Climate science learns more — not settled at all

sky, location of climate

Yesterday I saw the headline: Climate change reducing ocean’s carbon dioxide uptake. If they mean the temperature’s been rising, I thought, these guys need a lesson in 1) recent, 15-year-long atmospheric temperature non-rise and 2) the gas laws, or specifically, Henry’s Law.

Henry’s Law states that the solubility of a gas in a liquid at a particular temperature is proportional to the pressure of that gas above the liquid. If the temperature of the liquid rises, it can’t hold so much gas, so some will leave (“outgas”). It hardly requires a paper based on 28 years of observations to confirm this.

Science and modern myth

Surely they know Henry’s Law, because the paper used extensive data on oceanic and atmospheric partial pressures. Although lead author Assistant Professor Galen McKinley does refer to carbon dioxide throughout as “carbon”.

There’s an interesting mixture of science and modern myth presented here. The paper is behind a paywall and all I’ve seen of it is the opening paragraph, the Supplementary Information and statements in the press release from Dr McKinley.

She readily acknowledges that they needed a good 25 years of data to properly measure atmospheric accumulation of “carbon,” saying: “This is a big issue in many branches of climate science – what is natural variability, and what is climate change?” This is a perhaps somewhat naive admission that the science is not “settled,” considering that warmists have been denying it and sceptics asserting it for years.

Robust conclusion?

But elsewhere she manages a tiresome parroting of the establishment view of the cause of global warming. Such as referring to the “warming caused by the carbon in the atmosphere” without providing evidence of it. And “any decrease in ocean uptake may require greater human efforts to control carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere,” as though we can.

The report’s conclusion is: “The ocean is taking up less carbon because of the warming caused by the carbon in the atmosphere,” but Dr McKinley also says merely “the ocean sink could be weakening.” It’s not a robust conclusion, with the lead author stressing the need for more research.

But it’s well known that warmer water holds less CO2 than cold water, and observations for a long time have shown lesser CO2 content in tropical waters. Is this what they found? If it is, it’s hardly news.

Approach double-checked with numerical model

McKinley is a member of the Centre for Climatic Research at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, where they say of her proposal for this research that it concerns “the identification of trends in the ocean carbon sink using data on the partial pressure of CO2 and the understanding of the mechanisms of these trends using numerical models of the North Atlantic.”

The SI describes the use of these models to, at least in part, validate the data. They were concerned with both spatial and temporal coverage with sparse data and found some reassurance from the models of different parts of the North Atlantic.

Time will tell whether this was justified.

Peer-reviewed denial of modelling as evidence

The authors of this landmark paper provide, remarkably, a peer-reviewed renunciation of the view that a computer model might be considered scientific evidence. Because they refer to the “physical-biogeochemical numerical model” [a dreadful, polyglot expression] as an “alternative reality.” Astonishing. We must inform the Team at once. For no alternative reality could be accepted as the actual reality. So unverified climate models are out.

Their doubt about the reliability of the data seems extensive. Judge for yourself from this passage in the SI (emphasis added).

Trends estimated by our methodology benefit from additional scrutiny because of the sparse data and the large regions of interest. How representative are these trends of true pCO2 s.ocean trends at the biome-scale? The data do not exist for a precise determination. However, we can use the “alternative reality” of a physical-biogeochemical numerical model to address exactly this question. To do so, we sample the numerical model at the same times and locations where the actual data were collected and estimate trends using our methodology.

So, if I have this right, they first notice the brevity of the data. In an attempt to verify the worth of the real data, they fire up a model. The model seems close to their sparse data. Then they get the model to provide model “data,” which they use to confirm their methodology.

The more often the data is processed, the better it gets

But didn’t they effectively use their dodgy data to verify that very same dodgy data? Since the “verification” of the model was non-robust, or even weak, because it relied on what they patently admitted was dodgy data, the model could not provide “pretend data” of any better quality than the dodgy stuff!

That’s such a circle of logic. Or tell me what I’ve got wrong.

They seem happy enough with the results, but it must be far from justified. I’ve already noted they insist on further research.

In reporting SSTs, they cite data up to 2009 but plot mostly seasonal data for the three regions studied. Then, near the end, they pop in a time series of SSTs, 1982 – 2009, saying the data is from Reynolds, 2007. I know, two years before the data run out, I don’t know how this happens.

