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Kyoto’s Impact on Atmospheric CO2

April 18, 2009

The animation below shows the main components of the dry atmosphere, with the increasing fraction of CO2.   Each pixel represents 1 part per million (ppm).  Two 50 year projections for CO2 levels are also shown, one with the Kyoto Protocol and one without.  Note that both of these projections ignore the likely increases due to industrialization of China and India.  However, the difference between these two projections, shown in the final frame and labeled “This is the amount of CO2 that Kyoto would keep out of the atmosphere in the next 50 years” would be little changed, since both China and India are exempt from the limits imposed on the industrialized countries.

CO2 content of Dry Atmosphere

CO2 content of Dry Atmosphere. Click on image to enlarge.

Click on the image to enlarge it.  If you  still have a hard time seeing “the amount of CO2 that Kyoto would keep out of the atmosphere in the next 50 years” in the last frame – well, that’s the point. 

 

Just for fun, compare the increase in CO2 since the pre-industrial era in the above animation to the increasing fraction of land used for crops in the animation below.  Are the effects of changing land use on climate typically overlooked because of a fixation on CO2?

Increasing cropland
Increasing percent of Earth’s land surface used for cropland.

*The pre-industrial CO2 levels are typically given as 280 ppm.  It is now about 380 ppm.   I estimated the 50 year increase with the Kyoto Protocol by simply increasing the CO2 at a rate 5.2% less than the increase rate of 1990 for 50 years.  This ignores increases by China and India.  I estimated the 50 year increase without Kyoto by simply adding 2.25 ppm per year for 50 years.  This also ignores increases by China and India.  The difference between the two estimates is essentially independent of China and India.
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6 comments

  1. Maybe you should also — as a short paus between “the end” and “the start” — put in the 1000 ppm CO2 level some millions of years ago?

    Just a suggestion, which suggests that additional CO2 doesn’t have only a minor effect from 100 ppm and above. (The saturated band level.)


  2. More evidence that Kyoto is a machine for the proliferation of funds for those at the U.N.


  3. Excellent work.


  4. Actually the amount of nitrogen, oxygen and argon in the atmosphere is beside the point, because these gases do not absorb infrared radiation, thus they do not affect the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. They are like the inactive ingredients in a medicine that have no effect on the body — it’s the quantity of active ingredients, in this case CO2, methane etc. that is important.


  5. [...] CO2 content of Dry Atmosphere. Click on image to enlarge. Click on the image to enlarge it.  If you  still have a hard time seeing “the amount of CO2 that Kyoto would keep out of the atmosphere in the next 50 years” in the last frame – well, that’s the point.  via climatesanity.wordpress.com [...]


  6. Ignoring China and India’s contribution :

    > 850 additional coal fired power stations being built since 2004… !



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