The Relative Percentages of Anthropogenic and Natural Carbon Dioxide in the Earth’s Troposphere

Illustrative image of gas chromatography mass spectrometry apparatus

By Tom Tamarkin | May 8, 2021

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I. Introduction & Statement of Problem

Correlations of decrease in “average worldwide temperature” and volcanic activity are high.

Correlations of increase in “average worldwide temperatures” and El Niño events are high

Empirical measurements and calculations of the relative percentage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the total carbon dioxide reservoir are highly uncertain at best.

The total atmospheric CO2 concentration represented by the Mauna Loa, Hawaii Keeling curve shows an almost straight line degree of annual change from 337 ppm in 1979 to 408 ppm in 2018. The rate of change in annual anthropogenic global fossil-fuel carbon emissions is shown to be, in five year time frames, from 1979 to 1999, as follows; 1979-84 -89 %, 1984-89 +817%, 1989-94 +169%, 1994-99 +344%, 1999-2004 +1,197%, 2004-2009 +933%. This shows that the Keeling curve reflecting total atmospheric CO2 concentration is not materially affected by annual anthropogenic global fossil-fuel carbon emissions.

On March 19, 2020, the COVID19 related lockdowns took effect virtually worldwide. From the period of March 20, 2020 to March 20, 2021 there was a rough order 30% worldwide reduction in the use of hydrocarbon fuels across all energy sectors of residential, commercial, industrial and transportation. Yet on March 20, 2021 the Mauna Loa Keeling curve continued its rise to nearly 418 ppm. In other words, even with a massive reduction of worldwide fuel use, the CO2 trends recorded at Mauna Loa continued to rise in a slope undetectably different from that over the last 50 years.

II. Thesis and Premise

It is estimated that the worldwide annual costs associated with global warming and related alternative energy exceeds 2 trillion U.S. dollars. Countries worldwide are now taking actions or considering actions costing hundreds of billions, even trillions of dollars. However, Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) or human caused climate change has not been proven. Therefore the ability to falsify the anthropogenic theory of climate change has enormous financial and societal benefits with significant return on investment. Whereas studies involving the absorption of infrared light reflected from the Earth’s surface and then retransmitted to the Earth by so called greenhouse gases have been ongoing for many years, this scientific discipline has been unable to prove or disprove the degree to which anthropogenic processes are responsible for any AGW or climate change on the Earth. Since the primary mechanism of the speculated climate change is predicated on burning of fossil fuel sources by man which produces carbon dioxide gas, then a definitive means of determining the influence of man’s contribution, if any, to AGW or climate change is to accurately determine what percentage of the total amount of carbon dioxide resident in the Earth’s lower atmosphere results from burning fossil fuels worldwide. Given the dynamic and turbulent nature of the Earth’s “carbon system” involving the natural variabilities in carbon dioxide emission and absorption, the ability to mathematically derive the percentage of measured anthropogenic fossil fuel COwhich is contributed to the Earth’s total reservoir of atmospheric carbon dioxide gas has been virtually impossible due to factors involving the variations within the carbon dioxide flux.

Therefore, given the current uncertainties of the atmospheric carbon dioxide components, a new means of measurement and/or computation of the anthropogenic component in the total atmospheric reservoir carbon dioxide reservoir must be developed.

III. Lecture (discussion)

A full video of the following discussion in this Question and Answer format is summarily provided as a YouTube based video. Click on the link after

1. There is much discussion about climate change. Does it exist?

The Earth is over 4 .5 billion years old. The Grand Canyon gives us a snap shot of 10% of that record. Think about that. Modern man is trying to use a 50 to 100 year time frame to show…if not prove…that manmade climate change exists! These trends are only .000001% of the Earth’s age!

Geological samples show that the Earth has been much warmer and much colder in the past and our current COlevel is very low compared to the past. We can prove that the climate does change due to natural variations in solar and planetary motions, coupled with the almost 24 degree tilt of the Earth’s axis, its obliquity, its elliptical orbit around the Sun and its precession.

Other natural occurring events such as volcanic eruptions, meteor strikes, and atmospheric oscillations such as El Niño and La Niña create temporary changes in climate perhaps better sated as the weather.

