Climate Change

Climate Change Prediction Fail?

What did 'climate hero' James Hansen actually predict back in 1986?

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JamesHansenCongress1988NASA
NASA

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on June 10 and 11, 1986, to consider the problems of ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect, and climate change. The event featured testimony from numerous researchers who would go on to become major figures in the climate change debate. Among them was James Hansen, who was then a leading climate modeler with NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies and who has subsequently been hailed by the Worldwatch Institute as a "climate hero." When the Washington Post ran an article this week marking the 30th anniversary of those hearings, it found the old testimony "eerily familiar" to what climate scientists are saying today. As such, it behooves us to consider how well those 30-year-old predictions turned out.

At the time, the Associated Press reported that Hansen "predicted that global temperatures should be nearly 2 degrees higher in 20 years" and "said the average U.S. temperature has risen from 1 to 2 degrees since 1958 and is predicted to increase an additional 3 or 4 degrees sometime between 2010 and 2020." These increases would occur due to "an expected doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2040." UPI reported that Hansen had said "temperatures in the United States in the next decade will range from 0.5 degrees Celsius to 2 degrees higher than they were in 1958." Citing the AP report, one skeptical analyst reckoned that Hansen's predictions were off by a factor of 10. Interpreting a different baseline from the news reports, I concluded that Hansen's predictions had in fact barely passed his low-end threshold. Comments from unconvinced readers about my analysis provoked me to find and re-read Hansen's 1986 testimony.

Combing through Hansen's actual testimony finds him pointing to a map showing "global warming in the 1990's as compared to 1958. The scale of warming is shown on the left-hand side. You can see that the warming in most of the United States is about 1/2 C degree to 1 C degree, the patched green color." Later in his testimony, Hansen noted that his institute's climate models projected that "in the region of the United States, the warming 30 years from now is about 1 1/2 degrees C, which is about 3 F." It is not clear from his testimony if the baseline year for the projected increase in temperature is 1958 or 1986, so we'll calculate both.

In Hansen's written testimony, submitted at the hearing, he outlined two scenarios. Scenario A featured rapid increases in both atmospheric greenhouse gases and warming; Scenario B involved declining emissions of greenhouse gas and slower warming. "The warming in Scenario A at most mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere land areas such as the United States is typically 0.5 to 1.0 degree C (1-3 F degrees) for the decade 1990-2000 and 1-2 degree C (2-4 F degrees) for the decade 2010-2020," he wrote.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offers a handy Climate at a Glance calculator that allows us to figure out what various temperatures trends have been for the U.S. since 1901 and the globe since 1881. So first, what did happen to U.S. temperatures between 1958 and 1986? Inputting January 1958 to January 1986 using a 12-month time scale, the NOAA calculator reports that there was a trend of exactly 0.0 F degrees per decade for that period. Curiously, one finds a significant divergence in the temperature trends depending on at which half of the year one examines. The temperature trend over last half of each of the 28 years considered here is -0.13 F degree per decade. In contrast, the trend for the first half of each year yields an upward trend of +0.29 F degrees.

What happens when considering "global warming in the 1990's as compared to 1958"? Again, the first and second half-year trends are disparate. But using the 12-month time scale, the overall trend is +0.25 F degrees per decade, which would imply an increase of about 1 F degree during that period, or just over ½ C degree.

So what about warming 30 years after 1986—that is, warming up until now? If one interprets Hansen's testimony as implying a 1958 baseline, the trend has been +0.37 F degree per decade, yielding an increase of about 1.85 F degrees, or just over 1 C degree. This is near the low end of his projections. If the baseline is 1986, the increase per decade is +0.34 F degrees, yielding an overall increase of just over 1 F degree, or under 0.6 C degree. With four years left to go, this is way below his projection of a 1 to 2 C degrees warming for this decade.

Hansen pretty clearly believed that Scenario A was more likely than Scenario B. And in Scenario A, he predicted that "most mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere land areas such as the United States is typically 0.5 to 1.0 degree C (1-3 F degrees)." According to the NOAA calculator, average temperature in the contiguous U.S. increased between 1990 and 2000 by 1.05 F degree, or about 0.6 C degree.

