How Much of Atmospheric CO2 Increase is Natural?

August 27th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

NOTE: The following post has led to many good comments. The best argument advanced that I am wrong is from a ~1,000 year record of CO2 from the Law Dome ice core (a record I was unaware of) which suggests the recent CO2 increase is almost entirely anthropogenic in origin.

I frequently get asked the question, if natural CO2 emissions are about 20 times what anthropogenic emissions are, how do we know that all of the atmospheric CO2 increase is due to human activities?

One answer often given (and the one I often use, too) is that since we emit twice as much as is needed to explain the atmospheric increase, there is no reason to look elsewhere. Just assume the huge natural sources and sinks of CO2 are in balance, and then humans are responsible for the small changes we see.

Natural Variations in CO2 are LARGE
But what if (I’m NOT necessarily advocating this) most of the CO2 humans produce, which is near the land surface, is absorbed by vegetation, and the observed global increase is partly or mostly due to outgassing of the oceans?

Scientists seem to make the assumption that nature is always in balance. But this clearly isn’t the case for natural sources and sinks of CO2 (you can find such plots in the IPCC reports, too):

Fig. 1. Yearly anthropogenic CO2 emissions versus yearly increases in atmospheric CO2.

Fig. 1. Yearly anthropogenic CO2 emissions versus yearly increases in atmospheric CO2.

There are obviously some very large natural yearly imbalances in CO2 sources and sinks, with the atmospheric yearly increase ranging anywhere from 23% to 100% of anthropogenic emissions. If the yearly fluctuation are this large, how do we know that nature is in long-term balance for CO2 sources and sinks? The answer is, we don’t. This is why NASA launched the OCO-2 satellite, to try to get a better handle on the regional sources and sinks of CO2 around the world.

Furthermore, in contradiction to IPCC predictions, the ability of the Earth to absorb extra CO2 seems to be increasing with time: the equivalent of 40% of our emissions were being absorbed early in the record, a fraction which has increased to 50% late in the record.

Given these very large year-to-year variations, is it that unreasonable to hypothesize that there might be a long-term natural imbalance between natural sources and sinks of CO2, which is also contributing to the observed increase?

The trouble carbon budget modelers have with this possibility is that it would require that there are even stronger sinks of anthropogenic CO2 emissions at work, and the IPCC is already having trouble explaining where all of the “extra” CO2 is going.

For example, rather than nature normally being in perfect balance and then absorbing ~50% of our CO2 emissions, nature would have to be absorbing (say) 75% of our emissions but contributing the remainder to the observed atmospheric increase from a natural source elsewhere.

We really don’t know where these sources and sinks are…all we see is the net result of all of them expressed in the average atmospheric concentration. Like your bank balance representing the net effects of all deposits and withdrawals.

Carbon Isotopes
The arguments from carbon isotopes (C13…sorry for the unconventional notation) that fossil fuels are the source of all the atmospheric increase don’t hold water as far as I can tell. As I posted nearly 6 years ago, the C13 fraction in the long-term trends of atmospheric CO2 are not inconsistent with a natural source, after I examined the observed C13 variations at three time scales: seasonal, interannual, and long-term trends:

Fig. 2. C13 fraction variations contained in seasonal versus, interannual versus decadal variability, compared to known geophysical sources.

Fig. 2. C13 fraction variations contained in seasonal versus, interannual versus decadal variability, compared to known geophysical sources.

I believe that pointing this out is part of the reason why Murray Salby got into trouble recently. The scientific community doesn’t take kindly to some of us suggesting nature itself might be causing “carbon pollution”. Baaad scientist.

If I am misunderstanding something about the C13 arguments, someone please let me know, since I’m not an expert in atmospheric chemistry. Ferdinand Engelbeen kindly responded to my post from 2009, and if he would like to provide an updated argument I would be glad to post it here.

A Simple Analysis: Could 40% of the CO2 Increase be Natural?

I downloaded from CDIAC the latest spreadsheet with the yearly global CO2 source and sink estimates, for the period 1959 through 2012. I wanted to address the question: from a statistical point of view, how much of the year-to-year changes in atmospheric CO2 can be explained by different sources and sinks?

The spreadsheet includes yearly estimates of (1) atmospheric increase in CO2, (2) fossil fuel and cement production of CO2, (3) an estimate of the ocean CO2 sink, (4) an estimate of land use change emissions CO2 source, and I added to these variables (5) global land surface temperature [CRUTem4], and (6) global sea surface temperature [HadSST3].

As a first step, if we do simple correlations between the atmospheric CO2 variations with the other variables we find the highest correlation between temperature and CO2, and a little lower correlation with anthropogenic emissions:

Correlations with Yearly Atmospheric CO2 increases (1959-2012)
T_ocean : 0.70
T_land: 0.71
Fossil Fuels: 0.67
Ocean sink: 0.63
Land Use: -0.36

The fact that temperature has a higher correlation with yearly CO2 changes than does the anthropogenic source shows just how strongly the temperature variability affects atmospheric CO2 content.

But correlating data with substantial trends in the data can be deceiving. Strictly speaking, all linear trends are perfectly correlated with each other, even those which have no causal relationship whatsoever between them.

So, we can detrend all of the data, and see what information is contained in the departures from the linear trends. This reduces the correlations substantially, since the variability associated with the trends has been removed:

Correlations with Yearly Atmospheric CO2 variations (1959-2012, detrended)
T_ocean : 0.35
T_land: 0.34
Fossil Fuels: 0.13
Ocean sink: 0.01
Land Use: 0.00

We see that the correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature remains the strongest, but the fossil fuel signal is very small, possibly because the detrended variations in anthropogenic emissions are quite small, and so subject to greater errors.

The ocean sink and land use estimates seems to have no correlation with atmospheric variations after detrending, and so were excluded from further analysis.

If we then perform a multiple regression between atmospheric CO2 versus the anthropogenic source and 2 temperature terms (all detrended), and apply the resulting coefficients to the original (not detrended) data, we get the following plot:

Fig. 3. Yearly changes in atmospheric CO2 in observations versus a simple statistical model trained with detrended anthropogenic emissions and temperature data.

Fig. 3. Yearly changes in atmospheric CO2 in observations versus a simple statistical model trained with detrended anthropogenic emissions and temperature data.

At face value, what this plot shows is that the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 can be easily explained (actually, “over-explained”) with a combination of anthropogenic emissions and increasing temperatures, where the quantitative relationships are based upon detrended data. The contributions to the model trend in atmospheric CO2 is 61% anthropogenic, 22% ocean temperature, and 17% land temperature.

The model overshooting of the trend could be due to some unknown carbon sink which isn’t directly related to surface temperature. Or, it could just be an artifact of the poor assumptions inherent in the simple statistical model (e.g. that the interannual relationship between temperature and CO2 applies to long-term trends).

Conclusions

By itself I don’t think this “proves” anything. But it does show that since warm years tend to cause greater natural emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere, we should at least consider the possibility that the long-term warming trend (whatever its cause) is contributing to the increase in atmospheric CO2.

What caused the warming that caused the CO2 increase? Well, as I have been saying for years, chaotic circulation-induced changes in cloud cover can cause global warming or cooling. Or pick some other mechanism. Maybe that big ball of fire in the sky.

My point is, the climate system is not static.

We should remember how much we have anthropomorphized recent warming: Human activities produce CO2 in reasonably well known amounts, humans do the monitoring of CO2, then humans do the modeling. Since we really don’t understand the natural sources and sinks very well — not to the <1% level needed to document that a “natural balance” exists (since human emissions are now close to 5% of natural sources and sinks) -- we just assume they are “in balance”. There, problem solved.

So, we impose a human explanation on what we observe in nature. A common tendency throughout human history. We are searching for answers at night under the only streetlamp where we can see.

UPDATE: I didn’t address the fact that atmospheric O2 concentrations have fallen commensurate with the rise in atmospheric CO2, which is supposedly “proof” of fossil fuel burning being the 100% cause of atmospheric CO2 increase. But increased oxidation of organic matter has the same effect on O2.


Update #2:
Just to clarify…even if all of the atmospheric CO2 increase is manmade, I continue to believe it is more beneficial than harmful.


132 Responses to “How Much of Atmospheric CO2 Increase is Natural?”

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  1. Johan says:

    Now, now, where is the pause, sorry, hiatus in your model ?
    But seriously, nice to read some science again.

  2. Frank says:

    Roy: Do you have any explanation (other than anthropogenic emissions) for why atmospheric CO2 levels (as assessed by ice cores) remained constant for most of the Holocene (at least 10 millennia) and then changed dramatically about the same time man starting burning fossil fuels? Isn’t this excellent evidence that natural sources and sinks were in equilibrium and stable before the Industrial Revolution?

    • I don’t think we know what the ice core data means, at a minimum the CO2 concentrations have been low-pass filtered by diffusion at the greater ice ages so that variations on time scales of decades to centuries are greatly smoothed.

      • Fonzarelli says:

        Dr. S., how come you didn’t say this in your “stupid skeptical arguments” posting back in April?

