Australia overdoes carbon reduction by 294Mt: could cool world by 0.0002C extra (maybe)

Reduction in gloabl temperature because of Australian carbon mitigation.

Absolutely best possible reduction in global temperature because of the latest announcement of a Australian carbon mitigation surplus.

Other countries are failing to meet their targets, but we’re not only achieving them, we’re overdoing it. And this is despite our obvious handicaps: like that we have rapid population growth, are further from everywhere and anywhere* except for Antarctica, and we’re the largest coal exporter in the world.

The latest Australian Greenhouse emissions figures are out, and the Energy Minister is very excited:

Emissions are now the lowest on a per capita and GDP basis in 28 years, having fallen 34 per cent and 58 per cent respectively since 1990. Just as Australia beat its first Kyoto target by 128 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, we are on track to easily surpass our 2020 target.

The latest data indicates we will overachieve by 294 million tonnes, a 30 per cent improvement on the year prior. When one considers one million tonnes of carbon abatement is equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off the road for a year, this is substantial.

Substantial?- Don’t undersell this — that’s like taking 88 million cars off the road! Holy hat! That’s 7% of the global fleet.

In the war of Big Numbers, let’s fight back with Very Small Ones.

Two hundred and ninety-four million tonnes sounds so impressive. But read the fine-print (so fine it isn’t usually printed) and it’s spread over eight years, not one, so it’s really a 37 million tonne a year “saving”.  Even if the IPCC were right, and CO2 mattered, even if we wanted things to get colder, and we ignore that half of what we emit goes straight to Davy Jones Locker, even then that’s all of two ten-thousandths of a degree.

See the calculations by Dr David Evans below. If miracles happen, we just made the world 0.0002C cooler. Which is zero degrees C if we round that number to the nearest thousandth of a degree.

Was that $8 billion dollars good value?

Minister Frydenburg is still bragging about how much he’s spent. Hasn’t he learnt?

The Turnbull Government is also supporting innovation which is driving down technology costs. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has made more than $4 billion in investment commitments, around $3.5 billion under the Coalition, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has made more than $1 billion of grants, around half under the Coalition. There is much work to be done, but it is clear policy measures are working.

 As a curious aside, actual emissions from Australia are the same in 2000 as in 2020. There are some allowances for bits n pieces in there which means that 551 mt in 2020 is a “reduction” from 551 in the year 2000. See this table in the Fin Review: 

We’re schmucks, but effective ones.

Fairly dry dull emissions facts and calculations below

  • Total global manmade emissions of CO2  (of all man-made GHGs) in 2014  (but not from land use changes) = 9855 million metric tons of C (Boden et al)
  • Total Australian emissions (excluding land use):    Australia’s annual emissions in 2016-17 are estimated to have increased 0.7 per cent on the previous year to 550.2 Mt CO2-e.   
  • Total “saved” or overshoot of what was aimed for = 294Mt. Sounds big, but is quite deceptive. This is spread over eight years to 2020, which really means only 37Mt a year.
  • The “2020” target is for the second commitment period, 2013 – 2020. The third is 2021 – 2030 (the “2030 target”). First period was 2008 – 2012, and Austalia was “allowed” 8% over the 1990 total.


Thanks to Dr David Evans for the calculations:

  • So 294 million tonnes of “2020 reduction” means 294 / 8 = 37 Mt CO2-e per year over 2013 – 2020.
  • Alleged saving is 37 Mt CO2-e per year for each year in 2013 to 2020.
  • World emits 9855 * 44 / 12 = 36,135 Mt CO2-e per year.
  • “Saving” = 37 / 36,135 = 1/1000 th of world emissions for eight years in a row.
  • So instead of CO2 level going up[ by 8 * 2 ppmv = 16 ppmv, it goes up by 16 * .999 ppmv instead
  • Without savings, starting from say 410 ppmv average over period, number of doublings of CO2 would have been about log2 of (426 / 410) = ln(426 / 410) / ln(2)
  • With savings, number of doublings of CO2 would be about ln((426 – 16 * 0.001) / 410) / ln(2)
  • So number of doublings of CO2 “saved” is
    (ln(426 / 410) – ln((426 – 16 * 0.001) / 410)) / ln(2) = 0.000054 doublings.
  • Equilibrium climate sensitivity ECS is 3.0 deg C warming per doubling (2013 IPCC), so expected warming “saved”: is
    3.0 (deg C per doubling)* 0.000054 doublings = 0.0002 deg C.


Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017), Australian Demographic Statistics, pub. no. 3101

Boden, T.A., Marland, G., and Andres, R.J. (2017). Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2017.

Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: June 2017 (incorporating September 2017 quarter emissions from the National Electricity Market)

*Not to forget New Zealand, of course.

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33 comments to Australia overdoes carbon reduction by 294Mt: could cool world by 0.0002C extra (maybe)

  • #

    The list of projected GHG reductions needs to include the effects of a reduced GDP owing to uncompetitive and unreliable energy supplies.


    • #

      From observed satellite imagery we’ve recently seen the benefits of increased CO2, whether or not our contribution is matching nature it would be prudent to kerb poverty and promote wealth so we are best prepared for any natural climate changes in the future.


    • #

      But what if:

      ● there is no greenhouse effect? (The atmosphere doesn’t have a roof after all.)
      ● there are no greenhouse gases (all atmospheric gases behave the same way to solar insolation)
      ● CO2 actually has a very slight cooling effect instead of warming? (don’t sell your SUV: Tyndall and Arrhenius could have gotten it very wrong: making assumptions is dangerous)

      Nature seems unimpressed by it all as well.

      If those points are provably correct then Sir John Houghton’s Radiative Warming Theory, the IPCC’s “95% confidence”s, and Bill Nye’s `we’re all going to die’ cries are nothing but malicious propaganda.

      Perhaps those who point at the effects of aspects of Solar Activity are actually right?

      The Northern Hemisphere winter is off to a good start with the trillion dollar “little bit of global warming,” to twist Trump’s words a little, Missing In Action. If the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 winters (yet to come) are as bad or worse, could a trend be visible and be noticed? (That would be four bad winters in a row, only eleven more required … )

      That 0.0002°C could be the cooling effect of additional CO2 added to the atmosphere. Tyndall might just have gotten it wrong back in the nineteenth century …and all the others including John Houghton of the UKMO and all the IPCC ever since …

      But, before all those multi-billion dollar babies are flung out with the gold plated bath water, one or two careful physicists with a couple of hundred dollars worth of equipment (it’s climate science, not rocket science after all) could do the necessary investigation.
      This experiment needs replicating. The IPCC should be easily able to do that. They have the money … and it’s not as though a tokamak or two are required; just some polyurethane board, transparent plastic film, duct-tape and some temperature sensors, and some common sense. Oh, sorry, common sense is off today.


      • #


        There is definitely a finite GHG effect, it’s just a whole lot less than the lower limit claimed by the IPCC. The known laws of physics are pretty clear that such an effect must exist.

        While Earth’s atmospheric GHG’s behave mostly the same way as other gases relative to solar isolation, they behave quite differently relative to the LWIR emissions by the surface. They intercept and temporarily absorb a fraction of those emissions and then return a fraction of what was absorbed back to the surface a short time later. Clouds do the same thing and the energy returned to the surface by GHG’s and clouds is why it is warmer than it would be based on the incident solar energy alone.

        Theory doesn’t support a cooling effect from CO2 emissions, nor does the data. While theory predicts a warming effect, the theoretical effect from the CO2 emissions since the end of the LIA (coincident with the start of the Industrial Revolution) is too small to discern from natural variability, thus the data doesn’t support GHG warming either, but this doesn’t mean that there’s no such thing.

        The actual climate sensitivity is readily determined from theory, the theoretical value can be validated with data and is demonstrably less than the lower limit claimed by the IPCC. It’s the IPCC’s insanely high climate sensitivity that needs experimental validation. They refuse to do so because it will only lead to falsification so instead, they rely on fudged anomalous trends and mis-characterized models to the exclusion of actual physics and unadjusted data.


