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Comments matching the search salby:

    More than 100 comments found. Only the most recent 100 have been displayed.

  • On Hens, Eggs, Temperature and CO2

    Dikran Marsupial at 23:41 PM on 31 May, 2024

    Good article! 

    Koutsoyiannis et al. have made essentially the same mathematical blunder that Murray Salby did ten years ago (and he was far from being the first), which I covered here:

    Correlations are insensitive to constant offsets in the two signals on which it is computed.  The differencing operator, Δ, which gives the difference between successive samples converts the long term linear trend in the signal to an additive constant.  So as soon as you use Δ on both signals, the correlation can tell you precisely nothing about the long term trends.

    When the earlier work was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, I communicated this error to both the authors of the paper and the editor of the journal.  The response was, shall we say "underwhelming".

    The communication (June 2022) included the observation that atmospheric CO2 levels are more slowly than the rate of fossil fuel emissions, which shows that the natural environment is a net carbon sink, and therefore the rise cannot be due to a change in the carbon cycle resulting from an increase in temperature.  It is "dissapointing" that the authors have published a similar claim again  (submission recieved 17 March 2023) when they had already been made aware that their claim is directly refuted by reliable observations.

  • Settled Science - Humans are Raising CO2 Levels

    Bob Loblaw at 02:50 AM on 16 January, 2023

    The C-14 article is just lipstick on an old pig - the same errors that permeate earlier papers are applied to C-14 concentrations instead of just CO2.

    The key  factor is that differentiation over the short term cannot tell you much about long-term processes.  There is a fundamental error, covered in the "correlation" link above, but not really expanded on or explicitly stated. Basically, when  you differentiate (look at the short-term rates of variation) you eliminate the constant terms. Many moons ago I expressed this in a private forum as follows:

    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 bathroom, 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, mathematician A asks her "what is the integral of X?". She answers as instructed, and mathematician A sheepishly pays off the bet and admits that mathematician 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".

    Salby and Harde forget 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.

  • Settled Science - Humans are Raising CO2 Levels

    Bob Loblaw at 06:44 AM on 13 January, 2023

    A follow-up to my comment @ 69, which was a response to EnderWiggin @ 68.

    On Tuesday, I did a search for the title and author (Salby) that EnderWiggin provided. I was able to find parts 1 and 2 on a site hosted at - but by Wednesday, that domain name had disappeared and could no longer be reached. does still exist, but has no signs of the papers. A bit of searching on their web page found a link to Eventually, the two papers were found on this page (Volume 1.2 December 2021).

    A bit of background. Klimarealistene is a well-known Norwegian climate "science" contrarian group. The "journal" Science of Climate Change is their creation. I suspect the change in web location has to do with reorganization of the journal's online pages. The old "scc" portion of the klimarealistene link was undoubtedly short for Science of Climate Change.

    On the main SCC page, they say:

    4 November, 2022

    The journal Science of Climate Change was funded by Klimarealistene in Norway in September 2020, and the first issue appeared in August 2021. Several additional articles have been published in 2021 and 2022, but due to a heavy work load on the Editor they have not been collected into Volumes before now. A few articles have also been delayed in being published. The Scientific Council of the Norwegian Climate Realists is at the moment working on a plan for the management of the journal from 2023. In the mean time I have stepped in as Editor to handle the backlog…


    The list of authors on their Volumes and Issues page reads like a who's-who of climate science contrarianism in Norway. Standard names such as Salby, Humlum, Harde, and Solheim dominate.


    So, the "obscure" journal, as EnderWiggin refers to it, looks like it is basically just a mouth-piece for Klimarealistene, so they can "publish" stuff and make it look like a journal. Credibility factor approaching zero.


    The two CO2 papers in question are co-authored between Salby and Hermann Harde. Interestingly, Salby is listed with an affiliation of "Ex Macquarie University" -a university he was fired from in 2013, after only 5 years. Not an inaccurate claim - he's clearly no longer there - but rather reeks of resume padding. (Of course, Salby is now "Ex Earth", having passed away in 2022.)


    Part 1 basically looks at C14 fluxes and argues that it can be used to estimate carbon uptake rates. Part 2 follows to look at recent (nothing older than 1956) variations in CO2 and temperature, to claim that anthropogenic contributions to the rise in CO2 are negligible.


    I didn't try to evaluate their math in detail, but basically it looks like yet another case of taking the short-term variation in CO2 concentrations and temperature, and making erroneous statistic correlations that mislead them about long-term trends. Same dog, same old tricks.


    In my comment above, the most applicable debunking is probably the one in this SkS post:


  • Settled Science - Humans are Raising CO2 Levels

    Bob Loblaw at 04:31 AM on 11 January, 2023


    First, you've posted the same question in three locations. That is bad form. In the main menu under the masthead, the "Comments" link will show any new comments on any thread, so posting your question once will allow it to be found easily.

    As for Salby, without a link to the papers I can't tell what that particular version of Salby's wanderings are wrong, but his name has been a frequent occurence here. You can use the search function at this site to find more, but in roughly chronoogical order here are several posts that discuss errors in Salby's work. I don't think he's come up with anything new in many years, so even old posts will probably cover any "recent"  errors.


  • Settled Science - Humans are Raising CO2 Levels

    EnderWiggin at 04:19 AM on 11 January, 2023

    Greetings, I'm new here. I was directed to Murry Salbys 'C-14 proof', apparently 'Control of atmospheric CO2 Part 1&2' in the obscure 'Journal' 'Science of Climate Change'.

    Does anybody has any informations about where exactly he goes wrong in his proof?

  • CO2 has a short residence time

    EnderWiggin at 04:17 AM on 11 January, 2023

    Greetings, I'm new here. I was directed to Murry Salbys 'C-14 proof', apparently 'Control of atmospheric CO2 Part 1&2' in the obscure 'Journal' 'Science of Climate Change'.

    Does anybody has any informations about where exactly he goes wrong in his proof?

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    EnderWiggin at 04:16 AM on 11 January, 2023

    Greetings, I'm new here. I was directed to Murry Salbys 'C-14 proof', apparently 'Control of atmospheric CO2 Part 1&2' in the obscure 'Journal' 'Science of Climate Change'.

    Does anybody has any informations about where exactly he goes wrong in his proof?

  • There's no tropospheric hot spot

    MA Rodger at 19:23 PM on 23 August, 2022

    Cedders @33,

    And having had a read of that PDF...

    Cedders @33,
    Having examined the PDF (16 pages not 24), it is quite evident that it is a pile of utter nonsense, a "welcome to the lunatic asylum" message and not anything in any way scientifically-based.

    The author is Piers Corbyn, a well-kown denialist and an elder brother of Jeremy Corbyn (a long-serving left-wing Labour MP who bizarrely gained the heady position of Leader of the Labour Party for 4½ years).

    Piers Corbyn is described in Wikithing as "an English weather forecaster, businessman, anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist"  and does feature here at SkS being (1) Cited within a spot of denialism of 2015 in the Daily Express tabloid/comic,  (2) The main source of a pile of climate nonsense of 2013 from the then Mayor of London Alexander Boris von Pfiffle Johnson, a man now renowned throughout the known world for not being particularly truthful,  (3) Listed here at SkS as a denialsit with zero peer-reviewed writings. 

    The 16 page thesis linked up-thread @33 is a 2019 thesis presented to the Reading University Debating Journal and sitting at the top of a list of 24 such theses posted 2018-19, top of the list because it is the most recent (the journal lasted less than a year), a list which addresses such important topics as 'Why Self-Service Checkouts are the Invention of the Devil' and 'The Great University of Reading Catering Con: Man Shall Not Live off Sandwiches Alone' and an anonymous piece 'Why I Support the Conservatives: The Most Successful Party in British History'.

    The Piers Corbyn thesis begins by citing David Legates' dismissal of the 97% AGW consensus before dismissing that because "it is about facts; and no Global-Warming Inquisition is going to prevent me exposing their nonsensical theories."

    Corbyn then kicks off by asserting anthropogenic CO2 comprises 4% of atmospheric CO2 (thus confusing FF carbon with naturally-cycled carbon) and that CO2 is not the main controller of global temperature (here presenting a graphic which confuses the US temperature with global temperature - shown below in this comment).
    A further assertion is then presented, that CO2 is the result of warming oceans with six references/notes provided in support which seem to all point back to crazy denialist Murry Salby.

    So, a la Salby, the present rise in CO2 is claimed to result from the good old Medieval Warm Period. A graphic is presented comparing a denialist 1,000y temperature record (based on the schematic FAR Fig 7c) with the much-confirmed scientifically-based Hockey Stick graph.
    This brings us to the halfway page of Corbyn's denialist rant.

    The thesis continues with pageful of misunderstanding of how the GH-effect works, ending with accusations that this misunderstood 'theory' breaks the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (or it does if you misinterpret the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics).
    Happily, this misunderstanding is considered to be not supported by "better scientists" who consider the lapse rate. And this indeed is a 'better' consideration. But here Corbyn perhaps confuses the tropical 'hot spot' (which is caused by increased tropical rainfall transporting more latent up into the troposphere) with some CO2 effect. (The 'hot spot' results from a warmer tropics and not per se any enhanced GH-effect.) And he fails to address the reasons why there is difficulty detecting this tropical 'hot spot'. Indeed he brands it as a 'coldspot' that he seems to say is caused by "more CO2 & other GHGs" which cause a diurnal fluctuation in the IR "heat-exit height" to become greater and, due to the 4th-power in the SB equation, this causes cooling. Whether such a phenomenon extends beyond the tropics (thus globally more-than negating the 'hot spot') is not properly explained but, due to the lapse rate this phenomenon can apparently also negate "the original expected surface warming."

    A first graphic box is presented with three unsubstantiated bullet points explaining "Why CO2 theory does not work" alongside two similar "apart from"s.
    A second graphic box also titled "Why CO2 theory does not work" states:-

    In the real atmosphere there are day/night temperature fluctuations (eg in upper atmosphere). They are larger with more CO₂ because CO₂ (infra red absorber / emitter) gains & loses heat easier than N₂ & O₂ and so enables all the air to adjust quicker.

    This is a fundamentally different explanation from the previous fluctuation in IR "heat-exit height" explanation described earlier, and it is still wrong.
    (A packet of air with X concentrations of CO2 will both emit and absorb an IR photons of quantity P. With absorb=emit, it is thus in equilibrium. Add CO2 so the concentration is doubled to 2X, and the emitting photons will double to 2P and the absorbed photons will also double to 2P so absorb=emit and the same equilibrium is maintained. The main result is that twice the level if IR emission has half the pathlength before absorption so at any point the IR flux remains unchanged. And CO2 does not "gain & lose heat easier than N₂ & O₂" when it remains thermally coupled to the N₂ & O₂. )
    The remainder of this second graphic box on PDF page 9 is a little too confused to rebut with any confidence. A diurnal range of "about 5 or 6 deg" is given which is apparently a temperature range yet whatever “deg” means (presumably Kelvin), the bulk of the troposphere has a far smaller diurnal range than even 5ºF. The mechanism for the enhanced cooling from the "heat-exit height" is presented as due to a fluctuating temperature losing more heat (by radiating IR) than a constant temperature (which is true). A rather dodgy-looking equation is followed by the note "Detail subject under research" but no reference is given and three-years-on there is no sign of such "research."
    And a third graphic box is shown on the next page also titled "Why CO2 theory does not work," this third such graphic mainly presenting a pair of images from Australian denialist David M. W. Evans who has his own SkS page of climate misinformation.

    The thesis then turns to the proposition that it is not CO2 but solar forces that "rules climate temperature" with the dotted line on the graphic below described as such a ruling influence. It apparently shows how the "9.3yr lunar-nodal crossing & the full 22yr solar magnetic cycle" allegedly shift the jet stream and "many circulation patterns." The graphic's 60-yr periodicity is less than convincing,being fitted to US rather than global temperature which, when extended beyond the 1895-2008 period shows itself to be simple curve-fitting (eg the Berkeley Earth US temperature record 1820-2020 does not show it, even to a blind man). The graphic was presented by Corbyn at the Heartland Institute's 2009 conflab in NY in which Corbyn [audio] insists other findings demonstrate “something is going on” but why it is this graphic being reused in this 2019 thesis is not clear – perhaps the forecast of world temperature dropping to 1970s levels by 2030 is too evident on other slides he used in that Heartland presentation.
    To support his thesis Corbyn mentions an alleged cover-up by the likes of the BBC in reporting only global warming when the 'true' data shows cooling, the reported support for all this Piers Corbyn craziness from oil companies who shy away only because they want to use AGW to "make higher profits" and how these AGW-inspired mitigation agendas are already directly responsible for needlessly killing "millions" annually.
    The thesis ends with a challenge:-

    It is for this reason that I, Piers Corbyn, challenge whoever is willing in Reading University or other appropriate institutions to a debate on the failed Global warming scam vs evidence-based science.

    So I interpret the thesis as a "welcome to the lunatic asylum" message from Piers Corbyn.
    Piers Corbyn graphic

  • How weather forecasts can spark a new kind of extreme-event attribution

    Bob Loblaw at 00:03 AM on 13 January, 2022

    The problem I have with the "it's not climate change, it's greenhouse gases" narrative is that the chain of causality never ends. And at each step of the chain, the contrarians will come up with an excuse to ignore it.