        • Alfredo Louro says:

          Low-pass filtering would remove rapid fluctuations. What we observe during the past 100 years is not a fluctuation.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            If the ice core data were not “greatly smoothed” (as doctor spencer has put it), we might see that the last hundred years is just another “fluctuation” in the crowd…

        • Nick Stokes says:

          From April:
          ” The rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is currently 2 ppm/yr, a rate which is 100 times as fast as any time in the 300,000 year Vostok ice core record. And we know our consumption of fossil fuels is emitting CO2 200 times as fast! So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise? C’mon people, think.”

          Think!

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Nick, you took the words right out of my mouth! That’s to say, I was planning on reproducing dr spencer’s words from april myself. (You saved me some work here, thanks…)

            Dr. S., I think you’ve been around the N.A.S.A. (N.ever A. S.traight A.nswer) culture too long !!!*

            * tongue planted firmly in cheek…

          • Yup. I made a good point back then…IF you assume the Vostok ice core record can record CO2 changes on 50-year time scales, which maybe it can’t. All depends upon what you “assume” regarding whether the ice core record of CO2 is inherently smoothed in time. For now, I’m not convinced one way or the other. Just trying to examine the various possibilities.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Then you can’t say that “stupid skeptic argument #7” is actually stupid then, right?

      • Frank says:

        The ice core data has certainly been low-pass filtered on a time scale of decades to one or two centuries. But the decrease in CO2 associated with the LIA (which lasted up to five centuries) is only about 10 ppm, not the 100 ppm we have seen this century. None of the other warming and cooling periods (MWP, RWP, etc,) produced a significant change in CO2 in ice cores. Yet, one can see significant changes in CO2 over periods as short as or shorter than the LIA during first 6 millennia after the end of last ice age. The contrast between the variability shown by these first six millennia of the Holocene and the stability of the last 12 millennia is quite remarkable. I personally find it difficult to reconcile belief that temperature change is responsible for a large fraction of the 20th century rise in CO2 with the absence of change during events such as the LIA and MWP – unless these events were insignificant compared with 20th century warming.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

        (I’m not endorsing anything SKS says about this graph; it is simply the clearest record CO2 in ice cores for the Holocene I could quickly find.)

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        Vostok ice core shows CO2 changed by 100 ppm in 25,000 years. In last 200 years, CO2 changed by 100 ppm. Rapid rate of change indicates human influence.

        Arrhenius, the father of greenhouse effect and AGW, considered our CO2 emissions as our gift to future generations. He believed global warming is good for life.

        • Ivan says:

          What is the current CO2 concentration at Vostok, for say 1975, 1985 or 2000? It’s not the same as Mauna Loa, but much lower. So, Mauna Loa and Vostok are apples and oranges.

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Dr. Strangelove,

          You claimed:

          “Arrhenius, the father of greenhouse effect and AGW, considered our CO2 emissions as our gift to future generations. He believed global warming is good for life.”

          Of course, Arrhenius proved correct. Many scientists prior to Roger Revelle believed increased atmospheric CO2 to be a generally positive trend.

          You stated:

          “In last 200 years, CO2 changed by 100 ppm.” Hmmh! If I remember correctly CO2 measured in the 1880’s fell around 280-300 ppm & 400 ppm recently. It seems likely atmospheric CO2 increased slightly more than you indicate, but probably not by much.

          Have a great day!

          • Fonzarelli says:

            John, it’s nice to “see a friendly face” on this post. Fonzie has been taking a beating! As well my insomnia is flaring up so I’m kind of worn out and don’t know if I’ll be articulating this comment as well as I should, but here goes…

            Most people don’t realize that the data from Vostok was found in ice that is 83 years older than the air that is trapped in it. (1973 co2 was found in ice that dates 1890) This would require a complete (and rapid) displacement of all co2 in the firn. In other words the 1973 concentrations would have to find their way all the way down to the base of the firn (where it then turns to ice). We know this doesn’t happen… Co2 concentrations (just like those of any other gas) DECREASE as they go down into the firn. So we know that the reading of 328 ppm is not from 1973 air. Therefor concentrations from the PAST gave that reading proving that modern concentrations are not unusually high. Further more since air in the firn is not completely displaced by air at the surface that means we have air in the firn that has been mixing for perhaps centuries. (pressure squeezing air upward through the firn just like a little kid making a snowball) Because the concentrations are so mixed all the highs and lows get smoothed into the low variability proxy we know as ice cores…

            I hope I made some sense here and as always look forward to your reply. (Especially being told to “Have a great day!”),

            Fonzie

          • Craig Thomas says:

            Vostok doesn’t show values for 1973. Or for 1890 for that matter.

            If somebody has made a mistake in determining the age of the gas they are analysing, I would expect that mistake to be pointed out to them, and this will obviously lead to better results in the future.

            Making ice core analyses agree with actual measurements is obviously a good thing: We know modern measurements are correct and we know exactly when they were taken.

            You seem to want to believe in some “highs and lows” that do not appear in the ice core record.
            Can you explain:
            1/ What evidence you have for these “highs and lows”?
            2/ What evidence in the modern instrumental record shows a modern analog suggesting this past behaviour for which you have no evidence is plausible?

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Sorry about that Craig… I meant to say siple. (Darn insomnia) air does migrate from the surface into the firn thus making the age of the air younger than the age of the ice it is trapped in. I’ve recently “flip flopped” on this one and now agree. This still does not tell us what may or may not be happening to co2 once it is trapped in the ice…

  3. Jim Curtis says:

    Since I’ve read it somewhere (can’t find it back) that the seasonal variation of CO2 concentration in the SH (lots of water) is virtually zilch, and the NH (lots of plants) has a pronounced one, I’ve wondered if that could be taken as evidence of whether its plants or water that are absorbing the 50% missing in the atmosphere. If it’s the plants, wouldn’t that show the earth is CO2 starved.

    • Fonzarelli says:

      The “50% paradigm” is a myth… Carbon growth tracts with the UAH temperature data set. If temps are cooler (say 1993) closer to 100% is “taken out”. If temps are warmer (1998) then close to 0% gets “taken out”. It ALL depends on temperature. There is little or no relationship between human emissions and carbon growth…

      • Marco says:

        What you are saying is that if it cools, CO2 in the atmosphere increases just not by that much, and if it warms, CO2 in the atmosphere increases, just by more. So, regardless of the temperature trend, CO2 increases. I hope you see the problem in that argument on a longer timescale than a few years, but I am not holding my breath.

        • Fonzarelli says:

          Marco, my argument does not address the origin of the rise (man made vs. natural). I merely stated that the rise is being regulated by temperature. I would assume that if temps got too cool then carbon levels would fall. If temps did cool to that point and we don’t see carbon fall, then that would presumably signal that the rise is anthropogenic…

          For the first two decades of the UAH data set temps trended flat. As well carbon growth trended flat during that same period. Were temps to have stayed that way indefinitely, I would think so also would carbon growth. (At least till the source “ran dry”) Here is the carbon growth data through 2011:

          http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/dco2.jpg

          I’d give you that UAH set but my iPhone won’t give me the entire web address. If you do compare the two, you can easily see that carbon growth goes where ever temps go. This holds true for the entire UAH data set. I would think that it would be statistically impossible for these two data sets to NOT be linked…

          • Marco says:

            Yes, you stated the rise is regulated by temperature. It’s a nice hypothesis, but it’s based on correlations of short-term variability. But you can do the analysis if you want, and then do a sanity check. For example, what would CO2 growth rate be during, say, the LIA? I think you will have to come up with some really strange nonlinear equations to get this to work, with absolutely no potential mechanism that explains this.

            There’s another little confounding factor: CO2 affects temperature.

            And there’s an even worse problem: if you propose the rise is natural, there must be an e-nor-mous sink for all that extra CO2 from both that natural source and the anthropogenic emissions. If the rise is primarily natural, and the sink is unable to distinguish natural and anthropogenic (I guess we agree the sink can’t do that), that sink must not only take up most of the anthropogenic emissions, but also most, and much much more of that natural emission.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Marco, I really enjoy exchanges with those I don’t see eye to eye with. (I learn so much more) You’re right, this IS a short term argument. I’m only trying to counter the argument that 50% is being taken out in recent decades. (UAH is only 1/3 of a century so this is short term indeed) Circa 1980 about 1/3 of the co2 was “taken out”; circa 1997 about 1/2 and if temps had remained flat then the amount would be about 2/3 at present. China can build all the factories they want; it won’t effect carbon growth… Only temperature does. As for the long term, changes in sources and sinks will most certainly effect things. I’d think that fewer trees sequestering carbon may effect carbon levels in the LIA. I’m not really trying to make a case for the long term here (nor for a “natural” rise), just trying to counter the false 50% paradigm…

            Again thanks for your input. I’ve really enjoyed the exchange. Not sure i can say the same thing about Gavin below! No offense to Gavin really, I just wish he were Ferdinand Engelbeen as I think the exchange would go much smoother. (Plus it would be nice to see what engelbeen would think of my argument)

          • Marco says:

            If carbon growth goes where temperature goes (which isn’t true anyway – your purely visual comparison is useless), you will still have a problem going just 50 years back.

