Skip to comments.A problem: nearly one third of CO2 emissions occured since 1998, and it hasnít warmed
Posted on 12/09/2012 7:26:39 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
December 6, 2012
Guest post by Tom Fuller
The physics behind the theory of global warming are solid. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, were emitting industrial levels of it, with China now in the lead for emissions. A significant portion remains in the atmosphere for a fairly long time, though the residence time is widely disputed. This residence of CO2 retards the cooling of the Earth and temperatures warm as a result.
One of the few non-controversial datasets in climate change is the Keeling curve, the graph of the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere reproduced here:
We see concentrations rising steadily from 315 parts per million in 1960 to 395 ppm last year. Its close to 400 ppm now.
Human emissions of CO2 caused by burning of fossil fuels and production of cement have risen similarly:
Emissions have climbed at an even higher rate than concentrations.
And the third data source to look at (for simplicitys sakewe could actually look at dozens of data sources) is temperature changes. This chart shows the global average temperature change from a normal 30-year range from 1950-1980. It comes from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, led by scientist James Hansen.
This shows a fairly constant rise in temperatures since 1978.
Once again, you dont have to be a climate scientist to think that there seems to be a connection. The physical theory published first by Svante Arrhenius over 100 years ago and elaborated on by a centurys worth of scientists has observational evidence that tends to confirm it. I certainly believe in it.
In fact, I believe that global temperatures will probably rise by about 2 degrees Celsius over the course of this century. The difference in estimated temperature rises from different sources almost always comes from the differences in estimated atmospheric sensitivity to concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. Having extra CO2 in the atmosphere warms the atmosphere, which is presumed to produce more water vapor, which is also a greenhouse gas and would contribute more warming than the CO2 by itself. How much extra warming would ensue is pretty much the heart and soul of the debate over global warming.
Those who think that there isnt much of an additional effect (that sensitivity of the atmosphere is low) have been chuckling very publicly because temperatures havent risen very much (if at all) since the big El Nino year of 1998. This is not hugely surprising, as the shape of the data is uneven, a sawtooth with ups and downs that can last a decade or longer. But it is happening at an inconvenient time politically for those who are worried that sensitivity is high. They are trying to get the world to prepare for warming of 4.5C or higher, without much success.
Heres what temperatures look like more recently.
By itself, this chart doesnt explain very much. As I said, it is not uncommon or unexpected for the temperature record to have flat or declining periods that last a decade or more.
However, I have a problem. The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) has estimates of how much CO2 humans have emitted since 1750. (Confusingly, they convert the CO2 to tons of carbon with a fixed formula.) That chart is the first one way up there at the top of the post. It rises dramatically
But looking at the data global.1751_2009 (3), one thing jumps out at me. CDIAC writes Since 1751 approximately 356 billion metric tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production. And they helpfully provide an Excel spreadsheet showing their estimates by year.
And almost one-third of that number, 110 billion metric tonnes, have occurred since that time in 1998 when temperatures reached their temporary plateau.
Because heat moves somewhat sluggishly through the earths oceans, and because there is a lag factor in other earth systems, we do not expect a hair-trigger reaction to increases in CO2 emissions and concentrations.
But one-third of all human emissions of CO2 have occurred since 1998. And temperatures havent budged as a result.
This does not disprove global warmingat all. I still believe that temperatures will climb this century, mostly as a result of the brute force effect of the 3,000 quads of energy we will burn every year starting in 2075the reason I started this weblog.
However it makes it exceedingly difficult to use the past 15 years as evidence of a very high sensitivity of the atmosphere to CO2 concentrations. And it makes me feel more comfortable about my lukewarm estimate of 2C temperature rises as opposed to the more alarming 4.5C rises put forward by some of those who are most active in the movement to reduce emissions drastically.
And it makes me wonder about why people dont include relevant data when they discuss these issues. Is it really that politically incorrect to show real data, even if that data doesnt advance your case?
Tom Fuller blogs at: 3000Quads and is co-author with Steve Mosher of the CRUTape Letters.
Now that is interesting...and the folks in England want to know why it is chilly.
Will post on that and put the link on this thread.
