What Climate Alarmists Don’t Want You Knowing About CO2

Written by E. David Day, Ph.D. (U of A, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry, 1972), MBA, CIE

Man-made global warming is junk science. So say highly-qualified experts from the ‘hard’ sciences. Poorly trained government climate ‘experts’ for too long refused to share their half-baked theories and data about the role of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) with better qualified experts. confused reader

Below are typical well-known and established scientific facts that climate change alarmists would rather keep from you.

  • As part of the “Carbon Cycle”, through photosynthesis, atmospheric carbon dioxide is the sole source of the oxygen that we need to breathe (one molecule of CO2 produces one molecule of O2). 
  • Similarly, through photosynthesis,our entire food supply (animal and vegetable) is dependent upon carbon dioxide.  Needless to say, carbon dioxide is essential to our survival.
  • In Calgary, Alberta, we accommodate “seasonal” temperature changes from, say, +30 C (summer) to -30 C (winter) for a 60 C temperature range, which is due to the Sun.  The +2 C “drift” in “average” global temperatures is attributed, by alarmists, to carbon dioxide (currently 400 ppm, parts-per-million, by volume in the atmosphere). 
  • Carbon dioxide is a much poorer “green house gas” than water vapour (by a factor of ~160, see thermodynamic analysis: http://www.biocab.org/Heat Stored.html).  Water vapour (at 1% or 10,000 ppm, by volume in the atmosphere) is particularly prevalent over the oceans that cover three-quarters of the surface of our planet.
  • A recent publication by NASA suggests that carbon dioxide actually contributes to “Global Cooling”:http://www.naturalnews.com/040448 solar radiation global warming debunked.html
  • There are fossils of palm trees in the high Arctic and evidence of a previous Ice Age that had little to do with the activities of Man.
  • Meaningful, unbiased/objective, “hard” sources of global data regarding sources of carbon dioxide can be difficult to find in a format suitable for comparison purposes. 
  • The site http://www.planetseed.com/relatedarticle/carbon-dioxide-sources provides an excellent list of sources, but ignores the contribution of “natural” forest and grass fires.  A more complete list is as follows:

1. Respiration (plant and animal, unquantified)

2. Decay (plant and animal, unquantified)

3. Volcanic activity (>0.6 Gtonnes, http://www.livescience.com/40451-volcanic-co2-levels-are-staggering.html)

4. Forest & grass fires (unquantified)

5. Increase/decrease of carbon dioxide dissolved in ocean water (see analysis below).

“Man-made” Carbon Dioxide

6. Fossil fuel combustion (natural gas, petroleum, and coal: see IPCC estimates)

7. Cement production (calcination of limestone, may be included in 6.)

8. Wood combustion (deforestation and fuel wood, unquantified)

  • According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA-ESRL). the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (Mauna Loa Observatory), showed an average annual increaseof 2.1 ppm (16 Gtonnes) per year for the past decade (2005-2014).  The average for the prior decade (1995-2004)was 1.9 ppm (15 Gtonnes) per year.  These numbers represent the “real” measured “net” result of all annual contributions (sources and sinks), listed or otherwise. 
  • At a total atmospheric concentration of 400 ppm, a 2 ppm increase per year represents 0.5%  net increase per year, from all sources and sinks.
  • In the din of shrill, alarmist “Green” rhetoric, real science gets lost in the background and ignored by the media.
  • Al Gore, David Suzuki, the IPCC, etc., etc. have it exactly backwards, elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are more likely the result of global warming, not the cause. 
  • The release of carbon dioxide (man-made) by combustion of hydrocarbons is negligible compared with the potential (and probably actual) release of carbon dioxide from warming oceans. 
  • Cause and effect have been “converted” for ideological reasons or just plain ignorance.  
  • Any form of “carbon tax”, or other related economically damaging policy, is “consequential” damage.
  • Of the three major “sinks” for carbon dioxide (photosynthesis, dissolving in water bodies, and natural sequestration), the oceans are the largest reservoir of dissolved carbon dioxide on the planet (40 to 60 times the quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide, i.e., Nature’s own “carbon capture”).  This enormous carbon dioxide absorptive capacity of the oceans, in active exchange with the atmosphere, means that very little (approximately 1/40th to 1/60th) of any additions to atmospheric carbon dioxide (including “man-made”) accumulate in the air to contribute to any “Climate Change”. 
  • Ocean organisms “sequester” some of the dissolved CO2 into seashells, corals, crustaceans, the White Cliffs of Dover, carbonates of the Western Sedimentary Basin and Rocky Mountains, and so on.  When ocean temperatures rise, CO2 is released into the atmosphere like a carbonated drink going “flat”.

