A new heretic

Andrew Bolt reports:

Professor Murry Salby, chair of climate at Macquarie University, has unleashed on global warming alarmism in a lecture this week to the Sydney Institute.

Salby has worked at leading research institutions, including the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, Princeton University, and the University of Colorado, and is the author of Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics, and Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate, due out in 2011.

Salby's argument is that the usual evidence given for the rise in CO2 being man-made is mistaken. It's usually taken to be the fact that as carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere increase, the 1 per cent of CO2 that's the heavier carbon isotope ratio c13 declines in proportion. Plants, which produced our coal and oil, prefer the lighter c12 isotope. Hence, it must be our gasses that caused this relative decline.

But that conclusion holds true only if there are no other sources of c12 increases which are not human caused. Salby says there are - the huge increases in carbon dioxide concentrations caused by such things as spells of warming and El Ninos, which cause concentration levels to increase independently of human emissions. He suggests that its warmth which tends to produce more CO2, rather than vice versa - which, incidentally is the story of the past recoveries from ice ages.

I've summarised this from just a rushed hearing of his lecture, not having access to his notes or the charts he produced on the evening. His findings, he says, have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication, so more will follow.

Some other highlights of his talk:

He said he had an "involuntary gag reflex" whenever someone said the "science was settled".

"Anyone who thinks the science of this complex thing is settled is in Fantasia." The climate models used by global warmists suggest we should have twice the warming we've actually seen recently.

Podcast here

Judith Curry comments: If Salby's analysis holds up, this could revolutionize AGW science. Salby and I were both at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the 1990?s, but I don't know him well personally. He is the author of a popular introductory graduate text Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics. He is an excellent lecturer and teacher, which comes across in his podcast. He has the reputation of a thorough and careful researcher. While all this is frustratingly preliminary without publication, slides, etc., it is sufficiently important that we should start talking about these issues.

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