Carbon Dioxide Levels Known Accurately Only Since 1930

Written by Jonathan Moseley

CO2 Monitor AIRCO2NTROL OBSERVER | TFA Dostmann

Thousands of children skipped school last week to march in the streets and demand government action about the hypothetical threat that human industrial activity will change the Earth’s climate.

It would have been better if the students had stayed in school and learned something about real science.

Scientists working under government grants tell us that we have to take action by 1999 or runaway global warming will be irreversible. See: Peter James Spielmann, “U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked,” Associated Press, June 29, 1989. Oh, wait. That didn’t happen.

We must stop CO2 emissions act by 2006 or it will be too late. Oh, wait. We have to act by 2013 or it will be too late. By 2013 there will be no more snow and all the ice packs will be gone. In any other area of life, would we keep listening to these people?

We do not know how much carbon dioxide was in Earth’s atmosphere prior to the 1930s. Devices to measure carbon dioxide went through a difficult, slow, irregular development. Reliable devices to measure carbon dioxide were available around 1930.

“The measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2) was first developed in the early 1900s; however, it was complex and of limited clinical use.” See: Thomas Nowicki; Shawn London, “Carbon Dioxide Detector,” National Center for Biotechnology Information. The technology was slowly developed and produced a useable machine only around the year 1930.

Guy Stewart Callendar — who dreamed up the global warming scare — rejected nearly all CO2 measurements before 1870 because of “relatively crude instrumentation” and recognized only twelve suitable data sets in the 20th century.   Callendar, G.P. “On the Amount of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere,” Tellus 10: 243-48. (1958).

“In 1939, August Herman Pfund (1879–1949) developed a respiratory gas analyzer that was used at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to measure carbon monoxide and CO2.” Pfund AH, Gemmill CL.

“An infrared absorption method for the quantitative analysis of respiratory and other gases,” Bull Johns Hopkins Hosp, 1940;67:61–5.

The existence of carbon dioxide was not confirmed until 1777 when chemist Antoine Lavoisier thought the gas was a compound of coal and discovered that it was produced by respiration (breathing) as well as by burning coal. See: Techniques for the Measurement and Monitoring of Carbon Dioxide in the BloodATS Journals

We cannot measure the carbon dioxide content of the Earth’s past from air pockets in ice core samples. First, gases can diffuse through solid walls.

Buy a helium balloon. A week later the balloon will no longer be floating but on the ground. The helium gas diffuses out through the walls. We know that gas does not stay unchanged even in a closed container.

Second, over thousands of years, gases in the ice core will be changed by non-organic chemical reactions or by microscopic plant life like algae or microbes. As the weight of accumulating layers presses from above, gases will be forced into the ice core.

“Bacteria form in the ice releasing gases even in 500,000-year-old ice at great depth. Brent C. Christner, “Detection, Recovery, Isolation, and Characterization of Bacteria in Glacial Ice and Lake Vostok Accretion Ice,” Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2002.

Testimony before the U.S. Senate made this clear in 2004:

Determinations of CO2 in polar ice cores are commonly used for estimations of the pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric levels. Perusal of these determinations convinced me that glaciological studies are not able to provide a reliable reconstruction of CO2 concentrations in the ancient atmosphere. This is because the ice cores do not fulfill the essential closed system criteria.  * * * More than 20 physico-chemical processes, mostly related to the presence of liquid water, contribute to the alteration of the original chemical composition of the air inclusions in polar ice[3].

One of these processes is formation of gas hydrates or clathrates. In the highly compressed deep ice all air bubbles disappear, as under the influence of pressure the gases change into the solid clathrates, which are tiny crystals formed by interaction of gas with water molecules. Drilling decompresses cores excavated from deep ice, and contaminates them with the drilling fluid filling the borehole.  * * *  After decompression of the ice cores, the solid clathrates decompose into a gas form, exploding in the process as if they were microscopic grenades. In the bubble-free ice the explosions form a new gas cavities and new cracks[4]. Through these cracks, and cracks formed by sheeting, a part of gas escapes first into the drilling liquid which fills the borehole, and then at the surface to the atmospheric air.

Particular gases, CO2, O2 and N2 trapped in the deep cold ice start to form clathrates, and leave the air bubbles, at different pressures and depth. At the ice temperature of –15oC dissociation pressure for N2 is about 100 bars, for O2 75 bars, and for CO2 5 bars. Formation of CO2 clathrates starts in the ice sheets at about 200 meter depth, and that of O2 and N2 at 600 to 1000 meters.