Hansen's predictions go definitively off the rails when tracking the temperature trend for the contiguous U.S. between 2000 and 2016. Since 2000, according to the NOAA calculator, the average temperature trend has been downward at -0.06 F degree per decade. In other words, no matter what baseline year Hansen meant to use, his projections for temperatures in the U.S. for the second decade of this century are 1 to 3 F degrees too high (so far).

What did Hansen project for global temperatures? He did note that "the natural variability of the temperature in both real world and the model are sufficiently large that we can neither confirm nor refute the modeled greenhouse effect on the basis of current temperature trends." It therefore was impossible to discern a man-made global warming signal in the temperature data from 1958 to 1986. But he added that "by the 1990's the expected warming rises above the noise level. In fact, the model shows that in 20 years, the global warming should reach about 1 degree C, which would be the warmest the Earth has been in the last 100,000 years."

Did it? No. Between 1986 and 2006, according to the NOAA calculator, average global temperature increased at a rate of +0.19 C degree per decade, implying an overall increase of 0.38 C degrees. This is less half of Hansen's 1 C degree projection for that period. Taking the analysis all the way from 1986 to today, the NOAA calculator reports a global trend of +0.17 C degree per decade, yielding an overall increase of 0.51 C degree.

Hansen did offer some caveats with his projections. Among them: The 4.2 C degree climate sensitivity in his model could be off by a factor of 2; less solar irradiance and more volcanic activity could affect the trends; crucial climate mechanisms might be omitted or poorly simulated in the model. Climate sensitivity is conventionally defined as the amount of warming that would occur as the result of doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide. Three decades later, most researchers agree that Hansen set climate sensitivity way too high and thus predicted increases that were way too much. The extent to which his other caveats apply is still widely debated. For example, do climate models accurately reflect changes in the amount of cloudiness that have occurred over the past century?

The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's 1990 Assessment Report included a chapter on the "Detection of the Greenhouse Gas Effect in the Observations." It proposed that total warming of 1 C degree since the late 19th century might serve as a benchmark for when a firm signal of enhanced global warming had emerged. It also suggested that a further 0.5 C degree warming might be chosen as the threshold for detecting the enhanced greenhouse. According to the NOAA calculator, warming since 1880 has been increasing at a rate of +0.07 C degree per decade, implying an overall increase of just under 1 C degree as of this year. As noted above, global temperatures have increased by 0.51 C degree since 1986, so perhaps the man-made global warming signal has finally emerged. In fact, Hansen and colleagues suggest just that in a 2016 study.

The upshot: Both the United States and the Earth have warmed at considerably slower pace than Hansen predicted 30 years ago. If the three-decades-old predictions sound eerily familiar, it's because they've been updated. Here's hoping the new predictions will prove as accurate as the old ones.

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167 responses to “Climate Change Prediction Fail?

  1. I guess they’re going to have to go back and revise the Congressional Testimony to make it match the actual results.

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    2. They aren’t ‘revising’, they are ‘adjusting’.

      1. “Recalibrating” has also been used, I believe, to describe retrospective adjustments of raw data.

        Which is an abuse of the language.

        1. That one makes me laugh.

        2. Some of their recalibration merely involves cherry picking a batter baseline. Sad!

          1. A “batter” baseline? Like a baseball batter or cake batter?

            1. Oh that would be tempura of scab steak, of course, something good and hot.

              1. Good call.

                1. The reason that they got it wrong, and over-estimated Globabble Warmerererering, is because they forgot to account for MEEEE in their calculations… I have been chowing DOWN, lemme tell ya! My body has been serving as a large “human carbon sink”, keeping that them thar carbon OUT of the air! … I do it all fer YE, and you’re welcome!!!!

