More Nonsense about CO2

Warwick Hughes has a post claiming that there were high CO2 levels in the atmosphere in the 1940s “contrary to IPCC science” pointing to a something by E-G Beck. Here’s Beck’s graph:

i-ee24549320f0431f76b817189dfd4164-beckco2.png

Now, a normal person looking at that would conclude that chemical measurement of CO2 concentrations was not particularly accurate, but Beck concludes that there were huge fluctations in CO2 that ended by some strange coincidence exactly when they started making more accurate measurements.

Eli Rabett explains what is wrong:

Here we will briefly summarize the paper and then point out why it is wrong, not only wrong, but a) the information Beck points to has been well known for a very long time b) the reasons for the earlier measurements being much higher than the current ones have been well known for at least 50 years and c) these problems were the original impetus for the Mauna Loa observatory (MLO) series. In other words, Beck is quite right about the measurement methods and quite wrong about their interpretation. Local knowledge can be very important.

William Connolley also has a few words.

Comments

  1. #1 JB
    October 4, 2006

    In the period from about 1943-1946, the CO2 concentration dropped like a rock from 470ppm to 350ppm, the equivalent of removing almost 1 trillion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Talk about a giant sucking sound.

    Then, in the next two years the CO2 concentration jumped back up by 80ppm (from 350ppm to 430ppm), the equivalent of adding 615 billion metric ton of CO2 to the atmosphere.

    In the next couple years, it again dropped by 110ppm, the equivalent of sucking 845 billion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    For comparison, burning of fossil fuels currently increases the atmospheric CO2 concentration by about 1.5ppm (11.5 billion metric tons CO2) each year.

    If we are to believe that the graph represents the actual atmospheric CO2 concentration before 1957, then presumably there must be physical mechanism(s) for such wild fluctuations in he atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    My proposals:
    Black hole fly-bys to explain huge decreases in short time periods.
    Opening (and then closing) of giant CO2 valve allowing leak from the earth’s interior to explain the large increases over short time periods.

    Other proposals welcomed.

  2. #2 Brian J
    October 4, 2006

    Shades of Barry Setterfield, except even more ridiculous.

  3. #3 Peter Bickle
    October 4, 2006

    Hi all
    I don’t think even us GW by CO2 doubters will use this as an argument. It won’t be at CA.
    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  4. #4 Ender
    October 5, 2006

    Seems funny from a person like Warwick, who writes that the current rise in temperatures is an artifact of measurements from urban heat islands, to use data that IS clearly an artifact of urban and/or inaccurate measurements to try to disprove AGW theory.

    Somewhat of a contradiction there.

  5. #5 coby
    October 5, 2006

    This is pretty much the opposite of the Galileo Syndrome!
    http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/10/definately-not-galileo.html

  6. #6 Jeff Harvey
    October 5, 2006

    ‘GW by CO2′ doubters that Peter alludes to are about as common now in the scientific arena as Eskimo Curlews. As more and more empirical data comes in, the remaining sceptical faithful will also head towards intellectual extinction. Peter, you are one of those hanging by a thread.

  7. #7 Peter Bickle
    October 5, 2006

    Hi all
    A lot of that data coming in is suspect, a whole fleet of Mack trucks have been driven thru the holes in the data.
    I do not hang on a thread as I still get on with my life but all the so called doom and gloom wil not happen, in 50 yrs time we will still be here.
    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  8. #8 Jeff Harvey
    October 5, 2006

    Mack trucks driven by whom? A few shills? The empirical data supporting AGW is already huge and growing.

    Sure, Homo sapiens will be here in 50 years. But the big questions will be, (i) how many of us will be here, and (ii) what mean quality of life will we enjoy. At the current rate at which humanity is simplifying our ecological life-support systems, the prognosis for both (i) and (ii) is not good. There’s plenty of empirical evidence to support this position as well.

  9. #9 JB
    October 5, 2006

    No need to worry. No matter what happens, the amateur climate science hacks who frequent CA will still be sipping their piñacoladas by the pool in 50 years.

  10. #10 Chris O'Neill
    October 5, 2006

    “in 50 yrs time we will still be here”

    The only thing that matters is the next 50 years.

  11. #11 Dano
    October 5, 2006

    Hi all A lot of that data coming in is suspect, a whole fleet of Mack trucks have been driven thru the holes in the data.

    Nah.

    The data aren’t suspect.

