Monday, December 8, 2014

Mauna Loa CO2 at 400.46 ppm on December 7, 2014? It's Possible!

The Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) published a preliminary carbon dioxide (CO2) reading go 400.46 ppm this afternoon. If it held, which I do not expect it will, it would be a jump of 2.42 ppm in one day, which is quite unusual.

To illustrate the leap - here is the last year's CO2 cycle. This kind of abrupt change will place us above March, 2014's mean, with room to spare. 

While we might immediately dismiss this as an anomaly, perhaps another perspective may change that perception.

Mauna Loa Observatory sits at 3,397 meters, or 11,145 feet asl. This is a rough equivalent to 650-666 mb of pressure, or layer 83 in the METOP IASI imagery.

Here are four images for comparison:

December 26, 2012, pm: This is the earliest METOP 2 CO2 imagery I've downloaded. Note the global CO2 level on that date was 393 ppm at 650 mb. Also, note almost no area was measured above a concentration of 410 ppm (yellow).

December 7, 2013, pm: Last year's METOP 2 IASI CO2 portrays an increase of 3 ppm at 650 mb on that date - to 396 mb. Also, numerous areas now portray concentrations above 410 ppm, (yellow) especially in the Arctic.

December 7, 2014, pm: Yesterday's MLO CO2 reading of 400.46 ppm is perhaps best understood with this perspective. The METOP 2 IASI CO2 at 650 mb was measured at 398 ppm, an increase of 2 ppm over 2013. While there are high concentrations of CO2 in the Arctic in 2014, similar to the prior year, what is now different are the increased areas of the Antarctic above 410 ppm (yellow).
So what is the METOP 1 IASI readings for December 7, 2014 pm? The satellite image at 650 mb reveals a global mean methane of 400 mb. Areas near Hawaii are above 400 mb. 
Given this, it might be argued that areas around Mauna Loa did experience readings above 400 ppm yesterday. 

If so, it is sobering to speculate what the CO2 concentration highs will be in 2015 - 405? 406? Time will tell - but it is not trending downward.


NOAA ESRL Global Monitoring Division:


Sunday, December 7, 2014

November, 2014 Methane Moves up to New Monthly and Annual Mean Highs

Accelerated methane release through summer and fall continue to impact global methane levels for November, 2014 and year to date .

The two METOP satellites carry the IASI instrument which enables global capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations by 100 atmospheric levels, divided into 12 hour periods. They help give a broader understanding of the concentrations and distributions of these two greenhouse gases and complement the local specific readings that ground stations provide in the AGAGE, ESRL or WDCGG networks.

Metop IASI 2-A

For November 1-10, mean methane for 2-A averaged 1818.95 ppb, which was 10.57 ppb more than November 1-10, 2013.

November 11-20 saw the average mean methane reach 1816.29 ppb, which was an increase of 8.84 ppb over the same period in 2013.

November 21-30 saw a continuation of that trend, with average mean methane at 1813.35 ppb, or 8.14 ppb higher than November 21-30, 2013.

For the month, the IASI 2-A mean methane averaged 1816.20 ppb or 9.18 ppb over November, 2013. 

The year to date mean methane average moved up to 1808.70, which is 6.77 ppb above 2013's average through November 30th.

Metop IASI 1-B 

The METOP IASI 1-B readings are usually 8-10 ppb higher than those recorded by 2-A. These were not available through the NOAA OSPO until this year, so there is no comparison to 2013.

For November 1-10, mean methane for 1-B averaged 1826.21 ppb.

November 11-20 saw the average mean methane reach 1824.65 ppb.

November 21-30 had an average mean methane at 1821.50 ppb.

For the month, the IASI 1-B mean methane averaged 1824.12 ppb. 

Continuing Increases:

What continues to drive the increases seem to be the following:

Global fires, especially in wetlands.

Oil and natural gas production.

Rainfall or surface melt which triggers methogenic organisms.

In a few short days, I'll have my first data that will track two years of methane collected from the IASI imagery.