Murry Salby in London

Joshua has pointed out that Judith Curry has written a post about Murry Salby’s recent presentation in London. There was some hope that Judith might actually express some views about his ideas, but she just seems to find it interesting.

For those who don’t know, Murry Salby has been suggesting that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is natural, and not anthropogenic. This is so obviously wrong, that I can’t really be bothered going through all the details again. Tom Curtis has a very nice post explaining the different lines of evidence as to why it is anthropogenic. I’ve written some posts about Murry Salby. Eli has a couple of posts too. Stoat has a lengthy post, and a much shorter one. Tom Curtis has another post about the Salby Ratio. There’s a lengthy Bishop Hill Discussion Thread (Gavin Cawley’s comments are worth reading).

The bottom line is that Murry Salby’s suggestion that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is natural, not anthropogenic, is clearly wrong. You would like to think that he’s simply confused, but some of what he presents is so obviously wrong and – in the case of the Salby Ratio – rather deceptive, that it’s hard to conclude that someone with his background, doesn’t realise his error. I think anyone with a basic understanding of data analysis and a basic understanding of the carbon cycle should recognise that his suggestions are wrong. I think it’s unfortunate that Judith Curry seems comfortable promoting his presentation without commenting on the scientific credibility of what he suggests.

Update: Richard Telford’s posts are also good (H/T Dikran).

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95 Responses to Murry Salby in London

  1. Why did you write such a long blog post about this?

  2. I struggle to keep it short 🙂

  3. Can Salby explain why modern warming of 1 C has lead to 120 ppm more “natural” CO2 in the atmo, when 8 C of warming after the last glacial period only lead to a 100 ppm increase.

  4. David,
    Exactly. I forget who it was (someone might remind us), but someone pointed out that if Salby were right, atmospheric CO2 should have dropped to zero during previous glacial periods. Since this is obviously not the case, his suggestion is nonsense. As I understand it, this is one reason why some found it so bizarre that they couldn’t even really bring themselves to comment further.

  5. John Mashey says:

    Here’s longer (1:40)video, including introduction (Salby says “thanks for the kind introduction Philip”), so I think that’s Philip Foster.

    This includes Q&A from various folks I don’t recognize offhand, except our favorite Viscount.

    Please, can’t we have Salby come visit the US? Many would love to see him.

  6. Guido van der Werf says:

    It might be worth to emphasise that his new argument against the anthropogenic origin of atmospheric CO2 is different from his previous one, although related. Salby argues now that the growth in fossil fuel emissions should translate 1:1 to the atmosphere, neglecting the influence of the natural carbon cycle.

    The latter tends to lower the CO2 growth rate during La Nina years of which we had quite a few up to 2013 or so, so it is not a surprise that the growth rate during those years did not increase as much as expected. If Salby would include the most recent two years he would see the increase and on decadal time scales anthropogenic emissions and the atmospheric CO2 growth rate match nicely. Actually, thanks to NOAA anyone can see this

    It is disturbing that this is known since the 1970’s but that Salby somehow doesn’t grasp it. And obviously that he neglects all the other lines of evidence as you point out.

  7. Guido,
    Thanks, I did notice that Judith highlighted that aspect of his talk. The plot you link to is good. I think Nick Stoke’s post is also relevant (although this more explains why the airborne fraction remains constant, which isn’t quite the same).

  8. John Mashey says:

    On CO2 going negative: John Nielsen-Gammon heard Salby talk in 2011, at conference where Salby gave a talk completely different than the one accpeted.

    2011.07.05 Murry Salby, IUGG, Melbourne 06/26-07/07/11
    Call for Abstracts closed 02/01/11, acceptance by 03/28/11.
    According to the program, he spoke at this session:
    ‘Tuesday, 5 July 2011 1330-1500 MR103 IAMAS
    JM04 Stratosphere-Troposphere-Ocean coupling in weather and climate
    1330 # 3751. Invited Stratospheric Planetary Wave Reflection
    And Its Influence On The Troposphere – N. Harnik, J. Perlwitz, T. Shaw.
    1345 As above.
    1400 # 1559. Invited Dynamical versus Radiative Timescales in Stratosphere-Troposphere Coupling
    P. Hitchcock, T. Shepherd, S. Yoden, M. Taguchi.
    1415 As above.
    1430 # 3902. A Dynamical Mechanism for Southern Hemisphere Climate Change Due To The Ozone Hole
    A. Orr, T. Bracegirdle, S. Hosking, T. Jung, J. Haigh, et al.
    ‘1445 # 1582. Rebound of Antarctic Ozone
    M. Salby, E. Titova, L. Deschamps. ’

    Although his accepted talk fit that session, the actual talk did not.
    Instead, with no advance notice he spoke on his unrelated CO2 ideas, to an audience unlikely to include many carbon-cycle specialists, but such were unnecessary to refute him. John Nielsen-Gammon heard Salby, talked with him.
    Then see
    82 John N-G says 5 Aug 2011 at 12:59 PM
    “I was lucky enough to attend Murray Salby’s talk at the IUGG conference in Melbourne. The thesis is not quite so simple as a correlation between CO2 rise and short-term temperature variations, because he found corroborating evidence in the change of CO2 slope over time. This made the argument not so easy to dismiss out of hand, although Salby was extremely careful not to draw any conclusions in his public presentation.

    It was quite good sport to play “spot the flaw” in real time. Fortunately, the talk was the last of the session, and both Alan Plumb and myself chatted with him right afterwards. Aside from whether a statistical argument makes physical sense, it also must hold water statistically by being applicable beyond the time frame of model development. In discussing what his model would mean for past variations of temperature and CO2, it eventually became clear that he believed all paleoclimate data that supported his statistical analysis and disregarded all paleoclimate data that countered his statistical analysis, even though the latter collection was much larger than the former.

    Eventually I realized that if 0.8 C of warming is sufficient to produce an increase of 120ppb CO2, as Salby asserted, then the converse would also have to be true. During the last glacial maximum, when global temperatures were indisputably several degrees cooler than today, the atmospheric CO2 concentration must have been negative.
    That was enough for me. “

  9. JM,
    Thanks, that’s the one I was thinking of.

  10. Magma says:

    Poor Murry. He has come up against the same rotten cabal of ‘reviewers’ and ‘scientists’ that I have.

    My groundbreaking hypothesis that under typical ice sheet conditions (i.e., cold, dark, dampish and squishy) the fissiochemical reaction CO₂ → 2 D₂O + He goes surprisingly far to the RHS would revolutionize climate studies.

    But do they care? No.

  11. John Mashey says:

    Regarding Salby’s 2011 talk, I might remind people that in my experience, conference organizers tend to like people to give talks that match their abstracts and actually fit into the session for which they are accepted. I can’t recall ever attandign a conference where somebody gave a totally unrelated talk.

  12. Russell says:

    John, the General Theory of Advertising runs contrary to that of scientific conferences, and predicts Salby will need to materialize at a GWPF or Heartland awards dinner in this hemisphere to recharcge his credit card, before reverting to his antipodean ground state to recharge his soft coal battery.

    Readers in London & Chicago are invited to keep us informed.

  13. Szilard says:

    I found Gavin Cawley’s efforts in that BH thread very useful.

    Watching somebody illustrate flaws in arguments can be a good way to learn a little about the subject.

  14. dikranmarsupial says:

    This post by Richard Telford is also worth being aware of Dissembling with graphs: Murry Salby edition.

  15. Dikran,
    Thanks, I’d forgotten about Richard Telford’s posts.

  16. dikranmarsupial says:

    Perhaps I am being dense*, in Salby’s slide at 51:59 how does he get from (at equilibrium)

    En = An = alpha*rn


    Delta E = alpha*Delta r


    Delta Ea >= alpha*Delta ra


    ra/r <= Delta Ea / (alpha * Delta r)

    Looks to me like there is a problem with subscripts or missing deltas

    * Quite possibly, after watching most of Salby's talk and trying to understand how he came to those conclusions I have rather less mental energy than when I started, so some help would be appreciated.

