Monday, 29 October 2012

Alan Jones and the Facts about CO2

Closer than Karoly.
Jones and the Facts about CO2.
Recently Alan Jones was subject to an adverse finding by ACMA. The finding was that Jones had not adequately presented the facts about how much CO2 Australia contributes to the atmospheric total.

What ACMA found was that Jones’s statement about the % of CO2 produced by Australia was his opinion and not, as implied when he made it, a scientific fact.

Jones’s opinion was that Australia produced 1/100,000th of the CO2 in the atmosphere. Jones also failed to produce any research to substantiate this opinion presented as ‘scientific fact’.

That is Jones’s error; not that his estimation of the CO2 contributed by Australia to the atmospheric bulk total of CO2 was necessarily wrong but that he presented it as a scientific fact.

The complainant to ACMA was not identified but there was a flurry of pro-AGW disapproval of Jones’s comments at the time from the usual subjects like Karoly who has a record of getting the sums wrong in a way far more egregious than Jones’s ‘error’.

Apparently, according to Karoly, the correct contribution of Australia to the total atmospheric concentration of CO2 is 0.45%.

According to Walter Stark, “Karoly’s figure may be derived by assuming that the purported rise of CO2 from the 280 ppm preindustrial level to current levels is due to anthropogenic emissions. This then puts the anthropogenic contribution at about 30% of current levels and Australia’s 1.5% share of global anthropogenic emissions then becomes responsible for about 0.45 % of total atmospheric CO2.”

Professor Murry Salby’s work makes that assumption that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for the increase in CO2 problematic. But even if we allow that assumption Karoly’s figure of 0.45% is doubtful.

The bulk atmospheric CO2 is increasing by about 1.5ppm PA or about 4Gt; then there is the annual flux which is the movements into and out of the atmosphere which are described here.

Currently the atmospheric bulk is about 3000Gt; the annual flux is 218.2Gt [from Figure 7.3, AR4].

The amount of human sourced CO2, ACO2, in that annual flux is 8Gt, or about 3.67% of the FLUX.

How much of that flux actually stays in the air and adds to the atmospheric bulk? The answer is given by the US Department of Energy [DOE]; see Table 3 on page 22 of the PDF.

From this we can see that 98.5% of ALL annual emissions of CO2/ACO2 are reabsorbed and about 1.5% of the flux or about 4Gt is added to the atmospheric bulk.

In 2009 Australia was 16th of the world’s nations CO2 emitters, emitting 374 million tonnes or about 1.28% of ACO2.

So, there are all the facts; who is closer to the truth; Jones or Karoly?

1.5% of all CO2, both natural and ACO2, is retained annually to add to the atmospheric bulk.

Of that 1.5% addition, annually, the ACO2 component is 3.67%; so ALL of nations’ contributions is 3.67/100 x 1.5/100 = 0.000552.

Australia’s annual emissions are 1.28% of the global ACO2; so 0.000552 x 1.28/100 = far less than what Karoly said and even less than what Jones said.

So, both Jones and Karoly are wrong but Jones is closer to the truth.

This of course hasn’t stopped more of the usual subjects, like the ubiquitous John Byatt, from congratulating the finding against Jones and arguing against any revelation that their precious AGW is not happening.

It is evident that nothing will convince the believers of AGW that their belief is wrong. In this respect they are like religious fundamentalists. Australia allows for freedom of religion. The question is should the government financially support the religion of AGW and strive to make it the official Australian religion in contradiction of the Constitutional safeguards?


  1. Scientific debate should never be decided by consensus. It should be “decided” by empirical evidence that validates, or otherwise, the hypothesis in question.

    Joseph Postma’s new paper (22 October 2012) looks for empirical evidence of a GHE, and finds none. He puts forward cogent arguments as to why this lack of evidence is to be expected. All should read this ground-breaking work, which also cites my paper (March 2012) - see pp 47-49:

    Doug Cotton

    1. Thanks Doug; your explanation on page 47 is very helpful and dovetails with Nasif Nahle's work on backradiation:

  2. you have made it very hard for yourself geoff

    1880 280ppm

    2011 390ppm

    increase 110ppm of total 390ppm = 28%

    is it human?

    carbon cycle ( you used 1990's info so I will as well)

    Humans emit 23Gts absorb nil
    contribution 23Gts

    Vegatation/land emit 444Gts absorb 450Gts
    contribution minus 6Gts

    Ocean emit 332Gts absorb 450Gts
    contibution minus 6Gts

    total left in atmosphere equals 23Gts minus 12Gts
    equals 11Gts (all human)

    Australian contribution 2011

    total human Mts 30,398,420
    Australia Mts 417,680
    australian % = 1.37

    total remaining in atmosphere 2011 = 43% of 30,398,420
    = 13071321


    Australian contribution to what remained in atmosphere must also be = 1.37%

    1. Hmmmm

      Ocean emit 332Gts absorb 338Gts
      contribution minus 6Gts

  3. Geoff's new blog policy?

    All agreeing comments published after moderation.
    Comments should be polite, and respect our views.
    No bad language. Facts never make it!

  4. John Byatt your figures do not match the official source of emissions and sinks from AR4, Figure 7.3:

    Please indicate the source of your amounts and why they should be preferred to the IPCC quantities.

    In addition do you seriously query my calculations about the annual flux and if so indicate how and why?

    And Geoff may tolerate your smart-alec comments, “Facts never make it” – but you’ll get zero tolerance from me.

