about 150 GT/yr and the oceans 90 GT/yr so I figure the natural sinks are absorbing about 50 GT more carbon than they did in 1900. Human emissions are 8 GT/yr do we really need to say more.

    You forget the other side of the balance: the decay of the leaves in fall/winter increased too…

    As far as I remember, there is a small increase in seasonal amplitude over the years in MLO, that may be a sign of increased vegetation growth. But the figures you mention are somewhat overblown: the 150 GtC (90 GtC oceans, 50 GtC vegetation) is what goes in ánd out over the seasons. That is caused by temperature (oceans) and related vegetation growth and decay. But as CO2 from oceans and vegetation go in opposite direction with temperature, the net amplitude over the seasons is about 5 ppmv (global average), where the emissions are about 4 ppmv.

    Further, the real result of the seasonal cycle can only be seen after a complete cycle: that is after a year. There we see a growth which is near linearly coupled with the emissions at 50-55%, or a growing sink capacity (oceans + vegetation) of average 45-50% of the emissions.

    Vegetation may have been a source of CO2 in the past, but since we have sufficient accurate O2 measurements since about 1990, one can deduce that vegetation absorbs about 1.4 GtC/year and the oceans about 2 GtC/year of the 8 GtC/year humans currently emit.
    See: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/287/5462/2467.pdf and more recent:
    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

  206. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 29, 2009 at 4:36 am #

    John F. Pittman September 29th, 2009 at 2:06 am

    John, I agree that “residence time” is/was used ambiguously by the IPCC, but from the context it is quite clear the the IPCC uses it in connection with excess mass, not with exchange rate…

    Mor interesting for you is the actual process type which governs CO2 levels. CO2 and temperature are surprisingly linear linked with each other (in pre-industrial times), which is very remarkable for a mix of processes where several probably are highly non-linear. See the Vostok T-CO2 correlation over 420,000 years:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/Vostok_trends.gif

    And the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere follows the accumulated emissions also with a remarkable linear ratio (for linear increasing emissions):
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_2004.jpg

    My impression is that the CO2 cycle as a whole acts as a simple linear first order dynamic system to disturbances…

  207. Eyrie September 29, 2009 at 7:04 am #

    Ferdinand,

    Your case rests on the assumption that the isotope ratios can be used to distinguish the sources of the extra carbon. Louis says that it cannot and provides evidence. Until you refute that you don’t have anything. Jaworwoski has problems with that assumption also.

  208. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    SJT: “C12, C14 and C13 are all isotopes of carbon.”

    And which is the anthropogenic one ?

  209. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 7:27 am #

    Refreshing people’s memories:

    “The technical inadequacy of the carbon isotope ratios as indicators of origin.

    The claims made concerning the carbon stable-isotope ratios, and specifically such as purport to identify the origin of the material, particularly the hydrocarbons, are especially recondite and outside the experience of most persons not knowledgeable of the physics of hydrogen-carbon [H-C] systems. Furthermore, the claims concerning the carbon stable-isotope ratios most often involve methane, the only hydrocarbon which is thermodynamically stable in the regime of temperatures and pressures of the Earth’s crust and almost the only one which spontaneously evolves there.

    The carbon nucleus has two stable isotopes, 12C and 13C. The overwhelmingly most abundance stable isotope of carbon is 12C, which possesses six protons and six neutrons; 13C possesses an extra neutron. (There is another, unstable isotope, 14C, which possesses two extra neutrons; 14C results from a high-energy reaction of the nitrogen nucleus, 14N, with a high-energy cosmic ray particle. The isotope 14C is not involved in the claims about the isotope ratios of carbon). The carbon isotope ratio, designated δ13C, is simply the ratio of the abundance of carbon isotopes 13C/12C, normalized to the standard of the marine carbonate Pee Dee Belemnite. The values of the measured δ13C ratio is expressed as a percentage (compared to the standard).

    During the 1950’s, increasingly numerous measurements of the carbon isotope ratios of hydrocarbon gases were taken, particularly of methane; and too often assertions were made that such ratios could unambiguously determine the origin of the hydrocarbons. The validity of such assertions were tested, independently by Colombo, Gazzarini, and Gonfiantini in Italy and by Galimov in Russia. Both sets of workers established that the carbon isotope ratios cannot be used reliably to determine the origin of the carbon compound tested.

    Columbo, Gazzarini, and Gonfiantini demonstrated conclusively, by a simple experiment the results of which admitted no ambiguity, that the carbon isotope ratios of methane change continuously along its transport path, becoming progressively lighter with distance traveled. Colombo et al. took a sample of natural gas and passed it through a column of crushed rock, chosen to resemble as closely as possible the terrestrial environment.2 Their results were definitive: The greater the distance of rock through which the sample of methane passes, the lighter becomes its carbon isotope ratio.

    The reason for the result observed by Colombo et al. is straightforward: there is a slight preference for the heavier isotope of carbon to react chemically with the rock through which the gas passes. Therefore, the greater the transit distance through the rock, the lighter becomes the carbon isotope ratio, as the heavier is preferentially removed by chemical reaction along the transport path. This result is not surprising; contrarily, and is entirely consistent with the fundamental requirements of quantum mechanics and kinetic theory.

    Pertinent to the matter of any claim that a light carbon isotope ratio might be indicative of a biological origin, the results demonstrated by Colombo et al. establish that such a claim is insupportable. Methane which might have originated from carbon material from the remains of a carbonaceous meteorite in the mantle of the Earth, and possessing initially a heavy carbon isotope ratio, would have that ratio diminished, along the path of its transit into the crust of the Earth, to a value comparable to common biological material.

    Galimov demonstrated that the carbon isotope ratio of methane can become progressively heavier while at rest in a reservoir in the crust of the Earth, through the action of methane-consuming microbes.3 The city of Moscow stores methane in water-wet reservoirs on the outskirts of that city, into which natural gas is injected throughout the year. During summers, the quantity of methane in the reservoirs increases because of less use (primarily by heating), and during winters the quantity is drawn down. By calibrating the reservoir volumes and the distance from the injection facilities, the residency time of the methane in the reservoir is determined. Galimov established that the longer the methane remains in the reservoir, the heavier becomes its carbon isotope ratio.

    The reason for the result observed by Galimov is also straightforward: In the water of the reservoir, there live microbes of the common, methane-metabolizing type. There is a slight preference for the lighter isotope of carbon to enter the microbe cell and to be metabolized. The longer the methane remains in the reservoir, the more of it is consumed by the methane-metabolizing microbes, with the molecules possessing lighter isotope being consumed more. Therefore, the longer its residency time in the reservoir, the heavier becomes the carbon isotope ratio, as the lighter is preferentially removed by methane-metabolizing microbes. This result is entirely consistent with the fundamental requirements of kinetic theory.

    Furthermore, the carbon isotope ratios in hydrocarbon systems are also strongly influenced by the temperature of reaction. For hydrocarbons produced by the Fischer-Tropsch process, the δ13C varies from -65% at 127 C to –20% at 177C.4,5 No material parameter, the measurement of which varies by almost 70% with a variation of temperature of only approximately 10%, can be used as a reliable determinant of any property of that material.

    The δ13C carbon isotope ratio cannot be considered to determine reliably the origin of a sample of methane, – or any other compound, and no ethical and competent scientist or engineer would try to use them as such, excepting very unusual circumstances.”

    I would also stress that methane spontaneously oxidises to CO2 in the atmosphere (life span of 10 years) and this raises the question of whether emission of CH4 from the numerous fractures in the Earth’s surface, whether on exposed land masses or submerged sea floors has been accurately quantified. It’s fairly well established that geological input into climate is ignored – one wonders why given these incovenience facts.

  210. John F. Pittman September 29, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    Ferdinand:
    barry moore September 28th, 2009 at 2:55 pm said “The plants absorb about 150 GT/yr and the oceans 90 GT/yr so I figure the natural sinks are absorbing about 50 GT more carbon than they did in 1900. Human emissions are 8 GT/yr do we really need to say more.” Your graph indicates that the sinks for atmospheeric CO2 have increased by about 70.