  17. dikranmarsupial says:

    Actually this first step is incorrect anyway, as at equilibrium all sources are balanced with all sinks, not just the natural ones, so the first line should be something like

    En + Ea = An = alpha*r

    where rn is natural carbon, ra is anthropogenic carbon and r = rn + ra.

  18. To be quite honest, I’ve watched that a few times and it doesn’t really make any sense. I suspect that you’re right, that he’s ignored Ea and made the entire calculation nonsense.

  19. dikranmarsupial says:

    FWIW, I’ve given the video a brief fisking at Prof. Curry’s blog, in a series of comments, starting here. I suspect there won’t be a great deal of constructive reaction to them.

  20. Dikran,
    I saw those. I suspect you’re right.

    I’m quite impressed with ristvan’s comments. I think I once suggested – to him – that most of what he said was nonsense. I think I have to that back.

  21. Guido says:

    Fully agree with dikranmarsupial, I just put together a few graphs showing that he compares apples and oranges, and that in fact the CO2 growth increases just like one would expect (unless one cherry picks start and end point…)

    Please see this graph

  22. dikranmarsupial says:

    Indeed, this was spot-on. Given that Ekholm was aware of the basic mechanism of the greenhouse effect back in 1901 is is a pity that atmospheric science Profs. are still making that mistake in 2016 (or not picking up on it).

  23. dikranmarsupial says:

    rats, messed up the tags again, I really have done too much typing today! 😦

  24. dikranmarsupial says:

    cor, pressed the submit button and they were already fixed! Cheers!

  25. lerpo says:

    “You would like to think that he’s simply confused, but some of what he presents is so obviously wrong and – in the case of the Salby Ratio – rather deceptive, that it’s hard to conclude that someone with his background, doesn’t realise his error.”

    Is it possible that Judith Curry is duped by this guy? Either way, I cannot find a flattering way to reconcile her implicit support of Salby with her claimed aversion to advocacy.

  26. dikranmarsupial says:

    It could be that Prof. Curry really dislikes Prof. Salby, that is also consistent with the observations. ;o)

  27. Joshua says:

    lerpo –

    ==> Either way, I cannot find a flattering way to reconcile her implicit support of Salby with her claimed aversion to advocacy. ==>

    I can think of one, theoretically, that I suppose can’t be objectively dismissed…which is that there is no implicit support simply because she writes a post that focuses on Salby’s science but takes no position on its validity.

    Judith is criticized from both sides, respectively, on a variety of issues on the basis of presumed implicit support…something which is always a tricky derivation.

    I don’t agree that Judith is clearly advancing the cause of”skeptics” simply by putting up her Salby post, as in the task world the impact is very limited.

    And judgement of “motivation” is something that is inherently subject to the influence of biases. There are many potential explanations. Maybe Judith indeed dis find Salby’s work “interesting” and lacks the knowledge to do her own analysis (her statement that she is “very busy” looks to me like thin gruel, particularly considering that she criticized Ander’s comments in Salby’s along exactly those lines without providing ANY substantiation fur that criticism ).

    Maybe she just wants to drive traffic for her site and knows that a post on Salby is easy red meat..resulting in a lot of traffic with hardly any effort.

    Maybe she is just committed to promoting as comprehensive a discussion on climate change as might be possible.

    Certainly, we can all make our own assessments of the plausibility of various explanations, but in the end no one but Judith is in a position to know.

    In the end, I have found the discussion at her site (and follow-on here) interesting and educational (to the extent I can understand any if it). Certainly, the discussion would likely have been more interesting if Judith had contributed even an iota of analysis, and it does seem to me to be reinforcing of sameosameo for her to write such a vacuous post after saying many months ago that she should put up a post on Salby’s work, but, well, it seems to me that Judith has been stuck for years in contributing to sameosameo rather than elevating the discussion…although I don’t think that there’s any reason to conclude that is her intent rather than a reflection of her inability to control for her own biases and a failure to hold herself accountable for her own advocacy

  28. Joshua says:

    From Judith two years ago:

    curryja | August 24, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
    I read ATTP on salby, his response is pretty thin gruel

    Notice the lack of substance argument. AFAIK, there has been no substantive analysis in the intervening two years.

    Also note:

    curryja | August 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
    I stated a few comments back that I am planning a future thread on salby

    I suppose that the recent post, two years later, might be that thread she was referring two. I suppose some might argue that a post with no analysis, two years later, might be “thin gruel,” but I guess the viscosity of gruel is always in the eye of the beholder.

  29. Joshua,
    The main problem is that much of what Salby presents is obviously wrong to anyone with even a basic understanding of the topic. It’s really hard to interpret Judith’s apparent reluctance to comment on what he presents positively.

  30. dikranmarsupial says:

    Joshua wrote “which is that there is no implicit support simply because she writes a post that focuses on Salby’s science but takes no position on its validity. “

    I don’t think that is necessarily any less unflattering. Promulgating contentious views that have already been shown to be wrong (and indeed would overturn a whole field of research if correct) without proper caveats is a bit irresponsible for a climatology Prof. (IMHO).

    “And judgement of “motivation” is something that is inherently subject to the influence of biases.

    Generally best to leave motivation out of it, except perhaps for the odd spot of wry humour (see above).

    “Maybe Judith indeed dis find Salby’s work “interesting” and lacks the knowledge to do her own analysis “

    No, Prof. Curry ought to be able to spot that Prof. Salbys argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the greenhouse effect actually works. Anybody who has really studied the physics of climate change (even a non-specialist like myself) ought to be able to spot that. Also the counter arguments have already been explained to her on her blog, and they are not exactly rocket science. The mathematical errors are a little more difficult to spot, but not that much more difficult as similar errors to do with correlations of rates and amounts have cropped up before a number of times. This is mostly Carbon Cycle 101 stuff, so I would expect Prof. Curry to have a more than adequate background.

  31. I was going to watch this to see if Salby had made any progress since I last watched him spout drivel. Alas, he is such an awful speaker, I gave up after ten minutes. Presumably other lectures from the pseudo conference are online. Are any watchable?

  32. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    ==> It’s really hard to interpret Judith’s apparent reluctance to comment on what he presents positively. ==>

    Climateball is rather allergic to interpretation.

  33. Richard,
    I think it was just a single lecture. See here.

    Indeed 🙂

  34. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Climateball is rather allergic to interpretation.”

    Perhaps it would be better to say that lacking the knowledge to perform the analysis of Salby’s work is inconsistent with being a Prof. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences? The level of material involved really is that basic. There isn’t really any interpretation needed.

  35. Ah. I thought Salby was speaking at the Independent Committee on Geoethics conference that we have all so been looking forward to. But that is still to come. I can hardly wait.

  36. Yes, that is still to come. I got sent an invitation, which started with “Dear Douglas”. I think it was meant to go to Douglas Keenan.

  37. Willard says:

    An outline of Murry’s scientific reasoning as to “why CO2 is not the harmful gas it is claimed to be” would have been nice, if only because we could then say that harmfulness can be established via scientific means alone.

  38. anoilman says:

    Willard… that hurts my feelings.

  39. Magma says:

    I don’t think that is necessarily any less unflattering. — dikranmarsupial

    Full points for effective use (I think…) of a triple negative plus a hedging adverb in the grammatical gymnastics short program.

  40. dikranmarsupial says:

    It comes naturally, I am English, I could have been more direct, but only at the risk of deportation.

  41. Richard telford says: “Ah. I thought Salby was speaking at the Independent Committee on Geoethics conference that we have all so been looking forward to. But that is still to come. I can hardly wait.

    Salby would have fitted very well in that line up.

  42. JohnMashey says:

    VV: “fit”
    I somewhat disagree, because once upon a time, Salby was a credible atmospheric scientist, author of textbook widely respected by serious people, Prof at CU (good school), coauthor with NCAR folks, etc.
    Admittedly, if you study his publications and citations, it was pretty much downhill since 1996, and his career had pretty much faded before he ran to Australia.
    (Of course, in middle of that, he’d filed complaints against his dept hesd Peter Webster, Judith Curry’s husband .. both of whom were earlier Ack’d on Salby papers.

    But, it’s not the layer papers were crankery, just apparently less interesting to researchers … and his 2012 book was OK but for about 20-30 pages.

