1. Ed,
    Rather than clarify C14 analyses you confuse it by thinking of “pMC” and “D14C” as simply proportional to the C14 concentration, without reference to the rest of the carbon in a sample. See my comments elsewhere. If I were you I would take this post down now before others see it.

  2. Ed,

    I’m confused about residence time of human CO2 in the atmosphere. This article says that it is 16.5 years. (https://edberry.com/blog/climate/climate-physics/carbon-14-data-for-climate-research/). I understand your physics analysis to arrive at 16.5 years. What I don’t understand is that if the oceans are off-gassing, how can they be absorbing the human CO2?

    We agree that human CO2 behaves the same as natural CO2.

    We agree that for more than 200 years the oceans have in general been releasing CO2 because of natural global warming after the Little Ice Age.

    We agree that the shallow and deep oceans are the major reservoir of CO2.

    If the oceans are releasing CO2 due to natural global warming over a period of several hundred years, how can they be absorbing human CO2 as suggested in this article? Fluids flow only one way at a time.

    Thanks for helping us understand the carbon dioxide cycle so we don’t let anti-fossil fuel alarmists wrongfully take away our fossil fuels.

    1. Dear John,

      The easiest way to understand how the oceans can do two things at once is to realize we can separate the flow of human CO2 from the flow of natural CO2 in our analysis.
      So, since human CO2 enters the atmosphere, it flows from the atmosphere to land, surface ocean, and deep ocean.

      Meanwhile, if the natural carbon cycle is at equilibrium, and the natural CO2 in the ocean increases because of a natural cause, then natural CO2 will flow from the ocean to the atmosphere.

      Although we cannot distinguish between human and natural CO2 molecules, we can still analyze the human and natural carbon cycles independently. Their sum is the total carbon cycle.

      Regarding “‘Fluids can flow only one way at a time,” that is true only for “net” flows. In the carbon cycles, carbon atoms flow rapidly between the reservoirs in both directions simultaneously. If the carbon cycle is at equilibrium, the net flows are zero.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.