Fiddling with Volcanic CO2

Clarice Feldman14 Dec, 2023 2 Min Read
The real villain.

Many factors determine the weather at any given time and place on the globe: water cycles, air masses, jet streams, weather fronts, elevation, and topography are among them. The more these natural factors are examined, the less credible the environmental narrative -- that man’s use of fossil fuels is the most significant factor in those changes -- appears to be. If you believe, as I do not, that human-emitted CO2 is the principal driver of climatic warming, you have to downplay the importance of other natural phenomena.

Take volcanos. This year through October, there were 67 confirmed eruptions from 66 different volcanos around the world. This is not an unusual amount of volcanic activity -- it has been fairly consistent for two centuries -- though the population increases near volcanos and better reporting sometimes obscures that fact. Here's what The Smithsonian has to say on the matter:

The best evidence that these trends are apparent rather than real comes from the record of large eruptions, whose effects are far reaching and less likely to escape documentation even in remote areas. Their constancy over the past two centuries is a better indicator of the global frequency of eruptions than the improved reporting of smaller eruptions.

The volume of volcanic CO2 emissions has been substantially underestimated. Because naturally-emitted CO2 and Co2 emitted as a result of human activity have the very same isotopes, it is impossible to distinguish the source and has not been accurately assessed for a number of reasons. For example, the amount of CO2 from volcanic action cited over and again is based on an analysis of only seven active volcanoes and three seafloor emitting volcanos (o.oo.1 percent of earth’s volcanic features). Recent studies indicate massive amounts of C02 are emitted from non-erupting volcanos, such as Greenland’s Katla volcano.

A recent study, authored by Hermann Harde, a professor of Experimental Physics and Materials Science at Helmut-Schmidt-University in Hamburg, indicates that CO2 emissions from volcanos and other natural causes are six times higher than man-made sources. Not only is the data relied on to argue against this phenomenon surprisingly inaccurate, the claim of higher human-sourced CO2 relies on a fiddling of the record of how long these emissions remain in the atmosphere.

 According to a new study, the claim that increases in atmospheric CO2 are driven exclusively by humans relies on a made-up, disparate accounting model, with the residence time for natural emissions three to four years (which is consistent with actual observations), but CO2 from human sources is claimed to have a residence time of 50 to over 100 years. [emphasis, links added]

The 15 to 30 times longer residence time for human emissions is an imaginary conceptualization that is wholly inconsistent with (1) bomb tests (1963) and (2) seasonal CO2 variations found in real-world observations. Human emissions account for under 5 percent of the total from all sources, natural and anthropogenic.

I suppose the climate change crowd’s response is to conduct a worldwide search for enough virgins to throw into volcanos to keep them from belching and oozing CO2 into the atmosphere, but how far removed from this supposition is from the rest of their schemes?

Clarice Feldman is a retired attorney living in Washington, D.C. During her legal career she represented the late labor leader Joseph ("Jock") Yablonski and the reform mine workers against Tony Boyle. She served as an attorney with the Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations, in which role she prosecuted those who aided the Nazis in World War II. She has written for The Weekly Standard and is a regular contributor to American Thinker.


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6 comments on “Fiddling with Volcanic CO2”

  1. One should be cautious when interpreting decay models. Since decay is typically governed by logarithmic mechanisms, it stands to reason that the return to initial concentrations of CO2 are reached asymptotically. Hence, a presumed longer residence time with an extrapolated endpoint in which no one agrees. My question would be: what is the decay time for a 90th or 95th percentile recovery? Any higher recovery standard and one is just playing a numbers game to provide the flexibility to justify an answer one wishes to hear.

  2. You are free to check the calculations Harde made. Here is his conclusion: "We present detailed calculations based on the Conservation Law, which reproduce all details of the measured atmospheric CO2 concentration over the Mauna Loa Era. They clearly demonstrate that nature can be a net emitter, this in contradiction to some confused thinking that the environ- ment could not be responsible for any increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Our studies show the direct influence of the absorption processes at the Earth's surface, which are character- ized by a unitary time scale and can be represented by an effective absorption time eff, including re-emissions from extraneous reservoirs back to the atmosphere.
    In particular, they allow to deduce an upper limit of 35% for the anthropogenic contribution to the observed increase of CO2 over the Mauna Loa Era, but also a lower bound with 3.5%, one order of magnitude smaller, which has to be explained by a continuous re-supply of anomalous CO2 in the atmosphere, maintaining the troposphere and surface layer out of equilibrium. This limits re-emission and its offset of direct absorption, leaving eff fast (SH3).
    But even a more conservative consideration allowing stronger re-emission and thus a larger ab- sorption time eff  4 yrs - this also based on the actually estimated CO2 fluxes in and out of the atmosphere -, gives an anthropogenic fraction to the CO2 growth over the Mauna Loa Era of about 14%, in agreement with our previous studies.
    The calculations reveal that the presented approach is in full agreement with all observations, including the seasonal cycles and temperature induced emissions. It is based on well-known phys- ical principles, and in this aspect, indeed differs from nebulous expositions of so-called clear thinking, which try to convince laymen with misleading conceptions that nature is a net sink, and thus, would not contribute to increasing CO2, or the emission and absorption processes at the Earth's surface would be a simple mixing process like liquids with different alcoholic concentra- tions.
    Would be illuminating to see how clear thinkers can explain the whole dynamic of emission and absorption, including all anthropogenic and natural fluxes with the seasonal cycles and observed temperature dependent emissions, this without violating basic physical principles.
    Our analysis of the carbon cycle, which uses data for the CO2 concentrations and fluxes as pub- lished in AR6, shows that also a completely different interpretation of these data than favored by the IPCC is possible, this in complete conformity with all observations and natural causalities. Science advances not by consensus but by questioning the established paradigm." I find his analysis reliable.

  3. Correcting Willis conclusion, he writes: “Unfortunately, that error demonstrates that Clarice doesn't really understand her subject.” Ought to read “… that error SUGGESTS that Clarice doesn't really understand her subject.”

    Now, the interested reader is happy.

  4. I fear that Clarice is conflating CO2 residence time (the length of time an individual molecule spends in the atmosphere) and CO2 pulse recovery time (the length of time it takes for a pulse of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere to decay to the pre-emission level).

    The first is short, on the order of 8 years or so.

    The second is longer, and the length is disputed. The IPCC says some lasts a thousand years. I and others say that the e-folding time (think of half-life) of a pulse is around 35 years.

    Unfortunately, that error demonstrates that Clarice doesn't really understand her subject.

  5. All of this brings to mind the rather surprising fact (but not too surprising) that NOAA’s choice of location for their “Global Monitoring Laboratory” is, wait for it, a hotbed of perennial volcanic activity: Mauna Loa or the nearby Maunakea. In fact, NOAA’s own website admits that they have recently shifted data collection to Maunakea because of volcanic activity at Mauna Loa, but Maunakea is only some 20 miles away! Moreover, NOAA’s action is based on recent VISIBLY observable volcanic activity at Mauna Loa and completely ignores the impact of hidden CO2 volcanic out gassing that surely must occur across the entire Hawaiian chain of islands and adjacent sea beds, including Maunakea. Such out gassing does not require an active eruption. The more one digs the more one begins to see that everything concerning global warming amounts to purposeful manipulation of concrete observations in support of what amounts to a state religion. Why? Well, what were the motivations and mechanizations behind the economic system of catholic indulgences that ruled Europe for centuries?

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