Over on the Carbon Flame war (which I hope to be contributing to again as soon as Ryan fixes the software), Doom-laden Dan Mchale links to a post on a climate alarmist site calling itself ISIS – the Institute of Science in Society. ISIS is actually the name of a history of science journal which has been in existence for a very long time.
Since its inception in 1912, Isis has featured scholarly articles, research notes and commentary on the history of science, medicine, and technology, and their cultural influences. Review essays and book reviews on new publications in the field are also included. An official publication of the History of Science Society, this is the oldest (and most widely circulating) English-language journal in the field.
But it seems the acronym has been hijacked by climate alarmists trying to give themselves credibility by using the name of this long established and venerable journal. Here’s a bit of the page Desperate Dan linked to:
O2 Dropping Faster than CO2 Rising
Implications for Climate Change Policies
New research shows oxygen depletion in the atmosphere accelerating since 2003, coinciding with the biofuels boom; climate policies that focus exclusively on carbon sequestration could be disastrous for all oxygen-breathing organisms including humans Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
And it goes on to say further down the article that:
Decrease in atmospheric O2 has been detected in stations around the world for the past decade, a consistent downward trend that has accelerated in recent years.
The largest fall in O2 was observed in the study of Swiss research team led by Francesco Valentino at University of Bern, for data collected at high altitude research stations in Switzerland and France. The Jungfraujoch (JFJ) station in Switzerland (3 580 m above sea level, 46o 33’N, 7o 50’E) is located on a mountain crest on the northern edge of the Swiss Alps. The Puy de Dôme station (1 480 m above sea level, 45o46’N, 2o 58’E) is situated west of the Alps at the summit of Puy de Dôme.
The research team confirmed the general upward trend for atmospheric CO2 and a downward trend in atmospheric O2. But since 2003 for JFJ, and mid 2002 for at Puy, there is a significant enhancement of O2 and CO2 trends compared to previous years. At JFJ, the rate of CO2 increase shifted up from 1.08 ppm (parts per million) for the years 2001-2002 to 2.41 ppm/y for 2003-2006; while the increase in D(O2/N2) and APO (measures of oxygen concentration, see Box 1) shifted downwards to greater extents from –2.4 ppm/y and -1.5 ppm/y to -9.5 ppm/y and -6.9 ppm/y respectively.
Which sounds worrying, if you’re not used to the way alarmists obfuscate understanding by separating relevant figures from the ones they want you to worry about. Here, they are trying to fool people into thinking a drop of 9.5ppm in oxygen levels is even more worrying than a rise in co2, hence their headline to the article.
But wait a minute, buried in the text several paragraphs preceding this one, they mention that:
Although there is much more O2 than CO2 in the atmosphere – 20.95 percent or 209 460 ppm of O2 compared with around 380 ppm of CO2 – humans, all mammals, birds, frogs, butterfly, bees, and other air-breathing life-forms depend on this high level of oxygen for their well being.
Notice they unusually separate the two elements of the figure for oxygen:” 209 460 ppm of O2“. That’s actually 209,460 ppm, or around 21% of the whole atmosphere as against CO2 which makes up 0.039% of the atmosphere, which is over 500 times less.
So now we can put the ‘alarming drop in oxygen levels’ and the ‘alarming’ increase in carbon dioxide into perspective.
Carbon dioxide, increasing at 1.6 ppm/yr, is gaining one part in 243.
Oxygen, being depleted at 9 ppm/year is losing one part in twenty three thousand.
Neither of these small variations matters much. They are certainly nothing to start spreading alarm about. It’s not the first time that this alarmist nonsense has been mentioned on ‘the Carbon Flame War’ either. Last time it was in connection with another favourite of the alarmists: ‘Ocean Acidification’ (Still alkaline last time I looked). People like Doom-and-Gloom Dan get righteously worried when someone who (apparently) knows, starts quoting facts and figures and citations about worrying sounding changes in Earth’s atmosphere.
These shysters and charlatans need to be called on their bullshit.