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Discussion > Murry Salby: Relationship Between Greenhouse Gases and Global Temperature

On 18 April 2013, Professor Murry Salby, of Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, gave a talk entitled Relationship Between Greenhouse Gases and Global Temperature at Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg. His talk is available on Youtube.

Like many other people, I was impressed by Professor Salby's talk. I think, in times to come, it will be seen as a turning point and its significance will be great. He shows how the "climate science", that led to the belief in fossil-fuel use causing global warming, is simply wrong, being contradicted by observations. His reasoning is simple and straightforward and presents evidence obtained directly from observations.

By the way, he is not a crackpot by any measure whatever. He has a record of work with NASA and his new textbook "Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate" (~650 pages) provides a good measure of his stature.

I think it is not an exaggeration to state that he puts climate science on to a rigorous footing, where things are confirmed by comparison with observation. This is something it has lacked previously, even leading some people to question whether it should be accorded the term "science", because of its reliance on unvalidated models as "evidence".

He uses mathematical and statistical methods (Partial differential equations, Fourier integrals, cross-spectra and their relations - phase spectra, coherence spectra) that will be foreign to many readers - although they are familiar enough to engineers from some branches of engineering. But, as Professor Salby says, "the important consequences ... will be self-evident".

Here is a summary of what seemed to me to be the key results presented by Professor Salby in his talk.. I have annotated them [eg (16.36)] to show where, in the Youtube video, a particular result is discussed and presented.

Anyone who doubts these results should study the video carefully. In the cases I have attempted so far, I have had no difficulty reproducing Professor Salby's results by processing publicly available records.

[1] Modern changes in CO2 and temperature are not unprecedented

- Proxy CO2 and temperature underestimate the atmospheric magnitudes and rate of change of temperature and CO2. (25.45) Once the effect of diffusion of gasses in ice is accounted for, it becomes clear that modern changes in CO2 and temperature are by no means unprecedented - neither in magnitude nor rate of change. (27.52)

Why this is significant: Because recent rapid changes in CO2 and temperature have widely been taken as "proof" of human caused climate change and this has now been shown to be false.

[2] Humans do not detectably affect CO2 levels.

Net global emission of CO2 evolves independently of the human contribution, being driven by global temperature (slide 43.23)

Why this is significant: Increases in atmospheric CO2 have been assumed to be of human origin and therefore justify measures to curb CO2 emission. This is shown to be false.

[3] IPCC statements that observation of carbon isotopes confirm the human origin of CO2 are wrong.

- The IPCC has stated "All of the increase in CO2 concentration since pre-industrial times is caused by human activity. The increased CO2 is known to be caused by human activities because the character of the CO2 in the atmosphere, the ratio of its heavy to light carbon atoms has changed in a way that can be attributed to addition of fossil fuel carbon."
Professor Salby states "the observed sensitivity of native emission of CO2 and carbon 13 make this impossible. (52.29)

Why this is significant: Assumptions that the IPCC's statement was correct has led to costly measures to curb CO2 emission.

[4] On timescales of decades, climate models referred to by the IPCC have no predictive capability.

- Professor Salby gives a convincing argument that 24 IPCC climate models have no predictive skill on a decadal timescale - the same timescale responsible for twentieth century warming. (59.00)

Why this is significant: Belief that computer models can predict climate is taken, incorrectly, as proof of the reality of human caused climate change.


[5] The energy balance in IPCC climate models is wrong.

- Professor Salby shows that the mean of global temperature as predicted by 24 IPCC models tracks (to within a scale factor) predicted CO2 levels. This is contradicted by observed temperature, which has not tracked CO2 levels. But in addition, for this to happen in reality, numerous contributions to heat transfer in the atmosphere (eg reflection by cloud, mechanical heat transfer from the surface) would all have to change in direct proportion to CO2.

Why this is significant: The output of climate models is the only "proof" that CO2 controls climate change. With this belief falsified, the whole "fossil-fuel use = global warming" hypothesis falls apart. In Professor Salby's words: "If the global energy balance is wrong, everything else is window dressing". (1.00.20)

[6] Atmospheric CO2 is proportional to the time integral of temperature.

Net rate of change of atmospheric CO2 is proportional to temperature (information from physical measurement), so total atmospheric CO2 is proportional to the time integral of temperature (confirmed processing observations of CO2 and temperature). (1.04.20)

Why this is significant: Its consequence is that human emissions do not significantly affect atmospheric CO2 levels.

