the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

You Sure?

Posted by Jeff Id on August 4, 2011

Don’t let anyone tell you that the science is settled on AGW.  Judith Curry has an interesting post on just what might be causing CO2 increases other than mankind.  Hell, even I was convinced that man likely caused CO2 increases.   It appears that there is some evidence that the CO2 rise may not be all completely our fault.

Maybe I was wrong again.

The moral of the story is, we don’t really know a lot of things about AGW to enough certainty that any reaction is justified.  We don’t know enough about the consequences of our reactions to know if they are helpful either.   See the anti-incandescent light scam for example.  That doesn’t stop the anti-prosperity forces from wanting the solution anyway.  You might one whom agrees with the ‘solutions’, but be careful of the definition of the problem.

165 Responses to “You Sure?”

  1. page488 said

    Excellent post, Jeff – terse and to the point.

  2. Bruce said

    Man didn’t cause the CO2 increase of 100ppm in the Eemian.

    CO2 trailed delta-T.

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/eemian.html

  3. Climategate, and the collapse of Western economies and the USA space program apparently result from agreements that Henry Kissinger negotiated with leaders of China in 1971.

    He took President Richard Nixon along in 1972 to make the agreements “official.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.pdf

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.doc

    I don’t like the conclusion any more that anyone else does, but it seems inescapable.

  4. Judy’s post just refers to a podcast, which I haven’t listened to. I’ll wait for something in writing. But it puzzles me what kind of story people are trying to create here. The fact is that we’ve burnt about 340 Gt carbon. It went into the atmosphere. The atmosphere has about 200 Gt more than it used to.

    Sure looks like it’s ours. What is the alternative? Somehow the CO2 molecules that we put there wriggled off down some burrow, and others wriggled up to replace them?

    And it actually doesn’t matter. If there is some magic that takes our CO2 and replaces it with other CO2, it still blocks outgoing IR.

  5. Bruce said

    “Sure looks like it’s ours.”

    One of the methods on determing whether is is “ours” is the ratio of C13 to C12.

    You could read up on C4 plant metabolism which prefers C13 …

    C4 metabolism plant life has a preference for 13CO2 and “maize, sugar cane, millet, and sorghum” are C4′s/ Those crops are immense.

    The US has 92 million acres in corn. 30% of all crops.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C4_carbon_fixation

    “Today, sugarcane is grown in over 110 countries. In 2009, an estimated 1,683 million metric tons[3] were produced worldwide which amounts to 22.4% of the total world agricultural production by weight”

  6. Rob R said

    Nice Bruce, but what type of vegetation are these crops replacing? How has the change in vegetation distribution altered the natural sink for 12C. Note 13C was never excluded before, nor is 12C excluded from uptake in cropping areas now. Its just the ratios that have altered. So humanity is still likely to be contributing to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

  7. Brian H said

    Re: Rob R (Aug 4 20:18),
    Sure hope so. The higher it gets, the better.

  8. Jeff Id said

    Nick,

    I agree that it definitely looks like it is ours, but it is quite rarefied and therefore not impossilbly cause by something else. You can look to palo data and have a good deal of certainty that the CO2 rise is ours, but the paleo data has oppotunity for misinterpretation. In the end, the CO2 is VERY likely ours just from the magnitude of emissions. Still, the early publication of this paper seems to claim that isotopes are not the proof we thought.

  9. Jeff,
    I don’t think a paper has been published – in fact, there doesn’t even seem to be even a draft available.

    The CO2 might be rarefied, but there is still mass conservation. If something else caused it, where did ours go?

  10. Jeff Id said

    Judith Curry’s post seems to indicate that the ocean caused it, so perhaps that would also be where it went.

    I have little interest in defending the theory, but it is interesting that it was published.

  11. steve fitzpatrick said

    Jeff,

    This is a case where the argument is essentially without merit. The increase in CO2 is mostly from burning fossil fuels. The same arguments have been made before. They are just as wrong this time.

  12. Eric Steig said

    Jeff, I couldn’t resist coming over here to see what you might say about latest random bit of unthinking from Judy Curry. I’m disappointed. Hint: the surface ocean has a declining trend in 13C/12C ratios, just like the atmosphere. Think.

  13. page488 said

    RE: #12

    Hey, Eric

    Please reference the papers that support your assertion.

  14. Bruce said

    “Today, C4 plants represent about 5% of Earth’s plant biomass and 1% of its known plant species”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C4_carbon_fixation

    “One of the purported signatures of anthropogenic CO2 is the carbon isotope ratio, C13/C12. The “natural” C13 content of CO2 is just over 1.1%. In contrast, the C13 content of the CO2 produced by burning of fossil fuels is claimed to be slightly smaller – just under 1.1%.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/

  15. Bruce said

    Eric, Nick … are you C12/C13 ratios can tell you anything?

    “Today, C4 plants represent about 5% of Earth’s plant biomass and 1% of its known plant species.[11] Despite this scarcity, they account for about 30% of terrestrial carbon fixation.”

    Wikipedia

    “C4 metabolism plants absorb more C13 than do C3 metabolism plants”

    “Over the last 100 years we’ve planted one heck of a lot more grasses world wide than ever before. Grasses are often C4 metabolism…”

    – Chefio http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-trouble-with-c12-c13-ratios/

  16. TimG said

    Nick,

    Natural CO2 exchanges over the course of a year are 100 times larger than the human contribution. The argument the rise in CO2 is entirely due to CO2 is based on an analysis of the isotope ratios which leads one to believe the excess CO2 is coming from fossil fuels. The argument being made is the data shows that natural sources can change the isotope ratio too.

    Now, one obvious explaination is the previously emitted CO2 is simply coming out of the ocean and that explains the observations. However, he claims that the proxy records from the ice ages show the same change in isotope ratios which shows that the process is a natural one.

    Obviously, there arguments need to be written down and analyzed but simply assuming it must be wrong because it does not confirm to your prejudices is bad science.

  17. Bruce said

    “The up and coming paper with all the graphs will be released in about six weeks. It has passed peer review, and sounds like it has been a long time coming. Salby says he sat on the results for six months wondering if there was any other interpretation he could arrive at, and then, when he invited scientists he trusted and admired to comment on the paper, they also sat on it for half a year. His speech created waves at the IUGG conference, and word is spreading.”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/08/blockbuster-planetary-temperature-controls-co2-levels-not-humans/

  18. Brian H said

    Re: Bruce (Aug 4 23:40),
    Very interesting. One therefore wonders how many other “disturbing” findings are being sat upon or even self-censored, and for how long.

  19. TimG
    “Nick,
    Natural CO2 exchanges over the course of a year are 100 times larger than the human contribution.”

    Well, I think 100 times is exaggerated. But yes, CO2 has been exchenged between the air and biosphere for millions of years (photosynthesis/respiration). And it can’t make long-term changes – it’s just moving around the same 1500 or so Gtons. But when we dig up and burn 340Gtons, well,here is the hockeystick. What were all those natural mechanisms doing the last 2000 years?

    “The argument the rise in CO2 is entirely due to CO2 is based on an analysis of the isotope ratios which leads one to believe the excess CO2 is coming from fossil fuels. “
    No, the argument to explain that the atmosphere has 200 Gtons more C is that we dug it up and put it there. Isotope ratios provide further confirmation.

  20. kuhnkat said

    Nick,

    here is an area you can probably set me straight on.

    The oceans release of co2 is somewhat dependent on the partial pressure of co2 already in the atmosphere. If humans release co2 we raise the partial pressure and inhibit the release of some co2 from the oceans. Compared to the amount we release how much would be inhibited? In other words, how much more would the oceans release due to a lower partial pressure if we stopped producing co2.

    Or is this a fallacious scenario? What don’t I know/understand?

  21. PaulM said

    Nick, thanks for linking to another dishonest splice from the IPCC – a version of Mike’s nature trick, gluing atmospheric measurements onto ice cores. Or at least I assume that is what they have done – they don’t even give enough information in the caption or accompanying text. In the FAQ 2.1 where that diagram is, they give no explanation at all, and in the text on page 137 it just says “a wide range of direct and indirect measurements”.

    There is plenty of evidence that past variation of CO2 was much greater than that claimed by the IPCC. Of course you will not find any mention of this in IPCC AR4.

    Regarding the work by Salby, my view is like Jeff’s – I have always been skeptical of skeptic claims about the CO2 rise being natural. Unlike some commenters, I will retain an open and skeptical mind until there is more information. Clearly Salby is an experienced scientist who has thought about this for a long time and cannot be dismissed by a two-line comment from realclimate.

  22. Brian H said

    #20, kuhnkat;
    The difference between partial pressures of .0003 and .0004 bar, e.g., is probably negligible. Which means too trivial to bother trying to measure.

  23. KK,
    Yes, that’s right. This is Henry’s Law. The concentration of CO2 in the water just below the surface is, in principle, proportional to the partial pressure above ( and depending on temp etc). That’s why a lot of the CO2 we have produced has gone into the sea (with acidification).

    CO2 is fairly uniform in the air by latitude, so it tends to dissolve in cold water and be emitted in warm. So whether you should think of higher pCO2 as increasing absorption or inhibiting release depends on where you are. But on balance, more CO2 ends up in the sea. In the end, almost all the excess. But that takes a very long time.

    And your last part is really Le Chatelier’s principle. Yes, the solubility eequilibrium tends to transfer CO2 to the sea when we’re producing it, and that would go in reverse if we stopped.

  24. Re: PaulM (Aug 5 05:22),
    Well, it’s from the FAQ. They refer to Chaps 2 and 6 for details, and Fig 6.4 gives a full description for the various sources. It covers a longer time period, though, and so it’s harder to see the transitions. But they also say, in the section of Chap 2 where they refer to fig 2.1, that “For dates before about 1950 indirect measurements are relied upon. For these periods, levels of atmospheric CO2 are usually determined from analyses of air bubbles trapped in polar ice cores. These time periods are primarily considered in Chapter 6. “

  25. Jeff Id said

    Eric,

    Be dissappointed if you like but I’ll wait for the paper to come out before kicking it. As I told Nick, I have little interest in defending this idea but as I wrote in the headpost, maybe my assumptions about human emissions causing the rise in concentrarions have been wrong all along.