    From BenderGBC2005.pdf

    They say “”In its simplest form, this calculation assumes that the annually averaged oceanic O2
    inventory is constant. However, this inventory is likely to be changing, for two reasons. First, the ocean is warming [Levitus et al., 2000], reducing gas solubility and driving
    O2 from ocean to atmosphere [Keeling and Garcia, 2002]. Second, changes in oceanic stratification may be altering the oceanic carbon cycle. These carbon cycle changes would
    likely be accompanied by the transfer of O2 between ocean and atmosphere.
    [10] We calculate anthropogenic CO2 sequestration rates by the ocean and the land biosphere assuming a constant oceanic O2 inventory. We then summarize estimates of the rate at which the oceanic O2 inventory is changing, and associated changes in calculated anthropogenic CO2 sequestration rates. Finally, we examine interannual variability in land and ocean CO2 sequestration. The it states “”[55] These numbers need to be modified to account for
    the transfer of O2 from ocean to atmosphere, and it is to this subject that we turn next”” where they invoke reasons and models so that they attribute such things as “”This change, in turn, increases the export of organic carbon to depth; it decreases the fraction of ‘‘preformed’’ nutrients that go unutilized in surface water and passively sink during subduction.

    But Ferdinand, their ability to state that the O2/N2 ratio depends on getting the C(land) and ocean. They use models and other estimates, besides ridding themselves of inconvient data as they state here “”First, we rejected samples that, on visual inspection, fell far from the envelope of O2/N2 vs. time, as defined by the bulk of the data…We rejected flask pairs falling off the smooth curve..”” So they filtered the data, maybe good or bad. But they also had more unnowns that knowns so made assumptions to get a result. Their results may be good, but it may not be. It may be good indication, but has some real problems with the range of estimates for carbon flux in the ocean, one should be a bit leery of claiming this “proves” the CO2 cycle contentions since it specifically assumes not only certain relationships, but their quantfiable effects which is unknown.

  211. John F. Pittman September 29, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Ferdinand said “”John, I agree that “residence time” is/was used ambiguously by the IPCC, but from the context it is quite clear the the IPCC uses it in connection with excess mass, not with exchange rate…”” But one has to make assumptions of the either the rate or what the equilibrium mass is.

    Ferdinand said “”My impression is that the CO2 cycle as a whole acts as a simple linear first order dynamic system to disturbances.”” My impression is that the assumptions made support your impression. I have problems with some of the assumptions.

    A lot of the O2/N2 and the isotope claims depend on our correct assumptions where measurements are not available. And as Loius points out our assumptions about methane or even that we have enough data to correctly discern the isotopic ratios, not only for what we have measured, but literally large areas, and volumes, we have not measured. That is not to say, that the work is wrong. It is rather claims should be as conservative as the quality and certaintity of the assumptions and CI’s.

  212. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 29, 2009 at 8:31 am #

    Eyrie September 29th, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Eyrie, to repeat the evidence:

    The main proof is the mass balance: If one adds 8 GtC and sees an increase of 4 GtC in the atmosphere, there is little doubt that the increase is from the addition.

    Increase in the atmosphere and accumulated emissions parallel in an extremely good correlation. I don’t know of any natural process that can mimic such a good correlation.

    All the rest is additional evidence:
    – d13C level in the atmosphere and upper oceans declines in ratio with the emissions. There are only two bulk sources of low 13C carbon: living organics and fossil organics. But the latter can’t be the source, as there is more oxygen released by vegetation growth than used by vegetation decay (see oxygen use). This also shows that the oceans are not the main source of CO2 release, as that should increase the d13C level of the atmosphere.
    – d14C levels before the atomic bomb tests declined, from about 1870 on one needed a correction in carbon dating. Fossil fuels are completeley void of 14C.
    – oxygen use: the small deficit of oxygen use, calculated from fossil fuel burning shows that vegetation is a net sink for CO2, not a source.
    – declining pH (hardly measurable) and increasing pCO2 of the oceans (sporadically measured over a a few decades).

    Besides that the mass balance is sufficient as proof, all other observations are in line with the addition of fossil fuels to the atmosphere. All alternative explanations are in conflict with one or more observations…

  213. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 29, 2009 at 8:44 am #

    Louis Hissink September 29th, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I don’t want to discuss the origin of methane and oil, as I have not so much knowledge about that. But that doesn’t change the fact that the emissions from these fuels by burning them are at the origin of the decline of d13C levels in the atmosphere and the upper oceans.

    Vegetation decay/burning is not the cause, as the oxygen deficit shows.
    Alternatively, the decline is by natural degassing of methane or another (unknown) low carbon source, but then we have the problem that the release of natural methane should have exactly the same timing and ratio as what the burning of fossil fuels gives, while the d13C level didn’t change much over the past 10,000 years…

  214. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 29, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    John F. Pittman September 29th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    I had the impression that the Barry meant 50 GtC/year more absorption by plant life, not 50 GtC over the full period…

    The O2/N2 ratio is needed to know how much CO2 is net absorbed by vegetation and the oceans, the partitioning. The figures found are based on oxygen measurements which are extremely difficult to do as we need to know changes at a level of about 1:200,000. Thus there is a large margin of error here. But the important point is that vegetation is a net sink for CO2 (even with these large margins) and thus isn’t responsible for the d13C decline. Thus rests not much alternatives.

  215. cohenite September 29, 2009 at 8:59 am #

    Ferdinand’s statement that the land is the main source of CO2 release and not the oceans is supported by Figure 7.9 on page 525 of AR4 and AR4 on page 524 says;

    “Since the TAR, many studies have confirmed that the variability of CO2 fluxes is mostly due to land fluxes”

    When you marry this with the gold standard for isotopic C13/12 ratio decline in the atmosphere, the Ghosh and Brand paper, figure 9, p17 it would seem that Ferdinand’s conclusion that the ACO2 is the cause of the CO2 increase is correct. But in respect of those land fluxes it is also the case that the CO2 interannual variation due to ENSO is mostly related to fire in forest and coal/peat; that CO2 is organic carbon as are fossil fuels are so why should the C13/12 ratio from those 2 sources be different? If we combine this with the AR4 Figure 7.9 how can the cause of the declining C13/12 ratio be distinguished between fossil fuels and forest burnings. An interesting paper on the role of the fires in shaping ENSO is here;

    http://www.garnautreview.org.au/CA25734E0016A131/WebObj/D0827922GeneralSubmission-KeithPotts-AerosolPlumes-ThecauseofDroughtsandelNinoEventsbyRegionalDimming/$File/D08%2027922%20General%20Submission%20-%20Keith%20Potts%20-%20Aerosol%20Plumes-The%20cause%20of%20Droughts%20and%20el%20Nino%20Events%20by%20Regional%20Dimming.pdf

  216. John F. Pittman September 29, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    Ferdinand said “”The O2/N2 ratio is needed to know how much CO2 is net absorbed by vegetation and the oceans, the partitioning. The figures found are based on oxygen measurements which are extremely difficult to do as we need to know changes at a level of about 1:200,000.””

    I agree. The problem as I pointed out is to get the O2/N2 ratios they had to do some modeling and estimating such as how much carbon was sequestered. Not only that but get rate increase or decreases correctly.

    My point is that it is circular. They may support each other, but with the level of accuracy, the estimates, and the assumptions, care must be taken whn one would use these two to support one another. Even if the assumptions and estmates are shown someitme to be true. Until that happens they have to be recognized for what they are and how they CAN effect either one’s certatity or even one’s conclusions.

  217. cohenite September 29, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    However while the land may be the main source of CO2 release and therefore apparently be the cause of the declining C12/13 ratio the role of the ocean as a sink in this decline cannot be discounted; the SeaWiFS satellite and NASA pictures show ocean deserts and how volcanic activity can stimulate massive downward organic primary productivity. This productivity should have an isotopic signal; if C4 plankton are starving they will consume more C13; if the blooms are large enough that will explain the C12/13 ratio decline; Steve Short has shown those blooms are large enough. The point is the C12/13 ratio decline may not be the result of the production end from the land but the extraction end from the ocean, which as Ferdinand and AR4 have noted is the net sink in all this. I wouldn’t rack the cue on the issue of ACO2 being the sole cause of the increase in CO2 any time soon.

  218. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 29, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    John F. Pittman September 29th, 2009 at 8:10 am

    The ratio between temperature and CO2 levels was quite fixed over the past 800,000 years: about 8 ppmv/K. One can discuss the “K”, as that is based on isotope ratio’s of the far past, but it really doesn’t matter much if it is 4 ppmv/K or 16 ppmv/K.

    From the MWP-LIA transition we know that the temperature change caused a drop of about 6 ppmv for about 0.8 K temperature drop, based on Moberg and Espers reconstructions, which have the largest temperature amplitude. You can take Mann’s hockeystick instead, that gives a drop of 0.2 K, or 30 ppmv/K but I suppose that nobody here thinks that Mann’s construction gives the right answer.