Galen McKinley

I don’t know where Reynolds got the data, but it isn’t from UAH because there’s clear recent warming, with a decline starting about 2005 – 2006. Never mind, if Professor McKinley is happy that rising SSTs are being driven by declining atmospheric temperatures since 1995, she’s the one with the PhD, so who am I to complain?

So, a weak conclusion, much more research required (more funds, please) and some conventional global warming principles solidified a little harder. But nothing persuasive.

—————–

Name of paper

Convergence of atmospheric and North Atlantic carbon dioxide trends on multidecadal timescales

First paragraph:

Oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide substantially reduces the rate at which anthropogenic carbon accumulates in the atmosphere, slowing global climate change. Some studies suggest that the rate at which the oceans take up carbon has significantly decreased in recent years. Others suggest that decadal variability confounds the detection of long-term trends. Here, we examine trends in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the surface waters of three large biogeographic regions in the North Atlantic, using observational data collected between 1981 and 2009. We compare these oceanic observations with trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, taken from a global observational network. We show that trends in oceanic carbon dioxide concentrations are variable on a decadal timescale, often diverging from trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, when the entire 29-year period is considered, oceanic trends converge with atmospheric trends in all three regions; it takes 25 years for this long-term trend to emerge and overcome the influence of decadal-scale variability. Furthermore, in the southernmost biome, the data suggest that warming—driven by a multidecadal climate oscillation and anthropogenic forcing—has started to reduce oceanic uptake of carbon in recent years.
—————–

30 Thoughts on “Climate science learns more — not settled at all

  1. Mike Jowsey on July 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm said:

    Um…. when the learned doctor says “…reduces the rate at which anthropogenic carbon accumulates in the atmosphere…” is she being deliberately ignorant or simply lazy? Surely she must mean “anthropogenic carbon dioxide“.

    I note that this garbage is sponsored by none other than good ol’ Hansen from NASA.

    Let me paraphrase the paper:
    1. We don’t have any reliable data
    2. There is too much noise to discern natural variation from anthropogenic signals
    3. Therefore we have used these really neat models to magically give us the answers we were looking for.
    4. Send more money… more research needed.

  2. Alexander K on July 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm said:

    Mike, excellent points. My pet hate is sloppy language, which usually indicates equally sloppy thinking. I am still attempting to get my head around the mad idea of ‘anthropogenic carbon’ – does she imply… no, never mind..

  3. val majkus on July 13, 2011 at 8:39 am said:

    here’s a copy of an e mail I received this morning
    Dear friends,
    Today NASA scientists and NASA reporters very bravely released a video that destroys any remaining credibility of the Standard Solar Model (SSM) of a Hydrogen-filled Sun and world leaders’ hopes of using the threat of CO2-induced global warming as a “common enemy” to unite nations and establish a one-world tyrannical government:

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-dark-fireworks-sun.html

    “We’d never seen anything like it,” says Alex Young, a solar physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. “Half of the Sun appeared to be blowing itself to bits.” NASA has just released new high-resolution videos of the event recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The videos are large, typically 50 MB to 100 MB, but worth the wait to download.” Here is the rest of the comment I posted there:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr. Alex Young and Dr. Tony Phillips, for getting this information out! You may both lose your jobs for showing observations that violate Al Gore’s fable of CO2-induced global warming, but frankly I am very proud of you! That is a great video, and it abundantly confirms that the Sun is not the glowing ball of waste products (91% H and 9% He) that emits photons and hides the violently unstable neutron star at the solar core [1]. 1. “Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011): http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1 With kind regards Oliver K. Manuel Former NASA Apollo PI

    I urge each of you to express your support for the release of this video and try to save a copy of it before politicians and world leaders discover that the falseness of their AGW fable has been exposed.

  4. OK, you raise two points here, Val. First, the physics. That paper by Manuel is highly technical and impenetrable, though I accept that it shows the true nature of the sun is a neutron star.

    Second, the ramifications for global warming. I don’t understand how you get there. How does the neutron star model invalidate the AGW thesis? I mean, it would be welcome, but how does it work?

  5. Oliver K Manuel is one of the “Slaying the Sky Dragon” authors. He has a tendency to use every platform to push his “Iron Sun” theory, which I think got him banned from commenting on WUWT.

    I am not making any observations on his theories, just that he has a bit of a reputation.