    Seriously, how expert are you in the quality of the trend data forming the ocean isotope ratios? Is there any light you could share aobut the best datasets, collection methods or things like that. Those comments from the pro’s are what are most helpful.

    I just learned that the AR4 Levitus data was not a good story (perhaps more on that soon) so every time I turn around there is something else which has to be questioned. Did you know about the Levitus problems???

  26. Carrick said

    Nick Stokes:

    No, the argument to explain that the atmosphere has 200 Gtons more C is that we dug it up and put it there. Isotope ratios provide further confirmation.

    I think that the monotonic nature of Keeling’s curve also precludes another explanation. If an ENSO were responsible, you’d expect to see for example a 5 year frequency component associated with it.

  27. Jeff Id said

    Carrick,

    That is an excellent point. I’m curious how they will rectify that issue too.

  28. Carrick said

    I think this is what Nick is talking about in #24. Where’s the ENSO component?

    If you look at the small wiggles on this curve, you can an effect from ENSO cycles. But shouldn’t that be dominant in Salby’s model? “J says on Judith’s thread:

    It’s not news to anyone who studies the carbon cycle that the flux of CO2 between the atmosphere and the ocean/biosphere is affected by ENSO-style short term variations in temperature (see, e.g., Bacastow and Keeling 1981, or AR4 WG1 Section 7.3.2.4). But the magnitude of these variations are small compared to the century-scale rise in atmospheric CO2.

    Looks DOA to me.

  29. Carrick said

    I managed to drop the URL to J’s comment. Sorry.

  30. Carrick said

    Here’s the link to J’s argument. link.

  31. Carrick said

    Disclaimer: I realize there is a lot of hyperbole in that comment by “J” (aka John Cook), as is tradition for him. What I quoted I endorsed, what I didn’t I don’t necessarily endorse.

  32. Andrew said

    28-Carrick-There does appear to be a climatic modulation of the rate of rise of CO2, although the rise itself is more than accounted for by emissions. Nick has mentioned that a lot of our CO2 must be being absorbed by the oceans, and he is right, although I think it is pretty clear that doesn’t account for all of the CO2 that doesn’t stay in the air. Recall from our old discussions here about the “airborne fraction” Carbon Cycle modelers aren’t clear on what happens to a very large amount of the CO2 we emit. “Missing sink” and what not. A couple of people suggested this is evidence that the Earth’s plant life is more eagerly offsetting our emissions than currently believed, due to CO2 enhanced growth, and that’s probably as good an explanation as any. At any rate, I also have to concur that the isotopic arguments aren’t what convinces me that we are responsible for more CO2: it’s the fact that our emissions are more than a sufficient explanation. Nature is acting as a net sink, clearly. And a growing one, too!

  33. Bruce said

    “If nothing else, Fig. 3 illustrates how large the natural interannual changes in CO2 are compared to the human emissions. In Fig. 5 we see that the yearly-average CO2 increase at Mauna Loa ends up being anywhere from 0% of the human source, to 130%.

    It seems to me that this is proof that natural net flux imbalances are at least as big as the human source.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/25/double-whammy-friday-roy-spencer-on-how-oceans-are-driving-co2/

  34. Bruce said

    Looking at the list of El Nino years, Spencers Fig3 I can see a lot of El Nino’s.

  35. Anonymous said

    This is just one more in a long, long list of items which tell us to exercise caution before assuming we ‘know’. Pielke, Sr. has provided a number by himself.

    Wisdom starts with a recognition of ignorance. Climate scientists, as is obvious to anyone who listens to their grand pronouncements, have an extraordinary deficit of wisdom. Caution is so rare among them that they disdain the need for audit, replication or even transparency. Their belief in their own infallibility is off the charts. And given their track record of screw ups, that belief is decidely at odds with reality.

    I don’t expect people who have insulated themselves into a cocoon, built barriers to avoid contact with differing opinions, and engaged in a long circlejerk of praise for each other to ever allow reality to intrude into their cocoon.

  36. Carrick said

    Bruce, nobody is saying that ENSO has no effect on atmospheric concentration of CO2 nor on ratio of C13/C12. What we are saying is the effect from ENSO isn’t large enough and doesn’t have the right frequency content to explain the relatively smooth increase in CO2 over time.

  37. Bruce said

    Carrick, the only way to get a “relatively smooth increase” is to use a tiny little graph.

    Using January data – ppm change

    95-96 2.10
    96-97 0.99
    97-98 2.15
    98-99 2.92
    99-00 1.13
    00-01 1.43

    Does man produce 3x as much CO2 during El Nino years? No. So it something other than man. And maybe all of it — or the 80% postulated — is caused by temperature.

    CO2 lags temperature in the ice cores. Not heother way around.

    As for C13/C12 ratio. I think that fingerprint is bogus considering the C3/C4 metabolism differences. C4 metabolism plants are 30% of terrestial carbon fixing. And those are huge food crops that have developed over the last 50 years.

  38. Tilo Reber said

    If the amount of CO2 that we burn corresponds the amount that is being added to the atmosphere, minus some reabsorption, then I don’t know how Murry Salby’s argument can wash. How sure are we concerning the number of Gt of CO2 in the atmosphere and the number of Gt that we burn every year?

    The other side of that coin is that warming has always caused more CO2 to be realeased into the atmoshpere. There is no reason why it shouldn’t be doing this now.

    The right answer is likely that warming is contributing some of the CO2 and man is contributing some of the CO2. The only question is; what are the ratios.

  39. Andrew said

    36-”CO2 lags temperature in the ice cores. Not heother way around.”

    The Ice Core data shows that the CO2 change from glacial to interglacial is about 100 ppm. This is associated with the five degree global average temp variations, but hundreds of years later. In order for the recent increase to be caused by temperature, the ratio of how much warming produces how much additional CO2 has to have changed by a factor of six, for no apparent reason, and it has to have suddenly become an instantaneous effect, rather than one that takes effect over centuries.

  40. Carrick said

    Bruce, I don’t know any other way of saying it, other than if it were ENSO, you’d have a large periodic signal with a small offset shift (secular change) over time. Not what’s seen. If you can’t follow this (you usually can’t) there’s nothing left for us to discuss.

    Andrew, you are mixing cause and other cause.

  41. Carrick said

    Tilo, you and I actually agree on this:

    The right answer is likely that warming is contributing some of the CO2 and man is contributing some of the CO2. The only question is; what are the ratios.

    People who are uncomfortable (no saying you) with frequency-based analyses, shouldn’t participate in trying to answer it though. But that is the major issue: what is the ratio, and how well do we know it?

  42. Bruce said

    Carrick, I have to repeat this because it is important.

    Did man produce 3x as much CO2 from 1998 to 1999 as they did from 1996 to 1997?

  43. Bruce said

    Its interesting to look at other sampling sites like Ascension UK.

    Changes as low as .42 (84-85) and .53 (89-90) .71 (00-01) all the way up to 2.89 (05-06) .

    And then back down to 1.04 in (06-07)

    Some years are 5x the difference from a previous year.

  44. Andrew said

    39-”Andrew, you are mixing cause and other cause.”

    Carrick, I’m not sure what I’ve said or done that you are disagreeing with. Do you object to me saying that the .8 C of global warming we’ve seen could only raise atmospheric concentrations by 16 ppm and only centuries from now (not currently)? I just pointing out mathematically that warming can’t have caused the recent increase in CO2 levels, as the effect of increased temperatures on concentrations is almost an order of magnitude too small and an order of magnitude too slow. What is mixing up cause and cause about that?

  45. Bruce said

    If there is an 800 year lag a slow recovery from a 4C drop should cause CO2 to rise.

    “However, beginning around 1100, the climate began an 80-year period in which temperatures dropped 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit), the Brown scientists concluded from the lake readings. ”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/31/temperature-reconstruction-of-greenland-shows-ups-and-downs-in-climate-happened-over-5600-years/

  46. Andrew said

    44-A four degree C drop globally would mean that centuries afterward, CO2 would decrease by about one hundred ppm. But temperatures didn’t drop that much globally (such large changes are characteristic of the Arctic, and Greenland, but not the whole world, where changes tend to be smaller in magnitude). Again, in order for recent CO2 increase to be due to warming, there would have to have been a global warming episode roughly eight hundred years ago averaging four degrees globally. You’ve identified a cooling event of that magnitude in greenland about nine hundred years ago. Averaged over the whole Earth said event was probably not much more than a whole degree, and would thus correspond to not much more than 20 ppm change…And of course the fact that it was a cooling episode means that there should have been a drop in CO2 by 20 ppm. This idea just doesn’t work.

  47. Andrew said

    45-Actually, let me rephrase my math a little:

    “A four degree C drop globally would mean that centuries afterward, CO2 would decrease by about one hundred ppm.”

    The decrease should be about 80 ppm

    “averaging four degrees globally”

    Should be five degrees.

  48. Anonymous said

    Carrick,

    The thing about ENSO is that it is not a sudden warming or cooling of the ocean, it is just a concentration of the warm/cool water against the coastlines. The abstract of the paper references these shifts but it doesn’t seem to me that these surface temperature shifts would correspond to large CO2 changes.

  49. Tilo Reber said

    Bruce: “Did man produce 3x as much CO2 from 1998 to 1999 as they did from 1996 to 1997?”

    This is an interesting idea. Were you thinking that the warmer water from 98 to 99 released the CO2, or were you thinking that it was the result of the effect of the El Nino on temperature? I have a problem with the temperature idea. This seems to be a fairly fast response that you are pointing to. And if it is related to temperature, we should be able to see the signal in the flat temperature trend that we have had since 98 compared to what we had before 98. If the signal is related to the release of CO2 by the water, we should still be able to identify a change in trend. From about 1950 to 1976 we had a domination of La Nina events. After 1976 there was a domination of El Nino events until about 2007. Can you see a signal in the CO2 record that corresponds to that?

    Here is the ENSO chart that I am talking to.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

  50. Carrick said

    Bruce:

    Did man produce 3x as much CO2 from 1998 to 1999 as they did from 1996 to 1997?

    We’ve had this discussion. You don’t grok frequency-based arguments, nor do you understand the influence of short-period noise on OLS trend estimates.

    Otherwise you’d know this question is meaningless.

