In This Review

Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know
Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know
By Patrick J. Michaels and Robert C. Balling, Jr.
CATO Institute, 2009, 267 pp

Having combed the peer-reviewed literature on climate change, Michaels and Balling conclude that much of the current public discussion of this important issue is extremely misleading. Some developments -- such as receding glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro or the eroding coastline of northern Alaska -- have been taking place for over a century and cannot possibly be attributed to recent greenhouse gas emissions. Other developments may not pose the problem they are alleged to pose. For example, the reduction of the ice mass covering western Antarctica, which could contribute to a significant rise in the sea level, is partially and perhaps wholly offset by the growth of the ice mass over eastern Antarctica. Indeed, simulations suggest that the continent's total ice mass will increase in the coming decades due to increased precipitation. If the models are correct, the loss of Antarctic ice is not worth worrying about; if they are incorrect, the other, more alarming forecasts should be treated with greater skepticism. Even if the authors have cherry-picked their scientific papers, this book is a useful antidote to the heavy dose of hype to which the public is
regularly subjected.