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McLauchlan et al. offer little evidence for their assumed connection between nitrogen availability and isotopic signature. Their assumption of its being unchanged today seems totally unfounded. Besides lightning nitrogen fixation used to be mainly biological, with a huge preference for the common light nitrogen. Today it’s mostly through the Haber-Bosch-process with little fractionation at all. Their human footprint index in any case is completely meaningless. All their correlation, if you can call it that at r=0.1, is wholly an artefact of the two rightmost outlying data points. What their small p really means is, that two such extreme outliers are highly improbable and these two points ought to be discarded.
Mörner and Hesse are a timely warning about discussing measurements without adequately taking error margins into account – something physics students are trained to do ad nauseam but others, including engineers, sadly, aren’t.
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