  51. Carrick said

    Andrew:

    Carrick, I’m not sure what I’ve said or done that you are disagreeing with

    Conflating a change in atmospheric CO2 concentration caused by a temperature change, and an injection of CO2 that causes a temperature change.

  52. Carrick said

    Anonymous:

    The thing about ENSO is that it is not a sudden warming or cooling of the ocean, it is just a concentration of the warm/cool water against the coastlines. The abstract of the paper references these shifts but it doesn’t seem to me that these surface temperature shifts would correspond to large CO2 changes.

    If you think about it, this doesn’t seem to help Salby’s argument very much.

  53. kuhnkat said

    #23

    Thank you, although I think the studies on acidification are rather poor due to lack of data.

  54. kuhnkat said

    #22

    In a laboratory with a few cubic feet of atmosphere and seawater I would think so. Over 70% of the surface of the planet tiny effects can add up. Of course, I probably just don’t understand how tiny! I was kinda hoping for a rough calculation to hammer it into my hard (stubborn) head.

  55. kuhnkat said

    One of the ideas that I had wondered about is the temperature issue. The surface levels of the ocean are closer to an equilibrium and would not be a major source of increase or decrease, just the annual change.

    The upwelling areas I would think would be a source of water that could be significantly different in content than the general surface. Hasn’t the upwelling areas been measured as a co2 source at a higher rate than the rest of the ocean??

    http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/releases2003/oct03/noaa03-131.html

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8877

    On other words, the state of CO2 in the atmosphere when the water went down would be a large determinant. Depending on how long the water stayed on the bottom would determine the lag. As at least one study showed water coming up in various areas of the northern Atlantic not long after downwelling, it is quite variable.

  56. Bruce said

    Carrick: “Otherwise you’d know this question is meaningless.”

    You refuse to answer. Got it.

  57. Additional information:

    Today I learned that the tenacious SSM, the Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun, was concluded at an international study week held in the ‘Bilderberg’ near Arnhem, Netherlands, on 17 through 21 April 1967 “with the aim of obtaining an internationally acceptable model of the solar photosphere and low chromosphere” [ O. Gingerich and Cees de Jager, “The Bilderberg Model of the Photosphere and Low Chromosphere”, Solar Physics 3, issue 1 (1968) pages 5-25]:

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1968SoPh….3….5G

    Wikipedia reports that Henry Kissing was a participant of Bilderberg in 1957, 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 2008, and 2011

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bilderberg_participants#Presidents

  58. Steve Garcia said

    The moral of the story is, we don’t really know a lot of things about AGW to enough certainty that any reaction is justified. We don’t know enough about the consequences of our reactions to know if they are helpful either.

    Jeff, I would refer to what Michael Crichton talked about in “State of Fear,” that when we did what we thought was best in Yellowstone – kill off the wolves – we created a “situation” that was completely unforeseen. With the best of intentions, we royally screwed things up – the prey population went out of control, which overpopulation caused much starvation. Thinking we knew what the “balance of nature” was, we pointed at “the bad guy” and just didn’t know what in the hell we were doing.

    Replace wolves with human activity and replace balance of nature with global warming, and it is the exact same thing with Kyoto. CAGW is totally based on the assumption that there was a balance before human industrial activity began, an overall balance that was non-varying. That is apparent in their assessment that is paraphrased often, that the ONLY difference in the whole mix is the level of human activity, therefore it can’t be anything else.

    Again, industrial activity = wolves/predators/Bambi’s mother’s killers = bad guys/demons.

    And sea levels/polar bears/coral reefs/our grankids’ planet/Gaia = deer/elks/Bambi’s mother = poor little innocent victims.

    They just keep recycling the same old Big Bad Wolves and Disney demons-vs-angels fantasies, going for a knee-jerk emotional response, but doing a one-to-one replacement.

  59. I notice here and at Dr. Curry’s blog that Eric can’t seem to count. Most of the skeptics are saying three things. 1. It is interesting. 2. Wait for the paper. 3. It will be hard to counter the meaurements (isotope and CO2 increase close to anthropogenic) and the mass balance at the same time.

    I suppose mathlab has a problem with such simple additions.

  60. Bruce said

    Carrick, for those into cycles:

    “This ties in exactly with what Dr. Salby has found. The Earth’s temperature starts to swing in a direction and the CO2 level follows.”

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2011/08/curious-about-the-latest-co2-paper/

  61. Mark T said

    I notice here and at Dr. Curry’s blog that Eric can’t seem to count.

    Based on the rather public spanking he recently received by a few “amateurs,” I’m guessing there are a lot of things he can’t do, including the stuff he actually has “expertise” in. Apparently he is a soothsayer, however, with the ability to rebut a paper six weeks before it has been released. Quite amazing. We should call him “Eric the Seer” or something other than “Eric the Fool” which has otherwise been his moniker as far as I have been concerned.

    Mark

  62. “2. Wait for the paper.”

    “Apparently he is a soothsayer, however, with the ability to rebut a paper six weeks before it has been released.”

    This is rich. A podcast is being heavily promoted on sceptic blogs, with of course, much discussion. But if Eric should presume to say anything, he’s way too premature.

  63. Anonymous said

    Yes, especially when he has dissed the paper before it is published and then comes running around to Judith Curry’s blog and Jeff’s blog chiding them for even discussing it. We know what is rich and what is not rich especially when a RC Autocrat deems to tell other blogs what they should write and not write and what is correct or not. So you go ahead and carry water for Eric and the crowd. We’ll state what we feel about his behaviour and if he wants to, let him come here and offer his rebuttal. Did he appoint you as a mouthpiece to speak on his behalf?

  64. Jeff Id said

    Nick,

    I believe there are enough qualifiers in my post to deem me as ‘waiting for judgement’. Are you fair to say that I am ‘promoting’ anything?

  65. Mark T said

    This is rich. A podcast is being heavily promoted on sceptic blogs, with of course, much discussion. But if Eric should presume to say anything, he’s way too premature.

    Yeah, right, a podcast. Damn you’re an idiot.

    Did he appoint you as a mouthpiece to speak on his behalf?

    Nick was appointed their mouthpiece during cheerleading camp this summer.

    Mark

  66. Yess, Jeff, you were fairly careful – but some weren’t.

    But there is a blog post, and lots of people are commenting, pro and con. Eric has a valid objection. Why can’t he make it?

  67. Mark T said

    Eric has a valid objection. Why can’t he make it?

    Nobody said he can’t make it. Can you even read?

    Until he has actually listened to the podcast and read the paper, no, sorry, his objection is not valid. Eric the Fool has obviously not done either (certainly he has not read the paper,) which makes his ojection nothing but a guess.

    Mark

  68. TerryMN said

    Don’t be so quick to dismiss Steig’s comments about bad papers – he has first-hand knowledge of how to write them. ;)

  69. Mark T said

    Hehe, yeah, I think I made a similar point above. Nick, of course, spent quite a bit of effort defending Eric the Fool’s paper to no avail. It must suck betting on the horse that always comes in last.

    Mark

  70. To Nick:

    Eric said:
    Jeff, I couldn’t resist coming over here to see what you might say about latest random bit of unthinking from Judy Curry. I’m disappointed. Hint: the surface ocean has a declining trend in 13C/12C ratios, just like the atmosphere.

    Jeff had said: Judith Curry has an interesting post on just what might be causing CO2 increases other than mankind. Hell, even I was convinced that man likely caused CO2 increases. It appears that there is some evidence that the CO2 rise may not be all completely our fault.

    Just what did Eric say that is a valid objection to Jeff?

    What gives Eric the legitimate position of being disappointed? Jeff used “might”, stated he was (had been) convinced that man likely caused the CO2 increases, and that there was evidence it MAY not be ALL completely our fault. If Eric had simply stated or asked “how about the mass balance? It would be ok. But what is this disappointed? That the paper is not available, is the disappointment that Jeff can’t produce the paper, or that Jeff would even consider perhaps Salby is on to something.

    I think Salby is going to show that using models that indicate a 100+ year residence time for the psuedo equilibrium to CO2 emissions to equilibrate to a perturbation or disturbance is correct. But, I could be wrong. I find the 13C/12C ratios somewhat limited due to their assumptions. However, the mass balance and the increase, the amount of emissions, and the reaction of the sinks, where the sinks are absorbing about 50% contra indicate that it could be something other than man. But, I could be wrong.

  71. Carrick said

    Bruce…actually thanks for the link. I’ll note there’s a difference between a trend and an oscillation. I’ll repeat what I said earlier, maybe it will sink in: If CO2 increase is dominated by ENSO, it should show up as a large fluctuating component with a small shift in DC offset over time.

    What we see is the opposite.

    I think you need to stop looking at annual variations and think that will tell us anything about processes that operate over decadal periods.

    Mark T: I don’t think you’re being entirely fair here. Somebody can put forth an idea, and there are times we can see the argument as wrong, because of familiarity with aspects of the data, without seeing the particulars of their argument.

    Arguing over whether Eric has a valid reason to be disappointed….is senseless. If that is really his emotional response to seeing this post, it is what it is.

  72. Bruce said

    “The constancy of seasonal variations in CO2 and the lack of time delays between the hemispheres suggest that fossil fuel derived CO2 is almost totally absorbed locally in the year it is emitted. This implies that natural variability of the climate is the prime cause of increasing CO2, not the emissions of CO2 from the use of fossil fuels.

    ‘Sources and Sinks of Carbon Dioxide’, by Tom Quirk, Energy and Environment, Volume 20, pages 103-119.”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/08/blockbuster-planetary-temperature-controls-co2-levels-not-humans/

  73. Here is a blog entry posted by John Kehr,worth a look.He did some analysis and made charts to show the level of impact the oceans have on CO2 cycling:

    Curious about the latest CO2 Paper

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2011/08/curious-about-the-latest-co2-paper/

    EXCERPT:

    The recent presentation by Dr. Murry Salby is getting lots of attention. I have now listened to his podcast and I must say it is intriguing. Instead of rehashing discussion that has been done to death on other sites I am going to show some things that I found previously that tie in well with his paper. I didn’t understand what I found at the time, but now it is clear that what I found actually supports what he is proposing. That human emissions have almost no impact that global CO2.