However, we cannot empirically prove that greenhouse gases trapping heat causes measurable amounts of warmth on the Earth. All climate change predictions result from computer models based on the unproven theories of man. And so far all such predictions have been wrong.

All climate change predictions result from computer models based on the unproven theories of man. And so far all such predictions have been wrong.

2. What is the radiated greenhouse gas theory?

The Infrared Radiated Greenhouse Gas theory is based on the absorption of infrared radiation or heat reflected back from the earth by Greenhouse Gases such as water vapor, Carbon Dioxide, methane, and the like. In the mid-1800s my great grandfather, Sir Thomas E. Thorpe along with Henry Roscoe in the UK made the first accurate calculations of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Later that Century, Svante Arrhenius, John Tyndall and others proposed water vapor and Carbon Dioxide “trapped heat” in the air.

In the early 20ty Century, Max Plank developed our modern understanding of quantum mechanics and Karl Schwarzschild applied this understanding to Greenhouse Gases. They showed us why these gases behave the way they do.

These gas molecules do absorb infrared energy but they dissipate it very quickly…in ten thousand billionths of a second…or one femto second…transferring that energy to surrounding molecules mostly nitrogen and oxygen. Then that energy is radiated out in a three dimensional steradian pulse and most passes to outer space either directly or through convection.

Given the extremely low spatial density of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere, and given the velocity of light, coupled with the inverse square law, this radiated energy is very weak and is only on the Earth for a very short period of time; again measured in femto seconds.

No measurable corresponding increase of temperature can be measured on Earth. Any increase in the temperature of the atmosphere’s majority gases, nitrogen and oxygen, also rises to space due to pseudo-adiabatic expansion & convection.

3. You are saying that there is no measurable increase of the Earth’s temperature. Is that correct? What do you mean?

No one has empirically measured and proven any temperature increases on the surface of the Earth due to Greenhouse Gases These gases do delay cooling of the Earth at night. Without them it would get down to 100 degrees below zero by early morning. But again they create no measurable increase of the “world’s temperature.”

4. Some scientists, certainly the media, and many politicians say that this (perceived) climate change comes from man’s use of fossil fuels which emit carbon dioxide. What effect does COhave?

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas; but a trace amount one, meaning that it accounts for only 0.04 % of all gases in the atmosphere and only 4% of all so called Greenhouse Gases. But we shouldn’t focus on Carbon Dioxide per se. We should focus on manmade Carbon Dioxide which is the whole premise of the climate change argument.

Contrary to popular belief and that of many scientists, the anthropogenic percent of Carbon Dioxide is so low in comparison to the total amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, that it is virtually unmeasurable.

Note that over the last year the use of fossil fuels worldwide across all energy sectors dropped by as much as 30% due to covid19. But this major decrease in manmade Carbon Dioxide was not measured, and therefore not reported.

We have our website of ClimateCite dot com, a section titled “Our Position on CO2.” In the first few paragraphs we show conclusively that the CO2 measurements taken from Mauna Loa and other monitoring stations simply are not measuring manmade CO2. Material increase in Carbo Dioxide seen over the last 50 years are coming entirely from natural sources.

Dr. Murry Salby confirms this and explains the details in a lecture on our website. And Dr. Jamal Munshi, a leading statistician, shows that the likelihood of Carbon Dioxide increases affecting the temperature of the Earth is about as likely as you spotting a UFO after this interview.

5. So you are saying that the majority of the increases in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere measured over the last 50 years come from natural sources and not from man?

Yes. Carbon dioxide comes from two primary natural sources; animals and volcanic eruptions; animals being the larger of the two sources by far. All animals, including fish in the ocean produce Carbon Dioxide. Even bacteria on land produce Carbon Dioxide.

6. Why have we seen a steady rise of carbon dioxide over the last fifty years? 

As I said earlier, the various CO2 monitoring stations are simply not sensitive enough to measure man’s contribution of Carbon Dioxide.

The primary reason we have seen a measurable increase in total Carbon Dioxide in recent times relates to the fact that we have been coming out of the little ice age over the last hundred years. People need to understand that the oceans contain 50 to 60 times more Carbon Dioxide than the atmosphere. This ratio is called the partition ratio governed by Henry’s law.

