Seen elsewhere

 

Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > Carbon dioxide levels rose at record pace for 2nd straight year

The title of this thread is taken from an article at NOAA:

http://www.noaa.gov/news/carbon-dioxide-levels-rose-at-record-pace-for-2nd-straight-year

"Carbon dioxide levels measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory rose by 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, an increase that matched the record jump observed in 2015.

The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. And, it was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.

“The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age,” Tans said. “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”

Globally averaged CO2 levels passed 400 ppm in 2015 — a 43-percent increase over pre-industrial levels. In February 2017, CO2 levels at Mauna Loa had already climbed to 406.42 ppm."

As a simple non-scientist, I don't understand, therefore, why temperatures are increasing at a relatively lower rate if this rate of CO2 increase "is a real shock to the atmosphere."

Leaving aside arguments about cherry-picked start and end dates, relative to El Ninos/La Ninas etc, I think it's fair to say that none of the several temperature records are showing temperature growth in line with these claims regarding CO2 growth. Why not? Can anyone enlighten me?

Mar 17, 2017 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I think it's fair to say that none of the several temperature records are showing temperature growth in line with these claims regarding CO2 growth. Why not? Can anyone enlighten me?

For the same reason there is no apparent direct relation between temperature and CO2 since CO2 records started? (in the 1960's?)

Mar 17, 2017 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Mar 17, 2017 at 3:44 PM | Mark Hodgson

Don't expect 97% of Climate Scientists to explain it to you.

In Legal Terms, I think Phil Shiner's latest news, may set an Unprecedented Precedent for Climate Scientists, and their previous rantings may be treated as equally Unreliable.

The current recorded increase in CO2 may be due to exactly the same reasons as all the other ones in the past. Climate Science has ignored them for 30 years, and pretended global temperatures have never varied before Mann's Hockey Stick.

Climate Science, like Phil Shiner, never made money out of honesty.

Mar 17, 2017 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I came on to post about this very issue, but for a different reason, because it's been widely reported that the global output of CO2 has been stable for the last 3 years when CO2 has risen by around 6-7 ppm.

How is that so? Is the increase caused by oceans degassing? Whatever it is "natural" if we are to believe CO2 has stabilised, and we have not only continued to get more into the atmosphere, but it has accelerated.

Lot to think about there it'll probably take a few days for a cover story to be concocted.

Mar 17, 2017 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

gc

Shiner is a bit of a raw nerve for some. Obvious reasons. Best left.

Mar 17, 2017 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

A casual observer might infer that Pieter Tans either doesn't understand the mathematics of logarithms or he has never heard of Beer's Law.

However, for a person in his position with his education, neither of the above is credible. Which means he is being disingenuous, to put it politely.

Mar 17, 2017 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Mark

"Leaving aside arguments about cherry-picked start and end dates, relative to El Ninos/La Ninas etc, I think it's fair to say that none of the several temperature records are showing temperature growth in line with these claims regarding CO2 growth. Why not? Can anyone enlighten me?"

The way I see it is that simply making the claims gets you a ticket onto the AGW gravy train and this train is a bit like the Orient Express. What matters with The Orient Express is that you are on it, not how or why you got there or even where it is going ^.^

Mar 18, 2017 at 4:03 AM | Registered CommenterDung

“The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age,” Tans said breathlessly, then exclaimed. “This is a real shock to the atmosphere!

Just pointing out that the reporter failed to observe the real story here. Activist scientists have been getting a free ride from low grade journalists for too long.

Mar 18, 2017 at 7:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Clearly all is not well in the world of climate science. Compare and contrast the heading to this thread and the NOAA report I linked to, with the following:

"What is happening to CO2 emissions?
The topline from the Global Carbon Project is that the amount of CO2 we put into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels, gas flaring and cement production has held steady for three years in a row, neither increasing nor decreasing significantly.

Growth in emission is typically expressed as a percentage increase or decrease on the previous year, or compared to a specific historical period. The new analysis finds global fossil fuel emissions grew by 0.7% in 2014, then held steady in 2015. Provisional data for 2016 predict a very small rise, of just 0.2%.

This is a notable slowdown in emission growth, compared to an average rate of 3.5% in the 2000s and 1.8% over the most recent decade, 2006-2015. You can see this in the top left panel below."

https://www.carbonbrief.org/what-global-co2-emissions-2016-mean-climate-change

They can't both be right!

Mar 18, 2017 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark

There are so many figures put out that not only have no foundation in the real world but which could never be measured anyway. Comparing one set of useless figures with another set of equally useless figures seems a sure fired way to get some useless results.

Mar 18, 2017 at 4:08 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Mar 18, 2017 at 2:50 PM | Mark Hodgson

They can't both be right!

I don't see why not. Unless I have misread what you posted, one is an estimate of *human* CO2 emission. The other is a measure of atmospheric CO2.

Those two things are not the same.

Mar 18, 2017 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Mark Hodgson & Martin A

I presume that recorded measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere are taken at Mauna Loa, and are not subject to tampering.

I presume figures for the amount of CO2 produced are simply based on the amount of gas, coal, oil burned per powerstation or country.

There is a presumption that individuals, companies, countries will be honest about a carbon tax return, when it is based on self-assessment.

Global Warming Scam Productions have started to fall sharply, along with the other scams rooted in Climate Science.

Mar 18, 2017 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mark,
As a simple non-scientist, I don't understand, therefore, why temperatures are increasing at a relatively lower rate if this rate of CO2 increase "is a real shock to the atmosphere."

Maybe you could define what you mean by a "relatively lower rate". How fast would you expect it to be rising, given these increases in atmospheric CO2? A few things to consider, though.

1. We don't expect temperatures to rise smoothly on yearly timescales. The climate system is sufficiently variable that internal variability can easily swamp externally-driven warming on yearly (even decadal) timescales.

2. The response to CO2 is logarithmic, so even though these rises in atmospheric CO2 are quite large compared to previous years, the corresponding temperature rise would still not be expected to be big enough to overcome internal variability on these timescales (we would only expect the externally driven warming to be evident if we consider multi-decade timescales).

3. The atmosphere is well-coupled to the upper ocean (top 50 - 100m). If you consider the heat capacity of this part of the system you would expect there to be a lag between the change in forcing and the warming. So, even if we did expect the warming to be smoothly increasing (which we don't, given the variability) you would still expect a lag between the CO2 increases and the warming.

However, the key point is that we don't expect to be able to correlate increases in atmospheric CO2 and surface warming on yearly timescales.

Mar 18, 2017 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

However, the key point is that we don't expect to be able to correlate increases in atmospheric CO2 and surface warming on yearly timescales.

Mar 18, 2017 at 11:13 PM | ...and Then There's Physics

The key point is that Mann's Hockey Stick implied that it was possible to correlate CO2 increases and surface warming.

You do use "we" to imply you represent the official view of Climate Science. What is "your" view of Mann's Hockey Stick now?

Mar 18, 2017 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Martin A: "I don't see why not. Unless I have misread what you posted, one is an estimate of *human* CO2 emission. The other is a measure of atmospheric CO2."

You are, as ever, correct, but the bone I'm gnawing on is how is it that a levelling of human emissions of CO2 has be accompanied by rise of CO2 in the atmosphere? Natural? But why?

Mar 19, 2017 at 5:41 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

CO2 levels rose again.
So what?

Mar 19, 2017 at 6:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

..... the bone I'm gnawing on is how is it that a levelling of human emissions of CO2 has be accompanied by rise of CO2 in the atmosphere? Natural? But why?

To get atmospheric CO2 concentrations to stop rising, we would have to substantially reduce emissions, not simply get them to become constant. If emissions are constant we are still adding new CO2 to the atmosphere, and hence atmospheric CO2 continues to rise.

Mar 19, 2017 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Martin A, ATTP, and others. Thank you for your comments.

My main confusion (like geronimo perhaps) is between the key statements:

"The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. And, it was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network." (NOAA).

"The topline from the Global Carbon Project is that the amount of CO2 we put into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels, gas flaring and cement production has held steady for three years in a row, neither increasing nor decreasing significantly.

Growth in emission is typically expressed as a percentage increase or decrease on the previous year, or compared to a specific historical period. The new analysis finds global fossil fuel emissions grew by 0.7% in 2014, then held steady in 2015. Provisional data for 2016 predict a very small rise, of just 0.2%." (CarbonBrief).

If both statements are correct, it seems to my simple brain that the difference between flat-lining man-made CO2 (i.e. we are still emitting CO2, but the rate of increases has pretty much ceased) and the record rates of CO2 growth claimed by NOAA can only be explained by natural CO2 emissions.

As ATTP points out, CO2 in the atmosphere will still be increasing so long as humankind keeps emitting it; as Martin A points out: "one is an estimate of *human* CO2 emission. The other is a measure of atmospheric CO2."

All contributions have helped to clarify my muddled thinking, and I am grateful. But can anyone explain why CO2 levels are apparently growing at record levels while mankind's emissions are apparently holding steady?

Is the explanation that we don't actually have a handle on mankind's emissions? E.g. (per golf charlie) I've long had a suspicion that we can't really know how much CO2 mankind is emitting, nor am I sure that we can trust the likes of China to be scrupulously honest in this regard. And while they may be insignificant in the scheme of things, we are probably clueless about the CO2 emissions of closed societies such as North Korea.

