Thanks Prof Salby

salbyI didn’t like Prof Murry Salby’s talk – not because it wasn’t thoroughly convincing that the rise in CO2 was unlikely to be man-made, but because it was so convincing.

I will admit to starting the day as a CO2 agnostic.There is so many links in the chain that holds the global warming argument together that I can only focus effort on so many of them. As a Scientist and Engineer, my particular interest is in feedbacks and climate variability.  These I know don’t work. As an MBA graduate I know the economic case is just voodoo economics.

These were enough for me. These alone were enough for any reasonable person not to waste public money trying to reduce CO2.

I didn’t need more. I didn’t need to worry whether the CO2 was man-made. It made no difference whether or not it was, because so much else was already wrong. I really didn’t want to hear CO2 was not man-made.

But having seen the case put forward by Prof Salby I cannot reasonably say “I assume the rise was man-made”. But much worse! Without properly assessing the evidence I cannot properly say he is right – that the CO2 rise does not appear man-made.

Will I now be called a “CO2 Denier” … or whatever name these hateful zealots dream up?

That is why I didn’t like the talk … because I could well do without another finding another bit of climate “science” which is rubbish. Another aspect of the global warming argument that is junk. Another aspect I will have to research. Another hold-the-nose and try not to breath in stench filled crawl through the hateful underbelly of global warming non-science trying to find any kind of evidence against what Prof Murry Salby said.

Thank you Murry!

This entry was posted in Climate. Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to Thanks Prof Salby

  1. TinyCO2 says:

    LOL, I know what you mean. Eventually your head gets full of what ifs.

    The answer to it all is real debate. Verbal, written, prolonged. We need the experts to fight it out, but we need them to do it in the open and not behind closed doors or in the artificial world of peer review. I won’t hold my breath.

  2. > I cannot reasonably say “I assume the rise was man-made”

    Me neither. Because I know its man-made. Because I’ve seen the proofs. The picture you display, of course, has nothing to do with this point.

    If you’re interested in the evidence for why its man-made, its easy to present. Or, you could try to present the evidence Salby gives to the contrary if you like. But it would be best to stay to a single point; as was said over at Wotts, if you can’t agree on CO2-rise-is-manmade, then you can’t agree on anything.

    • People like Salby and another that comes to mind is Hermann Harde are very difficult to deal with. Only one bit of evidence proves a theory wrong. So, on the face of it showing that e.g. CO2 is not manmade or that in the case of Hermann Harde that the greenhouse effect of CO2 using the latest Hitrans database is about 0.45 should be enough.

      But as a sceptic, we know that even the most eminent people make mistakes – and unless their work is verified by the scientific community, it then falls to people like me to DO THE WORK the scientific community refuses to do because of its obsession with CO2.

      So yes William, if you could show me Prof Salby is wrong I would be very pleased because then I could focus on the areas which of climate research which I already know are wrong.

      And talking to Prof Salby yesterday as we waiting in the Scottish Parliament, he yet again confirmed my understanding of the treatment of noise in the climate models. More importantly he outlined the argument used for not including any active noise source within the model which is that it was believed that the inherent chaos was the same as noise.

    • TinyCO2 says:

      “If you’re interested in the evidence for why its man-made, its easy to present.” So why don’t we get it from the usual sources like the BBC? Why do we get the same, sanitised for dummies, version of the issues each time? Why do they concentrate on boll***s like climate weirding if the evidences for the serious stuff is so simple and persuasive? Why, when CAGW celebs exaggerate or get stuff wrong, doesn’t the scientific community stop them and say ‘no need to make stuff up, the real facts are powerful enough’?

      I didn’t see Salby’s talk and almost don’t want another avenue of doubt to add to my scepticism of CAGW. What I’ve got is plenty to reject climate science as not fit for purpose. I see no value in you debating each point of Prof Salby’s work here. You need to be taking on Salby directly. You claiming a victory here would only prove that we don’t know Salby’s work well enough, it wouldn’t prove Salby wrong.

      AGW debate is a series of undefended salvos from one side or the other. Like a tennis match between players with unreturnable serves, we hardly ever see decent rallies. Worse, it’s like a tennis match where the players turn up at different venues or different days. Laughably the warmist side wants the sceptics to not challange at all and forfeit the tournament. Not the actions of those confident of their abilities.

      • > why don’t we get it from the usual sources like the BBC?

        For about the same reason that the BBC very rarely has items on the foundations or Newtonian mechanics: that basic, long-well-known and well proven stuff doesn’t make the news.

        If you want the std view, then:

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

        will do. If you want even WUWT telling you the same, then:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/07/some-people-claim-that-theres-a-human-to-blame/

        or

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/05/why-the-co2-increase-is-man-made-part-1/

        I think you don’t realise how basic, and how nailed down, all this is. By all means question interesting aspects of climate that are uncertain; but questioning CO2-is-anthro is a waste of time and just shows how out of touch you are with the science.

      • [I give up on the moderation queue here – it looks like anything with ?3? links in disappears forever. So I’ll repost, and cut down on the links:]

        > why don’t we get it from the usual sources like the BBC?

        For about the same reason that the BBC very rarely has items on the foundations or Newtonian mechanics: that basic, long-well-known and well proven stuff doesn’t make the news.

        If you want the std view, then:

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

        will do. If you want even WUWT telling you the same, then search for the thread “Some people claim, that there’s a human to blame …” (June 2010) or ” Why the CO2 increase is man made (part 1)” (August 2010).

