2011-08-04 21:55:54Professor Murry Salby
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
108.34.130.66

Apparenlty a real researcher has found evidence that CO2 follows warmth, not the other way around.  No paper yet.  2012?  Not sure what to make of it.  This hit the blogs last night and has made the rounds already.  As usual, this doesn't smell right.

 

http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/

2011-08-05 01:57:27
Tom Curtis

t.r.curtis@gmail...
112.213.148.143

What he will have found evidence of is that the rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is strongly correlated to global temperatures, with small increases in cold years, and large increases in warm years.  The obvious reason is that in cold years, more human emissions are absorbed by the ocean, resulting in a lower increase.  Absent human emissions, CO2 concentration would fluctuate over a small range (<5 ppmv) on an annual scale based on temperature, but show no long term trend.  On a centenial scale, events such as the MWP and LIA result in as much as a 10 ppmv fluctuation in CO2 concentrations in Antarctic ice cores.

 

If Salby has taken these simple facts and built an edifice of fantasy in which it is temperature driving CO2 increase he has made a fool of himself.  He would transparently be unable to explain by such a mechanism why the difference in CO2 concentrations between MWP and LIA is only 10 ppmv while the smaller temperature increase since 1850 has driven a >100 ppmv change.  Nor would he be able to explain why the approx 4 degree variation between glacial and interglacial temperatures drove a smaller change in CO2 levels than the approx 0.8 degrees change since the industrial revolution.

 

More probably Salby has not made these errors and is simply explaining the small scale fluctuations.  The spin on this appears to have come from Andrew Bolt who is not above simply lying for his cause; and to have been echoed by Curry who appears to have decided that critical thinking is an optional extra for a scientist.

2011-08-05 03:42:27
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

I'd bet good money on this being wrong or irrelevant. It's simply astonishing--and very revealing-- that Curry is impressed by this ("Wow"), without actually telling us what it's about in her own words. I can't be bothered to listen to the podcast myself if there are no figures or graphs available.

Note that she says that "Moderation note:  this is a technical thread, comments will be moderated for relevance." and the very first comment is a blatantly political one by iron-sun nut job and convicted sex offender Oliver Manuel.

2011-08-05 04:13:14
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
198.96.178.33

I am almost certain that there was a post up at Curry's where someone made a mass balance argument. It appears to have been removed.

Essentially, he said that since we roughly know what our contributions are from fossil fuel burning and land use change, we know the mass of CO2 we are emitting. We ALSO know that the mass amount that has been added to the atmosphere is LESS than this amount. THEREFORE, just on a conservation of mass argument, the land and oceans must on balance be a SINK, not a source.

And the contributor - who I thought I recognizeds as generally a skeptic - challenged Curry and Salby to reconcile this. But the post seems to have just disappeared, unless I read it elsewhere.

Without seeing Salby's work, it's hard to draw conclusions, but there are some things that must be wrong on the face of it.

I'll make a quick plug for Tyler Valk's book "CO2 rising" regarding the carbon cycle. I also see, courtesy or Curry, that Joanne Nova is banging on this Salby thing. Part of what she is claiming - in the absence of the Salby work itself - is that the annual increase in atmospheric concentrations is more variable than the annual emissions. As Tyler Valk explains, this has to do with annual variations in the "airborne fraction" - but which have tended to smooth out over longer periods, and there are physical explanations of this as well... 

(For what it's worth, I also note that Curry's link to Salby's text on atmospheric physics (the old one) was editted by one Roger Pielke Sr.)

2011-08-05 04:28:16
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
198.96.178.33

Oh, wait. Never mind. That post is still up: http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-93925

And, er, not by a skeptic. Sorry about that dm.

2011-08-05 04:32:57
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Things Break vents.

2011-08-05 06:13:22
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Good grief, Curry is citing Bolt and Nova now!  Made the mistake of reading part of the thread...there are some brave soulsd out there (like Chis C.) trying to reason, but they migh have better luck getting blood form a stone.  Judith chimed in at one point and just made a fool of herself:

J

Gavin’s argument makes the fallacy that all temperature change is externally forced. If the temperature change is caused by natural internal variability, then this argument is not useful."  (statement made by JC]

Huh? Unless I’m completely misunderstanding something, the claim that Gavin is rebutting is that the observed CO2 flux is primarily caused by temperature change. It doesn’t matter whether that temperature change is caused by the Sun, fossil fuels, internal variability, or invading Martians. A warming planet will produce a positive CO2 flux; a cooling one will produce a negative flux. How does the CO2 flux know whether a given temperature change is externally forced or a result of “natural internal variability”?

