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 you 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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April 25, 2023 6:39 pm

Apparently out of stock

It doesnot add up
Reply to  petroalbion
April 25, 2023 7:02 pm

All three versions (Kindle, hardback, paperback) show as in stock to me, both on and There is also a lengthy extract available as a teaser.

MIke McHenry
Reply to  petroalbion
April 25, 2023 7:55 pm

Just bought one at Amazon

Reply to  petroalbion
April 25, 2023 11:46 pm

Shows in stock to me. But Amazon now has DRM’d Kindle books so that they can not be read on any other e-reader. It used to be possible to unlock them and read on Kobo or whatever, but no more. At the moment its not available on Kobo, so….

Tom Abbott
Reply to  michel
April 26, 2023 2:59 am

I just bought the Kindle version of the book and I have no problem reading it using an iPad with the Kindle app.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 26, 2023 7:08 am

Yes, that is the point. The only way you can read Kindle books now is either using the Kindle app or using a physical Kindle.

In the past you used to be able to get them in a format which would allow you to read them on (for instance) a Kobo or other e-reader of your choice.

In consequence of this move, some of us have stopped buying Kindle books and are now buying from (for instance) the Kobo store.

Unfortunately this particular book is not available from Kobo, or anywhere but Amazon.

You may wonder, why not simply run the app? Some of us don’t have either a Mac, an iPad, an iphone or a windows PC, and are not going to get any of them just so we can read a book that Amazon has chosen to make otherwise impossible for us to read.

Its like, I bought it. I’ll read it in the bath, in bed, up a tree, by candlelight, in Khazakstan or New Zealand if I like. Don’t tell me how and where and when to read it, and don’t even think about keeping track of my pages and references as I read it.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  michel
April 26, 2023 5:44 pm

Thanks for the explanation.

Now that I think about it, I seem to remember from past conversations, that some people thought the Kobo reader was superior to the Kindle reader.

The iPad Kindle app is definitely superior to the Kindle reader.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 26, 2023 9:43 am

I don’t like “digital books”. I like having the hard copy, keeping it on my shelf, turning the pages, all that. Plus, it can’t be changed by an automatic update.

Reply to  Tony_G
April 27, 2023 9:02 am

I agree with you, Tony, but once again we are faced with trying to buy a book which apparently is available only from Amazon and I won’t use that any more.
Why can’t authors find some other way of getting their work to market?

It doesnot add up
April 25, 2023 7:12 pm

Having dipped into the teaser and read the Contents pages it does indeed look to be an interesting read. Good recommendation: I am getting it.

MIke McHenry
April 25, 2023 7:51 pm

Just read an article how climate modelers are dismayed that El Nino/La Nina are not behaving the way models predicted LOL

John Hultquist
Reply to  MIke McHenry
April 25, 2023 8:05 pm

El Nino/La Nina must be wrong. Bad kids!

Gunga Din
Reply to  MIke McHenry
April 25, 2023 9:47 pm

El Nino/La Nina are natural, cyclic events.
CliSy models have a problem with what is natural.

Reply to  MIke McHenry
April 25, 2023 10:30 pm

According to climate scientologists, CO2 causes El Nino/El Nina to behave in ways uncompliant with climate models.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Redge
April 26, 2023 3:45 am

Who can predict the behavior of a demon gas?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 26, 2023 5:01 am

According to Wikipedia:

Satan,[a] also known as the Devil,[b] and sometimes also called Lucifer in Christianity, is an entity in the Abrahamic religions that seduces humans into sin or falsehood.”

He’s now taking the form of a gas. But Doctor of Theology Thunberg tells us to panic because of this new form the evil one has taken. A year or so ago, she visited the Dali Lama to get his advice on how to fight this Satanic presence.

Reply to  Redge
April 26, 2023 7:03 am

So, those naughty kids have been sniffing! Who are their parents?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  MIke McHenry
April 26, 2023 4:54 am

instead of being dismayed, they should be thrilled to get new data in order to IMPROVE their model, in order to ADVANCE “the science” in order to CONTRIBUTE more to the world- so we can have superior public energy policies

Doug Huffman
April 26, 2023 4:26 am

E-book purchased. I was hooked by the first entry of the Abbreviations.

Joseph Zorzin
April 26, 2023 4:51 am

Kip, how does the book compare to Koonin’s “Unsettled”? I’m just now reading that book and love it.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 26, 2023 8:50 am

OK, got it. I have a pretty good grasp of general sciences so with Unsettled as an introduction- I’ll move on to Longhurst. Thanks for that clarification. I do recommend Unsettled to lots of people- all of whom do not have a good grasp of general sciences. For anyone with the typical zero understanding of the subject other than the nonsense they get in the MSM, Unsettled is terrific.

B Zipperer
April 26, 2023 7:55 pm

How well does the Kindle version handle any graphs in the book?
[I struggled with the graphics in the Kindle version of Javier’s book.]

And another gorgeous day here in central Arizona, all consistent with “climate change”. Lol

Pat Frank
April 26, 2023 10:08 pm

only the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is of importance in driving the global climate this way or that

Gavin Schmidt says so. And that’s that! 🤮

Doug S
April 27, 2023 5:43 am

I read the sample that Amazon provides. Very well written and a good read, thank you Alan for a wonderful resource.

May 7, 2023 2:44 pm

I finally finished Alan Longhurst’s book, it was a challenge but well worth the read. There is so much information it is hard to take it all in. Alan did a great job but what we need now is some one to break it down into smaller pieces and tell us what he is saying in plain English. It is true that the book was directed more to those who could easily understand it and that is important but it is not the most important. Alan himself mentioned that views contrary to the accepted IPCC view are pretty much brushed aside, so it isn’t so much that the IPCC doesn’t know this material (well at least parts of it) they choose to ignore or belittle it.

The people who need this information is the average guy with a high school or close comprehension level. Judith’s review was very helpful but I most appreciated Jim’s. I think I took away as much from Jim’s review as I did Alan’s book. A clarifying report for each chapter in plain easy to understand language so any high schooler could understand would come as close to putting the final nail in the coffin of this nonsense that we could ever hope for. We need to reach the guy on the street not the scientist, academic, intellectual, politician or any of the other so called elite.

Nice job everybody.

Last edited 30 days ago by Bob
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