Save the Keeling Curve!

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:13 PM GMT on March 11, 2014

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Climate change's most iconic research project is in danger--a victim of budget cuts in an era of increased government belt-tightening. The Keeling Curve is a measurement of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere made atop Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, begun in 1958 by Dr. Charles Keeling. It is the longest-running such measurement in the world. The curve was instrumental in showing how human emissions of carbon dioxide were steadily accumulating in Earth's atmosphere, and raised awareness that human-caused climate change was an ever-increasing threat to the stability of our climate. After Keeling's death in 2005, the measurements were continued by his son, Ralph F. Keeling. Support from NSF, NOAA and NASA is being diminished or withdrawn, and Keeling has turned to crowd-funding to help raise funds to continue these important measurements. I hope you can join me in making a donation.


Figure 1. The Keeling Curve: climate change's most iconic image. The curve's steady year-by-year increase in CO2 due to burning of coal, oil, and natural gas has wriggles on top of it, due to the natural seasonal cycle in CO2--plants suck in CO2 during the Northern Hemisphere growing season, then release it during the winter. Image credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USCD.


Figure 2. Dr. Charles Keeling posing at the entrance to the Charles Keeling Building at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL.

CO2 Levels Hit 401 ppm
The latest data from the Keeling curve website shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are surging upwards in their usual late winter push, as plants return CO2 to the atmosphere before the Northern Hemisphere spring growing season hits. CO2 levels reached 401 ppm (parts per million) last week on top of Mauna Loa, setting a new record. CO2 levels were at 280 ppm in 1870, increased less than 1 ppm per year in the 1960s, then accelerated to 2 ppm per year during the 2000s. Less than 1% of the increase since 1870 has been due to natural sources, such as volcanoes. The last time carbon dioxide levels reached 400 ppm—between 2.5 and 5 million years ago during the Pliocene Era—the Earth was 3.5 to 9° F warmer (2 to 5° C), and sea levels were 65 to 80 feet higher.

Links
There is a hashtag #savetheKeelingCurve
Eli Rabett's post, Shaking the Cup for Science
What Does 400 ppm Look Like? December 2013 blog post by Robert Monroe of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.




Senate holds all-nighter on climate change
A group of 31 U.S. Senators pulled an all-nighter last night on the floor of the U.S. Senate, taking turns from 9 pm Monday night until 9 am Tuesday morning to promote policy actions on climate change. Many of the Senators involved issued tweets using the hashtag #Up4Climate. The all-nighter was another indication that politicians are becoming increasingly bold about speaking up on climate change.

Latest Version of our WunderMap App Now Includes WunderPhotos
Weather Underground has released today a new version of our WunderMap app for iPhone and iPad. The main new feature that we'd like to highlight is the WunderPhotos layer--now users can view, share, and submit photos all from within the app. Here are a few of the features of the new version of the WunderMap app:

◦ Improved Weather Station display, and both station size and station spacing are now adjustable (Weather Stations Layer ⇒ Settings).
◦ New WunderPhotos layer! View, share, and submit beautiful weather photos.
◦ Fixed incorrect elevation for some Personal Weather Stations.
◦ Swipe-to-delete search history items.
◦ "Terrain/Satellite” and other map options made more prominent.
◦ Bug fixes (crashes, visual glitches, and usability enhancements).
◦ Optimized performance across all devices.


The latest version is available to download for iPhone and iPad at https://itunes.apple.com/app/wundermap/id364884105?mt=8.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting sar2401:

Donnie is correct. It's a "tribute", and fictional, hurricane in honor of Robert Simpson. He's 102, just a whippersnapper compared to us. :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Rats! Double post.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Quoting 331. sar2401:

LOL. Having a blog lead off with a plea for crowdfunding for an organization that has $132 million in revenues will do that kind of thing, :-)


Well at least they are asking for donations instead of demanding tax increases...
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Quoting 351. DonnieBwkGA:
Robert Simpson's middle name is.....Homer.

D'oh!
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Quoting 308. nrtiwlnvragn:
Tastes great
Less filling

Tastes great
Less filling

............

Younger ones may not get this
Can I make a that's what she said joke?

Too late. I already did.
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Robert Simpson's middle name is.....Homer.
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Quoting Dakster:


I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer dark, craft, beers. I figure if I am going to have a drink it should be a good one.

And your description is about right. Although the first one I tried I spit out...

Christmas was the last time I had any alcohol, one glass of red wine. The time before that, I couldn't tell you.

And yes - We won't know ENSO until it rears its ugly head. All we can do right now is make an educated guess.

{sigh} I have the misfortune of having Meniere's Disease. In addition to making me deaf in one ear and causing amazing bouts of vertigo, it ended my avocations of flying airplanes and scuba diving. Even worse, one of the triggers is alcohol, so I can't even have a sip of beer or wine unless I want to spend eight hours flat on back barfing. It's really fun. I so miss a glass of red wine but at least the disease is not fatal and I haven't gone completely deaf.

