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WH Memo 9/17/1969: "It is now pretty clearly agreed that the C02 content will rise 25% by 2000.”

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posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 07:08 PM
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50 years (and nearly two months) ago, the White House received a short memo about the threat of human-induced climate change - well before Al Gore championed the fight against global warming.

The process is a simple one. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has the effect of a pane of glass in a greenhouse. The C02 content is normally in a stable cycle, but recently man has begun to introduce instability through the burning of fossil fuels. At the turn of the century several persons raised the question whether this would change the temperature of the atmosphere. Over the years the hypothesis has been refined, and more evidence has come along to support it.

The physics are fairly simple behind CO2 and have been known about for over a hundred years - note that "at the turn of the century" in 1969 meant around 1900. It was known that it might be a problem in the future and so the memo was sent to the President. Sadly, it was addressed to John Ehrlichman - a crook who worked for a crook (Nixon), and I suppose promptly ignored.

Of course, such a short memo doesn't get it all right.. notably the title of this thread. Per the Earth System Research Laboratory's CO2 page for CO2 ppm:

1969 9 322.38

It fluctuates during the year, so I'll just go with the measurements for the memo's date (~324.26 ppm from Oct 1968 - Sep 1969). A 25% increase would be 402.98 ppm. Same time in 2000 for CO2 ppm:

2000 9 366.91

It looks like only a 13.8% increase was borne out. 402.98 ppm fortunately wasn't reached until April of this year - 15 years later, a delay of nearly 50%. Not a good milestone, but better than if it had happened in 2000! The carbon sinks were more extensive than estimated at the time, I suspect.

The bad thing about it is that, while a 13.8% increase happened over a period of 31 years, the remaining 11.2% increase occurred in only half that time. Further, before those who would decry science get all in a tizzy about the exaggeration in this memo... 1969 is the wrong year to be looking at CO2 ppm - I'll get to this after a short discussion.

The memo doesn't directly reference it, but the source for the information contained within it is actually far older - a President's Science Advisory Committee report issued in 1965 (start looking 9 pages in):

During the last few centuries, however, man has begun to burn the fossil fuels that were locked in sedimentary rocks over five hundred million years, and this combustion is measurably increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide.
...
The known amounts of limestone and organic carbon in the sediments indicate that the atmospheric carbon dioxide has been changed forty thousand times during the past four billion years, consequently the residence time of carbon in the atmosphere, relative to sedimentary rocks, must be of the order of a hundred thousand years.

Here we see another part of the problem - as above, CO2 fluctuates a few ppm globally every year... but that's largely due to organic intake and then output as the seasons change. As more CO2 is added... it just accumulates further and further. Nor will it diminish if we all stopped emitting carbon dioxide. Remember, this report was written in 1965 - before man had even walked on the Moon.

We even knew back then that CO2 was increasing entirely because of human activities:

In fact, no increase in the biosphere has been noted. Perhaps most striking result is that the ocean only takes up a relatively small fraction of the total added CO2, probably about 15%.
...
We can conclude with fair assurance that at the present time, fossil fuels are the only source of CO2 being added to the ocean-atmosphere-biosphere system.


Interesting, no? This is all very, very old information. Now, let's return to the 25% by 2000 estimate... as I said, such a notion in the title referenced by the memo is actually in this older document:

Based on projected world energy requirements, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (1956) has estimated an amount of fossil fuel combustion by the year 2000 that with our assumed partitions would give about a 25 percent increase in atmospheric CO2, compared to the amount present during the the 19th Century.

Ah, so not 1969. Additionally, in the tables, the report points back to 1950 as the start date for growth in three scenarios, with CO2 ppm in 1959 being 13.80% higher than 1950 CO2 levels. These scenarios estimate CO2 levels increasing by 27.77% by the year 1999 with no growth in emissions, 41.96% with 3.2% annual growth in emissions, and 58.75% with 5% annual growth in emissions.

Working that out, for each of the three atmospheric CO2 scenarios by 1999, that's ~354.76 ppm, ~394.16 ppm, and ~440.78 ppm respectively. The actual annual CO2 ppm for 1999 as measured was 368.33 ppm, a 32.65% growth in atmospheric CO2 over 1950; worse than the no growth case, but less than the other two cases.

