David Appell, PhD, punches Tar Baby

by Ed Berry, PhD, Atmospheric Physics

Do remember the story, in Song of the South, about Br’er Rabbit and Tar Baby?

Br’er Fox sets Tar Baby by the road. Along comes Br’er Rabbit who picks a fight with Tar Baby. Every time Br’er Rabbit punches Tar Baby, he becomes more entangled in Tar Baby.

Let’s go to a modern-day example of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby.

I wrote a scientific paper (Berry, 2017) “Why human CO2 does not change climate.” I submitted it to a scientific journal and posted it as a preprint on edberry.com on October 2, 2017. I posted it so good scientists can read it and critique it, and maybe show that I am wrong.

My preprint overturns the climate change hypothesis promoted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Al Gore, President Obama, the Paris Treaty, many university professors, and climate alarmists everywhere.

Further, a good high-school physics student can read and understand my preprint. It is not difficult physics or math.

Many good scientists have read my preprint and they concur that my preprint is correct. No one, to this date, has found any scientific error in my preprint.

Enter David Appell, PhD.

Along comes David Appell, an Internet troll, self-described freelance science writer, and poster boy for true believers in the alarmist climate change religion. Appell’s climate belief is a religion because it is not supported by science and the scientific method. Appell replaces the scientific method with dogma.

David Appell has a PhD in nuclear physics. He has never written a scientific article related to climate physics, meteorology, systems analysis, numerical modelling, the philosophy of science, or the scientific method, and he has no education or experience in these subjects.

In his desperate attempts to prove my preprint is wrong, Appell has made 86 comments, according to my WordPress count. He has failed in all his tries. He has not even gotten close because he understands neither the physics in my preprint nor the scientific method.

Now, in his futile attempt to defend his false climate religion, Appell has betrayed professional scientific ethics. Rather than keeping his comments about my preprint on my website, Appell has attacked my preprint on his own website.

Appell’s post on February 27, 2018, is entitled, “Idiocy from Ed Berry, PhD.” Then Appell notified his Twitter followers of his post so he could get some support for his attack on me. He got all of one comment that supports his view.

Here is a clip of the beginning of Appell’s post:

Image from Appell’s post that ridicules Berry.

After the above introduction, Appell quotes the first two paragraphs of my preprint’s Abstract:

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims human emissions raised the carbon dioxide level from 280 ppm to 410 ppm, or 130 ppm. Physics proves this claim is impossible.

The IPCC agrees today’s annual human carbon dioxide emissions are 4.5 ppm per year and nature’s carbon dioxide emissions are 98 ppm per year. Yet, the IPCC claims human emissions have caused all the increase in carbon dioxide since 1750, which is 30 percent of today’s total.

According to one of Appell’s comments, he did not read my preprint beyond these first two paragraphs, although he made 86 comments about it.

The rest of Appell’s post shows he is not able to compute that the 130 ppm, in my Abstract’s first paragraph, which the IPCC claims was caused by human emissions, is 30 percent of the present 410 ppm.

Appell claims 130 ppm is 46 percent, rather than 30 percent, because he wants to divide by 280 ppm rather than by 410 ppm. Appell does not know how to define the proper base of percentages to do work in science.

What is Appell’s problem?

Appell’s problem is my preprint threatens his climate religion, and he cannot find any error in my preprint.

Therefore, rather than admit his climate religion is wrong, as all good scientists would do, Appell attacks me personally on his own website and resorts to simple arithmetic that has nothing to do with the validity of my preprint.

Appell has punched Tar Baby.

Here is the scientific issue behind Appell’s attack so you can understand it.

Appell and his IPCC climate religion claim human emissions have caused all the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1750. That is their fundamental hypothesis and the basis of all claims that human emissions cause climate change.

My preprint proves nature, not human emissions, have caused most of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1750.

In accordance with the scientific method, my preprint proves the IPCC hypothesis is wrong.  And since nature, not human emissions, has caused most of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, there is no scientific basis to claim human emissions cause climate change.

Therefore, there is no scientific basis for the Paris Climate Treaty, for carbon dioxide emissions control, for carbon taxes, for tax credits to promote green energy, for all the California laws that claim human emissions cause climate change, etc.

The basic purpose of science is to prove hypotheses wrong. That is how we make progress in our knowledge. That is what my preprint does. Good scientists always reject theories that are proven wrong.