This leads to depletion of CO2 in the gas trapped in the ice sheets. This is why the records of CO2 concentration in the gas inclusions from deep polar ice show the values lower than in the contemporary atmosphere, even for the epochs when the global surface temperature was higher than now.  — Prof. Zbigniew Jaworowski. Chairman, Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland, Statement before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, March 19, 2004

Third, real science requires careful protocols. A measuring instrument must be validated, calibrated, using a meaningful scale, and manufactured with consistency.  That’s why the U.S. Government from its earliest days including various agencies to establish “weights and measures.”

So, to use trapped gases from ice core samples, we would — if we were doing real science — have to put a known composition of gas into an ice air pocket, then come back thousands of years later, and re-test the gas composition.

That would be the kind of real science that the protesting students could have learned had they stayed in school.

Read more at American Thinker


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Comments (28)

  • Avatar

    jerry krause

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    Hi Jonathan,

    A most fundamental accurate scientific article which informed readers of a fundamental about which I still was pondering how to share with the readers of PSI. But if I were ask a possible reader: What was this fundamental which is so necessary to begin to understand meteorology and climate?; I doubt if many could identify it. And this is not because you have written poorly.

    For the certain issue of your article is the accurate measurement of fundamental factors like the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is the root of the wrong idea of the greenhouse effect.

    So, I seize this opportunity to state and review other critical issues which are too seldom addressed. First, it is only after WWII that we began to observe the atmosphere with atmospheric soundings. And I know of no regular soundings being made directly over any ocean. And even over the land of continents (Australia and Africa) there are too few soundings being made that we should pretend will now know much about the ‘behaviors’ of the atmosphere.

    But the focus of this comment is the two brief paragraphs which I suspect might go unnoticed by many readers. These two paragraphs are:

    “We cannot measure the carbon dioxide content of the Earth’s past from air pockets in ice core samples. First, gases can diffuse through solid walls.

    Buy a helium balloon. A week later the balloon will no longer be floating but on the ground. The helium gas diffuses out through the walls. We know that gas does not stay unchanged even in some closed containers.”

    Gases always diffuse to try to fill all space uniformly. And even solid containers cannot contain them from doing this. To say nothing about the atmosphere which has not solid surface to begin to contain the water molecules being continuously from the oceans surfaces because the water molecules continuously diffuse upward through even a ‘calm’ atmosphere.

    And we also know that the atmosphere is known to cool with increasing elevation so as the concentration of water molecules increases as the molecules continue to diffuse upward, they will reach a temperature at which they begin to condense (we term the temperature at which these water molecules begin to condense to the liquid or solid state the dewpoint temperature or frostpoint temperature of the atmosphere at that point that the diffusing gas molecules begin to condense.

    Have a good day, Jerry

    • Avatar

      Herb Rose

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      Hi Jerry,
      Since water condenses at its dew point you say all clouds form at an altitude lower than 10 meters where the temperate is – 50 C I’m sure James will remind you that gaseous water cannot exist below the boiling point of water. You continue to accept the impossible.
      Have a good day,
      Herb

      • Avatar

        Matt Holl

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        I Herb.
        I have not seen a rational reply to Pierre’s observation that a pool of water on the bathroom floor is gone hours later.
        Or the towel hanging on the wall dries.
        Is evaporation not the gaseous state of water?
        Thank you.
        Matt

        • Avatar

          James McGinn

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          Matt: I have not seen a rational reply to Pierre’s observation that a pool of water on the bathroom floor is gone hours later.
          James: Although it is extremely typical, it always surprises me when people make arguments to the effect that they have the right to believe in lunacy if believers in a rational perspective on the topic don’t take the time to convince them of the rationality of their alternative explanation.

          Matt, you have to right to believe whatever lunacy you want to believe. But it’s not our obligation to convince you to not be a loon.

          James McGinn
          Or the towel hanging on the wall dries.
          Is evaporation not the gaseous state of water?

          Matt:
          Do a Google search of a H2O phase diagram and you can answer your own question.

          James McGinn / Solving Tornadoes
          http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16329&start=360#p125466
          I discovered the empirical shortcomings of meteorology after I discovered them in climatology. My reasoning was very simple. Knowing the origins of climatology are in meteorology, I reasoned that if AGW is as bad as it appears then meteorology must also have skeletons in its closet. So I did something that nobody has done before, I looked at the convection model of storm theory with scrutiny. I found numerous fatal flaws and I found that meteorologists have long ago established a tradition of ignoring these fatal flaws.
          My point is that you/we cannot defeat a conversational science based on empiricism because conversational sciences are based on allegories that appeal to the base sensations of the public. The only way to defeat a conversational science is to reveal it as such to the public. And the best way to reveal it to the public is to start with meteorology since this is the spring from which it sprang (or is it sprung?). The conversational tradition is the problem and its roots are in meteorology, not climatology.