A couple of temperature related items:

We may compute from his data that with a 25 percent increase in atmospheric CO2, the average temperature near the earth's surface could increase between 0.6°C and 4°C, depending on the behavior of atmospheric water vapor content.

GISTEMP for annual (J-D):1950 (-0.18°C) and 1999 (+0.42°C)... looks like a 0.6°C difference on the button, albeit for a 32.65% growth rather than a 25% growth in CO2 ppm.

A 25% rise in carbon dioxide would cause stratospheric temperatures to fall by perhaps 2°C (3.6°F) at an altitude of 30 kilometers (about 100,000 feet) and by 4°C (7°F) at 40 kilometers (130,000 feet).

Cooling because of CO2, indeed. Other topics this 1965 report touches on as a result of increased CO2 levels are worth a look:

Melting of the Antarctic ice cap.
Rise of sea level.
Warming of sea water.
Increased acidity of fresh waters.
Increase in photosynthesis.


The report also considers other sources (the above is fossil fuels - you'll note below that burning of limestone, which humans do to produce cement, is listed), if you want to read in detail:

Oceanic warming.
Burning of limestone.
Decrease in the carbon content of soils.
Change in the amount of organic matter in the ocean.
Changes in the carbon dioxide content of deep ocean water.
Changes in the volume of sea water.
Carbon dioxide from volcanoes.
Changes due to solution and precipitation of carbonates.


Finally:

By the year 2000 the increase in atmospheric CO2 will be close to 25%. This may be sufficient to produce measurable and perhaps marked changes in climate, and will almost certainly cause significant changes in temperature and other properties of the stratosphere.

I think their math was a bit off in growth estimates, but it looks to me like that 25% increase by 2000 was pretty close - if underestimating what we actually measured by a bit. Agree or disagree below.

edit on 19Sat, 07 Nov 2015 19:18:35 -0600America/ChicagovAmerica/Chicago11 by Greven because: whoops, somehow forgot to link the source of the short memo




posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 07:19 PM
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OP,

Interesting find. I am glad you actually went to look up the information and verify it. I am curious if you have gone back and compared this estimate against IPCC predictions and models? I am much more interested in how they have changed their calculations in the decades since.

//edit
Not the temperature models, but the actual methodology of measuring C02
//edit

-FBB
edit on 7-11-2015 by FriedBabelBroccoli because: 101



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 07:54 PM
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a reply to: Greven

Yep,

And nothing will be done except implementation of a Carbon Credit Trading Scam.



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 07:57 PM
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a reply to: infolurker




And nothing will be done except implementation of a Carbon Credit Trading

Are you sure?
www.c2es.org...



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 08:10 PM
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originally posted by: FriedBabelBroccoli

Not the temperature models, but the actual methodology of measuring C02
-FBB

That's a one good question, I'll add a couple. Is CO2, a heavier than air 'gas', remain inert in the ground,(when it eventually gets there) or is that a yes or no question?
Is Co2 a reactive gas with other elements? or is that a yes or no question?
Is either of the above relevant to the amount of PPM in the atmosphere, or taken into account in the measure of PPM in the atmosphere, and how so?



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 08:24 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: infolurker




And nothing will be done except implementation of a Carbon Credit Trading

Are you sure?
www.c2es.org...


Well I WISH nothing would be done, but we all know that the carbon credit scam is just the beginning and that with Agenda 21 and other NWO programs it will be used to control us and our lives.



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 08:27 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus


Well I WISH nothing would be done, but we all know that the carbon credit scam is just the beginning and that with Agenda 21 and other NWO programs it will be used to control us and our lives.

Funny thing is, there is no "carbon credit scam" affecting anyone in the US.

Funny thing is, Agenda 21 has nothing to do with carbon credits or control.



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: Phage

Actually agenda 21 is all about international control of lands and resources of sovereign nations. Also, I never said the carbon credit scams were currently affecting us in the U.S., but there are those that wish to impose those here. Not really funny at all.



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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a reply to: Greven

I guess it wasn't a big deal then. According to what were told in 1969, since we didn't stop the communists in Vietnam, then they have already overrun Australia, Japan , and the US by now. So let the communists deal with global warming.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 12:11 AM
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So I checked it out OP, the IPCC is still using the dry mole values from the Mauna Loa station in the graphs they present on their website.

