Do human emissions dominate changes in atmospheric CO2?

Since 1958 the CO2 content of the atmosphere has been measured. The volume of CO2 has clearly increased from an average of 315.97 ppm in 1959 to 404.21 in 2016.

Global CO2

This time series has a significant linear trend. R2 = 0.99 (p = 1.07E-57)

We are told that this increase is driven by human emissions, significantly from burning fossil fuels:

1958  8.999 Gt                        (

2016 33.5084 Gt                    ( BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2016)

CO2 Global Emissions

This time series also shows a significant linear trend. R2 = 0.97 (p = 2.46E-44)

Although there is a significant linear trend in atmospheric CO2, year to year changes are not uniform.

Ratio Emissios to Atmosphere Change CO2

The trend in inter-annual change shows a significant linear trend. R2 = 0.54 (p = 7.64E-11)

Global emissions and atmospheric concentration

but the proportion due to human emissions does not, and in two years emissions do not account for the observed increase. The variability of emissions to observed increase is also of interest.

Emissions as proportion of atmospheric increase

Given a fixed rate of natural fluxes human emissions have risen to a peak of  4.62% of natural fluxes in 2013.

Human Emissions as % Natural Flux

The lack of measurement of natural global fluxes means that it is assumed that  they are uniform, a weak scientific position on par with the narrative that climates pre 1950 were uniform and benign.


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