Evidence Review Suggests Humans May Not Be The Primary Drivers Of CO2 Concentration Changes

Anthropogenic Emissions ≠

CO2 Concentration Changes

For the last 3 years, human CO2 emissions rates have not risen.  In fact, according to the IEA, we burned slightly more fossil fuels in 2014 than we did in both 2015 and 2016.

Despite the lack of growth – even slight decline – in human emissions rates during 2014 – 2016, the atmospheric CO2 parts per million (ppm) concentration grew rapidly – by more than 8 ppm (397 ppm to 405 ppm).

This lack of compatibility between year-to-year human emissions rate changes and year-to-year atmospheric CO2 ppm changes has existed for quite some time.  Dr. Jamal Munshi describes it as a “necessary condition” for there to be a close correlation between annual fluctuations in human emissions and atmospheric CO2 concentrations.   And yet when he statistically analyzed the Mauna Loa record (1959-present) of CO2 concentration changes, he concluded that they did not correlate with the variance in annual anthropogenic emissions.

Munshi, 2015

A necessary condition for the theory of anthropogenic global warming is that there should be a close correlation between annual fluctuations of atmospheric CO2 and the annual rate of anthropogenic CO2  emissions. Data on atmospheric CO2 and anthropogenic emissions provided by the Mauna Loa measuring station and the CDIAC in the period 1959-2011 were studied using detrended correlation analysis to determine whether, net of their common long term upward trends, the rate of change in atmospheric CO2 is responsive to the rate of anthropogenic emissions in a shorter time scale from year to year.  … [R]esults do not indicate a measurable year to year effect of annual anthropogenic emissions on the annual rate of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.”

 A user-friendly visualization of this lack of correlation between year-to-year human emissions and atmospheric CO2 changes (for 2006-2016) reveals that (a) there was a rise in emissions from 2007 to 2008, but a significant decline in CO2 ppm change; (b) there was a decline in emissions from 2008 to 2009, but a rise in CO2 concentration; (c) from 2010 to 2014, there was a dramatic rise in emission rates, but an overall flat-to-declining trend in CO2 ppm changes; and as mentioned above, (d) there was a slight decline in emissions from 2014 to 2016, but a pronounced rise in year-to-year atmospheric CO2 (corresponding with the natural El Niño-induced temperature increase during 2015-’16).

A Strong Lead-Lag Correlation Between Temperature And CO2 Changes

It has long been recognized by atmospheric scientists that temperature changes are drivers of CO2 concentration variability.  This is especially due to the physical observation that oceans – which have 50 times more dissolved CO2 than the atmosphere does – release more of their vast stores of CO2 during warm years, and they retain more CO2 during anonymously cool years.   For example, Flohn (1982) observed that the oceans contribute almost twice as much to the CO2 concentration change during warm-water years (El Niño) as they do in cool-water years (La Niña), and that the variance in atmospheric CO2 growth is “independent from” anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Flohn, 1982

The recent increase of the CO2-content of air varies distinctly from year to year, rather independent from the irregular annual increase of global CO2-production from fossil fuel and cement, which has since 1973 decreased from about 4.5 percent to 2.25 percent per year (Rotty 1981).”
“Comparative investigations (Keeling and Bacastow 1977, Newll et al. 1978, Angell 1981) found a positive correlation between the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 and the fluctuations of sea surface temperature (SST) in the equatorial Pacific, which are caused by rather abrupt changes between upwelling cool water and downwelling warm water (“El Niño”) in the eastern equatorial Pacific.  Indeed the cool upwelling water is not only rich in (anorganic) CO2 but also in nutrients and organisms. (algae) which consume much atmospheric CO2 in organic form, thus reducing the increase in atmospehreic CO2. Conversely the warm water of tropical oceans, with SST near 27°C, is barren, thus leading to a reduction of CO2 uptake by the ocean and greater increase of the CO2. … A crude estimate of these differences is demonstrated by the fact that during the period 1958-1974, the average CO2-increase within five selective years with prevailing cool water only 0.57 ppm/a [per year], while during five years with prevailing warm water it was 1.11 ppm/a.  Thus in a a warm water year, more than one Gt (1015 g) carbon is additionally injected into the atmosphere, in comparison to a cold water year.”

In the undergraduate-level textbook Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate, Dr. Murry Salby affirms the observation that temperature changes are a significant determinant of atmospheric CO2 changes.
Warming of SST (by any mechanism) will increase the outgassing of CO2 while reducing its absorption. Owing to the magnitude of transfers with the ocean, even a minor increase of SST can lead to increased emission of CO2 that rivals other sources.” pg. 546
“The results for the two periods are in broad agreement. Together with the strong dependence of CO2 emission on temperature, they imply that a significant portion of the observed increase in r˙CO2 derives from a gradual increase in surface temperature.”  pg. 253
“Surface temperature depends on the atmosphere’s optical depth. The latter, in turn, depends on atmospheric composition through radiatively active species. Water vapor is produced at ocean surfaces through evaporation. Carbon dioxide is produced by decomposition of of organic matter. These and other processes that control radiatively active species are temperature dependent.” pg 249, 250
Together, emission from ocean and land sources (150 GtC/yr) is two orders of magnitude greater than CO2 emission from combustion of fossil fuel. These natural sources are offset by natural sinks, of comparable strength. However, because they are so much stronger, even a minor imbalance between natural sources and sinks can overshadow the anthropogenic component of CO2 emission.” pg. 546

Visual representations of the strong lead-lag correlation between global temperatures and CO2 ppm changes are provided below.  According to observations, Humlum et al. (2013) indicate that the change in CO2 concentration “always” follows changes in temperature by 9 to 12 months.

Link to NOAA graph of Mauna Loa CO2 changes

Humlum et al., 2013

“There exist a clear phase relationship between changes of atmospheric CO2 and the different global temperature records, whetherrepresenting sea surface temperature, surface air temperature, or lower troposphere temperature, with changes in the amount of atmospheric CO2 always lagging behind corresponding changes in temperature.”
(1) The overall global temperature change sequence of events appears to be from 1) the ocean surface to 2) the land surface to 3) the lower troposphere.
(2) Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 1112 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.
(3) Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.510 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.
(4) Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.
(5) Changes in ocean temperatures appear to explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.
(6) CO2 released from anthropogenic sources apparently has little influence on the observed changes in atmospheric CO2, and changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.
(7) On the time scale investigated, the overriding effect of large volcanic eruptions appears to be a reduction of atmospheric CO2, presumably due to the dominance of associated cooling effects from clouds associated with volcanic gases/aerosols and volcanic debris.
(8) Since at least 1980 changes in global temperature, and presumably especially southern ocean temperature, appear to represent a major control on changes in atmospheric CO2.

