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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important but quirky book, 19 May 2010
In its 15 May 2010 issue the prestigious science magazine New Scientist published a `Special Issue' on `The State of Denial'. It defines `Denial' as "..typically driven by ideology or religious belief, where the belief takes precedence over evidence"

Amongst the `Denialists' it includes Holocaust Denial (a criminal offence in some countries) and `Climate Denial' (fortunately not yet a criminal offence - but watch this space!)

Climate Denialists are defined by New Scientist as claiming "Global warming either (1) isn't real (2) isn't caused by humans or (3) doesn't matter." Anyone claiming any one or more of these viewpoints is lumped in with Holocaust Deniers, Creationists, 9/11 Conspiratists, etc.

Many eminent scientists subscribe to one or more of the three requirements for being branded `Climate Denialists' ranking them alongside Holocaust Deniers. Fortunately, climate change sceptics are not yet thrown into prison for their views.

Roy Spencer is, by New Scientist's definition, a Climate Denier because he accepts the world is warming but does not believe this is primarily due to greenhouse gases. He also believes that continuing to consume fossil fuels not only doesn't matter but may actually be beneficial.

Roy Spencer is a distinguished scientist being principal research scientist at the University of Alabama and for much of his career he was a NASA scientist intimately involved in the satellite program for monitoring climate change. In short, when he writes in "The Great Global Warming Blunder" that he can explain the changes in global mean temperature over the past century better than the best IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) models we - and the IPCC - should listen.

Roy Spencer claims that the dominant cause of global mean temperature change is due to the natural variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) with greenhouse gases making up a smaller contribution.

It is unfortunate that the key evidence in figure 23 has been plotted in such a confusing way as to disguise the power of his proof. However, figure 25 does show that natural variability of the PDO can explain the global temperature changes since 1900 better than greenhouse gas emissions.

Unfortunately, Roy Spencer's repetitive rants against the IPCC, James Hanson and Al Gore become somewhat tedious and I found myself frequently skipping pages to find the next bit of science. The confrontational use of `Blunder' in the title is also unfortunate.

There are many other theories that similarly purport to explain global warming without assuming greenhouse gases to be the dominant driver - Svensmark and Calder's theory that clouds are seeded by cosmic rays which are themselves affected by changes in solar activity ("The Chilling Stars - A Cosmic View of Climate Change") being just one example.

Overall I rate this an important book (despite its rather quirky style) which challenges the IPCC conventional view of our climate future. It should be essential reading for anyone interested in climate change science and politics. However, this book is very unlikely to impress those scientists whose careers and salaries are dependent on toeing the IPCC dogmatic line.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The exposure of the world's biggest ever scam, 6 July 2013
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It is truly amazing that the entire world - all of its politicians, academics and media - should have been taken in by such a simple confidence trick like this. You only have to see the vast swathe of contrary information that the media is not mentioning, to see that Global Warming MUST be a scam. Little things like the temperature of Antarctica steadily decreasing and the sea ice of Antarctica steadily increasing. Roy Spencer patiently takes readers though many such misconceptions and omissions, and clearly sets out the agenda of the Global Warming Scam.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Laymen and Scientists alike - Essential Reading!, 22 Sep 2010
I have just finished reading this book.

Dr Roy, formerly a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA, is now a Professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he leads the US science team for the Advanced MIcrowave Scanning Radiomoeter for EOS (AMSRE) on NASA's Aqua stellite. He is co-developer of the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites.

Of course, I have been following Dr Roy Spencer's website for a long time and have found it an excellent resource for really getting the basics of climate science. Not only is Dr Roy at the cutting edge of empirical climate measurement technology he is also an excellent communicator of technical information in the most lucid of language that any interested layman can understand.

This book is about three things:
1. CO2 as a greenhouse gas
2. the sensitivity of the climate to any source of warming or cooling and
3. the Earth's natural internally generated causes of climate variability, most notably the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (but also the other oceanic oscillations, too)

The main point of this book is that climate modellers have mistaken cause and effect in the behaviour of clouds. From his interpretation of satellite data and IPCC model inputs Dr Roy demonstrates that what is in fact the attenuating effect of clouds upon a temperature rise has been wrongly interpreted as a magnification - hence the gross over-estimation of the climate's sensitivity. The climate is not balanced on a knife edge - the climate is pretty indifferent to a bit of warming or cooling! I guess this is what most of us suspected!

The impact of extra CO2 from fossil fuel emissions alone is very small - estimated to be about 1degreeC for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 ppm. The extravagant claims of climate apocalypse depend upon this initial tiny thermal imbalance in the climate system being grossly amplified by other factors.

Dr Roy spells out how clouds REDUCE the warming rather than amplifying it. He uses the analogy of a car heating up in the sun with the window initially half open. OPENING the window further as the temperature inside rises is the equivalent of NEGATIVE cloud feedback. CLOSING the car window as the temperature rises is the equivalent of the POSITIVE cloud feedback which ALL the IPCC models have incorporated.

Then he goes on to show that natural variation alone can account for the majority of observed warming and cooling over the last century.

Dr Roy is bringing the findings of his peer-reviewed research direct to a lay public and a scientificly literate audience alike in the form of this book because his research has been ignored by the IPCC dominated orthodoxy for reasons he outlines.

Let the public judge the importance of his input to the Anthropogenic Global Warming debate! I find it absolutely demolishes the basis of the climate alarmism we have all been force-fed for so long.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of the book The Great Global Warming blunder, 2 Sep 2010
D. Thoenes (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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Some remarks on the book "The Great Gobal Warming Blunder. How Mother Nature Fooled the World's Top Climate Scientists" by Roy Spencer.

