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Discussion > Dr Murry Salby - lecture at Parliament 6 Nov

So far as I know, Dr Salby's lecture at the House of Commons on 6 November 13:30 - 15:30 is still on.

The 'itinerary' link on the BH announcement seems to have evaporated.!

Some tickets are still available:

Nov 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

How exciting! Do you know if there will be a video Martin?

Nov 3, 2013 at 11:15 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Alex Cull and I will be there. Anyone else?

Nov 4, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Dung - in view of the clarity of Dr Salby's presentations available on youtube, I think it would be an excellent thing if the proceedings were videoed and made available. But I have no idea whether there are any plans for that.

I now notice that the announcement of the seminar also says
Piers Corbyn on the IPCC AR5 report. Weather Action Long Range Weather & Climate Forecasting

RG - I'm planning to be there.

Nov 4, 2013 at 3:17 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

This morning I received an email saying:

A Message from Repeal the Act!:

Dr Murry Salby's seminar in Committe Room 14 will start at 1.30pm - not at 2pm - and end promptly at 3.30pm.
This change is due to another booking for Committee Room 14.

If you would like to meet other attendees for a chat before the seminar come to the Jubilee Cafe, located next to Westminster Hall, at 12.30pm for lunch. The cafe offers a selection of light meals, and hot and cold drinks.

I hope you enjoy the afternoon. Kind regards Fay Tuncay

Nov 5, 2013 at 9:53 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Dung - I have been told that it is planned to video the seminar and to post it on youtube.

Nov 5, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I went. I was doubtful about the worth of getting there through the rain but I went, and it proved to be well worth it. Lots of the blogosphere turned out, I spotted David Rose, I chatted to Ferdinand Engelbeen, over from Belgium for the event, who is really the most convincing advocate for the traditional view of CO2. Many others present who I hope will chip in here.

The event was videoed.

Salby turned out to be a fluent and persuasive speaker. His troubles with the Aussie academia were not mentioned. He speaks mainly to observations rather than proposed mechanisms. He has identified a correlation between the integral of temperature and the level of CO2 which makes the rise of CO2 an effect rather than a cause. It's all quite convincing to the layman. One would like to see it thrashed out between Salby and Ferdinand and some sort of test of the conjecture worked out. I won't attempt to go further, but I advise watching the video when it emerges.

After a Q&A session the ubiquitous Piers had a little speech, and when he had delighted us enough Graham Stringer gave us a few words holding out some hope that the truth is slowly coming home to politicians. He is now my favourite Labour MP. Not a competitive field.

Nov 6, 2013 at 7:32 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

Great to have that report Rhoda. I too would love to see Salby and Engelbeen go head to head. And what has happened to David Coe?

Nov 6, 2013 at 9:09 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon's talk - don't know enough about the physics to say much about that, but thought Dr. Salby spoke very well. (Also greatly enjoyed yesterday's speech by John Howard at the IME, amidst all the masked mayhem going on outside in Westminster.)

At the end of today's proceedings, Graham Stringer mentioned a rather fruitless Q&A session he had with Greg Barker, and here's the transcript:

Graham Stringer: We have had as many definitions as questions, some of them pretty vague. What is your definition of climate change?

Greg Barker: The definition is that climate change is climate change.


Nov 6, 2013 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

I enjoyed Dr Salby's presentation and I reflected that it would have been hard to imagine such a talk being given in the House of Commons a couple of years back.

Except for his closing remarks, where he talked about the value of science, I think it's fair to say that he did not cover anything that was not presented in his April Hamburg lecture (which is available on youtube and which goes into greater detail than yesterday's presentation).

Nov 7, 2013 at 7:58 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A
Nov 7, 2013 at 10:19 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

..and then I thought, 'What's he integrating?'. He has a nice correlation, and the result is that the CO2 curve will always go up while he is integrating any curve of positive figures. What if it is absolute temps in K? What if it's temps in Celsius? No, I think it actually IS global average temperature anomaly. And surely the baseline makes a difference. CO2 can only decline under this hypothesis if temps can be negative. And whether and by how much a temperature anomaly can be negative depends on the base. Choose one base and the CO2 curve goes up even when temps are stable or declining. Choose another and the very same sequence of actual temp average could cause the CO2 curve to decrease. Whether I am not really grasping this or my calculus is all forgotten I can't differentiate.

Can anyone help?

Nov 8, 2013 at 1:51 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

rhoda - This is one aspect of his Hamburg talk that I did not sort out to my satisfaction prior to getting sidetracked onto totally other stuff. But...