Goldberg, 2008

“[T]he warming and cooling of the ocean waters control how much CO2 is exchanged with atmosphere and thereby controlling the concentration of atmospheric CO2. It is obvious that when the oceans are cooled, in this case due to volcanic eruptions or La Niña events, they release less CO2 and when it was an extremely warm year, due to an El Niño, the oceans release more CO2. [D]uring the measured time 1979 to 2006 there has been a continued natural increase in temperature causing a continued increase of CO2 released into the atmosphere. This implies that temperature variations caused by El Niños, La Niñas, volcanic eruptions, varying cloud formations and ultimately the varying solar irradiation control the amount of CO2 which is leaving or being absorbed by the oceans.”

Essenhigh, 2009

“[With the short (5−15 year) RT [residence time] results shown to be in quasi-equilibrium, this then supports the (independently based) conclusion that the long-term (100 year) rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is not from anthropogenic sources but, in accordance with conclusions from other studies, is most likely the outcome of the rising atmospheric temperature, which is due to other natural factors. This further supports the conclusion that global warming is not anthropogenically driven as an outcome of combustion.”

Ahlbeck, 2009

The increase rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide for the period from 1980 to 2007 can be statistically explained as being a function solely of the global mean temperature. Throughout the period, the temperature differences seem to have caused differences around a base trend of 1.5 ppmv/year. The atmospheric CO2 increase rate was higher when the globe was warmer, and the increase rate was lower when the globe was cooler. This can be explained by wind patterns, biological processes, or most likely by the fact that a warmer ocean can hold less carbon dioxide. This finding indicates that knowledge of the rate of anthropogenic emission is not needed for estimation of the increase rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

CO2 Change Also Follows Temperature Change On Long-Term Timescales

In addition to following temperature changes on short-term (year-to-year) timescales, it is well-established in the peer-reviewed, scientific literature that, from cold glacials to warm interglacials, large (+ or – 120 ppm) changes in CO2 concentrations occurred several centuries after temperature changes occurred.   Of course, if CO2 concentration change follows temperature change rather than leads it, the temperature may be viewed as the cause rather than the effect of CO2 variance.

IPCC AR4 (2007): “Atmospheric CO2 follows temperature changes in Antarctica with a lag of some hundreds of years.”
Caillon et al., 2003     “The sequence of events during Termination III suggests that the CO2 increase lagged Antarctic deglacial warming by 800 ± 200 years and preceded the Northern Hemisphere deglaciation.”
Fischer et al., 1999    “High-resolution records from Antarctic ice cores show that carbon dioxide concentrations increased by 80 to 100 parts per million by volume 600 ± 400 years after the warming of the last three deglaciations.”
Monnin et al., 2001     “The start of the CO2 increase thus lagged the start of the [temperature] increase by 800 ± 600 years.”
Kawamura et al., 2007    “Our chronology also indirectly gives the timing of the CO2 rise at [glacial] terminations, which occurs within 1 kyr of the increase in Antarctic temperature.”
Indermuhle  et al., 2000    “The [CO2] lag was calculated for which the correlation coefficient of the CO2 record and the corresponding temperatures values reached a maximum. The simulation yields a [CO2] lag of (1200 ± 700) yr.
Landais et al., 2013     “[F]rom 130.5 to 129,000 years ago, the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations lagged that of Antarctic temperature unequivocally….At mid-slope, there is an unequivocal lead of δ15N [temperature] over CO2 of 900 ± 325 yr”.
Schneider et al., 2013    “Furthermore, a  5,000 yr lag  in the CO2 decline relative to EDC [East Antarctica] temperatures is confirmed during the glacial inception at the end of MIS5.5 (120,000 yrs before present).”
Stott et al., 2007     “Deep-sea temperatures warmed by ∼2°C between 19 and 17 thousand years before the present (ky B.P.), leading the rise in atmospheric CO2 and tropical–surface-ocean warming by ∼1000 years.”

Lack Of Correlation Between Fossil Fuel Emissions And CO2 Airborne Fraction

According to models, the fraction of accumulated CO2 in the atmosphere from fossil fuel emissions (the airborne fraction) should understandably correlate with changes in fossil fuel emissions.  This correlation has not been observed.  In fact, as climate activist and former NASA director Dr. James Hansen indicates, the airborne fraction from fossil fuels (blue line) sharply declined after 2000 just as fossil fuel emissions (red line) growth rates doubled from 1.5% per year to 3.1% per year during 2000-2011.  In other words, the trajectories went in opposite directions than expected (models) after 2000, and they didn’t correlate between 1960-2000 either.

“However, it is the dependence of the airborne fraction on fossil fuel emission rate that makes the post-2000 downturn of the airborne fraction particularly striking.  The change of emission rate in 2000 from 1.5% yr-1 [1960-2000] to 3.1% yr-1 [2000-2011], other things being equal, would [should] have caused a sharp increase of the airborne fraction”   – Hansen et al., 2013

According to Knorr (2009), the lack of a trend in the airborne fraction extends all the way back to 1850.

Knorr, 2009

[T]he trend in the airborne fraction [ratio of CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere to the CO2 flux into the atmosphere due to human activity] since 1850 has been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero. The analysis further shows that the statistical model of a constant airborne fraction agrees best with the available data if emissions from land use change are scaled down to 82% or less of their original estimates. Despite the predictions of coupled climate-carbon cycle models, no trend in the airborne fraction can be found.”

The Incompatibility Of Accepted Holocene CO2 Concentrations And Temperature-Induced CO2 Change

One of the most compelling reasons to agree that there is something unusual (and thus anthropogenic) about modern CO2 levels of over 400 parts per million is to compare current CO2 concentrations to the much lower values for the geologic past (that roughly varied between 180 ppm and 300 ppm).   Indeed, if temperature changes drive CO2 changes, and generally not the other way around, then the temperature records for the last 10,000 years should at least generally co-vary with accepted CO2 concentration values.  They don’t.   During the Holocene (the last 10,000-12,000 years), global-scale surface temperatures rose and remained multiple degrees warmer than now during the very same time periods that CO2 concentrations were at their lowest (~255-260 ppm) of the epoch.  To reiterate, as the agreed-upon Holocene CO2 values rose, temperatures declined, and as the agreed-upon Holocene CO2 values declined, temperatures rose.   This inverted paleoclimate record (as illustrated below and in the link above) is incompatible with the temperature-rise-leading-CO2-rise conceptualization.

