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Fri Sep 16, 2016, 05:22 PM

Paper in Nature Climate Change: We will never again see monthly readings less than 400 ppm...

...in our lifetimes. As anyone familiar with my record here will know, I have been reporting on the disastrous climate events that have been taking place in 2016 where the carbon dioxide concentrations have been climbing at a record pace.

My last entry on this topic was here: July 31, 2016: Mauna Loa carbon dioxide levels 5.04 ppm higher than one year ago.

For the first time in recorded history, the weekly year to year comparisons at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory have exceeded a 5.00 ppm increase over levels a year ago.

On July 31, 2016, the concentration of carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa was 403.47 ppm; one year ago it was 398.43 ppm.

Mauna Loa Weekly Trends, accessed Aug 7, 2016

During summers in the Northern Hemisphere, carbon dioxide levels fall slightly from the peaks usually observed in April or May; the minimums usually occur in September. The 2016 max, observed during the week ending on April 10, 2016 was 408.31 ppm.

All of humanity's efforts to address climate change have failed. This includes all the, rhetoric, charts and graphs about the "triumph" of so called "renewable energy" on which we bet, foolishly as it turns out, our planet's atmosphere.

Some folks in the primary scientific literature have commented on it as well.

The paper attached comes from the journal Nature Climate Change:

El Niño and a record CO2 rise (Richard A. Betts,
Chris D. Jones, Jeff R. Knight, Ralph F. Keeling & John J. Kennedy , Nature Climate Change 6, 806–810 (2016))

Some excerpts:

The introduction:

The long-term rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration, approximately 2.1 ppm yr−1 over the past decade, is caused by anthropogenic emissions arising from fossil fuel burning, deforestation and cement production1, 2. The annual growth rate, however, varies considerably as a result of climate variability affecting the relative strength of land and ocean carbon sources and sinks. The annual growth rate measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii3, 4 is correlated with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with more rapid growth associated with El Niño events5, 6, 7, 8, 9 through drying of tropical land regions and forest fires. To test the predictive value of this relationship, we present a forecast, made in October 2015, of the CO2 concentrations throughout 2016 based on the relationship, and verify against observations available so far. We predict the monthly mean CO2 concentration at Mauna Loa to remain above 400 ppm even in its annual minimum in September, which would not have been expected without the 2015–2016 El Niño...

The relationship between 1998 and 2016:

Historically there have been markedly large annual CO2 growth rates in El Niño years (Fig. 1), probably due to warming and drying of tropical land areas resulting in reduced carbon uptake by vegetation growth, increased carbon release by fire and drought-induced tree mortality. In 1997, dry conditions in Indonesia and Malaysia allowed human-ignited fires to escape control and ignite carbon-rich peatlands, which continued to burn for some months. An estimated 0.81 to 2.57 GtC were emitted to the atmosphere as a result11, equivalent to 13–40% of global annual mean carbon emissions from fossil fuels at that time and hence a substantial contribution to the anomalously large CO2 growth rate that year12. During La Niña events, when the equatorial Pacific is colder than average, the annual CO2 growth rate is slower.

The recent El Niño, now in its declining phase, was comparable with the 1997–1998 event in some respects. Although maximum SSTs were cooler in the eastern tropical Pacific, the Niño 3.4 index was 2.6 ± 0.30 °C over November 2015 to January 2016 (larger than November 1997 to January 1998) and most tropical land regions were again anomalously dry. Once again, drought conditions allowed human-caused fires in Indonesia to burn large areas. Estimates for 2015 suggest that the total greenhouse gas emissions from these fires is equivalent to 0.4 GtC, with large uncertainty — less than those in 1997 13, but still larger than for non-El Niño years.

