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Ian Plimer’s ‘Heaven + Earth’ — Checking the Claims - page 3 / 64





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1. In spite of Plimer being praised for the extensive referencing, many of the controversial assertions have no supporting citation. These include: the claim that analysis of 102 studies showed that 78% found earlier periods, lasting at least 50 years, that were warmer than any period in the 20th century [page 86]; frequent claims that the Medieval Warm Period was 2 to 3 degrees warmer than the present and the claim that Roman times were 2 to 6 degrees warmer. (for which many of the cited references do not even address the Roman or Medieval periods — see overview on page 43 onwards); and the repeated claim that the climate sensitivity is 0.5C.


In his efforts to down-play the extent of warming from CO2, and exaggerate the relative role of water vapour, Plimer ends up implicitly attributing so much warming to water vapour, that the planetary temperature in the absence of water vapour would be nearer the temperatures of the outer planets. In some cases the numbers given by Plimer are exaggerated to such an extent as to imply that without water vapour, Earth’s temperature would be below absolute zero — a physical impossibility. The exaggerations fall into two groups: those that relate to anthropogenic CO2 and those that relate to total CO2. In each case, inconsistency arises when the exaggeration in the relative proportions is combined with values for absolute warming. i: exaggerations concerning anthropogenic CO2: T h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e c l a i m t h a t C O 2 d e r i v e d f r o m h u m a n a c t i v i t y p r o d u c e s 0 . 1 % o global warming is analysed in item 101. ii: exaggerations concerning total CO2: The inconsistency in attributing 18C of warming to total CO2 [page 366] while stating f

in the caption of figure 44:

bout 98%










to water vapour, is noted in item 70.


large fraction of the graphics are given without any attribution of the sources of the data. Figures 2, 22, 36, 41, 43, 45 are schematics, where a citation is not needed, unless to acknowledge authorship by others (e.g. Figure 45 should be acknowledged as a minor variant from Figure 1.2 in the IPCC T R (WG1 report), or preferably by referring to the Keihl and Trenberth reference cited therein). Figures 6, 7, 14, 17, 30, 32, 33, 35, 46, 47, 53 do include explicit citations while in figures 4, 19, 27, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40, 42, 48, 49, 51, 54 relevant data might be traceable by those with a reasonably good knowledge of the relevant field (e.g. when there is a unique data set held in an established central data repository).

ppropriate citations should be either for the graphic as a whole or for the data sets that are plotted (or both). Cases where neither of these is done are figures 1, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 (particularly for lower part), 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 37, 42, 44, 50 and 52. Problems with axis labelling (wrong numbers, missing numbers, incorrect labels) occur in figures 5 [item 16], 8 [item 17], 12 [item 35] and 14 [item 37]. (For

comparison, the comparable issues with graphics in

n Inconvenient ruth are a totally

unquantified graph on page 89, no units on the plot on pages 78–79, and no temperature scale for the lower line on pages 66–67.)3

3Comments on n Inconvenient ruth refer to the book unless otherwise indicated.


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