    After "it's greenhouse gases", the contrarians wll come up with one of the following bogus arguments:

    Once you successfully argue that it is CO2, then you get

    and then if you manage to establish that the rise in CO2 is due to burning fossil fuels, you get all the "it's not bad", "technology will save us", "you'll hurt the poor", etc arguments.

    There are many such arguments on the Skeptical Science "Arguments" page. I have only linked to a few.

  • 1934 - hottest year on record

    Eclectic at 00:45 AM on 3 February, 2020

    Map , you are being mysterious.

    <" multiple outcomes that support and contradict the basis of global warming ">

    This needs some explaining from you!  It doesn't fit in with the general mainstream science of climate.   The world's scientists have spent a great deal of time & effort (over many decades indeed) and have produced a coherent description of the physics of it all.  The science is demonstrated in many thousands of scientific papers published in respected peer-reviewed journals.

    They are pretty much unanimous in their findings.  Yes, there are a few "contrarian" papers ~ but all of these show major faults ( e.g. Lindzen's Iris Hypothesis; Svensmark's and Shaviv's Cosmic Rays Hypothesis; Salby's Ocean-outgassing of CO2 Hypothesis ).

    In short, Map, the evidence is wholly one-sided.  There is no valid alternative.

    Map, I think you are playing a joke.  (But why do you bother?)

  • Welcome to Skeptical Science

    Eclectic at 14:50 PM on 4 August, 2019

    Persephone @57 ,

    A starting point would be to check the 1st August comments by the knowledgeable poster MA Rodger — to be found on Climate Change Myth No. 21  [see the numbered Most Used Myths at top left of this page].

    Check the thread's comments Page 3 , and his comments @108, 109, 110.

    Dr Fleming, Dr Salby, and various others, are just part of the churn of "this week's hero" for Denialists of science.   Interesting to watch them come & go,  as they recycle "Points Refuted A Thousand Times" [ = PRATTs ].    PRATT itself being a delightful acronym du jour ?

  • Climate's changed before

    Eclectic at 09:17 AM on 8 May, 2018

    Mkrichew @604 , your Mike Krichew theory was previously called the Murry Salby theory.   To see why Murry Salby was wrong, please read Climate Myth #142 (and elsewhere).

  • The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change

    Eclectic at 15:46 PM on 1 October, 2017

    NorrisM @45 , (A) you do not need to await a moderation opinion, before choosing to discuss things on a fitter thread.

    (B) You are making the Denialist error of looking at various models and  failing to look at the physical reality.    Ice is melting, sea levels are rising ever faster, etcetera . . . the global warming is occurring very obviously — so it doesn't need to be "falsified" !

    MA Rodger @40 , @38 , @36 : thank you for that further background on Judith Curry.  It is in complete accordance with what I have seen in studying her blog.  ( I haven't bothered with any detailed study of Lindzen Christy & Spencer — since a large slice of their illogical thinking derives from their fundamentalist religious fixed ideas.  But Curry is interesting because she is something stranger & more peculiar ! )

    Currie makes a nauseating display of persistent intellectual dishonesty — because she flies in the face of clear logical thinking & well-proven scientific fact.   Made doubly nauseating by her attempts at a tone of self-righteous martyrdom.

    Her blog's support for Salby's nonsense is far from the only denialist craziness that she chooses to espouse slightly indirectly.   She has a tendency to put other denialists' scientifically-wacky stuff in her blog (in effect, they are "guest authors") and she keeps a few inches back from 100% endorsing this stuff, in that she delicately says she is including it for the readers' "interest" ).   ~ Again, an example of her intellectual dishonesty.

    She is indulging in plain denialism of the most unscientific sort — and the extremist politicians (senatorial and congressional) & the extremist press enjoy lapping it up. 

  • The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change

    Eclectic at 02:41 AM on 28 September, 2017

    Philippe Chantreau, I wish to spare you further blushes, so I will go no further than saying it is a pleasure to read your excellent posts.  Alas, in this Vale of Sorrows known as the internet, infested by angry illogical and semi-literate "deniers" . . . even posts of basic mental competence look quite good!


    Tom13 @25 , for readers' convenience, I have aimed to keep points (A) to (E) as reasonably brief as possible, and I have taken care to present these excerpts [from Curry's own blog, and elsewhere as indicated] in a manner consonant with their context.  All for your convenience.  There is no deception / quote-mining / or "verballing" involved here.

    if you wish to waste your own time verifying these quotes, then you are welcome to google away.  If you knew Curry's modus operandi as well as I do, then you will see how all these statements hang together — even where she shows some self-contradiction!

    Yes, Tom13, her comments present an ugly picture.  And if you didn't really know her before, then I can understand if you experience some shock & revulsion at her grossly unscientific statements.  The denial of fundamental physics (especially the radiational properties of CO2).  The denial of mainstream observations & research.  The lack of any coherent "contrarian" science (even if by plausible hypothesis only).  The coy flirting with crazy rubbish e.g. Salby's ideas.  The continual sophisms combined with intentional vagueness & evasiveness.

    Use your common sense, Tom13, and look at the big picture — Curry is obviously a shill (but not near as poor a case as the blogger who calls herself JoNova).   Sorry Tom, but your goddess has feet made of clay . . . extending up to her eyebrows.

  • The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change

    Tom13 at 00:04 AM on 28 September, 2017

    #24 eclectic

    (A) in April 2015 : "Recent data and research supports the importance of natural climate variability and calls into question the conclusion that humans are the dominant cause of recent climate change" (unquote)

    A reasonable acknowledgement that natural causes play a significant role (perhaps dominant role ) in climate change - to deny otherwise is anti science.

    (B) also in 2015 at a Congressional hearing, she stated about the global warming [of the past 200 years] : "And that's not human" (unquote)

    Do you have a citation and the full statement - the 4 word quote ilacks the full context of her statement.  

    (C) in 2014 speaking at the National Press Club : "We just don't know [what's going to happen]. I think we are fooling ourselves to think that CO2 control knob really influences climate on these decadal or even century time scales." (unquote)

     A reasonable acknowledgement that Co2 may not play the dominant role which is consistent with the earth's past history.  Note that not once does her statement say that CO2 is not a factor.

    (D) in November 2015 [please specially note this very recent date, Randman] she supported the existence of the so-called hiatus or pause : "global average surface temperature ... has shown little or no warming during the 21st century" (unquote)

    Based on the scientific data available at that time, this is a reasonably accurate statement.  While the 2015/2016 el nino started in early summer of 2015, the data showing showing a more than a little warming since 1998 wasnt strong until very early 2016.

    (E) in 2011, she supported Murry Salby's crazy/nonsensical "hypothesis" that oceanic-origin CO2 is the real cause of our modern rapid Global Warming.

    Ths statement seems completely out of context with her other statements and writings.  J curry has repeatedly stated that the oceans play a key role in climate change and has repeatedly stated that OHC will play a huge role future climate change, including the build up of ohc.

  • The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change

    Eclectic at 20:59 PM on 27 September, 2017

    Randman @22 , about your quote: "she was" (unquote)

    She was . . . what?  What are you talking about?  Please be precise!  Readers here don't wish to bother second-guessing what you intend to mean.

    Regarding Judith Curry :- the sources are her own comments :

    (A) in April 2015 : "Recent data and research supports the importance of natural climate variability and calls into question the conclusion that humans are the dominant cause of recent climate change" (unquote)

    (B) also in 2015 at a Congressional hearing, she stated about the global warming [of the past 200 years] : "And that's not human" (unquote)

    (C) in 2014 speaking at the National Press Club : "We just don't know [what's going to happen].  I think we are fooling ourselves to think that CO2 control knob really influences climate on these decadal or even century time scales." (unquote)

    (D) in November 2015 [please specially note this very recent date, Randman] she supported the existence of the so-called hiatus or pause : "global average surface temperature ... has shown little or no warming during the 21st century" (unquote)

    (E) in 2011, she supported Murry Salby's crazy/nonsensical "hypothesis" that oceanic-origin CO2 is the real cause of our modern rapid Global Warming.

    Now, Randman, consider each of the above 5 statements.  If you yourself had issued them, then it would be evidence that you were grossly ignorant about climate science.  If they had been made by a scientist (a scientist not specializing in climate related matters), then that would count as intellectual dishonesty.  Issued by a climatologist, that would rise to the level of gross intellectual dishonesty. 

    Individually, each of the above statements cannot be justified, for they are individually & severally false and/or misleading.   Randman, I could add others to the list . . . but (to paraphrase an Einstein quote) :- "It only takes one" !



    Randman, I do not in any way suggest that Curry receives money illegally from the Oil industry & other anti-science propagandists.   Arguably, what money or other benefits she receives from such groups is immoral but not illegal.

    ~ In 2006, Judith Curry [climatologist] and Peter Webster [meteorologist] set up a private company "Climate Forecast Applications Network".  Judith Curry is President (not an unpaid job, I gather!).  Curry herself said (in an interview with Scientific American) : "I do receive some funding from the fossil fuel industry ... [per my company] since 2007." (unquote).   Please note, Randman, that that sort of thing is not illegal — it is simply one of the many ways that the Oil industry slush funds operate.

    Perhaps you are innocently unaware, Randman, that the fossil fuel industry slush fund money percolates all around the place.  [Though I had to laugh when I saw that Peabody Energy's filing for bankruptcy in 2016 had "stiffed" the prominent science-denier Richard Lindzen, for a USD$25,000 "consultancy fee" that they owed him — though I don't know whether that $25,000 was a one-off or an annual stipend.]    Stipends, expenses, etc are paid in various ways — sometimes by "sinecure" payments, sometimes by propaganda "fronts" like Heartland or GWPF, sometimes by other under-the-counter indirect methods e.g. payments to a company (not to the individual).

    As to other benefits [in non-monetary form, not in cash] there are the examples of Curry appearing at least three times in front of Congressional-level hearings.   I am sure that even you, Randman, are not so naive as to believe that Curry paid for travel accommodation & incidental expenses, out of her own purse — if you act as a prominent stooge for Big Corporations, then they look after you in the premium style.   That's just the way the business world is, Randman.  (But it's not in any way illegal for her to be on the Big Oil teat.)   And then there's the purely psychological benefits she receives — definitely an ego boost for a mediocre climate scientist, to appear (and often) in the national Congressional limelight (etc).

    Then there are other benefits in cash e.g. in January and February this year [her academic retirement onto a teacher's pension, being at the end of December 2016] Judith Curry authored two reports, one for Koch Brothers and one for the British propaganda machine GWPF.  I don't know whether she was paid directly into her personal account or indirectly via her CFAN company, or by other means — but it would have been a generous*-sized benefit.  Again, not illegal — but of doubtful morality.   ( *Randman, it is extremely difficult for denialism-pushing Big Corporations to find any scientist with more than a shred of repectability/reputation who can be relied on as a stooge who will play the "Doubt & Uncertainty" game, in the face of all the overwhelming evidence that proves "D&U" is unjustified/dishonest.)


    In Summary :

    So, all in all, Randman, your own phrasing: "her scientific reasoning is dishonest, biased and she is funded by the oil companies" . . . is a fairly good summation of the situation.

  • Trump and the GOP may be trying to kneecap climate research

    Eclectic at 09:51 AM on 5 December, 2016

    John warner, you would clarify things enormously

    (a) if you specified which part of air temperature you are referring to. Stratosphere?  Upper troposphere?  Mid-troposphere?

    (b) if you discussed how your idea of rising planetary temperature (as cause of CO2 rise by out-gassing from the oceans) does differ from the similar ideas of Murray Salby et alii.   [Perhaps you are unaware that Salby's ideas have already been thoroughly debunked.]

    (c) if you specified the actual mechanism/s by which the past century's rapid global warming occurs [in the alleged absence of CO2 greenhouse effect].   So far, you have failed to do so.

    (d) if you indicated how the well-understood and well-measured greenhouse effect of CO2 comes (in your eyes) to be null and void.


    There is a very real problem here - since the world is a real physical entity, and not an abstract mathematical construct.   John warner, you need to need to address the physical realities.

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    grindupBaker at 07:03 AM on 6 September, 2016

    He's back. Talk at University College London on July 18, 2016 so the "1000frolly" shill thing says. Can anybody tell me where Murry Salby gets this "Thermally-induced component of atmospheric CO2" graph he presents. I want to find the source and ponder it. Searching those phrases on the internet and sks isn't yielding any relevant results.

  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Paul Pukite at 19:23 PM on 11 August, 2016

    Dikran pointed me here

    Salby is at it again this year with a new presentation with slightly different yet still deeply flawed arguments.

    This is the same guy who wrote the textbooks "Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate" and "Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics".  Based on his contrarian nature when it comes to fundamental science, one has to call into question everything he has written. Same goes for Lindzen, I am finding.

