An amazing example of collective amnesia at CSIRO

My attention was caught by this loaded and evocative headline in the Canberra Times “Plant life losing battle with emissions”, for an article introducing the latest whizz-bang new CSIRO paper, “The Australian terrestrial carbon budget”, Haverd et al 2013.
Haverd et al say – “The Australian landscape soaked up one third of the carbon emitted by fossil fuels in Australia over the past twenty years…”
Which is at odds with the 1992 CSIRO paper by R.M.Gifford which said – “The present modelled rate of net sequestration is of a similar magnitude to CO2 emissions from continental fossil fuel burning and land clearing combined.”
What amazed me though was that the current paper does not reference Gifford 1992 when eight of the ten authors are from CSIRO.
I expect to have more to say later but here are a couple of graphics.
I have been trying to find the number for the size of the Australian carbon sink, not annual changes but gross size – the only figure I can find is from the 1998 website CompleXia titled, “HOW BIG IS AUSTRALIA’S SOIL CARBON STORE?” which says, “Preliminary estimates suggest that Australia’s soil carbon sink is of the order of 48 Gt (Gifford et al. 1992).” Thats 48 gigatonnes, 48,000,000,000 or 48 billion tonnes. Just to get that number on scale compared to the figures below, that is 48,000 Tg or terragrams used in Haverd et al and also 48,000 Mt or megatonnes used by Gifford – a megatonne is 1,000,000 tonnes, one million tonnes.
Summary of the Australian territorial carbon budget, 1990–2011. from Haverd et al 2013.

and Figure 1 from Gifford 1992

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