Saturday, October 23, 2004


A few excerpts from a comprehensive article

Now the amount of CO2 in the earth's atmosphere is rather a small amount, with current estimates from the data at Moana Loa in the Hawaiian Islands as some 378 ppmv (Parts per million by volume). This looks like a big number but in reality it isn't.

However the CO2 Centre reckons it is a much ado about nothing, and as usual the data points emphasised by the press are right at the end of the data series, which statistically place an undue emphasis on the trend. Mask the end points and the spectacular trend disappears...... What our hysterical scientists did was to use the last three values (these are not measurements by the way - just averages from many stations) and interpret this as the real CO2 increase. It is otherwise known as junk-science.

Now the most often quoted source of measurement of CO2 is the measuring station on the Hawaiian Islands. Except there is a small detail which only a geologist would recognise - Hawaii is also a rather large volcano and a significant source of CO2 - 49% ! One would as much place a CO2 monitoring station on an active volcano as one would near a coal fired electricity generating plant. This is problematical to say the least.

But there is even more complexity to the problem as William Kininmonth writes here in Tech Station Central writes:

"Monthly and annual values of carbon dioxide concentration for ten global sites are available from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA. Two sites are in close proximity at Hawaii. The difficulty of maintaining an ongoing observation program can be judged from the three sites that have seriously incomplete records and not suitable for intercomparison. Nevertheless, there are six well-distributed sites extending from the Arctic to the Antarctic with long and nearly complete records of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

Notwithstanding the media claim, the increase in concentration from 2001 to 2002 exceeded 2.0 ppm at only two of the six stations. The average of all stations exceeded 2.0 ppm but only because of an unexplained large increase at the South Pole site, far from centres of industrialisation".

Just one elevated measurement of CO2 at the South Pole has the ability to skew the average! And on this skew much ado is made by Sir David King, Britain's Chief Scientist.

Clearly the CO2 content of the atmosphere varies from place to place, and one suspects that the large increase of CO2 at the South Pole site might well be due to Mt Erebus, another active volcano. The geology of this volcano is interesting because "during the last year ash eruptions and even a small lava flow have been observed", so if Erebus is increasing its volcanic activity, this could easily explain the increased CO2 at the South Pole.

Yet this localised natural increase in CO2 that has nothing to do with the burning of coal or gas or petroleum forms the basis of a panic scare by the climate scientists, and of course faithfully reported by the news media, that we have a runaway greenhouse effect......

More here

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