A Year in the Life of CO2

November 18th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

This is pretty cool. A NASA model simulation of how CO2 (and carbon monoxide) is transported after it is emitted. They also have hi-res movies for other regions, but here’s one for the globe:

If you go to their website you can download the hi-res versions. The files are huge, but on a large monitor the detail in them is astonishing… as mesmerizing as watching a fire in the fireplace.

This kind of simulation could be done for any atmospheric tracer, not just carbon dioxide. The color range represents only 20 ppm in CO2 concentration (plus or minus 2.5% of the average concentration). Try not to get freaked out by all of this “pollution”…it is, after all, necessary for life on Earth. Some of the sources in the simulation are also vegetation over land….but the urban and industrial sources are more dramatic.

(h/t Cal Beisner)


94 Responses to “A Year in the Life of CO2”

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  1. davey says:

    The following has just been brought to my attention; viz, a paper in Polar Biology, Nov. 11, 2014.

    “Multiple Occurrences of King Penguin Sexual Harassment by Antarctic Fur seals.”

    In the worst case the seal not only raped the penguin – it then ate it. We must call him “Furry Hannibal.”

    Obviously, this is our fault, because global warming has driven the seals mad, what with the heat and everything. Oh, wait, the ANT-arctic. That is where the sea-ice is at record levels. I am now confused.

  2. Bret says:

    First, I’m glad to see the uptick in your blogging activity. I always enjoy your posts.

    Is the reason for the far greater amount of CO2 in the winter because of heating?

  3. Thanks, Dr. Spencer.
    It fascinating to watch models, they paint such interesting and colorful pictures.
    The CO2 obsession has had some good artistic outcomes. At what cost?
    It is not only the computers and the buildings and the salaries, but the distortion of the minds and world-views of people all over the world.

    • Joe says:

      Agreed. It’s a great simulation showing the dynamics, but due to the colors they make it look very bad, like the atmosphere is bleeding or on fire something. Average people looking at this will probably think it’s the end of the world.

      • Ogirdor says:

        I completely agree with you!

        As Dr. Roy Spencer wrote “The color range represents only 20 ppm in CO2 concentration (plus or minus 2.5% of the average concentration).”

    • Fonzarelli says:

      Andres, that’s got to be a big concern about all this. What is the social impact of agw? I think there may be any number of false paradigms out there but agw has got to be the grand daddy of them all. It’s high profile, outrageous claims, and political polarization are what sets it apart. On the flip side, agw is also an opportunity for a teachable moment. In the long run, it could be a good thing for society as a whole to be confronted by and overcome such a false paradigm. I think agw should be viewed as a positive challenge for humanity…

      • Lewis says:

        Fonzarelli,

        I wish what you wish could only be true, just once. As a younger man I was somewhat idealistic. Aging wore on me and I no longer believe mankind is so very smart. The Tommy Lee Jones quote in Men In Black comes to mind – the one about individuals being smart but groups of people being emotional/stupid.

        We thought we had two wars to end all wars. Then there was Korea, Vietnam and now their are wars and miscreant behavior over much of the world. Could Hitler or Stalin come to power now? See ISIS and Putin and answer that.

        More to your point, people build houses on the sands of barrier islands then wonder why hurricanes destroy them. The list goes on.

        Here we have Dr. Spencer and company, trying to inject reason into an argument and they are, often as not, berated and shouted down. Concurrently, as we have seen from the graphs the Dr. is so kind to regularly update, GW, not to be confused with AGW, has been nonexistent for 17 years but those who are emotionally tied to AGW continue on selling their snake oil. Personally I know plenty who toe the line.

        So what will it take to get them to change their beliefs, because it is emotional beliefs you are dealing with.

        So much for reason in the masses.

        • Fonzarelli says:

          I hear you, Lewis, I hear you… That’s what makes this thing such a challenge; when idealism collides with realism. At least you’ve recognized the first step, that the masses are so gullible. For a lot of us agw has been useful in highlighting that gullibility. So the lemon of agw has produced the lemonade of the awareness of society’s deficiciency. If agw fails (or at least is shown to be false) then more folks will have that awareness, too. Where will all this “awareness” lead us? Probably not very far (in that sense I concur with you), but it will lead us further than we otherwise would have been. That’s about all that we can expect really. (BUT that doesn’t mean that we should ever give up trying…)

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            You stated:

            “If agw fails (or at least is shown to be false) then more folks will have that awareness, too.”

            Or alternatively, if agw succeeds in warming the planet slightly but all the doomsday predictions prove wrong and life on the planet continues to flourish will anyone be aware of their own paranoid over-reaction or just continue on in open-mouthed, self-induced terror of some hypothetical but nevertheless supposedly inevitable climate apocalypse? Will they continue to fruitlessly oppress there fellow citizens with mindless, ineffectual carbon legislation designed to feather the already overstuffed nests of a few wealthy industrial alarmists like Al Gore while accomplishing little if any results?

            More likely as I’ve pointed out in another post, new technological developments such as the development of multi-photovoltaic paints for automobiles (allowing electric vehicles to be recharged by the sun) will over a period of time as the market adopts them (by the few citizens that retain the ability to obtain carbon credits or whatever phony government approved fiat currency at that time exists) begin to slow the annual growth in CO2 and slightly lower global temperatures will follow. Meanwhile, corporate elitist fawning concern for the planet and all that ails it will continue to pass scientifically irrelevant legislation as regards planetary CO2 levels that will continue to deny access to the earth’s resources to the planets inhabitants all the while hoarding them for a few politically connected cronies who’ll parse the stuff to the begging masses at a cost. The proceeds of the scheme will supposedly go to combat CAGW, but will no doubt merely fill the coffers of the politically connected, morally bankrupt social planners who’s only likely real ambition is their wallet and public face and their expressed concerns for humanity and the planet dry wind.

            Have a great day!

        • Streetcred says:

          Lewis, excellent commentary, thank you.

          You said, “So what will it take to get them to change their beliefs, because it is emotional beliefs you are dealing with.”

          I believe that money and ego is the root of the AGW religion, ergo ‘poorly’paid but seemingly intelligent ‘scientists’ have grasped the opportunity of fame and fortune with both hands and cling like a drowning man to a straw … they crave attention!

          Remove the propellant of fame and fortune and all will return to normal rather quickly. Prosecution of the ringleaders will ensure that lessons will be learned for the time being and serve to dissuade other from attempting the same con again.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        You asked:

        “What is the social impact of agw?”

        A 19th century writer wrote extensively about such nonsense in
        “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” a history of popular folly by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841.

        Thanks, and…

        Have a great day!

    • John says:

      The simulation features a rectangular map projection of the earth’s surface. Such projections typically exaggerate the polar regions vis-a-vis the equatorial regions. In the projection, the poles (single points, radius=0) have the same dimension as the equator (radius=~6400km).

      In the simulation, the projection distortion has the effect of making the CO2 emissions more dramatic. As one moves away from the equator, each pixel represents a smaller area of the earth’s surface.

  4. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    It is amazing to see the change from summer to winter. Wonder how long the emitted CO2 really stays in the air.

  5. Stephen Richards says:

    It’s a bloody model. A computer game. Lovely but meaningless pictures. It’s like one of those bubble glasses we used to have in the ’70s.

    Useless for anything useful.

    • John Olson says:

      I agree with you completely, Stephen Richards. The simulation may be mesmerizing, but it is totally and completely fantastical. It is an illusion – or perhaps a delusion?

      Actual observational measurements made prior to the creation of this false model have shown the increase in CO2 originates not from factories in cities, but from recession of Arctic sea ice. My hypothesis, which is still waiting for confirmation by someone who does research in this area, is that the Arctic ice traps CO2 and other gases emitted by submarine volcanoes during the winter season. Then, as ice melts and trees begin reviving, one can observe excess CO2 “flood” down from the Arctic and “feed” the vegetation. The concept of “long-term CO2” is bogus science from the AGW crowd. There is no such thing.

      While we’re talking about CO2 it is important to point out that Ice Core interpretations are silly science. We do NOT have valid CO2 proxy data from bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice.

      The main reason Ice Core data is bogus is that “layers” of the Ice Core do not refer to millennia, centuries, decades, or even years. Instead, they reflect day and night in a snow storm, which can deposit 24 feet of snow (compacts into roughly 2 feet of ice) in a single event lasting for weeks. It is very misleading to state that the average annual precipitation for Antarctica is only 2 inches. This takes scores of feet of snow deposited along the coast and averages it out across the entire area called Antarctica. Under the very common blizzard conditions in Antarctica, this is not far from what actually happens today. However, warm the Antarctic just a few degrees more than has been common during modern times, and the entire area will accumulate snow as quickly as the edges do today.

