Why the Current Economic Slowdown Won’t Show Up in the Atmospheric CO2 Record

May 15th, 2020 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Summary: Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to increase with no sign of the global economic slowdown in response to the spread of COVID-19. This is because the estimated reductions in CO2 emissions (around -11% globally during 2020) is too small a reduction to be noticed against a background of large natural variability. The reduction in economic activity would have to be 4 times larger than 11% to halt the rise in atmospheric CO2.

Changes in the atmospheric reservoir of CO2 occur when there is an imbalance between surface sources and sinks of CO2. While the global land and ocean areas emit approximately 30 times as much CO2 into the atmosphere as humans produce from burning of fossil fuels, they also absorb about an equal amount of CO2. This is the global carbon cycle, driven mostly by biological activity.

There are variations in the natural carbon cycle, such as during El Nino (more CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere) and La Nina (more CO2 removed from the atmosphere). Greater wildfire activity releases more CO2, while major volcanic eruptions (paradoxically) lead to greater photosynthesis from more diffuse sunlight and extra removal of CO2 from the air. The most dramatic variations are seasonal, as the land-dominated Northern Hemisphere experiences an annual cycle of vegetation growth (CO2 removal) and decay (CO2 release).

The increase in atmospheric CO2 observed since the 1950s is most likely dominated by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which are twice as large as that needed to explain the observed rise. As I have shown before, a simple CO2 budget model driven by (1) estimates of global yearly anthropogenic CO2 emissions, (2) El Nino and La Nina activity, and (3) a CO2 removal rate that is proportional to how much “extra” CO2 is in the atmosphere compared to a “preferred baseline” CO2 level, yields an excellent fit to yearly CO2 observations at Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

Fig. 1. Yearly Mauna Loa, HI CO2 observations since 1959 (red) versus a simple CO2 budget model (blue).

 

But those are yearly measurements, and we are now interested in whether the recent global economic slowdown is showing up in the monthly Mauna Loa CO2 data. If we remove the large seasonal variations (driven by the seasonal growth and decay of Northern Hemisphere vegetation), we see no evidence of the economic slowdown through April, 2020.

Fig. 2. Monthly CO2 data since 2015 from Mauna Loa, HI after the average seasonal cycle is statistically removed.

As can be seen in Fig. 2, there are some pretty large month-to-month jumps and dips around the long-term increase (represented by the dotted line). These are probably natural variations due to fluctuations in the average seasonal variations in vegetation growth and decay, wildfire activity, and El Nino and La Nina activity (which are imperfectly removed in the solid blue line in Fig. 2). Variations in economic activity might also be involved in these fluctuations.

The point is that given the large month-to-month variations in natural CO2 sources and sinks seen in Fig. 2, it would be difficult to see a downturn in the anthropogenic source of CO2 unless it was very large (say, over 50%) and prolonged (say over a year or longer).

Instead, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the global economic slowdown this year due to the spread of the novel coronavirus will amount to only about an 11% reduction in global CO2 emissions. This is simply too small of a decrease in CO2 emissions to show up against a background of considerable monthly and yearly natural variability in the atmospheric CO2 budget.

That relatively small 11% reduction also illustrates how dependent humanity is on energy, since the economic disruption is leading to U.S. unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Everything that humans do requires access to abundant and affordable energy, and even the current economic downturn is not enough to substantially reduce global CO2 emissions.

ADDENDUM: How much of a decrease in CO2 emissions would be required to stop the atmospheric rise in CO2?

An interesting aspect of the observed rise of atmospheric CO2 is that it indicates the greater the CO2 concentration, the faster the “extra” CO2 is removed by biological activity. The observed annual rate of removal is 2.3% of the excess above a baseline of 295 ppm. The greater the “excess”, the faster the rate of removal.

Because of this rapid rate of removal, the anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not have to go to zero to stop the observed rise in atmospheric CO2. Using my simple model (blue line in Fig. 1, above), I find that a 43% reduction in anthropogenic CO2 emissions in 2020 would — in the absence of natural fluctuations in the carbon cycle — lead to a halt in the observed rise of atmospheric CO2 in 2020 over 2019 levels. This is about 4 times larger than the EIA estimate of an 11% reduction in CO2 emissions for the year 2020.


198 Responses to “Why the Current Economic Slowdown Won’t Show Up in the Atmospheric CO2 Record”

Toggle Trackbacks

  1. Sisyphus says:

    Thank you for this benchmark…

  2. ric Ducharme says:

    I think that a reduction of 10 to 20% of Co2 during the month of April, places the emission rate in the absence of this reduction in the second rank of the highest rate recorded since 1960 for the month of April, which is still possible but seems very unlikely to me.

  3. Stephen Richards says:

    The reduction in economic activity would have to be 4 times larger than 11% to halt the rise in atmospheric CO2.

    Is this a calculated figure or an estimation based on something; Roy.

    Not a critism just a scientist

    • Mark B says:

      The way I read it, Spencer is saying that there would have to be a 43% (e.g. 4 times 11%) reduction in emissions to stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentrations according to his simple carbon model. I believe he’s referring to the model described in a Feb 5th blog post and corrected for an error in a followup post a couple days later: here.

      I’d refer you to the comments on that thread as to why that model is suspect. My understanding is that anthropogenic CO2 emissions would have to pretty much go to zero for atmospheric concentrations to stabilize in the short term with a very slow natural draw down thereafter.

      Regardless of the carbon model, the form of the statement “The reduction in economic activity would have to be 4 times larger than 11% to halt the rise in atmospheric CO2.” implies an equivalency between economic activity level and emissions level which is not justified in the article.

  4. JCM says:

    “I find that a 43% reduction in anthropogenic CO2 emissions in 2020 would in the absence of natural fluctuations in the carbon cycle lead to a halt in the observed rise of atmospheric CO2 in 2020 over 2019 levels.”

    Even with a 100% anthro emission reduction it’s unlikely any observable halt would be observed while total net emissions remains positive. It would take a > Pinatubo type event to achieve that within a 1 year period.

    • bdgwx says:

      Humans put 5 ppm/yr into the atmosphere. Take that away for 1 year and I think you’d notice.

      • JCM says:

        Using equilibrium concepts total CO2 flux may be the result of atmospheric boundary layer conditions such as air density and CO2 mixing ratios with the free troposphere. Human emission changes may be largely compensated by natural flux.

  5. pochas94 says:

    This is a key point. Natural sources and sinks are huge. Anthropogenic emissions are “too tiny to matter.”

    • barry says:

      Yes, it’s just an amazing coincidence that for the past hundred years atmospheric growth in CO2 is tightly correlated with anthropogenic emissions.

  6. Anders Rasmusson says:

    Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production is calculated to increase the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere by 4,5 ppm/year (CO2 emission = 36*10^12 kg/year ; 44 kg/kmol ; atmos weight = 5,2*10^18 kg ; 29 kg/kmol ==> 36/44/5,2*29*10^-6 = 4,5 ppm/year).

    At Mauna Loa the CO2 concentration is measured to increase by only 2,5 ppm/year.

    The difference, 2 ppm/year, have to be accumulated elsewhere, mainly in the oceans.

    By a sudden 100 % reduction of the anthropocene CO2 emissions, the atmospheric CO2 concentration would initially be reduced by 2 ppm/year (0,17 ppm/month).

    Kind regards
    Anders Rasmusson

    • Stephen Paul Anderson says:

      That’s not how it works. Nature can’t tell the difference between a fossil fuel CO2 and a natural CO2.

    • barry says:

      Nature’s sinks can’t distinguish anthro and natural. They are uptaken in their equivalent ratio.

  7. Mike Maguire says:

    How much of this CO2 is from the increase in outgassing as a result of warmer oceans?

    One can clearly see from this image, the band of higher CO2, from west to east around the globe that corresponds exactly with the highest angle of the sun at that time of year(maximum heating of the oceans surface just south of the equator during the SH Spring).

    https://www.nasa.gov/jpl/oco2/pia18934

    Now, note this image below, when the sun’s highest angle is much farther north, in June. The well defined band of higher CO2 that stretches across the entire globe from west to east has shifted north by the exact same amount of the sun’s movement northward.
    Changes in the outgassing of CO2 by the oceans is clearly visible and significant as well as seasonal, based on how warm the surface of the oceans are. This, of course is influenced by the sun.

    During the shut downs, this natural source of CO2 would be unchanged. How much is it?

  8. vboring says:

    “I find that a 43% reduction in anthropogenic CO2 emissions in 2020 would — in the absence of natural fluctuations in the carbon cycle — lead to a halt in the observed rise of atmospheric CO2 in 2020 over 2019 levels.”

    This is a super ridiculous big deal of a finding, mentioned offhand.

    Is there a well-documented, robust foundation for it that I can read?

    Why in the world would we need 80% decarbonization goals if a 43% reduction is all that is needed in order to stabilize at current concentrations?

    • Roy W. Spencer says:

      vboring, read the link I provided about the simple time-dependent CO2 budget model. It’s not difficult to understand. Nature removes an amount of CO2 each year (2.3%) in proportion to the “excess” in the atmosphere above a baseline of 295 ppm that nature is trying to relax to. Look at the model fit in Fig. 1 to see how well that physically reasonable assumption works. I then run the model with an reduced anthropogenic input in 2020 until the 2020 atmos concentration equals that in 2019, which occurs with a 43% emissions reductions versus 2019.

      • vboring says:

        Thanks, Dr. Spencer

        I have since read through the link. Your perspective may not be difficult, but it seems profound. And it seems to be missing from the discussion. Do you think it has a place in the peer reviewed literature?