Rosenthal et al., 2013

Recognizing this “major inconsistency” in the paleoclimate record, Dr. Salby suggests in his textbook that the CO2 values for the past are likely to be flawed, as they depict “virtually no change” in atmospheric CO2 from warm periods to cool (or cool to warm) periods.

Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate

The resemblance between observed changes of CO2 and those anticipated from increased surface temperature also points to a major inconsistency between proxy records of previous climate. Proxy CO2 from the ice core record indicates a sharp increase after the nineteenth century. At earlier times, proxy CO2 becomes amorphous: Nearly homogeneous on time scales shorter than millennial, the ice core record implies virtually no change of atmospheric CO2.  According to the above sensitivity, it therefore implies a global-mean climate that is “static,” largely devoid of changes in GMT and CO2. Proxy temperature (Fig. 1.45), on the other hand, exhibits centennial changes of GMT during the last millennium, as large as 0.5–1.0◦ K. In counterpart reconstructions, those changes are even greater (Section 1.6.2). It is noteworthy that, unlike proxy CO2 from the ice core record, proxy temperature in Fig. 1.45 rests on a variety of independent properties. In light of the observed sensitivity, those centennial changes of GMT must be attended by significant changes of CO2 during the last millennium. They reflect a global-mean climate that is “dynamic,” wherein GMT and CO2 change on a wide range of time scales. The two proxies of previous climate [global temperatures and CO2 concentration values] are incompatible. They cannot both be correct.” pg. 254

Scientists Challenge The ‘Consensus’ Record Of Pre-1950s CO2 Concentrations

During the 1950s to 1980s, it was common for scientists’ to conclude from ice core measurements that CO2 concentrations varied widely and rapidly during the last 10,000 years, rivaling and even exceeding modern values and rates.  Jaworoski (1997) indicates that published scientific records of Holocene CO2 levels “ranged from 160 to about 700 ppmv, and occasionally even up to 2,450 ppmv“.  For example, as recently as 1982 (Flohn), it was still acceptable to say that CO2 concentrations reached “350 ppm (perhaps 400 ppm) during the Holocene warm epoch 6-8 [thousand years] ago.”

However, it was during the early- to mid-1980s that the modern version of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory had begun to take shape.  More and more scientists embraced the conceptualization of human-caused warming (after having spent the 1970s dabbling in global cooling).  A requisite construct for AGW’s viability was that the modern CO2 concentration needed to be unusual and unprecedentedly high relative to the pre-industrial era so that the modern concentrations could be linked to the rise in anthropogenic CO2 emissions.  Consequently, after about 1985, all the high CO2 ice core measurements obtained and reported in scientific journals were removed from the record.  Only the low CO2 concentration measurements from the Holocene were deemed “correct” and included in canonized reconstructions.  In this way, a low and steady CO2 concentration from the past could be directly compared to a hockey-stick-style spike in the modern era, providing visual evidence that humans were dramatically altering atmospheric CO2 levels.

Jaworowski, 1997

The ice core data from various polar sites are not consistent with each another, and there is a discrepancy between these data and geological climatic evidence. One such example is the discrepancy between the classic Antarctic Byrd and Vostok ice cores, where an important decrease in the CO2 content in the air bubbles occurred at the same depth of about 500 meters, but at which the ice age differed by about 16,000 years. In an approximately 14,000-year-old part of the Byrd core, a drop in the CO2 concentration of 50 ppmv was observed, but in similarly old ice from the Vostok core, an increase of 60 ppmv was found. In about ~6,000-year-old ice from Camp Century, Greenland, the CO2 concentration in air bubbles was 420 ppmv, but it was 270 ppmv in similarly old ice from Byrd, Antarctica. … In the air from firn and ice at Summit, Greenland, deposited during the past ~200 years, the CO2 concentration ranged from 243.3 ppmv to 641.4 ppmvSuch a wide range reflects artifacts caused by sampling, or natural processes in the ice sheet, rather than the variations of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Similar or greater range was observed in other studies of greenhouse gases in polar ice.”
“The failure to resolve the notorious problem of why about 30 percent of man-made CO2 is missing in the global carbon cycle, based on CO2 ice core measurements, suggests a systematic bias in ice core data. It is not possible to explain the ice core CO2 record in terms of a system with time-invariant processes perturbed by a combination of fossil fuel carbon release, CO2-enhanced biotic growth, and deforestation.”
Until 1985, the published CO2 readings from air bubbles in pre-industrial ice ranged from 160 to about 700 ppmv, and occasionally even up to 2,450 ppmv. After 1985, high readings disappeared from the publications. To fit such a wide range of results to the anthropogenic climatic warming theory, which was based on low pre-industrial CO2 levels, three methods were used: (1) rejection of high readings from sets of preindustrial samples, based on the credo: “The lowest CO2 values best represent the CO2 concentrations in the originally trapped ice”; (2) rejection of low readings from sets of 20th century samples; and (3) interpretation of the high readings from pre-industrial samples as representing the contemporary atmosphere rather than the pre-industrial one.”
Neftel, et al. reported in 1982 rather high median CO2 concentrations in the preindustrial ice core from Byrd, Antarctica, of about 330 and 415 ppmv, with maximum value reaching 500 ppmv.  However, in 1988, in the second publication on the same core, Neftel et al. did not show these high readings; the highest concentration reported was 290 ppmv, in agreement with the global warming theory.”
“Pearman, et al. [1986] “on examination of the data,” rejected 43 percent of the CO2 readings from Law Dome, Antarctica core … because they were higher or lower than the assumed “correct” values. Thus, they concluded a value of 281 ppmv CO2 for the pre-industrial atmosphere.”

