Hansen’s Sea Shell Game

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

There’s an old con game that has been played on the suckers for hundreds and hundreds of years. It is done in various forms, with various objects, under various names—three card monty, the shell game, Thimblerig, bottle caps, cups and ball, the game is the same in every one. The essence is, the con man puts a pea under a shell, then switches the shells around and asks which shell is hiding the pea.

Figure 1. The Conjuror, by Hieronymus Bosch, painted 1475-1480. The type of tricks the conjuror is doing are thought to be among the origins of the shell game.

I bring this up because our favorite conjuror, James Hansen, is up to his old tricks again. He has a new paper out, Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change, And as always, you have to figure out which shell is hiding the pea.

Here is his money graph, the one that is getting lots of play around the blogosphere. The main observation I’ve seen people making is that having been bitten by previous failed prognostications, Hansen is taking the well-tested Nostradamus route now, and is predicting sea level rise for when he’ll be 137 years old or so …

Figure 2. Hansen’s Figure 7: ORIGINAL CAPTION: “Five-meter sea level change in 21st century under assumption of linear change and exponential change (Hansen, 2007), the latter with a 10-year doubling time.”

Folks are saying that the bad news is, it looks like we won’t be able to tell until 2040 or so if Hansen’s claim is true. But that’s not the case at all. Those folks are not keeping close enough watch on the pea.

In the paper Hansen says:

Sea level change estimates for 21st century. 

IPCC (2007) projected sea level rise by the end of this century of about 29 cm (midrange 20-43 cm, full range 18-59 cm). These projections did not include contributions from ice sheet dynamics, on the grounds that ice sheet physics is not understood well enough.

Rahmstorf (2007) made an important contribution to the sea level discussion by pointing out that even a linear relation between global temperature and the rate of sea level rise, calibrated with 20th century data, implies a 21st [century] sea level rise of about a meter, given expected global warming for BAU greenhouse gas emissions. …

… Hansen (2005, 2007) argues that amplifying feedbacks make ice sheet disintegration necessarily highly non-linear, and that IPCC’s BAU forcing is so huge that it is difficult to see how ice shelves would survive. As warming increases, the number of ice streams contributing to mass loss will increase, contributing to a nonlinear response that should be approximated better by an exponential than by a linear fit. Hansen (2007) suggested that a 10-year doubling time was plausible, and pointed out that such a doubling time, from a 1 mm per year ice sheet contribution to sea level in the decade 2005-2015, would lead to a cumulative 5 m sea level rise by 2095.

The short version of that is:

• The IPCC predicts sea level rise of about a foot (30 cm), but they don’t take ice into account.

• Rahmstorf says a linear projection gives about a metre (3.3 feet) of sea level rise.

• Hansen 2007 says there’s a missing exponential term in Rahmstorf’s work, because the ice will be melting faster and faster every year.

OK, so Hansen 2011 rests on the claims made in Hansen (2007), which turns out to be Scientific reticence and sea level rise. At the end of Section 4 Hansen says that Rahmstorf estimates a 1-metre sea level rise, but that a non-linear ice melting term should be added to the Rahmstorf rise.

Under BAU ["Business As Usual"] forcing in the 21st century, the sea level rise surely will be dominated by a third term: (3) ice sheet disintegration. This third term was small until the past few years, but it is has at least doubled in the past decade and is now close to 1 mm/year, based on the gravity satellite measurements discussed above. …  As a quantitative example, let us say that the ice sheet contribution is 1 cm for the decade 2005–15 and that it doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted. That time constant yields a sea level rise of the order of 5 m this century.

So to get the final Hansen projection, we need to see what is happening in Rahmstorf, A Semi-Empirical Approach to Projecting Future Sea-Level Rise, paywalled, where we find the following graph of projected sea level rise.

Figure 3. The Rahmstorf estimate of sea level rise, to which Hansen says an exponentially growing ice term should be added.

ORIGINAL CAPTION: Past sea level and sea-level projections from 1990 to 2100 based on global mean temperature projections of the IPCC TAR. The gray uncertainty range spans the range of temperature rise of 1.4° to 5.8° C, having been combined with the best statistical fit shown in Fig. 2. The dashed gray lines show the added uncertainty due to the statistical error of the fit of Fig. 2. Colored dashed lines are the individual scenarios as shown in (1) [Ref. 1 is the IPCC TAR Bible, no page given]; the light blue line is the A1FI scenario, and the yellow line is the B1 scenario.

(In passing, let me again protest the use of the entire IPCC Third Annual Report, thousands of pages, as a reference without giving us chapter and verse in the way of page numbers. My high school science teacher would have slapped my hand for that, it’s a joke.)