  74. kuhnkat said

    I hate it but I have to agree with Nick. It just isn’t Eric jumping to conclusions. I know my heart LEAPT when I saw the report on the coming paper and the podcast. 8>)

    Gotta see the paper to see what has changed this man’s mind. We are simply speculating as to how solid the work is until we actually see it. Eric might be right. We deniers might be right. It might fall somewhere in between.

    Sunsettommy,

    I know one man who has been abused who I am sure is welcoming Dr. Salby’s paper. One of my hero’s, Dr. Jaworowski. Of course, if Dr. Salby’s work turns out to be solid, I won’t be holding my breath till the apologies are made to him and others!!

  75. kuhnkat said

    I forgot another man who won’t be present to see himself exhonerated, Dr. Beck. The success of Dr. Salby’s paper would make Dr. Beck’s collection and cleaning of the historic CO2 measurements a useful and used data base.

  76. OldUnixHead said

    Jeff,

    I don’t recall where I saw this, but I remember seeing a discussion in the last few years about petroleum/CH4 seeps that indicated a really tremendous amount of hydrocarbons are emitted naturally from all the seafloors around the world. I assume that most of it gets metabolized by oceanic protists to CO2 and carbonates. I have no idea whether these CO2 emissions could significantly affect the ocean and atmospheric C13/C12 ratios, but it’s something more to consider.

  77. Venter said

    Nick as usual is spinning BS at post#66. If you have an issue with Wattsupwiththat’ss posts go there and complain. You came here complaining about Nick’s blog comment and blogposts replying to Eric’s post. When challenged, you do your usual disinformation and obfuscation by pointing out to comments at WUWT. Eric posted at Curry’s blog and here and responses were given to his posts. You defended Eric in this blog and there were responses to your defence. That’s the trail here. Eric did not post at WUWT and he was not discussed there. Your smokecreens and obfuscations don’t fool anyone.

  78. #77 “go there and complain”
    Well, I tried. But the issue to me was the absurdity of posting a podcast (which I agree is premature and makes for unsatisfactory discussion), discussing it at length, and then telling Eric that he should wait for the paper before commenting.

    Jeff said his post was non-judgmental, which is fine (but then, why post now?). I simply pointed out that others weren’t, so if there are facts to add to the discussion, it’s reasonable to do it now. In fact Eric’s comment was on the discussion, not the podcast.

    Eric, when he wants to say something to a sceptic audience, seems to prefer this blog as a venue. I can understand that.

  79. Venter said

    Well Nick, more obfuscation. Let’s lay down the facts

    Eric Steig posted his comments here.

    Posters here responded to his comments saying that he should first read the paper and comment before dissing it.

    You rose to Eric’s defense here with your statement in post # 62.

    You were called out on that. Jeff stated that he qualified his opinion about the paper very clearly.

    Then you point to WUWT as an example of who did not call out. That was completely unrelYated to the discussion and responses to Eric’s post in this blog. As as usual, you were obfuscating and misdirecting, got called out and then as usual gave obscure responses pointing elsewhere. So what’s new?

    And let’s go to what you tried at WUWT. Your first comment was snipped because you posted without even having listened to the podcast. Got it? You were spreading pre-determined BS about the podcast without listening to it. Here’s your second post and Anthony’s response to it

    QUOTE

    Nick Stokes says:

    Anthony, my comment at 3:41 am was far from being the first. My comments were based on the abstract. Is the rule that everyone has to have listened to the podcast in full before commenting?

    REPLY: It has nothing to do with being first or not, it has everything to do with the content of your comment. You made no claims of listening to the podcast, but then commented on the lack of anything substantial, saying “we have nothing written” while taking the entire issue to task complaining you have nothing to go on. Now you say you were commenting on the abstract. Clearly then you didn’t listen.

    Sorry Nick, given you past behavior here with thread hijacks, I simply don’t believe you. Listen to the podcast, then diss it all you want. – Anthony

    UNQUOTE

    So Nick your behaviour was crystal clear. Your reputation on misdirecting and spreading deliberate disinformation is well established. Just like Eric dissed the paper without reading and got tanned by commenters, you dissed the podcast without listening and got pulled up for it.

    And as far as Eric is concerned, yes, he made one post at Judith Curry’s place and one post here and then turned tail and ran without responding to any of the comments. He did not have the guts to stand behind his post and argue with facts. Possibly the experience of the echo chamber at RC where he is unquestioningly obeyed and deferred to, has prevented him from understanding how discussions and debates take place in the real world. He is used to sermonising from the pulpit, not debating.

  80. #79,
    My comment that got suppressed was quite explicitly on something that was said in the abstract, which was reprinted in the post.

    If everyone had to listen to the podcast to comment, there would have been much silence.

    I asked Anthony if he had listened to the podcast. No response.

    Have you listened to the podcast? If you could summarise it, I’d be grateful. I did listen, but found it very hard to follow.

  81. steve fitzpatrick said

    Nick Stokes,

    I listened to the podcast. Salby seemed to be saying that he could show large increases in CO2 could be due to more rapid release of CO2, mostly caused by more rapid degradation of carbohydrate stocks in the soil. He suggested warmer temperatures and more moisture availability in the soil were responsible. He may also have hinted at increased non-biological releases. Without the graphs, it was a little hard to follow. I suspect Salby is mistaken about this, mainly because a change of 0.8C (almost half of which took place before CO2 started rising rapidly) in average temperature ought not make that much difference in the rate of CO2 release from land, especially since carbohydrate degradation is often (usually?) limited by other factors… nutrients, oxygen availability, etc. Then there is the discrepancy between what CO2 levels you would expect for the last interglacial based on warmth and what is found in ice cores. I will still read the paper when it becomes available, even though it is likely to have problems.

    WRT why Anthony has a burr under his saddle when it comes to Nick Stokes: I suspect it is mostly because you seem never willing to acknowledge the reality of even glaring cases where either a) published work in climate science is obvious wrong, or b) climate scientists have behaved in inappropriate, counterproductive, and perhaps even illegal ways. Your tireless defenses of the indefensible, which do routinely involve diverting attention from the real issue, as Anthony noted, become an irritation to some; it also gives the impression (correct or not) that your mind is made up and no new information can possibly have an impact on what you think. My personal impression is that you consciously choose to act as an advocate for climate science, not someone who wants to understand how Earth’s climate really works. If you do not want to give that impression, then you might start by (dare I say it?) being a bit more skeptical and by acknowledging that climate science (like all human activities) is much less than perfect. Simple statements like “Yes, O’Donnell et al show clearly that the Steig et al conclusions about widespread Antarctic warming are incorrect; Eric should acknowledge that fact and move on” would be a good start. Best to leave the “climate science is always right” POV to Tamino and the folks who run RealClimate; it is tiresome enough at those blogs. Taking that obtuse POV elsewhere just pisses people off. Please forgive my frank words if they offend.

  82. #80 Nick, you are once again proving posts #77 and #79. Bringing WUWT and Anthony in here is just dumb. Besides IIRC you are always banging about that we do our homework and here you are asking us to do yours. Get a grip, you are coming up lame.

    Eric came in and did a drive by posting here and at Dr. Curry’s. He had an opportunity to demonstrate just what Salby needed to overcome in order for it to be a WOW. He did’nt. Quit trying to make yourself and Eric the victims. You aren’t, it won’t wash, and it stinks.

    There were easily a dozen comments before Eric’s at ClimateEtc from skeptics questioning how it could somehow change what we know about the mass balance or some other factor like C12/c13 ratios. Here was a chance for Eric to talk with and understand that skeptics are skeptical. BUT NOOOO!! It is more important to take the hosts to task than score some points with the unfaithful. And people wonder why the church of CAGW gets such a bad rap. Sheesh!

    Y’all don’t need to do more science; more of you need to go to divinity school so you would understand that you need the unfaithful if you a world movement, not just your choirboys and alter servers. The “Y’all” for that master of divinity, Al, the Bore, Gore, in case you didn’t catch his most recent kerfuffle, and sermon.

  83. #81 “Your tireless defenses of the indefensible, which do routinely involve diverting attention from the real issue, as Anthony noted, become an irritation to some; “

    Well, yes, I know that I express a minority view here. And a minority view, expressed as debate, takes up more than its share of the time.

    But in the outside world, it isn’t a minority view. Steig, Mann, Jones etc remain scientists in high standing. Various “indefensibles” have had their defences accepted by duly appointed commissions. It’s an article of faith here that these are worthless whitewashes, but in the larger world, it is they who represent the majority view.

    So while you may find me a nuisance, I think this outsider view is one that folks need to come to terms with.

    And John #82, you might like to review the sequence by which WUWT was brought in. I cited the WUWT post as an example (widely read) where judgments were passed based on a podcast. It was not a protracted point. The rest was mainly Venter.

  84. Jeff Id said

    Various “indefensibles” have had their defences accepted by duly appointed commissions.

    That’s rich. Nick blindly accepting a fake committee’s view and saying that we are the ones who take it on ‘faith’. Take it back Nick, that’s a load of garbage as big as any I’ve seen.

  85. Nick perhaps you should reread what I wrote and you wrote. You brought up WUWT in response to matters of Eric. Perhaps I missed the logic, or perhaps it is not there. We were talking of Eric’s drive by posting. #79 is about Eric and inappropriateness of bringing WUWT. You brought it while we were discussing Eric’s post. I can’t decide if it is the Prosecutor’s fallacy or the other. Perhaps you could help us.

  86. Jeff,
    I’m simply stating as a fact that duly appointed committees made those findings. I’m not saying they have to be accepted. I’m not saying that they formed my views (of course, they didn’t). I’m simply saying that they are duly appointed. They are part of the majority government process. That can’t be ignored.

  87. #85
    John, what I originally said was “A podcast is being heavily promoted on sceptic blogs”. I was contrasting that with the standard being applied to Eric that he shouldn’t comment before publication. Jeff took this as a reference to his post. It wasn’t what I was primarily thinking of, and so I agreed that, yes, he’d been fairly careful, but some hadn’t.

    My point was, and is, simply that you can’t say that a scientific claim can be vigorously advocated on the basis of a podcast, but that criticism must await publication..

  88. Jeff Id said

    “That can’t be ignored.”

    Why not?

  89. And our point was we can have a good conversation trying to figure out if there is some basis, which looks unlikely.

    But I would point out that a podcast about a paper scheduled to be published, and a paper yet to be written or accepted, or an argument withsome details are different. The podcast had some details.