        I think you don’t realise how basic, and how nailed down, all this is. By all means question interesting aspects of climate that are uncertain; but questioning CO2-is-anthro is a waste of time and just shows how out of touch you are with the science.

        • TinyCO2 says:

          I’m not out of touch with the science, I’d always assumed the extra CO2 is man made. But the science as presented on all fronts is so simplified and bastardised it’s pointless. Anyone coming across Salby without prior awareness of how the same data can be presented might not ask if he might be wrong. One side is trying to convince me with play school simplicity and the other is treating me like an adult. Which do you think I will be drawn too? And why shouldn’t the BBC go into some depth on the science? It used to deal with science subjects quite well. However now it leaves its science programming to media studies students and people who think homeopathy is worth a try… which could explain its support for wind power. Dillute energy is as effective as real energy so long as you keep believing.

          Would I seek answers from Real Climate? No more than I’d seek them from WUWT. Both are partisan. The difference is WUWT is asking questions and Real Climate is shutting them down. I don’t know that sceptics are right but I don’t know that consensus knows how climate works either. As the years go by I care less and less which bits might be true because there is no reliable system for sorting the good from the bad.

          I’ve gone to assuming most of the science was correct to assuming most of the science will need correcting.

    • Sugarsail says:

      Technically you’ve not seen proof. No one has. To experimentally validate that the rise in CO2 is due to mankind and that it is THE significant causative agent of climate change one would need a control Earth without mankind and our present earth and then to comparative measurement…of course this cannot be done so we resort to best-guess computer models whose outputs do NOT constitute experimental data. The entire theory of AGW is actually untestable. Notice I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, only that it lacks testability and thus any scientific rigor. It’s all a flimflam sham.

      • You’ll notice that right at the start I asked our host what he thought Salby had shown: was it (a) the CO2 rise is definitely natural, or (b) that the std.position (that its definitely human-caused) was unproven or flawed.

        You’ll notice that I didn’t get an answer, and that you can’t tell from the blog posting. This is a fairly important question, and one that you’d hope would be easy to answer. Can it really be possible to go to Salby’s presentation and not know?

        • Neil Craig says:

          Overwhelmingly natural. When even alarmists acknowledge that 96-99% of CO2 release is non-human it says much about “climate scientists” that this is even contentious.

          • That’s not really an answer to my question, and I’m not even sure if you’ve understood me. Are you saying “(a)”, i.e., it is natural and provably so?

            > 96-99% of CO2 release is non-human

            Natural sources and sinks are significantly larger than human emissions, but the natural sources and sinks are nearly in balance – they must be, or we’d see vast excursions in CO2 in the past in the holocene, and we don’t. You do realise that human emissions of CO2 are actually *larger* than the observed atmospheric change, don’t you? That the ocean, far from being a net emitter of CO2, is actually absorbing it?

          • odo says:

            When in history, did the “natural sources and sinks” balance themselves?

          • The holocene, like I said. You could, for example, look at the CO2-from-1000-AD-onwards graph from http://www.climatescience.cam.ac.uk/community/file/download/843

            CO2 varies by only a few ppmv between 1000-1500, so natural sources and sinks were essentially in balance. And remember, if you believe *all* the std.”skeptic” playbook, you also need to believe that includes a MWP warmer than now, so if you believe Salby’s CO2-from-T theory, CO2 should have been above 400 ppmv then.

          • Bill Yarber says:

            William

            You can’t have it both ways. If the oceans are warming, then they are net emitters of CO2. Water absorbs more CO2 when it cools and releases absorber CO2 when it warms. Well known basic science! Warming oceans are net emitters of CO2. Or are you really saying the oceans are cooling. If so, welcome to the skeptic side.

            Bill

          • > If the oceans are warming, then they are net emitters of CO2

            Not necessarily. There is another effect going on – atmospheric CO2 concentrations are rising (due to human emissions) and higher atmospheric CO2 levels drives a flux of CO2 into the ocean. Which is stronger – the warming-causing-flux-out, or the higher-atmos-CO2-causing-flux-in -can’t be found from the kind of antient Greek “physics” (i.e., talking) being done here; you actually need to dig out the physics and the equations and work it out. This is hard and tedious work, even just reading the many available papers about it is more work that you’re prepared to do.

            But if you do bother look them up, then it turns out that higher-CO2 wins, and the oceans are net sinks of CO2 at the moment.

          • Oh yeah – and the change in pH of seawater is a bit of a clue, no?

      • > Technically you’ve not seen proof.

        Um, well, at least in part because my comment replying to TCO2 of November 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm is still stuck in moderation. I’ll repeat it now:

        > why don’t we get it from the usual sources like the BBC?

        For about the same reason that the BBC very rarely has items on the foundations or Newtonian mechanics: that basic, long-well-known and well proven stuff doesn’t make the news.

        If you want the std view, then:

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

        will do. If you want even WUWT telling you the same, then:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/07/some-people-claim-that-theres-a-human-to-blame/

        or

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/05/why-the-co2-increase-is-man-made-part-1/

        I think you don’t realise how basic, and how nailed down, all this is. By all means question interesting aspects of climate that are uncertain; but questioning CO2-is-anthro is a waste of time and just shows how out of touch you are with the science.

      • John Mashey says:

        Actually, we have very good control cases in the ice core records of the past interglacials. The CO2 (CH4) patterns vary among interglacials, and ours starting diverting ~8,000 (5,000) years ago, for agriculture and rice paddies especially… And they already were unusual just before the industrial revolution. With a normal interglacial, we would have been down to ~250ppm CO3, and instead we were at 280, meaning we’d added about 60ppm over normal. Of course, in the last few hundred years, we’ve added another 120, and this effect, at this stage, just is not seen in the records. This has zero to do with computer models. This is from research over the last decade, by Bill Ruddiman (and others), whose new book Earth Transformed is terrific, and he’s giving the Tyndall Lecture at AGU in a month.

