December 13, 2009
CO2 Emissions Up 29% Since 2000
Speaking as an agnostic (on both religious and unresolved scientific questions) one can only hope that the most certain global warming skeptics are correct in their denial. CO2 emissions are way up. Since oil production has been on a bumpy plateau since 2005 this result says a lot about the growth in coal usage - especially for electric power generation. One thing I am certain about: conventional pollutants like particulates and mercury are bad for us and this big surge in CO2 emissions certainly brought along a lot of pollutants that are doing real harm to human health.
The strongest evidence yet that the rise in atmospheric CO2 emissions continues to outstrip the ability of the world's natural 'sinks' to absorb carbon is published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.
An international team of researchers under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project reports that over the last 50 years the average fraction of global CO2 emissions that remained in the atmosphere each year was around 43 per cent - the rest was absorbed by the Earth's carbon sinks on land and in the oceans. During this time this fraction has likely increased from 40 per cent to 45 per cent, suggesting a decrease in the efficiency of the natural sinks. The team brings evidence that the sinks are responding to climate change and variability.
The scientists report a 29 per cent increase in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel between 2000 and 2008 (the latest year for which figures are available), and that in spite of the global economic downturn emissions increased by 2 per cent during 2008. The use of coal as a fuel has now surpassed oil and developing countries now emit more greenhouse gases than developed countries – with a quarter of their growth in emissions accounted for by increased trade with the West.
More CO2 in the atmosphere means more CO2 dissolved into the oceans. That has an acidifying effect. That comes on top of agricultural run-off causing expanding dead zones and overfishing on a massive scale. The future of fisheries is already grim.
In the United States coal accounts for almost 50% of electric power generation and 36% of CO2 emissions. 33% of CO2 emissions in the United States comes from coal burned for electric power generation. But China has surpassed the United States in CO2 emissions and continues to widen the gap due to faster economic growth and heavy usage of coal for electric power generation.
Again, I hope the global warming disbelievers are right. Though I can think of one circumstance where I hope they are wrong about the effects of CO2: If the Sun goes thru an extended period of lower solar output then I would like for temperatures to be responsive to increases in atmospheric CO2.
Models say the oceans are at risk. The oceans disagree.
"Eighteen of the species thought to be the most vulnerable to ocean acidification have been observed in controlled environments meant to simulate a high-carbon ocean. Some of the organisms, which included corals, crabs, and mussels, almost instantly adapted to the changed environment, manipulating the abundant carbon dioxide to actually increase their growth rate when compared to the control group. Other species, like corals, hard clams, and lobsters, were unaffected by carbon-dioxide and ocean acidification until the scientists pushed the CO2 content to extreme levels."
Look ... the models say "we are all going to die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
The models are crap!
(By the way, in trying to find this story again -- and there are others -- I had to wade thru thousands of references to doom and gloom predictions of CO2 causing acidification. It appears none of it is actually based on reality).
The warmists say CO2 drives temperature. Normal people say temperature and CO2 seem to have only a modest correlation and that it seems temperature drives CO2. So CO2 goes up after temperature and is a trailing indicator. CO2 is not a cause for concern. Buy an SUV and go out and enjoy the world.
Mark Kleiman argues the uncertainty of climate science isn't a good reason for doing nothing.
What we need to do is grab hold of the reigns and figure out how to manipulate the temperature on this planet so we can survive. According to many models, it's entirely possible our species is going to roast away in the coming greenhouse. Based on history however, a supermassive volcano could explode anytime and push the planet into multi-millennium ice age. There are some ideas out there.
Based on Bruce's link, it also sounds like we need to figure out if CO2 really is a bad thing. My theory is that too much of anything is almost always a bad thing, and we are putting a LOT of CO2 into the atmosphere.
And what politicized agency just made CO2 a pollutant? Also, is the percentage of CO2 emitted by human activity enough to justify the increasingly hysterically alarmist theories?