          • Avatar

            Matt

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            Hi James.
            I do not believe one thing or another but just questioning which interpretation of observation holds water and trying to interpret anomalies.
            ” For example, the water phase diagram has a triple point corresponding to the single temperature and pressure at which solid, liquid, and gaseous water can coexist in a stable equilibrium (273.16 K and a partial vapor pressure of 611.657 Pa)”. Wikipedia phase diagram.
            Thank you for the reference to what to me ,superficially, appears to be anomalous.
            Kind Regards
            Matt
            P.S. Lunacy is the erratic behaviour of people on the full moon. Police and emergency response personnel attest to it.

          • Avatar

            James McGinn

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            Hi Matt,
            I think you are making the classic mistake that almost everybody makes when assessing the significance of the triple point. The container in which the triple point is determined does NOT CONTAIN ANY GASES FROM THE ATMOSPHERE. So, there is no nitrogen, oxygen, argon, CO2 etc. There is just water and vacuum space. Since there is no atmosphere in the container there are no molecules to suspend liquid nanodroplets, like we find in moist air.

          • Avatar

            Matt

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            Hi James.
            Thank you for the insight.
            If I go on holiday for 5 years then return there will still be James and Herb debating Jerry over water.
            Hopefully.

        • Avatar

          Herb Rose

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          Hi Matt,
          Water evaporates as minute water droplets, not as a gas. It takes 540 calories/gram to convert 100 C water to 100 C steam. If you believe that the temperature is the mean kinetic energy of the material being measured (it is not) then for every molecule of water with that amount of energy to become a gas there must be a corresponding molecule with the opposite kinetic energy (temperature) in the bell curve. If the kinetic energy of the molecules converting to a gas has a temperature (kinetic energy) of 914 K there must be a molecule with a temperature of –227 K. which is impossible.
          As water gains heat the droplets bound by hydrogen bonds become smaller and evaporation is where these small droplets break away from the body of water, taking heat with them.
          Herb

          • Avatar

            Matt Holl

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            Hi Herb.
            Thank you for your civil and scientific response.
            I wonder then if a refrigeration condenser and heat exchange fins were placed near the ceiling of the bathroom and a mirror laid flat was placed directly below the hanging towel if water would then accumulate on the mirror.
            Curious how the staff of life has so many fascinating attributes.
            Kind Regards
            Matt

          • Avatar

            Herb Rose

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            Hi Matt,
            Because of water’s ionic nature it tends to condense on ionic charges (crystals and metals). That is why the windows in your car may have condensation of frost on them why the painted surfaces may not. I believe the mirror under the towels would have condensation.
            Herb

          • Avatar

            Matt

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            Hi Herb.
            If water evaporates as minute water molecules I find it counter intuitive in that gravity would merely cause a minute water droplet to remain as part of the pool of water on the bathroom floor.
            Anyway. Thank you. When I used to design surfboards I used to imagine myself a water molecule to help understand drag, pressure and the physics from the release of pressure.
            I will contemplate further on what you tell me.
            Kind regards
            Matt

          • Avatar

            James McGinn

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            Matt: If water evaporates as minute water molecules I find it counter intuitive in that gravity would merely cause a minute water droplet to remain as part of the pool of water on the bathroom floor.

            James: Your intuition is not accounting for the difference in the size. Larger objects are more effected by gravity than they are by the electrostatic charges of other molecules in their vicinity. Smaller objects, including clusters of H2O molecules (H2O nanodroplets) are more effected by the electrostatic forces of the molecules in their vicinity than they are by/from gravity.

            More on this:
            http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16597

            James McGinn / Solving Tornadoes

      • Avatar

        jerry krause

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        Hi Matt,

        Thank you for backing up Pierre’s, and now Ahren’s reported observation and NASA’s image.

        Have a good day, Jerry

      • Avatar

        James McGinn

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        Herb: . . . gaseous water cannot exist below the boiling point of water. You continue to accept the impossible.

        James: The world is full of millions upon millions of people to whom for which impossibility is but a minor and temporary nuisance, easily dismissed, earning them bountiful praise from the masses of brain-dead co-believers .

        James McGinn / Solving Tornadoes
        http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16329&start=195#p122299
        The point here is that there is another force–electrostatics–that is strong enough overcome the effect of gravity/buoyancy/convection.

