Philosophical Society of Washington

Manmade Global Warming

A Pending Catastrophe, or False Alarm?

Roy W. Spencer
The University of Alabama in Huntsville

This lecture has been underwritten in honor of Klaus Heiss.

2232nd Meeting Abstract
Friday, January 25, 2008 at 8:15 PM


While popular press reports would lead one to believe that all reputable scientists now agree that manmade global warming will be a serious problem, there is a sizeable minority of reputable scientists who disagree. They have published peer reviewed papers on the subject, yet they are largely ignored by mainstream climate scientists. The speaker will explain some of the reasons why so many scientists are so quick to believe that mankind is causing our current period of warmth. While there is some scientific justification for it, the scientists who hold this view implicitly assume that we understand pretty well the processes by which the climate system is maintained. The speaker will present recent evidence supporting the view that our climate is relatively immune to mankindís emissions of carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, and a few alternative reasons for recent warming. The speaker will also discuss the widely held—but seriously mistaken—notion that, even if global warming is the fault of mankind, we can do anything substantial about it in the near future.

About the Author:

Roy W. Spencer is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he directs a variety of climate research projects. He received his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin in 1981, and was formerly a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA. Dr. Spencer also serves as the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS flying on NASAís Aqua satellite. He is co-developer of the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites, for which he received NASAís Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. He has authored numerous weather and climate research articles in scientific journals, and has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming.

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