My opinion is that sunspot activity is the leading indicator of global temperatures and that it has a delaying effect. One we don't see immediately reflected in CO2 levels but are beginning to see with global temperatures. The skeptics await the barrage of pro-warming propaganda and personal invective.
"The warmists say CO2 drives temperature. Normal people say temperature and CO2 seem to have only a modest correlation and that it seems temperature drives CO2. So CO2 goes up after temperature and is a trailing indicator. CO2 is not a cause for concern. Buy an SUV and go out and enjoy the world."
Please cite your sources.
Randall, India and China will continue to blow it out the stacks with no limits. The developed world can cut themselves off at the hips voluntarily with carbon caps and taxes, but the CO2 will keep going up.
The CO2 is not the problem. Not for the oceans, not for the temperatures.
A few degrees higher temperature may get us close to the medieval warm period, when agriculture thrived into northlands that are currently too cold, or under ice. Most Eskimos would prefer it a bit warmer, I know I would if I lived in the great white north.
Doomsters and alarmists only know how to screech at the top of their voices. They can't solve problems, they can't innovate or invent or mitigate.
Good thing leftists and greenies are dying out from lack of procreation. They are a greater danger to the planet than any quantity of fossil fuels.
Lordy, Randall, you get the kooks here. I'm assuming they're mostly engineers, who trend towards an unhealthy confidence in their knowledge of things outside their fields to a worse degree than most other educated types. (Being one, I see the temptation myself.)
engineers, who trend towards an unhealthy confidence in their knowledge of things outside their fields
Everybody does it. Lawyers, doctors, physicists, programmers, biologists, writers, engineers, geologists....they all have an astounding tendency to think that they can poach in other fields with confidence.
CO2 lags temperature by 800 years in ice cores.
I recently said elsewhere that I found it astounding that people skilled in disciplines like engineering would instantly note that injection of a signal into a "feedback" path in a complex system will stimulate the output just as the "main" input(s) do... unless the issue is climate science, in which case their political/social allegiances override their technical judgement and shut their higher thinking centers down.
I just saw it again, and I'm still astounded.
IIRC corals appeared circa 200 million years ago, when the CO2 level was measured in the thousands of parts per million. Remember, Earth's "normal" (most common) climate is a lot warmer and higher in CO2 than today. Well above Hansen's "catastrophe threshold".
We are currently in an interglacial period during a glacial epoch ( a relatively warm period inside an epoch of ice ages ). We don't understand glacial epochs very well, but having a pole occupied by a landmass seems to be a necessary condition. So it's not likely to end until plate tectonics move Antarctica off of the South Pole. If anything, we need to be worrying about coping with ice ages.
If Enviromentalists were rational they'd be proposing nuclear power to displace coal, not wind and solar. A few are.
Ep, I'm still astounded by your fact free postings.
Indeed, it didn't take long for the Climategate-style warmists to begin their attacks. Once again the nutroots are fulfilling our low expectations for them.
Given the incredibly poor quality and dishonest nature of climate modelers and data handlers at CRU, GISS, NCDC, etc., we are desperately in need of intelligent outsiders to clean up the mess that Jones, Mann,
Schmidt, Briffa, Hughes, Karl, etc. have made.
Good comments. Climaquiddick seems to have awakened a lot of people to the scam of fudged models with cherry picked and contrived data.
CO2 lags temperature by 800 years in ice cores.
to which quoteth yon poet,
"I recently said elsewhere that I found it astounding that people skilled in disciplines like engineering would instantly note that injection of a signal into a "feedback" path in a complex system will stimulate the output just as the "main" input(s) do..."
Don't you think your case for CO2 would be much better and maybe very convincing if it was in front of warming events rather than looking like a byproduct of them? Even Hansen has co-written in the early 90's that CO2 lags the whole warming sequence which sort of makes it's influence dwarfed by something else much more significant. A byproduct usually goes in bologna, don't tell me CO2 is fast becoming just a hotdog ingredient when it was assumed to be the main course.
and I would like to add my apologies to Randall Parker for the last post, who though may not be an agnostic but is still a very decent and tolerant type of guy and wish everyone here...seasons greetings, his site has been very informative and enjoyable over the past year, thank you sir.