  • Scientists' open letter to the Wall Street Journal re: Ridley and Peiser

    Tom Curtis at 09:32 AM on 6 December, 2015

    With the hopeful permission of the moderator, and in respect to ryland @29:

    1)  Bjorn Lomborg was not denied a position at the UWA.  Rather, the AGW denied and then PM of Australia offered the UWA a special monetary grant on condition that they set up a "consensus center" administered by Lomborg.  The center was not to employ Lomborg, but other researchers by his invitation working on his flaws "Copenhagen concensus" model.  This was money entirely outside the normal academic grants process, and was not based on any academic assessment of the merits of Lomborg's work.  It was quite rightly rejected as a blatant attempt to provide Lomborg an additional platform for his pontifications which were considered desirable by the government not because of academic merit but because of political convenience.

    No attempt by Lomborg to be employed in Australia via normal academic processes has been rejected, and nor should it be.

    2)  Salby was sacked for: a)  Not undertaking his prescribed teaching load; b) failing to teach a course he was directly instructed to teach; and c) using university funding without permission to undertake a trip to Europe he was expressly denied permission to make as it conflicted with his teaching duties.  

    3)  Bob Carter was not sacked from James Cook University, and nor could he be as he had already retired.  He was not offered a renewal of his annual, unpaid position of adjunct professor because he was not undertaking the duties thereof.  That the failure to renew the offer was not due to his opinions on global warming is evident from the fact that the position has been renewed annually from 2002-2012, ten years over which he has been as vocal on climate change as he is now.  From JCU:

    "Dr Carter’s very prominent public contributions to the climate change debate is not something new. He has been promulgating his views, which of course he was entitled to do, for many years while holding an adjunct appointment. But what has changed over the years is the level of his contribution to the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences where he held his adjunct appointment.

    Academics holding adjunct appointments are expected to contribute on a regular and ongoing basis to one or more of the following University activities:
    • Teaching;
    • Collaborative research;
    • Postgraduate supervision; and
    • Staff and student consultations.

    The key question for an adjunct appointment is: “Proposed activities and Perceived Benefits to the School”. While Dr Carter has continued his own research and gives “public talks and advice about climate change and climate change policy” – again as he is perfectly entitled to do – such outreach activities are not related to the work of the School, and do not meet the need to contribute to the School as outlined above.

    The simple fact was that in the School’s view Dr Carter was no longer undertaking any of the activities within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences that is required of an adjunct."

     In short, the adjunct professorship was not renewed because he was no longer teaching, undertaking collaborative research, supervising any post graduates or consulting with staff or students.  Rather, he was merely using his office for non-academic purposes.

  • Scientists' open letter to the Wall Street Journal re: Ridley and Peiser

    ryland at 07:54 AM on 6 December, 2015


    You comment "But in 15 years of following this subject quite closely I can't remember a single instance of someone losing their job in a significant scientific institution or failing to secure one becauser of their views about climate change or any aspect of it."

    Perhaps you need to follow it a bit more closely.  Bjorn Lomborg was denied a university position here in Australia because of his views of climate change.  He is not a "denier" but believes the dangers of climate change are overstated and there are more pressing problems. (see here)

    You will note no doubt that the vice president of the Academic Staff Association states

    "This isn't about censorship at all ... Lomborg is not a climate [change] denier; he believes the scientific evidence which overwhelmingly shows that climate change is happening, he just debates the economics of how we should deal with it," Mr Bunt said.  But he would say that wouldn't he?

    A more telling quote is from Greens Senator Rachel Sieweret who is reported as saying:

    "It was very clearly the Government's design to get someone in place that was running a different argument on climate change, to try and suggest that climate change isn't as significant an issue as it is," Senator Siewert said.

    "It was bad science, and I'm pleased that UWA has realised that.

    "[The Federal Government] clearly had a political agenda, and it was a mistake for the University of Western Australia to go along with it."

    As you can see Bjorn Lomborg's views cost him a position at UWA, which is where I got my PhD from.  I do not support the actions of UWA in this instance.

    You also may not of heard of Murry Salby and Bob Carter both climate change sceptics. Salby was dismissed from his position and Carter was not re-employed. You can read about it here and here.  The two references, the second of which is by Dana Nuccitelli give quite different views

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    MA Rodger at 23:26 PM on 4 December, 2015


    Dikran Marsupial @22.

    How does Salby get that data? I think we can safely conclude that the green CO2 data presented variously by Salby (your Figure 2) is a short slice of a genuine atmospheric CO2 record (presumably MLO) but after it has been passed through a Fourier analysis & stripped of unwanted frequencies. Thus he gets a nice clear sine-type wobble.

    We also know that the majority of the blue trace, the "lion's share" he tells us, is global temperature so if it is derived from actual data, it will have been likewise filtered through a Fourier analysis and also shifted a few months because of the lag between temperature & CO2 that Salby helpfully illustrates at 22:00 (although it is less than the 10 months he states in his talk).

    Mind, as Salby is at best entirely untrustworthy in these presentations of his, being in error at almost every turn (and so untrustworthy and error-prone that it is very difficult not to consider his talk as an insincere pack of lies), it might be a simpler task to answer InnocentSmithReturns by pointing out "specifically where he (Salby) goes right in this presentation."

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    Dikran Marsupial at 21:53 PM on 3 December, 2015

    The first factual error he makes is at 1:15 and is the first piece of scientific information given in the talk.  He says:

    "The IPCC position is exclusive; the increasing CO2 results from anthropogenic emissions entirely"

    This isn't actually true, in AR5 says (page 493)

    "With a very high confidence, the increase in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning and those arising from land use change are the dominant cause of the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration"

    The reasons they say "only "dominant" is because there are also emissions from cement production, but also to allow for the possibility of some component due to ENSO (I know this because I asked for clarification).  So Salby misrepresents the IPCC in the very first statement.  Not a good start. 

    The fact that the natural environment is a net carbon sink is, somewhat ironically, established by the equations he gives on the slide from 5:12.  If instead of plugging in the IPCC estimates for natural fluxes, you use the observed growth rate to infer the difference between natural emissions and natural uptake, you find that natural uptake is always greater than natural emissions.  This directly refutes Prof. Salby's conclusions, and he has been informed of this, but he contines to ignore that and doesn't mention in in his talks.  You can find an explanation of why in my article on an earlier talk (I sent him a copy for comment before publishing it, but recevied no reply).  

    My article also explains his mathermatical error that starts with the following slide (note he never states exactly how he gets the data for that graph, and ignored my request for clarification).

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    Tom Curtis at 06:48 AM on 2 December, 2015

    InnocentSmithReturns @17, I have a very low opinion of Murray Salby's honesty, for reasons partly explained here and here.  He immediately shows, in this new video, why that low opinion is justified.  He begins by referring to is sacking by Macquarie University (0:30).  He says:

    "If I am in retirement, let there by no doubt, it is forced retirement.  After being prohibitted from teaching climate, and then having my research files confiscated."

    He must have had a sense of deliberate mischief in making that claim, which makes it appear as though he was prohibitted from teaching prior to his dismissal.  In point of fact, he was dismissed, in part, because he refused to teach:

    "Professor Salby’s employment was terminated firstly, because he did not fulfil his academic obligations, including the obligation to teach. After repeated directions to teach, this matter culminated in his refusal to undertake his teaching duties and he failed to arrive at a class he had been scheduled to take."

    Salby demonstrates incredible chutzpah in accusing the University of preventing him from teaching, whereas in fact he was dismissed because he refused to teach.

    Of coure, that was only part of the reason.  A further reason was his undertaking a trip to Europe when his class schedule required him to be in Australia, and paying for that unauthorized trip through the unauthorized use of university funds.  Nor was that misappropriation the first by Salby, who ceased employment in the US because he had been found to undertake conduct that "...reflects a consistent willingness to violate rules and regulations, whether federal or local, for his personal benefit."

    Fast forwarding to 1:06:06 on the video, Salby shows a graph the obsolute HadCRUT3 data set.  Leaving aside why he uses the obsolete data set rather than the current HadCRUT4 data set, he shows two apparent trend lines on the graph at that point.  Careful examination shows that they are not in fact trend lines, but pseudo-trendlines.  They are intended to look like trend lines, but are not.  The periods are from 1877-1910 (actual trend: - 0.0089 C per annum), 1910-1945 (actual trend: 0.0159 C per annum).  This gives a mean change in temperature between start point and end point of the intervals of  -0.3 C and 0.4 C respectively.  Salby shows them as -0.7 and 1 C instead, inflating the values by 133% and 150% respectively.

    Earlier, in discussing the HadCRUT3 data he asserted that the warming post 1910 was "just as long and even faster" (1:05:00) than the warming post 1976.  His highlighted area for post 1976 actualy ends in 1998, but I have taken it to 2001 to cover the same period ("just as long").  That reduces the trend for the period.  Nevertheless the trend from 1976 to 2001 is 0.0172 C per annum, 8% faster than the earlier period.  That difference may not be statistically significant, but that does not justify claiming the period with the lower nominal trend had the higher nominal trend which is a direct falsehood.  Even that leaves aside the fact that Salby cherry picked the earlier period to give the maximum trend, but excluded years ('74 and '75) that would have resulted in an increased trend for the later period.

    (Analysis made using the Wood for Trees resource.  All trends calculated from January of the initial year through to December of the final year.)

    Clearly Salby has not abandoned the dishonest presentation of data on which so much of his argumenation depends in earlier videos.

    This may seem like shooting the messenger.  It is not.  The paradox of internet "experts" is that they seek tirelessly to convince the generally uniformed and inexpert public that what they say is true, while scrupulously avoiding putting their arguments before genuine experts who are long familiar with the relevant arguments, and the relevant data.  Specifically, while rusing to convince the uninformed public, they avoid peer review.  Somebody truly convinced of their theories would take the opposite approach.  There confidence in the soundness of their arguments should result in equal confidence that they will be able to persuade the majority of domain experts as to the truth of what they say.  Conversely, when a supposed expert insists in presenting their "revolutionary" theories time again to an uncritical public, while avoiding opportunties to present them before the well informed - you should take that as in indication of their confidence, or rather their lack of confidence, in the soundness of their arguments.

    That is particularly the case when they repeatedly (as Salby does) choose obsolete data over current data, cherry pick, use misleading presentations of the data, apply statistical tests to theories they oppose while avoiding similar tests for their own theories, and repeatedly misrepresent the nature and substance of the theories they criticize.  (The later is very evident in this video in Salby's complete failure to acknowledge the many other forcings other than CO2 that the IPCC recognizes and discusses, in addition to more pointed examples I may discuss later.)

    The scope of Salby's video is so broad that your request for a point by point rebutal amounts to a request to be given a free Climate Science 101 course; with the added onus on your respondents that they have to correct Salby's misleading presentations of data and theory at the same time.  It is a big ask.  It is not something I am inclined to do unless I see clear evidence of good faith in the form of an ability to recognize Salby's shoddy practise for what it is. 

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    scaddenp at 06:08 AM on 2 December, 2015

    Leaving aside Salby's nonsense, it is worth noting that the over very long time scales (100s of million years), the trend in CO2 has been downward. Just as well because the sun is gradually getting hotter over similar time scales. At about end of Pliocene, CO2 got low enough for Milankovitch cycles to induce ice ages. With our massive release of millions of years worth of stored hydrocarbons, we have kind of reset that cycle.

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    KR at 01:42 AM on 2 December, 2015

    InnocentSmithReturns - The current science on CO2 indicates that the recent warming of 0.8C over pre-industrial levels has released an additional ~10-12 ppm of CO2 from the oceans. Salby claims that _all_ CO2 increase from pre-industrial levels comes from ocean warming, a rate of perhaps 120 ppm per degree. And not from our (well known) emissions.

    If that relationship held true, given that the ice ages perhaps 6-7C cooler globally, CO2 levels during the ice ages would have gone to zero (-300ppm or so by that relationship, in fact!), killing all life on Earth. That's absolutely not the case, and the failed relationship of Salbys presents a reductio ab adsurdum failure of his arguments.  

    Salby's arguments are nothing but nonsense. 

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    MA Rodger at 22:28 PM on 1 December, 2015

    InnocentSmithReturns @17.

    You ask about "a mistake" but appear to ask for a detailed blow-by-blow rebuttal. Don't hold your breath on the latter. You may consider the following a response to the former and a taste of what the latter would contain.

    The first of Salby's graphics plots global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel & cement and onto this trace Salby draws two period trends and annotates the annual rate of change for these periods. He says this rate of change grew massively between the 1990s and the 2000s. The rate of change has changed! This is fine. The rate of change of fossil fuel (&cement) emissions increased during the 1960s, fell back through the 1970s, bulged up and down through the 1980s, stayed low through the 1990s (averaging 80Mt(c)/y/y) then rising again through the 2000s and staying high to 2013 (averaging 240Mt(C)/y/y 2002-2013). These therefore are probably what Salby means by "the growth of fossil fuel emissions increased by a factor of 300%."  It is however messy data, something Salby rather ignores.

    Where Salby is also silent here is the change in CO2 emissions between these two periods1990-2001 & 2002-2013. Between the two periods, the annual emissions rose from 6.4Gt(C)/y average to 8.6Gt(C)/y average due to FF+cement, a rise of 33%, but more correctly, including net land use emissions these figures are 7.9Gt(C)/y to 9.5Gt(C)/y a rise of 20%.