                  1. So with your self sacrifice your the new Jesus, oh wait we got send you to global warming heaven and all then it will be complete

                  2. Drink up too, you have to get water vapor out of the air as well.

                    1. Dihydrogen Monoxide is truly a devastating global warming gas, and should be illegal! I’ve heard it makes up like 80% of our bodies these days! Alarming!

                    2. Did you know that US armed forces are still sending people into areas with huge amounts of DHMO despite thousands of deaths associated with inhaling it?

      2. Don’t forget that CRU (Climate Research Unit) lost the original temperature data entrusted to them. The CRU temperature dataset is used by the IPCC. See:

        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot……-data.html

        …among others.

        CRU: “Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.”

    3. The climate on this planet has changed for 4.5 billion years (4.5 with eight zeros).
      Why would it stop changing now?
      Why would you actually WANT the climate to stop changing?
      What would this world look like if the climate ever did stop changing?
      Has anyone ever speculated on this?
      I think we would have a dead planet on our hands.

      This is about money, power and societal control.

  2. Whatever happened to all of that ozone hole bluster anyway? The other day I heard an old bit by Lewis Black wherein he was ranting about ozone depletion. I found it charmingly dated.

    1. It’s a variant of the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect.

      Yesterday’s looming predictions of disaster are forgotten.

    2. The ozone layer is self healing. More UV rays make more ozone, which is why the hole was over Antartica in the winter.

      Of course, scientists knew this at the time, pushed for a ban on our most efficient refrigerants, and then credited that for fixing the problem.

      1. As I understand it the FedGov is by far the largest user of CFCs and is exempt from the ban.

        1. Same with petroleum.

          I doubt the president’s limo meets CAFE standards.

          1. Have you ever driven an armored car?

            They weigh a shit-ton more than a normal car and get the gas mileage of a Panzer Maus.

      2. As I understand it, Ozone is an effect of protection from UV rather than the cause but it’s been a while since I did any research on that. I still like to use the Chinese Climate Bomb as an example of why neutering U.S. energy production won’t do diddly for the planet Earth though. You would need developing nations to neuter themselves, but so far all they seem interested in doing is extorting money from the 1st world for self-inflicted harms of real pollution and industrial waste. *shrug*

    3. They did a victory lap after banning CFCs.

    4. People in Australia put on more sunblock and got on with their lives. I’m pretty sure the polar “holes” still happen every year.

    5. The ozone hole stopped growing after we banned CFCs and is now starting to shrink, exactly in line with prediction. This was a place where the science was right.

      1. Why would it shrink when countries like China are still using them, and releasing them into the environment?

  3. When the Washington Post ran an article this week marking the 30th anniversary of those hearings, it found the old testimony “eerily familiar” to what climate scientists are saying today.

    And will again in 30-year increments until those resources are shifted around the globe juuuuuuuuust right.

    1. No, they won’t. We’ll be well within a minimum solar cycle by then and temperatures will drop significantly. We could see another mini-ice age like the one that occurred during the Maunder Minimum around the turn of the 17th century. This is why they’re panicking so badly right now and sending subpoenas to ‘deniers’ who disagree with them. Their time is running out.

      grand minimum on the way

      Warmists ignore this because there’s no money in cooling.

      1. Warmists ignore it because its driven by the sun, which we can do nothing about, and thus there is no regulatory superstate with global cronyism and social engineering, all of which the warmists desperately crave.

        1. Don’t think they won’t say they can manage the sun, but that it will cost TRILLIONS, just make out the check to them, or else.

        2. If we’re entering a Maunder Minimum, it could persist until the 2080s

          We’re talking about 50+ years of cooling. Crops would suffer tremendously and we’ll have to be ready to deal with that. Instead, politicians are focusing on fake warming. Just like terrorist attacks mean taking people’s rights, I’m sure they’ll dream up a doozy for this one. Probably, it was warming nicely, but Republican deniers caused this cooling, let’s cancel the constitution until we get back to warming. I hate these fascists.