True believers in carbon catastrophe pseudo-science will hang on to the bitter end. Then when it is obvious they've been wrong in their fanatical belief in climate doom, they'll say that they were only following orders the science. Right. Very selectively, like cherry pickers.
th: why would a phenomenon initiated by feedback precede the stimulus? There are lots of systems which are essentially bistable, but you can flip their state by kicking the feedbacks as well as the free inputs. We're watching the fucking arctic permafrost melt and release methane (which is 70+ times as powerful as CO2, mole for mole); that's a feedback effect of an initial warming.
The climate denialists are essentially arguing that the IR opacity of CO2, measured in the laboratory since the mid-19th century, has no effect on climate. I take that back; what they have isn't an argument, it's a set of distractions to avoid having to address that very point. Whether CO2 is a lagging phenomemon in the natural glacial cycle does not mean it has no effect, it just means that something else trips the system which stores or releases CO2 and the change in CO2 then continues the change and drives the system to another state. It also does not mean that the state change can't be tripped by shooting a bunch of CO2 into it (or removing it, but we aren't doing that).
We are now in territory that the Earth hasn't seen in at least a million years. We may be about to reproduce the state of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, when arctic ocean temperatures hit 15°C. The people like th who deny this (and are probably paid trolls) need to be clue-by-foured with extreme prejudice.
Of course to the alarmists trolls here, evidence of research fraud and deletion of actual data to independently verify their claims must somehow be a distraction. Hmm....
Now if warming occurred earlier without human intervention, it must mean this period of climate change is somehow man made. How interesting....err I'll be collecting my check now please.
In the last million years and multiple glacial cycles, CO2 never exceeded 320 ppm. We have multiplie lines of proof that the current state of 390 ppm is due to human intervention, and anyone using PR-firm-tested sound-bites to distract from that fact needs to be clue-by-foured.
Rising CO2 levels don't seemingly predict global warming so retarding the fractional amount emitted by human activity won't necessarily reduce any 'warming' occurring. CO2 levels rose after WWII but the temperature fell. Evidence suggests it's a minor greenhouse gas while proof exists that CO2 levels only seemingly to rise after warming is conveniently forgotten by the alarmists. But of course such inconvenient facts are only a 'distraction'. How typical...
sayeth the foot in mouthest one, "In the last million years and multiple glacial cycles, CO2 never exceeded 320 ppm."
Is this another of your signature realclimate factoids? For more of the same go to Skeptical Science, there they have a real doozy you'd love where the CO2 levels charted going back millions of years look like a perfect sine wave until the last 100years, where of course, it goes straight up.
I don't need to remind you that its your clowns that are now lying and violating informational statutes, deliberately destroying data, hiding damaging evidence and just in general acting like criminals that should be prosecuted solely for the last 30 or so years they have all wasted to real scientific research.
BTW, your Hadley, et al models all predicted a distinct spike in temperatures at 12000 KM over the tropics I think. Where is that spike? So far not one probe in these areas shows anything at all, will you view this as just something to be easily written off as when it warms its man, but when it cools its cycles. Since the greenhouse gas signature is missing, this means the next greenhouse gas warming is about 800 years away?
The whole point of CO2 not preceding warming at any time suggests CO2 doesn't have a causation to anything, temperature changes occur even if CO2 doesn't even exist. Also if you would, "There are lots of systems which are essentially bistable, but you can flip their state by kicking the feedbacks as well as the free inputs." whats your best example of that?
The CO2 record from the ice cores is public. It barely goes over 300 ppm at any time until the last century. What modern species evolved for high-CO2 conditions? Certainly not any of man's cultivated plants, which are less than 10,000 years old.