Kauffman, 2007

“In few fields considered to be science-based has there been such a high degree of polarization and refusal to consider alternate explanations of natural phenomena as in climate change at present.”
The scenario seems to be that between 1985 and 1988, a decision was made to present pre-1958 CO2 concentrations with no humps or dips and to proclaim a pre-industrial level of 280 ppm.”
“Compared with the so-called pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm, a level of 410 ppm was found in 1812, rising to 450 ppm in 1825. There were levels of 370 ppm in 1857, and 4 sets of measurements gave 350–415 ppm around 1940 (Figure 10). From 1870–1920 values remained within 295–310 ppm. From 1955–1965 the values were 325 ppm. Beck chose the most carefully done assays for this graph. One was from Poona, India. An effort not described by Beck was one of 350 determinations near Point Barrow, Alaska, from 1947–1949, with a mean result of 420 ppm (Hock et al., 1952).”
“The CO2 levels found at Mauna Loa range from 315 ppm in 1957 to 385 ppm in 2007, a period of 50 years. They are similar on Antarctica, showing good mixing of the atmosphere. Since there was a bigger rise from 312 to 415 ppm from 1927–1944 (27 years), shown by chemical assays as described above (Figure 10), there should be no reason for alarm at present. The start of the infrared data in 1958 showed a CO2 concentration that was 12 ppm lower by NDIR assay than the best chemical data of the period. The chemical data are very consistent with each other. This discrepancy has never been resolved.”
“From 0–60° north, the period from 1905–1940 showed about 1 °C of warming, then steady or dropping temperatures. The 60–70° north record showed about 1.8 °C of warming from 1922–1960, with sinking temperatures thereafter (Kushnir, 1994). This is the reason why the chemical assays registered a large increase in atmospheric CO2, from 295 ppm in 1885 to 440 ppm in 1944 (Figure 10). Ocean cooling of  ~0.6 °C from 1940– 1970 (Kushnir, 1994) brought CO2 levels down for a while to 325 ppm from 1955–1965 (Figure 10).”

Every so often, though, measurements of past CO2 levels that challenged the agreed-upon “correct” values were allowed to slip past the gatekeepers.  For example, Wagner and colleagues (1999) published a paper in Science indicating that CO2 concentrations naturally rose by 65 ppm in less than a century during the Holocene, which is similar to today’s rates (i.e., CO2 rose by ~70 ppm between 1915 and 2005).

Wagner et al., 1999

Century-Scale Shifts in Early Holocene Atmospheric CO, Concentration
“The initial decrease of the SI in the Friesland phase [~11,400 years ago] suggests that atmospheric CO2 concentrations rose by 65 ppmv in less than a century. … Our results falsify the concept of relatively stabilized Holocene CO2 concentrations of 270 to 280 ppmv until the industrial revolution. Si-based C02 reconstructions may even suggest that, during the early Holocene, atmospheric CO2 concentrations that were >300 ppmv could have been the rule rather than the exception.”

Decadal-Scale Non-Correlations Between CO2 Changes And Human Activity, Temperature

The non-correlations between the accepted CO2 concentrations and human activity not only occur on a year-to-year basis, they may also occur for decades at a time.

For example, between 1938 and 1950, yearly human emissions rose from 1.14 GtC (gigatons carbon) per year to 1.63 GtC per year.  Total  accumulated fossil fuel emissions growth for the period amounted to 17.4 GtC.  And despite this volume of emission, the atmospheric CO2 concentration did not change throughout the entire 12-year period, remaining steady at 311 ppm.

According to the IPCC, our radiative influence on the planet began in the year 1750.  And yet between 1750 and 1875, the growth in human CO2 emissions was effectively undetectable.  During the same period, the accepted values for atmospheric CO2 grew by nearly 12 parts per million, or at “10 times the rate of cumulative anthropogenic emissions”.

Image Source

A glaring lack of correlation between the accepted CO2 concentration and global temperature change spanned 3 decades during the middle of the 20th century.  From 1940 to 1970, world temperatures fell.   During the same period, both human CO2 emissions and accepted atmospheric CO2 concentration levels grew rapidly, rendering a long-term inverse correlation.

Kauffman, 2007

Non-Correlations Rejected, Apparent Correlations Embraced

There are several inconsistencies and incompatibilities with the currently-rendered link between human CO2 emissions and  atmospheric CO2 concentration.

To summarize:

(a) There is a lack of year-to-year correlation between human CO2 emissions and atmospheric CO2 concentration changes, whereas there is an observed correlation between year-to-year (and long-term) temperature changes leading changes in CO2 concentrations.

(b) Defying models, there has not been an observed correlation between the airborne fraction and fossil fuel emissions, and the trajectory for both substantially diverged after 2000 (the airborne fraction fell as fossil fuel emissions rose rapidly).

(c) There is an inverse correlation between the accepted CO2 values for the Holocene and temperature changes for the Holocene.  For example, CO2 concentration rose as temperatures cooled during the Little Ice Age period (1300 to 1900 CE).

(d) During the last few hundred years, there have been multi-decadal periods in which human CO2 emissions and both the accepted atmospheric CO2 concentration and global temperature have been non-correlated or inversely correlated (i.e., 1938-1950, 1750-1875, 1940-1970).

These inconsistencies and incompatibilities and non-correlations are routinely dismissed by those who attribute all or nearly all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 to human activity.  Why?  Because there is a correlation between the post-1970s growth in human CO2 emissions and the rise in atmospheric CO2 (and global temperatures).

Correlations that fit the narrative are embraced – and correlation is often facilely assumed to be the equivalent of causation.  The non-correlations and incompatibilities are simply dismissed as unimportant or immaterial.

For those of us who question the correlative and especially the causal link between human emissions and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, these inconsistencies and incompatibilities need to be thoroughly addressed rather than dismissed.

103 responses to “Evidence Review Suggests Humans May Not Be The Primary Drivers Of CO2 Concentration Changes”

  1. tom0mason

    Another excellent post.
    It is apparent from all this research that as the planet warms natural emissions of CO2 appear to rise, but even high levels of atmospheric CO2 does not appear to have correlation (certainly not evidence of causation) with atmospheric temperatures.
    Or restating —
    Rising temperature appears to increase atmospheric CO2 emissions.
    CO2 levels do not appear to affect global temperature appreciably, if at all.
    Nature, not humans, supply the vast majority of atmospheric CO2 and nature (not humans) controls how it varies.
    As this planet comes out of a recent cold spell (LIA) we should naturally expect the CO2 levels to rise, and expect nature to be able to regulate this production. To say otherwise would go against this planet’s history and would demand exception proof to be shown. The UN-IPCC has no exceptional proof to show what is happening is out of the bounds of normal natural variability. It only has sophistry and poor models.

  2. tom0mason

    Just a few NATURAL sources of CO2 not completely accounted for by UN-IPCC.
    How do these compare to the minute amount that humans produce?