Really, I'm begining to think that she has lost her marbles.

The fact that in mid 2011 we are having to refute this bullshit is truly depressing.

2011-08-05 06:13:29
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
65.91.54.2

@rustneversleeps no problem, I never object to being called a skeptic, it is what we should all be, just not a "skeptic" ;o)

2011-08-05 06:17:33
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
65.91.54.2

If Tom is right about the nature of the argument, then it is not the first time this error has been made. Roy Spencer made this argument back in 2008, he was wrong as well.

2011-08-05 06:45:24
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
108.34.130.66

Curry is getting exposed in her own thread really badly.  She is a PhD at a University.  Read some of her comments (not even having to mention her initial 'wow' on this garbage).  It's almost as if someone else is posing as a scientist on the internet.  I'm not exagerating.  She doesn't even understand the very basics of the sensitivity arguments of CO2 to temperature in the paleo record.  She just keeps repeating anthropogenic effects, of which the paleo evidence of this sensitivity are irrelevent.  This is really embarassing.

2011-08-05 07:04:57
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Long story short - Salby and Curry are idiots.

Salby is claiming the CO2 increase is caused by the temp increase.  Curry thinks he's making a smart argument.  Simple accounting (we're emitting twice as much CO2 as is accumulating in the atmosphere) alone tells you his argument is wrong (on top of that there's isotopic analysis, decreasing atmospheric O2, etc.).  Any climate scientist with even a modicum of competence should know this (although in 2008, apparently Spencer didn't know it either).

And Albatross no, you're not misunderstanding anything, Curry is.  I almost feel embarrassed for her, being a climate scientist and yet apparently having zero understanding of basic climate concepts.

2011-08-05 07:19:11More Currycide
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Curry's a climate scientist pretender, as exposed in last year's self-seppuku debacles on RC and at Romm's.

I really think she skated by on the tails of other people's work WRT her publication record.  Or she has Alzheimer's.

Your call.

2011-08-05 07:22:39
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Hi Dana,  my post was a little unclear. Poster "J" made that statement starting with "Huh? Unless I’m completely misunderstanding something".   One does truggle to understand what they are trying to say at times, I mean their arguments are all so damn incoherent and not supported by anything-- no data, no facts ar epresented to support their hypothesis.

Anyways, this is a new low for Judith, but no doubt not an absolute low.....I expect worse yet to come as her desperation amplifies.  And talking of amplifying, that is just what her nonsensical blog is, an amplifier and podium for idiots, conspiracy theorists and those in denial about AGW.

2011-08-05 07:30:57
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Am I reading this right??

What everyone else thinks:

CO2 results in higher temperatures which causes positive and negative feedbacks, some of which would result in more CO2 being released or remaining the atmosphere.

Salby thinks:

Temperature has been increasing (could be a variety of reasons) and this caused feedbacks and more CO2 being released.

So he has just changed the starting point of the sequence.
I can't make out from the audio how he has concluded this. Does he have an answer for why the temperature increased to start with??

2011-08-05 07:38:29
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

PaulD,

"Does he have an answer for why the temperature increased to start with??"

Cycles man, you have not being paying attention! ;) ;)  He has not said as much, but I would not be surprised if he caters to that school of belief. 

What he also fails to see is that increases form feedbacks are pretty small (as Tom noted above), and certainly cannot explain the observed increase of almost 40% since pre-industrial times. 

Also, "skeptics" have been loudly claiming that there has been no warming since 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2005 so why then have CO2 levels continued to rise (perhaps even accelerate) during that period if CO2 is responding mostly to temperature?  They cannot help but contradict themselves.

This is very basic stuff and Curry is saying 'wow!"?

2011-08-05 07:50:22
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Is he counting in methane and converting it to a CO2 equivalent??