Fig. 1 shows three columns that represent the percentages of human and natural carbon dioxide in three key steps. Each column adds up to 100 percent. The orange colors represent human-produced carbon dioxide and the blue colors represent nature-produced carbon dioxide.

Fig. 1. Inflow into Atmosphere is 5 percent human and 95 percent natural. Berry (2017) shows Atmosphere will be a fingerprint of Inflow. IPCC hypothesis conflicts with Atmosphere. Therefore, IPCC is wrong.

Column Inflow: Shows the percentages of human and natural carbon dioxide that flow into the Atmosphere. All parties agree Inflow is 5 percent human and 95 percent natural.

Column Atmosphere: Berry (2017) shows the percentages of human and natural carbon dioxide in the Atmosphere will be a fingerprint of the Inflow. Atmosphere percentages will remain constant so long as human and natural emissions remain constant.

Column IPCC: The IPCC claims present carbon dioxide percentages in the Atmosphere are 30 percent human and 70 percent natural. The IPCC claim conflicts with Atmosphere. Therefore, the IPCC claim is wrong.

The IPCC claims human emissions have caused all the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1750. The IPCC further claims the natural concentration in 1750 was 280 ppm.

Therefore, the IPCC claims today’s atmospheric carbon dioxide is 130 ppm human and 280 ppm natural, for a total of 410 ppm.

These IPCC numbers, translated into percentages of the total, equate to 30 percent human and 70 percent natural, as shown in Column IPCC.

Why the IPCC is wrong

Berry (2017) proves Column Atmosphere is correct. Therefore, the IPCC claim shown in Column IPCC is wrong. This proves the fundamental IPCC climate claim is wrong.

Appell does not claim any of my numbers are wrong. He does not show that my Column Atmosphere is incorrect. Appell’s rant is only about Column IPCC, which is IPCC data, not my data.

Appell’s beef is with the IPCC, not with me. I use IPCC data properly as IPCC uses data.

Appell does not like my use of “30 percent” to represent IPCC’s claim that the human contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide is 30 percent.

Appell claims I should have used the ratio of human to natural parts in Column IPCC, rather than the percentages of the whole. The ratio of human to natural contributions in Column IPCC is 130 divided by 280, which is 46 percent. But that has nothing to do with the comparison to Columns Inflow and Atmosphere.

Appell claims because I did not use 46 percent to represent the IPCC claim in Column IPCC, my whole preprint is wrong, and therefore his climate religion is correct.

This should be in a movie scene by Abbot and Costello.

Appell does not know when to use percentages of a whole versus ratios of its parts.

Appell does not understand that his claim of 46 percent does not help his case or the IPCC case.

Why I use the percentage of the whole rather than ratios.

  1. Percentage of the whole is the best way to compare Inflow and Atmosphere proportions with IPCC claims.
  2. Human and natural emissions behave independently of each other, and not as ratios.

Here are two examples that show Appell’s method adds nothing to the discussion.

Example 1.

Suppose Column 3 in Fig. 1 represents data that 30 percent of humans who get a certain disease die, and 70 percent live. Everyone can understand that the disease will result in 30 percent risk of dying.

Appell, however, would claim the risk of dying is not 30 percent, but the ratio of 30 divided by 70, or 46 percent.

Example 2.

Suppose Column 3 in Fig. 1 represents the results of an election where the winning candidate received 70 percent of the vote and the losing candidate received 30 percent. Everyone can understand the percent of votes received by each candidate.

Appell, however, would claim the loser did not get 30 percent of the vote but got the ratio of 30 percent divided by 70 percent, or 46 percent of the vote.

Using Appell’s method, if the loser got only 40 percent of the votes then his real loss is 40 divided by 60, or 67 percent, which means the loser won.


My preprint (Berry, 2017) proves IPCC’s fundamental hypothesis that claims humans cause climate change is wrong.

The issue of this discussion is whether my preprint is right or wrong. So far, no one has shown my preprint is wrong.


Appell, D., 2018: Idiocy from Ed Berry, PhD. http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2018/02/idiocy-from-ed-berry-phd.html

Berry, E X, 2017: Why human CO2 does not change climate. http://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/human-co2-not-change-climate/

36 thoughts on “David Appell, PhD, punches Tar Baby”

  1. Appell is correct. You clearly state that the "increase in CO2 since 1750….is 30%" It is not. 130ppm is a 30% increase from the initial 280. Instead of admitting your *very* simple mistake, you dig in your heels and continue to insist that 2+2=5. No one takes it seriously.

