Vijay Jayaraj makes the case for carbon emissions in relation to the question: Will My Carbon Footprint Benefit or Harm the Environment? May 28, 2019 at Cornwall Alliance. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images. (Follow the title link to the article for many supporting reference links)
My cousin in California is excited about buying a Tesla. “It is environmentally friendly” he says. Maybe you agree. My friends in India, too, are excited about buying electric cars. They think doing so will help them prevent global warming.
But the evidence suggests otherwise.
Almost every environmental policy now makes reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the only way to “go green.” Advocates have even persuaded school children to strike against fossil fuels.
But as a climate scientist, I’ve researched the pros and cons of CO2. What have I found? That our CO2 emissions will actually benefit the planet, not harm…
The primary feeding period for polar bears is rapidly drawing to a close in much of the Arctic, although it may continue for another few weeks in the farthest north. Mating is pretty much over as well, which means the polar bears’ need for abundant sea ice is declining even more rapidly than the ice does itself at this time of year.
Despite the fact that CO2 levels have now reached 415 ppm (see tweet below), sea ice is still pretty much as it was in 2006 when CO2 was about 385 ppm. In other words, the state of sea ice at this time of year – just over 12 million kilometres squared in 2006 and in 2019 – shows no correlation with rising CO2 levels. There is also not a hint of imminent catastrophe for polar bears anywhere within their range, despite the hand-wringing messages from conservation fear-mongers
Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. joins [Anthony Watts] on a podcast to discuss the surface temperature record, the upcoming IPCC report, and climate science moving forward.
Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. explains how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is incorrectly explaining climate change to the media and public. Pielke highlights how the IPCC ignores numerous drivers of climate aside from CO2, leading to numerous factual inaccuracies in the IPCC reports.
We also cover what is wrong with the surface temperature record – specifically why many temperature readings are higher than the actual temperature.
Pielke is currently a Senior Research Scientist in CIRES and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) at the University of Colorado in Boulder (November 2005 -present). He is also an Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.
The consistent pattern of the IPCC reveals demonization and misrepresentations of CO2. Here are some basic facts about CO2 that illustrate the discrepancy between what the IPCC claim and what science knows.
Natural levels of Carbon dioxide (CO2) are less than 0.04% of the total atmosphere; it is far from being the most important or even only greenhouse gas as most of the public understands.
Water vapour which is 95 percent of the greenhouse gases by volume is by far the most abundant and important greenhouse gas.
The other natural greenhouse gas of relevance is methane (CH4), but it is only 0.000175 percent of atmospheric gases and 0,036 percent of all greenhouse gases.
In order to amplify the importance of CO2 they created a measure called “climate sensitivity”. This determines that CO2 is more “effective” as a greenhouse gas than water vapour
Here is a table from Wikipedia showing estimates of the effectiveness of the various GHGs. Notice the range of estimates, which effectively makes the measures meaningless, unless you have a political agenda. Wikipedia acknowledges “It is not possible to state that a certain gas causes an exact percentage of the greenhouse effect.”
The result of determining “effectiveness” was the creation of a Global Warming Potential (GWP) chart. It was similar to the chart of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) created after the false claim that CFCs were destroying ozone in the upper atmosphere.
Estimates of the amount of annual human CO2 production added to the atmosphere are produced by the IPCC. They claim it is about 3% of the total added annually.
In the early IPCC Reports they promoted the idea that the length of time CO2 remains in the atmosphere, known as the Residency Time is at least 100 years. Although the 100 years is not mentioned, the concept is still on or implied on many government web pages. For example, Environment Canada says, “As carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for a long time, levels of carbon dioxide continue to build-up in the atmosphere with ongoing human emissions.” Actual Residence Time for CO2 is only 5 to 7 years after which it is cycled back through natural sinks (an area of absorption) such as plants, oceans and soils. (Figure1)
The ocean is the major control of atmospheric CO2, but its ability varies with water temperature. A cold ocean absorbs more than a warm ocean.
Humans produce CO2, but they also remove it from the atmosphere. Agriculture and forestry are the major absorbers, removing an estimated 50 percent of total production.
The Antarctic Ice core record shows temperature increases before CO2. A similar relationship is shown for every single record of any duration and for any time period. Despite this, all computer models are programmed so a CO2 increase causes a temperature increase.
