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Cause and Effect by Luther Haave & Derek.
Forum version attached.
The text is a lot more in depth than the below posted early version.
Also the reference section is delierately very wide rangeing, and with virtually all having online links, ALL FREE.
Hopefully the reference section alone is a "skeptics library".

Please feel free to comment, or ask questions on any issues raised by the pdf.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.


A layman’s application of the Scientific Method to the hypotheses that are
the basis of the unproven "theory" of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) or
as it is also called (man made) “Climate Change”.

Luther Haave and Derek Alker
March 2009

(Forum version)

Applying the Scientific Method includes the following steps:

1) Observe (preferably empirical data).

2) Explain observation (hypothesis).

3) Test explanation by an experiment that evaluates the prediction of the hypothesis.

4) Analyze the results and draw a conclusion.

5) If steps 3) and 4) confirm the hypothesis, it may be on its way to being accepted as a scientific theory,
provided that others are able to independently duplicate the results. 
If the experimental results do not confirm the hypothesis, it is necessary to return to steps 2), 3) and 4) and
revise the hypothesis and/or the experiment until results and analysis demonstrate the accuracy of the hypothesis.

6) Openly publish the methodology of the experiment and the results and data.
It is necessary to rigorously, openly, and without bias question all possible problems or reservations.

It must always be borne in mind that in science a single, ugly, fact can destroy a beautiful theory!

The unproven “theory” of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is based on two hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1:
Increases in the total amount of “human-caused” CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere are
the primary cause of the measured increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

Hypothesis 2:
The increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is the primary cause of an increase in average global temperatures.

Testing Hypothesis 1

Hypothesis 1:
Increases in the total amount of “human-caused” CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere are
the primary cause of the measured increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

Do the annual “human-caused” CO2 emissions (which have increased more than ten fold over the past 100 years)
account for the annual measured increases in CO2 concentration?
The proponents of AGW theory suggest that there is a 90% certainty that “human-caused” CO2 emissions have
overtaken natural climatic variations and have become the “driver” responsible for
increased atmospheric CO2 concentration and elevated global temperatures.

To provide data that documents the level of annual release of “human-caused” CO2 emissions over a period of time,
as well as data that reliably documents the level of CO2 in the atmosphere over the same period of time.
The analysis of such data must indicate some form of identifiable cause and effect relationship.

The smoothed figures used are to reduce “noise” within the data sets used.
In the monthly data sets in the MLO CO2 case for example the “noise” appears to be a seasonal fluctuation. 
The smoothed figures used here are a 13 month smoothing. 
(Temperature data used in testing hypothesis 2 are smoothed in the same way.)
The smoothing is calculated by adding six months prior and six months after a given month together and dividing the sum by 13. 
This is repeated for each month in the record. 
For clarity, the first and last 6 months of any data set smoothed using in testing hypotheses 1 and 2 have not been included,
as there would not be 13 months to add together. 
Consequently the smoothed data sets are slightly shorter than the monthly data sets.

Various organizations have calculated the magnitude of “human-caused” CO2 emissions.
One of the most comprehensive studies of this activity has been done by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre at
Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, USA and their data contains estimated figures for the release of CO2 from
the burning of solid, liquid and gaseous fossil fuels, plus cement production, and gas flaring going back as far as 1751.
The data from this portion of the experiment is available from
The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory at Mauna Loa Hawaii,
which has been (purportedly reliably) collecting daily data on CO2 in the atmosphere since 1958.
The Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) data from this portion of the experiment is available from
The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)

Results & Analysis:
The data have been imported into an Excel spreadsheet from which the following graphs and charts have been plotted.

[Image: Slide13.jpg]

Chart 1 shows the change in measured increase in monthly CO2 concentration in the atmosphere from 1960 to 2007 and
notes the CLEARLY SHOWN annual cyclical change.
The scale on the left side of the above plot is parts per million of CO2, from the MLO dataset.
Over each year, the monthly levels of CO2 as measured by MLO vary seasonally by up to 4 or 5 parts per million
(every year without any significant variation between years) or by about 0.004% of the atmosphere as a whole.

This shows that the MLO data set is supposedly very, very accurate, MLO claim an accuracy to within 0.1 parts per million,
ie 1 part per 10 million in their measurements of a "global" CO2 atmospheric level from one location.
One location that is on a volcanic island, at an altitude of 11,500 feet, in the middle of the (naturally net de-gassing) Pacific Ocean.
The island is traversed seasonally by the trade winds that blow across this ocean,
the volcanoes on and around the island, and under the ocean locally are known to be active.
Does this sound like a location to measure a global level of CO2 supposedly influenced by man's emissions all over the planet. ?
The seasonal variation of WHAT variations is MLO (supposedly) measuring.
According to the official explanations MLO measures the seasonal variation in CO2 due to
the seasonal waxing and waining of the mostly Northern Hemispheres plant growth with a 9 month delay.

[Image: Slide14.jpg]

Chart 2 shows the month-to-month Rate of Change (RoC) in parts per million in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere from
1960 to 2007 as measured by MLO.  Each year is plotted on the chart as a single line, so on this plot there are 47 separate lines. 
The RoC is defined as follows:  If in January of a year the monthly measurement was, for example,
350 and in February 351, and in March 353, then the RoC for February would be 351 minus 350, or +1, and
for March the RoC would be 353 minus 351 or +2. 
January’s RoC is calculated by subtracting the previous December’s figure. 
Each year can then be plotted as a single line of RoC from month to month.

