Why SAL is Wrong

Who the heck is SAL, anyway?

SAL is Mr. Stephen H. Lajoie, frequent amazon.com forum poster, who claims to be a graduate student in physics. I kind of doubt it. Here are some of his claims about AGW. I'll ignore the ones about cosmology--e.g. Einstein was an unimaginative plagiarist who got everything wrong, dark matter and dark energy are "junk science," etc.


AGW hypothesis failed to predict the no statistically significant warming since 1996 and the no statistically significant cooling since 2002. Indeed, the hockey stick prediction was utterly refuted. Real scientist will reject a hypothesis that fails to predict. Not the socialist!! They just get louder, angrier, and slander and lie about people who point out that it failed.

There has been no significant anything in that time because you need at least 30 years to show a climate trend, according to the World Meteorological Organization. As to the Mann et al. 1998 "hockey stick" having been "utterly refuted"--the National Academy of Sciences doesn't seem to think so.


Chemical equilibrium of carbonates with sea water and the equilibrium between sea water and atmosphere PROVE we didn't put the CO2 there in the first place. Any CO2 that we add to the system subtracts from the oceans calcium carbonate precipitation.

Except that radioisotope analysis shows the new CO2 is coming from fossil fuels, not the ocean. Carbonate rock sediments in the ocean would not be 13C deficient, as carbon from fossil fuels is.


A simple analysis of the IR spectrum that cools the earth's surface via radiation to space shows that because CO2 already blocks all the IR, it can't add to warming near the earth surface. And convection means that the heat is not trapped next to the earth.

Except that absorption at all levels matters, not just near the Earth's surface. See my web page on "The Irrelevance of Saturation: Why Carbon Dioxide Matters". SAL wants to revive this argument, which was disproved in the 1940s.


Svensmark has a theory which DID predict, so the hypothesis is accepted and becomes a theory. What's more, Svensmark's theory is consistent with 4 billion years of known climate data. It explains the Medieval warm period and the little ice age, which AGW does not. No one has made a rational refutation of Svensmark's theory. Svensmark's theory leaves very little room for any effects by CO2.

Svensmark's theory, in brief, is that cosmic rays from supernovae cause clouds to nucleate in Earth's atmosphere. The sun's magnetic field regulates how much cosmic ray flux hits the Earth. Thus climate should follow the sun.

Except it doesn't. See my web page, "Is it the Sun?".


The other planets also have shown climate change, which cannot be due to CO2, but are explained by Svensmark's theory.

I'd like to see how Svensmark's cosmic ray hypothesis explain Venus and Uranus cooling; Earth, Mars, Neptune, Triton and Pluto warming; and Mercury, the Moon and the asteroids staying the same temperature, all at the same time. Nice trick if he can do it.


Climate change is more closely correlated to Solar cycle than CO2, and there is NO WAY CO2 causes changes to the solar cycle. On the other hand, Svensmark's theory explains why and how solar cycle affects earth's climate.

Where to begin?

  1. The correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature anomaly from 1880 to 2007 (last year I have TSI data for) is r = 0.87. For solar, it's r = 0.12. That means CO2 and solar constant account for 76% and 1.5% of the variance of temperature over those 128 years, respectively.
  2. The particles cosmic rays create in the air are orders of magnitude too small to start cloud nucleation.
  3. There are always plenty of big enough particles anyway.

So forgive me if I find Svensmark's theory a little hard to believe. Not to mention that, in fact, it fails to predict temperatures in recent decades altogether. I guess SAL doesn't know that. Of course, he'd have to read the peer-reviewed science literature to find out...


The glaciers have been shrinking, more or less, for the last 20,000 years, when the ice age ended.

Well, no. The last ice age (there have been at least eighteen) peaked 18,000 years ago (Google CLIMAP for some cool research on the subject). It ended 11,000 years ago. And the peak warmth of our present interglacial maxed out 6,000 years ago. From then until the industrial revolution the planet was slowly cooling, on its way to a new ice age tens of thousands of years from now. And the glaciers, of course, were growing.

Page created:10/08/2010
Last modified:  02/13/2011