Carbon dioxide is essential for all life on Earth. Research shows current levels of 392 ppm are approximately one third the optimum for most plants. Empirical evidence from CO2 levels injected into commercial greenhouses indicate optimum yields at levels between 1000 and 1200 ppm. Interestingly this is the average level of the last 300 million years.
The second major data manipulation involved CO2, the target of the entire UNEP and IPCC. How would you “get rid of industrialized nations” as Maurice Strong recommended. The source of their energy and success are fossil fuels. Compare the nation to a car. It’s a good analogy because many demonize the car as the symbol of industrialization, particularly in the US. You can stop the car by shutting off the fuel supply. You can do the same to a nation, but it would bring an immediate negative response. Just look at the reaction when fuel prices soar. You can also stop the car by blocking the exhaust and that had potential for application to a nation. Show that the byproduct of the car, or the nation, is destroying the climate and you have a powerful vehicle to push an agenda to shut down the car or the industry. It is more effective if you get the byproduct labeled a pollutant.
Isolation began with the limiting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to only human-caused climate change. The definition of climate change came from the United Nations Environment Program (article 1) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
“a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.”
In another of their deceptive changes, they abandoned the original definition of climate change written by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and used in the first three Reports and replaced it in the 2007 Report. Here it is as a footnote in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM). “Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.” The problem is they did not alter the Fourth Report because Reports are cumulative and so the basis for including natural variability did not exist.
Tables showing factors they considered are evidence that they didn’t change.
Here is the Table for the 2001 Report.
Things to note;
Water Vapor, the most important greenhouse gas, is not listed.
Only solar irradiance is included – this is not the only way the Sun affects climate. If you list only human causes then how do we affect solar irradiance?
The right-hand column is the Level of Scientific Understanding (LOSU).
Claims of “high” understanding are scientifically unjustified.
Nine items are listed – only two are high, but four are Low and two Med-Low.
The total change caused by humans is averaged at 1.6 W/m2 (range 0.6 to 2.4)
They added no new variables to the 2007 Report, despite the supposed new definition. As with everything the IPCC does it is what is missing or changed that tells the story.
The LOSU column is gone.
The column listing the range of estimates of RF (Radiative Forcing) is gone.
Water Vapor is still missing.
Numbers for the range of human forcing are missing, but eyeball readings indicate they are unchanged.
The total net human effect appears to remain at 1.6 W/m2.
This indicates the claimed increase of human CO2 was not included.
The problem remains that since you don’t know how much CO2 there is or how much it changes naturally, you cannot determine what portion is due to human activities. Every figure used is a very crude estimate at best.
By design all CO2 numbers used by the IPCC underline the human impact. They are meaningless figures from the total volumes to the annual flows and the human inputs as depicted in the IPCC carbon cycle diagram. In 2010 Dr Dietrich Koelle provided a table of the estimated emissions and uptakes of CO2 from natural sources and the human emissions.
Humans and Animals 45 to 52
Oceans’ outgassing (tropical areas) 90 to 100
Volcanic and other ground sources 0.5 to 2
Ground bacteria, rotting and decay 50 to 60*
Forest cutting, forest fires 1 to 3
Anthropogenic emissions (2010) 9.5
TOTAL 196 to 226.5
* other published values: 26 Gt, resp. 86-110 Gt
Vegetation on land 55 to 62
Oceans’ uptake 87 to 95*
Algae, phytoplankton, seaweed 48 to 57
Weathering (Silica minerals) 3 to 6
TOTAL 193 to 220
* other published values: 68-110, 30-50 Gt
The difference is + 1.5 to 3 Gt C p.a. which is in agreement with the annual increase (depending on the ENSO activity).
Notice that the range of error of estimates for emissions of Oceans and Ground Bacteria exceeds the total for humans.
Human CO2 production is central to the IPCC objective, so they control production of the information. Like most things they do it is disclosed, but they know few people realize the significance. Here, they explain the process.
What is the role of the IPCC in Greenhouse Gas inventories and reporting to the UNFCCC?
A: The IPCC has generated a number of methodology reports on national greenhouse gas inventories with a view to providing internationally acceptable inventory methodologies. The IPCC accepts the responsibility to provide scientific and technical advice on specific questions related to those inventory methods and practices that are contained in these reports, or at the request of the UNFCCC in accordance with established IPCC procedures. The IPCC has set up the Task Force on Inventories (TFI) to run the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Programme (NGGIP) to produce this methodological advice. Parties to the UNFCCC have agreed to use the IPCC Guidelines in reporting to the convention.