            I also note you ignored the enormous sink required. This is a common problem with those who believe it could well be all (or mstly) natural: you will have to come with a credible sink for the thousands of gigatons. If you claim the ocean is the source, then biomass must have doubled (or even more). If you claim biomass is the source, biomass must have halved since the beginning of the last century, and the oceans must have taken up much more than is measured.

            So, even if there is a mathematical correlation (albeit poor and confounded by the greenhouse properties of CO2), the other lines of evidence argue strongly against this being a causative correlation.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            You mean don’t believe my lying eyes?

            I didn’t answer your “sink” statement due to lack of time.If nature is taking out half then there is no reason why it can’t be taking out more… (And it often does like it did in 1993)

          • Marco says:

            Exactly, don’t believe your lying eyes. It is very easy to find correlations, and even easier to find something that is only a visual correlation (you clearly haven’t done the math). Note that I am not just talking about the short term wiggles.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Marco, this reply is so pathetic that it’s not even worth responding to… As fonzie would say, “are you nutso?” It’s been an otherwise delightful time exchanging ideas with you. I actually had a response for your comment down by Gavin’s (I really like your input there) but it pretty much looks like the “party’s over” with this blog post. So we’ll leave it go till another time. Again, I really like what you bring to the table. Keep up the good work…

    • Jim Curtis says:

      Well, so much for that question (sorry to start a quarrel). But, I’ll try again.
      1.)The earth as a blackbody should be about -19 deg C average to get rid of the one minus albedo part of the solar radiation. But its 34 deg C warmer on average (+15 deg C), which tells me that when viewed from space in IR, the cumulative earth plus atmosphere must look like it’s 34 deg C cooler than the surface. 2.)An IR thermometer reading of surface (in the shade) and straight up (clear sky – clouds mess up the correlation) over a 24 hour period shows a pretty reliable difference of 30 to 36 deg C. 3.)The atmosphere is 34 deg C cooler than the surface at about 3.4 mi up (10 deg C per mile) which is about half way up through the troposphere (the part heated from below), 4.)and half way up (500 millibar) through the mass of the atmosphere.
      Are these things coincidence, or should they be related?

  4. Going back over geological history today’s CO2 concentrations are on the low side rather then the high side.

    In addition CO2 is following the temperature trend not leading it.

    In addition the residence time for CO2 by some is thought to be as low as 5 years.

    • Doug Danhoff says:

      As a retired teacher and geologist I agree. The level of CO2 is lower now than during most of geological history, We are closer to the “shut down” values than we are to dangerous concentrations. Every bit of extra CO2 will be processed by natural processes documented over time.
      I commend my fellow earthlings for liberating enough Co2 to keep the biosphere healthy.

  5. Frank says:

    In the introduction, you wrote: “… since we emit twice as much as is needed to explain the atmospheric increase, there is no reason to look elsewhere.” The reason we need to look elsewhere is because the seasonally-adjusted record shows large changes in the amount of CO2 accumulation – changes which vary with surface temperature. Unfortunately your 2009 model (www.drroyspencer.com/2009/05/global-warming-causing-carbon-dioxide-increases-a-simple-model) and probably the model you propose in Figure 3 appears (I may be confused) suggest that CO2 emissions would continue to grow indefinitely:

    from 2009 post: delta[CO2]/delta[t] = a*SST + b*Anthro

    I suspect that what may be perturbing the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere is uptake and emission of CO2 from the mixed layer due to reduced solubility at higher temperature. Such uptake/emission might occur as fast as or almost as fast as heat penetrates the mixed layer, ie within months, not years. During the 97/98 El Nino, CO2 emitted by the mixed layer nearly doubled the average accumulation, while during the subsequent La Nina (and post Pinatubo) accumulation was less than normal. Therefore a more appropriate model might be:

    delta[CO2] = a*delta[SST] + b*Anthro

    where the time increment is monthly or quarterly and there may be a short lag. Such a model would explain the correlation between accumulation and temperature, but without their playing a major role in accumulation. During the 97/98 El Nino, an extra 1.5 ppm of CO2 accumulated (3.5 ppm total) while SST rose only 0.2 degC. That would make the delta[SST] coefficient about 7.5 ppm per degC, a value which is consistent with the ice core record, which showed only a modest decrease during the LIA.

  6. Some thoughts about CO2 and the residence time of CO2.

    Abstract

    The three evidences of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that the apparent contemporary atmospheric CO2 increase is anthropogenic, is discussed and rejected: CO2 measurements from ice cores; CO2 measurements in air; and carbon isotope data in conjunction with carbon cycle modelling.

    It is shown why the ice core method and its results must be rejected; and that current air CO2 measurements are not validated and their results subjectively “edited”. Further it is shown that carbon cycle modelling based on non-equilibrium models, remote from observed reality and chemical laws, made to fit non-representative data through the use of non-linear ocean evasion “buffer” correction factors constructed from a pre-conceived idea, constitute a circular argument and with no scientific validity.

    Both radioactive and stable carbon isotopes show that the real atmospheric CO2 residence time (lifetime) is only about 5 years, and that the amount of fossil-fuel CO2 in the atmosphere is maximum 4%. Any CO2 level rise beyond this can only come from a much larger, but natural, carbon reservoir with much higher 13-C/12-C isotope ratio than that of the fossil fuel pool, namely from the ocean, and/or the lithosphere, and/or the Earth’s interior.

    The apparent annual atmospheric CO2 level increase, postulated to be anthropogenic, would constitute only some 0.2% of the total annual amount of CO2 exchanged naturally between the atmosphere and the ocean plus other natural sources and sinks. It is more probable that such a small ripple in the annual natural flow of CO2 would be caused by natural fluctuations of geophysical processes.

    13-C/12-C isotope mass balance calculations show that IPCC’s atmospheric residence time of 50-200 years make the atmosphere too light (50% of its current CO2 mass) to fit its measured 13-C/12-C isotope ratio. This proves why IPCC’s wrong model creates its artificial 50% “missing sink”. IPCC’s 50% inexplicable “missing sink” of about 3 giga-tonnes carbon annually should have led all governments to reject IPCC’s model. When such rejection has not yet occurred, it beautifully shows the result of the “scare-them-to-death” influence principle.

    IPCC’s “Greenhouse Effect Global Warming” dogma rests on invalid presumptions and a rejectable non-realistic carbon cycle modelling which simply refutes reality, like the existence of carbonated beer or soda “pop” as we know it.

  7. Peter Shaw says:

    Dr Spencer-
    In similar data from the IEA, I noticed trend deviations roughly corresponding with US recession years (hypothesis: US recession impacts fuel usage in all associated economies). If you also see this, it’s an unambiguous anthropogenic signal to track. FRED indicates 1961, 71, 73-4, 80, 82-3, 91, 2001.

  8. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    I like that opposite view, to correlate the CO2 with temperature instead of the mainstream view.
    Considering the carboncycle, where 90Gt/y is released and the same amount sunk (measured as carbon only) compared to the human relases of 9Gt, i cant see the human release as very relevant.
    Compared to these figures i do not understand the meaning of the residence time in the atmosphere.
    The only way is to view the carboncycle as being almost completely independent of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere as well as in the oceans and vegetations/land. And we all know, that is not the case.

    • Marco says:

      That opposite view just doesn’t work. If you believe the temperature has such strong effects, try extrapolating to the most recent ice age. 5-6 degrees cooler means, in this model, zero CO2 in the atmosphere during the ice ages. Zero. None. Nothing available for any plants to live.

      This is actually one of the things that brought Salby in trouble: not even the slightest sanity check (in his model CO2 would actually already be near zero during the LIA). This is what made John Nielsen-Gammon decide there was a fatal flaw in Salby’s reasoning.

      I also can’t see why you can’t see that 90-out, 90-in being perturbed by 9-out is actually very relevant. Perhaps you think an annual gift of 10% of your net income will not do anything to your balance sheet?

      • Fonzarelli says:

        Not if the tax man takes 90% …

        Other wise, great point Marco. Is there any data to go with the refuting of Salby? I’d be happy to see it. Thanks, fonzie…

        • Marco says:

          Regarding Salby. use his published correlation yourself, and enter the estimated temperatures during the LIA. Voilà, Salby refuted.

  9. X Anonymous says:

    The point I would make is that apart from the possible correlation with the small natural temperature increase since the little ice age (in addition to a further possible correlation with AGW induced temp (if that even exists), CO2 correlations with seasonal temperature flux tell you nothing about the direction of natural CO2 emissions.

    Sure, there is a seasonal flux, but that doesn’t tell you much…Same as the correlation with El Nino, that doesn’t tell you anything about the direction either (sound familiar?).

    In other words, one could easily construct a situation where the natural CO2 trend is negative (in reality a possibility), and Salbys stupid El Nino correlations would be very close to the same. Detrending a ‘contaminated’ series does not get rid of the contamination.

    Salby seemed to conceal this basic point by completely ignoring it, and instead concentrating on “the inability of the firn” to capture change (which is a genuine uncertainty but moot).

    Like many in ‘climate science’, Salby has made a name for him self without actually acheiving anything.

  10. Doug says:

    Carbon dioxide is irrelevant to climate. To show how absurd the radiation calculations are …

    According to this* the emissivity of the oceans is about 0.984.

    So if you think you can work out the ocean surface temperature from the solar radiation of 161W/m^2 striking it then SBL gives you 231.77K.

