2010-10-15 08:33:21Mauna Loa is a volcano



Moved here

2010-10-15 09:45:36a few errors
Dana Nuccitelli

A few errors to correct:

"But yes, the MLO sits on a volcano and we all know that volcanoes have the bad habit"

"When the instrument happens to be downwind"

"Rejected data flagged "A".

"From time to time, usually weekly, they cross-check the measurements with different methods and performed? in a different laboratory."  Not sure what you're trying to say with "performed".

"They fill two flasks with air, one from the intake of the continuous analyzer (called "S"), and the other in a completely independent system (called "P"). "

"From the southern to the northern hemisphere and from the poles to the equator, the data are pretty consistent. Apparently people at NOOA know what they are doing. It's not by chance that the Mauna Loa CO2 record is considered one of the best records in climate science."

But the content is good.  A very interesting post.

2010-10-15 10:57:28


In the second figure, I see two squiggly lines. One is green, the other is a kind of purple-black.

Exactly what insight am I supposed to be deriving from this graph?


2010-10-15 18:34:25


Thank you Dana for the "proof reading".

Neal, I added i line below the figure to explain what I wanted to show. But then I realized that probably it would be better to drop the figure altogether, it is the kind of figure that researchers love but maybe it's not worth showing. I'll wait for your opinion.



should I upload the NOAA figure(s) or  may I leave the URL pointing to the original?

2010-10-15 20:11:24

What point is being made about these P and S flasks? What is the purpose of bottling this air and sending it around? What is the "message" behind this? You need to spell it out.
2010-10-15 21:26:30

The paragraph before the figure talks about cross-checking and how the two different samples are taken. It's there, maybe not clear enough. I'll think about how to rephrase it.
2010-10-15 22:26:33

The context is missing. What is the point behind these two samples, why would this provide a cross-check? What are the implications of the differences. The reader doesn't know this. Heck, I don't know this.
2010-10-16 02:14:06

I rewrote that paragraph and dropped the figure. Now it is more explicit and, I hope, less confusing.
2010-10-16 16:56:59
Ari Jokimäki


"...and representative of the northern emisphere background CO2 concentration..."

emisphere -> hemisphere

2010-10-16 17:07:34


emisphere ... again ...  :P

thanks Ari

2010-10-19 18:14:37
Rob Painting

Strange(ly) enough?. Best record(s).

Of course some skeptic may jump on figure 1 and claim they're throwing out all the low readings. I know, I know, just anticipating the moronic responses.

I don't know how comprehensible the data selection procedure would be to most laypeople, but an interesting read.



2010-10-19 19:39:56

"NOOA" => "NOAA"
2010-10-21 03:31:45

Thank you guys.


you made a good point about the probable (moronic) criticism. I added a paragraph just below the figure with the numbers of rejected data points along the 4 steps.

The data selection procedure is not very clear, probably. I thought for a while to add a sentence or two to be more explicit. But this is supposed to be an advanced rebuttal, I hope the sentence "on these short time scales large changes are not expected" will suffice.

I'll give it a last thought and publish it tomorrow.
2010-10-21 04:38:17

You keep misspelling "continuous" as "continuos" or something like that.
2010-10-21 10:05:11
Andy S


Hi Riccardo

I just posted a Basic rebuttal for review on the same subject. I deliberately did not read your rebuttal first -- I guess we all have to take pains to avoid charges of plagiarism these days ;-)

I expected more duplication but I don't think that there is much. Your detailed account of how the data are edited is complementary to what I wrote.

The only quibble I have is with:

From the southern to the northern hemisphere and from the poles to the equator, the data are pretty consistent.

The background trends are consistent, true, but the amplitudes of the annual cycles are not and I think that deserves a comment. Also, there's a lag of about 2 years when you compare Mauna Loa and South Pole annual averages. I suspect that this is due to the speed of mixing of the atmosphere, with the S Pole not experiencing the increased CO2 (which mostly originates from the N Hemisphere) for a while.

Here's a plot I made that I originally intended for my rebuttal and which I decided not to use.

Other than that, I think your rebuttal is fine.

2010-10-21 19:31:32



good to know of your rebuttal. I think that you should use the same figure I used that does not show methane. Also, Eschenbach's post, while overall good and definitely well illustrated, contain some errors (measurements taken just at night, for example).

You made a good point on the difference in the annual cycle. May bad, I tend to think that people understand more than they probably do. I'll add a few words on this. As for the delay, it's true but it's not apparent from the figure; I'd be forced to add a graph and elaborate on it. I think it would be a bit of a side issue, not directly relevant to the "is a volcano" rebuttal.


2010-10-21 20:57:57A few typos
John Cook

Great work, Riccardo. In fact, so clearly written, maybe this is better off as an intermediate rebuttal? Your call. A few spelling errors too - the word "obvious" in paragraph 2 and NOAA in the final paragraph.
2010-10-22 05:47:42


When I started, the advanced version was missing and i thought to fill it with a bit of more technical informations. Now it looks like Andy's basic version, which I like, is  at a level comparable to your intermediate version and makes it unnecessary.

So yes,  probably it would be better to drop the current intermediate version and use mine, leaving the advanced version missing.

2010-10-23 12:28:28
Andy S


I have now rewritten the Basic Version, using the diagram suggested by Riccardo. Thanks for the comments! I eliminated discussion of some points that are covered more fully in Riccardo's.

My only problem with adopting Riccardo's work as the Intermediate Version is that the current intermediate post has some comments about the match between Mauna Loa and the ice records. But perhaps that could be  added to a future Advanced version.

2010-11-06 09:11:26

I almost forgot this rebuttal ... published now.