An additional 3.05 ppm to our CO2 concentrations

I’ll get back to dissecting renewable fuels shortly, but I thought I’d share with you the reading of Mauna Loa’s CO2 concentrations for Dec. 31, 2015. It was 402.07.

That total in and of itself does not mean much. It has been much higher in the past and much lower more recently. Most plants would express pleasure in the new total if they were capable of doing so. Most climate scientists feel the opposite.

What gets my attention is the fact that it grew 3.05 ppm in one year. It has jumped that much on more than one occasion since 1959, but certainly not often. In recent years it has tended to grow about 2.25 ppm per year.

When I couple that observation with the fact that emissions did not grow at all in 2014, it bothers me.

It doesn’t panic me. It doesn’t make me change my perceptions of the climate debate or the climate itself. I still have a Lukewarm view of sensitivity, temperature and sea level rises and impacts on our planet.

But I confess that it bothers me.



11 responses to “An additional 3.05 ppm to our CO2 concentrations

  1. Tom,

    CO2 being 0.2% higher than might otherwise be expected does not bother me at all. But it does interest me. There seems to also have been a blip in CO2 in 1997 and 98. So maybe it is due to El Nino (the root of all weirdness). But I can’t imagine why.

  2. I think it’s the weeds I removed from our garden. Worse, I burned them.

  3. I suggest you look at the Mauna Loa record, focus on 1998 to see if there’s a change associated with El Niño.

  4. Fernando has it pegged, I believe. The warm water on the El Ninis not only removing heat but CO2 as well from the ocean into the atmosphere.

    • But the cold upwelling water is loaded with high CO2 from the deep ocean. So it seems that a reduction in upwelling should reduce the CO2 flux from the ocean to the atmosphere.

      I think the temperature dependence of CO2 solubility in seawater is something like 0.5% / K. So an 0.2% increase in atmospheric CO2 would require a global average surface ocean T increase of about 0.4 K. Seems high, even for El Nino.

      • I think “loaded” is a relative term. If the mixing we are told is happening due to heating is an accurate claim it is likely to be a two way process. So the El Nino is removing some CO2 out of a large block of ocean over a vast area of ocean. Additionally, if the biomass is increasing as satellite data implies then there are more bio sources of CO2. I do wonder how a snapshot at Maui on a given day can have very many real implications for the planet. At the least I would seek corroboration from the other measuring stations around the Earth.
        The depressing thing in this is how journalists are simply hyping the “climate change” story and applying it to every weather event and disaster, and letting negligent governments off the hook for poorly maintained infrastructure and green extremist interference in good government.

      • The 1997/8 event showed a 0.4 degree C jump over one year. Check hadcrut4

      • Fernando,

        Averaging the 12 months of 1997 in HADCRUT4 global, I get an anomaly of 0.39 K, for 1998 the average is 0.54 K. So the difference is 0.15 K. Ocean temperature changes are smaller than the global average. However, Feb. 1998 was 0.44 K warmer than Feb. 1997.

  5. Tom,
    thanks for covering this.

    I was wondering why the neighborhood kids have been so consumptive and dyspneic lately.

    Senator Barbara Boxer has been keeping hers indoors, in the fresh air, since the story broke. She says her boy is old enough to understand, but his little sister, 32, had a few tantrums when she couldn’t play with her friends.

    “Most plants would express pleasure in the new total if they were capable of doing so.”

    And there’s nothing greenies fear like a leafier planet, is there?

    Screw the adult market, Tom.

    Write a horror book, ‘Verdant Spring,’ that speaks to readers mentally aged 9–18, the so-called tweens-and-greens demographic.

    Then you’ll be rolling in paper rectangles of the dreaded color.

    “Most climate scientists feel the opposite.”

    Most climate scientists would express the truth if they were capable of doing so.

    But I think you meant they’d say the opposite, with the occasional microexpression like spasms of the risorius, literal lip-licking leaking out. The more guileless among them are even prone to macroexpressions like “such an attractive result!”

    Chlorophobia is a myth, probably started by me (oops). These people are as chlorophilic as the next guy.

  6. Thomas you have just independently rediscovered the Jarl Ahlbeck CO2 thermometer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s