      Even more confounding is the manner in which Antarctic ice flows toward lower elevations. Glaciers may be slow, but their movement is NOT like a raft sliding toward lower elevations. It is better described as molasses or taffy: multiple layers folding over each other due to the friction associated with scraping across solid rock, and due to the fact that ice is not rock, although even rock (on time scales long enough) will fold over and twist back upon itself given enough pressure (depth below the surface) and lateral force.

      In 2011, a team of researchers from Corvallis, Oregon succeeded in drilling 10,928 feet into the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide. They believe this “record” spans 40,000 years. I would argue it spans 5,500 snow storms, or, at the rate of annual blizzard events seen at Byrd Station in Antarctica, about 1,000 years. But it could even be much less than that, because the folding motion described in the previous paragraph could double or quadruple ice thickness using material deposited by a single storm over a vast area, from lower to higher elevations.

  6. “as mesmerizing as watching a fire in the fireplace.”

    Just a small point on that observation Dr. Spencer: The name for a fire in the fireplace should be; “Caveman’s TV”

  7. L Leeman says:

    This is an impressive model, and the video mentions OCO Two satellite. But did not JAXA launch a CO2 measuring satellite a few years back ( IBUKI I think )? Any idea of the outcomes of that eye in the sky?

  8. Don K says:

    Really interesting. First take is that much/most of the CO2 seems to be originating not in the urban/industrial centers of Eurasia and North America, but in areas where there are few, if any people — Siberia, Alaska and Northern Canada, the spine of the Andes, the Amazon, Central Africa. Not at all what I’d expected. I expect it’s not what most people on any side of the climate debate expect.

    • Fonzarelli says:

      Not only are human emissions a mere 5% of the total but there is no relationship between the emissions and carbon growth. Carbon growth tracks with temperature:

      http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/deltaCO2vsTemp.JPG

      • John Olson says:

        Yes, Fonzarelli – and specifically, warmer ocean temperatures. It is the long-term warming of the ocean which sustains CO2 “growth”. If I’m not mistaken, humans only emit 3% of the annual global total of all CO2 emissions (97% of CO2 emissions are natural).

        • Fonzarelli says:

          John, about that 3% figure… I was always acquainted with the 3% (6/180) number and then ended up coming to this blog where Dr. Spencer uses 5%. It seems that around 2008 Dr. Spencer was using the 3% figure but at some point changed. Salby used 4% in his video presentation presumably because lately emissions are higher. Recently ferdinand engelbeen gave me the numbers expressed as parts per million volume (ppmv): “- human emissions are about 4.5 ppmv CO2 per year. – natural throughput is 75 ppmv in… per year” That comes to about 6%. If we use the emissions rate when inconvenient truth came out (3.75 ppmv) then it would be 5%. So I use the 5% figure… (If you or anybody else out there in spencerville has any input on this it would be much appreciated)

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi John Olson,

          You stated:

          “If I’m not mistaken, humans only emit 3% of the annual global total of all CO2 emissions (97% of CO2 emissions are natural).”

          Perhaps, but human emissions for the most part greatly exceed the GROWTH in atmospheric CO2 levels (with some exceptions). At some point human emissions push total emissions beyond what nature will stomach and drive a net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels. However, the amount that nature will stomach doesn’t appear to be fixed and has increased over time. Roy pointed out earlier that nature appears to accept about half of whatever humans emit.

          Have a great day!

          • Bart says:

            “Perhaps, but human emissions for the most part greatly exceed the GROWTH in atmospheric CO2 levels (with some exceptions).”

            A meaningless observation trumpeted by those who do not understand feedback systems. In a dynamic feedback system with active sinks, the human inputs can essentially be removed completely in short order, and whatever remains must arise from natural processes.

            ” However, the amount that nature will stomach doesn’t appear to be fixed and has increased over time.”

            Or, nothing has changed,and human inputs simply never were the driver. Occam’s razor, at the very least, argues for that interpretation.

            As human inputs keep accelerating, while atmospheric levels continue at a steady pace governed by the differential relationship to temperatures noted by Fonzarelli above, you will see more and more nonsense speculation that the Earth’s sinks are seemingly becoming more aggressive. Not unlike the epicycles invented by early astronomers to explain the observed deviations from projected circular orbits of celestial bodies, the hand-waving and excuses will become more and more tortured until the crisis in the faith can no longer be brushed aside.

          • JohnKl says:

            Bart (hopefully not Simpson),

            You stated without analysis:

            “In a dynamic feedback system with active sinks, the human inputs can essentially be removed completely in short order, and whatever remains must arise from natural processes.”

            How exactly does the existence of dynamic feedback systems and active sinks (don’t assume I and others don’t know what you speak of) allow you to dismiss human inputs of combusted hydrocarbons? You provided no foundation or evidence for your claim at all. Since dynamic feedback systems and active sinks have always been present on this planet from the beginning, the relatively recent acceleration in atmospheric CO2 especially since the 1970’s coinciding with increased human hydrocarbon combustion seems at least suspect. The vastly slower rate of atmospheric CO2 accumulation prior to the 1960’s cannot simply be ignored and/or dismissed.

            You go on to state without supporting evidence:

            “Or, nothing has changed,and human inputs simply never were the driver. Occam’s razor, at the very least, argues for that interpretation.”

            Occam’s razor argues for precisely the opposite conclusion assuming the historical atmospheric CO2 measurements to be accurate. Your statement lacks clarity in that it seems unclear as to what you believe atmospheric CO2 to be DRIVING or NOT DRIVING. To argue that accelerating human atmospheric carbon inputs bear little or no correlation to accelerating atmospheric carbon levels given the historical record seems delusional at best. Such a claim requires far more ASSUMPTIONS and SPECULATION than the obvious conclusion from empirical data that human atmospheric carbon inputs effect atmospheric carbon levels. Be careful how you handle Occam’s razor you appear all to likely to slice what remains of your objectivity.

            Ask yourself the following question Bart. If (as you strangely assert in a post below) atmospheric CO2 levels have little or nothing to do with human hydrocarbon combustion but merely result from temperature fluctuations then why does the greatest measured acceleration in atmospheric CO2 levels just happen to occur during the last few decades when the human atmospheric carbon input is greatest? That appears to be a very indicative non-random result. It seems strange that planetary atmospheric temperature increases primarily occur when as Y0U claim (personally I don’t pretend much insight as to global atmospheric temperatures even given today’s MSU satellite data let alone during periods prior to 1979 when such satellites first operated, especially since the data has been adjusted my thoughts about prior temperature came admittedly from speculation based on the data-sets mentioned) precisely when humans choose to ramp up hydrocarbon combustion. The evidence suggests you need to reconsider your position and handle Occam’s razor with much greater care.

            You later state:

            “…you will see more and more nonsense speculation that the Earth’s sinks are seemingly becoming more aggressive. ”

            Personally, I never made such an assumption and frankly don’t need to.

            Thanks and have a great day!

          • Bart says:

            The statement about feedback systems is pretty ordinary for those who have studied the subject. I cannot provide a course in the subject here.

            “If (as you strangely assert in a post below) atmospheric CO2 levels have little or nothing to do with human hydrocarbon combustion but merely result from temperature fluctuations then why does the greatest measured acceleration in atmospheric CO2 levels just happen to occur during the last few decades when the human atmospheric carbon input is greatest? That appears to be a very indicative non-random result.”

            Not at all. You have two quantities. They can either both be going up, or both be going down, or one going up while the other goes down. Four possible cases, one particular outcome. Probability: 25%. If I could get those kinds of odds every time I played the lottery, I’d be a wealthy man by now.

            Besides, as far as “the greatest measured acceleration in atmospheric CO2 levels just happen(s) to occur during the last few decades”, we have only been measuring CO2 accurately since the Mauna Loa facility started taking precise measurements in 1958. Ask yourself, if the proxy measurements prior to that were reliable, why did they need the Mauna Loa facility? Measurements prior to 1958 are usually based on ice cores. Other proxies, which produce a very different picture, are ignored, because they do not produce the “right” answer.

            So, we have reliable data for for 56 years. CO2 levels have risen in that time. Human output has risen in that time. But, temperatures have also risen in that time. If you actually look at the data in detail, you can see that the human inputs are diverging from affine similarity with atmospheric concentration – they are accelerating, while atmospheric concentration is flatlining in rate coincident with the temperature lull. The match with temperatures is much better, and is not diverging.

            Given the rate of divergence, if temperatures maintain their stasis or decline, the disagreement will become very stark. Keep watching, and see what happens.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Bart,

            Your reasoning seems to suffer more as time goes by. You retort:

            “Besides, as far as “the greatest measured acceleration in atmospheric CO2 levels just happen(s) to occur during the last few decades”, we have only been measuring CO2 accurately since the Mauna Loa facility started taking precise measurements in 1958.”