You're making up shit about Hadley etc. All the climate models predict minor effects at the equator and the greatest ones at the poles. You'd have to be an ignoramus, an idiot or an astroturfer to say what you're saying... but I repeat myself. In the mean time, please explain the measured increase in downward IR radiation of 3.52 W/m² since pre-industrial times means, if not direct confirmation of AGW models.
Again evading the fact that CO2 levels often rise only AFTER temperatures increase rather than before. Lowering emissions is therefore like closing the barn door after the horses escaped. But when facts don't fit the model the alarmist must 'shape' the data. But of course THAT's never happened before. Ahem.
Sayeth the simpleton who has been eating CO2 shit from alarmists for over 20 years, "You're making up shit about Hadley etc. All the climate models predict minor effects at the equator and the greatest ones at the poles. You'd have to be an ignoramus, an idiot or an astroturfer to say what you're saying... but I repeat myself. In the mean time, please explain the measured increase in downward IR radiation of 3.52 W/m² since pre-industrial times means, if not direct confirmation of AGW models."
here's how its done frootloop.
There's that cognitive dissonance again, not recognizing that a complex system with feedback paths can be jolted by influences in its feedbacks as well as external forcings.
Here's an example. You've got snow on a dark asphalt-shingled roof. Without intervention, temperature would have to rise before the snow would start to melt, exposing dark shingles and causing greater heat capture; the heat capture drives faster snow melt. In this scenario, temperature rise precedes snow loss. However, initiating melt with some salt or scraping off some of the snow can start the feedback without any external temperature increase.
I realize that the likes of th and Hong have closed minds, and cannot admit to changing their position on this issue. Most people take their positions on issues from their social groups and leadership, because otherwise they'd not be accepted in the group. This is one of the reasons that the "academic freedom" bills going through various legislatures allow K-12 teachers to teach anything they want about evolution, human cloning... and AGW. These are the scientific issues that the religious right has problems with, and they shun and attack people who don't pass their litmus tests (you might even say "excommunicate"). They want to defend their own, no matter how indefensible their "science" is.
"These are the scientific issues that the religious right has problems with, and they shun and attack people who don't pass their litmus tests (you might even say "excommunicate"). They want to defend their own, no matter how indefensible their "science" is."
Ironic how you cite the religious right considering we've noted the pseudo religous ravings of the warmists here and elsewhere.
"I realize that the likes of th and Hong have closed minds, and cannot admit to changing their position on this issue."
Considering how all the skeptics owned you here on your unwillingness to admit mistakes or questionable sources I would think the final verdict is apparent whose mind is pancake batter. If you were so superior you could answer why COs levels often rise only AFTER global temperature do and not before...
"Most people take their positions on issues from their social groups and leadership, because otherwise they'd not be accepted in the group"
Interesting psychological projection E-P. Were you really that bitter at home and at school you lash out at your betters? Getting personal when your 'arguments' crash and burn? How sad but predictable.
I cite measurements of CO2 and atmospheric IR radiation, and Hong classifies this as "pseudo-religious ravings". He claims I've been "owned" because of references exclusively to denialist sites run by known liars (a few of which I have taken the trouble to debunk). I think that says all we need to know about Hong.
No I cite the simple fact that CO2 levels often rise only AFTER global temperature increase. Historically that's been true. E-P dishonest evasion and his continued attacks are the work of relgiosity inspired madness, not science. These skeptics are 'liars' because the data wasn't manipulated by his allies at East Anglia perhaps? I highly doubt Roger Pielke Sr or Jr, are lying or the many scientists on record but that's E-P for you. I think that's all we need to know about him. Thanks guy, you've just been owned again.
Face it doof, you had no idea this even existed. What is the source for that pitiful graph, it looks like something from a cheesy send us money to stop the warming brochure, the world's CO2 levels right now are historically low, so don't send them any money.