Chart 2 demonstrates that the measurement system in place at Mauna Loa is apparently capable of recording
seasonal or month-to-month variations.  Therefore any changes in “human-caused” emissions,
if they have a noticeable effect on atmospheric CO2 concentration, should show up very quickly in the MLO record.

[Image: Slide15.jpg]

Chart 3 is Chart 2 repeated, but with the individual year RoCs plotted with thin lines.  All 47 years are plotted. 
The mean of all 47 monthly figures for each month has been added. This has produced the thick black mean line on the plot. 
Then 1 was added and subtracted to each month’s mean figure, these +1 and -1 lines are plotted as
the dashed upper and lower black lines.  In the 47 year record there is not a single outlier. 
This shows that according to the released MLO record, all the monthly RoCs have
varied less than plus or minus one part per million.
This indicates that the rate of change (RoC) of the atmospheric CO2 concentration has remained
virtually constant over the 47 years at an average increase of 0.44% per year
which is an incredibly consistent rate of change!

Nature abhors straight lines. Is the MLO data set measured, or modelled. ?
No one really knows the answer to that question because the raw data for MLO has never been released.
Neither have the calculations used to produce the hourly mean CO2 "measurements" some refer to as raw data ever been released.
The hourly measurements are admitted as processed, so are NOT raw data, and can not be checked.
The MLO data set has to be taken on trust.
Please refer back to the brief description of the scientific method at the start.
The reader can draw their own conclusions as to the reliability of the mostly widely quoted CO2 measurements that MLO are.

[Image: Slide16.jpg]

Chart 4 shows the annual percentage change (beginning in the base year of 1960) in the “human-caused” CO2 emissions and
in the atmospheric CO2 concentration from 1960 to 2005. 
Over this 45 year period, “human-caused” CO2 emissions have risen by 224%. 
In the same period the atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen by 20% (from 316.91 to 379.67 ppm).
The highlighted section of the graph draws attention to period of time when the
“human-caused” CO2emissions declined for 4 consecutive years.

Not only is the average annual rate of change of “human-caused” CO2 emissions more than 10 times the
average annual rate of change in atmospheric CO2 concentration, there is a significant variation
(as noted in the highlighted portion of the graph) in the amount of “human-caused” CO2 emissions released in different years.
Yet no effect is seen in the MLO CO2 record due to these variations in human emissions. ?
Given the supposed accuracy of MLO, and rapid response (seasonal fluctuation)
then either man's emissions are not effecting the overall global CO2 level significantly, or MLO is not measuring it.
Either way the fact is a known 4 year decline in human emissions does not show up in the MLO data.

[Image: Slide17.jpg]

Chart 5, plots the annual percentage change (beginning in the base year of 1960) in the “human-caused” CO2 emissions,
compared to the atmospheric CO2 concentration from 1975 to 1985.
Over this 10 year period, “human-caused” CO2 emissions rose 33% (from 88% to 121%) from the 1960 base year value,
while the atmospheric CO2 concentration rose 4.7% (from 4.8% to 9.5%) from the 1960 base year value.

Chart 5 demonstrates that over the 4 year period from 1979 to 1983, while the annual output of
“human-caused” CO2 emissions declined by 11% (or an average of 2.75% per year),
atmospheric CO2 concentration increased by 1.86% or an average of (the still virtually unchanged) 0.46%.

In addition, the above graphs clearly demonstrate that the data indicate no change in the slope of the
atmospheric CO2 concentration plot, and there is also not any delay (over the entire period of the data) in recording
any cause of an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration as a result of either “human-caused” or natural CO2 emissions. 
This would indicate that even though the total annual output of “human-caused” CO2 emissions has risen to more than
8 million metric tons of carbon today, this amount of additional CO2 is undetectable in the MLO dataset and
does not even show up as “noise” in the monthly and seasonal fluctuations that remain extremely predictable from year to year.

The proponents of AGW hypotheses suggest that in order to stop and hopefully reverse
dangerous “Climate Change” mankind must collectively reduce its “carbon footprint” and
dramatically reduce the annual production of CO2 emissions. 
Given these data, there is no reason to expect that if humans were to be successful in curtailing the total of
global annual “human-caused” CO2 emissions there would be any reduction at all in the level of atmospheric CO2 concentration.

At no point over the time when data is available is it possible to show a period of time when
atmospheric CO2 concentration declined except for small and very predictable and repeated seasonal fluctuations.

The notion that atmospheric CO2 concentration has overtaken “other” natural factors as the “driver” of
elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration is not supported by the data. 

Q.E.D. Hypothesis 1 fails.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
Testing Hypothesis 2

Hypothesis 2:
The increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is the primary cause of an increase in average global temperatures.

Measuring a global mean temperature is at best “problematic”.  At any location on the globe, daily temperature varies greatly. 
For instance how would one measure the mean temperature for a location in a desert? 
During the day the temperatures soar, and at night they plummet, so what is the significance of a “mean daily temperature”? 
Satellites take a more overall view, but any calculated mean is still a statistical product, being the result of
the assumptions and methods used.  A longer record is an improvement, as what is measured is
the change over time using the same assumptions and methods so that
at least the degree of change and sign are probably reasonably accurate.