As the temperature of the oceans increase, more carbon dioxide is released by the oceans as a function of Henry’s law. This is a fundamental law of physics not; a theory. As water body temperatures go up; the CO2 levels in the air go up. Dr. Ernst Beck demonstrated in a 2006 paper that the curves cited by many geologists today imply far lower levels of CO2 over the past 1,000 years than actually existed.

7. In your opinion, how can this notion of anthropogenic or manmade climate change be put to rest once and for all?

Well, if I were a strong and honest member of the senate, Ted Cruz, as an example, and I wanted to end this debate once and for all, I would hold a Senate hearing and I would deliver an opening statement wherein I define the man warming debate as follows:

Does manmade carbon dioxide coming from fossil fuels create warming or climate change?” “The answer to that question solves the issue once and for all.”

Forget all the physics stuff about absorbed infrared radiation and heat transfer from “greenhouses gases” in the air to the Earth. That is too pedantic and people cannot evaluate it.”

Look at the recent paper from Dr. Happer of the CO2 Coalition which is posted on our website. You have to have masters degree in physics…if not a Ph.D. …to understand it. But the issue can be boiled down to “Does manmade carbon dioxide cause warming or climate change?”  Period.

Notice I did not say: “does carbon dioxide cause global warming.”  I said: “does manmade carbon dioxide cause warming or climate change?

With numerous scientists present in the room along with all the left aisle types, I would ask one simple question:  “What percentage of the total amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is manmade coming from fossil fuel use?

Answer that question definitively.”  When all the professor Michael Mann cronies speak up and say look at the Mauna Loa curve, I would ask: “Can anyone here empirically and mathematically prove that curve represents increases from anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide?”  There would be total silence and then a lot of posturing and “…Sir, we need to study that…”

8. Has the anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere been empirically measured using scientific instruments and advanced calculation techniques?

No. Not yet. The spectrometry or measurement equipment used today to measure Carbon Dioxide levels has to operate at the very limits of its resolution in what we call a non-liner range. Furthermore the signal to noise ratio is too great to resolve man’s CO2. We can detect seasonal variations in Northern and Southern Hemisphere plant growth but that is it.

The following expands the Q&A video discussion based on the scientific work product of Clair (Bud) L. Bromley, co-inventor along with Tomer (Tom) Tamarkin of a patent pending titled A Preferred Means to Calculate Ratio of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Produced by Human Combustion of Fossil Fuels Relative to Earth’s Measured Carbon Dioxide Atmospheric Reservoir.”

Since the amount of CO2 contributed by humans to the atmosphere is too small to be measured by infrared instrumentation and statistics, it is also too small to significantly affect climate change, or global warming or cooling.

The average net global concentration of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) in the atmosphere is routinely sampled and measured by longwave infrared radiation (LWIR) scientific instrumentation at laboratories such as the laboratory of the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii Island in Hawaii, USA.  The laboratory results are reported with high accuracy and precision resulting in high confidence in these data, including formation of national and international policies and law and consequent costs to taxpayers and economies measured in billions or trillions of dollars.

The average net global concentration of CO2 measured in these labs is on the order of 400 molecules CO2 per one million other air molecules based on volume (ppmv). Four hundred (400) ppmv is 0.04 percent of the atmosphere.  Air samples are taken multiple times per week in flasks.  The air samples are dried to remove water vapor in the samples.  Water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the environment since water vapor also absorbs LWIR and is 10 to 100 times more concentrated in air than CO2.  Also, the specific LWIR wavelengths which are absorbed by water vapor gas overlap with the wavelengths which are absorbed by CO2 gas.  In combination, the higher concentration of water vapor and its overlapping absorbance wavelengths prevent routine measurement of CO2 gas concentration in ambient air by LWIR scientific instruments in laboratories.        

The concentration of atmospheric CO2 gas at 400 ppmv or 0.04% is technically defined as a trace gas, along with the other atmospheric trace gases that collectively make up less than 1% of the atmosphere.  When the air samples are dried and water vapor is removed, 400 ppmv is near the lower limit of detection but still within the lower limit of quantitation by LWIR detection and routine sampling.  According to the data description provided by NOAA, detection is in a “non-linear” range requiring frequent and diligent calibration with validated CO2 gas standards in known concentrations.   

