An interesting news item from the BBC concerning a recent press release made by the Met Office which spouts on about just how accurate their models are with regard to global CO2 levels in our atmosphere. I would include the Met Office news release but it’s just far too detailed, so I thought I would let Matt McGrath fill you in on some of the details.
The trouble is, to a confirmed weather cynic like I am, predicting what the global CO2 level for 2020 would be a complete doddle, let’s face it since the Mauna Loa record began in 1958 there have only been 8 of the last 720 months or so that have shown a year on year fall in CO2 (the last being in September 1974). In fact I would be so bold as to make my own prediction that by May 2020 the CO2 levels from Mauna Loa will be close to 416.83 ppm, and I know for a fact that I will be very close to the reported value. How did I do that? Well the rise in CO2 levels in the last 20 years has been at around 21.7 ppm/decade that’s a rise of 6.1% per decade. So looking at last May’s value of 414.66 ppm I just add the linear trend of 2.17 ppm. It’s when the Met Office detect the first fall in greenhouse emissions that I’ll get excited and say well done, but until then their model predictions are onto a sure fire winner with global CO2.
You can’t make really make heads nor tails out of graph like the one above that’s displaying monthly CO2 values. All you can say about it is that the data is that it’s cyclical over the course of a year, and it’s been rising at around 21.7 ppm/decade for the last twenty years.
A better kind of graph
The graph below is different, it plots monthly 12 month changes with a 12 month moving average overlaid on the top of that if that makes sense. So you are now just looking at changes without the inbuilt 12 month periodicity. I personally can’t see what the Met Office are getting worked up about. Yes the annual rise in CO2 is gradually increasing, but that’s always been the case, it’s when these rises ever start to falter and diminish is when we should get excited, then we will know that some of the changes introduced in some countries across the world has started to have an effect. I did notice some vague kind of periodicity in the changes recently, but unfortunately the nine people that read my article never got back to congratulate me about this wonderful discovery I had made, oh dear, how sad, never mind.