    If the mean temperature of about 70% of Earth’s surface were 231.77K then I suggest we’d have a serious problem surviving. Thank heavens for gravity.

    * http://www.terrapub.co.jp/journals/JO/pdf/5001/50010017.pdf

  11. Doug says:

    Yes it is gravity acting on air molecules which sets up, not only a density gradient, but also a temperature gradient. (The pressure gradient is just a corollary.) This is seen in the tropospheres of all planets with significant atmospheres.

    The temperature gradient is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium which, if disturbed, will have a propensity to reform, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us.

    This means that when solar energy is absorbed in the upper troposphere some of that new energy can move towards and into the surface as it restores the thermodynamic equilibrium. This has to happen. You can’t explain energy balance if you don’t accept this physical fact based on the laws of physics.

    That is why the surface temperature is hotter than radiation calculations indicate. The surface of any planet also receives non-radiative heat transfers during the day and, of course, cools likewise at night – some by radiation and some by non-radiative conduction-like diffusion processes involving molecular collisions. Back radiation has nothing to do with it, and so neither does carbon dioxide. In fact, back radiation does not even penetrate the ocean surfaces and so it sure does not warm them from 231K to 288K or more.

  12. rick says:

    Once upon a time it was so simple.

    Fat American drives SUV around the block.
    World blows up melts drowns.
    Kevin Costner grows gills.

  13. dave says:

    “Kevin Costner grows gills.”

    Easier to pull out the plug in the seabed in Bikini Bottom.

  14. Nick Stokes says:

    “consider the possibility that the long-term warming trend (whatever its cause) is contributing to the increase in atmospheric CO2.”
    Well, here is a plot (from here) of the mass of C in the atmosphere over the last millenium, with a few temperature ups and downs. Dead flat until we started emitting and land-changing, and then a rise almost exactly proportional to our cumulative emissions.

    And you still don’t explain where our extra C is going.

    Ice ages came and went with less change in CO2 than we have seen lately.

    • Thanks for the reference, Nick. I’m going to put an update at the top of my original post.

      But even the IPCC can’t explain where all the extra CO2 is going. 😉

      • Gavin Cawley says:

        They do know however that the natural environment is a net carbon sink (the mass balance analysis tells you that) and that is enough to establish that the natural environment is opposing the rise in atmospheric CO2, rather than causing it.

      • Lewis Guignard says:

        RE: Linked graph. If the land cleared is equated to lost co2 sinks – cellulose in trees etc. – how much of the current atmospheric CO2 can be related to that loss?

        Some years ago I read a book by a professor of climatology at UVirginia, that said much can be related and even noted that the loss of life due to black plague could be shown to decrease atmospheric co2 as the forests came back since there weren’t as many people working the land.

  15. the Griss says:

    I really hope that we are actually contributing a reasonable amount of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.

    That means we have the wherewithal to push the concentration up to 600, maybe even 700ppm.

    This would be highly beneficial for all life on Earth.

    Plant life would prosper, feeding other life systems, and generally making the earth more fertile and abundant.

    Would be good if it actually caused an extra degree or so of warming, lift us up nearer the temps of the MWP and RWP.. But it won’t 🙁

  16. Gavin Cawley says:

    “Given these very large year-to-year variations, is it that unreasonable to hypothesize that there might be a long-term natural imbalance between natural sources and sinks of CO2, which is also contributing to the observed increase?”

    No, this is directly ruled out by the observation that atmospheric CO2 is rising at a rate less than the rate of anthropogenic emissions, which shows beyond reasonable doubt that the natural environment is a net carbon sink and hence is opposing the rise, rather than contributing to it.

    It also isn’t true that mainstream science assumes natural sinks and sources are balanced. They aren’t, natural sinks are in excess of natural sources, and the gap between them is increasing (as demonstrated by the fact that the proportion of anthropogenic emissions is fairly constant even though anthropogenic emissions are increasing).

    Essentially it is well known that there is a long-term imbalance, but it is in the opposite direction.

    • Fonzarelli says:

      Gavin, the carbon sink is now what is called an “equilibrium sink”. It only exists ts due the presence of more co2 being added to the atmosphere. (Otherwise natural co2 would be down around 200 ppm and falling were it not for human emissions) Without human emissions nature is thought to be a net source. Around 8 ppm per temp rise of 1 degree celsius (engelbeen) assuming ice cores are correct…

      As far as the “mass balance” arguement goes, it is a clever but irrelevant argument. It does not rule out the presence of a natural rise of co2 in the absence of human emissions. (and proponents of the argument acknowledge this) The key is to ascertain how much of a rise there would be with out human emissions and compare that to what we have (with human emissions). If the change is small then we’ve added little mass to what would be if nature were acting alone…

      • Gavin Cawley says:

        The mass balance argument isn’t at all clever, really is very simple.

        If both mankind and the natural environment were net sources of CO2 into the atmosphere, then the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 would be greater than anthropogenic emissions as both nature and mankind are contributing to the rise in atmospheric CO2. However, the observations (Dr SPencer’s diagram) show that this is not the case. This means that either mankind is a net carbon sink, or nature is a net carbon sink (or both). We know mankind is a net source of CO2 (we are performing very little sequestration at the current time), so the only plausible explanation is that the natural environment is a net sink. QED.

        • Fonzarelli says:

          Gavin, the sink would not exist without the addition of human emissions to the atmosphere. It’s called an “equilibrium sink”… This is well known among supporters of the mass balance argument. We’re it not the case ice cores would clearly be wrong as we would be losing 2 ppm per year out of the atmosphere. So it remains to be seen what nature would be doing in the absence of both human emissions and it’s accompanying equilibrium sink. If ice cores are correct that number would be about 8 ppm since the LIA. (If not the number could be much higher) The amount of change between what we’re seeing now and what would be naturally (without human emissions) is all that matters. If ice cores are incorrect then that change could be very small. We would then be adding very little to what nature (on it’s own) would be doing anyway…

          A good read on the mass balance argument is Ferdinand Engelbeen’s 2010 WUWT piece. He strongly supports the argument and lays out both what it means and doesn’t mean (the latter in the comments). I’ll try to get the link for you and relay it to you (if you’re still posting comments) in the near future…

          • Gavin Cawley says:

            The fact that the natural environment has become a net carbon sink in response to anthropogenic emisions having pushed the carbon cycle away from its equilibrium state is irrelevant to the discussion of whether the cause of the long term trend is natural or anthropogenic or a bit of both. If nature is a net carbon sink, and it is, it is opposing the rise, not causing it.

            BTW I am familiar with Ferdinand Engelbeen, and have always been impressed by his patience, and I have discussed the carbon cycle with him in the past. Another place you could look for the mass balance argument is my paper explaining why the residence time argument of Prof. Essenhigh is incorrect.

            Cawley, G. C. (2011). On the Atmospheric Residence Time of Anthropogenically Sourced Carbon Dioxide. Energy & Fuels, 25(11), 5503-5513. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ef200914u

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Gavin, the REAL question is not whether the rise is natural or anthropogenic, but how much of a rise would be happening if nature were acting on it’s own with out human emissions. (and how does that compare with what we’re seeing with human emissions) The mass balance argument is irrelevant…

          • Marco says:

            Fonzarelli, the mass balance argument is more than relevant.

            Let’s just assume for a moment your hypothesis: carbon emissions are governed by temperature. That is, there is a source that emits X Gt/yr more than the sink takes up at a temperature T (source and sink may be the same, and there are multiple possibilities).

            Presently, we see a growth rate of ca. 4 Gt/yr. If we suppose that this is fully governed by those natural sources/sinks, we run into the mass balance problem: we humans also emit another 9 Gt/yr at the moment. So, for the rise to be all natural, in your hypothesis the sink must somehow know/decide that it will take up all those human emissions to retain the growth rate at the temperature-controlled value of 4 Gt/yr. Are you perhaps an extreme Gaia-ist, who considers the earth a living and thinking being? I don’t mean this as an insult at all, I have met such people, and I can’t see how you can maintain your argument without having some kind of sentient sources/sinks.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Marco, it’s been nice going back and forth with you… I’m under some time constraints (and really should chew on this one for a while anyway) so I won’t be be getting back with you on this one. I hope you stick around in the future. Again it’s been a pleasure, keep up the good work…

          • Gavin Cawley says:

            Fonzarelli wrote: “Gavin, the REAL question is not whether the rise is natural or anthropogenic”,

            It is a shame that so many cannot simply accept being wrong and need to engage in this sort of evasion.

            “but how much of a rise would be happening if nature were acting on it’s own with out human emissions.”

            There is no good reason to suppose it would be changing significantly, certainly not by 100ppmv. The Law dome ice core suggests that CO2 had been very constant for a very long time, during which there had been plenty of changes in temperature. The rise in CO2 between glacial and interglacial conditions is about 100ppm, but that results from a change in temperature of about 8C, and has a lag of about 800 years because it takes that long for the increase in temperature to permeate into the deep oceans.

            “(and how does that compare with what we’re seeing with human emissions) ”

            very, very small is the answer (see above).