And I never would have thought a roof with black shingles was so complex in its dissonance, that is amazingly complex, I do appreciate the effort though, yuk yuk.
poet, in your example, the shingle isn't responsible for anything, an outside force is needed to activate it.
Using filters like a diode would have been better, a selective filter can be easily measured in its effect, got any ideas on that? I think thats what the models were attempting to do, but failed.
sayeth the son of the agnostic one, "This is one of the reasons that the "academic freedom" bills going through various legislatures allow K-12 teachers to teach anything they want about evolution, human cloning... and AGW. These are the scientific issues that the religious right has problems with, and they shun and attack people who don't pass their litmus tests (you might even say "excommunicate")." would this include the "obama mmm, mmm good" stuff only serious educators would be pursuing?
A very hedged post in my opinion. His definition of 'science' has less to do science and more with precautionary action. It seems he defines it to mean what he wants. In this case 'we should take some action---just in case the doomsayers are right.' Hardly the full throated roar of support for Copenhagen. You are right if you believe that Junior treats the issue with less skepticism than Senior but he provides no specific answers on what to do. Only that action is being complicatd by the behavior of biased, activists scientists. A point for which he's a 100 percent correct. I'm willing to consider than man made global warming is real but the science has obviously been either corrupted through intent or wish fufillment (Dawin adjustments) to where nothing these activists present can be absolutely believed. So I'll remain more skeptical than little Pielke and say this half hearted support for emissions control should do little to dampen the growing doubt to the integrity of the AGW science.
Randall, No mention of Sr? why not? Would you agree that people like James Hansen, Tom Karl, or Phil Jones are advocates of global warming? If not, you probably disagree with Pielke Sr. I have read Sr's website for aver a year. I have never heard him fawn like a star struck groupie over some editorial writer who by declaration says the science is over.
Instead he frequently criticizes the methodology, the veracity, and the overt advocacy of many of so-called AGW scientists. Obviously, you can do whatever you want, its your call, but wouldn't he be a better source to refer someone to for real scientific info? Sr. should take car keys away from the kid before he ruins the family name.
Just on global warming there are hundreds of people I could dig up insights and quotes from. The absence of someone from my writings doesn't say much given how many different topics I write about. Tragically I have to spend most of my weekday waking hours doing a job totally unrelated to the vast bulk of what I write about. So I'm limited in how much I can read and write about - especially since I have to read far more than I write in order to find reports worth writing about.
BTW, here's Roy Spencer of U Alabama arguing that the direction of causation in the cloud-temperature feedback loop isn't clear:
I am arguing that we can't measure feedbacks the way people have been trying to do it," he said. "The climate modelers see from satellite data that warm years have fewer clouds, then assume that the warmth caused the clouds to dissipate. If this is true, it would be positive feedback and could lead to strong global warming. This is the way their models are programmed to behave.
"My question to them was, 'How do you know it wasn't fewer clouds that caused the warm years, rather than the other way around?' It turns out they didn't know. They couldn't answer that question."
The key questions in the climate debate are really about feedback loops. For example, warming melts white snow and causes bare darker ground to become visible and absorb more light and heat up more. Also for example, warming increases evaporation which I would expect would cause more cloud formation and therefore more light reflection into space (and therefore feedback negatively on warming). But Spencer is saying some climate models assume the opposite. I'm surprised.
"This critical component in global warming theory - cloud feedback - is impossible to measure directly in the real climate system," Spencer said. "We haven't figured out a good way to separate cause and effect, so we can't measure cloud feedback directly. And if we don't know what the feedbacks are, we are just guessing at how much impact humans will have on climate change.
"I'm trying to spread the word: Let's go back to basics and look at what we can and cannot do with measurements of the real climate system to validate both climate models and their predictions."
It is my impression that Spencer is an AGW theory skeptic.
Hansen an advocate of warming: My impression he's against warming. But he certainly believes AGW is a correct theory. Does that belief make him an "advocate"? Arguing for a theory or against a theory is one of the things scientists do. This term "overt advocacy" is supposed to be pejorative? Why?