I was reading an article about past El Ninos the other day. The 82-83 El Nino, one of the strongest ever, was "declared" only after the 3 month mean ONI value anomaly shot up 2.2 degrees centigrade...in one month (January, 1982). By that time, California was already having massive flooding. 94-95 rose at almost exactly the same rate as the El Nino years of 91-92...and then quit for no apparent reason. I think it's interesting to read about ENSO things from people a lot smarter than me but, looking at history, we are really, really bad when it comes to predicting an El Nino.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Quoting 188. Levi32:
In honor of Robert Simpson, co-founder of the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, ATCF has created "Hurricane Simpson," which has made landfall in Florida in the future: May 20th, 2014.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
Robert Simpson had a big event last week, celebrating his life. Maybe NOAA put his name up with this storm.
Born in 1912 and still kicking!
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TRACKING VULCAN: Up to 24 Inches of Snow Ahead
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 114 Comments: 106966
#344

It was the Frame they used for their Generated Hurricane Simpson run.

Named after the Simpson from the SSS.

The Saffir Simpson scale.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
Quoting 262. Patrap:
TUESDAY, MAR 11, 2014 12:41 PM CDT
Watch out, “Cosmos”! The Holy Inquisition is not happy with you
The religious right attacks Neil deGrasse Tyson's "agitprop for scientific materialism"


If you are the kind of Christian liable to get upset when scientists deploy their annoying facts to prove crazy stuff like their “theories” that the Earth is older than 6,000 years or that the universe began with a Big Bang, then the resurrection of “Cosmos” must be extremely irritating. First, those damned progressives stopped allowing the Church to burn heretics at the stake; now even Fox News is broadcasting “science” documentaries. Truly, to quote the great Erick Erickson, “we do live in a fallen, depraved world destined for the fire.”

Some of the poor souls oppressed by Neil deGrasse Tyson’s return to the promised land first pioneered by Carl Sagan took to Twitter with their predictable grumblings. My favorite: “Dear #cosmos, the origin of the universe actually is not mysterious. God had Moses write about it in the #Bible. You should read it sometime.”

and this # is not a hashtag its a number symbol :)
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Anyone know why this is named Simpson on the NOAA GOES site?

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Quoting 336. Dakster:


I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer dark, craft, beers. I figure if I am going to have a drink it should be a good one.

And your description is about right. Although the first one I tried I spit out...

Christmas was the last time I had any alcohol, one glass of red wine. The time before that, I couldn't tell you.

And yes - We won't know ENSO until it rears its ugly head. All we can do right now is make an educated guess.


Plused for the beer. I also prefer strong dark beers when I do drink beer which isn't often.
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Quoting 330. Dakster:


Better than PBR, but that isn't saying much.

Anyways -- are we going to have an El Niño or not by this summer?

You leave PBR alone! When I was in the Army, we had a beer machine in the day room that had PBR for a quarter for a can. Good times.
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the conversation on the blog cant touch the running in the rain conversation..what a doozy that one was..went on for days..
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340. beell
Quoting 331. sar2401:

LOL. Having a blog lead off with a plea for crowdfunding for an organization that has $132 million in revenues will do that kind of thing, :-)


The curve looks fairly predictable. We could probably just fake it for a few years and sit on the beach. Who would know?
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Post 304 above has been corrected. Sorry for any inconvenience my error may have caused.
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I thought that with the birth rate falling in South America El Ninos were becoming less frequent.
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Quoting beell:


we might see the possibility that the chances of an El Nino event could become more prevalent by summer.


Let's clarify that. Are you making a suggestion, or merely cogitating? :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Quoting 332. sar2401:

Wait a minute. Back when I could still drink beer, Pabst wasn't that bad. Not good but tolerable for a cheap beer.

I have no clue about an El Nino. The only time we ever know for sure is when an El Nino is already happening. I hope so for the sake of places like California and Texas that are in drought. Not so good for this year's Atlantic season though.


I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer dark, craft, beers. I figure if I am going to have a drink it should be a good one.

And your description is about right. Although the first one I tried I spit out...

Christmas was the last time I had any alcohol, one glass of red wine. The time before that, I couldn't tell you.

And yes - We won't know ENSO until it rears its ugly head. All we can do right now is make an educated guess.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10815
Quoting 334. beell:


we might see the possibility that the chances of an El Nino event could become more prevalent by summer.



Probably.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3969
334. beell
Quoting 330. Dakster:


Better than PBR, but that isn't saying much.

Anyways -- are we going to have an El Niño or not by this summer?


we might see the possibility that the chances of an El Nino event could become more prevalent by summer.