    Significant efflux of carbon dioxide from streams and rivers in the United States David Butman*and Peter A. Raymond
    “These rivers breathe a lot of carbon.” —davId butman, a doctoral student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, who coauthored a recent article published in Nature Geoscience showing that rivers and streams in the United States are “supersaturated” with carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to the atmosphere, releasing an amount of CO2 equivalent to a car burning 40 million gallons of gasoline (enough to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon). Butman and coauthor Pete Raymond, a Yale professor, measured temperature, alkalinity, and pH from samples of more than 4,000 U.S. rivers and streams, and also studied the morphology and surface area of the waterways. They fed this data into a model to determine the flux of CO2 from the water and found that the amount of CO2 given off by rivers and streams “is significant enough for terrestrial modelers to take note of it,” according to Butman. The study revealed that the CO2, after being released by decomposing plants, is making its way from the ground into the rivers and streams. The researchers also determined that an increase in precipitation caused by climate change will create a cycle that leads to increasing amounts of CO2 in the waterways and subsequently in the atmosphere. (sourcE: Yale University) EchoEs “
    Included comment in ‘Recent Changes of Arctic Multiyear Sea Ice Coverage and the Likely Causes’ by Igor v. Polyakov, John E. Walsh, and ronald kWok

    Referencing this paper http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/sites/harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/files/publications/pdfs/Butman_NatureGeoscience_2011.pdf

    …However, these studies ignored the impacts of forests on atmospheric aerosol. We use a global atmospheric model to show that, through emission of organic vapours and the resulting condensational growth of newly formed particles, boreal forests double regional cloud condensation nuclei concentrations (from approx. 100 to approx. 200 cm−3). Using a simple radiative model, we estimate that the resulting change in cloud albedo causes a radiative forcing of between −1.8 and −6.7 W m−2 of forest. This forcing may be sufficiently large to result in boreal forests having an overall cooling impact on climate. We propose that the combination of climate forcings related to boreal forests may result in an important global homeostasis. In cold climatic conditions, the snow–vegetation albedo effect dominates and boreal forests warm the climate, whereas in warmer climates they may emit sufficiently large amounts of organic vapour modifying cloud albedo and acting to cool climate.


    The majority of the Earth’s terrestrial carbon is stored in the soil. If anthropogenic warming stimulates the loss of this carbon to the atmosphere, it could drive further planetary warming1, 2, 3, 4. Despite evidence that warming enhances carbon fluxes to and from the soil5, 6, the net global balance between these responses remains uncertain. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of warming-induced changes in soil carbon stocks by assembling data from 49 field experiments located across North America, Europe and Asia.


    In 1992, it was thought that volcanic degassing released something like 100 million tons of CO2 each year. Around the turn of the millennium, this figure was getting closer to 200. The most recent estimate, released this February, comes from a team led by Mike Burton, of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology – and it’s just shy of 600 million tons. It caps a staggering trend: A six-fold increase in just two decades.

    Then there are estimates about the oceans and seas…

    Contrast and compare with the minuscule amount that humans emit.

  3. AndyG55

    There have been a series of strong El Ninos over the last 70 or so years.

    These are indicative of warmer ocean cycle coming to the surface.

    These currents carry CO2 rich water and that CO2 is gradually released to the atmosphere.

    NATURAL rises in surface temperature driven by the surges from those El Ninos also produces more release of CO2 from land surface regions. (clearly shown in the very first and second charts.)

    Yes, some amount of the rise in CO2 is from humans, but there has also been a large increase in CO2 coming from the oceans and land in the last 70 or more years as they NATURALLY WARM after the coldest period in the last 10000 years.

    I much prefer the SCIENTIFICALLY supported human contribution in the single digit or low teen percentages, to the yapping of a demented AGW cultist who has been shown to be totally ignorant and diametrically wrong on basic every facet of climate science possible.

    1. AndyG55

      Mankind’s small contribution to increased atmospheric CO2 has been nothing but a TOTAL PLUS for the whole planet.

      The irresponsible actions of the ANTI-CO2 cult, in seeking to STARVE plant-life, are tantamount to a crime against the planet and all creatures that live on it.

  4. AndyG55

    OT, good news from Australia.

    The climate propaganda unit called the Climate Institute, has shut down


  5. AndyG55

    OT again,, (sorry Pierre)

    Toxic waste from solar panels is 300 time more than from nuclear


    from the article

    1.Solar = 1/4 the availability of nuclear.

    2.Solar = $500,000/MW less valuable than nuclear in emissions reduction.

    3.Solar = 300 times the toxic waste per MWh compared to nuclear.

    1. SebastianH

      1) is true
      2) is debatable, the source this comes from tries to include intermittency into their calculations and have nuclear power at a capacity factor of 90%. Well, unfortunately load is variable, so with 100% nuclear power the plants would not be able to run at 90%. And with smaller percentages of renewables on the grid the intermittency gets less important as a cost.
      3) how come the “toxic” waste of solar panels can be recycled (in the EU companies are required to do that since 2015)? And regarding cost of getting rid of the waste: they write that it would cost only $71 billion to permanently dispose of the entire inventory of waste and spent nuclear fuel … I see, so it’s suddenly no problem to find a suitable “Endlager” (final store) and it doesn’t costs tens of billions more just to dismantle a few nuclear power plants?

      1. clipe

        So you have no quibble with the statement: “Humans May Not Be The Primary Drivers Of CO2 Concentration Changes”?

      2. AndyG55

        “to include intermittency into their calculations ”

        OMG, are you now DENYING that solar is intermittent !!!!!

        And wind is even worse as an UNRELIABLE, INTERMITTENT non-supply. You KNOW that.. so why do you KEEP LYING !

        You really are in CLOUD CUCKOO land !!

        Once Thorium reactors come into vogue, all that stored nuclear waste become fuel..

        Again.. your ignorance come to the fore. !

      3. AndyG55

        There are nuclear plants that have been running close to 100% capacity for many years, apart from refuelling.

        So yes, 90% is REAL and PROVEN.

        Just like the 90% reliability factor of wind is 5%

        and solar a big fat ZERO.

        1. SebastianH

          Yes, because nuclear is only providing 2.5% of the primary energy consumption. It can’t provide 100% of that and run at 90-100% capacity at the same time. Just like wind and solar can easily work with their lower capacity factors when below a certain percentage of primary energy consumption, but obviously need storage or backup solutions when nearing 100% primary energy consumption.

          1. AndyG55

            Wind and solar provide basically ZERO for large amounts of the time.

            They are ERRATIC and UNRELIABLE.

