CO2 from Human Emissions

Partick Moore began this public discussion with a email group on April 22. We have moved our email discussion to this post. We show the previous emails in chronological order through April 30. Now anyone interested can post comments to continue the discussion. – Ed


April 22, 2017

Patrick Moore wrote:

Dear all:

See: http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.ca/2017/04/the-increase-in-co2-is-not-due-to-humans.html

I am sorry to see this fraudulent argument continuing. Humans are responsible for most of the CO2 increase since large-scale use of fossil fuel began. Until then CO2 had been slowly declining for 140 million years, from 2,000-2,500 ppm down to 180 ppm at the height if the last glaciation 18,000 yrs ago. Since then it had rebounded to 280 ppm due to outgassing from the oceans as they warmed into the Holocene interglacial. In a bit more than 100 years human emissions have bumped it back up to 400+ ppm, restoring a balance the the global carbon cycle.

The error (falsehood) in Salsby et al’s position is that the CO from burning fossil fuels is an addition to the carbon in the carbon cycle. The annual cycling of carbon from plants growing in the spring to dying in the fall is already in the cycle. This is like confusing a balance sheet (the carbon already in the cycle) with a cash flow statement (profit and loss from the balance). The additional carbon added each year from fossil fuels represent a profit and therefore an increase in the balance. Calculated in this way the vast majority of new carbon going into the atmosphere as CO2 is from fossil fuel combustion and cement production, with other minor components. Very little new CO2 is added from natural sources. The US Geological Survey estimates that  volcanic activity adds less than 1% of human emissions.

There are two things wrong with this mistake. First it is patently false, second it kind of admits that if humans were responsible it would be a bad thing. Human CO2 emissions are entirely beneficial and in fact have saved life on Earth from any untimely demise due to declining CO2 which would eventually have dropped to levels that were below the threshold for plant survival.

https://fcpp.org/sites/default/files/documents/Moore%20-%20Positive%20Impact%20of%20Human%20CO2%20Emissions.pdf

Patrick Moore

pmoore@ecosense.me

pmoore@allowgoldenricenow.org


April 24, 2017

Edwin Berry wrote:

Dear Patrick,

It is one thing to have an opinion about a subject in science. All good scientists have opinions and are willing to participate in discussions that may show their opinions are wrong.

It is quite another thing to call scientific arguments you disagree with, “fraudulent.” Especially when you have not presented a credible scientific argument to show you are correct and those whom you call “fraudulent” are wrong.

You claim human emissions are the primary cause of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide in the last 100 years.

As you know, I am among the scientists who have presented arguments that show why human emissions cannot be the primary cause of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Both sides have participated in this scientific debate in over 200 comments to my post:

http://edberry.com/blog/ed-berry/why-our-co2-emissions-do-not-increase-atmosphere-co2/

My conclusions support those of Carl (2013), Courtney (2008), Cox & Comack (2013), Evans (2017), Munshi (2015, 2016), Rorshch, Courtney & Thoenes (2005), Rust (2013), Salby (2012, 2015, 2016), Siddons & D’Aleo (2007), Spencer (2009), Wilde (2012), and Harde (2017) … all of which you claim are “fraudulent.”

When I announced my post on Twitter in December 2016, you immediately told your 15,000 Twitter followers that my post was a “fraud.” You did not read my post. You did not participate in its scientific discussion. You called my paper a “fraud” because my post disagreed with your opinion.

Your argument in your email and referenced paper shows you do not understand physics well enough to have any legitimate position on this subject. So, let’s review your arguments.

Here are 12 quotes from your referenced paper:

  1. Human emissions of CO2 have restored a balance to the global carbon cycle, thereby ensuring the long-term continuation of life on Earth.
  2. Primarily, this is a discussion about the role of atmospheric CO2 in the maintenance of life on Earth and the positive role of human civilization in preventing CO2 from trending downward to levels that threaten the very existence of life.
  3. After the most recent major glaciation peaked 18,000 years ago, CO2 levels began to rise in the atmosphere, reaching 260 ppm 10,000 years ago and 280 ppm prior to the Industrial Revolution when fossil fuels became dominant for energy production. Since then, human emissions of CO2 have contributed to raising the level to about 400 ppm, a level perhaps not experienced during the past 10 million to 20 million years.
  4. The most important question facing a species on Earth today is how long would it have been in the absence of human-caused CO2 emissions until the gradual depletion of CO2 in the atmosphere fell to levels that began to decrease biomass due to starvation, thus signaling the beginning of the end of life on Earth?
  5. In the absence of human-caused CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts, there is no reason to doubt that another major glaciation would have occurred…
  6. It is extremely unlikely or perhaps impossible to imagine how CO2 could have increased from a pre-industrial 280 ppm to 400 ppm in the absence of human-caused emissions.
  7. It is possible that the most recent warming is a continuation of the longer period of warming that had already begun long before human-caused CO2 emissions could have been a factor.
  8. If humans had not begun to use fossil fuels for energy, it is reasonable to assume that atmospheric CO2 concentration would have continued to drop as it has done for the past 140 million years.
  9. In the absence of human CO2 emissions over the past century, it is difficult to imagine how this process of continuous removal of CO2 would be interrupted.
  10. In the absence of human CO2 emissions, both temperature and CO2 would have dropped to levels that would result in a continuous reduction in plant growth, bringing in climatic conditions similar to or perhaps even more severe than those that occurred in previous glaciations. This would certainly lead to widespread famine and likely the eventual collapse of human civilization.
  11. The fact that humans appear able to reverse this fate temporarily due to our recycling of CO2 back into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels for energy verges on the miraculous.
  12. It is clear from the preceding discussion that rather than bringing on a catastrophic climate condition, human CO2 emissions are serving to reinstate a balance to the global carbon cycle. By reversing the 140-million-year decline in atmospheric CO2, we are helping to ensure the continuation of carbon-based life on Earth.

You think repeating your unsupported claim over and over makes a scientific argument. Your paper makes a good bedtime story but it is not a scientific argument to support your position.

You state in your email:

  • In a bit more than 100 years human emissions have bumped it back up to 400+ ppm, restoring a balance the global carbon cycle.
  • The error (falsehood) in Salsby et al’s position is that the CO from burning fossil fuels is an addition to the carbon in the carbon cycle. … This is like confusing a balance sheet (the carbon already in the cycle) with a cash flow statement (profit and loss from the balance). The additional carbon added each year from fossil fuels represent a profit and therefore an increase in the balance.