    What is/b> suspect is the Friends of Contrascience’s analysis of the data. Oh, and the analytical skills of the denialists.

    HTH,

    D

  12. #12 Barry
    October 5, 2006

    JB: “In the period from about 1943-1946, the CO2 concentration dropped like a rock from 470ppm to 350ppm, the equivalent of removing almost 1 trillion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Talk about a giant sucking sound.

    Then, in the next two years the CO2 concentration jumped back up by 80ppm (from 350ppm to 430ppm), the equivalent of adding 615 billion metric ton of CO2 to the atmosphere.”

    Anything interesting going on, during the 1940′s? Anything which would affect both actual CO2 concentrations, and various measurement programs?

    I keep thinking that there *was* something mildly interesting going on then, but high school history was *so* long ago….

  13. #13 Dano
    October 5, 2006

    I keep thinking that there was something mildly interesting going on then, but high school history was so long ago….

    Residence time.

    Best,

    D

  14. #14 guthrie
    October 5, 2006

    I managed to find his blog- now I know why people dont take Hans erren so seriously. It certainly attracts some interesting characters.
    I even found mention of a “Spiked” essay on Gores film, which was so atrocious that I will now have to seek therapy.

  15. #15 guthrie
    October 5, 2006

    By Him I mean Warwocks blog.
    How sad that he shares a surname with a nice place with a very interesting castle.

  16. #16 jre
    October 5, 2006

    Anything interesting going on, during the 1940′s? Anything which would affect both actual CO2 concentrations, and various measurement programs?

    Barry, you are awarded an A in Jaworowskian Obscuration, the first rule of which is Throw a rock, then run away!

    On the off chance that you are really interested in following Jaworowski’s tradition by developing your not-terribly-sly insinuation into a truly goofy theory, why don’t you study that plot some more, then elaborate on exactly why WWII was more like the Napoleonic Wars than WWI, CO2-wise?

  17. #17 Peter K. Anderson
    October 5, 2006

    Pollution, ‘greenhouse labelled’ or otherwise, is not wanted, but such pollution is NOT creating UNNATURAL climate alterations. CO2 CANNOT produce, with regard to its REAL properties, any warming effect as outlined by ‘greenhouse theory’ and the ‘quantity’ of CO2 is of NO relevance to ‘Climate process’ within any considerations presented of ‘greenhouse theory’, see outline in link ‘~’ below, “To Start Discussion”. As such there is not any valid relationship of ‘temperature’ to ‘CO2 quantity’ whilst the RISE in temperature so often mentioned is of the Planetary Surface.

    The previous 400 years saw Human Population grow by ~5 Billion. The SPRAWL of this population was deferred however a persistent but DECREASING delay in development of needed technologies and materials. HOWEVER the next 100 years is expected to see ANOTHER ~5 Billion added to Human Population and there will NOT be any ‘deferments’ of sprawl related effect due to a ‘technology lag’. There will NOT be then any deferment of observed IMPACT of such sprawl on the Environment in either consideration of Median Surface Temperature Rises OR alterations to O2 production & transport. “Humanity is building itself into a “Dishcleaner that will be held on Rinse”. See outlines in link ‘~~’ below.

    This new ‘Human Habitat’ will also exist within the expected Natural rise in relative sea levels, those of the Primary Crest position seen already to be ~30 meters + (vertically) on ‘presently observed levels’. There will be many more rapidly ‘spun up’ storms in the ‘near future’ that have no relationship to any ‘greenhouse supposition’ and will not see ‘remediation’ of ‘increased WORK potentials’ from ANY ‘greenhouse related effect’. It is not that ANY amount of idolism of ‘greenhouse opinion’ will halt the return of the Climate Tide and those attempting to promote ‘political rhetoric’ are required to either show that there IS an UNNATURAL problem in effect, as Climate is changing in a Natural and expected progression still.

    Pollution, ‘greenhouse labelled’ or otherwise, is not wanted, but such pollution is NOT creating UNNATURAL climate alterations, being UNABLE to do so by the ACTUAL properties of those materials involved. OPINION alone is NOT sufficient and it is only the idolisation of ‘greenhouse OPINION’ that is being made into ‘greenhouse climate models’ whilst the actual problem goes unregarded. It needs to be also noticed that the measured rise in Median Surface Temperature of ~0.7 degrees C is only the RESIDUAL Kinetic Energy inducted that is NOT being expressed within Turbulence & being observed in those so often mentioned ‘Storm’ or ‘melting Ice’ events.