        So, in ~million years, a 2-century jump in CO2 like ours … Hasn’t happened …

        By the way, the relative warmth of some parts of Earth during the Medieval period, and cooling into the Little Ice Age had human contributions, the latter from the 50M person die-off in the Americas. The resulting reforestation dropped CO2 ~10ppm in 75 years, unique in last 2000 years.

        • Bill Yarber says:

          John

          I have not seen any scientific proof that the CO2 concentrations in ice cores are precisely identical to the atmospheric CO2 concentration at the time those bubbles were trapped. I accept they are “representative”, not that they are exact. There are detailed CO2 concentration measurements over the past 200 years, using a different method, which indicate CO2 concentrations were as high as 380 ppm in England in the late 18th century. Prove to me that ice core CO2 concentrations are precise, not just relative.

          Bill

          • > I have not seen any scientific proof that…

            But have you looked? I mean, looked in the scientific literature, or the std places that report it? Rather than just in “skeptic” blogs.

            In the not-particularly-confident-hope that you do actually want to see what you’re asking for, try: http://www.climatescience.cam.ac.uk/community/file/download/843

          • John Mashey says:

            1) Please give citations, not vague claims.

            2) But if you are y alluding to the work of E G Beck, that paper was totally incompetent, and a credibility-destroyer for anyone who takes ti seriously. Hopefully you meant something else.

            See for instance Stanford Prof. Mark Jacobson testifying for Congress in 2008, as in p.3 of the oral testimony (or more detail in written):
            ‘However, carbon dioxide emissions do not immediately mix globally. Instead, carbon dioxide levels in polluted cites are much higher than the global average, as shown with data in the figure now on the screen. Although the global background carbon dioxide is currently about 385 ppmv, the data indicate that a medium-sized city’s downtown area can have an average of 420-440 ppmv and a peak of over 500 ppmv carbon dioxide.’

            No measurement is perfect, but ice-cores are pretty good, far better than merely relative.
            Read Eric Wolff’s comments.
            “data can be considered accurate to within 1‐2% at worst.”
            Wolff is a well-published expert on this topic, Salby is a zero-published non-expert on it.

  3. > if you could show me Prof Salby is wrong

    You’ve presented none of his arguments. So I’ve no idea what he is saying. Could you present his theory? Presumably he has some chain of evidence – as you say, a flaw at any part of that chain would in theory be fatal.

    You are, I think, asserting that he claims to prove that the CO2 rise is not man-made. A much weaker claim (which he might be making, I can’t tell from your post) is that it hasn’t been proved that CO2 rise is man-made. Which is he claiming?

    • Otter says:

      Say, did you ever reinstate all those people you banned from Wikipedia, so that they could not fix the changes you made to their climate articles?

      [COMMENT – I consider this to be an attack on another poster which has nothing at all to do with this article. Please do not repeat this. Scottish Sceptic]

      • I didn’t ban anyone from wiki; I didn’t have the power too.

        Our host has already indicated he doesn’t want to talk about wiki with me; it would be good to keep this conversation on-topic, viz Salby and is-CO2-anthro, rather than diverting to irrelevancies.

  4. Yes, like William I’d quite like to know what Salby actually said. The evidence that the CO2 rise is anthropogenic is exceptionally strong. There are multiple lines of evidence that support this. It is virtually impossible that it is simply a natural response to something else (rising temperatures). This is where I have a problem, because I would like to be able to discuss climate science with others who might disagree with aspects of the science. However, if they even dispute aspects that have been proven true beyond any reasonable doubt, then it seems clear that actual discussion (about the science rather than the policy) is impossible. I find this extremely disappointing. So, if you are to assert that you’ve been convinced by Salby’s evidence, maybe you could try to explain what this evidence is and why you’ve been convinced.

  5. Neil Craig says:

    It was that the rate of CO2 emission correlates almost perfectly with temperature and barely in any way with human production. This means it is a natural phenomenon not a man made one.

    Those who approach a scientific question by saying in advance they “know” the answer or that discussion is “impossible” with anybody who doubts they are right are, by definition, not scientists.

    The lecture was videoed and I assume will be online in due course.

    • > the rate of CO2 emission correlates almost perfectly with temperature

      Interesting. Were I to try to “prove” GW with correlations, I’m sure you’d be the first to say “but correlation doesn’t prove causation”.

      But probably more importantly: is you choice of word “emission” correct, here? Emissions are quite hard to measure, other than from anthro: what is very well known is the atmospheric CO2 concentration. If he/you really did mean “emission” I’d be curious to know his sources for that information.

      • Neil Craig says:

        “but correlation doesn’t prove causation”

        .So presumably you are on record as denouncing all those who have said that the correlation between temperature C02 & temperature rise, between 1979 and 1995 (but neither before or since) are charlatans? That would appear to include the entire CAGW “consensus” including yourself

        Thank you for that remarkable concession.

        • Your question is malformed, but I agree that correlation doesn’t prove causation. Fortunately, the arguments for GW (including CO2-is-anthro) don’t involve that, so I have no problem.

          The person who appears to be using correlation here is you, in your report of Salby. And whilst attack may be entertaining and diverting, it doesn’t serve at all to defend what you’re saying.

          Meanwhile, you haven’t provided the requested clarification; see my last paragraph.

