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Nasa observatory reveals high CO2 concentrations in southern hemisphere

December 20, 2014

By Paul Homewood



h/t Paul2



We all know that it is us wicked developed countries that are destroying the world with our CO2. This doubtlessly explains why CO2 concentrations are so much higher across a wide band of the southern hemisphere.




Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from October 1 through November 11, as recorded by Nasa’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Carbon dioxide concentrations are highest above northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil. Preliminary analysis of the African data shows the high levels there are largely driven by the burning of savannas and forests. Elevated carbon dioxide can also be seen above industrialised Northern Hemisphere regions in China, Europe and North America.NASA/JPL-Caltech




The International Business Times reports:



Elevated carbon dioxide concentrations across the Southern Hemisphere from springtime biomass burning are among the highlights of the first global maps generated by Nasa’s orbiting carbon dioxide observatory, OCO-2.

High concentrations can also be seen in the region above northern Australia.

The observatory is among an effort to study where carbon dioxide originates from and how it circulates in the atmosphere.

Latest data shows that global carbon emissions stood at 35 billion tonnes in 2013, a record so far.

A global map covering October 1 through November 17 shows elevated carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere above northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil.

"Preliminary analysis shows these signals are largely driven by the seasonal burning of savannas and forests," said OCO-2 Deputy Project Scientist Annmarie Eldering, of JPL. The team is comparing these measurements with data from other satellites to confirm the connection to biomass burning.

Spikes on the eastern coast of US and over China could indicate emissions from industrialisation.

The impact of landmass clearing and biomass burning on global carbon dioxide has not been well quantified. As OCO-2 acquires more data, the Southern Hemisphere measurements could lead to an improved understanding of the processes that add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

  1. Bloke down the pub permalink
    December 20, 2014 1:20 pm

    October would be the end of austral winter so I’d expect a peak then.

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    December 20, 2014 1:26 pm

    This confirms the JAXA satellite results and the work of Murrey Salby.

  3. December 20, 2014 1:46 pm

    Wait for the April-May map…

  4. December 20, 2014 2:20 pm

    For a start, there is no season known as “springtime” in the equatorial tropics.

    The latitude at which the intensity of CO2 in the Southern Hemisphere is about 10 degrees south latitude. That is the “high-Sun” ;period for that latitude in October, since the mid-date of the map is about.half-way between the equinox and the solstice.

    At Darwin on Oct 21 the Sun at noon was less than 1 degrees away from the zenith. This is equivalent to high-summer not springtime.

    I spent two weeks in Timor Leste in November and did not see sign of biomass burning at the high levels associated with the haze that originates in Sumatra in July.

    These preliminary observations about biomass burning that accompanied the release of the map are not convincing. There is something odd about the pattern of CO2.

    How can we be sure the high levels of CO2 east of Java (Indonesia) are from burning of biomass? Do they measure the isotopes of carbon?

    Anomalous C14 would indicate a terrestrial plant or animal source, Anomalous C13 would indicate a marine source.

    C12, the stable form, would indicate that the CO2 is from fossil fuels or volcanoes, old carbon that has lost its unstable isotopes, their having decayed to nitrogen.

    In my opinion this map is a puzzle that may occupy the blogo-sphere for years to come.

    Let’s see if the CO2 bands in the equatorial regions follow the Sun, partly or in concert..

  5. December 20, 2014 2:21 pm

    I thought (correct me if I’m wrong) there was a strong seasonal pattern related to plant growth cycles. So I guess I’d expect levels to be high in the south just before their growing season begins. However, I don’t think this by itself proves whether or not burning forests in the south or fossil fuels in the north is a problem.

  6. December 20, 2014 2:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    It would seem from the map that the US is not a major contributor to the imagined CO2 problem — that must be from shifting all the manufacturing jobs to China and Indonesia which now show very high!

    • Kelvin Vaughan permalink
      December 20, 2014 4:34 pm

      It looks like there is more over the Eastern US than Europe to me.

  7. December 20, 2014 2:51 pm

    Reblogged this on

  8. December 20, 2014 3:01 pm

    Reblogged this on Edonurwayup's Blog and commented:
    JO, JO, JO.