            “The mass balance argument is irrelevant…”

            It appears that the discussion has reached the point where rhetoric has taken over and the chance of rational discussion has become slight, so I shall leave it there.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Gavin, ice cores are another argument for another day… IF they happen to be wrong then the rise (nature on it’s own) could be substantial.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Gavin, I think you’re almost there… Let’s assign some numbers: let’s say it’s an 85 ppm observed rise since the inception of Mauna Loa. And since we both like Ferdinand, we’ll go with 4 ppm rise for a .5 degree rise in temperature (with out human emissions). The observed rise then would be 81 ppm more than if nature were acting on it’s own. IF ice cores are wrong then our 4 ppm number could be much higher. If that were the case then the difference between the observed rise and nature acting on it’s own would be much lower then 81 ppm. What matters is the difference between the observed rise and what nature would be doing on it’s own anyway….

          • Bart says:

            Fonzarelli – well argued.

  17. Gavin Cawley says:

    Also Dr Spencer’s regression is making the same mistake as Prof. Salby in looking at correlations between temperature and the annual growth rate (regressions are based on correlations). It is the average value of the annual growth rate that gives rise to the long term trend, being detrended the temperature variables included in the regression do not contribute *anything* of the mean value of the growth rate, nor do they contribute *anything* to the trend in the growth rate. As a result they say almost nothing about the long term change in atmospheric CO2.

    BTW the annual variation in CO2 linked to SOI was first pointed out by Bacastow in the 1970s, the reasons for it have been studied (changes in precipitation around the Pacific affecting growth and die back of vegetation), and it is mentioned in the IPCC reports.

  18. Gavin Cawley says:

    “If we then perform a multiple regression between atmospheric CO2 versus the anthropogenic source and 2 temperature terms (all detrended), and apply the resulting coefficients to the original (not detrended) data,”

    this step is statistically non-sensical, if the coefficients of the regression for detrended data were applicable also to their linear components, then you should get the same coefficients by performing a regression with the original datasets.

    This is basically assuming that the physical processes causing the inter-annual variation in the growth rate (the “wiggles”) is the same as the process causing the long term trend in the growth rate, which unfortunately is not true.

    By the way, perhaps Dr Spencer should have also investigated the correlation between detrended lank sink and detrended growth rate, he might find the result quite interesting (and consder the penultimate paragraph in my first comment).

  19. We should remember how much we have anthropomorphized recent warming

    Or better yet, how much we’ve anthropomorphized EVERYTHING!

    Pursuant to that, it’s not a Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, it’s us. We humans are at the center of EVERYTHING, and EVERYTHING is the result of us, revolves around us and is created in our spitting image.

    It’s a new, unannounced and unacknowledged religion of sorts.

    In old-fashioned parlance, it was called vanity. Today, it’s anthropomorphism.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Cold N. Holefield,

      Nice perspective, it seems the “ME” generation never really ended. They just grew older and more demanding. You know many claim to prove their concern for humanity by demanding the power to control their neighbors access to hydrocarbons to solve a theoretical problem like GLOBAL WARMING, all the while ignoring the massive blood-shed and real-world violence empirically surrounding them every day.

      As H L Mencken so aptly phrased it:

      “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
      H. L. Mencken

      Thanks for you post and have a great day!

  20. “what if (I’m NOT necessarily advocating this) most of the CO2 humans produce, which is near the land surface, is absorbed by vegetation, and the observed global increase is partly or mostly due to outgassing of the oceans?”

    That is a point I’ve been making for some time:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/evidence-that-oceans-not-man-control-co2-emissions/

    and it disposes of the mass balance argument too as I pointed out at Jo Nova’s site thus:

    “Humans produce 8.8Gt but it is all taken up locally and regionally by vegetation since the satellite data shows no surplus CO2 emanating from population centres. It is all emanating from warmer ocean surfaces as per my link.

    Meanwhile the oceans have warmed due to higher solar activity so that their ability to retain CO2 has been declining. That produces the natural increasing CO2 at 4Gt.

    It is said that nature is a net sink by virtue of its rapid local absorption of the human contribution but that higher absorption rate is a by product of the initial human emissions so it is not truly natural. It would not have happened without the human emissions to drive it in the first place.

    Absorption of that 8.8Gt of human CO2 by nearby vegetation is as unnatural as the initial human emissions.

    Meanwhile, if one ignores both the human local release of CO2 and the human caused local absorption as one should because neither is natural and they cancel out, then the natural world in the background is acting as a natural source to the extent of 4Gt.

    That is why the mass balance argument is a fallacy.”

    • Fonzarelli says:

      Stephen, nice comment. BUT, they can still always say that local sinks are part of nature. Thus nature on the whole is a net sink… Key is to ascertain what nature would be doing were there no human emissions. Absent human emissions (and the accompanying equilibrium sink) the rise could be nearly as high. If that were the case, then we would be changing carbon levels very little from what nature would be doing anyway…

      • Bart says:

        +100,000,000. The argument that “nature is a net sink” is meaningless unless you know it would be so in the absence of anthropogenic forcing. And, nobody advancing this argument can show that.

    • Marco says:

      If nearby vegetation takes up all the anthropogenic emissions, local biomass must have doubled. You’d think we’d noticed that…

  21. Gavin Cawley says:

    Stephen Wilde before trying to interpret the AIRS data for yourself (via the link you provided), it would be a good idea to find out what the experts say about it first, see e.g. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2008-189

    “The new maps reveal enhanced concentrations of carbon dioxide south of the northern hemisphere jet stream, in a band between 30 and 40 degrees north latitude. These enhanced concentrations correspond to a well-documented belt of pollution in the northern hemisphere mid-latitudes. ”

    and

    “In the southern hemisphere, a belt of mid-tropospheric air containing enhanced concentrations of carbon dioxide emerged between 30 and 40 degrees south latitude. This belt had not previously been seen in the four chemistry-transport models used in this study. The researchers say the flow of air in this belt over South America’s high Andes Mountains lifts carbon dioxide from major sources on Earth’s surface, such as the respiration of plants, as well as forest fires and facilities used for synthetic fuel production and power generation. A portion of this lifted carbon dioxide is then carried into the mid-troposphere, where it becomes trapped in the mid-latitude jet stream and transported rapidly around the world. “The troposphere is like international waters,” Chahine said. “What’s produced in one place will travel elsewhere.” ”

    Essentially it seeems that the bands seen in mid-lattitude in both hemispheres are due to atmospheric circulation patterns, rather than due to local sources of CO2. Note that these bands are approximately situated at the same lattitudes as the boundaries between Hadley cells.

    • Then one would expect to see a flow of carbon dioxide from the areas generating it (the populated areas) to those observed belts but one doesn’t.

      Instead the CO2 is all downwind of warmed ocean surfaces.

      I therefore doubt the ‘official’ explanation.

  22. Ivan says:

    Here is a very good article pointing out an excellent correlation between the changes in the sea surface and land temperatures and the aggregate CO2 annual fluctuations. And the CO2 changes lag behind the temperature changes by 9-10 months. There is no correlation between any of the temperature indices and anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658

  23. Gavin Cawley says:

    The link without the SFU redirect is

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658

    However, I would recommend that you also read the two comments papers published afterwards that explain why it is fundamentally flawed

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818113000908

    and

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818113000891

    The error is the same as here, namely detrending datasets and spotting correlations and then arguing that the correlations explain the trend. Simple mathematical error, unfortunately with the added embarassment of it appearing in a journal (sadly peer review fails sometimes).

  24. Marco says:

    Dr. Spencer argues that the decrease in O2 could also be linked to increase oxidation of organic matter.

    There is one major argument against this process playing a major role: the decrease in O2 tracks reasonably well with what would be expected from the amount (and type) of fossil fuel use. So, unless the fossil fuel use estimates are very incorrect, there is little room left for additional oxidation to have taken place. Unless, of course, the oceans have somehow been outgassing just the right amount of O2.

  25. jim says:

    Dr Spencer wrote: “The best argument advanced that I am wrong is from a ~1,000 year record of CO2 from the Law Dome ice core…”
    JK–The rise in CO2 appears to start too early to be man’s which the IPCC claims only really got serious after 1950. Not the 1900 shown on the graph.

    Thanks
    JK

  26. Doug says:

    None of you sees the woods from the trees. All lukes and warmists in effect still maintain that radiation from a colder atmosphere is somehow supposedly transferring thermal energy to a warmer surface and helping the Sun to raise its temperature. Well no direct radiation to the surface fully explains the temperature of the thin transparent surface layer of the oceans. Sure, there are measurements saying emissivity of ocean water is 0.984. Good. But it is well known that radiation from the atmosphere does not even penetrate the ocean surface by a few nanometres. So carbon dioxide radiation is not warming the ocean surfaces. Nor is the Sun doing much. If you just want to bung figures into SBL, then there is a mean of 161W/m^2 of solar radiation which is the only radiation penetrating the ocean surface. Put that into your SBL calculator and you get 231.77K. But wait, that’s not all. The surface layer is mostly transparent, So let’s say only 10% is absorbed. So, use 16W/m^2 and you get 130.13K. That’s cold folks! And that’s because none of you understands how thermal energy from the top of the atmosphere makes its way downwards restoring thermodynamic equilibrium, as the Second Law says will tend to happen. It’s all in my book.

