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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Bob Webster
Bio: Bob Webster
Date:  June 20, 2008
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A Review: Climate Confusion by Roy Spencer
How Global Warming Hysteria Leads To Bad Science, Pandering Politicians And Misguided Policies That Hurt The Poor

Spencer's book, Climate Confusion, is the most comprehensive discussion of "global warming" (aka, human-caused climate change) available today. Spencer's PhD in Meteorology shines through with the very best description of how weather systems function to help maintain a moderate climate. It is an outstanding book for anyone whose interest in climate and weather has stopped short of actually reading a book about it. No deep scientific background is required to understand the processes Spencer describes.

This book is an excellent companion to Dr. Howard Hayden's book, A Primer on CO2 and Climate. Spencer does not go into detail regarding CO2's limitations as a heat retention agent, possibly due to the more technical nature of such discussions. Hayden's book complements Spencer's in that it is not overly technical in detail and presents an easy-to-understand discussion of greenhouse gases that help the reader understand the degree to which alarmists have vastly overrated the dangers of CO2 emissions.

Spencer's chapter titles are an excellent summary of his treatment of the subject:

Throughout the book there are various references to significant impacts on climate from factors ignored or improperly treated by the IPCC's climate change hysteria reports. In chapter 1, Spencer writes, "... sea surface temperatures themselves are not subject to just the activities of mankind. Research published in late 2006 showed that the globally averaged temperature of the upper ocean cooled so fast between 2003 and 2005 that over 20 percent of the warming that had occurred over the previous forty-eight years was cancelled out in just those two years. And the reason why, you ask? No one knows." Not even the IPCC. And neither this information nor its impact on climate can be found in the most recent IPCC hysteria reports.

Cloud formation and precipitation are key ingredients of weather. They also are a major impact on climate. Yet the IPCC ignores them for the simple reason that the science is too poorly understood to model cloud formation and the onset of precipitation. Likewise, the IPCC ignores the causes of known historic warming/cooling periods because their causes are still a matter for further research.

In chapter 3, How Weather Works, Spencer describes a relationship between weather and greenhouse gases that "even most meteorologists don't realize" exists. Theoretically, the average surface temperature on Earth due to greenhouse heat retention would be 140F if it were not for weather systems. Weather systems cool the Earth by 83F to an average of 57F. Yet all the projections of the IPCC for "catastrophic" warming are based on models that ignore significant weather components like precipitation and cloud formation. Spencer writes in chapter 4, How Global Warming (Allegedly) Works, "Cloud formation, maintenance, and dissipation are the result of a succession of complex, interacting processes. The treatment of clouds in climate models is necessarily crude because we don't know enough about what controls them, and even if we did, the processes are so complex that it would require much faster computers than we currently have to include those complexities." And, "Even though modelers discuss water vapor and cloud changes separately, there can be little doubt that they are closely intertwined in the real climate system. After all, clouds can only come from water vapor. It might well be that getting the clouds in climate models correct requires getting the water vapor correct, and getting the water vapor correct requires getting the clouds correct."

Climate Confusion is an apt title for Spencer's book even though it provides the reader with an excellent understanding of weather, climate, and how they are interrelated, it also helps readers understand why climate system modeling is simply not advanced to the point where reliable, meaningful projections can be made for future climate. There is certainly insufficient knowledge to promote the kind of scare campaigns that IPCC summary reports have been promoting with increasingly dire projections.

Whether you are a novice or consider yourself to be a well-educated scientist, Climate Confusion will provide excellent insight into how weather and climate work, the mechanism of greenhouse gases, and the weaknesses of climate alarmist's theories and solutions.

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

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Biography - Bob Webster

Author of "Looking Out the Window", an evidence-based examination of the "climate change" issue, Bob Webster, is a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s). He is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.

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