Christopher Booker and James Delingpole made common cause this weekend in opposition to the BBC 2 Horizon documentary “Science under Attack” that featured Paul Nurse :-
The Daily Telegraph commentators appear not to understand the Global Carbon Cycle, and how this has been disturbed by mankind’s activities – principally burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees.
There is ongoing exchange between the soil and the air and the plants and the air, and the seas and the air, and so on; but the key Carbon Dioxide fact is that it is building up in the sky.
It’s not the gross figures that count, it’s the net.
The net is the amount that gets left in the air when all the absorption and emissions processes from the Carbon Sinks and the Carbon Sources have nearly cancelled each other out :-
In the Horizon programme the observation is made that mankind’s Carbon Dioxide emission production comes to around 7 gigatonnes a year. By contrast, volcanoes “popping off” and the oceans contribute only about 1 gigatonne – obviously, that’s net, not gross.
The amount of Carbon Dioxide exchanged in both directions between air and seas is much larger :-
Booker claims that the programme was a “misrepresentation”. Delingpole claims that Paul Nurse has demonstrated “really basic, idiot’s-level mistakes about “climate science””.
Amusingly for me, neither of them appear to suspect they could be barking up the wrong creek with the wrong paddle.