            France has shown that

            FACTS, seb.. try them, just once in your Parisitic life.

            “It can’t provide 100% of that and run at 90-100% capacity at the same time.”

            What a load of moronic nonsense.

            Nuclear, over 90% of nameplate, SOLID, RELIABLE, CONSISTENT, ON CALL

            Wind and solar are at the very other end of the scale in EVERY respect.

            UNRELIABLE, ERRATIC, CANNOT be depended on

            … only work at 90% of nameplate … basically NEVER. !!! Your own calculations show that.

            Ignoring FACTS is all you have left, isn’t it seb, you poor little brain-washed trollette.

          2. AndyG55

            France has shown that nuclear can carry a whole country as well as helping to sustain supply in other countries, WHEN NEEDED.

            (don’t know why that sentence got chopped)

          3. SebastianH

            Oh thank you for mentioning France, a country which runs on nuclear power. Do you think their nuclear power plants run at 90+% capacity? 🙂

          4. AndyG55

            From one of your greenie sites.

            The fleet’s total generation capacity is 63 GW, and RTE’s website shows an ouput level approaching 55 GW, which is near the maximum (power plants generally do not run far above 90% so they can still provide grid services, such as reactive power).

            That’s 87%, 24/7, seb, with spare for load follow.

          5. AndyG55

            How often did wind run at 87% of its nameplate in Germany the last couple of years, seb ?

            You did the calculation…

            … do you DARE answer? 😉

            heck, it below 50% for 95% of the time in 2015, 2016.

            That’s pretty PATHETIC.. wouldn’t you agree, seb 😉

          6. SebastianH

            France is currently running at 33.3 GW nuclear power output from its 63 GW capacity (https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&page=country&countryCode=FR). That’s a capacity factor of 53%. Those powerplants barely reached 40 GW during the day.

            So no, they aren’t running at 87% 24/7 …. not even close.

          7. AndyG55

            So you deny the data from your own cultists.

            Oh dear… FACTS are really an enema to you, aren’t they.

            Its obviously idling at the moment.. middle of the night.

            Wow, wind is running at 26% capacity, nuclear twice the capacity factor.

            Do you see any solar in that mix… ZERO capacity… OOPS

            Nuclear providing 75% of required electricity, just coasting along with heaps to spare AND ON CALL.( !!

            France is also exporting to several other countries.. because they can.

            You could look at nuclear in other countries
            UK 89% of capacity.
            Germany 82% of capacity
            Belgium 91% of capacity

            I wonder what winter data looks like, hey seb 😉

            The FACT is, that when it comes to operating at high capacity, 24/7 and on call…

            NUCLEAR CAN, and DOES..

            COAL CAN, and DOES..

            GAS CAN, and DOES..

            Wind CAN’T…and doesn’t !

            Solar CAN’T.. and doesn’t !

          8. SebastianH

            You could look at nuclear in other countries UK 89% of capacity. Germany 82% of capacity Belgium 91% of capacity

            There you go. That’s exactly the point I was making. If nuclear is used for baseload and consumption never decreases below capacity, then those high capacity factors are no problem at all. But when you use nuclear to power 100% of your load, you will see a way smaller capacity factor (see France).

            So if you use the intermittency of wind/solar as an argument you have to acknowledge that this is not a problem as long as you can pair it with something like natural gas and no overproduction occurs. And you also have to acknowledge that using nuclear to power everything at a assumed capacity factor of 90% is not possible. Thus point 2) of your original comment isn’t correctly presenting the value of different emission reductions.

          9. AndyG55

            Your reasoning is that of a brain-washed amoeba

            Nuclear can and very often does work at 90% nameplate capacity


            Wind feed in mandates force fossil fule plants to greatly increase their CO2 output


            FACTS are an enema to you seb.

            Now answer the question you gutless worm

            Name any PROVABLE drawbacks to any level of atmospheric CO2 that we are ever likely to reach….

          10. SebastianH

            Going in circles here …

            Nuclear can and very often does work at 90% nameplate capacity

            Only if they aren’t used for all the power generation. Load isn’t constant and no power plant in the world can run at 90% capacity when following the load curve. Is that so hard to understand?

            Wind feed in mandates force fossil fule plants to greatly increase their CO2 output

            How would that work? Let’s say you have natural gas covering 100 TWh of electricity consumption. Now someone builds some wind turbines that produce 5 TWh of electricity. Natural gas power plants now produce just 95 TWh. What is the mechanism that causes them to produce more CO2 than when they were producing 100 TWh?

      4. AndyG55

        I wonder how much it will cost to dismantle and remove all the wind turbines in 15-20 years time, when they become defunct and not worth replacing.

        That includes removing all the massive reinforced concrete pads.

        Its one heck of a mess someone is going to have to tidy up.. almost certainly the taxpayer, because the subsidy swillers will be long gone.

    2. yonason (from my cell phone)
      1. tom0mason

        I’ve just reread your comment at http://joannenova.com.au/2017/06/weekend-unthreaded-167/#comment-1921436 where you state

        “I found this Engineering Toolbox that covers CO2 levels,

        The effects of CO2 on adults at good health can be summarized to:

        -normal outdoor level: 350 – 450 ppm
        -acceptable levels: < 600 ppm
        -complaints of stiffness and odors: 600 – 1000 ppm
        -ASHRAE and OSHA standards: 1000 ppm
        -general drowsiness: 1000 – 2500 ppm
        -adverse health effects may be expected: 2500 – 5000 ppm
        -maximum allowed concentration within a 8 hour working period: 5000 – 10000 ppm
        -maximum allowed concentration within a 15 minute working period: 30000 ppm

        Extreme and Dangerous CO2 Levels
        -slightly intoxicating, breathing and pulse rate increase, nausea: 30000 – 40000 ppm
        -above plus headaches and sight impairment: 50000 ppm
        -unconscious, further exposure death: 100000 ppm"

        That helps to puts the ideas of CO2 as a pollutant in perspective.

        1. yonason (from my cell phone)

          Looks like eng., toolbox has been corrupted, as well.

          At least at the low to intermediate concentrations.

          1. tom0mason

            Yes I had to stop at that ’cause I’ve known some subbies in my time and they assured me that 5,000ppm was normal after the first week to 10 days at sea, no ill effect except that after that everything just smelled wrong!
            He also said that the Soviets (now that dates me) would run their subs at much higher levels.

