Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Summary

1. Chemistry is all about equilibrium, a balance between concentrations on both sides of a boundary
2. CO2 is shared between the air, the soil, the plants and the ocean
3. there is 50x as much CO2 in the ocean as in the air
4. It is this balance which chemistry will see maintained.    So new CO2 is split up 50 parts in the ocean to 1 part elsewhere.   If CO2 was doubled overnight you would have an ratio of 2:50 and the extra CO2 would move to the oceans until the ratio was 1:50 again.   The actual increase would be 2%.  T

The question is, how long would this take?   The IPCC say 250 years, so the CO2 just builds up.   However the evidence is unequivocal that they are wrong.    In 1963-65 C14 levels were doubled and this very rare C14 atom in the form of CO2 made its journey around the world.    It cannot be destroyed and takes a very long time to decay to half the numbers, 5740 years.    What happens to this C14 happens to all CO2 with which it is mixed.

To be clear, this graph is NOT a graph of the decay of radioactive CO2.  (In 50 years C14 would have decayed less than 0.8%).  Rather, this graph shows how quickly CO2 from 1965 has vanished from the air.

The C14 enriched CO2 vs time graph shows us

1. CO2 is clearly disappearing from the air very rapidly.   So man made carbon dioxide disappears very quickly, so fast that half is gone in 14 years.   Forget 250 years from the IPCC.   This is 50 years.
2. C14 is not coming back to an equilibrium position above 100%.    It is all permanently gone.   So is the CO2 associated with it.    It does not matter where, but we can guess.
3. the forces of equilibrium which drive this rapid exchange dictate the amount of CO2 in the air.  It is not arbitrary.    As the amount in the sea is always 50x that in the air, we cannot change anything much, even if we burnt all the oil and coal and wood tomorrow.

So why has CO2 gone up?

4. There is only one place such a huge volume can go, the oceans.  According to popular science this is not possible as the deep oceans take too long to absorb CO2.   This might be true for currents of water, but clearly not for gas.   The massive compressibility of CO2 may explain everything.
5. Warming the oceans even slightly will release a lot of CO2 relative to what is in the air.   So the increase in CO2 since 1890 is probably due to solar activity, increased radiation and cloudless days and a very slightly warmer ocean.   The coincidence with industrialization is just that.

This interpretation of proven facts fits perfectly.   It explains everything.    If the CO2 increase is not man made, the whole Man Made Global Warming is busted.   So is its progeny, Climate Change and its distant relative, incidence of extreme weather events.

It also explains why Dr. Murry Salby's discovery works.    Dr Salby has shown the CO2 graph exactly matches the sum of all air temperatures over time, the √≠ntegral.   This is a direct measure of the heat put into the oceans over time.   So ocean heating is a perfect predictor of CO2 levels.    Everything fits.

The graph is also as significant in what it does not show.   If fossil fuel CO2 was around before the bomb, the C14 level should have been diluted to 80%.    In 2010, only 70%.   What we see is a dilution of only 2%, the tiny Suess effect, so the C14 empty fossil fuel CO2 is all gone.   Anyone arguing that it is still around is living in a world of fantasy, as the graph shows this is categorically not true.

If warming produces CO2 rises, why hasn't CO2 gone up before, according to glacial ice samples?

It probably has, but it is also possible ice cores do not show such short, sharp rises and instead average over long periods.   Possibly ice samples lack the resolution on this short time scale due to leaching of CO2 between layers or maybe because of the very warming which allows frozen CO2 (-57) to melt and disappear as gas.    The ice which records these very warm events by definition was at the top when formed and most susceptible to warming which would allow CO2 escape.    It may be easy to trap solid CO2 locked in the ice at -57C but difficult to trap gas CO2 at -56.4C.   Ice cores may not show warm events.

This theory seems to fit the Vostok Ice cores.    Amazingly the average temperature hovers around -56C, a critical temperature for the sublimation of dry ice (CO2).   Plots of temperature are done around -56C.