        The modeling on emissions reductions seems to show that 50% emissions reductions pathways are pretty possible at reasonable cost. If your finding is robust, a 50% pathway might be good enough to stabilize at 350 ppm or some other number in the harmless range. No need to consider the draconian measures needed for an 80%+ reduction pathway.

        A wind, solar, CCS and nuclear power sector plus electrification of some vehicles and most building heating would get you to 50% economywide reductions. Pathways for 80%+ require solving really expensive problems like cow burps, most industrial emissions, and even things like decarbonized militaries and negative emissions power plants.

        If the goal is 50% rather than 80%, it might be more possible to drive consensus around what actions are appropriate.

        • bdgwx says:

          I believe you are referring to the Representative Climate Pathways (RCPs). RCP4.5 is approximately a 50% reduction by 2080.

          • vboring says:

            Yes, the point being that if this finding is accurate something like RCP4.5 would result in stabilization of CO2 concentrations around 400ppm, rather than the the currently projected 550ppm currently projected.

            RCP4.5 would actually deliver RCP2.6 performance.

        • Mark B says:

          Do you think it has a place in the peer reviewed literature?

          The model is essentially a curve fit to the Mauna Loa time series (1959-2018). It has obvious problems correlating with data prior to the Mauna Loa. Pretty much the entirety of the 800,000 year Law Dome ice core data is below the 295 ppm floor of the model. From this we know it has issues outside the calibration period and thus has little value for making projections under RCP-like scenarios.

          It would not get through peer review for at least this reason and the comments in the Addendum portion of this post rest on very shaky ground.

          The model isn’t all that relevant to the main point of the blog post which is that the expected reduction in accumulated CO2 due to COVID-19 related emissions slowdown is small relative to the natural variation in the Mauna Loa observations.

          Roughly, the natural variation over the MLO data (after removing the annual cycle and detrending) is about 0.75 ppm. The reduction in emissions is projected to be on the order of 10% of about 2.5 ppm year over year growth or about 0.25 ppm. Thus it would take a few years of sustained emissions reduction to see a trend change against the background variations with statistical confidence.

      • Stephen Paul Anderson says:

        There’s no scientific basis for the budget model that nature removes CO2 in proportion to the “excess” anthropogenic CO2. Nature can’t discern CO2 molecules.

        • Stephen Paul Anderson says:

          Or above some “baseline” number. There is no scientific basis for this model. Nature can’t discern the 295 ppm molecules or anything above that number. Nature treats all CO2 molecules the same

          • Stephen Paul Anderson says:

            It is a mathematical construct designed to achieve a predetermined notion of how nature reacts to CO2. The model was designed from the end and constructed backward.

      • John Reid says:

        I had something to say on this back in April (http://blackjay.net/?page_id=984) but now everyone is saying the same thing. Oh well. Dr Spencer, I would really like to talk to you about the ocean/atmosphere carbon cycle narrative which I think I can show to be wrong.

  9. Anders Rasmusson says:

    Mike Maguire :

    During the shut downs, this natural source of CO2 would be unchanged. How much is it?

    The natural emissions are very big but the sinks are bigger, so instead of an increase of CO2 concentration by 4,5 ppm/year from the fossil fuel burning there is only 2,5 ppm/year increase in the atmosphere ==> 2 ppm/year is accumulated in the nature (mainly the oceans).

    Kind regards
    Anders Rasmusson

    • Mike Maguire says:

      Thanks Anders,
      My question was poorly worded in being fixated on outgassing of CO2 underneath a high sun angle and very warm ocean, when the oceans uptake CO2.

      Maybe this is better.
      What would be the change in the atmospheric CO2 budget from an ocean 1 deg. C cooler and the temperature of the ocean today? How much more uptake?

      Last time we had an ocean cooler by 1 deg. C, the amount of atmospheric CO2 was over 100 ppm lower, so the equilibrium would be different than with 415 ppm vs under 300 ppm.

      Another way to ask this. If we cooled the oceans by 1 deg.C and left everything else unchanged, what would the atmospheric CO2 level drop to from the additional CO2 uptake into the oceans?

      Same thing if we warm the oceans by 1 Deg. C?

      • bdgwx says:

        Mike,

        Assuming emissions remain constant a colder ocean would result in a slight increase in uptake. The CO2 level in the atmosphere would still increase…just at a slightly slower rate. Similarly a warmer ocean would result in slight decrease in uptake. The CO2 level in the atmosphere would increase at a slightly faster rate than before. All other things being equal of course.

  10. HotScot says:

    Assuming atmospheric CO2 is the sole driver of warming, and global temperature rise is harmful.

    David Redfern.

  11. Anders Rasmusson says:

    Mike Maguire :

    From the Vostok ice core data and Henrys law, we can get approx. 10 ppm increased CO2 in the atmosphere if the ocean temperature is increased by one degree Celsius.

    Kind regards
    Anders Rasmusson

    • Mike Maguire says:

      Thanks Anders!

    • gbaikie says:

      Ocean surface temperature or entire ocean temperature increases by 1 C ?

      • Bjarne Bisballe says:

        Oceans are warming much slower than that. It has taken more than 50 years to accumulate about 350 zettajoule of energy in the oceans and it takes 5000 zettajoule to warm the oceans 1 Celsius.

    • Ken says:

      How does Vostok ice core data provide information about ocean temperature?

      Given the quibbling that goes on about 0.01C ocean temperature change a 1C ocean temperature change is HUGE and would require a significantly larger atmospheric temperature.

      Regards,

      Ken

  12. Bjarne Bisballe says:

    When only 43% of the emitted CO2 is left in the atmosphere and approx 36 Gigatonnes is emittet each year, the atmosphere holds back approx.16 Gt and the sinks take the rest = 20 Gt. That means that the 20 Gt are almost a constant at a high level ppm. An 11% slow down, which is approx 4 Gt, should then be taken from the 16, thus the 11% then becomes a 25% reduction in the atmosphere accumulation. I guess it should be possible to measure that. (a ppm CO2 is 7,81 Gt)

  13. David says:

    Hi Roy,

    I agree with your final consclusions, but I miss the direct regulation effect of the CO2 solubility in the oceans in your CO2 balance equation.

    It is a simple phisical law, that there is a balance between the concentration of the solved CO2 in the oceans and the concentration of the gaseous CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Currently this balance means that the oceans contain 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere.

    So, because of this balancing effect, 98% of the 5ppm/year human CO2 emission goes into the oceans, and only 2% (e.g. 0,1ppm/year) remains in the atmosphere, which is unmeasureable.

    The increase in atmospheric CO2 level is the direct consequence of the warming of the average surface temperature of the oceans, which change the equilibrum concentration of CO2 in the air.

    Hence, no matter, how much we change human CO2 emission, because for short (<100 years) terms, this balancing effect will determine the CO2 level of the atmosphere.

    Or at least, I think so.

    Please, explain, why you didn't have this balacing effect in your equations.

    With best regards:

    David

    One more thing:

    You forget to update your diagram here:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    • Nate says:

      “So, because of this balancing effect, 98% of the 5ppm/year human CO2 emission goes into the oceans, and only 2% (e.g. 0,1ppm/year) remains in the atmosphere, which is unmeasureable.”

      Ok. But on what time scale does this happen? Is it instantaneous? Or does it take a long time, centuries, for the atmosphere to reach equilibrium with the deep ocean?

      If it takes centuries, then the atm concentration can rise much more than 2%.

      • David says:

        If you compare the yearly values of human CO2 emission, the atmospheric CO2-level increase and the global average temperature, then you can se, that the temperature-dependent regulation effect of the oceans is practically immediate.

        I mean, the yearly increase of the atmospheric CO2-level is in very strong correlation with the yearly increase of the average surface temperature of the oceans IN THE SAME YEAR.

        So we can safely say that, for short (1000 years) terms, because of the balancing effect of the huge amount of CO2 that is already stored in the oceans.

        Oceans have continuous and extensive circulations, driven by the winds. So there is no doubt that even deep layers of the oceans can effectively participate in this equilibrum.

      • Nate says:

        “If you compare the yearly values of human CO2 emission, the atmospheric CO2-level increase and the global average temperature, then you can se, that the temperature-dependent regulation effect of the oceans is practically immediate.”

        Atm co2 responds quite weakly to ocean temp. The solubility of co2 in the ocean (Henrys law) decreases with increasing temp. But the effect is quite small, 3%-4% for 1% increase in absolute temp.

        So a 1 K temp rise is 0.35%, and gives a rise of ~ 1.2 % of atm co2. That cannot explain the 50 % rise in last century or so.

        The natural co2 sinks and sources do respond to ENSO due its effect on tropical land biosphere. Global temps also respond to ENSO. Hence the correlation between co2 and global temp, but not due to ocean regulation.

        • David says:

          It is not the global average air temperature, but the global average ocean temperature, that counts.

          What’s more, the 98% of oceanic CO2 is stored by the deep high-pressure layers of the oceans, which are much colder than the surface.

          The oceans are continuously warming.

          It is a very complex system, so you cannot modell the equilubrum just by considering the surface water layer.

          It gives much more accurate estimation, when you try to find correlation between the global average temperature and the yearly increase of atm. CO2 level.

          There is a very strong correlation between them, suggesting that the yearly increase of atm. CO2 level is dominated by the yearly temperature increase of the oceans.

          Let’s just compare the very warm 1998 year (2,93ppm/year CO2 increase at Manua Loa) with the very cold 1999 year (0,93pp/year CO2 level increase at Manua Loa).

          https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/gr.html

          You can see this strong correlation in each year.

          In warm years, the oceans are warming faster than they do in cold years.

          In warm years, the atm. CO2 level grows faster than they do in cold years.

      • Nate says:

        Correction.