Your bookkeeping analogy does not apply to the fluxes of carbon dioxide in and out of the atmosphere. Your attempt to show Salby wrong is devoid of a physical argument. You simply do not understand Salby’s argument.

If you have a valid argument for your position, I invite you to present it in the open debate on my post. Email is not sufficient to support scientific arguments. Twitter is worse.

Finally, your email reveals why you believe human carbon dioxide emissions have caused most of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide: You wish to prove human emissions have saved the planet.

However, your wish cannot come true unless human emissions add substantially to atmospheric carbon dioxide. Therefore, you call “fraudulent” all scientific papers that show this is not so. You put your feelings and desires above science.

Edwin Berry


April 24, 2017

Patrick Moore wrote:

Dear Ed,

The claim that human emissions are not responsible for the increase in CO2 during the past 100 years always rests on comparing the annual CO2 emissions from decomposing and vegetation and subsequent absorption by growing vegetation, an annual fluctuation, with the constant emissions of new CO2 from burning fossil fuel. CO2 was declining for 150 million years until we came along and began to put some of the carbon that had been lost to the annual cycle back in the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels etc. As a result, CO2 is now higher than it has been for about 20-30 million years.

Your contention that my “bookkeeping” metaphor is not valid is incorrect. There is a difference between stocks and flows. Stocks are indicated by a balance sheet, flows are indicated by a cash flow statement.

You contend that because the annual flows in and out of the atmosphere from biomass are much greater than the CO2 added annually to the stock of CO2 in the carbon cycle from burning fossil fuels, therefore the CO2 from fossil fuels has a negligible impact on atmospheric levels of CO2. You are wrong.

You claim my hypothesis is “unsupported”. Read the references provided in my paper. There is ample support for the fact that calcification, and to a much lesser degree, fossil fuel formation, have removed the vast majority of CO2 that was once in the atmosphere. It has become sequestered as carbonaceous rock and fossil fuel.

When we burn fossil fuels and convert CaCO3 into CAO and CO2, we are returning some of that CO2 back to the atmosphere from whence it came, increasing the stock of C in the annual cycle. When plants grow in the spring and then decay in the fall they are not adding to the stock of CO2 in the atmosphere. These are flows back and forth, not additions. Will you agree with this?

My use of the word “fraudulent” refers to the comparison of stocks with flows as if there is no distinction between the two. Anyone with half an analytical capacity knows the distinction. One is a snap-shot in time and the other is a statement of change over time. I challenge you to recognize this fundamental difference between the two in describing reality.

Patrick Moore


April 25, 2017

Edwin Berry wrote:

Dear Patrick,

We agree on the following (using quotes from your first email):

  1. Atmospheric CO2 declined during the last 140 million years “down to 180 ppm at the height of the last glaciation 18,000 years ago.”
  2. During that time, much of the carbon formerly in the atmosphere became deposited in many forms in the Land.
  3. “Since then it had rebounded to 280 ppm due to outgassing from the oceans as they warmed into the Holocene interglacial.”
  4. It has since increased to more than 400 ppm.

You argue that since human emissions “are returning some of that CO2 back to the atmosphere,” therefore, human emissions caused atmospheric CO2 to rise from 280 to 400 ppm.

You concede that nature caused the rise from 180 ppm to 280 ppm, but you do not allow that nature also caused most of the rise from 280 ppm to 400 ppm. That is inconsistent.

You have used no numbers in your argument. You have not made a scientific argument. You have merely stated your desired belief.

If you simply read my post, you should see that I use levels and rates. (You call them “stocks and flows.” I call them “levels and rates,” following the terms used by Jay Forrester (1968) in his “Principles of Systems.”)

As I will show, I use levels and rates properly and you do not.

The question is: How much does human CO2 change the level of CO2 in our atmosphere?

Every model requires a defined system. I defined a system that represents the issue we are discussing.

This figure from my post represents the system:

 

The levels, represented by boxes, are Land, Fossil Fuels, Human, Ocean, and Atmosphere. The rates are represented by arrows. This is a closed system as required.

In this system, we care only about the rates that CO2 enters and exits the atmosphere, from and to Land, Oceans, and Human use of Fossil Fuels.

We can’t measure the Land and Ocean rates accurately. So, we must assume Land and Ocean rates that are within the accuracy of our data, and which also cause the level of Atmospheric CO2 to correspond to data. The figure uses such rates.

We begin by assuming no human emissions and an equilibrium level for Atmospheric CO2. Let’s assume the rate from atmosphere to Land is 56 rather than the 60 as shown. These rates would make the rate of input to the Atmosphere equal to the output. When the rates of inflow and outflow are equal, the level of the CO2 in the Atmosphere will not change.

A critical point is that rates are determined by levels and constants. Rates are not fixed when levels change. The CO2 in the Atmosphere is “balanced” only when the rates of inflow equal the outflow.

If the Ocean warms, this will increase the rate from Ocean to Atmosphere. This increased rate of inflow will increase the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. This increased level of CO2 in the Atmosphere will increase the rate of outflow from Atmosphere to Land and Oceans. The level in the Atmosphere will balance when its outflow again equals its inflow.

Were we to insert this system into a numerical model, we would find that the level of CO2 in the Atmosphere will increase in proportion to the change in its inflow. This is just like water behind a dam, which is why I used that analogy in my post on this subject. It is easy to understand.

Therefore, the response of the Atmosphere level to a change in Ocean inflow will be the same as the response of the Atmosphere level to a similar change in inflow from Human emissions. The source of the inflow into the Atmosphere is irrelevant.

Human emissions, here shown as 4, are 4 percent of the total equilibrium rates for Land and Oceans.

Therefore, in this scenario, human emissions will be responsible for only 4 percent of the resulting rise in the Atmospheric CO2 level.

Therefore, human emissions cannot be responsible for the rise of Atmospheric CO2 to 400 ppm.

If Ocean temperature corresponded to an Atmospheric CO2 level of 300 ppm, present human emissions could increase the Atmospheric CO2 level to about 4 percent above this, or to about 312 ppm. That would be enough to increase the rate of flow of CO2 to Land and Oceans to balance the rate of flow in and out of the Atmosphere.

The only way Atmospheric CO2 got to 400 ppm is because the temperature (of Oceans) increased enough to cause an Atmospheric equilibrium level of 400 ppm or higher.

This can be the same Ocean temperature effect that you admit caused the rise in CO2 from 180 ppm to 280 ppm. Who says this Ocean temperature effect stopped at 280 ppm?

Now a comment on why your argument is wrong.