    It IS that ‘Climate Change’ is REAL, the LIE is in the platforming attempt to overlay Political Opinion of an unnatural ‘greenhouse cause’ within a ‘policy’ that idolises ‘greenhouse opinions’. Again, the ‘greenhouse theory’ is incapable of detailing any warming effect that could be produced by those REAL materials it would involve.

    Your’s,
    Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlodâ„¢
    E-Mail: Hartlod@bigpond.com

    ~… http://hartlod.blogspot.com/
    ~~.. http://hartlodsgallery.blogspot.com/

  18. #18 Ender
    October 5, 2006

    Peter K – Now hang on here it has been conclusively proven that the rise in world temperatures is linked to the falling amount of pirates in the world.
    http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

    It is almost linear as you can see. We need to stop the lies and bring back pirates immediately.

    Ender
    Proud member of the Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster.

  19. #19 Jeff Harvey
    October 6, 2006

    That’s it. Discussion over. Peter K. Anderson (aka hotrod – er – hartlod) has spoken. We can now safely dismiss the work of thousands of independent climate scientists around the world, the IPCC reports, and the conclusions of every National Academy of Science.

    Ender’s right. We need more pirates. I am sure PKA woud agree.

  20. #20 Hans Erren
    October 6, 2006

    yeah bring more pirates, and cabbages and kings

    why is the sea so boiling hot?

  21. #21 Chris O'Neill
    October 6, 2006

    “why is the sea so boiling hot?”

    natural variation

  22. #22 stewart
    October 6, 2006

    In my opinion, Hartlod is a crank, but not stupid. He registers facts (warming global temperatures) as facts, but has come up with an idiosyncratic explanation for these. Contrast this with denialists, who are stupid and deny facts, autistic and focus on small issues ignoring the big picture (hockey stick), or merely dishonest. I prefer cranks.

  23. #23 Eli Rabett
    October 6, 2006

    The problem with Peter Anderson is that even if you disemvowel him his comments will fill up more space than the original post.

  24. #24 JB
    October 6, 2006

    Barry said “Anything interesting going on, during the 1940′s? Anything which would affect both actual CO2 concentrations, and various measurement programs? I keep thinking that there was something mildly interesting going on then, but high school history was so long ago….”

    The wild fluctuations shown on the graph are certainly due to instrumental errors. Whether WWII contributed to those measurement errors is a different subject.

    The magnitude of the fluctuations make it perfectly clear that they could not have been due to increases/decreases in human CO2 emissions during the war.

    The short term fluctuations shown on the graph are about 60 times(!) the current yearly increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration(1.5ppm) due to burning of fossil fuel.

    If we are to believe the graph, then during each of the years 1947 and 1948, the world output something like 20-30 times the amount of CO2 that it outputs per year today! (and the world economy is much bigger today than it was then). This is imply not believable, war (WWII) or no war.

    Not only that, even if CO2 emissions were cut off entirely, CO2 has a certain residence time in the atmosphere. So the precipitous drops shown on the graph in 1943 and 1948 are simply not physically reasonable. Even under the circumstance of a complete cessation of fossil fuel burning (which certainly did not happen during the war), such drops would have taken far more time than the couple of years shown on the graph.

  25. #25 Dano
    October 6, 2006

    1. I admire the patience of JB who, unlike me, decided to ‘splain to poor Barry (who was probably just a FUD pass-through) why his question was ill-conceived.

    Me, sometimes I get to the point where yet another weak astroturf comment means an exasperated two-word answer will do. Or burying a clown picture link, but still. Good answer, sir.

    2. Chris O’: good ‘un!

    Best,

    D

  26. #26 Eduardo
    October 6, 2006

    “After all there has been a murder. C02 is up and so are temperatures below the Arctic Circle for example. If man is not the murderer, that still leaves a murderer at large. Why not charge and convict him?”

    AGW hypothesis is proved the same way as: Membership in the Democratic Party drives people to drink.

    Research model: Randomly select 100 communities in the US. Go to the voter registration, to obtain the number of democrats. Count the number of bars in the community in the phone book. Crunch your numbers.

    Proof positive correlation: Membership in the Democratic Party drives people to drink. There is a high correlation between the two. Try it. It’ll work.

    It’s still BS, however, because both variable A, number of democrats, and variable B. number of bars, are caused by variable C. Population size.

    Let’s just grab anyone and hang them for the murder. Because his eyes are too close, or he’s a republican, or a green.

