Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Geoscientist explains why man-made CO2 is not the driver of global warming

Dr. Ole Humlum, Professor of Geosciences at the University of Oslo, has published a summary and reply to comments on his groundbreaking paper demonstrating why man-made CO2 is not the driver of global warming. Dr. Humlum summarizes the main findings of his paper at a Norwegian website for geologists:
1. [Observations show] The temperature rise begins at sea level and spreads gradually to the land and atmosphere several months later. This is contrary to the IPCC CO2 hypothesis that atmospheric CO2 controls land and ocean temperature.
2. The geographical distribution of a CO2 increase doesn't start at 30-50 degrees North latitude, which one would expect if the source were mainly created by the fossil fuel industry and transport in the Northern Hemisphere.  Instead, the increase of CO2 starts just south of the equator. This is contrary to the IPCC hypothesis that use of fossil fuels is the primary cause of increased CO2 levels.
Dr. Humlum notes that existing climate models are based on the improper assumption that CO2 controls temperature and have not provided skillful predictions so far. He concludes,
"One should therefore consider moving the focus of climate research from CO2 to the nature and significance of natural variation, both related to the sun and other [natural causes]. It is most likely where we will find the main reason for the present (and future) climate change."

Dr. Humlum's reply to comments below, followed by the original article: [Google translation]

Climate debate: Humlum match Prestrud

Professor Ole Humlum can not be convinced by Paul Prestrud argument that "the majority has the right." He chooses instead to rely on empirical data.

Ole Humlum

It's always nice to exchange views on climate with Prestrud (read 'Rejects Humlum ideas') , which has impressively strong belief in man-made CO2's greenhouse dominance, a perception that I respect, although I do not share it. I think even on the basis of empirical data (GEO 06/2012, "Temperature controls CO2 levels - not vice versa ") that the natural climate change dominates, even in recent times.
The applied computing in that new article is without error. The interpretation of the results can however debated, which is quite common in science. But who has the most correct in his interpretation is not determined by either the majority or head-shaking as Prestrud obviously think. It is determined by nature itself a not so distant future.
It is true that Bacastow already in 1976 was built on similar ideas as we in our article (why we refers to Bacastow), but it should also be noted that Bacastow subsequent met resistance, rather as we do and will do for some time. We show, however, in our article period of time how changes in temperature systematically comes in changes in CO2, why the sum of the periods (it considerably period) course is characterized by this basic correlation.
We go in our analysis a bit longer than Bacastow in 1976, and amongst others that temperature changes starting at sea level and from there transmitted to the troposphere, and not the opposite as CO 2 hypothesis forecasts. Moreover, we show that the geographic distribution of changes in atmospheric CO 2 does not start in the range between 30 and 50 degrees north, the source of the vast majority of anthropogenic CO 2 emissions, but rather initiated a little south of the equator. If anthropogenic CO2 is believed to be the cause of atmospheric contemporary CO2 increase, there should be a sobering thought that it is not seen in the empirical data?
All these empirical results are contrary to the perception that the atmospheric CO 2 increase alone comes from the combustion of cool gas and oil. However, they can be perceived as a sign that our knowledge of carbon cycle is still incomplete.
Probably we simply data and knowledge enough. The fact that the natural uptake of CO2 apparently decreases as expected, but rather seems to grow, also suggests that carbon cycle are inadequately understood.
Moreover, we are still without empirical data demonstrating that temperature changes following CO2 changes, as predicted by the CO2 hypothesis, while the opposite now vides to apply to both variations over a relatively short time (our study) and long-term variations (ice cores).
A general conclusion of this is that current climate models much well build the whole or partial failure
basis, since they assume that the CO2 control temperature. The last 15-16 years of global temperature standstill in conflict with the predicted temperature rise and growing donor support to this suspicion. So far climate models have not been able to deliver usable predictions, 
probably because the significance of CO2 in the models is overvalued in relation to the importance of natural climate variations. One should therefore consider moving the focus of climate research from CO2 to the nature and significance of natural variation, both they can be related to the sun, and those which may have different causes. It is most likely where we will seek main reason for the present (and future) climate change.

The temperature controls CO2 levels - not the other way

In a recent, scientific paper argues that changes in temperature controls, the dramatic increase in the CO 2 content of the atmosphere. This is contrary to prevailing theory.

Ronny Setså

Ole Humlum is a professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Oslo, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Svalbard. Photo: Ronny Setså

- Data from ice cores have previously demonstrated that changes in atmospheric CO2 has followed temperature changes in the past hundreds of years. Now we have found evidence that this also applies in modern times, says Ole Humlum, professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Oslo, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Svalbard.
The article, which will soon be published in the journal Global and Planetary Change , suggest that there are temperature changes on Earth that has governed the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in recent decades.
The scientists behind the article, besides Ole Humlum, Kjell Stordahl, statistician at Telenor and Jan-Erik Solheim, professor emeritus at the Institute of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø.
"Atmospheric CO 2 is there would not initiating the large glacial-interglacial climate changes, and presumably these are controlled by Milankovitch orbital cycles.
The investigations are based on eight different data sets in the time period from January 1980 to December 2011. The datasets include measurements of sea surface temperature, temperature of land surface and tropospheric temperatures, and measurements of CO 2 in the atmosphere and estimates of how much CO 2-emissions people behind.