          1. If only we had some kind of historical precedent we would know how to deal with the fuckers.

            1. Maybe all of the alarmists can go live in some sort of “camp” where they could “concentrate” their efforts…

        3. You’re missing the opportunity that this presents to NASA for launching things to burn, into the sun.

          1. Congress?

          2. When my son was in grade school learning about the solar system I did a little exercise to help him understand the scale of it all.

            I bought a yoga ball that was 36 inches to represent the sun. Approximately to scale the earth was represented by a .25 inch ball bearing. I had him stand by the sun while I paced off ab out 100 feet and held up the ball bearing.

            Thats right, the earth is a speck of dust that the sun cant even see, it doesnt even know we are here.

            1. Here’s another pretty neat demonstration of the scale of the solar system. The scale of the galaxy or anything bigger is pretty much inconceivable.

            2. This was interesting.

              http://www.space.com/30590-sol…..JYRaAB8XeT

            3. yo mamma so fat …

      2. Suits me. The fucking heat index was 110 here yesterday. I haven’t checked it today but it is probably about the same.

        Upside: I am drowning in the most delicious, sweet and juicy tomatoes you can imagine. It is just the wife and I now so we have trouble eating them all. I don’t can them anymore, buying is so much easier and cheaper. We try to eat a couple every day. I chill them, slice them and we snack on them seasoned with salt, pepper and basil then topped with some sharp cheddar and a jalape?o slice.

          1. I have been there. It was the first time I had been anywhere that felt almost as hot as here.

            Humidity? Your sweat doesnt even evaporate. Nowhere on earth feels like the Mississippi delta. Ok, maybe Key West in mid-summer.

            1. The hottest I’ve ever felt was in the South Pacific. No amount of ice cold bottled water could make that comfortable.

              We were in one of those over-water rooms, and we swam to the restaurant instead of walking.

              1. I forgot about that. Yeah…New Britain…holy shit.

            2. Some of the winters in the late 70s were so cold, we had to leave our oven on with the door open to keep warm in Key West.

            3. I lived just about everywhere in the Army. I’ve been in the Mississippi delta, I’ve been in Korea, I’ve been in Kuwait and Iraq.

              I’ve never been ANYWHERE that approaches the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas in summer for oppressive heat/humidity.

              You could call it bias, but a friend of mine is a bio-med scientist who literally just travels all over the country doing samples (and who also went to Afghanistan and Iraq), and he said the day he spent at Bull Shoals lake was the worst he had ever experienced.

              1. I’m sure the mosquitos had an impact.

              2. I actually like in the Arkansas Ozarks, and it is pretty terrible. Riding the motorcycle just feels like someone is blowing a heater on you, and you still sweat.

                I think the Parris Island/Beaufort area of SC might be worse though, IMO, from when I was stationed there.

          2. But it’s a dry heat.

            1. So’s a convection oven.

              1. It was supposed to be a joke.

          3. Supposed to be 115 in Tucson this weekend.

            The weatherbots on TV were saying that this will be the hottest temperatures in over 20 years.

            Which seems to me, on a microscale, to be inconsistent with global warming. When your heat records are that old, it doesn’t seem like we’ve been in much of a warming trend, does it? ( inow, I know – weather, not climate, etc.)

            1. It is unusual for June. Although we’re hitting max solar radiation in less than a week, the hottest parts of North America usually don’t usually peak for another month or two. I think Los Angeles hit its all time high in September.

              Just for fun.

                1. Are you getting that orange tint in SFV today?

                  The sky is covered in smoke here from the Santa Barbara fire. Brilliant sunshine, but it’s the color of a sunset.

            2. And that’s just the last 20 years. Aren’t a lot of heat records still from the 1930s?

        1. If you have cherry tomatoes, you can freeze them then take them out of the freezer to saut? into a pasta sauce.

          1. I didn’t plant any this year, but we have already made a couple gallons of pasta sauce. Yum.

      3. if it does cool due to the Maunder Minimum they will take credit for the cooling and insist we get rid of gas before the cooling quits.