_______________________________________________________________________________
Professor Salby's work has been rubbished thoroughly at Real Climate and at Skeptical Science - perhaps a hint at its significance.

Jul 7, 2013 at 1:26 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin

I think the most important thing that he shows is that on a daily basis, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (ppm) bears no relation to the daily amount pumped in by human activity. In other words other sources and sinks of CO2 are dominant.

Jul 7, 2013 at 3:35 AM | Registered CommenterDung

"Pumped in" has echoes of CAGW propaganda. "Released" would be factual and less emotive.

Jul 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

What RealClimate have to say is probably worth paying attention to since they are 'Real'Climatescientists, supposedly.
No-one in their right mind gives a stuff what Cook and Nuccitelli think.
I keep meaning to watch Salby's video. Perhaps after Wimbledon's finished. Or the Tour de France. Or the Ashes.
Tsk. So many commitments. So little time. So thanks for the summary, Martin.

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

On your number 2, "Humans do not detectably affect CO2 levels", I'm told that growth in anthropogenic CO2 emissions significantly exceeds growth in atmospheric CO2 levels. So the land and oceans must be absorbing the difference. Yet if I understand correctly Salby says the land and oceans (?) are emitting CO2 as they warm. But I hear that the pH of the oceans is falling, implying that they are absorbing CO2. Can you explain this apparent paradox?

Jul 7, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Hi Missy,

Interesting question. I'll give it some thought, although my answer might well be "I haven't a clue", especially if it needs knowledge of carbonate chemistry to answer.

To help me, do you have a reference to the mass of CO2 estimated to have caused the pH changes, year by year, that you can point me to? (from chemistry calculations, not from conservation of mass arguments). And including year by year records of ocean pH?

I may be out of circulation for a day or two but, if so, that won't mean I am ignoring the question.

Jul 7, 2013 at 5:13 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Hello Missy,

Land and ocean both emit and both absorb quantities of CO2 that dwarf the human contribution (slide at 36.39). I don't think that is controversial. But, as Salby said, the various mechanisms by which CO2 is emitted (other than fossil fuel use) are all poorly understood and have not been quantified, so it may be that no-one has the definitive answer to your question at present.

Salby's results showing the relation between global temperature and rate of change of atmospheric CO2 don't really seem to be open to debate, even if your question remains unanswered. His results are a matter of straightforward arithmetic applied to available observation records of CO2 and global temperature. I have had no problem reproducing his curves from the observation data, in the cases I have tried.

You said " ... I hear that the pH of the oceans is falling, implying that they are absorbing CO2."

I am guessing that you meant ".. implying that they are absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere". Am I right? If so, then I think that is an assumption rather than a fact. So I am not sure that you have actually identified a paradox or a contradiction.

The chemistry of carbonates in seawater is complicated and my understanding of the subject is minimal. It needs someone who understands ocean equilibrium chemistry and can do the calculations to give a definite answer. However...

"When water that contains dissolved calcium carbonate is warmed, CO2 is removed from the water as gas causing the equilibrium of bicarbonate and carbonate to shift to the right, increasing the concentration of dissolved carbonate"

Assuming this also applies to the carbonate in seawater, increasing global temperature will result in:
- CO2 being liberated in the ocean, and finding its way into the atmosphere.
- Additional carbonic acid in the ocean, lowering the pH.

As Salby mentions (around 17.11) increased atmospheric CO2 results in increased absorption rates on land. Presumably the CO2 fertilisation effect also applies to ocean plant life, so increased absorption by the ocean, simultaneous with increased emission, does not seem to involve any contradiction.

So I don't see that there is necessarily any contradiction between increased ocean emission and falling pH. Does that suffice as an answer? It's the best I can offer.

I did find some sources of data for ocean pH: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/oceans/acidity.html and I found a source for some of the observational data used to produce the graphs.

A bit like atmospheric CO2 records, the pH shows a strong annual cyclic variation which is much greater than the annual trend. There is also significant variability of the year-to year change which needs to be explained and does not correspond to absorption from the atmosphere at constant rate. It would be interesting to compare the year-to-year variation of pH with annual temperature and see if they are related, as Salby did for CO2.

