how fossil fuels are thought to cause catastrophic global warming
By Dr J Floor Anthoni (2010)
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Humans have used over 60% of the productive land, excluding ice, desert and rock, and used to extreme its resources like soil and water. It is logical then to expect that this will have an effect on climate. The use of fossil fuels has spurred the development of societies, with untold many benefits, but now it is feared that it could change the world in a catastrophic way.
Already before 1950, some scientists saw that our use of the atmosphere, particularly through the release of carbondioxide, could also cause climatic changes. CO2 is a very potent greenhouse gas (GHG), as is methane. Both could inhibit outgoing infrared radiation and thus affect the Earth's cooling. A warmer Earth could lead to the melting of ice caps, the rising of oceans and a whole lot of other disasters. In the worst case, it could create run-away global warming.
From here on it became a political battlefield, because it was clear that reducing emissions was not going to be easy.
Maurice Strong: "We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse" Richard Benedick US deputy assistant secretary of state: "A global warming treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect" Timothy Wirth, US undersecretary of state: "We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy." Sir David King, former science advisor of the British government: “global warming is a greater threat to humanity than terrorism”
The Public and Politicians suddenly woke up to the biggest scientific scandal of all times, which will change the IPCC and climate science forever. Suddenly emissions reduction and emissions trading were no longer 'on the agenda', and at the time of writing (2010), all IPCC recommendations are on hold indefinitely. Finally some common sense is percolating through.
Even so, AR4 came up with some extraordinary claims:
where extraordinary claims are made, extraordinary
proof is required
also because mitigation requires extraordinary effort
Extraordinary claims are:
|America's Climate Choices
The rot goes further. In May 2010, the National Resource Council of the National Academy of Sciences published a report in three parts, America's Climate Choices (http://americasclimatechoices.org/) which could have been an imitation of AR4 (and peer-reviewed!). It is based on the following 'science', signed by a panel of contributing scientists:
extensive Climategate analysis by John P. Costella. Important to
understand the magnitude of malfeasance.
 www.climatebasics.com debunking the whole gamut of AGW.
 Alternative Summary for Policy Makers by Joseph D'Aleo and Anthony Watts, January 2010. A damning critique of the temperature datasets held by NCDC and NASA GISS, CRU, on which the IPCC bases its findings. The alternative SPM raises many red flags. Read now.
 http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf - Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts (2010): Surface temperature records: policy-driven deception? (200 pages) "..so much fiddling and dishonesty have been going on that it is impossible to say whether warming has occurred at all". Surface temperature recordings are in a terrible mess. Important read.
 Paulo N. Correa, Alexandra N. Correa (2008): Global warming: an official pseudo-science. http://www.aetherometry.com/publications/direct/Global_Warming.pdf. A scathing hard-hitting scientific critique by insiders, long before Climategate. An important eye-opener and look behind the scenes, but read with care.
fourth assessment report (AR4) of 2007
The IPCC fourth assessment report, like its three predecessors, is a massive volume of nearly 1000 pages, put together by a large number of contributors from many nations. It is the result of many years of study in trying to understand climate changes such that binding agreements for mitigation can be entered into, costing some trillions of dollars. In this chapter we'll have a critical look at this authoritative report.
The report consists of four parts:
Then it defines the only influences on our climate system as 'radiative
forcings', 'a measure of how the energy balance of the Earth-atmosphere
system is influenced . . .' Thus the filtering effect of CO2
on a small part of the outgoing longwave radiation becomes identical to
increase in incoming short wave sunlight, expressed as a radiation
(energy, not a filter) in W/m2, or as a temperature increase for a doubling
in CO2 (300 to 600 ppm). One does not need computer models to predict what
will happen. But global circulation models can now predict where it will
happen and what will happen in the future. Here is their list of assumptions,
delicately tuned to give the desired results:
|trend for CO2
land use albedo
3.0ºC or 0.81ºC/W/m2
|the main culprit causing
followed by CH4
+? traps incoming light only, not infrared
Earth becomes brighter
clouds from aerosols brighten
clouds without vapour?
airplane condensation trails
the sun warms somewhat
fits the graphs with great uncertainty
See how totally dissimilar factors like filters, transporters and reflectors,
are all heaped together as if they were incoming sunlight (inputs= forcings=
energy). But various investigators disagree:
(ºC for CO2 doubling)
so far (ºC)
Miskolczi may be the only one who has it right, because not only the radiation balance applies but also the thermal energy balance, such that all greenhouse gases work together. If one increases, others decrease and the universal greenhouse gas is water vapour, which rains out if some other greenhouse gas takes its place. The total energy balance (not radiative balance) remains the same. Earth's atmosphere is maintained at a nearly saturated greenhouse effect, such that outward radiation has no effect but clouds have . Thus climate sensitivity to CO2 is negligible, if CO2 had any effect at all. The same for any other greenhouse gas including water vapour. Note that Miskolczi neglects heat conduction and convection.
Previous historical estimates for climate sensitivity: 5.5= Arrhenius 1896; 3.5= Plass 1956; 3.2= Phillips 1965; 3.0= Charney 1972; 1.2 =Hansen-Houghton 2001. A downward trend also seen in successive IPCC reports.
CO2 can never become a source of energy
water vapor feedback fudge factor
It is believed that due to warming, the extra water vapour in the atmosphere may worsen the CO2 effect. Hence the invention of a feedback factor. To make it look scientific, it is defined as
It must be noted that this formula does not have any basis in the science of feedback systems (cybernetics). Nor does it have any basis in our understanding of climate. It is a fudge factor.
fudge factor explained, by Gary Novak. http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5563
Fudge Factor: Heat increase = 5.35 x ln( C / C0)
Temperature increase = 0.75 x heat increase.