 

2011-08-05 07:53:41
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Since Curry is a professor, she must have to mark students' assignments. What criteria does she use to distinguish an A from an F? I would imagine that the only way to get an F is to forget to say that the science isn't settled. And any crackpot, poorly justified idea would get an A.

Actually, I thought Curry's low point was when she said the likely range for climate sensitivity was 0-10 degrees C. She doesn't understand uncertainty, nor radiative physics, nor the carbon cycle. As a professional, she know less about climate science than any of the amateurs that post here at SkS.

2011-08-05 07:55:28
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
198.96.178.33

Although this isn't from Salby directly, I think that part of what is being argued is that the variability of the temperature (and the CO2 that it "causes") cannot be explained by the far less variable annual emissions data.

See, for example this graph that Joanne Nova put up today by Tom Quirk (I can't vouch for it's accuracy, but it's so basic I'll assume it's correct):

 

Which, if you look at it without context does seem to make the case that atmospheric rise must be influenced by more than just anthropogenic emissions on an annual basis. (And it is - ENSO, etc.) And Salby may be detecting some temperature correlation based on this (it's total speculation at this point).

But look at this plot by Tyler Volk, using nothing but a naive model that assumes a constant annual airborne fraction of 43% of human emissions. (He calls it a "dummy" model and does go on to discuss dealing with the annual fluctations above and below 43%.). The graph makes the case for where the atmospheric concentrations and long-term trend are coming from, once you smooth out the variability!

The "Mauna Loa" excursions away from the "airborne fraction model" are essentially all that's left in the cumulative record from the interannual variability of the Quirk graph. 

Anyway, I don't have the book with me, and I have just poking around on googlebooks, but it might be useful in driving the mass balance point home. It is a naive model, but it's hard to think of Salby having close to anything as good. I'll have a look at home tonight for more...

2011-08-05 08:24:34
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Comment from Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate:

 This has nothing whatsoever to do with attribution of the temperature rise. The response of the CC to temperature is a specific thing - and it doesn't matter if it is originally driven by Milankovitch and ice sheets (over the ice age cycle), solar and volcanic activity over the pre-industrial, or by human activity/martian fairies/the PDO or whatever today. ENSO is an internal source of temperature changes on short time scales, and Pinatubo is an external source of temperature change over a short time period - both are included in any modern period regression such as Salby must have used. And the sensitivity of the carbon cycle to such changes is noticeable, but small and nothing like enough to explain the 20th C change. But even without thinking about this that deeply at all, it is obvious that Salby is wrong - we have put more than twice as much CO2 into the air as has actually accumulated over the last 100 years. To posit that the rise is not anthropogenic implies finding sinks that have totally taken up the anthropogenic CO2 *and* new sources that have put half of it back again. Meanwhile, all the actual reservoirs have more carbon than they had previously. Furthermore, the 13C and 14C data (up until the bomb peak) support a predominantly fossil fuel source. And the O2/N2 levels are dropping at the rate expected (given that we are burning C, and taking O2 from the air). The idea that a poorly performed regression undermines all this is ludicrous. - gavin

 

2011-08-05 09:06:41
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.129.201

Listened to half of that Salby podcast - he really sounds like a 'drama queen'. Putting aside his absurd claims for a moment, sounds like his former students don't have a high opinion of him either (I'm guessing it's the same guy).

2011-08-05 10:44:55
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.149.101.148

Yes, it is the same person.  He apparently has moved to Australia from Colorado - for instance, here's a paper he published while at Colorado at the time those reviews were written.  Odd, because another of his papers does not appear in his info page at Macquarie.  Must be incomplete.  Or, there were two Murry Salbys - I speculate not.

2011-08-05 12:49:59
Tom Curtis

t.r.curtis@gmail...
112.213.148.143

Having listened to the podcast, I can confirm that Salby is a bona fide denier.

 

Essentially his argument is that if you only look at variation on a two year time scale, variation in CO2 content is almost entirely explained by variation in global temperature and soil moisture content.  Following the classic argument of McLean, de Freitas and Carter, he claims that whatever governs short term variability also governs the long term trend.

 

He further claims that the science is still out on whether the current warming is due to a rebound from the LIA.

 

That at the time of the IPCC AR4 the short term correlation between changes in atmospheric concentration and temperature was unknown (bullshit - try selling that one to David Archer).

