Great news for the field of climate “science.” Finally, a hypothesis will be tested. Climate alarmists have claimed that 100% of the warming over the past century is due to human causes.
Additionally, according to the climate “experts,” 100% of the rise in CO2 is also due to man.
In summary, we know that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is entirely caused by fossil fuel burning and deforestation because many independent observations show that the carbon content has also increased in both the oceans and the land biosphere (after deforestation). If the oceans or land had contributed to the rise in atmospheric CO2, they would hold less carbon. Their response to warming may be real, but it is less than their response to increasing CO2 and other climate changes for the moment.
This is really good news for one side of the argument because the International Energy Agency just released that CO2 emissions have stopped rising. In fact, they have been flat or falling for the last 4 years.
This is really great news for those that believe man-made CO2 is the cause of global warming and climate change. After spending countless billions of dollars we have now stopped the increase in CO2 emissions.
Only one problem, one really big problem, nothing the experts tell you is true regarding man-made CO2 and atmospheric CO2. Back in 1980 man produced 17.5 gigatons of CO2, in 1985 man produced 17.5 gigatons of CO2, in 2013 man produced 32.5 gigatons of CO2, and in 2016 man produced 32.5 gigatons of CO2. Man’s production of CO2 almost doubled (32.5/17.5), yet the slope of atmospheric CO2 remains almost unchanged over that time period, and the slope certainly hasn’t doubled.
CO2 between 1980 and 1985 increased by about 1.475 ppm/year
CO2 between 1992 and 1997 increased by 1.35 ppm/year, even though CO2 production was much higher than in 1980.
CO2 between 1998 and 2001 increased by 1.48 ppm/year, even though CO2 production was much higher than in 1980.
Recently CO2 has increased, but ironically the biggest increase occurred in 2016, an El Nino year, where CO2 increased from 3.38 ppm, a full 1.2 ppm over the 2.18 ppm increase in 2015. Emissions were flat during those years.
While man’s production of CO2 was constant between 2013 and 2016, CO2 was very volatile, increasing by 2.67, 2.13, 2.18 and 3.38 ppm/year, not something one would expect if man’s production of CO2 was the cause. But some people disagree.
CO2 between 2013 and 2016 increased by about 2.59 ppm/year, less than 2x what it was in 1980, which is what would be expected if man’s production of CO2 was the cause.
Lastly, the rate of change in atmospheric CO2 doesn’t track man’s production of CO2. As noted, CO2 increased by 1.36 in 1981 when man’s CO2 production was 17.5 gigatons, atmospheric CO2 increased by 1.17 ppm in 2000, when man’s production of CO2 was 23.5 gigatons. There simply isn’t a tight linear fit, which is required to support a claim that man is responsible for 100% of the increase. The oceans have warmed over that period, and Henry’s law explains how the oceans may be the source of the extra atmospheric CO2.
In conclusion, if in fact man’s CO2 emissions can be contained or even reduced going forward, the evidence should present itself in the slope of atmospheric CO2 remaining constant, or even fall. If man is truly the cause of the increase in atmospheric CO2, the annual increases going forward should be constant, if man’s emissions fall, so should the annual increase. Only time will tell, but within the next decade, we should have the data we need to reach a pretty sound conclusion.
Post Script: Ironically, Germany’s efforts to cut emission has resulted in an increase in CO2 production. It appears having to have all those backup coal powered plants to support the wind and solar farms produces a lot of CO2.