Book Review:  Climate of the Past, Present and Future — A Scientific Debate

Book Review by Kip Hansen — 12 November 2022

Dr. Javier Vinós is a lab-based biologist by training and profession, studying things neither you nor I have ever heard of and to which we have never given a single second of thought.  Topics such as: “A G Protein-Coupled Receptor Phosphatase Required for Rhodopsin Function”; “Notch down-regulation by endocytosis is essential for pigment cell determination and survival in the Drosophila retina”; “Autophosphorylating protein kinase activity in titin-like arthropod projectin” and “Signals in the φ29 DNA-terminal protein template for the initiation of phage φ29 DNA replication”.

But Life intervened in Javier’s academic and intellectual path, as he explains in the preface of his new book:

“Towards the end of the summer of 2014, I walked alone the “Camino de Santiago” (Way of Saint James) from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, near the Atlantic coast. It is an ancient pilgrimage route that had its heyday during the Medieval Warm Period and decayed with the Black Plague, but has seen a modern revival as a spiritual and cultural European route that is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. I walked 750 km [466 miles] in a month visiting from the Atapuerca archaeological site, famous for its Homo antecessor and neanderthalensis remains, to the medieval architecture of northern Spain. I had a lot to think after the recent death of my parents in less than two years. What kind of world are we leaving to our children and their children? In the long days at “El Camino” I had plenty of time to deeply think about the passage of time and the changing of the world and its people through prehistory and history. A testimony I could see before my eyes. As a biologist (of the laboratory type) I was familiar with the effects of global warming. Not only I can remember the colder winters of my childhood in the early 1970s, I can also attest to the lengthening of the growing season, the earlier appearance of insects over the years, or the recent decision by some migratory birds to remain in Spain through the winter instead of migrating to Africa.”

“One of my decisions was to start a blog to explore the risks of global warming in the fall of 2014. It is easier to research and learn things when one has to explain them to others. As a scientist, when I need information, I don’t rely on second-hand opinions. I go directly to the evidence and the scientific literature. But in my carefully laid out plan of warning the world about the dangers of climate change I found a problem. The evidence that the planet was warming was clear (I already knew that), although no warming had taken place for over a decade. The evidence that we have greatly increased the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide was clear (I also knew that). What wasn’t clear at all was the evidence that the carbon dioxide was causing the warming. Clearly the warming had started long before the fast increase in carbon dioxide.”

As a result, Dr. Vinós launched himself into serious research of climate science, its past, its present, and ideas about its future. He has produced a prodigious book, titled: “Climate of the Past, Present and Future — A Scientific Debate”, now in its second edition.  Also available elsewhere:  Barnes and Noble (hardcover and eBook), Google Books (eBook), Koko (eBook) and many more. 

EVEN BETTER:  By special arrangement with the author, the complete book is available from the WUWT server as a .pdf file, absolutely free

This book has been a long time coming.  Initially featured at Dr. Judith Curry’s blog, Climate Etc., where the nucleus that was to grow into this book was presented in a ten-part series which started with “Nature Unbound I: The Glacial Cycle “in October of 2016.   Dr. Curry has written the forward for the book which concludes with this:

“After reading this book, I am perhaps more concerned about a coming ice age in several thousand years’ time than I am about the possibility of catastrophic warming from greenhouse gas emissions on the timescale of the 21st century. If Vinós’ analysis is correct, thinking that we can control the Earth’s climate by reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be the greatest folly of the 21st century. This is a debate that we need to have.”

Dr. Vinós covers the following topics, in what sometimes seems to be excruciating detail.  He is a scientist’s scientist, and leaves no loose ends in his exploration and explanation of:

– Milankovitch cycles

– abrupt glacial (Dansgaard-Oeschger) events

– Holocene climate variability

– the 1500-year cycle

– solar activity

– volcanic eruptions

– greenhouse gases

– energy transport

– and more….

If you want to come to a better understanding of what has caused the past climate of Earth and what is causing the climate as it is today; if you want to come to a better understanding of the complex and complicated factors that have produced and continue to produce our ever-changing climate, then this is the book for you.

This is not a book to take with you to Florida and read on a warm tropical day in the Sun – it is not a breezy easy read.  It is a book of science and written as one, full of figures and illustrations with careful explanations.  The book is conveniently divided into chapters by topic with a complete list of references at the end of each chapter.

Reading this book will not supply all of the answers to the mysteries of the climate, but it will get you far closer to the truth – the scientific answers to the best of our current knowledge — free of the politics of “Climate Science”.  You will feel much more well educated regardless of your starting point.

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Author’s Comment:

I have been tardy in writing this review but excuse myself based on my self-enforced requirement that I read every word, critically view every illustration and figure, check references carefully and, most importantly, personally understand what the author has written.  With the breadth of this book, it was not a quick task.

Anthony Watts, the owner of this blog, has graciously given Dr. Vinós permission to offer free .pdf file copies of this book as downloads from this site.  

Better yet, buy an eBook version from any of the suppliers linked in the essay – the price is right and “the laborer is worthy of his wages”.

via Watts Up With That?

November 12, 2022