Home Industry Nature Controls CO2 – Not Man: Op-Ed

Nature Controls CO2 – Not Man: Op-Ed

Climate change, A drying tree with air pollution and green grass. By piyaset
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On March 19, 2020, the State of California became the first state to issue a stay-at-home order, mandating all residents stay at home except to go to an essential job or shop for basic needs.  Within weeks most of the world followed.

For the next three months total energy use across all sectors…transportation, industrial, commercial, and residential…plummeted by over 15% thereafter rising slowly in bursts and spats.

As an avid studier of all things “climate change” related I tracked the impact this significant fuel use reduction had on the Keeling Curve.  The Keeling Curve is the chart tracking carbon dioxide in the atmosphere based on near-daily measurements at the Mauna Lao observatory located on the big island of Hawaii.

The effect was both shocking and predictable.  The marked reduction of fossil fuel use had no effect on the Keeling Curve which continued its virtual 45% upward slope on the highly exaggerated chart expressed as parts per million per year.  This was wholly consistent with our findings over the previous 10 years as developing countries increased fossil use with no corresponding change of CO2 as reflected in this curve.

Notice on the upward-slopping blue bar line of the Keeling curve in figure 2, the jagged “sawtooth” line.  This jagged sawtooth waveform represents the seasonal variations of CO2 as affected by plant growth on land and sea. This is a function of the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the Sun and its 23.5-degree axial tilt.

Close inspection of this saw tooth-like variance in CO2 shows roughly 10 parts per million (ppm) variation between the minimum and maximum as affected by sunlight and plant life distribution.  This is far more than the 3 ppm increase in CO2 that the climate alarmist community claim is caused by man’s use of fossil fuels. To me, this was the “smoking gun” showing that these claims of fossil fuel increasing total CO2 were false and without merit!

In collaboration with Mr. Bud Bromley, and with the kind financial support of actor/singer Pat Boone, we engaged two Stanford-educated Ph.D.s, Dr. Shahar Ben-Menahem a physicist, and Dr. Abraham Ishihara, a high-level mathematician and control theory expert, to design an experiment using the Mauna Lao Keeling data which is considered by all leading scientists as the “gold standard” of the available CO2 monitoring data sets.

  1. Our scientists took the raw NOAA Mauna Loa data for daily CO2 tests and filled in data points for days with missing data using standard interpolation methods.
  2. Then they transformed the CO2 ppm concentration versus time data into the frequency domain, like a continuous spectrum of light or radio frequencies.  This provides nearly unlimited resolution.
  3. Then they notch filtered to remove resonances and seasonal cycles such as the shark’s teeth. 
  4. Then they low-pass filtered out all frequencies above a specified frequency to remove random noise spikes.
  5. Then they reconstructed the data again as CO2 ppm concentration versus time and cleaned the CO2 time signal.
  6. They calculated these data as the time derivative of CO2 concentration.  This is the rate of change of CO2 ppm concentration.  It is like the speed or velocity of a car.  
  7. Then, they drilled into this data to look at the time window beginning about a year before the Pinatubo volcano eruption of June 15, 1991, and a few years after the eruption.

What we proved was that:

  1. The NOAA-Scripps “Keeling curve” dataset from Mauna Loa is responsive to CO2 changes even though the event causing those changes is physically remote, thousands of miles away from the NOAA measurement site on Mauna Loa in Hawaii.  We now know this NOAA data will be sufficient for further data science.  Confirming this was one of the primary purposes of our first phase of work.
  2. Our results confirm that human CO2 emissions are insignificant compared to the net global average CO2 concentration.  We demonstrate this by simple calculations in our written publication of the results of this Pinatubo study and 2 addenda.  
  3. The software and method we used is sensitive to changes in the CO2 daily records from Mauna Loa and well suited for further research.
  4. This first phase of our study is consistent with Henry’s Law in conjunction with the Law of Mass Action, Le Chatelier’s Principle, Graham’s Law, and Fick’s Law.  CO2 concentrations in air, ocean, soil, and biosphere began to rapidly re-equilibrate to the cooler Earth surface caused by reduced insolation due to the cloud belt.  As the cloud belt dissipated and the surface warmed, CO2 concentrations rapidly re-equilibrated.           
  5. Following Henry’s Law, human-produced CO2 can only temporarily change CO2 concentration in the air and ocean surface.  Our results, confirming NOAA-Scripps results, suggest that human CO2 emissions are a temporary perturbation to an ongoing CO2 trend, like the perturbation caused by the Pinatubo volcanic eruption and its aftermath, but much smaller.  Perturbation by human emissions will be rapidly returned to the CO2 trend.  CO2 concentration in air is controlled by the CO2 solubility on the water’s surface.  More than 90% of Earth’s water is in the ocean, and the ocean is 70% of earth’s surface.
  6. The solubility of any gas in any liquid is an intensive property of matter, like a boiling point, or a specific heat.  Intensive properties of matter are not a function of the amount of material present.   Instead, the solubility and diffusivity of a gas in a liquid are a property of the matter itself; in this case, the diffusivity of CO2 is a function of the molecular weight of CO2.  Adding more CO2 to the air, whether done by a volcano, humans, or decaying biological material, does not change the ratio of CO2 gas concentration on the ocean’s surface versus CO2 gas concentration in the air above that surface, this is Henry’s Law.  Surface temperature does change that ratio. 
  7. Solubility or diffusivity of a gas in a liquid depends on the surface temperature and the molecular weight of the gas, not on the amount of the gas or the source of the gas.  The diffusivity of a gas in a liquid is inversely proportional to the square root of the molecular weight of the gas; this is Graham’s Law.  
  8. Many variables affect surface temperature, some are systematic like Earth’s orbital distance from the sun, and other variables may be chaotic, such as ocean and air currents, storms, humidity and clouds.

