Green Room

Gas Masque

posted at 9:25 pm on December 31, 2009 by

One remarkably serendipitous effect of Climategate is that mainstream science publications — written for laymen, I mean, not scientists — are beginning to take a hard look at the core contradictions of globaloney: Science-oriented magazines that never before so much as considered the evidence of “deniers* ” are now calmly questioning the catechism of the First Church of Fundamentalist Catastrophism.

Here is a perfect example; Science Daily, which appears very “mainstream” — that is, alarmist and intolerant — has just published the following without much comment:

[S]ome studies have suggested that the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline and that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is therefore beginning to increase.

Many climate models also assume that the airborne fraction will increase. Because understanding of the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide is important for predicting future climate change, it is essential to have accurate knowledge of whether that fraction is changing or will change as emissions increase….

In contradiction to some recent studies, [Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol] finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

Let me explain as best I can, given that I’m not an atmospheric scientist (or indeed any other kind of scientist). This doesn’t mean that the amount of carbon and carbonoids in the atmosphere is decreasing or even that it’s not increasing; the question is, what percent of that carbon dioxide that is generated is absorbed by the oceans and “terrestrial ecosystems” — plants, essentially — and what percent goes into the atmosphere?

Generally, 55% of CO2 is sucked up by the ocean and by plants, leaving 45% to enter the Earth’s atmosphere… where it could cause warming, if you buy into globaloney. Many true-believers insist, as part of their Anthropogenic Global Climate Change (AGCC) obsession, that human production of CO2 is overwhelming the planetary ecosystem: Our industry and farming practices, not to mention our very existence in numbers larger than the human-hating globaloney hysterics think optimal, are swamping the Earth’s ability to cope.

This conjecture demands that the oceans and plants absorb a dwindling percent of the carbon dioxide released. Assume the amount of CO2 created rises by 30%; if the Earth’s ecosystem is being “overwhelmed,” the sea and the greenery wouldn’t be able to absorb 30% more than it used to do — so it wouldn’t absorb its “share,” leaving a greater proportion to “pollute” the atmosphere. Thus, an increase of 30% in the rate of creation or release of CO2 would lead to a greater than 30% rise in atmospheric CO2 — perhaps 40% or more.

The claim by acolytes of AGCC is that the percent of emitted CO2 entering the atmosphere would necessarily rise from the historic 45% of total emissions to a much larger percent. In this example, the atmospheric percent of carbon dioxide would be almost 50%, rather than 45%. It’s not much of a difference, but it would have given a needed boost to the evidence in favor of AGCC.

But what Dr. Knorr, Senior Research Fellow and QUEST Deputy Leader at the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol, found was just the opposite: The percent of emitted carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere has not changed since 1850, nor has it changed in the past five decades… despite the fact that emission of CO2 itself has increased 1,750% during that same period. From the Bristol University newsletter:

New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now.
This suggests that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected.

A greater capacity to absorb carbon dioxide means that the increase is much less likely to cause disastrous problems… in this case, good news is bad news for globaloney!

The newsletter also makes explicit what was only hinted by Science Daily:

The results run contrary to a significant body of recent research which expects that the capacity of terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans to absorb CO2 should start to diminish as CO2 emissions increase, letting greenhouse gas levels skyrocket. Dr Wolfgang Knorr at the University of Bristol found that in fact the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has only been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, which is essentially zero.

I love the word “expects” in the first sentence; as they say on Mythbusters, “well there’s yer problem right there!” Too much of AGCC theory is based, not upon observation and analysis of existing data, but in the expectation that future data will confirm the thesis, regardless of what the dirty, lying, treacherous data indicates today.

Oh, and a final kick in the seat of globaloney’s trousers:

The strength of the new study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters, is that it rests solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice, and does not rely on computations with complex climate models.

Yes… complex and typically error-riddled and artifactual, if not outright fraudulent climate models.

So once again, the high priests of AGCC and their journalistic groupies discover that facts are stubborn things, the truth will out — and that reality bites. It couldn’t happen to a nicer group of idealogues.

 

* An AGCC “denier” currently includes any person or agency that wants further investigation on any of the following “settled” questions — none of which needs any further research, as we’ve already learnt everything we need to know about them:

  1. The Earth has warmed and is continuing to warm as we speak, and will continue to warm to Venusian temperatures unless — well, read on.
  2. The warming is primarily due to human industry and technology, with a large chunk of the remainder due to human agriculture and exhalation.
  3. The warming (and the CO2 itself) will lead to a cataclysmal, Malthusian die-off of the human species, and will leave the few remaining people in the condition described by Thomas Hobbes: “Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Kind of like how we’ll end up after ObamaCare.)

  4. The negative effects will include racist ocean rises; patriarchal swarms of hurricanes, tornados, and floods; genocidal “Dustbowl” droughts; and the complete collapse of Western civilization.
  5. There will be no positive effects whatsoever; don’t be stupid! (Well, maybe one: the complete collapse of Western civilization.)
  6. This pending Armageddon can only be averted one way: By cutting energy production to a tiny fraction of its current level, terminating industry, smashing the looms, and returning to the idylic, pastoral lives we used to lead when there was a world-girdling Earthmother religion, before all those patriarchal, conservative, Republican, Judeo-Christian “penis religions” conquered everything and enslaved the world. This may require reducing the human population from its current six billion to approximately 500 million… but you can’t make an omlet without breaking a few legs.

Amen.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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I blame the Sun.

It is hot. Too hot. Makes the Earth too warm, especially when it has sunspots and solar flares.