            Seriously Bart I’ve discussed Mona Loa data for some time on this website. Either your patronizing, not paying attention or haven’t read them. If you don’t like the late 19th century data (and I can understand why from your apparent bias you wouldn’t) indicating ranges of 280-300 ppm, then by all means stick to more recent and technologically sound data. In the 1880’s if I remember atmospheric CO2 levels fell somewhere around 280-288 ppm. In 1958 Mona Loa measurements began at 315.71 ppm and recently fell at 395.93 ppm. Apparently from the late 19th century to 1958 say 70-80 years atmospheric CO2 only increased ~35 ppm. Probably less than .5 ppm/yr growth rate. In the 56 years since 1958 CO2 increased ~80-85ppm or ~1.55+ ppm/yr. The rate has accelerated.

            You go on:

            “Ask yourself, if the proxy measurements prior to that were reliable, why did they need the Mauna Loa facility? Measurements prior to 1958 are usually based on ice cores. Other proxies, which produce a very different picture, are ignored, because they do not produce the “right” answer.”

            You brought up proxy data. I have repeatedly attacked them in the past. Actual historical recorded measurement records prove more than satisfactory evidence at establishing a correlation. Stick to the FACTS you don’t need to run-off on tangents!

            You insist on making irrelevant points when you state:

            “If you actually look at the data in detail, you can see that the human inputs are diverging from affine similarity with atmospheric concentration – they are accelerating, while atmospheric concentration is flatlining in rate coincident with the temperature lull.”

            Previously, I argued AGAINST any strict ratio between atmospheric concentration and human carbon inputs so your statement seems to have little meaning. Human atmospheric carbon inputs can effect atmospheric carbon levels without displaying some contrived ratio. We should all understand the varying impacts of as you label dynamic feedback system and active sinks.

            You responded apparently without understanding to my posts below, but as of current time I must depart and respond later. As usual…

            Have a great day!

          • Fonzarelli says:

            John, allow me to intervene here… The accelerated growth of carbon since the inception of Mauna Loa is due to an increase in temperature NOT human emissions. If temps were as low as they were before Mauna Loa we would be seeing the same rate of change as we saw back then. Bart has posted a couple of excellent graphs (from wood for trees) that bear this out. (Particularly look at the hadcru graph which shows all the way back to Mauna Loa’s inception) Carbon growth ONLY goes where temperature goes. Without the increase in temperature, you do NOT have an increase in carbon growth rate. And bear in mind that if temperature AND human emissions were not increasing then we would not be having this conversation in the first place. (we’d be out playing golf…) So the accelerated growth rate in recent years should not be associated with the growth in human emissions. Correlation is NOT causation…

            We’ll talk more on this as time goes by. There’s a lot to chew on here… I’m glad you met bart here. NO ONE “cuts to the chase” better than he. In fact in honor of that, I’m going to make cutting to the chase my new years resolution. I’m tired of being a “wishy washy stuck in reverse namby pamby” !!! (and i’m also sick and tired of seeing the discussion on ALL the carbon data, yes ice cores and all, being stuck in reverse, too)

          • Bart says:

            JohnKl @ November 23, 2014 at 3:41 AM

            “Previously, I argued AGAINST any strict ratio between atmospheric concentration and human carbon inputs so your statement seems to have little meaning.”

            Well, you can handwave on that if you like. But, the perturbation system is linear, and it is reasonable to expect that there would be an essentially affine relationship between the driving input and the output. And, lo and behold, there is.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Bart and Fonzarelli,

            Before I respond more fully, please pause to remember that SCIENCE consists of the FACTS and LAWS of nature NOT SPECULATION, MODELS AND/OR CONJECTURE.

            Fonzarelli, you state:

            “The accelerated growth of carbon since the inception of Mauna Loa is due to an increase in temperature NOT human emissions.”

            Keep in mind MSU satellites capable of estimating global temperature averages from atmospheric oxygen microwave emissions only existed since 1979 while Mona Loa data begins in 1958! Moreover, the UAH data sets provided by Roy show little if any significant sustained warming until approx 1997-8 and subsequent periods. Yet we know atmospheric CO2 levels grew at an accelerated pace during the entire period. You appear ready to leap toward vast opinions based on extremely limited data.

            Nevertheless, undeterred by lack of information Fonzarelli continues:

            “If temps were as low as they were before Mauna Loa we would be seeing the same rate of change as we saw back then.”

            Fonzarelli, has your chrystal ball told you this? Where do you get your extensive global temperature data prior to 1958? I suppose a network of spotty surface thermometers of varying reliability and balloon data should prove more than enough to information to convince the most credulous. In fact, that period provides the HIGHEST temperature ever recorded on the planet.

            “The hottest air temperature ever recorded in Death Valley (Furnace Creek) was 134°F (57°C) on July 10, 1913. During the heat wave that peaked with that record, five consecutive days reached 129° F (54°C) or above.”

            “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

            ― Mark Twain

            Fonzarelli, you suggest:

            “Bart has posted a couple of excellent graphs (from wood for trees) that bear this out. (Particularly look at the hadcru graph which shows all the way back to Mauna Loa’s inception) Carbon growth ONLY goes where temperature goes.”

            Again, the Mona Loa data is easily available. Imo, anyone who pretends to know global atmospheric temperatures prior to 1979 should seek help.

            Fonzarelli, then asserts:

            “Carbon growth ONLY goes where temperature goes.”

            I’ve already claimed as much and do not see the value in restating the obvious. You further assert:

            “Without the increase in temperature, you do NOT have an increase in carbon growth rate…So the accelerated growth rate in recent years should not be associated with the growth in human emissions. Correlation is NOT causation…”

            Pure counter-factual conjecture. As I mentioned earlier I will provide more information later. However, keep in mind the graph you providing correlating CO2 growth with satellite temp data showed almost immediate correlation without the delay requisite to temp flux’s affecting CO2 levels. As Bart quoted me earlier:

            “Electromagnetic changes in the atmospheric absorption of radiation due to changes in atmospheric CO2 levels would result in rapid (if not seemingly instantaneous) changes to atmospheric temperature but the changes in atmospheric levels of CO2 resulting from a change in temperature due to chemical and biological changes in plant CO2 absorption, decomposition, animal activity etc. must occur over a much larger time frame. This should be obvious.”

            Somehow, Bart suffering from apparent cognitive dissonance thinks this proves temp flux’s cause CO2 changes! Please explain this assertion Bart. You both should head Fonzarelli’s warning regarding causation and correlation.

            Thanks for your inputs and as usual have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Bart and Fonzarelli,

            Allow me a correction to my post:

            “Carbon growth ONLY goes where temperature goes.”

            I’ve already claimed that Carbon growth rate correlates with temperatures but imo your causative claim has no empirical support. You further assert:

          • Fonzarelli says:

            1) as you can see Hadley is very close to UAH so there’s no reason to think the temp data is flawed from ’59 to ’79. More over, Hadley tracks temps during those years; if it were wrong it would deviate from carbon growth…

            2) from ’79 to ’98 carbon growth trends flat (no acceleration) just like UAH. Both rise at ’98 and essentially trend flat til the present (again no acceleration). Co2 levels DID NOT grow at an accelerated pace during the entire period…

            3) any number of data sets and temp reconstructions show cooler global temps before the Mauna Loa record going back to 1860. (recall the little ice age that we’ve been coming out of since 1860) It’s reasonable to think this would produce lower carbon growth before the Mauna Loa record…

            4) a few days in one spot speak nothing of global temperature trends.