    Salby's second graphic is MLO CO2 data. When he claims the rate of change in atmospheric CO2 is "exactly" the same for the period 1990-2001 as it is to 2002-2013 (he may be using slightly different periods but the outcome would be the same) he is simply lying. For the two periods, the average annual increases were 1.6ppm/y and 2.1ppm/y respectively, a 40% increase. A least squares through the MLO data yields a 1.57ppm/y(+/-0.1) for the first period and 2.01ppm/y(+/-0.1) for the second, a 28% increase.

    So that's the first 3 minutes of the 70 minute presentation. Selby compares 300% with 0% and says science is wrong and ignores this mismatch. But the 300% is not what he should be comparing and the 0% is a lie. You can even spot the lie on the next graph he presents. While the remaining 67 minutes of Sably's analysis does get more complex, it fails to get more truthful.

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    InnocentSmithReturns at 07:59 AM on 1 December, 2015

    What I am about to ask may seem unfair, but it would be very helpful to me.  As a former Process Control engineer I am very interested in where you see a mistake or error in the presentation at   I know you have posted arguments against Salby in the past, but what I am looking for is not counter arguements, but rather something like "At time frame 50:45" his math is wrong as follows..."  or "At time frame 50:45, the assumption he makes is wrong based on the following research data [with reference to study data ]   I want to keep the arguement tight and specific.  I realize this is a lot of work, but you might gain a convert (me) if you can show me specifically where he goes wrong in this presentation.  I am putting questions to Salby as well.   Thanks!

  • What you need to know about the NOAA global warming faux pause paper

    shoyemore at 04:06 AM on 10 June, 2015

    ryland, #22,

    Professor Murray Salby was dismissed by MacQuarie University for "not fulfilling his contract obligations", and for repeated overseas travel when he had been asked to stay and teach. Salby would still be at the University, climate views and all, if he had played ball with the administration.

     A Salby defender steps back

    FWIW, it subsequently emerged that in 2005, the US National Science Foundation opened an investigation into Salby's federal funding arrangements and found that he had displayed "a pattern of deception [and] a lack of integrity" in his handling of federal grant money.

    Wikipedia on Murray Salby

  • What you need to know about the NOAA global warming faux pause paper

    ryland at 03:29 AM on 10 June, 2015

    Thanks for your comments Tom Dayton and Simon Baines.  I too was a tenured University professor at an Australian univesity where similar rules apply but not always as there have been professors notably Murray Salby who have been sacked for views not thought suitably concordant with mainstream climate science.  Tom Dayton I was surprised at your statement  "Both Christy and Spencer do some good work. In particular, what they write in their peer-reviewed publications tends to be reasonable" as most pieces commenting on these scientists rarely say any such thing.  And Stephen Baines I thought your statement "For me, the problem is not Spencer and Christy per se, but rather the apparatus that exists to amplify their more contrarian views beyond their actual influence within the climate science community"   showed  far more insight than that shown bny many others who comment on Christy and Spencer.

  • Models are unreliable

    Phil at 20:43 PM on 29 May, 2015

    Postkey @925

    The section you quote is essentially a conspiracy theory: that errors in physics originally made by Sagan have been continually supressed.

    It is worth noting that there have, in the past, been a number of scientific papers published that have challenged or questioned the accepted model of climate change; these include papers by Richard Lindzen, Christy and Spencer, Murray Salby and Gerlich and Tscheuschner. This provides us with evidence of the absense of a conspiracy: the scientific community is perfectly willing to publish a variety of views on Climate Change, even if further examination shows these papers to be wrong, unlikely or implausible.

    Thus, had Sagan actually made "4 basic mistakes", and these were hushed up "in the Cold War Space race", there is no way that these mistakes would not have found their way into the scientific literature today. The fame  of any scientist able to disprove todays consensus on Climate change would be immense (if only for the amount of physics they would actually have to overturn in order to do so).

    A brief viewing of the on-line biographies of Carl Sagan and James Hansen shows almost no intersection; Sagan was an advisor to the NASA space program in the 1970's, whilst Hansen was employed at GISS (which is a division of NASA, but not the one Sagan was advising)

    It is worth noting that Sagan is perhaps an easy target; as a science communicator and educator it is often necessary to simplify the science (It is for that reason , for example, that grossly inaccurate "pictures" of the atom persist today for educational purposes). Thus his public pronouncements may have been less rigourous. But as Michael Sweet mentions above, the development of climate science does not spring from Sagan.

  • New measurements confirm extra heating from our carbon dioxide

    KR at 01:56 AM on 24 March, 2015

    Yep. The denialati were yelping about this paper last month (archived link). With the usual nonsense references to Salby, volcanos, "it's the sun", 2nd law of thermodynamics, etc...

  • Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions

    Dikran Marsupial at 23:32 PM on 17 February, 2015

    Rickeroo wrote: "Any cursory look at two readily available data sets, Mauna Loa CO2 and global temperature by year, clearly shows that temperature is a strong driver in how much CO2 ends up in the atmosphere on a yearly basis."

    The correlation between temperature and the annual change in atmospheric CO2 is well known and has been since at least the work of Bacastow in the mid 1970s, and is largely due to the effect of ENSO on precipitation in the Americas, which in turn affects the uptake and release of CO2 by land vegetation (as KR mentions).  This is explained in more detail in my article on Prof. Salby's misunderstanding of this correlation, where I show that a correlation with the annual increase has no mathematical relation to the cause of the long term rise (as the correlation is insensitive to the mean value of the annual increase, but it is the mean value that explains the long term rise.   In particular, see the section "What does Mainstream Science say about all this?".

    Some claim that this correlation is due to Henry's law, which suggests that the solubility of CO2 in the oceans depends on ocean temperature.  However this neglects an important fact, which is that Henry's law also tells us that the solubility is proportional to the difference between the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere and the concentration in the surface waters.  Thus as atmospheric CO2 rises, its solubility in the oceans increases and the oceans take up CO2 in opposition to the rise in atmospheric CO2.  It is the constant of proportionality that is sensitive to temperature.  This is a good thing as it is a negative feedback that keeps the climate system more stable than it would otherwise be.  So which factor dominates?  The fact that atmospheric CO2 is rising more slowly than we are emitting CO2 into it shows that the natural environment as a whole is a net carbon sink, which tells us that the long term rise is being opposed by the natural environment, rather than being caused by it.

  • Climate Deniers Employ Predatory Tactics in Fight Against Facts: Scientist

    Tom Curtis at 08:12 AM on 12 January, 2015

    william, I am frankly astonished at your introduction of a statement by the UK Greens to the discussion as something that should not be said, because saying it supresses free speach.  Can you not see the irony in your position?  Apparently, in your opinion, there is a range of political views that cannot be expressed, because expressing them violates the principles of free speech.  And let us be clear on this, the UK Greens is a political party, and who is and is not fit to be a minister is a political issue.

    Regarding teaching, I am of the firm opinion that teaching at universities should always teach the consensus position, and show why it is a reasonable position from the evidence.  Where there is no single consensus position, all major views should be taught, and why they are reasonable positions should also be taught (but this is not relevant in climate science in which their is a clear consensus o attribution if not on more detailed issues).  Having done that, the teacher should be free to point out that they disagree with the consensus position, and why they think their view is also reasonable.  A teacher who portrays a consensus position as not having reasonable epistemic grounds is doing their students a disservice and, prima facie, indulging in indoctrination by evading evidence that has clearly convinced a majority (indeed, a super majority) of their peers.  Drapela, Carter and Salby have all violated this principle either in formal teaching, or in informal teaching.

    By your comments on your own teaching, you appear to have practised this principle and agree with it.  Yet you gloss over Drapela's clear violation of that principle!  Once again, Drapela in his presentation did not present an iota of the very large amount of evidence in favour of the consensus view of climate change.  Rather, he simply charged acceptors of that theory of doing so for some combination of financial gain, notoriety or gain of political influence.  Further, he treated the mere charge of that reason as itself a refutation of the consensus position in a clear non-sequitur.  Finally, in presenting his own opinion, the only evidence he presented was clearly dated, and refuted by later evidence.  Please state clearly why you think that sort of propaganda is acceptable by anyone, least of all a university professor?

  • Climate Deniers Employ Predatory Tactics in Fight Against Facts: Scientist

    william11409 at 04:03 AM on 12 January, 2015

    Tom Curtis you're correct on Bob Carter at JCU not Macquarie.  Whilewriting I was thnking of Prof Salby but left him out as I didn't think he really fitted. I wrote Drapela but the spell interferer on Word altered it to Draper and I didn't check carefully enoiugh.  Phillippe Chantreau and Tom Curtis, I taught in a University for just over 33 years reaching the position of Professor and certainly at my university contrarian views on many things were put forward.  Universities are of course the places were controversy is or should be  brought up and discussed civilly.  I used to tell my students each year that some of the concepts in Biochemistry might well be proven wrong by next year but at the moment I was presenting the current thinking. And of course one man's garbage may be another man's treasure. And as for ministers being sacked if they don't conform to the thinking to which  the Greens consider they should conform, that is bordering on the sort of society satirised by George Orwell in "1984".  Of course univerities will say they dismissed an academic for whatever reason, it may not always be the real reason and who can prove otherwise?  

  • CO2 lags temperature

    MA Rodger at 20:41 PM on 19 December, 2014

    davytw @447.

    I have to say that your denialist has a pretty poor graph. There is a far better one, also from Wood-for-trees, up-thread @391.

    As folk here describe, there is a tiny CO2 effect due to rising global temperature but also due to ENSO which wobbles temperature & CO2 both, small (or perhaps more correctly very small) effects when compared with the direct anthropogenic inputs of CO2.

    These tiny wobbles are used by some, with added smoke and mirrors, to 'demonstrate' that rising CO2 is natural. I think Murray Salby takes the saddo prize in these works of lunacy as he has actually managed to line all his mirrors up to link this modern-day lagging of CO2 with the measured lags in CO2 in the ice core data. (If you can cope with such madness, there is a 68 minute video of his presentation here. I think it helps if you wear tin-foil hat, just to get into the spirit of the thing.)

    Encountering such mind-blowing nonsense once too often prompted me to produce this graphic (usuallt 2 clicks t 'download you attachment'). I forget whose equasion it was, possibly Humlum's. And I'm pretty certain there is a SkS version as well, somewhere.

  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change

    KR at 02:45 AM on 21 November, 2014

    topal - Nobody rejects science when it's real science??? Please tell that to climate deniers who say that CO2 isn't being increased by anthropogenic activity, that it has no effect on temperatures, that it's all some unknown long term cycle, that it's cosmic rays, that all of the science is a malicous plot by the Illuminati, etc. etc. etc. 

    Because those are people documentably rejecting real science. 

    Scientific consensus on complex issues is notable because we (the public) use it to evaluate those issues. And like tobacco research, climate science and consensus is under constant attack by those who wish to disuade any action on the subject. Which is both a rejection of science, and a campaign of disinformation intended to prevent public policy changes, by a very small segment of the population. 

  • Dinner with global warming contrarians, disaster for dessert

    KR at 14:08 PM on 17 October, 2014

    Ashton - The Lindzen and Choi paper was discussed on this thread. Nothing new from the previous 3-4 papers on the same topic, no addressing of the multiple rebuttals and previously demonstrated errors. 

    The Harde papers references of Lindzen et al 2001, Spencer and Braswell 2011, Salby 2012, Ludecke 2011, etc, are rather blatant examples of relying on wholly debunked works without referencing any of the later and contradicting literature. 

  • Dinner with global warming contrarians, disaster for dessert

    KR at 01:41 AM on 17 October, 2014

    Hermann Harde has commented regarding his paper on the EIKE website (German climate denial lobbying group), which has been promoting his paper. My German is quite poor, so I'm relying on Google Translate for this - I expect fluent readers to have more clear information. Some notes and statements from that comment:

    • Harde is retired, writing on climate in his spare time. 
    • "...but generally about the greenhouse effect. It is almost nonsense, of a self-heating mechanism or Perpetuum Mobile to talk..." -this is Gerlich & Tscheuschner level nonsense, and in fact a term straight from G&T; the greenhouse effect is not invalidated by thermodynamics.
    • "That the CO2 concentration increases delayed (by Prof. M. Salby about 9 months) due to heating caused mainly by increased solar activity, no one disputes in this county. This has only effect that so climate sensitivity is additionally influence as a feedback or gain to the solar sensitivity." - No, it's not the sun, CO2 increases over the last century are _not_ due to the warming ocean, as oceanic concentrations are rising too, and Salby's nonsense is demonstrably just that
    • "...GCMs turns out here so great that all were not able one and all and to indicate the climate evolution of the last 17 years and also for the near future..." - Ah, the inevitable 'hiatus' comment...
    • "Limitations to this, it is only at a underlying thermally induced cloud feedback in the superimposed oscillations and can change the feedback coefficients." - The only feedback in his model appears to be a fixed cloud scaling with temperature. I cannot find any reference to water vapor or specific humidity.
    • "Circulation and exchange between different zones I do not treat as a global ECS and no climate sensitivities of individual zones are considered here." - A _very_ simple model.

    His starting point is rather worse than I had expected, loaded with climate denial myths. And while his radiative model is quite complex (228 layers - as I understand it line by line radiative code converges asymptotically after about 40 layers), his climate model and it's response to CO2 changes is clearly inadequate to the task. 