Where ln= natural logarithm because C increases exponentially
C = current CO2 concentration
C0 = some CO2 concentration in the recent past
In simple language, the fudge
factor is nothing but a logarithmic curve (ln) for the increase
in CO2; and the only question is what would happen if the amount of CO2
in the atmosphere is doubled (C/C0 = 2). So the natural log
of 2 is used. Then to get the desired end result, the constant 5.35 is
multiplied times it. But this was published in 1988, when the desired result
was 3°C. Later, the 3°C became preposterous, and the desired temperature
change was reduced to 1.2°C. This would require the 5.35 to be reduced
to 2.31. Then recently, the temperature increase was said to be 1°C,
which would require the constant to be reduced to 1.92. But now, it is
reduced by 15% to supposedly account for overlap of the absorption curve
by water vapor. So the most recent rendition of the constant would be 2.26
minus 15% for water vapor. This number never shows up in print, because
it has no origins in physics, its just a fluid contrivance for getting
to the desired end point.
|These graphs show how the IPCC proceeded from its first to its fourth assessment report. First assessments were more alarmist (green) than the third one (blue), but these projected further in the future. From the projections one can see that there is practically no difference between high and low emissions scenarios. The yellow 'commitment' curve implies an almost close-down of society. In the meantime temperatures have declined from a high in 1998 (in the graph labelled 'observed'), stressing that there is something seriously wrong with the IPCC projections. So where are the weaknesses in the IPCC procedure? Acccording to their own words:|
Key uncertainties as mentioned by the IPCC:
But what is really wrong, is totally ignored and kept from the public:
|In summary, the IPCC has spread an unjustifiable scare for 'Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW)'. Its Assessment Report is a fragile house of cards resting on the flimsiest of evidence, backed by fraudulent data and procedures. It has created a warming industry employing millions of people (scientists, politicians, green activists, economists, engineers, financiers, speculators and profiteers, and their support teams) for a non-existent threat, while ignoring a real possibility of global cooling and the benefits from CO2 and warmth. It has stolen from the poor an unimaginable sum of money that could have been spent more wisely. And they have spread a traumatic fear of the future among today's children.|
The massive US government climate change research gravy train alone totaled some $9 billion in grants during 2009. And the United Nations hands out over 1 trillion dollars for this.Important points
 Fraser Institute's Independent Summary For Policy
 Ferenc M. Miskolczi (2008): The saturated greenhouse effect. http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/The_Saturated_Greenhouse_Effect.htm
 Manabe, S. & R. T. Wetherald, J. Atmos. Sci. 24 241-249 (1967), ‘Thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere with a given distribution of relative humidity’. http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/sm6701.pdf
 Roy Clark's comments (2011): Radiative forcing is a purely fictional concept that was introduced in its current form by Manabe and Wetherald in 1967. Saved here. Important!
In its First Assessment Report, the IPCC showed the bottom graph as the historical record for the past thousand years (in Europe), but in its Third Assessment Report (TAR 2001), the above Hockey Stick appeared, first published by Mann, Bradley and Hughes in 1998 (MBH98). It showed more dramatic warming in the last decade, hid the decline of the Little Ice Age and other periods of cold, and the Medieval Warm Period that saw Europe flourish. It claimed the 1990s as the warmest period in past 2 millennia. For a more detailed graph of temperature changes in the past two millennia, and what happened, click globaltemp4000yr.gif.
For an excellent dissertation about the hockey stick drama, read Bishop Hill (2008): Caspar and the Jesus paper http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html
|In one diagram several hockey sticks are shown, as they changed somewhat over time. The black curve is that published by Mann et al. 1998, with the wrong statistical technique, leaving inconvenient data out (Briffa's divergence), mixing tree ring data with instrumental data (the stick was treemometer data, while the blade was from manipulated thermometer data) and so on . The blue curve is McKitrick & McIntyre's correction for the same data, restoring the existence of the Medieval Warm Period. Finally the green hockey stick appeared in the IPCC AR4, spliced onto part of the instrumental record, leaving an inconvenient bit off. The green dashed curve represents Briffa's 'divergence' shown in many tree ring records, but conveniently left out by Mann et al. Notice the many manipulations here, some cheating and also the vastly extended vertical scale.|
The IPCC argues that there was little natural climate change over the last 1000 years, so that the temperature change of recent times (red curve) is unusual and likely caused by human activities. A senior IPCC researcher said in an email "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period" .
Christopher Monckton says "They did this by giving one technique, measurement of tree-rings from bristlecone pines, 390 times more weighting than other techniques but didn't disclose this. Tree-rings are wider in warmer years, but pine tree rings are also wider when there's more carbon dioxide in the air: it's plant food. This carbon dioxide fertilization distorts the calculations. They said they had included 24 data sets going back to 1400. Without saying so, they left out the set showing the medieval warm period, tucking it into a folder marked "Censored Data". They used a computer model to draw the graph from the data, but two Canadians [Ross McKitrick and Stephen McIntyre] later found that the model almost always drew hockey-sticks even if they fed in random, electronic "red noise" because it used a faulty algorithm." The MBH 1998 report was never properly peer reviewed before the IPCC used it in their publications."
McKitrick and McIntyre say in their paper "the dataset used to make this construction contained collation errors, unjustified truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, incorrect principal component calculations, geographical mislocations and other serious defects. These errors and defects substantially affect the temperature index. The major finding is that the values in the early 15th century exceed any values in the 20th century. The particular “hockey stick” shape derived in the MBH98 proxy construction – a temperature index that decreases slightly between the early 15th century and early 20th century and then increases dramatically up to 1980 — is primarily an artefact of poor data handling, obsolete data and incorrect calculation of principal components."
McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, showed that MBH98 was a sloppy, poorly documented paper riddled with simple mistakes, unjustified assumptions, collation errors and incorrect methodology. Data, for instance reported to be from near Boston, Massachusetts actually came from Paris. Central England Temperature data was truncated eliminating its coldest period. Principal component analysis (PCA) had been done incorrectly. Drs Mann, Bradley and Hughes published a terse reply on the Internet rejecting out of hand the criticisms of MM03 and not admitting to a single error. Inappropriate Bristlecone/Foxtail “strip-bark” proxies were used.
