Carbon Cycle and the Balancing of CO2

When one examines the continuous flow of CO2, such as in the IPCC AR4 report diagram below, one can realize that the exchange with the various processes on earth is the difference between two large numbers.  This results in a much smaller number existing in the atmosphere than is exchanged real time.  How do each of these source-sink processes vary with temperature and other variables?  Very little is known.  So how can the scientists really predict what is going to happen in the future? 


One also has to realize one piece of information missing from this diagram, the amount of ACO2 the anthropogenic or human emitted CO2 in the atmosphere at any point of time is only 60% of the total emissions in that time period.  Furthermore ACO2 is very small compared with the total in the atmosphere at any point in time.


If the various sources and sinks of CO2 were well characterized then some of the IPCC claims would have more value.   Unfortunately there is a lot not known about these processes.  Since the ACO2 for a given year is but a few (1-3) ppm the ACO2 can be expected to vary as to the percentage that is released into and is present in the atmosphere, due to the variability of these processes.


If the lifetime or residence time of ACO2 is short and the absorption in the ocean varies with temperature, which it is known to do, then the impact of ACO2 on the total CO2 can be seen as potentially small. 


If that is the case, and we believe it is, and the total CO2 lags temperature, then how can humans affect temperature out in time?    This question will be examined in this CO2 facts section.   To examine the differences in the various AR reports click on this Link.









Section for a video or follow-on comment

We should revisit occasionally what the proper role of government is.   As the constitution was a good sense of direction, we need a core set of principles to add in order to deal with the future.


So many want to engineer society, remove risk, assist certain groups, rather than let individuals thrive and raise communities.  Why?


Is Democracy where we all "get it good and hard" or is it the best means to a free society?


Should we roll with the special interests, or make the government achieve its proper role, what is that role, and how to do this?


When do deficits and governments become too large?


Government is becoming more elitist while trying to sell corrections to problems it created, what makes this possible?


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