    Many of the ICG folks have never been much besides fringers, or else went there ling ago.

    Salby got so heavily promoted because he actually was once a credible scientist, unlike most that spout nonsense.

    I still hope he comes back to US to speak. If he returned to CO, i might even fly over.

  43. John Mashey says:

    I strongly urge reading What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists, as among other things, if it works in physics, it might work in climate science to help some postdocs earn some extra money.

    “As long as you have funding, quantum gravity is basic research at its finest. If not, it’s pretty much useless knowledge. Who, I wondered, could possibly need someone who knows the ins and outs of attempts to unify the forces and unravel the quantum behaviour of space-time? I thought of all the theories of everything in my inbox. And I put up a note on my blog offering physics consultation, including help with theory development: ‘Talk to a physicist. Call me on Skype. $50 per 20 minutes.’ …

    “My callers fall into two very different categories. Some of them cherish the opportunity to talk to a physicist because one-to-one conversation is simply more efficient than Google. They can shoot up to 20 questions a minute, everything from: ‘How do we know quarks exist?’ to ‘Can atoms contain tiny universes?’ They’re normally young or middle-aged men who want to understand all the nerdy stuff but have no time to lose. That’s the minority.

    The majority of my callers are the ones who seek advice for an idea they’ve tried to formalise, unsuccessfully, often for a long time. Many of them are retired or near retirement, typically with a background in engineering or a related industry. All of them are men. ”

    H/T neuroskeptic, who has sometimes been quite helpful, as in Magnetism: From Neuroscience to Climate Change?
    (i.e., real skeptic, in the classic positive sense, not the distorted sense used by pseudoskeptics).

  44. Joshua says:

    Anders, Dikran –

    FWIW –

    ==> The main problem is that much of what Salby presents is obviously wrong to anyone with even a basic understanding of the topic ==>


    ==> No, Prof. Curry ought to be able to spot that Prof. Salbys argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the greenhouse effect actually works. Anybody who has really studied the physics of climate change (even a non-specialist like myself) ought to be able to spot that ==>

    Dikran, you and I have had a somewhat related discussion recently. Not being able to evaluate the science myself, these types of explanations only go so far. I don’t dismiss, at all, that both of you say that the flaws in Salby’s work are obvious and fundamental…but neither can I take those statements (at least completely) as something that enables me to reach a definitive conclusion for myself.

    Consider that… some of the people I see arguing that Salby is obviously wrong have themselves, in any variety of contexts, been absolutely certain in presenting arguments (in contexts where I can make an evaluation) that have seemed obviously wrong to me (e.g., Rud Ivstan, to pick just one of quite a few). Further, I have seen those same people show poor reasoning skills and a lack of insight and openness to evaluating their own analytical process. Further still, I have seen some of those people, in turn, picked apart by yet other people who have claimed that the flaws in their arguments were fundamental and obvious…but those “other people” have themselves presented arguments that I have seen to be fundamentally flawed, lacking in insight, etc. (for example, I once saw Rud’s arguments picked apart at Lucia by the sorts of folks there who have inspired little confidence for me in the veracity of their evaluation process, ability to control for bias, openness and insightfulness, etc.)

    So if it’s a matter of playing probabilities, I could say with good confidence that it is likely that there’s something very odd going on, in that Salby’s work is obviously flawed and Judith’s lack of acknowledgement of those flaws is hard to explain from a purely logical standpoint. But in the back of my mind, I need to play that against the reality that I am likely biased to accept your expert viewpoint and discount those of someone like “AK” or Mike Flynn – who seem technically skilled but who might argue that Salby is right and you’re arguments are fundamentally and obviously flawed – due to tribal affinities.

    So if I had to bet, I would put my money on something fishy going on, and that indeed, Judith should be able, with relatively little effort, to spot the flaws in Salby’s work but for some odd reason won’t acknowledge those flaws…but I find arguments based on absolute “authority” weak. If I didn’t, then why would I not have accept Rud’s arguments the many, many times he claims his analysis to be absolutely and certainly and authoritatively correct?

  45. Joshua says:

    Here’s a good example:

    stevefitzpatrick | August 11, 2016 at 7:35 am | Reply
    We at least agree that Judith should never have posted Salby’s tripe, since a minute of thought makes it clear he has not a clue what he is talking about. Arguing about Salby’s ‘analysis’ is beyond boring, it’s a foolish waste of time.

    So what do I do with something like that? It seems to me that Steve is technically knowledgeable and capable of sophisticated reasoning, but I’ve also seen him make arguments that are laughably bad and completely lacking in the qualities of a careful analyst.

    So what does it mean when you and he agree that Salby’s work is fundamentally bad and that Judith “should never have posted Salby’s tripe?” It’s usually a pretty good rule of thumb that when I see Steve confidently presenting an argument, the probabilities are that the contrasting argument is the one more likely to be correct.

    But on the other hand, maybe if people who disagree as much as you and he about so many things come to agreement about Salby’s work, that should be a rather dispositive indication that Salby must be obviously wrong?

  46. Joshua,
    In a sense what you’re highlighting is why I think Judith is being irresponsible in not saying something more definitive about Salby’s ideas. They are obviously wrong. Take this as a simple illustration of why. By not making some kind of more definitive statement about his ideas (while still promoting them on her blog as interesting) it means that some may actually think that there might be something there. There are some scientific ideas that are worth considering even if a majority regard them as wrong. This is almost certainly not one of them.

  47. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Yes, I found that comment by John quite persuasive (in no small part because I’ve found John N-G to be one of the more reliable and confidence-inspiring participants in the climate wars).

    ==> In a sense what you’re highlighting is why I think Judith is being irresponsible in not saying something more definitive about Salby’s ideas ==>

    And I do agree with that. Under the circumstances, (in particular that she said she critqued your analysis with making any substantive arguments and in that discussion said she was going to post two years ago about Salby’s work and then after two years, and quite a few reminders from your truly, offered a completely vacuous post), her lack of analytical comment does seem irresponsible from a “honest-broker” standpoint. It seems to me that the most logical explanation is that her post was nothing other than easily affordable red meat to throw up and drive traffic.

  48. Joshua,
    What is interesting is how many on Judith’s comment thread are agreeing that it’s mostly nonsense. That seems like progress of sorts.

  49. John Mashey says:

    By the way, it is instructive to review My review of Salby’s 2012 book, which is an exceprt from a yet-unpublished longer dissection.

    This generated *246* comments, much of which was dikran’s valiant, patient efforts to induce thought, including by people with strong beliefs, like Morgan Wright, who also did a review (“the bible of atmospheric physics”),
    “This is the bible for all that is currently known about the atmosphere. The math is a little over my head unless I study it carefully,”

    As it happens, Mr. Wright is a retired optometrist who runs a disc golf course in upstate NY.

    Then , of course, there is the UK’s own Lucy Skywalker.
    “Caveat Lector. Reviewer John Mashey is involved in the anti-climate-skeptics DeSmogBlog, which cross-references with Skeptical Science. SkS have identified 232 claims of climate skeptics so far; and have done a hatchet job on each one. Google “skeptical science fixednum”.
    ” …
    “Mashey and friends are weighing in with ferocity against this magnum opus. But does it deserve such opprobrium? A sharp polarization of views into those who are strongly for and those who are strongly against, always suggests to me that the “official” side has gone corrupt. Look at the quality of responses. Which side appears to be the more courteous, comprehensible, factual, knowledgeable? Which side appeals more to emotions? Which side is more concerned with putting people down?”

  50. Joshua, may you could simply not see these comments as arguments (aimed at you), but simply as people with technical knowledge holding the opinion that Salby is obviously and fundamentally flawed and that it is not credible for someone who became professor for her work on Arctic clouds not to see this. Feel free to include me in that group. Sometimes people just want to go on record with an observation or share it with like minded people with technical knowledge. Not everything has to be an argument, especially not an argument that everyone can follow.

  51. Joshua says:


    The world doesn’t revolve around me? I don’t understand.

  52. No, I mixed two lines of argument.

    1. It is not just that when you (and people similar to you) cannot follow an argument, that argument is thus not valuable.