    • RW says:

      Doug,

      The K-T diagram is just a diagram depicting global average energy flows. It’s not a diagram depicting the underlying physics of the GHE.

      BTW, the most ridiculous thing about the diagram that everyone (including Roy) seems to miss is that the only way a joule of energy can exit the atmosphere is by direct radiant power. Of course, to space, this is surely the only way — but not to the surface, yet this is apparently what Trenberth expects everyone to believe. Absurd, yet apparently everyone in the atmospheric science community accepts this diagram.

      • Doug says:

        The diagrams IMPLY incorrect underlying physics because they equate energy moving as electro-magnetic energy in radiation as if it is equivalent to thermal energy being transferred. It is not. The diagrams show back radiation supposedly supplying the missing energy which even James Hansen with his school boy physics realised had to come from somewhere.

        The whole philosophy that back radiation is what is raising the surface temperature IMPLIES that the gravito-thermal effect does not exist and thus that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is invalid.

        The assumption that the surface warming is only 33 degrees implies incorrectly that just as much solar radiation reaches the surface as does the centre of the troposphere, so attenuation is ignored even though they show about 20% absorbed by the atmosphere on the way in. Then they ignore the fact that ocean surfaces are nearly fully transparent, and so solar radiation doesn’t have a hope of raising the temperature even to 240K. Then they make the biggest mess of all when they gloss over the details on Venus and say it must be a run-away greenhouse effect. Well, sorry, but no atmosphere can magically multiply energy received at its top and deliver far more into the surface.

        No physics? Well of course you’re right. What they imply has nothing to do with valid physics. That is why I’m reporting to the Government Ombudsman in Australia that Australian politicians have failed to carry out due diligence in checking the garbage promulgated by certain arrogant Americans.

        • RW says:

          Doug,

          “The diagrams IMPLY incorrect underlying physics because they equate energy moving as electro-magnetic energy in radiation as if it is equivalent to thermal energy being transferred.”

          Actually the diagram does not imply this. How are you interpreting it as doing so? The surface temperature is dependent on the sum of the fluxes in and out where the additive superposition principle must apply (dictated by the S-B law).

  27. Doug says:

    All the K-T and NASA diagrams showing back radiation supposedly transferring thermal energy into the surface are incorrect. Such radiation is merely scattered and does not penetrate the surface at all.

    Prof Claes Johnson explained it like this …

    As a transformer of radiation a blackbody thus acts in a very simple way: it absorbs all radiation, emits absorbed frequencies below cut-off, and uses absorbed frequencies above cut-off to increase its temperature.

    A blackbody thus acts as a semi-conductor transmitting only frequencies below cut-off, and grinding coherent frequencies above cut-off into heat in the form of incoherent high-frequency noise.

    We here distinguish between coherent organized electromagnetic waves of different frequencies in the form of radiation or light, and incoherent high-frequency vibrations or noise, perceived as heat.

    A blackbody thus absorbs and emits frequencies below cut-off without getting warmer, while absorbed frequencies above cut-off are not emitted but are instead stored as heat energy increasing the temperature.

    A blackbody is thus like a high-pass filter, which re-emits frequencies below a cut-off frequency while capturing frequencies above cut-off as heat.

    A blackbody acts like a censor which filters out coherent high-frequency (dangerous) information by transforming it into incoherent (harmless) noise.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Doug,

      Thanks for Claes Johnson’s quote. Please explain what you believe him to be claiming and what he means by the term “cut-off.”

      Have a great dahy!

    • Leonard Weinstein says:

      Doug,

      You are entitled to your opinion, but not your facts. The quote from Prof Claes Johnson is pure nonsense, and disagrees with all known physics. A black body radiates and absorbs all EM radiation. A black body is an idealized object, and all real materials have some absorption and emission coefficients different from ideal black bodies, but the comment from Claes is not how things work in general. Absorbing and emitting gases have specific wave lengths of interaction, but solid bodies are generally close to black body response, with added term of reflectivity.

  28. JohnKl says:

    Hi Roy,

    You stated:

    “UPDATE: I didn’t address the fact that atmospheric O2 concentrations have fallen commensurate with the rise in atmospheric CO2, which is supposedly “proof” of fossil fuel burning being the 100% cause of atmospheric CO2 increase. But increased oxidation of organic matter has the same effect on O2.”

    In fact the theoretical disturbance to the oxygen/nitrogen balance and quantities in the atmosphere appear to me as the only conceivable remotely possible extremely long-term ( if ever ) threat posed by supposedly ever rising CO2 levels. After all CO2 is among the heavier atmospheric gasses. Which remains the reason it very seldom ever gets mentioned.

    Have a great day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Roy,

      Correction, my post should state:

      In fact since CO2 is among the heavier atmospheric gasses the theoretical disturbance to the oxygen/nitrogen balance and quantities in the atmosphere appear to me as the only conceivable remotely possible extremely long-term ( if ever ) threat posed by supposedly ever rising CO2 levels. Which remains the reason it very seldom ever gets mentioned.

      Have a great day!

  29. rick says:

    The tracker of searches which Google or somebody has inserted deep in my computer has gone mad:

    It is offering,

    “Cheap El Ninos in your neighbourhood!”

  30. Pehr Björnbom says:

    “The best argument advanced that I am wrong is from a ~1,000 year record of CO2 from the Law Dome ice core (a record I was unaware of) which suggests the recent CO2 increase is almost entirely anthropogenic in origin.”

    This may well be the best argument but this curve also raise questions about the effect of deforestation on the carbon dioxide level. Why is no effect of deforestation seen in this curve for the time interval 1000-1800. During this time interval large parts of for example Europe was deforestated.

    “…atmospheric O2 concentrations have fallen commensurate with the rise in atmospheric CO2, which is supposedly “proof” of fossil fuel burning being the 100% cause of atmospheric CO2 increase”

    I think that this is a red herring.

    We know fairly well how much fossil fuel has been burnt and the corresponding amount of oxygen consumed is therefore also known. This removal of oxygen from the atmosphere will occur whatever the fate of the emitted fossil carbon dioxide.

    Part of the emitted fossil carbon dioxide will stay in the atmosphere, part will be absorbed by the ocean, mostly in specific locations. In the same time, in other locations, the ocean emits natural carbon dioxide.

    The increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will consist of fossil carbon dioxide that is not being absorbed by the ocean and net emitted natural carbon dioxide.

    The consensus view claimed by the IPCC report is that almost all of the increase consists of fossil carbon dioxide with no increase in natural carbon dioxide, i.e. no substantial natural net emissions. However, in principle the increase could consist of say 50% fossil carbon dioxide (i.e. more fossil carbon dioxide is absorbed than assumed by IPCC) and 50% natural emissions. The origin of those net natural emissions could be the disequilibrium in the carbon cycle system caused by the increasing global temperature.

    In both cases the same amount of oxygen would disappear from the atmosphere because this amount is determined by the amount of burnt fossil fuel which is well known and uncontroversial.

    • Marco says:

      For your 50-50 you’d need to propose a sink that has taken up twice as much as under the current proposed scenario. As I already mentioned earlier if your proposed source is the ocean, biomass must have increased by about a factor 1.5. If your proposed source is biomass (and the sink is thus the ocean), biomass should have decreased by about the same factor. That’s a *lot* of biomass increase or decrease.

      • Pehr Björnbom says:

        Marco,

        No, I don’t need to propose any sink. Please, read my comment once again and think about how my 50-50 scenario differs from the consensus 100-0 scenario. In the 50-50 scenario 50% of the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is of fossil origin while 50% is of natural origin. In the 100-0 scenario the increase is 100% fossil.

        The net increase of carbon dioxide both in the ocean and in the atmosphere is unchanged in my 50-50 scenario compared to the consensus 100-0 scenario.

        The difference in the 50-50 case is that the ocean has absorbed more of the fossil carbon dioxide from the atmosphere but in the same time emitted more natural carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (this is possible because absorption and emission of carbon dioxide into and out of the ocean are taking place in different locations). The 50-50 scenario has more fossil carbon dioxide and less natural carbon dioxide in the ocean and vice versa in the atmosphere compared to the 100-0 scenario.

        Another way of saying this is that the distribution of carbon dioxide in the 50-50 scenario may be symbolically formed by exchanging 50% of the fossil carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the 100-0 scenario with the same amount of natural carbon dioxide from the ocean. Obviously this exchange doesn’t change the total amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or in the ocean.

      • Marco says:

        The ocean cannot be a net source and a net sink. It doesn’t matter that outgassing and uptake take place in two different places, for the ocean as a whole there are only three options if it is to play a role in the change in atmospheric CO2. It can be:
        1. net sink
        2. neutral
        3. net source

        If you claim the atmospheric increase is 50% due to the oceans, you have chosen 3. This also means that the amount of CO2 in the oceans must decrease, and that the biosphere must have taken up a huge amount and increase with around 1000 Gt (rough estimate).

        • Pehr Björnbom says:

          I find that Marco’s argument August 31, 2014 at 6:09 AM is not correct, especially that the 50-50 scenario would imply his point #3 that the ocean then must be a net source. Obviously, if in the flow of carbon between the atmosphere and the ocean an anthropogenic part of the flow is decreased and compensated by increasing the natural flow there is no change in the net flow. The ocean will be a net sink for carbon dioxide to the same extent before and after this exchange.