    With the temperature variations in the past few thousands of years, we may say that CO2 levels were quite stable between 280-300 ppmv in pre-industrial times. As the temperature increase since the LIA is not more that 1 K, the CO2 levels without the emissions wouldn’t be higher than about 290 ppmv.

    That is nothing assumed, all based on observations, except for temperature influences, but then we have a worst case (Mann) scenario of 310 ppmv.

    Form the other side, we can backcalculate the CO2 level we should see without the emissions from the period that we have the accurate MLO measurements with the same ratio emissions/increase in the atmosphere. The result: 300 ppmv with zero emissions, slightly too high.

    But that is with the assumption that the ratio remains the same, despite the increasing emissions. And the pre-MLO data are less accurate and the emissions less reliable.

    Thus based on a lot of observations, one can say that CO2 levels and d13C levels in pre-industrial times were stable with a limited influence of temperature on both. Since the start of the industrial revolution, there is a steady increase in CO2 level and a steady decrease in d13C (and d14C) level in ratio with the emissions. That is what is observed. My conclusion is that the observations confirm the cause of the emissions…
    See e.g. the graph of Böhm e.a. of the d13C decline in coralline sponges (= seawater d13C) and atmosphere, and compare start and speed of the decline with the start of the CO2 increase of Antarctic ice cores + MLO and with the emissions:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif and
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/antarctic_cores_001kyr_large.jpg
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg

    If you see a process like that, what do you think that cause and response is?

  219. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 29, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    John F. Pittman September 29th, 2009 at 9:02 am

    “The problem as I pointed out is to get the O2/N2 ratios they had to do some modeling and estimating such as how much carbon was sequestered.”

    The total amount of carbon sequestered is not estimated, it is simply the difference between the calculated emissions and the measured increase in the atmosphere. No circular reasoning here…

  220. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 29, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    cohenite September 29th, 2009 at 8:59 am

    But in respect of those land fluxes it is also the case that the CO2 interannual variation due to ENSO is mostly related to fire in forest and coal/peat; that CO2 is organic carbon as are fossil fuels are so why should the C13/12 ratio from those 2 sources be different?

    There is no practical difference in average 13C/12C ratio of the two sources. But we can use the oxygen measurements as judge: if more oxygen is used than calculated from fossil fuel burning, then we have more vegetation decay/burning. But there is a slight deficit in the oxygen budget, thus there is more vegetation growth than decay/burning, at least since about 1990.

    The oceans can’t be the cause of the decline, as the deep oceans have a d13C level of around zero per mil, the upper level oceans +1 to +4 per mil (with the plankton blooms at the highest level) and the atmosphere at -8 per mil. Thus any extra CO2 addition from the oceans would increase the d13C of the atmosphere, while we see a decrease in atmosphere and upper oceans. See the graph of the coralline sponges before.

  221. John F. Pittman September 29, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    Sorry fo being unclear. They had to get the estimates for the ocean including deep ocean correctly because of the differences they cite “”In its simplest form, this calculation assumes that the annually averaged oceanic O2 inventory is constant “”in order to get the O2 inventory right in order to get the O2/N2 right. That includes getting the amount of carbon sequesterd here correctly.

    Reconstructions have been shown to be on shaky ground. The Mann, etc., are reconstructions, not observations.

    You said “”The total amount of carbon sequestered is not estimated, it is simply the difference between the calculated emissions and the measured increase in the atmosphere. No circular reasoning here…”” Sorry, I thought you meant sinks that are semi-permanent.

    How much is sequestered on land and how much in the ocean, and how was it determined?

  222. SJT September 29, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    Your case rests on the assumption that the isotope ratios can be used to distinguish the sources of the extra carbon. Louis says that it cannot and provides evidence. Until you refute that you don’t have anything. Jaworwoski has problems with that assumption also.

    The list of non-science Louis believes is long. I’d be extremely sceptical of anything he says.

  223. sod September 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    The list of non-science Louis believes is long. I’d be extremely sceptical of anything he says.

    basically everything that Louis says, is based on completely false assumptions.

    if anything he says about science turns out to be right, that is by pure chance.

  224. cohenite September 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Ferdinand; you have been pretty convincing so far and again I stress this is a crucial issue which is why I am interested in it; let’s revisit the time difference between the residency of one or a group of sub-threshold ACO2 molecules and the increase in atmospheric mass of CO2; that time difference is, according to you, ~5 years for the former and ~ 38 years for the latter; sink activity is continuous and increasing while CO2 contribution is static; this is depicted in your graph;

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

    The graph does not show the sink increase but it would run ~ mid-way between the curve for cumulative ACO2 emissions and the CO2 increase; if the residency of ACO2 is ~ 5 years [my calculations show less but we’ll let that pass] then there will be an additional increment to the growth in sink curve after the first 5 years; as time passes and ACO2 increases then there will be a commensurate increase in the rate of growth of the sink but not enough to lessen the gap between the ACO2 curve and the CO2 curve; in effect, if the ACO2/CumEmiss curve is the proxy for the residency and the CO2 curve the proxy for the increase in mass, then if ACO2 emissions ceased the sink capacity would exceed the CO2 level considerably so that reduction of that CO2 concentration would not just depend on the pressure difference between ocean and atmosphere [which would reduce with declining CO2] but on the still active bio-sink [which is the bulk of the sink expansion not the ocean hence the concern about ocean acidification is misplaced]; this active bio-sink would greatly increase the rate at which the additional mass of CO2 declines. The point is as ACO2 increases and the sink expands the mass time also declines.

  225. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    Interesting that Seagull, (SJT) and Sod continue their relentess delivery of ad homs in my direction – copping this much flak tells me I am hitting the target.

    What’s the problem boys, run out of ammunition save for the your tiresome ad homs?

  226. Rob Mitchell September 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    Hey Jennifer and fellow sceptics,
    You seem to missing the critical point about residence time and the relationship to henry’s law!
    At equilibrium the airborne fraction of CO2 is only 1/50 of the dissolved fraction in oceans. (at constant temp)
    To double the atmospheric fraction at equilibrium would require doubling the total carbon in the system (ie add 800GT X 50 =40000GT)
    At the current rate of 8GT it would take 5000 years to double the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere because 49/50 part of CO2 will be absorbed into the ocean. This is why they falsely claim a long residence time, without it 98% of ACO2 will end up in the ocean in 5 years. The CO2 increase is caused by warming of the oceans, which alters the airborne to liquid ratio, ie if the ratio increases from 100:2 to 100:3 the atmospheric concentration will increase 50%.
    For more on this read
    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V12/N31/EDIT.php

  227. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    Rob,

    That is basically Tom Segaldstat’s point of the 1:50 ratio for air/water re CO2 which I assume forms the content of your reference….

  228. SJT September 29, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    What’s the problem boys, run out of ammunition save for the your tiresome ad homs?

    It’s not an ad hom if it’s true, Louis.

  229. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    Ferdinand,

    “I don’t want to discuss the origin of methane and oil, as I have not so much knowledge about that. But that doesn’t change the fact that the emissions from these fuels by burning them are at the origin of the decline of d13C levels in the atmosphere and the upper oceans.”

    I am not concerned with the origin of methane – just pointing out that D13C/12C cannot be used to discriminate biotic from non biotic carbon sources.

    “Vegetation decay/burning is not the cause, as the oxygen deficit shows.
    Alternatively, the decline is by natural degassing of methane or another (unknown) low carbon source, but then we have the problem that the release of natural methane should have exactly the same timing and ratio as what the burning of fossil fuels gives, while the d13C level didn’t change much over the past 10,000 years…”

    From what was the d13C level determined from for the past 10,000 years – could only have come from proxies, and not, obviously, direct measurements of the atmosphere.

    Indeed a problem since the istopic ratio of liquid hydrocarbon and methane emissions from the crust would be the same. I suspect the classic case of comparing apples and oranges.

  230. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    Seagull: “The list of non-science Louis believes is long. I’d be extremely sceptical of anything he says.”

    List them, then.

  231. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    Ferdinand,

    In addition the isotope issue was directed at the gulls here, who insist that this ratio is capable of differntiating anthropogenic emissions from non anthropogenic; it doesn’t and the ultimate origin of carbon is irrelevant. Hence the decrease in d13 tC could either be attributed to an increase in C12 into the atmosphere, or that C13 is removed from the atmosphere.

