Jim Renwick’s review of Bob Carter’s book, Climate – The Counter Consensus, reminded me that I have long promised provide a detailed explanation of why EG Beck – lauded by Bob Carter and Bryan Leyland – is a fraud. So here, connecting the two, is a syllogism (*):
- EG Beck is a fraud.
- Bob Carter pretends to believe EG Beck, therefore…
- Bob Carter misconducts himself before Parliament.
Here I will show 1 and 2 to be true, leading to 3 (that Bob Carter has been ‘misconducting’ himself and is therefore in contempt of Parliament). You will have seen some of this before but, as it never bothers the deniers to recycle text, I feel no guilt in using a partial retread.
1, that Bob Carter says he believes EG Beck, is trivially easy to prove so I’ll get that out of the way at once. In his submission to the first ETS Select Committee Bob Carter includes a copy of a conference presentation he gave to the 2007 Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy New Leaders’ Conference. On page 3 (labelled as p62 of the conference proceedings in the scanned part of the submission), at the end of the paragraph headed “Is carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant?”, Bob Carter says:
More support for decadal fluctuations of carbon dioxide comes from the compilation and summary of 90 000 historical atmospheric analyses back to the mid-19th century by Beck (2007).
In the references the EG Beck ‘paper’ that Bob Carter cites as being ‘under review’ at Energy and Environment is the infamously bad 180 Years of Atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods. In the acknowledgements EG Beck says:
I am especially indepted to…Prof. Dr. Bob Carter for helpful discussions, …and Prof. Dr.Bob Carter for their linguistic support.
So Bob Carter knew exactly what was in EG Beck’s ‘paper’. I first became aware of EG Beck when Bryan Leyland began to trumpet him in 2007 or 2008. For a while in 2008 we were going to write a formal rebuttal and went as far as buying a full copy of the published version and getting the full datasets before realising the futility of it all when:
ii) Bryan Leyland said “I’m not convinced that Beck is right – or wrong… It seems to me that a) he can’t easily be rubbished, b) if he is right AGW is dead. Ahh. That pesky wee ‘if’.
As I have said before, Beck is so wrong that anyone with as little as 4th or 5th form (Year 10 or 11 in the new money) science at school has enough learning to see that Beck didn’t know what he was talking about. Anyone who believes Beck, or can’t follow the many arguments as to why he is wrong, has no credibility to comment on any aspect of climate change science. Furthermore, reprising my cognitive dissonance post, anyone who knows Beck is wrong but won’t admit it is simply proving my point: No denier can criticise another, no matter how nonsensical or asinine, for fear of what honest assessment of the quality of claims would do the edifice of denial.
And what exactly does EG Beck say? Several others, including RealClimate here and here, Eli Rabbet, desmog, Coby no relation Beck , and Deltoid have done a good job of analysis and I have no intention of repeating it all here. Briefly,Beck collated all reported chemical measurements of atmospheric CO2 over the last 180 years and joined the dots with no quality control at all (data here). The post above from Eli Rabbet in particular explains why the chemical methods are flawed.
EG Beck’s plot for atmospheric CO2 measured chemically. Figure drawn in style of EG Beck from data at above link. (The ‘corrected’ full data set that was available at Beck’s website in 2008 seems to be unavailable). Chemical data stops at 1960 – after then the curve is smooth and based on spectrophotometric measurements.
Other than the methods, the most obvious problem with EG Beck is that the CO2 concentrations yo-yo about but we know the carbon cycle just doesn’t work that way. Consider these concentrations of CO2 reported by Beck: 1932 = 340 ppm, 1942 = 440 ppm, 1952 = 320 ppm. For the sake of simplicity let’s say CO2 went up by 100 ppm in 10 years and then down by 100 ppm in 10 years. Charitably, I shall ignore the even more ridiculous claims like the 38.8 ppm change in the 30 days between the end of January and the end of February 1940; lines 2014/2015 in EG Beck’s excel sheet.
What does that difference of 100 ppm mean? 100 ppm of CO2 is 800 billion tonnes of CO2, or 80 billion tonnes per year for 10 years. (This neglects the fraction of CO2 releases that quickly end up in the ocean – causing acidification; otherwise to account for a change of 100 ppm in the atmosphere Beck would require releases almost twice as great as I have calculated here). To put this in context: The US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration’s International Energy Annual reports that in 2006 (most recent year available) fossil fuel burning released about 29 billion tonnes of CO2, up from 18 billion in 1980.
Thus Bob Carter and EG Beck are saying that during each of the 10 years from 1932 to 1942 almost 3 times as much CO2 was released from a mystery source each year as is currently released by fossil fuel burning and then from 1942 to 1952 the release suddenly halted and there was massive uptake of CO2 into a mystery sink. The carbon cycle (usually taught in high schools at forms 3-5) just does not work that way. 80 billion tonnes of CO2 is 20 billion tonnes of carbon. In comparison, total global annual net primary production (NPP) is about 100 billion tonnes of carbon (see TAR 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199. (Net primary production is the gross less the respiration by plants; about half the carbon fixed photosynthetically is later respired by plants). Contrary to misinformation from Waikato University’s Willem de Lange (and EG Beck), two posts (by me, natch), at hot-topic and ill-considered show that the mystery source/sink for the CO2 was not the oceans.
Let me be clear: I don’t think Bob Carter really believes EG Beck. I think he only pretends to because it suits his purpose. (Though I am open to being convinced that Bob Carter really is so incompetent and out of his depth that he does not have the skills to realise EG Beck is a fraud). I wonder if Bob Carter, or any of the other similar submitters to the ETS Select Committees, have read the booklet Natural Justice before Select Committees that says:
When giving evidence before a committee, you are expected to be respectful and to tell the truth. Deliberately attempting to mislead a committee and “misconducting oneself” are examples of actions that could ultimately result in a finding of contempt of the House. SO 401(b) and (o)
Bob Carter misconducts himself by pretending to believe EG Beck. Shame on you Bob. And shame on the Royal Society of New Zealand for making Bob Carter an Honorary Fellow but not holding him to their code of ethics. What is the point of a code if nobody has to follow it?