          I assert that the 50-50 scenario is possible in principle based on current knowledge of the carbon cycle (note that I claim that this is possible, not that this is necessarily so). I have given strong arguments for my view in my previous comments and here further arguments are following.

          Consider Fig. 6.1 in IPCC AR5 WG1 (2013):
          http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/figures/WGI_AR5_Fig6-1.jpg

          This figure shows the carbon cycle according to IPCC and represents a 100-0 scenario, ie. the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, 4 PgC/yr, originates only from anthropogenic carbon dioxide with nothing from natural carbon dioxide.

          But we could easily change this to an example of a 50-50 scenario where the 4 Pg/yr increase originates to 50% from anthropogenic and to 50% from natural carbon dioxide sources. The only thing we need to do is changing two figures in one of the flows in the picture. This is the flow to the left from the ocean to the atmosphere that is in total 78.4 PgC/yr separated into 60.7 of natural and 17.7 of anthropogenic origin.

          If we change the two latter figures to 62.7 and 15.7 we obtain an example of a 50-50 scenario where the increase 4 PgC/yr separates into 2 PgC/yr of natural origin and 2 PgC/yr of anthropogenic origin.

          This change is possible since there is no restriction in principle in what fraction of anthropogenic carbon there should be in that flow. Natural carbon dioxide may originate from upwelling currents from the deep ocean more or less free from anthropogenic carbon and therefore it’s very difficult to determine the fraction of anthropogenic origin in the flow from the ocean to the atmosphere.

          Note that no net flows are affected by my change in those two flows. The ocean is a net sink that is absorbing 2.3-0.7=1.6 PgC/yr from the atmosphere both before and after the change.

          Also note that there is no way of separating the flows of the carbon cycle in flows of natural and anthropogenic origin except calculations using mathematical numerical carbon cycle models (Khatiwala et al., 2013). An assumption that is made in such calculations is that the natural flows were in balance before the industrial period began and that their preindustrial values have not changed (to my knowledge there is no evidence verifying this assumption). Furthermore note that the total flows, for example the flow of 78.4 PgC/yr used in my example, are determined with an uncertainty of around ±20%.

          The change in my example value of the flow of natural carbon dioxide from 60.7 to 62.7 PgC/yr violates this assumption of a preserved preindustrial balance between the natural flows in the carbon cycle. However, multiple lines of evidence have shown that there is an unequivocal change of state in the climate system since the preindustrial period. Therefore I find it reasonable to assume the possibility that the preindustrial balance of the carbon cycle may have been affected due to this change of state of the climate system.

          References

          IPCC AR5 WG1 (2013): Ciais, P., C. Sabine, G. Bala, L. Bopp, V. Brovkin, J. Canadell, A. Chhabra, R. DeFries, J. Galloway, M. Heimann, C. Jones, C. Le Quéré, R.B. Myneni, S. Piao and P. Thornton, 2013: Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 465–570, doi:10.1017/CBO9781107415324.015

          Khatiwala et al. (2013). Global ocean storage of anthropogenic carbon. Biogeosciences, 10, 2169–2191. PDF: http://www.biogeosciences.net/10/2169/2013/bg-10-2169-2013.pdf

          • Pehr Björnbom says:

            Marco has not replied to my last comment. So far my arguments, based on the IPCC carbon cycle mass balance, that a 50-50 scenario is possible, remain undisputed.

          • Pehr Björnbom says:

            Dear Craig Thomas, September 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM,

            Thank you for your comments. Here my response follows.

            Note that the question posed by Marco to me is if it is possible, as I have hypothesized, that half of the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is natural and then only half is anthropogenic. That is that the increase of 4 PgC/yr consists of 2 PgC/yr natural and 2 PgC/yr anthropogenic. This is a purely hypothetical question and we are not discussing how it really is.

            You wrote:

            “You are positing a weird double-action whereby the ocean uptakes all emitted CO2 and then reemits a whole heap of *different* CO2 (just not the anthropogenic CO2). This makes no sense, and you have no evidence this even could happen, let alone any evidence it actually is.”

            My view has support from the scientific literature. A map over the sea-air carbon fluxes is published in the supplement of Wanninkhof et al (2013). See figure B2 (a) where carbon dioxide flows from the sea to the air due to upwelling currents from the deep sea that are seen in several areas. Mostly notable is the area in the Pacific west of Peru where the upwelling cold deep sea water not only is releasing carbon dioxide but also is important for the ENSO.

            “Observed facts:
            We know the CO2 in the atmosphere was in equilibrium within the carbon cycle prior to human industrial emissions.
            We know humans now emit 29Gt pa.
            We know CO2 in the atmosphere is now increasing at 16Gt pa”

            Note that I have considered this in my comments. My reasoning is not contradicting those facts. I have in my previous comment used the same figures on carbon emissions and increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as you by using the carbon cycle mass balance from the IPCC WG1 AR5 report:
            http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/figures/WGI_AR5_Fig6-1.jpg

            Note that IPCC is using the unit PgC/yr. 1 Gt CO2 per year corresponds to 0.27 PgC/yr in that Fig 6-1.

            Your figure 16 Gt pa corresponds to the red figure for average atmospheric increase 4 PgC/yr in the box for the atmosphere. Your human emissions of 29Gt pa corresponds to the 7.8 PgC/yr from fossil fuels and cement production in the arrow from the factory building to the atmospheric box (however, to this figure should be added land use change which increases the human emissions to around 9 PgC/yr).

            Reference

            R. Wanninkhof et al. Global ocean carbon uptake: magnitude, variability and trends. Biogeosciences, 10, 1983-2000, 2013
            http://www.biogeosciences.net/10/1983/2013/
            Supplement:
            http://www.biogeosciences.net/10/1983/2013/bg-10-1983-2013-supplement.pdf

        • Bart says:

          “…This also means that the amount of CO2 in the oceans must decrease…”

          … relative to what it otherwise would have been. Your argument suggests that you should get colder the closer you get to a stove. No. The stove is simply less hot than it would be if all the heat were kept near it.

          • Craig Thomas says:

            Pehr, what evidence do you have to support your scenario? Do you have any evidence that atmospheric CO2 is isotopically related to the imaginary upwelling you describe? Is it isotopically unrelated to human emissions? Do you have any measurements for your ocean upwelling?

            Answer: you have no evidence at all.

            You are positing a weird double-action whereby the ocean uptakes all emitted CO2 and then reemits a whole heap of *different* CO2 (just not the anthropogenic CO2). This makes no sense, and you have no evidence this even could happen, let alone any evidence it actually is.

            Observed facts:
            We know the CO2 in the atmosphere was in equilibrium within the carbon cycle prior to human industrial emissions.
            We know humans now emit 29Gt pa.
            We know CO2 in the atmosphere is now increasing at 16Gt pa

            If the only change we know about is the +29Gt pa, and the effect of that change is a very visible +16Gt pa in the atmosphere, then there isn’t any justification for inventing a speculative mechanism based on no observed facts which contradicts the facts we have observed. That’s not something a good scientist would ever do.

  31. Eli Rabett says:

    Dear Dr, Roy writes:

    “But what if (I’m NOT necessarily advocating this) most of the CO2 humans produce, which is near the land surface, is absorbed by vegetation, and the observed global increase is partly or mostly due to outgassing of the oceans?”

    Most of the CO2 humans produce is created by combustion of fossil fuels.

    What part of hot air rises don’t you understand?

    • Doug says:

      What part of “hot gases disperse in all directions so as to restore thermodynamic equilibrium as the Second Law of Thermodynamics says” don’t you understand? How does the necessary energy get into the surface of Venus in order to raise its temperature to rise by 5 degrees whilst the Sun shines? Yes some hot gases fall. Remember there’s $5,000 on offer if you’re the first to prove the physics and the empirical evidence in my book wrong.

  32. richard says:

    One day the world is going to naturally get a lot hotter and a lot colder. What will be the world’s answer to the problems that might arise. Whatever the answer then that will be the answer to the supposed problem of co2 cause warming.

  33. Ian Nunn says:

    As a computer scientist, when I decided to look at the AGW issue, I started with the Vostok data (my blog: http://thepoog.com/?p=5620). No one was discussing it which I found remarkable. The “climate” modelers, until they can model this, are simply modelling weather – and not well at that (see: http://thepoog.com/?p=5281).

    Much later I found the Law Dome data and commented on that (http://thepoog.com/?p=5844). It’s a wonderfully detailed record of the last 160 years. I think even a grade school student could make intelligent observation about both data sets that would embarrass the AGW crowd.

    Finally, of note – at least to myself – is a NASA paper (discussed in http://thepoog.com/?p=5103)that noted during a recent solar storm: “CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total [energy] back into space.” Eliminate CO2 and we’re cooked.

    I just checked with Wikipedia and a galactic year is estimated at 225,000 to 250,000 terrestrial years. This aligns our current interglacial peak with the one, two back. Maybe the theory of the impact of cosmic rays on climate should be taken more seriously.