    Since there is a disparity between the present atmospheric d13C variation over the last couple of hundred years, and the d13C for the last 10,000 years, this needs to be reconciled before any conclusions could be made from the current measurements.

  232. cohenite September 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    Further to Rob and Louis’s point about the 1:50 ratio; this would be enhanced with the increase in the bio-sink as I mention above. As I said, despite Ferdinand’s arguments I think the issue of ACO2 being the sole cause of the increase in CO2 is not settled.

  233. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    Cohenite,

    Given my earlier repetition of the Carbon isotope issue in which C13 depletion seems to occur when, in this case methane, hydrocarbons ascend through “rock” that progressively strips C13 chemically, hence enriching C12, then I then wonder whether atmospheric C13 is preferentially removed chemically by the oceans under changing temperature, and also causing a C12 enrichment in the atmosphere that is in a dynamically chemical equilibrium with the oceans, maintaining the ~ 1:50 proportion demanded by Henry’s Law.

    If so has research been done on this? Indeed has this possibility been even “considered”?

    The religious are always so “certain”, while scientists generally so “uncertain”.

  234. cohenite September 29, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    Louis, Steve Short and Julian Flood have provided good posts on the selective absorption/consumption of C13 by various organisms – plankton, cynaobacteria – but there doesn’t seem to be many references to what is a fairly crucial point.

  235. SJT September 29, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    Louis, Steve Short and Julian Flood have provided good posts on the selective absorption/consumption of C13 by various organisms – plankton, cynaobacteria – but there doesn’t seem to be many references to what is a fairly crucial point.

    Purely speculative nitpicking. The numbers add up pretty well.

  236. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 30, 2009 at 2:33 am #

    John F. Pittman September 29th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I am not sure what you mean. The oxygen balance is used to have an idea of the partitioning of the CO2 sinks between oceans and vegetation. Total oxygen use from fossil fuel burning can be calculated and the difference between the calculated amount and what is measured as O2 depletion is what vegetation uses (for decay) or releases (for growth). In this case there is a slight deficit (since 1990), thus vegetation growth is larger than vegetation decay.

    Based on the oxygen deficit, Battle e.a. calculated that about 1.4 +/- 0.8 GtC is absorbed by vegetation and the rest of the CO2 which is missing in the atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans at 2 +/- 0.6 GtC per year. See Battle e.a. at:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/287/5462/2467.pdf

    The large margin of error around the calculation is mainly the result of the accuracy of the O2 measurements, the O2 variability from the oceans (as result of ocean temperatures) over the years plays a secondary role…

  237. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 30, 2009 at 3:33 am #

    cohenite September 29th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    As you can see in the graph, both CO2 emissions and atmosphere go up in parallel, but so does the sinks too: the pressure difference works for oceans ánd vegetation (including in the oceans). But the opposite is true too: if we stop the emissions today, the pressure difference remains the same the first year, but as about 4 GtC CO2 sinks in the oceans and vegetation, the pressure difference the next year is lower, thus less is absorbed…

  238. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 30, 2009 at 3:49 am #

    Rob Mitchell September 29th, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Rob, Segalstad is right and wrong: the whole discussion started with the different definitions that the IPCC uses: they use it for the residence time of an excess quantity (whatever the origin), not for the fate of an individual molecule (whatever the origin). The first residence time is about 38 years (forget the 100 years of the IPCC), the second about 5 years.

    The 1:50 ratio indeed is true, but the oceans are slow transmitters, thus only a part of the 8 GtC/year emitted finds its way to the deep oceans (the upper part of the oceans follows the atmosphere much faster). Thus as long as we increase our emissions year by year, the levels in the atmosphere will increase further. If the emissions level off, we will see that the level in the atmosphere will reach a new equilibrium where net sinks = emissions. And if we stop all emissions today, the levels will drop back…

    The increase of CO2 is not caused by warming oceans: the about 1 degr.C increase since the Little Ice Age is good for about 8 ppmv increase, the rest is from the emissions…

  239. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 30, 2009 at 4:20 am #

    Louis Hissink September 29th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Louis, the d13C measurements over the past 600 years are direct measurements of the calcite in coralline sponges, which don’t show fractionation of the d13C ratio when calcite is formed directly from bicarbonate in seawater. These show very small (temperature dependent) variations until about 1850. Since then the d13C levels in shallow waters of the ocean sinks in ratio with the emissions.

    For atmospheric d13C, we have direct measurements (since about 1980), before that measurements in firn and ice cores. These are also direct measurements, not proxies, be it that there is a slight gravitational fractionation (increasing the d13C level) during the diffusion through the firn, for which is corrected. There is no fractionation of CO2 of different molecular weight due to the closing process of the bubbles, thus no change in d13C level.
    In that way the ice core-firn-direct measurements give a reasonal picture of what happened with the different carbon isotopes over the milennia.

    In itself it is not possible to distinguish between fossil fuels, methane releases and vegetation decay, but as vegetation decay is more than compensated by vegetation growth (based on oxygen use), that should increase the d13C level of the atmosphere, while we see a decrease. That makes also that huge releases of methane or other hydrocarbons are unlikely, as these also use oxygen when transfered into CO2 and water in the upper troposphere.

    Thus while the d13C itself is insufficient for identification of the source, the oxygen use shows that vegetation + natural methane/hydrocarbon releases are not the main source of the increase.

    There is a fractionation both ways between oceans and atmosphere, in both cases the transfer of 13C is slower than for 12C. The net effect is a decrease of about -8 per mil over the CO2 cycle between atmosphere and oceans. As the (pre-industrial) ocean d13C level was about +2 per mil (0-5 per mil for the upper oceans), the atmosphere was at -6 per mil d13C.
    Today the atmosphere is at -8 per mil. If the oceans were emitting more CO2 (or even circulating more CO2), the d13C levels in the atmosphere would go up…

  240. Louis Hissink September 30, 2009 at 5:03 am #

    Ferdinand,

    Norm Kalmanovitch uncovered from interesting data on human emission percentages http://climaterealists.com/?id=4059.

  241. Louis Hissink September 30, 2009 at 6:56 am #

    Ferdinand,

    You write: “In itself it is not possible to distinguish between fossil fuels, methane releases and vegetation decay, but as vegetation decay is more than compensated by vegetation growth (based on oxygen use), that should increase the d13C level of the atmosphere, while we see a decrease.”

    “That should increase the d13C level…”.

    Where is the data showing this? Writing “should increase the d13C level ” means we don’t know but assume that vegetation growth does do this. So does it?

  242. Ferdinand Engelbeen September 30, 2009 at 7:04 am #

    Louis Hissink September 30th, 2009 at 5:03 am

    I saw Norm K’s work a few days ago. His reasoning is completely in error: The total increase in the atmosphere is less than the anthro emissions, thus the contribution of the natural flows (770,000 – 781,000 = -11,400) is negative, thus one can’t say that the human contribution is only 4.27%, as there is zero net increase due to the natural flows.

    Simply said: one can’t count half part of a full cycle as “input” and forget the effect of the other halve (some bankers did something similar, meanwhile we know the result…).

    Because of that, the rest of the reasoning has no meaning, the more that he doesn’t take into account the effect of an increase of CO2 on a dynamic system in (dis)equilibrium.

  243. John F. Pittman September 30, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    Ferdinand to make sure we are in agreement, I compute, based on your cumalitive graph, it would take 8 years for us to reduce the accumulated anthropogenic CO2 added to less than 1% of the accumulation. Do you agree?

  244. John F. Pittman September 30, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    To be clear, if we reduced all anthropogenic emissions of CO2 to zero.

  245. cohenite September 30, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    Ferdinand; Table 3 from DOE which Norm K uses has been discussed for some time, usually in comparison with Figure 7.3 of AR4; both Table 3 and Fig 7.3 show the comparative flux of CO2/ACO2 annually; the differences are, in Table 3 that ACO2 must be 2.91% of the annual increase of CO2; this is simply arrived at by 23100/793100 = 2.91; in Fig 7.3 the % is 8Gt/218.2 [where 8 = the amount of ACO2 and 218.2 the total ACO2/CO2] = 3.67%. From this flows the residency rate which is calculated by 1.5/100 x 3.67[or2.91]/100 where 1.5 = the % residual of CO2 after all sinks; this gives an amount of 5.505 to the -04; this in turn gives one ACO2 molecule the odds of being in the atmosphere after 1 year of 1 in 1811.594203; after the 2nd year the odds are 1 in 120772.95; after 5 years the probability is 1 in 356768652 which is about what the cost of the ETS will be in dollars over the next few years.