      4. Have you not been paying attention? They will shift gears into alarmism over global cooling. Again.

        This ‘debate’ is just as cyclical as the environment, it would seem, and people’s memories on this subject are frightfully short. I’m barely old enough to remember the dire predictions of a freezing Earth, but if you think they won’t pull that card out again or that people won’t lap it up you’d probably be wrong.

  4. Bailey thanks for posting this. You are a rare voice that doesn’t get carried away with mood affiliation either way.

    1. . You are a rare voice that doesn’t get carried away with mood affiliation

      look into my eyes when you say that

      (cue soundtrack)

  5. Inputting January 1958 to January 1986 using a 12-month time scale, the NOAA calculator reports that there was a trend of exactly 0.0 F degrees per decade for that period. Curiously, one finds a significant divergence in the temperature trends depending on at which half of the year one examines.

    January 1986 was unusually cold.

    1. Curiously, one finds a significant divergence in the temperature trends depending on at which half of the year one examines.

      That is odd, and is yet another climate “behavior” that the climatologists can’t explain or model. Which, in a sane world, would be taken as an indication of how incomplete our knowledge is, and thus how cautious we should be with climate science.

  6. Ha, ha. You people make me laugh.

    So what?

    NOW IS WHAT MATTERS AND THE FACT WE HAVEN’T DIED YET IS NOT PROOF THERE ISN’T ANY CLIMATE CHANGE.

    Honestly, I think it’s time you go to prison because you’re triggering me and your positions are dangerous.

    1. My self-esteem is invested in solving imaginary problems! Being told said problems are not as bad as I’ve been led to believe them to be is worse than the extinction of the human race!

  7. “Here’s hoping the new predictions will prove as accurate as the old ones.”

    I think you can be confident that that will be the case.

  8. Clearly all changes in in temperature or any naturally occurring events are the fault of capitalists. Once we destroy all capitalists, the earth will be 72 degrees all of the time.

    If you don’t think that is what these psychos are thinking all of the time, your are choosing to ignore the agenda.

    1. There’s little doubt what they want is system change. They can control this; Mother Nature, not so much. They just use climate as distraction to achieve that goal because I wonder if they even believe the junk they peddle.

      1. They believe it because they have been brainwashed. I’ll bet they are constantly confused by how bogus it all is though.

    2. They are the new soothsayers and mystics, problem is the aforementioned people did not want to rule the world.

  9. Climate Hero

    That would be a great game for the Nintendo Wii, like Guitar Hero.

    You could substitute guitar playing with alarmist shrieking.

    1. Or holding your breath.

    2. You have to make emotional appeals quickly while dodging, modifying and rationalizing contrary observations to your models.

    3. The game controller is a hockey stick?

      1. A hockey stick that you use to physically bludgeon the deniers.

  10. Isn’t the warming we’re experienced only due to the fact that we’re still coming out of the last glacial period? And there will be another. And in about a billion years we’ll see some real warming, when the sun burns off most of it’s fuel and becomes a red giant.

    1. If we were lucky we’d be living around a red dwarf and then we’d get to listen to the warmists for billions of more years.

      1. red dwarf

        You leave joe from lowell out of this!

        1. Hey, if we can get 15 billion or so years of power source out of Joe, then he has some value.

      2. You mean the environmentalists will allow us to be mining asteroids? Dreamer.

    2. As I keep telling people who believe in global warming:

      Climatology can’t explain historical climate changes, and thus can’t tell us what the baseline ex industrialization would be, and therefor cannot tell us what the impact of industrialization really is.

      1. Science does however know that we’ve had several ice ages and many interglacial periods between those ice ages. And we’ll have more. All courtesy of sun cycles and the earth’s axial precession and variations in elliptical orbit. 1 degree F of warming in 30 years, and that could have gone either way, lol, get the fuck out warmists.

        1. Volcanism probably has something to do with it as well (both from CO2 emissions and dust and aerosols). Though mostly in the more distant past.

          I believe that technically speaking we are still in an ice age as long at there are continental ice sheets somewhere. Earth has had long periods without polar ice caps.

