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Monday, February 28, 2011

Roy Spencer's Great Blunder: Part II by Barry Bickmore

Roy Spencer’s Great Blunder, Part 2

by Barry Bickmore, Ph.D., Anti-Climate Change Extremism in Utah, February 28, 2011
The following is PART 2 of my extended critique of Roy Spencer’s The Great Global Warming Blunder:  How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists (New York:  Encounter Books, 2010).  If you haven’t readPart 1, you should probably do so before reading this.
Summary of Part 2:  Roy Spencer repeatedly claims that most of the rest of the climate science community deliberately ignores natural sources of climate variation, but then contradicts himself by launching an inept attack on the standard explanation for climate change during the glacial-interglacial cycles of the last million years (i.e., they are initiated by Milankovitch cycles).  The problems Spencer identifies are either red herrings or have been resolved, however, and he proposes no other explanation to take the place of the standard one.  In fact, climate scientists have used paleoclimate data such as that for the ice ages to show that climate sensitivity is likely to be close to the range the IPCC favors.  Therefore, it appears Roy Spencer is the one who wants to sweep established sources of natural climate variation under the rug.
The Mantra
It wasn’t easy slogging through Roy Spencer’s latest book, The Great Global Warming Blunder, because although it’s only 176 pages, it’s incredibly repetitive.  There is page after page of carping about how dense and corrupt his colleagues and the IPCC are, how hypocritical Al Gore is, and so on.  Most of this is just mildly annoying, but in my opinion, the language he uses in some of the messages he repeats ad nauseum is patently dishonest.  One such mantra is the claim that the climate science community has donned ideological blinders that prevent them from investigating natural sources of climate change.  
Here are a few examples.
Aside from their almost total neglect of the role of nature in climate change, the scientists supporting the IPCC effort have done a pretty good job of summarizing the science of global warming, along with many of the uncertainties.  (p. xv)
We will see that researchers have reasoned themselves in a circle by first assuming that natural climate change does not exist, and then building climate models suggesting that only human pollution is needed to explain global warming.  (p. xxiii)
At this point you might be thinking, “Well of course natural climate change happens.”  But this has been surprisingly difficult to prove scientifically.  The IPCC avoids the subject because it detracts from the claim that humans are now the main driver of climate.  (p. xxvi)
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does acknowledge that there is natural climate variability on a year-to-year basis, and maybe even decade-to-decade.  After all, we have clear evidence that events like El Niño and La Niña cause some years to be warmer than others.  Yet the IPCC refuses to accept that the global warming (or cooling) on time scales of thirty years or more can also be caused by Mother Nature.  That, apparently, is humanity’s job.  (p. 1)
The IPCC has taken for granted that there are no natural variations in global average temperatures once one gets beyond a time scale of ten years or so.  (p. 16)
If Dr. Hansen is correct and humans are responsible for the recent warming, then what caused earlier periods of dramatic warming–and cooling?  Has natural climate change now ended, having been replaced by human-caused climate change?  This seems unlikely.  (p. 28) [Readers, if natural climate change were occurring now, we would be in a cooling phase due to the recent extremely low solar activity, and the current La Nina.  As it stands, each of the past 3 decades was warming than the one that preceded it.]
Oh, there are many more–I just got bored of looking for them after about p. 30.  No matter how many times Roy Spencer says it, however, it is flatly untrue–and he knows it.  The fact is the he is the one who wants to ignore the evidence for past climate change, not the scientists associated with the IPCC. Read More…

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