Image: Carbon dioxide on the rise

Jun 28, 2010
Image: Carbon dioxide on the rise
Global mean increase in atmospheric CO2 between 2003 and 2009. The results are based on recent processing of Envisat SCIAMACHY data at the University of Bremen, Germany. Credits: O. Schneising & M. Buchwitz, IUP, University of Bremen

(PhysOrg.com) -- The SCIAMACHY sensor on ESA?s Envisat satellite has provided scientists with invaluable data on our planet, allowing them to map global air pollution and the distribution of greenhouse gases.

Using SCIAMACHY data from 2003-2009, scientists have detected an increase in (CO2) - one of the most important greenhouse gases that contributes to global warming - by about 2 parts per million (ppm).

The animation shows the column-averaged mixing ratio of CO2, denoted XCO2, in ppm; 380 ppm means that one million air molecules contain 380 CO2 molecules.

The year-to-year increase is shown more clearly in the Global Mean image, where yearly mean values are displayed.

Dr Michael Buchwitz and Oliver Schneising from the Institute of Environmental Physics at the University of Bremen in Germany processed the SCIAMACHY data using a retrieval algorithm developed at the University of Bremen.

CO2 occurs naturally as well as being created through human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas). According to the scientists, the increase is mainly a result of fossil fuel burning.

Significant gaps remain in the knowledge of CO2 sources, such as fires, and the respiration of , and its natural sinks, such as the land and ocean.

Seven years of atmospheric CO2 data (2003-2009) retrieved from spectra of reflected sunlight as measured by SCIAMACHY on Envisat. The data show that CO2 is increasing each year by about 2 ppm. Credits: O. Schneising & M. Buchwitz, IUP, University of Bremen

A good understanding of the sources and sinks of this important is required for reliable climate prediction. The spatial pattern of the CO2 distribution in these individual maps contains information on its sources and sinks.

"The interpretation of the pattern is not trivial as the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is very long (many years)," Buchwitz said. "The interpretation is further complicated by the sparse sampling of the SCIAMACHY data which results from the strict filtering applied to eliminate, for example, cloud contaminated observations."

The lower CO2 values at mid-to-high northern latitudes are weighted towards summer, where atmospheric CO2 is low due to uptake by the growing vegetation.

The analysis of this new CO2 data set is ongoing.

Explore further: Strengthening community forest rights is critical tool to fight climate change

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User comments : 34

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omatumr
2.2 / 5 (17) Jun 28, 2010
The Real Story:

a.) CO2 is increasing.

b.) Global temperatures are not.

Therefore Al Gore, the UN's IPCC and the NAS were wrong.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
Neima
3.9 / 5 (14) Jun 28, 2010
The Real Real Story:

a.) CO2 is increasing.
b.) Global average temperatures ARE.

Do your research before you post please. Putting NASA and Apollo in your signature doesn't add any additional validity to your claim.
jscroft
2 / 5 (12) Jun 28, 2010
Why don't you put your money where your mouth is, Neima. Prove it.
gunslingor1
4 / 5 (10) Jun 28, 2010
The Real Story:

a.) CO2 is increasing.

b.) Global temperatures are not.

Therefore Al Gore, the UN's IPCC and the NAS were wrong.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo


-your statement shows me that you clearly do not command the subject accurately.
-Your post recognized that CO2 is on the rise, which is a good starting point. Are you now challenging the fact that CO2 absorbs more infrared radiaiton than air, and release more heat than air as a result? Are you really challenging this? Or are you challenging the fact that atmospheric content plays a key role in earths climate?

Please clarify for upcoming scientific smackdown. Facts and/or statistics only please.

Best regards,
Wade Polk
Nuclear and Fossil I&C Engineer.
gmurphy
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 28, 2010
@jscroft, we'll leave the problem of proving global warming to the climate scientists : http://news.bbc.c...0955.stm From that article : "And it also demonstrates the converse that those who are sceptical of the IPCC's claims, in general, know a lot less about the climate system."
TegiriNenashi
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 28, 2010
Here is a little quiz for gmurphy. General public knowledge of climate is 0 (zero). Climate researchers are 1000 times smarter. What is the state of climate understanding by scientific community?