  6. Surly she is just referring to CO2, CH4 and the other gases in the atmosphere that contain carbon? Can you please explain exactly why “atmospheric carbon” is incorrect as I don’t quite understand what the problem is and I would hate to repeat her mistake and appear sloppy. I don’t think anyone could honestly consider that she is referring to carbon allotropes.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on July 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm said:

    Full paper, McKinley et al 2011 here:-

    http://precedings.nature.com/documents/5993/version/1/files/npre20115993-1.pdf

    Reynolds et al 2007 here:-

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2007JCLI1824.1

    Abstract

    Two new high-resolution sea surface temperature (SST) analysis products have been developed using optimum interpolation (OI). The analyses have a spatial grid resolution of 0.25° and a temporal resolution of 1 day. One product uses the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) infrared satellite SST data. The other uses AVHRR and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) on the NASA Earth Observing System satellite SST data. Both products also use in situ data from ships and buoys and include a large-scale adjustment of satellite biases with respect to the in situ data […]

    This SST analysis by Bob Tisdale from WUWT uses Reynolds data and links to the database:

    “Satellite-Era Sea Surface Temperature Versus IPCC Hindcast/Projections” Part 1 and Part 2

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/19/satellite-era-sea-surface-temperature-versus-ipcc-hindcastprojections-part-2/

    Bob examines the differences between multi-model mean of the IPCC 20C3M (Hindcast)/SRES A1B (Projection) for Sea Surface Temperatures and the observations using Reynolds OI.v2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies, a satellite-based SST dataset. Most relevant are Figures 8 and 9 that show a sharp drop in the Atlantic warming trend (Deg C per decade) in recent years.

    If we look at McKinley Supplementary Information Figure 8, the SST plots look a lot like NZT7 data i.e. the trends are more cyclical than linear. It would be appropriate to apply a cyclical trend (e.g. polynomial) to the SST data which would highlight the drop-off in “warming” and the on-set of a cooling phase.

    The paper, in Methods, gives a harmonic trend in atm pCO2 determined by a fit to y = a + b*t + c*cos(2πt + d) but I can’t see similar for SST. The first I see anything is 228 Distinguishability of trends determined by a student t 229 test with t* calculated from the data using: [equation] 231 where bs.ocean is the surface ocean trend, batm is the atmospheric trend but that is CO2 only.

    There’s 215 Estimation of pCO2 s.ocean trends for the biomes. Which is again a harmonic of the form y = a + b*t + c*cos(2πt + d) and CO2 only.

    There’s dollops about CO2 trends but nothing about SST trends (I smell a rat). They’ve spent all their time on the atm pCO2 – ocean pCO2 correlation on the assumption of SST “warming” but clearly that’s bogus.

    The abstract is contradictory and non-sensical:-

    In the permanently 21 stratified subtropical gyre, warming has recently become a significant contributor 22 to the observed increase in oceanic pCO2.

    OK, the bogus “warming” has allowed increased ocean CO2 uptake “recently”, but

    This warming, previously attributed to both a multidecadal climate oscillation and anthropogenic 23 climate forcing12,13, is 24 beginning to reduce ocean carbon uptake.

    So the bogus “warming” (on the basis of their non-analyzed evidence of SI fig 8 ) both increases ocean CO2 uptake and decreases ocean CO2 uptake – huh?

    Would not the recent cooling shown in McKinley SI Figure 8 and Tisdale Fig 8 and 9 lead to increased ocean CO2 uptake? Their “is beginning to reduce ocean carbon uptake” claim is just unphysical unsubstantiated speculation. So sure there might be an atm pCO2 – ocean pCO2 “convergence” over the long-term but there is probably now a divergence occurring contrary to the title of the paper.

    It’s completely CO2-centric with no cognizance of SST – and bogus.

  8. Wow, nice analysis, Richard. And fine sleuthing.

  9. Mike Jowsey on July 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm said:

    Or is she referring to soot? We don’t quite know because carbon comes in many forms. Maybe she means atmospheric bird-life or insects? It’s just plain sloppy. Anyhow, this is a semantic side-issue – your focusing on this one point indicates an implied acceptance of the other points in my post. Cheers.

  10. Mike Jowsey on July 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm said:

    Willis takes the McKinley paper apart…

    the odds of what is observed being merely a random phenomenon, something occurring by pure chance, is about one in three.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/12/lowering-the-bar/

    Enjoy!

