Article on CO2 and Temp correlations

This was on the word press homepage on sat afternoon. It has an article attached:

http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/warming-trend-pdo-and-solar-correlate-better-than-co2/

This guy started the weather channel and shows with data that CO2 and temp changes do not correlate well (an R squared correlation of 0.44), but rather cycles in ocean, Pacific Decadel Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) correspond much better to the temp changes. He explains how the PDO creates El Ninos and La Ninas. He gets an R squared of 0.83. I do not fully understand PDO and AMO and its driving mechanisms, so it is tough for me to readily except the relationship. He also relates temp changes to Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) and explains how changes in the sun’s “brightness” can create atmospheric temperature changes. Finally he shows that there is a negative correlation between CO2 and temp changes since in the last decade, which is when he was seen the temperatures spike the most. I do believe that correlation is not causation, but do I think discrepancy eliminates causation.

The following link was written in response to the above by some guy at U of Alabama – Huntsville. It shows CO2 solubility in water with temperature (CO2 = 0.323e^(.0316Temp))) and suggests that perhaps rising atmospheric temperature changes are driving increased CO2 concentrations, not the other way around. He uses the data at Mauna Loa, Hawaii – which is the main source of data for atmospheric temperature that guys like Al Gore discuss.

http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/double-whammy-friday-roy-spencer-on-how-oceans-are-driving-co2/

He very nicely explains a dip in temperatures in 1992, writing that oceanic cooling caused by a cooling of a mountain created the drop in CO2 concentrations.

I enjoyed these articles and thought I’d send them along.

From SN:

So the questions are how much CO2 stays in the air, and how much dissolves into the ocean.

If a lot of CO2 ends up in the ocean, there will be less in the air, and the effects of global warming may be reduced. If the ocean releases CO2 back to the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect may be enhanced or prolonged.
Look at the temperature and CO2 plots with temperature and CO2 data from BATS (Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Study)

http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/classroombats/html/tempco2plot.html

From Jkace:

As one of the few posters here who thinks there may be something to this whole global warming thing, I will be playing the role of devil’s advocate.

It looks like someone spent a lot of time trying to compare this data. While it sure looks good as finished graphs, there are a few problems. First, the graphs scale differently on the Y-axis, showing that the data fits visually much better than it does quantitatively.

Using increased solar irradiation as an explanation for our current rise in temperatures has been disproven. If the sun were acutally getting hotter, we would see an increase in temperatures more significant on the outer layers of the atmosphere. With the “greenhouse effect”, radiation pierces these layers and heats lower levels of the atmosphere. Temperature data from the outer atmosphere has actually shown a cooling over the past 100 years.

As for PDO, I believe this is an effect more than a cause. A general warming trend would lower the solubility of CO2 in the ocean, which releases additional CO2 into the atmosphere. A lot of the effects of global warming are like this (reflection of light on ice versus absorption in liquid).  These effects help explain why CO2 is at the highest level its been in the past 400,000 years (by over 20%), even though “human produced” CO2 only accounts for 5% of the carbon cycle (a popular anti-global warming talking point).

One last point… this temperature data set, while comprehensive, only looks at the continental United States. Any true statistical analysis needs to consider the entire planet. Unless we put the US into an adiabatic box.

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