The bottom-line results of our experiment and analysis of the NOAA Scrips Keeling data conclusively proves that “the net amount of equilibrated carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is the same as if human beings never existed.” Climate Change is a natural phenomenon, and not manmade.

Let that sink in.  The total net amount of CO2 in our atmosphere today is no more or no less than if humans never existed on our planet.

Why does the Keeling curve show an increase of roughly 3 parts per million (ppm) per year?

The causes of such a small annual increase in CO2, if true, are unknown and theoretical. There are several possible causes, but 3 ppm is an annual increase in CO2 of only 0.0003% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere, an amount so small it cannot be distinguished in the open air from random measurement noise. Your exhaled breath is about 4% CO2, and higher if you are exercising. Systematic or random perturbations in sea surface temperature and/or humidity, underwater volcanoes, cyclical deep ocean currents dense with CO2 rising to the sea surface, movements of planetary bodies including the Sun and large planets, destruction of photosynthesizing plants and plankton, are among possible causes, and each of these has multiple possible causes.

And yet only today the New York Times writes Hurricane Ian “rapidly transformed from a relatively weak storm into a strong one, a phenomenon that has become more common due to climate change. Ian embodies several of the major hurricane trends in recent years, as the world copes with the effects of climate change.”

Indeed, Ian was devastating, but well within the bounds of natural variability.

Two days ago, the Vatican released a new documentary on climate change based on what it calls the “reckless new use of fossil fuels.” through Cardinal Czerny, and calls for “zero emissions” by 2050.

Only a few weeks ago, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib tried to browbeat the nation’s largest bank CEOs into not lending to oil and gas companies.  Thankfully, and correctly, JP Morgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, responded to the Congresswomen when asked if Chase would cease lending to energy companies as follows:   

“Absolutely not. That would be the road to hell for America.”

In a recent private exchange with Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Professor Emeritus, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of over 200 scientific papers and books on the atmosphere, I pointed out that the climate change farce drivers are purely financial and political.  The science is clearly on our side.  Of course, I was preaching to the Choir.

Dr. Lindzen points out: “…the importance in the propaganda of establishing the narrative (i.e., the accepted storyline).  One of the more subtle techniques is to pepper the narrative (climate change is caused by man) with many dubious features.  This may seem counterintuitive.  However, by doing so, one diverts attention from the narrative’s larger framework.  People immediately attack these dubious features while leaving the larger narrative untouched.  He offers us this sage advice: “Stop treating AGW…human-caused global warming/climate change…as a worthy opponent.  Do not ascribe reasonableness to the other side.  It is not reasonable, not true, and not even plausible.”

This message and these facts must be brought to the people.  Only then can the political establishment be jarred into reality.  Perhaps we should start with religious leaders in the Christian and Jewish communities.  Thought-provoking articles about this subject and our study such as those published this week by the Times of Israel by Israeli-American Rabbi Avraham Schwartz pave the way.

Please go to pinatubostudy.com for a complete glossary of all technical terms used herein, and links to all the references as well as bios on our team.  The complete scientific paper concerning our study along with a video lecture by Bud Bromley introduced by me with my concluding remarks may also be found there.  Additional addendums and works at: climatecite.com.

About the Author: In 1971 Tom received the nation’s highest honor for high school students in the field of physics for his work in nuclear magnetic resonance. He did his undergraduate studies in physics, with a dual minor in math and chemistry, at N A U in the 1971-75 timeframe.  He has been in the energy generation and utility industry since 1985.  Tom was the inventor of electric utility energy conservation instrumentation and measurement devices. He has been granted seven patents in the U.S., Israel, Europe, & China.  In the U.S. alone his patents are practiced by the nation’s largest utility companies on over 90 million installed devices.

Tom spends roughly ½ of his “working time” lecturing, writing articles, and working with prominent Ph.D. level scientists on what he calls the greatest deception and fraud ever created by man against mankind; AGW climate change.

In 2019 Tom formed ClimateCite, Corp., a U.S. IRS 501(c)(3) compliant not-for-profit company to further his efforts in defeating the climate hoax worldwide.

Tom married his wife, Emily J. Tamarkin in 1982 and the two of them live together in Carmichael, California. They have one son, Jeremy A. Tamarkin.