          • Neil Craig says:

            None of the arguments for CAGW have ever involved relating the rise in CO2 with rising temperatures (in that era), or at least none produced by honest people.

            I look forward to you adding that piece of nonsense to all the wiki articles on the subject.

            [Neil, please don’t go off subject!]

          • Instead of more irrelevancies, can we get back to the original point: which is what Salby was saying?

            permit me to remind you of the question you’ve ignored twice now:

            is you choice of word “emission” correct, here? Emissions are quite hard to measure, other than from anthro: what is very well known is the atmospheric CO2 concentration. If he/you really did mean “emission” I’d be curious to know his sources for that information.

  6. William & Wottsupwiththat. It will take me some time to summarise what he was saying as in parts it is quite technical (not all of which was in his presentations). For example now know I wasn’t asleep but instead he did suddenly jump in the presentation as there is about 15minutes of technical details which it was necessary to see to understand how he went from one slide to the next.

    So summarising what he was saying is going to take time.

  7. This is a 2011 Salby presentation. I have no idea if the content has changed appreciably: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrI03ts–9I&feature=player_embedded

  8. A C Osborn says:

    Scottish Sceptic says:
    November 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Don’t even bother, let them watch it for themselves.

    I think you might find that Dr J Curry has an old thread on this over at Climate etc.

  9. papiertigre says:

    The way I remember it, Salby used a residue from nuclear fallout to show that there is very little bleed over between the Northern and Southern hemisphere atmospheric circulation, which is to say the co2 from a coal powerplant in China doesn’t commute to the air over Australia.

    That impacts global warming because the co2 rises monotonically over the entire globe. This means a natural source controls ambient co2 level, not a man made source.
    in other words, Carbon Dioxide Follows Temperature: Murray Salby

    I read this a couple years ago. Of course there’s no link to a talk, so I’m just guessing this is your topic.

    • > there is very little bleed over between the Northern and Southern hemisphere atmospheric circulation

      I do hope he didn’t say anything as obviously silly as that. The two hemispheres are indeed somewhat separate, but not isolated, and are well-mixed on a multi-annual timescale. Which is easy to demonstrate, observationally, by looking at CFCs, which are predominately produced in the NH but have essentailly the same concentration in the SH.

      e.g. http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/otheratg/blake/halorganic/cfc11.html

      Try again?

      • papiertigre says:

        Silly?
        are well-mixed on a multi-annual timescale.

        Yeah, over many years. IOW it takes a long time for human emitted co2 to commute from the Northern to the Southern hemisphere or visa versa.
        OTOH it takes no time at all for ambient co2 levels to rise globally.

        Thanks for the confirmation. Always better when your enemy substantiates your claim.

        Got any other inanities to float?

        • > when your enemy

          I think our host would prefer to regard this as a conversation amongst people who, whilst not exactly friends, don’t see the need to regard each other as enemies.

          But as to CO2: see for example the bottom picture of:

          http://instaar.colorado.edu/sil/research/research_detail.php?research_project_ID=1

          CO2 is rising, globally, over time; but there is a strong seasonal signal and a strong inter-hemispheric difference. CO2 is not well-mixed, globally, on short timescales; ” it takes no time at all for ambient co2 levels to rise globally” is wrong.

        • Derek Alker says:

          “OTOH it takes no time at all for ambient co2 levels to rise globally.”
          I suppose that depends on how and where, and by what method one tries to calculate global CO2 concentration.

          In the end natural sources and sinks are far more massive and far more variable than man. Our emissions and variations in our emissions are lost in the natural noise.

          The metrics we have are all “questionable” so any answer is also dubious, and has massive error bars that more than overlap any proposed, or possible signal. It’s all guess work, but we are carbon based life forms, so it is all good.

          Really, who cares if temp varies by a couple of degrees either way anyway???

    • Neil Craig says:

      I think the point he was making was that the disappearance of c(13?) created by nuclear tests showed that atmospheric CO2 turns over rather quickly rather than in centuries. His map of CO2 concentration worldwide showed either that CO2 mixing is good or that industry is not a significant source, or more likely both.

      • The CO2 in the atmosphere does indeed turn over far more quickly than centuries. And looking at C13 is one way to see this (another, easier way would simply be to compare the fluxes to the atmospheric total).

        However, that’s not the point, though its easy to get confused by it. That only applies to individual molecules; it tells you nothing about the lifetime of perturbations.

        Obvious analogy: if you have a bath kept in constant swirl, with the plug out and the tap running but the water level constant because the two flows balance, then the residence time of an individual water molecule could be quite brief. But if you add in extra water then the level goes up; and the lifetime of that perturbation is not the same as the residence time of the individual water drops.

        > His map of CO2 concentration worldwide showed either that CO2 mixing is good or that industry is not a significant source, or more likely both.

        I’m curious as to how it could show that. I’ve already pointed you at http://instaar.colorado.edu/sil/images/co2rug_490px.jpg which is a map that shows that CO2 is roughly well-mixed, but also shows clear latitudinal and seasonal variations. If you can explain Salby’s reasonning that allows him to deduce from that, or similar, that CO2 isn’t industrial, then please do so.

        • neilfutureboy says:

          It has been regularly claimed by alarmists that CAGW will take a century to peak and unless we all make sacrifices to place the CO2 monster, anything up to a millennium to end it. The fact that CO2 turns over in years rather than centuries this becomes even less credible.

          The map showed CO2 concentrations largely over equatorial jungle rather than industrial centres which is difficult to reconcile with claims that industry is responsible. Perhaps you will disagree?

