Words on Weather & Climate — May 27, 2010

The Great
Global Warming Blunder

Every time I go into a bookstore or library, I can’t get past the first display without noticing all the new books about the so-called catastrophe of global warming. Is there anything available that supports what I consider to be the more correct point of view? Yes, there are quite a few, you just have to look a little harder to find them. A new book, called The Great Global Warming Blunder, has just been released by Dr. Roy Spencer.

Meteorologist Craig James, new Squire columnist

Dr. Spencer co-developed the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites and publishes one of only two global satellite temperature records at his web site: http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming.

His latest book is a non-technical description of new peer reviewed and soon-to-be-published research which supports the opinion that a majority of Americans already hold: that warming in recent decades is mostly due to a natural cycle in the climate system — not to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning. Here is how he describes it:

“Believe it or not, this potential natural explanation for recent warming has never been seriously researched by climate scientists. The main reason they have ignored this possibility is that they cannot think of what might have caused it.

You see, climate researchers are rather myopic. They think that the only way for global-average temperatures to change is for the climate system to be forced ‘externally’…by a change in the output of the sun, or by a large volcanic eruption. These are events which occur external to the normal, internal operation of the climate system.

But what they have ignored is the potential for the climate system to cause its own climate change. Climate change is simply what the system does, owing to its complex, dynamic, chaotic internal behavior.

As I travel around the country, I find that the public instinctively understands the possibility that there are natural climate cycles. Unfortunately, it is the climate “experts” who have difficulty grasping the concept. This is why I am taking my case to the public in this book. The climate research community long ago took the wrong fork in the road, and I am afraid that it might be too late for them to turn back.

The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming—or

global cooling.

How could the experts have missed such a simple explanation? Because they have convinced themselves that only a temperature change can cause a cloud cover change, and not the other way around. The issue is one of causation. They have not accounted for cloud changes causing temperature changes.

The experts have simply mixed up cause and effect when observing how clouds and temperature vary. The book reveals a simple way to determine the direction of causation from satellite observations of global average temperature and cloud variations. And that new tool should fundamentally change how we view the

climate system.

Blunder also addresses a second major mistake that results from ignoring the effect of natural cloud variations on temperature: it results in the illusion that the climate system is very sensitive. The experts claim that, since our climate system is very sensitive, then our carbon dioxide emissions are all that is needed to explain global warming. There is no need to look for alternative explanations.

But I show that the experts have merely reasoned themselves in a circle on this subject. When properly interpreted, our satellite observations actually reveal that the system is quite IN-sensitive. And an insensitive climate system means that nature does not really care whether you travel by jet, or how many hamburgers or steaks you eat.”

Several other books available on the subject are:

Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor also by Dr. Roy Spencer.

Climatism!: Science, Common Sense and the 21st Century’s Hottest Topic by Steve Goreham.

Climategate: The CRUtape letters by Steven Mosher (who grew up in Grand Rapids) and Thomas Fuller.

What Warming?: Satellite View of Global Temperature by Arno Arrak.

The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science by A.W. Montford.

A Skeptical Layman’s Guide to Anthropogenic Global Warming v1.0 which you can download for free at:http://www.coyoteblog.com/Skeptics_Guide_to_Anthropogenic_Global_Warming_v1.0.pdf.

I may not agree with everything written in these items but they will certainly give you many hours of reading about this fascinating subject from the skeptics’ point of view.

Craig James has been retired since July 1, 2008, after 40 years of broadcasting television weather. He was chief meteorologist at WZZM-TV for 12 years and chief meteorologist at WOOD-TV for 24 years. He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he received a Centennial Fellowship Award. He was also honored as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

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