Jul 8, 2013 at 8:30 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin, I'm embarrassed that my question put you to so much trouble. I', sorry not to have responded yesterday, but I had no useful data to contribute.

I don't have sufficient scientific background to know whether what you wrote is correct but there are a few observations. Your quote about warming of water leading to CO2 emission is interesting but as I found the same text on the Wikipedia page about lime scale formation, I'm surprised that you omitted the very next sentence:

"As the concentration of carbonate increases, calcium carbonate precipitates as the salt: Ca2+ + CO32- ⇋ CaCO3."

In other words heating the water leads to CO2 emission and the precipitation of calcium carbonate. So your conclusion that there would be, "Additional carbonic acid in the ocean, lowering the pH" seems not to hold up (the carbonate has precipitated). The text doesn't talk of carbonic acid at all, so I don't know how you reached your conclusion.

The idea that there is an equilibrium between CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans and that this is influenced by temperature is not new of course. I'm not aware what sort of average temperature rise has been seen in the ocean but I imagine it is much smaller than that seen in the atmosphere - quite small then. On the other hand the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere has been relatively large (in proportion to its previous value) so without knowing the relative influence of both (temperature and partial pressure) the naive balance would seem to be towards CO2 entering the oceans. And that fits with falling pH. And of course if Salby were right we would have to consider why the ocean should be warming in the first place, but perhaps not here.

It also seems non-intuitive that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are not causing CO2 levels to rise. If (as I understand) our yearly CO2 emissions exceed the yearly increase in atmospheric concentrations, then ignoring our emissions (ie. setting them to zero), atmospheric concentrations are falling. How can we say that our emissions have no effect?

Jul 8, 2013 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Hi Missy,

No probs - the question was interesting.


I'm surprised that you omitted the very next sentence:

"As the concentration of carbonate increases, calcium carbonate precipitates as the salt: Ca2+ + CO32- ⇋ CaCO3."

In other words heating the water leads to CO2 emission and the precipitation of calcium carbonate. So your conclusion that there would be, "Additional carbonic acid in the ocean, lowering the pH" seems not to hold up (the carbonate has precipitated). The text doesn't talk of carbonic acid at all, so I don't know how you reached your conclusion.

I omitted the very next sentence as it did not seem relevant.

I didn't mention carbonic acid because I assumed its relation to CO2 would be understood. Here is some added explanation:

If you dissolve CO2 in water, you get mainly undissociated CO2 molecules in the solution, which don't take part in acid/base reactions and do not affect the pH of the solution.

But a small proportion of the CO2 molecules (maybe 0.1%) react with the water to produce carbonic acid: H2O + CO2 = H2CO3. Carbonic acid is dissociated into negative bicarbonate ions and positive hydrogen ions. It is the latter that increase the hydrogen ion count, decreasing the pH.

So releasing CO2 in the sea gives:

- More dissolved CO2 which can find its way into the atmosphere.
- Additional carbonic acid in the water, resulting in reduced pH.

I hope that my previous reply now makes more sense.

However, bear in mind what I said before. Carbonate chemistry in seawater is quite complicated and working out in detail the consequence of a rise in temperature needs an expert. So my answer, although I believe it gives the true explanation, is no more than a plausibility argument until verified in detail by a carbonate-in-seawater chemist.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"How can we say that our emissions have no effect?" Or insignificant effect, perhaps.

It's a dynamic equilibrium (or almost an equilibrium, as it is not precisely balanced, hence the net flow) easier to illustrate with equations than with words.

I'll have a think about how to put it into words that don't sound like either hand-waving bullshit or incomprehensible gobbledegook.

Jul 8, 2013 at 9:33 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A - thanks for posting this summary, very useful. But sad news - looks like McQuarriue stuck the knife into Salby when his back was turned on his European tour. If reports are true he has lost his job, access to his data and office, and they even cancelled his flight ticket back to Oz. His Russian PhD student has also been left high and dry. It seems that they were determined to stop him publishing from the kick-off. Yet more disgraceful behavior from the nice people who are trying to save us all from the perils of a little extra CO2. Discussed at Jo Nova's and Watts Up.

Jul 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Thanks for the explanation, but I don't follow how the precipitation of the ingredient you need to make carbonic acid is not relevant. Your explanation seems an excellent description of how CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere causes a drop in pH (acidification).

