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Sun May 15, 2016, 01:01 PM

More of the 2016 disastrous CO2 climate year, May 8, 2016 4.01 ppm worse than May 8, 2015.

Last edited Sun May 15, 2016, 02:35 PM - Edit history (4)

Some remarks from previous posts on 2016, which is rapidly shaping up as an unparalleled disaster for the accelerating accumulation of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide in the planetary atmosphere:

As I've remarked many times in this space, the year 2015 was the worst year ever recorded at Mauna Loa's carbon dioxide observatory for increases in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, at 3.05 ppm.

Right now, if trends continue, 2016 will blow that level away.

Something very, very, very, very disturbing is happening if the Mauna Loa observatory's CO[sub]2[/sub] measurements are correct.

For clarity, I will repeat some text from one of my earlier posts, showing how I store and analyze this data available from the Mauna Loa observatory's website's data tab:

At the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory website, they have a data page which compares the averages for each week of the year with the same week of the previous year.

The data goes back to 1974, and comprises 2,090 data points.

I import this data into a spreadsheet I maintain each week, and calculate the weekly increases over the previous year. I rank the data for the increases from worst to best, the worst data point being 4.67 ppm over the previous year, which was recorded during the week ending September 6, 1998, when much of the rain forest of Southeast Asia was burning when fires set to clear the forests for palm oil plantations got out of control during unusually dry weather. Six of the worst data points ever recorded occurred in 1998 during this event, another was recorded in the January following that event.

Of the twenty worst data points ever recorded out of 2090 two of them have occurred in the last four weeks. The week ending January 31, 2016 produced a result of a 4.35 ppm of increase. The week just passed, that ending, 2/14/2016, produced a result of 3.79 ppm increase, tying it for the aforementioned week in January 1999, that ending on January 24, 1999, and that of January 2, 2011.

Of the twenty highest points recorded, 9 have occurred in the last 5 years, 10 in the last 10 years.

It's looking very bad these last few weeks at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory.

The above comes from a post in this very, very, very depressing series on May 1 of this year: For April 2016, the average weekly increase in CO2 levels compared with April 2015 is 4.16 ppm

For the week ending May 8, 2016, the recorded increase over the same week of last year was 4.01 ppm. The data set now contains 2102 points; 4.01 ppm is tied, with April 13, 2014, and May 6, 2012 for being the 11th worst such data point ever recorded. Of the 30 worst data points recorded going back to 1975, 2016 has registered 10 of them. Thirteen of the worst 30 have been recorded in the last 5 years, 17 of the worst 30 have been recorded in the last 10 years.

Until 2015, the worst year ever observed was 1998, at 2.93 ppm over 1997, this undoubtedly because of the massive forest fires in Southeast Asia when rain forest clearing fires set to clear land for palm oil plantations went out of control. Seven of the worst of the 2102 data points were recorded in 1998.

It is almost certainly the case that the recent Fort McMurray fires in Canada are not helping, but it must be said that 2015 and 2016 were already disastrous before those fires started. 2015 was the first year to exceed 3.00 ppm over the previous year; interestingly not one of the 30 worst weekly data points occurred in 2015.

Everything we think we're doing to address climate change is failing, and failing dramatically.

Recently in this space I had a wonderful conversation with a "renewables will save us" advocate about how wonderful it is that US carbon dioxide emissions to generate electricity have fallen. As I will show in a future post analyzing the carbon dioxide output of electricity production of US electricity, the bulk of this reduction actually have very little to with so called "renewable energy" - a trivial form of electricity in the United States despite the huge sums of money squandered on it - but rather from the awful increase in the use of dangerous natural gas, which has released 287,000,000 metric tons more carbon dioxide in 2015 to generate electricity than it did in 2005, concomitant with a reduction, but hardly an elimination, in the use of dangerous coal, the carbon dioxide emissions of which have fallen by 722 million tons per year from 2005 to 2015.

The third largest source of electricity in the United States is nuclear energy. The nuclear output in the United States exceeds, by a factor of three, all other forms of electricity combined, excepting coal and natural gas.

But as the climate figures above show, it's too little, too late, and any case, all the use of dangerous natural gas on the entire planet is at the expense of all human beings who will live after us.

Worldwide human activities are adding, not even counting forest fires, significantly more 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the planetary atmosphere each year.

If any of this upsets you, don't worry, be happy. Bernie Sanders is here to tell us that renewable energy will work some day, even if it's proved useless this far in the 21st century thus far, at least where actual measurements of the contents of the atmosphere are performed. Wishing is always better than reality.

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.

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Reply More of the 2016 disastrous CO2 climate year, May 8, 2016 4.01 ppm worse than May 8, 2015. (Original post)
NNadir May 2016 OP
GliderGuider May 2016 #1
NNadir May 2016 #2

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 01:54 PM

1. From CO2 Today



Daily CO2

May 13, 2016: 407.80 ppm
May 13, 2015: 403.80 ppm
Increase: 4.00 ppm

April CO2

April 2016: 407.57 ppm
April 2015: 403.45 ppm
Increase 4.12

It looks to me as though the planet's carbon sinks have saturated. This graph of the annual increases since 1960, which includes the current 4 ppmv rise, clearly shows the effect kicking in last year. Maybe it's just El Nino and we're all going to be fine. Maybe not.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #1)

Sun May 15, 2016, 02:33 PM

2. Even more scary graphically. I suspect you're right about sinks becoming saturated, but there...

...may be some significant out gassing from significant reservoirs as well.

I suspect that some of this is permafrost. The acidification of the ocean, along with heating not only impacts capacity to absorb, but may be working to destabilize various types of hydrates, both carbon dioxide hydrates and methane hydrates.

Large areas of the ocean are now have been subject to eutrophication. In some cases this can be a carbon dioxide sink, but the mechanism of oxygen depletion is these regions is oxidation of decaying organic matter, it may shift direction.

Then there's the emergence of droughts.

Though no one in the West has a right to complain, given our own sybaritic life styles, rising living standards in India and China are also likely involved.

These are all speculations. I've actually seen very little data why this sudden rate increase - the second derivative - is surging so rapidly. All I know, because I've been looking at it very closely for a number of years, it's increasing, and doing so rapidly. I'm a cynic generally, and I have a real sense of people trying to shove back a 100 year flood with a beach pail, but I have to say that even I'm shaken by what we're seeing.

It's very disturbing.

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