In a word, you don't have to follow every minute detail in climate field to help but notice how flawed is it.
RobertKarlStonjek
3 / 5 (6) Jun 29, 2010
Why is a moderate emitter, like the Sahara desert, emitting more CO2 than the whole of the USA? Why is greatest concentration of CO2 over the uninhabited Australian Outback not in the heavily populated East Coast? Just how many cars, coal fired power stations and volcanoes are there in the Sahara (none).

The CO2 data as presented in the animation needs explaining.

A climate change forum can be found here
http://tech.group...e-forum/
Bob_Kob
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 29, 2010
Do your research before you post please. Putting NASA and Apollo in your signature doesn't add any additional validity to your claim.


http://www.omatumr.com/

Take your pick of any of those papers there...
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Jun 29, 2010
Would you care to point to one that is about the subject of this article?

Oliver's site is largely about his ridiculous claim that the Sun has an iron core. Only sometimes he says a neutron star is the core. He won't answer which he is actually claiming. So far anyway.

At least Oliver didn't claim to be a Professor Emeritus this time. He isn't. Not anymore.

At one time Oliver was clearly competent in his field. This is outside his field UNLESS the Sun actually does produce power from neutron repulsion something that no one except Oliver claims is the source.

For which he has zero evidence. No his ubiquitous chart is not evidence of repulsion. Its evidence that large atoms need more neutrons to maintain stability.

Ethelred
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2010
Why is a moderate emitter, like the Sahara desert, emitting more CO2 than the whole of the USA? Why is greatest concentration of CO2 over the uninhabited Australian Outback not in the heavily populated East Coast? Just how many cars, coal fired power stations and volcanoes are there in the Sahara (none).

The CO2 data as presented in the animation needs explaining.



Yes, it is true, CO2 is important and common on the planet Earth. No one is disputing that. You yourself has to admit that there is SOME tipping point right? I mean, if every house in the world had a 1000MW power plant in there back yard, you do admit that would have consequences for the planet right?

Assuming you agree, then the real question is how much is too much. Please stop trying to end the debate prematurely by not recognizing the true content of the debate. It's a debate about where the tipping point is, not if there is a tipping point. your side will gain credibility if you recognize this.
TegiriNenashi
1 / 5 (5) Jun 29, 2010
When every house in the world get a 1000MW power plant in their back yard, we'll sure have capability to put giant umbrella into space, seed the ocean with iron, irrigate Sahara desert, and do many many other challenging things. Why insist on Luddite solutions?
gunslingor1
4.8 / 5 (5) Jun 29, 2010
That was an extreme, what we have now is more than the planet can handle already, which IS still debatables. CO2 has sky rocketed since the industrial revolution.

How ironic you call a hydrogen economy via nuclear and renewables a Luddite solution. Luddites protested against the industrial revolution. Luddites are currently protesting against the energy revolution, i.e. new and far better technologies. Do you really have any doubt nuclear is better than coal in every way? Why? Do you really doubt hydrogen or electric or any combination thereof is better than gasoline in every way? Why? In what way is it better? Please, indulge me. It's you who are the Luddite sir, your resisting new & better technology for the old way of things, but why?

Your response gives me with the impression you're one of those who wants to wait and hope we come up with something better, though I don't see how a space umbrela will be better, and isn't an a viable solution to cancer rates.
TegiriNenashi
1 / 5 (4) Jun 29, 2010
First, make a coherent statement. It was your idea of "every house in the world getting a 1000MW power plant in their back yard", not mine. I don't subscribe to this "vision" (nor to the impending climate Armageddon, for that matter). I suggested that *if* "every house in the world getting a 1000MW power plant in their back yard", then we'd be at technological level where this alleged GW problem would look puny and easily amendable. Technological progress, of course, is something that doesn't fit into limited environmentalist brain, hence the Luddite term.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (1) Jun 29, 2010
It was not an idea, it was a hypothetical senario to prove a point. You said "then we'd be at technological level where this alleged GW problem would look puny and easily amendable." That was my point, you say "alleged", but there is no allegging. The point is that debate isn't about ACC is a valid theory, the debate is about what is the tipping point or how much is too much. You prove my point clearly with the alleging your doing. I'm sorry buddy, but terraforming a planet is possible, and what better way to do it than with fuel and 6 billion people. Problem is that we are going in the opposite direction.