If your mechanism were true, surely you could prove it in your kettle. If you were to boil a kettle of water you would hope to observe the remaining water becoming more acid as the kettle boils. And that acid should presumably dissolve the hard water scale from the heating element. On the other hand, you might see no change in pH and an accumulation of hard water scale. I know which I'd expect. Heating elements generally become furred-up, after all.

On equations, the mass-balance equation at the Skeptical Science page on "Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum" seems convincing to me. What is wrong with it?

Jul 9, 2013 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Missy,
By good fortune there is a comprehensive article on just this issue over at WUWT:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/08/ocean-acidi-what/
Most of it goes over my head but the results and conclusions are clearly spelt out. One of the key points which I picked up is that the massive volumes of the oceans provide huge buffering, even if it is only the upper layers which are of consequence.
As often happens on open blogs like WUWT and this one, some of the points have been challenged as not being conclusive and bringing in many other factors: limestone rocks, etc.. Fair enough - that's how science evolves. Such debate also shows that there is far too much uncertainty for there to be any justification for the alarmist hullaballoo over this.
I particularly liked the comment from one expert in pH measurement to the effect that he would not guarantee better than +/- 0.5 even under controlled conditions.
Lastly, as many have pointed out, "acidification" is a misleading term: the issue is whether there is any risk of the oceans becoming slightly less alkaline.

Jul 9, 2013 at 2:34 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

Missy,

As I said, that was the best answer I could offer. A chemist knowledgeable about carbonate-in-seawater chemistry could say whether or not what I said makes sense.

"If your mechanism were true, surely you could prove it in your kettle. If you were to boil a kettle of water you would hope to observe the remaining water becoming more acid as the kettle boils. And that acid should presumably dissolve the hard water scale from the heating element. On the other hand, you might see no change in pH and an accumulation of hard water scale. I know which I'd expect. Heating elements generally become furred-up, after all."

I may not have explained myself clearly if you think that I'd hope to see those things.

I am not sure why you seem to believe that boiling a solution (of calcium bicarbonate presumably), so that calcium carbonate is precipitated, is not going to change the pH of the solution.

Jul 9, 2013 at 5:46 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Maybe I have become confused. I'm no chemist :-)

But what is wrong with the mass-balance equations?

Jul 9, 2013 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterMissy

I'm seeing what happens if you put actual data into them...

http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/landuse/houghton/1850-2005.txt
http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2009.ems
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/#mlo_data

Jul 9, 2013 at 9:40 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

"Lastly, as many have pointed out, "acidification" is a misleading term: the issue is whether there is any risk of the oceans becoming slightly less alkaline."
----------------------------

Yup. You can make seawater more acidic by diluting it with pure water. This is one demonstration of why even measuring ocean pH needs to be done carefully, and any data that does not take account of salinity is useless.

Jul 10, 2013 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

On equations, the mass-balance equation at the Skeptical Science page on "Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum" seems convincing to me. What is wrong with it?


Hello Missy,

"What is wrong with it?"

Obviously, the additional CO2 in the atmosphere at the end of a 12 month period will be the CO2 added during that period, less the CO2 removed during that period. So, in that sense, no problem whatever with the mass balance calculation.

But beyond that, I get stuck.

"....the annual rise in atmospheric CO2 has been less than anthropogenic emissions every year for at least the last fifty...."

I think they are saying that this therefore shows the origin of the additional CO2 cannot have been natural. Whilst it sounds at least plausible, does it necessarily follow? I'm not saying what they say is wrong, but I can't get my head around it. Perhaps it's so obvious, I'll be embarrassed when it's explained to me.

I haven't followed their argument that Salby is wrong in overlooking the effect of average CO2 emission. Not saying they are wrong - just that I have not yet followed it. If Salby is correct that fluctuations of CO2 emission follow temperature, then I'd have thought average CO2 emission would also follow temperature. Perhaps I have missed a point.

My other problem is that with CO2 in the atmosphere, being exchanged in both directions between atmosphere and ocean+land, we have a system in dynamic equilibrium (or almost in equilibrium if there is a small and changing human input). So far as I can see, to understand what goes on, it necessarily has to be analysed as a dynamic system.