          2. yonason (from my cell phone)
  6. Charles Eisenstein

    In researching a book on climate change I’ve come to the conclusion that mainstream science is severely underestimating the role of intact, healthy ecosystems in maintaining climate stability. Much of the CO2 released by human activity is indirect, via ecosystem degradation. Degraded ecosystems are also less able to uptake carbon, regulate albedo, and (more importantly in my opinion) regulate the water cycle. The emphasis on emissions among mainstream environmentalists, to the point where “green” is equated to “low carbon,” sucks the air out of the room for other environmental issues that, ironically, might be more important than emissions in terms of climate impact. Anyway, I think the data in this article on the anthropogenic fraction of CO2 might support my thesis.

    Most critiques of the standard AGW narrative come from people who are hostile to environmentalism in general, and who profess right-wing political views. However, I think that the standard AGW narrative is a disaster for environmentalism, and merits critique from the left as well as from the right. The current rush to centralized solutions inevitably gives more power to the same centralized institutions the preside over ecocide and economic oppression. When we are told to “trust science” what we are really being told is to trust what authority says the science says. OK, I won’t try to lay out the whole thesis here, but thank you for collating this information. Very useful in my deep dive into both sides of the issue.

    1. Hivemind

      I read a Scientific American article when I was young, that stated that the Earth would still be the same temperature without any life. Inorganic processes would keep the temperature stable, plus or minus a few degrees.

      It was a long time ago and they still published real science in those days.

  7. Jan Braam

    Here’s my curve-fit on the Mauna Loa CO2 graph.
    Human emissions don’t come in to it.


    1. tom0mason

      @Jan Braam

      Nicely done.

      Your comments at the end chime here “Why not switch axioms…”, makes infinitely more sense.

  8. J Fischer

    The apparent incompatibility of temperature and CO2 over the Holocene vs that found in the modern era is no more. Harde (2017) showed that not only do changes of temperature explain increases of CO2 in the modern times but, when the nonlinearity of temperature dependence is accounted for, they also explain the long time increases of CO2 over the Holocene.

  9. Ned Ford

    This article is based on a gross misunderstanding of the dynamics. Only about a third of annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions wind up in the atmosphere, but the pathway for that is complicated. So I’m not going to explain it all here. Just a couple of quick observations to steer any open-minded folks in the right direction:

    1) Look at the Mauna Loa curve on a monthly basis. It goes up every year, usually peaking in May, and down every year, usually bottoming in October or November. If you convert atmospheric PPM to gigatons, you will be able to follow this better.

    2) This rise and fall was around tens of millions of years ago, when atmospheric CO2 was much higher. It is a function of the differential rates of plant growth and plant decay in the Northern versus Southern hemispheres. The Northern hemisphere has a lot more landmass, and May is when rotting peaks and begins to be overwhelmed by spring growth.

    The natural rise, before fossil fuel use, was caused by ocean outgassing of CO2. In the water, it isn’t CO2, but it converts to CO2. The ocean and the atmosphere are constantly responding to eachother – raise levels of carbon in one, the other absorbs it. When we add fossil fuels, the ocean outgassing is limited by the higher level of CO2 already in the atmosphere, effectively pushing more carbon into the ocean. About a third of fossil emissions goes into the ocean this way, and does not remain in the atmosphere.

    Another 15% or so is absorbed by being put into contact with minerals, mostly calcium, and mostly in rivers and soils wetted by rain. This washes into the ocean in a chemically inert form and does not contribute to the rise and fall of atmospheric CO2.

    3) So what is measured by the Mauna Loa curve and the dozens of similar measurement services around the world which replicate that work, is the accumulation of CO2. It’s a process that involves enough steps, all steps which are affected by weather, rainfall, and a few other things, that it has never been precisely regular, and it never will. But it measures the fact that fossil fuel CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere. When some has entered the ocean, and the system has reached its chemical equilibrium, the CO2 stays in the atmosphere. If we stop emitting, it will decline extremely slowly. There is scientific disagreement about how fast or slow it will decline.

    But what matters is that the warming which results is going to happen in a century or so. The natural cycle was the end of the last ice age. It took 40,000 years from the coldest part to the warmest part. We’re going to see the same amount of warming which took 8,000 years occur in a century or so. And if we ignore the threat, we’ll be locked into two or three times as much warming in a couple of decades – because of the rate of growth of fossil fuels.

    Now, a word about solutions. Wind and solar generation are undercutting coal, natural gas and nuclear. This is a new development, caused by gradual advances in technology and reductions in price, which are now far past the point of market equity. “Baseload” doesn’t matter until we have enough wind and solar to exceed the current ability of natural gas generation to track load. Storage and other solutions are already here, but you don’t know about them because you don’t study energy industry issues. It really doesn’t matter what you, or I, or any elected official thinks about this. The marketplace is speaking, and we will have a clean energy future.

    It only matters if you care about the economy, because clean energy used to be expensive, and now it is fossil and nuclear power which are expensive – too expensive to survive. If you try to prop these failing industries up, you are hurting people, including yourself.

  10. SebastianH

    To summarize:

    (a) There is a lack of year-to-year correlation between human CO2 emissions and atmospheric CO2 concentration changes, whereas there is an observed correlation between year-to-year (and long-term) temperature changes leading changes in CO2 concentrations.

    The lack of correlation?

    Just look at this image from the first paper mentioned here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jamal_Munshi/publication/281111296/figure/fig6/AS:391507698831372@1470354117734/Figure-7-Comparison-of-short-term-fluctuations-in-the-original-time-series.jpg

    Human emissions are far greater in value that the variations caused by temperature changes. If the blue line would be zero the read one obviously would be negative. That’s why human emissions account for 100% of the increase. The temperature variation cause less or more absorption of that surplus CO2 per year. So both result in CO2 concentration rising the way it does, not one or the other.

    (b) Defying models, there has not been an observed correlation between the airborne fraction and fossil fuel emissions, and the trajectory for both substantially diverged after 2000 (the airborne fraction fell as fossil fuel emissions rose rapidly).

    “The airborne fraction is a scaling factor defined as the ratio of the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 to the CO2 emissions from anthropogenic sources. It represents the proportion of human emitted CO2 that remains in the atmosphere.” (from Wikipedia)

    So in a) you ignore human CO2 staying in the atmosphere causing the increase and in b) you acknowledge that about half the emitted CO2 (by humans) remains in the atmosphere each year increasing the atmospheric CO2 content? Weird.

