back to article CSIRO opens Cape Grim pollution data

Amid Australia’s acrimonious debate over climate science, the country’s peak science body, CSIRO, has taken the bold step of making 35 years’ worth of atmospheric CO2 data directly available to the public. It comes in a debate so inflamed that even a call for more reasoned debate was enough to bring death threats directed …

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Good on the CSIRO!

That's how science is done - make the data widely available and allow anyone who wants to to analyse it.

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Odd..

There appears to be an odd correlation between spikes in CO2 and Methane and roughly september each year. I'm not even an armchair climatologist, so would value some technical input as to why that might be occuring.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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Go

A guess....

I'm not a scientist either, but a complete wild guess: as trees lose their leaves and smaller plants die in the (Northern hemisphere) fall each year, less CO2 is absorbed? Might be interesting to check if there's a smaller spike (given less land area) when fall hits the Southern hemisphere....

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Holmes

Hmmm

@Meph

Have a look at Google maps to see where exactly Cape Grim is: The extreme North Western tip of Tasmania. This area is within the 40 degrees south of the Equator, meaning that in the Spring time the whole area (and state) is subject to the 'Roaring 40's' wind from around Antarctica:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roaring_Forties

Between August and December (almost to the 1st of August every single year) these winds hit and stay around for 3-4 months.

I believe these winds would bring some CO2, methane etc that has been building up over the southern ocean and Antarctica, alluding to the 'Ozone hole' from days of yore.

Cape Grim is the site for THE purest air and water available to anyone living on the planet.

Who knows what similar data in the northern hemisphere shows.

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a title

http://www.cmar.csiro.au/research/capegrim_graphs.html shows an18% increase in atmos. CO2 since mid-seventies.Just indicatively http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/65/Files/fuel_sales_web.xls shows a ~300% increase in Australian liquid fuel use alone since mid-seventies ( equates to ~1000% increase in CO2 production by weight ). Add in solid fuels. Add in rest of world. Oceanic, biological and other sequestration vectors are mightily at play here. To the detriment of the oceans t'would seem from today's news. My ( admittedly back-of-envelope) calculations show that a 5% reduction in carbon dioxide production would arrest CO2 growth and further reduction lead to a decline in CO2 levels. A 5% reduction is the initial 2020 aim of the proposed Australian carbon tax ( which I think clunky and an excuse for sticky-fingers but why change fuel duty and extraction royalties by regulation when you can have a good bunfight ? ) Incidentally, a carbon price of $25 per tonne should add no more than 5 cents a litre to liquid fuel prices. Not holding my breath about that.

just sayin'

good on the boffins anyway

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Presentation is everything

I can't wait for the full data to be published, so that I can graph it without the massive zero offset. By starting the Y axis where it does, it makes the increase look much bigger,

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

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Anonymous Coward

if you want to judge

the /change/ in the "greenhouse effect" due to CO2, then the /change/ in CO2 levels

is the relevant quantity - not the offset.

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Boffin

Exactly

They claim this is raw data yet they present it in a very misleading way. Very duplicitous of the CSIRO.

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Anonymous Coward

not difficult

tis more or less a straight line with small wiggles on it from 330ppm to 385pm. Sketch your own version, without the tiny wiggles, which are way smaller than the trend.

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Anonymous Coward

clicking the expand-y-axis button

puts in a baseline "zero" of pre-industrial CO2 at 280ppm.

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Linux

Second that

How undramatic would the Y axis look with graduations of 100 instead of 2!

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Bronze badge
Facepalm

and the connection with warming is ?

Good to see some raw data is available. A few in-august bodies could learn from this sort of behaviour. However, its significance in global warming is unsupported. So far, all actual measurement shows that there is a negative feedback from the small temperatures changes that may result from increasing CO2. This sensitivity is way below all models predictions which persist in high sensitivity assumption. Choosing the outcome in the models perhaps ?

If the screaming match consisting of ex-cathedra dogma statements was replaced with dialog about something we can agree on, such as the need for fuel and energy efficiency, we might get somewhere cost effectively, instead of being lumbered with rent seeking and privatised taxes.

Instead of those hang gliding site stealing windmills, build combined cycle coal or gas power stations. This improves electricity availability at same price while cutting CO2 emissions.

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Alert

@Denarius

Well Denarius hop to it, you have the data, you have a hypothesis, your PHD in climate science and fame await! Get publishing.

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FAIL

@clot^H^H^H^Hmatware

not imaginative R U? or understand the roll of the critic or citizen.

climate science does not exist. Meteorology, physics and mathematics are demonstratable disciplines. Anyone designated climate scientist so far, is selling something. When a statistically significant number of identical planets, say, over 32, are built from scratch with standard atmospheres, run forward thru controlled measured atmospheric gas changes, the results observed and tested for predictive failures, then the term climate scientist will have meaning.

Until then, a discipline maybe, but not a science. So far, all specific predictions are wrong. eg, 18 months ago Oz was told we would never see heavy rain again.

The pom met office advises the public winter temps temperature would be unnaturally warm the last two years. By definitions of empirical science, both are failed predictions so the hypothesis looks shaky at best. if there is any chance of you gaining any wisdom, looking up the term "spirit of the age" may give you some background to why groupthink is a lot older than most expect.

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