  • Avatar

    jerry krause

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    Hi Herb,

    I make many mistakes as my fingers fail to react to what is only in my mind. So, I am sure ’10 meters’ was intended to be ’10 kilometers’. But a fact is I have written that ‘ all clouds form at an altitude lower than 10 meters, or 10 kilometers. For I know (https://principia-scientific.org/cloud-formations-and-plant-growth-cycles-in-the-present-grand-solar-minimum/) noctilucent clouds have been observed at an elevation of about 80 kilometers at a temperature of about negative 85 Celsius.

    And I read and believe: “Occasionally, however, clouds may be seen above the troposphere. For example, soft pearly looking clouds called nacreous clouds, or mother-of-pearl clouds, form in the stratosphere at altitudes above 30km . They are best viewed in polar latitudes during the winter months when the sun, being just below the horizon, is able to illuminate them because of their high altitude.” (Meteorology Today 9th Ed,, 2009, C Donald Ahrens)

    It seems you would be wise to better inform yourself, before you write what you have just written, about that which has been unquestionably observed by several different people at different times and longitudes, if not different latitudes also.

    And do not lie about what I have written. If you can point me to where I have written this in black and white, I will apologize for suggesting you are a liar.

    Have a good day, Jerry

    Have a good day, Jerry

  • Avatar

    Herb Rose

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    Hi Jerry,
    I believe that water does not have a dew point under 0 C. When the temperature is below the freezing point of water the water in the air comes out as solid, frost. If water is evaporating from the surface how does that water get above 3 km when the temperature is below freezing? We know that the clouds forming at the stratosphere/troposphere boundary are made of water droplets. You believe that the water is condensing as a super cooled liquid instead of ice. Why doesn’t this happen at ground level? You can only supercool pure water with no nuclei and where there is no agitation.Collect some rainwater and see if you an super fool it.
    Have a good day,
    Herb

  • Avatar

    jerry krause

    |

    Hi Herb,

    Maybe I am not being kind to you by asking: Do you thoughtfully consider what you are writing? For you just wrote: “I believe that water does not have a dew point under 0 C.’ There couple reasons that what you believe is true. First, only the atmosphere has a dew point temperature. Secondly, when the temperature of the atmosphere is below 0 C , its has a frost point temperature. Which you do consider in the next sentence.

    Then you wrote: “You believe that the water is condensing as a super cooled liquid.” I never wrote this. What consider (believe) is that water molecules which condense to form liquid droplets at the atmosphere’s dew point temperature or, in some case, even before the atmosphere cools down to its dew point temperature, Then the condensed liquid droplets continue to cool as the atmosphere cools to 0 C the droplets continue to cool, with the atmosphere, without any transition to ice, as the droplets cool to temperatures lower than 0 C. Hence, the term that describes that the liquid droplets have supercooled.

    You next wrote: “We know that the clouds forming at the stratosphere/troposphere boundary are made of water droplets.” I do not claim to know this. The stratosphere/troposphere boundary with which I am familiar always has a temperature well below 0 C so any droplets are either supercooled or they are ice particles,

    You ask: “Why doesn’t this happen at ground level?” I cannot understand what ‘this’ is because this is not clearly defined.

    You next made one your bold statements as if it has to be true, “You can only supercool pure water with no nuclei.” Here I question what these nuclei actually are. If they are ice crystals, your statement is correct. And, if the water is actually ‘pure’, that is the only possibility that the nuclei could be. About the condition of no agitation, perhaps you are also correct. Fot any agitation must be mixing the surface layer of liquid molecules with those at a warmer temperature so that the surface layer never cools to 0 C.

    The publisher of Galileo’s book, in a preface, wrote: “intuitive knowledge keeps pace with accurate definition.” While I try to accurately define the situations upon which I focus my attention, I know I am not always successful for one reason or another.

    Hopefully, you will try in the future to better define that which you write.

    Have a good day, Jerry

    • Avatar

      Herb Rose

      |

      Hi Jerry,
      We know that the clouds at the troposphere/stratosphere boundary are composed of water because when airplanes fly through them you see water droplets running down the windows. Since the clouds are forming at this altitude it means water vapor is present. How did the water vapor get there while rising through a temperature gradient where the temperature goes from 15 C to -50 C? Why didn’t they condense before reaching the top of the troposphere?
      You can produce super cooled water in your freezer. Put a bottle of tap water and a bottle of distilled water in the freezer. The tap water will turn into ice while the distilled water will remain a super cooled liquid. The nuclei in water that prevent super cooling are the same nuclei you write about causing the condensation Into droplets. Any particle with an ionic charge will act as an initiator for the formation of ice crystals just as any agitation (turbulence) will cause the water molecules to realign as ice. If these nuclei in the water prevent the tap water from super cooling in your freezer they will also prevent water from super cooling in the atmosphere which is why when the temperature at the surface of the Earth is below freezing on a calm night water condenses as frost not super cooled water.
      Have a good day,
      Herb
      .