The theory of human-caused global warming assumes that CO2 causes “greenhouse” warming by absorbing specific wavelengths of LWIR emitted from earth’s surface and then that CO2 re-emits that same radiation into the atmosphere.  As occurs with undried air samples in the laboratory, most of the LWIR emitted by the earth is absorbed by water vapor gas in the atmosphere.  The atmosphere also contains water aerosol and water droplets in clouds and fog and these forms of water also absorb LWIR.  As occurs with undried air samples in the laboratory, the amount of LWIR in the atmosphere which is available to be absorbed by CO2 is small, obscured and limited because the LWIR already has been absorbed by water vapor, clouds and fog, water aerosol, etc.

According to the theory of anthropogenic or human-caused global warming (AGW), atmospheric CO2 absorbs LWIR emitted from earth’s surface and then re-emits that LWIR into the air, where part of the LWIR is radiated back to earth’s surface, part of that re-emitted LWIR is absorbed by water vapor and clouds or other greenhouse gas molecules, and part of that LWIR is radiated back into outer space.  Thus, according to AGW theory, there is a feedback loop of LWIR radiative emission from atmospheric CO2 gas which causes increased warming of earth, water vapor and clouds, and the claimed result of this is a dangerous spiral of global warming that some believe is an existential crisis for humanity and most life on earth. 

Since 400 ppmv of 0.04% CO2 is near the lower limit of detection and barely measurable by LWIR detection when water vapor is removed from the air samples (i.e., dried samples), then LWIR both to and from 400 ppmv concentration CO2 in natural air will be absorbed by water vapor, clouds, fog, aerosol, water droplets, etc.  CO2 in natural air may absorb a marginal residual of LWIR from earth that escapes absorption by water vapor, but the amount will be small and obscured from measurement by large variance in more concentrated water vapor.  CO2 in natural air may also absorb LWIR emitted by water vapor molecules and the amount absorbed by this route is probably higher than the amount absorbed by CO2 directly from earth’s surface. The AGW hypothetical feedback loop is probably the reverse direction proposed by AGW. In any case it is logically obvious that the amount of LWIR available to be absorbed by CO2 at 400 ppmv is exceedingly small because the radiation already has been absorbed by water vapor. 

Re-emission of LWIR by greenhouse gas molecules occurs upon collision of the gas molecules.  Radiative emission of a gas molecule occurs in a pulse of one wavelength duration at the same wavelengths and frequencies that were originally absorbed by the gas molecule.  The pulse of LWIR is emitted into 3-dimension steradian space, analogous to the surface of a rapidly expanding balloon.  The amount (intensity, or abundance watts per square meter) of the LWIR radiative emission is distributed into 3-dimensional space.    The amount of LWIR absorbed at each subsequent event is reduced in proportion to the solid geometry steradian coefficient and reduced in proportion to the inverse square of the distance between the emitting molecule and absorbing molecule.  The wavelengths and frequencies of the radiative emission do not change. Absorption of LWIR by a greenhouse gas molecule such as water vapor or CO2 is translated into increased internal vibrations among the atoms of the gas molecule.  A fraction of a second after LWIR is absorbed, the molecule collides with another molecule or surface and then re-emits that same radiation into 3-dimensional space.  Then the molecule relaxes to its ground vibrational state.  This happens within nanoseconds or picoseconds.  At each successive absorption, collision, and re-emission event by the next molecules the amount of radiative emission received and emitted is reduced.  There is a downwardly spiraling crescendo.    