IPCC 2001 TAR on the hockey stick: “New analyses of proxy data for
the Northern Hemisphere indicate that the increase in temperature in
the 20th century is likely to have been the largest of any century during
the past 1,000 years. It is also likely that, in the Northern Hemisphere,
1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year”
|An example of temperature 'adjustments' from Australia
The graph here shows temperature measurements as they occurred (raw data in blue) and adjusted by the Bureau of Meteorology in red. The black curve shows the timing and size of the adjustments (right-hand scale). No reasons have been given. It is known that temperatures should be adjusted for the Urban Heat Island effect, and thus downward, not upward as has been done here and in practically all 'conveniently' adjusted data sets worldwide. So a decidedly downward slope over more than a century of data, has been turned into an upward slope beginning in 1940 in order to provide the hockey stick so eagerly needed. In many other cases, past history before 1940 was even adjusted downward (-2ºC) to achieve the desired hockey stick appearance. These and many other occurrences of fraud have made instrumental temperature records entirely unreliable.
What really happened was the following:
|The fossil fuel
emissions hockey stick
Our use of fossil fuels has sky-rocketed since the beginning of the industrial revolution which began in 1850 with the steam engine. There has been a pause during the Great Depression and World War 2 after which it really took off. The graphs show how coal has been replaced by oil, and later oil by natural gas. Their combined carbondioxide has entered the atmosphere but also left it to a surprising degree. Note that the CO2 from cement production is rather small, but cement's absorption of CO2 over time was omitted. Now extend the graph on its left to the year 1400, and the black curve very much resembles a hockey stick.
Here is a table that characterises
each kind of fuel:
|type of fuel||approximate combustion formula||simple ratio
cement from clay+limestone
|C + O2 => CO2
2CH2 + 3O2 => 2CO2 + 2H2O
CH4 + 2O2 => CO2 + 2H2O
CH2O + O2 => CO2 + H2O
|1 : 1 : 1
1 : 1.5 : 1
1 : 2 : 1
1 : 1 : 1 (0.9)
1 : 1.45 : 1
|CO2 and temperature
We know anthropogenic CO2 emissions quite precisely because the amounts of coal, oil and gas exploited have been accounted for (blue curve). But when it comes to CO2 concentrations in air, we only have the instrumental Keeling curve from Mauna Loa, since 1960 (the fat right-hand part of the red curve). Its leftmost part was derived from air bubbles in ice cores, and is suspect. However, the two parts together make CO2 in air look as if it was produced by anthropogenic CO2. The relationship between CO2 and temperature, however, is not so clear, particularly when the downward trend after 2000 is considered (truncated and not shown). Note how this temperature curve does not look like the IPCC hockey stick.
between fossil fuel use and atmospheric CO2 increase
Once the CO2 hockey stick was created, it could be shown that there exists a perfect relationship between cumulative carbondioxide emissions (from human activity) and the amount 'added' to the air, as shown in this graph, spanning about one century. There remains a small problem of course, that for 140 units of human emissions, only 80 remain in air (consistently 80/140 = 57% from 1960-2010). During this period of one century, nature has emitted (link) about 60+60Gt from land plus 100Gt from the sea, equals 220Gt per year, compared to about 700Gt base line in air, or (220/700) x 330 = 100 ppmv per year. Thus in a century 100 x 100 = 10,000 ppmv during the same period as graphed here. And of course, all that carbondioxide has disappeared. Only the human part of 80ppmv remains, which is odd. There is something seriously wrong here. (See below for an explanation and also Chapter5 with recent observations)
AR4 page 137 states: "A wide range of direct and indirect measurements confirm that the atmosphere mixing ratio of CO2 has increased globally by about 100ppm (36%) over the last 250 years from a range of 275 to 285 ppm in the pre-industrial era (AD 1000-1750) to 379ppm in 2005". Where are these measurements apart from the Keeling curve? Surely not all from ice cores?
 Holland, David (2007): Bias and concealment in the IPCC process: the 'Hockey-stick' affair and its implications. http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Holland/Bias_and_Concealment.pdf - an important read, also for future generations.
 http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf - Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts (2010): Surface temperature records: policy-driven deception? (200 pages) "..so much fiddling and dishonesty have been going on that it is impossible to say whether warming has occurred at all". Surface temperature recordings are in a terrible mess. Important read.
 http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/MLO-emissions.htmHidden surprises in the CO2 figures. A critical analysis of the Keeling curve and what it means.
The computer models used by the IPCC are mostly Global Circulation Models (GCMs) based on the mathematics of fluid dynamics with added complexity. So their main strength is in how temperature is spread around the globe by the circulation of air, and more recently of ocean currents as well. But they are severely deficient in dealing with the complexities of Earth's climate, as this chapter will demonstrate.
Computer models have made great progress since the very first ones running
on IBM mainframe computers (1970s). Since then, computer crunching power
has increased dramatically and so has the complexity of climate models
. The IPCC relies on about two dozen slightly different GCMs.
|1970s||Very basic simulation of a flat Earth with solar irradiation and an atmosphere with CO2 and water circulation as rain.|
|1980s||The land surface is now added and ice areas and clouds.|
|First Assessment Report 1990||A shallow 'swamp' ocean is added with properties differing from those of the land. 500km squares.|
|2nd Assessment Report 1995||Volcanic activity, sulfates from industry, melting ice and flat ocean circulation are added. 250km squares.|
|3rd Assessment Report 2001||Aerosols are added and the carbon cycle, as well as rivers which complete the water cycle. Also the ocean now has an overturning circulation. 180km squares.|
|4th Assessment Report 2007||Some atmospheric chemistry is added and interactive vegetation simulating land use. 110km squares.|
IPCC AR4 proudly presents this diagram showing all the factors taken into account in their GCMs but most of these factors are entered as 'forcings' which are fixed parameters equivalent to energy inputs, in other words, fudge factors.