        From here

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry%27s_law#Temperature_dependence

        the effect can be calculated to be dH/H ~ -8 dT/T for CO2 in water.

        So a 1 K ( .35 %) change in T gives a -2.8% change in H, solubility.

        So for pre industrial CO2 @ 275 ppm , the expected increase would be 2.8% x 275 ppm

        = 8.3 %.

        Still way to small to account for the 50% rise.

      • Nate says:

        David,

        “So we can safely say that, for short (1000 years) terms, because of the balancing effect of the huge amount of CO2 that is already stored in the oceans.”

        Not so short, 1000 y.

        And not relevant to annual or decadal time scales.

        • David says:

          Let’s talk about real numbers.

          There is ~40Gt/year (5ppm/year) human CO2 emission.
          There is 3360 Gt gaseous CO2 in the air (417ppm).
          There is 137 133 Gt solved CO2 in the oceans (Wiki).

          So the actual air-water CO2 balance ratio is 1:40,8.
          This is the current equlibrum at actual temperatures.

          It means, that the 5ppm/year human emission can only cause
          5/41,8=0,12ppm/year CO2 level increase in the air.

          So, even if we would continue to emit 5ppm/year for the next 1000 years, we can cause only 120ppm increase in CO2 level.

          But we couldn’t even do that, because we have only 4130Gt fossil carbon fuel reserve (Wiki), which makes only 15143Gt CO2.

          Even if we would burn all the known fossil reserve on Earth, we could only increase the current CO2-level of the oceans and the atmosphere only by 11%, which means just 46ppm increase in the air.

          • Nate says:

            David

            “So the actual air-water CO2 balance ratio is 1:40,8.”

            OK.

            “This is the current equlibrum at actual temperatures.”

            No. Not equilibrium. As discussed, it takes at least several centuries for the full ocean to reach equilibrium with the atmosphere.

            The SURFACE ocean is tracking the rise in atm CO2 concentration, thus is equlibrating quickly with the atmosphere. But the deep ocean is NOT. Tracer experiments confirm this.

            “It means, that the 5ppm/year human emission can only cause
            5/41,8=0,12ppm/year CO2 level increase in the air.”

            No, this logic is fundamentally flawed, because it ignores the time scale to reach equilibrium.

          • bdgwx says:

            You tell something isn’t right with your argument because of the following.

            – Observations lead us to believe there is a net transfer of carbon mass from the atmosphere to the biosphere. Biomass is increasing we are told.

            – Observations lead us to believe there is a net transfer of carbon mass from the atmosphere to the hydrosphere. The ocean is acidifying we are told.

            – Observations lead us to believe there is a small net transfer of carbon mass between the lithosphere and atmosphere (rock weathering, volcanic activity, etc.). There have been no sudden and extreme changes in geological activity we are told.

            Assume human emissions are 5.00 ppm/yr and atmospheric increase is 2.50 ppm/yr. We can use whatever values you want here.

            If you then dispatch 4.88 of the 5.00 ppm/yr of the human emissions to the hydrosphere then which reservoir supplied the remaining 2.38 ppm/yr of mass that went into the atmosphere?

            Remember, the biosphere and hydrosphere took mass from the atmosphere so they cannot be the supplier. And we have no reason to believe the lithosphere suddenly and without precedence started transferring 2.38 ppm/yr to the atmosphere on its own.

          • David says:

            Nate, bdgwx:

            You are wrong for several reasons:

            1. Human CO2 emissions also need a century to make considerable effect on global CO2 balance. So even if the oceans would need a century to set the equilibrum, still the oceans would determine the CO2 level, and not the humanity.

            2. The amount of yearly human CO2 emission has no measureable effect on the yearly increase of atmospheric CO2 level.

            3. 40 years of data proves, that the yearly value of global average temperature strongly determines the yearly increase of the atmospheric CO2 level.

            4. Observations show, that warmer temperatures make photosynthesis more intensive, causing greater seasonal decrease in CO2 level, than in colder years.

            5. However, observations show, that in warmer years the yearly increase of atmospheric CO2 level is much higher than in cold years.

            So it’s cannot be the effect of the photosysthesis.

            Hence, it is clear, that the temperature-dependent air-water CO2 equilibrum determines the atmospheric CO2 level.

          • bdgwx says:

            David,

            What reservoir are you tapping to account for the carbon increase in the atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere?

          • David says:

            bdgwx,

            it is the 137 133 Gt solved CO2 in the oceans, the biggest mobilizable CO2 reserve on the Earth, that is tapped to increase the CO2 level in the atmosphere during global warming.

            For short ( 1000 years) time frames.

            Of course, the CO2 concentration and the solubility of CO2 varies strongly in the different layers of the oceans, and there is circulation too, so it has complex behaviour.

            But the bottom line is, that the yearly increase of the CO2 level in the atmosphere is determined strongly by the global average temperature of the year, e.g. the yearly warming of the oceans.

            There is no other known external variable that has measureable effect on the yearly increase of atmospheric CO2 level.

          • bdgwx says:

            David,

            Carbon mass is increasing in the hydrosphere. In other words the net flow of mass is into it. That means the hydrosphere is taking mass; not giving it away.

            Have you considered that temperatures are modulated by the CO2 level?

            Ya know…the 10+ GtC/yr emitted from humans that goes directly into the atmosphere is a pretty big elephant in the room. I’m having a hard time understanding your complete dismissal of it in regards to the atmospheric increase of CO2.

          • Nate says:

            David,

            You have a certain hypothesis, fine.

            But if the facts contradict it, you can’t just ignore them.

            As discussed, the temp dependence of CO2 solubility in water is way way to small for 1 degree C temperature rise to account for the observed 50% rise in atm CO2.

            The several century time scale for ocean equilibration matters. It means your limit set by the “CO2 balance ratio is 1:40,8” is not the correct limit.

          • bdgwx says:

            Exactly Nate. The trough-to-peak change in temperature during the glacial cycles is about 6C, but the CO2 range is only about 120 ppm. And here we are today with an additional 1C increase and a 120 ppm change. Nevermind that there is no known physical mechanism by which a 1C change could produce a 120 ppm increase especially in light of the fact that the ocean is actually a net absorber. And what about the PETM event in which the CO2 pulse came first and then the dramatic rise in temperature? Yeah…the hypothesis is fine but it doesn’t match observations and cannot be explained by known physical laws.

          • David says:

            bdgwx,

            yes, hydrosphere keeps taking CO2 mass from the atmosphere, until the temperature-dependent balance between gaseous and solved CO2 concentration is achieved.

            And as the oceans get warmer, the equilibrum CO2-level in the air gets higher.

            No, the amount of atmospheric CO2 has no measureable effect on global average temperature.

            The greenhouse effect of aerial CO2 is neglible when compared with the greenhouse effect of the water vapor in the air.

            What’s more, the greenhouse effect of the whole atmosphere is neglible when compared with the reflectivity of clouds.

            Hence, the change in the amount of aerial CO2 have no measureable effect on the global average surface temperature.

            There is no correlation between the amount of yearly human CO2 emission and the yearly increase of the atmospheric CO2 level.

            Don’t ask me to copy here the year-by-year evidence for that.

            It seems, that the yearly increase of aerial CO2 level correlates exclusively with the global average surface temperature.

          • Svante says:

            David says:

            It seems, that the yearly increase of aerial CO2 level correlates exclusively with the global average surface temperature.

            Yes, 5.35*ln(C1/C0):
            https://tinyurl.com/wz6oelr

          • David says:

            Nate,

            as already discussed, the solubility of the CO2 is determined by average temperature of the OCEANS, not the average temperature of the air.

            Oceans are continuously warming since the end of the last ice age.

            The yearly change of temperature of the oceans depends directly from the yearly average air temperature.

            In the warm years the oceans are warming faster, so the solubility of CO2 decreases faster.

            In the cold years, the oceans are warming slower, so the solubility of CO2 decreases slower.

            – – –

            You should also consider that, at equilibrum, the deeper layers of the oceans solve much more CO2 then the low-pressure surface layer.

            So the warming of the deeper layers have much bigger effect on the aerial CO2 level than the warming of the surface layers.

            Actually, the warming of the deeper layers increase the CO2 level of the surface layer of the oceans.

            So don’t even try to calculate the CO2 equilibrum without considering the higher CO2 concentrations of the deeper ocean layers.

          • Mark B says:

            [i]David says: There is no correlation between the amount of yearly human CO2 emission and the yearly increase of the atmospheric CO2 level.

            Don’t ask me to copy here the year-by-year evidence for that.[/i]

            r = 0.74 which is “strong correlation” by any normal definition

            Data from https://www.icos-cp.eu/global-carbon-budget-2019, file Global_Carbon_Budget_2019v1.0.xlsx

          • bdgwx says:

            David said: yes, hydrosphere keeps taking CO2 mass from the atmosphere, until the temperature-dependent balance between gaseous and solved CO2 concentration is achieved.

            And as the oceans get warmer, the equilibrum CO2-level in the air gets higher.

            So which reservoir is supplying the carbon mass which caused the CO2 level to increase from 280 ppm to 410 ppm?

          • David says:

            bdgwx: “So which reservoir is supplying the carbon mass which caused the CO2 level to increase from 280 ppm to 410 ppm?”

            Wrong question.

            As Dr. Spencer said: “the global land and ocean areas emit approximately 30 times as much CO2 into the atmosphere as humans produce from burning of fossil fuels”

            So you cannot tell where those CO2 molecules actually come from.

            The right question is:

            What caused the CO2 level increase in the atmosphere?

            And the right answer is: the global warming caused it, by changing the CO2 balance between the atmosphere and the oceans.