And that therefore his result entirely over turn the IPCC AR4 conclusions.

 

And that he gets a gag reflex anytime somebody quotes "the science", a comment that clearly shows his purpose to be political.

He refers to the MWP and the LIA as evidence of natural climate variability, and concludes that we cannot predict future evolution of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere; but does not test his hypothesis that temperature drives long term variation in CO2 against the holocene temperature and CO2 record (or anything but the satellite era).

 

Thoroughly depressing, and thoroughly stupid.

2011-08-05 13:27:21
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

Gotta agree with Daniel - either Curry is really specialized in her research, or she's a dummy who's skated by on her co-authors' hard work, or she's forgotten just about everything she learned about basic climate science.  Regardless, at this point, she's got zero credibility left.  In my LS post I referred to her site as a "skeptic" blog on equal footing with WUWT, and nobody objected.

2011-08-05 14:21:39
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Rust's post was right on the money and very helpful. Maybe he could be persuaded to write a rebuttal?

We don't need to wait for Salby's paper to come out, just rebut the meme that temperature increases cause the recent CO2 trend.

2011-08-05 14:35:57
Tom Curtis

t.r.curtis@gmail...
112.213.148.143

Andy S, already done:

 

http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm

 

http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-coming-from-ocean.htm

 

http://www.skepticalscience.com/CO2-emissions-correlation-with-CO2-concentration.htm

 

2011-08-05 15:34:51
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.223.72

This Salby claim is just absolutely idiotic, I'll draft something up, but it means listening to that podcast - and he sure is one boring bastard!

2011-08-05 15:38:17
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Tom, I know that there's any number of lines of evidence (isotopes, mass balance, oygen decrease, sheer bleeding coincidence of the timing of the industrial revolution etc) that the increase in CO2 is caused by us and that many good arguments have been made here to support them. It's kind of pathetic, actually, that we are still having to make the case on this.

But I don't actually know of a rebuttal here that targets the specific idea that rising temperatures cause a significant trend of non-anthropogenic CO2 to the atmosphere and illustrates the small magnitude of the real effect as Rusts's second figure does.

2011-08-05 17:23:09
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249
I just found this link at Deltoid. http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=2&t=97&&n=224
2011-08-06 02:30:59
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Good find Andy.  Rob was there, did Salby make the same mistake that Hocker did?

2011-08-08 08:08:04
citizenschallenge
Peter Miesler
citizenschallenge7@gmail...
166.183.84.109

I've just been going over

Murry Salby - Clueless About The Carbon Cycle

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Murry-Salby-Clueless-About-The-Carbon-Cycle.html

(my topic du jour ;-))

and there are a lot of typos, it would be worth revisiting and polishing a bit.  no offense intended, just an fyi

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

oh, the substance was great and it's definitely a teaching post!

2011-08-08 08:20:06
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I'm not sure about suggesting he is clueless.

2011-08-08 08:42:19
citizenschallenge
Peter Miesler
citizenschallenge7@gmail...
166.183.84.109

PD:  "I'm not sure about suggesting he is clueless."

this is true,

I myself am pissed enough to scream at the top of my lungs, but it pushes people away unnecessarily, so I try editing out all that jazz.

2011-08-08 16:27:55
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I don't understand your comment CC.
I was suggesting that the word clueless be removed. I wasn't joking.

2011-08-08 17:02:16Okay, coming to this late
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.177.173.40

Only looked at this tangentially so far, haven't had a chance to have a conniption fit yet. The schaudenfraude at WUWT is quite amusing:

I’m pretty sure Australian bloggers John Cook at Skeptical Science and Tim Lambert at Deltoid are having conniption fits right about now. And, I’m betting that soon, the usual smears of “denier” will be applied to Dr. Salby by those two clowns, followed by the other usual suspects.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/05/the-emily-litella-moment-for-climate-science-and-co2/

"Clowns"? Anthony has been cross with me ever since I equated surface-stationers with deniers. :-)

I think the clueless wording is unnecessary. When I started SkS, my approach was to establish a detached, polite, professorial tone. People will actually listen to us more if we state the facts in a calm, dispassionate manner. But if we speak in an emotive, advocacy manner, we alienate many readers and lower our credibility. The SkS "brand" should be academically dispassionate and fact-based.