          • > Perhaps you will disagree?

            Certainly I willl.

            I dunno what map you’re looking at. The one I’ve showed is a time-latitude diagram. It shows that there are variations in latitude, but that everywhere is increasing over time. CO” is well mixed over the, say, 5-year timescale.

            If you mean something like

            http://www.intersectinsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/carbon-dioxide-map-2008.jpg

            then same answer, roughly: yes there are regional variations, but so what? We already know there are large natural sources and sinks; that there are (moderate) regional anomalies isn’t surprising.

          • neilfutureboy says:

            Are you saying that if the Professor’s map is mathematically supported (in the way that Mann/IPCC’s Hockey Stick one for example wasn’t) and shows a clear trend of CO2 not being higher where industry is you would accept CO2 is not the problem alarmists say and sceptics have been proven generally far more credible than Mann/OPCC and their supporters?

            Even the map you have linked to shows no trend of CO2 across industrial areas.

  10. kingdube says:

    Presentation Prof. Murry Salby in Hamburg on 18 April 2013

    Some have a difficult time with the idea that anthropogenic emission is largely irrelevant to atmospheric concentration. Their thinking seems to them to be indisputable. i.e. Since we know that atmospheric enhancement is only about ½ our human emission, then removing our human emission would more than account for a reconciliation.

    It helps if you have a logical explanation as to how this could be so. Please email me at RonaldVoisin@gmail.com if you are interested in an essay in this regard that contains a logical explanation. .

  11. Nullius in Verba says:

    I haven’t analysed all of Salby’s arguments in detail, but the presentation I saw on it appeared to be based on a known phenomenon – that the high-frequency component of CO2 variation is indeed driven by temperature and not the other way round.

    The problem is that the causal relationship goes both ways, on different timescales. Rising CO2 theoretically causes higher temperatures, but rising temperatures also cause more CO2 to be emitted from the oceans. CO2 is less soluble in warmer water, leading to large amounts being emitted into the atmosphere near the equator and re-absorbed into the oceans near the poles. The effect of temperature on this can be observed – the observed rise in temperature would be expected to give rise to a rise in CO2 about 10% of the actually observed rise. So on this basis, it’s not the explanation for the 40% rise in CO2 everyone is talking about unless there is something seriously wrong with our understanding of ocean chemistry. But it does add a short-term ripple on the CO2 level, because while long-term global warming is only a fraction of a degree, weather can shift the ocean surface temperature by several degrees over a period of months, leading to big changes in CO2 outgassing/absorption.

    Salby appeared to be looking at the short-term variations in CO2, where the long-term trend wouldn’t show up, and found that the CO2 does indeed follow weather-based temperature variation. However, this is just as one would expect. Whether Salby has shown that this extends to longer periods or can explain the magnitude of the change, I don’t know.

    It is true that the causal link between emissions and rising CO2 is not as straightforward as people sometimes like to pretend. It is not sufficient to show that anthropogenic CO2 is in the atmosphere, as isotope data does. You need a model of the *dynamics* of the carbon cycle, describing how the various sources and sinks react. If the CO2 level was tightly controlled by a tight biological feedback mechanism (it seems odd that it should hover around the minimum for plant life to survive if it isn’t) then the rise may be for another reason and the anthropogenic contribution a coincidence. It could be that without a change in the ‘setting’ of that hypothetical mechanism, it could have rapidly absorbed the added anthropogenic CO2, increasing the absorption rate appropriately. (At the moment, the rate of rise is only half what we are emitting, because absorption has increased somewhat.) So far as I know, nobody knows of such a mechanism, but nor have I seen one definitively ruled out. I’ve never seen anyone present the evidence on the point – and I suspect it’s not fully known/understood.

    However, I don’t think Salby’s work answers the question, either.

  12. [Please examine your moderation queue.]

  13. Derek Alker says:

    Re Salby presentation that I attended in Edinburgh – He presented the standard arguements in most cases and then used their own figures to question the arguments. A reasonable line of questioning, that as he shows the standard arguments fail with.

    I particularly liked his presentation of the global energy budgets in this respect. He built up the basic diagram in a way that may havr appeared he was supporting it, when actually he was merely describing it accurately. He then removed the parts of the diagram that are fixed and was left with the fact that the diagrams only allow for CO2 to change temperature. As it is known CO2 follows temperature then this shows the global energy budgets are wrong. Some seem to think Salby was “supporting” Trenberth et al global energy budgets when infact he was showing, with their own logic why we know they are wrong. Nice, simple logic.

    He also used the same approach throughout his presentation and I would suggest many missed this, and hence may have seen his presentation from the wrong angle as such.

  14. Derek Alker says:

    Mike writes – “As a Scientist and Engineer, my particular interest is in feedbacks and climate variability.”
    Mike can you please help me. Lord Monckton went into quite description in regards of positive feedbacks during his speech. He referenced a book that I missed the name of, 550 pages in length, from memory.

    In private discussions that I am having elsewhere Lord Monckton has been quoted on the same subject as saying,

    “The IPCC’s estimate of the amount of warming from a doubling of carbon dioxide: 2-4.5 °C with a central estimate of 3.26 °C suggests a feedback loop gain in the climate system of between 0.42 and 0.74 with a central estimate of 0.64. However that is a near impossibility physically speaking because on any object upon which feedbacks operate if the feedback loop gain is somewhere in the range 0.01 – 0.1 the object becomes terminally unstable. Under conditions that might quite easily occur the loop gain would reach 1.0 and the system would blow itself apart. Since this hasn’t happened we have very good evidence, from Process Engineering in this case, that once again the likely amount of warming from a doubling of CO2 is 1.0 °C.”