SkS (as you might have expected) takes the view that Salby is wrong. Understanding what they say might help resolve things.

SKS ("Dikran Marsupial") is very keen on the "mass balance" equation. Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum

Some time back on BH "Missy" asked me why this was not convincing to me. My reply was that it sounded plausible to me but sounding plausible is different from proving something.


I think that SkS said that he was talking only about the wiggles in the temperature or CO2 curves - not the absolute values.

I think (but I'm not sure) this may be correct.

I think SkS said that if there are correlations between the curves of the wiggles* (or between the integral of one curve and the other curve) this does not tell you about absolute values which I think is what they think is what matters. I think they talk about Salby making a "subtle" error here - which I interpreted as meaning it is not obvious that it actually is an error..

Having found errors in SkS analysis of CO2 concentration lifetime analysis (or rather, statistically unwarranted conclusions being presented as firm proof) I would tend to bet on Salby being right rather than SkS but, as I said, I never followed it up to understand just what SkS was saying and whether or not it made sense and then relating it to Salby's arguments.

For my own benefit, I transcribed his Hamburg talk. I could post it somewhere if that would be of any use to anyone.

* The curve of the wiggles means the true curve but with mean value and slowly changing components subtracted, leaving just the high frequency wiggles.

Nov 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Following on from the above...

I think I remember in the discussion of David Coe's paper (presented on BH) there was discussion about whether a relationship between what goes on with the high frequency wiggles means that the same relationship also holds at lower frequencies.

Someone commented that it would need some complicated (and difficult to imagine) explanation if the mechanism were to change its nature in going from lower frequencies to higher frequencies. In view of my knowledge of the difficulty of designing and building electronic filters with high values of frequency selectivity, I agreed with that comment.

I'd imagine something similar would apply to Salby's work. ie, if there is a relationship between integral of temp and CO2 that holds at high frequencies, it would probably hold at low frequencies too.

Nov 8, 2013 at 5:44 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Great to have that report Rhoda. I too would love to see Salby and Engelbeen go head to head. And what has happened to David Coe?

Nov 6, 2013 at 9:09 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake


I learned much from my earlier foray at BH. particularly about how not to lose the message through over elaborate prose. As a result I am busy redrafting my paper with a view to peer review publication. Needless to say that I disagree with both Murry Salby and Ferdinand Englebeen.

Nov 8, 2013 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Coe

Maybe I shouldn't piss on your bonfire, but Stoat has some observations about Salby:

Nov 10, 2013 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

Gosh - Connolley certainly seems to have worked himself into a state of extreme high dudgeon from having watched Salby's talk on youtube (although such a reaction does not seem to be unusual for him).

It is clear that Connolly's scientific intellect dwarfs that of mere professors of climate physics (in his own opinion, at least).

Here are a few of his words about Professor Judith Curry (taken direct from his blog)...

... But the last (and to me worst) part of all this is that JC is just spraying disinformation around. If she finds this issue interesting, and finds this very basic fact to be beyond her ability to verify, then she can f*ck*ng well talk to some of her colleagues (assuming she hasn’t managed to cut all her ties to people of any quality). She’s at a university, no? She can talk to the prof of Chemistry. Or of Oceans. Or something. But one way or another, she can f*ck*ng well find out the truth, first. Then she could have written a post that might have been informative, and might have reduced people’s confusion on this issue. Instead she’s made the world a little bit worse.....

( )

Presumably the same Connolley famous for his wikipedia contributions?

Nov 10, 2013 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

what a rambling mess that Connolley post was, with irrelevant links thrown in as much as possible. "Here read this instead, don't believe Salby, please". Pathetic.

Nov 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM | Registered Commentershub

Pathetic? No, "pathetic" is people travelling long distances to hear Salby speak about his theory just because he is saying something that contradicts what every other climate scientist believes and indeed defies common sense. Pathetic is believing Salby because he is saying what you want to believe.

Go and read some of the links - they are only "irrelevant" in the sense that they say something you don't want to hear.

Nov 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

Hi folks. I think its interesting that although some of you turned out to see Salby, no-one seems to have actually understood what he was saying. That's where you'll find my post (linked above; thanks!) helpful (that's assuming he has only one theory, of course. But someone has already said that London was much like Hamburg).

