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 Support from NSF, NOAA and NASA is being diminished or withdrawn, and Keeling has turned to crowd-funding to help raise funds to continue these important measurements.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 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: 3968
306. jpsb
Quoting 293. Naga5000:


Why continue post this misleading statement? A slow down in surface warming, however, multiple studies have shown no slow down whatsoever when looking at the entire system including the ocean.

Be honest about the information, don't cherry pick surface temperatures alone when making statements about the entirety of the energy system.
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.
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Quoting 301. jpsb:


Quoting 303. Naga5000:


That graph is still lower atmosphere and not oceans. I would suggest a read from featured blogger and climatologist, Dr. Ricky Rood.

"The whole silly warming pause, warming hiatus thing


The whole silly warming pause, warming hiatus thing: Bumps and Wiggles (9)"
Link

I feel like we repeat this exact same conversation at least once a week.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32853
Quoting 301. jpsb:



The following statement (in italics) is wrong. Disregard. The offending eye has been properly poked. I see that comes from Dr. Roy Spencer of UAH. Doesn't it strike you as odd that he uses a data set (the one most plagued with problems) rather than his own UAH? I wonder if this...could be the reason? LOL

Now that the watering has stopped, I will do this correctly. Note that Dr. Spencer doesn't put in the warming trend. He is relying on the human eye's inability to detect a trend in noisy data. I suspect his reason for that is to mislead.




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Quoting 301. jpsb:




That graph is still lower atmosphere and not oceans. I would suggest a read from featured blogger and climatologist, Dr. Ricky Rood.

"The whole silly warming pause, warming hiatus thing


The whole silly warming pause, warming hiatus thing: Bumps and Wiggles (9)"
Link
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3968
Why is a 17 year old media article such a hot topic?
Member Since: June 29, 2013 Posts: 36 Comments: 2637
301. jpsb
Quoting 293. Naga5000:


Why continue post this misleading statement? A slow down in surface warming, however, multiple studies have shown no slow down whatsoever when looking at the entire system including the ocean.

Be honest about the information, don't cherry pick surface temperatures alone when making statements about the entirety of the energy system.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 296. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Are we finally going to see Winter release us from its grip? For the past two days, the GFS ensemble mean has been indicating a flip to high pressure over the East, which would provide us with warmer temperatures. Note the 540m line (~freezing line) completely in Canada. :)

I can see Russia from my house!.
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Quoting 292. jpsb:
All I can say is yall CAGW people better pray that the pause ends this year. 17.5 years and counting with no warming. Not looking good for CAGW.

What pause would that be?


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298. yoboi
Quoting 293. Naga5000:


Why continue post this misleading statement? A slow down in surface warming, however, multiple studies have shown no slow down whatsoever when looking at the entire system including the ocean.

Be honest about the information, don't cherry pick surface temperatures alone when making statements about the entirety of the energy system.


yes let's be honest.....the same should apply when only alarming about 1 region......Arctic this Arctic that......are you baking cherry pies using propane or solar?????
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297. JRRP
Quoting yoboi:



El Ninos are going to become more frequent, and they're going to become more intense and in a few years, or a decade or so, we'll go into a permanent El Nino."


Friday, November 7, 1997 Published at 22:44 GMT



Sci/Tech

El Nino here to stay

lol
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Are we finally going to see Winter release us from its grip? For the past two days, the GFS ensemble mean has been indicating a flip to high pressure over the East, which would provide us with warmer temperatures. Note the 540m line (~freezing line) almost (see Maine) completely into Canada. :)

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32853
Quoting 291. yoboi:



El Ninos are going to become more frequent, and they're going to become more intense and in a few years, or a decade or so, we'll go into a permanent El Nino."


Friday, November 7, 1997 Published at 22:44 GMT



Sci/Tech

El Nino here to stay

See point "1" in post 286 above. Or are you saying that it didn't "...appear that we have a very good case for suggesting that the El Ninos are going to become more frequent...". If that's your claim, then provide evidence that was available in 1997 that supports your claim.

Otherwise, you are tying to turn a comment about an extrapolation of the evidence in 1997 into a "prediction." Your own quote fails to support that point.
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Quoting 292. jpsb:
All I can say is yall CAGW people better pray that the pause ends this year. 17.5 years and counting with no warming. Not looking good for CAGW.