            5) Hadley tracks well with UAH for 35 years; there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t be accurate then going back 20 more years. (Especially since it continue to track carbon growth back to Mauna Loa’s inception)

            6) the mike jonas graph that i linked to shows the yearly rate of change centered at the half way (6 month) point. If a warming event occurred say in September and carbon growth thus happened in December then it would be recorded in June… The ipcc co2 graph (that Dr Spencer has) with satellite data superimposed shows temperature preceding the growth of co2. This is well known and not to be confused with the lag in ice cores…

            7) temperature does indeed cause the rise in co2. This is a very detailed correlation that stretches over half a century. Although this may be indicative of a largely natural rise, it could also mean an anthropogenic rise that is regulated by temperature. Your notion that change in carbon growth causes change in temperature is patently absurd. Small changes in atmospheric carbon levels result in minuscule changes in temps. (If a 300 ppm change produces 1 degree celsius then 3 ppm will produce a negligible .01 degree rise) a detailed correlation such as this means one is causing the other. Since co2 can’t effect temperature in this way then it must be temperature driving carbon growth… One thing is for sure, human emissions are NOT driving the trend in carbon growth !!!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            You made many claims. First:

            “1) as you can see Hadley is very close to UAH so there’s no reason to think the temp data is flawed from ’59 to ’79. More over, Hadley tracks temps during those years; if it were wrong it would deviate from carbon growth…”

            The two data-sets likely get adjusted frequently. UAH for example has been adjusted at least ten times. Does it seem a coincidence that the data-sets tend to agree more after the adjustments? Do you have the data-set tracking carbon growth with Hadley temp data back to 1959? you go on:

            “2) from ’79 to ’98 carbon growth trends flat (no acceleration) just like UAH. Both rise at ’98 and essentially trend flat til the present (again no acceleration). Co2 levels DID NOT grow at an accelerated pace during the entire period…”

            First, please note that I already acknowledged that the rate of carbon growth tracked with temp data throughout that period. My statement attacked a statement by others (I believe it was Bart) correlating temp data with the level of carbon in the atmosphere and not growth. In fact, if you review Roy’s carbon growth data-set you’ll see carbon grew from .5-2.5 ppm/yr throughout the ’79 to ’98 period, spiking close to 4 ppm/yr toward the end. So, yes carbon did grow at an accelerated pace during this entire period compared to prior periods like the 1960’s and 1970’s where it fell closer to 0-1 ppm/yr. The data can’t be ignored.

            Must leave for now, but will return to respond further later.

            Have a great day!

          • John Kl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            Note a correction:

            1960’s to 1970’s carbon growth rate closer to 0-1.5 ppm/yr spiking at a little over ~2.5 ppm/yr in the late 1970’s.

            Have a great day!

          • John Kl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            Note a correction: 1960’s to 1970’s carbon growth fell around 0-1.5 ppm/yr with a spike over 2.5 ppm/yr in the mid to late 1970’s.

            Thanks and have a great day!

          • Fonzarelli says:

            John, we may run out of replies soon… Maybe we can start a brand new comment at the bottom of the page. I’ll keep an eye out for you. (Should be easy cause we’re the only two drunks left at the party)

            1) correction; “Hadley tracks temps” should read “Hadley tracks carbon growth”. Yes, I believe it was the final link that bart provided you that had both Hadley and carbon growth back to ’59. (let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll post for you) If EITHER Hadley or Mauna Loa were to be wrong then they would deviate (one from the other).

            I, too, have some time constraints and as well would like to rest the ol’ noggin before I crack into your rebuttal of point #2… Fonz

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Fonzie’s back…

            2) I had a bit of a misunderstanding, I assumed by “entire period” that you were referring to the entirety of the UAH data set (not MLO). Keep in mind that UAH spans over a third of a century and is nearly two thirds the span of the mauna loa data set. So, I think you could harrdly call that “extremely limited” data. If carbon growth tracks with temps (uah) for two thirds of the record, then why would we expect it to be any different for the third that doesn’t overlap with UAH? (ESPECIALLY with the corroboration of Hadley over the entirety of the record) AND bear in mind that the corroboration of both UAH and Hadley with Mauna Loa vouches for the accuracy of ALL THREE DATA SETS.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            John, i’ve got the link to hadley/mauna loa near the bottom of this page (about three comments up from the bottom). I had forgotten that I put it there. I always test my links before posting for others…

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        Carbon growth does indeed track with temperature. This apparent fact leads to pretty obvious conclusions.

        1. The RATE of global atmospheric CO2 GROWTH does indeed effect global temperatures. However, the absolute quantity of atmospheric CO2 and/or it’s proportion in the atmosphere doesn’t appear to. As I mentioned in another post, per your graph when the rate of atmospheric CO2 growth increases from ~1 ppm/yr to ~4 ppm/yr temps predictably rise. However, when the rate of CO2 growth diminishes from 4 ppm/yr back to 1 ppm/yr the temps decline. This happens despite the fact that absolute levels of atmospheric CO2 continue to rise.

        2. It seems likely that temps will only increase in the future if the rate of global atmospheric CO2 growth increases, will decrease if the rate of global atmospheric CO2 decreases and if the current ~2-3.5 ppm/yr rate of growth remains unchanged temps should remain approximately similar to today’s levels.

        It’s clear from the graph and Roy’s data that even if CO2 growth dropped to 0-.5 ppm/yr, or close to late 19th century levels not seen for many decades global temps would only drop a few tenths of a degree centigrade. Was the climate at that time beyond any comparison better than the current one? Do past temp norms represent some kind of ideal to which everyone must return? At what cost and to whom? The game continues.

        Have a great day!

        • Bart says:

          ” The RATE of global atmospheric CO2 GROWTH does indeed effect global temperatures.”

          That is an absurd conclusion, which posits an instantaneous response by a nonexistent mechanism. Much more reasonable, and causal, to conclude the opposite, that the rate of change of CO2 is governed by temperatures.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Greetings to Brother Bart of the Immaculate Convection (Schismatic Church of Climatology; Watts Branch)… I’ve recently become more and more familiar with your work over there at wuwt and would just like to “tip my hat” to you! Anyone who can go toe to toe with engel”spin” as you alone have certainly commands my admiration. (you’d already commanded my respect long ago) Key to undermining ferdinand’s claim of an “incredibly fixed ratio” between human emissions and carbon growth are the rises in temperature in both the late seventies and late nineties. Without those two temperature events his “incredibly fixed ratio” DOESN’T EXIST !!! (how engelbeen gets away with dumb arguments like this one is beyond me…) I’d like to close here with a quote by ferdinand in an exchange with you on this very argument. He reflects here on the consequences of (what he admits is) the possibility that he is wrong: ferdinand engelbeen 1/9/11 5:07am (wuwt) “if there is no connection between the rise of CO2 and the emissions then agw fails completely”

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Greetings to Brother Bart of the Immaculate Convection (Schismatic Church of Climatology— Watts Branch)… I’ve recently become more familiar with your work over there at wuwt and would like to take this opportunity to tip my hat to you! Any one who can go toe to toe with “engelspin” as you alone have certainly commands my admiration. (you’d already commanded my respect a long time ago) Key here to debunking ferdinand’s claim of “an incredibly fixed ratio” between human emissions and carbon growth are the two warming events in the late seventies and late nineties. With out those two temperature events his “incredibly fixed ratio” CEASES TO EXIST!!! I’d like to close here with ferdinand’s own words (in an exchange with you) on the consequences of him being wrong about this very argument: ferdinand engelbeen 1/9/11 5:07am (wuwt) “if there is no connection between the rise of CO2 and the emissions then AGW fails completely”

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Sorry about the duplicate comment! (the first one didn’t go through…)

          • Rich says:

            @Fonzarelli

            I agree – Ferdinand’s arguments often seem rather circular to me amd yet for some reason lots of people still take him as an authority despite the obvious flaws in his arguments. I was in a topic on WUWT some time ago and a guy painstakingly catalogued the various shortcomings regarding the ice-core data and Ferdinand just shrugged it all off as unimportant. There is so much intrinsic uncertainty in paleo-climate data and unfortunately without a two-way time-machine nobody can take the measurements needed to prove that the ice-core is a faithful representation of ancient CO2 levels. We just don’t know and we are only deluding ourselves if we think we do.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Bart,

            You stated:

            “That is an absurd conclusion, which posits an instantaneous response by a nonexistent mechanism.”

            Please explain to Roy, Fonzarelli, myself or anyone reading this post how and/or why increased atmospheric absorption of admittedly narrow bands of infrared energy combined with altered radiative emission to space represents a non-existent mechanism? Maybe I’m primitive but it seems quite possible for altered radiative absorption of atmospheric gasses accompany’d by altered atmospheric emission rates to space to at least influence atmospheric temperatures. Moreover, the response (if you mean increased temperature following an increase in the rate of atmospheric CO2 growth) need not be instantaneous merely fist in order. However, since radiation travels at the speed of light and the emission/absorption processes occur quite rapidly it may appear for many practical purposes as instantaneous. As I previously suggested I don’t accept the GREENHOUSE conjecture that tri-atomic gas compounds trap heat energy close to the surface like a greenhouse, quite the opposite. If you had read my previous posts you would know that. Temperature correlates merely with changes in the rate of growth of atmospheric CO2 and not the collective quantity, mass and/or volume of the same.

            If you truly understand “differential” analysis as you may have implied earlier ( Newtonian mathematics to present time, calculus, etc.) you should understand what I’m stating.

            You then assert:

            “Much more reasonable, and causal, to conclude the opposite, that the rate of change of CO2 is governed by temperatures.”

