Roy Spencer

Roy Spencer

Visiting Fellow, Science Advisory Committee, Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment

Roy Spencer is a Visiting Fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment.

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Roy W. Spencer, PhD performs scientific research on climate change as a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Previously a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA, he is a meteorologist and has published research on a wide variety of weather and climate problems.

Spencer is best known for co-developing (with John Christy, UAH) the original method for monitoring global atmospheric temperature variations from Earth-orbiting satellites, work which led to NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award. At NASA, he was the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

At UAH, Spencer performs research into the sensitivity of the climate system to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, the effect of the urban heat island on land surface air temperature trends, and continues to update the satellite record of global atmospheric temperatures every month at He has also published a simple model of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations which demonstrated that the Earth’s ability to remove CO2 from the atmosphere has not diminished since CO2 monitoring began in the last 1950s.

Over the years he has testified in both houses of congress on climate related issues, and has published several popular books on the subject of climate change, including the New York Times bestseller, Climate Confusion.

Spencer considers his home town to be Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where he originally became interested in weather. His undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan is in Atmospheric & Oceanic Science, and his masters and doctorate degrees are in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin where he specialized in satellite remote sensing under Prof. Verner Suomi, widely considered the “Father of Satellite Meteorology.”

His hobbies include playing acoustic guitar, astrophotography, and home improvement projects.