  9. Russ Wood permalink
    December 20, 2014 5:06 pm

    But isn’t most of that band where equatorial rain forests are? Maybe the TREES are breathing out!

  10. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 20, 2014 5:08 pm

    northern Australia ! ?

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      December 20, 2014 6:51 pm

      Oh, I get it.
      The person that wrote “above northern Australia” is geographically challenged and has never heard of Indonesia. Just like someone writing that Chicago is at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

      Western Washington and Oregon show up. That’s interesting.

    • December 20, 2014 7:30 pm

      Is it a chicken or an egg??!!

      • December 20, 2014 9:42 pm

        Sunlight from reduced global cloudiness during the late 20th century warming period heats the oceans much more effectively than human emissions..

        According to the Earthshine project cloudiness began to increase again around 2000 hence the temperature plateau.

      • December 20, 2014 10:40 pm

        I was thinking more whether the Co2 from the land was blowing over the sea, or vice versa

      • December 21, 2014 8:28 am

        The CO2 isn’t streaming out across the seas downwind of the land and we know from basic meteorology that winds slow down as they cross land masses so CO2 laden air in ocean winds would build up CO2 over areas of land downwind of the oceanic source which is just what we see.

  11. December 20, 2014 5:45 pm

    High concentrations can also be seen in the region above northern Australia.

    Henry says

    Perhaps that should read: north of northern Australia?

  12. December 20, 2014 5:55 pm

    Relatively speaking
    looking at my own tables,

    Click to access henryspooltableNEWc.pdf

    global cooling is currently more pronounced in the SH
    especially when looking at minima….

    Following the theory of man made global warming, minima are supposed to be going up, when looking at minimum temps., as CO2 concentration is going up.

    Hence, the theory of man made global warming by adding more CO2 to the atmosphere is completely flawed.

  13. Mikky permalink
    December 20, 2014 9:59 pm

    Looks to me like the press release is part of the finger pointing at Australia that Obama is encouraging, not that Climate Change Zombies need any encouragement. “Above Australia” morphs from geographically above, to actually above.

  14. December 20, 2014 10:39 pm

    Reblogged this on Globalcooler's Weblog and commented:
    After 3 trys they finally got a co2 satellite and it would appear.they may getting all they wanted. -Kirt

  15. Mikala Ash permalink
    December 20, 2014 11:21 pm

    note the range of CO2 (from blue to red) is only 15.5 ppm …

  16. R. R. Besch permalink
    December 21, 2014 12:29 am

    CO2 like so many things are fine until you get too much of it. Then that is a problem. It adds energy to the global system and can accelerate and change otherwise settled patterns. change them enough and you transition to another operant paradigm. The question is is that what is happening now, not counting the added effects from shorter duration gases that have greater impact.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      December 21, 2014 1:18 am

      If anyone tries to answer your question he or she is providing a WAG. Pierre Gosselin translates this (he does a lot of German to English) as a “wildly adventurous guess.”

  17. December 22, 2014 11:06 am

    One tiny problem with the alarmist reasoning. I live in the southern hemisphere, and we do indeed have “biomass burning” aka forest fires, bush fires, veld fires, on a large and regular scale. Australia is a special case, burning off biomass in high summer because of high content of aromatics. The rest of us have to wait for winter when all the summer growth has died and dried out. After the first spring rains the biomass is too green and wet to ignite and even a typical Highveld summer storm with ten lightning bolts a second won’t start a fire. In short, there is no large scale springtime biomass burning.

  18. marque2 permalink
    December 22, 2014 3:59 pm

    I doubt the land clearing mentioned in the article is the cause. Land clearing, which was encouraged by world governments to help the economies of poor nations has been out of vogue for 20 years and isn’t done much any more. Yet another excuse.

  19. Russ permalink
    December 28, 2014 4:25 pm

    I notice the heavy CO2 concentration around the massive industrial complex in southern Greenland…ahem! *Alternative Analysis* Could be due to Atlantic Cod burps after they’ve eaten excessive amounts of plankton!

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