    But all this is just fun; a couple of points; absorption by vegetation sinks is not affected by the pressure differential as ocean water is; and this includes the vegetation and bio-sinks in water such as cynaobacteria which are huge and expanding sinks, so my previous remarks about CO2 mass decline time if all ACO2 emissions cease holds; which is, as sink capacity increases then the time for the CO2 mass increase to decline back to its original level must also decrease. This is a crucial point and impacts on all the AGW time periods for the so-called equilibrium response to occur [if there can be an equilibrium response to increases in CO2 when any transient response is missing in action].

    Secondly you say this about Norm K’s calculations [which admittedly are wrong];

    “The total increase in the atmosphere is less than the anthro emissions, thus the contribution of the natural flows (770,000 – 781,000 = -11,400) is negative, thus one can’t say that the human contribution is only 4.27%, as there is zero net increase due to the natural flows.”

    This simply does not make sense because it ignores that the sinks have increased; that increase in sink can accomodate an increase in both ACO2 and CO2. If CO2 has increased then as per my last example ACO2 cannot be soley responsible for the increase in CO2 mass;

    1900: 290ppm
    2009 ~390ppm
    Total increase = ~100 ppm
    As FIg 7.3 and Table 3 show the % of ACO2 contribution to that increase is either 2.91 or 3.67% [because you cannot distinguish ACO2 from CO2 as our discussion about isotopes has revealed]; therefore increase in CO2 mass has been caused by natural CO2 by about 97% or 97ppm.

  246. Louis Hissink September 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Ferdinand,

    You are being disengenuous – natural source emission is 770,000 MMT, human is 23,100 MMT, making a total 793,100 MMT CO2 emissions, with total Absorption at 781,400 and hence the net increase into the atmosphere is 11,700 MMT.

    Of course the natural increase is less than the anthro emissions, since any CO2 we emit is also absorbed into the various sinks – CO2 is not conveniently labelled A-CO2 and N-CO2, (anthro vs natural) so that Gaia then absorbs N-CO2 but refuses to absorb A-CO2.

    In terms of percentage of source CO2 human contribution is as cohenite calculates, ~3%, and if you do not accept this number, then you must then, logically, reject the IPCC numbers as well.

  247. Tim Curtin September 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    One of the problems in recent posts arises from the IPCC’s incomplete budgeting of the carbon cycle.

    The atmosphere is like a warehouse, and thanks to David Keeling, Pieter Tans & co, we know the Opening Stock on 1st January every year and the Closing Stock as of 31st December. In 2008 the opening was 383.54 ppm or 814.89 GtC, and the Closing was 385.54 ppm or 818.50 GtC, an increase of 3.61 GtC or 0.44%. That change in the heavenly Stock was the outcome of (1) ALL emissions from both “natural” (including geophysical) and “anthropogenic” sources, including – but generally overlooked – both all respiration (e.g. death & decay, at about 70 GtC p.a.) and also exhalation from all non-plant living matter; the USG’s immaculate EPA conception puts us humans’ annual exhalation at 2.56 GtC for a population that will soon be 7 Billion; probably at least as much is due to all non-human animals and fish; fossil fuel and so-called landuse change account for around 10 GtC p.a.; and (2) all ‘absorptions’ or ‘uplifts’, of which 110 GtC pa via photosynthesis (according to FAO’s Livestock’s Long Shadow, p.85), and “diffusion” into the oceans (anyone’s guess, as not measured).

    Given the change in the Stock of only 3.61 GtC in 2008, if TOTAL emissions were say 85 (or130) GtC, then TOTAL Uplifts MUST have been 81.39 (or 126.39) GtC in 2008.

    All this is merely book-keeping, and every under-statement of emissions necessarily implies an equal under-statement of Uplifts. That is a step too far for the brain capacity of the Garnaut-Enting-Steffan gang, as they cannot grasp that their demands for a zero carbon economy necessarily means a reduction in Uplifts for feeding us and all those cuddly polar bears and whales.

    Garnaut’s double-think on this was splendidly on view at his Emeritus Faculty Lecture at ANU on 14th September and on Lateline on Monday 28th. when he (1) bemoaned Kev’s failure to adopt his 60-90% reduction in emissions from 2000, and (2) called for massive biosequestration, as if that does not happen already in Australia’s wheat and pastoral lands despite his hostility – but which will “wither on the vine” if there’s no rising CO2, as a result of his asinine ETS.

  248. SJT September 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    In terms of percentage of source CO2 human contribution is as cohenite calculates, ~3%, and if you do not accept this number, then you must then, logically, reject the IPCC numbers as well.

    It’s like a bath that is near the top, but the plug is out. Water is going in just as fast as it drains out. We start pouring in a small extra amount of water, and the bath overflows. The reason it overflowed is because we started pouring in a small, extra, amount of water. However, the water overflowing is mostly the water coming from the tap. It’s not that hard to understand.

  249. RW September 30, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    Indeed SJT – it’s not at all hard to understand. The fact that the overflowing water is mostly from what was already there and only partly from the new water flowing in is both obvious and irrelevant. Do you suppose they actually can’t understand this, or is it that they don’t want to? I’m not sure if I pity the pure boneheadedness or the self-lobotomisation more.

  250. Tim Curtin September 30, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    I have seldom read such moronic rubbish as the latest from even sjt and RW. Water is not a pollutant, neither is CO2, and it is immaterial how you apportion additions from both to either the atmosphere or the bath overflow. Pre-Garnaut (and Stern) economists understood that money like CO2 and H2O is “fungible”, alas no more, least of all in the IPCC with its ludicrous atmospheric “lifetime” estimates of individual molecules of CO2. Name one IPCC jerk who could even define the word “fungible’.

    As Alan Barron has said elsewhere today: Doctor Hansen has postulated that the `safe’ upper level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is 350 ppm. Policy makers have uncritically accepted this arbitrary figure with many becoming panicked because with current levels of CO2 at 385ppm, the world is facing an immediate threat because the `safe’ limit has been breached.

    However, 150 million years ago, when dinosaurs flourished cCO2 levels were much higher than today. This was due to there being an abundance of lush vegetation all over the globe including the polar regions and so life flourished. And what was the carbon concentration then? 2,000 ppm!

    Back in the Cambrian period, some 500 million years ago, CO2 levels were 4,800 ppm!

    During the interglacial CO2 levels shrunk to 200 ppm and life struggled to survive.

    Conclusion: the current level of atmospheric carbon is nothing to be concerned about. Carbon is life affirming, and present CO2 levels pose no threat to life, or the climate. It’s high time [the] arbitrary definition of a `safe’ level for CO2 at 350 ppm was not only challenged, but rejected.

  251. SJT September 30, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Conclusion: the current level of atmospheric carbon is nothing to be concerned about. Carbon is life affirming, and present CO2 levels pose no threat to life, or the climate. It’s high time [the] arbitrary definition of a `safe’ level for CO2 at 350 ppm was not only challenged, but rejected.

    Sure Jim, but not life as we know it.

  252. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 1, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    John F. Pittman September 30th, 2009 at 8:45 am

    John, it is more complicated than that. If we zero our emissions today, then the next year the level would be 2 ppmv lower, as we have the same (partial) pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans (and water in alveoles of land plants – ocean plants are already oversaturated). The partial pressure difference between atmospheric CO2 and ocean CO2 is only 7 ppmv in average, despite an increase of 100+ ppmv, as the increase in the atmosphere is readily followed by an increase in the upper oceans. See Feely e.a.:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml

    The second year, the pressure difference is not 7 ppmv anymore, but only 5 ppmv, thus the drop in the second year would be only 1.4 ppmv, etc… This would end asympthotic to still high CO2 levels (which is part of the IPCC reasoning for “CO2 is forever”), but another mechanism is helping: a certain level of CO2 is exchanged between the atmosphere and the deep oceans (directly or via the upper ocean level). Based on the d13C trends, my estimate is that this is about 40 GtC/year, which takes most of the atmosphere/ocean sinks of about 2 GtC to the deep oceans, where it gives a very small addition to the huge amounts present.

    That is the reasoning behind Peter Dietze’s 38 years for a halve life time of excess CO2 in the atmosphere. That means that the 100+ ppmv CO2 higher than pre-industrial, or 390 ppmv we see today, will drop to 340 ppmv in 38 years, 315 ppmv in 76 years, 302.5 ppmv in 114 years,… Only a small fraction of the about 400 GtC we emitted in total over time will return from the deep oceans as a slight remainder of the emissions.