I analysed it, using a linear 1st order differential equation for the quantity of carbon in the atmosphere as a function of time - essentially the same as Salby's at 18.28. I used numbers similar to those from his CO2 budget graphic 36.39 (presumably of IPCC origin). I assumed constant human emission of up to 10 GtC per year and calculated the resulting percentage of atmospheric CO2 of human origin. The result I got was hugely different from SkS. I've asked a friend to check my calculations.

So... I would not say that the SkS reasoning is wrong - just that I have not so far got my head around it and the results of the calculations I did, treating the system as one in dynamic equilibrium, differ greatly from their numbers. So a bit inconclusive, so far, I'm afraid.

Jul 12, 2013 at 11:41 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Although I have watched Salby's talk at Macquarie a number of times I have only just watched the Hamburg presentation and now I am even more impressed with Salby. I will need to watch it again a couple of times though.
The calculus would have been easy to follow 45 years ago but now sadly impossible (a big thank you for the army surplus anti depressants Dr Roberts) but there was much more than just maths.
I like the way he linked CO2 and temperature relationships over different time scales and I loved the debunking of the C13 smoking gun ^.^
Most of all I watched his body language and confirmed my previous impression, this is a man who believes in what he is saying (doesn't make it true I know). During his presentation he paused often and looked at his audience intently as if to check whether they "get it".
His "theory" links proxy records with observations and with mathematical calculations and it seemed to hang together.
Salby showed that temperature controlled CO2 emissions and also controlled C13 isotope emissions with an inverse relationship to total CO2. Higher temperature caused increased natural emissions of total CO2 but with a lower proportion of C13 CO2, fascinating presentation .

Jul 13, 2013 at 2:08 AM | Registered CommenterDung

To me it was a delight to watch because, a couple of existences or more ago, I lived and breathed Fourier theory and subsequently I was heavily involved in estimating cross-spectra (and from those, coherence spectra and phase spectra) of pairs of time series, so that part of his talk instantly made perfect sense to me.

His presentation is a talk, not a research paper. And he covers an awful lot of stuff in the time, so it's not surprising that the details of his working are essentially "an exercise for the student". I've tried reproducing some of his graphs and have had no difficulty doing so (other than not knowing the precise specs of the lowpass filters he used to produce smoothed curves). Not a complete verification so far, but enough to convince me that it was certainly not a work of fiction.

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:36 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The idea that CO2 emissions follow temperature and that the rise in CO2 concentrations over the last 50 years is _because_ of a rise in temperature implies to me that, were temperatures not rising, the planet would be absorbing all anthropogenic emissions. Is that the proposal?

Ignoring the issue of what caused the current temperature increase (if it not CO2), if the linear rise of 0.6 degrees in surface temperatures in 50 years is enough to raise CO2 levels by 100ppm (again linear) then a fall of several degrees (5?) during the last ice age would have meant a fall into negative territory. Does that not make you wonder a little?

Perhaps we could imagine that once the concentration falls to 150ppm or so, plant life shuts down planet-wide and releases CO2, and the mechanism becomes non-linear. I haven't heard of a planet-wide shutdown (we exist after all) so maybe the areas covered by ice, which would have had no plant life, were enough: all of the plants in the northern areas died and rotted and their CO2 stabilised global levels against the huge temperature driven planetary sucking of CO2...

But what do you conclude about the weakness of the process on exit from the last ice age? All of the warming since the ice age would have caused a rise of just 130ppm (before the 20thC). Perhaps in a reverse of the above, the planet gave off CO2 on warming and that was used by plants recolonising the now ice-free northern areas. And that process continued slowly for thousands of years until 1950 (when we coincidentally started emitting many giga-tons a year) when it took off linear-fashion.

All crazy stuff, but then I haven't given it much thought. Perhaps you can provide so more convincing explanations. But a little scepticism is in order, don't you think?

I wont be joining the Salby fan club - I found the guy creepy - especially those long pauses and intense stares. But, being sacked from two universities is certainly an achievement. I don't rate his chances on making a hat-trick.

Jul 13, 2013 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMissy

The idea that CO2 emissions follow temperature and that the rise in CO2 concentrations over the last 50 years is _because_ of a rise in temperature implies to me that, were temperatures not rising, the planet would be absorbing all anthropogenic emissions. Is that the proposal?

I think that Salby provided evidence that CO2 concentration follows the integral of temperature (w.r.t. time) - not temperature itself.

