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Sunday, January 03, 2010

No Rise of Airborne Fraction of Carbon Dioxide in Past 150 Years, New Research Finds

I wonder why no one ever thought to ask the question? I just assumed that increasing the production of carbon dioxide meant that the amount of this gas in the atmosphere would increase. It turns out not to be true.

ScienceDaily (Dec. 31, 2009) — Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere....

To assess whether the airborne fraction is indeed increasing, Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol reanalyzed available atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and considers the uncertainties in the data.

In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

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