          • Nate says:

            Correlation between Cumulative emissions and atmospheric concentration since 1958

            http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/icum_global_co2_emissions_1958:2020corr13168.png

          • David says:

            Mark B,

            friend, you just don’t know, what you are talking about.

            Cock crow has very high correlation with sunrise at dawn.

            But it doesn’t means that cock crow has high correlation with sunrising, because cocks use to crow all day.

            The same applies for CO2 level rise, global warming, and human CO2 emission along the history of the mankind.

            You misunderstood what I said.

            I talked about the lack of correlation between the YEARLY INCREASE of atmospheric CO2 level and the YEARLY AMOUNT of human CO2 emission.

            There is no correlation between the two.

            The yearly increase of atmospheric CO2 level correlates only with the global average temperature of the year, regardless of the amount of human CO2 emission.

            Hence, it is not true, that human CO2 emission remains in the air for long time, because the balancing effect of the oceans can suck up the excess CO2 from the air within a year.

            I know that it is hard to understand the difference between “balancing” and “emitting/sinking”, but you will finally understand, that the huge CO2 reserve in the oceans actually REGULATES the atmospheric CO2 level.

          • Svante says:

            David says:
            “lack of correlation between the YEARLY INCREASE of atmospheric CO2 level and the YEARLY AMOUNT of human CO2 emission.”

            You missed Nate’s graph:
            http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/icum_global_co2_emissions_1958:2020corr13168.png

          • Mark B says:

            To be fair to David, Nate’s graph(1) is correlation between cumulative emissions and atmospheric concentration. R=0.74 as I posted above is the correlation coefficient for annual emissions and annual increase in atmospheric concentration unless I’ve messed up the calculation. I linked the source data used above if anyone cares to check.

            The issue seems to be that David is using a different definition of correlation, which appears to independent of the actual data because it is obvious that there is correlation between emissions and atmospheric concentration. It is also true that surface temperature and atmospheric concentration since one does not exclude the other. To get beyond correlation to probable causality one has to look at other information, like the reservoir argument bdgwx makes above which is problematic for David’s hypothesis.

            (1) The graph in Nate’s link is a bit odd. r=1.000 would imply that the dots lay precisely on the line which they do not. r may be very close to 1, but not identically and probably not to 3 decimal places.

          • Svante says:

            I couldn’t find your xlxs-file on that page, but I expect you are right.
            There are large short-term fluctuations, mostly due to the ENSO, Nate’s aggregated values puts a damper on all that.
            David should focus on the short term to stay confused.

          • Nate says:

            I agree the corr should not be 1.00. It us close to 1. Prob .995.

            This is what Climate Explorer spits out.

            The cum plot is easier to get a g
            High correlation than the derivative plot since the latter has more noise.

          • Nate says:

            David,

            “The yearly change of temperature of the oceans depends directly from the yearly average air temperature.”

            First of all, not really. The oceans warm more slowly than the atm.

            You may be thinking of the ENSO effect on CO2. ENSO and CO2 have a short term correlation. It is caused by the warming and drying of tropical forrests during El Nino, and the resulting reduced carbon uptake.

            ENSO also affects global temp. Thus global temp and co2 rate of rise show a SHORT term correlation (with no causal link).

        • Nate says:

          David, “So the warming of the deeper layers have much bigger effect on the aerial CO2 level than the warming of the surface layers.”

          Great but the deep layers have warmed much less than the surface layers. See Argo data.

          You are using a method opposite to the scientific method, wherein data and evidence tests and can falsify hypotheses.

          Your approach seems to be that your hypothesis is deemed a fact, and is used to make up the evidence.

          • Nate says:

            “And the right answer is: the global warming caused it, by changing the CO2 balance between the atmosphere and the oceans.”

            Clearly, David, your belief is religious, not dependent on facts.

    • David:
      There are no specific physical processes in the simple model… It instead takes advantage of a observational fact that has been in operation since the Mauna Loa record began in 1959: the rise in CO2 in response to the assumed anthropogenic source suggests Nature takes CO2 out at a rate of 2.3%/year times [current CO2 conc. – 295 ppm]. All surface sources and sinks are wrapped up in this relationship…ocean outgassing as the temperature rises, ocean uptake, increased photosynthesis, everything.

      • David says:

        Your model only considers sources and sinks of CO2, but not considers the storage capacity of the oceans.

        There is a theoretical difference between saying that

        1. the effect of human CO2 emission is small when compared to other natural sources and sinks,

        2. there is an immediate physical balancing effect between the CO2-level of the atmosphere and the oceans, so 98% of CO2 emissions goes right into the oceans, and not remains in the air.

        In your ADDENDUM, you tried to estimate, how much we should decrease CO2 emissions to avoid increasing atmospheric CO2-level.

        If we accept the 1. statement, it is a reasonable thought.

        But if we accept the 2. statement, then it is not reasonable to talk about any measureable effect of human CO2 emissions on atmospheric CO2 level, because not the sources or sinks, but the temperature changes of the oceans determines the short-time changes in the atmospheric CO2 level.

        – – –

        I wonder if you could show a comparison between the yearly increase of the average surface temperature of the ocean areas and the yearly increase of atmospheric CO2 level, for the last 40 years.

        It could help a lot to make a more realistic atmospheric CO2 budget model.

        • Nabil Swedan says:

          David, you are going too theoretical for Dr. Spencer.

          • David says:

            Sorry, I didn’t mean to be unpolite.
            I respect Dr. Spencer a lot for his work.

            I just wondered, whether all this CO2 thing could be explained with a simple, easily measureable and understandable phisical effect, the temperature-dependent equilibrum between the concentration of solved and gaseous CO2.

  14. Michael Kuske says:

    As opposed to CO2 levels, it will be interesting to see if there is a difference in temperature data coming from urban ground stations during the lock-downs.

    If there is a noticeable lowering of reported ground station temperatures, that would indicate the data modifications currently in use don’t adequately account for daily traffic volume and other human influences and thus are overstating temperature rise.

    Something to watch for.

    • Ken says:

      There is currently a cold spell breaking records all over Eastern USA and Canada. Its not attributable to traffic volumes; its due to polar air moving south.

    • bdgwx says:

      Michael,

      Temperatures can still drop for reasons other than day-to-day human activity. In fact, given the warming stratosphere in recent months, a possible La Nina building later this year, and the fact that UAH TLT temperature are still above the trendline, many of us expect UAH TLT temperatures to decline further regardless of pandemic related activity.

      Also, the urban effects in regards to how global mean temperatures are computed are often misunderstood. While urban centers do tend to pump temperatures higher than they would otherwise be that does not mean global mean temperatures are biased high. In fact, Berkeley Earth’s analysis shows that urban effects are more likely to be causing us to underestimate temperature rise than to overestimate it.

      https://static.berkeleyearth.org/papers/UHI-GIGS-1-104.pdf

      We observe the opposite of an urban heating effect over the
      period 1950 to 2010, with a slope of -0.10 0.24C/100yr (2-sigma error) in the Berkeley Earth global land temperature average. The confidence interval is consistent with a zero urban heating effect, and at most a small urban heating effect (less than 0.14C/100yr, with 95% confidence) on the scale of the observed warming (1.9 0.1C/100 yr since 1950 in the land average.

  15. ren says:

    It seems that the effect of a decrease in CO2 can be seen very quickly.
    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/ocean/nino34.png

  16. Strop says:

    Ren,
    Dont we just have a small decrease in human CO2 output but not a decrease in CO2?

  17. ren says:

    Great amounts of rain will fall in the coming days over the Great Lakes and northeast US and eastern Canada.
    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/500hPa/overlay=total_cloud_water/orthographic=-100.49,37.15,1183

  18. TOR NEDKVITNE says:

    Very interesting reading, and I support your interpretation. I believe a steady increase in CO2 level during the economic slowdown is a surprise for many.

    • bdgwx says:

      I had a different interpretation. I believe a steady increase in CO2 level is what Dr. Spencer and many others were expecting. There was some discussion of this in a previous blog post and it was nearly unanimous for us amateur posters as well.

    • barry says:

      Yes, there was general agreement that any affect on CO2 output of the economic downturn would be minor.

  19. gallopingcamel says:

    Even though natural sources of CO2 in the atmosphere are orders of magnitude greater than human sources I considered it likely that the observed increase in [CO2] since 1800 was mostly caused by humans burning fossil fuels.

    My reasoning was that natural CO2 sources were almost exactly balanced by CO2 sinks leading to a “Net Zero” from natural sources

    Given that [CO2] variations caused by seasonal variations in plant activity are easily discernible (the “Keeling Curve”)”, one would expect a sudden 11% change in human CO2 emissions tobBe easy to detect yet it is not!

    Who (other than our esteemed host) could have imagined that the COVID-19 panic would provide an opportunity to directly measure our ability to affect the atmospheric concentration of CO2.

    I wonder how the Alarmists will spin this one.

    • Nate says:

      “Given that [CO2] variations caused by seasonal variations in plant activity are easily discernible (the Keeling Curve), one would expect a sudden 11% change in human CO2 emissions tobBe easy to detect yet it is not!”

      I dont get that GC.

      The seasonal flows in and out of the biosphere are something like 10 x the anthro emissions, so 11% of anthro emissions is somethng like 1/100 of the seasonal flows.

      As Roy makes clear, that is a small change compared to natural variations and should be HARD to detect.

      Unless it were sustained over several years.

    • Chic Bowdrie says:

      Gallopingcamel,

      Nate is correct.

      Also one cannot assume that the alleged balance that may have occurred prior to the industrial revolution is still in play today. Natural emissions not accounted for in the Boden et al. data may be increasing due to population growth.

  20. Lars Thomsen says:

    The distribution of carbon between sea, land and air is a temperature-balanced equilibrium. Particularly, the rate of mixing in the seas and sea temperatures are important for calculating equilibrium over time. Not a trivial task.

  21. ren says:

    A tropical storm is approaching the east coast of the US.

  22. Charles says:

    Roy,
    I am hoping to get some analysis from you as to the impact of the dramatic, sustained reduction in air travel and industrial emissions other than CO2.

    Will the reduction in aircraft contrails and other industrial emissions and particles have any impact on climate?

    I note that March / April did see a record two month temperature reduction and here in the UK we have seen the sunniest April on record (my observation is that the skies have been exceptionally crystal clear and blue and the sun has felt more powerful).

    Have divergences between day and night temps got wider? Could there be any lasting impact? Will we see a sharp rise in temperatures once air travel and industrial non-CO2 emissions begin to rise again?

    Any input or analysis from you would be most interesting.

  23. Ryddegutt says:

    Would it not be more informative to look at the derivative of the CO2-concentration as a function of time?

  24. Lars Thomsen says:

    Inspired by Roy I made a simplified Excel spreadsheet where annual CO2 flux air / sea is fixed at 2.3 GT C and air / vegetation at 2.6 GT C. These figures are taken from IPCC Carbon Cycle AR5. The remainder of the CO2 emission remains in the air with 4 Gt C acc. two IPCC corresponding to 8.9 GT C in total. Experimental reduction of the total emission decreases the portion remaining in the atmosphere. At a 45% reduction, the proportion remaining in the atmosphere goes to zero. I think that’s the figure Roy finds at 43%.

    CO2 emissions and CO2 in the air back to 1958 allow to calculate the total combined CO2 flux air / sea & vegetation back in time. How can future fluxes be calculated in a simple way taking into account increasing CO2 partial pressure?

  25. ren says:

    Heavy rain in the east of the US will last for several days.
    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/sat/satlooper.php?region=us&product=wv-mid

  26. Bohous says:

    In the description of the budget model (which seems obviously reasonable to me) I read “despite continued CO2 emissions, the atmospheric concentration stabilizes just short of 500 ppm”. If the baseline is around 300 ppm and the current value is slightly above 400, we are slightly above the middle between the baseline and the stationary state. It is absolutely understandable that a small fluctuation of the anthropogenic influx of CO2 makes no observable difference in the trend of increase of CO2 at Mauna Loa.

  27. An interesting article, but I’m looking for a takeaway regarding a course of action or inaction, or an achievable goal. Reducing power usage by 43% over current levels seems dubious as we tend to increase power usage annually. There only seem to be four somewhat viable alternative power sources capable of providing significant portions of our energy budget, wind, solar, agricultural, and nuclear.

    Nuclear seems like the easiest fit into our energy distribution network, but doesn’t seem to be under consideration at least in the US. Every time we get close to doing a new nuclear plant there is a Chernobyl or a Fukishima and we lose the will.

    Wind and solar require large suitable locations and have significant negative environmental impact. Wind power is fairly expensive, requires turbines that have about a 30 year life expectancy, requires materials that result in highly toxic waste during manufacture and end of life disposal. Solar keeps getting more efficient and cost effective, but it requires substantial battery storage.

    Agricultural bio-fuels have never been more than marginally viable as energy savers.

    Carbon extraction may be the best answer, but that is still an unknown.

    • I left out the additional consideration that it’s global Co2 production that would need to drop by 43%. With China and India rapidly expanding power production (generally with coal)the prospect of reducing output soon seems dim. US Co2 output is significant, but we can’t get this kind of reduction on our own.

    • ClintR says:

      Nuclear offers the best solution, after oil and gas are used up in a century or two.

      • Lewis guignard says:

        Clint,

        FYI, it will be longer than that. Methane hydrates, if I understand correctly, abound. One problem will be gaining access, but I trust private industry to find a way.

        The other problem is the radical environmentalists who want to regulate us back to the stone age – as long as it doesn’t affect their lifestyle.

      • Bindidon says:

        ClintR

        ” Nuclear offers the best solution, after oil and gas are used up in a century or two. ”

        The problem is that people like you in fact should be sentenced to a 6 month stay around Fukushima’s still heavily contaminated region, in order to help there all the people suffering of never being allowed to come back home ( a few percent were allowed to do until now, but I’m talking about… the rest).

        ClintR won’t be ever sentenced to that.

        *
        I’m sure ClintR understands that if the nuke industry had ever had to pay for the consequences of tsunamis, earthquakes and the like, it would never have existed.

        *
        And, ClintR: please, please do not reply with ‘nuclear fusion’…
        … because the D+T fusion, if it ever manages to leave the 100 % tokamak research context of ITER, will create an incredible amount of contaminated waste as well, because tritium is inexistent on Earth in natural form (about 5 kg worldwide over the oceans) and therefore has to be breeded, like are, in 4G breeders, plutonium out of uranium 238, or uranium 233 out of thorium 232.

        This tritium breeding is intended to be out of a lithium/beryllium mix in 1200 ton blankets to be exchanged every two years.

        Nobody knows today how any material will resist to the 14 MeV neutrons produced by D+T, let alone how the hypervolatile tritium will be kept in the blankets.

        But… shhhht! This is not ITER’s job! That job will start, if ITER ever succeeds, with its successor DEMO.

        Expected waste production per 1 GWel reactor lifetime: 60 million tons.

        Best greetings
        J.-P. D.

        • Bindidon says:

          ” 60 million tons ” ?

          Oh dear, apos for the mistake, should have been 60,000 tons.
          Enough waste anyway!

          J.-P. D.

  28. Denny says:

    The Washington Post just published an article that says Greenhouse gases plunged 17% during pandemic.

    Maybe someone can get passed paywall.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/

    • WizGeek says:

      @ren: What in the non sequitur, obfuscated inanity do your rainfall posts have to do with “Current Economic Slowdown [vs] CO2”? OMG! It’s bad enough to have to sift through the trolls and counter-trolls let alone the off topic excretory effluvium. GAL.

  29. JOHN DOHERTY says:

    The world human generated fossil CO2 production has declined 30% over the last two and a half months; there was an 8% reduction around the 2008 GFC.

    One of the IPCC world data sources for atmospheric carbon dioxide is the NASA Mauna Loa, Hawaii, CO2 daily recorder.

    A detectable reduction in the daily CO2 figures would be expected if the hypothesis:

    i. that anthropological (human) generation of CO2 materially influences the worlds temperature, which, in turn, leads to global warming; and

    ii. that the natural generation of CO2 does not contribute to global warming.

    There has been no change in the current CO2 trend today, nor was there in 2008. No reason for absence of change has been offered by NASA (Hansen), the University of East Anglia, Michael Mann, or the UK Chief Scientist.

    It is an important scientific matter on which evidence is now, for the first time, available to conclude that the null hypothesis prevails and our climate is not affected in any detectable manner by anthropogenic CO2. The CO2 being measured is entirely from natural sources.

    CONCLUSION: Anthropological CO2 has no detectable effect on atmospheric CO2, and therefore climate, thus the world is wasting its money and time, destroying capital, weakening economies, increasing poverty, in being concerned about carbon and CO2 an economic hoax is being perpetrated.

    • bdgwx says:

      Assuming your 30% figure is correct that amounts to only 0.25 ppm in 2 months period. Considering that the seasonal noise is about 4 ppm this offers a small signal to noise ratio. I think you’d need to see that 30% reduction persist for a couple of years to be able to detect the change.

    • barry says:

      “A detectable reduction in the daily CO2 figures would be expected if the hypothesis:

      i. that anthropological (human) generation of CO2 materially influences the worlds temperature, which, in turn, leads to global warming….”

      The first statement and the second are not remotely connected. The warming effects of CO2 are entirely incidental to the potential impact of the recent global economic downtrun on atmospheric concentration.

    • Stephen Paul Anderson says:

      According to Dr. Berry’s and Harde’s works, who came up with the same answer independently, anthropogenic CO2 has contributed 31ppm or about 25%, to total CO2 since around 1800.

    • barry says:

      And why should we elevate the work of those two against a much larger pool of researchers whose work comes to a different conclusion?

      Any reason to do so which is not entriely fictitious?

      • Chic Bowdrie says:

        Because Berry and Harde’s analyses uses physically accurate calculus and builds on prior works of others who arguably outnumber the unnamed pool of researchers you refer to. Perhaps you can cite the counter arguments refuting the Berry and Harde papers?

      • Nate says:

        ” builds on prior works of others’

        Uhh, much of the established facts about the carbon cycle found in the prior works of many others, are ignored by these guys, or assumed, without justification, to be wrong.

      • bdgwx says:

        It’s also just 2 guys (3 if you count Salby). Is it realistic to think that they have figured something out that thousands of others failed at especially given that their model cannot explain the paleoclimate record, can’t explain what reservoir supplied the carbon mass to increase CO2 in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, and which cannot even predict the future trajectory of CO2 because it is dependent upon a variable (temperature) that they cannot predict or explain either.

      • barry says:

        “Because Berry and Harde’s analyses uses physically accurate calculus…”

        I believe I asked for something not fictitious.

        “Physically accurate” – a bag of wind.

        “…builds on prior works of others who arguably outnumber the unnamed pool of researchers you refer to.”

        ‘Arguably’ – more wind.

        Stop making crap up.

        The prior and post work of others who significantly outnumber these 2 broadly corroborate each other and not these 2.

        Here are a collection of some of these researchers’ works:

        https://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/papers-on-anthropogenic-carbon-dioxide-observations/

        And others on anthro CO2 emissions:

        https://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/papers-on-anthropogenic-co2-emissions/

        And yet more on the oceans being a sink for CO2 over the last few decades to a hundred years:

        https://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/papers-on-anthropogenic-co2-emissions/

        There is a reason why every science institute that’s published or commented on the matter worldwide, and why review papers, PNAS and other science reviews are unanimous in attributing the vast majority of the CO2 rise of the last century or so to human activity. And it’s not about politics or ideology.

        Whereas the elevation of these maverick views, claiming they are superior, is all about ideology, and nothing about neutral appraisal.

  30. Carbon500 says:

    Amazing stuff from the Guardian. Note particularly the contents of the last paragraph – no actual sampling and laboratory assaying of CO2, but proxies and fudging. Why am I not surprised?
    From The Guardian, May 19th 2020 on their website:
    Carbon dioxide emissions have fallen dramatically since lockdowns were imposed around the world due to the coronavirus crisis, research has shown.
    Daily emissions of the greenhouse gas plunged 17% by early April compared with 2019 levels, according to the first definitive study of global carbon output this year.
    The findings show the world has experienced the sharpest drop in carbon output since records began, with large sections of the global economy brought to a near standstill. When the lockdown was at its most stringent, in some countries emissions fell by just over a quarter (26%) on average. In the UK, the decline was about 31%, while in Australia emissions fell 28.3% for a period during April.
    “This is a really big fall, but at the same time, 83% of global emissions are left, which shows how difficult it is to reduce emissions with changes in behaviour,” said Corinne Le Quéré, a professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia, and lead author of the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. “And it is not desirable – this is not the way to tackle climate change.”
    The unprecedented fall is likely to be only temporary. As countries slowly get back to normal activity, over the course of the year the annual decline is likely to be only about 7%, if some restrictions to halt the virus remain in place. However, if they are lifted in mid-June the fall for the year is likely to be only 4%.
    That would still represent the biggest annual drop in emissions since the second world war, and a stark difference compared with recent trends, as emissions have been rising by about 1% annually. But it would make “a negligible impact on the Paris agreement” goals, Le Quéré said.
    Emissions must fall to net zero by mid-century or soon after to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and keep global heating from reaching catastrophic levels, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The fall in carbon resulting from the Covid-19 crisis reveals how far the world still has to go, said Le Quéré.
    The experience of the crisis so far has shown that changes in behaviour by individuals – such as not flying, working from home and driving less – can only go part of the way needed to cut emissions, as even the lockdown measures left the bulk of emission sources intact, she said, adding that bigger shifts are needed to the way people produce and use energy.
    “Just behavioural change is not enough,” she said. “We need structural changes [to the economy and industry]. But if we take this opportunity to put structural changes in place, we have now seen what it is possible to achieve.”
    Emissions from aviation showed a dramatic decline, of about 60%, as international flights between many countries were grounded. Emissions from surface transport fell less sharply, by about 36%. Power generation and industry accounted for about 86% of the total decline in emissions.
    Despite such an unprecedented fall, the impacts on the climate are likely to be small. Stocks of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which reached 414.8 parts per million last year, will rise further towards the danger threshold of 450ppm this year, though perhaps at a slightly slower pace.
    “Carbon dioxide stays in the air a long time, so although emissions are smaller, they are still happening and so carbon dioxide is still building up, just a little more slowly,” said Richard Betts, the head of climate impacts research at the Met Office Hadley Centre, who was not involved in the paper. “If we want to halt the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we need to stop putting it there altogether. It’s like we’re filling a bath and have turned down the tap slightly, but not turned it off.”
    The lockdowns have caused steep falls in energy demand, but energy production has hardly been changed by the crisis, noted Mark Maslin, a professor of climatology at University College London, who was also not involved in the paper.
    “The real lesson of this pandemic is that we must globally shift our energy production away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible if we are to ensure sustained year-on-year cuts to our global emissions,” he said. “The good news is that both of these will help to maintain the clean air and clear skies we have all rediscovered during lockdown, saving many lives.”
    The comprehensive analysis was conducted by scientists from the University of East Anglia, Stanford University in the US, the Cicero Centre in Norway, as well as scientists in the Netherlands, Australia, France and Germany.
    The researchers used measurements of economic activity, energy generation, industrial production, transport and other proxies to estimate carbon dioxide output. They concentrated their analysis on six areas: power generation, surface transport, industry, public buildings and commerce, residential sources, and aviation. Estimates were taken from 69 countries, 50 US states and 30 Chinese provinces, representing 97% of global carbon emissions.
    Although the rising concentrations of carbon in the atmosphere are regularly measured, they are subject to large natural fluctuations so are unsuitable to the kind of snapshot analysis required to observe what is happening to global carbon output over a relatively short period.

    • Dan Pangburn says:

      It is abominable that all that academic achievement has so little common sense and such limited knowledge. Such a simple thing as discovering that water vapor has been increasing faster than possible from planet warming appears to be beyond them. Explanation of all this is at https://watervaporandwarming.blogspot.com . Applying a little logic, it is not particularly hard to demonstrate that the human contribution to planet warming has been from water vapor increase.

      CO2 increase has had no significant influence on climate. A 96+% match with measured 1895-2019 obtains with no influence from CO2. The algorithm that accomplishes this is at http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com

  31. ren says:

    Update – Please click here for ongoing updates: Sanford Dam failure imminent: more shelters pop up; evacuate immediately
    https://www.ourmidland.com/news/article/Edenville-Dam-fails-15281658.php?fbclid=IwAR1RtqmFW8k5YcL706LmpqvYi6if9Kr967UuQ0jkCS3dKWw750JcAbOsK44

    • Svante says:

      Don’t be alarmist ren, you can’t prove this has anything to do with climate change. A 500-year flood would have a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in any given year, so it could be completely natural.

      • Dan Pangburn says:

        An initial assessment of the increasing water vapor from irrigation was that the increased water use had an insignificant effect on rainfall. Section 6 of http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com Further considerations include: (1) Water added at arid locations (the reason for irrigating) might preferentially rain out at already rainy locations. (2) More water has been added than has been accounted for. (3) The perceived increase in precipitation related flooding. Perhaps the risk of precipitation related flooding has significantly increased.

        • Svante says:

          “blogspot.com”, brilliant!

          “precipitation related flooding has significantly increased”.
          Yes, I guess it might have.

  32. tim wells says:

    We all know it’s the orbit of the earth around the sun and the 11 year cycle of the sun is the driver. Those so-called experts aren’t very intelligent.

  33. ren says:

    Tropical depression, which is moving to the Gulf of Mexico, will bring downpours in the eastern half of the US.
    http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/mtpw2/webAnims/tpw_nrl_colors/natl/mimictpw_natl_latest.gif

  34. ren says:

    Due to the decrease in CO2, the oceans surface temperature is falling (and will continue to fall).
    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/ocean/global.png

  35. ren says:

    A tropical storm will cause floods in South and North Carolina.

  36. barry says:

    Carbon500 says:

    “Amazing stuff from the Guardian. Note particularly the contents of the last paragraph”

    The last paragraph says:

    “Although the rising concentrations of carbon in the atmosphere are regularly measured, they are subject to large natural fluctuations so are unsuitable to the kind of snapshot analysis required to observe what is happening to global carbon output over a relatively short period.”

    Scandalous!

    Roy says in the OP:

    “The point is that given the large month-to-month variations in natural CO2 sources and sinks seen in Fig. 2, it would be difficult to see a downturn in the anthropogenic source of CO2 unless it was very large (say, over 50%) and prolonged (say over a year or longer).”

    Amazing stuff!

  37. Harry Cummings says:

    So if we work really really hard make millions of people unemployed and lower out CO2 by say 15% we can never actually know if an reduction is just a natural fluctuations or us

    But any increase is man made……really

  38. Entropic man says:

    Now this is interesting.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2020/05/good-intentions.html

    Note particularly the last sentence.


    There are a lot of discussions on line of one layer energy balance models for the Earth’s atmosphere which explicitly include emissivity and albedo, coming up with an effective emissivity of about 0,77 across the entire IR spectrum, but the multilayer POV puts paid to the argument that backradiation can’t make the surface warmer”

  39. Thorleif says:

    A new CO2-sink technique?

    Some farmers says research showing that “regenerative agriculture” could remove all CO2 excess! Removal of methane is also possible.

    Anyone?

    • Cees De Jong says:

      I think this whole conversation is about as interesting as counting the grains of sand in the Sahara, because in the end, what does it matter? The number of grains of sand does not change the life on earth and so the little variation in CO2 molecules will not change life on earth. Try to give happiness an important role in your life instead of climate change. JMHO.

      • Svante says:

        It’s not very clever to have eco system collapse and put properties under water.

        • Amazed says:

          S,

          Like the many sunken cities round the world? And do you think that the collapse of the ecosystem in Antarctica due to excessive cold was due to CO2 molecules?

          You are the one who is not very clever. You can always offer another snivelling apology, but it wont make you any smarter.

        • Cees says:

          I can’t wait for Al Gore’s and Obummers property to go under water.

      • Thorleif says:

        Cees De Jong,

        Maybe so!

        But that was not my question!

        (Sorry about the double (see below) reply. My script-settings)

        • Cees De Jong says:

          Thorleif, what I mean is, does it matter that they maybe have found another CO2 sink? Is there too much CO2? How much is the excess? And what are the negative and positive conseqences? It keeps a lot of people busy, but in the end it does not matter. If this answers your question, then it leaves a few for you.
          A single answer will do 🙂

          • Thorleif says:

            Cees De Jong, still you did not follow my question! I do understand your point but asked for opinions regarding the possibilities of a new farming technique, not if a reduction of say 130-140 ppm CO2 (excess!) will matter or not (grain of sand in Sahara)! As you certainly know the CO2-levels have moved between 150 and 300 ppm the last 400.000 years or so.