    2. But also not every communication is an argument. Sometimes someone just says “those stars are beautiful” or “Salby is obviously wrong” or “I like cats”.

  53. Joshua, in a technical discussion of e.g. biblical hermeneutics, I know I am not able to draw any strong conclusions as my knowledge base and understanding is limited, so I assign my belief according to the apparent merits of the arguments/evidence presented, but will end up with a rather weak distribution of belief on almost all matters. I am not going to gain any meaningful information about technical correctness from the manner of the contributors, and I don’t think there is much to gain from trying. At the end of the day, you really do need to get a grounding in the technical detail to have any confidence in understanding who is right. Sadly sufficiently advanced bullshit is indistinguishable from science to a lay audience (just as it would be for me on many humanities subjects)..

    Being able to speak convincingly is a technical skill, and isn’t necessarily evidence of being right.

  54. I reall think that one problem with Salby’s argument (and illustrated by John Nielsen-Gammon’s comment) is that it is so obviously wrong to those who understand this, that they can’t even really be bothered rebutting it – especially, as it hasn’t been published anywhere.

  55. John Mashey says:

    Yes, and it is worth reading the whole comment thread at RealClimate where John N-G’s comment is. It was an open thread, so interleaved with other discussions.
    See especially 37, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 54, 55, 56-62, 74, 77, 80, 81, 82 (John N-G), 83, 86, (87, 88, 93, 98, 99, 101, 102, 109, 111, 113, 114-118 (7 August))
    Then it stopped. RealClimate never even bothered with a top-level post.
    Within days, knowledgeable professionals and others had identified major flaws in Salby’s arguments, most just via podcast … and stopped caring. Only a few bothered to debunk it, given how wrong he was.
    Dismissive sites promoted Salby heavily, sometimes for 5+ years.

  56. JM,
    It is worth reading. Eric Steig’s (?) comment (#86) rather makes the point I was making earlier

    Just as I have written off research demonstrating the non-existence of gravity, the validity of astrology, evidence that consuming plutonium is good for you, or the discovery of the fabled ‘counterEarth’ on the other side of the sun, I have not bothered to look any farther than Salby’s podcast, which provided enough information to tell me not to look further. Being a scientist means, among other things, not wasting one’s time reading every random bit of ‘research’ that pops up in the blogosphere making claims to have overturned well established facts. I could be wrong of course, but until I hear something at least vaguely believable, I’ll not be paying much attention to this one

  57. Magma says:

    @ John Mashey 8:03 pm

    The article What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists was well worth reading, thanks. I think I’ve dealt with more stubborn types than Hossenfelder was discussing, but perhaps I’ll ease up a little on some of them in future.

  58. John Mashey says:

    Yes, “knowledgeable professionals”. When the RC foks comment, Gavin often leaves his name off, but the others don’t, so Eric = Eric Steig.

    I mean, suppose you hear of a talk saying the sun is iron? 🙂

  59. ATTP indeed. My hope in writing the comment on Essenhigh’s residence time paper for Energy & Fuels was that a real carbon cycle researcher wouldn’t be tempted to spend time on it (as it was carbon cycle 101 stuff). I didn’t realise at the time it wouldn’t do anything stop blogs recycling the argument anyway, but at least on the most recent example, support for Salby’s theory seems somewhat scarce.

  60. Eli Rabett says:

    Over at the Georgia Tech Institute of Flummery and Finagling, in the comments, luminaries such as Istvan and Eli agree that Salby is blowing smoke, Wonders.

  61. Tom Curtis says:

    Guido, Salby’s analysis of the different rates of increase of CO2 emissions and CO2 concentrations suffers from a fundamental error in that CO2 concentration is a linear function of accumulative CO2 emissions. Therefore to make a comparison of the changes of trends of CO2 concentration, he ought to have compared with the change in the trend of accumulative emission. Alternatively, if he wanted to compare the trend of annual emission, he ought to have compared with the annual change in concentration. For what it is worth, the trends from 1995-2004 and 2005-2014 for accumulative emission (FF & LUC) are 8.15 and 10.04 GtC per annum respectively. For CO2 concentration (Mauna Loa) they are 1.85 and 2.07 ppmv per annum respectively. The ratio between the two periods is 1.23 for accumulative emission, and 1.12 for concentration.

    The ratio for the increase in annual emissions is 2.81, close to the “three times faster” claimed by Salby but it is the wrong ratio to compare. The ratio of the annual growth in CO2 over the two periods is 1.34, the difference being due to differences in temperature as you point out.

  62. Bob Loblaw says:

    I have told this elsewhere:

    I am reminded of a math joke told to me years ago by a mathematician friend. (Yes, I know. “math joke” is an oxymoron. Don’t ask me to tell you the one about Noah and the snakes.)

    Two mathematicians are in a bar, arguing about the general math knowledge of the masses. They end up deciding to settle the issue by seeing if the waitress can answer a math question. While mathematician A is in the bathroon, mathematician B corners the waitress and tells her that when his friend asks her a question, she should answer “one half X squared”. A little later, when the waitress returns to the table, A asks her “what is the integral of X?”. She answers as instructed, and mathematician A sheepishly pays off the bet and admits that B was right. As the waitress walks away, she is heard to mutter “pair of idiots. It’s one-half X squared, plus a constant“.

    [I’m not sure how much of the joke is a dig at mathematicians who forget some of the basics (the constant), or a dig that mathematicians can only find jobs working as a waitress in a bar.]

    …but to get back to the subject at hand, Salby forgets that integration is not complete without adding a constant – a moot point if you are just doing the integration symbolically, but absolutely critical if you want to put actual numbers on it. CO2 does track the integral of temperature – as long as you don’t forget to add back in the constant that dominates the correlation. Without the constant, there is no correlation, which tells us that the short-term variations in temperature are not affecting the long term buildup of CO2. Because Salby sees a correlation between the noise in T and the noise in CO2, he mistakenly assumes that integration will entirely reverse the differentiation without reference to the constant.

    Salby needs to review Calculus 101.

  63. I see Judith has guest post by Guido, which addresses a key issue with Salby’s latest presentation.

  64. Salby needs to review Calculus 101.

    Indeed. The joke seems very apt 🙂

  65. dikranmarsupial says:

    ATTP, it is a shame that Prof. Curry ends the article with a little barb: “This is exactly the sort of thing that I hoped my post would elicit (but didn’t expect).” which is rather ironic as the flaws in Salby’s arguments have been explained on her blog repeatedly, in detail.

    Thank you to Guido though, much appreciated!

  66. Dikran,
    I saw that. I decided to take the moral high ground, and ignore it. Be thankful for small mercies, in other words 🙂

  67. dikranmarsupial says:

    Bob Loblaw, the joke is indeed spot-on.

    Maths Joke: Why did the mathematician name his dog “Cauchy”? Because it left a residue at every pole!

  68. dikranmarsupial says:

    I took it as an opportunity to point out the mass balance argument (again) and the problem with the corellation (again) and also Richard Telford’s point about the 14C data. ;o)

  69. John Mashey says:

    Salby first presented this mid-2011 (reported by John N-G).

    Salby has published many papers, and in the last few years there have been claims that papers would soon be published on this groundbreaking work.

    That they have not appeared is a hint.

  70. Andrew Dodds says:

    Should use the term ‘Vapourpaper’ (as in vapourware)..

    Any ‘ground breaking’ paper that will cause a revolution in the field ‘real soon’.

  71. dikranmarsupial says:

    ATTP writes “What is interesting is how many on Judith’s comment thread are agreeing that it’s mostly nonsense. ”

    sadly normal service has been resumed, especially on the new thread. 😦

  72. Joshua says:

    VV –

    No, I mixed two lines of argument.

    1. It is not just that when you (and people similar to you) cannot follow an argument, that argument is thus not valuable.

    2. But also not every communication is an argument. Sometimes someone just says “those stars are beautiful” or “Salby is obviously wrong” or “I like cats”.

    1. I know if you got it, but I was attempting a self-deprecating joke. Yes, the value of arguments is not a function of my understanding or opinion.

    2. Those analogies don’t work for me in that they are statements of opinions whereas the other statement is one of fact. That is the heart of the problem, IMO.

