Forgive me: I am re-blogging this from my old blog because
(a) its interesting and (b) someone at Protons asked a question about it.
I love the CDIAC (Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre ) website. Yes, it is obscure and takes a lot of clicking to find what you want. But that is because you don’t really know what you want!
But after a bit of clicking you can find data – raw data that you can plot and analyse yourself – or simple graphics. I like this page which shows what the atmospheric CO2 record looks like from the Northern Pacific, southwards through the famous Mauna Loa data, and at successively further southward in the Pacific until one reaches the Antarctic. I have pasted graphs of the data below.
The vertical scale is the same in all the graphs, but not the horizontal scale. What the graphs show is the same rising trend, but the annual oscillations differ in character and magnitude. In particular the further north one looks, the more dramatic is the effect of ‘summer’ in the northern hemisphere which causes a drastic fall in carbon dioxide concentrations as plants grow. Most of the Earth’s plants are in the northern hemisphere and so this effect is seen much more strongly here. And just to show that the site really does give access to the data, here is the data from these three sites plotted for the year 2007. Notice how weak the oscillation is in the antarctic and how it is out of phase with the Northern hemisphere summer.
Month by Month Data from 2007
Data from Alert, Alaska
Data from Mauna Loa, Hawaii
Data from South Pole, Antarctica
- Data from South Pole, Antarctica