How does the IPCC produce its inventory Guidelines?Utilising IPCC procedures, nominated experts from around the world draft the reports that are then extensively reviewed twice before approval by the IPCC. This process ensures that the widest possible range of views are incorporated into the documents.
In other words they control the entire process from the methodology, designation of technical advice, establishment of task forces, guidelines for reporting, nomination of experts to produce the reports, and final approval of what the reports say. They rely on data from individual UN member nations, but any examination of UN data quickly reveals its inadequacies. For example, look at the countries that claim 99% or higher literacy rate.
IPCC figures for annual CO2 production per nation are equally distorted and wrong. Worse, they have no scientific purpose, they are strictly for the political agenda. Professor Murray Salby shows in this video how the human portion is of no consequence. He demonstrates that variation in natural (non-human) sources of CO2 explains almost all annual changes. He shows how just a 5% variation in these sources is more than the total annual human production.
A partial explanation for the IPCC error is because climate science assumes change and variability are abnormal as the diagram illustrates. They don’t show the error in the estimates of volumes, which in at least three instances, atmosphere, oceans, and vegetation/soil detritus exceed estimates for total human production. This is true even with IPCC’s claimed annual increase.
Figure – shows the percentages of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Another diagram shows the greenhouse gas percentages in a different form.
Compare that diagram with this one from the ABC News network web site. It illustrates the distortions created by the deception so the IPCC. Water vapor, the most important greenhouse gas by far, is not even shown. It is evidence of the success in placing all the attention on CO2..
There are several misconceptions about CO2, created to prove the hypothesis and raise the level of threat in various ways. For example, an early IPCC claim said atmospheric residency time of CO2 was at least 100 years. Done, ostensibly, for the political point that even if we stopped CO2 production immediately the damage done lasts for a long time. We now know the actual time residency is approximately 5 to 6 years.
The major assumption of the hypothesis says a CO2 increase causes a temperature increase. After publication in 1999 of Petit et al., Antarctic ice core records appeared as evidence in the 2001 Report.
Figure : Antarctic core core record.
Just four years later proof that the major assumption of the hypothesis was wrong appeared. A more detailed look showed that the temperature increased before CO2 in complete contradiction to the hypothesis. Somehow it was shuffled aside, probably because of the diversionary claim that the lag was between 80 and 800 years. It doesn’t matter because it still contradicts the basic assumption. More compelling is the fact that temperature changes before CO2 change in every record for any period or duration. Most curious, the contradiction is ignored by proponents and too many skeptics. Figure 2 shows a shorter record of the relationship.
Figure 2; Lag time for short record, 1958 to 2009.
It is logical to assume that if CO2 change follows temperature change in every record then CO2 cannot be a greenhouse gas. Despite this, the assumption that a CO2 increase causes a temperature increase is in all global climate computer models including those of the IPCC.
The IPCC faced another serious challenge created by the need to prove their hypothesis, rather than disprove it as normal science requires. It paralleled the need to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period because it showed the world was warmer than today before the Industrial Revolution. It was necessary to show or claim that the pre-industrial level of CO2 was lower than today. This campaign was underway before the ice cores information was released.
Most people think ice cores are the only source of pre-industrial CO2 levels. What most people don’t know is that thousands of direct measures of atmospheric CO2 began in the Nineteenth Century. Joseph Black had studied the properties of CO2 in the 1750s and Joseph Priestly published on oxygen in 1775. Attempts to measure the various volumes of atmospheric gases, with global measures of CO2 followed these events beginning in 1812. Scientists took precise measurements with calibrated instruments as Ernst Beck thoroughly documented.
In a paper submitted to the Hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski states
“The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.”
Of equal importance Jaworowski states,
The notion of low pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric level, based on such poor knowledge, became a widely accepted Holy Grail of climate warming models. The modelers ignored the evidence from direct measurements of CO2 in atmospheric air indicating that in 19th century its average concentration was 335 ppmv (Figure 2). In Figure 2 encircled values show a biased selection of data used to demonstrate that in 19th century atmosphere the CO2 level was 292 ppmv. A study of stomatal frequency in fossil leaves from Holocene lake deposits in Denmark, showing that 9400 years ago CO2 atmospheric level was 333 ppmv, and 9600 years ago 348 ppmv, falsify the concept of stabilized and low CO2 air concentration until the advent of industrial revolution .