    I presume this is the post from you: This is rich. A podcast is being heavily promoted on sceptic blogs, with of course, much discussion. But if Eric should presume to say anything, he’s way too premature.

    Eric said: Jeff, I couldn’t resist coming over here to see what you might say about latest random bit of unthinking from Judy Curry. I’m disappointed. Hint: the surface ocean has a declining trend in 13C/12C ratios, just like the atmosphere. Think.

    Let’s see “Unthinking” Judy, and “Hinting” Eric, how do I choose? Dr. Curry stated “If”, and Eric hints. But you think Eric was taken to task for presuming to say something, where as I think he was taken to task for not saying something. Other than snark. Take his 13C/12C ratios and there is little disagreement with CO2 exchange from air, water and the biomass. Why shouldn’t they decline at the same rate, no matter what the source. They are in constant flux and exchange. Without saying, just hinting, how could we discuss the assumptions of Salby versus others, such as Eric’s ratio statement.

  90. Venter said

    Nick, I have listened to the podcast and while it makes interesting points I will wait for the paper to read it fully and understand. That is unlike you and Eric who already dissed it before reading the paper and in fact you before even listening to the podcast.

    And by the way I repeat once more that what was posted about the podcast in WUWT has no relevance to what you were discussing here about Eric’s post here, understand? This bog is called Air Vent and the discussion was about comments given by posters here about Eric Steig’s comment here which you defended here. Do you get it or do you find it incapable to understand simple english?

    John, this is Nick’s usual modus operandi. He will obfuscate, divert, make false statements knowingly with intent to deceive and generally do anything to justify pro-AGW bad practice and defend his stand. You can see his role models. You can judge his ethics from his posts and heroes. The world in which these people are held in so called high esteem does not exist outside RC and a few pro-AGW boards and institutions. The number of people who have seen through these games and got disgusted is increasing and their edifice is crumbling. Hence all this hysteria shown by the establishment.

  91. Yes, Venter, but it is Sunday morning, and Nick is sometimes funnier than the Sunday comics. Especially when Jeff asks him such a simple question “Why not?”

  92. steve fitzpatrick said

    Nick Stokes,
    Thanks for your reply. You either completely missed the point of what I was saying, or you truly are just an advocate for climate science.

    Your complaint about being thought a nuisance because you are an outsider is nonsense; you are a nuisance because you refuse to address substantive issues. You refuse to answer simple and direct questions. You refuse to rationally discuss doubts raised about the accuracy of climate science predictions on the technical merits. Like Eric, you only do drive-by obfuscation; only political nonsense. And yes, lots of people do not like that. You said:

    So while you may find me a nuisance, I think this outsider view is one that folks need to come to terms with.

    Let me clarify: I do not find you a nuisance, I find you a waste of time. Eric is also not a nuisance, he is a waste of time. If you consider how much progress has been made towards a political consensus, you might recognize that your statement could be better applied to how climate science deals with “outsiders” than the reverse. You might also consider that virtually all of climate science is publicly funded. Failure to come to terms with outsiders, practicing blatant political advocacy, and dismissing the concerns and doubts of the voting public without ever addressing them, are surefire ways to invite reduced public funding…. and in this case, a well deserved reduction, IMO. I will be writing to my representatives in Washington to suggest a 25% budget cut at GISS. That might help focus some minds about how they want to interact with outsiders in the future.

    Adeus.

  93. steve fitzpatrick said

    Jeff,
    I messed up the blockquote termination above. I would appreciate if you could fix it..

    REPLY: Done.

  94. #88
    “Why not?”
    Because it’s majority governance. It’s how things are determined. Railing against it on blogs doesn’t change things. If you want to change the way science is done, or funded, you need to understand the thinking behind how it is currently done.

  95. Venter said

    Spot on Steve, Nick is under the impression that somebody needs to come to terms with him. That’s a larf. Nick needs to come to terms with the fact that he has been caught with his pants down too often and is not to be trusted on anything he says with respect to climate science. he has to put it in plain language, stated lies and fabricated stories too often and all the skeptic blogs have actually been more than tolerant to his antics.

  96. #91 “it is Sunday morning,”
    It’s midnight here, so goodnight all.

  97. Goodnight Nick. As you sleep, perhaps you will think of a comment that supports your contention we took Eric to task for presuming to say something, rather as we see his comment as a non-comment.

  98. Brian H said

    Venter;
    Please apologize to Jeff immediately for calling this a “bog”. That was unkind and uncalled-for. >:( ;)
    ;p

  99. #98,
    Well, Venter says it’s where you get caught with your pants down. Or at least I do.

  100. Venter said

    Brian H, for sure, our host deserves an unreserved apology. ;-)

    And yes, blame it in Nick for trying to convert it into one!

  101. See also:

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/08/thank-you-president-klaus

    Oliver

  102. Eric Steig said

    Folks, google is your friend. What, now I have to offer free web search classes too?

    Sheesh.

    Look at the following paper and various references therein, for just one of a myriad examples to support the simple fact I pointed out.

    http://europa.agu.org/?view=article&uri=/journals/gb/gb0301/2001GB001817/2001GB001817.xml&t=gb,quay

    Quay et al., 2003, GLOBAL BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES, VOL. 17, NO. 1, 1004, doi:10.1029/2001GB001817

    Changes in the 13C/12C of dissolved inorganic carbon in the ocean as a tracer of anthropogenic CO2 uptake

    Measurements of the δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon primarily during World Ocean Circulation Experiment and the Ocean Atmosphere Carbon Exchange Study cruises in the 1990s are used to determine ocean-wide changes in the δ13C that have occurred due to uptake of anthropogenic CO2. This new ocean-wide δ13C data set (∼25,000 measurements) substantially improves the usefulness of δ13C as a tracer of the anthropogenic CO2 perturbation. The global mean δ13C change in the surface ocean is estimated at −0.16 ± 0.02‰ per decade between the 1970s and 1990s with the greatest changes observed in the subtropics and the smallest changes in the polar and southern oceans. The global mean air-sea δ13C disequilibrium in 1995 is estimated at 0.60 ± 0.10‰ with basin-wide disequilibrium values of 0.73, 0.63, and 0.23‰ for the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans, respectively. The global mean depth-integrated anthropogenic change in δ13C between the 1970s and 1990s was estimated at −65 ± 33‰ m per decade. These new estimates of air-sea δ13C disequilibrium and depth-integrated δ13C changes yield an oceanic CO2 uptake rate of 1.5 ± 0.6 Gt C yr−1 between 1970 and 1990 based on the atmospheric CO2 and 13CO2 budget approaches of Quay et al. [1992] and Tans et al. [1993] and the dynamic method of Heimann and Maier-Reimer [1996]. Box-diffusion model simulations of the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2 and its δ13C perturbation indicate that a CO2 uptake rate of 1.9 ± 0.4 Gt C yr−1 (1970–1990) explains both the observed surface ocean and depth-integrated δ13C changes. Constraining a box diffusion ocean model to match both the observed δ13C and bomb 14C changes yields an oceanic CO2 uptake rate of 1.7 ± 0.2 Gt C yr−1 (1970–1990). The oceanic CO2 uptake rates derived from anthropogenic changes in ocean δ13C are similar to rates determined by atmospheric CO2 and O2 budgets [Battle et al., 2000], atmospheric δ13C and CO2 measurements [Ciais et al., 1995], and GCM simulations [Orr et al., 2001].

  103. Layman Lurker said

    Folks, google is your friend. What, now I have to offer free web search classes too?

    As long as it’s not stats ;)

    Seriously Eric, if you are suggesting that we should not accept Murray Salby’s argument on the basis of a blog post or a podcast most at tAV would agree. Personally, I wouldn’t dismiss it either, but I don’t have your knowledge of the topic.

  104. kuhnkat said

    Eric,

    so, if you like the paper then the results are gospel and no one coming later can find anything different??

    Nope, that is not science. I do believe I will wait for the paper and the data anyway. 8>)

  105. Venter said

    Eric,

    Read the paper, then diss it for all you want stating scientific reasons. And publish your rebuttal in peer-reviewed journal, maybe the same journal where the original paper was published. If I recall, that was your challenge to people who dissed Steig et.al., isn’t it? They did it and successfully published their rebuttal. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So how about you follow the scientific method and your own advice, read the paper, write a rebuttal and publish it in peer-reviewed literature?

    And free classes, no thanks, not if it’s to be like Matlab or statistics.

  106. Thanks Dr. Steig, I am partial to Quay’s works. I can’t reconcile the mass balances available, Quay’s and others work, with Dr. Salby’s. Can you suggest a mechanism that does? To me it appears he has somehow misidentifiied temperature dependent CO2 variations with net variation and trend. The mass balance alone, irrespective of C12/C13 ratios, is enough to indicate a problem. I don’t see how a sink in anthropogenic emssions with a net increase in atmospheric content indicate anything other than emissions have to count as the larger driving force to a new equilibrium concentration. But I am curious as to what the paper will say.

  107. steve fitzpatrick said

    Eric,

    Folks, google is your friend. What, now I have to offer free web search classes too?

    Sheesh

    Thank you for posting a link to a relevant paper. It is clear, if you read the comments here and and Judith Curry’s blog, that most people who have done some reading and thinking about the subject are quite skeptical of Salby’s argument.

    But pretentious sarcasm is not your friend. One does not have to believe or disbelieve Salby’s argument to see clearly that how Eric Steig chooses to interact with people he does not know is often counterproductive. If you had just said: “If you Google ‘…. search terms…..’, you will find many relevant papers on this subject. For example, look at the following paper and various references therein, for just one of a myriad of examples that show why Salby’s argument is almost certainly incorrect.” and then pasted in the abstract, that would have been a 100% constructive comment, and especially so for people who may not have already read much about the subject. It would have taken no more time. Instead you choose to add some pretentious sarcasm, which seems designed only to hurt those who don’t those don’t already understand the technical arguments, and offend those who do.