The evidence:

1. Background: CO2 in sea water:  http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/oceanography/faculty/zeebe_files/Publications/ZeebeWolfEnclp07.pdf

2.      (a) Atmospheric CO2 “lags” Global Warming: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.ca/2013/06/climate-scientist-dr-murry-salby.html

        (b) http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.ca/2013/07/swedish-scientist-replicates-dr-murry.html

3. It is well known (within established science) that the solubility of gases in water (including sea water) decreases with increasing water temperature.  The issue then is to determine the release (not rate) of carbon dioxide from sea water with increasing sea water temperatures (average). 

The rates of release would be dependent upon the mixing efficiency of ocean currents, amongst other dynamic factors (atmospheric and otherwise).  The mechanism of point 3 is not to minimize the complexity of the “open system” dynamics, but an exercise of Occam’s Razor to simplify the analysis.  Refinements can be made later (if and when desired, for rigour).  All formulae are accessible so that math can be checked.

If Global Warming/Climate Change is not attributable to accumulating “man-made” atmospheric carbon dioxide, then no amount of effort directed to the “control” of man-made carbon dioxide will have any effect whatsoever. 

Variable output from the Sun acting on atmospheric water vapour and clouds (condensed water vapour) has been identified as a much more likely explanation/driver for Climate Change (variations of “average” global temperatures), due to the enormous absorbed heat of vaporization (phase change) of the liquid water in dissipating clouds.  There is no corresponding thermodynamic explanation available to carbon dioxide (no phase change).

By: E. David Day, Ph.D. (U of A, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry, 1972), MBA, CIE

Comments (24)

  • Avatar

    Silent Reader

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    Thermal energy (originally from the Sun) is indeed “trapped” and “piled” in all planets and moons, right down to the cores, such as for our Moon where it’s over 1300°C. The reason why will blow your mind when you study the valid physics at http://climate-change-theory.com but be assured the Moon’s core will not cool off while ever the Sun shines with current intensity. You didn’t know that, did you?

    [b]ADMINISTRATOR[/b]

    Richard Cronin (who is reading my paper) is endeavoring to have a genuine and serious discussion with me about the Second Law of Thermodynamics (about which you have incorrect understanding) and my hypothesis that is based on that law. It would be appreciated (in the interests of science) if you would cease deleting my replies to him and others. Such will be reposted promptly anyway.

    [b]No one has proved my hypothesis wrong, and it is supported by other published papers now in peer-reviewed media, as well as with centrifugal force experiments and copious planetary data, climate records etc.[/b]

  • Avatar

    Rosco

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    CO2 is less soluble in warm water than in cold water.

    If the oceans are warming then CO2 is being liberated from the oceans to the atmosphere – [b]the reverse is chemically impossible.
    [/b]
    CO2 is less soluble in “acidic” pH than it is in an “alkaline” pH.

    If the pH of the oceans are decreasing from their pH levels over 8 then CO2 is being liberated from the oceans to the atmosphere – [b]the reverse is chemically impossible.
    [/b]

    [b]There is a finite limit on how much CO2 can be dissolved in the oceans [/b]and it seems that this saturation level is decreasing with ocean warming although the increased volumes since the end of glaciation means a greater amount of dissolved CO2.