  253. Neil Fisher October 1, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    SJT wrote:

    It’s like a bath that is near the top, but the plug is out. Water is going in just as fast as it drains out. We start pouring in a small extra amount of water, and the bath overflows. The reason it overflowed is because we started pouring in a small, extra, amount of water. However, the water overflowing is mostly the water coming from the tap. It’s not that hard to understand.

    In order to make this analogy more closely represent climate, we need to make a few changes. Firstly, the level in the tub moves up and down, mainly because both the tap and the drain vary in the amount they carry and these variations are not in synch. Furthermore, the drain also varies it’s rate of draining depending on how much water is in the tub. And the variation in the amount of water in the tub is significantly greater than the amount of exta water we are pouring in. Oh, and the tub is currently only about 10% full, even though we can see the rings around the tub from when it was 90+% full. Despite that, we have people suggesting that overflow of the tub is imminent, and that it’s all down to the extra water we are pouring in.
    There – fixed.

  254. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 1, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    cohenite September 30th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Cohenite, you are right and wrong: indeed the sinks in average have increased, but that is because of the increase in absolute partial pressure in the atmosphere, and therefore a reduction of partial pressure difference of CO2 in the warm parts of the oceans (thus reducing the ocean’s outgassing) and increasing the partial pressure difference of CO2 at the cold parts of the oceans (thus increasing the uptake). But when we stop the emissions, the pressure difference drops too, as I explained to John. That means that the outgassing increases and the sinks decrease…

    About the increase in the atmosphere: you still confuse the “quality” of the increase (that is how much % of aCO2 still is in the atmosphere, which is indeed only a few %) with the “quantity”, where 100% of the increase is caused by aCO2.

    Think what would happen with the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere if we stop all emissions: with 0% aCO2, the level will drop with 2 ppmv the first year, etc… thus the emissions were responsible for the increase in the first place.

    I have tried to graph the effect of the difference between aCO2 fraction decay and excess CO2 decay, based on realistic exchange rates:
    Imagine that we had a pre-industrial atmosphere at 280 ppmv, or 580 GtC and we suddenly add 100 GtC without any further addition (a pulse response…). What happens with the aCO2 and what happens to the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere?

    Well, here is the graph:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/fract_level_pulse.jpg
    Where FA is the fraction of aCO2 in total atmospheric CO2, FL the fraction of aCO2 in total upper level oceanic CO2 (not important here) and FA/FL their ratio. tCA total carbon in the atmosphere and nCA total carbon of natural origin in the atmosphere.

    I think we may agree that if you add 100 GtC aCO2 at once in the atmosphere, that the total increase after that addition indeed is 100 GtC and 100% caused by aCO2 (which means that the fraction FA goes from zero to 14% at once).

    In the next years, about 150 GtC/year of the atmospheric CO2 is exchanged with CO2 from the oceans and vegetation. The second is less important (aCO2 absorbed at the start of growth largely returns by decay in fall/winter), but the about 100 GtC/yr exchange with the oceans is mostly fresh natural nCO2 (high d13C) as input, while the ocean sinks absorb aCO2 in ratio of what is found in the atmosphere. Thus the fraction FA drops rapidely with the exchange rate of 5.2 years half life.

    But what happens with the total quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere: although 150 GtC/year circulates back and forth over the seasons, that doesn’t change anything in the total quantity, except for the (relative) tiny amount of 4 GtC/yr that is absorbed by the oceans (ánd vegetation in this case). The total amount of CO2 thus decreases slowly, compared to the fraction of aCO2. That gives the remarkable view that the amount of natural CO2 in the atmosphere increases (at the cost of aCO2), while the total amount of CO2 decreases…

    I have done the same calculations, but now with the calculated emissions over the past 160 years as base, with the same assumptions of exchanges as in the first graph and added the observed CO2 increase:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/fract_level_emiss.jpg
    Seems a near fit (I admit, I have tuned the different exchange flows to make it fit, but these flows are based on existing estimates, thus not far off reality).

    And as extra check, with the same exchange rates, I have plotted the calculated and observed d13C levels in atmosphere and upper oceans for the emissions: not a complete fit (some more finetuning needed, maybe including some effect of vegetation), but the general trends are not extremely diverging:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/d13c_calc_obs.jpg

    Thus please, make a differentiation between the fate of CO2 of human origin still in the atmosphere, which is completely unimportant, and the cause and fate of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, which is (near) completely from the anthro emissions.

  255. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 1, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    Neil Fisher October 1st, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Neil, some correction:

    And the variation in the amount of water in the tub is significantly greater than the amount of exta water we are pouring in.

    This is not true: the year-by-year variability around the measured trend of CO2 in the atmosphere is +/-1.5 ppmv at maximum around an increasing trend of +2 ppmv/year and emissions of +4 ppmv/year nowadays. In not one year of the past 50 years, the natural variability exceeded the emissions, neither are the drains exceeding the small extra supply (but indeed they increase in ratio with the supply). See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg

    The other points: if the increase will have much effect (and if it has _much_ effect, is that beneficial or not), that is a complete different point, and there we may agree to a large extent…

  256. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 1, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    Louis Hissink September 30th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Ferdinand,

    You are being disengenuous – natural source emission is 770,000 MMT, human is 23,100 MMT, making a total 793,100 MMT CO2 emissions, with total Absorption at 781,400 and hence the net increase into the atmosphere is 11,700 MMT.

    Of course the natural increase is less than the anthro emissions, since any CO2 we emit is also absorbed into the various sinks – CO2 is not conveniently labelled A-CO2 and N-CO2, (anthro vs natural) so that Gaia then absorbs N-CO2 but refuses to absorb A-CO2.

    In terms of percentage of source CO2 human contribution is as cohenite calculates, ~3%, and if you do not accept this number, then you must then, logically, reject the IPCC numbers as well.

    Louis, I know that it is very difficult to explain the difference between the amount of aCO2 still in the atmosphere (which is not important) and the cause of the total increase in CO2 (which is important). I’ll try to give another example:

    You have 100 US dollar (euro, yen,…) in your pocket. You sell something to a Canadian and receive 20 CAN$. Assuming that 1 US$ = 1 CAN$, you now have $120 (US+CAN) in your pocket. Now you have a lot of transactions (a turnover of maybe $1000 in and out) during the rest of the day, where you give out your money and receive some money, the latter all paid with US$. At the end of the day, the final count is that you have $110 in your pocket, of which 2 CAN$ and 108 US$.

    The essence is that only some 2% of your money input is from the Canadian guy, of which is only 0.2% is left in the endresult, but that the Canadian guy is responsible for 100% of the gain from $100 to $110, as without that one transaction you would have had a loss of $10.

    How much CAN$ (the composition) are left at the end of the day is a matter of relative height and composition of the exchanges, how much you have earned or lost (the mass) is a matter of difference between all in/out transactions together, not of the composition of the exchanges, neither the height of any individual transaction.

  257. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 1, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    Tim Curtin September 30th, 2009 at 2:32 pm and all,

    Sorry that I comment so many times. I have had discussions with others for over 2 years now on this topic, it seems one of the most difficult items to explain and understand.

    To begin with the start of the thread: the IPCC estimates are NOT about the fate of a single CO2 molecule in the atmosphere, it is about the fate of an extra amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (which can be discussed, but anyway longer than 30 years). All the other short residence times are about the first definition, which means that a single molecule CO2 in average resides some 5 years in the atmosphere. These two items have (near) nothing to do with each other.

    Indeed, all natural items from exhaling and decay are included in the endresult, but as seen in the measurements, there is little variation in the natural balance over the years, and nature is an overall sink of CO2. The number of animals/people etc. is not very important in the balance: all food and fodder they turn into CO2 has captured at least the same quantity of CO2 from the atmosphere a few months to a few years before…

    For the rest: the effects of the increase, that is a complete different discussion…

  258. Tim Curtin October 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    Many thanks Ferdinand, much appreciated – however, if I may return to my inventory example we have a stock of atmospheric CO2 of around 800 GtC growing at about 0.41% p.a. as a result of a net addition of 1.5 ppm from net emissions of around 3.6 GtC (in 2008). What I suggest really happens is that it a case of LIFO, or last-in, first-out (not a good idea in the case of milk). But in the case of atmospheric CO2, while it is well-mixed, opportunistic plants will grab the easiest available CO2, which will be the most recently emitted because at the lowest level, not having got up very far before being gobbled by our wheat and rice etc.