    Tony Cox (Via Bill Pounder)

  5. In Figure 7.3 the natural or unperturbed exchanges (estimated to be those prior to 1750) among oceans, atmosphere and land are shown by the black arrows. The gross natural fluxes between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere and between the oceans and the atmosphere are (circa 1995) about 120 and 90 GtC yr–1, respectively. Just under 1 GtC yr–1 of carbon is transported from the land to the oceans via rivers either dissolved or as suspended particles (e.g., Richey, 2004). While these fluxes vary from year to year, they are approximately in balance when averaged over longer time periods. Additional small natural fluxes that are important on longer geological time scales include conversion of labile organic matter from terrestrial plants into inert organic carbon in soils, rock weathering and sediment accumulation (‘reverse weathering’), and release from volcanic activity. The net fluxes in the 10 kyr prior to 1750, when averaged over decades or longer, are assumed to have been less than about 0.1 GtC yr–1. For more background on the carbon cycle, see Prentice et al. (2001), Field and Raupach (2004) and Sarmiento and Gruber (2006).

    same source as you without trying to confuse the issue, emissions/sinks in Gts carbon dioxide

    you may get your chance to debate it openly if the port independent prints my reply to geoff

    "mr byatt cannot spell sceptic,

    go to geoff's search box and enter skeptic,

    1. (Anthony's reply via moi)
      John Byatt’s amounts from Figure 7.3 are incorrect; the total emissions, both natural and anthropogenic, are 218.2Gt; the anthropogenic component of that 218.2Gt is made up of, as shown by the red lines, 6.4GT from fossil fuels and 1.6Gt from land use change; that totals 8Gt from all human activity.

      8Gt is 3.67% of the total emission flux annually.

      Unless John Byatt can understand that there is no point proceeding.



  6. (Blog problems - still)
    John Byatt says:
    From your post

    "In 2009 Australia was 16th of the world’s nations CO2 emitters, emitting 374 million tonnes or about 1.28% of ACO2".

    Here you have given the correct amount for 2009

    what you deny is that what remains in the atmosphere is all due to humans

    If australia is responsible for 1.28% (2009) of emissions then it is responsible for 1.28% of what remains in the atmosphere

    if cohenite cannot understand basic logic then there would be little point proceeding here.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.


  7. (Anthony says)
    I told you Byatt, if you come over here and started insulting and making your typical arrogant judgements you would not be tolerated.

    Byatt promulgates 2 bits of stupidity, which constitute the extent of the alarmist’s argument that the increase in CO2 is entirely due to ACO2; the first stupidity is:

    “If australia is responsible for 1.28% (2009) of emissions then it is responsible for 1.28% of what remains in the atmosphere”

    This is stupid because as the official numbers show human CO2, ACO2, is 3.67% of the total emissions per annum; of that total 1.5% is retained in the atmosphere; the proportion which Australia puts in MUST be 1.28% of 3.67% of 1.5%.

    How could it be otherwise; if what Byatt is saying is true it must mean NONE of the natural CO2 is retained in the atmosphere; in other words natural emissions of CO2, which are the vast bulk of them, are perfectly matched by natural sinks or absorption.

    If that were the case there would NEVER be any variation in CO2 levels.

    The other stupidity which Byatt regurgitates is this:

    “100% of what remains in the atmosphere is due to humans or about 43% of our emissions (knorr)”

    Knorr does not say this; what Knorr says is that the “airbourne fraction” [AF] of ACO2 has not changed since 1850. This does not mean that ACO2 has not contributed to the increase in CO2; what it means is that greatest proportion of increase has been from natural CO2; it can be explained in the form of a constant in an increasing total: say ACO2 is 20% of CO2 which is 100. So ACO2 is 20; when CO2 is 200 ACO2’s 20% will be 40 so natural CO2 has contributed 60; at 300, ACO2 is 60, natural CO2 is 140 and so on. Natural CO2 must be contributing to the increase in total CO2 and sinks must be expanding as well. Since the AF is constant both natural CO2 emissions and natural sinks must be expanding.

    In short Byatt and the alarmists do not know what they are talking about.

    I have removed Byatt’s last comment because he got personal and if I want to be insulted by the likes of Byatt I’d go to the ABC. If Byatt wants to make any further comments they should not be personal.

  8. Apologies for lateness.
    John Byatt says:
    Hi Bill, still having site problems?

    posted this about 7pm last night, still has not appeared

    will repeat here,
    Introduction Knorr 2009
    [2] Of the current 10 billion tons of carbon (GtC) emitted
    annually as CO2 into the atmosphere by human activities
    [Boden et al., 2009; Houghton, 2008], only around 40%
    [Jones and Cox, 2005] remain in the atmosphere, while the
    rest is absorbed by the oceans and the land biota to about
    equal proportions [Bopp et al., 2002]. This airborne fraction
    of anthropogenic CO2 (AF) is known to have stayed
    remarkably constant over the past five decades [Jones and
    Cox, 2005], but if it were to increase in a way predicted by
    models, this could add another 500 ppm of CO2 to the
    atmosphere by 2100 [Friedlingstein et al., 2006], significantly more than the current total. While recent studies have
    highlighted a decreasing ability of the Earth system to
    absorb the excess CO2

    1. Anthony says:
      The problem Byatt has is the fundamental one all AGW science has; it cannot distinguish between reality and what the computer models predict. Knorr’s study shows NO variation in the % of human CO2, ACO2, in the atmosphere for the last 150 years. Yet Byatt concentrates on Knorr’s noting that the AGW models, which have been wrong about everything, are saying the % of ACO2 in the atmosphere MAY change in the future and what will happen IF the AF does change.

      There is no evidence for this, only model assumptions. And Knorr’s findings have been verified by Gloor et al:

      As for sinks or the capacity of nature to absorb more CO2, declining, that is nonsense as is shown by Gloor’s response to Corinne Le Quéré, one of the leading advocates of the idea that natural sinks are exhausted:

      As usual Byatt demonstrates he is a typical disciple of AGW whose belief trumps any and all evidence.


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