You describe only the Land and Fossil Fuel levels in your proposed system. You omit the Ocean levels. In that respect, your system does not deal with a full deck.

You have not defined the necessary rates and levels. You do not account for the fact that rates are a function of their corresponding levels.

You base your argument on what happened as much as 150 million years ago. That is a NO-NO in numerical modeling of systems. A fundamental principle of systems is that rates depend only on their corresponding levels at present and constants. Rates do not depend upon their history or on non-corresponding levels.

Your argument is based on history. Therefore, your argument is invalid.

Perhaps you are not familiar with Markov Chains. Markov chains obey the same principles we must use in numerical analysis of systems. These principles require that we calculate rates based upon levels so we can compute the new levels.

Neither your argument nor your references describe a proper system to calculate the changes in the level of atmospheric CO2.

Conclusion: Nature, not human emissions, is the primary driver of the measured increase in atmospheric CO2.

Ed Berry


April 28, 2017

Edwin Berry wrote:

Dear Readers of these emails about the effect of human CO2 emissions on atmospheric CO2,

My replies to Patrick Moore’s emails on this subject had only one goal. My goal was certainly not to criticize Patrick Moore. My goal was and is to defend the proper use of physics as applied to the subject of climate.

I am not sure how many of you followed my argument. Several of you emailed me privately saying you agree with my argument. And many of you supported my argument in your comments on my post:

http://edberry.com/blog/ed-berry/why-our-co2-emissions-do-not-increase-atmosphere-co2/

If you did not follow my argument, I would be happy to answer your questions. The application of systems engineering to physical models is second nature to me but it may not be to everyone on this email list. I am fortunate to have received an excellent education and experience in this area, beginning with a degree in engineering at Caltech, followed by the study of Markov Chains, probability, philosophy of science, and programming under Kemeny at Dartmouth, and being mentored intensively by Winterberg, student of Heisenberg, during my PhD studies at Nevada.

Suffice it to say, I believe my argument is correct. That also means Salby and others are correct. And comments on this post by Keith Pickering are indeed incorrect: http://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/murry-salby-atmospheric-carbon-18-july-2016/

We humans are not responsible for the major increase in atmospheric CO2. If we stopped all human CO2 emissions, we would have little effect on atmospheric CO2.

The argument I presented is simple. It can be used to design simple lab experiments for high-school or college physics classes that would use water flowing through a small reservoir. The experiment would demonstrate how our CO2 emissions do not drive the change in atmospheric CO2.

The importance of the argument I presented is obvious. If we humans do not cause the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 then the alarmists’ climate game is over. TV talking heads who promote climate alarmism will look like fools. Our government can get out of the climate control business, now. We can return climate science back to science where it belongs.

If enough of you believe we should use the argument that we are not responsible for the increase in atmospheric CO2, we can stop the climate scam, now. Perhaps someone can draft an open letter on this subject for signatures. Such a letter would help President Trump overcome the alarmists who want him to approve the Paris Agreement.

Sincerely,

Ed

Edwin Berry, PhD, Physics

Bigfork, Montana


April 28, 2017

John Dale Dunn wrote:

help me out here—I am a slug emergency physician—did I just see a guy named Berry, a physicist who lives in Montana, just clean somebody’s clock?  Somebody I like a lot for what he has done to support our efforts to push back?

Help me out here people.   Looked like an evisceration, maybe even a decimation below of one of our favorite ecologists and allies—but not a physicist.  Have to be careful around physicists.

I know that because I am a biologist—sort of—and I know that I don’t function with lots of hard ass rules and science stuff—if you want to know the truth, most of us biology/medicine guys go with how we feel about an issue—sorry—it’s true—we sum up the info we got and go with it.  Physicists would get physically ill if they watched physicians work.  We are the science version of fighter pilots working in bad weather or the dark.

I have always thought that environmental scientists conveniently left a lot of things unsaid.   I love Patrick Moore and all the other people who had emigrated or defected from the enviro fold, but they all still hang on to some “beliefs” and some “commitments” that keep them from taking a realistic look at the question—Can human activity really change the climate?

Dr, Berry put that one on life support if not worse with this devastating discussion on the silliness of “humans are ruining this perfect park of a world.”  My questions would be–perfect? and what park?

I think humans are inhabitants of a big place, and we don’t control or destroy as much as we might like to think we do.

I live on 50 acres, and can barely keep up with controlling Mommie Nature, even after putting a generator on my UTV to run trimmers and choppers, pole and chain saws.

Moreover, to sound more scientific—a trace gas driving climate that is surely impacted by oceans, that cover the planet, and lo and behold, the atmosphere and then again, the impact of the moon and the lucky old sun.  Sure, CO2 drives the average temp, and I’m 6-6 and can dunk with either or both hands while spinning and sticking my tongue out.

John Dale Dunn MD JD
Civilian Faculty Emergency Medicine
Carl R Darnall Army Medical Center
Fort Hood, Texas


April 28, 2017

Thomas Wysmuller wrote:

Hi John:

What you are seeing is the equivalent of skewed lines in 3 space – two people talking past each other using arguments that are neither intersecting nor parallel, with a few insults thrown in for good measure.

Your “big place” conclusion is pretty much on the money!

Some people see rancor and insults as a sort of entertainment.  They really have no place in science and simply serve to demean those who use them and undercut what should/could have been decent arguments.

Leave the tongue in!

Tom

Thomas Wysmuller


April 29, 2017

John Dale Dunn wrote:

Roger Simon, writer and serious thinker on cultural issues, writes about totalitarianism on the campi.

I do believe those who talk non judgmentalism and tolerance are very judgmental and intolerant.

https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/04/27/will-fascism-come-to-america-through-its-colleges-and-universities/

Armondo Simon, retired professor, writes here about the nasty nature of the leftists when they confront opposing scientific viewpoints.

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/04/the_lefts_vicious_intolerance_in_science.html

it’s a funny thing—called projection by the psychologists—you project your vices and prejudices, even your misdeeds onto the opposition.

John Dale Dunn, MD, JD


April 29, 2017

Patrick Frank wrote:

I don’t want to inject myself in this debate — my time is used up responding to reviews to my manuscript on climate model error propagation.

But the cut-out below from Ed’s email doesn’t seem correct to me.

According to the diagram (land 56, ocean 44, humans 4), the total flow with human contribution becomes 104%, and the human contribution is 4% above the equilibrium rate.

If the only increase in the equilibrium rate is from humans —and that’s what the diagram shows — then only the human contribution is responsible for the increase in rate.

