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Sun Mar 1, 2020, 04:04 PM

For the first time in this century, weekly CO2 readings at Mauna Loa are 25 ppm over 10 years ago.

Somewhat obsessively I keep a spreadsheet of the weekly data, which I use to do calculations to record the dying of our atmosphere, a triumph of fear, dogma and ignorance that did not have to be, but nonetheless is. I note, with sadness and regret, that we on the left are not free of such fear ignorance and dogma, although I wish we were. We cannot, with justice, attribute this outcome to Ronald Reagan, George Bush the first and second, and Donald Trump. We bear responsibility, no matter how much we pat ourselves on the back for our insane, and frankly, delusional worship of so called "renewable energy."

The amount of money "invested" in so called "renewable energy" in the period between 2004 and 2018 is over 3.036 trillion dollars; dominated by solar and wind which soaked up 2.774 trillion dollars.

Source: UNEP/Bloomberg Global Investment in Renewable Energy, 2019

This is an amount that is larger than the GDP of India, a nation with 1.4 billion people in it.

It is obvious that all the money thrown at so called "renewable energy" did not work, is not working. I, for one, am absolutely and irrevocably certain that even more money, tens of trillions of dollars, will not work.

The reason is physics. The laws of physics are not determined by popular opinion, delusional or otherwise. They are independent of politics, and politicians ignore them at the peril of all humanity. The reason that so called "renewable energy" has failed, is failing and will always fail is the low energy to mass ratio associated with it, along with its intrinsic variability.

For the first time since I've been keeping my spread sheet, the change in the concentrations of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide measured in comparisons of current weekly data is 25.00 ppm higher than that obtained 10 years ago.

Here is the data from the Mauna Loa observatory for the week beginning February 23, 2020:

Up-to-date weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa

Week beginning on February 23, 2020: 413.72 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 412.25 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 388.72 ppm
Last updated: March 1, 2020

There is considerable noise in these measurements. The weekly comparisons with one year ago, going back to the first week of December, range from 1.47 ppm over the same week of this year as compared to the previous year (the week beginning on February 23, 2020) to 3.54 ppm (the week beginning December 29, 2019). These values are somewhat important since they are utilized to determine than annual increases.

The website has been updating the 2019 annual figure as we've moved through February: The current value is 2.46 ppm over 2019, making it the 8th highest such measurement in the last 60 years of recording data.

There is another way of looking at annual increases (see below), but here is how the Mauna Loa observatory calculates annual increases:

The annual mean rate of growth of CO2 in a given year is the difference in concentration between the end of December and the start of January of that year. If used as an average for the globe, it would represent the sum of all CO2 added to, and removed from, the atmosphere during the year by human activities and by natural processes. There is a small amount of month-to-month variability in the CO2 concentration that may be caused by anomalies of the winds or weather systems arriving at Mauna Loa. This variability would not be representative of the underlying trend for the northern hemisphere which Mauna Loa is intended to represent. Therefore, we finalize our estimate for the annual mean growth rate of the previous year in March, by using the average of the most recent November-February months, corrected for the average seasonal cycle, as the trend value for January 1. Our estimate for the annual mean growth rate (based on the Mauna Loa data) is obtained by subtracting the same four-month average centered on the previous January 1. Preliminary values for the previous year are calculated in January and in February.

The estimated uncertainty in the Mauna Loa annual mean growth rate is 0.11 ppm/yr. This estimate is based on the standard deviation of the differences between monthly mean values measured independently by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and by NOAA/ESRL. The annual growth rate measured at Mauna is not the same as the global growth rate, but it is quite similar. One standard deviation of the annual differences MLO minus global is 0.26 ppm/year.


Using this method of calculation, there were, in the 40 year period between 1959 and 1999 five years in which the carbon dioxide concentrations of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide increased by more than 2.0 ppm.

In the 19 year period between 2000 and 2019 there have been 12 such measurements.

However there is another way to calculate annual increases in carbon dioxide from year to year, and one can do this using data on the website.

On the data pages of the Mauna Loa Observatory there is a link to Mauna Loa CO2 annual mean data which calls up a text file. If one utilizes imports this text file into a spreadsheet and calculates with it the data for 2019 calculates that the difference in the mean for 2019 with respect to 2018 was 2.92 ppm making it the third worst year after 2016 (3.43 ppm) and 1998 (2.97), the latter year reflecting the Indonesian/Malaysian forest fires when vast stretches of the rain forests burned as a result of the fires set to clear those forests for palm oil plantations went out of control. Palm oil became a hot commodity when Germany announced its "renewable energy portfolio standards" for biodiesel fuel.