Jaworowski’s claim the modelers ignored the 19th century readings isn’t correct. They knew about it because T.R.Wigley introduced information about the 19th century readings to the climate science community. (Wigley, T.M.L., 1983 “The pre-industrial carbon dioxide level.” Climatic Change 5, 315-320). It did what many others have done in taking a wide range of readings, eliminating only high readings and claiming the pre-industrial level was approximately 270 ppm. I suggest this is what influenced the modelers because Wigley was working with them through the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia. He was the key person directing the machinations as revealed by the leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU).
Wigley was not the first to misuse the 19th century data, but he did reintroduce it to the climate community. Guy Stewart Callendar, a British Steam engineer, pushed the thesis that increasing CO2 was causing warming. He did what Wigley did by selecting only those readings that supported the hypothesis.
I took another ramble through the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite-measured rainfall data. Figure 1 shows a Pacific-centered and an Atlantic-centered view of the average rainfall from the end of 1997 to the start of 2015 as measured by the TRMM satellite.
There’s lots of interesting stuff in those two graphs. I was surprised by how much of the planet in general, and the ocean in particular, are bright red, meaning they get less than half a meter (20″) of rain per year.
I was also intrigued by how narrowly the rainfall is concentrated at the average Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The ITCZ is where the two great global hemispheres of the atmospheric circulation meet near the Equator. In the Pacific and Atlantic on average the ITCZ is just above the Equator, and in the Indian Ocean, it’s just below the Equator. However, that’s just on average. Sometimes in the Pacific, the ITCZ is below the Equator. You can see kind of a mirror image as a light orange horizontal area just below the Equator.
Here’s an idealized view of the global circulation. On the left-hand edge of the globe, I’ve drawn a cross section through the atmosphere, showing the circulation of the great atmospheric cells.
The ITCZ is shown in cross-section at the left edge of the globe in Figure 2. You can see the general tropical circulation. Surface air in both hemispheres moves towards the Equator. It is warmed there and rises. This thermal circulation is greatly sped up by air driven vertically at high rates of speed through the tall thunderstorm towers. These thunderstorms form all along the ITCZ. These thunderstorms provide much of the mechanical energy that drives the atmospheric circulation of the Hadley cells.
With all of that as prologue, here’s what I looked at. I got to thinking, was there a trend in the rainfall? Is it getting wetter or drier? So I looked at that using the TRMM data. Figure 3 shows the annual change in rainfall, in millimeters per year, on a 1° latitude by 1° longitude basis.
I note that the increase in rain is greater on the ocean vs land, is greatest at the ITCZ, and is generally greater in the tropics.
Why is this overall trend in rainfall of interest? It gives us a way to calculate how much this cools the surface. Remember the old saying, what comes down must go up … or perhaps it’s the other way around, same thing. If it rains an extra millimeter of water, somewhere it must have evaporated an extra millimeter of water.
And in the same way that our bodies are cooled by evaporation, the surface of the planet is also cooled by evaporation.
Now, we note above that on average, the increase is 1.33 millimeters of water per year. Metric is nice because volume and size are related. Here’s a great example.
One millimeter of rain falling on one square meter of the surface is one liter of water which is one kilo of water. Nice, huh?
So the extra 1.33 millimeters of rain per year is equal to 1.33 extra liters of water evaporated per square meter of surface area.
Next, how much energy does it take to evaporate that extra 1.33 liters of water per square meter so it can come down as rain? The calculations are in the endnotes. It turns out that this 1.33 extra liters per year represents an additional cooling of a tenth of a watt per square meter (0.10 W/m2).
And how does this compare to the warming from increased longwave radiation due to the additional CO2? Well, again, the calculations are in the endnotes. The answer is, per the IPCC calculations, CO2 alone over the period gave a yearly increase in downwelling radiation of ~ 0.03 W/m2. Generally, they double that number to allow for other greenhouse gases (GHGs), so for purposes of discussion, we’ll call it 0.06 W/m2 per year.
So over the period of this record, we have increased evaporative cooling of 0.10 W/m2 per year, and we have increased radiative warming from GHGs of 0.06 W/m2 per year.
Which means that over that period and that area at least, the calculated increase in warming radiation from GHGs was more than counterbalanced by the observed increase in surface cooling from increased evaporation.
Regards to all,
As usual: please quote the exact words you are discussing so we can all understand exactly what and who you are replying to.