Without the human 4% addition, the 56/44 equilibrium maintains a constant atmospheric CO2 concentration. That makes the human contribution the entire source of increased atmospheric CO2, not just 4% of the increase.

So, the first “Therefore” in the cut-out below does not seem to follow from the diagram itself, and does not seem correct.

Given the dynamical response of the natural system, the added human 4% is taken up by ocean and land and becomes part of their rate of exchange with the atmosphere.

However, a new human 4% is added the next year, and every year. Ocean and land then play catch-up every year. But the new human contribution always is ahead of the lagged ocean+land response.

The change in ocean + land CO2 flux is then a system driven by the human input. Like all driven systems, the response is delayed relative to the impulse.

We see that in the greening evident since 1980. This seems likely a delayed response driven by the earlier rise of CO2 above the prior 295 ppm value, with which the natural system was already in equilibrium.

I understand that a warming ocean will release CO2. However, if the ocean is warmed by the atmosphere, the time-constant of ocean warming must be much slower than the rate of warming of the atmosphere, just from heat capacity arguments alone.

I’m not saying that the increased atmospheric CO2 cannot be due to land+ocean processes. I’m just saying that the diagrammatic model does not seem to support the argument being made from it.

Pat

Patrick Frank


April 29, 2017

Patrick Moore wrote:

I agree with your analysis Patrick. The key to this debate is to recognizer the difference between carbon already in the annual cycle vs. annual additions of new carbon from fossil sources such as hydrocarbons and carbonaceous rocks.

Patrick Moore


April 29, 2017

Edwin Berry wrote:

Dear Patrick,

Below is my reply to Pat. As I explained before, your physics is incorrect.

Atmospheric CO2 does not behave according to the history of carbon or of CO2. It does not know its history. It does not know about a carbon cycle. The instant level of CO2 in the atmosphere determines the rate that CO2 flows to Land and Oceans. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere will always move towards its equilibrium level with or without human CO2 emissions.

Human CO2 emissions can cause only a minor, insignificant change in the level of atmospheric CO2.

If you wish to make any kind of valid argument, you must turn your annual cycle argument into a valid systems argument where you properly use levels and rates. So far, you have not done this.

Ed

———-

Dear Pat,

Thank you for your critique and questions.

My diagram can support many scenarios simply by changing the numbers. Let’s look at three possible scenarios.

In all scenarios, the numbers I show below follow this pattern:

Input = Land + Human + Oceans = Total In

Output = Land + 0 + Oceans = Total Out

Atmosphere level units are in ppmv of CO2. Rate units are in ppmv of CO2 per year. We convert all Gigatons of carbon (GtC) to ppmv according to 1 ppmv of CO2 = 2.13 GtC. Common units makes it easier to understand the flow and the levels.

Scenario A: No Land or Ocean input

Input = 0 + 4 + 0 = 4

Output = 3 + 0 + 1 = 4

Atmospheric CO2 rises just enough to output all the human input of CO2. Atmospheric CO2 will be some low value for this equilibrium and human emissions will be responsible for 100 percent of the CO2 in the atmosphere.

Scenario B: No Human input

Input = 56 + 0 + 44 = 100

Output = 56 + 0 + 44 = 100

Atmospheric CO2 rises or falls until its CO2 output 100 units. Then the CO2 in the atmosphere is at equilibrium. Clearly, at equilibrium, atmospheric CO2 will be at a higher value than if only human CO2 added CO2 to the atmosphere.

Scenario C: Land, Human, and Ocean inputs

Input = 56 + 4 + 44 = 104

Output = 60 + 0 + 44 = 104

Atmospheric CO2 rises enough to cause the atmosphere to output 104 units of CO2 per year. We can see that Scenario C is the sum of Scenarios A and B. In this scenario, Human CO2 adds 4 percent to the Scenario B atmospheric CO2. If Scenario B is at equilibrium when atmospheric CO2 is 300, then the addition of Human CO2 emissions will increase atmospheric CO2 to about 312, or about 4 percent.

We don’t care how much of the increased CO2 output will go to the Land and how much to the Oceans. Here, we show it all going to Land.

Discussion

The atmosphere will emit CO2 in proportion to its level in the atmosphere. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the faster CO2 flows out of the atmosphere.

The rate of atmospheric CO2 emission depends only on the CO2 level. It does not depend on the history of the carbon or the source of the CO2. Atmospheric CO2 does not “know” its history, even isotopically. It only knows its present.

Atmospheric CO2 will rise or fall until its CO2 out equals its CO2 in. At that point, atmospheric CO2 output will be at equilibrium with the total of all inputs.

If human CO2 is only 4 percent of nature’s inputs, then human CO2 will be responsible for about a 4 percent increase in atmospheric CO2. Nature causes the other 96 percent. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere we see today is about 4 percent human-caused and 96 percent nature-caused.

The only way atmospheric CO2 can rise from 300 to 400 is for nature to drive the increase.

We don’t really know what atmospheric CO2 level represents equilibrium today. We cannot measure nature’s emissions and absorptions of atmospheric CO2 better than ten percent. So, the 56/44 Land to Oceans ratio could be 60/40, for all we know.

You wrote:

“However, a new human 4% is added the next year, and every year. Ocean and land then play catch-up every year. But the new human contribution always is ahead of the lagged ocean + land response.”

That is not a valid critique because all our rate numbers are in units per year. Each year takes care of itself. Human CO2 emissions do not add up in the atmosphere any more than natural CO2 emissions add up in the atmosphere. This critique mixes levels with rates.

Conclusions

The systems model I presented is a valid way to represent the key features of the carbon cycle that affect the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. It is simple. It is analogous to a lake level (like Flathead Lake, Montana) where two rivers supply almost all the water flow into the lake. If the dam were a simple spillover dam, then the flow out of the lake would be a function of the level of the lake. At equilibrium, the total flow in will equal the total flow out of the lake.

If we were to add a new small flow into the lake at equilibrium then the lake would rise just enough to cause outflow to again equal inflow. If the new small flow added only 4 percent to the flow from the two rivers, then the added new flow would be responsible for only enough added lake level to cause 4 percent more outflow.

Our systems model is a valid representation of how our atmospheric achieves its level of CO2. The human 4 percent cannot cause a rise of atmospheric CO2 to 400 ppmv.

Ed


April 29, 2017

Patrick Frank wrote:

Your analysis seems to go astray here below, Ed.

On Apr 29, 2017, at 2:37 PM, ed@edberry.com wrote:
Human CO2 emissions do not add up in the atmosphere any more than natural CO2 emissions add up in the atmosphere.