I will summarise the main points of his book and give some comments.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) based its alarmist predictions (or "projections" as they call it) on the assumption that the global climate is relatively instable and sensitive to small disturbances. The relatively small greenhouse effect of CO2 (carbon dioxide) would be enhanced by a factor of three by positive feedbacks, caused by the presence of water and water vapour. This assumption has never been proven or even demonstrated.
Spencer shows that the global climate is relatively stable and insensitive to small disturbances. It is controlled by predominantly negative feedbacks (this was already known from geological history). The atmosphere's temperature has always fluctuated around a long term mean.

An important negative feedback is the following: any temperature rise in the atmosphere results immediately in an increased evaporation of water from the oceans, wetlands, vegetation, and inland waterways. This results in more cloud formation which reduces the radiation input of the sun. This was proved by Spencer through the analysis large amounts of satellite measurements of temperatures and heat fluxes.

Spencer demonstrates a clear correlation between temperature changes and changes in the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation). He suggests a cause and effect relation (however, he does not mention the possible influence of solar wind and the theory of Henrik Svensmark, who showed that the influence of varying solar activity was already greater than the influence of CO2).

The author states that that the huge absorption flow of CO2 from the atmosphere into the oceans is coupled to a strong growth of plankton. This occurs mainly in cool waters. In warm waters, plankton dies and is decomposed resulting in large desorption flows. Apparently, most of the CO2 in the oceans is sequestered within plankton. Because of this, temperature variations may result in larger variations in CO2 flows to and from the oceans than is commonly assumed.

Spencer suggests that we do not really know that only human emissions have contributed to the rise in CO2-concentrations in the atmosphere. It is always possible that the natural emissions have risen at the same time.

Spencer concludes that it has not been shown that the human influence on temperature is really greater than the natural influences. It is surely the other way around. The IPCC emphasises human influence, because it has systematically disregarded natural influences.

This book is very convincing and a "must" for anyone who is interested in the so called global warming. It is written for the average educated layman. Some principles of atmopheric physics are explained clearly. Apparently, professor Spencer is a very good teacher.
If Spencer is right, and it certainly appears so, global warming is no concern of mankind. All the billions of dollars spent on trying to reduce global warming are wasted.

Dick Thoenes, emeritus professor of chemical engineering,
The Hague, Netherlands.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debunking the IPCC, 22 May 2012
The techniques of propaganda are now well know, and Roy Spencer describes them well in his book. As a professional meteorologist, he is qualified to examine the claims of the IPCC reports (the latest from 2007) in forensic detail. At the heart of the IPCC claims is the infamous hockey stick graph synthesized by Michael Mann, and then adopted wholesale by the IPCC. They have since revised the curve as a result of severe criticism, and the modified curve now shows the Medieval warm period and the Little Ice Age in clearer perspective. Both climate diversions are well known from independent historical evidence. But as Spencer points out, the curve came from naive computer models which are in fact very poor representations of the planet's climate. They neglect many natural cycles of climate variability, and make gross assumptions which are not supported by empirical evidence at all. Such is the world of the computer modeller, and one we are already familiar with from other areas, especially financial chicanery such as the failure of Long Term Financial Management in 1998 when a faulty computer model of the economy. Its assumptions were quite wrong and the model led directly to a collapse in the markets which reverberates to this day. Similar models are widely used in the stock markets, but are failing miserably to predict share prices, resulting in huge losses to shareholders who unwisely invested in funds run by such models (the hedge fund run by MAN is one very recent example). Nevertheless, the IPCC has adopted this flawed Mann climate model and made egregious predictions of the world climate which bear no relation to reality. They have used every trick in the spin doctor's manual to push their flawed message, including endless repetition (a technique pioneered by Dr Goebbels), ad hominem attacks on anyone who questions their integrity, and outrageous claims to infallibility. A religious leader like the Pope who be proud of their behaviour! As Spencer emphasises, such behaviour is both unscientific and unethical. But yet the IPCC seems to have captured a large number of gullible politicians in its net, including most members of the current UK parliament as well as many Democrats in the USA, let along a vast horde of european politicians. They have all passed dangerous carbon tax laws which impose excruciating burdens on industry at a time when the banks are in crisis for other reasons (they also used flawed computer models to massage debt into worthless bonds), and the Euro is in imminent danger of collapse as Greece and Spain suffer from a deep recession.

But Spencer sees through all of the lies from the IPCC, and provides a much more credible picture of why and how the climate works. He suiggests that natural processes are at work in controlling the temperature of the planet, processes which are barely understood even now with our apparent endless resources in measuring key variables. The book is a must-buy for all those who follow the debates on the issues.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb analysis, 26 Aug 2013
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Roy Spencer is a very accomplished communicator on a subject that he is particularly well qualified to comment on. His analysis of the assumptions and bias that bedevil much of the research in this area of computer model projection brings to the reader a fresh and understandable perspective on the whole AGW scientific reasoning and agenda.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Global Warming Blunder, 15 Feb 2011
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This is a factual, well reasoned and truly scientific treatment of the so-called anthropogenic global warming issue. Unlike the political IPCC view and deliberate distortions perpetrated by the Green Lobby. It is balanced and well presented, and is easy reading for the intelligent enquirer. A must read for all who seek the truth about global warming.
I strongly disagree with reviewer Kirby. There is no ranting in this book and the suggestion is itself a distortion of the truth!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 20 Aug 2013
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This is a well written book which lays out the arguments about global warming very well, exposing the real issues with the huge and expensive models used to prove that warming is going to get worse, despite the fact that the world has stopped warming and has not significantly warmed in the last 10 years or more. Spencer argues that the natural cycles in the climate such as the Pacific Decadal oscillation have contributed far more to warming than the increase in carbon dioxide and uses a simple model to illustrate the point.
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