  • Global warming denial rears its ugly head around the world, in English

    Dikran Marsupial at 21:57 PM on 20 August, 2014

    Ashton wrote "They don't have to do anything" they do if they want to make an informed contribution to the discussion.  If instead they just want to reduce the signal to noise ratio, then you are correct.

    The logic about the popularity of blogs is also rather shaky.  Unfortunately what the science says about climate change is something that nobody in their right mind will want to hear.  Providing comforting but specious arguments that suggest we don't need to do anything will always attract an audience.  It doesn't matter whether you are a good communicator or not, if you are dscussing science, you first need to get the science right (c.f. repeated discussions on skeptic [sic] blogs on whether the rise in CO2 is anthropogenic, e.g. Salby, which we know beyond reasonable doubt it is). 

  • There is no consensus

    Dikran Marsupial at 23:18 PM on 21 March, 2014

    Prosensus, you need to look at the bigger picture.  Galileos are extremely rare, but crackpots are extremely common.  Marshalls and Warrens are a bit less rare, but they are still way outnumbered by scientists that make bit claims that go against the scientific mainstream in their fields, but who are simply mistaken (e.g. Wakefield, Essenhigh, Salby etc.).  The existence of people like Marshall and Warren illustrates that the existence of a consensus is not absolute proof of anything, but it also doesn't mean that consensus is not good evidence of something being true.  You need to look at the relative frequencies of the consensus being correct and it being incorrect.  Sadly the cases where the consensus is correct (e.g. Salby) tend not to go unreported.

    Nobody is "hiding behind consensus" (frankly that is just the sort of rhetoric we could all do without).  The value of the consensus is demonstrated by the fact that the skeptic scientists keep going on about the lack of consenus, which led to papers like TCP.  Science generally isn't concerned with consensus as the scientists are able to form an informed opinion on the topic for themselves.  The same is not true of the general public, who don't have the scientific background to do this on every topic, which is one of the reasons we have scientific bodies such as the Royal Society, the Royal Statistical Society, the IPCC etc, which show where the mainstream scientific position lies in a way that can be appreciated by the general public.

    "The day we stop questioning consensus is the day science dies." this is a nice soundbite, but nothing more.  If by "we" you mean the general public then the statement if obviously incorrect, science can operate perfectly well without external questioning.  If "we" meant the scientists, *they* are not very interested in following the consensus, the cutting edge is where advances are made, so "questioning the consensus" is their day job.

  • Drought and Global Climate Change: An Analysis of Statements by Roger Pielke Jr

    Tom Curtis at 11:47 AM on 5 March, 2014

    I note with surprise that the link to Pielke's response to this article that had been provided by Russ R has been deleted. Here it is again.

    Pielke makes the issue all about him. He makes the first, and foremost issue the fact that Holdren, under questioning in his testimony before Congress says, "The first few people you quoted [ie, Spencer and Pielke Jr] are not representative of the mainstream scientific opinion on this point". In his response, Pielke writes:
    "To accuse an academic of holding views that lie outside the scientific mainstream is the sort of delegitimizing talk that is of course common on blogs in the climate wars. But it is rare for political appointee in any capacity -- the president's science advisor no less -- to accuse an individual academic of holding views are are not simply wrong, but in fact scientifically illegitimate. Very strong stuff."

    This claim is, however, complete nonsense. To be outside the mainstream is simply to hold a distinctly minority view. All sorts of scientists have held distinctly minority views in the past, including Einstein with respect to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Nobody thinks that Einstein was a worse scientist for that. Others who have held views distinctly outside the mainstream include Darwin, Wegener, and Hansen (who is outside the mainstream on the potential rate of future sea level rise, and on the possibility of runaway global warming). I certainly do not think less of any of those scientists for daring to be different. What matters is not whether or not you agree or disagree with the mainstream, but how you go about doing so.

    In fact, Pielke, if taken seriously has just condemned Spencer, Christie, Singer, Salby, Pielke Snr, and so on (in a distressingly long list) who are definitely outside the mainstream on climate science "...of holding views are are not simply wrong, but in fact scientifically illegitimate". In some cases, I would agree with that assessment, but that is based on how they defend their views, not on the nature of the views themselves. Inconstrast, according to Pielke, having a distinctly minority opinion in science means your views are "wrong" and "scientifically illegitimate". As I said, complete nonsense.
    Pielke's own words, however, contrast with Pielke's extreme sensitivity to Holdren's comments. In particular, in response to Holdren's original testimony, Pielke tweeted:

    "That's right, thanks. The zombies will always be with us. But it is brazen for zombie science to show up in the White House!"

    I am not sure what is meant by "zombie science", but the term is clearly not meant to be flattering. It would appear in fact to be an attempt at "...the sort of delegitimizing talk that is of course common on blogs in the climate wars" (to quote Pielke). As seems often to be the case, Pielke appears to be hypocritical on this point. He is happy to do to others what he will not tolerate the slightest appearance of others doing to him.

    Pielke also spends some time defending the claim that he left out vital information on the basis that he included it in a footnote. That is an odd defense. What he is charged with is not agreeing that there has been a trend towards droughts in the South West of the US. The evidence is that when he quoted CCSP report, he left out the second sentence which explicitly discusses situation in the SW US (see OP).

    On this issue, I am first going to make a very technical point. Holdren says:

    "[Any] reference to the CCSP 2008 report in this context should include not just the sentence highlighted in Dr. Pielke’s testimony but also the sentence that follows immediately in the relevant passage from that document and which relates specifically to the American West."

    The point here is that he did not say (contrary to Pielke) that Pielke did not include the crucial sentence in the report. He said that any reference should include both. Crucially, a reference is an individual act of refering to some source. If you have a ten page report, and refer to Bloggs et al (1880) in the first page, and again on the tenth, that is two seperate references to Bloggs et al. In like maner, if you refer to Bloggs et al in the text, and then in a footnote, that is two seperate references to Bloggs et .

    The reason it is two seperate references is that, in the text you will have made some comment on the quote or reference. You will have indicated agreement, disagreement, or that it only expresses the opinion of Bloggs et al, etc. These comments do not apply the quotation or reference in the footnote. That is a crucial point.

    In his published testimony (later quoted by Senator Sessions), Pielke wrote:

    What the IPCC SREX (2012) says:
    “There is medium confidence that since the 1950s some regions of the world have experienced a trend to more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia.”
    For the US the CCSP (2008)20 says: “droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century.”21
    What the data says:

    8. Drought has “for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century.”"
    (Emphasis in original)

    Earlier, in his "take home points", he had written:

    'Drought has “for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century.”'

    He liked that clause so much that he repeated it three times, once in bold. That is three seperate references to the same sentence in CCSP (2008). In the final one, he prefaces the quote by saying that it is "What the data says". There can be no doubt in anybodies mind that Pielke not only agreed with this claim, but thought it a crucial claim that needed to be hammered home.

    In constrast, the immediately following sentence is confined to a single footnote. The footnote reads:

    'CCSP (2008) notes that “the main exception is the Southwest and parts of the interior of the West, where increased temperature has led to rising drought trends.”'

    So, whereas we are told by Pielke that the lack of an overall US trend is a "take home point", and "What the data says"; it is merely footnoted that the CCSP notes the trends in the Southwest of the US. I should not need to mention that merely noting that somebody says something does not also note your agreement. It is not legitimate to infer Pielke's agreement with the CCSP from his footnote.

    More importantly, it was not possible from Pielke's footnote to determine the relative importance accorded by the CCSP to the two sentences quoted by Pielke. Orphaning the second sentence in a footnote deprives it of context, underplaying it. More crucially, it deprives the preceding sentence of context, over emphasising it. As though that was not enough, Pielke then hammered the point three times.

    From this, it is clear that Pielke did not include the second sentence in any reference to the first, as suggested by Holdren. On the contrary, he referenced the first sentence three times, without including the second sentence - but then included a fourth reference to the CCSP (2008), ie, on to the second sentence in a footnote. As a result, he massively distorted the relative importance of the two sentences in the CCSP, to the point that his practise represents blatant quotation out of context. As a further result, it was not possible from his testimony to determine that he even agreed with the second sentence, and has not been possible until his response to Holdren.

    This post is long enough as is, so I will not discuss the further points at issue between Holdren and Pielke, which SFAICT, depend largely on Pielke misinterpreting Holdren, in part by ignoring the fact that Holdren's article was not just a response to Pielke, but primarilly a response to Senator Sessions.

  • The Oceans Warmed up Sharply in 2013: We're Going to Need a Bigger Graph

    Rob Painting at 16:39 PM on 12 February, 2014

    howardlee - "I don't see how we can get heat into the deep oceans without also getting CO2 into the deep oceans."

    When the wind-driven ocean circulation is intense, such as during the negative phase of the IPO & La Nina, there is strong upwelling of cold deep water along the equator, and along the eastern coasts of the continents. This is known as Ekman suction. This cold deep water is high in dissolved CO2, and therefore there is a large flux of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from the ocean. During the positive phase of the IPO, and during El Nino, the circulation winds down. This shuts down the upwelling and flux of CO2 to the atmosphere.

    Contrary to your assertion, there is a greater uptake of CO2 into the global oceans during the positive phase of the IPO & El Nino. Note the graph below from Keeling (1995) - taken from the SkS rebuttal on Murry Salby & CO2. The bottom figure (b) is the oceanic exchange of carbon and the blue colour denotes La Nina periods. Note how the oceanic flux is negative - indicating loss of carbon from the ocean.

    Of course the oceans are storing more CO2 over the long-term - this is why the oceans are acidifying at most likely the fastest rate (outside of an asteroid impact) in the last 300 million years. I'm just pointing out some of the complexity. 


    As for strong subsurface ocean storage giving more time for humans their act together, that really depends how much longer this (cool surface) phase of the circulation lasts. The recent unprecedented intensification of the trade winds may simply be shortening the length of the cycle - meaning that this negative phase may be much shorter than the previous one. We shall see.

  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #3

    Tom Curtis at 14:12 PM on 21 January, 2014


    1)  Steve Goddard shows that there is a temperature difference between USHCN v1 and USHCN v2.  As both use essentiall the same raw dataset, it follows that the difference is due to come change in adjustments.  Steve Goddard then asserts an explanation for the change in adjustments, ie, fraud.  He did not survey the literature on the subject.  He did not itemize the differences in adjustments between the two.  He did not examine the difference between raw and adjusted records at sample sites to identify the reason for the difference.  In fact, he presented no evidence whatsoever in support of his hypothesis beyond the original fact it was intended to explain.

    As a PhD scientist, you therefore know that he has not supported his opinion in any relevant way.  So why are you presenting his opinion as interesting?  And given that he has not supported his opinion, pointing out that he has a history of unsupported and ridiculous hypotheses is a relevant rebutal.  There is no need to rebut his detailed arguments because he has not made any.

    2)  I find Steve McIntyre's article interesting, in that I once raised with him the issue as to why his "audit" of climate science was so one sided.  Why he audited Mann, and Jones, and Briffa, and Marcott etc in such obsessive detail, but never bothered auditing the Salby's, the Morner's, the Easterbrooks, etc.  His reponse was that he only auditted things that were likely to make it into the IPCC.  His article on Turney, therefore interests me in that it gives the lie to his excuse.  Or do you claim that the trapping of the Akademik Shokalskiy in ice is likely to merit a paragraph in the next IPCC report?

  • Temp record is unreliable

    Tom Curtis at 06:22 AM on 18 October, 2013

    dvaytw, in response to the statement that:

    "... if anyone wants to claim that CO2 levels in the upper atmosphere are causing ground level increases in temperature, there would need to be much greater warming there, which is demonstrably not happening"

    I would point out that, first, "skeptics" greatly exagerate the expected amount of warming due to CO2 (and other anthropogenic factors); second, scientists have always expected that other short term factors will cause fluctuations in the increase of temperature so that, over short periods it may be much less than is expected over the long term, or even negative; and that third, a very powerfull short term factor is known to be depressing the rate of temperature decrease, and in fact accounts for nearly all of the discrepancy between the actual temperature increase and that predicted by the models.

    With regard to the exageration of the expected rate of warming, this is typically done with graphs such as this one by Murry Salby:

    Such graphs may be created in ignorance, by simply scaling the (smoothed) CO2 and Temperature graphs to have a common standard deviation.  Such a scaling ignores the fact that annual fluctations in CO2 concentration are too small to significantly effect global temperature, and so on short times variations in CO2 are not expected to match variations in temperature.  As a result the scaling does not reproduced the expected temperature increase.  That mismatch is exagerated if the match is done between annual (or worse, monthly) temperature variations and a smoothed CO2 curve as done above.

    In some instances, however, including that of Salby, the exageration must be deliberate.  That is because the same authors show graphs of the expected temperature increase as a function of CO2 concentration over the coming century.  As a result, when they show the short term "prediction", they must know that they have changed the relative scales of CO2 concentration and temperature, thereby mistating the predicted increase in temperature from the increase in CO2.  This can be seen by comparing the prediction at the scale used for centenial predictions with that used over the last few decades:

    As can be seen, with an honest scaling, recent temperature increases have closely matched those predicted by the IPCC Assessement Report 4 (AR4).  To avoid any misunderstanding, however, it should be clear that the "prediction" above is produced by simply using the same scale ratio between CO2 and temperature as is used in Salby's centenial comparison, and slightly understates the actual AR4 short term prediction, which was for 0.2 C per decade.  Salby's graphic manipulations are discussed in more detail here.