The human 4% is a new 4% every year. The 100% of diagrammatic year n+1 is 104% of year n. The year n+2 is 104% of year n+1 and 108% of year n. And so forth. The only increase comes from the ever-new annual human 4% input.

In your lake analogy, the response of the lake-dam system is immediate. The new constant 4% input immediately leaves the lake over the dam. The lake analogizes the atmosphere. The spill over the dam represents natural CO2 uptake.

Applying that to CO2 in the atmosphere, the lake analogy requires the 4% CO2 to immediately leave the system each year. However, it does not.

This is where the lake analogy departs from the diagrammatic system.

The 4% CO2 is not removed. Some of it is taken up naturally, apparently about half. Half remains.

A lake analogy that properly models the atmospheric process is one in which lake-level equilibrium is maintained by evaporation. Evaporation analogizes the natural uptake of CO2 by land and ocean.

If you like, the evaporated water can precipitate into the watershed and supply the inputting rivers, closing the system.

The dam, though, is arbitrarily much higher than the level of the lake. In the case of the terrestrial atmosphere, the dam is the gravitational well of Earth.

The new 4% input of water will then raise the level of the lake until an increasing surface area increases the evaporation rate enough to remove the 4% additional water inflow. The depth of the lake will increase until that new equilibrium is achieved.

The surface area — evaporation analogy with Earth is that the land + ocean uptake responds positively to increased CO2. One might suppose, for example, that marine photosynthesis increases with CO2 in a manner similar to land; the biosphere expands when a CO2 limiting reagent increases.

If the lake bed has vertical walls all around, such that the surface area remains constant, then the evaporation rate does not increase, and the depth of the lake increases by 4% per year.

The gravitational well is close to a vertical walled bed for the atmosphere. The CO2 does not spill out.

Natural uptake of CO2 (evaporation) apparently has increased, though, continually absorbing about half of emissions despite the increasing emission rate since 1900.

So, the “evaporation” rate has increased proportionately with emission rate. 🙂  But the proportion is apparently not 1.00.

Thanks for the thoughtful conversation,

Pat

Patrick Frank


April 29, 2017

Edwin Berry wrote:

Dear Pat,

Thanks again for your comments.

You are making some unnecessary and complicating assumptions, and one big error. For example:

Error: It is not valid to assume that the human 4% remains in the atmosphere to add up in future years. Nor is it valid to assume half, or any other amount, of human emissions remain in the atmosphere after a year.

What happens to human CO2 after it enters the atmosphere will be a result of our model, not an input into our model.

The atmosphere will treat Human CO2 exactly like it treats CO2 from Land and Oceans. You want to constrain our system with your assumptions about the results. That is not a correct way to do this calculation. We must calculate results, not assume them.

Here is our basic system again.

We have Land, Ocean, Fossil Fuel, and Atmosphere levels that can contain carbon or carbon dioxide. The only level we are need in this model is the atmosphere level.

Next, we need to calculate the rates from the levels.

We know the rate of Human CO2 emissions reasonably well, so we just use that rate.

The rate CO2 exits our atmosphere is proportional to the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

We assume rates that CO2 exits Land and Oceans based on our best data. (Later, we can assume the rate that CO2 exits the Ocean is proportional to the temperature, but this assumption is not important to our immediate discussion.)

In our atmosphere, the level of 400 is about 4 times the annual inflow. Therefore, in our lake model we can let the volume of water in the lake also be 4 times the annual inflow.

You write:

“In your lake analogy, the response of the lake-dam system is immediate. The new constant 4% input immediately leaves the lake over the dam. The lake analogizes the atmosphere. The spill over the dam represents natural CO2 uptake.”

Not exactly. The response of the lake to changes in input can be many hours in a large lake. The lake, like the atmosphere, will take some time to come to equilibrium after the rates of inflow change. The spill over the dam represents the rate that CO2 exits the atmosphere and enters Land and Oceans.

You write:

“Applying that to CO2 in the atmosphere, the lake analogy requires the 4% CO2 to immediately leave the system each year. However, it does not. This is where the lake analogy departs from the diagrammatic system.

“The 4% CO2 is not removed. Some of it is taken up naturally, apparently about half. Half remains.”

No so. Human emissions add CO2 to the atmosphere, just like a small river would add to water in the lake. The small added inflow will increase the level of CO2 in the atmosphere (or the level of water in the lake). The increased level will increase the rate CO2 flows out of the atmosphere (or the rate water flows over the dam). When outflow again equals the inflow, the system will be at equilibrium.

To achieve equilibrium, the level had to rise only enough to increase outflow to make total outflow equal total inflow.

Equilibrium solves our problem.

The equilibrium level of CO2 in the atmosphere (or level of water in the lake) will be the sum of the contributions from each inflow. Each source of inflow will contribute to equilibrium level in proportion to its relative rate of inflow.

Human CO2 emissions contribute about 4 percent of the total inflow into the atmosphere. Therefore, at equilibrium, human CO2 emissions contribute about 4 percent to the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Nature contributes 96 percent.

Therefore, of the 400 ppmv in our atmosphere, human CO2 emissions contribute about 16 ppmv and nature contributes about 384 ppmv.

There is no need to further complicate the model. You may construct a model that uses evaporation rather than flow over a dam. That is fine but it gains you nothing new, and it adds many complications.

An alternative that some authors use is a tub with a hole in the bottom. The water flows out of the tub in proportion to the height of the water above the hole. I choose to use a lake and dam model because I think the general public will find it easier to understand.

All that matters in the end is that our model gets the correct differential equations to describe the system. Then we can use these differential equations to solve for level changes over time.

But we don’t need to solve these equations here because we need to consider only equilibrium levels.

This makes the result obvious.

The contribution of each inflow rate to the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, is proportional to each rate of inflow.

This is really a very simple problem.

Ed


April 30, 2017

Patrick Moore wrote:

Dear Ed,

I am sorry but I do not accept your interpretation of the mass balance of CO2 in the annual cycle vs. the annual additions by human emissions.

You have not identified any other source of new carbon entering the atmosphere, and therefore the annual carbon cycle, than human emissions.

Over the past 150 million years CO2 in the atmosphere has gradually declined. This could only occur if long-term sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere was greater than long-term additions of carbon in the form of CO2.

I challenge you to provide the source of significant new additions of CO2 to the annual carbon cycle other than human emissions which now amount to 38M T annually.