  11. Nick on July 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm said:

    Well I guess she could be referring to soot or insects causing warming, seems unlikely but as you say a little sloppy.

    Regarding your other points I do think you misrepresent the article somewhat. My understanding was that they used three decades worth of observed data to overcome natural variability and then found good correlation with a model, validating the model somewhat.

  12. Andy on July 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm said:

    The problem with a lot of these climate models is that we get the observed data to fit the model by tweaking the parameters, and then claim that the model has been validated.

    The model is only valid if it correctly forecasts future behaviour.

    There’s a quote attributed to John von Neumann

    With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.

  13. Richard C (NZ) on July 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm said:

    They used a model which is parameterized with observed data to validate their sample so it’s the other way around – the model validates the sample, the sample does not validate the model.

    See the SI:-

    2a. Model validation:

    2b. Evaluation of analysis methodology with sampled model compared to full model:

    But so what? It’s their neglect of recent (post 2005) SST change (Atlantic ocean cooling – they go for the long-term correlation but what about the most recent changes) and their woolly contradictory conclusion in the abstract that reaches beyond the actual study that’s the issue among others. This guy at WUWT McKinley post comments puts everything in perspective

    #
    John Marshall says:
    July 12, 2011 at 2:14 am

    The adsorption of CO2 into sea water depends on water temperature and the partial pressure of the CO2. If temperature rises then the mass of adsorbed CO2 reduces, and conversely for a fall in temperature. If the partial pressure increases then so does the adsorption.

    At the moment sea temperatures are falling so ocean CO2 adsorption is now increasing.

    The only input climate has is temperature but this will not ‘hamper’ anything only change one parameter.
    #
    John Marshall says:
    July 12, 2011 at 2:24 am

    I should have added above that the total adsorption also depends on the internal ocean biological processes which are using the adsorbed CO2 for food, algae, and as a building block for skeletal growth using the biocarbonate loop.( This prevents acidification of sea water). This uses the adsorbed CO2 thus leaving room for more.

    So this system, part of the carbon cycle, is continuous and ever changing in capacity night and day, summer and winter.

    To say that climate hampers this complex cyclic process is simplistic and wrong.

  14. Andy on July 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm said:

    O/T but check out Al Gore’s latest teaser video at
    http://climaterealityproject.org/

    Lots of evil fossil fuel funded deniers are going to be outed. Head for the hills!

  15. Richard C (NZ) on July 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm said:

    I’m not saying that they neglect SST in their calcs (SST is a parameter in the calculation of pCO2 – Willis’ “First Oddity” assuming he’s correct, pCO2 could be measurement for all I know at this point).

    I’m saying they neglect the recent Atlantic SST COOLING TREND in their bizarre conclusion.

  16. the model validates the sample, the sample does not validate the model.

    I’m sorry I got that point wrong. But how glad I am to hear the rest of the criticism.

    Especially welcome is the information that the biocarbonate loop “prevents acidification of sea water.” I hadn’t seen it in that light before. Hope it’s true, because it absolutely removes the warmists’ backup battle plan.

  17. Nick,

    Can you please explain exactly why “atmospheric carbon” is incorrect as I don’t quite understand what the problem is and I would hate to repeat her mistake and appear sloppy.

    In examining CO2 levels in air and water, the study investigates how those levels have changed over time and across the North Atlantic. That’s the objective aim of the study. But in referring to CO2 as “carbon” a link is drawn to the commonly-accepted cause of global warming — nothing to do with the study. For some reason, those who champion an anthropogenic cause have chosen to demonise the element carbon because it symbolises the oils we burn in our engines, yet carbon plays as much of a role in the greenhouse effect as the oxygen and nitrogen, etc., that it’s attached to and does not act alone. There is no reason to single out carbon. Why not call them “oxygen”?

    You say “Surely she is just referring to CO2, CH4 and the other gases in the atmosphere that contain carbon?” Perhaps she is — everyone else does. But a scientific reference to a group of unrelated compounds doesn’t name the group by just one of the elements, and it certainly wouldn’t use such a name to include compounds that don’t contain it (such as, in the case of carbon, nitrous oxide or ammonia). It doesn’t improve as a name no matter how often it’s used. Total the tonnage of carbon until the cows come home, and you still won’t know the total greenhouse effect; to calculate that, you must consider the molecular behaviour.