    I manufacture and sell laboratory instruments. The principles by which those instruments work, and all of the technology involved in implementation of those principles, is rarely fully understood by the people who use the instruments (AKA, my customers); no surprise there. I often receive questions which show a rather profound lack of technical background/understanding of relevant subjects; I don’t consider that lack of understanding to be a justification to spout sarcastic insults. A researcher developing viral vector delivery of genetic material to cancer cells may not understand a great deal about my instruments. He may draw very incorrect conclusions and formulate incorrect arguments as a result of his lack of understanding. He may even claim that my instrument is faulty or not capable of producing accurate results, and demand that it be “fixed”. He is still worthy of a respectful response, even when he is almost certainly incorrect. The public (climate science’s only customers) are similarly worthy of respectful responses from climate scientists.

  108. Jeff Id said

    Eric,

    You should relax a little.

    Folks, google is your friend. What, now I have to offer free web search classes too?

    I just appreciate someone who knows the various sources better than I. Isn’t the premise of RC to ask the experts? It is the further premise to accept the experts at all costs that drives me nuts but I think you’ll find that most here will accept advice from those who are more knowledgeable. My own question was whether you have opinions on the ‘best’ work/datasets etc. I appreciate the link.

  109. Mark T said

    Steig isn’t interested in being constructive, Steve, he’s simply looking for payback. Weasels work that way.

  110. Mark T, though this is the Air Vent, I wish unnecessary remarks were left unwritten. Some of us hope to get Dr. Steig to comment on what possibly could be what Salby is banging on about. I want to see if there is a possibilty and study it before the paper comes out so I am ahead. And Steig did come back with a good response. The errors in the GtC would need to be explained before one could claim what Salby claimed, or the best that could be said is that the “natural” response could or may be possible, but still would be unlikely to explain how the mass balance should work out, leading to an added layer of supposition, in which case the present conclusions of anthropogenic emissions forcing would be better supported. But perhaps Dr. Steig knows of something remotely likely that we could look at.

  111. Jeff Id said

    Learning is more fun than fighting.

  112. timetochooseagain said

    As someone on the “skeptic” side who is in fact quite skeptical of this idea, I must say I do wish Eric Steig would come at this in a nicer way. I hope that we can have a productive conversation about this, in a manner that is uniquely possible here at the Air Vent. We would appreciate hearing the arguments, and I for one suspect that, as unlikely as he may believe it to be, many here will agree with him, if he can do so in a manner that is not condescending. Attitude matters, condescension and incredulity about the honesty of inquirers breeds more doubters.

  113. TerryMN said

    What, now I have to offer free web search classes too?

    Eric, with that attitude, my estimation is that you’d last about 3 weeks before getting fired (and having a wholesale change of behavior) outside of academia.

    /That’s a free “real life” class. You’re welcome.

  114. steve fitzpatrick said

    Timetochooseagain,

    many here will agree with him, if he can do so in a manner that is not condescending

    Sure, but I don’t know if a) he can, and b) if he wants to.

    Yes, the arrogant “I am right and you are stupid” approach so frequently used by well known climate scientists will never help them educate people they believe are mistaken. It will in fact do exactly the opposite; it only makes people less willing to listen.

    The question is if people like Eric (and he is only an example, not unique in this respect) imagine that insulting the people you are trying to communicate with is a productive strategy. I hope that Eric, and other climate scientists who adopt the same approach, are simply tone deaf when it comes to effective communication, rather than actually trying to offend those they communicate with about climate science. But I am not sure which it is. If they really are trying to insult, rather than educate/communicate, then there seems little hope they will change.

  115. Mark T said

    Mark T, though this is the Air Vent, I wish unnecessary remarks were left unwritten.

    Oh well. If Steig wanted to be treated like an equal or someone worth listening to, he would not have behaved as he did regarding the paper Ryan, Steve M., and Jeff published. I am of the firm opinion “burn me once, your fault, burn me twice, my fault.” I still do not trust Judith Curry for the same reasons (though I have lightened.) Liars do not even normally merit any attention as far as I am concerned.

    Some of us hope to get Dr. Steig to comment on what possibly could be what Salby is banging on about.

    Why? He has no special expertise in this area. His opinion is no different than any other, and based on his lack of understanding of his own work, that which he supposedly *is* an expert in, his opinion actually ranks even lower.

    Mark

  116. Layman Lurker said

    In fairness to Eric, I think in #102 he was just having a little fun with his infamous “matlab class” remark. If Eric wants to come to tAV and participate in a discussion on carbon / co2 cycle he will find what Gavin found last year, that if he makes his points and arguments and allows people to respond without getting defensive, he will likely enjoy a stimulating discussion.

  117. Venter said

    Mark at 117, spot on. What makes Eric an expert in this area? To be blunt, he has not shown expertise in his own published work about the antartic warming. He has not shown expertise, humility or fairness as a reviewer of O’Donnell et.al. with his behaviour as a reviewer. That paper bleow away Steig et. al. He has not shown any class in his behaviour with his posts and responses at RC or with the posts he made at JC’s blog and here.

    By what right should be be considered as an expert?

    Let the facts and maths about Eric’s behaviour and work be the judge of whether he is an expert.

  118. kuhnkat said

    #110, John,

    “The errors in the GtC would need to be explained before one could claim what Salby claimed,”

    That is why we need the paper. No data, no idea whether the claims have any basis in fact since current data does not seem to support it.

  119. Mark T said

    Which also leads to the simple fact that condemnation of his ideas is as specious as acceptance. Hence Steig’s post is just an argumentum ad ignorantium in disguise.

    Mark

  120. Carrick said

    Mark T:

    Which also leads to the simple fact that condemnation of his ideas is as specious as acceptance

    Actually this would only be true if his idea existed in a vacuum. If somebody sets forth a proposition, we generally don’t need to hear their reasoning to evaluate it, since there is a corpus of knowledge on this subject already.

  121. Mark T said

    Bullshit. You have ni knowledge of how Salby addressed the points made in here. To argue he’s wrong without knowing how he addressed these points is scientology, not dcience. Don’t sink to this same level of ignorance, you’re smarter than this.

    Mark

  122. DeWitt Payne said

    Bruce,

    C4 plants are less efficient at discriminating between 13C and 12C, but all plant growth, including C4, acts to increase the ratio of 13C/12C in the atmosphere. What we’re seeing is a decrease in δ13C in the atmosphere and the ocean. We’re also seeing a decrease in the ratio of oxygen to nitrogen with the computed loss of oxygen being about equal to what would be expected from fossil fuel consumption. If what we were seeing were a function of temperature with a time constant of ~2,000 years (ocean mixing time), atmospheric CO2 would be decreasing because it was warmer 6,000 years ago than now. The fluctuations in the last 500 years wouldn’t have had time to do much even if the temperature coefficient were high enough, which it isn’t.

    Salby is wrong. I don’t need to listen to the podcast or read some future paper. Simple mass balance calculations are enough. If you want more detail, Ferdinand Englebeen has it in spades.

  123. kuhnkat said

    Carrick and DeWitt,

    I find it interesting that neither of you put any probability on the possibility that a qualified Atmospheric Specialist might not know what y’all know about the literature. I would think there is a definite possibility that he may know a tiny bit MORE than both of you. (wag as I do not know the depth and breadth of your knowledge)

    Point being, he may have something that detracts from or changes the emphasis of the known work. Whatever it is seems to have swayed him.

    Of course, maybe the Koch Brothers have made it worth his while? 8>)

  124. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: kuhnkat (Aug 13 22:36),

    Gerlich and Tscheuschner are highly reputable physicists. I’m sure they know a lot more about physics than I do. That doesn’t stop me from considering their greenhouse falsification paper ( http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf , not sure that this is the final version) is better suited to lining bird cages than to be taken seriously. Anybody can be wrong including me. But in this case it’s long odds that Salby is correct and Carrick and I are wrong.

    Let me put it this way: If someone sent you a link to a presentation by a ‘qualified physicist’ on how he has invented a perpetual motion machine, would you take it seriously? Salby’s conjecture is on that level.

  125. kuhnkat said

    DeWitt,

    I see you would rather insult the man rather than consider even the tiniest possibility that the man may know something you do not. That obviously is your choice. It just doesn’t look very pretty to see that kind of judgement from someone who presents himself as rather unbiased and scientifically minded.

    Have a nice evening.

  126. DeWitt Payne said

    Kuhnkat,

    Gavin Schmidt commenting on Salby:

    [Response: To a large degree being a scientist is all about correctly judging (most of the time) what is and what is not a fruitful line of research. Statistical reworkings of data has been available for years and which are well explained by our standard understanding, do not fall into the category of something that is going radically going to change our understanding. It is far more likely that someone a little out of their field, who isn't up to date, and has made the (very common) mistake of over-interpreting their statistics. The question to be asked in such circumstances is what would be implied if the conclusion was correct? In this case, it would imply radically bigger changes of co2 during the ice ages, some completely unknown source of carbon that dominates all others. This would be extraordinary, and would require far more than a few correlations to demonstrate to anyone else's satisfaction. I very much doubt you will see this 'play out' in the literature over the next few years. - gavin]

    In other words, part of being a productive scientist is having a finely tuned BS detector. Mine wrapped its needle around the peg on this one as it did for G&T and the recent drivel from Postma. If you treat everything that comes out with equal respect, you’re going to be buried and never find out anything.

  127. Carrick said

    MarkT:

    Bullshit. You have ni knowledge of how Salby addressed the points made in here. To argue he’s wrong without knowing how he addressed these points is scientology, not dcience. Don’t sink to this same level of ignorance, you’re smarter than this.

    There are many assertions that I don’t need help from the author deciding whether I find them plausible or not. This is a case of having an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.

    You and kuhnkat have very selective rules about what is allowed to have scorn heaped on it, and what needs to be treated with upmost deference, and this largely seems outcome based (whether you would find the results agreeable.)

    I treat drivel as drivel regardless of the source, and regardless of whether I would like the implications or not. If you want to make up rules about how science is supposed to treat “everything with equal respect”—when neither of you do that yourself—I don’t think you’re going to find many people who find that a very convincing position to take.

  128. kuhnkat said

    DeWitt,

    Gavin is part of the group that cannot even model the MWP much less the Greenhouse earth, Ice Ages, or even the full Holocene and cannot explain why that is. not to mention Trenberth’s infamous statement from the e-mails. I am sorry but his OPINIONS need a little fact based research behind them. At some point you have to recognise that the trend has stopped and that you may need to question your assumptions.

    I am assuming at this point that you also have no confidence in the work of Dr. Jaworowski who in the 90′s did what appears to be similar to Dr. Salby’s work? And yes he did do mass computations if you are not familiar with it.