Some datasets are known to have problems, such as the GISS dataset as a result of
the “urban heat island effect” on many stations. 
The fact that there are a number of different organizations that regularly tabulate temperature data from around the globe
and generate inconsistent datasets should in itself be a powerful piece of evidence that
the science of climate change is clearly “not settled”, let alone accurately measured.

It is also well known that the analysis of ice core samples from both Greenland and Antarctica have demonstrated that
during previous transitions from warmer to cooler and cooler to warmer climate conditions,
increases (and decreases) in CO2 concentration have typically occurred many years after
increases (and decreases) in atmospheric temperature were recorded.
Historically speaking, it appears that CO2 follows temperature, the opposite of the AGW hypothesis.

To examine this problem data that documents the level of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over a period of time,
will be compared with data that documents how global temperatures have changed over the same period of time.
It will also be useful to examine how recorded temperatures in more recent years compare with the predictions of
Global Climate Models (GCMs) used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The analysis of such data must indicate some form of identifiable cause and effect relationship.

CO2 data.
The Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) data

Temperarutre data:
Met Office Hadley Centre observation datasets (HadCRUT)

The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS)

Atmospheric Science Department at the
University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH)

The predicted temperatures as projected by the IPCC computer models are available at:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Working Group 1: The Physical Basis of Climate Change (IPCC)

The temperature projections are in table 10.5 in Chapter 10. 

The relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature from the Vostock ice cores is available at:

CDIAC Vostock CO2 reconstruction

CDIAC Vostock Temperature reconstruction

Results & Analysis:
The above referenced MLO, HadCRUT, GISS, RSS, UAH and Vostock Ice Core data have been imported into an
Excel spreadsheet from which the following graphs and charts have been created that focus on various aspects of the data.

[Image: Slide18.jpg]

Chart 6 is a plot of the above referenced temperature data sets and is repeated below using
(13 month) smoothed data for each of the temperature data sets.
This is to reduce the "noise" in the data sets, as described earlier.

[Image: Slide19.jpg]

Chart 7 shows the plot of atmospheric CO2 concentration from the MLO data (green line) over the period from 1960 to 2008. 
The dashed, (dark green) portion of this line on the graph projects what the atmospheric CO2 concentration would be for
the period until the year 2020 if this concentration continues to rise with the exact same annual average
that it has faithfully risen by in each of the years since measurements began at Mauna Loa in 1958. 
This chart also plots the smoothed temperature anomaly for the period from 1960 to 2008 as recorded by
the various datasets (thin coloured lines) referenced above. 
The thicker blue line is a 1 year, triple centred, smoothed HadCRUT plot.
Chart 6 and Chart 7 demonstrate that there is in reality very little correlation between
Global Mean Temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration, at this timescale.

[Image: Slide20.jpg]

Chart 8 includes plots of the projected A2, A1B and B1 temperature anomalies projected for
the period from 1990 to 2020 by the IPCC computer models as reported in the IPCC AR4 report of 2007.

The question was put forward earlier, is the MLO data set measured or modelled. ?
Certainly a continuing of the same rate (dashed dark green line) as "measured" over the last 47 years by MLO seems
to have a very strong correlation with the IPCCs model projections for a future temperature rise.
Is that merely a coincidence. ?
A coincidence that seems at odds with reality.

The highlighted section of Chart 8 draws attention to a 9 to 10 year period when the “Global Mean Temperature”
has not risen or declined significantly. The period indicated by the black dashed box is from May 1997 to January 2008.

[Image: Slide21.jpg]

Chart 9 concentrates on the highlighted section of Chart 8 and shows the plot of
atmospheric CO2 concentration from the MLO data over the period from 1997 to 2008.
The temperature anomalies from the four datasets are also plotted
along with the IPCC projected temperature changes.

The data plotted (Charts 8 and 9) demonstrate that Global Mean Temperatures have been declining for a five to seven year period,
while the atmospheric CO2 concentration has continued to rise at virtually the same rate as it has over 50 years of data collection. 

The data also clearly shows that the Global Climate (computer) Models, used by the IPCC, to "project" that
Global Mean Temperatures should continue to rise as long as the atmospheric CO2 concentration continues to rise.
The fact that measured Global Mean Temperatures actually exhibit the opposite slope during approximately the past decade,
(the only period when such models have been available to evaluate) completely undermines the accuracy and reliability of these GCMs.

The available data and the track record of the GCM models, since they have been available, in yielding modelled results
that conform to actual experience unequivocally undermines the value and efficacy of these models and reduces them to
the category of GIGO more commonly known in the information technology world as “garbage in – garbage out”.

The “cause and effect” relationship between CO2 and temperature being tested as hypothesis 2 here is clearly absent.
The hypothesis 2 prediction can not be observed, in any of the data sets used here.
The data sets used were chosen because of their wide and respected use, as amongst, if not the best available at present,
to measure both CO2 and temperature at a global level.
The absense of the predicted "cause and effect" relationship between CO2 and temperature is an ugly fact.
An ugly fact that destroys the "bueatiful theory" of AGW or so called man made climate change.