        • #

          There is a basis for CO2 being a cooling influence consider a sphere surrounded by a perforated emitter say Sparse CO2 molecules. Now increase the density of those CO2 molecules. What MUST the overall effect be – increased emission to ground AND space with increased emission to space a little outweighing the increased emission to ground, (because the angle of intercept to the ground is less than 180 degrees (we live on a broadly spherical object).

          The GHE relies on the idea that this effect will cause cooling of the stratosphere and warming of the ground. That is the difference in temperature between the ground and stratosphere will increase – and here is the kicker – without increased energy transport from the warmer surface to the colder stratosphere. This could happen if the bottleneck in energy emission was transport to the stratosphere. – But it’s NOT, increasing the difference between the surface and stratosphere leads to increased energy transport, COOLING of the surface and increased emission to space. It has to, there are more CO2 molecules to emit to space and outgoing energy is NOT LIMITED – therefore there is more emission loss and on a Nett basis the earth must have LESS energy.

          Put another way, radiative gasses REDUCE the lapse rate (difference in temp by height) they don’t increase it as the models want.

          There is something very basic wrong.


          • #

            “There is something very basic wrong.”

            Yes, the idea that GHG’s cool the stratosphere. Confusion arises when conflating the kinetic temperature of gas molecules in motion with the equivalent temperature of the LWIR flux passing through. Since much of the LWIR passing through the atmosphere doesn’t interact with any gas molecules and nearly all doesn’t interact with the majority of atmospheric gases, the two ‘temperature’ profiles are largely independent of each other.

            The temperature of the LWIR passing through the atmosphere decreases monotonically from 288K and 390 W/m^2 of average BB emissions at the surface to the 255K and 240 W/m^2 of emissions at TOA leaving the planet. The temperature of LWIR passing though the atmosphere and the kinetic temperature of air molecules in motion roughly follows the lapse rate through the troposphere, not because they are interacting, but because they start from the same place at the same temperature. Their apparent correspondence is just a coincidence. Consider an Earth atmosphere containing only N2 and O2 in the same concentrations. The LWIR flux from the surface to space will be constant (no GHG effects, no clouds and no excess surface warming), while the kinetic temperature of gas molecules in motion will follow roughly the same lapse rate as the Earth.

            Pedantic climate science misapplies equi-partition of energy by considering that in LTE, the kinetic temperature and temperature of the LWIR passing through the atmosphere are in equilibrium. This is just not the case and the two follow completely different rules.


      • #

        There is definitely a finite GHG effect,

        I don’t agree.

        An interesting paper … [pdf]

        Then there is Nikolov and Zeller’s “Unified Climate Theory” [pdf] which accounts for all atmospheric warming under solar insolation.

        Theory doesn’t support a cooling effect from CO2 emissions, nor does the data.

        That’s because the “theory” is based on the same assumptions made by Tyndall and Arrhenius without actual measurement. They assumed the measured absorption caused warming. It need not necessarily be so.

        The reasons are covered in the papers I’ve linked to.

        co2isnotevil says:

        While Earth’s atmospheric GHG’s behave mostly the same way as other gases relative to solar isolation, they behave quite differently relative to the LWIR emissions by the surface. They intercept and temporarily absorb a fraction of those emissions and then return a fraction of what was absorbed back to the surface a short time later. Clouds do the same thing and the energy returned to the surface by GHG’s and clouds is why it is warmer than it would be based on the incident solar energy alone.

        No, they don’t behave at all differently from each other. CO2’s slight absorption of IR actually creates a slight cooling. Note the operative word: slight. CO2 is not in sufficient concentration for its effects to be noticeable. You bviously haven’t read the paper I linked to in my post #1.2, [ see the graphs contained therein] That and CO2’s slight cooling are two of the surprise discoveries in Allmendinger’s experiment. (Hint: follow the This experiment needs replicating link.)

        Clouds? Middle to low tropospheric clouds act as curtains, absorbing some incident energy, reflecting the rest and the re-emitted and absorbed is carried up and away by the atmospheric (gasious) convection. That’s why clouds have nett cooling effects. They interrupt the arrival of insolation, but do nothing to retain heat. Both of those properties = nett cooling.