    1. Dear Stan, I have now added three words to my sentence as follows:

      "Yet, the IPCC claims human emissions have caused all the increase in carbon dioxide since 1750, which is 30 percent of today's total."

      Although many people have read my Abstract, Appell is the first person (and you are the second) who objected to my above sentence in its original form. Everyone else understood it to mean "of today's total." Indeed, the number "130" applies only to "today's total."

      So, if Appell were a competent scientific reviewer, he would have merely suggested I add "of today's total" to the end of my sentence to make my meaning more clear.

      But Appell is not a competent reviewer. He is a strongly biased climate alarmist. So, he claimed my sentence indicated a major mathematical error in my paper. That claim is beyond ridiculous.

      He owes me an apology for his irrational tantrum and for suggesting I am an "idiot" because he chose to misinterpret my sentence to fit his bias rather than truth.

      1. Dear Dr Ed,
        I only have an AA degree, but i understand your math. It is not rocket science. People like Apple that worship at the alter of “Mother Earth” will not acknowledge anything that doesn’t agree with their dogma. In one of his replies, he asked where all the copious carbon we had been producing since 1750 went “the bottom of the sea?” Wade around in any bay (at least warm water ones) and the muck on the bottom is made up of the carbon left over from the algae that has died and sunk to the bottom, to put it simply.

    2. No. Appell is not correct. But it is not surprising if you follow his idiocy and believe in it that you would think he is.

      To keep the arithmetic simple so that you and Appell might understand it, suppose atmospheric CO2 doubled from the agreed to pre-industrial 280 ppmv to 560 ppmv. It would be correct to state from this that if the increase from pre-industrial was entirely due to human emissions, that the ratio of natural to the atmospheric total is 280/560 x100 = 50%. That is to say, the correct proportion of natural vs. anthropogenic is half natural, half anthropogenic.

      In Appell's stupid and incorrect example, he would say human emissions are 100% of the total since he would have taken 280/280 =1 x100 = 100%. So while this would mean that atmospheric CO2 increased 100% from pre-industrial, it is a physically meaningless number in terms of assigning the correct proportion of each as a percentage of the total in the atmosphere, which as Dr. Berry states, is necessary when comparing to a claim by the IPCC that all emissions since pre-industrial were anthropogenic.

      Did Appell or you ever work with partial pressures of atmospheric gases? If Appell has a PhD in physics, he should easily understand from this that in calculating proportionalities, the denominator is ALWAYS the molar sum of every component done in the calculation to give the proper mole fraction or partial pressure.

      Things like this convince me that for all of the name calling and rancor directed at Berry from David Appell, that the real idiot on display from this and many other examples is David Appell.

      There is just no excuse for someone with an advanced degree like Appell has to make such a fundamental mistake. He is either incompetent as a scientist, or very disingenuous, misleading his readers and the public. But it has also been my experience in dealing with those that spread climate hysteria like Appell does are not interested in facts or the accuracy about anything they claim. Selling climate hysteria in any manner possible is all that matters, making "climate science" nothing more than a disgusting and filthy political racket.

      Chuck Wiese


      1. Richard S Courtney


        I write to add to your excellent comment.

        Appell is attempting to deflect attention from his inability to fault Berry's argument. His attempt consists of a false semantic argument in the guise of an untrue claim that Berry has made a mistake in simple arithmetic.

        Berry determined a rise in atmospheric CO2 as a percentage of the total atmospheric CO2.

        Appell says Berry should have determined a rise in atmospheric CO2 as a percentage of the atmospheric CO2 which existed prior to the rise.

        The two methods give different numbers, but Appell is deluded if he thinks the number derived by Berry is wrong.

        And there is valid reason to only use the method adopted by Berry: as you point out,

        "In Appell’s stupid and incorrect example, he would say human emissions are 100% of the total since he would have taken 280/280 =1 x100 = 100%. So while this would mean that atmospheric CO2 increased 100% from pre-industrial, it is a physically meaningless number in terms of assigning the correct proportion of each as a percentage of the total in the atmosphere, which as Dr. Berry states, is necessary when comparing to a claim by the IPCC that all emissions since pre-industrial were anthropogenic."

        All misuses of semantics are "stupid and incorrect".


  2. I am sitting here at my desk smoking a cigar, witch I lit with a gas lighter, emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.

