Quote of the week

what a thing to say

An unimaginable proposal

“As a result — and for reasons that remain unexplained — the waters of the Southern Ocean may have begun to release carbon dioxide.”

Scientific American makes the most illogical statement I’ve heard in a while.

If there’s no reason for this event, why would one propose it?

An event is proposed for which no cause can be imagined. The author proposes something he has no reason to believe — or proposes something but can’t imagine why. This is nuts. It’s not science.

I’d like to read the paywall-defended paper. The abstract in Nature directly contradicts the SA story, saying clearly: “The role and relative importance of CO2 in producing these climate changes remains unclear.”

So how does “Scientific” American justify their subhead? They say:

“The relatively pleasant global climate of the last 10,000 years is largely thanks to higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

Is that science or sentiment?

There are other questions. The SA article makes it plain that carbon dioxide concentrations melted most of the ice, explaining that, after the Southern Ocean (may have) released carbon dioxide, raising concentrations by more than 100 parts per million over millennia:

“That CO2 then warmed the globe, melting back the continental ice sheets and ushering in the current climate that enabled humanity to thrive.”

But one of the graphs shown in Nature refers to a 2001 Nature article “Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations over the Last Glacial Termination” using data from the Dome Concordia ice core record that claims an increase in CO2 of 76 ppmv over 6000 years. That’s a long way short of 100 ppmv — where did it come from?

The CO2 concentration near the end of the last glaciation looks to have been around 180 ppmv. Looking at the MODTRAN graph of temperature response to CO2 levels, which drops to a trivial response once it climbs to around 180 ppmv, it doesn’t seem credible that a rise of 100 ppmv, causing a temperature increase of perhaps 0.1 °C, would be enough, even over millenia, to deglaciate the planet.

The researchers acknowledge that other forces were at work. I think it’s obvious the forces were far more powerful than CO2 and the researchers should admit that.

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Richard C (NZ)

It’s obvious the forces at work were far more powerful than CO2. but that possibility doesn’t occur to the CO2-forcing mob; they hyperventilate when the Fox Glacier calves but where is their angst for all of Fiordland’s glaciated valleys sans ice?

Conversely, what caused the glaciation? If it was low levels of CO2 (it wasn’t), why would anyone in their right mind advocate low levels of CO2?

In my view we need to focus on the assumed problem, namely carbon dioxide and, to a lesser extent, methane perhaps. If I refer to trace gases take it to mean these, because I refuse to call them greenhouse gases. We have what we have in the Earth’s total system. Somehow, in some way we may never fully understand, a long-term near equilibrium situation has developed. We have some energy being generated in the core, mantle and crust, most likely by fission I think, but I won’t go into that. But it does set up a temperature gradient from the core to the surface which is very stable below the outer kilometre or so of the crust. However, it may vary in long-term natural cycles that have something to do with planetary orbits. Likewise, the intensity of solar radiation getting through the atmosphere to the surface may also vary in natural cycles which may have something to do with planetary influences on the Sun, and on the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit and on cosmic ray intensity and on cloud cover, ENSO cycles etc. There is much to be learned about such natural cycles,… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

You need now to really take it to the warmists by extending but simplifying your argument on 2 ocean-centric fronts I think Doug because the atmosphere is a bit player when it comes to heat:- #1 Oceanic geo heat sources. The background 44TW geo flux is accounted for in climate models as a globally averaged 0.087 W.m2 flux but although attempts have been made, hydrothermal heat is not. The attitude of climate science is that because it is only localized to seismically active zones it is negligible and atm conditions “probably” (no papers) modulate seismicity. The geo scientists on the other hand point out that seismic activity occurs in climate critical areas such as the eastern tropical Pacific and have published papers supporting seismic activity modulating atm conditions e.g. ENSO. Moreover, most of the hydrothermal venting occurs at 2000 – 2500m just below where “unexplained” heat is building up in the 700 – 2000m layer. The warmists are positing (no mechanism of course) that the 700 – 2000m heat was imputed to the ocean by water vapour and trace gases (GHGs) including water vapour) and somehow escaped detection by ARGO and is moving… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Should read – “ALL the recent rise in OHC was imputed to the ocean in some way [by GHGs]”


“As a result — and for reasons that remain unexplained — the waters of the Southern Ocean may have begun to release carbon dioxide.”


“Solubility of Gases in Water”

Well, exactly, but (shhh…) let’s not make it easy for him. If he says it’s unexplained, who are we to contradict him?

Peter Fraser

Poor Milankovich he must be turning in his grave.

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