If any of this troubles you, don't worry; be happy.

The old white racist guy in the White House says that climate change is a "Chinese plot," and the old white guy who leading candidate for the nomination in our party - even if he isn't in our party - says that all the world's energy problems can be solved with so called "renewable energy," but that more important than shutting down the dangerous fossil fuel plants is shutting the world's nuclear plants.

We on the left are not innocent.

Nuclear energy was the last, best hope of the human race for addressing climate change, but don't worry, be happy. After all, FUKUSHIMA!!!!!!

It may be the case that someone will die from radiation at Fukushima, and clearly that is more important than the 20,000 people who died from seawater in the same event because coastal cities have become dangerous, and it is definitely more important than the six to seven million people who will die this year, around 19,000 today, who will die from air pollution because people prattle on about how "nuclear power is too dangerous."

History will not forgive us, nor should it.

I hope you're having a pleasant weekend. Enjoy your Sunday evening.

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Reply For the first time in this century, weekly CO2 readings at Mauna Loa are 25 ppm over 10 years ago. (Original post)
NNadir Mar 2020 OP
cstanleytech Mar 2020 #1
NNadir Mar 2020 #2
cstanleytech Mar 2020 #3
NNadir Mar 2020 #4
cstanleytech Mar 2020 #5
NNadir Mar 2020 #6

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Mar 1, 2020, 10:08 PM

1. I have been reading your posts about the levels for awhile

(note I said reading as understanding all the science involved is way beyond me to be honest) however I do wonder how concerned should we honestly be? After all assuming I have read it correctly the levels were far higher millions of years ago at times when the dinosaurs roamed the earth correct?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 08:38 PM

2. Well, I guess it depends on how much you value human life.

I'm not entirely sure what carbon dioxide levels were in the Jurassic period, but it is clear that what may have been good for dinosaurs will not prove so for human beings.

I very much doubt that there were 7 or 8 billion of any one species of dinosaur, and it is clear that their existence did not depend on agriculture.

Elsewhere in this group there is a discussion of Freeman Dyson, who held the view that climate change, although real, didn't matter all that much. A correspondent pointed out that in the sense that we will have to live with the consequences of climate change, whether we wish to do so or not, that Dyson was right.

Speaking for myself, it is very clear that because of the destruction of mountain glaciers, among other things, and important coastal cities, that the carrying capacity of the planet as a whole will fall precipitously. This will involve real human tragedy, including quite possibly suicidal wars.

If I'm wrong, so be it; I wish I could believe I was wrong.

I am not really interested in dinosaurs. They are extinct, and it is notable that there is a widely held theory that they were destroyed by instantaneous climate change brought on by an asteroid collision. It is notable that on a geological time scale, there isn't all that much difference between a 10 minute asteroid collision and a century and a half of injection of carbon into the atmosphere. The result may be the same.

I'm just not fond of mass extinctions. Call me old fashioned and a bit of a romantic, but that's how I feel.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 08:58 PM

3. I am simply being pragmatic NNadir.

After all its not like we have the ability to repair the damage we have done to the environment nor can we bring every species we have caused to go extinct back to life.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 3, 2020, 08:48 AM

4. I understand but I do think it it technically feasible...

...if not cheap or easy to repair at least some of the damage, but only if we change our thinking.

That is actually the hardest part, changing our thinking.

I do wonder if adaptation is actually easier or cheaper than remediation however. We could very easily find it a disastrous failure to attempt adaptation. Neither that nor remediation are anything short of vast, expensive, and in many cases tragic engineering challenges.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 3, 2020, 10:09 AM

5. Well if you consider that there will be other shifts in the climate in

the future I lean towards focusing on finding ways to adapt as it would probably be more technically feasible for us given our current tech level.
Assuming of course we do not make a sudden tech jump which while not impossible is highly unlikely.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 3, 2020, 10:42 AM

6. I don't think a major tech jump is necessary.

We live in the golden age of chemistry and physics.

We know very well how to close the carbon dioxide cycle if we have sufficient energy to do so.

The real problem is poor thinking about energy.

Diffuse systems of energy will make things worse not better, although it's very clear that the world's population in general doesn't get it.

Our view of energy is romantic and frankly reactionary, neither scientific nor practical.

I fail to understand how it is that people think it is easier and cheaper and more desirable, among other things, to build giant dikes around cities the size of New York, or to simply abandon the cities than it is to do what we successfully did in the 20th century and build hundreds of nuclear plants, every 20 years or so.

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