        The very high cirrus clouds are reputed to have a slight warming effect. I have my doubts that they have any effect at all. Any measurable warming is usually caused by the tropical warm air wafted in ahead of front which also spun off the cirrus clouds.

        And the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is?

        It’s that absorption if IR which gives CO2 it’s slight cooling effect. There is no difference between the stratosphere and the troposphere properties of this gas. It has no way of “knowing” where it is.

        CO2 has, for the last several million years, been a trace gas, it is currently a trace gas and it will always be a trace gas for a long time to come. It is in too small a concentration to have any effect which is why it’s cooling effect is described as “slight.”

        The IPCC went to great lengths and made many and much contortions to “amplify” CO2’s supposed effects.

        Try Reading ALL the papers I’ve linked to .


  • #

    So much money flushed down the drain. People should be in prison for this. In any other area they would be.


  • #
    Kinky Keith

    Many years ago now I pointed to the uncanny resemblance that the global warming scam had to the tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

    It’s truly amazing how easy it is to mislead the public if you put on a straight face and talk about imaginary syence while your mates line up at the back door of our Nation’s Treasury filling wheelbarrows with coin of the realm.

    The thing that gives me any hope is that the USA has begun the rout of the scam by working from the top down.

    It sure looks promising.

    Meanwhile here in Australia we look at the wreckage of our car manufacturing industry, at the aluminium refining plants being demolished and the shutdown of many other businesses large and small that can no longer compete in the world market because our electricity prices have skyrocketed.

    But never fear, the most important thing has been taken care of.

    Our politicians still have jobs and guaranteed pensions.



    • #
      robert rosicka

      KK this is what I wonder about , how many jobs lost to achieve that absolute nothing result ?


      • #

        The communists in govt dont care, as long as the destruction of the middle class continues…..


      • #

        No one knows when the rot stops here in Australia. At the moment we can’t even say for sure it will ever end. If it doesn’t end then expect our economy to collapse big time eventually, and as a result we will probably beg for USA (if it hasn’t suffered a similar collapse) or China to come in and take us over. I’m hopeful that Australians will wake up sooner than that but I often do overestimate people’s intelligence, including mine. To be honest though no matter what happens it won’t end well for us and the rest of the West. History is proof of what happens to great empires, but that’s another story.


  • #

    Since 2013 GDP (the total expenditures for all final goods and services produced within the country in a stipulated period of time) has dropped substantially for the first time since 1969 (apart from a slight dip during the GFC) — coincidence?


  • #

    Wow, grasping gobbling gutless government policies at work. Push up energy prices and watch as businesses close and citizens curtail their spending.
    Bye bye car industry, aluminium, oil refining, petrochemicals, steel, appliances, etc, etc.
    And the winners are: offshore windmill makers and owners, and offshore solar panel manufacturers.
    Does Australia get a medal from the UN or IPCC as we paddle in the water to keep cool?


  • #
    David Maddison

    Both major parties are committed to destroying Australia as a civilised Western country using as their primary weapons 1) destruction of the economy through expensive energy bought about by “renewables” and 2) civil unrest and destruction of the economy through welfare and expensive security measures by the deliberate importation of some of the world’s most uneducated, unassimilable and violent people. It is Cultural Marxism in action.

    What is Cultural Marxism?


    • #

      We have a powerful weapon called democracy.

      Logic and pragmatism says if we vote for any Liberal, Labor or Green candidate, we get UN IPCC / Agenda 21 / marxism as govt policy via climate policy.

      This can be halted by not voting for any of these candidates. If you dont want Australia becomung another failed marxist state like Rhodesia ( zimbabwe ) is, dont vote for those who will ruin the country.



