Book Review: Who Turned On The Heat? by Bob Tisdale

Posted: September 4, 2012 by Rog Tallbloke in atmosphere, climate, data, Forecasting, general circulation, media, Ocean dynamics, solar system dynamics, Tides, weather

Click the image to buy this book from Bob Tisdales website

Bob Tisdale has been a busy man, who as well as running his excellent blog, has been writing a comprehensive survey and analysis of global warming from the point of view of an analytical oceanographer. He has kindly sent me an advance copy of this work, which he is selling at the ridiculously low price of $8.00 in e-book and pdf format from his site .

This graph laden book runs to a monumental 550+ pages and I haven’t really delved into it in detail yet. But I want to get this review out in time for the launch and having followed Bob’s blog and his posts on wattsupwiththat over the years, I pretty familiar with his style and arguments for his main thesis: that ENSO was the main driver of the warming observed towards the end of the C20th.

Bob is a careful empiricist and doesn’t stray as far into speculation about ultimate causes as many bloggers (ahem) and scientists who should know better do. Nonetheless, he has been meticulous in teasing out the relationships between various atmospheric and oceanic circulations which bear on the issue of what causes what and this knowledge is of huge benefit to all students of climate. Although the book can’t contains the splendid animations he has produced to assist him and us in visualising the evolving trends which affect surface temperature, wind patterns, and all the rest of the phenomena of the general circulation, Bob provides links to them which are active on his site and also walks us through the chains of cause and effect in various parts of the world with patiently and expertly produced diagrams, graphs and images.

Although the book has no index, (pdf readers have more than adequate search facilities anyway), the well considered and detailed table of contents breaks down his survey and plot lines to a close enough resolution for the reader to be able to home in on the specific few pages they need to refer to when using the work as a reference rather than a continuous read. this is important, and Bob’s clear thinking and meticulous effort has led to a successful execution.

Here’s a small part of the table of contents so you can see an example of the topic coverage:

8.3 In the East Pacific and West Indian Oceans, Would the Cooling Rates after Major El Niño events be Faster if Anthropogenic Greenhouses Gases Weren’t Warming the Oceans? ………………………………. 497
8.4 Is There Any Evidence That Downward Longwave (Infrared) Radiation from Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases Warms the Oceans (Sea Surface Temperature or Ocean Heat Content)? ………… 500
8.5 Why is using Global Data as a Metric for Global Warming Misleading? …………………………………. 501
8.6 Is the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Impacted by ENSO? ………………………………………………… 503
8.7 Is ENSO Impacted by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation? ………………………………………………… 507
8.8 What Causes the Multidecadal Component of ENSO? …………………………………………………………. 508

You can download a taster at bob’s site with the full table of contents and the intro here.

Rather than providing answers to difficult questions as if they are incontrovertibly settled, Bob treats them as opportunities to present evidence that the readers can assess for themselves. He is not known in the blogosphere for his dogmatic stances or over-reaching conclusions. If anything, the readers might sometimes want to shout – “but it’s obvious”…. Bob is content for them to be happy with their prowess and doesn’t lead by the nose.

Nonetheless, the detailed work he has done has paid off handsomely and those conclusions Bob does reach, are reached through a well documented trail of solid reasoning. People who take the time and trouble to acqauint themselves with this work thoroughly, will be enriched by a corpus of knowledge which will stand them in good stead as they seek to understand climate and weather better.

A no brainer at a mere $8.00, ‘Who Turned On The Heat’ easily scores a talkshop ‘Highly Recommended’.

See Bob’s own summary of the book on his site.

  1. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks very much for the review, Tallbloke. A minor clarification: In your opening paragraph you note the book will be for sale “in the near future”. It’s for sale now.



  2. tallbloke says:

    Hi Bob, fixed that for you. This is a huge effort you have made, are you going to take a break anytime?

  3. Viv Evans says:

    Thanks for the review, tallbloke – and thanks to Bob Tisdale for all his work.
    I’ll be getting the PDF, it’ll be great to have all Bob’s work in one place.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Viv, absolutely! It’s a pain hunting round WUWT and Bob’s site for *THAT GRAPH* :)

    What a bargain.

  5. Not a scientist, and not smart enough I guess to evaluate the arguments (or lack of same), but at that price I’ll probably get the book even if I don’t follow all of it. My point is that it is a terrible shame that scientists of yours and Anthony’s caliber have to waste their time putting down this CAGW, politically motivated drivel instead of doing real research which could advance our knowledge of climate. Shades of “silent spring’, acid rain and thinning ozone.


  6. any views on what Tamino’s take-down will bhe?

  7. Bob Tisdale says:

    man in a barrel: Tamino is a statistician. He has no background in ENSO processes and will not comment. I’ve been presenting this discussion for over 3 years and there’s been not a peep out of him.

  8. [...] Qui quella di Tallbloke [...]

  9. ralph Selman says:

    I bought and read the book. I finally understand what ENSO means and how it works. Thanks Bob