Customer Reviews: The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists
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on April 17, 2010
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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on April 20, 2010
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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on April 20, 2010
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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on April 24, 2010
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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on October 4, 2015
This was a fascinating read for me. I am a PhD chemist who is no expert in climatology but I read as much as I can find on this topic. I know that the CO2 greenhouse effect is real. My interest is in the feedback loops in climate systems, since this determines the magnitude of the ultimate effects of greenhouse warming, and clouds are the major feedback factor. In all I have read previously the feedback from clouds was simply described as either: a) more clouds form as the atmosphere warms (negative feedback), or b) fewer clouds form as the atmosphere warms (positive feedback). A few months ago I wrote to a leading scientist on the IPCC with my questions about this. He returned a friendly email that said "Of the many feedbacks in the system, the cloud feedback has proved most vexing. As you pointed out in your message, we are not even confident that we know the sign of the feedback, globally". He also said in one of his lectures that cloud feedback is entered into the global circulation models as a single parameter, since these models do not estimate the cloud feedback. The uncertainty in the model predictions, just from this one parameter, is so large that the worst case greenhouse warming is obtained if strong positive feedback is input, and zero warming occurs if a strong negative feedback is input.

The Author's approach I found to be fully valid scientifically, and he is innovative in his approach. The science he does is exactly typical of the methods that I learned, and are the methods that have been used by scientists for hundreds of years. He is an expert in his field, and a leading expert in satellite monitoring of greenhouse warming. His concept that clouds have a dual function in greenhouse warming is insightful, and really opened my eyes to the concept of cloud formation as a chaotic process. His use of simple column models to explore the system is the same method as is favored by many climatologists. Prof. Spencer's concept of cloud feedback&forcing with a time delay between the forcing event and the climate effect cannot be modeled as a simple parameter. It is obvious to me that the 'overwhelming majority of climate scientists' don't bother to consider what is in the available literature (which I think most people are already aware of). This is something that should raise concern among citizens.

To end my review here I have to recommend everyone read the Amazon 'one star' reviews of this book. One review recommends that people should read only the government websites to learn the 'science'. Others admit they didn't read the book, and would -never- read the book out of principal, yet feel fully qualified to review it. Most are just bitter and nasty without any substance. Hard to imagine how science can inspire ignorance like this. I suppose these are the same sort of people that persecuted Galileo for having an alternate viewpoint.
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on April 15, 2016
A clear presentation of the arguments and problems regarding man-made climate change. It is hard to argue against hysterical claims of impending doom, when your argument is that the evidence is weak and other factors may have a larger impact on climate than man-made CO2. But, we (humans) seem to always think that anything that goes wrong is our fault and if we can only punish the primary culprit the problems will go away. This has been going on for thousands of years, may it is in our DNA. People were killed in the little ice age for causing cold, now some want to kill skeptics because the world is getting warmer. Stupid stuff. We need a rational and scientific voice like Dr. Spencer, he has done a good job.
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on 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, " 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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on April 28, 2010
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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on July 9, 2016
Global climate science is much more complex than the CO2 crowd would have you believe. There are 22 significant variables and CO2 is only one of the 22. When I see an account that takes into account all 22 and still comes to the conclusion that CO2 is the culprit, then I will be on board. Until then we are looking at "junk science" promoted by the media or charlatans hoping to profit from the public's gullibility.
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on October 2, 2013
I am a bit of an energy/power information consumer and former practitioner in the field. Have been intrigued by the work of Dr. William Happer and Robert Bryce and now Dr. Roy Spencer. It is a relatively easy read and he lets you bypass the "weeds" when you start to yawn. More than ever, I am convinced we know less now about the impact of carbon dioxide on our planet, than we ever have. In a small footnote, the IPCC admits the same, but cloaks that statement with a confusing 95% confidence in the impact of human machinations on climate change. That might mean "very little" impact or a "lot" of impact, depending on you eco-religious affiliation. And that's the point. Spencer says thing like;did you consider the impact of clouds on climate change? or how about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)? and other earth movement variations relative to the sun, etc? It seem like the so-called sophisticated computer models aggregate a lot of estimated past temperature situations with few real current temperatuire observations. In any event, the least me....comes slowly to the conclusion that, if all of wht Spencer says is important, then we just might want to take our foot off the accelerator of the green and carbon mitigation agendas in favor of more growth oriented strategies that let alternative energy devotees catch up with the market, rather than mandating "sack cloth and ashes"...and starvation for much of the world's population at the greater expense of jobs and growth.
I know a lot of 5 star writers urge you to put book on you reading list. So let me apologize at the outset for urging the same with this climate gem. Draw your own conclusions and try to be fair in so doing.
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