The unproven hypothesis is simply not observed in the real world.

[Image: Slide22.jpg]

Chart 10 is a Plot of Temperature and CO2 concentration reconstructions from Vostock ice cores. 
The vertical scaling has been adjusted so that the plots do not overlap. 
This "separation" of the two plots is a lesson many will recall from Al Gore's discredited "film", An Inconvenient Truth.
Why were they separated, if the relationship as hypothesised by AGW was so obvious, between man's CO2 emissions and temperature.
Here we have the data to hand, so the scaling can be altered to overlap the plots. See Chart 11.

[Image: Slide23.jpg]

Chart 11 overlays the curves in Chart 10 in order to highlight that historical ice core records have established that
increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration follow increases in temperature by approximately 800 years!

The timescale plotted is going back to 400,000 years before present, a very long timescale.
Given the length of timescale it is surprising to see the two lines plotted separated so visibly.
Furthermore, as the blue line (temperature) is consistently to the left (before) the green line (CO2) then
only one reasonable conclusion is reachable. Temperature changes come before CO2 changes.
CO2 levels follow temperature changes. The response time though as plotted does seem to vary,
when temperatures increase, CO2 responds by also increasing reasonably rapidly,
when temperatures fall some time later CO2 levels fall.
This pattern is repeated in the plot several times over. It is not a one off.

Due to the lag in CO2 levels falling as temperature falls, there can quite often be seen times when
temperature has started to fall but CO2 has apparently not caught on yet and followed suite.
Natural sinks and sources of CO2 vary on different timescales to different stimulie, so
in the past the reconstructions show periods of differing relative changes.
Temperature can be falling or rising, but due to the vaying lag in CO2 level response time CO2 level can be seen to
be doing same, or the opposite to temperature changes, depending on the time scale being observed.
Obviously a few decades at the end of the 20th Century is not a relevant timescale to observe the temperature CO2 relationship over.

No reasonable conclusions from (or political policies) could be formulated or gained from such
a relatively short observational time period that the MLO covers.
Infact, given that there was a medieval warm period 800 years ago, there is good reason to suggest that,
the present rising level of CO2 is probably completely natural and nothing to do with man.

Hypothesis 2 of AGW predicts that the escalation of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere
is the cause of increasing Global Mean Temperatures. 
The data shows that there is no proven or demonstrated “cause and effect” relationship between
atmospheric CO2 concentration and Global Mean Temperature. 

The “evidence” cited to support the hypothesis is the projections of the IPCC Global Climate Models (GCMs). 
During the short period of time since the release of these projections, the data indicates that
the Global Mean Temperature, rather than rising as projected by the GCMs, has instead been falling.

The only available empirical evidence indicates that increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration follow
increases in temperature by on average 800 years and that recently measured increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration are
very likely the “effect” of a prior warm period. Historical, geological, and other evidence indicates that during what
became known as “The Medieval Warm Period”, approximately 800 years ago,
Global Mean Temperatures were as much as 3 or 4 degrees Celsius warmer than today. 
Given this data, there is no reason to suggest that the Global Mean Temperature is driven by
changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration, or man's emissions of CO2 that can not be shown to contribute to such a level.

Therefore, there is no reason to expect or suggest that if humans were to be successful in curtailing
the total of the global annual “human-caused” CO2 emissions there would be any reduction at all in
the level of atmospheric CO2 concentration or any impact on Global Mean Temperatures.

The notion that atmospheric CO2 concentration has overtaken “other” natural factors as the “driver” of
elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration is not supported or shown in any way by the data.

Q.E.D. Hypothesis 2 fails.

The near future:
If national economies and resources are stressed further by a natural climatic cooling phase (as may be about to happen)
humans could end up coping with the exact opposite problem than the AGW hypotheses and their associated GCMs predict. 
We will after all have been “preparing” for a climatic warming according to an unproven hypothesis (AGW) that is not occurring.

At the same time humans would be failing to prepare for, and adapt to, yet another inexorable cooling cycle that
we know has been responsible in the past for much more human misery and death
(ie, The Little Ice Age - as a result of cold temperatures and reduced food production)
than has been the case for periods of warmer climate conditions.
(Didn't the Romans do well..and the Minoans, and the Greenland settlers, etc, etc..)


What is truly scary is the potential of this belief system to severely undermine the credibility of science and scientists,
along with a huge and long term risk of undermining the public support for crucial financial commitment to
other important scientific efforts.  The “scientists” who have failed to understand the importance of applying
the scientific method to the testing of this hypothesis, or who have abandoned the Scientific Method because of
potential enhancement of their own narrow interest in career advancement, attention, prestige, grants, wealth, or whatever,
will have been responsible for undermining of the credibility of science. 
It will however, be all scientists who will pay the price of the public’s scorn for those who have abused their trust and
supported unsupportable hypotheses and financial schemes that are ultimately paid for by the public.