            That apparently counterfactual conclusion has already been addressed in a prior response. Btw, do you truly believe that rapid changes in the atmospheric gas composition of the atmosphere would have absolutely no effect on temperature? Seems like magical thinking to me hardly fit for one who claims to be adept at handling Occam’s Razor. Quite the opposite, you seem to view the explanations with the greatest amount of assumptions to be the most likely true.

            Thanks for your input and as usual have a great day!

            P.S. – If you after reading my response, seek to present (like Al Gore) proxy data to confirm that hundreds or thousands of years ago speculated changes in temperature followed changes in speculated atmospheric CO2 levels (or visa-versa) based on assumptions about their relative positions in time DON’T BOTHER! Please provide actual measured data (free of adjustments if possible) made at the time you claim to have knowledge for.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            You stated:

            “Key to undermining ferdinand’s claim of an “incredibly fixed ratio” between human emissions and carbon growth are the rises in temperature in both the late seventies and late nineties.”

            While I confess ignorance of Ferdinand or his claims, understand that atmospheric carbon growth can be and has been estimated from Mona Loa measurements and others any claims as to estimates of human carbon emissions would seem fraught with assumptions and/or speculation. Who claims to have directly measured hydrocarbon use by the planets approximately 7 billion people? Market information of hydrocarbon transactions cannot be correlated in any realistic or strict way with final use and disposal and the time frames involved. Anyone who would assert a strict ration from such guesstimates represents a mind that seems at best easily pleased by little if any facts.

            Btw, what late 1970’s temperature event do you speak of? Satellite data didn’t exist until 1979, which appears late enough.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Bart,

            Just one other point to make. Electromagnetic changes in the atmospheric absorption of radiation due to changes in atmospheric CO2 levels would result in rapid (if not seemingly instantaneous) changes to atmospheric temperature but the changes in atmospheric levels of CO2 resulting from a change in temperature due to chemical and biological changes in plant CO2 absorption, decomposition, animal activity etc. must occur over a much larger time frame. This should be obvious.

            Thanks again and have a great day!

          • Bart says:

            Fonzarelli @ November 21, 2014 at 3:53 AM

            “you’d already commanded my respect long ago”

            Right back at you, Fonzie. You’ve got your feet on the ground, and your eyes are wide open.

            Rich @ November 21, 2014 at 9:11 PM

            You are exactly correct – Ferdinand’s arguments are entirely circular. He consistently “proves” that humans are responsible for the rise because humans are responsible for the rise. Not so directly, of course. He obfuscates it in details and numerology, all fundamentally founded on the assumption he aspires to establish as fact.

            JohnKl @ November 22, 2014 at 12:25 AM

            “Please explain to Roy, Fonzarelli, myself or anyone reading this post how and/or why increased atmospheric absorption of admittedly narrow bands of infrared energy combined with altered radiative emission to space represents a non-existent mechanism?”

            That is not what you proposed. You proposed that temperatures responded to the rate of change of CO2. That suggested mechanism is completely independent of the level of CO2 – once CO2 stopped changing, temperatures would revert to a prior level, regardless of absolute concentration. That is, quite simply, an absurd notion.

            “Btw, do you truly believe that rapid changes in the atmospheric gas composition of the atmosphere would have absolutely no effect on temperature?”

            I believe that absolute levels of GHG gases could affect temperatures proportionally, but that evidently, they do not. I do not believe there is any mechanism or effect which could make temperature level respond proportionally to the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 concentration.

            The temperature-CO2 relationship since 1958 is, to a very high degree of fidelity, described by the differential equation

            dCO2/dt = k*(T – Teq)

            CO2 = atmospheric concentration
            k = sensitivity factor
            T = global temperature anomaly
            Teq = equilibrium temperature

            Given this model, if temperatures responded to CO2 concentration with positive gain, there would be a positive feedback loop, and the system would be unstable. Ergo, the aggregate temperature response to increased CO2 is, of necessity and at most, effectively null.

            This observation does not negate the overall “greenhouse effect”, or GHE. It is a local result, which holds in the present climate state. It may well be that the overall GHE is effective in particular states, but peters out at some equlibrium level. The overall sensitivity curve can be positive, yet non-monotonic, such that the secant line always has positive slope, yet the tangent line can have negative slope, as depicted here.

            I am not really interested in mathematically global behavior, though. It is enough to establish that, locally in the current climate state, CO2 levels are driven by temperatures, and temperatures are themselves at most insensitive to CO2 level.

          • Bart says:

            “Market information of hydrocarbon transactions cannot be correlated in any realistic or strict way with final use and disposal and the time frames involved.”

            Perhaps not 100%, but for the most part, that which is sold will be burned in some way, releasing its latent CO2. You could, perhaps, assert uncertainty as a valid reason for why the data do not match the outcome, but not when you have a much more plausible, and faithful, relationship with temperatures available.

            “Electromagnetic changes in the atmospheric absorption of radiation due to changes in atmospheric CO2 levels would result in rapid (if not seemingly instantaneous) changes to atmospheric temperature but the changes in atmospheric levels of CO2 resulting from a change in temperature due to chemical and biological changes in plant CO2 absorption, decomposition, animal activity etc. must occur over a much larger time frame. This should be obvious.”

            Which is precisely why it is absurd to posit that temperatures respond to the rate of change of CO2. The response of CO2 to temperatures is not instantaneous – as it is an integral relationship, CO2 levels are lagged 90 degrees in phase from temperature inputs. Over the timeline of interest, that is the same as the response of a lag system with a dominant time constant much longer than the interval of observation.

            Think your objections through, and I think you will find that they steer you more and more in the direction of the conclusions I have presented.

  9. An Inquirer says:

    It could be that I do not understand the video, but the video seems to contradict the widespread understanding that CO2 is a well-mixed gas.

    • Pierre-Normand says:

      You must have missed this part of the post:

      “The color range represents only 20 ppm in CO2 concentration (plus or minus 2.5% of the average concentration).”

      CO2 is well mixed in the bulk of the atmosphere since the range of variations is so narrow relative to the average background concentration, though it varies more than that in close proximity to local sources and sinks.

  10. The longer I think about this NASA model, the more disturbed I am by the likelihood that it will contribute needlessly to fears of AGW. There’s a good critique of it now at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/18/who-needs-an-orbiting-carbon-observatory-when-you-can-model-of-carbon-dioxide/, and among the many comments there this one is particularly perceptive: The really scary part is not just that these erroneous models exist, but that they are designed to create false beliefs grounded in mesmerizing visual effects of how the world works to be used in K-12 coursework. It usefully makes the students ready to take action to promote causes they have been deliberately primed to misunderstand for that very purpose.

    It’s not just false modelling either. NSF has an organized education outreach to prime students to make false analogies for the same reason. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/cultivating-understandings-of-consequence-to-guide-daily-life-and-prompt-desired-behaviors/ explains that.

    Nothing trumps the desire to turn students into a dedicated cadre of transformational change ages. Plus the climate equivalents of Gruber want their cuts continued. Climate and ed grants from NSF are much more lucrative than hard science ones because there are virtually no fixed costs like running an experimental lab.

    It’s all just for advocacy for false ideas or lousy ones.” (by Robin on 11/18 at 9:35 a.m.)

    Most disturbing, as Anthony Watts points out, is this paragraph by NASA about its model: “But the simulation – the product of a new computer model that is among the highest-resolution ever created – is the first to show in such fine detail how carbon dioxide actually moves through the atmosphere.” “Actually”??? Not quite. Watts rightly says, “Uh, sorry, no. Model simulations aren’t actual movements, you need hard tracking data for that. One wonders what sort of science mindset exists where they can substitute modeled output for actual data and publish a press release like this with a straight face.”

    But what we’re seeing here–the failure (inability created by habit?) to distinguish model from real world–is common to much of the AGW (and especially CAGW) scientific community, as Myanna Lahssen documented through years of observation and interviews with modelers at NCAR. See her article “Seductive Simulations? Uncertainty Distribution around Climate Models” (http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-1891-2005.49.pdf). She found that NCAR scientists consistently and persistently spoke of their models as if they were the real world; of their models’ output as if they were real-world observations; and genuinely couldn’t keep the distinction clear in their minds.

    • John Olson says:

      I couldn’t have said it better myself, E. Calvin Beisner. Thanks for your perceptive post.

    • wayne says:

      Yes E. Calvin Beisner, that is what we need to fear the most, the intentional contamination of the minds of all young to-be scientists of the coming decades. Very well stated.