    I may have misunderstood what he said in Edinburgh, but it seemed somewhat different to me. Would you be able to clarify for me please. In short, Lord Monckton seemed to say to me that a positive feedback when it approaches unity (what ever that is???) flips it’s sign and goes in the other direction, untill it reaches unity in that direction, and consequently flips it’s sign again, to go back in the original direction, and so on, and so on. So, a positive feedback can create “stability” (oscillates about a mean) by flipping it’s sign when it approaches unity. Did I understand him correctly?

    I find it very peculiar that Lord Monckton and most main stream sceptics as well as the consensus seem to avoid talking about negative feedbacks, when they are what must dominate earth’s climate system.

    • Nullius in Verba says:

      The problem is there are two different ways of measuring feedback.

      One refers to an output-only system in which the change is some multiple of the difference between the actual state and an equilibrium state. If the multiple is positive, the output diverges, while if it is negative it converges on the equilibrium and is resistant to changes.

      The other definition refers to a system with both an input and an output, in which a multiple of the output is added back into the input. This is the sort of feedback that climate scientists and Lord Monckton are referring to.

      In the latter system, you start off with a change to the input signal S, to which the output adds a multiple fS. But this itself affects the output, adding another multiple f^2*S (that’s f squared times S). This is a further change, which loops round forever. The final effect of the initial change is:
      (1 + f + f^2 + f^3 + f4 + …) * S

      And with a bit of slightly more advanced maths, that infinite series can be simplified to S/(1-f), when f is strictly between -1 and 1. If f = 0 there is no feedback and the output is the same as the input. If f is between -1 and 0, you get “negative feedback” and the output is smaller than the input by a factor 1/(1-f). If f is between 0 and 1, the output is a magnified but still stable and finite version of the input, the magnification factor being 1/(1-f) again. As f gets closer to 1, this magnification shoots off towards infinity.

      For f greater than 1, the output simply diverges without limit. And for f less than -1 it oscillates more and more violently, without limit. In real-world physics it generally only diverges until it hits another stable point. Complex physics is usually non-linear. Close to a stable point, you can *approximate* the curve with a linear straight line (a constant “multiple” f) so for *small* changes the description above works pretty well, but as you get further away the slope changes, and the simple picture is no longer valid. It all gets very messy, and this is where chaos theory starts.

      • Derek Alker says:

        Thank you Nullius in Verba, an excellent explanation, I at least partially follow.
        “The other definition refers to a system with both an input and an output, in which a multiple of the output is added back into the input. This is the sort of feedback that climate scientists and Lord Monckton are referring to.”

        Errr, GMT is not the output of earth’s climate. GMT is the net result at earth’s surface, but it only a point within the system as a whole.

        Furthermore, the sun is not the only input, and earth’s emissions to space is not the only output, or result, or residue.

        Is the above then a correct application, or the right sort of feedback?

        • Nullius in Verba says:

          Approximately. Probably.

          There are lots of inputs (called ‘forcings’) such as solar radiation, cloud, surface reflection (albedo), the oceans, and all the various GHGs, primary amongst which is water vapour. There are a whole load of feedbacks as well – ice area, cloud, water vapour, lapse rate, CO2 outgassing, and more. There are probably more of both than we know about, and those we do know about are mostly poorly quantified. But in such a model, you can add up all the forcings (positive and negative) to get a total forcing, which is multiplied by a factor depending on the sum of all the feedbacks (both positive and negative), to give a combined result. It’s true that surface temperature is not the only output, but then a lot of the others ought to obey similar relationships too.

          Although there is some evidence that the multiplier is not constant – it varies depending on timescale, due to various lags and delayed effects and slow processes.

          That said, this is not the only way things can work in a chaotic system, and while it seems reasonable on a current understanding, there’s a lot that could mess it up. (Willis Eschenbach’s thunderstorm ‘governor’ mechanism is one such possibility.) But it’s going to take a lot more than some vague airy-fairy unsupported speculation about the possibility of alternatives to change people’s views, and until there is a solid worked-out alternative it’s going to look like an extremely weak and desperate argument. Don’t rule it out, but don’t pin a lot of hope on it either. If there is such a mechanism, it’s probably not going to be found until the climate science stable has been cleaned out and put back on track.

    • > avoid talking about negative feedbacks, when they are what must dominate earth’s climate system.

      This is explained at least in part at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_feedback

      The main negative feedback is the fourth-power dependence of radiation on temperature.

      • Derek Alker says:

        William, I realise that an object 93.5 million miles from the sun should be -18C according to the Stefan Boltzman equation. The earth and the moon both are, ON AVERAGE, if viewed from space.
        How is that a negative feedback???

        I also realise that mathematically speaking, it is correct to say that a globe has four times the surface area of the same diameter disc, BUT, to average a half lit globe, ie P/4, is to remove the thermodynamics of reality, and that is gaga land. I can cook a four pound chicken in an oven at 200C for one hour, but I can not cook a chicken in the same way in an oven at 50C for four hours. Using P/4 as climatology at present does, is stating that 200C for one hour and 50C for four hours is the same thing. THAT is a misapplication, that dismisses the thermodynamics of reality, that you seem to prefer calling the main negative feedback of the system overall. The notion you put forward seems utterly incorrect to me, as proven by day and night at earth’s surface, and how I usually cook my sunday roast.