The general criticisms of climate models are:
There are a number of inconvenient truths you should know about GCMs:
Climate models are not predicting future climate. They are predicting the current expectations of climate modelers about future climate.
The application of models in climatology appears to be used far more often to attempt to confirm a dogma rather than to attempt to falsify a hypothesis. - Arthur Roersch, NL
But there are other serious defects in the GCMs:
"The forecasts in the Report were not the outcome of scientific procedures. In effect, they were the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing. Research on forecasting has shown that experts’ predictions are not useful in situations involving uncertainty and complexity. We have been unable to identify any scientific forecasts of global warming. Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder."Mainstream climate scientists about GCMs and the IPCC:
how many lies must one average to arrive at the truth? - Floor Anthoni
 Anthoni, J Floor (2007): Science needs skeptics: The important roles that outsiders and skeptics play in science.
 A history of Global Climate Modelling: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/GCM.htm
 Global climate models and their limitations: http://www.heartland.org/publications/NIPCC%20report/PDFs/Chapter%201.pdf.
Before the whole world considers spending extraordinary effort to remedy and mitigate the catastrophic problem of CO2, extraordinary proof is required first. Here we'll dissect the various extraordinary claims of the IPCC.
|Was pre-industrial CO2
lower than today?
This graph shows the most important measurements of CO2. The red curve is the Keeling curve of actual CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. It is paralleled by similar measurements elsewhere, all located by the ocean. Although CO2 concentrations there vary remarkably, a procedure is in place to record minimum values, considered 'the background level'. In recent years, this 'adjustment' has been so perfect that natural variations are no longer visible . Is this fraud? Preceding the Keeling curve, are precise chemical measurements done over a period of 150 years. They too show enormous noise but also a consistent swing (the green curve). This would have been unacceptable to the CAWG theory. Fortunately CO2 bubbles can be found in ice cores like that from the Siple dome (brown). But it refuses to join up with the Keeling curve. So it was shifted by 83 years, because the first 50 metres (4.5 bar) consist of loose firn rather than closed bubbles (is somewhat defensible). The corrected Siple curve spliced onto the Keeling curve gave the IPCC the perfect IPCC hockey stick for carbondioxide.
But many scientists disagree, as expressed by Prof
Jaworowsky: indeed CO2 gas dissolves readily in ice under pressure,
forming clathrates; drilling contaminates cores with drilling fluid
while forming cracks; as ice cores relax, dissolved CO2 gas from clathrates
expands and forms new bubbles; gas escapes from ice cores (likewise
for nitrogen and oxygen at different 'dissociation' pressures); average
pre-industrial CO2 concentration was around 330ppmv, not 260. Another
fact is that CO2 is 70 times more soluble in water/ice than nitrogen and
30x more than oxygen.
In other words, CO2 disappears from bubbles in ice over a period of up to a millennium, thereby falsely lowering the CO2 readings. It also diffuses through the ice, thereby effectively smoothing natural variations. This is also borne out by CO2 levels in other warm inter-glacial periods. Also archaeological studies of leaf remains show that their breathing pores (stomata) did not adjust to lower CO2 levels.
 Drake, Jonathan C (2008): MLO
(SIO) data changes. http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jdrake/Questioning_Climate/_sgg/m4m1_1.htm.
|Relative CO2 concentrations can be inferred from sediment cores, some dating back nearly one billion years ago. The graph here was produced by Budyko, already back in 1977 and has been confirmed by many other measurements, although small differences remain. It shows that CO2 in air has always been much higher than today at 2000-4000ppm. In the carboniferous epoch land plants laid it down as coal, doing it again in the Permian. During the Triassic and Jurassic epoch it allowed huge plants and animals to prosper. In other words, carbondioxide is good. CO2 appears to be produced by volcanism, which is now at a low.|
|Is burning of fossil fuels
responsible for the rise in CO2?
Many studies point to the fact that CO2 from fossil fuel is now found in plants, ocean and atmosphere, where it didn't occur before the industrial age (fact). So it is a new addition to the carbon budget of the world. At the same time we see CO2 concentrations in air rising steadily, creating a strong correlation between the two (see above). So the overwhelming consensus is that anthropogenic CO2 is indeed the cause of rising carbondioxide levels in the atmosphere, even though conflicts remain and proof eludes.
anthropogenic CO2 => some goes into land + some goes into sea + some remains in air for a long time
But could there be an other explanation?
