Friday, August 9, 2013

Paper finds lifetime of CO2 in atmosphere is only 5.4 years

A paper presented at the SEVENTEENTH SYMPOSIUM ON THERMOPHYSICAL PROPERTIES finds that the lifetime and residence time of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere are only about 5.4 years, far less than assumed by the IPCC. The paper corroborates prior work by Salby, Humlum et al, Frölicher et al, Cho et al, Calder et al, Francey etl, Ahlbeck, Pettersson, SpencerSegalstad, and others which has demonstrated that man-made CO2 is not the primary driver of atmospheric CO2.

Fossil Fuel Emissions and Fossil CO2 in the Atmosphere

Luciano Lepori S, Gian Carlo Bussolino, Andrea Spanedda and Enrico Matteoli C
IPCF-CNR, Pisa, Italy

The comparison of fossil fuel emissions (6.4 GtC/yr) with the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 (3.2 GtC/yr) suggests that about half of the anthropogenic CO2 has not remained in the atmosphere: it has dissolved in the ocean or has been taken up by the land. The isotope ratio C13/C12 of atmospheric CO2 has been measured over the last decades using mass spectrometry. From these data the fraction of fossil CO2 in atmospheric CO2 is straightforwardly calculated: 5.9 %(1981) and 8.5 %(2002). These results indicate that the amount of past fossil fuel and biogenic CO2 remaining in the atmosphere, though increasing with anthropogenic emissions, did not exceed in 2002 66 GtC, corresponding to a concentration of 31 ppm, that is 3 times less than the CO2 increase (88 ppm, 24 %) which occurred in the last century. This low concentration (31 ppm) of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere is consistent with a lifetime of t(1/2) = 5.4 years, that is the most reliable value among other in the range 2-13 years, obtained with different measurements and methods. Contrary to the above findings on the concentration of fossil CO2 and its residence time in the atmosphere, in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change it is stated that almost 45 % of anthropogenic emissions, corresponding to 88 ppm or 24 % of the total CO2, have remained in the atmosphere with a mean lifetime of t(1/2) = 30.5 years. On these assumptions are based both the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming and the climate models.

Related: New paper finds ocean along Baja California coast is a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere

H/T to The Stockholm Initiative site for finding this abstract [Google translation from Swedish]:

David Coe - another kolcykelkritiker

This summer, there have been numerous posts and lively discussion of the carbon cycle.Earlier critics: Jaworowski, Beck, Sail City, Humlum and Kouwenberg have questioned the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and its variation before Manua Loa measurements began in the 1950s. A brief description of this on science page ( link)
Last summer was extended discussion in that Gösta Pettersson book "False Alarm" was published. Among other Pehr wrote a post about this in May ( link ). There is now a question of a much broader criticism of the IPCC's carbon cycle is quantitatively incorrect. An appropriate introduction to this newer criticism is to consider this chart.CO2 o ENSO
The lower blue bars show the atmospheric CO 2 -upptag/år ago Manua Loa measurements started. The red-tagged curve is CO 2 -tillförseln/år measured in Gtons carbon. The difference between these rather precise curves must represent the other CO 2 uptake, ie, in the oceans and the biosphere, ie the green field. On the x-axis has ENSO outbreak, ie emerging warm ocean currents, marked with black arrows. It is obvious that the strong variations in atmospheric absorption - high blue bars - correlates strongly with these ENSO outbreak. There is, however, no correlation with the fossil injections.
I highly recommend anyone interested to read chapter 7-9 in the book that is freely available ( link ). Gösta Pettersson shows that AGW supporters provided that increasing the concentration of CO 2 in the atmosphere solely due to the anthropogenic addition, and this causes errors in the results. It has used the Bern model with three widely different decay times for the natural processes that regulate the addition of CO 2 . Since the longest time parameter is more than a hundred years, so the forecasts landed in the often-quoted long lifetimes of carbon dioxide at 100 and even 500 years. Pettersson describes how this differs from the results that the decay of the 14 C isotope after 50's nuclear tests have shown."Bomb curve" decays much faster, and with only one decay time. The difference between Berne and Bomb curve led here for a detailed discussion, and it became almost an overdose of red and white beads. I do not think a consensus was reached, which iofs is very rare on this forum. However shows Göstas making very convincing that the IPCC's carbon cycle has serious quantitative problem, which in turn is disastrous for the validity of the "scenarios" which is based on a strongly increasing CO 2 content in the future.
Discussion of Göstas preparation was replaced in turn by some messages by Pehrson about Salby and his differential equation for the relationship between the CO 2 -content and temperature. The relationship between Göstas and Salbys criticism he is the right person to explain, so I will instead conclude by mentioning another kolcykelkritiker: David Coe . He observations are collected in four manuscripts of which so far published two at Andrew Montfords blog Bishop Hill ( link ). David deals with the two most recent IPCC reports are making when it comes to the carbon cycle and what is controlled atmospheric levels of CO 2 .Like other critics, he finds inconsistencies which shows that there are major flaws in the IPCC's theory that carbon dioxide is only determined by the anthropogenic contribution. I would have quoted one or two of his figures, but have not managed to copy them. Coe discusses include the concentration measurements of the stable 13 C isotope made. The usual description has been confirm that anthropogenic origin. Coe shows that this pioneer Keeling's 13 δ measurements indicated that there were problems with the evidence. Some time ago I referred Leporis conference paper on a new detailed analysis ( link ) which clearly showed that 13 δ values ​​rather showed that the CO 2 -increase was not predominantly derived from humans. Neither Coe, Salbys or Leporis works have been published in any peer-reviewed journal. Experience shows that this may be because they either  have no weakness that I did not realize. Or it may also be because they are so accurate that they represent a serious blow to climate science theses why the elite of tidkriftsredaktörer not want or dare to publish them.