The upper blue line is the one that gives us about a meter of sea level rise. So I took that as Rahmstorf’s 1 metre rise. To that I added, as Hansen claims we should, an amount that starts at 0.5 cm in 2000 and doubles every ten years. This is following Hansen’s claim that the non-linear ice disintegration is a separate term that starts small but will “come to dominate” the sea level rise over the century. The result is shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Rahmstorfs predicted rise (blue), Hansen’s projected additional rise from “non-linear ice disintegration” (dark red), and total sea level rise (green) predicted in H2011. I have included the last century’s rise of 16 cm, as calculated by Rahmstorf, in the lower right corner for comparison purposes. IMAGE SOURCE

OK, so what Hansen is actually predicting is the green line. However, his real forecast is actually much worse than that. Hansen again, emphasis mine:

The eventual sea level rise due to expected global warming under BAU GHG [greenhouse gas] scenarios is several tens of meters, as discussed at the beginning of this section.

I’m going with “several tens” to mean more than two, so he’s predicting a 30 metre sea level rise!!! … I guess he figured nobody paid any attention when Al Gore threatened us with a 20 metre sea level rise, so he’d better pull out all the stops and give us a real scare, something to make us shake in our panties.

There is a bit of good news, however. Both the Rahmstorf and the Hansen projections are already way above the reality. Since 1993, when the satellites started measuring sea level, we’ve gone up about 4.6 cm (1993-2011). Rahmstorf’s projection is 6.4 cm for that time period, about 40% too high already. Hansen’s larger projection is 7.2 centimetres rise over that time, or 55% too high.

The annual rise is also entertaining. According to the satellites, the trend 1993-2011 was 3.2 mm/yr, and has been declining recently. The change 2009-2010 was under a mm, at 0.9 mm/yr. And 2010-2011 was just about flat.

In 2010-2011, Rahmstorf’s projected rise is already 4.5 mm/yr, about fifty percent larger than the actual rate of the last 18 years. And Hansen’s annual rise is even worse, at 5.3 mm per year.

So both in terms of 1993-2011 rise, as well as current annual rise, both Rahmstorf and Hansen are already way above observations. But wait, there’s more.

Hansen’s rate of sea level rise is supposed to be accelerating, as is Rahmstorf’s rate. By 2020 Hansen says it should be rising at 6.3 mm per year, and everlastingly upwards after that. But in fact we’re already way under their supposed rates of annual increase, and the observed rate of rise is declining …

How does Hansen get these nonsensical numbers? Well, he noticed something in the observations.

This third term [melting ice] was small until the past few years, but it is has at least doubled in the past decade …

My high school science teacher, Mrs. Henniger, bless her, thought extending a linear trend into the future was a crime against nature, and I would hesitate to express her opinion on Hansen blithely extending a ~ 7% annual increase for a hundred years. That kind of compound interest turns a centimeter (3/8″) into 5 metres (16 feet). If Dr. Hansen had submitted this nonsense to her, you would not have been able to read it when it came back for the red pencil scribbles.

You can’t do that, folks. You can’t just observe that something has doubled in the last decade, and then extend that exponential growth out for a century. That’s beyond wishful thinking. That’s magical thinking.

Two final points. First, the pea under the walnut shells. Note carefully what Hansen has done. He has claimed that the sea level rise will be “several tens of metres”. This is at least thirty metres, or a hundred feet, of sea level rise.

He seems to be at least somewhat supporting this claim with his Figure 7 (my figure 2). But if you look at the caption, this is not a forecast, a projection, or a scenario of any kind. Instead, this is merely an “approximation” of what a linear sea level rise might look like and what an exponential rise might look like. You know, in case you didn’t understand “linear” and “exponential”. His actual forecast is under another walnut shell somewhere. We know his “Approximation” can’t be a real projection because it shows almost no rise occurring currently, or for some years.

Second, even this doesn’t begin to unravel the errors, deceptions, alarmism, and con games in Hansen’s work. Do you see the guy in the dark vest and the white pants and shirt at the left of Hieronymus’s painting at the top? See what he has in his hand while he’s looking all innocent at the sky? See who it’s chained to? Hansen’s not really the shell game conjurer, that guy’s a piker, he’s not making much money on the game.

Hansen’s the guy in the dark vest with his hand on your pocketbook …

w.

[UPDATE]

Joel Shore observed correctly that Hansen was basing his estimate of a huge sea level rise on paleoclimate date. Joel is right that Hansen claimed the paleoclimate data shows a rise of 20 metres for every 1°C temperature rise. Because of this, Hansen says that a 2°C future temperature rise will give a 40 metre sea level rise.

Let’s take a bit calmer look at what we know. We know that when there is an ice age, a lot of the water in the ocean behaves badly. It goes up on the land as mainly northern hemisphere ice and snow and glaciers. As a result, the sea level drops by a hundred metres or so. The glaciers stay there until the ice age ends, at which point they melt, and the sea level rises again. Since we’re in an interglacial, right now the glaciers are mostly melted.

So I would certainly not expect further warming to have much effect on melting or sea level. The easy ice is all melted, the giant miles-thick Northern Hemisphere glaciers are almost all melted back into the ocean. The rest are hiding mostly on north slopes in northern climes. So where is the meltwater going to come from?

And curiously, what I found out from Joel’s question is that if you know where to look, we can see that the graphs in Hansen’s own paper bear me out. They say the oceans won’t rise. I don’t particularly believe Hansen’s results, but presuming that they are correct for the sake of discussion, then let’s look at his graphs.