  73. Magma says:

    sadly normal service has been resumed, especially on the new thread dikranmarsupial

    It’s like a book club for illiterates.

  74. anoilman says:

    Magma… I know just what to sell them;

  75. Willard says:

    Here’s the transcript (courtesy of Firebug filtering trick and angech’s accounting):

    thank you
    fill up
    climate is a subject of limited
    understanding insignificant part
    because observations are
    yet it is a subject on which
    almost everyone has an opinion
    tonight's presentation concerns
    carbon in the atmosphere
    almost all of it is in the form
    of carbon dioxide
    i will first review existing
    evidence of the human
    contribution to increase co2 if
    you want the details
    they're out there I'll then
    present new evidence which
    isolates role of fossil fuel
    mission in the 20th century
    increase carbon dioxide
    I'll close with the retrospect
    that places the treatment of the
    subject into historical context
    before we turn to the main
    I promised to show you why co2
    cannot be a pollutant
    how many of you seen an image
    like this right
    it's a favorite of the media
    this image has become the poster
    child of co2 emission
    there's just one complication in
    the vernacular Mark Twain never
    let the truth get in the way of
    a good story
    these are cooling towers
    what's emerging from them isn't
    it's wawa a cloud of microscopic
    droplets that have condensed
    from water vapor
    it's no different than those
    fluffy white makes up in the sky
    exhaust from combustion of
    fossil fuel emerging from the
    tower to the left the combustion
    flu but even that plume is not
    what is it close inspection
    provides a clue
    immediately above the slim the
    emission plume is invisible
    the visible part is likewise
    water droplets that condense
    after water vapor is cooled
    through mixing with surrounding
    air from where did that water
    vapor com
    it has the same art as Steve in
    car exhaust on a cold morning
    combustion is a form of
    oxidation the same process
    powers the human body in it
    co2 cannot be produced without
    simultaneously producing water
    vapor co2 and water they are the
    products of perfect combustion
    they are produced even when
    there are no by-products no real
    pollutants their role is
    illustrated by simple fuel
    meh thing
    for every co2 molecule produced
    its combustion produces two
    molecule of water maker more
    complex fuel is illustrated by
    Appalachian call
    for every three co2 molecules
    its combustion produces two
    molecules of water vapor in
    regard to climate whether the
    ratio of water vapor to see him
    it's two to one or two to three
    really doesn't matter
    here's why plotted here is the
    atmospheres opacity at
    wavelengths of infrared
    radiation collected over all
    greenhouse gases
    it's what traps reading Heat if
    your surface
    it's also the premise for the
    EPA's finding of endangerment by
    co2 notice over almost all
    wavelengths the opacity is
    already a hundred percent the
    maximum possible
    in grain is the contribution
    from co t it represents less
    than ten percent of the overall
    opacity what provides the rest
    almost all of it comes from
    water vapor including derived
    cloud makes its contribution
    even greater notice even if
    those wavelengths or co2 absorbs
    radiation water paper absorbs
    over half of the maximum that's
    only what remains less than half
    is influenced by changes of co2
    in this plume water vapor that's
    emitted with co2 is produced the
    same process that produces co2
    if he trapping capacity vastly
    exceeds the heat trapping
    capacity of co2
    co2 will be a pollutant the
    David water vapor the pollution
    it follows that energy sources
    which circumvent co2 emission
    are not a cleaner more greener
    they're just different
    now to this evening's main
    what role does such fossil fuel
    emissions of co2 play in the
    increase of atmospheric co2 the
    IPCC's position is simple
    all of it what is reality
    a clue comes from changes the
    fossil fuel emissions of co2 and
    contemporaneous changes of
    atmospheric co2
    during the decade before the
    turn of the century fossil fuel
    emissions increased almost
    linearly during the subsequent
    it also increased linearly but
    three times faster
    the area under the curve
    represents the co2 that was
    emitted into the atmosphere
    far more was emitted during the
    second decade and during the
    first decade
    two hundred percent more
    during the same . atmospheric
    co2 also increase linearly in
    the first decade
    it increased by about 20 parts
    per million by volume ppmv
    during the second decade
    it's increase virtually
    fossil fuel emissions during the
    second day was three times that
    during the first decade and its
    impact on the increase of
    atmospheric co2 was virtually
    where the additional
    anthropogenic co2 ended up
    cannot be said
    where did not end up is
    unambiguous the premise of the
    IPCC that increased atmospheric
    co2 results principally from
    fossil fuel efficient is
    impossible if fossil fuel
    mission represented as little as
    ten percent of the increase in
    atmospheric co2 the atmospheric
    increase during the second
    decade would have been thirty
    percent greater than during the
    first decade
    it wasn't even close
    the disconnect between fossil
    fuel emissions of co2 and
    atmospheric co2 should hardly
    come as a surprise
    this is an estimate of the co2
    budget by the IPCC itself of
    total emission human emission
    accounts for only a couple of
    percent the rest over
    ninety-five percent
    I'm from natural mission even a
    minor change of natural mission
    would overshadow human emission
    the result of all of these
    contributions is net emission
    the net rate at which co 2 is
    introduced into the atmosphere
    it must equal the instantaneous
    growth rate of atmospheric co2
    that property follows from the
    observed record in green is a
    net global emissions of co2 from
    all sources
    it has an appt about 1.6 ppmv
    per year but between years
    it changes by as much as a
    hundred percent local
    observations of the mission
    all we have revealed strong
    sensitivity to the surface
    properties especially
    temperature the same dependence
    is manifest in global emissions
    of co2 perturbations and
    temperature for example
    associated with El Nino and
    volcanic eruptions introduce
    perturbation in co2 emission
    they do so by modulating
    physical and chemical processes
    behind co2 emission but only the
    natural part of co2 emission
    human emission is independent of
    the strong coherence between
    surface temperature and co2
    emission determines the
    thermally induced component of
    atmospheric co2 much of the
    natural component a change of
    temperature corresponds to a
    change of co2 emission that
    determines the annual increment
    of thermally induced co2 adding
    those increments over successive
    yields the evolution of
    thermally induced co2 in green
    is be observed evolution of
    atmospheric co2 it has an upper
    trend of 1.6 ppmv per year the
    average of Nana mission
    shaded is the range of thermally
    induced co2 that's possible in
    light of observational
    we're interested in the increase
    of co2 from values in the 19th
    century about 280 ppm v
    apart from thermally induced co2
    lies somewhere in the shaded
    it's discrepancy from observed
    co2 then isolates anthropogenic
    co2 smallest possible increase
    thermally induced the OT
    corresponds to the largest
    possible increase of
    anthropogenic co2 it provides an
    upper bound on the antigenic
    increase of co2 the
    anthropogenic fraction of
    increased co2 must be smaller
    than thirty three percent
    as we saw the increase of
    atmospheric co2 follows from net
    the rate of net emission equals
    the rate of global mission into
    the atmosphere
    – the rate of global absorption
    from the atmosphere
    the rate of change of co2 mixing
    ratio R that's the time
    derivative on the left-hand side
    equals the rate of global
    mission he –
    the rate of global absorption a
    this equation describes
    conservation of atmospheric co2
    it's the global average of the
    three dimensional continuity
    equation used in climate models
    conservation equation
    is a fundamental physical law
    which must be satisfied by co2
    in the atmosphere
    if this law is not satisfied
    you might as well turn out the
    lights and go home
    the grasped its implications
    it's instructive to consider
    mechanical analog a feature of
    the Australian coast line is the
    sea baths a saltwater enclosure
    for you to surf and shark
    Australia has many species of
    not all of which are in the sea
    to limit bacterial growth the
    sea bass is continuously
    ventilated with seawater what
    goes in eventually goes out
    that's what we just saw for the
    atmosphere in the budget of co2
    in the Sea bath water is added
    at the rate of volume in flow
    and removed at the rate of
    volume outflow the water level
    solace from the result of these
    opposing influences the volume
    growth rate equals the net rate
    at which volume is added that
    equals the rate of volume inflow
    minus the rate of volume of flow
    mathematically the rate of
    change of water body
    that's the time derivative on
    the left-hand side equals the
    volume in flow rate minus the
    volume outflow rate this
    equation describes conservation
    of water
    it's a fundamental physical law
    that governs water in the sea
    now the rate of outflow is
    proportional to the bottom
    pressure which forces water
    through the drain it in turn is
    proportional to the height H of
    the water column overhead
    the deeper the water
    the Creator the bottom pressure
    and the faster the water leaves
    the drain
    conservation lock and therefore
    be rearranged into the following
    form the rate of change of
    height H equals rate of emission
    into the bath
    e- rate of absorption from the
    a where a mission is
    proportional to the in flow rate
    and the absorption is
    proportional to the waters
    height sorption could then be
    expressed as height times the
    absorption efficiency alpha
    alpha is proportional to the
    area of the drain
    the bigger the drain the faster
    the water leaves alpha has
    dimensions of inverse time 1
    over alpha defines the
    absorption time
    it reflects the residence time
    characteristic time their water
    spins in the bath before leaving
    through the drain the
    significance of alpha is
    illustrated by eliminating
    inflow the evolution that
    satisfies this conservation law