Finally, note that this calculation is only evaporative cooling. There are other cooling mechanisms at work that are related to rainstorms. These include:
• Increased cloud albedo reflecting hundreds of watts/square meter of sunshine back to space
• Moving surface air to the upper troposphere where it is above most GHGs and freer to cool to space.
• Increased ocean surface albedo from whitecaps, foam, and spume.
• Cold rain falling from a layer of the troposphere that is much cooler than the surface.
• Rain re-evaporating as it falls to cool the atmosphere
• Cold wind entrained by the rain blowing outwards at surface level to cool surrounding areas
• Dry descending air between rain cells and thunderstorms allowing increased longwave radiation to space.
Between all of these, they form a very strong temperature regulating mechanism that prevents overheating of the planet.
Calculation of energy required to evaporate 1.33 liters of water.
#latent heat evaporation joules/kg @ salinity 35 psu, temperature 24°C
In June 1991, when Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines spewed tons of volcanic ash and gases into the atmosphere, it just so happened that halfway around the world scientists were beginning to obtain good data from carbon dioxide monitors high above the tree canopy in Harvard Forest, outside Boston, Mass. Now, more than a decade later, the measurements taken during the years following the eruption are providing new insight into how atmospheric aerosols affect photosynthesis. The findings, published today in the journal Science, are forcing scientists to rethink the factors that influence the cycling of carbon through the environment, particularly carbon dioxide, a major player in global warming.
Within three weeks of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, the largest volcanic blast of the century, a band of sulfur aerosol had encircled the globe. By early 1992, the volcanic gases and aerosols had diffused through the stratosphere, veiling the earth. During that time, global carbon dioxide levels fell more sharply than any other decline on record. Some scientists suggested that global cooling caused ecosystem respiration to drop, lowering the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. But Lianhong Gu of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, lead author of the Science report, didn’t think that could be the only explanation.
Gu knew that crop scientists had discovered that plants grow best in diffuse light. When sunlight is too intense, some leaves fall into shadow, unable to photosynthesize, while others bask in the direct beams but will reach a photosynthetic saturation point. Moderate cloud cover and aerosols block direct beams, but allow light to bounce back and forth off water vapor and other molecules, creating a “softer” light that reaches leaves that would otherwise be shaded. As a result, the plants photosynthesize more, using up carbon dioxide in the process. Gu and his collaborators determined that the same principles apply to forest canopies. The Harvard Forest data show that carbon dioxide levels dropped for two years following the eruption at Mt. Pinatubo findings that the scientists suggest represent a worldwide phenomenon given that the eruption had a global atmospheric effect. “Up until now we hadn’t linked aerosols and clouds with carbon studies,” Gu says. “In order to understand atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, which affect climate, we have to look at how aerosols and clouds affect the global carbon cycle.”
Geologist Gregory Whitestone provides a climate history lesson for warmists who skipped history classes protesting against global warming. Hist article at Town Hall is Ocasio-Cortez’s Climatology Lacks Historical Context. Excerpts in italics with my bolds. H/T Climate Depot.
When Sam Cooke sang “Don’t know much about history” in 1960 he could not have had U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in mind, but only because she lives a half century later.
Whatever Ocasio-Cortez got from history classes during her time at Boston University, it wasn’t an appreciation of historical context because it is sorely lacking in her assertions about climate and its effect on humankind. She and others promoting the Green New Deal have the facts exactly backwardswhen they claim that warming temperatures are an existential threat to humanity.
Ocasio-Cortez recently warned in a House Oversight Committee hearing that the United States would have “blood on our hands” if legislation to…
SUMMARY:A simple model of the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere is presented which fairly accurately reproduces the Mauna Loa observations 1959 through 2018. The model assumes the surface removes CO2 at a rate proportional to the excess of atmospheric CO2 above some equilibrium value. It is forced with estimates of yearly CO2 emissions since 1750, as well as El Nino and La Nina effects. The residual effects of major volcanic eruptions (not included in the model) are clearly seen. Two interesting finding are that (1) the natural equilibrium level of CO2 in the atmosphere inplied by the model is about 295 ppm, rather than 265 or 270 ppm as is often assumed, and (2) if CO2 emissions were stabilized and kept constant at 2018 levels, the atmospheric CO2 concentration would eventually stabilize at close to 500 ppm, even with continued emissions.