What this simple analysis also does is exonerates man as, sadly, insignificant.   The association of industrialization and increasing CO2 is a coincidence, nothing more.  The association of CO2 with rising temperatures has stopped completely and it has happened before, so that was wrong.   Basically as a species, in the 20th century we reached the poles, we climbed Mt. Everest and we put a man on the moon.   To think that we therefore control the planet is like ants taking over a golf course.  Send all your available cash to the dear leader.  In general, believe the person who is not asking for your money.

Notes on public documents and the refusal to address the evidence of C14.

1. Deny and put down.   In response to my questions, I received this from ABC Science in Australia.

For the purposes of analysing the proportion of C02 being contributed from the burning of fossil fuels, C-14 levels tell us nothing at all.

We see from your blog that you don't appear to understand radioactive decay. If you understood that C-14 eventually decays into a stable form of Nitrogen, you would know that the entire premise of your blog entry is incorrect.

Yours in Science


ABC Science

2. Overwhelm.  From an Australian Climate Commissioner, the overwhelm approach when presented with a simple question.

Many thanks for sending me your ideas on the fate of fossil fuel-generated CO2. Actually, there has been quite a bit of research done on this over the past couple of decades, and I think it is fair to say that the evidence is exceptionally strong and unequivocal that the ca. 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is due to human activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels but also a smaller amount from biomass burning associated with deforestation.

There are many good summaries of this science - much clearer and in more detail than I could do in an email. Probably the best source are the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In particular, the last three reports (2001, 2007 and 2013) all have chapters on biogeochemistry, which include an analysis of human-driven changes to the carbon cycle. I strongly comment those chapters to you. They can be downloaded from the IPCC website:   


In addition to the assessments themselves, the IPCC reports have a very thorough reference list so if you don't accept the assessment done by the world's best experts on the carbon cycle, you can always go directly to the peer-reviewed literature and make your own assessment of the science.


3. Claim obvious and confuse the issues.   Climate.org

a. The 'obvious' argument
One way that we know that human activities are responsible for the increased CO2 is simply by looking at historical records of human activities. 

Since the industrial revolution, we have been burning fossil fuels and clearing and burning forested land at an unprecedented rate, and these processes convert organic carbon into CO2. Careful accounting of the amount of fossil fuel that has been extracted and combusted, and how much land clearing has occurred, shows that we have produced far more CO2 than now remains in the atmosphere. The roughly 500 billion metric tons of carbon we have produced is enough to have raised the atmospheric concentration of COto nearly 500 ppm. The concentrations have not reached that level because the ocean and the terrestrial biosphere have the capacity to absorb some of the CO2 we produce.* However, it is the fact that we produce CO2 faster than the ocean and biosphere can absorb it that explains the observed increase.

b. Isotope confusion.   (How to focus on tiny C12/C13 differences and ignore C14)
Another, quite independent way that we know that fossil fuel burning and land clearing specifically are responsible for the increase in CO2 in the last 150 years is through the measurement of carbon isotopes. Isotopes are simply different atoms with the same chemical behavior (isotope means “same type”) but with different masses. Carbon is composed of three different isotopes,14C, 13C and 12C. 12C is the most common. 13C is about 1% of the total. 14C accounts for only about 1 in 1 trillion carbon atoms.

CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels or burning forests has quite a different isotopic composition from CO2 in the atmosphere. This is because plants have a preference for the lighter isotopes (12C vs. 13C); thus they have lower 13C/12C ratios. Since fossil fuels are ultimately derived from ancient plants, plants and fossil fuels all have roughly the same 13C/12C ratio – about 2% lower than that of the atmosphere. As CO2 from these materials is released into, and mixes with, the atmosphere, the average 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere decreases.


Comments:
a. What is very hard to understand is why so many pages are written about equilibrium, but when you have a simple measure of the entire response of a world wide system in equilibrium, as in the bomb graph, it is totally ignored by the pro warming industry.

b. I can only think climate.org ignores C14 because it "accounts for only about 1 in 1 trillion carbon atoms", which is hardly the point.   For radio carbon dating, this is why C14 is so useful.

c. we produce CO2 faster than the ocean and biosphere can absorb it?    Really.   The bomb graph shows unequivocally that half of all CO2 is absorbed each 14 years, but why have facts when you can have models?