      (hint: maybe changing your text encoding to Unicode (UTF-8) or Western European (ISO) might prevent some very strange characters from appearing within your comment text)

  11. Mary Sue says:

    What do we tell people who complain that Carbon Dioxide (being absorbed by the ocean) is causing “dangerous” acidification of the ocean? Is there other sources of acidification that would negatively impact sea life (such as shellfish and corals) other than dissolved CO2 (carbonic acid)?

  12. Rolan O. Clark says:

    CO2 vs. AGW
    Assuming east coast and southwest close to same CO2 content:

    On average day vs night temperature differential greater in southwest. CO2 or water vapor.

    Rolan O. Clark

  13. Rolan O. Clark says:

    CO2 vs. AGW

    Assuming southwest(low humidity) and east coast(high humidity) close to same CO2 concentration:

    Day vs. night change in temperature much larger in southwest than eastcoast.

    CO2 or water vapor ?

    Rolan O. Clark

  14. JohnKl says:

    Hi Fonzarelli,

    To continue, you stated:

    “3) any number of data sets and temp reconstructions show cooler global temps before the Mauna Loa record going back to 1860. (recall the little ice age that we’ve been coming out of since 1860) It’s reasonable to think this would produce lower carbon growth before the Mauna Loa record…”

    In fact, I can add to that point. In 1883 the Krakatoa eruption ejected enormous quantities of volcanic debris that may have reduced global temperatures. However, the effect would likely be temporary, but if I remember correctly people at the time claimed the ash and debris effected sunsets for up to 4 years after the event and one person at least recorded the change in water color paintings.

    “The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) began on August 26, 1883 (with origins as early as May of that year) and culminated with several destructive eruptions of the remaining caldera.”

    Wikipedia claims the debris ejected into the atmosphere dropped Northern Hemisphere temps some 1.2 deg centigrade.
    Nevertheless, any temp re-construction remains conjecture. You add:

    “4) a few days in one spot speak nothing of global temperature trends.”

    Of course not but since any claims to global temperatures in this period involve complete SPECULATION anyways I thought I’d throw it in.

    “5) Hadley tracks well with UAH for 35 years; there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t be accurate then going back 20 more years. (Especially since it continue to track carbon growth back to Mauna Loa’s inception)”

    Interesting if true, but do you know how many adjustments have been made to the data-set and when? To finish:

    “6) the mike jonas graph that i linked to shows the yearly rate of change centered at the half way (6 month) point. If a warming event occurred say in September and carbon growth thus happened in December then it would be recorded in June… The ipcc co2 graph (that Dr Spencer has) with satellite data superimposed shows temperature preceding the growth of co2. This is well known and not to be confused with the lag in ice cores…”

    To be fair, I don’t deny that temperature can and does alter CO2 levels and thank you for pointing that out about Roy’s data-set. In fact, warm water holds less CO2 suggesting that a warmer climate would lead to transferring CO2 to the atmosphere and the reverse when it cools. My concern has to do with the fact that CO2 growth has accelerated over a significant time period, while temps for the entire period remain speculative at best. Much of the CO2 growth fluctuation will probably result from temp fluctuations, but it seems a significant portion doesn’t seem to be due to just natural variability.

    “7) temperature does indeed cause the rise in co2. This is a very detailed correlation that stretches over half a century. Although this may be indicative of a largely natural rise, it could also mean an anthropogenic rise that is regulated by temperature. Your notion that change in carbon growth causes change in temperature is patently absurd. Small changes in atmospheric carbon levels result in minuscule changes in temps. (If a 300 ppm change produces 1 degree celsius then 3 ppm will produce a negligible .01 degree rise) a detailed correlation such as this means one is causing the other. Since co2 can’t effect temperature in this way then it must be temperature driving carbon growth… One thing is for sure, human emissions are NOT driving the trend in carbon growth !!!”

    The claim regarding a 300 ppm change in atmospheric CO2 and temp seems completely speculative. Please let me know how you derived it. Btw, I don’t believe that if atmospheric CO2 levels were 300 ppm more than at present the temperature would be any greater than now necessarily and may even be cooler. Acceleration, can effect temp readings due to a time lag in temp effect. Remember, CO2 effects temperatures in two ways. While CO2 does absorb infrared in a few narrow bands increasing to a small extent total atmospheric energy absorption it also radiates it in the infrared spectrum 10-100 times faster than the diatomic gas neighbors such as oxygen allowing for much faster atmospheric cooling, helping to radiate the excess energy and more to space quickly. In any finite time period, an increase in the rate of growth in CO2 near the surface will have a warming effect temperature while the cooling effect of radiating the excess energy will lag. The greater the rate of atmospheric CO2 growth the greater the warming effect, however temporary. In addition, I don’t claim the warming effect to be very great at all. This whole conversation involves only a few fractions of a degree centigrade.

    Thank you and I will contribute more later.

    Have a great day!

    • Fonzarelli says:

      John, I have a few replies way up where our other back and forth is… Did you get (read) them? I especially wanted you to check out the hadley/mauna loa graph to which the link is just a few comments above where we are now here at the bottom of the page. (i was testing the link because, as you’ve surely noticed, i’m very gaff prone) Up top, i covered points 1&2; down here i intend to cover points 3 thru 7. Piecemeal of course; why rush when you’re having fun?

    • Fonzarelli says:

      3) i suppose that I should not have been quite so definitive about temps before MLO. So a good rephrasing of my initial comment would be “IF temps were lower before MLO then that would account for lower carbon growth”. If, as you say, any temp reconstruction remains conjecture, then any claims that lower growth before MLO indicates an accelerated anthropogenic rise ALSO remains conjecture…

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        You stated:

        “If, as you say, any temp reconstruction remains conjecture, then any claims that lower growth before MLO indicates an accelerated anthropogenic rise ALSO remains conjecture…”

        Not quite completely. Actual atmospheric CO2 measurements have been made prior to MLO (19th century). Given the same assumptions as the MLO data that the atmosphere mixes CO2 efficiently that has value. As you’ve mentioned CO2 measurements prior to MLO prove spotty and in no way follow a methodological historical record designed to provide a comprehensive data-set. Nevertheless, imo they provide information and cannot be readily dismissed.

        Btw, I’ve been away in Phoenix for several days and haven’t been perusing the blog lately. Please excuse my absence, I will respond to your other posts below as time permits. Thanks and as usual…

        Have a great day!

        • Fonzarelli says:

          John, your initial argument was that “vastly slower rate of atmospheric co2 accumulation prior to the 1960s cannot be ingnored or dismissed”. My counter to that was that since temps were cooler coming out of the LIA carbon growth was slower. Your counter argument was that we don’t know what temps were… All I’m saying here is that since we don’t know what temps were back then, we can’t rule out the possibility that co2 growth was slower due to lower temps. Therefor, any claim that lower growth before MLO indicates an anthropogenic rise IS SPECULATION…

          I’m not sure what the direct measurements (that go back to 1812) have to do with this argument. These co2 measurements, as compiled by Beck, seem to be highly indicative of a rise due to changes in temperature. (as well, they would also indicate a natural rise as opposed to an anthropogenic one) Callender, of course, used the direct measurements and came up with the 280 ppm number. But, this is all irrelevant to our argument. Whether we use the direct measurements or ice cores, the claim that a slower growth rate before MLO indicates an anthropogenic rise remains conjecture…

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            You stated:

            “Therefor, any claim that lower growth before MLO indicates an anthropogenic rise IS SPECULATION…”

            TRUE! I WOULD NEVER DENY IT. However, prior atmospheric CO2 measurements are NOT SPECULATION. Any theory of causation (including all presented thus far) by definition DOES INVOLVE SPECULATION. As you stated:

            “Whether we use the direct measurements or ice cores, the claim that a slower growth rate before MLO indicates an anthropogenic rise remains conjecture…”

            Agreed!

            Thanks and have a great day!

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Yeah, John, i don’t know what to think about the direct measurements before mauna loa… The rap on callender was that he cherry picked the data to get what he wanted. And the beck data shows this HUGE increase in co2 circa 1940. (a 100 ppm rise in just ten years up to a reading of 440 ppm and then back down again just as fast) It was apperently well known and well published data, though it never seems to get discussed much except in the context of it being “the beck data”. I’ll have to check into that sometime, seeing how you’ve peaked my interest…

    • Fonzarelli says:

      4) John, on this one i just may have to “throw in the towel” and concur with you. One argument I use is that UAH is correct based on it’s correlation with carbon growth. That means that back in the eigrhties and nineties when people were raging about global warming there was NO global warming. So many data sets for the past half century thus are known to be false. How, then, can we have ANY confidence in data that precedes the last half century (which is not only older, but has no verification)? I don’t want to be entirely dismissive on past data. For example, co2 in shallow ice cores begin an abrupt rise beginning in 1860. Reconstructions (yes, even the mann hockey stick) also show abrupt warming starting in 1860. So, this presents a challenge for yours truly (fonzie…). How do I articulate these arguments relating to older data sets? For example, is it a valid argument for me to say that recent warming is not “unprecedented” since we had similar warming a century ago? (Or should I just say that recent warming cannot be claimed as unprecedented since we don’t actually know what the precedents are) This is something that I’ll have to be mindful of going forward…

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        Thank you for the reply. You noted:

        “I don’t want to be entirely dismissive on past data. For example, co2 in shallow ice cores begin an abrupt rise beginning in 1860.”