    What will happen to the CO2 from my cigar? Well not to worry, there is a nice cosy warm place reserved for it in Gaia's own carbon cycle.

    The CO2 from the lighter however is destined to linger on in the atmosphere forever.

    In a desperate effort to save her life, mother Gaia just manages to stow away about half of it in her carbon cycle, but very soon she will be to exhausted to carry on.

    There's a 97% (96.9%) scientific consensus about this.

    I mean really, Ed, what got in to you?

    1. Dear Jan, Obviously, you did not read my preprint or you do not understand it. You simply follow your unscientific dogma based on your feelings.

      I can't argue with dogma with people who will believe whatever they wish to believe.

      You have not figured out that the so-called 97% claim is bogus. You do not understand that voting is irrelevant to science. You are like a kid in a kindergarten class that decided the best way to determine the sex of a puppy is to vote on it.

  3. At one time before 1970, the U.S. was the greatest industrial nation on the face of the earth. Every city had lots of factories, A lot of these factories produce pollution and co2. Most of the homes either burned coal or wood for heating their homes. At that time there were 52 million vehicles, not including trucks. Question; Where did all that pollution go. During the 2nd World war, 1000's of ships were sunk, these ships burned bunker oil, in order to burn that oil, it had to be heated to 135 degrees, where is all that pollution and co2. Todays this country has very little smoke producing facories.. One thing we do have is over 200 million vehicles.

    1. Dear Fred, You are on the right track with your question.

      The answer is CO2 or smoke in the atmosphere always is absorbed by land or oceans. The higher the concentration, the faster the absorption.

      The CO2 level in the atmosphere is like the level of a lake. The level rises when the inflow is large, and the level falls when the inflow decreases.

  4. To paraphrase what Abe Lincoln said: Once an honest person who is mistaken hears the truth about something, they will no longer be mistaken or no longer be honest.

    This that Abraham Lincoln said applies to Dave Appell: “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

  5. It is my opinion that how much of the trace gas, carbon dioxide, that is only 04% of the total atmosphere, is only of importance to plants, who must have it for photosynthesis to occur. Carbon dioxide, being 1 & 1/2 times heavier than the majority of the other gas in the atmosphere, makes me believe that there is intelligent design after all. It is beyond belief that there are people who claim to be “educated”, such as Dave Appell and Eric Grimsrud, can actually believe that this essential for all life on earth trace gas, carbon dioxide, can be a pollutant when with every breath that they waste they are exhaling it. Ed is correct to call those who are “alarmist” members of a religion that relies on blind faith because there is no experiment that demonstrates that carbon dioxide has any affect on what the earth’s climate is. How stupid could one be to actually believe that this trace gas controls the climate while not seeming to see that bright orb in the sky that on a hot day even a chicken seeks shade to escape the hot rays of the SUN.

    That brings me to the main part of my logical appraisal of CO2 and that is what difference does it make where it came from if it is of importance only to plants? This whole debate about CO2 is that it is seen as an avenue for governments to exert more control over the world’s citizens and that means that the only ones who are benefiting are charlatans like Al Gore, whose net wealth increased greatly when he got on the anthropogenic global warming band wagon. No wonder these charlatans are desperate to institute a tax on carbon, whatever that means, while not explaining how the revenues from such a tax would be squandered by people stupid enough to think that they can control something as complex as the earth’s climate. As idiotic as these people are, humanity is very fortunate that these anthropogenic global warming fools can not control the climate.

  6. I’m the one reporting in from Chennai, India where they are building many new coal fired power plants to try to get electricity to the millions who do not now have what idiots such as David Appell & Eric Grimsrud take for granted but want to with hold from the billions of people who are not as fortunate as they are. These “alarmist” are basically a heartless bunch of elitist fools who need to be prevented from having any control over anything or, most importantly, anyone.

  7. Richard S Courtney


    I was going to post a reply on Appell's web site until I discovered that would require me to subscribe to that web site. So, I added my post to your 'preprint' page and I am copying it to here.



    Appell's attack on your arithmetic is a 'red herring' that attempts to deflect attention from his inability to find fault in your argument.

    The important points are that

    (a) Appell wants to refute your argument


    (b) your argument is heretical to his belief


    (c) he cannot fault your argument


    (d) he is attempting to ridicule your argument


    (e) pretending you have made an error of simple arithmetic


    (f) he hopes will start an argument about that (instead of your argument)


    (g) he must know your arithmetic is correct (unless he is even more stupid than I think he is).