  1. Oh help! Another confusion which returns every year or so...

    The residence time of ANY CO2 molecule, whatever its origin, indeed is in average 5.3 years, before being exchanged by a CO2 molecule of another reservoir (vegetation, oceans). That is because some 150 GtC goes in and out of the atmosphere (currently at 800 GtC) within a year, partly over the seasons, partly permanent between the equatorial and the polar waters. That gives a residence time of 800/150 = 5.3 years.

    That doesn't change one ppmv in the atmosphere, as long as what goes into the atmosphere also goes out. The only way to get rid of some extra injection of CO2 in the atmosphere (whatever the source) is by a difference between inputs and outputs. That is caused by the increase of CO2 above the (temperature dictated) equilibrium. The difference nowadays is some 4 GtC/year more sink than source. The extra pressure is from 100 ppmv above equilibrium, that is 212 GtC. That gives an e-fold decay rate of the extra CO2 of 212/4 = 53 years or a half life time of ~40 years.

    Far longer than the 5.3 residence time, but much faster than the centuries of the IPCC...

    1. Oh help! Here we go again, the debunked mass balance argument yet again.

      How many times do I, Bart, Greg Goodman, et al have to point out to you that the mass balance equation is a single equation with two or more unknowns, unsolvable for a unique solution. Those unknowns are natural sources, natural sinks, and anthropogenic sinks [agriculture & CO2 fertilization from man-made CO2]. Only 1 of 4 variables is known with reasonable certainty in the single equation, thus proving nothing. Furthermore, each of those 3 variables are dynamic, not static, further complicating an unobtainable solution.

      How many times do we have to point out to you that this is a dynamic system, not static, and how sources and sinks change with respect to each other is not known?

      As stated by a commenter at Jo Nova:

      "My problem with Ferdinand Engelbeen is that he misses out on many factors and then blandly assumes, as you say, that the Earth was in perfect equilibrium before modern man came along.

      That is total junk science."

      I couldn't agree more.

      Readers please refer to additional commentary here:





    6. Again a late reply...

      MS, I didn't used the words "mass balance" once in my response. I just pointed to the fact that there are two distinct decay times at work: one which is based on the residence time of an individual molecule, the other on the decay time for an excess amount of CO2 (whatever the origin) above equilibrium. These have nothing to do with each other and little with a mass balance.

      Even if all CO2 in the atmosphere was exchanged 5 times a year, thus with a residence time of a few months, effectively removing all "human fingerprints" within a year, that doesn't matter. That doesn't influence the time needed to remove an injection of extra CO2 by humans (or volcanoes, or...) into the atmosphere.

      Thus that they find only some 9% "human" CO2 in the atmosphere is right. Simply because the rest is already exchanged with CO2 from other reservoirs. Still the full increase in CO2 mass (yes that word...) is attributable to the human emissions.

  2. I’m not happy with this report. It seems to have many inconsistencies or it may be just that I’m not reading it correctly.
    I presume their symbol t(1/2) is referring to the half life usually written “(t½)” (the 1/2 should be subscript (editor won't allow it).
    If that’s the case, their title is misleading.
    It should be “Paper finds the half life of CO2 in atmosphere is only 5.4 years”.

    Furthermore, they state:
    “These results indicate that the amount of past fossil fuel and biogenic CO2 remaining in the atmosphere, though increasing with anthropogenic emissions, did not exceed in 2002 66 GtC, corresponding to a concentration of 31 ppm”
    Note they are talking about “fossil fuel and biogenic CO2”.
    But it magically turns into “anthropogenic CO2” in this statement.
    “This low concentration (31 ppm) of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere”

    What ARE they talking about?

    I think this aspect is vitally important in knocking down the climate scam but I can’t get past this confusion. Can anyone help figure this out please?