Human CO2 is not causing climate change

CO2 in atmosphere is a cumulative value since volume of a gas is an extensive property of matter.  Area is the correct representation of a cumulative value, not a line.  The blue area is compared to the orange area, the entire orange area.  

The blue area is fossil fuel and cement CO2 emission (2), which are the largest sources of human CO2 emission; in the blue area, fossil fuel and cement CO2 emission which is absorbed in the environment has not been subtracted from fossil fuel and cement CO2 emission. On the other hand, the orange area is CO2 emission minus CO2 absorption, or net emission.  Human-produced CO2 emission from fossil fuels and cement is too small to be detected. Human CO2 emission = Human CO2 absorption. (3) The blue area and B would not be visible if net fossil fuel and cement CO2 were graphed here. The signal of human-produced CO2 in net global CO2 concentration is not detectable by statistical tools used by skilled statistical data analysts (4). Not only is the signal too small to be quantified, it is too small to be detected as a reproducible signal.  The signal of fossil fuels CO2 and cement CO2 emission is too small to be distinguished from random variations in the 100 times larger CO2 signal of natural CO2 concentration.      

CO2 emitted by humans from all sources is offset continuously by an equivalent amount of CO2 absorbed by the environment.  The rate of natural CO2 emission and natural CO2 absorption are both more than 10 times larger per year than the rate of human CO2 emission.  The amount of human emission is easily absorbed in the environment. Human CO2 emission is continuously mixed with CO2 reservoirs in both atmosphere and ocean surface and each of those reservoirs are about 100 times larger than annual human emission.  The relative percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere which was emitted by humans is irrelevant; the environment is not selecting one CO2 molecule versus another CO2 molecule in any significant amount.  The CO2 molecule emitted at one point source (for example your exhaled breath) is not the same CO2 molecule that is absorbed by ocean, land or plants. The partial pressure change is transmitted, not the CO2 molecule itself. The concentrations of CO2 in air and in ocean surface are independent of the source of the CO2.  An amount of CO2 equal to the amount of CO2 produced by humans is absorbed by the environment.(3) The source of the CO2 (whether human, biosphere, ocean) is not a variable in the phase-state equilibrium equation that determines atmospheric CO2 concentration at a given temperature of ocean surface or land surface.  In other words, humans cannot change the net global average CO2 concentration nor the rate of change of CO2 concentration by controlling CO2 emissions from fossil fuels or cows. 

On the other hand, humans could implement catastrophic planetary climate engineering and eugenics decisions, for example producing artificial clouds or population reduction programs, or taxing carbon footprints and limiting use of fossil fuel energy. Such foolish actions needlessly keep millions of people in poverty and could make earth uninhabitable and uninhabited.


(1) NOAA ESRL GML and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). “The carbon dioxide data on Mauna Loa constitute the longest record of direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere. They were started by C. David Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in March of 1958 at a facility of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Keeling, 1976]. NOAA started its own CO2 measurements in May of 1974, and they have run in parallel with those made by Scripps since then [Thoning, 1989].” File Creation: Mon Dec 6 12:07:43 2021

(2) Friedlingstein, P. et al. 2021. Territorial Emissions. 2021v0.4 Carbon values in million tonnes per year were multiplied below by 3.664 to yield CO2 per year.

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

“Equally significant are transfers of carbon into and out of the ocean. Of order 100 GtC/yr, they exceed those into and out of land. Together, emission from ocean and land sources (∼150 GtC/yr) is two orders of magnitude greater than CO2 emission from combustion of fossil fuel. These natural sources are offset by natural sinks, of comparable strength. However, because they are so much stronger, even a minor imbalance between natural sources and sinks can overshadow the anthropogenic component of CO2 emission.”

“At an absorption rate of 100 GtC/yr, the ocean will absorb the atmospheric store of CO2 of 1000 GtC in about a decade. That absorption of CO2, which is concentrated in cold SST [Sea Surface Temperature] at polar latitudes, is nearly offset by emission of CO2 from warm SST at tropical latitudes. Warming of SST (by any mechanism) will increase the outgassing of CO2 while reducing its absorption. Owing to the magnitude of transfers with the ocean, even a minor increase of SST can lead to increased emission of CO2 that rivals other sources.” (3) Salby, p546. 

(4) Munshi, J. “Responsiveness of atmospheric CO2 to fossil fuel emissions: Updated”. SSRN; 2017.

#climatechange #globalwarming #CO2 #netzero #Environment

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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10 Responses to Human CO2 is not causing climate change

  1. FerdiEgb says:

    Dear Bud,


    If you plot some variables, do that with the same order of these variables:
    – Either plot the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere AND the accumulated emissions
    – Or plot the yearly increase in the atmosphere and yearly human emissions.
    NOT a mix of both!

