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 …

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  1. Richard Wharram
    Go

    It's lobsters

    Lobsters eat carbon.

    Trust me.

    1. John Arthur
      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.

    2. Shannon Jacobs
      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.

      1. David Neil
        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.

        1. archengel46
          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!

      2. Tom 13

        @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. Lord Voldemortgage

    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.

    1. Dodgy Geezer 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...

      1. csmac3144

        Re: Interesting

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

        1. Chris Miller

          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

          1. Fatman Silver 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.

            1. Mark Davies
              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. SoaG

          Re: Interesting

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

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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?

      3. Chris007
        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"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Prejudiced wankers

      It seems it takes one to know one.

    2. Lord Voldemortgage

      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."

      1. JP19

        "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.

      2. Thought About IT

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

        1. Don Jefe
          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.

      3. Matt Bryant 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.

        1. NomNomNom

          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

        2. Mark Davies
          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...

      4. Mako
        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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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

    4. Dodgy Geezer 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...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prejudiced wankers

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

    6. elderlybloke
      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.

  4. Nigel 11
    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.

    1. The First Dave
      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.

  5. MrXavia
    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....

  6. Nev Silver badge
    Pirate

    Pirates!

    "ARRR! SHIVER ME TIMBERS!"

    There's no other explanation!!!

  7. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!
    Coat

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

    Honest!

  8. Darryl
    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,"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Tom 35 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.

        1. Steve Crook

          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.

          1. Arthur 1

            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.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: Has it come to that,...

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

        2. Kiwi
          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?

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

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

        You are obviously employed by the keyboard manufacturers!

    2. Tom 13

      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.

  9. Nigel 11
    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?

  10. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Boffin

    At Last!

    Proof that the Earth sucks!

    NOW we can explain gravity properly....

  11. g e
    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.

  12. Barely registers
    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?

  13. 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?

  14. Gordon 10 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.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tell this to EPA

    I'm tired of hearing Green this Green that.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nails in the coffin?

    This is a major blow to the "green and Spend" crew, who want to save us from our own effluvia by spending billions on (select your favorite!) wind farms, solar panels, bio-fuels, etc.

    Perhaps the end of the world is not even close, never mind nigh. We need a major audit of some politically loaded decisions, preferably without excess spending by energy and environmental lobbyists, to identify if AGW is the myth we all suspect it is.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Nails in the coffin?

      This is a major blow to the "green and Spend" crew, who want to save us from our own effluvia by spending billions on (select your favorite!) wind farms, solar panels, bio-fuels, etc."

      No

    2. scatter

      Re: Nails in the coffin?

      Lame.

      The earth is absorbing more CO2 (thankfully) and yet atmospheric CO2 continues its inexorable rise...

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.png

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

  17. Alan Firminger

    Just remember what colour is the ocean, and why.

  18. Bucky 2
    Pint

    Doesn't really matter

    It doesn't really matter what the processes are, or what the data show.

    As long as we admit to being TERRIFIED, it's all okay.

  19. P. Pod
    Unhappy

    I know where it's going.

    All that CO2 is being turned into weeds in my garden.

  20. markusgarvey
    Alert

    Grow Hemp!

    hmmm...the more CO2 the ocean absorbs, the more acidic it becomes...not good...if the stupid US gov would legalize industrial Hemp, and 100's of thousands of acres of it were growing, and we started to make fuel out of it, it would mitigate a lot of CO2...IDK how well it grows over there in the UK, but i'm sure it will...it's just a weed that doesn't get you high...http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/alert_32.png

    1. Alan Firminger

      If you burn hemp, as a spliff or in any other way, the carbon effect is nil.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Alan Firminger

        "If you burn hemp, as a spliff or in any other way, the carbon effect is nil." If you burn hemp by itself, you mean, but most hippies seem to like rolling it in Rizlas, and those little papers are not carbon neutral or environmentally friendly as they are refined paper. Shame on the hippies, they're ruining the planet with their evil, polluting ways!

