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Stephan

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2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: January 12, 2020, 04:33:11 PM »
Last year next week had an average of 411.7 ppm. Extrapolating the actual values will result in a 2.3 ± 0.3 ppm increase. From mid January on the values generally rise much higher than in late autumn or December.

I got the weekly value last year wrong (I took the average value of the week later and did not carefully look at the scale of the y-axis - sorry). Therefore my Sunday evening CO2 posting begins with an excuse.

Week beginning on January 5, 2020:     413.37 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago:             409.94 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago:          388.21 ppm
Last updated: January 12, 2020

The annual increase stays above 3.4 ppm. This is no good news for this year. It has just begun - and unfortunately with this massive increase.
The high variability of the last weeks has disappeared. The values are much more in line, daily and hourly averages.
We have the same CO2 level than in April last year. This means we are three months before schedule.

Outlook:
Last year next week had an average of 410.7 ppm. Extrapolating the actual values will result in a 2.3 ± 0.3 ppm increase. From mid January on the values generally rise much higher than in late autumn or December.
It is too late just to be concerned about Climate Change

Rodius

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2020, 03:32:52 AM »
I am fairly sure the answer is not to this question but......

..... is it possible the fires in Australia are large enough to give a short uptick in CO2 levels for the beginning of this year?

nanning

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 08:37:58 AM »
Hi Rodius, good question.
I've read that some 600 MT of CO₂ has been emitted by the bushfires this season. Not a burst, so it has had time to mix into the atmosphere.
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth%27s_atmosphere
"Each part per million by volume of CO2 in the atmosphere represents approximately 2.13 gigatonnes of carbon, or 7.82 gigatonnes of CO2.[14]"

So the bushfires contributed 0.4/7.82= ca. 0.05 ppm.
Therefore I'd say it has had no discernible influence on the Mauna Loa reading.
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Rodius

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2020, 10:04:25 AM »
Thanks for the reply.
Maybe in three more months it will though.....  :o

Stephan

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2020, 06:10:22 PM »
Outlook:
Last year next week had an average of 410.7 ppm. Extrapolating the actual values will result in a 2.3 ± 0.3 ppm increase. From mid January on the values generally rise much higher than in late autumn or December.

My Sunday evening CO2 information:
Week beginning on January 12, 2020:     412.82 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago:               410.66 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago:             388.41 ppm
Last updated: January 19, 2020

This week I got it right. The annual increase has shifted back to values we saw in December 2019. Nevertheless, an increase of "only" 2.16 ppm would have been unprecedented 30-40 years ago. So we got used to see these high values...

Outlook:
Next week last year averaged at 412 ppm with an extreme intra-day variability. This year it looks much smoother; I expect an annual increase around 1.75 ± 0.25 ppm.
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nanning

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2020, 06:42:05 PM »
Thank you Stephan. Since you are regularly updating several GHG readings, would it be possible to add a CO2e figure?
In that way we'll have the cumulative GHG effect updated. I know it depends on assumptions but you can put those in.
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Hefaistos

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2020, 08:36:10 PM »
Outlook:
Last year next week had an average of 410.7 ppm. Extrapolating the actual values will result in a 2.3 ± 0.3 ppm increase. From mid January on the values generally rise much higher than in late autumn or December.

 an increase of "only" 2.16 ppm ...
Outlook:
Next week last year averaged at 412 ppm with an extreme intra-day variability. This year it looks much smoother; I expect an annual increase around 1.75 ± 0.25 ppm.

We shouldn't over-interpret this, but these values indicate that we are on a linear patch of CO2 growth path. Not as expected, on an exponential growth path.
My long term forecast: Peak CO2 not later than 2030.

oren

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2020, 08:43:31 PM »
Thank you for these regular updates Stephan.
Hefaistos I am astounded by your optimism, for which I find no basis in current reality. 10 years is a very short time to turn around the immense ship of the global fossil fuel economy. I estimate the turning time as at least 50 years, of which humanity has barely achieved maybe 10 net. Every year that passes with the wheel only partially turned means more time is lost. 2030 for peak CO2? No way.

Stephan

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2020, 09:09:05 PM »
Hefaistos,
you cannot over-interprete a predicted lower increase value in the next week than in this week and speculate about a change in the overall growth pattern. The annual increase is depending on the actual value and the value last year. If - like in this case - there was a jump last year, then, of course, the annual increase is lower.
Please check out the Keeling curve at NOAA. Take a ruler to follow the increase of CO2. You will find that this increase is not linear, but slowly accelerating. And so is it in 2020.
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Stephan

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2020, 09:12:35 PM »
Thank you Stephan. Since you are regularly updating several GHG readings, would it be possible to add a CO2e figure?
In that way we'll have the cumulative GHG effect updated. I know it depends on assumptions but you can put those in.
nanning,
I will do it in the next time. I have the monthly reading of four gas concentrations (CO2, CH4, N2O and SF6) on my PC, in different files, and I can put them together. Before I do that I'd like to have widely accepted "exchange rates" [GHG factors] between the different gases. At least for methane there is a large variety of values - ranging from 20 to 160 - around. Maybe this forum can advice me which number to use?
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Hefaistos

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2020, 09:41:58 PM »
Hefaistos,
you cannot over-interprete a predicted lower increase value in the next week than in this week and speculate about a change in the overall growth pattern. The annual increase is depending on the actual value and the value last year. If - like in this case - there was a jump last year, then, of course, the annual increase is lower.
Please check out the Keeling curve at NOAA. Take a ruler to follow the increase of CO2. You will find that this increase is not linear, but slowly accelerating. And so is it in 2020.