Classic performance should be reassessed

The researchers show in the article that it has been assumed that global warming since 1975 has been a result of the increase of the concentration of CO 2 in the atmosphere. However, it is argued, results from their research shows the opposite.
- That which is communicated to decision makers and the general public is that the increase in CO 2 levels lead to global warming. This classical notion should be reconsidered in light of the new results, maintains Humlum.
Since 1980, the increase of atmospheric CO 2 remained eleven to twelve months after the increase in global surface temperature of the oceans, almost ten months after the increase in global air temperature, and about nine months after the increase in global temperatures in the troposphere.
"Changes in ocean Temperatures Appear two explain a considerate part of the Observed changes in atmospheric CO 2 since January 1980
Similarly, correlation has also been found from the ice core over the past 420,000 years. The time between cause and effect, however, has been slower than in modern times. There is talk of centuries to millennia.
The researchers write that while the link between increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures is very weak in the opposite direction. In some cases they have actually seen an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases has resulted in lower global temperatures.

Oceans important than human emissions

Humlum and authors further point out that the correlation between human (anthropogenic) carbon dioxide emissions and changes of CO 2 in the atmosphere is unstable and shows little correlation.
They therefore believe that it is primarily the temperature of the surface waters of the oceans that control changes in atmospheric CO 2.
The researchers also examined the relationship between anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide and atmospheric CO 2 levels by looking at a pole-to-pole cross-section of the globe. The cross section suggests that the major source of atmospheric CO 2 is located just south of the equator. The largest amount of human emissions of greenhouse gas originates however from the middle latitudes of the northern hemisphere, that is, from the Western industrialized countries.
The authors conclude that it is not human emissions of CO 2, but possibly oceans, which has controlled the atmospheric transformation of CO 2 since 1980.
"CO 2 released from use of fossil fuels have little influence on the Observed changes in the amount of atmospheric CO 2

Request more open attitude

Humlum said the results suggest that the details of the CO 2-cycle is not well enough known, and that human emissions of greenhouse gases can be overrated.
- I think that CO 2 plays too large a role in current climate models, and that they are not nearly describe the natural climate variations in a good way.
- In terms of research, I hope our findings can contribute to a more open attitude about the causes of the present climate change, says Ole Humlum.

The figure shows the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1980 (green), steadily rising towards 390 ppm today. Blue curve shows the surface temperature of the oceans has changed, while the red curve shows the changes in the global air temperature. Notice how the CO2 curve undulating in time with the seasons, caused by changes in ocean temperature and photosynthesis in the terrestrial biosphere.Illustration: Humlum et al., 2012
The figure shows the global changes of atmospheric CO2 since 1980 (green), global surface temperature of the oceans (blue) and global surface temperature (red). Note that the green curve is for both blue and red curve. Illustration: Humlum et al., 2012



  1. Quoting from point 2 at the top:
    " ... Instead, the increase of CO2 starts just south of the equator. This is contrary to the IPCC hypothesis that use of fossil fuels is the primary cause of increased CO2 levels ..." [because most of this occurs in the northern hemisphere]

    I am located at 19° 11' 38"S 146° 40' 31"E. South-east shore of the Coral Sea. From time to time I have noted CO2 "spikes" in the north-easterlies coming off the Pacific during summer late afternoons. So these are not the diurnal 25 - 50ppm rise that occurs naturally after sunset. No sources between me and the ocean, no power stations out there. I once picked up a similar spike when back-burning was being carried out on Magnetic Island and the smoke was travelling in this direction, but that was in what passes around here as winter.
    Unfortunately, I have only recently acquired the capacity to datalog this stuff. I don't have the time or resources to set up continuous monitoring, and no one else seems willing to do so :-(

  2. This accords with my earlier article here:


    "Stephen Wilde: Evidence that Oceans not Man control CO2 emissions "

  3. Prof. Salby expresses similar views about increasing CO2 caused by warming.

  4. If the oceans produce/provide most atmospheric Oxygen, why then should they not be the source of most carbon dioxide?

  5. As an exercise, I used Mathematica to create the Diff12 operator and then applied it to two randomly generated time series. The process produces strikingly similar results to that of Humlum et al. I believe their results to be the result of a mathematical effect known as the Slutsky effect. What they are examining is a form of order introduced by the Diff12 process to randomness in the CO2 and temperature record, nothing more than that.

    1. The lag of CO2 behind temperature is clearly shown by the observational data:


      Humlum is right, and so is Salby:


    2. And Frölicher, et al:


  6. http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jul/17jul2013a1.html