      • Avatar

        jerry krause

        |

        Hi Herb,

        You did it again. It being writing something which I am sure you haven’t thoughtfully considered. You have just proposed that you have observed water droplets running down an airplane’s windows when the air temperature is negative 50 Celsius. Now those liquid rain droplets you see must be really supercooled.

        The only clouds that can exist at that low temperature must be cirrus clouds (ice crystals).

        Have a good day, Jerry

        • Avatar

          Herb Rose

          |

          Hi Jerry,
          You must never have flown in an airplane. At the beginning of a flight the pilot tells the passenger where they are going, that they will be cruising at 31,000 ft (top of troposphere), and the temperature outside the plane will be -30 F (-50C).
          You should ask someone who has flown if they’ve ever flown through rain and you should also look at the chart for temperatures at different altitudes.
          You are a big advocate for evidence until it contradicts your beliefs and the “facts” as revealed by your dead experts.
          Have a good day,
          Herb

          • Avatar

            jerry krause

            |

            Hi Herb,

            Again and again. “-30 F (-50C).”!!!

            31000 ft is about 9.4 km. This morning’s atmosphere sounding at Salem OR (about 45 degrees N) observed that the top of the troposphere was a little over 11 km. And the freezing elevation was at about 3km.

            And the greatest relative humidity above the surface was 90% and now about 4 hours later there is a high haze and a few very scattered low level cumulus clouds.

            Now relative to this sounding data, we must admit that the sounding balloon can rise through the atmosphere without passing through these scatter cumulus. And must understand how the water molecules which formed those clouds got there without causing a continuous overcast which the sounding would have to past through. Therefore, I know I must consider the data of the sounding with a grain of salt. For scattered clouds are clear evidence that the atmosphere is not homogeneous.

            And you might watch scattered cumulus clouds and see they often dissolve in a reasonably short time period as one can see other cumulus forming at the same time.

            Have a good day, Jerry

  • Avatar

    Toto's Fan

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    Hi Johnathan.

    Your article takes us back to the fidelity of some scientific fundamentals that clarify stable foundations on which to grow further research.
    I knew not of gases passing through “sealed” containers.
    Thank you.
    The Fan

    • Avatar

      jerry krause

      |

      Hi Toto’s Fan,

      You wrote: “I knew not of gases passing through “sealed” containers.”

      I ask: Have you never seen a balloon filled with helium gas go flat as Jonathan wrote to validate that gases diffuse through solids. I ask: Were you not aware that freshly cut logs air dry and as a result that the weight of the log greatly decreases? Have you considered that this is only because the ‘sap’ has directly drained out of the log’s center?

      My point is that we (myself included) see many things and do not ask the question: Why?

      Have a good day, Jerry

      • Avatar

        Matt

        |

        Hi Jerry.
        “My point is that we (myself included) see many things and do not ask the question: Why?”
        Sometimes we have to lie back in the sun, enjoy the ice cream, accept life’s pleasures and let go of the ponderables and imponderables.
        On reflection I have noticed acetone escapes through sealed plastic containers but not metal cans.
        I was told once that if a submarine goes deep enough (enough pressure) water is forced through the steel hull. Like perspiration.
        Easier to scratch the dogs tummy than to try figure that out.
        Smile Jerry. Enjoy the moment.
        Matt

  • Avatar

    Mark

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    So, an article about CO2 measurements results in an argument over the gaseous nature of Water. WHY????? Do Scientists exist just to impress people with their intellect?

    • Avatar

      Matt

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      It was all to show Al Gore’s statement that the science is settled was ejaculation prematurely and erroneously exclaimed.

    • Avatar

      James McGinn

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      Mark: So, an article about CO2 measurements results in an argument over the gaseous nature of Water. WHY????? Do Scientists exist just to impress people with their intellect?

      James: CO2 is simple and well understood. H2O is dynamic, mysterious, and in some cases deliberately mischaracterized in order to comply with dumbed down models intended to placate a lazy and gullible public.

      Read this:
      The Missing Link of Meteorology’s Theory of Storms
      http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16329

      James McGinn / Genius

  • gyldendals ordboger tysk

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    gyldendals ordboger tysk

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