We had a discussion in one of the other CO2 threads about the sign of the third derivative of the Keeling curve. For some months now I see signs that we are not on a exponential growth, but linear growth.
2020 will tell.

nanning

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2020, 05:41:54 AM »
Thanks Stephan, nice of you. You could put in both the low and high factors for 2 figures of CO2e.
-

Re: Atmospheric CO₂ growth

Please don't forget the permafrost as an increasing source. Already at 1.6±0.5 GT/year which is (much) more than all of aviation. And set to increase exponentially with a warming atmosphere, especially high up north.
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wdmn

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2020, 06:28:09 AM »
Stephen,

Not sure if you're familiar with this thread:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2383.0.html

But I think we're unlikely to reach consensus on which number to use.


Edit:

Here's my thinking on the subject.

I limit my thoughts to CH4 because I don't really know anything about the other GHGs. Nevertheless reasoning would apply to those also.

The IPCC favours the lower multiplier because all of their modelling is over the ~100 year timeline (to 2100).

And because ECS as a measurement assumes that atmospheric levels of co2 are "sustained."

I am not sure for how long these atmospheric levels have to be "sustained," and the answer to that is KEY to determining which multiplier for CH4 to use when thinking in terms of ECS.

TCR does not require "sustained" levels as far as I can tell, because it tracks only the effect of fast responses to the change in forcing, and not the slower feedbacks. Therefore when thinking in terms of TCR, we should be using the high multiplier.*

Because CO2 basically persists for the timelines we're concerned with, unless we remove it from the atmosphere, we can talk of RF of our current CO2 as "locked in" for both short term warming and longer term feedbacks.

But CH4 doesn't persist in the atmosphere. Because we don't know how long CH4 emissions will either increase or be constant, we can't talk over longer time frames. If they decrease 5 years from now, then our calculations based on current RF will not be realized.

So another key question is: how long does it take for the maximum "fast" response to increase in CH4 RF to be realized? Is it like CO2 (10-40 years is the number usually given for CO2)?

*Based on the answer to the question just stated in this ^ paragraph, using the higher multiplier for TCR may not be justified (i.e. if response takes 40 years, and CO2e were to decline shortly after doubling due to reductions in CH4).

Certainly we should be using the higher multiplier to think about policy in relation to TCR. How close are we to doubling using the high multiplier (or have we already)?

Of course we also need the concentration of all these GHGs from the time when CO2 was 280ppm.

And you need to account for negative forcing from aerosols.

Honestly I don't see us ever doubling pre-industrial co2, which would be about 560ppm. We'd have to go at least at current rate of growth for another ~60 years. CO2e is a different story, but aerosol question is key. How much of the CO2e is masked, and how much will that be reduced before the CO2e starts to drop?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 09:39:29 AM by wdmn »

SteveMDFP

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2020, 03:55:34 PM »

...But CH4 doesn't persist in the atmosphere. Because we don't know how long CH4 emissions will either increase or be constant, we can't talk over longer time frames. If they decrease 5 years from now, then our calculations based on current RF will not be realized...

It is, indeed, a nuanced question.  For purposes of weighing the cost of emitting a given amount of methane, the relatively rapid oxidation of that methane is highly relevant.

However, given the abundant positive feedbacks that promote natural emission sources of methane, one must conclude that future falls in methane levels seem improbable over the next several decades.  How much heating are these elevated levels causing today and over these next several decades?  A very different question, and one for which the oxidation of methane is an irrelevant factoid. 

That is, if we make the wildly optimistic assumption that current atmospheric levels are now at steady-state, that oxidation is perfectly balanced against total emissions, and that levels will cease rising (or falling), then the the pace of oxidation is irrelevant to any practical considerations.  It's only relevant that emissions balance this removal.  For these considerations, the instantaneous relative greenhouse warming potential is what's important.  I, too, have seen varying values, but 120 or higher seems the right ballpark.

wdmn

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2020, 04:04:32 PM »
Thanks Steve,

Where did the 120 number come from? I always see the GWP20 number of 84-87.

nanning

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2020, 04:12:15 PM »
I agree Steve, thanks for that clear argumentation.
So the high factor is the one giving the short-term (decades) GHG/forcing information.
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SteveMDFP

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2020, 04:35:54 PM »
Thanks Steve,

Where did the 120 number come from? I always see the GWP20 number of 84-87.

