According to new research, increase in CO2 emissions are more dependant on global temperature and soil moisture than what we burn in our industrial world. Not what you are likely to hear from the government.
CO2 is not in the driving seat, it is in the back seat.
Speaking at a seminar held by the Sydney Institute Professor Murry Sawlby, author of the text book Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics and an IPCC reviewer, outlined his research which was first delivered last week to an international climate conference and will appear in a peer reviewed journal later this year. You can listen to the podcast here.
I’ve listened to the podcast, and without seeing the charts he holds up it is difficult to get your head around the details of what he is saying, but it is broadly in line with what we knew from ice cores – that CO2 rises after the temperature rises. What surprised me was that the human contribution might be trivial.
Although man has been said to contribute somewhere around 3-5 percent of annual emissions, if you assume that all carbon sinks remain constant, then it only takes you 33 years at the lower figure to put out a figure equal to 100 percent of annual emissions. Because of the CO2 fertilisation effect which means plants grow faster with higher levels of CO2 and thus absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere, we know that one of the sinks is not constant, so that abatement will increase with emissions, but not to the full extent of the increase in emissions.
Apparently, based on observations, that is not what happens. As I say, I will have to delve more deeply into this one, but as Professor Sawlby says in his lecture – if you don’t understand and can’t predict carbon emissions you can’t model them, and apparently we don’t. Which means that the Global Climate Models can’t be relied upon and the science is anything but settled.
Note to Julia Gillard: stop talking crap. As Professor Sawlby also said “Anyone who thinks the science of this complex thing is settled is in Fantasia.”