    Only the AGWers think they know who did it. The rope is already hanging from the tree. The lynch mob is gathering. Let’s lynch the democrats while we’re at it for driving people to drink.

    You can err by accepting a false hypothesis. Last I looked there are no statistics to measure the probability that you’ve done so. I think you’re committing that type of error.

    It is nice to preach to the choir, isn’t it Tim? BTW, how did you like the DDT scientific rehabilitation? This is really a funny blog!

  27. #27 jre
    October 6, 2006

    It is rather more like ignoring the mountain of evidence from multiple independent sources painting a consistent picture of increasing CO2, and arguing instead that “if the curve don’t fit, you must acquit.”

  28. #28 Barry
    October 6, 2006

    “On the off chance that you are really interested in following Jaworowski’s tradition by developing your not-terribly-sly insinuation into a truly goofy theory, why don’t you study that plot some more, then elaborate on exactly why WWII was more like the Napoleonic Wars than WWI, CO2-wise?”

    Interference with measurements? WWI would have been locally disruptive; WWII and the Napoleonic Wars had a tendency to reach out and touch people over a wide area, for more years.

    Dano, I would reply to your post, but there wasn’t any substance there to reply to. Except for the ‘FUD’ remark, which is a classical example of right-wing freudian projection – the denialists live on FUD, rather than positive statements.

  29. #29 Dano
    October 6, 2006

    Barry,

    you appear to not understand ‘residence time’. This tells me you are undereducated in the area, thus the prediliction for me to presume FUD pass-thru comments.

    That is: can you show us the signal from the ill-fated Eye-rack war on the global CO2 ppmv levels? This would lend some badly needed credence to your assertions.

    How about the Vietnam war (done dropped a lotta bombs an’ napalm an’ sh*t there – gonna affect somethin’ accordion to your logic). What about the collapse of the USSR? Massive de-industrialization – how big is that signal compared to the other numbers in the purty charty-thing above?

    HTH,

    D

  30. #30 Hans Erren
    October 6, 2006

    “I managed to find his blog- now I know why people dont take Hans erren so seriously. It certainly attracts some interesting characters. I even found mention of a “Spiked” essay on Gores film, which was so atrocious that I will now have to seek therapy. “

    Demonstrates that you didn’t read what I wrote on Warwick’s blog about Beck.

  31. #31 guthrie
    October 7, 2006

    Opps, my mistake, sorry hans. I didnt read everything thoroughly.

  32. #32 Jeff Harvey
    October 7, 2006

    Hans says, “Only two weeks ago on August 30th I received a new paper on historic CO2 data to review”.

    Really? For which journal? Lemme guess know… Energy and Environment? Or 21st Century Science and Technology (nah, they don’t even peer review papers as far as I know).

    You see, readers, rigid journals generally send submitted research papers out to scientists who have some pedigree in their field of research. This would normally mean that the reviewer has more than 20 peer-reviewed papers to his/her name. As Hans doesn’t seem to like writing papers on AGW (indeed on climate science or any other field as far as I can tell from the ISI Web of Science), and apparently doesn’t do actual research in the field, no rigid journal would send him a paper to review. Period.

    C’mon Hans, come clean… which rag sent you the piece to review? If it is E & E, this is a clincher.

  33. #33 Jeff Harvey
    October 7, 2006

    Hans, Please verify if this is true. I checked the WoS and found this paper published by you (with a single citation!):

    MODEL-CALCULATIONS ON INTRUSIVE COOLING AND RELATED COALIFICATION OF THE PEEL-ERKELENZ COALFIELD (THE NETHERLANDS AND GERMANY). ERREN H, BREDEWOUT JW
    GEOLOGIE EN MIJNBOUW 70:243-252 AUG 1991

    Is this your total output of papers in science journals that appear on the WoS? I don’t wish to forever nag you about it, but being the sceptic that you are, why on Earth don’t you try and publish some of your opionion pieces in journals where they will be read by actual climate scientists? I would really like to know.

  34. #34 z
    October 7, 2006

    It was those Nazi UFO bases in the Antarctic which done it.

  35. #35 Hans Erren
    October 7, 2006

    bruhaha jeff.
    The author asked me to review it, not a journal. It’s not even submitted.

    Yes I have one paper in press and another is in preparation. As journal publication delay is one year, don’t expect anything soon from me. I don’t have to publish to earn my money.

    How’s the cabbage?