"Just on global warming there are hundreds of people I could dig up insights and quotes from." Right, they just happen to be along the lines of jr, not sr. And this analogy you brought up is exactly like the shingle thing your buddy brought up, its a bit simplified to me and actually supports the ga tech urban island study more than CO2 causing anything, and is exactly what pielke sr. is suggesting is responsible for at least half of the so-called climate change. Your thoughts on why the computer models don't work seems to be a bit overplayed, as not much else in the hypothesis is working either, the modus operandi is now turning from real science to media nitwits, hollywood dunces, and politicians decreeing it
As far as a good analogy to the theory of CO2, I think an overloaded circuit works better. Since we may agree, CO2 doesn't start really anything, but it supposedly can become a force all to itself. If warming triggers the rise of CO2 and CO2 then increases warming which increase both until it becomes a force to itself, independent of the original cause of the warming. In an overload, the current heats the wire increasing resistance which increases heat which increases resistance and on and on until the wire burns up, BTW ask poet what happens to the shingles on the north side of the house that don't get any sun, they don't do much do they?
And I do want to add, your site place is an excellent source of what I would call the other side, the only one I can stand, so please bear with some of my heavy handedness, its not in scorn but passion, anyway thank you again sir for all you do here.
Regardless whether scorn or passion, invective undermines your position.
I see no reason to bear with your so-called heavy handedness. I grow more disgusted with you. This is my last response to you.
I get the distinct impression that you don't understand the physics of CO2 as a greenhouse gas when you say this:
Since we may agree, CO2 doesn't start really anything, but it supposedly can become a force all to itself.
I doubt this explanation will do you any good. But perhaps someone else will read it:
CO2 absorbs some frequencies of infrared (IR) and releases IR in random directions. Light at higher frequencies reaches the surface of the Earth and gets absorbed and heats up the soil. Then the soil releases IR (feel heat when you hold your hand above blacktop on a sunny day? IR). The IR starts heading upward to go back into space. It hits CO2 and some of the IR comes off heading back down again (since the IR comes off in random directions). More CO2 means more random redirection of IR away from outer space.
What I just said is not controversial. The debate (at least at the scientific level) is about feedback loops. How much will the CO2-caused warming be amplified or dampened by feedbacks?
You responded to my comment where I just quoted from a scientist who thinks the AGW theorists expect more positive feedback than will happen. I brought up a core question about AGW theory. I quoted a real skeptic scientist. Your response was to totally miss the point, derisively point out that I didn't quote Pielke Sr, and continue to misunderstand my own views on AGW. You are too tribal to think rationally about the topic. I am thru with responding to you.
It hits CO2 and some of the IR comes off heading back down again (since the IR comes off in random directions). More CO2 means more random redirection of IR away from outer space.
Just to amplify: Sometimes, the IR doesn't even come off again. Instead, it increases the kinetic energy of the CO2 molecules which bump into other molecules and exchange kinetic energy with them thereby increasing the kinetic energy of the atmosphere. We measure that kinetic energy with a little scale we call "temperature". More kinetic energy measures as a higher temperature and less kinetic energy measures as a lower temperature.
Randall, the force to itself was just checking to see if you bought into the we might become venus hysteria, sorry bout that.
bob badour, water vapor sucks up 97% of all this stuff, that makes CO2 minutia.
water vapor sucks up 97% of all this stuff, that makes CO2 minutia.
So, now you are changing your tune to acknowledge that CO2 does have a causation for temperature increase. It's just that its contribution is insignificant compared to water vapor. Wouldn't it be easier and more productive to say that in the first place instead of all the hyperbole and invective?
Water vapor is a feedback effect; it condenses out when air gets cold, and the limits of the extent of significant water vapor are set by the non-condensible GHG's. This is why the effects of AGW are the greatest in the coldest and dryest parts of the earth, such as the poles.