    • Doug says:

      Actually, Ian, Earth’s climate correlates very well with the inverted scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and nine planets (see earth-climate dot com) and this may well be due to planetary orbits affecting cosmic ray production through their magnetic fields. The plot includes a 934 year cycle with superimposed 60 year cycles that have maxima around 1880, 1940, 2000 etc. The interglacial periods may have to do with the variations of Earth’s eccentricity and the 100,000 year cycle for such. This leads to variation in the annual mean distance between Sun and Earth.

      • Ian Nunn says:

        I may rightly be accuse of gross ignorance in the area of climate science. However, as a layman I do try to make sense of what I find. I guess the question I should have asked is how do climate models model a cycle of glaciation?

        • Doug says:

          They don’t, and they don’t bother because their political motives do not extend 100,000 years into the future. The world will experience 500 years of cooling, starting in about 100 years from now, just like between the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age, but they don’t care because they won’t be around.

  34. rick says:

    In one of the links of Ian Nunn above, there is a swipe against “academic” approaches, and, in particular, against academic economists blundering around in the stock market.

    As someone who has been exposed to a lot of economics waffle, I like jokes about it. One, which somebody put here recently, runs:

    A bunch of economists are marooned on a desert island, and are walking on the shore. They find a can of pineapple slices, washed up on the beach. They stand around, looking at it forlornly. Then one says, slowly,

    “Assume a tin-opener…”

    Another involves a “Chicago” style economist (believes in rational expectations and immediate arbitrage) walking with a companion. His friend spots a twenty dollar bill on the pavement, and starts to bend down. The economist says:

    “Don’t bother! If it were really there, it would have been picked up already.”

  35. Doug says:

    But the carbon dioxide doesn’t warm the surface, Roy. If it did then you would be able to answer this question …

    The emissivity of asphalt pavement has been measured as 0.93. If the whole Earth’s surface were covered in such I suggest Earth would be a hotter place. How hot? Well the solar radiation reaching the surface has a mean of 161W/m^2. Bung those figures into your trusty on line Stefan-Boltzmann calculator (easily found courtesy Google) and … wait for it … you get 235.066K.

    Explain please Roy or anyone who hasn’t read the explanation in my book.

    Oh, and before you say it’s the extra back radiation that adds 53 degrees to the surface temperature (235 to 288K) I’m afraid an atmosphere cannot boost energy. All the solar radiation entering the atmosphere (excluding what is reflected back to space) would still only achieve about 255K to 260K at the most. The atmosphere cannot deliver more energy into the surface that enters at the top. In fact none of the back radiation does any warming anyway, so we really do only have the 161W/m^2.

    • Richard says:

      Isn’t that 161W/sq.m figure taken from Trenberth’s Global Energy Budget and isn’t that based on speculative, unproven models? I have always wondered if the conventional method of calculating Earth’s effective temperature is flawed due to the fact that it ignores heat-retention and assumes that the entire Earth is perpetually in sunlight 100% of the time. Is it perhaps all too simplistic me wonders.

      • Doug says:

        Richard. NASA diagrams have been showing that (initailly) 51% of solar radiation reaches the surface. In recent years they reduced it to 48%. It would not be far out. It is not what shines all the time. You need to read up a bit. TOA incident radiation is 1366W/m^2 and they divide that by 4 because as it is spread over a sphere. It is the calculations using back radiation that are entirely wrong. Yes there is heat retention – due to gravity.

        • Richard says:

          Thanks, I am aware that the standard practice takes the solar constant and divides it by 4. However I was under the impression that the method treated the planet as a flat-disc that is always in sunlight, hence my saying “perpetually in sunlight”, rather than a rotating sphere with night and day cycles. The fact that the Earth does rotate and has day/night cycles means that the equation may be inadequate as it does not take into account heat-retention during the night which I think is potentially very important. This is explained in more detail in the Slay the Sky Dragon book.

          • Doug says:

            Heat retention is of fundamental importance. Radiation is not the primary determinant of planetary surface temperatures. The solid core of Uranus has a temperature about 5,000K all due to energy trapped by gravity over the life of the planet.

          • Craig Thomas says:

            When does Doug get his Nobel prize?

  36. Doug says:

    $5,000 REWARD still not claimed, Roy.

    No one has even come close to putting forward reasonable evidence as to how the required energy gets into the surfaces of Earth and Venus in order to raise their temperatures supposedly by radiation during their sunlit hours. The theory has to be supported by a study (such as in my book) but showing the opposite result and somehow supporting the greenhouse conjecture that water vapour warms Earth’s surface significantly more in more moist regions than dry regions at similar latitudes and altitudes.

    Now, Roy, you could set out your “theory” and your study supporting it in an article and I would take on all comers. This is not a joke, Roy.

  37. Chas says:

    Is the Law Dome CO2 record quite what it seems?
    If there are bacteria that use CO2 living under the ice in the lake then perhaps there might be something IN the ice that might also be able use CO2 albeit very sloooowly??
    Some of the bacteria seem to use ammonium and CO2 and some ammonium and methane:
    http://www.montana.edu/news/15002/u-s-expedition-yields-first-breakthrough-paper-about-life-under-antarctic-ice

  38. Franco says:

    “The spreadsheet includes yearly estimates of (1) atmospheric increase in CO2, (2) fossil fuel and cement production of CO2, (3) an estimate of the ocean CO2 sink, (4) an estimate of land use change emissions CO2 source, and I added to these variables (5) global land surface temperature [CRUTem4], and (6) global sea surface temperature [HadSST3]”

    As a newcomer to this blog, I have a naive question, perhaps already discussed in the past.
    Why I do not see among the estimates also the contribution of (7) human respiration; (8) CO2 and CH4 from cattles grown for human food?

    About the figures I found for the first (I made same maths also myself), they are very significant compared with fossil burning, and I think that the steep increase in human population should be considered out of the natural cycle as fossil burning is. For cattles contribution, I was unable so far to find data, but I suspect that their contribution could be even higher.

    • Gavin Cawley says:

      Franco, the reason that human respiration is not included is because it is carbon neutral over the course of a year or so. The carbon in the CO2 that we breathe out comes from the food we eat. The carbon in that ultimately comes from CO2 taken out of the atmosphere by photosynthesis, and then ingested by us either directly by eating plants or indirectly by eating the animals that eat the plants. Thus it has no long term effect on atmospheric CO2. Similar arguments apply to CO2 from livestock. CH4 from livestock is another matter, but there is no good reason to find it in a spreadsheet of CO2 data, but you are likely to find the data available elsewhere.

  39. Vaughan Pratt says:

    @Ian Nunn: Much later I found the Law Dome data and commented on that (http://thepoog.com/?p=5844). It’s a wonderfully detailed record of the last 160 years. I think even a grade school student could make intelligent observation about both data sets that would embarrass the AGW crowd.

    Ironically, about two weeks before your December 18, 2013 comment there, I gave a talk at the AGU Fall Meeting, Part 3 of which used the Law Dome CO2 data to explain, not refute, global temperature since 1850.

    Moreover the Law Dome data is not at all surprising when matched up to preindustrial CO2 of 283 ppmv plus 41% of the CDIAC CO2 emissions data and land use changes.

    The slides for the talk are at
    http://clim.stanford.edu/PrattAGUFM13.pdf
    The Law Dome data enters on slide 21, and slide 22 shows the match-up with the CDIAC data.
    A video transcript of my presentation can be found by googling for GC53c-06 (if you can fight your way through AGU’s obstacle course).

    Failure to find a connection when one can be clearly demonstrated should embarrass the one who failed to find it, not the ones who claim a connection exists.

  40. JJ says:

    http://www.livescience.com/40451-volcanic-co2-levels-are-staggering.html

    Very interesting website you have here. It aligns with my non-scientist research but the cloud angle I did not consider as a primary driver. I found the above link doing research and it seems to backup what I had suspected of where some, not all, the extra CO2 was coming from. It also may account for some of the heat. Just wanted to get your thoughts.

    Another site I found interesting was Stephen Goddard (Tony Heller) Real Science site and what is your thoughts on his data and his dispute with Whats Up With That web site. So many contradicting sources I am always attempting to vette them before using the information.

    Personally, my research leads me to believe that GW is a real phenomenon and is exacerbated by a very small man made contribution. The economic changes are a bit extreme in my opinion. I also feel that GW is not all bad and there is little we can do to change it. Living cleaner is always good but technologies need to mature and become self sustaining in the marketplace. However I am strongly against carbon credits.

    Look forward to your thoughts and the thoughts of your contributors.

  41. Val says:

    “The best argument advanced that I am wrong is from a ~1,000 year record of CO2 from the Law Dome ice core…”

    Then, Dr Spencer, your analysis is safe. One would have to be pretty gullible to accept the ice core record on face value. A review of Jaworowski’s evidence on ice core CO2 and how it has been altered by physical and chemical effects quickly puts that hypothesis to bed. Salby showed that when those effects are considered, the true record of earlier CO2 is anything but flat. http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2014/9/3/salby-in-blighty.html The picture he presented is consistent with Wagner’s analysis of CO2 from leaf stomata and with other estimates of earlier CO2. They too show changes much greater than the ice core record. They happen to also show a strong relationship to temperature….

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