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Quoting Xandra:
Tyson on Flat Earthers. Sagan on Climate Change.



Above, Neil DeGrasse Tyson on the new series, and our current “Flat Earth” contingent.

Below, Carl Sagan gives a warning we’d have done well to heed 24 years ago.



Can't see those videos on my computer using Chrome.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Quoting Dakster:


Better than PBR, but that isn't saying much.

Anyways -- are we going to have an El Nio or not by this summer?

Wait a minute. Back when I could still drink beer, Pabst wasn't that bad. Not good but tolerable for a cheap beer.

I have no clue about an El Nino. The only time we ever know for sure is when an El Nino is already happening. I hope so for the sake of places like California and Texas that are in drought. Not so good for this year's Atlantic season though.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Quoting beell:
There is evidence to suggest this has been one of the most pointless and entertaining discussions I have read on this blog...today.


LOL. Having a blog lead off with a plea for crowdfunding for an organization that has $132 million in revenues will do that kind of thing, :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Quoting 322. sar2401:

Yeah, and Miller Lite tasted as crummy then as it does today, :-0


Better than PBR, but that isn't saying much.

Anyways -- are we going to have an El Niño or not by this summer?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10815
Tyson on Flat Earthers. Sagan on Climate Change.



Above, Neil DeGrasse Tyson on the new series, and our current “Flat Earth” contingent.

Below, Carl Sagan gives a warning we’d have done well to heed 24 years ago.


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And now the lowest pressure is in Coffeyville, KS, still south of model projections.
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Quoting jpsb:
Yeah tens of thousand of nuclear bombs going off very minute in the deep oceans where nobody can see them. I am curious how warm water sinks below cold water. And I am even more curious how a cool ocean warms a warm atmosphere.

Good grief. You've never heard of upwelling, where deeper, colder water displaces warmer surface water? As far as cold oceans, I can see you've never been scuba diving in the Caribbean when the water temperature was 91...or Fiji, where it 93 (I kid you not). There is a lot of the ocean that's very warm.

Why do you want to dispute things that are irrefutable scientific facts? I'm certainly a skeptic when it comes to the "suggestions" (sorry, Birthmark) of the results of global warming but there's no doubt the world is warming. Having the warming slow down is not the same as the warming reversing. I'm all in favor debating the likely effects of global warming, but you do yourself and the blog no favors by trying to say things that are clearly true really aren't. At least mix your reading from denialist websites with some from GW "alarmists" and come to sensible conclusions.
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326. jpsb
Quoting 310. Naga5000:


Maybe read the research? Being skeptical is fine, but there has been plenty of research confirming the results of the original piece.

Good night Naga, enjoyed the discussion and I will kick your A$$ tomorrow, lol, :) bee good, stay safe
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325. beell
There is evidence to suggest this has been one of the most pointless and entertaining discussions I have read on this blog...today.

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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
Quoting Birthmark:

If I really wanted to split hairs, I'd point out that Dr. Schnell didn't even "suggest." He stated that "It appears that we have a very good case for suggesting..." Everything after that is derived from that statement. Read correctly (or pedantically, if you prefer), Dr. Schnell is merely saying that there is evidence to make such suggestions, not that he *is* making such suggestions. :)

This is why interviews aren't evidence.

LOL. We'll have to pedantically disagree on this one. :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Tastes great
Less filling

Tastes great
Less filling

............

Younger ones may not get this

Yeah, and Miller Lite tasted as crummy then as it does today, :-0
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Back to weather. The low is centered at Bartlesville, OK which is south of model projections. Could have negative implications for the Chicago and Detroit snowfall totals and positive for Columbus OH and Indianapolis.
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Quoting 316. sar2401:


1. Come now, you are splitting the finest of hairs. If I "suggested" in 1997 that we'd have more frequent and intense snow in Miami in a "few years or a decade or so", do you think I'd escape the approbation of the blog because it was a mere suggestion?

2. Have you seen any evidence that "after a few years" we've had anything other than a lack of El Nino periods, not more? 13 years is well within "a decade or so" and we haven't seen a more or less permanent El Nino. I cannot with certainty say if I'll be alive tomorrow, but, since I'm reasonably healthy, there's a reasonable probability that the groundhogs won't be delivering my mail tomorrow morning. There's no evidence to suggest that an El Nino this year, if we get one, will be anything other than a typical El Nino. None, as in zero, unless you can show me something different.

3. I was not making a claim about any 18 year period, though "permanent" certainly suggests a period of at least 18 years. If you're responding to what I post, please do so, and don't include me in a squabble with another poster.

El Ninos have not become more intense, more frequent, or permanent. That is what Dr. Schnell "suggested" would happen. At the very minimum, he overstated his case. Are scientists never wrong about their suggestions? Are the predictions about what will happen in 2100 forecasts or only suggestions? Really, why is it so hard to simply admit that, from all the evidence, this particular suggestion, if you wish to call it such, was and is wrong? I'm not saying we should drag the guy out and hang him from a lamppost.

