Feeds

back to article Amount of CO2 being sucked away by Earth 'has doubled in 50 years'

US federal government boffins have announced a "surprising new study" which reveals that the amount of carbon dioxide being drawn out of the air and absorbed by the world's landmasses and oceans doubled from 1960 to 2010. The new information is deemed sufficiently applecart-busting in climatology terms that it has been published …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Go

It's lobsters

Lobsters eat carbon.

Trust me.

13
0
Thumb Up

Re: It's lobsters

Ah! So that explains this

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/07/29/us/20120729-lobster.html

very nicely. Just waiting for them all to appear in my local Tescos.

1
0
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: It's lobsters

Lewis whatever is a maroon. Like the lobsters, right?

FUD is NOT a business model. Actually, the essential assets of a journalism business model are integrity and credibility, and little Lewis is zeroed out. He is NOT an asset for the Reg.

2
9
Thumb Down

Re: It's lobsters

Study published in nature and points out there are things we still don't know.

You knee jerk away, but the science is far from settled.

3
0
Flame

Re: It's lobsters

I reckon it is all those Humboldt Squid that are eating up the carbon.

Give me more fried Calamari now!

0
0
Silver badge

@Shannon Jacobs: He is NOT an asset for the Reg.

He got you here to post. I stopped by and replied to your post. That's two posts for an article you're denouncing, and I count 5 down votes when posting this.

I'd say your assessment of Lewis' El Reg value is badly flawed. I'd hazard your understanding of science is equally flawed.

2
0
Bronze badge

Interesting

Replacing rain forest with grassland will do this.

As will any kind of hippy-tax inspired reforestation..

But if this is a 'Gaian' re-balancing it would be interesting to know where they think it is all going.

The conclusions don't seem to be entirely LewisPageian though - Caroline Alden (one of the authors) said:

"It's not a question of whether or not natural sinks will slow their uptake of carbon, but when," she said.

"We're already seeing climate change happen despite the fact that only half of fossil fuel emissions stay in the atmosphere while the other half is drawn down by the land biosphere and oceans. If natural sinks saturate as models predict, the impact of human emissions on atmospheric CO2 will double."

Of course those models may possibly be amongst the things this research affects.

13
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Interesting

"..Of course those models may possibly be amongst the things this research affects..."

NO, NO! The models are perfect! It's reality which is incorrect, and needs to change to reflect the heating levels predicted in our models...

26
8

Re: Interesting

Fucking models. A *lot* more fun than fucking reality.

8
1
Silver badge

Re: Interesting

"I have studied their climate models and know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics and do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields, farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in.

"The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That's why the climate model experts end up believing their own models."

Freeman Dyson

11
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting

"NO, NO! The models are perfect! It's reality which is incorrect, and needs to change to reflect the heating levels predicted in our models..."

Who is this supposed to be an impression of? Scientists?

2
2

Re: Interesting

@csmac3144 So...just how long have you been married?

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: slight typo

Allow me to make a slight correction:

It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned buildingivory tower and run computer models than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds.

3
2
FAIL

Re: slight typo

Or for some random bloke/journalist/Jeremy Clarkson fan with limited knowledge/credibility and an axe to grind to sit in an air-conditioned office and comment on forums......

2
2
Trollface

Re: Interesting @Dodgy Geezer

"NO, NO! The models are perfect! It's reality which is incorrect, and needs to change to reflect the heating levels predicted in our models..."

Need to add

"And ensure the enormous grants we receive continue until I retire"

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Prejudiced wankers

They do not mention, at the same time we produce at least 100 times more CO2 since the 60s and it has to land somewhere and be absorbed somehow.

What a pathetic and cynical attempt to negate all the global warming studies. Wonder who paid for this study.

As is they knew how much was being absorbed in the 1960s.

Jokers.

10
31
Silver badge
Windows

Re: Prejudiced wankers

It seems it takes one to know one.

22
3
Bronze badge

I don't think the authors of that study are prejudiced. At least not in the way you seem to be suggesting.

More from the authors:

"When carbon sinks become carbon sources, it will be a very critical time for Earth," commented geologist and lead author Ashley Ballantyne. "We don't see any evidence of that yet, but it's certainly something we should be looking for."

Jim White, a geologist and author on the paper, compared the unpredictable variations to a car going full speed.

"The faster we go, the more our car starts to shake and rattle. If we drive 100 miles per hour, it is going to shake and rattle a lot more because there is a lot more instability, so it's probably time to back off the accelerator."

"None of us think nature is going to keep helping us out indefinitely," he added. "When the time comes that these carbon sinks are no longer taking up carbon, there is going to be a big price to pay."

15
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Prejudiced wankers

So where did you get the weird idea that we are producing 100 times more CO2 than in 1960?

Idiot

15
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Prejudiced wankers

That's true. We must suppress all scientific papers which make any claims other than those WE know to be true.