    If you do that, you will see that in both cases human emissions are about twice the increase in the atmosphere:


    And near every year of the past 60+ years of direct measurements, nature was a net sink for CO2, not a source…


    • budbromley says:

      Dear Ferdinand, any amount of human CO2 emitted is offset by an equivalent amount of CO2 absorbed by the environment. If you dispute that, then produce the work that refutes Henry Louis Le Chatelier. As I attempted to explain, I plotted human emission on the graphic because net human emission is not detectable. In other words, there would be no blue area on the graph to represent net human emission. Although diligently collected, the data for human mission is GIGO. Many of the original data sources have been unreliable. The only point in using these human emission data is to show how trivially small and negligible they are in comparison to the cumulative net global average CO2 concentration and growth rate. Since the disturbance to CO2 trend due to annual fossil fuel emission (whatever the actual amount) is too small to be detected statistically in the net global average CO2 concentration and its growth rate, then fossil fuel emission cannot cause any significant change in any climate variable which is covariable with CO2 concentration.


      • FerdiEgb says:

        Dear Bud,

        I am surprised by your response…

        Human emissions for the part that is caused by fossil fuels use and cement manufacturing is easily known by sales taxes, maybe somewhat underestimated, but certainly not overestimated.

        “any amount of human CO2 emitted is offset by an equivalent amount of CO2 absorbed by the environment.”
        Why should nature make a differentiation between human and natural CO2? Any extra CO2 in the atmosphere above the temperature controlled equilibrium between ocean surface and atmosphere per Henry’s Law will get absorbed, no matter its origin (volcanoes, humans), but that is not immediately and certainly not 100% in the same year as emitted.
        The observed net sink rate is 2% of the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere: currently 120 ppmv above the “normal” equilibrium of around 295 ppmv for the current average ocean surface temperature per Henry’s law. Or about 2,4 ppmv/year net sink rate, whatever caused the extra CO2 in the atmosphere.

        Henry’s law at full work: 295 ppmv is the dynamic equilibrium for the current average sea surface temperature. Not 415 ppmv.

        Humans meanwhile emit around 4.5 ppmv, still 4.1 ppmv during the Covid pandemic, even that a lot more than the current net sink capacity of nature.
        That is reflected in the graph where the derivatives of human emissions, increase in the atmosphere and net sink rate were plotted.

        If you have any indication that nature can be more source than sink over the past 170 years, I am very interested in the carbon mass balance that you can provide…

        “Since the disturbance to CO2 trend due to annual fossil fuel emission … is too small to be detected…”

        It is detected in the atmosphere: already 10% in the current atmospheric CO2 originated from fossil fuels.
        How do we know?

        The atmosphere had an average 13C/12C ratio of 6.4 +/- 0.2‰ δ13C during 10,000 years and even during glacial – inter-glacial transitions the change was not more that a few tenths per mil.

        Since about 1850, there is a rapid decrease of δ13C from the original level of -6.4 per mil down to -8.4 per mil today, here reflected in both the atmosphere and in the ocean surface (reflected in the carbonates of coralline sponges):

        There are only two possible sources on earth with low δ13C: recent organics and fossil organics. All other sources (oceans, carbonate rock weathering, volcanoes,..) have a higher δ13C that the (ancient and current) atmosphere.
        As the greening of the earth shows: recent organics are increasing, that means absorbing more CO2, preferably more 12CO2 than 13CO2, thus increasing the δ13C level of what remains in the atmosphere, thus not the source of the fast δ13C decline.
        Thus the only source left is fossil fuels with as average -28‰. For a base of -6.4‰ and an observed drop to -8.4‰, there is currently about 10% CO2 from fossil fuels in the atmosphere…


        • budbromley says:

          Ferd, you cannot use average global temperatures nor net global average CO2 concentration in Henry’s Law calculations. Local conditions must be used. Average temperature results in large errors. You must use local SSTs. The MLO CO2 data is proxy for a global average, but it is not representative of local CO2 conditions.

          The carbon isotope ratio argument has been refuted by many authors. No need for me to repeat that here. As I have already explained, the signal of fossil fuels CO2 is not detectable in the MEASURED total CO2. Measurement ALWAYS trumps estimates and models. In other words, even if the isotope argument were valid, fossil fuels CO2 is statistically insignificant by MEASUREMENT, buried in the noise, far too small to have any measurable effect on temperature or other climate variables.

          You presented the data 4.5 GtC, not me. No reference given. I am not agreeing nor questioning that amount. However, 4.5 GtC does not convert to 4.5 ppm. The GtC must be converted to GtCO2 and then GTCO2 must be converted to ppmv.

