January 01, 2010

More "Settled" Science: Atmospheric CO2 Hasn't Increased Since Fillmore Administration

Actually, they are going only on recorded data, so another way of saying this is that atmospheric CO2 hasn't risen in recorded history:

Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere.

However, some studies have suggested that the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline and that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is therefore beginning to increase.

Many climate models also assume that the airborne fraction will increase. Because understanding of the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide is important for predicting future climate change, it is essential to have accurate knowledge of whether that fraction is changing or will change as emissions increase.

Oh, that lovely phrase again, where they reveal anthropogenic climate change cultists reveal they've assumed variables for their models that will lead to a desired outcome, instead of using what they actually known.

Using what you know and can prove instead of making speculative assumptions that invariably justify your preferred outcome... what a concept.

Update: The research abstract is a bit more clear:

Several recent studies have highlighted the possibility that the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems have started loosing part of their ability to sequester a large proportion of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This is an important claim, because so far only about 40% of those emissions have stayed in the atmosphere, which has prevented additional climate change. This study re-examines the available atmospheric CO2 and emissions data including their uncertainties. It is shown that with those uncertainties, the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has been 0.7 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero. The analysis further shows that the statistical model of a constant airborne fraction agrees best with the available data if emissions from land use change are scaled down to 82% or less of their original estimates. Despite the predictions of coupled climate-carbon cycle models, no trend in the airborne fraction can be found.

My bold above.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 1, 2010 12:53 PM

The article seems to be poorly written.

Apparently it is about the ratio of absorbed CO2 not changing--or something.

But, it is NOT saying that the absolute value of CO2 is unchanged.

Posted by: mockmook at January 1, 2010 12:57 PM

Mockmook, think it through. If the ratio is unchanging while the overall amount is going up, then the cause is not solely man made. Is it coincidental that both natural and man made CO2 are rising at exactly the same rate? Or more likely that mankind is not a big player, and man made CO2 definitely not a big player.

Posted by: CoRev at January 1, 2010 01:10 PM

"In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades."

http://www.sciencedaily DOT com/releases/2009/12/091230184221.htm

Mock, it is the airborne fraction of CO2 that is supposedly the problem. And IT has not changed in 150 years.

That having been said, airborne CO2 does NOT cause the oceans to warm, as anyone who has watched a cold beer go flat as it warms up can tell you.

It is the SUN which warms -- sometimes more, sometimes less -- the oceans, and causes dissolved CO2 to come out of solution; just like the beer.

It would appear that hoax #1 having been exposed, these people are off on the next one: That the biochemistry of plants, and the properties of sea water have mysteriously changed such that they can no longer absorb as much CO2.

Give it UP, already.

Posted by: Bill Smith at January 1, 2010 01:18 PM

"Hide the decline," or "hide the non existent increase?" Amazing what we discover when we employ actual science rather than wishful thinking. But we have nothing to worry about as Barack Obama has promised to change everything and restore science to its rightful place: lying in the service of a statist agenda.

Posted by: mikemcdaniel at January 1, 2010 01:35 PM

Damn it Bob! Cluttering the issue with facts!

Not to be dissuaded, however, the EPA is now looking to follow up on calling CO2 a 'pollutant' with a complete overhaul of Land Use regulations!

Think Kelo on steroids, and you might be halfway there.

Posted by: Wind Rider at January 1, 2010 02:16 PM

Wind Rider, if the EPA actually goes forward there will be many, many, and even more lawsuits. One loss will cause the whole house of cards to fall. It will take years, but it is inevitable, especially with time.

Posted by: CoRev at January 1, 2010 03:15 PM

Spam filter not working?
I don't need a wedding dress, thank you.

Posted by: Marc at January 2, 2010 12:59 AM

I don't need a wedding dress, thank you.

Posted by: Marc at January 2, 2010 12:59 AM
------------- --------------- -----------

I don't know. Maybe you'd look cute in one..?

[ sorry, couldn't resist that ;-)) ]

Posted by: chuck in st paul at January 2, 2010 10:13 AM

Mock is right. It's dealing with proportions, not with total amounts. CO2 is increasing, it's just the ratio of CO2 that is going into the atmosphere has stayed a fairly constant 45% for 150 years.

New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now.

This suggests that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected.
The results run contrary to a significant body of recent research which expects that the capacity of terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans to absorb CO2 should start to diminish as CO2 emissions increase, letting greenhouse gas levels skyrocket. Dr Wolfgang Knorr at the University of Bristol found that in fact the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has only been 0.7 1.4% per decade, which is essentially zero.

That's from a press release from the researcher's university.

Posted by: dorkafork at January 2, 2010 10:33 AM

BTW, I found that press release through an anti-AGW blog, they interpret it the same way: ratio, not total amount. (See the "World Climate Report" blog, Nov.10, 2009 entry. Spam filter lets wedding dress comments through, but not that.)

Posted by: dorkafork at January 2, 2010 10:39 AM

Yes, it's the proportion sequestered that hasn't changed, CO2 is still rising. The significance of the study is it contradicts the warmist claims that humans are overloading Earth's natural ability to absorb CO2.

Posted by: Bradley J. Fikes at January 2, 2010 07:45 PM

I have some concerns that those commenting might be able to answer. CO2 supposedly a green house gas in the upper atmosphere. Much of what you are quoting has to do with its presence at our level. Now, CO2 in heavier than air, it does not float up to the upper atmosphere. So if CO2 is exerting an influence, how does it get to the upper atmosphere? It seems that the whole argument is smoke and mirrors.

Posted by: David at January 3, 2010 02:44 PM

Now, CO2 in heavier than air, it does not float up to the upper atmosphere.

Storm clouds are natural transports of air from ground level to regions as high as 40-50,000 feet

There's a lot of mixing that goes on naturally. I don't know how it would be quantified, but mechanisms do exist. Obviously, mechanisms exist which moves CFC's, which are relatively heavy molecules, into the upper atmosphere.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at January 4, 2010 12:27 AM