  8. Has nobody out there read Prof Fritz Vahrenholt's book "The Neglected Sun" or the

    IPA's book "Climate Change = the facts 2017"

    Lots of people who don't know how to read I guess.

  9. Your paper is excellent and follows logical rational lines. You've fingered the very nub of the problem with the UN-IPCC's approach. Appel's response was up to his usual low standard.

    On the AGW subject here's my 2c worth…

    IPCC estimates that about 15–40% of the additional emissions cannot further be absorbed by the natural sinks and are accumulating in the atmosphere. They consider that is will heat the world, maybe to 'dangerous' levels.

    This has inbuilt presumptions by the UN-IPCC.

    1. That they know and fully understand the requirements of nature.

    They don't. Nature's CO2 sinks and sources vary enormously on a number of scales, and over many time periods. The ice-core data shows us fairly well the long term variations but all the reasons for the variations are not well known, and certainly small variations over short periods (say 30-50 years) are mostly a mystery.

    2. That nature's CO2 requirements are static.

    They are not. They vary greatly over the long term, mostly due to climate variations. And in the short and medium term mostly due to transitory environmental changes (volcanoes, seismic activity, oceanic cycling, natural and manmade land use changes, etc.) Add to this the many natural feedback systems variations that rumble on well after the initial stimulus has died away.

    3. That higher atmospheric CO2 levels (and a slight warmer world) are not wanted, and is often termed 'dangerous climate change'.

    A warm, wet, and high atmospheric CO2 level would have all nature flourishing, and establishing a new temporary 'balance', a new equilibrium point.

    If this is type of change is so dangerous then why is it that all the animals and plants species known today must have survived the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods.

    Well that's my take on it Ed.

    Keep up the good work, although I feel sparring with Appel is usually an empty kind of entertainment. TM.

    1. Tom

      I fully agree with your points.

      In addition to the IPCC making your presumption no. 1 they have to discount or ignore the evidence that counters it. Stomata and chemical analysis both disagree with the ice cores representation of low and slowly changing CO2 content

  10. Here's a thought experiment for you to consider. Imagine we have a reservoir with some amount of some element in it (let's imagine it's CO2). Consider a case where it starts with a non-zero amount in the reservoir and in which it has a flux out of the reservoir (into its surroundings) and a flux into the reservoir (from its surrounding).

    What happens if the two fluxes are identical. Well, the amount of this element in the reservoir will not change (amount in = amount out). However, the residence time of an individual molecule will be finite and will depend on the flux. If the flux is high, it will take a short amount of time before a molecule leaves the reservoir and is replaced by a molecule from the surroundings. If the flux is low, it will take a long time. The amount in the reservoir is, however, unchanged.

    Now, consider a scenario in which the flux into the reservoir exceeds the flux out of the reservoir. What happens? If the flux out remains unchanged, then the amount in the reservoir will increase indefintely. If the flux out rises with increasing amount in the reservoir, it might eventually settle at a higher level.

    Now imagine the latter case. We increase the flux into the reservoir and allow it to settle to a higher level where the fluxes again balance. What then happens if we reduce the flux in back to what it was initially? Well, the flux out will be higher than the flux in and the amount in the reservoir will drop. However, the timescale over which this will happen will depend on the difference between the two fluxes. This will not be the same as the residence time for an individual molecule, which depends only on the flux out of the reservoir.

    Therefore, even though the residence time of an individual CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is quite short (years) the adjustment time for an enhancement in atmospheric CO2 is long (centuries). You could also read our recent paper that explains this is more detail.

    1. "Therefore, even though the residence time of an individual CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is quite short (years) the adjustment time for an enhancement in atmospheric CO2 is long (centuries)"

      This doesn't seem like physical reality to me. If the flux out is proportional to the flux in it is because of some physical relation of the mechanisms determining the flux rates. The flux out will not instantly diminish back to that rate for the initial equilibrium. There will be a process similar to the increased rate but negative so the flux rate out is only minimally effected by anything going on outside the reservoir and can be reasonably calculated from the dynamics of the the system as defined. In the case at hand I cannot see why the carbon cycle calculations have any meaningful effect on the flux of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  11. Thank you for your comment. I have read your paper.