If I really wanted to split hairs, I'd point out that Dr. Schnell didn't even "suggest." He stated that "It appears that we have a very good case for suggesting..." Everything after that is derived from that statement. Read correctly (or pedantically, if you prefer), Dr. Schnell is merely saying that there is evidence to make such suggestions, not that he *is* making such suggestions. :)

This is why interviews aren't evidence.
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319. beell
Quoting 317. TropicalAnalystwx13:

You may be right, we'll have to wait until next week to see. :)


You can say that again.
;)
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Quoting 317. TropicalAnalystwx13:

You may be right, we'll have to wait until next week to see. :)
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Quoting 314. beell:


I feel like we repeat this conversation about repeating this conversation at least once a week.

You may be right, we'll have to wait until next week to see. :)
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Quoting Birthmark:

Three reasons:

1. "It appears that we have a very good case for suggesting..." That is not a prediction. If it was, the wording would be "a very good case for predicting."

2. Thirteen years could be construed as "a decade or so." It's not that far outside of a decade. Can you predict with certainty that the upcoming El Niño won't be permanent, or at least very persistent?

3. There are two separate claims in the article - a "permanent El Niño and an 18 year El Niño. Those are different things. Yoboi bolded the 18 year claim. It is that claim to which I responded.

It should also be noted that, as Naga noted in post 261 above, yoboi is being a bit disingenuous about this quote. I'll see if I can find Dr. Schnell's answer to an email sent requesting information on his comments.


1. Come now, you are splitting the finest of hairs. If I "suggested" in 1997 that we'd have more frequent and intense snow in Miami in a "few years or a decade or so", do you think I'd escape the approbation of the blog because it was a mere suggestion?

2. Have you seen any evidence that "after a few years" we've had anything other than a lack of El Nino periods, not more? 13 years is well within "a decade or so" and we haven't seen a more or less permanent El Nino. I cannot with certainty say if I'll be alive tomorrow, but, since I'm reasonably healthy, there's a reasonable probability that the groundhogs won't be delivering my mail tomorrow morning. There's no evidence to suggest that an El Nino this year, if we get one, will be anything other than a typical El Nino. None, as in zero, unless you can show me something different.

3. I was not making a claim about any 18 year period, though "permanent" certainly suggests a period of at least 18 years. If you're responding to what I post, please do so, and don't include me in a squabble with another poster.

El Ninos have not become more intense, more frequent, or permanent. That is what Dr. Schnell "suggested" would happen. At the very minimum, he overstated his case. Are scientists never wrong about their suggestions? Are the predictions about what will happen in 2100 forecasts or only suggestions? Really, why is it so hard to simply admit that, from all the evidence, this particular suggestion, if you wish to call it such, was and is wrong? I'm not saying we should drag the guy out and hang him from a lamppost.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17471
Quoting 311. washingtonian115:
See my mind is wondering off to a place that I rather not discuss on the blog..


So glad you said that and not me...

Anyways - Nice a toasty out today. Currently 82F.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10815
314. beell
Quoting 305. TropicalAnalystwx13:

I feel like we repeat this exact same conversation at least once a week.


I feel like we repeat this conversation about repeating this conversation at least once a week.
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Easily. Very salty warm water from the Mediterranean and Red seas sinks into the ocean depths.
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Quoting 306. jpsb:
Yeah tens of thousand of nuclear bombs going off very minute in the deep oceans where nobody can see them. I am curious how warm water sinks below cold water. And I am even more curious how a cool ocean warms a warm atmosphere.

There's plenty of warming. (See above).

You've been bamboozled.
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Quoting 308. nrtiwlnvragn:
Tastes great
Less filling

Tastes great
Less filling

............

Younger ones may not get this
See my mind is wondering off to a place that I rather not discuss on the blog..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17850
Quoting 306. jpsb:
Yeah tens of thousand of nuclear bombs going off very minute in the deep oceans where nobody can see them. I am curious how warm water sinks below cold water. And I am even more curious how a cool ocean warms a warm atmosphere.


Maybe read the research? Being skeptical is fine, but there has been plenty of research confirming the results of the original piece.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3969
Quoting 305. TropicalAnalystwx13:

I feel like we repeat this exact same conversation at least once a week.

Yes, unfortunately, there appears to be a certain segment who bring back their bogus claims anew and act as if those claims haven't already been refuted.
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Tastes great
Less filling

Tastes great
Less filling

............

Younger ones may not get this
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11346
Quoting 305. TropicalAnalystwx13:

I feel like we repeat this exact same conversation at least once a week.


We do, yes. Seems to be a common misconception. :)
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3969

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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