Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Inconvenient Skeptic: The Comprehensive Guide to the Earth's Climate Paperback – October 24, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I have read many books on the debate over the years, but I must say that John Kehr's book is the one that most succinctly drives the final nails into the coffin. The whole global warming movement has devolved into the largest fraud ever perpetrated to the human race. It has become a tool of the worldwide movement to banish free enterprise and enslave us all under socialism.
If you read John Kehr's book, not all parts of which are easy, and absorb his arguments, you will have the truth. Use this truth to convince others, because we are having our energy resources destroyed, and these resources are in fact the most fundamental drivers of civilization and improving standards of living.
Kehr would get 4.5 stars on my scale (still an A--a 90 out of 100)--missing the A+ for three reasons:
1) Not his fault maybe, but the editing and proofreading are terrible (in the Kindle edition at least), maybe because it seems self-published. My edition, by the way, for the Kindle Fire, does have color charts and illustrations. All excellent. I'll have to take his math on orbits and insolation on faith.
2) More important: The documentation needs work if Kehr is to be taken as seriously as he needs to be. Links provided sometimes don't lead directly to what he cites, or don't seem to show what he says.
E.g. Kehr says the Quelccaya icecap is only 1500 years old because the bored core goes to bedrock at 470 AD. But after much looking around at the domain he cites (he cites the general domain, not the specific page), I found one that goes down to 200 AD, and elsewhere research on vegetation uncovered by melting is as old as 6000 ybp. That's still more recent than the Holocene Climatic Optimum, which he says melted any ice there before that, but it's not 470 AD. I haven't looked up all his references, but this kind of thing hurts the credibility of his analysis.
3) Kehr also, in an effort to be comprehensive, glides over factors that may be important, e.g. the 40ky cycle, for example (axial wobble?). He says there is one, but has little to say about its effect. He also notes that the low CO2 levels of glacial phases make forests impossible, but provides no real evidence. They must not be completely impossible since there were at least some heavily forested areas during the last glacial. And what does he think of other feedback factors affecting CO2, notably cloud-formation (see Roy Spencer et al.)
These issues could all be addressed in a second edition, since Fehr's data, all pre-2011, may need to be updated. His website is useful but doesn't seem to update (for example) the ice-core data.
Kehr outlines what are the main causes of the changes in the Earth's temperature. Those include:
1) The geography of the Earth (composition of land vs ocean mix);
2) The Climate or Milankovitch cycles of changes in solar energy imparted to the Earth over 100,000 year-periods (Milutin Milankovic was a Serbian engineer that first uncovered those long climate cycles);
3) Energy Gap whereby the Earth looses more energy into space when it is warm than otherwise. This is a mean reverting phenomenon that constraints change in temperatures and ensure our planet remains livable;
4) Ocean temperature oscillations play a major role over short term temperature changes as we have experienced over the past few decades.
Absent from this list of climate causal factor is CO2. Kehr spends a good deal of the book explaining why that is the case.
The Earth's geography is a very important climatic factor. This is because land mass temperatures are a lot more volatile and have a more pronounced seasonality than oceans'. That is what we mean when we say Minneapolis has a more continental climate than San Francisco. Similarly, the Northern Hemisphere (NH) has a far greater seasonality than the Southern Hemisphere (SH) because the NH has a lot more land (39% land vs 61% ocean) than the SH (19% land vs 81% ocean). As a result, the NH seasonal average temperature changes dominate the Earth's overall average temperature changes.
Temperature changes at the poles are much greater than at the equator. Given the NH greater temperature seasonality, it is not surprising the North Pole's ice melts extensively during the summer. Meanwhile, the South Pole ice sheet is a lot more stable as the average temperature is colder and varies less. Antarctica has had permanent ice sheets for over 34 million years. Antarctica will remain much as it is today as long as its location and shape does not change and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) remains unchanged.
The Earth's climate is very much driven by the amount of energy (Watts per square meter) the Earth receives from the Sun, called insolation, at the NH at the 65 degree latitude and north of it (65N).
To understand the climate you have to study the Milankovitch cycles. The Earth's climate has a very long pattern lasting a total of 100,000 years with four seasons. The winter is the dominant season and lasts typically 70,000 years which is associated with a drop in insolation and temperature and returns the Earth to an Ice Age. The other three seasons are compressed within the remaining 30,000 years. So, to understand the present you have to go back 130,000 years to compare the current pattern of this season vs the previous same season. We are now in the Holocene Summer which is best compared with the previous one or the Eemian Summer. Looking at our current warming century to project the climate is like considering a warm October day and predicting further rise in temperatures while we are heading into the winter. It is more relevant to compare this year's October temperature to last year's October.
During the rising temperature phase of the Eemian, the Earth's temperature was 3 to 5 degree Celsius higher than during the Holocene. Yet, CO2 concentration was 270 ppm or over 100 ppm lower than currently. Then, between 120,000 and 115,000 years ago the Earth's temperature dropped by 4 degree Celsius. Yet, CO2 concentration remained steady at around 270 ppm. This contradicts the Global Warming theory. Kher states "there is absolutely no indicator that the Earth is abnormally warm for where it is in the climate cycle."
Illustration 35 on page 63 is one of the many rebuttals of Global Warming theory. We see the Eemian temperature drop abruptly by 10 degree Celsius over a 20,000 year period. Meanwhile, CO2 concentration dropped 8,000 years after the temperature dropped. What drove the change in temperature during the Eemian was not CO2 concentration but insolation at 65N (illustration 43. Pg. 78). Insolation drove both the temperature change and the sea level change during the Eemian interglacial. At one point, sea level dropped by 20 meters in a 5,000 year period. And, CO2 levels had nothing to do with any of the above.
The 100,000 year Milankovitch cycles are associated with long term changes in insolation caused by three different changes in the Earth's orbit and tilt. Those are:
1) Eccentricity. It is the main force. It slightly alters the elliptical shape of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Thus, it directly affects the variation in insolation. It follows a 100,000 year cycle;
2) Obliquity, the varying angle of the tilt of the Earth (ranges from 21 to 25 degrees). It affects the amount of insulation the Earth receives. It has a 41,000 year cycle; and
3) Precession that determines what season it is when the Earth is closest or farthest from the Sun. One complete precession cycle takes 26,000 years.
The Holocene has a flatter temperature behavior than the Eemian did because of a more moderate insulation pattern on both the way up and down. The Eemian had more pronounced Milankovitch cycles than the Holocene did. Nevertheless, based on those long term Milankovitch cycles the Earth will get colder. 3,000 years ago the insolation anomaly at 65N went negative. And, each 1,000 year period since then has been cooler than the one before. There is no better proof of long term cooling in the NH than the forming of many new glaciers. Even if they are currently retreating (as part of a normal ebb and flow of retreats and advances), the main fact is that the majority of glaciers did not exist 4,000 years ago. And, many of them are forming closer to the Equator. This is typical when entering a very long cooling phase (Milankovitch cycle winter season is by far the longest).
Changes in temperature always precede change in CO2 (instead of the reverse as suggested by Global Warming theory). This is because CO2 water solubility decreases as water warms up. As a result, when insolation warms the oceans; they release CO2 in the atmosphere. Therefore, CO2 concentration rises after the temperature has already risen and not before.
The natural volatility of temperature is very high. Over 55 year period, the temperature standard deviation is 0.59 degree Celsius translating into a + or - 1.18 degree Celsius 95% Confidence Interval. The total variation in the past 160 years has been within less than + or - one single standard deviation. Thus, the current rise in temperature is well within natural variability.
Sea level can rise abruptly in response to insolation that melts the land ice caps. About 20,000 years ago within just a few thousands years sea levels rose by almost 100 meters in response to a rapid change in insolation. None of those events were caused by change in CO2 concentration. As mentioned, the change in CO2 is not a cause but an effect of the related changes in ocean temperatures.
Within chapter 9, Kehr demonstrates on numerous counts why the theory of CO2 driven Global Warming is wrong. The main one is that it does not explain any of the long term temperature history. CO2 levels remained relatively constant through the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the following Little Ice Age (LIA). Meanwhile, those periods track much more closely the change in insolation. The climatology community instead of looking at the historical evidence has manipulated tree proxy records to flatten out both the MWP and the LIA out of historical record. That is exactly what Michael Mann did to create his famous hockey stick pattern (see page 144). When the current rise in temperature is observed over just the past 2,000 years, the hockey stick pattern is erased by the true historical temperature volatility (pg. 133, 134).
Geography and solar insolation are the driving forces in long term climate changes.
Short term volatile climate changes are caused by several different oscillations in the ocean temperatures. Those include El Nino/La Nina phenomenon (ENSO) that has a short cycle measured yearly. ENSO alone causes a third of the very short term variation in the Earth's temperature. The chart on page 150 shows that the change in ENSO leads rather precisely change in Earth's temperature by 6 months over the observed period (1979 to 2011). Other ocean oscillations are important. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) that has a 10 to 20 year cycle and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) that has a 70 year cycle. The warming between 1970 to 2000 is a perfect example of the short term warming that is likely caused by natural variations in the ocean cycles.
CO2 has a negligible impact on temperature. The total Greenhouse Effect (GHE) accounts for 120 watts per square meter of energy transfer that translates into 33 degree Celsius of temperature. Without the GHE, our planet could not support complex life forms. However, over 80% of the GHE is caused by water vapor and evaporation. CO2 accounts for only 3.3 W/m square. And a doubling of CO2 concentration will cause only a 10% increase in the total effect of CO2 or from 3.3 to 3.6 W/m square. This translates into less than a 0.1 degree Celsius change in temperature. Meanwhile, some climatologists suggest that a doubling in CO2 level would cause temperature to rise by up to 6 degree Celsius or more than 60 times what the correct energy transfer calculations dictate.
There is another reason why CO2 has very little impact on climate. It absorbs only a very narrow range of radiation wavelength (between 13 and 16 microns; meanwhile the range in the atmosphere is from 1 to 40. Chart on page 236). And, at current concentration levels CO2 already absorbs close to 100% of the radiation wavelength it could absorb.
The GHE has a strong seasonality. The Earth has the highest GHE while CO2 levels are the lowest (pg. 216). That also contradicts Global Warming.
Another important causal factor in climate change is the Energy Gap the Earth experiences. When the Earth cools, it is not only associated with a Milankovitch cycle decline in insolation, but also a rising energy gap where the Earth is loosing more energy into space. It is measured as outgoing long wave radiation (OLR) energy loss in W/m square. And, it is driven by temperature. The higher the temperature the greater the OLR energy loss. On pg. 262 Kehr shows a linear regression that perfectly fits the historical data between temperature and rising OLR loss or energy gap. This physical phenomenon contributes to explaining the historical swings between the high MWP and the low LIA. Meanwhile, Global Warming does not as CO2 did not change much during those periods.
Both the trend in insolation and energy gap in the current Holocene period match well the ones of the Eemian period at the same point in the cycle. And, they mean only one thing. With both a decline in insolation and a rise in the Energy Gap, our climate temperature over the long term is in a downward trend that started about 3,000 years ago (when insolation anomaly went negative and Energy Gap rose commensurately. See pg 260-261). And, CO2 driven Global warming will have no impact in delaying this long term trend.