And/or is the explanation that natural CO2 emissions are increasing in a way that previously eluded us? If the latter, what are the implications are for "climate policy"?

Mar 19, 2017 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

But can anyone explain why CO2 levels are apparently growing at record levels while mankind's emissions are apparently holding steady?

No, I don't think anybody can.

But it's a dynamic system that is at best partially understood. ("Dynamic system" = described by differential equations where rates of change can feature as much as absolute values.)

Depending on what you assume about its dynamics, for atmospheric concentration to grow at constant rate with constant input might be exactly what you'd expect.

[Compare with the bathwater level rising at constant rate with the flow from the taps constant.]

On the other hand there can be other explanations. It is known that:
- Global temperature has risen
- Rate of CO2 emission from the land and ocean increases with temperature.

[Note that CO2 emission from the land and ocean dwarfs human emission. Natural CO2 emission is approximately balanced - but not exactly - by natural absorption. Neither of these are measured, so what is actually happening is essentially unknown.]

Mar 19, 2017 at 10:05 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The Japanese, JAXA Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite IBUKI (GOSAT) showed in around 2010 that most CO2 emissions come from the southern hemisphere and that the evil industrialised northern hemisphere was largely an absorber of said CO2.
Why are the MAUNA LOA readings of atmospheric CO2 unlikely to have been tampered with, it is run by the NOAA of global temperature fame ^.^

Mar 19, 2017 at 11:09 AM | Registered CommenterDung

I have never understood why Mauna Loa CO2 levels are used for a global base. Below is some data of some activity at Mauna Loa 2015/2016.

http://volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=332020&vtab=Weekly

16 March-22 March 2016
Cite this Report
On 17 March HVO reported that seismicity at Mauna Loa remained above long-term background levels and was characterized by shallow earthquakes occurring beneath the Southwest Rift Zone (SRZ) at depths of less than 5 km. GPS data showed continuing deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper SRZ, with inflation recently detected in the SW part of the magma storage complex. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
16 September-22 September 2015

Cite this Report
On 18 September HVO reported that for at least the previous year the seismic network at Mauna Loa detected elevated seismicity beneath the summit, upper Southwest Rift Zone, and W flank; the rate of these shallow earthquakes varied but overall had remained above the long-term average. The earthquakes locations were similar to those preceding recent eruptions in 1975 and 1984, although the magnitudes were comparatively low. In addition, ground deformation consistent with recharge of the volcano’s shallow magma storage system was also detected during the previous year. The rate and pattern of the deformation was similar to that measured during a period of inflation 2005, unrest that did not lead to an eruption. However, since the observations indicated that Mauna Loa is no longer at background levels, HVO raised the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

From <http://volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=332020&vtab=Weekly>

The whole area arounf Mauna Loa is volcanic. there are many craters in the vicinity venting gases including CO2 all the time. It's natural.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Kamokuna/@19.4243933,-155.5149732,33756m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x79522baae6ebf87f:0xd0be9a16cfb94753!8m2!3d19.3222222!4d-155.0458333

Mar 19, 2017 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeilC

http://volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=332010&vtab=Weekly

These report from same area, Kilauea scroll down to December 2014 and from there on. Makes intersesting reading as to how much volcanic activity there has been in the last few years and the vast amounts of CO2 venting.

Mar 19, 2017 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeilC

I once asked these questions and the answers I got were
1) CO2 measurements come from equipment on the summit, whereas almost all the seismic and other activity occur on the flanks.
2) gas venting is monitored (it forms a data set used to predict eruptions). Spikes do not correspond with CO2 changes at the Mauna Loa observatory.
3) Hawaii is now not the only monitoring station (but has the longest record). All stations record the same average changes (annual changes are largest in the northern hemisphere and progressively diminish toward Antarctica.
4) Mauna Loa was chosen because of its high elevation and isolation - CO2 content unaffected by human activities and samples well mixed air.

Mar 19, 2017 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

My hobby horse is that human science is still in nappies and for good reason; in reality we know diddly squat about everything.
However discussion is great fun so onwards (even if downwards hehe:)

The statements that globally CO2 is well mixed are not in agreement with the findings of the JAXA satellite and (this is where we started this discussion) they can not both be right. I suggest that since the well mixed idea is an assumption and that the satellite readings are direct measurement then we should assume that atmospheric CO2 is not at all well mixed.
Returning to NeilC's question and in light of CO2 not being well mixed; WTF are they doing trying to measure global CO2 levels on the slopes of an active volcano.

Mar 19, 2017 at 12:16 PM | Registered CommenterDung