A technical paper written by Jeffrey A. Glassman, Ph.D. concludes that atmospheric CO2 is regulated by the oceans. From the abstract:
Throughout the past 420 millennia, comprising four interglacial periods, the Vostok record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is imprinted with, and fully characterized by, the physics of the solubility of CO2 in water, along with the lag in the deep ocean circulation. Notwithstanding that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, atmospheric carbon dioxide has neither caused nor amplified global temperature increases. Increased carbon dioxide has been an effect of global warming, not a cause. Technically, carbon dioxide is a lagging proxy for ocean temperatures. When global temperature, and along with it, ocean temperature rises, the physics of solubility causes atmospheric CO2 to increase. If increases in carbon dioxide, or any other greenhouse gas, could have in turn raised global temperatures, the positive feedback would have been catastrophic.And from the paper's conclusion:
While the conditions for such a catastrophe were present in the Vostok record from natural causes, the runaway event did not occur. Carbon dioxide does not accumulate in the atmosphere.
The discovery that the Vostok CO2 record is an effect of the oceanic solubility pump has profound effects on the science and on public policy.
Over those 420,000 years, warm ocean water has regulated the concentration of CO2 by release of this gas into the atmosphere. Because there is no trace of build–up of CO2 from forest fires, volcanoes, or the oceans themselves, cold waters must be scrubbing CO2 out of the air. Since there is no difference between manmade and natural CO2, anthropogenic CO2 is sure to meet the same fate.
To the extent that the analyst’s Vostok temperature trace represents a global atmosphere temperature, so does the concentration of CO2. Thus, CO2 is a proxy for global temperature, and attempting to control global temperatures by regulating anthropogenic CO2 is unfounded, futile, and wasteful.