|The Mauna Loa CO2 curve (Keeling curve) is sufficiently known, but this graph shows detailed seasonal fluctuations of this curve, and also from other stations. Going from north to south, the fluctuations become less: Barrow Alaska (green), Mauna Loa Hawaii (blue), Samoa near equator (purple), South Pole (red). From this, one can conclude that CO2 is mainly produced in the northern hemisphere (where most people live), where it also disappears (because most land plants live there too). Note that the rise in CO2 is always more gradual than its decrease, which dips in the months 6-8 (June-August), the growing season in the north. It suggests that the northern continents absorb most CO2, whereas the oceans (Mauna Loa, Samoa) do very little. It also suggests that the residence time of CO2 in air is no more than a few months rather than years, because in 4 summer months nearly all of the increase of the whole year, is undone. But isotope analysis suggests 5-14 years, most likely 5 years. The IPCC says several centuries.|
|This beautiful 'carpet' graph from NOAA shows the CO2 fluctuations by latitude and year. It confirms again that most of the CO2 is produced and consumed in the northern hemisphere and that atmospheric mixing (transfer from north to south) does not appear significant within one year. High absorption rates over the continent-rich northern hemisphere suggests that the oceans are not the ones absorbing CO2.|
|CO2 is not entirely equally distributed over the globe as the map shows for concentrations measured at 8000 metres height, at the top of the troposphere, during the northern summer. Note that the scale is exaggerated, like that of the carpet graph above. The variation is only around 15ppm of a maximum of 380ppm. During the northern summer CO2 concentrations are lowest in the northern hemisphere as shown before. Remarkably, the highest concentrations are not found above industrialised areas but in the subtropics bordering the desert zones. Lowest concentrations are found in the polar vortexes (whirling winds), with a deep trough around Antarctica. It is remarkable that for a gas which is heavier than air, its concentration changes little from the surface to the top of the troposphere. Note that the colour scale is deceptive, changing 3 colours for 5ppm at its high end and not changing colour at its low end.|
residence time paradoxes
There exists a paradox about the residence time of carbondioxide in air. This diagram was taken from the place where the carbon pipe idea was explained (acid2/pipe important reading!). CO2 is returned to air by animals who breathe it out after 'burning' some of their food, but most of the food chain is decomposed by bacteria and fungi who have a difficult job of stripping C,H and O from dead biomatter, returning CO2 in the process. But in the sea most of it is done in several weeks (residence time 1 month, say). We also discovered that plants and bacteria team up in the process of symbiotic decomposition in order to speed the process up and more importantly, to complete it. Thus the stream of carbondioxide to roots is fast, but it never enters the atmosphere. Similarly in the sea between plant plankton and its symbiotic decomposers. Thus CO2 has very short and also long residence times.
There is a continual exchange between sea and land, in the form of an imaginary carbon pipe. When an ice age begins, the sea cools and absorbs CO2, which it steals from the land. The land vegetation becomes poorer. After an ice age, the reverse happens and the land vegetation becomes richer. The circulation in this carbon pipe can be quite fast, even though CO2 concentrations do not change notably. But with higher concentrations, plants are more productive and the flow through the pipe is faster.
The reason the IPCC scientists estimate a CO2 residence time of centuries, comes from believing that the increased concentration is entirely due to humans and that it is still growing. Having 80 ppm left after say 50 years, with about 3ppm added each year of which 2 ppm remains, means that should we stop burning fossil fuel today, it will still take a couple of centuries before the air is back at pre-industrial 290ppm at a rate of about -1ppm per year. The IPCC treats human CO2 as a separate leaky bucket with a 0.5-1ppm/y hole in it. This bucket is filled to 80ppm and its level is rising with 3ppm/y, and the other bucket has no hole in it and is filled to 290ppm while staying steady. So this is what they told their computer models, but could there be a better explanation?
It is clear that land plants have an uncanny ability to remove CO2 from air, and that this ability keeps up with additional amounts of CO2. However, their rate of absorption can increase only if the background level of CO2 increases. In other words, rather than being a leaky reservoir with a residence time, the atmosphere works more like a pipe with a throughput depending on the CO2 concentration (pressure). The higher the pressure, the higher the flow. We coined and explained this idea in ocean acidification/carbon pipe (important read). This idea is also supported by the fact that during ice ages carbon flows from land to sea while during warm interglacials the opposite happens.
So we must be prepared to face the unthinkable, which also does away with a number of other paradoxes:
expelled CO2 from oceans + human CO2 => more plant growth + residual in air for faster plant growth
In other words, the rise in CO2 is only partly from humans, but it does
not matter because nature adjusts to more 'food'. The oceans have been
expelling CO2 ever since the warm interglacial began. Life as we know it,
and civilisation, would otherwise not have been possible. In the past century
we saw it rise by 0.6ºC with considerable fluctuations.
However, the experimental determination of 'missing oxygen' (see further) insists that all residual CO2 in air is caused by humans and that the sea absorbs nearly half of it, instead of expelling it, thus:
human CO2 => more plant growth + residual in air for faster growth + more absorbed by oceans
Just to tie this new understanding together, let's make a prediction (which is falsifiable = can be proved wrong), by way of example. At the moment the sun has ended its most active period which led to a rise in ocean temperature (+0.6ºC). Henry's law says that about 3% gas exchanges per degree C (at present temperature). If only half the ocean takes part (19,000GtC), 0.6 degree warming would expel 360 GtC, or 360/700 x 330= 170ppmv. Human emissions 140 ppm. Thus the sea is an important contributor.
The sun has entered a period of low activity and the sea has begun cooling, but will do so more rapidly than warming (2-3 times). Thus soon the sea will be absorbing an amount equal to half of human emissions, leaving the other half for land plants. The Keeling curve will flatten out and even reverse direction, fast, because plants are bigger now and hungrier, trying to compete with the sea. Residual CO2 will diminish as also suddenly IPCC's residence time for CO2 becomes zero or even goes negative! Please note that these figures are rough and an improvement is welcomed.
Even if the sea absorbs rather than expels CO2 now, this prediction may still come true, as the sea then absorbs more due to cooling.
June 2011: indeed the Keeling curve has begun flattening, and also the rise in sea levels.
the ocean's heat content has been declining as measured by the reliable
ARGOS drifting autonomous depth buoys, operating since 1995 . In blue
the raw Ocean Heat Content (OHC) anomaly (increase/decrease) and in red
the averaged ocean temperature. See also Chapter 3 measuring_temperature/ocean_temperature_measurement.
Note that a much longer period of observation is needed before conclusions
can be drawn. Note also that the surface temperature rather than heat content
determines whether the oceans absorb or release CO2, and wind speed is
 Knox R S & Douglas D H (2010): Recent energy balance of Earth. Int J Geosciences, 2010, vol. 1, no. 3. http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~douglass/papers/KD_InPress_final.pdf. (free).
|Are atmospheric temperatures
increasing and is this unprecedented?
