This post is a review of the book: The Great Global Warming Blunder, How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists, by Dr. Roy Spencer.
Meteorologist Dr. Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, formerly a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA, and now leads the U.S. science team for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Dr. Spencer is the co-developer of the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperature from Earth orbiting satellites.
Dr. Spencer makes two main contentions in his book. First, the climate is much less sensitive to carbon dioxide than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says it is. This means that carbon dioxide is not a significant driver of temperature. Second, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) alone can account for most of the temperature variation in the 20th Century and can account for 75% of the global warming. He supports these contentions with both observational and experimental evidence in the book. Spencer published this evidence in the peer-reviewed, Journal of Climate in 2008, but it was ignored by the IPCC and by the mainstream press – hence the book. He is taking his case to the public. The book is written in layman’s terms with easy-to-understand examples of how the climate works. He also takes on the establishment and shows how there is a vested interest in maintaining the fiction that there is a climate change problem.
“Conceptually, there are two main processes that govern any kind of climate change: forcing and feedback.” This is cause and effect, which Spencer says the IPCC has gotten mixed up.
“Worries over catastrophic global warming rest entirely on the belief that our climate system is very sensitive, that is, dominated by positive feedbacks, which amplify any warming or cooling influence. A few scientists are predicting planetary doom as a result of our burning of fossil fuels, and politicians are now using standard propaganda techniques to convince you that we must act quickly to save the Earth.”
“Whether it is the Earth’s climate, or a pot of water on the stove, a temperature change is always caused by an imbalance between energy gained and energy lost.”
“While forcing (an energy imbalance) determines whether a temperature change will occur, feedback determines how big that temperature change will be. It is feedback that ultimately determines whether man-made global warming is catastrophic, or merely lost in the noise of natural climate change.”
“A mix-up between cause and effect in observations of cloud behavior from satellites has led to the false illusion that our climate system is dominated by positive feedback. This, in turn, has led to the development of highly sensitive climate models that predict large amounts of global warming. But when the separate influences of forcing and feedback (cause and effect) are isolated, recent satellite data reveal the climate system to be dominated by negative, not positive, feedback.”
“In order to convince Congress to fund research into a problem, you must first convince them that a problem exists. This automatically makes man-made global warming a particularly lucrative field for funding – as long as the threat of man-made global warming continues. There are managers at NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy whose careers now depend on a continuous flow of research dollars through them to the science community.” Spencer notes that his own research funding comes from NASA.
“…natural cloud fluctuations in the climate system will cause a bias in the diagnosed feedback in the direction of positive feedback, thus giving the illusion of an overly sensitive climate system.”
(This statement follows a discussion of radiative and non-radiative forcings; read the book to find out what these are.)
” … the IPCC has ignored… radiative forcing generated internal to the climate system as a potential source of climate change.” What that means is “that the climate models are too sensitive, which is why they predict so much global warming for the future. In contrast, the satellite evidence indicates that the climate system is quite insensitive, which means that it doesn’t really care how big your carbon footprint is. Rather than 1.5 to 6 deg. C (or more) of warming as predicted by the IPCC, a careful examination of the satellite data suggests that man-made warming due to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide could be less than 1 deg. C (1.8 deg. F) – possibly much less.”
“It would take natural variations of little more than 1 percent in global average cloud cover to explain most of the climate change seen in the last 2,000 years, yet our ability to measure such small changes has existed for only the last ten years.”
“The idea that nature was in delicate balance before mankind came along is religious, not scientific. Given the necessity of carbon dioxide for life on earth, we need to consider the possibility that more CO2 in the atmosphere will be better for life on earth, not worse.”
I recommend this book. It is a good read. It gives an easily understandable explanation of how the climate works. The book is available from Amazon.com.