It's worked for the last 15 years...

8
5
Bronze badge

"very critical time for Earth"

Prophecy of doom is mandatory nowadays. Our study shows the earth is regulating itself more than anyone thought but I must state we are still doomed otherwise everyone will ignore me. The speeding car about to disintegrate and crash analogy is the dumbest thing I have read in a while.

11
4

Surely you're not suggesting that Lewis cherry picked his quotes from the report. That would be entirely out of character!

15
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Prejudiced wankers

Make Lewis stop posting facts that contradict my version of reality!

8
1
Silver badge
Facepalm

"....When the time comes that these carbon sinks are no longer taking up carbon...." Wow, not alarmist at all! I think we can see which side of the fence Mr Ballantyne dances on. And why will the carbon sinks stop absorbing carbon? And we're not importing carbon from outer space, it all started here in the first place.

4
3
Silver badge

eg "The uptake of carbon dioxide by the oceans and by ecosystems is expected to slow down gradually," Tans said. Oceans, for example, are already becoming more acidic as they absorb about a quarter of the carbon dioxide pumped into the air by human activities. "As the oceans acidify, we know it becomes harder to stuff even more CO2 into the oceans," Tans said. "We just don't see a letup, globally, yet."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120801132430.htm

4
1
Silver badge
Meh

You're not suggesting Lewis read the actual study are you? That is simply crazy: It is much easier to grab "quotes" from sources other than a journal than it is to actually read the article with a view towards science & understanding.

4
2
Coat

Jim White, a geologist and author on the paper, compared the unpredictable variations to a car going full speed.

"The faster we go, the more our car starts to shake and rattle. If we drive 100 miles per hour, it is going to shake and rattle a lot more because there is a lot more instability, so it's probably time to back off the accelerator."

It might be time to buy a better car, Jim.

1
1
FAIL

Oh I don't know.... maybe because the oceans absorb all the CO2 they can at ambient temperature/pressure, maybe because there is no incremental additional plant/algae growth.

BTW filling either of these carbon sinks is not a good idea, too much CO2 in the ocean leads to acidification which kills molluscs, coral etc. too much algae growth uses all the oxygen and kills the animals there...

0
1
Megaphone

Re: Prejudiced wankers

Dear Mr. Anonymous

Re- They do not mention, at the same time we produce at least 100 times more CO2 since the 60s.

Could you refer me to the site where this information can be found.

1
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Root to shoot ratio

How much of this is explained by plants optimizing themselves?

As "food", plants need CO2 from the atmosphere, and everything else from in the ground. They'll grow so as to balance the availability of those two sources. More CO2 in the atmosphere means that the plant can grow faster and bigger, but only if it shifts its growth to favour its root system, thereby obtaining a proportionately increased supply of water and minerals.

When the plant dies, the deeper its roots, the longer the carbon in them stays out of the atmosphere.

6
2
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Root to shoot ratio

Not a lot. I worked on a project over twenty years ago that was measuring the effects of elevated CO2 levels, and the increase was measurable, but not exactly substantial.

0
0
Silver badge
Alien

Has to be Aliens, they've come down to save us from our carbon polluting, climate destroying ways...

OR could it be that we just don't understand our planet enough to make a judgement on whether climate change is man made or not? and more importantly, is climate change going to be a bad thing....

9
3
Nev
Pirate

Pirates!

"ARRR! SHIVER ME TIMBERS!"

There's no other explanation!!!

6
0
Coat

Well obviously the CO2 is being sucked into the ground where it then turns into oil.

Honest!

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Quote of the week

"Seeing such variation from decade to decade tells us that we need to observe Earth's carbon cycle for significantly longer periods in order to help us understand what is occurring,"

12
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Quote of the week - the FULL quote

""Seeing such variation from decade to decade tells us that we need to observe Earth's carbon cycle for significantly longer periods in order to help us understand what is occurring, but in the meantime, please adopt our political agenda, which will give the government the right to interfere in every aspect of your life, and condemn you to live in poverty, just, you know, on the off-chance that it might help to ameliorate the problem which as we said we don't even know what is causing it and even though we can't make a model worth shit, but you CAN haz cheezburger as long as you can cook it by leaving out in the mid-day sun because using a stove of any sort will only hasten the catastrophe that might one day occur unless we take measures NOW. Help US stop YOU before YOU stop US before WE can stop YOU - so that we can ALL benefit! And our children! And we really mean "ours" because YOU aren't going to have any, unless WE give you PERMISSION and YOU wouldn't want to risk the future of Al Gore's five kids, now would you? "

Is that about right?

22
14
Silver badge

Re: Quote of the week - the FULL quote

You sure it's not ...

"Seeing such variation from decade to decade tells us that we need to observe Earth's carbon cycle for significantly longer periods in order to help us understand what is occurring, but in the meantime, please buy that new Land Rover to create jobs, and crank up the AC it's hot out there!"