Individuals interested in learning more about the perils of failing to apply the rigour of the Scientific Method to
the investigation of such matters may also be interested in reading the address to the
1974 commencement class at Caltech by one of the world’s most famous physicists – Richard Feynman. 
Dr. Feynman’s ability to explain complex phenomena in terms that were understandable by virtually anyone was legendary.
His 1974 commencement address entitled “Cargo Cult Science” can be found in his book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! 
and is also available at:

There is another important hypothesis that the AGW movement and the IPCC rely on which has not been covered in this paper. 
This is the notion that the “Greenhouse effect” is a valid idea that can be substantiated. 
This is a much more complex topic but those whose interest in this subject has been piqued by this document,
may be interested in accessing the 115 page paper
“Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics”
Version 4.0, January 06, 2009 which is available at:   
The paper appeared in the International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (30 January 2009), 275-364.

In an interview covered in major Canadian newspapers on March 16, 2009, Canada’s chief climatologist was quoted as follows:
“the most common mistake Canadians make is assuming the accuracy of today's forecast is the same as
that of the last day in a seven-day forecast.  While Day 1 predictions are correct within three degrees 95% of the time,
accuracy drops to 65% by Day 5 and is akin to "flipping a coin" by Day 7.” 
This statement acknowledges that the factors influencing local and regional weather are so complex and incompletely understood that
the most sophisticated computer models are incapable of yielding predictions for a week hence that are any more reliable than
a random chance prediction.  The full story is available at:
Anyone wishing a copy of the accompanying Excel sheets containing the data, working out, and plots
presented here can obtain copies by email. 
Please contact Derek by PM.
You will receive a copy of the excel workbooks as soon as possible.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
Whoa, lots of work there.

The data does not support the AGW by CO2 adherents conclusions?

Who a thunk that?

I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!

Thanks John, and yes, rather a lot of work...

That said, we kept to the largest, "most respected" (difficult terminology to use that when mentioning GISS, and MLO)
widely acknowledged, widely used, and publicly available for free data sets, as much as possible.

Within the limits of what the piece / pdf was to cover it could not go into MLO in much detail,
or the constant alterations to the GISS data set (I'm not going to give any of that obvious and
always in the same direction manipulations of the data set credence by calling them "corrections").
Or should that be GISS data sets by now......

However I did put a bit in the excel sheet regarding MLO.
I'll repeat (for the first time outside of the excel sheet) it here
as I think it is useful when considering Hypothesis 1, and also to some degree Hypothesis 2.

Contained in the freely available excel sheet is..(I'll have to update and replace some of
the contained links below, but the general gist is still correct in my opinion.)

Derek's personnal opinion of the Mauna Loa Observatory record of atmospheric CO2 purportedly global measurements.    
Please feel free to copy and paste to forums, blogs, etc  for further discussion.

“We” do NOT measure (global) CO2 levels.
Second version –
How many elephants are in the room. ?

Mauna Loa Observatory has been measuring “global CO2” levels for 50 years now, in January 2009.
How good a record has it produced. ?

In the first version I looked at this official page and description
of the method employed to measure the beneficial to plant life trace gas that is CO2.
“Infrared absorption.
How does the CO2 analyzer work? Air is slowly pumped through a small cylindrical cell with flat windows on both ends.
Infrared light is transmitted through one window, through the cell, through the second window, and is measured by
a detector that is sensitive to infrared radiation. In the atmosphere carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation,
contributing to warming of the earth surface. Also in the cell CO2 absorbs infrared light.
More CO2 in the cell causes more absorption, leaving less light to hit the detector.
We turn the detector signal, which is registered in volts, into a measure of the amount of
CO2 in the cell through extensive and automated (always ongoing) calibration procedures.”

What motivates "MLO et al" in this monitoring program appears to be explained by Dr Tans
in one of his replies to Anthony Watts on this thread at WUWT.
excerpt of one of Dr. Tans email replies to Anthony Watts ,
" We are very much aware that in a time
when carbon dioxide emissions will cost a lot of money, there has to be
an objective and fully credible way to quantify emissions. Without
that, carbon markets cannot function efficiently, and policies cannot be
measured relative to their objectives. We think that the atmosphere
itself can provide objective quantification. "

End of excerpt.

CO2 is called a trace gas because at a concentration of 385 parts per million this in percentage terms would be 0.0385%.
If the atmosphere were an elephant, then CO2 would be the head of a pimple, on the back of an elephant.
Put another way if you imagine the atmosphere as a whole as represented by 100 pennies then the amount of CO2 present would be,
the green coloured slice (somewhat exaggerated for clarity..) of one penny shown below out of one hundred pennies.

[Image: 100penniesCO2.jpg]
(I would of done a before the Industrial revolution CO2 level and present version for comparison,
but there is no difference visible as I have already exaggerated CO2 level depicted by more than the change over the last 150 years..)

The above linked to and quoted description of the method used by the Mauna Loa Observatory, (and up to 60 other stations in the official network),
which I’ll refer to as “MLO et al” would appear at first reading to imply that an overall measurement is taken
of the greenhouse effect of the gases present in the “dry” air sample measured.
This is not the case.
The measurement is far more specific, namely the measurement is of the 4.255 um wavelength,
so my previous post is based on a very basic misunderstanding, and
is not valid in the respect of what is actually measured.