Why continue post this misleading statement? A slow down in surface warming, however, multiple studies have shown no slow down whatsoever when looking at the entire system including the ocean.

Be honest about the information, don't cherry pick surface temperatures alone when making statements about the entirety of the energy system.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3968
292. jpsb
All I can say is yall CAGW people better pray that the pause ends this year. 17.5 years and counting with no warming. Not looking good for CAGW.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
291. yoboi
Quoting 290. Birthmark:

He was wrong about what, exactly?



El Ninos are going to become more frequent, and they're going to become more intense and in a few years, or a decade or so, we'll go into a permanent El Nino."


Friday, November 7, 1997 Published at 22:44 GMT



Sci/Tech

El Nino here to stay
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 288. yoboi:




spinning at it's best......just admit he was wrong.....

He was wrong about what, exactly?
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Quoting 286. Birthmark:
I'll see if I can find Dr. Schnell's answer to an email sent requesting information on his comments.

That wasn't hard at all. The following quotes from Some1Has2BtheRookie's email exchange with Dr. Schnell. It is posted here in post 168.

"What I said many years ago in an interview was that with climate warming we might see the possibility that El Nino events could become more prevalent and last longer. I have no idea where teh 18 years crept in."

After a second inquiry, Dr. Schnell said: "Thanks for the link to the BBC interview from 16 years back. I did say 18 but that was just a mirror of the18 months to make a point that might be remembered.

We will have to wait a few more decades to see how the El Nino issue plays out.

Use any of my responses and comments as you see fit.

Cheers,

Russ Schnell"
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288. yoboi
Quoting 286. 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.




spinning at it's best......just admit he was wrong.....
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We need another boost or is not happening anytime soon.
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Quoting 283. sar2401:


What?

"It appears that we have a very good case for suggesting that the El Ninos are going to become more frequent, and they're going to become more intense and in a few years, or a decade or so, we'll go into a permanent El Nino."

Article written in November, 1997, almost 13 years ago. We do not have a permanent El Nino. He was wrong. I don't understand how you're reading something different than I am.

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.
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Quoting 284. sar2401:

It's also headed up my way in SE Alabama. How much convection do see happening with this blob? My dog goes nuts with thunderstorms, and I have to medicate him so he doesn't injure himself. The problem is he needs the medicine at least an hour before the first thunder. It doesn't look like much convection now. I've got 77 with a dewpoint of 55, so the air is still relatively dry and stable. Do you think that will be the case as this blob progresses?


The last one fizzled for me in Orlando. I can't really be sure. Unscientifically, I think it will depend if I need to be outdoors at the time the blob passes.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3968
Quoting Naga5000:


We have another GoM blob coming our (Florida's) way it seems. I haven't enjoyed winter in Orlando this year, 82 today, gross. Be safe, as always.

It's also headed up my way in SE Alabama. How much convection do see happening with this blob? My dog goes nuts with thunderstorms, and I have to medicate him so he doesn't injure himself. The problem is he needs the medicine at least an hour before the first thunder. It doesn't look like much convection now. I've got 77 with a dewpoint of 55, so the air is still relatively dry and stable. Do you think that will be the case as this blob progresses?
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17436
Quoting Birthmark:

No, he didn't. He mentions no specific timetable for an 18-year El Niño. He does mention that El Niños should become more common, but that's a different claim that has not come to pass thus far.


What?

"It appears that we have a very good case for suggesting that the El Ninos are going to become more frequent, and they're going to become more intense and in a few years, or a decade or so, we'll go into a permanent El Nino."

Article written in November, 1997, almost 13 years ago. We do not have a permanent El Nino. He was wrong. I don't understand how you're reading something different than I am.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17436
Quoting 280. yoboi:



FWIW while you are out getting propane.....stop by aisle 12 and grab some reading comprehension........

Hey, if you're too lazy to get it for yourself, I sure as heck ain't gonna get it for you. :)
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Quoting 279. Naga5000:


We have another GoM blob coming our (Florida's) way it seems. I haven't enjoyed winter in Orlando this year, 82 today, gross. Be safe, as always.
Soon it'll be my turn to experience 82 and humidity which is why I'm glad this winter isn't in any rush to end.
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280. yoboi
Quoting 275. Birthmark:

No, he didn't. He mentions no specific timetable for an 18-year El Niño. He does mention that El Niños should become more common, but that's a different claim that has not come to pass thus far.