          The source of CO2 is not a variable in the Henry’s Law partition ratio calculation or equilibrium equation. Henry’s law is independent of the source of CO2. The percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere which passed through or was produced by humans is utterly irrelevant to atmospheric CO2 concentration. The molecules of CO2 you exhale are not necessarily the molecules absorbed by ocean, land or plants. Absorption and emission of CO2 is driven by CO2 partial pressure and local surface temperature. The 100 times higher than air CO2 concentration in your exhaled breath increases the CO2 partial pressure which is re-balanced elsewhere in ocean surface, plants, earth, etc. Your CO2 molecules are not necessarily absorbed. It is irrelevant which CO2 molecules are absorbed or emitted. CO2 partial pressure expressed in the Henry’s partition ratio is the value that is controlled. CO2 residence time and is irrelevant.

          You can look at the measured annual variation in net global CO2 and see the seasonal saw tooth cycle. That saw tooth is an annual perturbation to the Henry’s law equation. The amount of that MEASURED annual change demonstrates the very large absorbance and emission capacity in the environment. You asked, “If you have any indication that nature can be more source than sink over the past 170 years, I am very interested in the carbon mass balance that you can provide…” There you have it demonstrated in routine MEASUREMENTS. Never forget that the CO2 data measured diligently at NOAA Scripps Mauna Loa is only a proxy for net global average CO2 concentration. Variation in local natural environment is much higher than measured on the pristine conditions of the air samples at the Mauna Loa laboratory. The measured amount at Mauna Loa is the residual difference between two enormous reservoirs of CO2 in the air and ocean surface. The capacity of the system to re-balance enormous CO2 perturbances is demonstrated in the annual saw tooth cycles. But we also measure enormous rebalancing amounts during periods such as el Ninos. la Nina’s and volcanoes like Pinatubo. The ongoing trend is perturbed and then re-balances to the trend via enormous CO2 exchanges between reservoirs 100 times larger than human emissions.

          Henry’s partition ratio is not a linear function of temperature. One unit increase or decrease in atmospheric CO2 concentration or partial pressure DOES NOT result in a proportional 1 unit change in ocean or water surface concentration. The Henry’s co-efficient on the partition ratio is a function of temperature, it is not a constant. The coefficent is different at a different temperatures and thus the partition ratio is different at different temperatures. Salinity, alkalinity and conditions such as winds, waves affect the local Henry’s partition ratio, but cancel out globally leaving only temperature and the Henry’s coefficient for that temperature controlling the ratio. The source of the CO2 is not a variable in the Henry law phase-state equation.

          As I already explained, the AREA of ocean surface (SST) above 25.6 C has been increasing, since about 1918 if I recall correctly. This means the flux of CO2 from ocean surface to air has been increasing since then. Bob Weber produced a nice graphic on WUWT which perfectly illustrates this.


  2. Will Strtf says:

    “fossil fuel and cement CO2 emission (2), which are the largest sources of human CO2 emission”

    Yes, and they occur at middle and high latitudes. But Humlum and co-workers and now Salby and Harde have shown that increased CO2 comes from the tropics – not from where human emissions occur.

    Liked by 1 person

    • budbromley says:

      Thanks Will. Yes I agree. These and other excellent work by these scientists are referenced in my blog. For example: I strongly recommend reading them all.

      Thanks for reading Will.


    • FerdiEgb says:

      Will Strtf, I have written a critique on that article of Salby and Harde , which currently is under peer review.

      The increase of CO2 is not coming from the mid-latitudes, only the variability in net sink rate is coming form the tropics. Fast temperature and rain pattern changes (Pinatubo, El Niño) have a fast response from tropical vegetation and that influences the short time net sink rate of oceans and vegetation, but still overall oceans plus vegetation are net sinks, thus not responsible for the increase in the atmosphere…

      Main problems with Harde and Salby:

      – Using the residence time for the removal of any extra CO2, while the residence time only shows how much CO2 is passing through the atmosphere in any direction, not how much is net removed.
      Most of the natural flows are bidirectional: diurnal, from oceans to vegetation in spring/summer, from vegetation to oceans in fall/winter. Net change is zero when both are in equilibrium.

      – Using the absolute height of CO2 (415 ppmv) for the removal speed of CO2, while it is the CO2 pressure difference (ΔpCO2) between atmosphere and ocean surface (and water in plants) that is the driving force, which is only 7 ppmv, much slower:


  3. Sunface says:

    Bud, there is also the excellent work of Dr Ed Berry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Human CO2 is not causing climate change – Climate-

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