Interesting climate data

Data on the website of the Global Carbon Budget is interesting.  Generally a new “budget” has been published for the last several years and they contain different data sets.

NOAA conveniently avoided discussing the contradiction with IPCC “consensus science” et al which these data reveal. NOAA claimed: “Based on preliminary analysis, the global average atmospheric carbon dioxide in 2020 was 412.5 parts per million (ppm for short), setting a new record high amount despite the economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the jump of 2.6 ppm over 2019 levels was the fifth-highest annual increase in NOAA’s 63-year record. Since 2000, the global atmospheric carbon dioxide amount has grown by 43.5 ppm, an increase of 12 percent.” By  Rebecca Lindsey Reviewed By  Ed Dlugokencky . Published August 14, 2020 Updated October 7, 2021.

The overall rate of change of CO2 concentration is diligently measured by the NOAA observatory on Mauna Loa. Their data is often seen described and graphed as the Keeling Curve below.

As is easily seen in the Keeling Curve, and as the NOAA authors above acknowledge, the dip in estimated human emission due to Covid has not affected global CO2 concentration or its rate of change. The disservice and disinformation is that they fail to point out that the concentration and rate of change (the slope of that Mauna Loa’s Keeling Curve) is not controlled by human emission. IPCC et al claim human emission is the primary cause of increasing atmospheric CO2, a claim which is echoed in mainstream media and schools worldwide.  

CO2 flux is controlled by the largest flux. Almost nowhere is this mentioned in climatology, one exception is Professor Murry Salby.  Flux is the mass (or volume) of material flowing through a plane (in this case ocean surface) per unit time, for example, gigatonnes of CO2 per square meter per year. Flux is controlled by the area of the surface through which the mass is flowing.  Flux is not the same as flow rate. 

There is a reservoir of CO2 in the atmosphere estimated at 750 gigatonnes (750 billion metric tonnes), see carbon cycle graphic below.  There is a reservoir of aqueous CO2 gas in the surface of the ocean estimated at 1020 gigatonnes.  In the middle and deep ocean is a reservoir of CO2 as dissolved inorganic carbon and non-ionized CO2 estimated at 38,000 to 40,000 gigatonnes. This vast, slow deep oceanic CO2 reservoir connects to the surface layer through slow currents and through the hydration reaction of CO2 gas with H2O which yields carbonic acid, H2CO3, which in turn is connected to the carbonate chemistry cycle described in reaction cycle image (30) below.  The ionic chemicals of the carbonate cycle react with and are moderated by the vast oceanic buffering systems which convert CO2 gas to calcium carbonate stone (e.g. limestone) and other mineral stone.

Stumm & Morgan, Aquatic Chemistry, 1981. P. 210.

There is a flux of CO2 from the surface of the ocean into the atmosphere estimated at 90 gigatonnes per year.  There is another CO2 flux from atmosphere into ocean surface estimated at 92 gigatonnes per year.  These two fluxes circulate between the 750 gigatonne CO2 reservoir in the atmosphere and the 1020 gigatonne reservoir of CO2 in the ocean surface.  The fluxes are continuously back and forth through the surface of the ocean. CO2 is absorbed into cold ocean surface (less than 25 C) and is emitted from warm ocean surface (greater than 25.6 C).  These two 90 gigatonne fluxes dominate the rate of CO2 changes in the atmosphere and ocean surface.  Human emission is immediately mixed with these two larger fluxes and will have not affect global CO2 concentration or rate of change. CO2 will be absorbed into ocean surface, land and biosphere to balance human CO2 emission. Anthropogenic CO2 emission EA equals Anthropogenic CO2 absorption AA. (See Salby derivation below and his explanation in first video below.)

Murry Salby, PhD

The temperature of the ocean surface area acts as a temperature-controlled valve on these two large fluxes, the fluxes absorbed into and emitted out of ocean surface.  Net global CO2 emission (the net difference between all CO2 emission and all CO2 absorption) and its slope (i.e. the NOAA graph and data) are controlled by net emission to and from ocean surface, which is controlled by the area of ocean surface above 25 C (emission) versus below 25 C (absorption.)  In local conditions, higher alkalinity in ocean surface favors dissolution of CO2 into the surface, which is opposed by higher salinity in ocean surface which favors emission from the surface. Surface winds, ocean surface disturbances and currents affect local CO2 partial pressure conditions in air and ocean surface. In these local conditions the rate limiting step to achieve CO2 equilibrium between ocean surface and air above that surface is the migration rate of aqueous CO2 gas in the ocean water matrix. Globally averaged, these local conditions cancel out leaving area of ocean surface temperature above or below 25 C as the primary control of net global average CO2 concentration and its growth rate. Since ocean has enormous thermal mass and momentum, the CO2 trend is likely to continue for years to come. That would be a good thing. The human contribution of CO2 to total CO2 concentration and its rate of change are both insignificant with regard to warming and climate change.