FWIW while you are out getting propane.....stop by aisle 12 and grab some reading comprehension........
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Quoting 277. washingtonian115:
Hello Naga the weather around here will be interesting for sure tomorrow.So many things will occur that my head will spin off!.


We have another GoM blob coming our (Florida's) way it seems. I haven't enjoyed winter in Orlando this year, 82 today, gross. Be safe, as always.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3968
Quoting opal92nwf:

To further explain: there has been a huge lack of strong/severe thunderstorms at my location for the past half year or so.

It was April 27 here, so we're going on a year now. I have never seen so much cold air clashing with so much warm humid air and we get nothing but rain. Instability levels have to be near record lows. If this is a prelude to hurricane season, we can look forward to a lot more global warming debates here, since there won't be much else to talk about. :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17436
Quoting 272. Naga5000:


Dishonesty is a pet peeve. He knows better. Besides that, hello good to see you. :)
Hello Naga the weather around here will be interesting for sure tomorrow.So many things will occur that my head will spin off!.
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Quoting 271. washingtonian115:
Yes.I saw the post on CwG.They also have a post discussing next weeks snow potential

taistelutipu
Hi.
Yes looks like two snowstorms next week if it verifies.
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Quoting 267. sar2401:

Actually, he did. The article was written 1997. It's now well past a decade and we haven't seen a permanent El Nino. Where did he not say that?

No, he didn't. He mentions no specific timetable for an 18-year El Niño. He does mention that El Niños should become more common, but that's a different claim that has not come to pass thus far.
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Quoting 258. washingtonian115:
At least the weather will be interesting tomorrow...Finally!.
BRRRRRRRRR!!!
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Quoting yonzabam:



If people like that genuinely believe what they're saying, that's one thing, but it's frightening that they can become senators.

If, as I believe, they are telling lies for money, they should be locked up along with murderers, drug dealers, and the other dregs of society, because they are every bit as deserving of a prison sentence.

If telling lies for money is the criteria, pretty much all of the US Congress and UK Parliament would be locked up. We could always try anarchy for a while and see how that works out. ;-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17436
Quoting 269. washingtonian115:
Good times indeed! seeing total strangers go on for a eternity.Good times indeed!.


Dishonesty is a pet peeve. He knows better. Besides that, hello good to see you. :)
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3968
Quoting 270. Climate175:
Strong thunderstorms tomorrow too.
Yes.I saw the post on CwG.They also have a post discussing next week's snow potential

taistelutipu
Hi.
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Quoting 266. washingtonian115:
Some people say 70 degrees and sunny is exciting weather.I say other wise
Strong thunderstorms tomorrow too.
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Quoting 261. Naga5000:


Besides this being the dead horse he repeatedly beats. The horse is unrecognizable, and even with the clarification when we e-mailed Dr. Schnell, Yoboi continues to be dishonest with only portraying his bias.

Good times. :)
Good times indeed! seeing total strangers go on for a eternity.Good times indeed!.
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"Atmospheric CO2
Measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration in our program began in 1957 at La Jolla, California and at the South Pole, and in 1958 at Mauna Loa Observatory. These measurements were gradually extended during the 1960's and 1970's to comprise sampling at an array of stations from the Arctic to Antarctica."

Link
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Quoting Birthmark:

No, but I'll get some while you head out to get some reading comprehension.

(Hint: He didn't say that we would have 18 year El-Niños by 2014.)

Actually, he did. The article was written 1997. It's now well past a decade and we haven't seen a permanent El Nino. Where did he not say that?
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17436
Some people say 70 degrees and sunny is exciting weather.I say other wise
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
That is a very interesting question as to how climate change will impact the Enso cycle. Dr. Gray (currently) rejects any noticeable impact between climate change and the Atlantic hurricane season (probably rightfully so at this point) but you have to wonder how this will unfold in the future. I would only note, on a related point, that we are just starting to come out of a very prolonged Enso Neutral phase as well which was almost 2 years in length.