You must recognize the difference between a balance sheet which shows a snapshot of the amount of carbon in the cycle at a given moment, versus the flow chart that shows how much carbon is moving from one state to another over an annual cycle. Human emissions represent the only major new addition to the carbon cycle at present.

Patrick Moore


April 30, 2017

Richard Lindzen wrote:

Dear Pat,

My understanding (such as it is) is that the ‘measurement’ of past CO2 by people like Berner is pretty dicey.  What is your view of Rothman’s estimates?

Best, Dick

Richard Lindzen


April 30, 2017

Charles G. Battig wrote:

What sets the height of the dam in the above analogy; can it change?

Charles G. Battig


April 30, 2017

John Dale Dunn wrote:

After watching and thinking—I know you hard scientists would find that amusing to consider—I have a contribution to this equilibrium discussion, and it comes from the feedback loop phenomenon that we depend on in biological studies of physiology and metabolism that stand us in good stead.  Feedbacks are essential to most biological equilibrium states, for example control of temp, clotting, pH, biological feedback loops create equilibriums that throw off or absorb or modify inputs and outputs that would otherwise cause a disequilibrium that might cause harm.  Some of the feedbacks in biology involve complicated organic chemical feedbacks that require catalyst intermediates—its amazing and the reason I never accepted, cannot accept Darwin’s simplistic formula for how complex things just sort of self assembled with the chemical complexities that boggle the mind.

The planet does have a range for operation that is salutary or we wouldn’t be here, it would have become hostile.  There are ocean circulation, orbital changes and atmospheric physical relationships with the sun, the planets and of course the moon that have interacted to create this equilibrium within a range. There are “sinks” and reservoirs and physical states that change and go up and down in the feedback loops, so let’s assume that something chemical/physical is necessary for a certain “range” and we know that there is a point where input might cause harm to the environment.  Human output because of activity produces carbon dioxide, and the use of carbon dioxide and cycling of carbon dioxide in the equilibrium state might have a method for consuming or depositing carbon dioxide that is quite efficient if necessary—the oceans and the mantle come to mind.  The mantle, as you all have reminded me, is a tremendous carbon reservoir along with the oceans, and the the atmospheric makeup of gasses is a product of multiple inputs and outputs.  Offgassing, evaporation, condensation, rising and sinking of things in the ocean—temp/rate sensitive things happening to solids/liquids/gasses—it’s all too much to consider for my small brain.

I don’t think even a genius mathematician with all the information, could put an equation to it that had a single product on the other side—temp or whatever.  Math, even really impressive math can be an internally correct thing that doesn’t explain anything at all.

As Armstrong likes to say—good modeling or forecasting is all about the inputs.

Reminds me of J Scott Armstrongs admonitiion to be careful about creating complexity in modeling, the pygmalion effect gone stir crazy.

If a complex system of interactions keeps the carbon dioxide in a range in the atmosphere and that range is really expansive then there will be inputs and releases and storage that can easily deal with any new input that does not overwhelm the mechanisms for maintaining the range.   Can one allow a physical attribute of greenhouse gasses to dominate the discussion without the obvious problem of tunnel vision fallacy?

You might say this feedback loop theory doesn’t work for physical/chemical process—why not.  We have the right sun irradiance, atmospheric composition and thickness, solid mantle and crust that we are lucky to be living on a planet that stays in a “range” just like the endotherms have a system that handles changes in ambient temperature so that the biological processes hum along at the right temperature range.  99.6 F for humans, all humans, for dogs, cats, pigs, cows, horses, 100-103.

So, you geniuses have often reminded me that the modelers tend to fail when it comes to dealing with the negative feedbacks, the processes that nullify positive inputs, what everybody in the biz calls sensitivity.

Trouble with modelers, having an agenda, is they get it wrong for failure to include negative feedbacks or maybe minimizing negative or mitigating feedbacks because they are focused on drivers and sensitivity.  They don’t use feedbacks in their modeling that work against their objective, proving sensitivity to CO2 is making for warm or change or whatever they want to call the scare.

Maybe that’s a reason they predicted a tropospheric hot spot that didn’t materialize?  Wadduino?  Maybe that’s why there’s a pause in spite of CO 2 increases.

Maybe those big sinks are part of that big negative feedback loop that can handle an anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 effect caused by human breathing and human activity?   Maybe the only reason for the increase in CO2 is the effect of the other factors, oceans, sun, albedo?  Maybe the the infrared radiative capture effect is just an interesting and unimportant physical phenomenon overwhelmed by other factors?   And what about that paleo climate graphic that shows temp rise leading the CO2 rise, even before SUVs and modern industrial activities?

Just askin’.

John Dale Dunn, MD, JD


April 30, 2017

Edwin Berry wrote:

Dear Patrick,

Your challenge that I identify significant new sources of CO2 is irrelevant. It is a diversion of focus away from the problem rather than a way to solve the problem.

In terms of ppmv of CO2, humans add about 4 ppmv to the atmosphere each year. During the same time, nature adds about 100 ppmv. The error in our data for nature’s contribution is about 10 percent. Therefore, the human contribution per unit time is in the noise level of our data about nature.

The bottom line is you do not have data that requires anyone to identify a new source of CO2 because that requirement is in nature’s noise level.

You are correct to write:

“Over the past 150 million years CO2 in the atmosphere has gradually declined. This could only occur if long-term sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere was greater than long-term additions of carbon in the form of CO2.”

But that statement does nothing to refute my argument or to bolster yours.

I well recognize your “balance sheet” argument, but you do not recognize that the issue before us is a “rate” problem, not a “balance sheet” problem. Balance sheets don’t change atmospheric CO2. Rates do.

The levels of CO2, or of carbon convertible to CO2, in Land and Oceans are much greater than the level of CO2 in our atmosphere. We can assume Land and Ocean levels are infinity and our result will be the same.

This is one of those, “How do you solve a basic engineering or physics problem?” questions. We are not concerned with Land and Ocean CO2 history. We are concerned only with present data on atmospheric CO2 level and the rates that affect that level.

The relative human effect to nature’s effect on the level of CO2 in the atmosphere (at equilibrium) is the ratio of human to nature’s emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Data show this ratio is about 0.04. It is certainly not 0.50. Therefore, the human contribution to present atmospheric CO2 is about 4 percent, plus or minus maybe a ten percent error.

Clearly, more data and second-order approximations will modify this result, but they will not change the general conclusion that human emissions are a very minor player in the increase in atmospheric CO2.

Our discussion is about how we set up the method to solve this problem. Your method uses levels that I claim are irrelevant. I use rates that directly determine changes in the level of atmospheric CO2. I follow the way engineering and physics teaches us to solve such problems.

