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Mauna Loa CO2 Readings, Making Sure The Readings Are Right

Gristmill: How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic

Has a complete listing of the articles in "How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic," a series by Coby Beck containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming. ...

One example is this:

Objection: CO2 levels are recorded on top of Mauna Loa ... a volcano! No wonder the levels are so high.

Answer: Yes, it's true, Mauna Loa is an active volcano. In fact it's the biggest volcano on earth! So, should we suppose that Charles Keeling didn't know that?

Well, no, he did know it. And using subtle scientific indicators like "wind direction," he was even able to ensure that his readings were not contaminated by any out-gassing when it was occurring....

A quick look at the actual levels recorded makes it pretty hard to believe there is any volcanic influence. We have a nice, slow, steady trend with a regular up and down seasonal variation. No spikes, no dips. Nothing random....

I would be interested in knowing how he decided which readings were "contaminated" and not to be included, was it on the environmental conditions such as the wind or did he just chuck away readings that didn't fit?


An interesting question is why anyone would decide that up a volcano was an attractive spot at which to measure global CO2.

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