    With regard to the expected short term fluctuations, that can be seen in the temperature record up to 2005 (when the short term temperature trend met or exceeded IPCC predictions).  During that period, however, there are many short term periods with zero, or slightly negative growth:


    Climate scientists are not utter fools.  They can read temperature graphs as easilly as anyone else; and could see, therefore, that a prediction of temperature increases without faltering (ie, monotonic increase) was already falsified, and would not be so foolish to frame their predictions in a fashion that was already falsified.  The assumption that a short term low trend in temperature increase somehow falsifies AGW, however, tacitly assumes that they were such fools, for it assumes a "hiatus"not greatly different from "hiatuses" that occured before the predictions will falsify AGW.

    Nor do climate scientists predict short term fluctuations merely to save appearances.  In the CMIP5 model intercomparison for IPCC Assessment Report 5, using the scenario with the strongest warming (RCP 8.5), over 8% of 15 year trends with a start year of 1970 or later, and and end year of 2015 or earlier are smaller than the HadCRUT4 trend since 1998.  Indeed, 4.48% are negative and there is one 15 year trend of negative 0.15 C per decade.  The prediction of short term fluctuations and hiatuses comes from the models themselves.  They are not ad hoc afterthougths.  They do not typically show up in statements about predictions because they represent short term chaotic factors that have no influence on the long term trend.  Consequently they do not coordinate in position across all models in the ensemble, and do not appear in the ensemble mean.  Indeed, the lowest 15 year trend in the ensemble mean over that period is more than twice the HadCRUT4 trend since 1998; but that is because the ensemble mean has eliminated short term non-forced fluctuations while the real world has not.  Climate scientists know this, indeed insist upon it.  So-called "skeptics", however, blur the distinction whenever possible.

    In this regard, it is worthwhile noting that the peak temperature of the 1997/98 El Nino was 0.6 C warmer than the La Nina years on either side of it (see first graph).  That is the equivalent of three decades global warming.  With ENSO introducing such large fluctuations into short term temperature trends, it is impossible that trends of less than thirty years should consistently show trends near to the long term trend.

    Finally, there is, in fact, a known short term non-forced factor that accounts for nearly all of the discrepancy between predicted and observed short term trends.  Given the comment in my last paragraph, it will come as no surprise that it is ENSO:

    Very clearly, ENSO has had a strong negative influence on the temperature trend since 2006, and arguably since 1998.  That ENSO is the major driver of the recent temperature "hiatus".  In fact, three very clear lines of evidence demonstrate that beyone reasonable doubt IMO.  They are the fact that if you only examine the trends in ENSO equivalent years, all trends are nearly the same and close to that predicted by the models; that if you adjust temperatures for known ENSO states,the result is a trend close to that predicted by the models, and finally, if you constrain a model to match the historical ENSO pattern, it reproduces the historical temperature record.  I discuss these points in detail here.

    It should be noted that ENSO is not the only known factor that helps explain the reduces recent trends.  Tropical volcanism is known to have increased the aerosol load, a factor that should induce cooling if not for a countervailing warming trend.  We are also experiencing unusually weak solar activity, which should also have the same effect.  Other factors may also have influence, and scientists are examining these factors, and others to determine the relative importance of different factors.  But ENSO is the main factor, without doubt.  It is sufficiently strong a factor that, if CO2 forcing did not have a significant warming effect, we should be experiencing a significantly negative short term trend in global temperatures, not the weakly positive trend we are currently experiencing. 

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    Michaelf at 01:27 AM on 28 July, 2013

    Thanks. Had not come across it before, read it, thought it was very similar to what Salby was trying to get published but couldn't, so was surprised to see those theories published. Probably because he left the question open about where the CO2 was coming from and did not answer the question of where our CO2 had gone. So before I had that argument I thought I would check over here. Glad I did :-) will go and do some reading.

  • Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    Michaelf at 19:18 PM on 27 July, 2013

    Just been pointed to this article that seems to support Salbys work. Do you have a rebuttal for its conclusions?

  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Tom Dayton at 00:09 AM on 19 July, 2013

    Murray Salby recently was not continued in his position at an Australian university, for reasons having nothing to do with his bad science.  DeSmogBlog now reports that several years ago Salby was banned from getting further funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, for non-science reasons.  The reasons include not reporting financial conflicts of interest (I'm shocked!).

  • Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming

    Tom Curtis at 06:14 AM on 13 July, 2013

    Videre @71, an important trick in science is knowing how to test a theory.

    Take special relativity as an example, it has an effect at all velocities, so in principle you could measure the time distortion of two trains passing each other in opposite directions with a relative velocity of 33.33 m/s (100 Km/hour).  Even with the most accurate atomic clocks, however, your margin of error would be large.  In fact, an equivalent experiment using aircraft only measured time dilation to an accuracy of about 10%, although later repetitions showed an accuracy to within 1.6%.

    Alternatively, you could use an Ives-Stilwell experiment, which constrains the error to one millionth of 1%.

    A critique of special relativity (and they do exist) who argued that special relativity had been poorly confirmed based on the 10% error margin of the first experiment, while ignoring the existence of the second would not be taken seriously.  Yet that is the equivalent to what you have done.

    You argue that the rise in CO2 could have a natural source, quoting the large error in measurements of natural fluxes.  In doing so, however, you ignore the 2% error in measurement of C14 levels, which show categorically that ocean outgassing or decline in vegetation are not the source of the recent growth in CO2; or the 1.5% error in measurements of C13, which show categorically that volcanoes are not the source.  Combined, with an error of around 2%, all natural sources are exlcuded by these two sets of observations - but that, apparently is irrelevant to you.

    As to being offended, I am not offended but tired.  Tired of the continuous misrepresentation of science by so-called "skeptics"; and tired of purported honest enquirers who show by their actions that they are anything but.

    If you are an honest enquirer, you will take a step by step approach to gaining knowledge.  You will start with something very basic and ask specific questions about parts of the evidence or argument you do no understand - not in great screeds of text which are likely (designed?) to discourage response, and raising so many issues that many are likely to be ignored - but by short simple questions.  One question at a time.

    And while you are working through the examples, you are not so arrogant as to believe that issues you can think of in a few seconds with a very limited knowledge of the subject have escaped the attention of the thousands of climate scientists who have spent lifetimes studying the issue in a profession in which careers are made by pointing out the errors of others.  Instead you have the humility to realize that if the issue has occurred to you, it has probably been raised and answered before, and you are simply not aware of that fact.  And given that humility, you give the climate scientists, rather than bloggers like A Watts (who, lets face it, are in the same position as you in respect to climate science), the benefit of the doubt until you have studied the issue in sufficient detail that you know not only the popular explanation of the issue, but also the historical and current scientific discussion of it.  

  • Charles Krauthammer's flat-earther global warming folly

    mandas at 14:13 PM on 11 July, 2013


    I know this is off topic, so I apologise for that.  But I had to provide this link to this thread at WUWT.  The conspiracy theorists are out in force today:

  • Murry Salby - Confused About The Carbon Cycle

    DSL at 00:22 AM on 15 June, 2013

    Btw, the Salby paper appears to be in purgatory.  Everyone's been waiting now for about two years. Nothing yet.  

  • Murry Salby - Confused About The Carbon Cycle

    scaddenp at 15:11 PM on 14 June, 2013

    Responding to civil engineer  from here.

    "I don't find the sks links that convincing" is not a useful comment. If you dont explain the problems you percieve with responses to Salby, then how are we to distinquish this from "I prefer a reassuring lie to an inconvenient truth"?.

  • New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made

    Dikran Marsupial at 06:56 AM on 14 June, 2013

    civil engineer, I did not say that Salby's error was "ridiculous", so it is a fairly poor riposte to the observation of your hubris.  If I am appealing to authority in citing the IPCC report and top carbon cycle experts, then you are undoubtedly doing the same by citing Salby's publications list (how many of his existing papers are on the carbon cycle?).  If Prof. Salby does publish this research, then it is likely that I will, rather reluctantly write a comment paper.

    The fact that you have responded with rhetoric, but no attempt whatsoever to refute the argument presented in my blog article is a good indication that you are not interested in rational scientific debate and are just trolling, so I shall not bother responding to you further.  I suggest others do likewise and DNFTT.

    The fact that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic is known beyond reasonable doubt, and as Fred Singer says, clinging to such obviously incorrect arguments gives skeptics a bad name - but it is your choice.


  • New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made

    civil egineer at 06:46 AM on 14 June, 2013


    I don't find the sks links that convincing and they "suggest hubris". You appeal to authority with your first reply, "top carbon cycle experts, as well as the IPCC report".

    I find that Dr Salby has over 75 publications with nearly 3200 citations. I understand he now has 3 upcomming papers Re Carbon cycle so perhaps you can comment on those as well.


  • New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made

    Dikran Marsupial at 05:51 AM on 14 June, 2013

    civil engineer, just to clarify, my name is Gavin Cawley (I post pseudonymously, but not anonymously), Prof. Essenhigh wrote the original paper on which mine was a comment.  Mea culpa, the link in the earlier post was to Prof. Essenhigh's original paper, rather than my comment paper, which you can find here.

    Sadly Prof. Salby's argument is also incorrect (I would be genuinely pleased if it were correct) and I and others have written blog posts on his presentations (my article is the first of those listed, and would be a good place to discuss this further):

    Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Murry Salby finds CO2 rise is natural

    Murry Salby - Confused About The Carbon Cycle

    Salby's ratio

    Humlum et al. make basically the same mistake and another SkS author has published a peer-reviewed comment paper on that one as well, see:

    New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made

    Roy Spencer also made a similar error (happily only on his blog and didn't actually publish it), which I discuss here:

    Roys' Risky Regression

    Scientists make mistakes frequently, you are not at the cutting edge of your field if all of your ideas are right, and some errors happen more than once.  Sadly climatology gets a fair amount of media interest, so instead of these errors being quietly forgotten, they end up being discussed in public view.

    Prof. Salby's new talk seems to have some additional material on ice core CO2 proxy data, but the central argument is still that addressed in my earlier SkS post.

  • New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made

    civil egineer at 05:36 AM on 14 June, 2013

    (-snip-) Dikran Marsupial,

    I'm curious to know your thoughts on Dr Salby's recent persentation.

  • New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made

    Paul Pukite at 14:38 PM on 10 June, 2013

    Using the equatorial SST data for latitudes -6±15 degrees, we can take the Mauna Loa CO2 data and compensate for seasonal outgassing. This has a Henry's Law gain factor of 3 PPM/deg C after applying a lag of 1 month. This simple transformation completely removes the seasonal oscillations, leaving only low-level noise and perhaps a few glitches related to El Nino events (see 1998-1999).

    Mauna Loa compensated by SST

    The above figure is the compensated Mauna Loa CO2 data after removing the seasonal IPWP ocean outgassing of CO2. I also placed a polynomial fit as a guid to the eye.

    Region of the IndoPacific Warm Pool

    The above figure shows the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP) lies within the +9N to -21S SST average. This is the hottest part of the Pacific and should have the strongest activation for CO2 outgassing.

    The SST data was taken from a NOMADS server (NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System)

    The CO2 data was taken from the Mauna Loa records, going back to 1981 to match the archival extent of the SST records

    I have to say that the available oceanographic and atmospheric data is an amazing resource for debunking claims made by people like Humlum (and don't forget Murry Salby).


  • New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made

    Esop at 09:26 AM on 10 June, 2013

    This paper from Humlum and similarly nonsensical stuff from the likes of Salby reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Bart is the "I didn't do it" boy. A juvenile display of not being capable of taking any responsibility for own actions. What is next from Humlum and his Norwegian cohorts ? A new paper claiming that humans don't actually emit CO2 at all?

  • New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made

    MA Rodger at 05:02 AM on 7 June, 2013

    HJones @6/8/10.

    Anthropogenic CO2 emissions 1960-2010 aren't what you'd call "exponential".

    The annual rise in atmospheric CO2 did dip in 2011 but this is more attributable to the La Nina event of that peaked in 2008 and far less attributable to the small reduction in CO2 emissions that year.

    Some time back I created a graph using actual numbers (GISS temperature & MLO CO2) to rebut one of these Humlum type papers (it may have been the Murry Salby lecture) but the equasion being bandied about has been used with real data 1959-2012 and supports the veracity of Figure 1a in the post above, the green and blue of figure 1 being coloured pinkand red.

  • New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made

    Dikran Marsupial at 02:24 AM on 7 June, 2013

    @HJones, FIgure 1 in AR4 only shows representative volumes of the annual fluxes, it doesn't tell you anything about their variability, which is what Humlums' argument is based on.  Sadly Humlum is making pretty much the same mistake as Salby correlations tell you about the similarity of the "wiggliness" of two datasets, but it tells you nothing about their average values.  It is the average values of the fluxes that governs the increase in atmospheric CO2, not the "wiggliness", which is why Humlum's conclusions are incorrect.

  • Why SkS withdrew from the Bloggies

    Albatross at 02:14 AM on 6 March, 2013


    Could you please try and stay on topic? You seem to have forgotten the topic of this thread. Just one comment on something that you said, that is relevant to the OP.

