Do emissions match measured increases in sea and air?

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Keith Hunter’s statement asserts: The evidence pointing towards AGW comes from multiple independent lines of argument, each pointing in the same direction. … a few examples follow.

This is his second example:

The amount of extra carbon accumulated in the ocean and the atmosphere matches the known quantity emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels.

How can he be so sure, when nobody else is?

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10 Thoughts on “Do emissions match measured increases in sea and air?

  1. CEKAY on 11/04/2010 at 11:01 pm said:

    For “missing carbon sink” have a look at – the respected Woods Hole Research Centre in USA.

    Atmospheric increase = emissions from fossil fuels + net emissions from land use change – oceanic uptake – missing carbon sink.
    3.2 = 6.3 + 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.9

    Perhaps Keith Hunter believes the missing carbon cancels out the net emissions from land use. But he didn’t say that and I wouldn’t put words in his mouth. Besides, that still leaves 700 million tonnes unaccounted for. It also suggests that deforestation and other land use changes are not a problem.

    How could the Royal Society just mislay 2.9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide?

    For all that the Woods Hole people may say that annual oceanic uptake is 2.4 petagrams, this is a purely theoretical number thrown up by computer models. Nobody has measured how much carbon is in the oceans of the world at any time, or how much gets added in any given year. So there is a climate change theory backed up by an oceanic carbon theory, and no empirical support for either.

  2. Pingback: Hook, line and stinker — Hot Topic

  3. Clarence on 15/04/2010 at 1:34 pm said:

    You’ve obviously rattled a few cages. I see that SciBlogs, or is it Hot Topic, devotes a whole post to your criticisms of the Royal Society paper.

    Renownden’s argument seems to be that a Colorado group, led by somebody called Murphy, has actually had a go at measuring the energy content of the oceans, atmosphere, land surfaces, biosphere and cryosphere and adding them all together. Heroic! Ah, but no ……

    Turns out that the Murphy group merely interviewed their own computers. The aggregate heat content of the world’s oceans, for example, was learned from applying “radiative transfer models”, rather than using the comprehensive system of ARGO floats which measure ACTUAL real-world heat content.

    And Murphy had a cunning trick for getting it all to balance. He just ASSUMED that any imbalance must have been aerosols. As the Skeptical Scientist blog explains:

    ” Aerosol forcings are one of the major areas of uncertainty with climate models. So what this paper does is place empirical constraints on aerosol forcing by working out the total energy imbalance, then pruning away other forcings that we know with greater certainty. What is left is “aerosol direct + indirect + other forcings”.

    It’s interesting that this 2009 paper should have come out of Boulder, Colorado. It must have been in preparation when the IPCC’s Kevin Trenberth – also of Boulder Colorado – sent his 1999 email complaining it was a “travesty” that they couldn’t find the missing energy.

    • This is great, Clarence, thanks. It’s hard to imagine the oceans being measured like this, or that models are good enough for such a herculean task. It’s not just that the oceans are gigantic, or that they’re unimaginably complex.

      It’s hard to imagine because they’re so tenaciously inaccessible!

  4. Australis on 15/04/2010 at 11:58 pm said:

    Have another look at Hunter’s statement: ” The amount of extra carbon accumulated in the ocean and the atmosphere matches the known quantity emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels”.

    Unequivocal, uncomplicated, unconditional and untrue. What would motivate the man to make a claim like this? And why didn’t the Royal Society peer-review it – or at least subject it to a sanity test – before allowing it to go out on the society’s letterhead?

    Prof Gluckman, that so-independent adviser (who is utterly baffled by climate issues), has opted to hoist the whole discussion on to his own website. But only the Royal Society viewpoint of course.

    • Ah yes, but remember that Dr Hunter has conceded that “the science is not settled”. So no doubt a debate will break out very soon.

      But on the other hand: “When you put the clowns in charge, don’t be surprised if a circus breaks out.” (anon.)

  5. Australis on 17/04/2010 at 11:14 am said:

    An article by New Zealander Kevin Trenberth in this week’s “Science” Journal laments the fact that about half of the (modelled) heat caused by AGW cannot be found.

    This is a direct negation of the main point of the Royal Society’s paper – which built its case on the fact that AGW theory allowed the global energy budget to be balanced. Hunter’s take on measured ocean heat content is rubbished.

    The timing is impeccable.

    • Brilliant, Australis.

      Trenberth claims 90% of energy “trapped” by the greenhouse effect is absorbed by the oceans, but talk about the “mystery” of half the total amount of heat being unaccounted for.

      Trenberth should meet with the NZ Royal Society. They say they can account for all the heat from the greenhouse effect.

      But both of them cannot be right. I’d like to be a fly on the wall.

  6. Australis on 18/04/2010 at 1:34 pm said:

    Trenberth’s claims have led to a correspondence with Pielke, who says there can’t be “missing heat” in the deep ocean, or it would have been detected by Argo as it was transmitted through the upper ocean. The satellite diagnosis must be wrong.

    Trenberth ripostes: “I do not agree with your comments. We are well aware that there are well over a dozen estimates of ocean heat content and they are all different yet based on the same data. There are clearly problems in the analysis phase and I don’t believe any are correct”.

    If Trenberth, perhaps the most authoritative of the IPCC-favoured scientists (and a New Zealander to boot), is so scathing about ocean heat measures, then why does the New Zealand Royal Society rely heavily on this measurement as proof of their global warming theory?

    • Yes, this is a serious concern. Many of the Coalition’s scientists are mystified by the Royal Society’s attitude to this. They naturally hesitate to conclude a lack of expertise within the RS, but that’s exactly what it looks like. The only other half-way reasonable explanation (which is still a calamity for the RS) is a horrendous breakdown in proper procedure.

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