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Thread: Atmos. Co2 Fraction Steady (More support for W. Cobra)

  1. #1 Atmos. Co2 Fraction Steady (More support for W. Cobra) 
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    In a previous thread, Wild Cobra was challenged to support his formula and methods of estimating CO2 equilibrium between atmosphere and the vast sinks for CO2 (primarily the ocean). The challengers accused him of making stuff up and not following/accepting "well researched conclusions". I have for some time argued that researchers often reach wrong conclusion and provided a study that looked at medical research in particular concluding that "most" (greater than 50%) of the conclusions were wrong. The study blamed a number of factors, all of which are part and parcel of the current AGW debate (politics, race for grant money, bias, influence, idealology, etc.). I provided some information that indicated the ocean's ability to continue to absorb large quantities of CO2 without dramatic affect had not been considered in any of the research cited.

    Here is now additional research that indicates WC ideas have strong support in physics and in observation. It claims that the proportions of CO2 remain largely in alignment with each other, driven by the predictable physical chemistry of equilibrium, and mass transfer principles including the lag times established by dynamic systems.

    No Rise of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Fraction in Past 160 Years


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    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    If I may make a suggestion, you guys really need to stop using oversimplified equations which fail to account for all of the relevant variables. It's as if you're using newtonian formulas to represent relativistic speeds, and approaching your calculations with cartoonishly simplified concepts. If you're okay with having inaccurate results which don't adequately represent the system you're attempting to describe, then please... keep doing what you're doing.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Here is now additional research that indicates WC ideas have strong support in physics and in observation. It claims that the proportions of CO2 remain largely in alignment with each other, driven by the predictable physical chemistry of equilibrium, and mass transfer principles including the lag times established by dynamic systems.
    The research you link directly contradicts WC's assertion that the CO2 in the atmosphere is from outgassing by a solar warmed ocean.

    It directly supports contentions WC has "argued" (via rhetorical question) against repeatedly: that researchers can determine the fossil fuel source of the rise in the atmosphere's CO2, that ocean acidity has been determined by researchers to be rising due to absorption of fossil fuel CO2 from the atmosphere.

    It says nothing about any contentions by WC concerning "lags" of any kind, or "proportions".
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    If I may make a suggestion, you guys really need to stop using oversimplified equations which fail to account for all of the relevant variables. It's as if you're using newtonian formulas to represent relativistic speeds, and approaching your calculations with cartoonishly simplified concepts. If you're okay with having inaccurate results which don't adequately represent the system you're attempting to describe, then please... keep doing what you're doing.
    Nice obfuscation. inow --> "yeah but its more complicated than that. Don't ask me to explain or demonstrate how it is, but it is way more complicated, as these impressive articles, which I don't understand confirm, and therefore I just know you are wrong because more complex is obviously more correct."

    At this point I would normally ask inow to explain the errors, describe how the simplifications are incorrect and non-representative. But I have learned long ago not to expect an answer. Instead, I repeat how this article seems to confirm a major portion of the disputed points about WC's explanations.
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    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Instead, I repeat how this article seems to confirm a major portion of the disputed points about WC's explanations.
    You either missed or are ignoring the post immediately following mine. Further, while you're trying to divert attention and make this thread... again... about me, my points remain accurate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Here is now additional research that indicates WC ideas have strong support in physics and in observation. It claims that the proportions of CO2 remain largely in alignment with each other, driven by the predictable physical chemistry of equilibrium, and mass transfer principles including the lag times established by dynamic systems.
    The research you link directly contradicts WC's assertion that the CO2 in the atmosphere is from outgassing by a solar warmed ocean.
    You must have not read the article or the research correctly or perhaps more likely missed WC's argument. WC and the article make the point that Co2 in the atmosphere is governed by equillibrium chemistry based on PVT states and diffusion. Therefore, though human derived CO2 sources have dramatically increased, the primary driver for atmospheric CO2 remains the equilibrium between it and ocean and biological CO2 sinks. Because the ocean temperature has risen between 1700 and 2000, atmospheric CO2 has followed in the correct proportions.

    It says nothing about any contentions by WC concerning "lags" of any kind, or "proportions".
    Oh please, it is a fact that dynamic systems with large storage systems include lag. It took these factors into account.
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    from the same source, 8 weeks earlier:

    Controversial New Climate Change Data: Is Earth's Capacity to Absorb CO2 Much Greater Than Expected?
    ScienceDaily (Nov. 11, 2009) — New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now...