      2. markusgarvey
        FAIL

        NOT FOR SMOKING!

        come on guys!...HEMP IS NO GOOD TO SMOKE...the Diesel engine was designed to run in oil made from hemp seed...and if it wasn't for Andrew Mellon(Mellon Bank), and the DuPont family, we would not be dependent on middle east oil today...you can make anything out of hemp seed that you can make out of crude oil...the stoner angle does not work to promote hemp...you would die from smoke inhalation, before you got high from it...and you cant grow smoke-able pot with hemp either...it ruins it...it makes it into a big stalk of seed...this plant could be crucial to reducing the CO2 level...it has another benefit as well...it's called 'Phytoremediation...they actually have it planted around Chernobyl to mitigate the radiation from the soil as well as heavy metals and other toxins... it works better than any other plant or method...http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/fail_32.png

        1. Arthur 1

          Re: NOT FOR SMOKING!

          "the Diesel engine was designed to run in(sic) oil made from hemp seed"

          No it wasn't.

          First of all, the "correct" BS urban legend is that it was designed to run on peanut oil, not hemp oil. And, naturally, neither is the case.

          The diesel engine was designed to combine certain desirable properties of Otto cycle and steam engines while improving combustion efficiency and eliminating things like the need for sparks. Their fuel was designed to be the same kinds of oils which were fueling said Otto cycle engines, although one of the advantages of the Diesel cycle was that it could also burn less refined "dirty" fuels. Most early demos would have used mineral oil, which is a refined petroleum product.

          Given the insane conspiracy theories you hint at after that line, I don't expect any of this will be allowed past your blinkers, but it's worth a shot.

          1. markusgarvey

            Re: NOT FOR SMOKING!

            no, I'm will to listen and learn...from what i have read, when Rudolph Diesel produced his engine in 1896, he'd assumed it would run off of vegetable and seed oils, especially hemp, which is superior to petroleum... there is quite a bit of revisionist history out there, so can you give me a citation?...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: NOT FOR SMOKING!

          Actually, Diesel designed his engine to run on Peanut Oil, if I recall correctly. There would have been no hemp oil available to him in Germany at the time.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: NOT FOR SMOKING!

            Oh, I forgot, when he initially started development, it was for Coal dust as the fuel.

    2. Denarius Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Grow Hemp!

      uh, no, so far. ABC Oz did an investigation named the "Billion Dollar Crop". Industrial hemp does grown well but processing on an industrial scale is much harder than other crops. The fibers clogged cutters for instance. Also, what do you do with the stuff ? Rope ? How much do you use ? Paper, yes, if cost is not a big problem.

      I suggest the USof A problem is not political stupidity, more who owns the politicians. It aint the voters..

      1. markusgarvey
        Boffin

        Re: Grow Hemp!

        Rope!?! ...try, anything you can make from crude oil...the only reason it's hard to process, it do to the fact it's illegal to grow on a good part of the planet, and the technology has not been developed...read my post below...lol...rope... :=\http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/boffin_32.png

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Boffin

        Re: Grow Hemp!

        You might also look at "hempcrete" where the very long fibres of the plant (and short growing time) make it a useful reinforcement material in house construction.

        1. markusgarvey
          Thumb Up

          Re: Grow Hemp!

          i have read that they found a Hempcrete in France that dates between 500 and 750 AD...made from hurds and lime, it actually petrifies...they are also mixing it with ground up plastic bottles and making strong , bug proof lumber that performs up to 4,000 to 6,000 psi...

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Excellent work

    I suspect that most models don't even have a *mechanism* for increasing the size of a CO2 sink (as the model runs) in them.

    I hope that will change.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Excellent work

      I think they do and have for a while

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI3800.1

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: Excellent work

        "http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI3800.1"

        The abstract states that all models predict a *fall* in the ability of the Carbon Cycle to capture Carbon (ultimatley from atmospheric CO2)

        There is *no* indication in the abstract that *any* of the models predicted (or spotted) the actual *rising* trend seen in the past.

        I'll stay with my view that the architecture of the models needs changing, not individual values within them.

    2. jaduncan
      FAIL

      Re: Excellent work

      "What possible reason could there be for you to not email us? Certainly ignorance shouldn’t be a bar. You might not know anything about the issue, but I bet you reckon something. So why not tell us what you reckon? Let us enjoy the full majesty of your uniformed, ad hoc reckon by going to bbc.co.uk/meandmyimportantthoughts (all one word), clicking on ‘What I Reckon’ and simply beating on the keyboard with your fists or head." -- Mitchell and Webb

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's all right then!

    Now we know that we don't know what we're doing, we can all relax and carry on burning stuff, right?

  23. Tom Reg

    Here is the source of the paper.

    One wonders why this is all of a sudden news, or why a major paper had to be written about it?