My argument does not use a complicated model. It uses a very simple model that approaches an equilibrium state. The equilibrium state is easy to compute and is the basis of the conclusions I present.

Thank you for your challenges on this subject.

Ed


April 30, 2017

Edwin Berry wrote:

Dear Charles,

You have asked a relevant question.

This answer may be a little technical for some readers. If so, you may skip to the last two paragraphs below.

In my model, I assume the height of the dam is such that the volume of the lake is equal to the average inflow into the lake multiplied by the residence time. I assume a residence time of about 4 to 5 years. Since the average inflow is about 100, this means I assume the lake volume is about 400 to 500.

The height of the dam remains fixed.

(Plus I have to add that the constraint that the lake water is always well mixed, which we know is not generally true for lakes.)

This means, if the inflow rates change, it may take several years for the lake to come to equilibrium with the different types of sources of inflow.

However, the outflow from the lake has a much shorter response time to changes in inflow. In fact, I can let the height of the dam be zero and the floor of the lake be a level slab. The water then basically falls over a cliff.

No matter where we set the height of the dam, our conclusion will still be the same.

Once flow has come to equilibrium so outflow equals inflow, the rate water flows over the cliff or dam will still be a function of the height of the water above the cliff or dam. And the contribution to the lake level of the different sources of water inflow, will be in proportion to their rates of inflow.

Ed


April 30, 2017

Patrick Frank wrote:

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your explanations.

As I understand it, your unperturbed model can be represented by a simple first order differential equation:

At equilibrium, d[CO2]/dt = d[CO2]_l/dt + d[CO2]_o/dt = 0, where subscript l = land and o = ocean.

We also have d[CO2]_l /dt = 0 and d[CO2]_o/dt = 0.

Now we remove the equilibrium by adding the human perturbation:

d[CO2]/dt = d[CO2]_l/dt + d[CO2]_o/dt + d[CO2]_h/dt > 0, where subscript h = human.

It remains true that, initially, d[CO2]_l /dt= 0 and d[CO2]_o/dt = 0.

The new d[CO2]_h/dt > 0, is the only component making a positive contribution.

The total of human emissions, whether it appears in the atmosphere or not, is (1.04)^y, where y is the number of years.

d[CO2]_h = d(1.04)^y = y*1.04.  This is the human contribution itself. It may, or may not, show up in the atmosphere.

The human-caused component of atmospheric CO2 may not increase with time, if and only if all the excess CO2 is permanently taken up by land and ocean each year.

Your diagrammatic model assumes the condition that, subsequent to the human perturbation, the equilibrium condition no longer applies to the land and ocean fluxes.

That is, suddenly, the entry of human CO2 emissions causes d[CO2]_l /dt > 0 and d[CO2]_o/dt > 0. The positive fluxes are induced by the human emissions, but the magnitude of the positive changes are independent of human emissions.

That is, you have land and ocean each making a fractional contribution to the atmospheric CO2 increase, equal to their original fractional equilibrium flux.

That is, following the appearance of human emissions, now d[CO2]dt > 0,  because d[CO2]_l /dt > 0, d[CO2]_o/dt > 0, and d[CO2]_h > 0,

and d[CO2]dt = d[CO2]_l /dt + d[CO2]_o/dt + d[CO2[_h/dt > 0,  where the positive fractional contributions are 0.56_l + 0.44_o + 0.04_h.

What reason is there to think that is true? That, why suddenly, are d[CO2]_l /dt > 0 and d[CO2]_o/dt > 0 and constant in fraction?

If the assumption of constant fractional contribution is somehow empirically demonstrated, then your model represents physical reality.

But to my knowledge it’s not been demonstrated. Your conclusion therefore seems instead to be a prediction from your hypothesis.

I recall, by the way, that Freeman Dyson estimated how much organic carbon would have to increase to use up all the human CO2 emissions. It wasn’t much. I could probably find that article if anyone is interested.

Pat


May 1, 2017

Edwin Berry wrote:

Dear Pat,

To answer your email, I copy your email and add my comments in bold.

 

“As I understand it, your unperturbed model can be represented by a simple first order differential equation:

At equilibrium, d[CO2]/dt = d[CO2]_l/dt + d[CO2]_o/dt = 0, where subscript l = land and o = ocean.

We also have d[CO2]_l /dt = 0 and d[CO2]_o/dt = 0.

Now we remove the equilibrium by adding the human perturbation:

d[CO2]/dt = d[CO2]_l/dt + d[CO2]_o/dt + d[CO2]_h/dt > 0, where subscript h = human.

It remains true that, initially, d[CO2]_l /dt= 0 and d[CO2]_o/dt = 0.

The new d[CO2]_h/dt > 0, is the only component making a positive contribution.

Ed: So far, so good. I note that you define a rate that adds to atmospheric CO2 as a positive rate.

The total of human emissions, whether it appears in the atmosphere or not, is (1.04)^y, where y is the number of years.

d[CO2]_h = d(1.04)^y = y*1.04.  This is the human contribution itself. It may, or may not, show up in the atmosphere.

The human-caused component of atmospheric CO2 may not increase with time, if and only if all the excess CO2 is permanently taken up by land and ocean each year.

Ed: The equation above is not a rate equation. It is a hypothetical accumulation equation that adds to the level of atmospheric CO2. Therefore, it is invalid in our model because we must use only rate equations and then calculate how these rate equations affect the level of atmospheric CO2. All your other equations are rate equations.  

Your diagrammatic model assumes the condition that, subsequent to the human perturbation, the equilibrium condition no longer applies to the land and ocean fluxes.

Ed: Once human emissions increase the level of atmospheric Co2 above zero, then atmospheric CO2 will immediately begin to flow to Land and Ocean. When the flow rate of CO2 out of the atmosphere equals the flow rate on human emissions into the atmosphere, our system will once again be at equilibrium.

That is, suddenly, the entry of human CO2 emissions causes d[CO2]_l /dt > 0 and d[CO2]_o/dt > 0. The positive fluxes are induced by the human emissions, but the magnitude of the positive changes are independent of human emissions.

Ed: Actually d[CO2]_l /dt and d[CO2]_o/dt will be negative rates rather than positive as shown above because the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause CO2 to flow out of the atmosphere in proportion to the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

That is, you have land and ocean each making a fractional contribution to the atmospheric CO2 increase, equal to their original fractional equilibrium flux.

Ed: Land and Ocean absorb atmospheric CO2 in this scenario.