  36. #36 Jeff Harvey
    October 8, 2006

    Hans,

    Which species are you referring to? I work with about 10 species in the Brassicaceae incuding the warty cabbage, Bunias orientalis (hardvrucht to you) which has been establishing in western European countries (e.g. Germany, Switzerland) at quite an astonishing rate since the early 1980′s. As it is endemic to SE Europe, which typically has very warm summers, its possible to suggest that one (though only one) of the factors in its success may be due to the dramatic warming occurring in central and NW Europe since the early 1980′s. Land use changes have also been a boon for Bunias.

    Glad to hear that you are publisbing a bit more these days. The point is this Hans: you may not need to ‘publish scientific papers to earn your money’ as you said, but to be a credible voice in the debate on AGW you sure do. Otherwise you are just another sceptic without street cred.

  37. #37 Hans Erren
    October 8, 2006

    http://www.floraweb.de/neoflora/handbuch/buniasorientalis.html

    Interesting, sounds more like the Ondatra zibethicus and Procyon lotor habitat growth, and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis of course.

  38. #38 z
    October 9, 2006

    “It’s still BS, however, because both variable A, number of democrats, and variable B. number of bars, are caused by variable C. Population size.”

    Therefore, all correlations are false, even if there is a completely clear chain of cause and effect, i.e. burning more carbon causes more CO2 which causes a higher percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere which absorbs more IR radiating out from the surface which heats the atmosphere which raises the temperature. I suppose you postulate that there must be another variable which affects all these?

  39. #39 Hans Erren
    October 10, 2006

    Yes because the theoretical CO2 warming is not sufficient to explain the observed warming, extra fudge factors like aerosols and extreme water vapour effects are pushed, whereas land use change and sun are downplayed.

  40. #40 Jeff Harvey
    October 10, 2006

    Readers beware: Hans isn’t saying this based on any empirical research he’s done, but because he thinks he is an expert in the field. Important note: he isn’t.

    What Hans is doing is obfuscating. Baiting and switching. Twenty years ago, the climate change sceptics claimed that warming itself was just one big doomsday myth. A few of the shills still do. But most have moved on. Now its ‘land use changes’ and ‘solar forcing’. The bottom line is still the same. Don’t change anything. In 10, maybe 20 years, people like Hans are gonna shrug their shoulders and say, “OK, OK, most of the warming is due to human forcing”, but now we have choice but to adapt. But still don’t change anything”.

    Hans, your arguments are a sham. Science has moved on.

  41. #41 Chris O'Neill
    October 10, 2006

    “land use change and sun are downplayed”

    No one would ever make the opposite mistake of course.

  42. #42 Dano
    October 10, 2006

    I, personally, take enjoyment at the shills/denialist faction who try to use the RP Sr-type ‘land-use’ argumentation.

    Of course land-use is an issue, and has been known for years. Land-use changes generally cool the area, however, as the albedo is higher & ET lower.

    So, Hans, you need to add land-use in your “fudge factor” argument and take it out of your “it’s not CO2, no way nuh-uh!!!”…um…’argument’. If you want to send it to me to look over your correction before posting it here, let me know.

    Best,

    D

  43. #43 Hans Erren
    October 12, 2006

    “land use change and sun are downplayed”
    No one would ever make the opposite mistake of course.

    of course, do read the comments section at realclimate carefully, and in particular do follow this link.

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/oxford.html

  44. #44 Hans Erren
    October 12, 2006

    Hey Dano, watch how reforestation is warming The Netherlands

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/L7enednc.jpg

  45. #45 Dano
    October 30, 2006

    Hey Dano, watch how reforestation is warming The Netherlands

    Yes. That’s what the linky sez should happen.

    Best,

    D

  46. #46 Gore-tex
    April 6, 2007

    No doubt. Belive in computer-model-reality

  47. #47 J.
    June 15, 2007

    Whoa. Beck has made a new discovery — apparently the length of the Dansgaard-Oeschger Cycle is collapsing.

    Check it out over at [RealClimate](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/curve-manipulation-lesson-2/ “More foolishness by Beck, from RealClimate”).

    Something catastrophic must have happened to the global climate system ca. 800-1000 AD.

  48. #48 J.
    June 15, 2007

    I wrote:

    “Whoa. Beck has made a new discovery — apparently the length of the Dansgaard-Oeschger Cycle is collapsing.”

    Of course, Beck very modestly doesn’t mention this discovery himself. You have to really look at his graph to understand it.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.