      • #

        We do sort have a democracy – only for one day every two or so years. It’s called election day. In between it’s not a true democracy. If we wanted a true democracy we would have citizens imitated referendums almost every week. Of course that won’t happen because most people are too lazy to think so hard that often. It would be such a strain on their mental faculties even if we had it they would quickly give it up and beg for the politicians to take over again. The current problem though is most people won’t even turn on their brains at election time. They will continue to vote for one of the two major parties regardless. We all know what’s one popular definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. If the public were really awake the AC party would by now be at least as popular as the Nats, Greens and ON put together, and then some. I’m convinced the reason AC is unlikely to become that popular let alone become a major party is because the majority of voters do not want a conservative led government. For starters there are simply too many “free loaders” who only ever want handouts from the government. Then there are those who are completely sold on the idea that socialism is the only way. How many people know a new Communist Party of Australia was formed in 1971 to resurrect the previous one, and still exists today? Sorry, but the only way for voters to change their minds is to go through hell and learn things the hard way.


      • #
        Graeme No.3


        In SA the choice in the coming State election is limited, with little difference between Labor, Libs, Greens or Xenophon. I think I will vote for a Stobie poll because it is solid, reliable, you know where it stands, and it serve a useful purpose; something more that you can say for most current and would be members of the State legislature.

        [ for non-residents a stobie poll is 2 U shaped steel channels (flanges outwards) bolted together through a concrete centre. Try Google images if still in doubt.]


        • #

          Stobie poles in South Australia are normally used to carry power wires and are universally found through out SA.

          Due to the current SA power situation, a large suplus of stobie poles at giveaway prices might soon be available.

          Provisional Conditions of sale ;

          Pick up on site only;
          Loading of the stobie poles is your responsibility;
          Cash payment in full will only be accepted.
          Payment in a large brownpaper bag is to be made personally to Tom Kostalotofsanity Koutsantonis prior to pickup.
          1 % discount for large lots. i.e. 1000 poles plus.

          Site clearance works are required to return stobie pole removal area to its original condition.

          Batteries not included.


        • #
          • #
            Graeme No.3

            They have always looked like U -shaped channels to me. The flanges point outwards and the bolts run from the base of the U.
            I have never seen them made but always assumed that this configuration made them easy to cast the concrete on a flat surface while the channels stopped it spreading. That way there is no need to force the concrete into the back of the channels.


      • #
        Gerry, England

        What you really need is a more powerful weapon that democracy. Something that uses cordite, cupro-nickel jackets, lead cores, as you have the same problem we have in that there is nobody with any sense to vote for.


    • #
      Peter C

      Cultural Marxism
      Thank You David,
      That You Tube video explains everything, except why people vote for this destructive ideology.

      Since both major parties and most minor ones are committed to this path it is necessary to vote for parties which oppose it.

      The Australian Conservatives have the following policies:

      “Immigration to Australia must be in our economic, social and cultural interest.
      Migrants should contribute to Australia and repay welfare through the tax system.
      We will withdraw from the UN Refugee Convention, and never resettle those who arrive here illegally.
      We will reform all classes of visas and the processes used to obtain them.
      Termination of permanent residency and changes to requirements for citizenship.”

      Renewable Energy
      ” Australian Conservatives are open to renewable energy as an option for electricity generation but we oppose taxpayer and cross-subsidies to support it.

      Australian Conservatives will scrap all taxpayer and cross-subsidies for electricity generation and allow market forces to determine the best outcomes for Australian consumers and business.”


  • #

    I am sorry for being pedantic, Jo, but in your title, the 294 mt should read 294 Mt – I am pretty sure you don’t mean milli-tonnes, but millions of tonnes, Mega-tonnes, Mt. Metric prefixes, International System of units and all that, since 1960’s… That’s an engineer talking through me, but I am pretty sure scientist are not allowed more latitude than engineers in this area. :=)

    Fixed. Thanks. Email coming. – Jo


  • #
    Timo Soren

    Can someone tell me what the Fugitives Sector is?

    I know that Austrailia was colonized by lots of, let’s say, less than
    law abiding citizenry. But still, and entire sector of your economy
    in Fugitives!?


  • #

    The reduction in CO2 emissions is simply a measure of the destruction of many people’s jobs in Australia. It is entirely irrelevant to the temperature of anywhere including the whole Earth. CAGW Alarmists have yet to show any direct link between CO2 and World or any Earthly temperature. The only clear link is between CO2 levels and greening of the Earth and increased agricultural output. This is clearly visible on NASA picture.