Lance Endersbee: Sea Surface Temperature and CO2 levels
This piece is excerpted from Endersbee:Carbon
Dioxide and the Oceans, with 2nd graph added. In my understanding,
the CO2 rise is basically due to the seas' slow response to
a warmer sun, with very little human contribution. The seas
are another resource so vast that even scientists forget it.
I would like to have good science to show what I believe is
true - but here we are at the cutting edge of science, and
the debate is hot, and I should not deny or suppress this.
Therefore I want to see if Endersbee's potentially clinching
work can be taken just that inch further...
In the past, sea temperatures were obtained from measurements
by passing ships in the sea lanes of the world. It is only
in the past three decades that more accurate data on sea surface
temperatures has become available. The analysis of this recent
data by the author shows that:
• the oceans regulate the composition of the atmosphere,
• the influence on climate of human generated carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere is negligible,
• global climate change has natural causes.
The oceans and the atmosphere are quite shallow in relation
to the vast surface area of the oceans. The interaction of
the atmosphere and the oceans is essentially a phenomenon
of the ocean surface. It would be expected that there would
be almost a direct correlation between levels of carbon dioxide
in the air and the global mean sea surface temperatures, and
that is the case.
It is possible to plot an experience curve of the relationship
between ocean temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide
levels. In order to do so it is necessary to recognise that
the oceans have a vast storage capacity for heat and dissolved
gases, and that changes are slow. On the other hand, the atmosphere
has a much more rapid response time. If we use a 12 month
moving average of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and use a 21
year moving average of the more accurate recent data on global
average sea surface temperatures, a remarkably clear experience
curve is obtained.
The 12 month moving average of carbon dioxide levels
filters out the variations of the annual cycle, and in related
analyses, provides a view of the influence of other natural
events. The 21 year moving average of sea surface temperature
covers the complete solar cycle, including the change in magnetic
polarity of the sun, the El Nino and La Nina nder influences
on global climate, and recognizes the vast storage capacity
of the oceans for carbon dioxide and the slow response time
of the oceans.
Two versions of the same experience curve relating
actual atmospheric carbon dioxide levels with actual global
average sea surface temperature. It is not a time scale, just
the simple relation between two physical parameters independent
of time. The line shown is the sequence of actual plotted
points for each end month of the two moving averages. The
range of temperature is quite small and it is reasonable to
use a linear trend line. The correlation is remarkable, and
would be considered a perfect correlation in laboratory tests.
It is emphasised that the chart presents recent data and is
just a plot of actual experience.
The lefthand graph shows carbon dioxide levels
at 12-month moving averages; the righthand graph shows them
at 21-year moving averages. The righthand graph is more statistically
"correct" but loses some detail (inset).
The chart shows that the carbon dioxide levels in the
atmosphere and global average sea surface temperatures are
locked together. The correlation is so firm it is reasonable
to include it as a condition in the computer simulations used
to study climate change.
The recent increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
is an evident fact. The critical questions to be considered
are whether the man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are the
actual cause of the increase in levels of carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere, and the actual cause of global warming, or,
whether the global warming arises from natural causes. If
the global warming is due to natural causes, it follows from
the correlation that the increase in carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere is also due to natural causes.
The long term global average sea surface temperature
is about 15 degrees C. At 15 degrees C. and atmospheric pressure,
water can absorb its own volume of carbon dioxide. At five
degrees cooler, ie 10 degrees C., water absorbs 19% more than
its own volume, and at five degrees warmer, ie 20 degrees
C., water absorbs 12% less than its own volume. Thus a warmer
ocean releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The temperature of the oceans decreases markedly with
depth. The deeper and colder oceans have a huge capacity to
store and release carbon dioxide. If the pressure in the water
is increased to two atmospheres, equivalent to a depth of
water of only 10m., the volume of gas absorbed is doubled.
Updated 23rd October 2008