Interesting times ahead. Going home. Everyone have a safe evening.

CU later, wannabe. You've posted some good stuff today.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17436
Quoting FLwolverine:
Yes, but what other programs would they have to cut to allocate the funds to Keeling? It isn't completely clear that a Scripps is providing any funding now.


It would appear from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center that Ralph Keeling gets funding from Scripps, the DOE, and Oak Ridge Laboratory. I have found nothing on-line about how much it costs to fund the Mauna Loa operation. One of the first things I'd do if I was raising funds for something like this to tell people this is how much it costs, this is how much we have, and this is how much we need. An open ended appeal for funding because an organization wants some money is generally not well received.

Having worked for some pretty large organizations, my experience is that there's a tremendous amount of waste. Operating more efficiently frees up funds that are now being wasted. If the Mauna Loa site is really important to Scripps, and if it costs $700,000 yearly to run it, I'm reasonably certain that the money can be found in the $12 million of unrestricted funds or the $6 million budget surplus form 2012.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17436
That is a very interesting question as to how climate change will impact the Enso cycle. Dr. Gray (currently) rejects any noticeable impact between climate change and the Atlantic hurricane season (probably rightfully so at this point) but you have to wonder how this will unfold in the future. I would only note, on a related point, that we are just starting to come out of a very prolonged Enso Neutral phase as well which was almost 2 years in length.

Interesting times ahead. Going home. Everyone have a safe evening.
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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.”
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting 260. Birthmark:

No, but I'll get some while you head out to get some reading comprehension.

(Hint: He didn't say that we would have 18 year El-Niños by 2014.)


Besides this being the dead horse he repeatedly beats. The horse is unrecognizable, and even with the clarification when we e-mailed Dr. Schnell, Yoboi continues to be dishonest with only portraying his bias.

Good times. :)
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3968
Quoting 257. yoboi:
He almost nailed that prediction.......Got propane????

No, but I'll get some while you head out to get some reading comprehension.

(Hint: He didn't say that we would have 18 year El-Niños by 2014.)
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Quoting 245. Patrap:
O Lordy,...





Measuring CO2 levels from the volcano at Mauna Loa

Posted on 25 October 2010 by Andy Skuce
The observatory near the summit of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii has been recording the amount of carbon dioxide in the air since 1958. This is the longest continuous record of direct measurements of CO2 and it shows a steadily increasing trend from year to year; combined with a saw-tooth effect that is caused by changes in the rate of plant growth through the seasons. This curve is commonly known as the Keeling Curve, named after Charles Keeling, the American scientist who started the project.

Why Mauna Loa? Early attempts to measure CO2 in the USA and Scandinavia found that the readings varied a lot due to the influence of growing plants and the exhaust from motors. Mauna Loa is ideal because it is so remote from big population centres. Also, on tropical islands at night, the prevailing winds blow from the land out to sea, which effect brings clean, well-mixed Central Pacific air from high in the atmosphere to the observatory. This removes any interference coming from the vegetation lower down on the island.

But how about gas from the volcano? It is true that volcanoes blow out CO2 from time to time and that this can interfere with the readings. Most of the time, though, the prevailing winds blow the volcanic gasses away from the observatory. But when the winds do sometimes blow from active vents towards the observatory, the influence from the volcano is obvious on the normally consistent records and any dubious readings can be easily spotted and edited out (Ryan, 1995).
Interesting concern that could be reasonable... but you would be seeing random curves if that is the case I believe.
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At least the weather will be interesting tomorrow...Finally!.
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257. yoboi
In the last decade there have been 5 El Nino's, and some scientists believe that rising greenhouse gases and global warming.


That's a theory endorsed by Dr Russ Schnell, a scientist doing atmospheric research at Mauna Loa Observatory, 11,000 feet up on Hawaii. "It appears that we have a very good case for suggesting that the El Ninos are going to become more frequent, and they're going to become more intense and in a few years, or a decade or so, we'll go into a permanent El Nino."

"So instead of having cool water periods for a year or two, we'll have El Nino upon El Nino, and that will become the norm. And you'll have an El Nino, that instead of lasting 18 months, lasts 18 years," he said


Link



He almost nailed that prediction.......Got propane????
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