Look first at the sea level during the past four interglacial periods. I stuck a ruler on it so you can see what I mean.

As you can see, at the level of detail of their graph the sea level has never been higher than it than it is now.

Now look at their temperature observations and reconstruction:

According to Hansen, temperatures have been as much as 2.5°C higher than at present … but the sea level hasn’t ever been higher than at present.

If Hansen’s claim were true, that a 1°C temperature rise leads to a 20 m sea level rise, we should see sea levels forty metres or more above present levels in Hansen’s graph (b). Look at the scale on the left of graph (b), that’s off the top of the chart.

Instead, we see nothing of the sort. We see much warmer periods in the past, but the sea levels are indistinguishable from present levels. Hansen’s own graphs show that he is wrong. So it appears that Hansen is doing the same thing, he’s extrapolating a linear trend out well beyond the end.

He’s noticed that when warming temperatures were melting the huge glaciers over Chicago, the sea level rose quickly. Unfortunately, he has then extended that trend well past the time when there are no glaciers in Chicago left to melt …

w.

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216 thoughts on “Hansen’s Sea Shell Game

  1. In the good old days, when your numerical prediction did not match experimental data, you had to adjust your theory. People like Bernoulli,Faraday, Tesla, Bohr, Oppenheimer, to name a few, abided by this time-tested way of doing science with some small success. Hansen seems to have invented a new way of doing science – NOT ! ( And that is why “climate science” as practiced by alarmists is pretty much an oxymoron. )

  2. Sorry all this is now a waste of time because there is no global warming (or has not been any for 15 years now(. Its official, even UEA admits it LOL

  3. Hansen? or Hansel and Gretel?. Fairy tales or Terror tales like H.P.Lovecraft´s “The Myths of Cthulhu”? (The Lord of Cthulhu came from the darkest depths of the sea)

  4. I just wish that I would live to see the next 10 years AFTER the graph. Sea-level rise of millions of feet as the graph rises asymptotically away… what rubbish.

  5. Ed MacAulay says:
    January 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    That net rise- red line in the figure – Should it be 1900 to 1999?

    No, that’s Hansen’s estimate of the upcoming 21st century sea level rise from “nonlinear ice disintegration”.

    Thanks,

    w.

  6. Surely it’s clear that it is the AGW advocates who are the deniers–deniers of reality, deniers of facts, deniers of the scientific method, deniers of ethical decency.

    They’ve been running a long-term grift, but even those expire eventually.

    Who, I wonder, will go to jail over this massive multi-billion dollar fraud of the taxpayer?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  7. Stephan Barski says:
    January 29, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Has hansen even done a gut check to see if there is even enough H2O on the planet to give us his magical 100 feet of rise? Enquiring minds want to know.

    Yeah, I think there’s enough ice to do that. Antarctica’s ice sheets are huge and thick. He talks about it in one of those papers I cited, I can’t be bothered to figure out where.

    w.

  8. There was an interesting discussion in the science media a while ago over Rahmstorf’s “Semi-Empirical Approach” with researchers who measure actual sea level rise quite upset with the strategy. “Semi-empirical” of course means, “my mathematical model tells me”.

  9. A while back I cross posted a question here and at realclimate. In that question, I asked if anyone could show even a bit of math to explain why the ocean is so cold. Without actually posting any math, Dr. Schmidt answered that the reason was evaporative cooling in the high latitudes removed heat from the ocean. That is, the oceans take heat from the tropics (where there is a lot more greenhouse gas) to the arctic / antarctic, (where there is a lot less greenhouse gas), and release that heat into the atmosphere. This is an obvious and major negative feedback. There is a huge amount of heat that should be in the ocean without this effect. Has Dr. Hansen considered the feedback of reduced warming caused by increased ocean surface that naturally follows a decrease in arctic ice cover? For those who are not familiar with the science of radiant heat transfer, the greenhouse gas I’m referring to above is water.

  10. That’s a great trick Hansen used because he created a projection that can’t be falsified for at least 40 or 50 years!

    Well done James!

  11. Hey,
    you should be nicer to Mr. Hanson, (Piled High and Deep).

    Everyone knows that Einstein’s generation couldn’t read thermometers or record weather information accurately.
    Nukes, Quantum mechanics, transistors, relativity, WW II, … sure, the easy stuff.

    But determine the temperature, record weather?
    Naaah, too hard for those primitive folk!

    LOL in Oregon

  12. Hansen’s model is crushed by the evidence of little change in the global total ice anomaly
    Furthermore, he provides no evidence to counter the possibility that we may again have ice fairs on the Thames – and the Hudson rivers – in 2030.
    This is particularly significant in light of Lucia’s HadCrut Nov: Lowest since…. February. evidence that global warming over the last decade has only been a tenth of what IPCC models predicted from 2000. e.g. 0.02C/decade vs 0.20 C/decade.
    Or that HadCrut has actually been on a negative trend for the last decade. since Jan 2001.

    An enterpreneurial relative advised on starting a business:

    “Figure out how much it will cost, and then triple it.”

