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283 of 342 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clouds, Feedbacks, Exposing Overstated Sensitivity, and Perhaps the PDO
A truly excellent book. Spencer calls attention to three things we all SHOULD HAVE figured out for ourselves. And it is a book about the science, not at all about the leaked emails (which other books have handled very well).

First, Spencer makes a powerful case for the heretofore largely understated role of clouds. Second, his presentation of material on the...
Published on April 17, 2010 by B. Hutchins

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60 of 84 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but not convincing
The Great Global Warming Blunder attempts to show that anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gas emissions are not the principal cause of recent global warming and won't warm Earth much in the future. Judging by other reviews of this book, readers who have already made up their mind against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) will find this book highly convincing. I...
Published on July 23, 2010 by Barry A. Klinger


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283 of 342 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clouds, Feedbacks, Exposing Overstated Sensitivity, and Perhaps the PDO, April 17, 2010
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A truly excellent book. Spencer calls attention to three things we all SHOULD HAVE figured out for ourselves. And it is a book about the science, not at all about the leaked emails (which other books have handled very well).

First, Spencer makes a powerful case for the heretofore largely understated role of clouds. Second, his presentation of material on the feedbacks was outstanding. I had never seen the distinction between amplification of forcings, and true positive feedbacks (in the run-away sense), made. Thirdly, his notion that choosing the wrong (weaker) forcing element for a given warming can result in a large overestimation of sensitivity is clearly right. Every physicist or engineer KNOWS these things, but we may not THINK about them. Luckily we have Spencer to remind us that we do know them.

As for the PDO as a major driver, the evidence Spencer shows is very interesting and well-presented, and is clearly much much better that a CO2 explanation. (To just say it is a better explanation that CO2 would do it an injustice.) The book makes the point that there are indeed many strong sources of internal variability. The so-called "consensus" in concentrating on a flawed, politically popular view (man-made CO2), is certainly effectively impeding progress toward a more rational understanding of the scientific puzzle.

A second excellent book by Dr. Spencer - for the layman (or scientist!) who still thinks.
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171 of 217 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarifying the Role of Clouds, April 20, 2010
By 
Roy Spencer brings clarity to a debate that has been clouded by ideology (pun intended). It used to be that the only alternatives to the anthropogenic global warming theory were solar and volcanic activity. This book provides another alterative explanation of climate change. Roy Spencer is known primarily for his work on how climate systems are not as sensitive to C02 as many think. Spencer argues that clouds are a major factor. His idea that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a major driver of climate change seems more than plausible. This book makes it obvious, even to a layman (or as Spencer puts it, to an 8th grader), that the AGW theory was never proven beyond doubt, and is now under serious challenge.

This book is important now that Cap and Trade legislation is coming under serious consideration. Proponents of cap and trade tend to assume that the AGW theory is proven beyond any shadow of doubt. Spencer raises more than just doubt over the AGW theory. As Spencer notes, there are larg potential costs associated with cap and trade, and with efforts to restrict the use of fossil fuels in general. We should think very carefully about restructuring tax and regulatory policies according to the unproven AGW theory. Hopefully this book will stimulate thoughtful debate over the causes of climate change. Keep up this excellent work Dr Spencer!
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167 of 213 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book I Have Been Waiting For, April 20, 2010
By 
Mel Gerst (The Sea Ranch, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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I have done a fair amount of reading during the last 10 years to learn about how our planets climate operates. I now feel as though the missing "key" pieces have been found to the "climate change" puzzle. For ANYONE interested in our climate this book is a "must read". I would not be surprised if Roy W. Spencer is not the scientist that breaks the hold that the IPCC has on politicians and the media. However we are down to the wire, large sums of money are already being spent world-wide on "fighting climate change". Let's give the climate experts about 30 days to review Spencer's work and provide their feed-back. If this book indeed does get blessed, then I think there should be an all out effort to "educate" the politicians and the "media" regarding the contents of this book. This is a not a general book of information on climate, there are already several excellent books on the market. This book is focused on Roy Spencer's new research results that literally destroy the IPCC's computer models that are predicting climate change disaster as the result of mans greenhouse gas contributions to the earths atmosphere. Thank you Mr. Spencer!
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70 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book asks questions that need to be asked., April 24, 2010
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Whether you are a believer in man-made climate change, or a skeptic, Roy Spencer presents some intriguing questions in "The Great Global Warming Blunder". Chief among them - is man really the only explanation for the changes we have seen in the climate over the last 100 years? The real question, however, - and the reason he wrote the book in the first place - is will the scientific "establishment" give his research a fair hearing?

Spencer fully lays out his research and theories in the book. He's clearly a scientist, not a writer; but what he lacks in style, he makes up for in substance. At its core this book asks a question so elegantly simple that it's hard to believe it's never truly been explored before. A question that goes to one of the basic tenets held by most man-made climate change evangelists on the cause and effect nature of temperature change and clouds. How do we know that global warming is causing fewer clouds, rather than fewer clouds causing the global warming?