          1. Yes, but thankfully we got tires out of it.

      2. Shut up, you resource depleting shit maker, and cut your lawn with a pair of fourth grade safety scissors.

        And don’t exhale so much, one breath out for every two breaths in.

        1. Yeah!
          Wash your mayo jar out before you recycle.

          1. does anyone else wonder how much water we waste washing out recyclables especially in California? the energy alone in cleaning pumping and supply of water probably waste more than the quantity of materials recycled.

            1. “Wasting water” is a myth itself. Technically speaking, the only water the planet has ever lost besides what asteroids have kicked off the planet is astro and cosmonauts’ piss.

  11. It feels like all the global warming is happening in Denver.
    Was it only a month ago that I was saying that I was impatient for the cold weather to end?

    1. We had the coldest nastiest spring in Balmer since I’ve lived here. It was cold, windy, rainy, just nasty until a couple of weeks ago.

      1. I am already picking my 3rd crop of ripe tomatoes.

        The heat index was 110 yesterday.

    2. It has been suspiciously hot out…

  12. a handy Climate at a Glance calculator

    is that the same temperature data Hansen used?

    1. Numbers don’t lie!

  13. “It is not clear from his testimony if the baseline year for the projected increase in temperature is 1958 or 1986. . . .”

    Supporting my theory that 99.97485% of Congressional testimony is meaningless.

  14. You know, these so called ‘scientists’ could be doing something useful, like trying to cure cancer or eliminate hunger, figure out a way to keep the next stray space rock from wiping us off the planet, instead of running a scam and making false predictions again and again. These are not scientists, they’re scamming gold diggers.

    1. The science is necessary; the problem is that most of the ones doing the science take the results too seriously, and then don’t scale back the rhetoric when newer results show a lesser effect.

      1. Rhetoric secures funding.
        Government funding of science is what caused this.

    2. None more so than Hansen.

      Remember the guy who cried about the antarctic ice sheet collapsing and its too late to do anything about it? We haven’t heard anymore about that. A global disaster on a scale humanity hasn’t seen in recorded history and…crickets.

      He was a true believer that didn’t understand that in a scam it can never be too late, disaster has to always be just around the corner if you are going to get your mark to act in panic.

      I am sure someone told him to shut the fuck up and we haven’t heard from him since ’14.

    3. … figure out a way to keep the next stray space rock from wiping us off the planet…

      I believe this was already covered in the documentary Armageddon.

    4. Technically they already eliminated hunger, the problem is that people are apparently terrified of GMO’s thus they want to withhold the miracle product of science.

      So, yeah. There’s that.

  15. So how much was it supposed to have risen by now and how much did it?

  16. These are not scientists, they’re scamming gold diggers.

    If the government did not fund climate research, there would not even be a climate!

  17. Hmmmm, I wonder how the next two generations of college students will view global warming. For one thing, they’ve been hearing about it as a looming crisis since they were kids. On the other hand, the adults in their lives have done the same. Once we start having grandmas who talk about how they’ve spent their entire lives fighting against global warming, will the movement be dead? We’ve already hit the first group of scientists prediction point of disaster, once we hit the second groups will that convince people that nothing is going on, or will they just say that the early guys were a bit over eager but the new prediction will most definitely come true.

    1. Soylent green is people

    2. It will take as long as repudiating all of the FDR is the greatest human ever stuff that we are all brainwashed about growing up. That fraud still has decades, maybe a century if ever to be exposed to the masses.

  18. Well done, Ron! It must have been a long, painful slog to find all the pre-internet data, and then try to make sense of it in the light of developments 30 years later. Hell, I found it interesting enough I forgot to check for alt-text (went back and there’s none – this will cost a point in final scoring, sadly).

    Thank you for taking our comments to heart and for a nice, substantial article on a meaningful subject!

  19. Again, an old trope. Hansen even said in his testimony that if he was given all his druthers, he would want more study before making any dramatic pronouncements as to certainty.

    This article by Joseph Majkut at Niskanen Center summed it all up nicely.