    Hanson appears to have forgotten to allow for tripling to account the great uncertainty of nature.

    As Robert Burns observed:

    The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
    Gang aft agley,

  13. A few thousand years ago there was glacial ice pushing into what is now called the Strait of Juan de Fuca with ice well below what is now sea level. The Puget Sound area was filled with ice and depressed by the weight. Conditions changed and that ice melted. Remaining ice is at higher elevations and/or higher latitudes. Greenland and Antarctica fit this description. I must have missed the chapter where it says ice melts more readily in naturally cold environments. I’ve never been able to keep track of the pea under the shell, either.

  14. There’s models, and there’s parameters in the models. I don’t know about the models, but I assume there are some adjustable parameters. One scientist went to von Neumann with his model, one that seemed to work pretty well.

    Von Neumann asked how many variable parameters there were in the model. The scientist replied, “four”.

    Von Neumann laughed, told him to take his model away. “With four parameters I can model an elephant. With five I can make his trunk wiggle.”

    Like everything, it’s Out There:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann

    “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.
    Attributed to von Neumann by Enrico Fermi,”

  15. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Two final points. First, the pea under the walnut shells. Note carefully what Hansen has done. He has claimed that the sea level rise will be “several tens of metres”. This is at least thirty metres, or a hundred feet, of sea level rise.

    He seems to be at least somewhat supporting this claim with his Figure 7 (my figure 2). But if you look at the caption, this is not a forecast, a projection, or a scenario of any kind. Instead, this is merely an “approximation” of what a linear sea level rise might look like and what an exponential rise might look like. You know, in case you didn’t understand “linear” and “exponential”. His actual forecast is under another walnut shell somewhere. We know his “Approximation” can’t be a real projection because it shows almost no rise occurring currently, or for some years.

    Actually, I think that he is basing it on paleoclimate data for past temperatures and past sea levels, which he says implies that the eventual equilibrium sea level rise is about 20 m for each 1 C of global temperature rise. (See, for example, the last paragraph in Section 3.4 and the first page of Section 4.3.)

    One might be able to quibble about whether it is really 20 m per 1 C…but I think the general conclusion from the paleoclimate data that the sensitivity of sea level to temperature is very strong seems to be correct. Then the question becomes how fast that sea level rise can be realized.

  16. If in the next couple of decades, the sea-level rise accelerates to 6 mm per year, then that will signify (for sure) that the Greenland and/or Antarctic ice sheets have begun melting.

    For some reason that I cannot understand, the widespread opinion here on WUWT (and prominently featured recently in the Wall Street Journal), that “Hansen’s predicted acceleration cannot happen”, is called “skepticism.”

    But really, isn’t it the WUWT/WSJ belief that “it cannot happen” view the exact opposite of rational skepticism?

    Because truly rational skepticism has to say “Yeah, it might happen.”

    After all, Hansen and his colleagues have been right twice before, with his 1981prediction that the Northwest Passage would open, and that global temperatures would show a BEST-style hockey-stick.

    That’s why rational skepticism has to say “Maybe Hansen is right a third time.”

    Time will tell.

  17. Stephan Barski says:

    Has hansen even done a gut check to see if there is even enough H2O on the planet to give us his magical 100 feet of rise? Enquiring minds want to know.

    The numbers are roughly these: Greenland has enough land ice to raise sea levels by about 7 m. Greenland and Antarctica together have enough land ice to raise sea levels by about 70m. Of course, most scientists do not believe it very conceivable that we could melt all of the Antarctic ice…but (at least eventually) melting/disintegrating essentially all of Greenland’s ice and some percentage (say, 10-20% ??), of Antarctica’s does seem conceivable.

  18. “In 2010-2011, Rahmstorf’s projected rise is already 4.5 mm/yr, about fifty percent larger than the actual rate of the last 18 years. And Hansen’s annual rise is even worse, at 5.3 cm per year.”

    Did you mean Hansen to be 5.3mm rather than cm/yr?

    [Thanks, it is mm, fixed. —w.]

  19. Based on gravity measurements (from GRACE I presume)? Who is he kidding?

    GRACE was just launched recently and there is no way to extrapolate back in time what we have just discovered!

    Moroni pseudo science. Hard to swallow we tax payers pay for this crap.

  20. “A physicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm
    If in the next couple of decades, the sea-level rise accelerates to 6 mm per year, then that will signify (for sure) that the Greenland and/or Antarctic ice sheets have begun melting.”

    You poor, poor man.

    “That’s why rational skepticism has to say “Maybe Hansen is right a third time.”

    You delusional, delusional man. If you are hard up, contact me, I’m easy to find, and I’ll slip ya a couple of bob for a psychologist.

    Markus Fitzhenry

  21. A physicist,

    I think that the entire point of Willis’ post is to show that Hansen’s prediction isn’t happening, by a large amount, even at this early stage of his prediction. If the prediction, which is based on a rather steep exponential, is substantially off at the early stage, it is most likely off by an exponential amount at the later stages. I don’t think he ever stated it ‘couldn’t happen’, just that it isn’t right now, therefore it most likely won’t happen.