Your looking at the extremes of the environmental movement, the very very few who think we should be living with the animals.

"then we'd be at technological level where this alleged GW problem would look puny and easily amendable."
-there you go again, maintaining the mentality of waiting on someone else to solve your problems.
-in addition,
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (1) Jun 29, 2010
-in addition, we are currently at that hypothetical senario of a rediculous amount of power plants, maybe not one 500MW for each person, but we could probably make on simple cycle for each house or each subdivision. Though this isn't the point, the point is that the debate isn't about ACC being valid, it's how much is too much. Even president Bush AND his father recognize this publicly.

You sir, are an extreme opponent of ACC. Your view that scientists are faking or misinterpreting the data is just not that widespread anymore.

Also, you have no proof on your side, only speculation. Anyone who analyzes the data will come to the same conclusion, that there is a significant risk. Now sir, it's up to you to prove that risk is invalid, and you cannot prove anything by speculation.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (1) Jun 29, 2010
Let's just forget it TegiriNenashi, if you haven't gottent by now, 2010, you never will. Lets move on.

How about the health consquences? Your willing to let millions of people die a painful and debilitating death so you can maintain this current antiquated fuel source? For what? What advantage is there? Why sacrifice so much for nothing?! Is it that you think fossil is better? why?
TegiriNenashi
2 / 5 (4) Jun 29, 2010
The proof is trivial: 2000 ppm CO2 concentration has been recorded in the Earth history multiple times, and no tipping point has been reached, sorry. At higher concentrations it possesses direct health risk. However, by the time we get there, human organisms would be transformed beyond recognition. Genetic engineering took off just several decades ago and it is going to redefine the world as we know it.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2010
Proof is never trival.

High concentrations of CO2 have been recorded throughout the earths history. The problem is, they only seem to occur directly before or directly after a mass extinction event as evident from fossil records (one of many sources: http://www.counte...10.htm). To make matters worse, the levels of increased CO2 in the past built up over thousands if not houndreds of thousands or millions of years. In addition, we recently passed the carbon marker for the most amount of carbon in our atmosphere since the last 400 million years. You have another source other than man, you'd win the Nobel Prize. In other words, we are putting far more carbon up far faster than the earth has ever seen, the consequences of which are difficult to predict; it's never happened before, but common sense tells me more and faster means worse, longtrm.

http://news.monga...ate.html
http://en.wikiped...e-en.svg

TegiriNenashi
1 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2010
Cool down, gunslingor. Why the cause/correlation of/with mass extinction is of any relevance? Next, why the rate of CO2 increase matters? Do you know any atmospheric physics equation with gas concentration derivative that I'm not aware of?

I would suggest if you raise CO2 concentration say from 390 ppm to 500 ppm *instantaneously*, then the only thing it would affect is radiation balance, correct? Then, it would take couple of days for air temperature to adjust to new radiation balance. It would take years for ocean temperatures to catch up. Finally it would take decades for ice shields to take notice.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Jun 29, 2010
Agreed completely, but that timeline you gave is a hundred years and ends with temp increases and ice sheets melting! mathematically, I think its around 400-430 ppm to cause a 4deg temperature rise, and there are decades of lag. In addition, there is a know positive feedback effect from the permafrost which has been observed to be melting very recently. 4deg rise=permafrost melt, this is the basis for the tipping point.

100 years is nothing, far less than the blink of an eye on geographic timeline. As a human, I don't want to be responsible for detroying 400million to 4 billion years worth of evolution (or gods gift to us) in just 100 years.

John Stewart said it well recently, paraphrased: "Louisianians have marked this XX day of the oil spill as a national day of prayer, they say it out of mans control, its in gods hand now." then......"Well what do you expect him to do!? he burried it a mile below the ocean then 2 miles below the sand to protect you from it! He's done enough!"
TegiriNenashi
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 29, 2010
100 years is an infinity. Just a century ago there were no atomic bomb, no TV, no antibiotics, no computers. None of predictions of that time came through. One of the most common worries was that cities would literally drown in horseshit. Enter the great automobile invention.

