Murry Salby and Hermann Harde: Control of Atmospheric CO2 Part II 

SCC Volume 1.2

Unlike much of the Earth, surface temperature in the tropics underwent a systematic and sustained increase during the satellite era. Due to the temperature dependence of surface processes which regulate CO2 emission, that long-term change should exert a similar influence on atmospheric CO2.

We develop how this influence would manifest in the evolution of CO2. Observed records are then used to investigate the interdependence of surface temperature and net CO2 emission – the component of emission that actually changes CO2.

Thermally-induced emission, especially from tropical land surface, is found to represent much of the observed evolution of net CO2 emission. It accounts for sporadic intensifications of net emission that operate on interannual time scales, notably, during episodes of El Niño. Accounted for equally well is the long-term intensification of net emission during the last half century. Jointly, these unsteady components of net emission determine the thermally-induced component of anomalous CO2. It closely tracks the observed evolution of CO2.

Continue reading: Control of Atmospheric CO2 Part II: Influence of Tropical Warming by Murry Salby and Hermann Harde.