  22. You’ve got to hand it to climate “scientists”……

    A few taps on the keyboard here, a click of the mouse there, and before you know it, entire ice sheets are wiped off the face of the Earth without giving the slightest consideration to how much energy it would actually take….

    334KJ to melt 1 litre of ice at 0C is a good place to start………..

  23. Seems to me that, back in 1988, Dr Hansen was predicting all sorts of dire consequences for the 2010 era. It appears that all he does, when the dire predictions don’t come to pass, is make even more dire predictions even further into the future.

  24. Freshman year assignment in an intro to engineering course:
    Plot the historical population figures for the city of Houston, and for the United States.
    We plotted the data on semi-logarithmic paper, because populations tend to grow exponentially & exponential growth plots as a semi-log straight line.
    Projections of the trends crossed in 2130, if I recall correctly.
    Obviously, by 2130, everyone in the U.S. will live in Houston.

  25. Hansen creates a hypothesis which cannot be tested until long after he will be dead, thus ensuring(so he thinks) that he will not be prosecuted for fraud. This is a desperate attempt at distorting reality. It is my earnest opinion that Hansen is [SNIP: Axel, that may be true, but in this context is just name calling and does not contribute to the discussion. -REP] .

  26. So in a couple of centuries the oceans will be expanding out of our galaxy at ten times the speed of light.
    CAGW makes supernovae look pretty tame!

  27. Willis,
    re: your response to Ed MacAulay’s post. He was not referring to the red curve but the bright red bar which you label as 1990-1999 and should be 1900-1999 which you attribute to Rahmsdorf @ 16 cm which would thus average to 1.6 mm per year, a reasonable amount.

  28. Joel Shore on January 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm said:
    ——-
    The problem with your 10-20 percent melt analyses is the time frame involved. Man might continue burning fossil fuel at most for the next 400 years then it’s back to equilibrium but your projection carries on for thousands of years.

  29. You should have included the final sentence of the Hansen para you quoted which said:

    “Of course I cannot prove that my choice of a ten-year doubling time for nonlinear response is accurate, but I am confident that it provides a far better estimate than a linear response for the ice sheet component of sea level rise under BAU forcing.”

  30. A physicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm
    .
    “After all, Hansen and his colleagues have been right twice before, with his 1981prediction that the Northwest Passage would open, and that global temperatures would show a BEST-style hockey-stick.”

    I understand that you think Hansen is a genius of the first order but these vaunted predictions are actually rather pedestrian. The Northwest Passage has been open before in the last century and negotiated by wooden ships without benefit of radar, up to date weather and ice forecasts and satellite navigation, so where is the genius in saying it could be open again. And where did Hansen predict the inverted hockey stick that derives from BEST. You know, the one with the rising handle in the latter part of the 20th century and the horizontal blade in the 21st century. Did Hansen actually predict a temperature plateau from 1998 to present?
    Hansen seems to hit bulls eyes with the marksmanship of a Texas sharpshooter.

  31. @ A Physicist – healthy skepticism about others claims is to doubt that they are correct if a mounting body of real world evidence points to an alternative conclusion – of course there has to be good reason for the doubt, like for example the real world data on sea level change in this example.

    To say that Hansen’s predictions cannot come true in the distant future is not certain because that in itself would be a prediction based on todays unsettled science. Climate change due to factors other than anthropogenic/CO2 could deliver lots more warming by 2100 and have us ice cap free by the end of the century but this is pure speculation on the boundaries of possibility and not a prediction of any rational sort.

    We can say that so far (since measurements began) sea level change does not appear to be exponential but the data might (although highly unlikely based on our measurements to date) eventually transition to exponential increases before 2100, you and I will probably never know. It isn’t possible for me to say with certainty that you and I will be dead by 2100 but its highly unlikely we will be alive.

  32. A physicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm
    If in the next couple of decades, the sea-level rise accelerates to 6 mm per year, then that will signify (for sure) that the Greenland and/or Antarctic ice sheets have begun melting.

    If you instantaneously double the present rate and straight line it to the end of the century, you end up with less than two feet, not 20 meters and certainly not 30 meters. And since a number of observed factors suggest that we may be in for up to a couple of decades in which global temperatures may actually decline not rise, we could just as likely see a corresponding decline in GSML for those years. Even if we see warming again in the future when the multidecadal oscillations turn back again, odds are sea levels will be rising from a point lower than the present. Of course, all these suggestions are completely, if not equally, speculative and as you suggest “Yeah, it might happen.” But then, at some point a giant extraterrestrial vessel could appear in orbit above our planet, drop in a straw and suck our planet dry. Hey, it could happen!

  33. Dave Dardinger says:
    January 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Willis,
    re: your response to Ed MacAulay’s post. He was not referring to the red curve but the bright red bar which you label as 1990-1999 and should be 1900-1999 which you attribute to Rahmsdorf @ 16 cm which would thus average to 1.6 mm per year, a reasonable amount.

    Ah, thank you very kindly, you and Ed are correct. I’ll go fix that right now.

    w.