    Calling everything “carbon” is an unscientific stretch of the imagination and strikes a discordant note in what purports to be a scientific paper. Although not the only discordant note, as it turns out from the criticism being levelled at it here and at WUWT.

    Another point about the paper is that it studied only the North Atlantic. Any map of temperature, carbon dioxide fluxes or ocean pH demonstrates that, to know the global picture, you must measure the global picture. It’s not good enough, with complex phenomena, to extrapolate glibly from the particular to the universal.

  18. Richard C (NZ) on July 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm said:

    RT, you got it right in the first instance (it was Nick’s reply above that I was responding to). Quoting the post:-

    “The SI describes the use of these models to, at least in part, validate the data.”

    This might need clarification though :-

    “The model seems close to their sparse data. Then they get the model to provide model “data,” which they use to confirm their methodology”

    Rather than confirm their method, their method has been to run a numerical model based “double-check” in parallel, but the model ‘data’ is not transferred across to the initial ‘sparse’ dataset that I can see. The model ‘data’ stays within the model double-check.

    Not that it matters in my view, I’m OK with the methods, it’s the inferences drawn in the abstract (lines 22, 23 and 24) that are disconnected from recent SST trends that I take issue with. Their “warming” trend is much the same as NIWA’s description of the NZT7 i.e. they have to use a timeframe (usually stated as “long-term” – in this case 25 years) that captures that warming e.g. line 179:-

    “However, in 180 the North Atlantic permanently stratified subtropical gyre we do find an increasing 181 influence on oceanic pCO2 by a warming trend that is partially due to anthropogenic forcing12. This is evidence of a climate-carbon feedback 182
    that is beginning to limit the 183 strength of the ocean carbon sink.”

    This conclusion ignores the recent (post 2005) Atlantic cooling trend albeit short-term and does not attribute a cause obviously but they are quick to attribute a partial anthro forcing to the previous warming. Their warming “evidence” is the 1985ish?-2005 warming phase – apparently what happened after that doesn’t matter going by that last sentence.

    I think it’s typical of the prevailing “it’s still warming” group-think mindset whether global average temperature, ocean heat content, sea level rise or (in this case) sea temperature.

  19. val majkus on July 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm said:

    Andy and Richard if you go to WUWT and search for Oliver Manuel the first topic which comes up is New book: Slaying the Sky Dragon
    Posted on November 29, 2010 by Anthony Watts
    I have not read this book, but it has been raising some volume in Skeptic websites. What strikes me is the number of authors, it has (9 by my count).

    Strangely, one of the authors, Oliver K. Manuel, is a person I’ve banned from WUWT for carpet bombing threads with his vision of the Iron Sun Theory, which I personally think is nutty. So, that right there gives me some pause.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/29/new-book-slaying-the-sky-dragon/

    and if you read through the comments you will see Antony did receive some flak for that expression of his opinion; for example
    John Carter says:
    November 30, 2010 at 5:16 am
    eg John Carter
    I find the label you attach to Oliver to be both undeserved and offensive.
    We all have views and opinions and nobody is right all the time.
    WUWT should stand above the ugly warmist blogs by virtue of honesty and tolerance for diverse opinion.
    Don’t let the bad corrupt the good.
    And to Oliver, thank you for your comments contributions to many blogs.
    You have many friends.

    Now the comment I posted here was the e mail I received in full so I having no expertise can’t answer Richard’s questions but I posted the same e mail on Jo Nova’s blog http://joannenova.com.au/2011/07/lessons-in-wasting-money-use-more-wind-and-solar-and-emit-just-as-much-co2/#comments and you might like to read the responses from Louis Hissinck which I think will answer what you asked or alternatively I will ask the sender of the e mail (Prof Manuel) to visit this site if he has time and answer your question; let me know if you would prefer the latter alternative

  20. Mike Jowsey on July 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm said:

    OMG – I thought he was dead. He sure sounds dead. Talk about a disconnect with ‘reality’.

    Lmto….

  21. Andy on July 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm said:

    One of the other authors of “Sky Dragons” is Swedish mathematician Claes Johnson.

    Dr Johnson has written quite extensively on his theories of the greenhouse effect that are at odds with the “consensus”.