            Climate is indeed politics and if decision-makers are persuaded by farmers-collectives to i.e use tax-money to subsidize the start of a new way of farming on let us say false pretentions (i.e not reducing the excess CO2 or have no benefit whatsoever (sandgrain) maybe I would not approve such a policy.

            So is there a need for regenerative agriculture on its own merits or not? Then we can argue about the importance of CO2 reduction.

      • bdgwx says:

        Actually…the Saharan environment is but yet another piece of the climate puzzle. It’s effects are felt far and wide as the dust is scattered throughout the planet. It is believed the dust played played a crucial role in modulated the climate over the Quaternary Period. Even today it modulates tropical cyclone activity on a seasonal basis in the Atlantic Basin.

        • Cees De Jong says:

          bdgwx, you are right, that is why I mentioned it. That does not mean people can or have to change anything with the Sahara. Nature can pretty much look after itself.

        • barry says:

          Nature will. But we are sentient and sometimes rational, and do not have to wait for nature.

          • Cees says:

            No Barry, we are impatient and think we know better than nature.
            We will try to change things without completely understanding, which is foolish.

          • Svante says:

            I agree, it is extremely foolish to gamble with global climate.

    • Cees says:

      Thorleif, your question is: A new CO2-sink technique?
      Answer: No, this technique is as old as the world.

      Not some farmers but Rodale institute says:
      “Regenerative organic agriculture can sequester carbon and reverse
      climate change.” and further: With the use of cover crops, compost, crop rotation and reduced tillage, we can actually sequester more carbon than is currently emitted, tipping the needle past 100% to reverse climate change.

      This only is true if CO2 is the cause of climate change, which I don’t believe. Keep this up and you will reverse plant growth.
      Nobody will die from climate change in now 11 year? But from famine.

      • Thorleif says:

        Cees,

        Thank you for the Rodale-link. I agree with you on the “reverse-plant” issue. But when looking into the ROC-framework carbon sequestering does not seem to be a big issue. More kind of a volontary thing for participants (report-system using a computer-model). Nutrition is the center.

        I guess the climatechangehype is used mostly for marketing purposes when speaking of carbon and soil-use. I have not heard Rodale himself hoping or wishing anything regarding getting rid of the “Co2-excess” (maybe he have, which will be sad). I think other ag-regen’s or environmentalists et al are those that promotes such a possibility.

      • Nate says:

        “Nobody will die from climate change in now 11 year? But from famine.*

        Yes, the old ‘plants have been starving all this time’ meme, during the last 10,000 y of agriculture and human development.

        Oh, and the widespread use of nitrogen fertlizer, genetic improvements, and pesticide??… Meh, it was all CO2.

  40. ren says:

    The first M-class flare on the Sun in the new 25th solar cycle.
    Over the past two days, satellites orbiting the Earth have detected a series of class B solar flares. The source is hiding just behind the northeastern solar disk.
    https://www.spaceweather.com/images2020/28may20/flarey_strip.jpg?fbclid=IwAR2z7DVLmByG0S_XUYNwb19ALjpaIlwldArQl77rMcxGz558L6ppFInbjRM

  41. Thorleif says:

    Cees De Jong

    Maybe so!

    But that was not the question.

  42. ren says:

    Quite unusual convection will occur in California. The vortex will build at 500 hPa.
    https://pics.tinypic.pl/i/01006/5q17adsbzotr.png

  43. ren says:

    The M1.1 solar flare (R1) that peaked today at 07:24 UTC is the first M-class flare of a sunspot region that belongs to Solar Cycle 25 and the first M-class flare in 925 days! The flare took place at the east limb from Earth’s point of view and produced a nice coronal wave.
    https://twitter.com/_SpaceWeather_/status/1266336869203300357

  44. barry says:

    Rain bespatters a field somewhere
    A lion yawns
    Large world

  45. Nils Rahm says:

    Atmosphere contain about 37000 Gt CO2. Last 100 years man has emissioned about 2000 Gt CO2. About 5%. How can man emissioned CO2 be a dominant factor? 100 years ago CO2 concentration was about 300 ppm. If man emissioned 2000 Gton since then and it accumulated, it will only have risen the concentration to about 320 ppm. The rest of the rise is natural and it is probably less man made CO2 in the atmosphere since scientists say up to 50% is withdrawn by the sea and landbiomass increase. How can our mere 10 ppm have such an impact? I dont understand or have I miscalculated somewhere. I count atmosphere is about 100 km.
    Regards
    Nils

    • bdgwx says:

      Nils,

      How can man emissioned CO2 be a dominant factor?

      1 ppm = 2.1 GtC = 7.8 GtCO2

      The atmosphere has about 410 ppm = 3200 GtCO2 = 860 GtC in it. Humans have emitted about 260 ppm = 2000 GtCO2 = 550 GtC into the atmosphere. That is about 63% of the total.

      How can our mere 10 ppm have such an impact?

      Human emissions are equivalent to 260 ppm.

      • Stephen Paul Anderson says:

        You are a brain dead leftist anti-science drone.

        • Svante says:

          Psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.

      • Nils says:

        Bdgwx, can you show me the equation that 1 ppm = 2,12 Gt C

        • bdgwx says:

          The atomic weights of C and O are 12 and 16 respectively. So the molecular weights of C and CO2 are 12 and 44 respectively. CO2 is 3.67 heavier than C. And 1 mole of CO2 is 44 g. There is 1.77e20 moles of gas in the atmosphere. That means 1 ppm is 1.77e14 moles. So 1 ppm of CO2 weighs 1.77e14 * 44 = 7.8e15 = 7.8e12 kg = 7.8 GtCO2. And since CO2 is 3.67x heavier than C then 7.8 GtCO2 / 3.67 = 2.13 GtC.

  46. Cees says:

    Nils,
    it does not accumulate for 100 years but get absorbed.

    • Cees says:

      Nils,
      before we get misleading comments, don’t take my word for it but read for yourself: https://edberry.com/blog/climate/climate-physics/contradictions-to-ipccs-climate-change-theory/

      • bdgwx says:

        That’s not a good source. This blogger does not represent the current understanding of the science. We’ve discussed Berry and his 2 other supporters Salby and Harde before. There are several problems with his model and misunderstandings about the concepts relevant to the carbon cycle. Aside from the fact that his model is way too simple it does not even measure the adjustment time. In fact, it has become apparent among experts that Berry does not even understand what adjustment time is and misrepresents what the IPCC says about it.

    • bdgwx says:

      It accumulates for however long the net flux is positive. If the source flux is higher than the sink flux then CO2 will accumulate in the atmosphere. This accumulation can last until the sources are exhausted. Pulses in the paleoclimate record last for thousands or even tens of thousands of years.

      The pertinent question is how long does it take for atmospheric carbon to deplete once accumulation has stopped. This is a complicated question because of the many processes and timescales by which carbon is permanently transferred between reservoirs. The best models of atmospheric depletion partition the problem based on the different physical processes and reservoirs in play. The measurement of carbon mass depletion is called adjustment time.

      The adjustment time for the glacial pulses from peak back to trough is on the order of 100,000 years. I believe the PETM adjustment time was on the order of 10,000 years. The adjustment time for the human pulse in the contemporary era is usually given in e-folds. It is on the order of 100-1000 years. The Bern and slugulator (link below) are similar models that estimate the mass depletion rate. For example, a 1000 GtC pulse the adjustment time is about 1000 years and takes about 2500 years to return to < 400 ppm using the slugulator model. I believe the Bern model yields much lower adjustment times.

      http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/slugulator/slugulator.html

      • Brendan says:

        bdgwx,

        You are talking nonsense.

        There is no such thing as adjustment time. Berry doesn’t mention it for that reason. This is nothing more than a pseudoscientific argument drawn up to try and justify a failed scientific argument. An argument to try and invent a reason why human CO2 hangs around in the atmosphere for 1,000 years when natural CO2 does not. The bottleneck argument. All based on the life cycle of what goes on inside the DIC or Dissolved Inorganic Carbon. Only a very small percentage of CO2 ends up in the DIC. Most CO2 simply dissolves in the ocean waters just like CO2 dissolves in a soda drink. When you pop the top off your 1 year old of bottle of Dom Prignon you don’t have to wait 1,000 years for the bubbles to crawl out of the DIC.

        You keep referring to the Bern model. That is a totally failed model that can not replicate known 14C data. I will repeat from one of the comments above. That model started with an end outcome and it was designed backwards.

        • Nate says:

          “The bottleneck argument. All based on the life cycle of what goes on inside the DIC or Dissolved Inorganic Carbon. Only a very small percentage of CO2 ends up in the DIC. Most CO2 simply dissolves in the ocean waters just like CO2 dissolves in a soda drink”

          So you are saying that Revelles work on ocean carbon chemistry, and all that came out of it was all wrong?!

          Please show us your evidence.

          • B says:

            Just pop the cork out of a 10 year old of bottle of Dom Prignon and see if bubbles come out.

          • Nate says:

            “Just pop the cork out of a 10 year old of bottle of Dom Prignon and see if bubbles come out.”

            Yeah, all those ‘scientists’ somehow overlooked this key experiment.

            Why did they bother with all that research on ocean chemistry and the carbon cycle?

            What a waste of time!

        • bdgwx says:

          Brendan said: There is no such thing as adjustment time.

          Yes. There is.

          Residence Time – The amount of time on average that a specific molecule remains in atmosphere even if it is just exchanged 1-for-1 for a different molecule.

