CO2 Has Maxed Out For 2014

A milestone passed in May – we reached the maximum level of CO2 for the year and it is now declining, which it will do for the rest of the year. In fact, it was the highest level measured for anytime in the last 800,000 years. The CO2 level increases during the winter when plants are dormant and that increase continues through the spring as plants become more active. The level will typically reach its maximum sometime around May then start declining as plants reach full vigor. The level will begin to rise again in the fall as the plants start to become dormant. This seasonal fluctuation is due mainly to land plants and is larger in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern. Measurements taken on Antarctica exhibit only a small seasonal fluctuation. The measurements are so precise that it has been possible to show spring is coming earlier every year. This is the plot of measurements for the last two years, ending on July 19, 2014:
Source: SIO Keeling Curve

Last year (2013) the maximum monthly average came in just below 400 ppm and the highest weekly average was just a little over that level. That landmark level will be reached earlier every year from now on and April 2014 was the first year where the measurements exceeded 400 ppm for the entire month. With May and June added to the list, we now have three of those months. This year, the highest monthly average was better than 402 ppm and the highest weekly average was about 402.4 ppm. That was the highest level in the last 800,000 years and approximately 43.6% higher than pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm. This also continues a long-term trend where the level has increased by about 2 ppm per year.
Source: SIO Keeling Curve

Orbiting Carbon Observatory Successfully Launched

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) was successfully launched before dawn this morning.

It will go through a 10-day check out process and then it will take three weeks to maneuver it into the desired orbit. The science mission won’t start for about 45 days. The mission is scheduled to last two years. They are planning on releasing the initial results early next year (2015).

This is a wonderful mission and I am really looking forward to the results. The troposphere we live in is well mixed so the gas distribution  is very uniform, but not perfectly so. There are concentration differences and these will identify sources and sinks of CO2. OCO-2 has instruments sensitive enough to distinguish these concentration differences and help us understand where CO2 is coming from and where it is going. It will be very interesting to see the results.

$10,000 Challenge Submission – Composition of the Atmosphere

I have a non religious non wacko objection to Anthropomorphic Global Warming.
This does not mean I do not care about the environment
and it does not mean I think Green energy and waste management are not key issues facing us today.
It means I do not believe the global warming process can be slowed down or altered based on the magnitude of numbers involved.
Follow me please and save your questions to the end.
I will link several sources for each point.
First the Mass of the atmosphere of the planet Earth on which we reside.
around 5.97 x 10^24 kg Large number. let that sink in.
Next is the composition of the atmosphere…again contained in the same links.
If you have different information then please link it.
78% N2
20.9% O2
.93% Ar
.039% CO2
These are the Major Gases in the ATMOSPHERE and the percentage by volume.
Now the atomic weights can be found from the periodic Table. (do I need an additional source for the periodic table?)
N2 = 14.007×2 g/mole = 28.014
O2 = 15.999×2 g/mole = 31.998
AR = 39.948×1 g/mole = 39.948
CO2= 12.011×1+31.998 g/mole = 44.009
Follow me here. I submit that the proportion of gas by mass is equivalent to the proportion of gas by volume because the masses are similar.
this is a little rough but according to the NASA link above the mean molecular weight is 29.87 g/mole that would make the assumed g/mole of
CO2 off by 34% from its actual mass.
I do this because it is hard to get the percentages by weight and I am short on time.
For arguments sake I think it’s fair to say that the mass
of CO2 is  .039%*(5.97×10^24)Kg +/- 50% (to cover my sloppy math)
2.3283 x 10^23 kg +/- 50% (1.16415 x 10^23 to 3.49245 x 10^23)
Ok. we have the first number. Mass of the CO2 in the atmosphere. with a wide margin of error but I know the number is somewhere in that
Next we will Look at Mass of CO2 produced annually by Humanity.
is the EPA ok?
I can link others…I don’t want to link an anti global warming site as that is not the point.
is 6,000 million metric tonnes an ok estimate?
it is an emotionally large number.
that’s 6X10^12 kg annually… the highest.
Ok. that’s a huge number. astounding really.
this site contradicts my argument and gives a larger number.
it only compares it to the amount absorbed and emitted by natural sources not the atmospheric volume.
26.4 Gigatonnes or 2.64*10^13 kg Annually.
still with me?
take the amount produced and divide it by the amount present(i will lowball this so that things are skewed against me).
multiply by 100 to get the percentage increase in CO2 due to Humanity annually.
(2.64 x 10^13)/(1.16415 x 10^23) * 100 =
2.2677490014173431258858394536786 x 10^-8 percent increase in CO2 annually.
Taking into consideration the way global warming works is energy reradiated by the earth after absorption by the sun is absorbed by gas
molecules in the atmosphere. there is a linear relationship between mass increase and number of particles increase which is again linearly
related to the energy capable of being absorbed. this is an idea in nuclear physics too.
Now let’s link to a page on how greenhouse gasses work.
Specifically let’s look at how much of the energy absorption of the atmosphere is due to CO2
C02used to contribute only 9% with H20 having a 76%+ but i’ll go with 30%.
so if we contribute an additional 2.2 x 10^-8percent of the mass we increase the energy absorbed by the atmosphere by 30% of that in the
worst case….or 6.8032470042520293776575183610358 x 10^-9percent.
ok so there are the numbers.
If the percentage of volume produced where not so pathetically small I would assume error. But what kind of model of gas behavior can
close that gap?
I’d love to see it. It is definitely needed because the gap exists.
Now I’m sure I’ll get abuse. But this is an evidence based analytical look at the data being provided by the people that are telling me I am the cause of Global warming.
I am but in amounts so small to be undetectable…it’s an accident that the industrial revolution corresponded with a warming trend….perhaps
better crop yields resulted in more wealth and leisure for invention?
I digress. save the insults and discuss the implications or the fallacies.
We need to save the planet but that may involve preparing for climate change…not trying to prevent it in vain.
thanks for listening.
Atmosphere of Earth – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is… See More


