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Ian Plimer’s ‘Heaven + Earth’ — Checking the Claims - page 20 / 64

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at the beginning and footnote 2118 after additional cases not quoted above. This makes it difficult to identify which citation applies to which group of claims. In the case of ref- erence 2117 (Eric Sundquist’s article Geological perspectives on carbon dioxide and the carbon cycle, noted above in connection with item 60), the misrepresentation is particu- larly clear. Sundquist describes carbon balance and the decay of perturbations in terms of competition between the flux to and from the atmosphere. In these terms his estimates are of the one-way fluxes, i.e. Plimer is omitting half of Sundquist’s calculation, thus turning approximate balance into a claim of rapid net loss of CO2 from the atmosphere.

97.

p . 4 2 2 : T h e r e i s c o n s i d e r a b l e d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e a t m o s p h e r i c C O 2 l i f e t i m e b e t w e e n t h e 3 7

independent measurements and calculations computer model. This discrepancy has not

using six different been explained by

methods and the IPCC

the

IPCC.

s

noted

in

item

95,

Plimer

is

misrepresenting

estimates

of

turnover

time

as

being

estimates

of

a

characteristic

lifetime

for

CO2

perturbations.

The

difference

has

been

explained

in

IPCC

reports — see in particular section 2.1.4 of the WG1 Second

ssessment Report.

course, in criticising the doesn’t actually exist).

IPCC

computer

model,

Plimer

is

referring

to

something

(Of that

9 8 . p . 4 2 2 : I f t h e C O 2 a t m o s p h e r i c l i f e t i m e w e r e 5 y e a r s , t h e n t h e a m o u n t o f t h e t o t a l a t m o s p h e r i c C O 2 d e r i v e d f r o m f o s s i l f u e l b u r n i n g w o u l d b e 1 . 2 % n o t t h e 2 1 % a s s u m by the IPCC. This would appear to conflict with Oceans, soils and plants already absorb e d a t l e a s t h a l f t h e h u m a n C O 2 e m i s s i o n s o n p a g e 4 7 2 . I n f a c t b o t h s t a t e m e n t s a r e r o u g true — the conclusion that resolves this apparent conflict is that a 5-year ‘atmospheric lifetime’ does not characterise atmospheric CO2. h l y

99.

p . 4 2 2 : I n o r d e r t o m a k e t h e m e a s u r e m e n t s o f t h e a t m o s p h e r i c C O 2 l i f e t i m e a g r e e w i t h t h e I P C C a s s u m p t i o n , i t w o u l d b e n e c e s s a r y t o m i x a l l t h e C O 2 d e r i v e d f r o m t h e w o r l d s f o s s i l b u r n i n g w i t h a d i f f e r e n t C O 2 r e s e r v o i r t h a t w a s fi v e t i m e s l a r g e r t h a n t h e a t m o s p h e r e . 2 1 — Reference 2123 (which is also reference 1738) does not support such a claim. It gives an outline of the atmosphere-ocean-biosphere carbon dynamics which is quantitatively similar to current mainstream understanding, even though this 1979 analysis pre-dates both the IPCC (and its alleged ‘assumptions’) and the availability of CO2 concentrations from ice cores. Indeed, the ability to understand the carbon cycle using radiocarbon data, without reference to CO2 concentrations from ice-cores, seriously undermines the 2 3

significance of reference

of attacks on the ice-core data.

s a measure of the accuracy, endnote 13

2123 estimates that human activity had increased CO2 by 35 ppm. Ice-core

data would indicate that the increase to that time was nearer 30% error, not the factor of 5 or more claimed by Plimer.

to

45

ppm.

This

is

about

a

100.

p . 4 2 5 : T h e I P C C 2 0 0 7 r e p o r t s t a t e d t h a t t h e C O 2 r a d i a t i v e f o r c i n g h a d i n c r e a s e d b y 2 0 % in the last 10 years. Radiative forcing puts a number on increases in radiative energy i n t h e a t m o s p h e r e a n d h e n c e t h e t e m p e r a t u r e . I n 1 9 9 5 , t h e r e w a s 3 6 0 p p m v o f C O whereas in 2005 it was 378 ppm , some 5% higher. However each additional molecule 2 o f C O 2 i n t h e a t m o s p h e r e c a u s e s s m a l l e r r a d i a t i v e f o r c i n g t h a n i t s p r e d e c e s s o r a n d t h e

real increase in radiative forcing was

20-fold.

s Plimer notes, radiative

1%. The IPCC have exaggerated the effect of forcing is about increases. The IPCC (see

C O R4 2

20

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