I propose a massive government program, a few trillion at least, to study ways to make the sun less hot. Thus, end global warming.

Where’s my book on how to write government grant requests?

coldwarrior on December 31, 2009 at 9:42 PM

coldwarrior, good to see you posting.

NOAA has the answer. The sun is cooling, and is at low activity. This means the earth is cooling, as part of the Sun’s variable star change in activity.

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/ has the data. Here ugly facts damage a beautiful theory.

We need more satellites for more data to overcome the current data. Your experience can get that grant, if well couched in program office approved verbiage.

NaCly dog on December 31, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Happy new year! May we have more reality-based government in 2010.

Coldwarrior, most scientists learn grant-writing, THE critical scientific skill, from their mentors in grad school. Here is a good overview link: http://healthlinks.washington.edu/rfs/gw/index.html

NaCly dog on January 1, 2010 at 1:16 AM

NOAA has the answer. The sun is cooling, and is at low activity. This means the earth is cooling, as part of the Sun’s variable star change in activity.

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/ has the data. Here ugly facts damage a beautiful theory.

NaCly dog on December 31, 2009 at 10:06 PM

What an absurd comment. You are actually validating the CO2 global warming model with your point moron. Most global warming models based on CO2 envisage cooling of the thermosphere.

“A fundamental prediction of climate change theory is that upper atmosphere will cool in response to greenhouse gases in the troposphere,” says Mlynczak. “Scientists need to validate that theory. This climate record of the upper atmosphere is our first chance to have the other side of the equation.”

James Russell III, SABER principal investigator and co-director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at Hampton University in Hampton, Va., agrees adding, “The atmosphere is a coupled system. If you pick up one end of the stick, you automatically pick up the other – they’re intrinsically linked. To be as accurate as possible, scientists have to understand global change throughout the atmosphere.”

Taken from NASA…

lexhamfox on January 1, 2010 at 3:35 AM

Very nice DAFYDD. Yes.

Oh,

and lexhamfox on January 1, 2010 at 3:35 AM,

This climate record of the upper atmosphere is our first chance to have the other side of the equation

I guess that we’ll have to take historical samples from the upper atmosphere, such as from growth rings of the trees that grow there, to get this data?

Very nice DAFYDD. Thanks.

Robert17 on January 1, 2010 at 8:04 AM

… “The atmosphere is a coupled system. If you pick up one end of the stick, you automatically pick up the other – they’re intrinsically linked.lexhamfox on January 1, 2010 at 3:35 AM

Proves my argument. Science is a web, not just one fact.
Are you saying Earth’s atmosphere holds on to more energy than generated by the Sun at a low in the solar activity cycle? If so, you now have a kinetic argument about rates of energy exchange. You need pretty convincing data to overcome atmospheric chemistry compositional research.

In addition, look up the prolonged sunspot minimum and recent research into ocean buffering capacity, via the dynamic carbonate equilibrium, and get back to me.

NaCly dog on January 1, 2010 at 2:14 PM

I wonder what would happen to global anything if there was no money involved. Take out the $$$$ and it goes away. Funny how that happens.

Claimsratt on January 1, 2010 at 5:33 PM

In addition, look up the prolonged sunspot minimum and recent research into ocean buffering capacity, via the dynamic carbonate equilibrium, and get back to me.

NaCly dog on January 1, 2010 at 2:14 PM

The implication of your statement is that the ability by the ecosystem to buffer carbon dioxide is not infinite — that at some point saturation must occur. As carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, what happens to the phuh (aka pH) of the resulting dihydrogen monoxide solute? As for linkage with sunspots, I’m not sure that is needed to understand CO2 transport.

I’m not a global alarmist, but you need to be a bit more explicit about the science.

unclesmrgol on January 2, 2010 at 1:46 AM

unclesmrgol on January 2, 2010 at 1:46 AM

Good question. I’m just not sure how much solution chemistry can be discussed before all eyes glaze over.

What happens to a bicarbonate solution after saturation occurs and more CO2 is added to the solution? Precipitation. So is there more calcium carbonate being formed in the abysses? Or is lower pH [acidic] dissolving calcium carbonate deposits, making the ocean more basic, and able to buffer [remove from the atmosphere] more CO2? Note: lots of surface ocean organisms have a calcium carbonate housing. Many of these produce O2 from CO2. Is O2 levels at sea dropping? Worth looking into.

There is some current worry that the ocean pH may drop due to more bicarbonate in solution. However, if pH is lowered there is a mechanism to raise pH, which some data indicates is happening at spots. Research in other directions is looking at bio-accumulation of carbon. Reportedly, lobsters are getting larger than expected based on harvest age.

I could go on, but it’s a complex equilibrium, with lots of ways to go. Key et al. reports (Global Biogeochemical Cycles 18: GB4031.) that between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.179 to 8.104 (a change of −0.075). Not a lot.

Again, if we are truly worried, we need to boost catalyst research, increase electric motor and electricity transmission efficiency, and replace all coal plants with nuclear power. The left continues to block or ignore real steps to solve possible global warming.

linkage with sunspots, I’m not sure that is needed to understand CO2 transport.

The amount of CO2 that enters an aqueous solution depends greatly on the partial pressure of CO2. A cooler atmosphere lowers CO2 partial pressure. You can run your own gas law calculation (PV=nRT). Less solar output ⇒ less energy per time ⇒ colder atmosphere ⇒ less CO2 going into the oceans at this time.
In this case, heat tends to affect partial pressure more than a slight increase in concentration. Remember n is in moles, and T is in 〬Kelvin.

NaCly dog on January 2, 2010 at 11:01 PM