Alan Longhurst’s “Doubt and Certainty in Climate Science”

Book Review by Kip Hansen — 26 April 2023

Finally, a climate science book that readers will learn from.  Many readers here are well versed in at least some of the myriad atmospheric and oceanic forces that add up to the complex “coupled non-linear chaotic system” (IPCC TAR Chapter 14)  that is the Earth’s climate.

Many readers are frustrated with the continued insistence of political bodies – insistence that is mirrored and echoed  in official statements of major scientific organizations — that only the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is of importance in driving the global climate this way or that – some even claiming that increases in atmospheric CO2  are driving  catastrophic changes that will lead to the  collapse of human civilization. 

Many readers will also agree that this focus on CO2 is a rather naïve short-sighted view of our ever-changing climate. 

But how many of us really understand, at a deep and exhaustively thorough level, why we must reject the “CO2 as climate control knob” hypothesis and thus reject the public policy demands based on it?  Having just finished reading Alan Longhurst’s new book – “Doubt and Certainty in Climate Science – 2nd Edition (2023)” — am ready to admit that I did not. 

Who is Alan Longhurst?  If you are an oceanographer or a fisheries scientist, then you already know of Dr. Longhurst’s long and illustrious career.  If your read Dr. Judith Curry’s  blog, Climate Etc. , you will have seen his name at the top of several essays.  You may have read Dr. Curry’s review of this book’s first edition, in which she said “This is a remarkable book, a tour de force.  There are fresh insights in each chapter, borne of Longhurst’s objective analysis of the data and the literature.  The papers he cites are from Nature, Science, PNAS, Journal of Climate and other mainstream, high impact journals. ….  However, each of these papers provides a critical link in Longhurst’s reasoning that produces conclusions that do not agree with the ‘consensus.’”

The second edition,  now updated through 2022, has just been published this March  by Critical Science Press. 

It is, indeed, a tour de force

Unless you have already spent a lifetime studying the complex, complicated and chaotic subjects that comprise climate science, you stand to learn more from this book than from any other contemporary work.  Longhurst’s comprehension and recall of the details of hundreds of scientific papers from related and adjacent fields enter into this brilliant synopsis of the state of Climate Science – what doubts we still have and what, if any, certainty we can claim.

I have had this book in my possession since its publication…and have absorbed its contents one chapter at a time.  This has turned out to be, for me, a rather monumental task.  I read deep and deep takes time, even at only 258 pages.  But it has been worth every precious minute

If you are really curious and have that unquenchable

desire to learn, get and read this book.

It is available from the usual sources, in hardback, paperback and eBook.

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Author’s Comment:

Irrespective of your depth of understanding of Climate Science and your personal understandings and biases on various issues involved, you will find things to love, things to hate, things to agree with, and things to disagree with in this new edition of Longhurst’s book.   It is, in a single word, breathtaking in its scoop and breadth. 

Don’t be childish and quit reading the first time you find something that offends your current understanding.   If you do, you will miss out on the insights and understandings of a great mind – one capable of producing this horizon-stretching synopsis. 

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via Watts Up With That?

April 25, 2023 at 09:04PM

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