Mauna Loa Observatory
en.wikipedia.org...


Mauna Loa was originally chosen as a monitoring site because, located far from any continent, the air was sampled and is a good average for the central Pacific.


Anyone have a link to were the IPCC is explaining their methodology for extrapolating the central pacific values planet wide? I have read the info on the activist websites, but for some reason can't find a specific outline of the reasoning directly from the IPCC.

//edit



The estimated uncertainty in the Mauna Loa annual mean growth rate is 0.11 ppm/yr. This estimate is based on the standard deviation of the differences between monthly mean values measured independently by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and by NOAA/ESRL. The annual growth rate measured at Mauna is not the same as the global growth rate, but it is quite similar. One standard deviation of the annual differences MLO minus global is 0.26 ppm/year.


This is from the ESRL themselves and I am not seeing any studies linked to concerning how that difference is accounted for.

-FBB
edit on 8-11-2015 by FriedBabelBroccoli because: 101



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 12:12 AM
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a reply to: FriedBabelBroccoli



Anyone have a link to were the IPCC is explaining their methodology for extrapolating the central pacific values planet wide?

How hard did you look?
www.esrl.noaa.gov...

Mauna Loa is used because it has the longest term continuous data. That data correlates with data from other stations around the world. CO2 mixes well.
edit on 11/8/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 12:19 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: FriedBabelBroccoli



Anyone have a link to were the IPCC is explaining their methodology for extrapolating the central pacific values planet wide?

How hard did you look?
www.esrl.noaa.gov...

Mauna Loa is used because it has the longest term continuous data. That data correlates with data from other stations around the world. CO2 mixes well.


Lists of data are not the same thing as factoring the propagation of errors due to relying on a mean value.

You know this.

-FBB



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 12:20 AM
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a reply to: FriedBabelBroccoli




You know this.

I have no idea what you just said but when stations all across the planet show very similar values for CO2 concentrations it indicates that the mean is valid.
edit on 11/8/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 12:30 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: FriedBabelBroccoli




You know this.

I have no idea what you just said but when stations all across the planet show very similar values for CO2 concentrations it indicates that the mean is valid.


You don't know what error propagation is?

Propagation of uncertainty
en.wikipedia.org...


In statistics, propagation of uncertainty (or propagation of error) is the effect of variables' uncertainties (or errors) on the uncertainty of a function based on them. When the variables are the values of experimental measurements they have uncertainties due to measurement limitations (e.g., instrument precision) which propagate to the combination of variables in the function.


It is the type of statistical manipulations made on the raw data from Mauna Loa to generate the moving average.

www.esrl.noaa.gov...


In the above figure, the dashed red line with diamond symbols represents the monthly mean values, centered on the middle of each month. The black line with the square symbols represents the same, after correction for the average seasonal cycle. The latter is determined as a moving average of SEVEN adjacent seasonal cycles centered on the month to be corrected, except for the first and last THREE and one-half years of the record, where the seasonal cycle has been averaged over the first and last SEVEN years, respectively.


I was looking for studies about the projections and how they are account for the same type of phenomena.

-FBB



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 12:42 AM
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a reply to: FriedBabelBroccoli

You don't know what error propagation is?
Yes I do. It was the other gobbledygook I couldn't parse.



I was looking for studies about the projections and how they are account for the same type of phenomena.
I'm not sure what projections you're talking about but the description you posted is the method whereby seasonal fluctuations (due to the effects of vegetation) are smoothed. It does not change the overall change in CO2 levels. As you can see both the seasonal peaks and seasonal lows follow the same trend as the mean. The same trend seen in stations all over the planet.



edit on 11/8/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 02:05 AM
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posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 03:04 AM
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Awesome thread.

Always great to see stuff on ATS that is actually well researched and carefully considered, rather than mimicked word for word from some trash blog or partisan nutjob.

As fun as it is reading the endlessly original comments about anthropologicamorphic global warming being the centerpiece of the agender’ 21 carbon credit scheme, anyone with moderate research skills (ability to type words into google) can dig up actual information that blows this lazy conspiracy theory to #.

As mentioned in the OP, the physics are simple and a century old.