    is exponential decay at rate
    alpha after one absorption time
    height is decreased to
    thirty-seven percent of its
    initial value
    suppose the bath begins empty
    absorption from the bath is in
    less than a mission into the bad
    waters hike must increase so –
    then there's absorption from the
    bath eventually height will
    increase efficiently for
    absorption to just equal
    emission height then becomes
    it represents the limiting value
    and upper bound on height the
    height which achieves this
    limiting condition is the
    equilibrium height
    it's just the quotient of the
    opposing influences on water
    volume admission / the
    absorption efficiency alpha
    suppose now the equilibrium
    state is perturbed by adding
    auxiliary emission of perturbing
    source with the mission be prime
    absorption from the bath is
    again less than admission into
    the bath
    the height must increase that
    increases the absorption from
    the bath
    eventually the perturbed
    absorption will increase
    efficiently to again just equal
    the perturbed emission the
    perturbed by then becomes
    constant achieving a new
    equilibrium a fractional
    increase of equilibrium height
    then equals the fractional
    increase of a mission into the
    information is increased by five
    percent equilibrium height is
    increased by five percent
    notice instantaneous height
    never exceeds the equilibrium
    high which represents its
    limiting value perturbation of
    depends inversely on the
    absorption efficiency alpha
    its absorption is twice as fast
    perturbation of height is only
    half as large
    the faster the absorption
    the smaller the perturbation of
    height suppose now the
    preservation of the mission is
    eliminated the perturbing source
    is switched off absorption is an
    unbalanced it exceeds emission
    height must then decrease it
    does though until height has
    returned to the unperturbed
    whereupon absorption again
    equals emission the perturbation
    of height decays exponentially
    great alpha restoring hi to the
    unperturbed equilibrium
    after one absorption time the
    perturbation has decreased to
    thirty-seven percent of its
    initial value
    notice the response the
    perturbation revealed what
    cannot be measured directly the
    absorption dive how fast water
    is removed from the bath
    back to the atmosphere
    co2 a basic conservation law of
    the same for like height in the
    sea bad co2 mixing ratio R is
    determined by competition
    between admission into the
    II and absorption from the
    atmosphere a co2 has an
    equilibrium mixing ratio equal
    to the quotient of global
    emission and absorption
    efficiency alpha alpha is just
    the absorption skilled by co2
    mixing ratio
    are we know are we don't know
    global absorption a the IPCC
    thinks it does a is 150 and
    gigatonnes of carbon per year
    r is 750 in gigatonnes of carbon
    the absorption efficiency is
    then five years to the minus 1
    and absorption time of five
    years in truth a here is a
    little more than a guesstimate
    observations of global
    absorption do not exist
    it should therefore come as no
    surprise that IPCC estimates
    have made your contributions
    change by as much as a hundred
    there's another way to determine
    the source as in the sea bat
    absorption is revealed by the
    response to perturbation a
    tracer of atmospheric co2 is
    carbon 14 which comprises a
    small fraction co2 molecules
    during the nineteen fifties and
    sixties nuclear bomb tests
    elevated c14 the nuclear source
    was removed in 1963 by the
    nuclear test ban tree
    c14 and decayed to on balance
    absorption just like height in
    the sea bad when the perturbing
    source was removed
    the decay is almost perfectly
    exponential with an absorption
    time just under a decade for
    reference in mob is absorption
    of co2 in climate models
    the IPCC even after 200 years
    almost thirty percent of co2
    president initially remains for
    comparison here's the observed
    atmospheric co2 is perturbed by
    fossil fuel efficient analogous
    to the perturbing source in the
    sea baths
    it introduces an anthropogenic
    component of co2 ra ra a basic
    conservation law of the same for
    conservation law is forced by
    anthropogenic emission with
    fossil fuel efficient and alpha
    known conservation law
    completely determines the
    antigenic component ra an upper
    bound falls from the slowest
    absorption observed sorption
    time of a decade which is
    apparent in the decay of
    carbon-14 plotted here is fossil
    fuel efficient which forces the
    conservation law will focus on
    years after nineteen sixty an
    observation of co2 in the free
    atmosphere began by then
    how much anthropogenic co2 would
    have accumulated in the
    an upper bound followed by
    presuming that for all years
    before nineteen sixty fossil
    fuel efficient was equal to its
    maximum namely the fossil fuel
    mission in nineteen sixty recall
    the perturbation never exceeds
    its equilibrium level which is
    the limiting level of
    anthropogenic co2 in 1962 fossil
    fuel perturbation must therefore
    be smaller than 10 ppm vco2 in
    nineteen sixty was 320 pnb about
    40 PMV above 280 at the
    projected fraction of increased
    co2 must then be smaller than
    twenty-four percent
    but after nineteen sixty
    antigenic co2 follows by solving
    the conservation law for direct
    comparison to the observe record
    we consider changes of co2 but
    also to us reference state in
    nineteen sixty in red is the
    evolution of anthropogenic co2
    over the last half-century it
    increased by about 20 ppm p
    in green is the evolution of
    observed see on –
    in 2007 the antigenic fraction
    of increased co2 must be smaller
    than twenty eight percent
    remember the thermally induced
    component of co2 the part
    coherent with temperature
    it provided an upper bound on
    the 20th century
    increase of anthropogenic co2
    one that is independent of the
    president analysis applying that
    treatment after nineteen sixty
    recovers an upper bound of
    thirty-three percent
    what does this antigenic
    fraction mean for global
    temperature here again is the
    opacity of the atmosphere it
    increases with increasing co2
    but because the opacity is
    already a hundred percent at
    most of these wavelengths the
    impact of additional co2 is
    limited plotted here as a
    function of co2 is the opacity
    collected over all wavelengths
    because opacity at most
    wavelength is already saturated
    the collective opacity has
    plateaued even 40 co2 they're
    collectible pacity is already
    75% increasing co2 – 80 BPM v
    has only six percent increasing
    it further
    all the way to 400 ppm d ads
    only another half a percent as
    we've seen less than thirty
    percent of that increase is the
    fossil fuel perturbation before
    application to feed backs like
    water vapor
    it introduces a temperature
    perturbation of less than a
    tenth of a degree
    now the projected life fossil
    fuel reserves is about a hundred
    years at the current growth of
    co2 the opacity then we'll have
    increased by another one percent
    even then the fossil fuel
    perturbation represent less than
    forty percent of the increase it
    introduces an additional
    temperature perturbation of less
    than three tenths of a degree
    the cumulative fossil fuel
    perturbation is less than half
    plotted here is the evolution of
    global temperature over the 20th
    century at least the proxy for
    when satellites began actual
    global observations the range of
    natural variability is half a
    degree to one degree that's
    considerably larger than the
    fossil fuel burning vacation
    just see
    without major amplification
    2feedback the fossil fuel
    perturbation is not even
    it's smaller than the noise of
    natural variability
    lastly notice over this record
    there is no relationship
    whatsoever between co2 which
    increases monotonically in
    temperature which did not
    and with that we'll take a
    ten-minute break to enable you
    to grab a coffee or something
    cool and the speaker wet his
    everything you've seen until now
    is an upper bound the fossil
    fuel perturbation cannot be
    it can however be smaller turns
    it is
    seeing that requires a more
    definitive treatment of
    as was a parent for the Seeb at
    the system's absorption is
    revealed by its response to
    perturbation a perturbation to a
    mission is temporarily
    introduced and then removed
    readjustment to the unperturbed
    equilibrium then reveals the
    time scale of absorption and in
    the laboratory we would perturb
    the system and then monitor its
    that's what was accomplished
    with carbon 14 by the nuclear
    test ban treaty recall co2 is
    perturbed by changes of
    temperature which modulate its
    perturbation in the mission is
    then proportional to the
    perturbation in temperature
    conservation law is this force
    by changes of temperature
    imposing an oscillation in
    temperature with frequency Omega
    will produce an oscillation in
    co2 with the same frequency
    but lag behind temperature which
    is continually changing
    intermediate to these limiting
    forms of co2 response is a lag
    of 45 degrees it can be shown
    that the frequency which
    achieved this lag is equal to
    alpha the absorption efficiency
    in the lab we would vary the
    frequency of the oscillation in
    temperature until the resulting
    oscillation in co to assume the
    lack of 45 degrees
    unfortunately this experiment is
    a luxury we don't have only one
    party can perform this
    mother nature she has
    interannual disturbances like El
    Nino lamiya and volcanic
    eruptions for term global
    temperature which we've seen
    perturbs co2 emission such
    perturbations are represented
    spectrally as a synthesis of
    frequencies like those
    you've just seen the
    interdependence of co2 and
    temperature is then registered
    frequency by frequency in the
    coherent spectra
    plotted here is the coherence
    between co2 and temperature as a
    function of frequency where
    coherence extends above the
    it's strongly significant the
    relationship between co2 and
    temperature is in real
    in green is the respective phase
    of co2
    it's lag behind temperature
    between those extremes is a lag
    45 degrees the frequency at
    which this leg occurs
    corresponds to an absorption
    efficiency of nine months to the
    minus 1 and absorption time of
    nine months
    how can this be
    that's 10 times faster and
    what's a parent in the decay of
    the short answer is carbon 14
    lies but not intentionally from
    the apparent and true forms of
    the conservation it can be shown