Let me get this straight. The claim is that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It absorbs infra-red radiation (a virtually instantaneous phenomenon and transfers it by re-radiating and by convective collisions (also very short cycle) Why then the huge time lag????
It’s all being investigated....donchayouknow....!
Tom neglected to mention that over 95% of “greenhouse gases” are in fact WATER VAPOR, and that CO2 comprises less than 3.5%.
Further, the fluctuations in the levels of water vapor in the atmosphere, are influenced by so many variables, as to make reliably forecasting them IMPOSSIBLE!
176 Responses to A problem: nearly one third of CO2 emissions occured since 1998, and it hasnt warmed
Humans are responsible for an increase in atmospheric energy. What is unclear is the significance of our contribution relative to other natural terms (like the sun), and whether the human result of such warming is anything close to the catastrophe predicted by the IPCC crowd.
At the store checkout line the young girl cashier suggested to the older woman customer she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags were bad for the environment.
The older woman apologized and confessed, "We didn't have this green thing when I was your age."
The young clerk replied, "That's what is causing our problems today. Your generation did not care enough to save the environment for future generations."
She is right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilized and refilled, so the same bottles could be used over and over. They really were "recycled".
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
We took our groceries home in brown paper bags, that we reused for many purposes. Most memorable, besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) were not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.
We walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked most places and didn't climb behind the wheel of a 300-horsepower vehicle whenever we had to go two blocks.
But she is right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up hundreds of watts -- we used wind and solar power to dry our clothes back in those days. Kids wore hand-me-downs from their brothers or sisters instead of getting brand-new clothes all the time.
But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV or radio in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen we blended and stirred our food by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send by mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower than ran on muscle power. We exercised so much by working that we didn't need to go to a health club and run on treadmills operated by electricity.
But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we wanted a drink of water. We refilled fountain pens with ink instead of buying a new one and we replaced razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole thing just because the blade got dull.
But we didn't have the green thing back then.
People took the streetcar or bus to go downtown and kids walked or rode their bikes to school instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn't it nice of the current generation to point out how wasteful we old folks were because we didn't have the green thing back then?
CO2 is only an issue because lefties see it as a path to tax every human activity in the world.
yep. There is a reason it is called the green thing.
I love that! My mom sent me a copy of that story a year or so ago, and she got it from my aunt. Yes, they are quite right! We didn’t have the green thing back then. Harrumph!
In my 1980 Master’s thesis “Energy for the year 2005”, I too projected the success in transitioning to new energy technology.
Continued growth in nuclear power, a transition to breeder reactors, en route to fusion power....
It isn’t technical know how that holds us back.
It is the political will.
Bingo. Needs to be repeated often.
Way back in the day when I was in fifth grade we wrote on our stone tablets (at least that's what my kids think) about the Oxygen-CO2 cycle. How we take in oxygen and give off CO2 and the plants take in the CO2 and in turn give off oxygen for us to use. Pretty neat desgin, eh?
How was it that the left was ablle to convice anyone with a fifth grade education that CO2 is now a poison that is ruining the earth?
By all rights, they should have been laughed at and ridiculed so severely that they would never want to show their faces again. As with all liberal ideas - they do not receive nearly the scorn and ridicule their ignorant ridiculousness deserves. Instead, they turn the ridicule on the truth tellers. It's time that stopped.
I remember, in school, being taught that carbon dioxide was the good gas and carbon monoxide was the bad gas which really has confused me over the years as global warming theorists have tried teaching people that CO2 is the bad gas.
This could be all my fault. How much CO2 am I spewing into the atmosphere every time I open a beer? Would I be better off getting a kegerator? Is that better for the environment? I will do it for the “CHILDREN”!
Because the left also made sure that what you call a fifth grade education is now the equivalent of a second grade education fifty years ago.
New ice age is due in 2083 see Uni ersity of Mexico
The power base of globalism: Global government idealists in for the hope of a UN taxation power on oil and land use; Universities and enviornmentalists for the bazillions in European and American research money; Corporations and businesses looking for money for product development and sales. European and American government and politicans seeing the opportunity for massive new taxation and power. Third worlders and UN employees looking for a steady stream of wealth transfer (enslavement) from the West to their bank accounts.
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