Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CO2 Source and Sink

As noted recently and consistently, the case for action on climate change depends on several unproven assumptions. Two of the most crucial are that warming is caused by man-made CO2 emissions, for which the industrialized world largely is responsible. (I note that although China now is the largest greenhouse gas emitter, most of the developing world still want wealthier nations to pay for carbon reduction.)

Were the developed world-created greenhouse gas model true, one would expect the West to be net CO2 emitters, and the lesser developed world to be net CO2 absorbers. Oops:
The results from from Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) show that Industrialized nations appear to be absorbing the carbon dioxide emissions from the Third World. (Can we get carbon credits for that?) The satellite shows that levels of CO2 are typically lower in developed countries than in air over developing countries.

source: JAXA
There are similar results for methane emissions. And a U.S. satellite measured similar global average emissions and sinks between 2001 and 2009 (though claiming not to count "fossil fuel emissions").

Chiefio (E.M Smith) says:
This isn’t that much of a surprise to me. I’d figured out some time ago that trees and bamboo could consume far more CO2 than I "produce" via burning oil and gas. I’ve also pointed out that The West is largely letting trees grow, while mowing our lawns and having the clippings "sequestered" in land fills (along with an untold tonnage of phone books and junk mail. . .) while the 3rd world is busy burning and cutting down their forests. The simple fact is that "jungle rot" will beat out my "gallon a day" of Diesel any time. Basically, we in the west grow far more wheat, corn, soybeans, wood, lawns, shrubs, etc. than we burn oil. In the 3rd world, they burn their sequestering plants. (And it takes one heck of a lot more wood to cook a meal than it does coal via a highly efficient furnace / electric generator / microwave oven.) But it’s nice to see it documented in aggregate in the "facts in the air".
Chiefio also has created a neat animated GIF of global emissions between 2009 and early 2011.

As Dr. Tim Ball concludes,
The oceans are the main control of atmospheric CO2 as one of the atmospheric gases in constant flux between the water and the atmosphere. The ocean’s ability to absorb CO2 is a function of its temperature -- cold water absorbs more CO2 than warm water. The boundary between the warm polar water and warm tropical water is very clearly defined in most parts of the world and the map generally reflects this pattern. The map is only surprising if you believe that humans are the primary source of CO2.
Man-made emissions are dwarfed by natural atmospheric carbon in influencing planetary temperatures. The sound you hear is the man-made greenhouse gas balloon deflating.


KitWistar said...

Thank you, Carl, for this one!
The greenies are so weary-ing with their yelling: "Oh my God, the sky is falling; we're doomed, Al Gore says so!" ( read: don't even dare breathe--it emits CO2).
You have shared clear, cold facts on the CO2/carbon/global warming issue and I thank you.
I loathe sloppy, unsubstantiated thinking, no matter who is doing it, liberals or conservatives. Liberals are undoubtedly the more smugly "green", however, particularly here in DC.( Green is also the nausea showing on my face when I hear the current "green-o-babble")
While I don't always agree with NOFP--or understand some of the complicated economics---I always appreciate the care and intelligence with which you write.

I hope you are beginning to feel better--I, too, have experienced inner ear issues and it is horrible.

Carl said...

Kit: Thank you for the props!

As for my health, not much improved. It's been six weeks now. When you had inner ear issues, how long did it last? Did your symptoms fade away or suddenly improve?

OBloodyHell said...

>>> cold water absorbs more CO2 than warm water.

This seems the opposite of what I'd expect. You can dissolve more salt in hot water than you can in cold water, and that's hardly the only such case of that I've ever encountered, I'm pretty sure of that.

The reason a hot soda explodes and a cold one does not would be because the hot one is going to increase pressure beyond the ability of the container to hold it...

OBloodyHell said...

Kit, if you would like to enhance your understanding of economics, I recommend Carpe Diem as a first effort, along with the regular columns by Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell (at, among other places), many of which discuss economic issues.

You can also find some good stuff at, though their political stuff is sometimes off-putting, being a regurgitation of Lew Rockwell's ultra-libertarian thinking.

But when the stick to economics alone, they are first rate.

OBloodyHell said...

A number of things you may find worth reading are:

That Which Is Seen

Frédéric Bastiat

Say's law

Comparative advantage

Tragedy of the commons

The Nation That Lost Its Jobs, But Got Them Back

The Economy of Ideas

That'll keep ya busy.

Carl said...

OBH: I'm outraged, outraged I tell 'ya, that you didn't link to this.

KitWistar said...

Carl--You wrote:
"As for my health, not much improved. It's been six weeks now. When you had inner ear issues, how long did it last? Did your symptoms fade away or suddenly improve?"

Mine very gradually faded away, and I HATE to tell you this, but in small ways I continue to be haunted by inner ear...sensitivities. Especially with visual triggers:
ie: if I'm on a train and another train moves in the station --- instant vertigo. I suspect that these will plague me the rest of my life.
However, they have faded away enough to no longer be a handicap & I have learned to anticipate what will be a trigger.
(I think my issues were probably initially caused by repeated inner ear infections related to swimming).

Sorry I can't be more helpful or more encouraging---sometimes I find a mild decongestant like Sudafed helps---but, believe me, I understand what you are experiencing.


KitWistar said...

Thanks much, OBloodyHell,
I appreciate the recommendations.

Carl said...

Kit: thanks for the info. My symptoms remain fairly constant, with some days worse than others (yesterday was horrible). I just want it to stop.

I've noticed some similar triggers, which I try to avoid. So it may be similar to your experience. Yet, I still can't drive, and even being in a car or on a train is nauseating. Is that the same for you? How much do your symptoms impair your daily life and work?

My next step is to schedule a Videonystagmography test; that will determine whether the issue is inner ear or neurological. Did you take that test?

KitWistar said...

I responded earlier today to your questions,Carl, but my response has not appeared. Where did it go?
So will re-post tomorrow.