Friday, November 20, 2009

CO2 Myth Busted

It is time to say the unthinkable. The CO2 linkage to global warming is simply wrong. This immediately implies that the elimination of all CO2 production will have no direct effect on climate at all. It does not change the fact that we should not be doing it and that controlling and better using CO2 should be part of human husbandry of nature. I reemphasize that we are responsible for good husbandry and this behavior must become an integral part of the human life way.

We are going to walk through the argument since enough time and data have presented themselves to make the lead assertion.

On a decadal basis the Northern Hemisphere at least warmed up by about 0.7 degrees over a two decade period between 1975 and 1995. A high was noted in 1998. The range for the Holocene is a little over two full degrees and we were sitting on the average or even a bit below during the preceding several decades after the warmer decade of the thirties.

Prior to that, we had a particularly warm decade during the thirties, which produced some similar observations.

After the warming cycle asserted itself the Northern Hemisphere remained warm. This provided a heat budget that flowed into the Arctic each year for the past fifteen years. This has largely eliminated to date possibly eighty percent of the original sea ice. There is no indication that this process has ended at all and it will likely complete the primary removal of the sea ice as early as 2012.

Most important though is the fact that after this warming trend peaked in the mid nineties, it stabilized and is presently showing weakening. For a full decade at least it has been in a plateau.

Whatever the causation engine of global warming in the north, that part is certainly real enough.

Now we turn to the CO2 issue. Because of the decadal rise in temperature ending over a decade ago that itself had lasted two decades at least, it was easy to establish a trend line that could be prospectively linked to rising atmospheric CO2. The rise in CO2 itself was easily associated with the known reality of human industrial growth. Never mind that a two hundred year recovery from the little ice age was also a causation of a rise in CO2.

All through this we see poorly understood linkages that counter an easy validation.

What ever you think of all this, with the rising trend line now well established by the end of the nineties, it was time to test the hypothesis that CO2 production is a direct driver of global temperatures on test tube Earth.

The reason that it was time was because an uptrend had been clearly established. More important than all that though was that in the next fifteen years because of the rapid expansion in industry throughout the globe, the cumulative CO2 production was certain to increase by anywhere between fifty to hundred percent.

In short, if two hundred years of CO2 production had actually caused the observed uptrend and warmer climate, then increasing the amount of produced CO2 by fifty to one hundred percent over the next decade or more should produce an observable effect. Also if the earth’s ability to absorb CO2 was been over ridden we should also observe a sharp leveraged acceleration in the rise in atmospheric CO2.

No such confirmation has occurred. Therefore, we can declare this hypothesis (or myth) as busted.

1 comment:

arclein said...

The illustration deserves a short note. these are typically added as an after thought and with articles like this it is not easy to locate something useful.

This pie chart is a inobvious reminder that the plant life on earth consumes CO2 while the sun is shining, but produces it when the sun is not shining.

I do not know the actual source of this chart but the actual human produced CO2 is still a small fraction in the CO2 ocean.

The trouble of course is that we have had a rise in recent history and attribution to human causation is reasonable but not necessarily sufficient. The Earth has been warming for the past two hundred years and this is known to induce a rise in CO2 by itself.

The pie chart is a timely reminder that the likely human contribution to the CO2 ocean is comparatively small even after all that we have produced from fossil fuels.

From the above comments an accurate figure may be impossible to produce so the figure in the chart must be viewed as illustrative wherever it came from.