The first plot in the previous post is worth repeating here, namely,

[Image: IRMLO-1.jpg]

The more accurate way to interpret this plot is that for a given wavelength
the spectral response times
the amount present of the particular gas
would added together give the sum of the gases contributing to
the measured effect at a particular wavelength.
In this thread, Ferdinand Engelbeen kindly provided these levels for the GHGs
that might be expected to be roughly present in any well mixed air sample.


“ H2O: 1,000-10,000 ppmv
CO2: ~385 ppmv
CH4: ~2 ppmv
N2O: ~0.3 ppmv
O3: ~0.1 ppmv
CFC's: sum of several: less than 0.001 ppmv “

In short, at the wavelength measured the amounts of other gases that overlap CO2 (spectrally)
are present in such small amounts and their responses at this wavelength are so small that they can be ignored.
I have to admit that excepting water, this appears to be the case, but even so the sum of the other gases,
(N2O and O3 I believe) that are contributing, and may (do) vary MUST be taken into account
if the purported measurement accuracy  of “MLO et al” to 0.1 ppm is to be correct.

Given the way even my posts have been responded to, I would suspect “constant” corrections have been used,
but what they are is simply not known, as they have never been divulged by “MLO et al”.

There is however an elephant in the room.
If  you consider the argument that it is the amount of a GHG present, how it varies, and
it’s spectral response at a specific wavelength that is the important factor overall then
something obvious lands on the discussion.

The water vapour elephant.

If you refer back to the pennies figure above you will notice “spaces” between the pennies. In a way the real atmosphere is like this,
the spaces according to temperature can be “filled” with more or less water vapour.
(Imagine the pennies moving away from each other as the temperature increases, and the reverse when cooled)
As Ferdinand’s figures above show water vapour content can be both considerable and varying.
In almost all studies it is now widely accepted that water vapour is THE most important GHG
(contributing between 85% to 95% of the so called “greenhouse” effect)
because of it’s strong and wide spectral response, and the considerable quantities involved.

From the descriptions so far it becomes apparent that “MLO et al” believe they have dealt with this elephant.
Again looking over the official pages it appears a constant correction / assumption of 4% is used.
The next line of justification usually employed is that the air sample is dried by the cold water trap.
To “dry” air completely a temperature of about minus 70 C is required.
This is why the cold water temperature traps temperature record is important.
Given the size of the (water) elephant even a slight change in the cold traps temperature could have
considerable and undesirable effects on the every ten seconds, accurate to 0.1 ppm measurements.
These QA / machine constants as far as I’m aware have never been released, or independently verified.

This (water) elephant also does effect the air samples before they are even taken.
For instance in the cold of the early morning as dew forms the air cools as does the water vapour.
CO2 dissolves very readily in water, and the colder the water the more CO2 the water can hold.
In other words the CO2 / water solubility changes mean that the water vapour reduces the CO2 level in the air in the early morning.
It would seem reasonable that during a normal day CO2 levels would alter quite markedly due to
the changes in the air’s temperature due to the solubility of CO2 in water relationship alone.
Rain would have an effect as well, lots of cooled water, high humidity.

Is there a temperature / pressure / humidity record for MLO.
Apparently not. ?

Are there any other elephants in the room. ?

The discarded outlier elephant.

The idea of discarding any measurements that over several hours vary by more than 0.25ppm is usually justified by “MLO et al”
because there is little or no variation measured at the South Pole this is plainly at best erroneous,
but “MLO et al” does this routinely.
(The South Pole being surrounded by a vast and cold ocean, goes from 24 hour daynight to 24 hour night,
no vegetation, one of the driest places on the planet, known to have a different “climate” to just about everywhere else,
etc, etc, etc, the South Pole is plainly different, not the same, not applicable.)

On Dr Glassman’s comments he summed this problem best with this statement.
“  Ferdinand reports that the data are reduced to produce smoother results.
He reports that investigators select data to reject volcanic, agricultural, and other local effects.
He says that they remove outliers before averaging, and that that is normal scientific and engineering practice.
Without more, these are all subjective steps. While they may be common practice,
they are at best incompletely reported or worse - unscientific.
Terrible mistakes have been made and actual frauds perpetrated by improper removal of outliers. “

Interestingly massive mistakes have been made using South Pole measurements incorrectly in the past
in other “climate science” areas of “environmental concern”.
Ozone for example, the South Pole data / measurements of Ozone were used to “show” how man had created the ozone hole.
That idea is now all but discredited, as the processes / effects both natural and man made were not understood correctly.
As recent discoveries have shown.

The events of this sorry tale are well known, and are relevant to the “MLO et al” exclusion of “outliers”.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s some measurements were taken showing an Ozone hole that appeared to vary seasonally.
These measurements were later thrown out as being taken with unreliable / inaccurate instruments.
Some years later (when most people had forgotten about these earlier measurements)
a major company (DuPont – I think)
had a patent that was about to run out on the refridgerant used at the time.
To protect the company’s future it would be useful if the “old” fluid became illegal and the newer,
not as good, more expensive fluid the company had a brand new patent on came into widespread use.
The “discovery” of the man made Ozone “hole” was made in the late 1980s / early 1990s, using
exactly the same equipment as used in the late 1940s / early 1950s.
The reliability of the “new” measurements led to the Montreal Protecol.

The Montreal protocol. – Incredible, but true,
we have all had to buy more expensive, less efficient fridges, that make damned annoying pinging noises.