    There is evidence that indeed [CO2] is somewhat less at below say 2,000 meters, than at Mauna Loa (3,400) – and there is evidence of extra greenery around coal-fired power stations – indeed some of Australia’s best wines come from the La Trobe and Hunter Valleys, home to the country’s biggest coal power stations. So what is likely is that the CO2 at say 10,000 metres is older than that at 1-2,000.

    Be that as it may, I am building up a data base on temperatures at various parts of the world relative to [CO2] at those places. What I find is that e.g. at each of nine locations in California there is ZERO correlation between either the gross levels of T and [CO2] since 1959, or between the annual changes in T and [CO2] – but that when the Mean temperature of the nine is derived, suddenly the R2 begins to improve, because of course what are essentially random variations between the individual locations when averaged can produce a bit of a trend, sometimes up sometimes down, (guess which one is preserved by GISS?) but one that is meaningless, given the total absence of any trend in T or correlation thereof with [CO2] at any individual location. The derivation of GMT by NOAA/GISS from adding up and averaging stations is much like the modus operandi of the hockey stick team when combined with cherrypicking (by deleting all stations with negative or nil trends as is the procedure also at CRUT).

  259. Tim Curtin October 1, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    Further to my last, I now have 16 California stations in my T&CO2 data base. None shows any valid correlation between absolute levels of T and [CO2], as even when R2 reaches ‘as high as’ 0.2, the regressiona yields Durbin-Watson of less than 2, denoting auto-correlation and hence a spurious result. When as the IPCC theory demands we regress annual changes in T against the annual increases in CO2, eg at Tahoe, there is no correlation at all, with R2= MINUS 0.02.

    What appears to be the case is the following. As evident in all IPCC ARs, they rely exlusively on graphic depiction of alleged correlations and never report any regressions at all. Now if we plot both T and CO2 at Tahoe on the same vertical axis, it is quite evident that there is no relationship. But if we plot them on 2 Y-axes, Excel etc create the appearance of a correlation by assuming so many oC per CO2 in ppm. But that is a pure artifact of the software. Regressions all show for all California data (so far) that there are at best only spurious correlations for the absolute T & [CO2] and none at all for dt/dt against dCO2/dt.

    The amazing truth is that just as Mann & co long ago abandoned regressions because they could never get r2>0, so also with all IPCC authors and editors without exception, not one of whom has shown any capacity to undertake real scientific analysis of any data. Team Garnaut has to be added to this list of the studious incompetent.

  260. Louis Hissink October 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    Ferdinand,

    You have no way of knowing how much A-CO2 is in the atmosphere – this is the crucial point I make.

    You might know how much is produced by man, but unless you have control and quantified every other emission of CO2, it will still be impossible to work out how much of that A-CO2 stays in the atmosphere because it cannot be distinguished from any other source.

  261. Louis Hissink October 1, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    Ferdinand,

    It’s simply a mass balance issue – ACO2 is ~3% of the total emissions, and will, everything else being equal, remain at that percentage in the atmosphere and anywhere else.

    To make your case you have to show how A-CO2 can be differentiated from N-CO2.

  262. cohenite October 1, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    Yes, sterling work Ferdinand; But I’m still concerned about a number of issues;
    1 The C12/13 ratio decline as a means of distinguishing ACO2/CO2
    2 The partial pressure difference applying to vegetation absorption; there is no doubt the biomass is increasing;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/10/more-oxygen-%e2%80%93-colder-climate/#more-10736

    This will cause a greater uptake/sink regardless of partial pressure
    3 The real conundrum for me is still the assumed stasis of CO2 emissions and part of that is whether you include human exhalation as natural.
    4 Finally there is a distinct flow accounting difference between us; referring to my previous comment about ACO2 being in any one year ~3% of emissions, which is fairly uncontroversial; with all but 1.5% of all emissions reabsorbed then the ACO2 contribution to increase in that year is still 1.5/100 x 3/100 = >100% of the increase being caused by ACO2. Is this illusionary, boot-straping and growing tail wagging constant dog? Consider, both biomass and humans are increasing; that CO2 flux can’t be constant.

  263. cohenite October 1, 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    Sorry, that should be;

    1.5/100 x 3/100 = < 100%

  264. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 2, 2009 at 6:05 am #

    cohenite October 1st, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    The main difference between you, Louis and me, is that for me the “emissions” from the oceans and vegetation decay are not emissions, but only part of the CO2 cycle, the turnover, and that only the difference after a year counts in the mass balance. As that is negative, there is no “net emission” by nature.

    But regardless of this discussion, the original graph at the start of the thread shows two different definitions of “residence time”, thus the IPCC’s one (about excess mass) and all the other one’s (about individual molecules) are not comparable…

    Louis Hissink October 1st, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Louis, one can make a differentiation through the 13C/12C ratio, if no other low 13C sources are helping. There is no sign for that, as the oxygen use proves. And aCO2 doesn’t stay in the atmosphere: the atmospheric mix (including a few % aCO2) is absorbed at the poles, but does return only after some 1,000 years. Thus only richer in 13C CO2 from the oceans (in the tropics) replaces aCO2 at a rate of 5.2 years half life time…

    All,

    As most is said in this discussion, we may move on to the rapidely expanding story of the Yamal hockeystick. We live in interesting times!

  265. Neil Fisher October 2, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    Ferdinand Engelbeen wrote:

    This is not true: the year-by-year variability around the measured trend of CO2 in the atmosphere is +/-1.5 ppmv at maximum around an increasing trend of +2 ppmv/year and emissions of +4 ppmv/year nowadays.

    If we take yearly averages, then you are quite correct. However, even looking at monthly avergaes from CDIAC, we can see that, for instance, in 2000 there is a ~5ppm seasonal difference; 1990 shows ~5ppm seasonal difference; 1980 shows ~5ppm seasonal difference; and 1970 too. Not exactly, and the variation itself appears to be variable, but of that order, would you not agree?
    Data from here, BTW: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/maunaloa-co2/maunaloa.co2
    I haven’t tracked down the daily measurements, but presumably they would show some variation as well. Assuming your number of 2ppm/year is accurate (I didn’t bother to check and it sounds reasonable from what I know, so I won’t argue) I would say that 5ppm is significantly more than 2ppm – I think two times or more certainly qualifies as “significant”!. If you think 25% is “significant” then the seasonal variation is still signficantly above our contribution (4 + 25% = 5)
    This all, of course, brings up the issue of how much we should average – for a quick and dirty look-see at the data, averages are fine, but as I’m sure you know, we should not be using time series averages in any statistical calculations. As William M Briggs has suggested (paraphrased), you don’t ever, ever, do this. That a great deal of the alarmist literature does this very thing is disturbing. That the times series are also non-stationary seems to be ignored as well. None of this is news to anyone who has had more than a cursory glance at the subject – even the most strident alarmist must be aware of the issue, yet it continues unabated.

  266. Tim Curtin October 2, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Neil

    I much appreciated your last comments, especially re non-stationarity, in the rare cases where there is some apparent correlation for absolute T on abs [CO2] it is always due to non-stationarity.

    I have extended my Mauna Loa analysis showing zilch correlation between [CO2] and temperature there to some 16 or so met stations in California, and 2 in Tasmania, with the same outcome. If you would like to see the Excel outputs, I’d gladly send them to you, if you contact me at

    tcurtin@bigblue.net.au

    It is not that there has been no warming if only until 2003, but that there is no correlation between such changes in T and changes in [CO2]. If I am right, this is potentially a much bigger scandal than the hockey stick, for given the IPCC’s claim of 95% certainty of a predominant anthro role in warming, R2s that never reach 0.01, in fact are usually negative, are even worse than those in MBH.

  267. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 3, 2009 at 2:02 am #

    Neil Fisher October 2nd, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Neil, you can find even hourly CO2 (raw calculated averages from 40 minutes 10 second voltage samples + 20 minutes of various calibration gases) levels of four baseline stations at:
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/in-situ/

    The average trend over a day, even in the months with the largest seasonal change is below the detection limit of the method (0.1 ppmv) and is used to detect local contamination.