We're in the wrong thread for that, and you're not asking a genuine expert.  Extensive discussions have hashed, re-hashed, and re-re-hashed the arguments in the methane threads.

gerontocrat

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2020, 07:03:00 PM »
A bit off-topic, posted to give some data about current calculations of CO2e of CH4 emissions

I have always just used what the NOAA does to calculate CO2e and their Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI) , that can be found at https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html

It is only updated annually, but from the attached table you can work out how to calculate the latest value of CO2e and the AGGI from monthly data

For CH4, the 2018 average ppb is equates to a CO2 of 82 ppm, so a CH4 increase of 10 ppb (around the current annual increase) has a CO2e of 0.44 ppm. You can do a similar calculation for N2O ppb, in 2018 having a CO2e of 32 ppm.

Monthly & Annual data is available from  https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends_sf6/. The data available includes SF6, which I don't think is in NOAA's calculation of CO2e. Should it?

I will just wait for the 2019 update - but if CO2e comes in at less than 500, I will be amazed.
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wdmn

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2020, 07:14:37 PM »
Thanks Steve,

Where did the 120 number come from? I always see the GWP20 number of 84-87.

We're in the wrong thread for that, and you're not asking a genuine expert.  Extensive discussions have hashed, re-hashed, and re-re-hashed the arguments in the methane threads.

Was hoping for a link is all.

@gerotocrat.
They are clearly using a lower multiplier... it would be well over 500 otherwise.

SteveMDFP

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2020, 10:09:10 PM »
Thanks Steve,

Where did the 120 number come from? I always see the GWP20 number of 84-87.

We're in the wrong thread for that, and you're not asking a genuine expert.  Extensive discussions have hashed, re-hashed, and re-re-hashed the arguments in the methane threads.

Was hoping for a link is all.
 ...

See this post:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2383.msg168852.html#msg168852

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2020, 10:26:38 PM »
Thanks Steve,

Where did the 120 number come from? I always see the GWP20 number of 84-87.

We're in the wrong thread for that, and you're not asking a genuine expert.  Extensive discussions have hashed, re-hashed, and re-re-hashed the arguments in the methane threads.

Was hoping for a link is all.
 ...

See this post:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2383.msg168852.html#msg168852

Attached are Figures 8.29 & 8.32 from AR5 show information on the global warming potential (GWP) of methane.

Title: "Chapter 8:  Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing"

https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf

Also, for the sake of clarity, I note that, the EPA uses a GWP100 value of 25 for methane for their GHG emissions account because they made a policy decision to stay with the AR4 values:

https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-10-2.html

Nevertheless, the EPA acknowledges that the GWP100 value for methane may be as high as 36 (when account for climate-carbon feedback and aerosol interaction).  As 36/25 = 1.44 this policy decision represents a significant under accounting for the significance of methane for global warming. This is almost certainly resulting in reduced efforts to reduce methane emissions as to what would be optimal policy.

Title: "Understanding Global Warming Potentials"

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/understanding-global-warming-potentials

Extract: "Methane (CH4) is estimated to have a GWP of 28–36 over 100 years"

What GWP estimates does EPA use for GHG emissions accounting, such as the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (Inventory) and the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program?

The EPA considers the GWP estimates presented in the most recent IPCC scientific assessment to reflect the state of the science. In science communications, the EPA will refer to the most recent GWPs. The GWPs listed above are from the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, published in 2014.

The EPA's Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (Inventory) complies with international GHG reporting standards under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). UNFCCC guidelines now require the use of the GWP values for the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), published in 2007. The Inventory also presents emissions by mass, so that CO2 equivalents can be calculated using any GWPs, and emission totals using more recent IPCC values are presented in the annexes of the Inventory report for informational purposes.

Data collected by EPA's Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program is used in the Inventory, so the Reporting Program generally uses GWP values from the AR4. The Reporting Program collects data about some industrial gases that do not have GWPs listed in the AR4; for these gases, the Reporting Program uses GWP values from other sources, such as the Fifth Assessment Report.
EPA's CH4 reduction voluntary programs also use CH4 GWPs from the AR4 report for calculating CH4 emissions reductions through energy recovery projects, for consistency with the national emissions presented in the Inventory."

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Richard Rathbone

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #21 on: Today at 12:41:56 AM »
GWP is a tool for comparing emissions, not atmospheric levels.

If what you want to to is monitor what the atmosphere is actually doing now, rather than what an emission will do in the future, you should be using something else such as radiative forcing.

e.g. see  https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html

for details on how the NOAA do it, and the annual averages they calculate (496 for 2018 is their latest value, its quite possible its hitting 500 round about now)

wdmn

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Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« Reply #22 on: Today at 07:53:45 AM »
@RR
But RF is a function of atmospheric levels...

Anyway, just found the attached image in James Hansen's latest communication, which is available here: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2020/20200115_Temperature2019.pdf

The image has growth in GHGs converted into RF, and also gives the equivalent temperature change (based on the assumption that an RF of 1 W/m^2 warms the earth 0.75C).