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  1. Excellent exposition, Tom.
    It is pleasant to see such a lucid description of a process that appears to baffle so many who claim to have the necessary qualifications to understand it.

  2. Tom Tamarkin asked, “Why does the Keeling curve show an increase of roughly 3 parts per million (ppm) per year?”

    That is a quantitative question, requiring a quantitative answer. So buckle up!

    (A nit: the atmospheric CO2 concentration has been increasing, on average, only about 2.5 ppmv per year, not 3 ppmv per year.)

    First, it’s necessary to calculate how much that is:

    1 ppmv CO2 = 7.8024 Gt CO2 (gigatonnes CO2) = 2.12940 PgC (petagrams carbon)

    To convert from PgC to Gt CO2 multiply by 3.66419, so:

    3 ppmv of CO2 = 6.3882 PgC
    2.5 ppmv of CO2 = 5.3235 PgC

    To more precisely state the amount by which the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increased during a particular year, we can calculate the average first quarter CO2 level during that year, and subtract it from the average first quarter CO2 level during the following year.

    E.g., in 1Q of 2022 the average CO2 level measured at MLO was 418.760 ppmv, and in 1Q of 2021 the average level was 416.637 ppmv, so the level increased by 2.123 ppmv in 2021, which is:
    2.123 ppmv CO2 × 7.8024 Gt / ppmv CO2 = 16.56 Gt CO2
    2.123 ppmv CO2 × 2.1294 PgC / ppmv CO2 = 4.52 PgC

    In other words, the amount of carbon in CO2 in the atmosphere increased by about 4.52 PgC in 2021. (There’s also another approx. 0.03 PgC in methane, but let’s not worry about that, for now.)

    Next, we need to compare the change in the amount to CO2 in the atmosphere to the amount of CO2 which mankind added to the atmosphere, i.e., anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

    We have quite precise estimates of “fossil CO2” emissions (from fossil fuels and cement manufacturing), thanks to the bean counters, who carefully track economic data. In 2021, depending on whose numbers you use, total global emissions of fossil CO2 totaled 9.79 to 10.13 PgC:

    BP + Andrew (fossil CO2 only) 9.79 PgC
    GCP (fossil CO2 only) 10.13 PgC

    That’s 9.96 ± 0.17 PgC, or “about 10 PgC” emitted in 2021.

    Humans also generate CO2 emissions by “land use changes,” i.e., clearing forests and draining peat bogs, etc.. However, estimates of those emissions are very rough. However, it’s generally agreed that those emissions are currently less than 1.5 PgC per year. GCP adds three if those estimates to their fossil CO2 emission estimate, and summarizes them as follows:

    GCP with OSCAR land use est. 11.31 PgC
    GCP with BLUE land use est. 11.60 PgC
    GCP with H&N land use est. 10.77 PgC
    ● GCP with averaged land use est. 11.23 PgC
    (Note: Those are Chrome “text fragment links” which link directly to the corresponding 2021 emission figures. If you’re using Firefox or Safari that won’t work, but you can find the entry by scrolling down to the last line of the table [the “2021” entry].)

    As you can see, there’s quite a lot of variation in the estimates of “land use change” CO2 emissions (and the variation is even greater for the mid-20th century). So, an alternative to including land use change CO2 emissions with fossil CO2 emissions, the land use change emissions can be considered as a diminishment of natural CO2 sinks. That’s really just wordplay, but it is attractive because it lets us express very tight (±4%) confidence intervals on total emissions.

    According to those estimates, mankind added between 9.79 PgC and 11.77 PgC to the atmosphere in 2021. Yet the amount of carbon in CO2 in the atmosphere increased by only 4.52 PgC. That means that natural “carbon sinks” (the terrestrial biosphere & soil, the oceans, rock weathering, etc.) removed a net total of at least 9.79 – 4.52 = 5.27 PgC in 2021.

    That means the entire increase in atmospheric CO2 in 2021 was due to human CO2 emissions. “Nature” (i.e., net summed natural CO2 sources & sinks) removed at least 2.47 ppmv of CO2 from the atmosphere, yet the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere nevertheless increased by 2.12 ppmv, because mankind added CO2 faster than nature removed it.

    We can do the same sorts of calculations for longer periods, going all the way back to 1959 (before which we lack precise atmospheric CO2 measurements), and the conclusion is the same: the entire increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1959 is due to human CO2 emissions. Nature is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, but mankind is adding it faster than nature is removing it, so the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased.

    In other words, Tom Tamarkin is wrong.

    Interestingly, it turns out that the natural CO2 removal rate is highly linear function of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. The higher the atmospheric CO2 concentration rises, the faster natural sinks remove CO2 from the air.

    What’s more, it only takes about a 43 ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 level to accelerate net natural removals of CO2 by 1 ppmv per year!

    That means “net zero” is a fool’s errand. Even if CO2 emissions never decline at all, but merely stabilize near the current rate, accelerating natural CO2 removals will cause the atmospheric CO2 level to plateau around (2.5 × 43) = only about 107 ppmv higher than the current level (with radiative forcing = only one-third of a doubling).


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