  34. So since the last glacial maximum (~16k BC) the increase sea level is about 400 feet and we are going to do 25% of that in 100 years? Get out the hip waders folks but it isn’t water that you’ll need to protect yourself from it’s the BS Express with conductor Hansen.

  35. So it seems to me that this might be one of the centrepiece papers to go into AR5 at the last minute to become a major headline/talking point?

    I can just hear the response by my rusted on Labor pals – “Sea levels are going to reach 20 or 30 metres by the end of the century if we repeal Julias carbon tax!”. That is after they have lost the next federal election in Australia (this is my forecast – can’t put error bars on the stats – but if I was a betting person I’d put several houses on it :-).

  36. I work at sea and live by the sea and I find it all a bit of a yawn.Remember the opposite to being a sceptic is being gullible.The rocks I fished off 30 years ago are still there,the reefs I surfed 30 years ago are still breaking,the weather changes,the seasons change,and the climate has been changing for 4.5 billion years.get a life

  37. The level of sea level rise simply cannot be exponential. Period. Mass, energy, atmospheric volume make this impossible. In fact at some point the seas regress given these CAGW models.

  38. >> A physicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    After all, Hansen and his colleagues have been right twice before, with his 1981prediction that the Northwest Passage would open, and that global temperatures would show a BEST-style hockey-stick. <<

    1. Do you have a reference to the Northwest passage opening? How many ships have traveled through the Northwest Passage? Were there any that weren't either icebreakers or escorted by icebreakers?

    2. Using BEST as an example of any prediction is rather humorous. 1/3 of the BEST stations showed a net cooling, and these were well mixed among those showing warming, so it wasn't due to regional differences. BEST proved only that trying to discern a trend from ground stations is foolish.

  39. Robert Austin says: The Northwest Passage has been open before in the last century and negotiated by wooden ships without benefit of radar, up to date weather and ice forecasts and satellite navigation, so where is the genius in saying it could be open again.

    Robert, you don’t mention where you got that information, but whoever/whatever the source was, definitely no skeptic should ever trust that source again!

    Before the 21st century, I believe there is no record of any wooden ship ever making the Northwest passage without over-wintering in the ice at least one year, sometimes two years, or (sadly frequently) never returning at all.

    Whereas nowadays ordinary folks are making the NW Passage in rowboats, kayaks, and inflatable rafts.

    But hey, even in the “big Arctic thaw” of the 21st century, the NW Passage still has its risks for sailors: sometimes the yogurt goes sour!

    With with winter ice presently at record low levels, in both area and thickness, it’s a safely non-skeptical bet there will be more ordinary small-boat folks making the NW Passage in 2012.

  40. Don’t mean to get off topic but…..
    Has anybody seen this “breaking” news that the Met Office and The University of East Anglia just released the temp data that shows no warming since 1997?

    The news was “broke” by The Mail Online, so I am hesitant to believe it.

    [REPLY: Thanks, but this tip has appeared everywhere today. David Archibald has a very interesting point that he makes here. Thanks again and keep WUWT in mind. -REP]

  41. I forgot to mention if the average temp in Antarctica is -40 a temp rise of 1 or 2 or even 5 degrees isn’t going to achieve much is it,-35 is still to effing cold.

  42. Right, so I think I understand how to do the science now. don’t worry about facts, truth, data etc, just make a claim that will happen well after you are dead, this way if it don’t work out, noone can hold you accountable. (Turning sacrasm on) Yep I can work with that, can I have a grant of oh about 2 billion smackaroonies please, cause I have a prediction for the year 2120 (yep that’ll put me well in the grave) about a mighty upheaval in the pacific ocean when the earths core returns to its centre position, which will stop the wobble of the earth, it will pull the moon back towards us and we will all be wiped out when it hits us 100 years later. I have really good graphs I made in excel and MS word to back it all up, so can I have my 2 billion now please? (Turning sarcasm off now).

  43. “There is a bit of good news, however. Both the Rahmstorf and the Hansen projections are already way above the reality”

    Reality never meant a whole lot to these people. Also, they claim that back-casting models fits the data……

  44. The exponential is proposed because it starts off with a small rate of increase, but then, to scare children, it ends up with a very high rate. It’s a convenience to bluff past the recent satellite data from Envirosat and Jason 2, that actually show a decrease over the last 18 months. The newer the satellite, the smaller the estimated rise – and the frame of reference is the network of satellites carefully positioned with respect to each other (not the centre of the globe any more).

    One obvious question is, Why do Hansen and Rahmstorf show a montonic upward increase when they must know of the current decrease?

    Another obvious point is that for sea level to rise by heating, the whole volume of the sea must, on averge, increase in temperature. We know very little about the temperature of the deep oceans. A very small change there would offset the usual volume that is discussed, from the surface down to about 700m. If you consider only the latter volume and avoid the dynamics of heat transfer, this 700m shell would have to get very hot indeed to raise sea level by tens of meters.