If you're feeling angry and passionate, channel that energy into a calm, reasonable tone - it drives your opponents crazy and is the most effective way to respond. Remember our audience is not deniers but the undecided majority - how we conduct ourselves is just as important as our content with this demographic. The climate issue is too important for us to lose control or let emotions get the better of us.

2011-08-08 17:03:36
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
203.173.240.243

Huh? - I'm still in the process of writing that - been away for the last two days. I wasn't aware others were able to access it.

Paul D - listen to Salby's podcast - my 4 year old grand daughter is more clued up than Salby. He is clueless about the carbon cycle - it's a statement of fact, not ad hominem. And if it upsets the "skeptics",  ah well...........

2011-08-08 17:20:13
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
203.173.240.243

JC - see you posted about the same time as me. Your blog brutha - so I've changed the clueless (inflammatory, but technically correct) to confused. Hope that's better.

2011-08-08 17:30:41
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Rob he probably is clueless, but half the issue regarding communication is to look morally better than the opposition. The idea is to not alienate those that want to learn.

2011-08-08 18:00:06
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
203.173.240.243

Understood. This nothing new, I sometimes write drafts when I'm angry. Just haven't had a fellow SkS'er run across the uncompleted first draft before. 

2011-08-08 18:54:28Cold Dishes
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
203.51.181.107

JC said "If you're feeling angry and passionate, channel that energy into a calm, reasonable tone - it drives your opponents crazy and is the most effective way to respond."

Or to put it another way

"Revenge is a dish best served cold"

 

Interesting point however. When do we stop responding to every tool denialist 'scientist' who publishes something? Should we spend more time on other stuff? One thing that strikes me. Where could I or someone I might want to help go to get a potted summary of the science of AGW? Not the IPCC reports, they are boat anchors. Not even the IPCC SPM's, they assume an audience that trusts the scientists and just wants to be told what to do.

I am thinking of someone in particular - a cook in my cafe. He used to give me video's like the Great Global Warming Swindle. I pointed him at SkS and gave him some other stuff and now he is probably agnostic. Sort of accepting but doesn't want to commit further because it interferes with his 'Government is the Root of All Evil' views. Yesterday he asked me a question. As a car is driving along the road, couldn't we use the wheels going round to power something.

Whoopsie! How to explain the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, The serious dearth of Perpetual Motion machines in the world, but yes we can do that for Regenerative Braking.

Point being. This was his level of understanding of physics, of how the universe works. And he is the norm. The sad fact is 99% of our fellow citizens on this planet have this level of understanding. So when the proposition is put to most people that a gas that is 0.039% is going to give us grief, their basic reaction is Bullshit! Because that is the totally reasonamble conclusion from their knowledge base.

So what resources exist to provide an educational tool/knowledge base to 99% of the world like my cook. Anyone know of any that are accessible to people who are daunted by the subject, defensive about looking foolish about their ignorance and not really interested in the subject anyway?

2011-08-08 19:41:28
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.41.68

Well, when you put it that way, no.

Probably talking to him is the best thing you can do.

2011-08-08 20:14:32
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
203.173.240.243

I agree with you Glenn, we'll never reach the 'reachable' with technobabble. I'm kinda hoping we can construct our own glossary and build on our collection of graphics to better explain the science to the masses. I'm gonna rough something up for JG to create a better basic graphic of how we humans perturb the biological carbon cycle.

I know the 'pointy head' response would follow along the lines of the Lon Hocker rebuttal , which will fly over most peoples heads, I just think the appropriate response to the 'tunnel vision' arguments of the "skeptics" is to use it as an opportunity to expound the 'big picture'. It's then easy for casual readers to see the "skeptic" argument is absurd. We're not writing for scientific journals.

And yes, I get angry because we've already passed five minutes to midnight - I worry about the savage world my children and grandchildren will have to endure.    

2011-08-08 23:00:57
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

As a car is driving along the road, couldn't we use the wheels going round to power something.

I think someone thought of that :-)
Or rather recover some energy. That sort of thing is about recovering energy that did no useful work in the first place. Commonly known as losses. He understands that maybe some energy could be recovered and really you shoulddn't be negative, because the guy understands there is probably a problem and is hunting for solutions with a minimum impact on his life choices.