    that actually absorb can be only
    faster that apparent carbon 14
    with an absorption time of less
    than a year you had the
    projected fraction of increased
    co2 isn't just smaller than
    thirty percent
    it's more than three percent
    nature perturb co2 through
    another mechanism one that's
    independent of the interannual
    perturbations just considered
    each year
    co2 increases and then decreases
    during an interval of eight
    months from september's I'm a
    co2 increases by seven and a
    half ppmv during the subsequent
    interval for months
    co2 then decreases by about six
    ppl vco2 decreases then for one
    on balance absorption just like
    height in the sea bad when the
    perturbing source was removed
    each year
    co2 goes up five steps of one
    and a half ppmv then down four
    steps 5 steps up four steps down
    one more time five steps up four
    steps down
    you have just mastered the co 2
    notice the residual have two
    peach cycle of the annual cha
    it's 1.6 ppmv ring a bell
    it's identical to the trend co2
    if we can understand one we
    probably understand the other in
    the sea bad
    removing the perturbing source
    reveals absorption through the
    time scale of decay one
    absorption time perturbation in
    height decreases to thirty-seven
    percent of the initial
    perturbation in the atmosphere
    perturbation and co2 doesn't
    decrease the thirty-seven
    percent of its initial level it
    to only twenty percent
    four months eighty percent of
    the motivation has been absorbed
    the absorption time could be
    only shorter
    were the absorption time as long
    as 10 years there would be no
    cha cha co2 would then increase
    monotonically five steps up
    another five steps up and so
    the trend then wouldn't be 1.6
    ppm people year it would be
    seven and a half PP&E per year
    during the last half century ce
    o– to increase would have been
    five times greater
    the observed evidence reveals
    the possible range of absorption
    recall in the sea baths the
    slowest absorption produce the
    largest perturbation in water
    height to be conservative will
    consider the slow absorption
    possible we'll do one step
    better use alpha of 1.5 years to
    the minus 1 and absorption time
    of eight months actual
    absorption can be only fast
    the simplest treatment of
    anthropogenic co2 follows from
    its instantaneous equilibrium
    level recall equilibrium co2
    represents the limiting value of
    RA and upper bound on how much
    at the majestic co2 is actually
    present it provides an upper
    bound on the antigenic fraction
    of increased co2
    in 1960 and the agenda
    Commission was equivalent to one
    pp mb per year relative to 280
    ppm be sealed to increase then
    was 40 PMV he had to eject
    fraction of this increase must
    be smaller than one point six
    in 2010 antigenic emission
    increased to three and a half
    ppmd per year
    the CEO to increase then was a
    hundred PMP the and represented
    fraction of this increase must
    be smaller than two-point-three
    a more detailed analysis
    considers the increased since
    nineteen sixty we have actual
    observations of atmospherics in
    the antigenic fraction of
    increased co2 must be smaller
    than two point eight percent
    there's a fifth way to establish
    the antigenic fraction and this
    will be brief
    rather than accumulating
    emission consider the change in
    the mission across the 50 year
    period at extrema of its annual
    cycle co 2 passes through
    equilibrium at the minimum in
    1960 and the maximum in 2010 its
    rate of change vanishes their
    conservation law reduces to
    emission equals absorption the
    change in total emission is then
    proportional to the change in
    co2 and much the same for the
    antigenic component dividing the
    two provides an upper bound on
    the 50-year increase of
    anthropogenic co2
    and the projected fraction of
    increased co2 must be smaller
    than two point six percent
    the fossil fuel perturbation is
    my note
    where have you seen that
    remember the sharp increase in
    fossil fuel mission after the
    turn of the century during the
    decade after the turn of the
    fossil fuel emitted three times
    the co2 that it emitted during
    the preceding decade get the
    increase of co2 in the
    atmosphere was virtually
    is now clear why
    and only a couple of percent
    fossil fuel perturbation is too
    small to even be detectable
    what about the resulting
    perturbation of global
    it's now academic at less than
    one-tenth of a degree
    the fossil fuel perturbation is
    buried in the noise of natural
    the fossil fuel perturbation is
    presently not detectable you
    will not be detectable ever
    here's how we can be certain the
    fossil fuel perturbation is too
    small to be distinguished from
    natural changes
    you can't distinguish it nor can
    feedback mechanisms
    consequently whatever influence
    they exert on the pathogenic
    they must simultaneously exert
    on the natural component ergo if
    the fossil fuel perturbation is
    buried in the noise before
    it will remain buried in the noi
    the size the fossil fuel burn
    nation evokes a slogan which
    became the anthem of the climate
    change movement
    in retrospect
    never has so much in claim on
    the premise of so little
    as you know the climate change
    movement culminated in the
    recent international agreement
    in Paris is protected cost just
    under three hundred and sixty
    trillion dollars that's twenty
    thousand dollars for every man
    woman and child on earth and to
    be rhetorical many of those
    humans won't even earn twenty
    thousand dollars
    the harsh reality is this cost
    is borne disproportionately by
    the disadvantage in more ways
    than one
    last winter in Europe along
    40,000 poor in elderly perished
    through hypothermia is under
    sparkling costs to feed green
    ideologies they could no longer
    afford to heat their homes
    my god what an indictment of
    this hero
    even the Olympic humans could
    heat their homes
    in light of its cost to the
    public what will the Paris
    agreement achieve the
    perspective benefit can now be
    it's revealed by turning back
    the clock in green is the
    observed evolution of co2 during
    the last half century had fossil
    fuel emissions been eliminated
    entirely co 2 1 then it evolved
    in blue
    appropriate to close with a
    retrospective place the
    treatment of this subject in the
    historical context of our
    science has advanced at the core
    of the debates are in climate is
    a struggle between scientific
    rigor which is accountable to
    nature vs pseudo science which
    is not distinguishing the two
    isn't brain surgery once it
    excludes evidence by declaring
    its conclusions are beyond
    the science is settled its
    advocates know this because they
    took a vote
    the others fear relies on reason
    continually testing its
    understanding against new
    accordingly it holds that
    science is never settled the
    struggle between these opposing
    interests has happened before
    one of the benefits of modern
    civilization is medical science
    if you become ill you have every
    expectation of competent
    treatment by a practitioner who
    operates in the reality of human
    it wasn't always so
    early medical treatment was a
    cross between superstition and
    pseudo science
    if illness didn't kill you The
    Cure likely would the tools of
    the trade would make a trip to
    the dentist
    look inviting
    and of course the procedures
    were conducted before the advent
    of anesthesia they relied upon
    the theory of the roman
    physician Claudius gallon asst
    or simply gallon gallon is very
    postulated that will being was
    controlled by for bodily fluids
    or humors one of which was blood
    in gallons theory blood motion
    was one way
    blood was continually produced
    by the liver then transmitted by
    the heart to the rest of the
    body where it was consumed an
    imbalance of the humors produced
    illness from this belief spring
    the practice of bloodletting
    removing blood would rebalance
    the universe supported by the
    belief that blood was
    continually replenished by the
    so influential was gallons
    theory that it guided medical
    treatment for nearly 2000 years
    enter William Harvey
    hi Pete conducted extensive
    dissections which revealed the
    mechanics of blood on gallons
    Harvey was suspicious there i
    say skeptical
    in light of his observations he
    was increasingly confronted with
    the obvious they demonstrated
    Harvey performed a fundamental
    calculation from dissections
    he knew the volume of the heart
    he knew also the pumping gains
    the number of beats per minute
    combining the to determine the
    volume of blood which under
    gallons theory would have to be
    produced each day
    Harvey knew he'd be bucking the
    so he intentionally low-balled
    the calculation
    he chose value so that the true
    blood by could be only greater
    Harvey's calculations showed
    that gallons there would require
    a daily production of blood
    exceeding a quarter of a ton
    more than a 55-gallon drum to
    produce this blood
    that's how much a human would
    have to consume in one day
    gallons theory went the way of
    the dodo
    as we now take for granted
    what is not consumed but
    recirculated despite Harvey's
    clear in validation gallons
    theory continue to be practice
    for nearly 200 years among its
    George Washington the treat of
    throat infection
    Washington's physicians drain
    his blood
    eighty percent of it 72 hours
    Washington was dead after being
    why did gallon series continued
    to be practice
    the answer is simple and
    enterprise will never
    voluntarily relinquish that upon
    which it drives
    George Washington was priority
    over the mic of the british
    empire was destroyed by the in
    competence of pseudo science
    Harvey's findings vitiate the
    foundation of medical practice a
    belief that had prevailed nearly
    2,000 years
    Harvey describe the reaction was
    findings as an uproar to his
    critics Harvey responded as
    I profess to learn and teaching
    at not from the tenants of the
    loss / but from the fabric of
    for hundreds of years that has
    been the objective of science to
    understand nature contracting
    fundamentally is the new
    environmental science
    climate science more there now
    with the answer but determined
    by government bureaucracy onto
    the ages of the UN
    its objective has become an
    exercise in social engineering
    to predict and control
    the undetectable
    had resources been invested to
    better understand this complex
    system fallacy might have been
    discovered sooner