    Dr Wolfgang Knorr at the University of Bristol found that in fact the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has only been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, which is essentially zero.

    The strength of the new study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters, is that it rests solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice, and does not rely on computations with complex climate models...

    So is this good news for climate negotiations in Copenhagen? "Not necessarily," says Knorr. "Like all studies of this kind, there are uncertainties in the data, so rather than relying on Nature to provide a free service, soaking up our waste carbon, we need to ascertain why the proportion being absorbed has not changed."

    Another result of the study is that emissions from deforestation might have been overestimated by between 18 and 75 per cent. This would agree with results published in early November in Nature Geoscience by a team led by Guido van der Werf from VU University Amsterdam. They re-visited deforestation data and concluded that emissions have been overestimated by at least a factor of two.
    I find this the most interesting:
    ... the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has only been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, which is essentially zero...
    Nature abhors perfection; cats abhor a vacuum.

    "I don't know; I'm making it up as I go ..." Dr H Jones (Jr).
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    As reported in IPCC AR4: (since 1958) This 'airborne fraction' has shown little variation over this period.

    Good, we all seem to be in agreement. Of course the net amount still increases.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    As reported in IPCC AR4: (since 1958) This 'airborne fraction' has shown little variation over this period.

    Good, we all seem to be in agreement. Of course the net amount still increases.
    Exactly right.

    An not only the net amount still increasing but the fraction itself in order to remain nearly the same would be a bad sign as well....meaning the absolute value of the sink is also unable to keep up with man-made emissions. Rather ironic some don't understand the math and are trying to spin this into something other than anthropomorphic emissions are driving the total Co2 upwards. That the fraction is even now remaining the same is so certain either, given it is doesn't match another recent peer review paper that discussed the Co2 sink is a similar paper:
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v...l/ngeo689.html
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Instead, I repeat how this article seems to confirm a major portion of the disputed points about WC's explanations.
    You either missed or are ignoring the post immediately following mine. Further, while you're trying to divert attention and make this thread... again... about me, my points remain accurate.
    Ok,Inow,I tell you what,from here forward I will treat every claim you make as serious and thoughtful, I will provide full answers and consider every aspect of it. In return I hope you will do the same, and provide details that support your viewpoint.

    Your point is that there is more to consider wrt CO2 equilibrium. Ok, let's ensure that each and everyone of these other factors are considered. when we find one that has not been considered, let's adjust the model as best we can. Let's take them one by one. Also since I am treating this carefully, my answers will be much more complete and they may take more time for me to respond.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    As reported in IPCC AR4: (since 1958) This 'airborne fraction' has shown little variation over this period.

    Good, we all seem to be in agreement. Of course the net amount still increases.
    Exactly right.

    An not only the net amount still increasing but the fraction itself in order to remain nearly the same would be a bad sign as well....meaning the absolute value of the sink is also unable to keep up with man-made emissions. Rather ironic some don't understand the math and are trying to spin this into something other than anthropomorphic emissions are driving the total Co2 upwards. That the fraction is even now remaining the same is so certain either, given it is doesn't match another recent peer review paper that discussed the Co2 sink is a similar paper:
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v...l/ngeo689.html
    I'm not sure how you conclude that "[some] are trying to spin this into something ...". The point is that this was to contradict questionable claims by other posters that the solubility and adsorbtion/diffusion chemistry wrt the sea was changing and thus the ability of the sea to continue to act as a sink for CO2 is declining. Wild Cobra and myself plus perhaps a couple others all acknowledge the net contribution by humans of CO2 vapor to the environment.

    I am quite happy to see that many, but not all, have agreed on this point. Inow and Iceaura, I think continue to have concerns on this point.
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    I haven't followed the CO2 solubility argument here but it seems fairly clear what should be happening. In qualitative terms:

    1. Atmospheric CO2 concentration increases.
    2. Henry's Law says solubility in sea water should increase.
    3. Rising ocean temperature offsets the Henry's Law effect slightly, but not by much.
    4. Despite increased atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 the proportion of man made CO2 that stays in the air does not decrease. This is not consistent with temperature-corrected Henry's law for a constant solvent. Something is changing with the solvent.
    5. It appears that the oceans may be becoming saturated (surface levels) and their effectiveness as a CO2 sink may be decreasing.