These two video lectures are different.

“The premise of the IPCC that increased atmospheric CO2 results from fossil fuels emissions is impossible.” ~ Dr. Murry Salby

Salby, Murry L., editor, Fundamentals of atmospheric physics. Volume 61. pages 1-627. 1996. ISBN-13:978-0-12-615160-2 and ISBN-10:0-12-615160-1. Full text downloadable as pdf:

Salby, Murry L., Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate. 2nd Edition. Date Published: January 2012. isbn: 9780521767187.

Stumm, Werner and Morgan, James J. Aquatic chemistry : an introduction emphasizing chemical equilibria in natural waters. 2nd Ed. 1981. Page 210. Available for online loan:

About budbromley

Bud is a retired life sciences executive. Bud's entrepreneurial leadership exceeded three decades. He was the senior business development, marketing and sales executive at four public corporations, each company a supplier of analytical and life sciences instrumentation, software, consumables and service. Prior to those positions, his 19 year career in Hewlett-Packard Company's Analytical Products Group included worldwide sales and marketing responsibility for Bioscience Products, Global Accounts and the International Olympic Committee, as well as international management assignments based in Japan and Latin America. Bud has visited and worked in more than 65 countries and lived and worked in 3 countries.
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4 Responses to Interesting climate data

  1. Pingback: The global warming /climate change / net zero fraud | budbromley

  2. FerdiEgb says:

    Dear Bud,

    Here we are again… I had some troubles for logging in but that is resolved by now: the provider changed the email addresses (but still the old ones are working) and WordPress didn’t recognize the new address in my login…

    Then that sentence:
    “CO2 flux is controlled by the largest flux. Almost nowhere is this mentioned in climatology, one exception is Professor Murry Salby.”.

    CO2 flux is not controlled by the largest flux, CO2 flux is controlled by the CO2 (or more precisely the carbon) balance.
    The largest flux is the ocean flux: 90 GtC in, 92 GtC out the atmosphere over a year. The net flux thus is 2 GtC from the atmosphere into the oceans at the end of the year. That is all.
    The same for vegetation:
    60 GtC in, 61 GtC out, thus 1 GtC from the atmosphere into vegetation at the end of the year.
    Together: 3 GtC more natural sink than natural source.

    Human emissions were 5.5 GtC/year (at that time). That simply means that formula (1) of Dr. Salby is completely wrong:
    (Ea – Aa) > (En – An)
    (5.5 – 0) > (150 – 153)
    and human emissions are completely responsible for the increase in total mass in the atmosphere (wherever the original fossil molecules reside)…

    CO2 mass in reservoirs doesn’t matter at all, as long as there is no exchange.
    Exchanges don’t matter, as long as ins and outs are equal, no matter the height of the exchanges.
    Only the difference between ins and outs matters, as that changes the mass in a reservoir.

    Not the first mistake by Salby, but he never discussed his work on any blog, not even on WUWT or any other “friendly” forum…


    • budbromley says:

      Ferdinand, IMHO Professor Salby’s time is better spent writing post-graduate level text books on the physics of atmosphere and climate. Salby has two text books available now and I understand another is on the way. I suggest that you go back to first principles and re-think your concepts.

      Two points to possibly stimulate your re-thinking. (1) Flux is not the same as flow. If you want to calculate CO2 balance, then you must include area of ocean surface at a given temperature (SST) in your calculations. Land surface and plant surface are also important, but start with ocean. The area above 25.6 C will be on average emitting CO2 into air. The area below 25.6 C will on average be absorbing CO2 into ocean surface. Atmospheric CO2 concentration has been increasing because the area of ocean surface above 25.6 C has on average been increasing over the past many decades. The mid latitudes are the location of high variability. The interesting questions are the reasons for the increasing area of SST above 25.6 C, insolation variations (e.g. solar – planetary changes, clouds, humidity, particulates, volcanic and tectonic warming).

      (2) Henry’s Law is not linear. The CO2 reservoirs in air and ocean surface do matter. The exchange flux back and forth between them are not equal.


  3. islandbryan says:

    Excellent, I will send it along. 🌴Aloha, Larry



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