    Harde (2017) is correct, as is my post here. The definition of a system composed of the level of CO2 in the atmosphere and the inflow and outflow of CO2, is a valid system and sufficient to solve this problem.

    You may add another level to the model if you wish, but it is not necessary to solve this problem. All we need to know about the world external to the atmosphere is how it affects the inflow and outflow. Given agreement on inflow and outflow, your additional level cannot change the physics inside the atmosphere system. If it did, then you have defined your system incorrectly.

    As my post shows, CO2 inflow sets an equilibrium level of CO2 in the atmosphere. The actual level will rise or fall until the outflow equals the inflow. Then the level will equal the equilibrium level.

    We don't measure residence time by the inflow, which you use to count molecules. We measure residence time by the rate at which level approaches its equilibrium level. Molecules are irrelevant.

    1. We measure residence time by the rate at which level approaches its equilibrium level. Molecules are irrelevant.

      No, the residence time is the typical time a single molecule will remain in the atmosphere and depends on the flux out of the atmosphere. The adjustment time is the timescale over which a perturbation will relax back to equilibrium. This depends on the net flux. In the case of the atmosphere, the residence time is years, and the adjustment time is centuries.

      1. " In the case of the atmosphere, the residence time is years, and the adjustment time is centuries."

        Doesn't this concept of adjustment time assume that there is some "fixed" level of CO2 with matched annual sinks and sources? I believe that the point of Dr. Ed's work as well as Salby's and Harde's is that the atmospheric content, no matter the source, is controlled be conditions of the system, mainly temperature. I don't see that the system has any mechanism that necessarily pushes the perturbed system back toward its original state. The sinks just expand to a new equilibrium level if the sources increase and contract if the sources slow down. If the rate of growth of fossil fuel emissions is incoherent with the rate of growth of atmospheric CO2 those emissions are not controlling atmospheric content. Something else is and the emissions must be just part of the total source.

        1. I don’t see that the system has any mechanism that necessarily pushes the perturbed system back toward its original state.

          Actually, what sets the long-term atmospheric concentration is (as I understand it) volcanic activity, which releases about 0.1 GtC per year. At an atmospheric concentration of about 280 ppm, the rate at which CO2 is taken up into the lithosphere by weathering is also about 0.1 GtC. If we push atmospheric CO2 above this (as we are doing) it will eventually return to around 280ppm (once we eventually stop emitting CO2 into the atmosphere) because the uptake by the slow carbon sinks will be greater than the rate at which it is released by volcanic activity. The timescale for this, though, is probably around 100000 years.

        2. CO2 molecules in the atmosphere do not contain a history of where they came from. Nature treats all CO2 molecules the same. Therefore, there is no "long-term" vs short-term concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

          There is only one residence time. The 14C data prove this and simple physics proves this.

          There are only 2 parameters that control the level of atmospheric CO2: the Inflow of CO2 into the atmosphere and the 1/e residence time.

          When you make things more complicated than they really are, you are avoiding science.

      2. Well, I guess you can invent your own definitions if you wish, so long as we can keep track of what we are talking about.

        What you call adjustment time, I call 1/e residence time. We seem to agree this is the time for a level to move 1/e toward its equilibrium level. But then you claim this time for 12C CO2 is in centuries. I ask what are you smoking?

        The 14C data clearly show your adjustment time is 14.4 years and 12C CO2 is faster than 14C. In fact, even the IPCC agrees the 12C CO2 1/e residence time is 4 to 5 years.

        So, the burden of proof is on you to offer some evidence to support your claim that your adjustment time is in centuries. After you state your argument, we can attempt to discuss the physics.

        1. As far as I'm aware, I'm using the standard definitions. Residence time is the typical time that a molecule will reside in the atmosphere (years) while the adjustment time is the time it would take a perturbation in atmospheric concentration to decay (decades/centuries). There is a paper by Gavin Cawley that estimates the latter. It requires considering both the fluxes into, and out of, the atmosphere. A more detailed analysis is presented in this paper.

        2. The papers by Gavin and Archer, that you link to, are simply wrong. They make claims but they their claims contradict data and physics. These papers merely demonstrate how far from science the promoters of human-caused climate change have strayed.

          I think we agree the only way CO2 can affect climate is via the level of CO2 in the the atmosphere. How long an average molecule stays in the atmosphere has no bearing on heat transfer or climate change. So, the molecule subject is a diversion from a focus on reality.

          We can measure the level of CO2 in the atmosphere directly. So, let's use that data.

