Oil Crash

Discussions about Peak Oil and Alternative Energy Sources.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Questioning the Mauna Loa CO2 Data

The observational data of atmospheric CO2 concentration obtained from the observatory located in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, is tauted as most complete and most authoric data evidence that the global CO2 concentration goes up over the years, therefore provides a support for the Global Warming Theory.

I seriously challenge the validity of that piece of data. But first I am not questioning the hardwork of the researchers or their honesty in recordingh the data faithfully. I do believe their instruments recorded the correct readings. BUT, the interpretation of the data is very questionable.

If you look at the graph, you see a nice general trend that the CO2 concentration is going up, but you also notice a strong seasonable oscillation.

That seasonal oscillation is rather suspicious. The reseachers claim, because of the geological location of the observatory, they are measuring a CO2 concentration FREE from any bias caused by any local effects. Since the global atmosphere gets pretty good mixing at a time scale much shorter than a year, they are measuring the true global average of the CO2 concentration.

Is that so? Are they truely measuring the global average? How can the seasonable oscillation be explained? If it is a true global average, there should be no seasonal oscillation. We know, globally, when the northern hemisphere is winter time, it is summer time in the southern hemisphere. So it should all average out and there should never be such a dramatic seasonable modulation in the curve.

The seasonal modulations clearly must have a local explanation. Are they related to the seasonable plantation and biomass growth? Hardly! The geographical location of Mauna Loa has a pretty low lattitude, and the weather is oceanic, meaning it is virtually the same comfortable temperature good for plantation growth year around. There should not be a very strong seasonal effect. Also, if you look at the Data List, you notice that the CO2 peaks around May and reaches the lowest point around October. Why? You would expect that in late spring, due to strong plantation growth and photo synthesis, lots of CO2 are absorbed and so you should see the lowest concentration of CO2, not highest.

The answer may lie in the tourism. You see more tourists in the spring time leading to May, so all the extra automobile activities releases more CO2 into the local atmosphere. And in the fall and winter, much less tourists. And the gradual build up of CO2 over the years may not be a global effect, but simply a local effect that more and more visitors vist Hawaii each year.

And that certainly bring a question to the legitimacy of regarding the Mauna Loa reading as that reflecting the global trend. You need data from a different location, one that is far away from local human influence, to draw conclusions. Unfortunately I do not see any data other than the Mauna Loa one.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bubbling Ice Cores from 650000 Years Ago.

Recently the climate pseudoscientists showed us, using Tiny Air Bubbles from Ice Cores accumulated 650000 years ago, that our current atmospheric level of CO2 is 27% percent higher than 650000 years ago!

That's an absolutely ridiculous claim! Those tiny air bubbles in those ice cores measure no more than a few micron in diameter. Let's say it's 10 microns. That provides about 1x10^-15 cubic meter of volume. At regular air pressure and temperature, the number density of air molecules is P/(kT) = 2.7x10^25 per cubic meter. So you expect to find about 2.7x10^10 air molecules. At 380 ppm concentration of CO2, that's about 10 million CO2 molecules.

Are they claiming that those air bubbles are so tightly sealed, that during 650000 year there is absolute no exchange between the CO2 in the bubble, and that of the outside environment, and that there is nothing that gets dis-solved in the ice as well? Yes, solid ice DO dis-solve a small amount of all gases, especially CO2. Also, they have forgotten that the basis of determine the 650000 years ago, is based on the fact that a certain percentage of carbon in the air is freshly minted C14, which decays in time into something else. As the carbon is trapped in one way or another, the C14 decays away over time. So you lose both in the total amount of carbon, as well as in the percentage of C14 out of the total carbon. So it is not surprising at all if you determine a slightly lower level of carbon.