I’m OK with the large margins on the math since we are only trying to prove a point. This is called a ‘back of the envelope’ estimate. But, your numbers go beyond ‘back of the envelope.”

The first number I have trouble with is the amount of man made CO2 emissions. You use 6,000 million tons per year (6 gigatons per year). That number represents U.S. emissions only, according to your own source. Worldwide emissions are well over 30 gigatons annually (also from the EPA: I have even recently seen 40 gigatons as the amount, but lets go with the lower number.

You are way off on the mass of the atmosphere. Your second cited reference states the mass of the atmosphere is about 5 x 10^18 kgs, not 10^24. That’s a factor of a million difference. When I multiply the area of the planet by atmospheric pressure I get about 5 x 10^18 kg (after converting from newtons to kilograms). That would be 5 million gigatons. So, let’s go with that number.

I have not done the calculations myself, but Wikipedia gives about 3000 gigatons as the mass of atmospheric CO2. Using these numbers we get CO2 is about .06% of the atmosphere. Wikipedia lists it as .04%, so we are in the ball park.

Now, as we saw, humans produce in excess of 30 gigatons of CO2 per year, that would be a 1% increase in CO2 level per year. Fortunately, about one-half of what we emit is absorbed by nature. That would be an increase of around .5%. Measured CO2 levels are increasing at a rate of about 2 parts per million per year. The current density is about 400 ppm, so that means we again find we are increasing CO2 in the atmosphere at a rate of about .5% per year. (

The measurements taken in the late 1950s showed atmospheric CO2 levels to be at 315 ppm. Today, they exceed 400 ppm. That gives us an increase of about 27% over 55 years, or about .5% per year. Again, we get about the same number. 

Your line of reasoning was OK and, based on your numbers, your objection was reasonable. But, your numbers were incorrect. When we use more accurate numbers we consistently get an annual increase of CO2 levels of about .5%.

If we had a linear relationship, then we could say the 30% of warming due to CO2 has increased by 27% over 55 years. It either started out as about 24% of the warming, or has increased to 38%. That all depends on when the 30% figure is good for. 

But, it isn’t linear because when CO2 traps heat in the atmosphere it causes other things to change. In particular, increasing the temperature increases the amount of water vapor in the air and water vapor is a more efficient greenhouse gas than CO2. That shows why CO2 is the driver, even though the majority of warming is attributed to other gases.

I believe I have shown that this is not a proof that man made global warming is not real. 

$10,000 Challenge Submission – CO2 Not the Cause

Premise: increased concentrations of CO2 are causing the earth to warm
Fact: Short wavelength solar radiation heats the earth.
Fact: The hot earth re-emits longer wavelength radiation.
Fact: CO2 absorbs some of this longer wavelength radiation
Fact: By absorbing this radiation CO2 causes a thermo dynamical imbalance in the energy in-out equation for the earth as a whole and causes the earth to warm. Aka the greenhouse effect.
All fine and dandy and nobody is questioning that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
Fact: The extinction distance for CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere is about 300 feet. That is to say that any thermal radiation emitted by the ground and in the wavelength that CO2 absorbs strongly at will all be absorbed within the first 300 ish feet. That would be no matter how intense the radiation was. Engineers discovered this back in the 60s when they were trying to develop laser communication through the atmosphere. CO2 an H2O completely absorbed the laser light in those wavelengths that they strongly absorb at. 300 feet is based on the 1960 CO2 concentrations BTW.
Fact: Increasing the concentration of CO2 only shortens the extinction distance it does not trap more heat. ALL the heat that CO2 can trap is already being absorbed in the extinction distance.
Conclusion: increasing the concentration of CO2 does not cause any more heat to be trapped and therefore cannot be the cause of global warming.
And to the point, Man is not causing global warming because CO2 can’t be the method by which it is happening.