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-background-articles/carbon-dioxide-growth-rate-at-mauna-loa/

    "This means that Mother Nature takes out about 50% of the ‘excess’ CO2 that we pump into the atmosphere every year. And it seem like it doesn’t matter how much MORE we put in each year…nature still takes out an average of 50% of that amount."

    --Tom

    1. Stephen 10

      Re: Here is the source of the paper.

      The same Roy Spencer who signed off that AGW is wrong because god did it? (And also signing on to Intelligent Design)

      http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

      http://www.cornwallalliance.org/blog/item/prominent-signers-of-an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

      He might not exactly be a reliable source of scientific information.

  24. Wilco 1
    Boffin

    In other news, CO2 in atmosphere is still accumulating faster than ever

    This is not news at all. The sinks have increased because our CO2 emissions have increased even more. Only about half of the CO2 we emit is being absorbed, so the sinks don't avoid global warming, just slowing it down. However the worrying bit is that sinks like the ocean have a limited capacity, so as they warm, the amount they can absorb will reduce.

    (we really need a new icon for "yawn - yet another anti AGW spin article on the Register")

  25. Argus Tuft
    Devil

    Why worry?

    Some mad b*st*rd with a nuke is going to blow us all to hell before any of this matters anyway.....

    so i'm using my share while it lasts :)

  26. Jim Birch
    FAIL

    YALPDA = Yet Another Lewis Page Disinformation Attempt

    The standard YALPDA template: some of the myriad of available climate numbers somewhere have changed as research progresses therefore I am right there is no AGW.

    YALPDAs never explicitly make this claim because it is a joke. As usual, there is no context because it would evaporate the story. Even if this result was accepted (it is not yet) AND the increased CO2 sink capacity persisted indefinitely (highly doubtful) it won't stop atmospheric CO2 increases (and it demonstrably hasn't). The real conclusion is that if this result holds up and persists it does give a bit more time to break the CO2 addiction. However, there are a lot of unknowns here, the big one of course being the ability of modern states to respond to the AGW threat with anything more that wishful thinking.

    Q. Is Lewis Page collecting cheques from some right wing US "think" tank, or is he just a science incompetent, or both?

    1. Jerome Fryer

      Who owns "The Register"?

      Now, who owns them?

      At least there is some even-handed (and accurate) climate change reporting appearing here sporadically now. You'll likely never see one from Lewis, though.

  27. PeterM42
    WTF?

    "scientists do not yet understand"

    "scientists do not yet understand" - Says it all, so:

    1) How do they actually PROVE what happens to CO2?

    2) Does it make ANY difference WHATSOEVER?

    3) Will it REALLY affect ANYONE or ANYTHING?

    4) In reality, does anyone actually worry about it - if you do - GET A LIFE!!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "scientists do not yet understand"

      "Scientists do not yet understand" does not mean that Scientists don't know anything about the subject, it means that they don't have their required level of proof to say that it is definitely happening or fully understood.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CO2 levels

    What I would Love to know is what percentge, we as a people, put into the atmosphere as opposed to that which nature has always pumped into the atmosphere, from places like volcanos and fires. I wonder how much the Australian fires and the Californian fires pumped into the atmosphere compared with how much "man" did?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    More BS from the Heritage Foundation?

  30. GnT@GMT
    Facepalm

    Have I missed something...?

    So, even though a secret goblin in the earth is (possibly) gobbling more CO2 than we thought it should, the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is STILL rising to dangerous levels?

    So this isn't a new reason to relax, it's a new reason to panic! What happens when this newly found CO2 munching goblin gets a full belly and the atmosphere is left to absorb the goblin's share too?

    No Free Lunch folks!

  31. Hubert Thrunge Jr.
    Meh

    I have a plan.

    Is there a way that we can tax this extra CO2 absorption? If not, then it's not happening, and the scientists are crackpots. Global warming will continue until the populous has been taxed sufficiently.

    In reality, the planet is doing what the planet does. Ignoring what we do, and doing what the sun tells it to do via solar flares, solar geomagnetic activity, etc...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe it's pot...

    Am I the only one that thinks this might have something to do with the number of grow ops that have popped up since the 60s?

    Seriously, pot sucks loads of CO2 from the air, the air in leeds has never been cleaner than it is today, nor in sheffield...

  33. mydogsgotnonose

    This is perfectly logical: as concentration increases, so does the rate of reaction.

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