Thursday, March 2, 2017

CO2 trends vs temperature

I mentioned to a friend on Facebook that global temperatures have mostly levelled off compared to CO2, and he got confused and gave me a link to a claim that January 2017 was the "third-warmest January on record." That's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is the fact that we've done NOTHING substantive to reduce CO2 outputs, so total atmospheric CO2 continues to climb approximately linearly--but temperatures basically stopped rising around the year 2000.

It seems like an important fact to be aware of for anyone who wants to understand global warming.

You see how the gap between the red line and the blue line keeps growing after the year 2000 or so? It's hard to know for sure, but possibly that's because physics says that adding more CO2 to an atmosphere has diminishing returns: CO2 captures energy in certain bands, but at a certain point it's already capturing pretty much all of the energy and after that point more CO2 doesn't matter--except of course that if CO2 concentrations get a few thousand times higher it will kill you from CO2 poisoning. (You can die from oxygen poisoning too, but IIRC CO2 is lethal in lesser concentrations. "The dose makes the poison" as they say--almost anything can kill you if you have too much of it.)


If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else."