  76. Joshua says:

    Mainly in passing…


    Rud does a nice job of underlining why, given such a display of evidence-based reasoning, it’s a real head-scratcher to know what to think when you guys agree are impressed by his self-authority-based analysis of Salby.

  77. Magma says:

    @ willard

    That could be a simple formatting issue, but that has inspired me to copy and paste Salby’s talk into Excel as a single 1132 row column. Next, I will generate a second column of random numbers, then sort in ascending order, then descending order, and see how it reads. I have every confidence it will be just as good scrambled as not.

  78. Joshua says: “2. Those analogies don’t work for me in that they are statements of opinions whereas the other statement is one of fact. That is the heart of the problem, IMO.”

    The statement “Salby is obviously wrong” can be a fact or just an opinion. Depends on the context.

  79. “Salby is wrong” would be a fact regardless of context though. I’d venture that “a randomly selected professor of atmospheric science would be able to show that Salby is wrong with high probability” is also a fact.

  80. Guido says:

    Fully agree dikranmarsupial, and many thanks to you and others here for addressing some of the things brought up on Curry’s blog, much appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  81. dikranmarsupial says:

    Interesting to see that the other “skeptic” blogs haven’t picked up on this story, which I regard as progress. The discussion at Judiths has reached the point where most of those still discussing it are being insultingly dismissive. There is little point in continuing the discussion after that (as they have made it impossible for them to admit they are wrong without looking utterly ridiculous for having been so insultingly dismissive), so I’ve made my last post on those threads.

    It is interesting that Prof. Curry wrote that she “was asked to review one of his papers” . Perhaps she declined the request (as they had previously been colleagues in the same department, that would be entirely reasonable), but if not, one wonders why she is apparently unable to clearly state her view on the validity of the science.

  82. Joshua says:

    ==> but if not, one wonders why she is apparently unable to clearly state her view on the validity of the science. ==>

    I’ve been thinking about her explaining that she’s too busy and won’t be bullied.

    So here we have a climate scientist who in addition to whatever research she does, runs a blog focused on climate science and engaging with the public on new, non-mainstream research findings in the field…and someone comes up with a theory that would completely overturn the existing predominant conventional wisdom about the major mechanism of how CO2 enters the atmosphere and affects the climate, and render practically all other research in the field irrelevant, and have drastic impact on vitally important public policy development…and she discusses that theory on her blog, but doesn’t have the time, over they coarse of TWO YEARS to evaluate the scientific viability of that theory?

    Doesn’t add up, IMO. Something’s fishy.

  83. dikranmarsupial says:

    Make that five years. Also the major flaws in Salby’s work have been explained more than once on her blog (and elsewhere and brought to her attention), which ought to make the evaluation rather less time consuming.

    We all have our blind spots, but this one is rather less explicable than most.

  84. dikranmarsupial says:

    The real problem with Prof. Curry’s blog is that it is an echo chamber, she seems to take very little part in the discussions (at least the ones I have sampled), compared to e.g. ATTP (who gives the impression of actually being interested in the discussion, as well as in presenting his own view ;o). That is why it is IMHO rather irresponsible to promulgate Salby’s ideas without providing a scientific evaluation (it is not as if the errors are subtle in this case), all it does is decrease the signal-to-noise ratio.

  85. Joshua says:

    Yeah. Five years. Forgot About that.

    From Judith five years ago:

    If Salby’s analysis holds up, this could revolutionize AGW science.

    So is the logic that after five years, she hasn’t had time to evaluate a theory that would revolutionize her field, and she would only have done so if she had given in to bullies?

  86. Magma says:

    @ Joshua

    Don’t rush her, she’s thinking. Pondering, even.

  87. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Judith Curry is a world-leading expert on epistemic wait.

  88. John Mashey says:

    Anyone who takes on an ideological view against mainstream climate science would never actually evaluate Salby’s “science”, as it is far more valuable as a prop for doubt, or for a while, Salby as martyr’d Galileo. For example, in UK you have Ruper Darwall, who wrote An Unsettling Climate
    Global-warming proponents betray science by shutting down debate
    , for the US think tank Manhattan Institute, with some help from Jo Nova.
    I took the time to dissect one (of all too many) chunks of nonsense in Cheshire Claim: Rupert Darwall Copies Satellite CO2 Nonsense From Murry Salby

  89. lawrence Hickey says:

    I find the observation salby makes about 27:00 that the concentration of c14 dropped negative exponential after the nuclear test ban treaty, marking the half life of newly introduced c14 in the atmosphere at 5 to 7 years. and after 20 years it is all essentially gone. This can be measured very exactly. – one of the few really convincing data points about the lifetime of CO2,

  90. Lawrence,
    What do you find about that? It’s well known that the residence time for a molecule of CO2 into the atmosphere is probably a few years. This is not the same as the time it would take for an enhancement in atmospheric CO2 to decay (much, much longer).

  91. dikranmarsupial says:

    It’s a bit depressing that at the end of 2021 WUWT are still arguing that the rise in CO2 is natural and Salby’s work still being used in the comments to defend the undefendable.

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