  129. Carrick said

    Good grief, say “Gavin” to some people and you get word salad.

  130. Richard T. Fowler said

    Carrick, I don’t know from this CO2 source issue, but the word “Gavin” definitely has developed some unpleasant connotations for me!

    RTF

  131. Carrick said

    Richard, I suspect so!

  132. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: kuhnkat (Aug 14 17:08),

    I’m not saying Gavin’s personal BS meter is properly calibrated or not, just that a good scientist needs one. His comment is relevant as is his logic in this case.

    To quote you:

    I see you would rather insult the man rather than consider even the tiniest possibility that the man may know something you do not.

    Oh please, not Jaworowski. CO2 does not diffuse through ice. If Salby relies on Jaworowski then it’s yet another strike against him. Next thing you’ll bring up leaf stomatal index data to prove that CO2 was higher than 280 ppmv before land use change and fossil fuel burning began to have an effect. Or even worse, Beck. Actually leaf stomata and Beck have the same problem, they measure CO2 at the surface, which can vary a lot depending on local conditions. That’s why we now measure atmospheric CO2 at places like Barrow, AK, Muana Loa and Antarctica.

    I’ve seen an interesting chart on local CO2 concentration vs wind velocity. Local CO2 concentration was inversely proportional to wind velocity with an asymptotic approach to the average global level. I’m not interested enough, though, to find the link again.

  133. kuhnkat said

    #129 Carrick,

    I am only familiar with the one Gavin. If I have missed another one known to this blog I apologize and admit this is my mistake.

  134. kuhnkat said

    DeWitt,

    Apparently this whole CO2 thing has you unhinged.

    I have no idea whether Salby has ever read Jaworowski’s work, only that there appear to be similarities based on his podcast. I note you simply start slamming the work assuming everyone KNOWS the Ordained knowledge that has been handed down to the elect. Sorry, I am an ignorant rube that came up reading all the anti sites and some of the real papers so do not know all this. Jaworowski appears reasonable to someone ignorant like myself. Based on when he was doing his work I wouldn’t have thought that there were quite as many axes out being ground. Just an ASSumption though.

    Any time to show why you think imaginary flux amounts estimated by the Ordained are any better than the imaginary flux assumptions made by the heretics?? As far as this ignorant person knows the only part of the CO2 numbers we have a handle on at all is the total atmospheric amount and the Anthropogenic contribution. Leaves about a hundred gigaton or more hole in the numbers. Just like that interesting 390 up and 324 down of surface IR, you can add or subtract from both sides and make up almost any amount you want!!

  135. Artifex said

    DeWitt,

    With all due respect, what you are claiming makes a great scientist also makes the most wretched and seems to be universally present in the worst of the true-believer activists. It’s not a very big step from “that sets off my bs meter, I don’t need to consider it ! ” to a form of Crimestop in which all dissenting information is mentally excluded so as not to upset preexisting conclusions. It depends on the internal intellectual honesty of the individual doesn’t it ? Sometimes, it is not always clear to an outside observer which exclusion principle we are looking at. Salby may have some rather pointed questions to answer, and it does look like it is 4th and long on his own 1 yard line, but I think I will withhold judgement until I actually see him answer those pointed questions. Whether he weasels or actually tries to answer will say a lot.

    As for Gavin, given that the guy can’t answer a yes/no question about data polarity without weaseling, it strikes me that Gavin is far more likely in the crimestop camp than the bs meter camp. If he says the sky is blue, I would still look up to check.

  136. Richard T. Fowler said

    Kuhnkat,

    No, we’re talking about the same Gavin. It was a bit of an inside joke, I suppose. You are not the only person here who cringes at the mention of that word.

    RTF

  137. Carrick said

    Richard:

    You are not the only person here who cringes at the mention of that word.

    Yes that is definitely true. When Gavin is speaking as a scientist, I have no cringe factor, and put a fair amount of weight on what he says.. When he goes into B-rated politician mode is when the cringing starts. I wish he had the wisdom to stick to what he is good at, which definitely isn’t his political schtick.

    I generally read what Gavin writes (same goes for James Hansen), but have to do a fair amount of disentanglement to separate the science from their agenda-driven spiels.

    Anyway, if one is truly a skeptic you take nothing anybody says at face value, and look for the boundary between their science and their personal agenda. It always exists.

    Which is why I find it interesting that people are willing to take a wait and see attitude on Salby, but Eric Steig’s quite reasonable criticism should get dismissed out of hand. That’s skepticism?

  138. Richard T. Fowler said

    “Which is why I find it interesting that people are willing to take a wait and see attitude on Salby, but Eric Steig’s quite reasonable criticism should get dismissed out of hand. That’s skepticism?”

    I must admit that it is not. But that’s about all I want to say about this issue now, because I haven’t looked into it enough to offer anything really helpful.

    Well, I will say that I personally am not just waiting and seeing on Salby; I am also thinking that what I’m reading on this page sounds far-fetched to me. And if DeWitt’s criticism of Jaworowski has merit, then that casts Salby’s work in an even less-favorable light.

    But since I also believe that temps are in a multi-decadal downtrend right now, I am not particularly interested in what CO2 is doing or why. Obviously someone needs to be studying it, but I just don’t prefer to be spending a lot of time on it myself. I just don’t have enough spare mental RAM for that.

    RTF

  139. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Richard T. Fowler (Aug 15 15:01),

    Here’s Ferdinand Engelbeen’s devastating critique of Jaworowski. He does a far better job and is far more tactful than I ever could be.

    I have read several remarks made by Jaworoski about the ice cores. The first point that strikes me is that Jaworowski mainly refers to works written by… Jaworowski. And mostly for the period until begin 90′s. Not a very strong sign of reliability of his remarks…

    I think I linked to his page on why the increase in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic but here it is again.

  140. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Artifex (Aug 15 00:48),

    A BS meter has type I and type II errors. If you minimize type I error by setting the threshold too high, you will maximize type II error and miss nearly everything new. If you minimize type II error and accept nearly everything at face value, you won’t have time to deal with it all. It’s called discrimination and it’s not a dirty word. That discrimination has to be applied to everything whether it supports what you currently believe or not.

    The specific power of Gavin’s BS meter is irrelevant to the validity of his remark.

  141. kuhnkat said

    #137 Carrick,

    How can you criticize if you do not have the information?? We have to assume that what is already available in the mainstream is FACT as opposed to based on data with error bars that is subject to interpretation before we can accept that a strong criticism is justified.

    Jaworowski may obviously end up being consigned to the trash bin along with Salby. It has been attempted for years. I think they deserve a chance. People who come out strongly attacking ideas before they have all the data would seem to be anti-science. It is exactly this type of suppression of conflicting voices that has made the mess we MIGHT be coming out of.

    Why does it seem to be necessary to ad hom and stomp down every conflicting idea that comes along. If they are as bad as Steig, you, and DeWitt seem to think, it should be quite easy to show this and continue on with very little effect. By making these strenuous attacks before the paper is released it simply strengthens my Denial side by looking like a concerted attack to suppress Science regardless of the facts. Very poor strategy, very rude, very stupid.

  142. kuhnkat said

    DeWitt,

    “It’s called discrimination and it’s not a dirty word.”

    Interestingly I agree with this. Of course, just because you don’t have time to deal with things that in your discriminatory area has a low probability of providing useful information should mean that you simply leave it to someone else to evaluate and inform you. Coming out and hammering someone IS taking up time you could better use elsewhere. It also provides visibility to them as I mentioned above.

    Even when something is really bad it can hang around forever, but, it will never get very much traction. Getting emotional over this type of stuff gives it a patina that it doesn’t deserve.

  143. Carrick said

    Kuhnkat:

    How can you criticize if you do not have the information?

    LOL When has that ever stopped you?

    But seriously, I do have information—Salby didn’t just invent this field after all—just not the particular arguments contained in his manuscript. Frequency content is one, isotopic concentration changes of C13/C12 in the ocean is another (Eric’s point). Ideas can be wrong for many ideas. One is training of the individual, who might be an expert on one topic, but lack background in another.

    Why does it seem to be necessary to ad hom and stomp down every conflicting idea that comes along.

    I’ve ad hom’d nothing with respect to Salby, I just said I thought it was wrong and indicated why. This not the same thing as an ad hominem at all.

  144. kuhnkat said

    Carrick,

    I apologize for the general statement that implied that you or even DeWitt ad-hommed Salby. I would suggest the strength of the disagreements does approach that as it includes the implications the man has lost his ability to discriminate what is reasonable in his own field.

    This is the basis of what happens. We have accepted ideas. Are they the best? Well, the consensus tells us that they are and that the data they provide should be interpreted in a specific way and that is what is diseminated to the rest of us. In general we do NOT know whether there is other conflicitng data or opinions that have been excluded simply because they couldn’t be correct or don’t fit accepted ideas. A man in the mainstream decides to come out against long held beliefs and what happens. We just saw it. Those who are familiar with the ACCEPTED data and interpretations proclaim the man couldn’t possibly be right so even reading the paper or watching his presentation is a waste of time. This is the settled science fallacy. If every new idea is marginalized and run off then yes, the science WILL be settled and never go any further until the pressure of new data, and the deaths of those policing it, allow it to be overturned.

    As I suggested to DeWitt, yes, it would be a waste of time if everyone looked at everything everytime. I am stating that it is also a waste of time to trash it as that will simply insure people DO look at it (is that your intent?). Better is to ignore it and let those who DO have time take a look and see if there is anything new or worth considering. If there isn’t they can point it out for the rest.

    This knee-jerk slamming anything coming out that doesn’t fit the consensus is unscientific, impolite and reduces you in the opinion of others. Maybe not to the level of we deniers and our idiot ideas…

  145. RB said

    Nielsen-Gammon apparently attended Salby’s talk and had this to say :

    “I was lucky enough to attend Murray Salby’s talk at the IUGG conference in Melbourne. The thesis is not quite so simple as a correlation between CO2 rise and short-term temperature variations, because he found corroborating evidence in the change of CO2 slope over time. This made the argument not so easy to dismiss out of hand, although Salby was extremely careful not to draw any conclusions in his public presentation.

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

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

    That was enough for me.”