    [b]There is absolutely no limit as to how much CO2 there may be “dissolved” in the atmosphere beyond the actual amount of CO2 available.[/b]

    Hence it is my humble opinion based on real facts about CO2 that the oceans are significantly contributing to the observed increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and this is driven by warming and definitely not driving warming.

    [b]If[/b] 99% of the atmosphere has a minimal spectrum of radiation in the IR bands then so-called “greenhouse gases” must be responsible for a significant proportion of the “cooling” of the atmosphere as the [b]whole[/b] of the atmosphere heats and cools – not just “greenhouse gases”.

    Personally I believe the whole “radiation budget” proposed by climate “scientists” is simply wrong as a majority of radiation from the Earth’s surfaces escapes to space with minimal interaction with “greenhouse gases”.

    Any data produced by satellites monitoring radiation emissions shows this.

    [b]How the hell can anyone reject the readily observable effect of the lapse rate ???[/b]

    Why do we never see the “killer” piece of proof about the climate from Greg – we certainly see regular criticisms where he tells any who might have a different opinion why they are wrong without ever offering a single shred of evidence ??

    Funny that !

    • Avatar

      PeterC.PhD

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      How the hell can anyone reject the readily observable effect of the lapse rate ???

      Well said. Greg needs to come down a notch and think instead.

  • Avatar

    Greg House

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    [quote name=”PhysicistsGroup”]The force of gravity produces a temperature gradient in a planet’s troposphere which, for an Earth with dry air, would raise the mean surface temperature to about 25°C to 28°C.[/quote]

    This is physically impossible, Doug, and I told you already why. Again, the higher surface temperature means it radiates away more energy than it gets from the Sun. It must be clear to you that this is impossible, so why start over and over again with the same failed theory? Please, give us a break.

    • Avatar

      PeterC.PhD

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      Nothing in the physics I have explained is “physically impossible” and, in over 920 comments on Roy Spencer’s thread for February temperature data, not one person has proved my hypothesis wrong, and they never will. It’s all at http://climate-change-theory.com where you will find out where the extra thermal energy you are looking for comes from, and it’s not from solar radiation being absorbed by a planet’s surface, because Uranus does not have any of that at the base of its troposphere.

    • Avatar

      PeterC.PhD

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      The necessary energy is not delivered by direct radiation to the surface. Don’t worry – it all balances on every planet. You know who has explained it [url=http://climate-change-theory.com]here[/url].

      • Avatar

        Pat Obar

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        [quote name=”PeterC.PhD”]The necessary energy is not delivered by direct radiation to the surface. Don’t worry – it all balances on every planet. [/quote]

        Doug Cotton,
        Will you never go away peacefully??

    • Avatar

      Silent Reader

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      You cannot prove what you say about being physically impossible. Nor can you fault my proof that it happens, and you have not even read and understood such [url=http://climate-change-theory.com]here[/url].

  • Avatar

    PhysicistsGroup

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    There is absolutely no warming sensitivity for any IR-active gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane. The force of gravity produces a temperature gradient in a planet’s troposphere which, for an Earth with dry air, would raise the mean surface temperature to about 25°C to 28°C. But then inter-molecular radiation between water vapor molecules has a temperature leveling effect and thus reduces the surface temperature because it makes the gradient less steep, as is well known.

    What is the sensitivity for each 1% of water vapor in the atmosphere?

    We know that water vapor reduces the magnitude of the so-called lapse rate, which does not need a special name because it is just the temperature gradient in the troposphere. Now, we also know that radiative balance at the top of the atmosphere is virtually always close, in fact to within ±0.5%. The inward radiation is based on the so-called “Solar Constant” (although that does vary, especially due to variations in Earth’s eccentricity in a ~100,000 year cycle that regulates glacial periods) and the outward radiation (broadly speaking) increases if the whole temperature plot rises, making the area under that plot greater.