        You can be dismissive of this data I certainly am. Many academics assume the air trapped in glacial ice to be unchanged from the time it’s entombed. Personally, I wouldn’t make such assumptions. Other minerals including the salinity of ocean glaciers change rapidly overtime. An ocean iceberg is considered fresh water in approximately a month. We shouldn’t assume that thawing and re-freezing of glacial ice doesn’t affect the CO2 content of trapped ice either. If the oceans can absorb massive quantities of CO2 and re-emit it due to small temperature fluctuations, why can’t CO2 vary in trapped glacial ice? Frankly, if such data truly represents science then no assumptions should be required.

        You further asked:

        “For example, is it a valid argument for me to say that recent warming is not “unprecedented” since we had similar warming a century ago? (Or should I just say that recent warming cannot be claimed as unprecedented since we don’t actually know what the precedents are)”

        Imo, the humble person will simply acknowledge they don’t know and let passionate CAGW climate apologist step their foot in this quagmire. In short, no evidence exists that today’s warming is UNPRECEDENTED, but it sure will scare far more gullible people to claim it is.

        Thanks and have a great day!

        • Fonzarelli says:

          John, hence the glory of ferdinand engelbeen when it comes to ice cores… This guy is a phenomenally brilliant man who functions at such a high level that he’s actually able to adequately address the concerns surrounding ice cores. It’s been a while since I’ve checked his 2010 piece at watts on ice cores and I don’t remember much (so I may just have to revisit it). One thing of note FOR ice cores is that there are any number of shallow cores out there and they are all remarkably similar. If each core had problems unique unto each core the data wouldn’t match so well. And AGAINST ice cores would be the smoothing that goes on within the cores themselves. CO2 not only travels through capillaries in the ice but through the ice itself. My dim recollection is that smoothing was the lone argument that ferdinand seemed to have no answers for. At any rate ice cores can be useful in debate as the entirety of agw rests on valid ice core data. AND even if we assume ice cores are valid, they still don’t hold up under cross examination. So, right or wrong, ice cores can be of use in the great debate we know as AGW…

          • Fonzarelli says:

            By saying the words “adequately address”, i’m not necessarily implying that ferdinand is correct here. At least he’s knowledgable enough about ice cores to make the attempt which is rare. He does build a clear case which is fascinating to watch. (He IS a brilliant man…)

    • Fonzarelli says:

      5) I haven’t a ghost of a clue as to the adjustments for either Hadley nor UAH… We do know that the finished products track with carbon growth and that’s all we need to know. If Hadley (or UAH for that matter) were in error it would deviate from carbon growth. It does not deviate therefor it IS accurate. (there is no “interesting if true” about it…)

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        You stated:

        “It does not deviate therefor it IS accurate. (there is no “interesting if true” about it…)”

        You also stated in another post that while the UAH data tracks seemingly simultaneously with the carbon growth that Hadley temp data fluctuations occured somewhat prior to the carbon growth fluctuations(?). Do they track or mirror each other? Admittedly, I certainly could be better informed about the Hadley data and admit a bias against surface measurements generalized as GLOBAL data.

        Have a great day!

        • Fonzarelli says:

          John, by “not deviate” i mean that the two data sets track with each other. (I’m not referring to any lag of co2 after temps)…

          I actually have xerox copies of UAH and MLO (ipcc). I can put one over the other, put it up against a window and can see that co2 lags temperature. Hadley, I know nothing about as it’s a wood for trees graph (and don’t know how they make it). The jonas graph with uah/mlo is poorly constructed as i explained in (6) so it doesn’t tell us anything. This is nothing new that co2 lags temps and is well known…

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            You stated:

            “I can put one over the other, put it up against a window and can see that co2 lags temperature…”

            “This is nothing new that co2 lags temps and is well known…”

            Personally, I’ve read about such claims regarding past theoretical historical temp/CO2 re-constructions based on proxy data supposedly covering hundreds or thousands of years. Such claims I largely ignore. If temps lag CO2 by a small amount consistently in the UAH and MLO data-sets I agree that clearly suggests temp fluctuations cause the CO2 fluctuations.

            Thanks and have a great day!

    • Fonzarelli says:

      6) There is nothing speculative about the Hadley data set going back to MLO’s inception. Temps track carbon growth thus both hadley & mlo are accurate. (if either were inaccurate this would not be the case) “CO2 growth has accelerated over a significant time period” IN LOCK STEP WITH TEMPERATURE. Therefor, ALL of the CO2 growth fluctuation results from temp fluctuations…

      This is NOT the same as saying that the rise in co2 is due to natural sources. The thinking is that rising temperature causes an inefficiency of the co2 sinks thus causing anthropogenic co2 to accumulate…

      AND on the flip side argument, as you’ve noted, out gassing of the oceans could be driving carbon growth which would mean that closer to 100% of human emissions are being taken out. (if nature is thought to be taking out 50% then there’s is no reason to think that it couldn’t be taking out much more than that AS IT OFTEN DOES)

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        You stated:

        “Temps track carbon growth thus both hadley & mlo are accurate. (if either were inaccurate this would not be the case) “CO2 growth has accelerated over a significant time period” IN LOCK STEP WITH TEMPERATURE. Therefor, ALL of the CO2 growth fluctuation results from temp fluctuations…

        This is NOT the same as saying that the rise in co2 is due to natural sources. The thinking is that rising temperature causes an inefficiency of the co2 sinks thus causing anthropogenic co2 to accumulate…”

        Or in addition to temp fluctuations resulting in CO2 growth (which I don’t deny), the CO2 growth itself results in a very small positive feedback to temp fluctuations. There may in fact be multiple lines of causation involved. However, I tend to agree with you and Bart that temp fluctuations would be the main driver especially if/when they precede changes in CO2 growth. In addition, thank you for the clarification regarding your statement. You further stated:

        “AND on the flip side argument, as you’ve noted, out gassing of the oceans could be driving carbon growth which would mean that closer to 100% of human emissions are being taken out. (if nature is thought to be taking out 50% then there’s is no reason to think that it couldn’t be taking out much more than that AS IT OFTEN DOES)”

        Moreover, by the same logic cooler temps can result in more CO2 removal from the atmosphere. Imo since the planet still exists in a warming phase of ice-age conditions temps have been mainly increasing for a few millenia, given alternating periods of cooling. Must rush, I’ll have more to state later.

        Have a great day!

    • Fonzarelli says:

      7a) John, i’m going to divy point 7 into parts a & b… The 300 ppm number is pure consensus. (which is why I put the qualifier “If” in there) The IPCC has this to say: “If the amount of co2 were doubled instantaneously, with everything else remaining the same… increase by 1.2 C (with an accuracy of + – 10%), in the absence of other changes.” Dr Spencer in his global warming 101 (right hand margin) has this to say: “Now you might be suprised to learn that the amount of warming directly caused by the extra co2 is, by itself, relatively weak. It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric co2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg F). This is NOT a controversial statement… it is well understood by climate scientists.” Aaron S., who posts comments here at this blog, notes that the physics behind the number is relatively simple. He is pretty well clued into all things ipcc and pegs it at 1.1 C for a doubling of co2. The ever brilliant Ferdinand has it at .9 C. He’s pretty good at hitting the nail on the head (when he’s not hitting his thumb…). He may know something that others don’t. From what little i know about it, it seems like fairly complex physics to me. (But, i’m just “a guy in a tee shirt and leather jacket”) The point I was trying to make is that if a whole lot of co2 makes a modest change in temperature then a tiny fraction (1%) of that will make a minuscule change in temps (even if we double or even triple that to account for forcing).

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        You quoted Roy stating:

        “Now you might be suprised to learn that the amount of warming directly caused by the extra co2 is, by itself, relatively weak. It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric co2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg F). This is NOT a controversial statement… it is well understood by climate scientists.”