Skipping the C13, and the constructive aspect of Salby's talk, the Key Problem he has is that were you to believe his present-day T-vs-CO2 relationship, you get totally implausible glacial-interglacial CO2 swings (assuming you believe the icecore etc temperature record: oddly, he doesn't think to question that). Many people have noted this, including SKS; its the obvious problem, after all. So a large chunk of Salby's Hamburg talk is dedicated to trying to explain why the ice core CO2 record isn't showing all the variation. This is one of the bits that everyone gets lost on, because the maths is well beyond you. Fortunately, once you realise that he's made up diffusion values and CO2 sinks, you can realise that none of it makes sense. AFAIK I'm the first person to bother following what he's saying and work out what's wrong with it.

> Salby turned out to be a fluent and persuasive speaker

Really? He must have had some lessons since Hamburg. At Hamburg he is soooo sloooow and ponderous.

> It's all quite convincing to the layman

Translation: you didn't actually understand what he was saying.

Nov 10, 2013 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Connolley

William Connolley - good of you to drop by. I found both your blog posting and your comment here interesting.

To be frank, you come across as having found Salby's talk very disturbing. You are clearly brimming with hostility to Salby personally, as well as to the analysis he presents. This does not suggest an objective approach on your part. I assume that you don't understand what your belittling an irrelevancy such as his manner of speaking suggests to others about your mindset.

On your blog posting, you admit that you find Salby's equations 'incomprehensible' yet here you are happy to tell BH posters "... the maths is well beyond you" and to claim ('AFAIK') that you are the first person to work out what he is saying.

I am sure that I'm not the only BH reader who is perfectly at home with the maths that Salby used (diffusion equations, Fourier transforms, cross spectral analysis). I had no difficulty quickly and easily reproducing Salby's graphs, in the cases I tried, from publicly available data. And I had no problem tweaking a lowpass filter to get visually identical curves to his in cases where he had smoothed the curves - perhaps surprising to you, in view of what you said about Salby not mentioning the filtering he used.

In a seminar presentation, a whole raft of details have to be left out. The aim is to get across the gist of the methods and the results - not to detail every assumption, discuss preceding work with references, and give the derivation of every formula to enable the work to be reproduced. But you know that of course.

We'll all have to wait until the details of Salby's work are eventually published. Until then open minded people will reserve judgement that there may indeed be a new and valid viewpoint on atmospheric CO2.

Others, who are convinced, like you, that "its settled, done, and nailed down" will doubtless be confident that Salby's work will be shown to be erroneous as soon as it appears in publication. Such people will also probably express doubts that it ever will be published.

Nov 10, 2013 at 10:02 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

You can pretty much grok (showing Eli's age) what the Weasel is barfing on from the next to last paragraph in his screed:

He does a lot of “theoretical calculations” but at no point does he point out that those calculations can’t be done without assuming values for some basic parameters (CO2 diffusion in ice, for example; or the non-conservation of CO2 in ice) and that his values for those parameters are wildly at variance with the ones anyone else would use

So you really don't have to do the math, just figure out why Salby is right on the choice of parameters and everyone else wrong.

Nov 11, 2013 at 4:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

The present day relationship is not the same over longer time scales, per Salby. All that is required from SAlby's Hamburg talk is there to be a larger background rise in CO2 than presently understood from natural temperature driven processes, over and above fossil fuel added CO2 which is taking place anyway. If true, all this would bring to question is the post-1950 IPCC formulation of attribution of the CO2 to humans, not that humans have not had contributions CO2 at all.

Think of it like Moberg 2005. If true, the Moberg graph captures a greater range of natural millennial scale variability than, say, Mann 1999. Now, if for some reason, all proxy reconstructions up to that point had been perfect replicas of Mann, Moberg would have come as a 'complete shock', and such variability would have been 'implausible'.

Nov 11, 2013 at 8:19 AM | Registered Commentershub

Martin A. The point of my SkS article is that corellations are only sensitive to the similarity in the wiggles of the signals on which it is calculated. The average value of those signals has no effect on whatsoever on the value of the corelation coefficient (as the mean values are subtracted as the first step in the calculation). However it is the average value that causes the rise in the time integral, so the corellation tells you nothing at all about the cause of the rise in atmospheric CO2.

At the end of the day, any argument that suggests that the rise in CO2 is natural needs to be able to explain why the observed annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is less than annual anthropogenic emissions (on average about half). If the oceans and terrestrial biosphere were a net carbon source (taking in less than they emit) atmospheric CO2 would be rising faster than the rate of anthropogenic emissions as both mankind and nature would be net sources. But reliable observations tell us that this is not the case.

If there are errors in any of my articles on SkS, please do add a comment to the article and explain your objection, I would be very happy to discuss them with you.

Nov 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterDikran Marsupial

I could never choose between him and Jasper Carrot.

Nov 11, 2013 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed