What is Happening with Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide?
Written by Bevan Dockery, Geophysicist
Proof as to what has happened in the Earth’s atmosphere is sitting in the records of the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases. From those verified numbers we can contrast and compare what carbon dioxide (CO2) is actually doing in the atmosphere as opposed to what we are often told by government climate scientists.
There are 368 locations on the web site for the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases which each contain files of past atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Taken together with 36 years of satellite temperature measurements these give us a clear insight into what has actually been happening in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Linear regression analysis applied to the historic data has revealed that both the monthly and annual changes in each of the CO2 concentration and the satellite lower tropospheric temperature generate insignificant correlation coefficients with a high probability that the coefficients are zero. An example is the Scripps Institute data from the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii .
The data shows two very clear and inescapable facts:
(1) The correlation between the monthly CO2 change and the monthly temperature change was 0.02 with 64% probability that the value could be zero.
(2) The correlation between the annual CO2 change and the annual temperature change was 0.11 with 2% probability that the value could be zero.
The Tropics Land satellite lower tropospheric temperature data from University of Alabama, Huntsville , was used for these calculations.
Another example is from CSIRO data, Cape Grim, NW Tasmania , where the monthly correlation between the variables was -0.01 with 80% probability of being zero and the annual correlation was -0.05 with 32% probability of being zero from comparison with the UAH Global satellite lower tropospheric temperature .
Hence there is no causal relationship between changes in both CO2 concentration and satellite lower tropospheric temperature. CO2 does not cause global warming.
However, regression analysis has revealed that there is a high correlation between the annual average temperature and the annual increment in CO2. At Mauna Loa this correlation coefficient was 0.69 with negligible probability that the correlation is zero.
Other examples of the correlation between the annual average temperature, , and the annual increment in CO2 are: Alert, N. Canada, ground station , 0.16 , Barrow, Alaska, ground station , 0.54 , Izanz (Tenerife, Spain) , 0.54, Cape Kumukahi , 0.67, NOAA/ESRA Pacific Ocean (00N) , 0.62, Ascension Island , 0.54, Cape Grim , 0.64, Macquarie Island, Southern Ocean , 0.73, South Pole , 0.22, all with negligible probability that the coefficient was zero. Clearly the temperature level drives the rate of change in CO2 concentration for reasons which may have been discovered long ago if the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had not restricted itself to studying only “human-induced climate change”.
This explains why CO2 concentration lags temperature on a geological time scale as the rate of increase in CO2 does not fall to zero until the temperature has reached a critical low point, that is, the CO2 concentration continues to rise while the temperature is falling but at an ever-decreasing rate.
It also explains why the CO2 concentration has been continually increasing for the past 58 years of recording at the Mauna Loa Observatory but the rate of increase in CO2 concentration has now reached a plateau.
In the first 5 years of recording at Mauna Loa, the CO2 concentration was rising at a rate of 0.7 ppm per annum. This rate has continually increased to reach a plateau of almost 2.1 ppm per annum for the most recent 15 years.
The IPCC now have to explain a plateau in each of two variables, namely temperature and rate of increase in CO2 concentration. This insight tells us the reason why climate model simulations do not produce results that are of any use in reality – they are formulated on false premises.
To conclude, the natural rise in temperature since the Little Ice Age has most likely caused the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration since then, regardless of mankind.
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