          You have not responded to my example of the 14C data that sets the limit on 1/e residence time of 12C CO2. The 14C data prove your claims, as well as Gavin's and Archer's are wrong.

          If you want to make your case by ignoring data, then you are not doing physics.

          So, what is your case?

        3. You have not responded to my example of the 14C data that sets the limit on 1/e residence time of 12C CO2.

          No, it doesn't. When a 14C molecule is removed from the atmospher by being taken up by one of the natural sinks, it is not necessarily replaced by another 14C molecule. Therefore the decay of 14C in the atmosphere is more indicative of the residence time of a molecule, not the adjustment time of a perturbation. The latter requires (as Gavin's paper has done) taking into account both the flux into, and out of, the atmosphere.

        4. Are you trying to rewrite the textbooks of physics? You need to study Harde's paper and my paper because we use proper physics.

          It is this simple: The equilibrium level of 14C CO2 is 100% (by definition). When bomb tests increased 14C to 180 percent, and then stopped, it left the natural 14C inflow that supports the 100% equilibrium level. Then, 14C fell exponentially toward 100% with a measured 1/e residence time of 14.4 years.

          12C CO2 behaves the same way as 14C CO2 but has a different 1/e residence time and different inflows that set its equilibrium level.

          Forget about whether a molecule is "replaced." That is irrelevant. There is inflow and there is outflow. The difference changes the level. This applies to both 14C CO2 and to 12C CO2.

          Forget Gavin. His physics is incorrect. If you understand physics, you will understand the 14C data tell us how 12C CO2 also changes but with different 1/e residence times because of their difference in molecular weights.

          Your complication of the relevant physics is making Occam seasick.

        5. Forget about whether a molecule is “replaced.” That is irrelevant.

          No, it's not irrelevant. This is the difference between the residence timescale for a molecule, and the adjustment timescale for an enhancement in concentration.

        6. The difference you refer to is also irrelevant. I am giving you the opportunity to make your case, but you are not doing it.

          You have not shown why molecules matter when only level relates to climate.

          You have also not proved that residence time for molecules is different from the residence time for the level.

  12. … and Then There's Physics

    Your thought experiment can easily by realized by a simple school experiment. Take a balloon or a tyre with a valve and a leakage, or better with two valves which can be controlled in their fluxes. Connect the balloon to a compressor and wait till a constant pressure has adjusted in the balloon, dependent on the adjustment of the exit valve (or the leakage).

    Slightly increase the compressor pressure or the entrance valve (cross section) and plot the pressure in the balloon. Determine the time constant for this equilibration process.

    Now, go back to the previous conditions, plot again the pressure in the balloon and determine the time constant for equilibration.

    If it's too boring to do such experiment, although everyone has already had some experience with leaking tyres, solve this problem theoretically. You have to use not more than the balance equation for mass conservation and an outflux which scales with the pressure in the balloon (first order process).

    Solutions of this problem can be found under: http://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypot… eq. (7), or http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.02.009… eq . (11) or integrated eq. (14). You will be surprised, both experiments depend on the difference of the influx to the outflux and are characterized by the same time constant, the average residence time of air molecules in the balloon (air mass in the balloon divided by influx rate).

    Nowhere appears an adjustment time. Such quantity is only needed in climate science, when carbon cycle models incorrectly restrict these fluxes exclusively on anthropogenic emission-absorption cycles, whereas natural emissions and their uptake are supposed to be the same since 270 years, and thus, any changes in these fluxes are simply disregarded in the total balance.

    Sole consideration of anthropogenic fluxes is identical with the introduction of a new time scale for the uptake of man-made emissions. As these emissions and also their changes are almost two orders of magnitude too small to explain directly the observed concentration changes over recent years, carbon-cycle models just introduce an additional buffer factor, the 'adjustment' time. Such new time scale

    ensures a sufficiently long cumulation time of the molecules in the atmosphere to attain a concentration level, which is in agreement with the observations.

    But it looks quite dubious that almost 100 ppm/yr of natural emissions are exchanged with extraneous reservoirs within 3-4 yr, and for about 2% of additional human emissions an accumulation over thousands of years in the atmosphere is assumed. Effectively is the 'adjustment' time nothing more than an amplification factor for the anthropogenic emission rate to fit with observations.