You can find articles from 1884 showing scientists explaining natural climate cycles by the fact that minute changes in CO2 “carbonic acid” would turn the Earth’s atmosphere into an “orchid house”:


Many ingenious hypotheses have been proposed to account for the warmer climate of earlier times, but are at best unsatisfactory; and it appears to me that the true solution of the problem may be found in the constitution of the early atmosphere, when considered in the light of Dr. Tyndall's beautiful researches on radiant heat. He has found that the presence of a few hundredths of carbonic acid gas in the atmosphere, while offering almost no obstacle to the passage of the solar rays, would suffice to prevent almost entirely the loss by radiation of obscure heat, so that the surface of the land beneath such an atmosphere would become like a vast orchid house, in which the conditions of climate necessary to a luxuriant vegetation would be extended even to the polar regions.


They’ve known for a very long time what greenhouse gases are capable of. This is from 1909:


'These gases act as a kind of blanket, and while transparent to heat coming from the sun, are relatively opaque to heat rising from the earth. They tend, in fact, to check radiation.'

'On the assumption that the atmospheric envelope contained an abnormal amount of these two gases, the temperature of the whole earth would have risen in consequence, and conditions would conceivably have existed at the South Pole quite consistent with extensive plant and animal life.


What really kept the fossil fuel connection in check until the 60s was just the fact that, until then, no one had any reliable measurements to confirm atmospheric CO2 was indeed rising. Once it became obvious, these chickens simply came home to roost.

So if there’s someone out there that really wants to be taken seriously on the goofy climate conspiracy at hand – I’d love to see them come up with a convincing argument that covers the supposed carbon credit agenda all the way back to when it must have actually started.

Personally I’m a big Back to the Future fan, so if you can involve Al Gore stealing a DeLorean in 2015 and giving scientists all the fake data in 1884 – I’m already listening



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 10:29 AM
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How to put this...

Prior to 1900's, nearly every family dwelling on the entire planet was heated by or cooked with some sort of fire. Wood and coal were primary sources. Both emit quite a bit of CO2 when burnt. And for the most part we still heat and cook by fire. Electricity is generally from coal fired plants.

Plants and especially trees consume CO2 and give off oxygen. So what has changed? Well, let's look at a little history. Ohio was the 17th State admitted in 1803 (technically not a State due to paperwork but that is another topic) at that time there was enough standing forests for a squirrel to travel from present day Cleveland to New Orleans without touching the ground. Today they are lucky to be able to cross the road without being ran over. In settling this country there was massive deforestation that is never mentioned. Are there still remnants of that left in Ohio? Yes, in southeastern and south central Ohio. Only in small pockets that were too difficult to remove in other areas and of course what is known as the back 40 (land set aside by government subsidies for farmers so they don't over produce and drive down crop prices) of various farms.

What else...we simply are not an agrarian country anymore. We discourage land ownership and stewardship in individuals and promote urban lifestyle. Economically speaking, the government could offer up parcels for purchase (the old forty acres and a mule) but few could or would be able to partake. And it would be socially awkward as well. While many ATS members would relish the idea of a log cabin off the grid, most people could not give up modern conveniences like electricity, internet and running water.



posted on Nov, 9 2015 @ 04:19 PM
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originally posted by: Ahabstar
How to put this...

Prior to 1900's, nearly every family dwelling on the entire planet was heated by or cooked with some sort of fire. Wood and coal were primary sources.


They are entirely different climatologically. Wood when burnt, releases carbon which was recently (i.e. when the tree was growing) in the atmosphere and captured by the plant. Therefore, no long-term net change.

Coal, on the other hand, comes from mining and brings up carbon which had been entirely out of the biosphere for tens to hundreds of millions of years, back when the continents were in very different places, and mammals had hardly evolved, much less primates.



posted on Nov, 9 2015 @ 04:21 PM
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a reply to: Ahabstar

And, point being? I really like technological civilization. I don't want to go back to agrarian life, and it's not remotely possible with our current population density. I also don't want to destroy the climate---therefore we need non-polluting, locally and globally (includes greenhouse effect), energy (low-entropy to be exact) sources & fuel systems.

And yes, I think we need to employ more fission until we have reliable fusion generation working economically and suck it up with the fissionable wastes.
edit on 9-11-2015 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



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