Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The CO emission spike - the final word

These are my own reflections:

So, it was all unreal. The "claims" (which were really observations as I understand) were "questionable" at best and it never happened. it was all a technical fault?
I don't believe!

"So Gavin Schmidt, head of NASA, the guy who dissed Shakhova, Semiletov and Prof Wadhams to fend off criticism of his modelling - tells us that the Nullschool readings were a "glitch". These readings showed a huge spike and a gradual fall-off of levels.

That in my mind is not consistent with a glitch. If so,how could we ever trust the satellite readings or Nullschool again.

Schmidt is a political animal and who's to say that political considerations don't trump over scientific objectivity.

Who's to say that if methane readings go up exponentially that that too would be a "glitch" or they wouldn't just stop taking readings?"

That's my 2 cents for the morning.

CO2 emissions spike – was it just a glitch?

Considering that all the wildfire and human potential sources for the CO pulse are unlikely to produce the spike in the Nullschool data, that we have no warning of potential impending geological activity from the major agencies, and that we have had no other reports from related agencies to confirm the spike, we should also consider that there may well be something wrong with the monitor. Artifacts can appear in the satellite model data and it’s not unheard of to get a spike reading due to other signals impacting how physical models interpret sensor data.
Carbon Monoxide Hourly Observations San Bernandino
(Hourly carbon monoxide observations in Central San Bernardino do not match high surface CO measures recorded by the GEO5 model. Similar lower atmospheric readings come from station observations throughout Southern and Central California. Image source: CaliforniaAMQD.)
To this point, lack of confirmation at ground reporting stations for high CO readings appearing in the GEO5 monitor increase the likelihood that these high peak readings were a glitch or an artifact in the physical data. A cursory view of local warnings shows no local CO air quality alerts for the areas indicated in the Nullschool data set (You can view a list of the local monitors here). Analysis of this data also shows much lower CO readings from these stations in the range of 400 to 1200 parts per billion — quite a bit lower than what the GEO5 monitor is showing.
So what we have is one model showing a very high CO spike, but none of the related ground monitors picking it up. Since there are hundreds of ground stations in this region, it seems quite a bit less likely that there is something wrong with each of the readings coming from these stations than from the GEO 5 model itself.
This begs the question — was there some kind of false positive that confused GEO 5? Was there some other signal that tripped the model to show such a high reading? But to these points, a general lack of overall confirmation from the hundreds of ground sensors scattered across the region seems to point to the likelihood that such elevated readings in the GEO 5 monitor were a glitch, an artifact, or a false reading for this atmospheric level.
UPDATED: Final Confirmation From Earth Nullschool — It’s A Re-Calibration Glitch

Earth Nullschool — the site that produces the above satellite data has listed a final confirmation. The measure used to interpret atmospheric data was in the process of being re-calibrated and produced a stronger than typical signal. In other words, high CO readings for this region were a glitch. They note:
It’s pure coincidence that at MOPITT resumed data collection over western North America while its operating temperature was still stabilizing. Had the instrument’s temperature remained unstable for a few days, it would have looked like the whole globe was erupting gas. If MOPITT has started collecting data over the south pole, open ocean, or some other obscure location, I doubt anyone would have noticed and made a big fuss. MOPITT uses light collected in the infrared part of the spectrum. Based on Terra’s system status, the CO, CO2 and SO2 data collected by MOPITT on the 25th and 26th of February should be highly suspect. On the Earth map, the CO, CO2, and SO2 levels spike sometime between 1pm and 4pm Pacific time on Feb. 25th, which is between 2100 UTC on the 25th and 0000 UTC on the 26th. This is precisely during the time window when MOPITT’s operating temperature is still unstable.”
In addition, Dr. Gavin Schmidt, head of GISS NASA, has confirmed the glitch in his twitter feed which you can read here. Bryan, a poster here and blogger over at Of Tech and Learning, did a bang up analysis on the issue last night, which you can read here.

Earlier Sam Carana came up with an alternative explanation

What made carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide levels skyrocket over California?

The image shows levels as high as 990 ppm the day after, i.e. on February 26, 2016. I earlier posted images showing carbon monoxide levels as high as 46,931 ppb and I also spotted sulfur dioxide levels as high as 743.72 µg/m3 on that day.

So, what caused this?

One theory is that this was caused by seismic activity, with large amounts of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide being released from fractures running along faultlines.

Here's another theory. On February 18, 2016, state officials announced that the Aliso Canyon leak was permanently plugged. Since the natural gas could no longer escape there, pressure started to build up inside the reservoir, until one or more new holes formed elsewhere from where the natural gas started to escape abruptly into the atmosphere, which likely started in the evening of February 25, 2016.

So, here is what I think could have happened. Huge methane emissions resulted from the new leak(s) and the methane started to oxidize into carbon dioxide. The oxidation resulted in hydroxyl depletion and this meant there was less hydroxyl around to oxidize carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, resulting in carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide levels skyrocketing as well

Don't worry (sic). Nothing ever happened at all and  besides the Indian paper was "questionable at best"

Here's a sceptical blog post.

Bad Data – Carbon Monoxide Eruption Over Western North America Not Real

The internet has been in a tizzy over the over the possibility that this sudden and dramatic output of CO, as well as CO2 and SO2, signifies that a large earthquake is imminent on the west coast. The basis for these claims is a paper that appeared in the journal Applied Geochemistry authored by Dr. Ramesh Singh titled, “Satellite detection of carbon monoxide emission prior to the Gujarat earthquake of 26 January 2001.” Most of the blogs have been linking to this page on

I’ve read the journal paper, and it’s claims are questionable at best. However the merits of the paper are irrelevant because there was no major gas emission on February 25th.

For some reason, no one seems to be questioning the data upon when’s Earth map is based. Stuff happens and sometimes, though not often, scientific instruments can malfunction. ….

I wonder if the same people  who would contend who noticed this and put out the alert  are just irresponsible 'scaremongers' would regard those who blow the whistle on the methane clathrate gun in a similar vein.

I strongly suspect they would.


Dutchsinse has now commented


Hundreds of my viewers have contacted me regarding a large sudden (and strange ) Carbon Monoxide gas eruption across the West Coast of the United States.

This is the latest reading -also a glitch? - from Nullschool, showing the CO dissipating offshore.

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