This question should be easy to answer, but surprisingly, it is not. We've just seen the drama of the hockey stick and in chapter3 about measuring temperatures we've stumbled over a number of insurmountable problems. So let's go back to the end of last ice age. The temperatue then may have been 20 degrees lower (in Greenland) but for the world more likely, only 8-10 degrees (some say 2-4). In this graph also the hockey stick is shown (in grey/red, top right), which immediately refutes that the 1990s have been the warmest period, and that higher temperatures could be catastrophic. In fact, the world has seen worse temperature swings in the past 5 million years, shown in the graph below, and temperature has been above today's (dotted line) for a long time. This immediately refutes that a rise in temperature would be catastrophic. Note how sea levels first rose by 17mm/year (melting of ice caps), but gradually flattened to 1-2mm/y, which means that the sea is still warming and therefore expelling CO2. At some time soon, this is expected to end.
|The temperature record from land-based thermometers and ships' thermometers is not perfect but it shows a large agreement between them. Both show a steady rise from the beginning of the industrial age, but land temperatures outrun sea temperatures. Alas, land temperatures have been fiddled with, so the downturn after 1998 is not visible. They also suffer from urban heat, which makes the sea temperatures therefore more reliable. Sea temperatures are more important anyway because of their large size and very large mass. Superimposed on the upward trend is a slow 40-60-year wave of unknown origin, but tracking solar strength, and a ten year cycle is also visible, identified as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The sea appears to have warmed by +0.4ºC and the land by some +1 degree.|
|Ocean heat content
This graph of ocean heat content and surface temperature shows a slightly different picture, although it is based on the same sources . Interesting is how all curves have a very similar trend, meaning that the temperatures of ocean and Earth's surface, are closely linked. It is also interesting to note that the ocean varies in temperature to a depth of 3000m, which means that there is unexpectedly good mixing down to that depth, and that the whole water column to 3000m depth may contribute to either outgassing of CO2 or its absorption. It is strange, however, that rather large swings in ocean heat content did not mirror itself in the two temperature records. It is stranger still that the deepest part of the oceans (green curve) experiences the largest swings (volcanic activity? or the effect of 'reconstruction' with models by Levitus 2001?).
Meteorologist Joe D'Aleo: "... leading meteorological institutions
in the USA and around the world have so systematically tampered with instrumental
temperature data that it cannot be safely said that there has been any
significant net 'global warming' in the 20th century."
|This very interesting graph relates periods of warming and cooling over 4000 years to known historic events. (click for a larger version) It is even uptodate to Nov 2009 after cooling began in 1998. Study it to let the effect of temperature on civilisation, sink in. In every warm period, civilisations flourished, only to languish or disappear in successive cold periods when there was not enough food. The most recent cold period was the Great Potato Famine (Dalton mimimum, 1845-1852) and before that the Little Ice Age when the Thames froze over (Maunder minimum 1645-1715), which caused hunger, disease and mass emigrations to the USA.|
|Is warming caused by fossil
The whole panic about CO2 is based on the fear that increasing levels of greenhouse gases may cause runaway global warming as happened on our 'sister planet' Venus. But Venus is a strange planet. Still, the IPCC bases its computer models almost entirely on the assumption that CO2 causes warming. Yet a vast amount of evidence proves that this cannot be the case.
|All ancient records, from ice cores to sediment cores, to corals to dripstones, show that temperature changes preceded CO2 changes by 100-800 years. But even the most recent records show this. Here are the fluctuations in temperature and CO2 (from Mauna Loa) from 1958, also showing that temperature mainly leads CO2. This overwhelming fact means that CO2 does not cause temperature changes.|
|The diagram shows how one can conclusively plot whether a consistent time lag exists between two signals. On left an imaginary plot of temperature (red) leading CO2 (green) as the time scale runs from right to left. Both are perfect oscillations with a 90 degree phase shift, such that when one is plotted against the other (in an X-Y plot), a perfect circle is run in the clockwise direction. So clockwise means the bottom axis (red) is in the lead, and counterclockwise means the opposite.|
Glassman [2,3] has taken the detailed data from the Vostok core and plotted
each [temperature, CO2] pair on an X-Y plot, leaving them interconnected.
The result is a squiggle with a consistent clockwise rotation, proving
that temperature (bottom axis) is always in the lead.
He did something more amazing, by fitting the complement of solubility, the part in air that is in equilibrium with water (green curve), which gives an even better fit than a polynomial. This provides very strong evidence that the outgassing of the sea is the main cause of CO2 in air (it could also mean solubility in the ice of ice cores). What's more, this curve fits better than a polynomial fit through all data points. The green line shows a residual CO2 in air of about 100/15= 6ppmv/ºC, as it cannot show how much CO2 flows from ocean to land and back. We'll come back to this later. The outgassing-from-oceans relationship is also supported by Endersbee, giving a straight line correlation (link). Endersbee's line arrives at a residual of 150ppm/ºC over a short period of 20 years.
|Temperature vs CO2 in recent times
green=CO2 (RH scale); blue=sea HadSST2; red= temp HadCRUT3 (LH scale)
Ole Humlum et al. looked at the recent phase
relationship between CO2 and temperature, concluding that "changes
in CO2 always lagging changes in temperature".This means that
temperature changes cause CO2 changes and not the other way around.
|Are sea levels rising?
