I’ll kick off by reminding you that ‘Part 1’ is here
Naysayers in the Climate Change debate, (such as it is), are called deniers and sometimes skeptics. My own stance is that I am unconvinced. This suggests that I am open to being convinced, which is true, but not by lies, by contrived computer modeling, (that will give you any answer you require if you tweak it), or by factual inaccuracies. Also, the topic should be about real science not politics or the imposition of taxes. Politicians are obsessed by your money and they want even more of it all of the time. To get it, they invent things that you must pay for, like climate change for example. Politicians the world over love climate change. So, when I smell politics in any discussions about Global Warming I immediately assume it is yet another scam.
Anyway, this afternoon the Journal ran with a story that scientists in the United States have detected the highest levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere since records began. “It has sounded new alarm over the rise of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.” This would be alarming if true so I read on. “The Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which has tracked atmospheric CO2 levels since the late 1950s, detected 415.26 parts per million on Saturday morning.
It was also the first time on record that the observatory measured a daily baseline above 415 ppm. The last time earth’s atmosphere contained this much CO2 was more than three million years ago, when global sea levels were several metres higher and parts of Antarctica were blanketed in forest.” The documentary I included in Part 1 will rubbish this three million year claim for you if you care to watch it.
Anyway, so far so good you might say but then I re-read the paragraphs above and something stood out. I’ve been to Hawaii and the islands are just huge lava piles of rocks with mountains and the Pacific all around them. Everywhere you look you see black lava rocks and stones from volcanic eruptions. I looked a little deeper to discover that The Mauna Loa Observatory is actually built on the side of a volcanic mountain FFS. Over there you can smell the lava in the air and on the side of such a mountain the smell would be very strong.
But I have no real in-depth knowledge of lava other than what it is and how it got there so I went exploring lava and its carbon dioxide connection, which is what the headline is about in reality, only to discover the following
A geologist has researched the links and this is his take on the matter. “Volcanic CO2 emission raises some serious doubts concerning the anthropogenic origins of the rising atmospheric CO2 trend. In fact, the location of key CO2 measuring stations (Keeling et al., 2005; Monroe, 2007) in the vicinity of volcanoes and other CO2 sources may well result in the measurement of magmatic CO2 rather than a representative sample of the Troposphere. For example, Cape Kumukahi is located in a volcanically active province in Eastern Hawaii, while Mauna Loa Observatory is on Mauna Loa, an active volcano – both observatories within 50km of the highly active Kilauea and its permanent 3.2 MtCO2pa plume. Samoa is within 50 km of the active volcanoes Savai’i and/or Upolo, while Kermandec Island observatory is located within 10 km of the active Raoul Island volcano.” He even mentions the Mauna Loa Observatory and its proximity to an active volcano.
The monitoring station argue that, “This natural-color satellite image of the summit of Mauna Loa overlaid with 100-meter (330-foot) contour lines helps illustrate why volcanic emissions from the summit rarely reach the observatory. The observatory is located on the northern slope of the mountain, 6 kilometers (4 miles) away from and 800 meters (2,600 feet) lower than the summit. Most of the time, the prevailing northeasterly trade winds prevent volcanically contaminated air from reaching the observatory. Only on a small percentage of nights do the winds become light and southerly, pushing volcanic emissions downhill to the observatory.” However, the very building itself is built on emitted black lava rock and the geologist has more to say about that.
“If we neglect to ask how the greenhouse effect of various gases is quantified in terms of real, measurable thermodynamic properties, the idea of anthropogenic global warming may well survive long enough for us to ask how the carbon budget establishes that observed increases in CO2 (Keeling et al., 2005) could not be caused by anything other than human activity. Plimer (2001), Wishart (2009), and Plimer (2009) point out that an enormous and unmeasured amount of CO2 degases from volcanoes.
This is not such a silly idea given that the source chemistry for lavas contains a surprising amount of carbon dioxide. Along with H2O, CO2 is one of the lightest volatiles (materials of relatively low melting point), found in the mantle (Wilson, 1989). The fluid nature of the aesthenosphere, or upper mantle of the earth, ensures that lighter volatiles are fractionated, buoyed towards the surface, and either extruded or outgassed into the atmosphere via volcanoes and faults.” Quoting published research, what our geologist is telling us is that CO2 emissions are very high around volcanos, it travels through the air and volcanic CO2 cannot be distinguished from man-made CO2.
So it is no surprise then that a monitoring station built on the side of a volcanic mountain would measure HUGE levels of CO2 in the air. You would achieve the same effect if your detection instruments were fixed to the wall of an active factory smokestack.
So for me, this article is political not scientific. It does raise another interesting question though. In the early years of the 20th century all the way up to the 50’s, monitoring stations were always sited in open country areas or on remote coastlines. Today however, for ‘convenience’, modern monitoring stations are situated in areas of dense populations such as cities.
It is well known that cities are a degree or two warmer than country areas because of the dense man made building materials trapping in heat. Also, the monitoring stations tend to be larger these days and this is achieved by simply closing the smaller remote stations and moving the staffs of these stations to a central metropolitan location. There are less monitoring stations today than there were fifty years ago. The real convenience here is, of course, cost. The problem though is that measurements are now taken in these city locations and then extrapolated out to the wider more remote world. In other words, readings taken in warm cities are presumed to be true of cooler rural areas as well, which they clearly are not.
So the CO2 figures collected from a volcanic mountain in Hawaii would not represent the CO2 levels of a remote hinterland in Donegal, Ireland. Yet again our climate story as presented here is composed of inaccurate scientific readings latched onto by a sensationalist press eager to sell copy through fear mongering and a waiting corrupt scientific community equally eager to use this to embarrass Governments into imposing unnecessary taxes on its citizens, (running to trillions of dollars), for the use of universities to produce more stilted science for an eager press to sell more copy etc etc. A well-worked and hackneyed formula to extract money for old rope. It is depressing that so many so called scientists and researchers are so keen to sell their souls for money.
And the climate will keep changing as it has done for millions of years without the help of mankind and mankind will lie and cheat to make their short lives more comfortable. We live in strange times.