CO2 molecules which absorbed LWIR emission from earth’s surface are saturated for a small window of time, probably nanoseconds, during which time they are transparent to LWIR radiation any source.  Saturated molecules can absorb no more LWIR.  LWIR from the earth’s surface and any other emission source is moving at near light speed passing transparently through all saturated CO2 and other greenhouse gas molecules.  It follows that during daylight hours, all greenhouse gas molecules (primarily atmospheric water and CO2) are rapidly saturated, and then earth is emitting LWIR directly into space.  By this process, earth is cooling to maintain energy balance with incoming solar sun radiation.  After sunset, the greenhouse gas molecules emit their LWIR in the rapidly declining crescendo described above and continue to absorb and re-emit LWIR.  The intensity of the LWIR from earth’s surface at night is declining as a function of time, so also LWIR available to be absorbed is declining in a cooling crescendo.  But the delay in emission of earth’s LWIT into space due to the temporary absorption and emission of LWIR by greenhouse gases, primarily water vapor and clouds, when integrated over 24 hours results in earth’s troposphere being comfortably warmer than it would be without these greenhouse gases.  Without these gases earth’s energy gained from the sun each day would be rapidly emitted by LWIR (heat) into space.  Earth’s atmosphere is acting as a layer of insulation.  This distribution of energy is a cooling process, not a warming process.  LWIR (heat) is being distributed in incrementally lower and lower amounts.  Watts per square meter declines at night and during daylight after the time around midday of maximum insolation.    

Last and most important, the human portion of the 400 ppmv average net global CO2 concentration is significantly less than 400 ppmv, probably 40 ppmv or much less. The annual growth rate (or slope) of the NOAA average net global CO2 concentration is about 1.5 ppmv per year.  LWIR radiative emission from a low concentration of human-produced CO2 concentration will be significantly less than from the 400 ppmv total CO2.  Since detection of LWIR absorbance at 400 ppmv CO2 is completely obscured by water vapor, then water vapor would also block LWIR absorption by CO2 at 40 ppmv or less.  Also, water vapor would absorb all LWIR radiative emissions from CO2 at 40 ppmv or less.  Radiative emission from human CO2 cannot reach earth’s surface because it is absorbed by water vapor.  Except during the hottest part of the day during maximum insolation when absorption by water vapor may be saturated, LWIR absorbance by human-produced CO2 is probably nil, because, as in the laboratory LWIR instruments, water vapor is absorbing the LWIR.  Any amount of LWIR absorbed by water vapor due to feedback from radiative emissions of fossil fuel CO2 must be negligibly insignificant because water vapor is already blocking LWIR from reaching the human-produced CO2.     

The logical conclusion is human-produced CO2 results in no measurable or significant warming nor cooling, nor radiative emissions, nor greening.  As can be expected from the above analysis, diligent application of well-known statistical practices by Professor of statistics Jamal Munshi, PhD and other scientists can detect no statistical signal from fossil fuel CO2 emission in the NOAA LWIR CO2 dataset. 

Other laboratory technologies have the capability of detecting 40 ppmv CO2 in natural, wet air, or even 4 ppmv or 1 ppmv CO2 in natural, wet air, for example gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and Raman spectroscopy.  Water vapor in natural atmospheric samples does not interfere with detection in these technologies.  But that is beside the point.  Radiation to and from CO2 gas is the same LWIR and physical phenomenon in the laboratory as in natural atmosphere.  Whether in the lab or the natural undried atmosphere, LWIR is dominantly absorbed by 10 to 100 times more concentrated water vapor whose absorbance spectrum overlaps CO2’s absorbance spectrum.  Since the LWIR absorbance from CO2 on the order of 400 ppmv concentration cannot be detected in natural, undried air, then the logical inference is a lower concentration of fossil fuel CO2 emissions cannot be absorbing or emitting significant amounts of LWIR in the atmosphere.  Since human CO2 cannot be detected by routine, diligent LWIR science and statistics in the lab, then human CO2 cannot be causing global warming, cooling, climate change, melting glaciers, starving polar bears, bleaching coral, raising sea level, or social change. 

9. What, if anything, are you doing to solve this problem and answer this question once and for all?

I am currently working with a team of scientists and mathematicians who are developing a means to solve the signal to noise ratio problem, and empirically measure man’s CO2 contributions. We do this using a technique called Quantum Resonance Interferometry… or QRI… which is described on our website.

As mentioned above we have filed for a patent and have international patent pending status now on our A Preferred Means to Calculate Ratio of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Produced by Human Combustion of Fossil Fuels Relative to Earth’s Measured Carbon Dioxide Atmospheric Reservoir.”

We are currently in the feasibility study stage and should have a moving forward plan by mid-June 2021. Our goal is to have initial results for peer review and publication by Q3, 2022.

Click here to watch the lecture video or copy this link:


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