        Furthermore, the P/4 average of -18C that earth should be, does not neccesarily HAVE TO BE earth’s surface. In fact it is not, the effective surface of emission of earth is at altitude in earth’s atmosphere, hence earth appears to be -18C on average when viewed as an object in space. The surface should be hotter than this due to the ideal gas law alone, and it is. On the day side the temperature at midday is usually a lot cooler than what the Stefan Boltzman equation says it should be for the recieved solar input. So, the question is, why is earth’s surface not as warm as it should be for the recieved solar input. The answers are found in thermodynamics, obviously, without any need whatsoever for a “warming effect by atmospheric back radiation”. Night time temperatures can also be explained by the LAWS of thermodynamics and stored heat being released, again no need whatsoever for a supposed, and unobserved to date “atmospheric back radiation warming effect at earth’s surface”, day or night.

        Nullius in Verba says: quite correctly in regards of feedbacks that,
        “If there is such a mechanism, it’s probably not going to be found until the climate science stable has been cleaned out and put back on track.”

        Here, here, Nullius in Verba and in my opinion P/4 too, as well as the notion that “atmospheric back radiation warm earth’s surface”.

        • > William, I realise that an object 93.5 million miles from the sun should be -18C according to the Stefan Boltzman equation…

          Only if the said object happened to have the same albedo as the Earth (which would be unlikely, since the Earth’s albedo depends largely on clouds) and happened to be perfectly conducting at its surface (which is very unlikely).

          > How is that a negative feedback???

          You appear to have confused the S-B pedagogic method for calculating the temperature of an imaginary object with the S-B equation describing radiation in the actual Earth’s atmosphere.

          Its a negative feedback because if you increase the amount of energy entering the climate system, thereby causing it to warm up, the outgoing radiation leaving the system goes up with the fourth power of the temperature, so soon the extra outgoing long wave (OLR) matches the increased incoming energy. Conversely, if the incoming drops a bit, the OLR drops fast with temperature too.

          All of this is on wikipedia, or in basic textbooks.

          • Derek Alker says:

            William, yes the object that is earth and it’s climate system IS dominated by negative feedbacks, and indeed the system overall MUST BE dominated by negative feedbacks (ie, the water cycle as it acts as a heat pipe during the day, and a blanket at night), but to suggest P/4 is therefore a negative feedback is to confuse maths with the physics of reality. Maths should only ever describe a situation, by being applied properly to that situation, to let maths determine the physics can only lead to unphysical, imaginary scenarios. Which is where we are with P/4 is a negative feedback.

            Presenting / arguing such, is unrealistic and unphysical, regardless of whether such an
            argument is on Wiki or not.

          • Derek, I’m a little confused by what you’re suggesting. The factor of 4 is based on physics. The amount of energy we receive from the Sun (per unit time) is determined by the Earth’s cross-sectional area (pi r^2). The amount of energy we radiate back into space – based on an average surface temperature – is determined by our surface area (4 pi r^2). That’s where the factor of 4 comes from. I can’t see what issue you have with that.

          • Derek Alker says:

            Thank you wottsupwiththatblog,
            William wrote – “The main negative feedback is the fourth-power dependence of radiation on temperature.”

            That is not a negative climate feedback, to my understanding of the Stefan Boltzman equation and the physics imaginary concept of a black body.

            I went off at a tangent about P/4. My apologies as such, but, what William wrote does not make sense to me, in the context of earth’s climate system as William was referring to.

            I agree half of the planet is lit (slightly more actually, but let’s not split hairs) and all the planet radiates.

            To look at the whole planet on a per second basis, ie, you wrote “The amount of energy we receive from the Sun (per unit time) is determined by the Earth’s cross-sectional area (pi r^2). The amount of energy we radiate back into space – based on an average surface temperature – is determined by our surface area (4 pi r^2).” all in W/m2, ie, per second, is at best comparing, and summing together as if the same, apples and pears. The lit side is radiating not only energy recieved in that second, and the night side is radiating what it stored from the previous day, and at least in part that that was recieved days, weeks, years, and from many many years and multiples of years earlier. Not to mention geothermal inputs too.

            The notion that we should look at the planet being heated on one side for that second and what it radiates from all over in that same second as if it is the full sum is unphysical. At the most basic level, it does not include the heat capacity of the oceans, nor the time delays between input and output. The Pacific alone is 50% of this planet’s surface, and water has a very high heat capacity. Slow to warm, slow to cool.

            In one sense, and one sense only, as a whole object, yes we can say the earth all over radiaties on average as if it was an object at -18C, which is what it should be according to the Stefan Boltzman equation, given the strength of sunlight, at earth’s distance from the sun, but, to then apply this at the smaller scale (the planet’s climate) is plainly unphysical because it ignores and dismisses the thermodynamics of reality. This I have already explained in describing what P/4 is and does in regards of sunlight in relation to earth’s surface. Fine when applied to the object as a whole, but it is not applicable in part, in my opinion, or to the best of my understanding at present.

          • > At the most basic level, it does not include the heat capacity of the oceans

            Yes, of course it doesn’t. The minus-18-sans-atmosphere model is explicitly a toy model, it assumes perfectly conducting surface so that the entirety of the spherical surface is at the same temperature, day or nightside. I’ve said this already; comment of November 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm.

            However, you’re mixing up two different things, which happen to share T^4.

            All this stuff about -18 doesn’t have much to do with negative feedbacks. Again, see my comment of November 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm, 4th and 5th paragraphs. Blog comments aren’t a great place to explain basic radiative physics. If you want to understand this better, a basic physics-of-atmospheres text book is what you need.