I want to say that this submission, like the previous submission on the AMO, is a real treat. This submission is based on science, is logical, well thought out and the submitter did some homework. Well done.

So, let’s look at it in detail.

The first four facts he states are all good. No problems there.

But then, some issues begin to arise.

Let’s discuss extinction distance. This is the distance in which something is totally absorbed in a second something and adding more of the second something will not affect how much of the first something gets through.

As an example, the ocean has an extinction distance for sunlight. Within a kilometer of the surface 100% of sunlight will be absorbed by the ocean. That is the extinction distance for sunlight in the ocean (sorry, I don’t know the exact value). Anything below that will be in darkness and adding more depth will not change that any. If you are deeper than the extinction distance there will be no light. That is equally true for 1.1 kilometers as it is for 5 kilometers.

So, the extinction distance for CO2 in the atmosphere is 300 feet (I don’t know that myself, but I’ll take your word for it. I know the extinction distances for the gases is dramatically less than the thickness of the atmosphere). What this means is that when the heat is radiated from the surface of the planet as infrared (IR) radiation it will be 100% absorbed (at the levels of CO2 present in 1960). So far, so good. We’re in agreement.

Now, though, is when we get into trouble and this is where the extinction distance of light in the ocean is different than the extinction distance of IR in the atmosphere.  When light is absorbed in the oceans it is turned into a different kind of energy – heat – and is not reemitted as light. When IR radiation is absorbed by CO2 molecules, it is reemitted as IR light.

In the ocean, light is absorbed and turned into heat, which then transfers in pretty much random directions (let’s keep it a simple environment without currents and convection and gradients and such). That means the heat could go up, down or sideways.

When IR is absorbed by CO2, it is reemitted as IR and it can go up, down or sideways. This means each molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere becomes a new source of IR radiation and there is an extinction distance associated with that source of IR radiation (300 feet). So, if we increase the amount of CO2, we increase the points where the IR can be absorbed and then be reemitted.

Suppose we had a layer of CO2 that was 300 feet thick. All of the IR will be absorbed before it gets to the top (using 1960 CO2 levels). But, each molecule will then reemit the IR light. If  a molecule is at the top of the CO2 layer, there is a high probability the IR will be emitted in a direction away from the layer and that photon of light will be free to go off into space.

Now, add another layer of CO2 on top of the first one (let’s make it less than 300 feet thick). That photon of energy that was free to go off into space will now have a chance of being absorbed in the second layer. As the second layer gets thicker and thicker, that probability goes up. By the time it reaches 300 feet there is a 100% probability that photon of IR light will be absorbed and then reemitted in a random direction.

So, you see, adding CO2 to the atmosphere really does increase the amount of IR that is absorbed.

And, there is conclusive proof of this. If it worked the way you posited, 100% of the heat would be retained in the atmosphere and we would incinerate in only a short time. The very fact that we have not burst into flames proves that the heat is able to escape the atmosphere after being absorbed by the CO2 molecules.

By the way, here is a really good article detailing the history of the discovery of the CO2 greenhouse effect. It is from the American Institute of Physics.

So, this was a great submission and a lot of fun. But, it certainly does not show man made global warming is not real.

NASA’s Carbon Observatory

On February 24, 2009 NASA launched a satellite that would have been a major resource in climate change research – the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO). Unfortunately, the protective launch fairing covering the satellite failed to separate as required and the extra weight prevented the satellite from reaching orbit. We can only speculate at this time what kind of data we would have been able to measure in the five years since then. We haven’t been completely without data, though. The Japaneses satellite GOSAT has been providing us with some of the missing data since 2009.

The good news is that the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) is set to launch July 1 from Vandenberg AFB in California. Once in orbit, it will be in a constellation of five satellites that measure Earth’s environment. The orbit of these satellites is 99 minutes long and pass over the equator (going north) at 1:36 PM local solar time. That means when they are directly over the equator, the point on the Earth’s surface directly beneath them will always have the Sun at the same point in the sky. The advantage to this is that all of the measurements will be nearly simultaneous and will be made at about the same local time. This makes it possible to compare data taken many orbits apart and not have to worry about variations due to changes in the solar angle.