    "I have a great respect for Curry."

    You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, no matter how misguided. The fact is that several of her eminent colleagues and peers, you know people who are qualified to speak to the scientific integrity of her musings, no longer respect Curry. They are embarressed for her, and that inlcudes me, another of her peers.  Our response to Curry's behaviour is not becasue she is painting herself as a heretic (an easy card to play), or a contrarian, it has very much to do with the fact that Curry is taking a machete to the science.

    Have you already forgotten her saying "Wow" in repsonse to the pseudo science of Salby on the CO2 cycle?  Or Curry saying "If Salby’s analysis holds up, this could revolutionize AGW science".  The egregious problems with Salby's analysis are also addressed in Cawley's (2012) response to some similar musings by Essenhigh.  That is but one of several examples of "skeptics" and contrarians endorsing and promoting pseudo science, while also attacking scientists.

    It is for this, and other reasons, that owners of respected science sites, who take science seriously and who do their very best to get the science right are distancing themselves from the Bloggies. It does not help that charlatans like Delingpole are asking their readers to "Vote Delingpole! Vote often!"  The Bloggies system has been gamed by none other than the "Interpreter of interpretations" . So someone who admits to not even bothering to read the science is in the running for "best" science blog!

    End of story.

  • New textbook on climate science and climate denial

    Sceptical Wombat at 10:13 AM on 23 January, 2013

    As far as content review is concerned it is worth noting that Salby has published a textbook which includes his theory that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is not driven by human emissions. So far he has been unable to publish it in a peer reviewed journal. Of course this is a very small part of a text book that is presumably otherwise accurate.
  • Salby's ratio

    John Brookes at 22:30 PM on 22 October, 2012

    Thanks Tom Curtis. I was being a bit tongue in cheek. I hold no illusions about Salby being particularly interested in doing things right.
  • Salby's ratio

    Tom Curtis at 09:45 AM on 21 October, 2012

    Chris G @6, spelling error now corrected. Thankyou.

    John Brooks @10, I did not attempted to communicate with Salby prior to publication. I take the view that if he would not respond to Dikran Marsupials substantial criticisms of an issue on which he is attempting (supposedly) to publish, he would not respond.

    At first I though I really should attempt to communicate with him to ensure I was not simply mistaking an obscure form of the argument that "we haven't warmed for 15 years, ergo CO2 does not cause warming" for the even worse argument described above. Then, however, I noticed that he said,

    "The long term evolution of global temperature parallels that of CO2 during the 1980s. It behaves less so during the 1990s, even accounting for the erruption of Pinatubo in 1992. But after the El Nino of 1997, CO2 continued to increase. Global temperature did not."

    In fact, while the the 1980s overlap the CO2 record in his graph, they had a temperature trend in the UAH TLT record of 0 degrees C per decade (1980-1989, annual values). As such the 1980s performed worse in tracking CO2 increases than did the 2000s (0.06 C/decade, 2000-2009) or the 1990s (0.26 C/decade, 1990-1999). Indeed, Pinatubo makes the 1990s trend stronger, not worse. It does, however, make the positional mismatch between his temperature and CO2 curves greater. Therefore Salby is without question talking about relative locations of the curve, a function of his rescaling; not about the actual temperature trends. This is so straightforward that, IMO, no clarification was needed.

    Out of interest, and if anyone thinks it makes a difference, the trend from 1997 to 2011 is 0.1 C per decade, while that from 1998 to 2011 is 0.06 C per decade. So, even with Salby's carefully cherry picked interval, the claim that temperature change "parallels" CO2 increase in the 1980's, but that there is no match after the 1997 El Nino (or even that there was no temperature increase after the 1997 El Nino)pure bunkum with whose only supporting evidence is Salby's manipulation of the scales.

    Of course, there are straightforward explanations as to why the temperature increases fluctuates over the sort term.
  • Salby's ratio

    Dikran Marsupial at 20:47 PM on 20 October, 2012

    FWIW I emailed a copy of my blog post to Prof Salby before it was posted for his comment, but received no reply.
  • Salby's ratio

    Rob Painting at 17:49 PM on 20 October, 2012

    John Brookes- so far Professor Salby has failed to respond to emails.
  • Salby's ratio

    Lanfear at 17:17 PM on 20 October, 2012


    You are completely wrong!

    This shows that CO2 follows temperature, so CO2 does not drive the warming.

    Or maybe not:

    The same data, only the relative position is changed.

    There are so many, simple, ways to trick the human mind that one sometimes wonders the competence of the 'designer'.
  • Salby's ratio

    John Brookes at 13:24 PM on 20 October, 2012

    Have you told Salby? I'm sure he'll be extremely grateful, and will quickly publish a correction/retraction. He must be very embarrassed at having made such an odd error.
  • Salby's ratio

    Composer99 at 03:16 AM on 20 October, 2012

    Salby's graph appears to rely on a misrepresentation of IPCC/mainstream climatology, one which I have seen in many a comment thread.

    This misrepresentation relies on the assumption that the IPCC/mainstream climatologists believe global climate or temperature depends solely on CO2.

    As Chapter 2 (PDF) of the >IPCC AR4 (Working Group 1) shows, this misrepresentation is clearly false.
  • Salby's ratio

    KR at 01:28 AM on 20 October, 2012

    Chris G - WoodForTrees has "Scale" and "Offset" parameters that can be adjusted. Just make sure your changes are to the correct CO2/temperature scales, unlike Salby's.
  • Salby's ratio

    Doug Hutcheson at 16:11 PM on 19 October, 2012

    To misquote a saying from my youth: "Graphs and statistics are like a bikini: what they show is revealing, but what they hide is vital". Mr. Salby may be more crafty than careless. I think his rescaled bikini might have just given him a wedgie.
  • Salby's ratio

    DSL at 13:39 PM on 19 October, 2012

    No excuses. Just a straightforward excursion into ethical la-la land. It remains to be seen whether Salby can be held accountable for it. Yet another test case for the proposition that we're heading deeper into the condition of postmodernity.
  • Misleading Daily Mail Article Pre-Bunked by Nuccitelli et al. (2012)

    Albatross at 02:23 AM on 18 October, 2012

    Dana @37 and 38,

    This latest sad saga with Curry would be quite entertaining if this were not such a serious subject. If I were you I really would not be too concerned what someone who is wowed by Salby's misguided ideas or believes David Rose's misinformation articles to be "thought provoking".

    Perhaps I was too unclear earlier as to what is likely going on here. Curry and Rose have a symbiotic relationship. Rose promotes her and feeds her narcissism, she gives him the sound bites and credibility that he can used to mislead and misinform. I'm beginning to think Curry's indignance about being misrepresented by Rose is a ruse.

    Additionally, as Dikran Marsupial has accurately noted "Judith Curry demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about statistical hypothesis testing". That much is very evident when reading her posts.

    As for Curry trying to weave Trenberth's, Solomon's and Hansen's comments into her narrative. That is disingenuous on her part, because none of them assumes that the increase in global temperatures will be monotonic, and none of them assumes that periodic slow-downs or plateaus suggest that we are not heading for much discomfort and pain in the coming decades if we continue to increase greenhouse gas levels.

    What is more, using the Solomon quote is inappropriate because Solomon is talking about a shorter and different period than the period cherry-picked by Rose. Solomon was talking about the role of stratospheric water vapor on modulating global temperatures on a decadal scale, specifically their proposed role of cooling between 2000 and 2009, not 1997-2012. And as The Escalator shows one can easily find short-windows with cooling or no warming because of noise in the climate system.

    Finally, to my knowledge Hansen has not stated that there has been a significant slowdown. And in that quote Curry provides he does not do so either. In fact, Hansen et al. (2010) challenged Solomon's claim of a slowdown:

    "On the contrary, we conclude that there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15 C-0.20 c per decade that began in the late 1970s"

    If anyone doubts that Hansen is concerned they really should watch this incredible talk that Hansen gave at Ted recently.

    Curry is playing rhetorical games and misrepresenting her peers' positions by not providing the full context of their positions. That she is doing so is shameful and unprofessional.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    eric.steig at 13:05 PM on 12 September, 2012

    I agree that Rasmus's evaluation at RealClimate was too deferential. I'm not sure why he bothers, to be honest. Some papers are so obviously bad that they seem ludicrous to even comment on. Salby's is certainly in that league.

    If someone ever actually is able to show that the recent rise in CO2 is not anthopogenic, it will be on the cover of Nature, Science, Quaternary Research and Physics today simultaneously, and I will be the first to write to the Nobel Committee encouraging them to award the prize. Until those things happen, papers making such claims can safely be assumed to be not worth reading.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Dikran Marsupial at 21:13 PM on 11 September, 2012

    The pre-bunking of Prof. Salby's yet to appear article applies equally well to the new paper by Humlum et al., who make exactly the same mistake of using a correlation between rates to justify conclusions about long term changes.
  • The Independence of Global Warming on Residence Time of CO2

    KR at 01:50 AM on 4 August, 2012

    Falkenherz - (paraphrase) "...and what if a leprechaun jumped into the tub?"

    Explanation by analogy is very useful. But reasoning from an analogy back to a system under investigation is only plausible if that portion of the analogy holds - it's much better to work matters out directly in the system of interest. In this case expansion and contraction of the bathtub is something you have not mapped to the carbon cycle.

    I would note, in addition, that mass balance/CO2 discussions are more relevant in the How do human CO2 emissions compare to natural CO2 emissions or possibly the Murry Salby CO2 source threads. This discussion is on CO2 rise rates and interactions with atmospheric residence time...
  • What is the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund?

    Dikran Marsupial at 22:15 PM on 16 July, 2012

    FWIW I sent Prof. Murry Salby an email on 08 June 2012 asking for details of how a slide in his talk was generated so I could try and replicate it for an article I was writing for SkS. I haven't recieved a reply from him to that email, or indeed any other email I have sent (other than the standard "I'm swamped and can't respond to all the emails" reply I recieved from Jemme Wu in response to my first email).
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Dikran Marsupial at 00:18 AM on 14 July, 2012

    Hi Tom, I'll have to give the example a lot more thought (and simulate it a bit on my computer - adding stochastic behaviour and temporal correlation makes it very much more difficult to think about). However I have a few observations from my first reading:

    You write "doesn't really address the question that we are interested in (what causes CO2 concentrations to increase). Should we treat Un and En as separate entities in assigning causality in this model? Yes, without question."

    For me the real question is "is the rise anthropogenic, or is it natural, or is it both?". Thus to me it makes no sense to consider En separately from Un, as the effect of the natural environment on atmospheric CO2 depends solely on the net flux. This is one point where I am in complete agreement with Prof Salby - it is net emissions that affect CO2 concentrations.

    It is important to consider En separately from Un if you are interested in the origin of the molecules comprising the excess over equilibrium level, but that is not at all the same question.

    I think this model shows that if you define "opposes the increase" such that it is true whenever Un > En, you have deprived the term of its intuitive relation to assertions about causality.

    I disagree. It may be that this definition does not fit with assertions about causality in a theory of knowledge/philosophy of science sense, but I would say those are hardly intuitive. It fits in very well with normal everyday intuition about causality, as my financial example shows.

    I would prefer to stick with the original financial example until we have reached and understanding about why we appear to disagree about whether I am causing or opposing the rise in the balance. IT may be that causality may be easier to assign in your extended analogy, but then again it is a different analogy, so it still doesn't explain the contradiction exposed by the first.

    Essentially it seems to me that your are asking whether the increase is caused by natural emissions, whereas I am asking whether the rise is caused by the natural environment (including its response to anthropogenic emissions). These are not the same question, and it is the latter that is relevant to climate change as far as I can see.

    I'll run your new scenario through the computer and get back to you once I have understood it.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Dikran Marsupial at 23:06 PM on 11 July, 2012

    Tom Curtis I don't follow your argument here, please could you explain it in a bit more detail.

    I can't see how the conclusion of the mass balance argument (that the natural environment is a net carbon sink) can possibly be false if the assumptions (conservation of mass and the relatively low uncertainty in the observations) are true.

    Can you provide equations for Ea, En, Un and C', such that conservation of mass is observed and where Un < En while at the same time C' < Ea. As far as I can see, this is a mathematical imposibility.
  • It's not us

    Dikran Marsupial at 20:05 PM on 10 July, 2012

    jomamax The mass balance argument is correct regardless of how large natural emissions are. It is easy to show why this is true using the savings analogy.

    Say I share a savings jar with my wife (who represent the natural environment), that is guarded by loyal ninja to make sure only she and I can make deposits and withdrawals. If I put in $16 a month and notice that our savings rise by only $8 a month, then I know that my wife is spending $8 more a month than she is saving. This is true whether she saves $1 a month and spends $9, or if she saves $10 a month and spends $18, or if she saves $100 a month and spends $108, ..., or if she save $1,000,000,000 and spends $1,000,000,008.

    As it happens, we do know that natural emissions are much larger than anthropogenic emissions. We know this because the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is only 4-5 years, which means there must be a very large exchange flux that swaps about 20% of atmospheric CO2 each year with CO2 from the oceans and terrestrial biota. However this exhange is just that, a straight swap of CO2 between reservoirs, and has no effect whatsoever on atmospheric CO2 concentrations. As Murray Salby says, it is only the difference between total emissions and total uptake that matters, and the mass balance equation shows that even if natural emissions are much bigger than anthropogenic emissions, natural uptake is bigger still. This means the natural environment is actively opposing the rise.