The we need to study it more before we do something is the Oil company line, not the Al Gore line.

9
5

Re: Quote of the week - the FULL quote

For something where the science is settled, there seems to be an awful lot we still don't know about the way the planets climate actually works. When someone reasonably explains the differential rates of absorption now and in the nineties I'll be more inclined to accept their predictions of what might happen over the next two or three decades.

Until then, it's another unknown in what would appear to be a slowly growing list that make me wonder if the only settled science is that CO2 is a ghg.

Some of the statements in the paper really do read like some sort of disclaimer, sort of don't shoot the messenger. Has it come to that, where you just can't present the facts but have to display your credentials as part of the 'consensus' to ensure that you get the opportunity to write more papers.

5
0
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Re: Quote of the week - the FULL quote

You are obviously employed by the keyboard manufacturers!

1
0

Re: Quote of the week - the FULL quote

Disclosure: I'm not especially on either side of the global warming civil war. But, as someone who actually understands and has participated in science, those quotes that seem like apologies sure jumped out at me too. Very concerning.

Avoiding extraordinary claims (which require extraordinary evidence as so well put by Sagan) is one thing. And certainly this report should do that. Given the number of serial distorters in the media, some cautions about the results could even be appropriate. But apparently having to apologize for possibly having found problems in the known science is just horrifying. Finding problems in the existing body of work is GOOD. It's what gives us new science. The opposite stance is what gives us such effective branches of "science" as Lysenkoism.

Strongly reinforces my view that both camps on climate are pants-on-head retarded.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Quote of the week

It really doesn't matter how long the drunk spends looking for his keys under the light where he parked the car when he dropped them in the dark over by the bar. Same thing applies here. Which is also why all the Warming Alarmists posting about acidifying the ocean are completely irrelevant. IF those processes are well understood which is the heart of their claim, then they aren't the source of the extra carbon sinks and since those carbon sinks are completely unknown, we have no idea what their parameters might be. And if those processes AREN'T well understood, the alarmists are in an even more precarious position than if they simply admit there are additional carbon sinks the model hasn't included, so there's zero chance you'll see them admit that possibility.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Has it come to that,...

Yes it has, although the Warming Alarmists are Deniers about that.

0
0
FAIL

Re: Quote of the week - the FULL quote

Yes...

"Well Mr 35, it appears that you have some mild but previously unknown viral infection in your right toe. Options are we can study it more and see what the real cause is, or we can castrate you and amputate your arms".

Or something to that effect, right?

0
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Where is it all going?

In the first instance, into plants. Measuring CO2 in the atmosphere shows minima every Northern hemisphere summer, and maxima every winter, as the leaves in the Northern hemisphere's deciduous and annual plants grow and decay. (The land area of the Southern hemisphere is considerably smaller so it doesn't fully compensate).

Some of that plant matter doesn't decay annually. It may be trapped for longer, as dead roots, humus in soil, peat bogs, and organics in sediment.

What's going on with plankton in the oceans is probably the most important thing long-term. Much of the carbon in dead plankton sinks down to the ocean deeps, from where it may not be released for geological ages. Is more CO2 being matched by an increase in plankton and therefore accumulation of organic matter on the deep ocean floor? We don't know. I'd neither count on it, nor rule it out.

Incidentally, our agricultural practices that create unnatural dust in the atmosphere are almost certainly resulting in an increased supply of iron to the ocean surface. And the biggest limitation on oceanic plankton growth is a shortage of iron. Accidental geo-engineering in progress?

3
0
Silver badge
Boffin

At Last!

Proof that the Earth sucks!

NOW we can explain gravity properly....

2
0
g e
Silver badge
WTF?

Nobody has yet mentioned

That the inconvenient-to-warmist-agenda NOAA report is somehow Lewis Page's fault due to his (and the entire Register, natch) jaded and biased view on global warming anthropological climate change.

Something's definitely afoot... one of those shriekers is usually near the top of the first page.

8
9
Pint

Does this show a negative feedback?

Would I be right to interpret this study that a new negative feedback mechanism has been uncovered, whose effect has varied over time? i.e. is there an effect by which more CO2 increases the sequestration of more CO2?

If that _is_ the case, what is the impact on the projections made so far by models? Would they be overstating future warming?

4
0
IR

How did they measure it?

They don't know how or why this is happening, so how did they work out it was happening at all? Are they simply using the amount pumped into the atmosphere and then measuring the amount left in the air?

0
0
Silver badge

Hmmm playing both sides?

Not sure I like those scientists temporising over the limits of these new/improved sources of sequestration.

If they don't understand what they are how can they begin to know wether they are limited and to what timescale that limit works on. If that timescale is small yup we're in doodoo for this particular feedback mechanism only. If that timescale is geologically long then we are in clover. Repeat for the limits of each known or unknown sequestration mechanism.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Tell this to EPA

I'm tired of hearing Green this Green that.

3
2

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.