    Finally, it still seems to be under-appreciated that via Archimedes, the melting of floating ice has no effect on sea level rise, (unless the heat that melted the ice continues on to heat the sea anomalously). The land ice of the Antarctic seems never to have melted during the time period covered by ice cores, since cores can be correlated from place to place without discovering unconformities.

  45. A physicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Robert Austin says: The Northwest Passage has been open before in the last century and negotiated by wooden ships without benefit of radar, up to date weather and ice forecasts and satellite navigation, so where is the genius in saying it could be open again.

    Robert, you don’t mention where you got that information, but whoever/whatever the source was, definitely no skeptic should ever trust that source again!

    Before the 21st century, I believe there is no record of any wooden ship ever making the Northwest passage without over-wintering in the ice at least one year, sometimes two years, or (sadly frequently) never returning at all.

    Whereas nowadays ordinary folks are making the NW Passage in rowboats, kayaks, and inflatable rafts.

    But hey, even in the “big Arctic thaw” of the 21st century, the NW Passage still has its risks for sailors: sometimes the yogurt goes sour!

    With with winter ice presently at record low levels, in both area and thickness, it’s a safely non-skeptical bet there will be more ordinary small-boat folks making the NW Passage in 2012.”

    Sorry, Physicist, but you lose. The St. Roch, a RCMP schooner made of Douglas Fir and Eucalyptus sailed through the Northwest Passage from Halifax, NS to Vancouver, BC in 86 days in 1944, using a previously uncharted route.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Passage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Roch_%28ship%29

  46. Joel Shore says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    He seems to be at least somewhat supporting this claim with his Figure 7 (my figure 2). But if you look at the caption, this is not a forecast, a projection, or a scenario of any kind. Instead, this is merely an “approximation” of what a linear sea level rise might look like and what an exponential rise might look like. You know, in case you didn’t understand “linear” and “exponential”. His actual forecast is under another walnut shell somewhere. We know his “Approximation” can’t be a real projection because it shows almost no rise occurring currently, or for some years.

    Actually, I think that he is basing it on paleoclimate data for past temperatures and past sea levels, which he says implies that the eventual equilibrium sea level rise is about 20 m for each 1 C of global temperature rise. (See, for example, the last paragraph in Section 3.4 and the first page of Section 4.3.)

    One might be able to quibble about whether it is really 20 m per 1 C…but I think the general conclusion from the paleoclimate data that the sensitivity of sea level to temperature is very strong seems to be correct. Then the question becomes how fast that sea level rise can be realized.

    Interesting question. When I go to look at the paleoclimate data you refer to, it’s paywalled, of course. However, they point out you can’t really tell the temperature from the isotopic variations directly. Here’s how they solve that problem, from their abstract:

    Marine records of sediment oxygen isotope compositions show that the Earth’s climate has gone through a succession of glacial and interglacial periods during the past million years. But the interpretation of the oxygen isotope records is complicated because both isotope storage in ice sheets and deep-water temperature affect the recorded isotopic composition. Separating these two effects would require long records of either sea level or deep-ocean temperature, which are currently not available.

    Here we use a coupled model of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets and ocean temperatures, forced to match an oxygen isotope record for the past million years compiled from 57 globally distributed sediment cores, to quantify both contributions simultaneously.

    Computer models can’t reproduce what’s happening today … but I’m supposed to believe them about what happened half a million years ago??? Once again, it’s models all the way down.

    Think about this, Joel. If this is the goods, if this is the real science, then why is the best evidence for their claim of exponential sea level rise a computer model of what they say happened half a million years ago? Don’t they have something with a little meat on the bones? I mean, that’s it? That’s their best shot, their firmest evidence? That’s supposed to convince me to run for the hills to escape the hundred-foot sea level rise?

    Let’s take a bit calmer look at what we know. We know that when there is an ice age, a lot of the water in the ocean behaves badly. It goes up on the land as mainly northern hemisphere ice and snow and glaciers. As a result, the sea level drops by a hundred metres or so. The glaciers stay there until the ice age ends, at which point they melt, and the sea level rises again. Since we’re in an interglacial, right now the glaciers are mostly melted.

    So I would certainly not expect further warming to have much effect. The easy ice is all melted, the giant miles-thick Northern Hemisphere glaciers are almost all melted back into the ocean. So where is the meltwater going to come from?

    And curiously, what I found out from your question is that if you know where to look, we can see that the graphs in Hansen’s own paper bear me out. They say the oceans won’t rise. I don’t particularly believe his results, but if they are correct, then let’s look at the graphs of Hansen’s results.

    Look first at the sea level during the past four interglacial periods. I stuck a ruler on it so you can see what I mean.

    As you can see, at the level of detail of their graph the sea level has never been higher than it than it is now.

    Now look at their temperature observations and reconstruction:

    According to Hansen, temperatures have been as much as 2.5°C higher than at present … but the sea level hasn’t ever been higher than at present.

    If Hansen’s claim were true, that a 1°C temperature rise leads to a 20 m sea level rise, we should have seen sea levels forty metres or more above present levels in Hansen’s graph (b). Look at the scale on the left, that’s off the top of chart.