A recent e-mail discussion regarding sources of CO2 other than anthropogenic led me to revisit a simple model to explain the history of CO2 observations at Mauna Loa since 1959. My intent here isn’t to try to prove there is some natural source of CO2 causing the recent rise, as I think it is mostly anthropogenic. Instead, I’m trying to see how well a simple model can explain the rise in CO2, and what useful insight can be deduced from such a model.
The model uses the Boden et al. (2017) estimates of yearly anthropogenic CO2 production rates since 1750, updated through 2018. The model assumes that the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere is proportional to the atmospheric excess above some natural “equilibrium level” of CO2 concentration. A spreadsheet with the model is here.
Here’s the assumed yearly CO2 inputs into the model:
I also added in the effects of El Nino and La Nina, which I calculate cause a 0.47 ppm yearly change in CO2 per unit Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) value (May to April average). This helps to capture some of the wiggles in the Mauna Loa CO2 observations.
The resulting fit to the Mauna Loa data required an assumed “natural equilibrium” CO2 concentration of 295 ppm, which is higher than the usually assumed 265 or 270 ppm pre-industrial value:
Click on the above plot and notice just how well even the little El Nino- and La Nina-induced changes are captured. I’ll address the role of volcanoes later.
The next figure shows the full model period since 1750, extended out to the year 2200:
Interestingly, note that despite continued CO2 emissions, the atmospheric concentration stabilizes just short of 500 ppm. This is the direct result of the fact that the Mauna Loa observations support the assumption that the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere is directly proportional to the amount of “excess” CO2 in the atmosphere above a “natural equilibrium” level. As the CO2 content increases, the rate or removal increases until it matches the rate of anthropogenic input.
We can also examine the removal rate of CO2 as a fraction of the anthropogenic source. We have long known that only about half of what is emitted “shows up” in the atmosphere (which isn’t what’s really going on), and decades ago the IPCC assumed that the biosphere and ocean couldn’t keep removing excess CO2 at such a high rate. But, in fact, the fractional rate of removal has actually been increasing,Â notÂ decreasing.And the simple model captures this:
The up-and-down variations in Fig. 4 are due to El Nino and La Nina events (and volcanoes, discussed next).
Finally, a plot of the difference between the model and Mauna Loa observations reveals the effects of volcanoes. After a major eruption, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is depressed, either because of a decrease in natural surface emissions or an increase in surface uptake of atmospheric CO2:
What is amazing to me is that a model with such simple but physically reasonable assumptions can so accurately reproduce the Mauna Loa record of CO2 concentrations. I’ll admit I am no expert in the global carbon cycle, but the Mauna Loa data seem to support the assumption that for global, yearly averages, the surface removes a net amount of CO2 from the atmosphere that is directly proportional to how high the CO2 concentration goes above 295 ppm. The biological and physical oceanographic reasons for this might be complex, but the net result seems to follow a simple relationship.
In the face of the utter failure of large investments in renewables to deliver CO2 reductions, greens are increasingly embracing nuclear power as the solution to climate change.
Nuclear Power Can Save the World
Expanding the technology is the fastest way to slash greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonize the economy.
By Joshua S. Goldstein, Staffan A. Qvist and Steven Pinker
Drs. Goldstein and Qvist are the authors of “A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow.” Dr. Pinker is a psychology professor at Harvard.
April 6, 2019
Where will this gargantuan amount of carbon-free energy come from? The popular answer is renewables alone, but this is a fantasy. Wind and solar power are becoming cheaper, but they are not available around the clock, rain or shine, and batteries that could power entire cities for days or weeks show no sign of materializing any time soon. Today, renewables work only with fossil-fuel backup.
Germany, which went all-in for renewables, has seen little reduction in carbon emissions, and, according to our calculations, at Germany’s rate of adding clean energy relative to gross domestic product, it would take the world more than a century to decarbonize, even if the country wasn’t also retiring nuclear plants early.
But we actually have proven models for rapid decarbonization with economic and energy growth: France and Sweden. They decarbonized their grids decades ago and now emit less than a tenth of the world average of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. They remain among the world’s most pleasant places to live and enjoy much cheaper electricity than Germany to boot.
The rise of mainstream green advocacy for nuclear power is long overdue.
I have never understood how anyone who thinks CO2 is a looming threat can argue in good faith against the evidence of two countries which have affordably reduced their CO2 emissions to a tenth of what everyone else emits, by embracing nuclear power.