  146. Mark F said

    Methinks you’re talking slopes, not asymptotes.

  147. Carrick said

    kuhnkat:

    This knee-jerk slamming anything coming out that doesn’t fit the consensus is unscientific, impolite and reduces you in the opinion of others. Maybe not to the level of we deniers and our idiot ideas…

    I’m not knee-jerk slamming anything. Somethings are badly wrong, others are subtly wrong, some are mostly right, very few get everything exactly on target. ANd as DeWitt pointed out, we don’t treat them equally.

    It’s not impolite in science to criticize period. That doesn’t marginalize the work, unless the criticism demonstrates that the work has a fundamental flaw that can’t be fixed. In which case, it deserves marginalization.

    I’ll take another look at his paper, if/when it gets accepted. Maybe he’ll see some of the criticisms and respond to them in his final manuscript.

    If so, that makes the manuscript stronger, not weaker.

    If he ignores criticism or tries to wave it off (like Pat Franks does), on the other hand, he’ll just be marginalizing himself.

    And that’s the way things work. You are mistaking genuine scientific skepticism for cynicism or playing for one side. I don’t think DeWitt or I fall into that latter category.

    This seems wrong by the way:

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

    The forcing is logarithmic, not linearly dependent, so this conclusion is nonsensical. Seems like Nielsen-Gammon has things to learn to.

  148. RB said

    Carrick,
    You are right. But if I understand J.N.G’s interpretation, CO2 concentration in the last glacial maximum implied by Salby is probably less than 20 ppm.

  149. RB said

    I think J.N.G might have been using some mental model of the sort log(1+x) ~ x for small x

  150. kuhnkat said

    Carrick,

    One thing I do understand, eventually, is when I am wasting my time.

  151. Richard T. Fowler said

    Thanks DeWitt, I’ll look into those items soon. Sounds like you may be on to something.

    As for the fracas … LALALALALALA I am not here I am not here ….
    :)

    RTF

  152. RB said

    Well, actually, I don’t know if the logarithmic relationship has any value for Salby’s analysis because his claim seems to be that its the temperature increase that causes the rise in CO2. If it’s anything like Lon Hocker’s analysis at WUWT , a linear relationship between CO2 change and temperature anomaly would be the assumption.

  153. Carrick said

    RB, I haven’t seen Salby’s notes, visual presentation, let alone his phantom paper. I’d hope he doesn’t expect a linear relationship between CO2 & T in general, because there’s nothing remotely linear in the relationship between them. You’d need a full carbon cycle model that includes the response of the biosphere (e.g., sorts of thing Inez Fung works on) if you want to extend any analysis performed say over the last 100 years back to the ice age.

    In other words, you might be OK to assume approximately linear over the last 100 years, but if the assumption fails and you get negative CO2 concentrations when applied to the last glacial period…obviously the assumption of linearity has broken down. That doesn’t mean the assumption of linearity for the last 100 years is invalid though, log(1+x) ~ x and all that. So you can’t saw “ah ha!” I’ve disproved an approximation because I extended it to a place where it wouldn’t apply. (In other words, that does seems to be a naive criticism.)

  154. Andrew said

    Actually, JNG’s comment seems to be similar to a point I tried to make above. Namely that in order for the recent concentration change to be due to temp, the carbon budget has to be exponentially sensitive to temperature, not merely linearly sensitive. If a five degree temperature change from glacial to interglacial lead to a hundred ppm change in concentration (which instantaneously it didn’t, it did after a few hundred years) then how could it be responsible for the CO2 rise in the last century or so of another hundred ppm? Either temperatures rose five whole degrees globally some time relatively recently (eight hundred years ago?) which would put us currenly in some sort of super interglacial (we aren’t) or you have to postulate something more than a linear relationship. If the first five degree increment adds 100 ppm, we are then expected to believe that a one degree increment causes another 100 ppm? Again, that’s an exponential dependence, not a linear or logarithmic one. So the temperature change causing current CO2 change argument seems to me to be on extremely shaky ground, being generous.

  155. 153, 154 I believe what you are missing is the GtCO2 balance that Eric brought up. It would not have to be 20 ppm if the data indicate that the GtCO2 between air, water and biosphere changed. I find it intersting that JNG talked of the last glacial maximum, and I would assume the inflection at the start of the end of the last GM, as well, and essentially cherry picking what to count. Whether it is picking or discriminating differencing, will need to be seen. It makes more sense now, compared to just listening to the talk and the questions. I still think it will be a very hard row to hoe. The null will be hard to beat.

  156. Paul_K said

    Re:132.
    DeWitt Payne said
    August 15, 2011 at 12:09 am

    “CO2 does not diffuse through ice.”

    Scripps tested this in 2008 and concluded that it does. Try the following:
    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/CO2_diffusion_in_polar_ice_2008.pdf
    Paul

  157. DeWitt Payne said

    Paul_K,

    So I exaggerated somewhat. That article does not in any way validate Jaworowski. Your highlights ignore the important data and conclusions First the authors of the paper are looking at the effect of diffusion on a very short term, very large spike in CO2. The rate of diffusion is proportional to the concentration gradient. Diffusion will have little effect on concentration changes over centuries or millenia such as during a glacial/interglacial transition. Smoothing also occurs in the firn before the bubbles are formed and diffusion smoothing on the thousand year time scale was orders of magnitude less than in the firn. Unless the rate of snow accumulation was very fast, a decadal spike would be smoothed out in the firn. For the Vostok core it could take nearly 10,000 years at the low snow accumulation rate during the depths of a glacial period to seal off the gas bubbles. On the 10,000+year scale, diffusion results in a loss of resolution at the decadal scale but it’s not at all clear that you can even sample with that sort of time resolution for ice that old.

  158. Instead of arguing, can we all agree to support

    The agreement between Henry Kissinger, Chinese Chairman Mao, and Chinese Prime Minister Chou-en-lai to use anthropogenic global climate change as the “common enemy” in 1971 [1] in order to:

    a.) Unite nations,
    b.) End the space race, and
    c.) Avoid the threat of nuclear annihilation.

    If the agreement is extended to include two items [2]:

    d.) Government controlled by the people being governed, and
    e.) Transparency and veracity (truth) of information provided to the public.

    References:

    1. Deep Roots of Climategate
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.pdf

    2. Harmony from Climategate
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110815_Climategate_Harmony.pdf

    3. More on Mao and Chou-en-lai
    http://www.janetjagan.com/2009/05/22/chairman-maothunder-29-september-1962/

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K Manuel

  159. curious said

    140 and others re: Gavin – Lubos Motl has some commentary on recent comments which include reference to CO2 residence time etc etc:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/08/sciam-gavin-schmidt-despise-climate.html

  160. Paul_K said

    Re: 157.
    DeWitt Payne said
    August 17, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Hi DeWitt,

    I never mentioned Jawarowski, and your comment, “Your highlights ignore the important data and conclusions” make me think that you are confusing me with some other poster. I was merely responding to your statement that CO2 does not diffuse through ice. Evidently it does, and in a manner that is different from, and at a rate that is somewhat higher than, one might suspect from a porous diffusion model.
    It is one thing to say that there is no diffusion. It is a different argument to say that the degree of attenuation in the amplitude of CO2 variation is not sufficient to cast doubt on the historic estimated level of dependence of CO2 on temperature – as derived without correction for time-dependent diffusion. I don’t know whether this (latter) argument is valid or not. I might just take a little time to run some tests on a numerical model to see the magnitude of impact under different assumptions.
    Paul

  161. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Paul_K (Aug 17 11:43),

    The pdf you linked has yellow highlighted sections. I assumed those were yours.

    It is one thing to say that there is no diffusion. It is a different argument to say that the degree of attenuation in the amplitude of CO2 variation is not sufficient to cast doubt on the historic estimated level of dependence of CO2 on temperature – as derived without correction for time-dependent diffusion.

    In the context of this thread, I disagree. It’s a distinction without a difference. For example in Figure 1.5 on page 12 of Wigley and Schimel’s The Carbon Cycle, a 100 year moving average was used to compare ice core data that overlapped with Mauna Loa data. The effect of diffusion on that scale is zero to all intents and purposes. Salby has to ignore ice core data that shows only a tiny effect on CO2 concentration of the change from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age in order to claim that the current increase in CO2 is not anthropogenic.

  162. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    DeWitt, Paul_K,

    I also thought the highlighting in the pdf was by Paul. The calculated diffusion rate really was pretty low compared to accumulation rates and firn broadening, so from a practical standpoint, it has no real impact on the resolution of the CO2 history. The only exception seems to be if crustal heat transport warms the base of the ice sheet sufficiently to approach the melting point… but even then the broadening seems comparable to or smaller than firn broadening.

  163. Paul_K said

    Re: 161.
    DeWitt Payne
    August 17, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    The yellow highlighted sections came from source. They weren’t mine.
    I take your point about the 100-year moving average data, and you’re probably right. However, it would be nice at some stage to see a full reconciliation (i.e. computed corrections or at least error estimates of attenuation) over the longer timeframe. IIRC the various assertions about CO2 relationship with temp don’t derive from MWP calculations.
    You have convinced me it’s not worth my investment of time to do this myself!

  164. Jeff Id said

    The calculated diffusion rate was amazingly low compared to what I would guess in ice. The melt though, doesn’t determine the spread due to porosity before the snow pack solidifies.

  165. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Jeff Id (Aug 17 22:08),

    Ice under pressure isn’t what you would call porous. There are trapped bubbles, but they don’t interconnect like open cell foam. The solubility of any gas in a frozen liquid is far less than in the liquid. When doing non-aqueous electrochemistry in grad school, the usual drill was to distill solvent into the cell and then go through several freeze-pump-thaw cycles to remove dissolved oxygen. The freezing not only lowered the vapor pressure of the solvent to allow it to be pumped down to high vacuum, but also froze out most of any dissolved gas.

    Diffusion is also a function of effective viscosity, which (obviously) is going to be a lot higher in ice than in water. The increased pressure at depth in the ice will increase the rate of diffusion for a given concentration gradient, but you’re still talking about smoothing out the peaks and valleys on a decade to century time scale, not lowering the average concentration. For the Vostok cores, a century is a drop in the bucket as it takes ~1,000 years to seal off the bubbles during an interglacial and nearly 10,000 years at the glacial maximum.

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