    Is this the general gist of it?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Is-t...ncreasing.html
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    It seems also to me that if the fraction (of fossil fuel - derived CO2, measured by isotopic analysis) is constant and the net increase in CO2 is indisputable, that this argues for a very large non-fossil-fuel based source for CO2 emissions, perhaps arising from land use (deforestation, agriculture) and positive feedbacks (thawing permafrost, etc) ... which is all rather disturbing though nothing new in the argument.
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    This article (linked in the Skeptical Science article) gives figures for fossil and land-use CO2 emissions. They are:

    Fossil fuels:
    CO2emissions from fossil fuel combustion, including small contributions from cement production and gas flaring, were 8.7 +/-0.5 Pg C yr-1 in 2008, an increase of 2.0% on 2007, 29% on 2000 and 41% above emissions in 1990
    Land use change:
    For the period 1990–2005, net LUC CO2 emissions were 1.5 +/-0.7 Pg C yr-1, and were dominated by tropical deforestation.
    Pg = 1 billion tonnes

    The methodology is described in the article.

    Edit: link added: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v...l/ngeo689.html
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    I haven't followed the CO2 solubility argument here but it seems fairly clear what should be happening. In qualitative terms:

    1. Atmospheric CO2 concentration increases.
    2. Henry's Law says solubility in sea water should increase.
    3. Rising ocean temperature offsets the Henry's Law effect slightly, but not by much.
    4. Despite increased atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 the proportion of man made CO2 that stays in the air does not decrease. This is not consistent with temperature-corrected Henry's law for a constant solvent. Something is changing with the solvent.
    5. It appears that the oceans may be becoming saturated (surface levels) and their effectiveness as a CO2 sink may be decreasing.

    Is this the general gist of it?
    No sorry. In step 2 and 3, since (you forgot? that) CO2 forms carbonic acid in water and then the bicarbonate ion HCO3- which is partially buffered by oversupply of CaCO3 and other carbonates in surface water (pushing equilibrium back to CO2 thus offsetting it a bit). Because of this, the concentration of dissolved CO2 remains fairly low and temperature becomes a major driver for CO2 solubility and the equilibrium between ocean and air. In the absence of a temperature increase, the ocean would adsorb much of the excess CO2 being expelled into the atmosphere.

    Thus, the proportion is remaining constant, because it is not a "constant solvent" given that the bicarbonate ion is formed influenced by pH, and Carbonates, plus other ion interactions.

    However, the ocean was, is and will remain saturated and in equilibrium at the near surface but the lower depths will, much more slowly, adjust to this surface equilibrium, which will continue to draw in CO2 from the atmosphere until such time that there is no longer an abundance.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Thus, the proportion is remaining constant, because it is not a "constant solvent" given that the bicarbonate ion is formed influenced by pH, and Carbonates, plus other ion interactions.

    However, the ocean was, is and will remain saturated and in equilibrium at the near surface but the lower depths will, much more slowly, adjust to this surface equilibrium, which will continue to draw in CO2 from the atmosphere until such time that there is no longer an abundance.
    I think I said "Something is changing with the solvent." As for the rest, as I said I haven't been following the discussion and would not presume to know more than people who study this for a living.

    Sorry, it seems I forgot the link in prior post. It's here:
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v...l/ngeo689.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    However, the ocean was, is and will remain saturated and in equilibrium at the near surface
    It is either remaining in equilibrium by absorbing ever more CO2 from the increasing atmospheric concentration, or it is saturated - it can't be both. That's the whole point of this study.

    This study seems to indicate that in maintaining its equilibrium it is continuing to absorb its standard fraction of the anthro CO2 boost, and so it is not saturated yet.

    That is good news, even though it directly conflicts with WC's hypothetical warming ocean production of the CO2 boost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    However, the ocean was, is and will remain saturated and in equilibrium at the near surface
    It is either remaining in equilibrium by absorbing ever more CO2 from the increasing atmospheric concentration, or it is saturated - it can't be both. That's the whole point of this study.
    Not true.

    The ocean circulates. As the surface travels north or south, and cools, it is capable of absorbing more CO2. As it travels north, it releases CO2.
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    This study seems to indicate that in maintaining its equilibrium it is continuing to absorb its standard fraction of the anthro CO2 boost, and so it is not saturated yet.
    Systems are not static, but dynamic.
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    That is good news, even though it directly conflicts with WC's hypothetical warming ocean production of the CO2 boost.
    Explain please, so I can blow your argument apart.
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  20. #19  
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    However, the ocean was, is and will remain saturated and in equilibrium at the near surface
    It is either remaining in equilibrium by absorbing ever more CO2 from the increasing atmospheric concentration, or it is saturated - it can't be both. That's the whole point of this study.