OCO-2 is a very important mission and the instruments on the satellite will collect data that is critical to our understanding of what is going on with carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. We know that the level of CO2 is rising and we know most of the increase is due to man made activities, but we are lacking in specific details. Where is the CO2 coming from? And, where is it absorbed. In scientific parlance, that is known as sources and sinks. And, how are these sources and sinks changing over time? If something is a sink or source today, but was even more or less of a sink or source years ago, that is important to know. This mission will help us answer questions like that. It will be used in conjunction with data from aircraft, land stations and other satellites to provide a more complete picture of what is going on.

We know that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest it has been in at least the last 800,000 years. We know man made CO2 is responsible for the rise. We know much of the CO2 is being absorbed by the oceans, causing them to become more acidic. But, where does the rest of the absorbed CO2 go? The specific location and identity of those sinks is not fully understood. Detailed information is needed.

If the launch is successful this time, OCO-2 will begin orbiting Earth and providing thousands of data points on the CO2 cycle and our understanding of what is going on will begin to improve.

Deniers Only Want to Censor

One of the complaints deniers make is that they only want to engage in a debate and claim they are being shut out by the scientific community. I have always observed that this is not true and could give many examples to support that statement, but I’ll give you just the most recent example. No, I’m not doing this to bash deniers. That is something I enjoy doing, but the purpose is to illustrate that the scientific community is more than willing to discuss the issues with anyone, including deniers. It is the deniers that are not interested in discussing the science. Their response is merely to censor anyone that supports their beliefs.

I was in a community on Google+ and a denier by the name of Cyrus Manz had this graphic on his posting:

Cute, but a completely false argument on the part of global warming deniers. I posted a comment about why it is a false argument. No one is claiming CO2 is a major part of the atmosphere, but at the same time it is well established science that a small amount of chemical can have effects far beyond its mass percentage. I made the analogy of pain killers and pointed out two Aleve tablets have a mass of 440 mg while I have a mass of about 88 kg. The two pain killers then have a mass that is about .0004% of my body mass, and yet that small amount of chemical can relieve my pain for 12 hours.

He replied:

Cyrus Manz
Your irrelevant parallel to describe the role of CO2 in climate temperatures is what’s abjectly FALSE here my friend:-)

He also posted,

Please reference a single piece of scientific proof that explicitly places CO2 as the driver for global average temperatures.
If you can’t (which I am confident you can’t) then you need to delete your own comment along with an apology, or you will be removed from this community.
Thank you.

So, already, he has shown that all he wants to do is censor any opposing statements that don’t support his world viewpoint. I responded by providing a link to Skeptical Science that gives a very good discussion of CO2 in the atmosphere:

So, to be clear, Mr. Manz demanded that I provide ‘a single piece of scientific proof’ about the role of CO2 in the atmosphere, which I did. And that wasn’t enough for him, or to more correct, it wasn’t what he wanted to see. What he responded with was this:

Cyrus Manz
Our entire planet’s atmosphere contains less than 0.04% CO2 (or Carbon Dioxide)….
Humans currently contribute an additional 0.002% to atmospheric CO2.
Come and see how you have been duped by climate change disinformation.
https :// ommunities/105386304 309909999553

I stated this was the what the fossil fuel funded denier industry wants people to believe. These are people that do not have our best interest at heart and only want to take our money. Why in the world should we believe anything they say?

His response?

Cyrus Manz
You clearly do not understand the [purpose of being a community member.
Goodbye troll.

At which point he disenrolled me from the community and spammed my comments.

So, where was the debate that Mr. Manz and other deniers keep claiming they want?

But, there is more to this story. This is an earlier comment Mr. Manz made on the same post:

Cyrus Manz

Yesterday 9:37 AM
We know that there is not a single self respecting scientist that can claim to have scientific proof of man-made climate change.
But maybe you do. Let us hear it.

But, Mr. Manz, when a “self-respecting” scientist shows up to show you scientific proof you call him a ‘troll’ and censor him. So much for “Let us hear it.”

One last comment. In case you think I’m misinterpreting things, this is the comment Mr. Manz made after banning me:

Cyrus Manz
We run the community for the sole purpose of advancing our cause, not theirs.
We engage in opposing discussions outside but the community provides a safe haven for us, free from trolls.

Notice the use of the term ‘trolls’ again. Anyone that doesn’t subscribe to his world view is a ‘troll’ and is to be censored. While he isn’t man enough to listen to the scientific evidence, at least he admits he’s not man enough.

I’m sorry for Mr. Manz and anyone else that has fallen for the psedo-science of global warming denial. There is nothing I can do for them. They are lost minds and can’t be saved. But, for those of you that haven’t made up your mind yet and are wondering about what is going on, take a look at what was going on here with Mr. Manz and avoid shutting down your thought processes like this. If you want to be a denier that is your business, but at least don’t stop thinking or listening.