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Climate Drives Carbon Dioxide Levels – not the other way round

Written by Bevan Dockery

Analysis of the satellite global temperature and known atmospheric carbon dioxide levels indicate that it is the temperature of the atmosphere that controls CO2 levels, not the reverse. The findings discredit the UN IPCC narrative that carbon emissions drive global warming.  co2 graph

The graph (shown right) displays the time relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentration at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, from the Scripps Institute, compared to the satellite lower tropospheric Tropics-Land temperature provide by the University of Alabama, Huntsville, for the major 1997-‘98 El Nino event. The maximum in the annual increment of the temperature, at October 1997, preceded the maximum in the annual increment in the CO2 concentration, at March 1998, by 5 months revealing that the CO2 change could not possibly have caused the temperature change.

Statistical analysis of the complete data set extending from December 1978, when satellite measurements began, until the present determined that the 5 month delay was the average throughout the 38 year period.

Further, it can be seen that the Average Temperature graph, being a plot of the 12 month running average temperature, corresponds with the overall variation in the CO2 annual increment. Again this is confirmed by analysis of the complete record which gave a statistically significant correlation between the two.

It is not possible for a CO2 time rate of change to set the level of the average temperature but it is possible for the average temperature to cause the rate of change in the CO2 concentration in the same way that the temperature setting of a stove element determines the rate of evaporation of a pot of water. This supports the contention that the CO2 change has not caused the temperature change.

If the temperature level determines the rate of change of the CO2 concentration then the first derivative of the temperature series, here the annual increment, would correspond with the second derivative of the CO2 concentration, that is, the rate of change of the rate of change in the CO2 concentration.

Calculation of the second derivative of the CO2 concentration using annual increments from the original time series gave a series that had a statistically significant correlation with the annual increment temperature series. This confirms that the temperature level determines the rate of change for the CO2 concentration and rules out the possibility that CO2 change causes temperature change.

Other El Nino events affecting Mauna Loa produced the same relationship. For example, for the 1983 El Nino, the maximum in the Tropics-Land satellite temperature annual increment occurred during November 1982, 3 months ahead of the maximum for the CO2 annual increment at February 1983.

Again, for the 1987 El Nino, the maximum in the Tropics-Land satellite temperature annual increment occurred in January 1987, 7 months ahead of the maximum for the CO2 annual increment at August 1987. This elementary demonstration that CO2 does not cause warming is not isolated to the Mauna Loa Observatory but is apparent at twenty-seven other CO2 recording stations across the globe ranging from Alert in Northeast Canada down to the South Pole station.

In summary, these data show that on average the maximum for the rate of change in CO2 concentration per annum lagged the maximum for the rate of change in Land Temperature by two and two-third months.

The most recent report by the IPCC:

“Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” states on page 8, as follows:

SPM 2. Future Climate Changes, Risks and Impacts Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks.

SMP 2.1 Key drivers of future climate Cumulative emission of CO2 largely determine global mean surface warming by the late 21st century and beyond. …..”

The above analysis has shown the IPCC assertions to be unwarranted and that the IPCC has mistaken cause and effect. It is the temperature that is a significant control on the emission of CO2 which explains why all of the IPCC predictions to date have failed to materialize.

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Bevan Dockery, B.Sc.(Hons), Grad. Dip. Computing, retired geophysicist, formerly: Fellow of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, Member of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Member of the European Association of Exploration Geophysicists, Member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.