    Not true.

    The ocean circulates. As the surface travels north or south, and cools, it is capable of absorbing more CO2. As it travels north, it releases CO2.
    I'm sorry, but I'm just going to be laughing at this action from now on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    However, the ocean was, is and will remain saturated and in equilibrium at the near surface
    It is either remaining in equilibrium by absorbing ever more CO2 from the increasing atmospheric concentration, or it is saturated - it can't be both. That's the whole point of this study.
    Maybe you should review the meaning of the terms "saturated" and "equilibrium". It is both at the ocean surface. The statement is correct. The point of the study was to contradict other flawed studies that indicated CO2 chemistry in the ocean was changing.

    This study seems to indicate that in maintaining its equilibrium it is continuing to absorb its standard fraction of the anthro CO2 boost, and so it is not saturated yet.
    Equilibrium is achieved when the solute is saturated in the solvent. At the ocean surface this occurs quickly. However, it does take some significant time for concentrations to adjust in the lower levels. This study confirms that the higher ocean temperatures driving equilibrium toward more atmospheric CO2 is offset by greater concentration of atmospheric CO2 available due to CO2 sources. WC made this point early in his discussion when he said were it not for rising sea temperatures, the ocean would have adsorbed the greater fraction of excess CO2.

    That is good news, even though it directly conflicts with WC's hypothetical warming ocean production of the CO2 boost.
    Sorry Ice, you should brush up on solvent, ionization and multiphase chemistry.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Maybe you should review the meaning of the terms "saturated" and "equilibrium". It is both at the ocean surface. The statement is correct. The point of the study was to contradict other flawed studies that indicated CO2 chemistry in the ocean was changing.
    So are you joining WC in asserting that the ocean is simultaneously saturated with CO2, absorbing ever more CO2 every year, producing the extra CO2 we measure by outgassing under a warming sun, delaying this warmth-driven outgassing until after the proper thirty years or so have lagged by, and in general sinking and sourcing, warming and lagging, as the theoretical needs of the argument change?

    Unusually cooperative, as oceans go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Maybe you should review the meaning of the terms "saturated" and "equilibrium". It is both at the ocean surface. The statement is correct. The point of the study was to contradict other flawed studies that indicated CO2 chemistry in the ocean was changing.
    So are you joining WC in asserting that the ocean is simultaneously saturated with CO2, absorbing ever more CO2 every year, producing the extra CO2 we measure by outgassing under a warming sun, delaying this warmth-driven outgassing until after the proper thirty years or so have lagged by, and in general sinking and sourcing, warming and lagging, as the theoretical needs of the argument change?

    Unusually cooperative, as oceans go.
    No I would not word his explanation the way you did.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    No I would not word his explanation the way you did.
    Of course you wouldn't, because it shows how clearly silly his explanations have been.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    No I would not word his explanation the way you did.
    Of course you wouldn't, because it shows how clearly silly his explanations have been.
    Perhaps you and iceaura, interpret the explanation as ice described it, but it is not at all what I took from the discussion.

    Here is what I understand. In the 1600's global surface temperatures began to rise, followed by near surface ocean temperatures. As middle and lower ocean temperatures began to adjust, CO2 was expelled driving up atmospheric CO2. As industrialization accelerated in the 1800's and 1900's, additional CO2 was expelled into the atmosphere driving equilibrium in the opposite direction. Had global temperatures not risen, much of the CO2 now in the atmosphere would be adsorbed by the sea and CO2 would have remained in the 170-250 range. Had industrialization not occurred but temperatures increased as they did, atmospheric CO2 levels today would be hovering closer to 330 ppm rather than the 390 it is now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Here is what I understand. In the 1600's global surface temperatures began to rise, followed by near surface ocean temperatures. As middle and lower ocean temperatures began to adjust, CO2 was expelled driving up atmospheric CO2. As industrialization accelerated in the 1800's and 1900's, additional CO2 was expelled into the atmosphere driving equilibrium in the opposite direction.
    That's about what I'm laughing at, yes - half of it, anyway.

    Throw in some stuff about the ocean going north and south while its equilibrium is being driven in the opposite directions, the saturated surface waters absorbing ever higher amounts of CO2 every year and then being saturated again, the acidity of the ocean increasing amid all that CO2 depletion from outgassing or increase from absorption or whatever the lags explain this year, and everything lagging or not lagging depending on what happened and so forth.
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