    You can use any detailed variability of CO2, but then you are looking at the (local, regional, hemispheric) noise, not at the trend. The seasonal “noise” is much less e.g. in the SH than in the NH and higher at ground level than at altitude. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/month_2002_2004_4s.jpg
    That is because vegetation growth and decay is the primary cause of the variability, thus stronger in the NH.
    The global average seasonal amplitude is about 5 ppmv (just by coincidence about what is going on at MLO) for a global temperature amplitude of about 1 K, thus about 5 ppmv/K.

    The emissions are calculated on the base of sales of fossil fuels, but are only known on yearly averages, while these probably are higher in winter than in summer (except for hot towns with a lot of AC’s at work), thus adding somewhat to the seasonal amplitude.

    Thus the shortest comparison possible is over a year. Which levels out the seasonal variations, but still holds the variability of the natural balance: if there is an increase in sink capacity (1992 Pinatubo), there is less increase in the atmosphere after a full cycle and warm oceans surfaces are less absorbing (1998 El Niño), leading to a stronger increase:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg

    Even in the monthly variability at MLO, one can see the accelleration and decelleration of the increase speed with temperature (need to update the graph for about a year):
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/mlo_co2_seasons.jpg

    The influence of temperature on increase speed is obvious (at about 5 ppmv/K, about the same as for the global CO2 flux over the seasons). But that has little influence on the trend itself, except for the (relative) small increase of temperature since the LIA (the very long term sensitivity of CO2 for temperature changes is about 8 ppmv/K). And as the trend is about 2 ppmv/year, 2-3 years are already enough to show the trend emerging from the seasonal “noise”…

  268. Eli Rabett October 3, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    Curtin still hasn’t figured out that you want to correlate the effect of CO2 on temperature not whatever he is plotting on his abacus after cherry picking some stations.

    ABTW Tim, differencing a noisy signal yields crap, something you learn in the first week of numerical analysis.

  269. Eli Rabett October 3, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Ferdinand, Eli ran across something interesting recently, a paper that claimed that most of the seasonal difference at MLO is from a change of wind direction. In the summer, predominantly from North America, and in the winter from Asia. Lost the link tho. Sorry

  270. Louis Hissink October 3, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    Ferdinand,

    I have been travelling for the last 2 days and will be on the move between two exploration projects some 2500 km apart for the next 3 weeks, so comments here will be infrequent.

    Hence the lack of my comments does not mean I have accepted your reasoning – I just don’t have the time at present to get too involved in the aCO2 and NCO2 issue as I also have the next AIG News publication looming over the horizon as well.

    So I will continue this discussion middle November unless I forget all about it.

  271. Louis Hissink October 3, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    Ferdinand

    One exception: You wrote – “Louis, one can make a differentiation through the 13C/12C ratio, if no other low 13C sources are helping. There is no sign for that, as the oxygen use proves. And aCO2 doesn’t stay in the atmosphere: the atmospheric mix (including a few % aCO2) is absorbed at the poles, but does return only after some 1,000 years. Thus only richer in 13C CO2 from the oceans (in the tropics) replaces aCO2 at a rate of 5.2 years half life time…

    In order to substantiate this you need to list the CO2 sources according to their C13 content as measured.

    I agree that burning hydrocarbons produces low C13 CO2.

    But so also natural methane emissions, and which is greater?

  272. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 4, 2009 at 1:50 am #

    Eli Rabett October 3rd, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Eli, thanks for the comment, I have read that somewhere too, but I wonder how large the influence could be, as the CO2 levels at similar altitude quite rapidely are mixed together within days to weeks, but a detailed comparison can give more insight.

    Further, CO2 levels and d13C levels go in opposite way in the whole NH, be it more pronounced near ground than at altitude. That points to mainly vegetation as cause of the seasonal variation. Thus one need a quite huge difference between the continents for vegetation growth to make that difference…

  273. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 4, 2009 at 2:02 am #

    Louis Hissink October 3rd, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    There are different lists with the d13C level of different fuels, including methane. Here a few of them:
    http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/page34.htm
    http://homepage.mac.com/uriarte/carbon13.html

    What is important is that vegetation is not a source of CO2, it is a sink, as there is oxygen production (thus CO2 incorporation).

    Natural releases of methane don’t need to be enormous, as these have a very low d13C level (-40 per mil and lower), but to be the cause, the d13C level decrease should follow the methane increase in the atmosphere (as indication of natural CH4 emissions). But there is little increase in methane levels over the past decade…

  274. Louis Hissink October 4, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    Ferdinand

    Jack Barrett’s site makes intersting reading – but his section on the origin of fossil fuels is inaccurate – it’s basically Lyellian lyricism – and if that starting point is wrong, then so any deductions therefrom.

    I pointed out in CCnet, in response to Richard Wakefield’s comments about peak oil etc, (read Benny’s CCnets for further information) that while indeed no one has created a natural diamond in the laboratory, no one produced high dalton number hydrocarbons in the lab either from simple increases in P and T. The Abiotic oilers have, however, and the published results are there for all to quibble over. This is simple fact to which no further reactions were published in CCnet.

    The main belief is that the earth does not spontaneously generate hydrocarbons from the mantle region – hence no one bothers quantifying emission of CH4 from the ocean floors etc. AGW theory is based on a belief that all fossil fuels are recycled biomass but that assumption isn’t based on experimental evidence but on well argued specious rhetoric based on logical fallacies.

    AGW is pseudoscience as a consequence, pseudoscience being one in which expert use of the scientific method is used on unverified starting assumption.

    As a result the carbon cycle has to be questioned – and it is significant that the driving force for AGW had its origin in the UK with its Lyellian tradition of using the competence of a legal mindset to establish scientific “facts” in spite of the contradictory physical evidence.

    The Barrett/Bellamy list omits the mantle emissions of carbon.

    And I would like to see the d13/d12 ratio computed for more than one location too – Mauna Loa is, from a sampling theory POV, not representative of the Earth’s atmospheric composition wrt to CO2 isotopes.

    That’s all I will post here on this topic for the time being.

  275. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 5, 2009 at 4:05 am #

    Louis Hissink October 4th, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Louis, the d13C level is known for different places, since about 1980:

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/d13c_trends.jpg

    In ice cores these are measured for the glacials/interglacials and up to near present + in firn. In the upper oceans over the past 600 years. In all cases, there is some influence of temperature on the d13C level, but the spectacular decrease is completely in ratio with the emissions:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif

    Thus in my opinion, there is little doubt that the emissions are the cause of the decline. The alternative that the natural emissions (of methane or other low 13C carbon) are the cause should have been in exact ratio with the emissions, and that is very unlikely…

  276. Neil Fisher October 5, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    Ferdinand, thank you for the information, but I have some questions if you don’t mind. You wrote:

    The global average seasonal amplitude is about 5 ppmv (just by coincidence about what is going on at MLO) for a global temperature amplitude of about 1 K, thus about 5 ppmv/K.

    Does it not concern you that a global average contains a seasonal signal? Perhaps there is a good reason for this (one that springs to mind would be the land/ocean ratios of NH vs SH), but it concerns me that such a well examined and adjusted record displays seaonal variation when it is supposed to be a global metric. It seems to me that such variation shows a hemispheric bias to the NH. Perhaps, not being on the “inside” this is a trivial question, but I suspect many others here would appreciate an explaination if you know of one.

    Secondly, given the statisticians “rule” of never using averages (or filtered data, if you prefer) in subsequent analysis (ref Briggs etc), would you care to comment on the caveats implicit in using yearly averages rather than monthly, or for that matter, daily or hourly numbers? Should we not see the same effects under any averaging conditions (temporal and/or spacial) and if we don’t, should we not suspect artifacts of the process to be responsible, rather than suggesting the filtered data shows us a “truth” that is not apparent in the un-filtered data?

  277. Steven Douglas December 23, 2009 at 6:46 am #

    “It’s like a bath that is near the top, but the plug is out. Water is going in just as fast as it drains out. We start pouring in a small extra amount of water, and the bath overflows. The reason it overflowed is because we started pouring in a small, extra, amount of water. However, the water overflowing is mostly the water coming from the tap. It’s not that hard to understand.”

    That had to be one of the funniest, silliest metaphors I’ve heard on this subject. In either scenario, the “bathwater” flows out of the tub. Sound like a negative feedback to me (i.e., the “water” doesn’t just keep rising and rising”). And the tub — who established the max volume/height, of the tub itself? Would that be the saturation level of atmospheric CO2 (the point at which additional CO2 can no longer add to any warming)? So we’re protecting the floor beneath the tub? What would that represent – space? oceans?

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