Thursday, December 31, 2009

Carbon Dioxide Fraction of Atmosphere Not Rising, May Not Have Risen for 160 Years

Further undermining the case for AGW is research done by Wolfgang Knorr at the University of Bristol that seems to show that the concentration of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere may not have increased over the last 160 years, or even in the last 50, as it is either absorbed by the oceans or by plant life.

Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere.

An abstract of the research is here:

Several recent studies have highlighted the possibility that the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems have started loosing part of their ability to sequester a large proportion of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This is an important claim, because so far only about 40% of those emissions have stayed in the atmosphere, which has prevented additional climate change. This study re-examines the available atmospheric CO2 and emissions data including their uncertainties. It is shown that with those uncertainties, the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero. The analysis further shows that the statistical model of a constant airborne fraction agrees best with the available data if emissions from land use change are scaled down to 82% or less of their original estimates. Despite the predictions of coupled climate-carbon cycle models, no trend in the airborne fraction can be found.

Given this information, the proposed Cap and tax Trade legislation seems even more ill-adivsed than ever.

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