That is, following the appearance of human emissions, now d[CO2]dt > 0,  because d[CO2]_l /dt > 0, d[CO2]_o/dt > 0, and d[CO2]_h > 0,

Ed: With human emissions as the only source that adds to atmospheric CO2, the sum of the rates for Land and Ocean will be negative and, at equilibrium, will equal human emissions.

and d[CO2]dt = d[CO2]_l /dt + d[CO2]_o/dt + d[CO2[_h/dt > 0,  where the positive fractional contributions are 0.56_l + 0.44_o + 0.04_h.

Ed: No. The equilibrium rates will be, for example, -0.02_l – 0.02_o + 0.04_h = 0

What reason is there to think that is true? That, why suddenly, are d[CO2]_l /dt > 0 and d[CO2]_o/dt > 0 and constant in fraction?

Ed: They are not greater than zero.

If the assumption of constant fractional contribution is somehow empirically demonstrated, then your model represents physical reality.

But to my knowledge it’s not been demonstrated. Your conclusion therefore seems instead to be a prediction from your hypothesis.

Ed: My conclusion is not a prediction from my hypothesis. So far, we have shown only that, at equilibrium, the rate of CO2 going into the atmosphere must equal the rate going out.

11 thoughts on “CO2 from Human Emissions”

  1. How much CO2 is emitted by humans is irrelevant unless one accounts for how CO2 removal changes as a result.

  2. Stephen Wells

    Dear Ed,

    The inflow/outflow physics seems straight forward enough. I don't personally see the mathematical proof to the hypothetical situation as an ultimate tool to stop the alarmism, though. Without definitive measurements of nature's inflows and outflows we can only ever have theoretical evidence for the proposition, not empirical confirmation of it through observation. Considering how dogmatic our opponents are, I see this simply as an extra tool in the arsenal.

    My original reason for following your work was, I believe, because you were skeptical of the radiative Greenhouse Effect itself. Here we do have empirical evidence from two centuries of thermodynamics, showing universally and conclusively that it is only possible to raise the temperature of something by either transfer of heat from something hotter, or by the application of work, neither of which the "greenhouse gasses" do in relation to the surface.

    Obviously, arguing such a position is even more unpopular with the majority of climate alarm skeptics as your CO2 rates appear to be. My experience over the last 4 years is that it is exponentially harder to change the view of a scientist with an erroneous belief, than it is to change the view of a layman. So if you're going to be vilified regardless, may as well go the whole hog!

    Stephen Wells

    ps My regards to Patrick Moore, if he's reading, we met after your talk in Perth Australia a few years ago, though you probably won't remember me.

  3. Richard S Courtney

    Ed:

    It seems that a reality check is now warranted so I write to provide it.

    Total emissions of CO2 from human activities is flat-lining but the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is continuing unabated. See
    https://www.iea.org/newsroom/news/2017/march/iea-

    and
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    That is not consistent with the notion of the CO2 emissions from human activities overloading the sinks to cause the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    It is consistent with your analysis which is being discussed and also with the analysis in one of our 2005 papers

    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, 'The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle' E&E v16no2 (2005) )

    Our analyses show the atmospheric CO2 concentration would probably be the same if the CO2 emission from human emissions were absent; n.b. it would probably be the same.

    Those analyses show the short term sequestration processes can easily adapt to sequester the COA emission from human activities (i.e. the anthropogenic emission) in each year. But, according to each of our six different models, the total emission of a year affects the equilibrium state of the entire carbon cycle system. Some processes of the system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades. Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to a new equilibrium. So, the atmospheric CO2 concentration slowly changes in response to any change in the equilibrium condition.

    Importantly, each of our models demonstrates that the observed recent rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration may be solely a consequence of altered equilibrium of the carbon cycle system caused by, for example, the anthropogenic emission or may be solely a result of desorption from the oceans induced by the temperature rise that preceded it.

    The most likely explanation for the continuing rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is adjustment towards the altered equilibrium of the carbon cycle system provided by the temperature rise in previous decades during the centuries of recovery from the Little Ice Age.

    This slow rise in response to the changing equilibrium condition also provides an explanation of why the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere continued when in two subsequent years the flux into the atmosphere decreased (the years 1973-1974, 1987-1988, and 1998-1999).

    And it explains why the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is continuing unabated while total emissions of CO2 from human activities is flat-lining.

    Richard

  4. Ed, true, (1.04)^y is an emission equation, not an accumulation equation. It is derived from a rate equation and is an exponential in time.

    Note that I pointed out that the emitted CO2 “may not show up in the atmosphere.” That is, the CO2 need not accumulate. It’s not an accumulation equation, and is not invalid.

    You wrote, “With human emissions as the only source that adds to atmospheric CO2, the sum of the rates for Land and Ocean will be negative…

    So your model assumes exact land+ocean compensation of human emissions. What reason is there to think that’s true?

    Sorry to back off, but I’m presently working on manuscript reviews and won’t have time to debate your model.

    Best wishes to you, Ed.

    Pat

      1. "When I attended the Kyoto climate meeting in Montreal last December, I spoke to a packed house on the question of a sustainable energy future. I argued that the only way to reduce fossil fuel emissions from electrical production is through an aggressive program of renewable energy sources (hydroelectric, geothermal heat pumps, wind, etc.) plus nuclear."

        – Patrick Moore, Washington Post, 2006

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

        via http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2014/09/when-patr

    1. Pat

      The assumption that all of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is anthropogenic seems to be central to the IPCC thinking. With that assumption we are about 40% anthropogenic CO2 now. That some how also assumes that the natural CO2 was a fixed quantity with no reference to the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere which is widely regarded as about 5 years with multiple methods of determination getting results from 2 to 12 years (see Segalstad adn Jaworowski). The IPCC has needed to introduce something they call an evasion buffer to make the math come out and keep all the anthro. CO2 in the atmosphere. A quick review of the bomb test ban findings shows a radioactively identifiable pulse of CO2 disappears in less than 20 years not the 200 plus the IPCC shows.

    1. "had a different payee"

      You hit the problem with AGW accidentally on the head. Who is paying whom to spread the tripe known as AGW. Who pays YOU? I would assume it is the ultra liberal Montana State University. I wonder what they would do if you espoused the other side of the debate? How keen would they be to fund you? You may be a Professor of Chemistry at MSU but your ability to debate Dr. Berry in HIS area of expertise (atmospheric physics) is sorely lacking. Stick to what you know Dr. Appell, atmospheric physics isn't one of those things.

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