          Adjustment Time – The amount of time it takes for a unit of mass to be removed from the atmosphere without being replaced by a similar unit of mass.

          Brendan said: Berry doesn’t mention it for that reason.

          Actually he does. This is how we know he doesn’t understand essential measurement concepts.

          Brendan said: An argument to try and invent a reason why human CO2 hangs around in the atmosphere for 1,000 years when natural CO2 does not.

          “Natural” CO2 hangs around just as long “human” CO2. There is no significant preferential treatment given to either “human” or “natural” CO2 by the various reservoir transfer processes.

          Brendan said: You keep referring to the Bern model. That is a totally failed model that can not replicate known 14C data.

          I also mentioned the slugulator. There are others. They are not meant to replicate the 14C relaxation curve. What they are meant to replicate is the total mass relaxation curve. That is different concept.

          Brendan said: That model started with an end outcome and it was designed backwards.

          I’m not sure what that means. Can you provide a link to the source you are using to justify this statement?

        • bdgwx says:

          Brendan,

          I want to try and help you visualize the difference between residence time (RT) and adjustment time (AT). We’ll use a simple to follow analogy.

          You have 1000 $1 bills each with a unique serial number in your possession. Each day you randomly select 100 of those bills for expenses and receive 99 new bills as income.

          What is the average amount of time a specific $1 bill stays in your possession? This is the residence time concept. The answer is RTe = 1000 + (99-100) / 99 = 10.09 days. It takes about 10 days for your initial stock of $1 bills to be removed from your possession. Just understand that even though you removed specific bills (identified by serial number) in 99/100 of the cases those bills got exchanged for different bills so the value of your holdings did not decrease as much.

          What is the amount of time it takes for the value of your holdings to deplete to $0? This is the adjustment time concept. AT = 1000 / (100-99) = 1000 days. It takes 1000 days for the value of your holdings to drop to $0. This is because the net change in value was $1/day even though your inflow and outflow were separately 100x as large.

          In real life the carbon cycle is far more complicated. Inflows and outflows of carbon have non-linear dependence. There are many physical processes and reservoirs in play that modulate permanent transfers and exchanges independently.

  47. Brendan says:

    Dr Spencer,

    You said:

    “the global land and ocean areas emit approximately 30 times as much CO2 into the atmosphere as humans produce from burning of fossil fuels”

    Then said:

    “The increase in atmospheric CO2 observed since the 1950s is most likely dominated by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which are twice as large as that needed to explain the observed rise”

    Those two comments seem to conflict.

    • bdgwx says:

      First…I wonder if the 30x figure is a typo. I believe it is actually closer to 20x today.

      Prior to the industrial revolution natural sources and sinks were about 100 ppm/yr each. The net transfer of CO2 in/out of the atmosphere was close to zero. This is why the level remained relatively stable (within a few ppm) for thousands of years.

      Today the human sources are about 5 ppm/yr, natural sources are 100 ppm/yr, and natural sinks have increased to 102 ppm/yr. That means human emissions are 20x higher than natural emissions. But the disruption caused by the human emissions pulled the carbon cycle out of balance such that the net flux into the atmosphere is about 2.5 ppm/yr. That imbalance adds up over time. The imbalance has caused CO2 to increase from 280 ppm to 410 ppm.

      Dr. Spencer’s statements are not contradictory.

  48. Brendan says:

    From isotope measurements we know that human CO2 emissions are 4% of total CO2 emissions.

    The alarmists claim all 100% of CO2 emissions are coming from humans.

    This 11% reduction is averaged over a year. The Le Qur et al paper shown above shows an instantaneous 17% drop in emissions. This paper is highly suspect as it’s authors rely on a global carbon budget that allows for zero emissions from the oceans, when the oceans are the major CO2 emitter.

    China’s emissions dropped 30-40% in February and around 35% in March. I have calculated that there were instantaneous 25% to 35% reductions during the months of February through April.

    CO2 increases 2.5ppm annually. 30% of 2.5ppm is 0.75ppm. If the alarmists are correct, these instantaneous large reductions in CO2 emissions should put a 0.75 to 1ppm kink in the Keeling curve and should be very measurable. We should see it.

    However if the realists and those that adhere to the scientific method are correct and total emissions from humans are just 4% of total emissions, that should put an instantaneous 0.03ppm kink in the curve. That would be immeasurable.

    That’s what we are seeing.

    • bdgwx says:

      Brendan said: From isotope measurements we know that human CO2 emissions are 4% of total CO2 emissions.

      Correct. Except that we know this from more than just isotope measurements.

      Brendan said: The alarmists claim all 100% of CO2 emissions are coming from humans.

      I don’t know who the “alarmists” are that you refer to. But scientists do indeed claim that nearly 100% of the CO2 increase from 280 ppm to 410 ppm was the result of emissions from humans.

      Brendan said: CO2 increases 2.5ppm annually. 30% of 2.5ppm is 0.75ppm. If the alarmists are correct, these instantaneous large reductions in CO2 emissions should put a 0.75 to 1ppm kink in the Keeling curve and should be very measurable. We should see it.

      Humans emit 5 ppm annually. If there was a 30% reduction for 3 months that would be equivalent to about 0.4 ppm. The seasonal variation of CO2 from trough-to-peak is about 9 ppm. And the detrended annual variation can easily be 0.5 ppm. This is why Dr. Spencer and pretty much everyone else believes the pandemic related reduction in emissions will be difficult if not impossible to detect against the noise. The reduction just isn’t big enough for long enough. Also…a global reduction of 30% is on the high side of estimates I’ve seen.

    • Nate says:

      Brendan,

      “However if the realists and those that adhere to the scientific method are correct and total emissions from humans are just 4% of total emissions, that should put an instantaneous 0.03ppm kink in the curve.”

      No. This is a myth that Berry has been very good at propogating.

      Your total emissions includes seasonal, cyclic emissions that are positive and negative. They don’t interfere with the NET positive emission over a year that anthro emissions produce.

      Just as the seasonal cyclic change in temperature of ~ 20 degrees C has no relevance to the decadal trends in global temperature of 0.18 C/decade.

  49. Brendan says:

    I will make one final comment to Nate.

    I am not disputing carbonate chemistry. What happens in the DIC is a side show to the main event which is the dissolution and release of CO2 molecules in and out of the ocean waters.

    There are approximately 2,000 CO2 molecules for each H2CO3 (carbonic acid molecule) in ocean water. (Aquatic Chemistry Concepts by James F. Pankow.)

    CO2 does not automatically turn into carbonic acid. That process requires a catalyst. Catalysts are not freely floating around in the oceans.

    What happens in the DIC and the dissolution of CO2 in water are 2 completely different and separate processes.

    The δ13C ratio in the DIC is -0.5 to +2.5. The δ13C ratio of sea water is -10.

    This bottleneck/adjustment time is a side track argument designed to try and bolster the pseudoscientific argument that human CO2 emissions hang around in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Which is all rubbish. It is what the IPCC are saying. There is no such thing as adjustment time, it is an invented argument with no foundation.

    I wont be getting involved in an eternal discussion with gobble-de-gouchs unfounded waffle.

    • bdgwx says:

      It’s not that human emissions hang around for a long time. The issue is that it takes a long time for a higher level of CO2 to deplete down to the original level. This happens regardless of whether the excess emissions are from human or natural sources.

      The physical processes that act to permanently transfer carbon from the atmosphere to the biosphere and hydrosphere have limitations on the rates at which they work. This is the core of the bottleneck argument. Adjustment time is just the name given to the measurement of how long it takes for these processes to permanently transfer a specific amount of carbon.

      We know from the paleoclimate record that permanent removal of carbon from the atmosphere takes thousands and even tens of thousands of years via these natural processes to return to pre-release levels. Ya know…the Bern and similar models predict substantially shorter depletion times for atmospheric carbon than what has previous occurred. Though, to be fair I believe these models treat the releases as sudden and nearly instantaneous pulses which I believe results in faster depletion times. Anyway…so your incredulity might be better utilized in trying to figure out why the IPCC is predicting that the current pulse of CO2 will only linger for 100-1000 years for one e-fold. As far as I am aware we have no precedent for that short of a depletion time. Of course…if someone knows of a past CO2 release event that did deplete that quickly please let me know.

    • Nate says:

      “This bottleneck/adjustment time is a side track argument designed to try and bolster the pseudoscientific argument that human CO2 emissions hang around in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Which is all rubbish.”

      First of all, thats nonsense, because Revelle’s discovery of the Revelle Factor from many decades ago was not ‘designed’ for any such argument. It was simply an observation of how the ocean carbon cycle works, well before any politicization of climate science.

      Second, if you are a Berry supporter, then you are blindly ignoring what he is blindly ignoring, which is all the available carbon cycle facts.

      Third. The Revelle Factor implies that for any X % increase in atm CO2, the surface ocean DIC will increase by ~ X/10 %.

      This means that concentration of DIC in the surface ocean is increasing as a percentage, 10 x slower than the concentration is increasing in the atmosphere. Therefore the sinking of excess carbon from the surface ocean to the deep ocean is much slower than the build up in the atmosphere.

      It is simply unable to keep up.

    • Nate says:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revelle_factor#:~:text=The%20Revelle%20factor%20describes%20the,and%20anthropogenic%20climate%20change%20studies.&text=2%20and%20%CE%94%5BDIC%5D%20%2F,carbon%20at%20the%20oceans%20surface.

      FYI Revelle Factor.

      “There are approximately 2,000 CO2 molecules for each H2CO3 (carbonic acid molecule) in ocean water.”

      But you are ignoring the much much larger amount of HCO3. Why?

      All Carbon atoms matter.

Leave a Reply