Think about that for a moment. Spencer postulates that the increase and decrease in cloud cover is not a reaction to the changes in temperature; rather they are contributing factors to the change in the first place. By taking that in to account, his models show that the earth's climate is rather insensitive to man's CO2 emissions. Instead, what he sees is a global climate that is mostly indifferent to man. One that responds more to global variations in cloud cover as driven by things like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), El Nino, and La Nina. As he puts it in the book - Earth's climate "does not particularly care how much we drive SUVs or how much coal we burn for electricity".

Spencer's theory will not be without detractors - and that's okay. All Spencer is really after is a fair hearing in the scientific community, and an objective testing of his research. All too often, however, the global climate change debate has been charged with politics and decisions based on faith, instead of fact. (In fact, British courts recently held that environmental beliefs have the same weight under the law as religious beliefs). We owe it to ourselves to look at all possible explanations for climate change. After all, there have been demonstrable changes in our climate for thousands of years - long before man industrialized. To think that we are the only explanation for what we see now, smacks of hubris.

Read the book and take an objective view of the science Spencer presents. It's a compelling case. Ask yourself - does the data support what Spencer is claiming? Is Man truly to blame for global warming? Most importantly - make up your mind for yourself. Don't just accept manmade global warming because there is a "consensus". Ask questions. Gather information. After all - there used to be a consensus that the Earth was an immovable object at the center of the Universe - until Copernicus showed that it wasn't. That consensus was vigorously defended by the establishment of the day, and played in to Man's ego and hubris about his place in the cosmos. Sound familiar?
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53 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Scientist Who is Right vs. Many Who Are Misguided, May 1, 2010
By Steve Goreham, author of Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century's Hottest Topic.

The Great Global Warming Blunder is an explosive book. It has the potential to bring down the castle of Climatism built by the IPCC and many of the world's top climate scientists. The author is Dr. Roy Spencer, scientist at the University of Alabama Birmingham, and leader of the team that uses NASA's Aqua satellite system to measure global temperatures. Dr. Spencer is co-inventor of the method to measure global temperatures from satellites and holder of NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement.

In an easy-to-read style, Dr. Spencer educates the reader on many facts about Earth's climate. These include the fact that cycles, such as El Nino and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, have dominated Earth's climate for thousands of years, that carbon dioxide is responsible for very little of the Earth's greenhouse effect (Spencer estimates only 3.5%), and that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will raise global temperatures only about one degree Celsius.

Throughout the discussion, Spencer describes the foolish assumptions of the IPCC. These include the assumption that global temperatures were unchanging prior to man-made greenhouse gas emissions, that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide is due to man-made emissions rather than natural causes, and that climate feedbacks are positive and will amplify greenhouse warming from carbon dioxide. At one point he states, "We are now at a bizarre point where carbon dioxide is considered a pollutant rather than a scarce nutrient that is necessary for life on Earth to survive."

Dr. Spencer spends much of the middle of the book on the core assumption regarding feedbacks of the climate system. All climate models relied on by the IPCC assume a strong positive feedback to boost the warming from carbon dioxide. Without this positive feedback, catastrophic projections such as Greenland icecap melting are not possible. Spencer uses satellite data and simple computer models to point out that alarmist scientists have miss-characterized the effects of clouds and that climate feedbacks a more likely to be balanced to negative. He therefore concludes that global warming is primarily due to natural effects, rather than man-made emissions.

The book spends many pages discussing the bias of the news media and the IPCC, and the control of climate alarmism over scientific journals. Spencer states, "...it has now become next to impossible to publish research results that conflict with the IPCC's official line, partly because of the political muscle exercised by the IPCC and its supporters in government." Since the news media has not reported his scientific analysis on climate feedback, he has written a book to bring the facts to each citizen.

Every citizen should read The Great Global Warming Blunder to learn how climate science has gone down the misguided track of Climatism.
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44 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and well reasoned, April 28, 2010
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It is always amazing the number of koolaid drinkers that attack the messenger rather than actually read the book and refute the arguments. Spencer has a unique take on the GW observations. Even for the adherents this is an interesting read.

I suggest that only people that buy the book should review it. It would cut down on the chaff. It is kind of amazing that none of the negative reviews are from people that actually own the book!

The thing the global warming crowd does that is flat out wrong and makes no sense is make the claim that since man began using fossil fuels the planet has gotten hotter than any time in the past. This is nonsense, of course. There are many times over the last thousand years the planet was warmer. At one point in the 1800s you could take a sailing ship from the Atlantic to the Pacific across the North coast of Canada. We were taught in grammar school how Greenland got its name. Then of course in the pre-historic record we have dinosaurs roaming the north of Canada and Alaska.

So the real scientific inquiry should be what the heck causes natural climate fluctuations. This needs to happen before we can even come close to understanding what, and if, man's CO2 emissions do a darn thing. In fact when you look at the global warming proponents (hide the decline) you observer that their models predicting the future do not even accurately back test properly. A huge no-no.

Dr Spencer's book takes a look, refreshing, at trying to understand the natural fluctuations in climate. This is way overdue.

The result is in retrospect interesting - there is no normal. Normal is all over the map and to trying to pin the climate change we observe on man has simply not proven or even likely.
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60 of 84 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but not convincing, July 23, 2010
The Great Global Warming Blunder attempts to show that anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gas emissions are not the principal cause of recent global warming and won't warm Earth much in the future. Judging by other reviews of this book, readers who have already made up their mind against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) will find this book highly convincing. I think the book has some good points to make but in the end some of its claims undercut its credibility.

A central thesis of the book is that something called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation changes the average cloudiness of the Earth from decade to decade and that this accounts for global warming. A simple (1 equation) model predicts how surface temperature might respond to surface cloudiness and other factors. Dr. Spencer runs this model with about 100,000 combinations of different values for 4 parameters and chooses the parameters which make the model results look most like changes in 20th century observed temperature. It's strange to engage in such an obvious exercise in curve fitting, especially when AGW "skeptics" often criticize much less arbitrary climate models. But it gets worse. The main "success" of this model is to follow the warming trend in the first half of the 20th century. This happens because the model has a tendency to bring the temperature back to an equilibrium temperature, and the model temperature is initialized for year 1900 at .6 C below an equilibrium which is set to near mid-20th century values. Thus most of the model's "global warming" is just a recovery from this arbitrary start point. The book offers no justification for this choice, probably because there is none. For the 2nd half of the twentieth century, the model prediction only slightly resembles observations. U. Chicago climate scientist Ray Pierrehumbert has a more detailed critique of this model on the realclimate website.

Another thesis of the book is that the climate system is much less sensitive to greenhouse gases than models show. There is great uncertainty in climate sensitivity, and so this claim may turn out to be true. Again, I was not convinced; the specific analysis technique was not very well explained. Spencer has a published paper on this topic, but the paper does not make as sweeping claims as the book. The data presented in the book shows much larger scatter than at least one paper that Spencer's paper cites (Forster and Gregory, 2006, J. Climate), making me wonder if the low sensitivity Spencer finds is an artifact of taking relatively noisy monthly data rather than less noisy annual data as in Forster and Gregory.

The book has some nice discussions for the non-specialist of how climate works, and raises some good questions about AGW. I appreciate that Spencer concentrates on a few scientifically defensible critiques of AGW and tries (with mixed results) to resist the urge to demonize scientists with an opposing view.

Still, Spencer shows a typical credulity about alternatives to AGW which is unbecoming a "skeptic." Showing that AGW is not definitively proved is different than showing an alternative view is proved. On several topics, the book cites papers suggesting AGW is minor while ignoring papers supporting AGW. Spencer spent a long time arguing that satellite data proved there was no global warming, until other groups showed that his data analysis had an error which incorrectly eliminated the trend (see the journal Science, 11 Nov 2005). He argues that AGW proponents are biased by their own desire to save the world, but I wonder about Spencer's own biases. The book describes how Al Gore's testimony on global warming uses typical "propaganda" techniques of persuasion, while ignoring similar or worse techniques among political critics of AGW. He complains about the lock modelers supposedly have on climate science, but he uses satellite data that cost billions of dollars to collect.

The book finishes with familiar and generally unsupported statements that a rapid move to less polluting energy use will hurt the poor, that more CO2 may be better for life on Earth, and that we don't know much about ocean acidification but we shouldn't worry about it. Readers will be irritated or gladdened by this part, depending on their politics, but won't learn much new from these statements.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHICKEN LITTLE SOCIETY is at work, August 19, 2014
By 
J0E-BL0 (Denver, CO, USA) - See all my reviews
The stars are a requirement to posting, so you can discount them as I have the book on order.
The reason for my post is to point out the curious issue that 12 of the 14 ONE-STAR REVIEWS are from people that are NOT verified Purchases. I think the CHICKEN LITTLE SOCIETY is at work once again.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative bood, December 12, 2012
By 
R. Ball (West Springfield, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Spencer is one of the few voices of reason among the crowd of those elegantly describing the emperor's wardrobe. Spencer must be heard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the best sceptics guide I have read, September 11, 2014
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This review is from: The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists (Paperback)
This book is the best sceptics guide I have read. Dr Spencer isn't a propagandist but asks perfectly reasonable questions such "Is there some natural component to the warming of the 20th century". And specifically, has anyone considered the Pacific Decadal Oscillation as a candidate for at least part of the warming in the 20th century? I must confess that I didn't understand some of his diagrams. I will download his spreadsheet model and see if I can nut them out that way.
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The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists
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