|Because continents rise and sink while bobbing on the underlying 'liquid' mantle, measuring sea levels was always a dodgy affair. Today with very precise satellite altimetry, the level of the sea can be determined with such accuracy that even anomalies can be observed. This world map shows where the highs and lows are, but they cannot yet be explained. The two hemispheres also behave differently. Normally one expects high barometric pressure to cause a lower sea level.|
|The sea level story is a bit more complicated as shown in the actual sea topography with its hills and valleys. The balancing point is zero (yellow) on this scale and what immediately strikes is the deep and large trough of up to two metres deep around Antarctica, caused by very strong westerly winds which due to Ekman spiral, move water away from Antarctica towards the equator. The balancing bulge (red) goes only to one metre high and is more widely distributed.|
|A network of sea level measuring stations is scattered along many coasts and oceans and maintained by the University of Hawaii. It so happens that very few operate in the poles and many of these are not working. Thus the majority of stations is located in the bulge of the seas. When it is reported that 90% of stations see a sea level rise, this is true but does not mean that the whole of the ocean is rising, as the sinking bit around the poles is not adequately represented.|
|The COADS database (NASA)  documents how wind speed has been changing by up to 30% over one century and that it has in the past 40 years been climbing again and very recently (since 2000) been dipping. Thus where sea levels were previously rising, they will now begin to dip and vise versa where they were dipping, will now rise and the whole network of stations will dip .|
In this subchapter we'll discuss a number of topics which do not directly alter what has been discussed before. It is a kind of rats-and-mice (various items) section, but some of them are potential indicators of the human cause.
|The missing carbon-13
The isotope carbon-13 was discussed in chapter3 with this diagram. Carbon-13 is a stable carbon isotope which occurs at 1.1% in the atmosphere, which calibrates to a 'delta' of -7‰ compared to the C-13 standard. But fossil fuels mysteriously contain less, by as much as -50‰ (-5%). Thus when fossil fuels are burnt, and their carbon mixes into the biosphere, the atmosphere ends up containing less Carbon-13. Society also makes cement from fossil carbonates, but these add (+1‰) to the atmosphere (-7‰). However, for a first estimate we can ignore this.
|The diagram here shows that the air becomes indeed deficient in carbon-13. Note that the black curve shows annual emissions, whereas the red curve (Keeling 2005) shows what is missing from air and is thus cumulative. Note also that the red C-13 scale is upside down. This trend has been measured at many sites, all roughly agreeing with one another. Missing from the red curve is seasonal variation  which is a steady 0.4‰ or the whole size of the red curve! From 1980 to 2000 about 0.4‰ went missing compared to a -7.8‰ baseline or about 5% of the available C-13. During that period fossil fuel emissions amounted to about 120GtC with a deficiency in C-13 of -50‰. If all that carbon had remained in air, it would have contributed to 120 / 700 x 50 = -8.6‰ loss rather than -0.4‰.|
Another way of looking at it: 8‰ corresponds to 700GtC, and 0.4‰ or
35GtC 'missing'. To replace this by carbon which is 6 times more deficient
requires 1/6 of 5/6, or 7GtC of fossil fuel or one year's burning. Very
little indeed. But these calculations are rather coarse, and some fossil
carbon comes from coal which was laid down by plants, and which is thus
less 'deficient', making the 7GtC more.
The most important point to draw is that fossil fuel carbon has disappeared almost completely, and this is no surprise because plants prefer 'classic' carbon-12.
So what does it all mean?
To convert from GtC to ppm, divide by 2.13 or multiply by 0.471. Thus 700GtC = 329 ppmv.
To convert from ppm to GtC, multiply by 2.13.
12kg carbon is equivalent to 44kg carbon dioxide
Each human being breathes out app. 1kg CO2 daily ~ 100kg C annually; global population ~ 7 billion = 0.7GtC/y
Thus CO2 from human respiration is app. 1/10 total human emissions (not including methane etc from domestic animals)
The sea emits 3.42% CO2 per degree C at 8.6ºC (Glassman). Total store is 38,000 GtC of which 600Gt recycles quickly
Photosynthesis CO2 + H2O => CH2O + O2 makes 10% more oxygen than CO2 used because the formula is an approximation. Likewise, decomposition needs 10% more oxygen. Conversion factor O2/CO2 = 1.1.
Combustion requires 45% more oxygen than the CO2 it produces, due to H combustion. Conversion factor O2/CO2 = 1.45
 CO2 data from CDIAC http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/contents.htm
including C-13 and C-14 for many stations.
|The missing oxygen or anoxia
In AR4, the IPCC shows this graph with the Keeling curve from 1970 and the missing oxygen curve from Bender (2005) [1,2] (Bender curve?). It clearly shows that the rising CO2 concentration was caused by the burning of fossil fuel because this 'new' fuel required 'new' oxygen in order to be burnt, and apparently in the same quantities. However, the graph was intentionally misleading because the vertical scale for oxygen (magenta) is very different from that of carbondioxide (black). In chemistry, volumes of gases can be compared because a certain volume containing oxygen, has the same number of molecules as the same volume of any other gas (pressure and temperature must be the same of course). Thus numbers expressed in ppm-by-volume or ppmv, can be compared chemically with one another. However, the per meg unit needs to be divided by 4.8 to give ppmv oxygen because oxygen is 20.95% in air, and (N2+O2)/O2=100/20.95=4.77.
There appears something conflicting here. Take the decade of the 1990s. During that decade humans burnt 65GtC (+ 45% hydrogen ) or 30*1.45= 43ppmv oxygen. During that same period, about 200 per meg = 200 / 4.8 = 41ppmv oxygen went missing, closely matching human burning, but not the residual CO2 in air (17ppmv). Therefore:
Assume that the natural world is in balance, each year consuming and
producing oxygen and carbondioxide in equal quantities, then the residual
CO2 over a decade would be zero.
Now humans are disturbing this balance by burning fossil fuel and requiring more oxygen than they return, resulting in a gradual increase in CO2 for a corresponding loss in oxygen, about 41ppmv O2 per decade. One cannot have lost oxygen without also having found CO2.
What we observe is that although we consumed the 41ppmv oxygen, there is only 17ppmv of CO2 remaining, instead of the 30ppmv caused by fossil fuel burning and 13ppmv CO2 went missing. Thus:
|The dilution of
radioactive carbon-14, Seuss effect
Because fossil fuel has been underground for a very long time (millions of years), its radioactive carbon component with a half-life of about 5000 years, has been extinguished. Thus CO2 from fossil fuel has no radioactive carbon left, which causes it to dilute the radioactive carbon in air and biosphere. This is also called the Seuss effect. (Hans Eduard Suess 1909-1993 was an Austrian physical chemist and nuclear physicist). During a short period of 7 years, the dilution of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 was measured at the north and south poles , resulting in two straight trends with opposite seasonal fluctuations. Carbon-14 decline was measured in carbondioxide, so it gives us another idea of how much fossil carbon dioxide remains in air. The graph shows a 100‰ (10%) decline in one decade.