As if to rub salt into our wounded wallets the seasonal Ozone hole still appears to be
at about (within 1% of) record size.
Maybe it was the sun after all, at the South Pole, and the oceans plus the sun in the tropics.
Maybe, just maybe we did not need to buy new fridges and air conditioning units after all.

Back to MLO, are there any other elephants in the room. ?

The variation of what do we actually measure elephant.

Yes, spectrally we appear to measure CO2 but what and which variations  that are not admitted already as discarded. ?
In the mid 1950s Keeling himself produced a paper that discarded the effect of the vegetation
to any great extent on the MLO measurements, more recently plots have been produced showing
a net decrease in the MLO vegetation changes rate confirming, or rather reaffirming Keeling’s original findings.
[Image: MLOVeg-small.jpg]
In short the vegetation appears to be on the wain (less active sun possibly)
yet the MLO official rates of change of CO2 have not changed.
Almost any reading of the official MLO sites refers to “CO2 depleted (by vegetation) air samples”.

There are other even more basic "what do we measure" questions.
Many measurements are flagged (discarded) by MLO because of the local volcanoe,
usually these are referred to as downslope wind directions, and nothing more.
In the case of downslope from the volcanoe winds this appears reasonable,
if it was correlated to volcanic activity or gas emissions.
I’m not aware of such a tally, merely too high measurements from the wrong direction are discarded.
The volcanoe could be permanently emitting gas, but I doubt it is a constant, even so this may be reasonable.

Upslope winds appear to make up most of the voltage measurements that are kept for processing.
These winds are therefore used as our measurement of global CO2 levels.
Locally Keeling suggested vegetation was not much of an effect, but officially vegetation is given
as the reason for the seasonal variation as measured at MLO.
The changes from one season to the next “showing” the changes in global CO2 levels that man is supposed
to be altering so dramatically. Allegedly.
Let us not forget at this point the science is supposedly settled. ?

Is there anything else that could be effecting the measured CO2 level at MLO.  ?
Mauna Loa is an island, it is in the Pacific ocean, and this island is near the equator.
Seasonally the trade winds shift North and South, as do the Hadley cells they are part of.
The tropics of Cancer and Capricorn show the seasonal movements of the Hadley cells North and South of the equator.
In a year the Hadley cells and their trade winds will move over Mauna Loa.
The official position is that CO2 is a well mixed gas, obviously not instantly but over many months globally speaking.
The usual answer given is that it takes about 18 months for CO2 emitted from any locality
to become evenly mixed globally.
Earlier in this post it was mentioned that CO2 solubility in water is heavily  temperature dependent.
When warmed water de-gases CO2. This is seen every time you heat a pan of water,
the bubbles that form inside the pan before it boils, these bubbles are in a large part dissolved CO2
being de-gassed as the water as it is warmed.
Dr. Glassman’s page The Acquittal of CO2 covers this relationship very well.
Untill recently even the PDO phases of the Pacific were not realized, and in most cases the discovery of
the PDO warm and cool phases of the Pacific ocean are not thought to have been discovered until 1997.
The trade winds that blow across Mauna Loa have blown across a part of the Pacific where the water is known
to be warming and so therefore de-gassing CO2. The longer the wind has blown across the ocean the more
CO2 that will have been de-gassed by the ocean, so the higher the level of CO2 measured.

Over the path of the trade winds it would be reasonable to expect an increasing level of CO2 as the wind neared the solar zenith and the doldrums .

Below is a roughly drawn figure that shows this.

[Image: Hadleycells-MLO.jpg]

Obviously Mauna Loa being an island does not move, but the trade winds do move with the sun’s zenith,
between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. They move seasonally, regularly,  and relatively predictably.

The point this figure is trying to illustrate is that MLO is on an island that the trade winds move over seasonally.
If you have a measuring station (on the above figure) at point A would you expect a lower CO2 reading than at point B on the diagram. Yes.
Is this the seasonal variation that MLO is measuring.
Is this another elephant. ?

The algorithm elephant
Quite simply, remember Mann’s 1998 and 2008 “Hockey Stick” temperature projections.
In the 1998 “Hockey Stick” there were supposedly 400 plus data sets. Then by accident someone found a copy of the algorithm Mann et al used.
It turned out that Mann had used 112 data sets only, AND one data set had been weighted by a factor of 392.
So, what appeared to be 400 plus data sets was in reality just one.

No one has seen the algorithms used by “MLO et al”.
We may have seen 2 days of 10 second voltage data of a 50 year record,
but algorithms, no, not at all, not one.
Constants / corrections used, what, how, why to calculate the ppm figures released,
we simply DO NOT KNOW.

So, how many elephants are in the room,
4 and counting.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
In general, it would sure make sense if we had a number of global CO2 level monitoring stations spaced at logically selected locations.

With only one, even if it is precise to a 100th of a part per million, it is only providing accurate information for that location only and may or may not be close to the world-wide level.

This would seem to be easily understandable - just select any one of the NASA/GISS monitoring stations.  How close is it to the "global temperature average" that the entire monitoring station network provides?

I'm just saying...
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!


Thankyou for this.  It is good work that deserves ‘tidying’ for submission for publication in the peer reviewed literature.

I have only one point to make. 