    If you think Julian is right and the absolute magnitude of natural emissions matters (rather than the difference between natural emissions and natural uptake), then it should be possible for you or Julian to come up with a counter example, in the form of values for natural emissions, natural uptake, anthropogenic emissions and the annual rise in CO2, where the natural environment is a net carbon source and the observed rise is less than anthropogenic emissions, and doesn't violate conservation of mass. You will find that you can't.

    Note I challenged Julian to do so, and he ducked the challenge, and did not reply to my post pointing out that he had ducked the challenge.
  • It's not us

    Bob Loblaw at 14:27 PM on 10 July, 2012

    This debate is also going on in the Murray Salby thread.

    jomamax: you have several "ifs" that are "aren'ts".
    1) "black-box may be inserting/removing 1000's every month - you don't know.". Yes, we do know, with a fair degree of accuracy (but not perfectly). The known fluxes in the carbon cycle don't have error bars that large.

    2) "If the plus/minus CO2 contributions via sinks/sources from 'non man made sources' (I'n not going to use the proper scientific term since I'm not sure of it's meaning) is rather large, and it varies quite a lot over time". It is large, but it's not varying that much over time - at least, not in amounts that we don't know about (point 1). CO2 was fairly steady (with a seasonal cycle) for a long time before people started burning fossil fuels, and we know a lot about the cycles.

    3) "If those net contributions can be definitely characterized as stable and small,". They don't need to be small, and they don't need to be stable for us to have reasonable estimates of them. You'd need to have large, variable errors in the measurements of those fluxes, and that's not the case (point 1).

    4) "I'm guessing however, that we don't really understand the size and magnitude of these other heat-sinks". You'd be guessing wrong. (I presume you meant CO2 sinks.)

    In addition, you have to remember that in the bank balance scenario, you are also using marked bills. Unless the other sources/sinks are marking the bills exactly the same way, the source is obvious. CO2 from fossil fuels is depleted in C14, and has a C12/C13 mix that does not match other sources of CO2 that are depleted in C14.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    MMM at 10:57 AM on 10 July, 2012

    Hi Tom:
    What I'm trying to do is put myself in the mindset of the closest-to-sane of the contrarians. It is possibly useful to understand their mindset if we have any chance of convincing them, and possibly also to convince the fence-setters.

    I agree that the Law Dome is a strong argument - I think it has a better chance of standing alone than does the mass balance - you'll see I brought it up in #37. Of course, in combination, the law dome plus mass balance becomes nigh-indisputable.

    Hmm. The acidity argument might actually work too. At first, I was going to dismiss it based on the "pool" analogy - the pool having more water doesn't change the vapor pressure of the water - but yes, an ocean with higher total-dissolved-carbon does change the "vapor" pressure for CO2 in the atmosphere.


    ps. Sphaerica; The analogy is meant to be: pool water = CO2 in the ocean. Humidifier water = fossil fuels. Not a perfect analogy, but pretty close to what I think the Roy's & Salby's and other "sophisticated" contrarians must be thinking...
  • Roy's Risky Regression

    Stephen Baines at 02:29 AM on 8 July, 2012

    DM @8


    Well, that Spencer comment is a classic case of poisoning the well, and does not reflect well on his intentions. You do not judge the merit of an argument by its tone, but its content and you cannot assess content by ignoring everything else we know about a suject. The "strength and vehemence" of the objections to his ideas largely reflects frustration at Spencers unwillingness to engage in rational discourse through peer reviewed channels.

    To his credit, he did not dismiss "well-reasoned" objections as politically motivated. I think your approach here and in several posts on this issue are safe by his standards!

    The Salby comment is fine as it is. Of course, by ignoring evidence accumulated over a century of research on the issue, he is essentially doing exactly what he warns against. How is holding your hands over your ears less distructive to discourse than telling someone to shutup? The fact that he has not responded to you also hoists him by his petard.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Marco at 17:03 PM on 7 July, 2012

    Tony O, I do not think the channel is Salby's. More likely to be that of The Sydney Institute
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Tony O at 11:41 AM on 7 July, 2012

    So if your business has revenue of $10 a week and costs of $9, but I steal $2 a week the reason you go broke is those costs and not my theft.

  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    DaneelOlivaw at 05:42 AM on 7 July, 2012

    Seems to me that the problem is that anthropogenic emissions are (roughly) constant during the analysis period. If we look at the broader picture and compute a correlation coefficient with a dataset that spans a period of time with and without human emissions, then we would get a nicer fit, right?

    As an analogy, what Salby is doing seems to me like taking the temperature of a sick child during a week and computing the rate of increase and decrease. Then try to correlate it with , let's say, influenza virus counts in his blood and with time of day. Let's assume that there's a day-night cycle in our body temperature and that the rate of increase in temperature produced by the virus is constant. Then the variations in rate of increase in temperature would be only explained by the night-day cycle and the influenza virus would have nothing to do with it.
    This way we can conclude that cause of his fever is not influenza, but the night-day cycle. There's no need to give this child any treatment.

    Also, any treatment would cripple his family's economy... and the rise in temperature is plant food... I mean, it's good for him.
  • Roy's Risky Regression

    Dikran Marsupial at 00:23 AM on 7 July, 2012

    Cheers Srephen, sadly Salby and Spencer give a couple of good examples of what is wrong with the climate debate:

    Dr Spencer writes: "And just how strenuous and vehement the resulting objections are to what I have presented above will be a good indication of how politicized the science of global warming has become."

    Note the lack any suggestion that Dr Spencer may be simply mistaken (no big deal, it happens to us all evey now and again), and that any objections are politically motivated.

    Regarding the science being settled, Prof. Salby says (at about the 31 minute mark in his Sydney Institute talk) "Science is dynamic, it is predicated on discourse; questioning, that is how we get to the truth. If not for discourse we would still be in the dark ages. Excluding discourse from the equation isn't science, it is advocacy"

    Rather ironic then, that there have been no replies to my emails questioning the science presented in Prof. Salby's Sydney Institute talk. I fully agree with Prof. Salby that questioning and discourse are vital to progress in science.
  • Roy's Risky Regression

    Stephen Baines at 00:06 AM on 7 July, 2012

    Oh bother...You all know what what I mean, right?

    Anyway, DM, excellent post. These kinds of mistakes are pretty elementary, but also pretty common. Still, you'd think someone would have mentioned these problems to Spencer and Salby and that they would have listened or corrected themselves after the fact. I'd like an explanation there.
  • Roy's Risky Regression

    Dikran Marsupial at 23:32 PM on 6 July, 2012

    @tristan cheers!

    @Alexandre Note Dr Spencer published his blog article some time ago and I suspect he has since understood his error as he has not mentioned it since, as far as I can tell.

    @ScepticalWombat I think is is more likely that Salby is simply unaware of the mass balance argument, as he he explicitly states in his Sydney Institute talk that the required observations are reliable and he gives the fundamental equation on one of his slides and explains how it is net emissions that matter at great length. He just hasn't seen the obvious conclusion that you get when you combine the observations and the equation.

    I suspect the same was true for Dr Spencer, he even included this plot

    for me it is obvious from that diagram that the natural environment is opposing the rise in atmospheric CO2; but apparently it doesn't seem so obvious to everbody!
  • Roy's Risky Regression

    Sceptical Wombat at 22:53 PM on 6 July, 2012


    The isotopic signature of the carbon provides good evidence that volcanoes are not responsible, but, as I understand it, the same isotopic ratio could be expected if the CO2 came from net emissions from, for instance, plants. Salby puts a lot of emphasis on the isotopic bit, which I see as a technique to distract attention from the much more formidable mass balance considerations.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    keithpickering at 03:01 AM on 5 July, 2012

    Here's an alternative (simpler, though less mathematical) way to explain it.

    During El Niño events, atmospheric CO2 grows faster, and during La Niña events, atmospheric CO2 grows slower. That does not mean that the oceans and soils emit more CO2 during El Niño, and emit less during La Niña (as Salby would have us believe).

    Rather, it means that the oceans and soils absorb less CO2 during El Niño, and absorb more CO2 during La Nina.

    The correlation is real, but Salby's interpretation of its meaning is exactly reversed from what's really happening.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    caerbannog at 02:55 AM on 5 July, 2012

    May I suggest that Dr. Salby submit his paper to the Journal of Scientific Exploration (JSE)?

    JSE publishes cutting-edge research like this. (I forget who found this gem -- otherwise, I'd give due credit.)
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Bernard J. at 01:22 AM on 5 July, 2012

    Scpetical Wombat at #2:

    Salby has since indicated that he is having trouble getting it accepted (how does that figure with "in print").


    In due course I expect that we will see either an "Energy and Environment" paper or a WUWT post claiming yet another conspiracy to block the publication of an inconvenient paper or possibly both.

    Another option is The Science World Journal, which would publish it without critical assessment... as a recent issue has shown with respect to another mathematically-challenged paper.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Dikran Marsupial at 00:52 AM on 5 July, 2012

    @oneiota and @skepticalwombat I have tried contacting Prof. Salby, pointing out the lines of reasoning that show his conclusion to be false, and asking for clarification on exactly how the analysis was performed, but have recieved no reply (I also sent him an early draft of this blog post for comment). I would hope that the paper has now been withdrawn.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    chriskoz at 22:05 PM on 4 July, 2012

    It is beyond my comprehension, why the simple arithmetic equasion:
    1) En - Un = C' - Ea
    2) the principle of conservation of mass
    altogether understood by primary school kids;

    are being denied by contrarians like Salby, who confuses the issue by taking about correlations, instead.

    The only explanation is: Salby hopes that people are less likely to know about correlations, or specifically about their irrelevance to the subject question. In other words: his hopes are to confuse the simple issue rather than to explain it.

    The same observation applies to larger teachings on the subject of AGW. E.g.: why am I confused/find hard to understand what I'm reading on WUWT or in contrarian books like Heaven+Earth? As opposed to the clarity and simplicity of information here on SkS or in books by people like James Hansen? Precisely, because contrarians are interested in spreading disinformation and confusion only. The case of prof Salby here is a classic one.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    Sceptical Wombat at 20:52 PM on 4 July, 2012

    Oneiota In fact it is now 11 months since Prof Curry claimed that it was "in print" and was expected in 6 months. Salby has since indicated that he is having trouble getting it accepted (how does that figure with "in print"). To quote

    The technical paper underpinning my presentation to the Sydney Institute
    has certainly not been withdrawn. The cycle of scientific publication is slow,
    typically about a year. For a subject as political as this one, it can
    be very slow.
    The fiasco surrounding Spencer and Braswell (2011), a thinly-veiled exercise
    in coercion, didn’t help. But, with patience, we will eventually get there.

    In due course I expect that we will see either an "Energy and Environment" paper or a WUWT post claiming yet another conspiracy to block the publication of an inconvenient paper or possibly both.
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

    oneiota at 16:00 PM on 4 July, 2012


    In your link to Climate etc above Judith Curry predicted that Salby's paper with his potentially "AGW science revolutionising analysis" would be published in a journal within 6 months...about 6 months ago. Has it seen the light of day?
  • Pal Review - the True Story and the Fairy Tale

    Dikran Marsupial at 17:07 PM on 13 June, 2012

    CBDunkerson There have been some climatol0ogists making the claim that the rise in CO2 is natural, including Roy Spencer (as dana pointed out), Tom Segalstad, Richard Courtney, and now Murry Salby. The flaws in their arguments are pretty obvious, which just goes to show that scientists can have blind spots, just like the rest of us.

    As I said, the difference between true skepticism and stubborn bias is the willingness to investigate, rather than to simply question (questioning is only of value if you are interested in the answer).
  • Murry Salby - Confused About The Carbon Cycle

    desertphile at 01:44 AM on 2 May, 2012

    Salby mentioned the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice age, neither of which were global events, and then claimed that CO2 followed temperature; these assertions have been refuted and debunked by scores of scientists. Murry Salby needs to update himself in the current literature.

    Note that our New Galileo here also ignored the fact that humans are currently putting 30,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere EVERY YEAR, yet the non-human sources put in AND THEN REMOVE the same, or very similar, amounts of CO2 that they do every year. Just where does Mr. Salby believe our release of CO2 is going?
  • Why Are We Sure We're Right? #1

    John Brookes at 22:43 PM on 23 April, 2012

    So I'm a skeptic. I find it hard to believe that warming of 2 or more degrees will happen this century. But that seems to be what the smart people are saying, and you'd be a fool to ignore them and just hope it won't happen.

    But as with many other commentators here, its the "skeptics" themselves who make me feel more confident that AGW is a problem. The "skeptical" position is totally undermined by their own arguments. Once you've seen a "skeptic" embrace a particularly silly idea (Salby's is just another one), it is very hard to take them seriously on anything else they say. Their weird ideas on economics and government also make it hard to give their views on climate any credence.

    It is worth noting that extreme environmentalists are the same as "skeptics". They are only too willing to incorporate the latests silly idea into their world view.

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