Mišo Alkalaj: Rise in co2 due to plants not coal

Posted: November 30, 2010 by tallbloke in Astrophysics, climate, Energy, Philosophy, solar system dynamics

John ‘o’ Sullivan recently posted on Judith Curry’s site to let us know he and 23 co-authors have a book out called ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon‘ which takes on various aspects of the AGW hypothesis. In the second volume Mišo Alkalaj claims to debunk the attribution of half the rise in co2 to fossil fuel burning.

“According to Mišo the fatal assumption made by the IPCC is that the atmospheric concentration of the 13C isotope (distinctive in prehistoric plants) are fixed. They also assume C3-type plants no longer exist so would need to be factored into the equations. Indeed, as Miso points out such plants, “make up 95% of the mass of all current plant life.”

Therefore, decay of 95% of present-day plant material is constantly emitting the 13C-deficient carbon dioxide supposedly characteristic of coal combustion—and CO2 emitted by plant decay is an order of magnitude greater than all human-generated emissions.”

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If correct, it’s ‘GAME OVER’ for the AGW hypothesis.

Kindle e-book version here:


  1. How many observatories, where CO2 is measured, apart of Mauna Loa, do exist?, just to begin with….
    As to “Game Over”, “Climate Gate” it was the real “Game Over”.

  2. tallbloke says:

    At least 4 I know of. http://co2now.org/Know-CO2/CO2-Monitoring/co2-measuring-stations.html

    Climategate reopened the debate, and will be seen as the turning point by historians of science. However, the cast iron case to falsify AGW is yet to be confirmed. There are several fronts on which it can be challenged. It will be interesting to see which wins the day by being first to be confirmed.

  3. Douglas DC says:

    Trindade Head is one of my favorite places on this planet. Great little restaurant there.
    Bit hippy dippy but excellent Seafood. When I and Wife would take trips down there
    from Port Orford. Oregon. BTW if you were transported to the the South Island of New Zealand you’d be hard pressed to tell either whether you were. The northern Ca. Coast and Southern Oregon Coast are much like the South Island Sheep and all…

  4. BTW: Most of soft drinks have CO2 in them. Almost all buffered at pH=3,5, but try pure water with CO2 and then add some baking soda, it will make a refreshing and digestive beverage.

  5. Tim Channon says:

    The data is a poor fit for human causal and a better fit for a natural long period variation.

    My best guess the CO2 is from is deep ocean overturn. This also has the right time constants. It is also poorly understood, with little data, hence it is difficult to know.

    Could it come from vegetation? I don’t know.

  6. Tim Channon says:
    November 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm
    After 97-98 El Niño the sea heated up and began releasing CO2. Then in a few years it may begin to diminish…

  7. tallbloke says:

    Tim, I think I saw a stat which said that due to higher co2 levels, vegetation was up 7% in 15 years.

    Adolfo, have a look at the co2 rise s at the locations I linked for you on the other thread. The sea cooled down after the ’98 el nino, because it had lost a lot of heat. the surface temp fell, bounced back and stayed at a higher level as ocean heat content recovered near solar max.

  8. suricat says:


    “”Adolfo Giurfa.
    How many observatories, where CO2 is measured, apart of Mauna Loa, do exist?”
    At least 4 I know of.”

    I’ve encountered many networks in my previous research, but away from home, with just a laptop, I can’t find them.

    Here’s a group operating in Europe that I remember:


    AEROCARB also operates with other EU groups like CARBOEUROPE:


    I don’t know where data retrieval can be accessed, but a full investigation of these sites may be fruitful. Nice to know that they give a link to the ‘web master’. 🙂

    Best regards, Ray Dart.

  9. E O'Connor says:

    In Australia there is a Southern Ocean baseline Air Pollution station at Cape Grim in north-west Tasmania. The station has been operating since 1976 and while funded and managed by the Australian Bureau of Meterology, the research on the data is carried out by the Australian Government’s science agency, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO.

    Try these links



  10. Alexander K says:

    Interesting, to say the least! As you say, if this can be proved, CAGW ballgame over, bats collected and the ballpark shut down.

  11. BTW….only backpackers at Cancun….

  12. racookpe1978 says:

    Minor, but a distracting problem in the original phrasing of the article.

    As I interpret the cut-up phrases, it appears there are three problems:

    First, the C3 plants are not extinct – as assumed by the UN’s IPCC, and “97% of all climate scientists” who argue/promote their CAGW themes.

    Thus, it appears that the current production ratio of the C13/C12 in the atmosphere is incorrect by a (?????) unstated percent, (third) that this percent (generation factor/lack of current generation ?) is also not corrected by the IPCC calc’s, or is wrongly corrected for the IPCC calc’s, or means the IPCC calc’s are completely worng because they assume no C13 is released by modern plants and all is being released by fossile fuels.


    However: I fear there is a and fourth and fifth and sixth (?) problem.

    We know absolutely that “fossil fuels” can be broadly split into three groups: natural gas (almost all as methane and light CxHy gasses coming from deep wells. Whether these gas wells tap “plant matter 10,000 to 15,000 feet below or are natural (non-plant and bacteria sourced) is almost irrelevant, because we know the C12/C13 – or should be able to find out from the petroleum engineering sources.

    Second source is petroleum as liquids from deep rock traps and inclines. Again: The original source is almost irrelevant, but the source of the petroleum liquids is NOT necessarily from “plants” – and probably is from bacteria rather than plants actually. If from plants, how did they get buried 3x deeper than the grand canyon, when the grand canyon (at 5000 feet deep and 10x older than the original plant life as we know it today) is cut into virgin bare naked rock that didn’t/couldn’t grow the assumed C3/C4 plant life we see today.

    Third major fossil fuel source IS compressed plants easily found inside the coal fields and peat bogs. Definitely plants. Definitely in shallow and near-top coal seams. Easily dated. Easily traced back to the original shallow seas and lakes. So, that source of “new” carbon C12/C13 appears to be the only part that be linked to any C3/C4 plant life comparison ratio calculation. Right?

    So, why can the IPCC get calc’s that are 05% wrong? How can they promote findings from data that wrong?

  13. tallbloke says:

    It’s murky, but Alkalaj seems to be saying that the paper the isotope argument is based on isn’t ‘peer reviewed’ in the normal sense. There’s a reference to that paper in this document:

    Click to access House_et_al_GCB_2002.pdf

    It won’t copy and paste, but look at the reference to Prentice at the bottom of the paper.

    HockeySchtick has an item with a few more details: