I must tear myself away from the Regional cooling paper to throw this together. It’s too fascinating and too much a potential salve of our collective climate dread to ignore.
The IEA has announced that, since 2014, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have not increased. They have flatlined. Our emissions in 2016 were the same as in 2014 (last three columns–click to enlarge):
Actually, since the increase from 2013 was so tiny, we could say four years of practically no increase. Anyway, thinking this might have been confirmed by a reduction in growth of atmospheric levels of CO2, I checked the latest Mauna Loa observations:
The black line shows monthly mean values after correction for seasonal variations (the big waves in the red line). There’s no sign of a slowdown. In fact, almost giving the lie to my thinking, there’s a clear surge in early 2016 (easier to see in the black line), during the northern spring. These figures show that so far nobody has thought to inform the climate of our unprecedented halt in emissions.
The IEA emission figures are for energy-related use of hydrocarbons, which represents just under half the crude oil produced, with the remainder (more than half) used for non-energy purposes including feedstock for material production, such as plastics. For your brief amusement, here is a partial list (pdf, 44.3 KB) of 280 products out of more than 6000 made from crude oil (referred to here as petroleum).
These emission figures probably account for most of our energy-related hydrocarbon use. The only remaining emission source is agriculture, forestry and other land use, which is responsible for about a quarter of global emissions. Could that affect this report of stalled emissions?
The magnitude of the natural CO2 flux completely overwhelms anthropogenic emissions and because of that a lot of people think we’re wasting our time trying to limit emissions. But nobody really knows until we discover the climate sensitivity to CO2; though the indications are that it’s very small.
Where to now with the consensus on climate sensitivity? During the long hiatus in temperature, emissions climbed rapidly; but during this brief hiatus in emissions, temperature has climbed. This experiment seems to indicate a loose correlation at worst (some warming effect), no correlation at best (no anthro effect on temperature).
What has the temperature done now?
Someone said it’s climbed a little,
Someone said it’s not.
Others said no, look at this:
El Nino did the lot.
Back soon. Keep well, everyone.