    Now, what the AGW crowd want you to be gullible enough to believe is that (as the percentage of water vapor increases) the thermal plot can rise at the surface end whilst at the same time acquiring a less steep gradient. Any secondary student with a knowledge of coordinate geometry would know that the area under the new (higher and less steep) thermal plot would be far greater than that under the original plot for a world with less water vapor. So how could that happen? It can’t, because the whole plot would then fall to regain radiative balance, and in fact it would have just rotated downwards at the surface end in the first place. So how could the sensitivity for each 1% of water vapor be positive causing warming of the surface?

  • Avatar

    CleanEnergyPundit

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    To quote: “Global warming did serve a couple of useful purposes. The issue has been a litmus test for our political class. Any politician who has stated a belief in global warming is either a cynical opportunist or an easily deluded fool. In neither case should that politician ever be taken seriously again. No excuses can be accepted.” Source and more on the AGW fraud at http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/global-warming-un-funnelled-from-famous.html

  • Avatar

    PhysicistsGroup

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    [b]The 21st Century Paradigm in climate science is now proven beyond doubt.[/b]

    It is proven using the Kinetic Theory of Gases and the Second Law of Thermodynamics, about which considerable extensions in understanding have occurred since 1988 as discussed [url=http://entropylaw.com]here[/url].

    The new science is based on the fact that the state of thermodynamic equilibrium in a force field exhibits a density gradient and temperature gradient, both of which can be shown to be non-zero with appropriate computations from the Kinetic Theory of Gases, as used successfully by Einstein and others to explain such things as the Ideal Gas Laws and much more.

    There is experimental evidence of such gradients now available in a recently developed centrifuge machine discussed at [url]http://climate-change-theory.com[/url] and there is also a wealth of other evidence outlined on that site which is endorsed by a group of persons suitably qualified in physics. Attempts to refute such temperature gradients have all been themselves refuted, such as explained [url=http://climate-change-theory.com/WUWT.html]here[/url].

    The new science involves relatively recent breakthroughs in physics in our understanding of heat transfers by radiation, conduction, natural convection and advection. It also requires a correct understanding of the Law of Entropy (an extension of the Second Law of Thermodynamics) and, in particular, the propensity in all nature for unbalanced energy potentials to dissipate in isolated systems.

    These breakthroughs in physics have all occurred since the early 1980’s when James Hansen made his huge blunder (re-iterated by the likes of Pierrhumbert) in assuming that it would be possible that isothermal conditions could exist as the state of thermodynamic equilibrium in a vertical plane in a gravitational field. Such a state would still have unbalanced energy potentials with more mean gravitational potential energy due to the mass of the molecules at the top than at the bottom. More molecules would fall than would rise, and we know this happens when a sealed cylinder is rotated from horizontal to vertical. When that happens, we know from Kinetic Theory exactly how and why a density gradient forms, and the Law of Entropy allows us to determine why that density gradient stabilizes and, at the same time, exhibits a stable temperature gradient (aka “lapse rate”) which can also be quantified using Kinetic Theory.

    Meteorologists also know that the environmental temperature gradient (the state of overall thermodynamic equilibrium involving both radiation and sensible heat transfers) remains intact in calm conditions in the pre-dawn hours, even when upward advection ceases altogether. The evidence, folks, has been staring you in the face, and is now proven with centrifugal force and correct physics.

    The old has gone; the new has come.

  • Avatar

    Greg House

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    [quote]Written by E. David Day: “Carbon dioxide is a much poorer “green house gas” than water vapour…
    A recent publication by NASA suggests that carbon dioxide actually contributes to “Global Cooling””[/quote]

    I can smell a contradiction: you can not argue that CO2 is both warming (“greenhouse gas”) and cooling gas.

  • Avatar

    Greg House

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    [quote]Written by E. David Day: Carbon dioxide is a much poorer “green house gas” than water vapour”[/quote]

    Neither carbon dioxide nor any other gas are “greenhouse gases”, since the “greenhouse effect”, which is “warming by back radiation”, does not exist.

    My humble advice: first learn, then write articles.

    • Avatar

      John Marshall

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      Well stated Greg. Keep shouting it, one day it might sink in with those thick politicoes.