        • Eli Rabett says:

          If you want a more detailed explanation try Arthur Smith
          http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.4324

          Mostly your questions can be answered (and are at the link), but after you get the answer you sit there asking whether the effort was worth it

          • Derek Alker says:

            Hello again Eli. It is a long time since your comment about, rather than to me at tAV. I hope you did not miss my reply?

            I will visit the link when time allows. I doubt it will be a revolution to me though.
            Ooops, I meant revalation didn’t I. LOL.

  15. Ingimundur Kjarval says:

    I find it telling, tried a search for Dr. Murry Salby on the BBC web and nothing came up.

  16. Pingback: #Agenda21-Thanks Prof Salby | ScottishSceptic | Defending Sanity in the Uppity Down World

  17. > I didn’t like Prof Murry Salby’s talk

    I forgot to object to that; you’re wrong: he isn’t a prof. He’s an ex-prof. I do hope that is your error, and that he wasn’t introduced as one; or that, if accidentally introduced as one, he didn’t correct his introducer.

  18. kingdube says:

    Some have a difficult time with the idea that anthropogenic emission is largely irrelevant to atmospheric concentration. Their thinking seems to them to be indisputable. i.e. Since we know that atmospheric enhancement is only about ½ our human emission, then removing our human emission would more than account for a reconciliation.

    It helps if you have a logical explanation as to how this could be so. Please email me at RonaldVoisin@gmail.com if you are interested in an essay in this regard that contains a logical explanation. .

  19. John Mashey says:

    As per post earlier, see Ruddiman, Kurtzbach, Vavrus, 2011. (free) a little old, athough evidence is even stronger now.
    Figure 2 on p.3 shows CH4 and CO2 of our interglacial, the Holocene, in red, compared with 7 past interglacials.. That graph is about pre-Industrial Revolution human effects, and already looks nothing like any of the past interglacials.
    It does not show last two centuries. To see that, print a copy of that page, and draw a vertical red line on Fig 2(B) from 280ppm at right to 400ppm, which is about even with the 650ppb of (A) above it. To have shown that would have squished the rest of the graph. Doing CH4 would have been worse, since it’s up at ~1600ppb. It can jiggle faster than CO2, although the Younger Dryas was only ~200ppb swing, compared to post-IR +1100ppb. That’s way off that page into center of another page above it. For a simpler graph, see Figure 4, Holocene versus averages of previous 6 interglacials. on that scale, our current CO2 level is 4-5 standard deviations above the average history of past glaciations.

    Salby is not a carbon cycle expert like Colin Prentice, who critiqued him in 2011.
    He is not an ice-core expert like British Antarctic Survey / Cambridge’s Eric Wolff, who heard Slaby talk in Spring 2013, and was “unimpressed,” but polite given that Salby could not even get simple terminology right.

  20. John Mashey says:

    The SCEF flyer for the Edinburgh event, says:

    ‘Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, 1997-present.’

    Was this statement:
    a) Provided by Salby?
    b) Or created by PSI / SCEF or someone else? (Ifso, who?)

    As WIlliam Connolley notes, Dr. Salby is an un-Professor, despite claim of the brochure.

    • John Mashey says:

      I ask again, more specifically, noting that many others have already taken care of the science side, as long ago as 2011.

      The claim that Salby is presently a Professor at U of Colorado-Boulder(CU) is not only false, but obviously so, given this post or even a cursory check at the uni’s website.

      Salby resigned in January 2008, amidst serious Conflict of Interest problems and financial problems with NSF that led to his debarment, among other issues that motivated a departure from the US. He filed ludicrous lawsuits against CU, which judges viewed dimly, to the point he came close to be required to pay CU’s court costs.

      Did SCEF knowingly present Salby with false credentials, or did this come from Salby and no one checked?

  21. Sorry for not participating in the conversation.

    Having read some comments on the Salby lecture elsewhere, it was clear some of those criticizing his work had not fully understood what he was saying (or had not even seen it). So rather than just reassert his conclusions, I wanted to explain his argument. I’ve finally managed to get that done but as it is long, you will have to wait a while as I get it checked.

    • http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2013/11/09/thrust/

      examines a significant portion of his argument. I’m confident I’ve understood it, and I’m confident that he is wrong. I look forward to your analysis of that portion.

    • I too think I understand his argument and, like William, think Salby is wrong. I also think I could explain why. I look forward to your analysis.

    • John Mashey says:

      Actually, I’ve watched all 3 videos several times, understand what he was trying to do, have a copy of his 2012 book, compared it with his 1996 book (mostly ~same, but about 0-20 pages of junk climate science, with at least 13 of the SkS bad arguments, most not even presented very well.) They aren’t new, but he is fairly new to the anti-science game – I’ve looked at ~60 publications since 1990, and there is no trace of this junk before July 2011, when he did the bait-and-switch at IUGG, which was not amusing to real scientists.

      I understand his arguments and I am sure he is wrong, for at least the set of reasons described elsewhere, plus this, which shows how different the Holocene is from past interglacials, even before the industrial revolution, which is off the charts.

      Salby did good work in the 1980s and early 1990s, and his first book was well-regarded, but his career has waned since then,

      I still ask a question that seems to keep getting dodged
      The brochure provided by SCEF makes a false claim, that Salby is at present a Professor @ University Colorado-Boulder. Did Salby create that, or someone in UK?
      That is a simple question that does not require climate science, statistics or physics.

  22. Pingback: Salby comment 1 | Wotts Up With That Blog

  23. Pingback: Salby comment 1 | And Then There's Physics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>