    “The key message for policymakers is that in the 30 years since these hearings, nothing has really broken the basic scientific picture presented back then. Nature has endowed humanity with enough fossil fuels to drive the climate outside historical bounds, which will probably displace and harm many, and the range between the worst-case and the best-case for future warming depends on the vagaries of climate science and how much carbon humans put aloft.”

    At the end of the day, at best you are buying more time as to when the worst happens. The planet is warming, man is causing it, and the potential for grave problems is too large to ignore. As Majkut points out, another testimonial given at the hearing by T. Rabb pointed out that science is never 100% certain about anything. And it would be a mistake to hold off taking action waiting for that 100% certainty.

    1. Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?

      This isn’t even moderately skilled spinning. Just… pitiful.

      1. Oh, and delightful choice of cite.

        In February 2016 the Niskanen Center outlined a “libertarian case” for supporting Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

        Tells you all you need to know, right there.

        1. This is rich.

          The Niskanen Center’s support for carbon taxation represents a nearly complete reversal of Taylor’s previous advocacy at the Cato Institute, where he was a vocal climate change skeptic. Taylor was the featured guest on an hour-long episode of the John Stossel show in 2009 in which he advanced arguments against anthropogenic global warming and opposed government action to address climate change.Taylor explained his shift in a 2015 interview with Vox.com, indicating that he had “fundamentally switched” his previous beliefs on the issue after seeing new scientific evidence. Robert Bradley of the Institute for Energy Research, a former colleague of Taylor’s during his time as a climate skeptic, has countered that Taylor’s shift coincides with his appeal for donors in the climate activist community to “financially father” his new institute following the break from Cato.

          1. They are just thoughtful, intelligent, and science accepting libertarians. I know, a rarity around here.

            1. Your grasp of science is legendary. Almost John-like.

          2. By the way, at least put a link to your quote.

            1. Your grasp of Google is almost up to your grasp of science.

              1. Wouldn’t waste my time if your too lazy to post it. Enjoy your evening!

                1. I know I’ll be enjoying my weekend since global warming is a myth.

          3. I’m sure he was swimming in ExxonBux until his conscience finally got the best of him.

    2. enough fossil fuels to drive the climate outside historical bounds

      WTF does this mean? What are the historical bounds? Does that mean instrumental history? Because that wouldn’t be that hard to accomplish being such a small sample size. Does it mean human history? Because that would be much more difficult to accomplish since it’s been much warmer and much colder than now at various points along the way. Surely it doesn’t mean Earth’s history.

    3. I understand that one billion people will die from the effects of global warming by the year 2012. We must act now!

      Goddammit Jackass, you are going to have to up your game. We deserve better trolls.

    4. Let’s just use Ronald’s suggestion that warming per decade is at .37 degrees F. The rate of warming is increasing, but let’s just hold it at that rate. By 2150 we will have warmed the planet nearly 6 degrees. Catastrophic? Maybe. Certain very problematic. Since its 50 years later than 2100, does that mean we have nothing to worry about?

      Nope.

      1. The rate of warming is increasing,

        Starting a chain of reasoning with a lie. That’s really shitty trolling. We had better trolls when Postrel was in charge!

        1. “The global average surface temperature rose 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1 to 1.6? F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years. Temperatures are certain to go up further.”

          1. And the instruments in 1906 were just as good as today’s because zienze is zettled.

          2. But the models cannot even come close to matching the shape of the temp vs time curve. 1945-1975, 1998-2014, and lots of earlier periods of zero or neg slope exist, proving the models are shit.

            Correlation does not prove causation, but lack of correlation does prove lack of causation.

            Go away, dipshit!

          3. Jackand Ace|6.17.16 @ 4:09PM|#
            “Link”

            Jack, it’s always a pleasure for you to provide links that show you’re lying, pitching trivial or totally irrelevant issues and results.
            It makes you look like a truly accomplished dimwit.