        Pure speculation. Imo, little evidence exists that even that amount of warming must occur if atmospheric carbon levels double, which has yet to occur. In fact, as I pointed out earlier since temperature changes correlate with atmospheric CO2 growth changes, falling temperatures often occur during period of carbon growth if the mere rate of carbon growth declines say from 4 ppm/yr to 2 ppm/yr. That fact seems to completely invalidate such conclusions. The other people you mention face the same problem. You go on:

        “The point I was trying to make is that if a whole lot of co2 makes a modest change in temperature then a tiny fraction (1%) of that will make a minuscule change in temps (even if we double or even triple that to account for forcing).”

        You fail to comprehend your own graph. It’s not the quantity of atmospheric CO2 that proves relevant, merely the rate of atmospheric CO2 growth!

        Thanks and have a great day!

        • Fonzarelli says:

          John, firstly by saying the word “consensus” i wasn’t implying that it was true. Rather, this would be THEIR worst case scenario even if co2 does cause warming. If it’s less than that, it merely bolsters my argument… (though, as you’ve pointed out, not necessarily)

          NOW WE GET TO THE NITTY GRITTY…

          Your still hanging on to the notion that co2 changes cause temp changes. Your “fact” is no longer a fact if causation goes from temps to co2. What you think that you are observing is that changes in the growth rate of co2 are causing the changes in temperature when it may well be that you are mistaken and that it is temperature that cause the change in the growth rate of co2…

          I see in the comment below that you are some what skeptical that co2 lags temps. AGAIN, this is not a new paradigm. Off hand, I don’t know where to find affirmation of this, but i’ll keep my eyes open and pass along any info to you. (you might try Murray Salsby who has a lot of graphs to go with his presentation) IMO, you ought really try to nail down this paradigm (co2 lags temps) before you continue to spout off that co2 causes temp changes. Remember, you are the ONLY person claiming this and you ought to know what you’re talking about before you do so. If it’s new to you, THEN CHECK IT OUT !!!

          I also see that you have NO data to back up your claim. These changes in co2 growth rate represent tiny changes in co2. A 3 ppm change in growth rate still only represents an addition of 3 ppm in ONE YEAR. If the temp change is (as you say) instantaneous, then we are talking about a very small percentage of the 3 ppm. Perhaps less than even .1 ppm to change temps in a dramatic way… Where is your data that can support the notion that a teeny tiny amount of co2 can cause such warming?! GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE !!!

          LASTLY (but not leastly), one final note on causation that I have not presented before… MANY things (as you’ve acknowledged) can cause temperature to change. We cannot have multiple lines of causation here. If some other mechanism were to cause cooling while co2 growth was rising, then the co2 data would not match the temp data. It’s that simple… If we have multiple causes of temp change that would compound the problem. So in order for co2 to track temperature the ENTIRE change in temperature would have to be caused by co2. Since we know that other mechanisms cause temp changes then we know that causation is NOT going from co2 to temperature… JUST ONE MORE REASON THAT YOUR NUTTY IDEA THAT CO2 CAUSES TEMP CHANGES IS WRONG !!!

    • Fonzarelli says:

      7b) to borrow your own sweet words, it would seem that small changes in the carbon growth rate having more than a negligible impact on temperatures is SPECULATIVE AT BEST. Can I ask you where you got this theory? And how much warming are we actually talking about here? (“a few fractions of a degree centigrade” doesn’t sound very definitive) It would be nice if you had some references and data to go with it. In all honesty, I’ve never heard this before and have kind of assumed that you made it up not thinking things through. You’ve got to realize that bart and i have presented you with nothing that is new. That temperature drives carbon growth (presumably due to henry’s law) has been hashed and rehashed in contrarion circles. So we’re not just making this up as we go along. Don’t get me wrong, your ideas have peaked my interest, but thus far I’m having a hard time buying into anything you’re saying. If you can’t quantify your “few fractions of a degree” then I have nothing to go by. (and i would think neither have you…) I’ll keep enquiring of you about this as time goes on. Hopefully I can get more clarity on just exactly what your getting at. I see it’s been a number of days since your last comment. (Fonzie’s all alone here talkin’ to himself!) But, i must say it’s been fun and it was a good intellectual exercise putting my arguments on paper. I’ll keep checking back with this post to see if you’ve added anything. And of course I’ll always be putting my two cents worth in with your comments. (especially on this subject as I’d really like to get to the bottom of this) It’s been nice going back and forth with you. Until we meet again…

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        You wrote:

        “to borrow your own sweet words, it would seem that small changes in the carbon growth rate having more than a negligible impact on temperatures is SPECULATIVE AT BEST.”

        By your own graph, it correlates with observation. As to causality it remains speculative, especially IF in fact temp fluctuations always precede atmospheric carbon growth. However, after reviewing some data it doesn’t appear always to be the case.

        “Can I ask you where you got this theory?”

        If you need help, please consult Max Planck. It has been explained already in preceding posts including to a small extent with some I’ve shared with Doug, Jerry and others. If you seek theoretical confirmation by examining atmospheric carbon levels you’ll never find it, because as I’ve mentioned carbon helps cool the atmosphere to space faster than diatomic molecules like Nitrogen and Oxygen possibly can. In fact, for all the academic claims that carbon levels affect temperature the data doesn’t really seem to support it. However, as I’ve stated given the apparent observation that temp fluctuations tend to precede atmospheric carbon growth the primary causal link appears to be temp fluctuations causing atmospheric carbon growth. So when you state:

        “You’ve got to realize that bart and i have presented you with nothing that is new. That temperature drives carbon growth (presumably due to henry’s law) has been hashed and rehashed in contrarion circles. So we’re not just making this up as we go along.”

        I never claimed you presented new information or that you made anything up. To be fair, I haven’t considered the surface data much and the UAH data seems to track a very tight relationship between carbon growth and temp fluctuations. You mentioned:

        “In all honesty, I’ve never heard this before and have kind of assumed that you made it up not thinking things through. You’ve got to realize that bart and i have presented you with nothing that is new.”

        “If you can’t quantify your “few fractions of a degree” then I have nothing to go by. (and i would think neither have you…) I’ll keep enquiring of you about this as time goes on. Hopefully I can get more clarity on just exactly what your getting at.”

        The correct spelling of the word is “inquiring” I believe. My explanation is no doubt a speculative attempt to account for the data. As I’ve mentioned the causation is more likely from temp fluctuations to mutations in atmospheric carbon growth, but multiple lines of causality seem to me possible. As to quantifying the strength of each line of causality, good luck! The academic claims I’ve discussed in prior posts clearly indicate that few if any have even a grasp of the actual effects of atmospheric carbon or can even model it. That a few people you’ve mentioned claim knowledge seems to me to be merely jumping the shark. Prove it with predictive models that bear witness over time.

        Thanks and have a great day!

        • Fonzarelli says:

          John, I may have to divide this one, too, due to a lack of time… We have on our hands a graph where temps track carbon growth (that is our observation). Of course, then, “it (your theory) correlates with observation”. That doesn’t tell us much… As I mentioned (dec 6) the causation cannot be going from co2 to temps as many factors influence temperature. If you have other lines of causation in tandem with co2 then you won’t end up with co2 tracking temperature. Why would temps be tracking with just one factor that causes the temperature? (The same thing holds true if the causation is going from temps to co2. The very fact that temps track co2 means that temps ALONE are causing carbon growth. If there were something else affecting carbon growth independently of temps, then temps would be deviating from carbon growth) So you can forget your “multiple lines of causality” bit. Since we do know that there are multiple causes of temperature, we then can eliminate the possibility that causation is going from co2 to temperature…

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Enquire: another term for inquire

            The above is a result of a quick google search…(i believe the name of that gaudy tabloid is “the national enquirer”)

            Well, John, it looks like after reviewing all recent comments I’ve said about all that there is to say. If you do return here I’ll keep an eye out for your comments… One thing we might do is a cross examination of the ’98 El Niño. Using Roy’s ipcc carbon graph and the satellite temp graph, one can clearly see the lag of co2 when superimposed as the lines in both graphs are very well defined for that event. ALSO, if we realize that the event was cause by an El Niño, then we can ask ourselves why is it that carbon growth similarly happened… (was it just coincidence?) If the El Niño had not happened we most surely would not have seen the rise of either temps nor co2. We could also ask ourselves why, if it happens to be that carbon growth causes temps, carbon growth matches the entire rise when we know the temperature rise was largely caused by an El Niño. Such cross examinations might lend clarity on the issue of causation. If you and I were to go back and forth on this (el niño) event, we might be able to nail down the issue of causation once and for all…

            At any rate, it’s been a fun and learning experience. I learned that my debate skills are not where I want them to be. It should not have taken this much time for me to articulate my and counter your arguments. This thing should probably have been wrapped up weeks ago. Like I mentioned, my new year’s resolution is to “cut to the chase”. It can hardly be said that what we’ve just been through here is cutting to the chase. Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me in 2015…

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