    Note, a separate treatment of the native and human cycle with their respective concentrations is possible if and only if no contributions are missing and the two balances are linked together in one rate equation with only one unitary residence time. All other approaches differentiating between different absorption times of native or anthropogenic emissions violate the equivalence principle.

    1. But it looks quite dubious that almost 100 ppm/yr of natural emissions are exchanged with extraneous reservoirs within 3-4 yr, and for about 2% of additional human emissions an accumulation over thousands of years in the atmosphere is assumed.

      This isn't assumed. There are two main reasons for this. One is the Revelle factor, which comes out of carbonate chemistry. The Revelle factor is the ratio of the relatve change in atmospheric CO2 to the relative change in Dissolved inorganic carbon in the oceans (R = (Delta CO2/CO2)/(Delta DIC/DIC)). Given the equilibrium reactions associated with carbonate chemistry in seawater, it turns out that the Revelle factor is about 10. This means that, for example, a 1% change in DIC will results in a 10% change in atmospheric CO2. Given how much CO2 we can add to the system through our emissions, about 20-30% of what we've emitted will remain in the atmosphere once the atmosphere is in equilibrium with the ocean. This will take ~hundreds of years.

      Over much longer timescales, atmospheric CO2 is drawn down by weathering until the rate at which it is taken up by the slow carbon sinks matches the rate at which it is being emitted by volcanoes. This will take about 100 kyr.

      1. First, the Revelle factor applies to natural as well as to human CO2. Natural CO2 has not caused 20-30% of its emissions to stay in the atmosphere hundreds of years. Therefore, the much smaller fraction of human CO2 emissions cannot cause 20-30% of natural plus human emissions to stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.

        Second, to the extent the Revelle factor has changed the flow of CO2 from atmosphere to oceans, it will affect the 1/e residence time. Therefore, you must prove the 1/e residence time has changed as a result of the Revelle factor before your comment has any meaning.

        Third, your statement, "Given how much CO2 we can add to the system through our emissions," omits that nature adds over 20 times as much CO2 as human emissions. You cannot assign blame for the rise in atmospheric CO2 on the human 5% when you ignore that nature adds more than 95% of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

        Fourth, physics shows that the fraction of human CO2 in the atmosphere equals its fraction in total emissions. This is about 4.5% according to IPCC data. See Harde (2017) and Berry. So your blame of all the rise from 280 ppm to 410 ppm on human emission contradicts physics.

        Fifth, your comment about the slow weathering rate is irrelevant. The presence of slow absorption rates does not stop the faster absorption rates. The faster absorption rates dominate and control the 1/e residence time for all CO2.

        This is like having a big hole and a little hole in the bottom of a bucket of water, and claiming the little hole stops the water from going out of the big hole. In electrical circuit terminology, the holes are in parallel, not in series.

  13. Hi Dr Ed.

    If you look at the AR4 graph showing how much CO2 is put into the atmosphere

    (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-2-3.html) by humans it looks like

    in 1992 ( the year after the pinatubo eruption) we were putting in about 6 Gt per annum.

    If you look at the Mouna Loa data from NOAA

    (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html) it
    looks like the atmospheric CO2 is rising at that time by a little bit less than 2 ppm per


    If you look at AR5 it gets a bit confusing. I had thought that anthropogenic CO2 emissions had risen to a bit over 9 Gt/annum, but

    page 45)

    the report has CO2 emissions at a bit over 35 Gt/annum and CO2 equilavents at 49 Gt/annum.

    Perhaps I am reading it wrong but that is quite an increase.

    The interesting thing is that the Mouna Loa graph doesn’t seemed to have changed its slope


    So what?

    Well if emissions have gone up to 9 Gt/annum, that’s a 50 % increase on the 1992 value.

    If it is 35 GT/annum then that is an almost 600% increase.

    So for me the question is, Why hasn’t the Mouna Loa graph got steeper?

    To put it another way, if a 50% increase in anthropogenic emissions has no influence on the change in atmospheric CO2 levels, why should we believe that decreasing emissions should have any effect?

    If the global warming hypothesis is correct and we increase emissions by between 50% or perhaps

    600%, why does it look like the atmospheric CO2 continues to increase by only almost 2ppm per annum?

    The only explanation I can come up with for the steady rise in the Mouna Loa CO2 numbers is

    that you are right and the CO2 residence time is very low.

    If the residence time was high, would we not expect the atmospheric CO2 to increase rapidly

    when the anthropogenic emissions increase?

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