2011-08-09 01:42:06big picture
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Glenn, I tried to cover the basics, with links to posts for more details in The Big Picture (linked with a button on the SkS main page).

I'm like Rob - I tend to use some ticked off language in my drafts, and then have to tone it down :-)  It's tough because a lot of these deniers are idiots and/or dishonest, but if we call them that, we come off looking bad.  So you just have to stick to 'he's wrong, here's why he's wrong'.  Confused is fine.

By the way, tamino took on Salby this weekend.

2011-08-09 04:11:28
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Perhaps one thing we should consider is that this whole affair may be a hoax, or perhaps some kind of experiment to see how different groups react to news of a revolutionary scientific idea. I know, it's a stretch. But consider the following:

  • Salby has a very strong publication record in atmosphreic physics. He's clearly no dummy. Do a Google scholar seach on him, he has a long list of peer-reviewed articles that have been widely cited. He is a successful scientist. I haven't heard any evidence of previous political or other wingnuttery on his part.
  • The idea presented by him has obvious big problems and he surely can't have failed to see them since he's not stupid and is apparently not ideologically blinded, as far as we know, anyway.
  • There are no slides or text backing up his ideas. The audio clip is just enough for people to get the gist of his argument and to hear in it what they need to hear.
  • He has not commented on the affair publically since it burst out on the intertubes. This is odd behaviour for someone who is supposedly pushing this stuff to seek attention.
  • There is a claim that he is publishing these ideas in a mystery journal. If true and if the paper has been accepted, there's no need for secrecy. It seems impossible to me that any major journal would ever accept such a paper. But if Salby is genuine, surely he would have tried those prestigious journals first (he has published in them before and has probably been a reviewer/editor) before lowering himself to E&E or whatever. If he really did try it out with a major journal, some of the big names in the carbon-cycle field (eg, David Archer) would surely have heard of it. They are, so far, silent. Maybe they are bound by reviewers' confidentiality but, alternatively, perhaps, they have figured out that's there's something fishy here and are waiting to see how this unfolds.
  • If this is a hoax, he's not doing it for laughs (unlike the bacteria hoax). This is perhaps more like the Sokal hoax where a credentialed scientist tries to expose credulity. In this case, the AGW establishment may also be an object of the study to see how they/we react.

I still think that this is an implausible explanation and that the straight-up story is more likely. Nevertheless, it might be prudent to make especially sure that any official SkS early response is restrained and sticks to the facts without too much supposition or rhetoric. If this is some kind of experiment, then this could be an opportunity for us to come out smelling of roses. Even if it's not, we can wait for the paper to come out and then indulge in a fact-based, mole-whacking frenzy.

2011-08-09 04:19:11
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Andy,

You make some valid points (e.g., Salby seems to publish in only top notch journals, journals which would not likely accept his purported paper).  I do not know what to make of this other than that it is quite bizarre.  If it is a hoax, Dr. Salby has really suckered the "skeptics" and those in denial.  If it is not, is would be a worthwhile experiment to perform down the road.

There is one other option though, that he is onto something and we all have our blinkers on.  The odds of that seem vanishingly small though.

 

 

2011-08-09 05:02:10
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

That would be pretty awesome if Salby came out and said it was all a hoax to see if the "skeptics" could actually react to an obviously wrong argument with genuine skepticism.  Andy does make some good points there.  But it still seems more likely that Salby's got some blinders on (the possibility that it's all of us who have blinders on is pretty darn close to zero because the fundamental flaws in the argument are so glaring - it's not like this is a highly nuanced disagreement).  I wonder what his political persuasion is.  If he were a conservative, I'd be more likely to think he's got ideological blinders on.  After all, Spencer made a similar argument a few years back, and we know about his ideological blinders.

2011-08-09 06:31:33The Baron nails it
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Here is some of my favorite data. As can be seen from this graph, CO2 and temperature are uncorrelated, and hence CO2 cannot drive temperature. This is an argument we skeptics always have made, and now we have been vindicated.



This graph on the other hand shows how well temperature and CO2 correlate. This is evidence that temperature is driving CO2.

 


Of course, the alarmists will try everything to wreck Salby's argument. For your benefit, this is how they can be countered. Think of the atmosphere as a bank account, and carbon dioxide as money. 