Some comment on the "meaning" of 400 ppm:
...A point of interest is the passing of 400 ppm in the Mauna Loa record. Although there is nothing physically significant about this concentration, it has recently become an iconic milestone in popular discourse regarding the ongoing rise in atmospheric CO2 (for example, ref. 15). In the last two years, CO2 has fluctuated around 400 ppm through the annual cycle, which has amplitude of approximately 6–7 ppm at Mauna Loa. 2014 was the first year that monthly CO2 concentrations rose above 400 ppm, and in 2015 the annual mean concentration has passed 400 ppm for the first time, but the monthly mean concentration fell back below 400 ppm for three months at the end of the boreal summer, reaching a monthly mean of 397.50 ppm in September. Adding the recent mean growth rate of 2.1 ppm yr−1 to this value would suggest a 2016 September concentration of 399.60 ppm. However, on the basis of the observed and forecast Niño 3.4 SSTs as of November 2015, we predict a Mauna Loa CO2 concentration in September 2016 of 401.48 ± 0.53 ppm (Fig. 3)...

And now the depressing part, wherein the bold is mine.

With the growth rate expected to reduce again after the El Niño, could the annual minimum CO2 concentration fall back below 400 ppm again next year or further in the future? This is exceptionally unlikely. In the instrumental record that covers the last half-century, annual growth rate has always been positive as a result of ongoing anthropogenic emissions, and the amplitude of the seasonal cycle has not varied substantially. Both the annual mean and September minimum CO2 concentrations have therefore increased year on year. This was the case even in years with large La Niña events or major volcanic eruptions that temporarily caused cooling and greater net uptake of CO2 by the biosphere, resulting in smaller, but still positive growth (Fig. 1a). For example, in the large La Niña in 1999–2000, the growth rate remained above 1ppm yr−1. Unless a very large volcanic eruption injects substantial quantities of aerosol into the stratosphere, we would expect concentrations continue to rise further above 400 ppm in the next few years.

In the longer term, a reduction in CO2 concentration would require substantial and sustained cuts in anthropogenic emissions to near zero. Even the lowest emissions/concentrations scenario assessed in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report projects CO2 concentrations to remain above 400 ppm until 2150. This scenario, RCP2.621, is considered amongst the lowest credible emissions scenario, and relies on assumed development of 'negative emissions' methods whose potential is considered limited22. Indeed some argue that RCP2.6 is now beyond reach without radical changes in global society23. Hence our forecast supports the suggestion24 that the Mauna Loa record will never again show CO2 concentrations below the symbolic 400 ppm within our lifetimes.

If any of this bothers you, don't worry, be happy.

Those assholes at Greenpeace are continuously and constantly predicting that sometime after they and everyone else who had to sit through their tiresome repetitive and illiterate bullshit will be dead, the world will be a 100% renewable nirvana. The fact that they have been predicting this endlessly and continuously and that things are getting much, much, much worse, and not better, has no meaning.

As you may know, Greenpeace is not an organization where people do science, science being a practice in which results trump theory. You can't get into Greenpeace if you're aware of the contents of an engineering or biology or chemistry or physics or math book - but if you join Greenpeace you sure can talk, and talk, and talk - especially on subjects you know nothing about - even as the rest of us, and all future generations choke, and choke, and choke and choke.

So called "renewable energy" didn't work; it isn't working; and it won't work, but it's not results, but the thought that counts.

Have a lovely weekend.

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Reply Paper in Nature Climate Change: We will never again see monthly readings less than 400 ppm... (Original post)
NNadir Sep 2016 OP
pscot Sep 2016 #1
NNadir Sep 2016 #2

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 05:34 PM

1. I'm old enough to recall when

350 ppm was the symbolic number. Happy times.

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Response to pscot (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 05:40 PM

2. Doesn't that guy Bill McKibben still run around talking about 350 or bust?

I think he does.

From what I can tell - and I'm not really not all that familiar with him - he's another of those fools who doesn't "trust" the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas change primary energy and calls for throwing more and more and more trillions of dollars at Cadmium and lanthanide mines.

There are lots of these wishful thinking types making things worse and worse and worse, Joe Romm, Amory Lovins, that complete idiot Mark Z. Jacobsen at Stanford, that badly educated fool Benjamin Sovacool.

The world would be better off if they just sat home in front of their TV's watching Superman reruns from the 1950's, but regrettably, that won't happen.

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