The Changing Carbon Cycle: A Global Analysis by Richard H. Gammon, Walter D. Komhyr, James T. Peterson

By Richard H. Gammon, Walter D. Komhyr, James T. Peterson (auth.), John R. Trabalka, David E. Reichle (eds.)

The usa executive, cognizant of its tasks to destiny generations, has been sponsoring learn for 9 years into the explanations, results, and capability affects of elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide (C0 ) within the surroundings. organisations similar to the nationwide technology Foun­ 2 dation, nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric management, and the U.S. division of strength (DOE) cooperatively spent approximately $100 million from FY 1978 via FY 1984 without delay at the examine of CO • The DOE, because the 2 lead executive organisation for coordinating the govt.' s learn ef­ forts, has been accountable for approximately 60% of those learn efforts. William James succinctly outlined our objective whilst he acknowledged technology needs to be dependent upon " ... irreducible and obdurate facts." medical wisdom can and should decrease the current major uncertainty sur­ rounding our realizing of the reasons, results, and strength affects of accelerating atmospheric CO2• we have now come a ways in the past seven years in resolving a few underlyinig doubts and in narrowing the levels of war of words. uncomplicated ideas became much less murky. but, even more needs to be entire; extra irreducible and obdurate evidence are had to decrease the uncertainties in order that we will enhance our wisdom base. Uncertainty can by no means be diminished to 0. despite the fact that, with a far stronger wisdom base, we will examine, below­ stand, and be able to make decisions.

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Russell et al. unpublished manuscript) only a brief summary is given of the model version that was used in the present study. The GISS three-dimensional tracer model numerically solves the continuity equation for a tracer: a -(Cp)=-V-vCp + CONVEC(Cp) + Q (1) at on a three-dimensional grid spanning the whole globe. Here C denotes the concentration of the tracer (expressed as a volume mixing ratio or mole fraction), p, the density of air, v, the wind velocity vector, and t, time. CONVEC(Cp) represents the change in tracer concentration by vertical convection, discussed below, and Q is a source term that, for the inert CO2 gas, differs from zero only at the surface of the earth.

We address the problem in the forward direction introduc ing rather simple but plausible source configurations and looking at the concentration 2. Simulating the Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Distribution 17 pattems generated by the model. No attempt is made to fine-tune the simulated concentration fields to the observations by systematic adjustments of the source terms, although this is intended at a later stage in the project. The present approach, however, permits a detailed investigation of the behavior of the three-dimensional model.

First, we notice that this sink corresponds to only 33% of the CO2 released from fossil fuel use in the 1979-1980 period. Second, we argue that even if the condition of uniformity of the sink is not approximately true, or if the terrestrial biosphere takes up some of this CO 2 , it is most likely that the sink is nevertheless widespread and almost balanced between the hemispheres. If this is the case, the resulting atmospheric patterns are caused primarily by the location of the concentrated sources in the few highly industrialized areas of the northern hemisphere.

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