As an engineer with a thorough education and understanding of the physics of matter, especially in the solid state, I take it as certain that all variation and every gradient has forces acting to reduce and eventually eliminate the variation and gradient. There are mechanisms active and available to facilitate in all circumstances. The question boils down to time. The rate of the action is not always clear or quantifiable.
It seems to me the actual rates involved in ice cores are slow enough to give us a reasonable picture of the past, but it is most certainly attenuated. Keep in mind that the averaging is not “average” but forcing toward zero. The farther from zero at any given point, the greater the tendency toward zero at that point. Peaks spread and dissipate. They don’t just average. The physical actions working in the ice, on the bubbles, et al., are not a smoothing so much as a squashing toward the lowest possible uniform value. Not that the natural amount of CO2 in ice is zero. That is, ice is made of H2O. CO2 will eventually diffuse out of the ice where there is no boundary condition imposing an external limit or partial pressure
Guest essay by Ronald D Voisin
(For the Ice-Core “Near-Perfect-Recordation” Enthusiasts)
Ice-cores analysis has provided many valuable insights into past climate. We can be more confident for some of these insights than others. One troubling insight surrounds the peaks of historic CO2 atmospheric concentration. In this essay, I would like to describe what I believe would be an “ideal” description of the recordation process regarding the amplitude of the peaks of historic CO2 atmospheric concentration.
Let’s assume that the following atmospheric perturbation is to be recorded in the ice (see Figure 1). At some point in time t, atmospheric CO2 rises from a background concentration of 300ppm, at 3ppm/year, for 100 years. It peaks at 600ppm representing a 100% spike from the original background concentration and then falls in a similar fashion during the ensuing 100 years. The amplitude and duration of the perturbation are arbitrary…
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