    5. Jackand Ace|6.17.16 @ 3:10PM|#
      “Again, an old trope. Hansen even said in his testimony that if he was given all his druthers, he would want more study before making any dramatic pronouncements as to certainty.”

      IOWs, we don’t have any certainty, and to anyone with the brains of a monkey, that means there’s no reason to take any real action.
      So this claim:
      “At the end of the day, at best you are buying more time as to when the worst happens. The planet is warming, man is causing it, and the potential for grave problems is too large to ignore.”
      is an assertion pretending to be an argument.
      Thanks, Jack

  20. science is never 100% certain about anything. And it would be a mistake to hold off taking action waiting for that 100% certainty.

    That makes sense, if you’re a moron.

    1. It also makes sense if you have a high degree of certainty that your action would work, or if you have a high degree of certainty that the problem is real.

      If there was an 80% chance that an asteroid was going to hit Earth, it would probably be good to try to do something before you get to 95% certainty.

  21. Serious question not answered in the article: Did Hansen make any predictions about how much and how fast the CO2 concentration would increase, and how do the actual numbers compare about his predictions? If CO2 is not rising as fast as he said it would, could that account for the temps not rising as fast as he testified to?

    1. Well, in the article it says Hansen predicted a doubling from 1986 levels by 2040. So he’ll be dead by then.

    2. Yes he did.

      My understanding is that CO2 was tracking scenario A until recently (Aside from a flurry of articles in 2008, it seems to have dropped off people’s radars so I can’t point to a good analysis). Temps, however, are below Scenario C.

      Of course, Hansen’s predictions weren’t predictions. They were model outputs – albeit from a very crude and simplified model. I recall reading that his equilibrium climate sensitivity was 4.2 degrees C for every doubling of CO2 concentrations. The past 20 years of observations indicate that it’s between 1 and 2 C per doubling (and my money is on a number around 1.3 – 1.4).

      Moreover, in the past 30 years, the models should have improved greatly, and one would expect Hansen’s models do be poorer than ones formulated and instantiated in subsequent years.

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  23. We can just use’s Keynes’ retort “in the long run, we all die anyways”, or does this not fly since it is anti-Agenda?

  24. Hansen: ” In fact, the model shows that in 20 years, the global warming should reach about 1 degree C, which would be the warmest the Earth has been in the last 100,000 years.”

    Completely wrong. It has been much warmer many times.

  25. And Hansen’s predictions have become more shrill in recent years. He is becoming more wrong by the day.

  26. So, Winter and Spring temps are up marginally, and Summer and Fall Temps are down at a slightly larger margin…..
    and any increase in CO2 levels allows an increase in plant growth…..er…..more food,
    with a possibly longer growing season at higher latitudes.

    Now, tell me, what major Climate Change predictions have come anywhere near the cataclysm that Hansen and others have outlined?
    Even the Ozone Hole turned out to be a hoax, for which we’ve paid a steep price in automotive refrigerants.

  27. Hanson was, and continues to be, a complete environmentalist hack…

  28. If you look at global temperatures over thousands of years, rather than a couple of hundred, you see that temperatures vary wildly, and sea levels have risen dramatically over the past few thousand years.

    Unless they’re pretending these older climate changes are caused by man’s industrial activities, then nothing in the current changes is any more drastic than these historic changes – to put it mildly. More accurately, current changes are smaller than history would predict.

    I remember seeing a tree-rings temperature change chart over the last 2,000 years many years ago, before the current hysteria about Anthropogenic Global Warming, now being called Climate Change. This chart showed our temperature today is quite a bit lower than the 2,000 year average, and is on the rise on the way back to Average. But when you relabel Global Warming to Climate Change, then there’s no phrase for climate changes before mankind started industrial activities a few hundred years ago…

    Since it’s a hoax, although it is a big distraction, what is happening that the powers-that-be don’t want us to notice? The insidious attempts to institute a one-world government? The religious conflicts? The attempts to eliminate religious freedom in the name of non-discrimination? The confusion being created in the name of gender tolerance and non-discrimination? What else do you think it could be?

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