    Airborne fraction staying roughly the same is an amazing thing. So far nature managed to absorb around half of our emissions every year since we have reliable records. (Note: of course not half the CO2 molecules we emit as if they were special, just numberwise half of what we emit)

    (c) There is an inverse correlation between the accepted CO2 values for the Holocene and temperature changes for the Holocene. For example, CO2 concentration rose as temperatures cooled during the Little Ice Age period (1300 to 1900 CE).

    That’s an illusion when you don’t understand math (you are refering to this CO2 graph, right?).

    Together with the partial pressure difference of CO2 in the atmosphere and in the oceans, temperature controls CO2 concentration in the absense of artifical CO2 sources. So there must be a temperature (and concentration) at which – without anything changing – the CO2 concentration would stay the same. Now to the graph … CO2 concentration first is on a downward slope from colder temperatures, then it warms up above that equilibrium temperature and the CO2 concentration drop begins to slow down and turn around (almost like a car rolling backwards and getting slower with forward acceleration applied until it changes direction and drives forward). Then 5000-4000 years ago the temperature must have started declining again and the slope of the upward CO2 curve begins to decrease until a brief flat part). And surprise, that’s what all temperature reconstructions look like: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=temperature+reconstruction+holocene

    (d) During the last few hundred years, there have been multi-decadal periods in which human CO2 emissions and both the accepted atmospheric CO2 concentration and global temperature have been non-correlated or inversely correlated (i.e., 1938-1950, 1750-1875, 1940-1970).

    All explainable by what I wrote in c). But I am a bit surprised here. Wasn’t one of the points of this posts to show that temperature variations cause the CO2 increases/decreases?

    These inconsistencies and incompatibilities and non-correlations are routinely dismissed by those who attribute all or nearly all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 to human activity. Why? Because there is a correlation between the post-1970s growth in human CO2 emissions and the rise in atmospheric CO2 (and global temperatures).

    Have you ever considered that you could be wrong and that there are no inconsistencies? And/or some of the graphs could be wrong?

    Emphasized part: exactly this! And of course what I wrote at the beginning … without human emissions the redline would be in the negative part of the chart. That should be enough to convince anyone that humans are the cause for the overall increase. Temperature contributes as the variation of the increase and together with the differential pressure change to how much of the anthropogenic surplus remains in the atmosphere (airborne fraction).

    Correlations that fit the narrative are embraced – and correlation is often facilely assumed to be the equivalent of causation. The non-correlations and incompatibilities are simply dismissed as unimportant or immaterial.

    Correlations of data from reliable data sources are embraced. That’s all. Some of the data presented in the post contradicts other data in this post (CO2 concentration in the 1940s in multiple graphs).

    What gets dismissed is the notion that temperature variations alone can explain the increase in CO2 concentration in modern times. They merely modulate the overall increase caused by human emissions. Whenever someone compares a detrended graph and completely dismisses the subtracted trend a kitten dies. Seriously, that’s just bad analysis.

    P.S.: Also please don’t compare amounts with different unit, e.g. don’t try to compare the change of human emissions (GtC/year²) with the yearly increase of atmospheric CO2 content (GtC/year).

    1. AndyG55

      Another non-science yapping rant from seb, showing yet again is low-end comprehension of mathematics.

      Most of what he says is fabricated and baseless opinion driven by brain-washed AGW cultism.

      Variability in non-human emissions FAR OUTWEIGHS the tiny fraction of human emissions. FACT.

      Even if humans are a significant contributor to rising CO2 levels, this is TOTALLY BENFICIAL to all life on Earth. FACT

      As seb has continuously shown.. the is ZERO proof that CO2 causes warming of a convective atmosphere or of oceans. FACT.

      Let’s ask that simple question again , see if he answers..

      Name any PROVABLE drawbacks to any level of atmospheric CO2 that we are ever likely to reach….

      Awaiting for yet another comedic reply.

    2. AndyG55

      “That’s why human emissions account for 100% of the increase.”

      OK, seb… I accept you believe your child-minded FALLACY..

      But you do know what that means, don’t you seb..

      It means that the HIGHLY BENEFICIAL increase in atmospheric CO2 will continue for MANY, MANY years, decades, possibly even centuries, to come.

      This a WONDERFUL for the planet..

      Wouldn’t you agree ! 🙂

  11. gallopingcamel

    I was able to calculate a “Sensitivity Constant”. I found a good fit with modern data using a figure of 1.6 K/doubling of CO2 and given the error bands that may seem to be in good agreement with “Consensus Scientists”.

    However I have good reason to believe there is no science here, because the “Sensitivity Constant” varies over a wide range if you change the time interval. Such a constant is an absurdity. We should call it the “Sensitivity Variable”.

    Over most of the last one million years the “Sensitivity Constant” has been 16 K/doubling, so pray tell me why (or how) it magically changed to 1.6 K/doubling in 1850:

    1. tom0mason

      Good point, well said Camel.

  12. Chaamjamal

    Thank you for the link to my work. Here is an update.

  13. Bartemis

    Well, I was a bit late to this party. Kudos to Kenneth Richard for his clearly written presentations. SebastianH ultimately relies repeatedly on the thoroughly discredited pseudo-mass balance argument, that says that if CO2 levels increase by less than the sum total of what we have put in over the years, then the increase is due to us. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of dynamic processes, in which outflow is proportional to all inflow. I.e., sink activity is stimulated by source activity.

    The pseudo-mass balance argument declares all sink activity to be wholly natural, and therefore is moved entirely to the “natural” side of the ledger. But, as sink activity is stimulated by all inputs, there is a portion of it that is brought into being by the anthropogenic input. That portion of the sink activity is, for all intents and purposes, artificial sink activity, and must be moved to the other side of the ledger.

    SebastianH betrays his fundamental misunderstanding in his comment at 2. July 2017 at 2:52 PM, likening the system in question to a static pool of water. If he added in a drain, and a separate “natural” inflow, he would have a better analogy that actually represents the situation. In such a case, the inflow from his garden hose could never affect the steady state level of the water in greater proportion than the proportion of his inflow to the “natural” inflow. If the rise is greater than this, then the cause is a necessarily a change in the natural flow.

    1. AndyG55

      “In such a case, the inflow from his garden hose could never affect the steady state level of the water in greater proportion than the proportion of his inflow to the “natural” inflow.”

      Good analogy , Bartemis.

      (seb-troll enjoys an analogy, but has yet to find a good one)

      But you also need to add a massive, variable circulation pump as well as making the outlet variable.

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