    For example, here:
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/18/claes-johnson-on-agw-postulates.html

    What I find quite insidious is that Johnson was banned from teaching courses in finite element modelling at his university, because of his scientific views. I cannot condone this kind of behaviour at all. It smacks of something out of 1930’s Germany.

  22. Alexander K on July 15, 2011 at 2:33 am said:

    The mention of Oliver K Manuel and Al Gore are, each in their own way, enough to make the serious reader about climate science’s eyes close from sheer mental weariness. Both are Olympian bores, but Dr Manuel is actually a highly-credentialled scientist who has held some senior and interesting positions, while Al Gore is…in an interesting position, to be polite. I have seen American eyes open and shine with religious fervour at the mention of the former VeeP. As they say over there in the US of A, ‘Go figger!’

  23. Nick on July 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm said:

    RT, you say “For some reason, those who champion an anthropogenic cause have chosen to demonise the element carbon because it symbolises the oils we burn in our engines”

    Just to be clear do you believe that the increased global CO2 levels are due to burning fossil fuels? I had thought that the anthropogenic isotopic signature of carbon proved it but if you have an alternative theory I would be interested to hear it, or at least have a look at the peer reviewed source.

  24. Jim McK on July 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm said:

    I have just scanned the document and I don’t think it is worthy of much more than a scan. McKinley et al have garnered together a massive number of observations and managed to come out with no sustainable conclusions. The basis of the paper seems to be that if you pull enough seemingly related data together you must learn something. They haven’t. The focus on analysing the atmospheric and oceanic partial pressures of CO2 in and over the Northern Atlantic looking for sinks and vents and thereby implying some global implication seems particularly futile and insular.

    Someone should have told her that the scale of the sink in the Southern Oceans and the venting in the Tropical Pacific swamp all other atmospheric/oceanic exchanges of CO2 and that CO2 mixes rapidly in the atmosphere

  25. Nick,

    Your question misses the point. The compound considered to cause global warming is carbon dioxide, or CO2. My point is that you could refer to it as oxygen with equal logic. After all, in CO2 there’s more oxygen than carbon — in fact, twice as much! But carbon is black, we’re familiar with soot and smoke as dirty stuff so it’s an easier sell.

    Do I believe the fossil fuel thing? It seems believable, although there are large margins of error. Also, there is no evidence that CO2 is responsible for all the recorded warming. That, to me, is the important fact.

  26. Andy on July 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm said:

    I think the issue that Nick refers to is the isotopic ratio of C13/C12 that supposedly proves that the increase in CO2 over the last century is caused by the burning of fossil fuels

    This article on RealClimate gives some background

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

    I have read a few times that this issue is not quite as “settled” as we might believe (sorry no references at this stage) However, I think it is still possible to fully accept that recent CO2 increases are all due to human fossil fuel burning, and still come to the conclusion that any effects will be small and benign, rather than dangerous or catastrophic.

  27. Hi RT, Andy is right. My point is that the rise in global CO2 is caused by anthropomorphic addition of carbon (previously locked up as fossil fuels) to the atmosphere. As far as I know the total number of oxygen atoms in the atmosphere is unchanged.

    Interestingly while I had been thinking that maybe Galen had been sloppy (after your initial comments) on reflection I think maybe she had it right. The increase in CO2 is directly caused by the release of carbon so to talk about carbon accumulating in the atmosphere is correct.

  28. Mike Jowsey on July 16, 2011 at 8:58 am said:

    There is a good article by E. Smith on C12 / C13 ratios and how complex the issues are in identifying the anthropogenic component of atmospheric CO2. It’s worth a read. Note, the source article referred to, by Alexander Cockburn, is behind a paywall.

    Perhaps even more significant, cold ocean waters absorb lightweight C12 preferentially, resulting in lots of C13-deficient carbon in the oceans. This low-C13 carbon most certainly would have been released massively into the atmosphere over the course of the world’s warming trend since 1850, when the Little Ice Age ended.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-trouble-with-c12-c13-ratios/

  29. On the subject of Al Gore’s Climate (altered) reality project, Shub has posted up an article referencing an “Alex Bogusky” who is a PR person working on this project

    http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/the-pattern-in-the-climate-vultures-methods/

    I thought A Bogusky was a such a great name!

  30. Jim McK on July 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm said:

    Thanks Mike – best thing I have read for ages. The warmists C12/C13 arguement has to be kicked for touch for ever.

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