In a word: if there wouldn't be space umbrellas, fusion, nano-, biotech- and quantum computing revolution during the remainder of this century, there certainly would be something else.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2010
Sure Sure, we could take that approach to everything!

Why bother trying to cure AIDs, someone will solve it later.

Why bother researching nanotech, someone will invent it later.

Why bother inventing the light bulb, someone will eventually come up with it.

Why bother to clean up the gulf oil spill, it'll all be degraded within 10,000 years!

Your speculating again, and your putting the responsibilities to clean up our mess on the next generation. You talk about the automoble as if it just came out of no where and changed everything, it did not. It was designed, it evolved over the last hundred years, not because of magical technologies that feel from the sky, not because people such as your self seem to take the stance "hey, technology is improving, someone will invent a better solution someday", but by people who dedicated their lives to solving the issue.

This is my life goal, to leave a better world than we created. You don't want to help, fine, stay out of our way.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Jun 30, 2010
"None of predictions of that time came through."
-read your history: http://www.moah.o...ess.html
-the horseless carriage was conceived 100s of years before anything similar was invented. It was a dream of the time, like flying cars to us. Then there are instances where prediction do not hold up, case in point, flying cars.

Your prediction that we will come up with a magical solution within the next hundred years may prove to be valid or invalid as well, but its no excuse to stop analyzing and solving the problems now. This is how society improves. You have a flat screen becasue scientists persisted for 50 years to make the cathode ray tube obsolete, not because they sat back and said "hey, let the next generation solve it".

Besides, why are you even proposing the waiting game as a solution when you still refuse to recognize the problem?
Arkaleus
1 / 5 (4) Jun 30, 2010
Gunslingor1:

I have little fear for your prophecies of doom, especially when you consider it is collectivists like yourself who have proven themselves the greatest danger to life and civilization. The greatest murderers of all were authoritarians with an agenda to control mankind for their own good. Your agenda is just another new religion that subjects the liberty and autonomy of human beings to the whim of swine like Al Gore and the schemes of the world-rulers.

The climate isn't dangerous, human beings are. We can adapt to change, but when others want to force their will upon the world, people will die. Perhaps you should direct your fanaticism to something more benign that the will to rule through the green deception.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2010
"The climate isn't dangerous, human beings are."
-agreed somewhat, excluding natural desasters.

-We are both forcing each other's will on the other. But I ask, which is the most noble cause?

Your affecting my health and I'm 10% more likely to die of cancer because of your agenda to somehow maintain an infrastructure that is crumbling. Fish, what used to be the healthiest animal to eat, now is unhealthy to eat. We have a massive oil spill in the gulf that is cause by people with your agenda. The fight against the will that causes this is a fight I find worth dieing for.

-And how is my agenda affecting you? I want your cars to be more fuel efficient, I want you to use hydrogen instead of fossil, I dont want you to die of cancer, I want healthy oceans and clean air. Are you really willing to die to prevent this from occuring?

If so, then yes, a war between environmentalists and Luddite's may well incur within 100 years; and I'd be happy to give my life for it, would you?

gunslingor1
5 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2010
Well, we've debated for a number of days now. I've presented about .01% of my evidence. You have presented none, only speculation and personal insults.

I think it's fair to assume the debate is over, and you are not challenging any of my evidence or how I am interpretting it.

I'll end with a quote from Einstein (a scientific faker, right? because all scientist care about is money, right? And oil men care about the people right... lol.. I'll stop, here it is):
"May the conscience and the common sense of the peoples be awakened, so that we may reach a new stage in the life of nations, where people will look back on war as an incomprehensible aberration of their forefathers!"
TegiriNenashi
1 / 5 (4) Jun 30, 2010
Trivial generalizations are dangerous, and often are plain wrong. Still, I can't resist to suggest that environmentalists lack vision. Instead of suggesting something constructive they bitch and whine about evil CO2, inventing retarded schemes like Carbon Accounting. They don't allow anything that doesn't fit into their small brains (e.g. geoengineering: ocean's iron enrichment), instead promoting yesterdays technologies that fail (wind mills).