Climate Scum

2011-08-09 13:57:53
citizenschallenge
Peter Miesler
citizenschallenge7@gmail...
32.176.66.44

Paul D

I don't understand your comment CC.
I was suggesting that the word clueless be removed. I wasn't joking.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Paul, I was agreeing with you.

Sorry for being cryptic.  I was trying to make the point that sometimes things we really would like to say, are best left unsaid...

such as calling people "clueless"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

{ps. Andy S your 4:11 post was a spellbinder, worth putting out there for sure.}

2011-08-10 15:01:17Salby hoax
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.177.173.40

I don't think this is a hoax - I've monitored conversations between scientists who knew Salby and reported that this is in character for him. So I think we have to take this as genuine.

So it's imperative SkS posts a rebuttal ASAP. I noticed Rob is working on a blog post already and we also have a bunch of material that covers this material already:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm

http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-coming-from-ocean.htm

http://www.skepticalscience.com/CO2-emissions-correlation-with-CO2-concentration.htm

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Co2-trend-not-caused-by-warming-oceans.html

So as soon as Rob is ready, we'll amend his blog post into a rebuttal also. I've set up the rebuttal:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Murray-Salby-CO2-rise-natural.htm

or the short URL:

http://sks.to/salby

2011-08-10 16:41:19lets submit a comment on Salby's journal article
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

I have emailed Salby to ask which journal he has submitted the paper to (and to ask for a pre-print).  As I have a (now accepted) paper on this particular topic, perhaps we should submit a comment on Salby's journal article (when it appears, assuming the flaws in his podcast are repeated in the paper)?  It is a fair amount of work, but I think it would add a great deal of value to the SkS rebuttal.  I'd be happy to work on the manuscript, but I could do with help with the content.

Unless of course it has been submitted to E&E, with their low standard of "peer review" I am not confident of a competent review there.

2011-08-10 18:08:07Comment on Salby
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.177.173.40

Dikran, I probably will join you in that comment. Part of my job description at the Uni of Qld involves publishing a certain amount in the peer-reviewed literature and responding to denialist crapola is an elegant way to meet that obligation.

Our response will also form the advanced rebuttal to http://sks.to/salby

I'm probably going to have to reprogram the database to have more than 2 possible authors - I can see if SkS is doing more of these peer reviewed comments, we'll probably have more than 2 authors.

2011-08-12 23:27:36
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

I got an email back, with a standard reply that said that Salby had been innundated with requests and that the illustrations etc were embargoed until publication.  This is of course nonsense, if they are embargoed now, they were embargoed when he gave the talk! 

2011-08-13 00:10:14
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

John, sounds good to me, I much prefer writing papers with a co-author, it generally results in a more readable and useful paper.  I'm still curious about where it will be published!

2011-08-13 01:02:27
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
192.171.166.144

If you need any extra help with analysis, double checking or number crunching then any interest in having me along too?

 

I'm not sure there'll be much opportunity to do a paper though. If it's a joke 'journal' like E&E there's no point. If it's a real journal then I sincerely doubt they'll publish something that backs up his claims unless maths or chemistry are wrong. In which case he'd be making more noise about it.

2011-08-13 01:30:33
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

@MarkR, sure, a paper can never have too many checkers!  I also have reservations about submitting a paper to E&E (although they have published rebuttals in the past).  I think it is more likely that Salby has submitted the paper to a good journal, but not a climatology journal where peer review would involve peers in climatology.  I suspect this is how Essenhigh's paper got published, it is a reputable journal, but the reviewers may not have had a good enough understanding of the carbon cycle (or were nominated by Essenhigh).  This is the problem with journals where the author can suggest reviewers, it can make it easier for a bad paper to get through.

2011-08-14 19:49:04
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Tim Lambert posted the slides from the Salby presentation that were broadcast:

https://picasaweb.google.com/106132618137527519753/SalbySlides?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCKPz4KjVh4z9Fw&feat=directlink

2011-08-15 03:14:48
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
134.225.187.197

Doesn't show much. It's all stuff we already knew...

Can't see him coming up with anything except for temperatures control the very short term rates of change or maybe something to do with uncertainties in isotope ratios. It'll be interesting to see.