  • Avatar

    Ned Ford

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    Your link to the NASA story doesn’t work. Not surprising, considering it’s on a naysayer website.

    If you want to seriously examine this mish-mash of ideas, it probably helps to start with one that everyone can follow themselves. The carbon content of fossil fuels is well known, and the quantity of CO2 that results from burning these fuels is fairly accurately known.

    Although the annual rise and fall of atmospheric CO2 is about three times the size of the annual increase these days, it is about half of the total fossil fuel carbon. About half of our fossil fuel emissions go directly into the ocean on a more or less constant basis.

    Once you understand this it is not much of a leap to understanding that someone who says that carbon increase is due to warming temperatures, and not the other way around may also be missing the finer points when they say that a half dozen kooks are making more sense than almost all of the world’s scientists. Or who doesn’t understand that we know that water vapor is a more powerful GHG. Or who fails to acknowledge a century’s worth of growing scientific understanding of orbital mechanics (fossil palms in the arctic are a relic of shifts over hundreds of millions of years in the axis of the Earth, continental drift, and other changes unrelated to greenhouse gases)(the current trend of orbital mechanics would have us in a cooling mode right now, since 1978, and the absence of that cooling is the strongest evidence for warming)(no one attributes the ice ages to human activity, at least not before this article) – all observations a reasonably careful amateur can make which render this article suspect.

    The sickest part of this is that it is funded by fossil fuel advocates who are trying to cripple the surging emergence of efficiency programs and renewables, which in combination are much cheaper, and much more abundant. If we had to get social consensus on the science before we did anything about fossil fuel addiction we would all belong to the Saudi’s before we could mutter “oil-can” through our rusted tin jaws.

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      Hans Schreuder

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      Ned, thanks for commenting and calling PSI a “naysayers” site – that shows in an instant that you are not a scientist and do not understand the first principles involved in correctly reaching the conclusion that man-made global warming, aka man-made climate change, is a non-event; to be sure, know that climate change is an ongoing natural event, but that man-made climate change is a manufactured claim, instigated by the UN under the auspices of Agenda21. Stop appealing to authority and learn that every single claim made by the climate alarmist community is either wrong or falsely determined by manipulating the data. If you have just one single empirically obtained proof that the atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by human activities has altered the climate, please inform this site of such evidence. Instead of the usual “the evidence is overwhelming”, put just one piece of evidence on the table. To date there has never yet will be such evidence because no warming at all is even possible by converting some oxygen into carbon dioxide. The overall emissivity of the atmosphere can only increase by containing more carbon dioxide and there is no such mechanism as the greenhouse effect in the open-to-space- atmosphere; such an effect only exists in enclosed spaces where it is the enclosure that does the “trapping”, not the gas. Btw, this is the correct link to the NASA report: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/22mar_saber/
      Please also read http://www.principia-scientific.org/the-four-known-scientific-ways-carbon-dioxide-cools-earth-s-climate.html and http://principia-scientific.org/publications/Copernicus_Meets_the_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf so you may understand that PSI uses science in the way it was ever intended to be used.
      Know as fact that PSI does not receive any funds other than from private donations. Feel free to donate 30 USD to help us stay online.

      • Avatar

        PeterC.PhD

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        Well said, Hans regarding the false AGW science.

        However, there is extensive discussion now on other blogs (such as about 780 comments on Roy Spencer’s February data thread) about the effect of gravity and how it produces a temperature gradient. This obviously allows the possibility of downward heat diffusion and convection as explained in [url=http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/03/uah-global-temperature-update-for-feb-2015-0-30-deg-c/#comment-186427]this[/url] comment and many others that have never been correctly refuted on that thread. It makes sense to me, and it is clearly in accord with the laws of thermodynamics.

        So what explanation does PSI have for the temperatures and energy transfers on Earth and perhaps some of the other planets?

        I have to say that I don’t buy the argument that the Sun’s radiation absorbed by the surface can account for observed mean surface temperatures. How could it possibly do so on Venus? I can see validity in the linked comment, but I don’t see any such physics ever discussed in PSI articles, despite its obvious appeal and, I might add, empirical confirmation now in centrifugal force fields.