Imagine space umbrellas, how cool that would be? Let citizens vote for their local optimal temperature in the summer, and make space umbrella to reflect the excess solar radiation on hot days. Or, let only certain frequencies through (UV). Or, reflect extra radiation to the opposite hemisphere making winter there milder...
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2010
Alright, you must be joking now. How is a hydrogen hybrid car with heat energy recovery a retarded scheme? It's much more sophisticated than the current internal combussion engine. How in the world is Nuclear power more retard than coal or, for that matter, "space umbrellas". lol, god your comments are starting to get pretty humarous to me, I gotta tell my brother about that last one.

gunslingor1
5 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2010
I mean, this is what you said:

"inventing retarded schemes like Carbon Accounting"

"Imagine space umbrellas"

lol, that is halarious, I am trying really hard not to crack up in the middle of work.... oh god... Space umbrella's are less retarded than measuring the carbon content of large industrial facilities....lol...I'll be right back when I stop crying from laughter....
TegiriNenashi
1 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2010
You suggest that idea of hydrogen car is breathtaking? It is relatively trivial venture hindered by few technological snags. Yet, it is not clear that hydrogen car enterprise would withstand scrutiny of cost/benefit analysis.

Space umbrella is science fiction. Unlike hydrogen economy, however, which doesn't not really a guarantee "saving the planet" (because there still would be extra heat), it offers some tangible conveniences like regulating climate. For example, wouldn't eliminating all the sunlight on the path of a hurricane helpful?
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 01, 2010
"Space umbrella is science fiction. Unlike hydrogen economy, however, which doesn't not really a guarantee "saving the planet" (because there still would be extra heat)"
-lol, well, that's called a hypothesis. So far, I haven't seen any evidence that heat from any form of combustion, whether fossil or hydrogen, would significantly contribute to global temparture rise, and I doubt it would. Please, list your sources, I'd love to see that. If that's your concern, drive electric.

"Space umbrella is science fiction. "
-agreed. Why look for a science fiction solution when we have a real world solution? Do you have any idea how big your space umbrella would have to be? And you do realize your talking about a project in the THOUSANDS of TRILLIONS of dollars.. cost benifit analysis gauranteed to be in favor of hydrogen over space umbrellas.

Pumping particle sized iron in the oceans in the amounts your talking about would kill everything in the oceans, and we need the oceans to breath.
TegiriNenashi
1 / 5 (2) Jul 01, 2010
Ever heard of UHI effect? Granted, it localized to city area only, but imagine 1000 fold jump in consumed energy, and you easily get a problem. So would energy consumptions stabilize or continue to grow exponentially (like it was in the last century), that is the question.

Iron fertilization is a well established idea, you can't dismiss it in a sentence.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (1) Jul 01, 2010
"Ever heard of UHI effect? Granted, it localized to city area only, but imagine 1000 fold jump in consumed energy, and you easily get a problem. "
-I'm glad your starting to see that it is at least plausible that problems with the climate can occur as the result of man's activities. That is a really great start.

"would energy consumptions stabilize or continue to grow exponentially "
-interesting question; I suspect the answer is both. consumer products will probably get more efficient and use less power (just a side effect of smaller transistors) but large projects will probably end up using more energy (like taller skyscrapers). Transportation will undoubtable get more efficient (if the powers that be let it) since it will always be one of the largest energy expenditures.

So, in regardrs to space umbrellas, sure something like that may happen, we may even be able to put solar cells on them and beam the energy here. But it would only mitigate temp rise and not solve the prob.
wiyosaya
not rated yet Jul 08, 2010
Why is a moderate emitter, like the Sahara desert, emitting more CO2 than the whole of the USA? Why is greatest concentration of CO2 over the uninhabited Australian Outback not in the heavily populated East Coast? Just how many cars, coal fired power stations and volcanoes are there in the Sahara (none).

The CO2 data as presented in the animation needs explaining.

A climate change forum can be found here
http://tech.group...e-forum/

Perhaps the explanation is that there are no sinks in those areas. Both the Australian Outback and the Sahara are essentially void of plant life.