"...the planet would be absorbing all anthropogenic emissions. Is that the proposal?"

Well I think it probably is an implication of what he said. And I think it may well be what would happen. You have very large flux of CO2 between atmosphere and land+ocean (flux proportional to CO2 concentration) and very large flux between land+ocean and atmosphere (flux proportional to temperature). So you have (in the absence of human emission and temperature changes due to eg solar variation) a system in dynamic equilibrium, with the two large fluxes equal and in opposite directions.

If you now inject a small additional flux (small compared with the large existing fluxes), you don't change the equilibrium condition much. That applies for any system of two reservoirs in dynamic equilibrium - climate systems, large scale queueing systems or whatever. My calculations (mentioned in a post above), using the equilibrium fluxes and atmospheric concentration given in Salby's 'carbon budget' slide (origin IPCC, I imagine) said that a constant 10GtC annual emission would raise the atmospheric CO2 content by about 6%. That would not be a very significant increase by comparison with doublings of CO2 which are often discussed.


Ignoring the issue of what caused the current temperature increase (if it not CO2), if the linear rise of 0.6 degrees in surface temperatures in 50 years is enough to raise CO2 levels by 100ppm (again linear) then a fall of several degrees (5?) during the last ice age would have meant a fall into negative territory. Does that not make you wonder a little? ?

As I mentioned above, I think Salby's hypothesis is that it's the integral of temperature that counts, not the temperature itself.

The lack of a theory for the initiation and termination of ice ages is one of the things that convinces me that 'climate scientists' don't know all that much about the subject - 'science is settled' notwithstanding. On BH we have discussed the possibility that climate is a chaotic system that hovers around in a warm period and then, for no very special or obvious reason, quite abruptly transitions into an ice age.

I wont be joining the Salby fan club - I found the guy creepy - especially those long pauses and intense stares. But, being sacked from two universities is certainly an achievement. I don't rate his chances on making a hat-trick.

Well whether you fancy him or not probably does not have much bearing on the question of whether his hypotheses will stand the test of examination and further investigation.

The advice often given is to avoid ad-homs, for several good reasons.

Jul 13, 2013 at 6:36 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I don't have an intuitive grasp of what CO2 concentrations following the _integral_ of temperature might mean. Are you effectively saying it has to be warm for some time before CO2 levels rise? So the CO2 levels depend upon the average energy in the system? Does that work? I mean that implies there is a delay after a temp rise before CO2 levels rise but that the CO2 curve should follow the temperature curve. Comparing the CO2 curve with temperature since 1960, it seems to me that the curves don't fit.

Ad-homs? Well, that implies I am questioning him rather than his ideas and I think I have indicated my doubts about his ideas fairly clearly :-)

Maybe I was unkind, but my comments can perhaps be seen as a balance or antidote to the unconditional adoration of some commenters (not necessarily here), which also has no place in judging his ideas.

Jul 13, 2013 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Missy

I am beginning to wonder if you are genuine ^.^
You find him creepy???

During Salby's Hamburg presentation he put up graphs showing that during the various glaciations/warming periods in our current ice age; rising CO2 lagged rising temperature by up to 1500 years. Papers by Idso et al say up to 2000 years and even graphs in the IPCC reports show the same thing. There is no argument about CO2 lagging temperature.

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:05 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I see I misunderstood. So Salby's proposal is that CO2 levels follow the integral of temperatures over periods in the tens of hundreds of years. I'm not that mathematically minded, so tell me, would a quantity integrated over a thousand years show much variability over a period of just 50 years? CO2 levels have risen by 25% in 50 years! Doesn't that imply that your millennial temperature integral also has to have changed by a considerable amount over just half a century? Would it not take some sudden and large changes in temperature for a 50 year period to influence a millennial integral so significantly?

Jul 14, 2013 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Missy

Salby did not say that CO2 varies as the integral of temperature over short periods and whatever happens over very short periods like a few hundred years is lost in the big picture. However I think you are right to say that CO2 has risen quite substantially recently but it is also clear that sinks take that CO2 and use it/store it.
The planet has been taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and storing it for over 4 billion years bringing it down from being 80% of the atmosphere to just a trace element. What would worry me is CO2 going down not going up

Jul 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM | Registered CommenterDung