It seems Dr. Richard Betts has penned a guest post for the tabloid climatology website known as “Carbon Brief” titled Understanding CO2 fertilisation and climate change. This looks to be a response to the recent NASA study that we covered here on WUWT titled: Inconvenient Study: CO2 fertilization greening the earth. I suspect the alarmists camp is taking some hits over the NASA study from people who are essentially saying “why wasn’t this widely reported along with all the gloom and doom you have been purveying”?
It seems Betts saw the need to embellish what we already know:
The speeding-up of photosynthesis – known as CO2 fertilisation – is well-known to be an important consequence of higher CO2 concentrations, along with increased water use efficiency. Under higher CO2, plants do not lose so much water through their leaves, so can be less impacted by drier conditions.But while the general principles of CO2 fertilisation are known, there is still much to learn about how these processes will operate under future conditions that have not yet been experienced.
Ah, there’s the rub, it’s the old “models and the future” argument that Betts is framing there, but that’s another argument.
On Twitter, Steve McIntyre noted this part of Betts essay:
Despite claims to the contrary, the conclusions of the IPCC take CO2 fertilisation properly into account in the assessment of climate change feedbacks involving the carbon cycle, and in the assessment of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. They are also starting to account for this in the knock-on consequences for water resources, but that is more cutting-edge science and less advanced.
He’s having none of that, and called out Betts (citing the IPCC WG2 passage above with a screen cap) on Twitter and Betts replied:
And then, work or not like the famous XKCD comic “Duty Calls” he comes back, But Steve has already left the building thinking Betts really did have work to do and ended the conversation:
Correction and Note: in the way Twitter displayed these to me, it looked as if they were AFTER Betts has signed off, and the timestamps get reduced to 3h (3 hours ago) rather than the exact time of each Tweet. In the screencap below, it appears just as Twitter presented it to me, but it’s wrong. The Tweets after he says “”but I have work to do” actually came before that Tweet.
So, while Twitter presented it incorrectly, my interpretation followed that presentation and was wrong. The only way to be sure is to click through each tweet and get each timestamp.
I regret the interpretation error, and thanks to Richard Betts for pointing it out.
This just goes to show that Twitter really isn’t a very good medium for discussion and this sort of problem with Twitter timestamps has caused lots of trouble before. Now that I know about it, I’ll be more careful in referencing Twitter timelines in the future, as I’m sure readers will as well. – Anthony