I know you are aware that I agree the anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not add to the atmospheric concentrations as e.g. IPCC asserts.  Indeed, I know you are aware that I have published this for the same reasons that you state.
(ref.  Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, 'The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle' E&E v16no2 (2005) ).

Furthermore, it is my strong opinion that the anthropogenic emissions are not the cause of the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration over recent decades.

However, my opinion could be wrong.  It is possible that the system of the carbon cycle is being disrupted by the anthropogenic emission and this disruption is causing the carbon cycle to adjust to the new equilibrium such that higher atmospheric CO2 concentration results.

I explained this in my exposition of that paper which I presented in New York in your presence.  In that presentation I said:

“Figures 1 and 6 provide an apparent paradox.  The annual anthropogenic emission of CO2 should relate to the annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere if one is causal of the other but Figure 1 shows these two parameters do not correlate.  However, Figure 6 shows that – using each of these different models – we were able to model the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere as being a function solely of the annual anthropogenic emission of CO2.  It is important to note that we did not use any ‘fiddle factors’ such as the 5-year-averageing used by the IPCC (that cannot be justified because there is no known physical mechanism that would have such effect).

The apparent paradox is resolved by consideration of the calculated equilibrium CO2 concentration values, Ce.  These are shown in Figure 7.  Each model indicates that the calculated CO2 concentration for the equilibrium state in each year is considerably above the observed values.  This demonstrates that each model indicates there is a considerable time lag required to reach the equilibrium state when there is no accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere.  In other words, one has to reckon with a considerable time lag to reach the equilibrium state Fa = 0 when Fin increases to a certain value with increasing Fem.  As Figure 2 shows, the short term sequestration processes can easily adapt to sequester the anthropogenic emission in a year.  But, according to these models, the total emission of that year affects the equilibrium state of the entire system.  Some processes of the system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades.  Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to the new equilibrium.  And Figure 6 shows the models predicting the atmospheric CO2 concentration slowly rising in response to the changing equilibrium condition that is shown in Figure 7.”. 

And, I went on from there to say that this possibility affords an explanation of point as you make with your Figure 5 when I said:

“This slow rise in response to the changing equilibrium condition also provides an explanation of why the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere continued when in two subsequent years the flux into the atmosphere decreased (the years 1973-1974, 1987-1988, and 1998-1999).  ”

Do I think this possibility is correct?  No, I do not.  But the data does not allow it to be rejected.

Importantly, your and my studies both show - beyond any reasonable doubt - that a proportion of the anthropogenic emission is not “accumulating” in the atmosphere as the IPCC asserts.  And our study (Rorsch et al (2005) shows that several natural processes could be responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration over recent decades.


Most interesting!
I am trying to get my head around the rade shift between equinoxes. I find the annual cycle follows northern hemisphere growth cycles better than equinox cycles but I may be looking at it wrong. I would expect to observe something at equinox or solstice. Maybe when solar zenith is directly over head the observation site and at the tropics of cancer and more at capricorn as that would put the sun at the furthest zenith point. Just the massize amount of natural CO2 in the carbon cycle seems to override to human efforts.
It is sad because without this hysteria CO2 would be just another atmosphere gas that provides plants with a needed chemical for growth and a concern for greenhouses.
Hi All,
Richard, Thank you for your considered comments, they are greatly appreciated and taken on board.
Unfortunately work problems mean my concentration is elsewhere at present, hopefully only temporarily,
but I'll soon find out if they can get it to "stick" to me unjustly...

Is it possible you could help or advise me how to tidy the piece, preferably by PM.
I can not say how much it would mean to me to get something actually published.

NB - Please excuse my relative absense in other threads on the forum that
I am not able to give the attention they deserve at present. I look forward to joining in soon.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.

You ask:

"Is it possible you could help or advise me how to tidy the piece, preferably by PM."

I can help.  Please remind me next week.

A brilliant and clear exposition!

I have been asking "Where is the observational data to support AGW claims?"  for quite some time.  At last it is now available here along with your wonderful explanations and refutations.  When put together with McIntyre's thorough destruction of the "Hockey Stick" chart, these papers should put a significant nail in the AGW coffin.  Unfortunately facts no longer seem to matter in this debate and it seems difficult to get these conclusions in front of the general public in layman's language.  For example, the science editor of Discover magazine won't even consider publishing anti-AGW articles because as far as he is concerned AGW is a proven reality ( after all, his science panel all agree, it must be true!) and presenting opposing views doesn't really matter.  I have posted his reply to complaining readers  in a another area of this forum : Our Blue Marble/Consensus Science/ Discover Magazine and AGW.

I like your "Penny" chart.  I came up with something very similar showing human manufactured CO2 as a miniscule part of the greenhouse gasses.

Keep up the good fight and thanks again for really good ammunition!

P.S. I am not a scientist- just someone with substantial math, computer,  and science background who is doing his best to get the word out about why the AGW hypotheses can't be true and why computer climate models can't be used for predicting the future.
Hi All,
My apologies for the delay in posting the pdf forum version in the first post of this thread.

Please check the first post, and then download or read the pdf.
If you have any comments / discussion points please feel free to raise them here.

Have fun with the "skeptics library" or rather References - all are (where possible) online references.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.

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