 Meyer H A J et al. () High Accuracy 14C Measurements for Atmospheric CO2 Samples from the South Pole and Point Barrow, Alaska by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/meijer/Meijer_14C.html
 Thomas Higham: Measuring, calculating age and reporting radioactive carbon. http://www.c14dating.com/agecalc.html
|Other greenhouse gases
The caption to these five graphs from IPCC AR4 reads: "Global trends in major long-lived greenhouse gases through the year 2002. These five gases account for about 97% of the direct climate forcing by long-lived greenhouse gas increases since 1750. The remaining 3% is contributed by an assortment of 10 minor halogen gases, mainly HCFC-22, CFC113 and CCl4."
As has been shown before, both carbondioxide and methane trap infrared radiation so eagerly that their effects saturate at a mere few metres in air, thus becoming part of convection with no distinction from oxygen and nitrogen. Note that methane emissions have been levelling off, and it is not known why. Fugitive releases escape during the production of gas, shale gas and coal, and surprisingly, coal has least of these .
Methane is natural gas CH4 which burns cleanly to carbon dioxide and water. Methane is eagerly sought after as fuel for electric power plants because of its ease of transport and because it produces the least carbondioxide for the most power. Also cars can be powered with compressed natural gas (CNG) for short distances. In many countries CNG has been widely distributed as the main home heating fuel. As a consequence, methane has leaked to the atmosphere in large quantities, now firmly controlled. Grazing animals also produce methane in their complicated stomachs and methane escapes from rice padies and peat bogs like the Siberian permafrost.
Further still, methane has been rising from 1.6ppm to 1.8ppm in 30 years (1980-2010), assuming that it has not stopped rising, this amounts to a doubling in 2-3 centuries. In other words, methane can never have any measurable effect on temperature, even if the IPCC radiative cooling theory were right.
Because only a small fraction in the rise of methane in air can be attributed to farm animals, it is ludicrous to worry about this aspect or to try to farm with smaller emissions of methane, or to tax it or to trade credits.
The fact that methane in air has been levelling off in the past two decades, even though we do not know why, implies that it plays absolutely no role as a greenhouse gas.
methane occurs in very small concentrations compared to CO2, 600 times less. the IPCC radiative warming factor of methane is 7 rather than the oft quoted 20. methane concentrations have stopped growing. even if methane concentrations kept growing, its effect would still remain unnoticeable. as shown in climate1, perceived greenhouse gases cannot have any effect. (methane, CO2 and water vapour) it is ludicrous to worry about methane.
 Flood, Wilson (2011): The methane misconceptions. Energy&environment 22-3. Free PDF.
 Clemente, Frank (2011): A Test of Prudence Favors Coal -- Part Two. link.
Finally we'll review a number of oft-repeated pronunciations and claims made by the IPCC and by extension, also by those who firmly believe in the IPCC's findings (our comments in blue):
"The mitigation measures suggested for climate change (reduced use of carbon-based fuels, more renewable energy sources, carbon capture and storage, less use of nitrogen-based fertilizers) are all part of a portfolio of approaches that are needed to produce a more sustainable world." This statement reveals the true political motivation in the IPCC. The global warming scare is intended to jolt the world into action for a more sustainable world using less carbon-based fuels and other things. A noble goal achieved through lies, but more to the point: 1) renewable energy sources like wind mills, have proved to produce more rather than less CO2; 2) carbon capture and storage are technological nightmares that do not deliver on energy efficiency; 3) less use of nitrogen-based fertilisers is possible by having more carbondioxide in air.
"It is simple physics that these extra gas concentrations will trap an increased amount of outgoing solar radiation reflected off the Earth’s surface, of the order of 1.5 watts per square metre of the Earth’s surface." The physics is far from simple as explained in the preceding chapters. The 1.5 W/m2 heat retention by greenhouse gases is purely a guess, unsubstantiated by fact or by observation. The truth is that so-called greenhouse gases can not, have not and will not have any measurable effect on temperature.
"It is also clear that the oceans absorb about 85% of the excess heat resulting from this radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (as well as about 40% of the carbon dioxide). Detailed measurements of the changes in oceanic heat content, and the temperature rise that accompanies this, agree quantitatively with the predicted radiative forcing." Oceans do NOT absorb heat from the air, but warm up due to solar irradiation that can reach 100m deep. There is no proof that oceans have been absorbing CO2, whereas the evidence for net outgassing is more substantial. Radiative forcing is a non-scientific concept and the models based on it are equally unscientific.
"The amount of extra carbon accumulated in the ocean and the atmosphere matches the known quantity emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels." They don't. Huge discrepancies and paradoxes remain.
"It is a plain fact that human activities have significantly increased
the concentrations of greenhouse active gases in the atmosphere, particularly
since the mid-20th century." Incorrect. It is true
that humans have added greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, but most of
this has been absorbed by plant life. There has been a rise in atmospheric
carbondioxide since 1960 but where it came from, is unknown. There is no
solid proof that the oceans absorbed the excess carbon. There is no proof
whether oceans are outgassing or absorbing CO2. During this time the sun
has been active, but since 2000 is entering a state of reduced activity.
“The great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is. If you talk to them privately they’re scared stiff of the fact that they don’t really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing…We do need skepticism about the predictions about what will happen to the climate in 50 years, or whatever. It’s almost naive, scientifically speaking, to think we can give relatively accurate predictions for future climate. There are so many unknowns that it’s wrong to do it.” - James Lovelock