Friday, 7 December 2018

Is the data from Copernicus (CAMS) accurate?

A futher discussion of methane emissions data for the Arctic

This were comments made by Joe Neubarth on Facebook in response to the revelation of high levels of methane:

"OK, now, I am not so worried. CAMS threw a scare into us over the past few days, but they have corrected their scale to give us readings that are actually lower then Met Op 1 and 2.

"Now, if I go to CAMS lower readings I feel prone not to promise a collapse of civilization before 2032. Otherwise, I will go with 2031. In both cases, I do not expect to be alive to see it; but, it will be a most interesting time in Earth's remaining history

"Here is CAMS with their updated methane chart.

"Notice their scale now goes up to 2320 and that is way below the upper levels of Met Op - 1 AM shift for yesterday"
---Joe Neubarth, via Facebook

I use CAMS almost every day and nowhere can I find any data where the scale only goes up to 2320 ppm so I would be grateful to know where this "corrected" version comes from,

The origin of my data ( from 1.37 pm NZT on Friday 7 December) is THIS.

And then today the message is - 

"Notice that the scale shows a Dark Brown. If I read the chart right, that is supposed to be 75,600 ppb. If that is true, we are dead men walking.

"As I have posted elsewhere, I hope that is a typo.

"When CAMS came out I did not use it as the chart did not carry the legend with it. What good is a bunch of colors if you do not have the scale that explains them?

"So, I have snipped this one complete with the scale. BUT, I do not believe the scale is accurate."


There seem to be a lot of assumptions in this. My assumption (and I'm sure I am correct in this) is that the data from CAMS is average emissions rather than maximum.

By contrast, the NOAA data, usually for about 500hPa shows a range as well as a maximum level which is usually about 2300 ppb.

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The brown colour, signifying the maximum values measured does not signify a level of 2300 ppb or of (Gd forbid!) 75,600 ppb ppb but somewhere inbetween.

Also, note the scale above. The pink does not relate to a particular reading but also a range between an unspecified level and infinity.

There is no doubt that these are extremely high readings and need to be compared with readings from just a few months ago.

This (from the forecast for Thursday, 6 December) illustrates how serious the situation is (or appears to be). 

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Now contrast with these readings from 29 August. Amounts of methane comparable with maximum readings from NOAA (red) are being released here into the Arctic Sea.

I have updated the video which goes from Monday, 2 December through to Thursday, 6 December.  The latest current data is for Tuesday, 3rd; anything after that is from the forecast period.

These are the current temperature anomalies in the region.

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As was pointed out by Margo the ice in part of the Arctic actually thinned and contracted over several days - in winter!!

Historical reports on Margo's Healing Corner are available HERE and articles with the label methane on the blog are HERE

In conclusion, the data has to be examined carefully with an eye to detail without responding to it according to one's ideas of what the data should be.

There is always room to be proved wrong as well as to be shocked.

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