        • Avatar

          solvingtornadoes

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          The atmosphere as a pressure/temperature gradient, as is explained by (or, at least, consistent with) the gas laws. This is well known. I don’t think anybody denies this. So why do you keep telling us. What is your point?

          • Avatar

            PeterC.PhD

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            My [i]question[/i] in the third paragraph is addressed to Hans and/or others in PSI management who publish articles here. Do you have such an article or paper?

          • Avatar

            solvingtornadoes

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            How’s that working for you, Doug?

    • Avatar

      Kate49

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      mishmash, you say?

      You have the dogma down pat. But you can’t write clearly enough to make your point.

      “Fossil fuel advocates?” Did you put gas in your car this weekend? Did you heat your home? Where you birthed by a midwife in a hut? How about the workplace? Is it lit with electricity? Or do you work by firelight in a cave that you walked to?

      The sickest part is that you believe efficiency and renewables are more abundant. Show us. If that is true then the natural laws of supply and demand has it in place right now.

      Can you work out your imaginary supply further; to help out a starving third world that still walks daily to water? Can you find us some abundant “alternative food” that people can cook with alternative natural resources? Please. We’re waiting.

    • Avatar

      carlallen

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      [quote name=”Ned Ford”]The sickest part of this is that it is funded by fossil fuel advocates who are trying to cripple the surging emergence of efficiency programs and renewables, which in combination are much cheaper, and much more abundant. If we had to get social consensus on the science before we did anything about fossil fuel addiction we would all belong to the Saudi’s before we could mutter “oil-can” through our rusted tin jaws.[/quote]

      How well this paragraph demonstrates the effectiveness of the propaganda campaign that is underway, because it expresses many of the standard talking points that we have all heard ad-nauseum.

      1) Those who dissent from the official meme that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that is threatening to destroy the biosphere are either mentally ill or funded by the fossil fuel industry – false

      Actual scientists who follow the actual scientific method have observed significant problems with this official meme.

      2) “renewables” are “cheaper” than hydrocarbon energy – false

      Hydrocarbons are as “cheap” as wind, solar and ethanol–they are all free products of nature. The cost lies in turning that free energy into fuel to power engines that run machinery or into electricity to power all that it powers. This is not free; it takes human effort and in a just world people are compensated for their efforts when they produce that which is of benefit to others. The fact is, [b]if [/b]wind, solar and biofuels could be turned into usable energy at less cost than hydrocarbon energy than they wouldn’t need government subsides nor would their use have to be mandated by law.

      3) we need to do something about our [i]”fossil fuel addiction”[/i] – false
      At the current time the necessities of life for the vast majority of people living in developed countries is provided by hydrocarbon energy. These necessities are things such as food to eat, clean water to drink, sewage treatment facilities, fuel for transportation and communication, energy to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, energy to run modern hospitals and so forth. All of these things which hydrocarbon energy provides are of great benefit to man. An “addiction” on the other hand is something that human beings do compulsively that brings them great harm. As this article attempts to point out the carbon dioxide that is emitted when hydrocarbon energy is burned for energy is of great benefit to the biosphere, without any [b]”proven” [/b]harm to anything or anybody. Therefore the use of the word “addiction” when referring to the use of hydrocarbons as an energy source is nothing more than double-speak.

      4) To paraphrase, [i]”Our dependance on hydrocarbon energy makes us slaves to the Saudi’s.”[/i] – false

      What makes the USA dependent upon foreign sources of energy are the inane government policies that have forbidden the harvesting of vast amounts of domestic hydrocarbon energy at the same time that other inane government policies are closing down domestic coal burning power plants while simultaneously allowing millions of tones of domestic coal to be shipped to China to fuel their growing economy.

      Carl

  • Avatar

    Al Shelton

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    Excellent.
    Now please send this to all the Government Ministers for the Federal and provincial governments.
    Thanks.

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