James E. Hansen Worshipper Gets Debunked

By Ed Caryl

A reader who goes by the name of “renewable guy” and I had a recent exchange on the credibility of James Hansen and his crew at GISS a short time ago.  He gave me the following list of 9 observations to support Hansen and GISS:

1. “Observations show that the planet is changing in accordance with global warming theory.”

It is nice to see someone admit it is a theory rather than “settled science.”

2. “The evidence for global warming is being meticulously accumulated by scientists all over the world. This evidence includes the independent observations that paint a consistent picture of global warming. Our planet is suffering an energy imbalance and is steadily accumulating heat (Hansen 2005, Murphy 2009, von Schuckmann 2009, Trenberth 2009)”

Not quite. See here. All the papers in the list above depend on models. When actual data is used no heat accumulation is seen. For sea surface temperature changes see: read here.

3. “The height of the tropopause is increasing (Santer 2003, press release).”

Two related papers, the first one refutes Santer: read here and here. Figure 9 of the second paper by Hoinka shows no long term trend of tropopause height over the period 1979 thru 1993. There is however, great year to year variability.

4. “Jet streams are moving poleward (Archer 2008, Seidel 2007, Fu 2006).”

Not anymore. The ozone hole closing is counter-acting the warming affect. But this study is still using models, read here. The models depend on the temperature increasing. What if the temperature doesn’t follow the rules? And it has not over the last decade plus.

5. “The tropical belt is widening (Seidel 2007, Fu 2006).”

Same as above; two sides of the same coin. If the jets move poleward, the tropical zone gets wider.

6. “There is an increasing trend in record hot days versus record cold temperatures with currently twice as many record hot days than record cold temperatures (Meehle 2009, see press release).”

Have you heard of UHI? Here is an excellent compendium of the problem. Even NOAA knows the truth about that, and has known it for over 20 years, read here. There is also the increased reporting phenomenon; blame the Internet. This, and satellites, are responsible for much of the recent extreme weather reporting. NASA also knows.

7. “A shift towards earlier seasons (Stine 2009).”

I found this paper change was 1.7 days over 50 years. There are cyclic changes in temperature. The beginning year in this study was 1954, a relatively cool year for the twentieth century. If the study had begun 20 years earlier, the change would have been smaller, see here. The earth has been slowly warming since the end of the Little Ice Age. Seasons were much longer during the Medieval Warm Period, when grapes were cultivated in Scotland, as they can be cultivated now (with proper care, it’s still not as warm as southern England). In the last two thousand years, there have been two other periods when the growing season in northern Europe was as long as now: the Roman Warm Period, and the Medieval Warm Period. The cycle is now turning colder and will repeat learn about it here.

8. “Cooling and contraction of the upper atmosphere consistent with predicted effects of increasing greenhouse gases (Lastovicka 2008).”

Not quite, the sun has a much larger effect: read and learn something here.

9. “Lake warming (Schneider & Hook 2010).”

Sure, since 1985. Look again in another 25 years. All the above points have the same problem. If you look at a particular section of data, or a model, for just a few years, trends can be seen that disappear over a longer time interval. The sun and long ocean cycles last from 70 to several hundred years. Making judgements over shorter intervals is foolish.

Models have problems such as lack of spatial and time resolution, and assumptions that may or may not correspond to how nature actually works. Due to the complexity of the actual climate system, even a tiny piece of garbage in the input to a climate model will quickly make the output all garbage. If one knows anything about Chaos Theory, one will doubt any present or even future climate model.

The sun, ocean cycles, recovery from the little ice age, and urban heat island effects, account for all but about 0.2 to 0.3 degrees C of the recent warming. Climate sensitivity to CO2 is about 0.5 to 0.6 degrees C for CO2 doubling.


Thanks Ed for this fine job of debunking junk science. – PG

16 thoughts on “James E. Hansen Worshipper Gets Debunked”

  1. Mr. Gosselin,you can safely ignore the guy. It is the same troll who positively *floods* Warren Meyers climate skeptic blog in the comments with off-topic linkfests and irrelevant drivel.

    Just remember: don’t feed the trolls!


  2. Climate sensitivity to CO2 rise is essentially zero, over the range of pressures in Earth’s troposphere. This is shown by the comparison of temperatures in the atmospheres of Venus and Earth. Venus’s 96.5% CO2 is more than 11 doublings of CO2 over Earth’s 0.04%, yet the temperature-vs-pressure curves of the two atmospheres, when their different distances from the Sun are taken into account, are right on each other. If the sensitivity were as high as 0.5 to 0.6°C per doubling, Venus’s curve would be higher than Earth’s by more than 5°C, and it simply is not:

    Venus: No Greenhouse Effect

    There is no observed increase in atmospheric temperature with an increase in CO2 at all. The Venus/Earth comparison — the data of two detailed planetary atmospheres with a huge difference in CO2 — is definitive.

    1. Thanks Dirk,
      That will likely be a subject of an upcoming post. While the AGW movement is running aground all over the world, it still puzzles me why Germany stubbornly remains its last unyielding fortress, Custer’s last climate-stand, one could say.

  3. “Climate sensitivity to CO2 is about 0.5 to 0.6 degrees C for CO2 doubling”.

    I even doubt that.

    1. Ron, it could be less. That figure comes from several sources. In Roy Spencer’s book, The Great Global Warming Blunder. The are charts showing the perturbation of the warming due to CO2, as struck by the Mt. Pinatubo SO2 event (sort of analogous to striking a bell). The charts align along a time constant that corresponds to a sensitivity of 0.6 degrees. I myself, have done calculations in “CO2 is Cool” http://notrickszone.com/2011/01/30/co2-is-cool/
      that indicate the sensitivity cannot be over 1 degree, and is probably less. I take 0.6 degrees as an upper limit.

  4. No. 2 is amusing. I suspect that ‘scrupulously’ was intended, but I don’t think that rg knows that ‘meticulous’ means ‘full of little fears’.
    Accurate nonetheless…

    No’s 3. and 8. also seem a little contradictory.

  5. Ed, is the statement “Observations show that the planet is changing in accordance with global warming theory.” attributed to Hansen? If so, do you have a reference?

    1. I don’t know. That statement came via “renewable guy”. It is consistent with his published papers. A Google search only comes back here, so he may not have used those specific words.

  6. Thanks for looking, Ed. Getting more people across the spectrum of views to treat CAGW as a theory – and therefore fallible as is every other theory – would be progress indeed. And thanks for posting your interesting articles here on NTZ.

  7. Ed,

    Thanks for your fine work here – and very interesting links. It looks like the science is far from settled.

  8. Glad to see someone mention chaos. I read James Gleick’s book 27 years ago, and have never forgotten the opening tale of how chaos theory began–by studying the weather.

  9. I recently had my own minor “set too” with goog2k. Another Hansen zealot.

    He challenged me that if he could prove the warming of 50% in the Oceans I’d never post again. So I challenged him back, if I could show other issues he’d never post again. Guess what… he never took up my challenge and now he’s not bothering to respond to me at all.

    I guess some people relish the challenge of debate and some just prefer to repeat others as though it was fact and shout down anybody who acts as heretic to it.

    Personally, I thought it was fun.

  10. Why are there more than a dozen climate variables, and 175 years of proven carbon dioxide chemistry missing from the U.N. IPCC study.

    The study only focuses on Human caused carbon dioxide, and nothing else.

    $25,000 Reward for the proof Humans cause climate change.

    Please go to http://co2u.info
    Thank you
    Bruce A. Kershaw

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