    Instead, we see nothing of the sort. We see much warmer periods in the past, but the sea levels were indistinguishable from the present time. Hansen’s own graphs show that he is wrong. So it appears that Hansen is doing the same thing, he’s extrapolating a linear trend out well beyond the end.

    He’s noticed that when warming temperatures were melting the huge glaciers over Chicago, the sea level rose quickly. Unfortunately, he has then extended that trend past the time when there are no glaciers in Chicago left to melt …

    Interesting question, Joel. Keep pushing, I would never have noticed that oddity without you.

    w.

  47. Joel Shore says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Actually, I think that he is basing it on paleoclimate data for past temperatures and past sea levels, which he says implies that the eventual equilibrium sea level rise is about 20 m for each 1 C of global temperature rise. (See, for example, the last paragraph in Section 3.4 and the first page of Section 4.3.)

    Equilibrium sea level rise? How exactly does that work? Does ice melt but somehow the resultant water doesn’t add to the sea level for a period of time? Or does the ice not yet melt at the 1DegC rise but at some stage down the track it melts because of the former 1DegC rise?

    thanx in advance

  48. Remember Hansen’s (ca) 1980 prediction: that the Manhattan perimeter highway was going to be underwater by 2010 ?

    So far, traffic seems to moving smoothly. In fact it has been difficult to measure any rise at all.

    How is that person still on the payroll?

  49. Baa Humbug says:
    January 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Joel Shore says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Actually, I think that he is basing it on paleoclimate data for past temperatures and past sea levels, which he says implies that the eventual equilibrium sea level rise is about 20 m for each 1 C of global temperature rise. (See, for example, the last paragraph in Section 3.4 and the first page of Section 4.3.)

    Equilibrium sea level rise? How exactly does that work? Does ice melt but somehow the resultant water doesn’t add to the sea level for a period of time? Or does the ice not yet melt at the 1DegC rise but at some stage down the track it melts because of the former 1DegC rise?

    thanx in advance

    I’m not Joel, but I understand what he means and use the term myself. Suppose the temperature globally went up a degree tomorrow. It would take some time for that slight change in temperature to affect the world’s glaciers. During some years they would (likely) retreat slightly, and then eventually take up a new somewhat stable size. Correspondingly, the sea level would rise for some period of time, and then level off.

    It is that slow equilibration of ice to temperature to sea level rise that I use the term for. If Joel means otherwise, he’ll let us know.

    w.

  50. Donald says:
    January 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Remember Hansen’s (ca) 1980 prediction: that the Manhattan perimeter highway was going to be underwater by 2010 ?

    It was in about 1990, and referred to 2040.

    We’re halfway there.

    w.

  51. Nick Stokes says

    “You should have included the final sentence of the Hansen para you quoted which said:

    ‘Of course I cannot prove that my choice of a ten-year doubling time for nonlinear response is accurate, but I am confident that it provides a far better estimate than a linear response for the ice sheet component of sea level rise under BAU forcing.’ ”

    * * *

    Why should he? Hansen may claim that he ” cannot prove that his choice of a ten year doubling time for non-linear response is accurate…” but this is clearly just a “buffer” zone on his part due to the fact that he has been wrong so many times before. (And everybody knows it.)
    Not to mention, Hansen’s actions over the years have proved that, in his mind, he is completely and unarguably right. To him, he can do no wrong, and anyone questioning him is the one who is wrong. So why the added disclaimer of uncertainty if his mind is already arrogantly made up?
    This is akin to saying ” Don’t shoot the Messenger”, but then putting a bullet in him anyway.

  52. Nick Stokes says:
    January 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    You should have included the final sentence of the Hansen para you quoted which said:

    “Of course I cannot prove that my choice of a ten-year doubling time for nonlinear response is accurate, but I am confident that it provides a far better estimate than a linear response for the ice sheet component of sea level rise under BAU forcing.”

    Thanks, Nick. There were about 500 other sentences in Hansen’s paper I didn’t quote. I figured people would, you know, read them.

    In the paragraph you quote, all that Hansen says is that he is confident that he is right. I can’t imagine how I could have overlooked quoting such a shocking and unexpected revelation—James Hansen thinks he is right, who could possibly have guessed?

    Now … why was it I should have quoted that sentence, exactly?

    w.

  53. OK, this is probably a silly non-scientist’s question. I only ask because it seems this is what Hansen is saying from the quotes here.

    As a piece of ice melts it gets smaller, therefore the surface area in contact with the air also gets smaller, that in turn will reduce the amount of air in contact with the ice. So how, if the amount of relatively warm air in contact with the ice is less, does the melt rate increase?

  54. A physicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Robert Austin says: The Northwest Passage has been open before in the last century and negotiated by wooden ships without benefit of radar, up to date weather and ice forecasts and satellite navigation, so where is the genius in saying it could be open again.

    Robert, you don’t mention where you got that information, but whoever/whatever the source was, definitely no skeptic should ever trust that source again!

    The Northwest Passage has been traversed before as Robert says, so I don’t know why you are dissing his source.

    A physicist, before you do anything else, before attacking anyone’s responses or defending yourself, you need to give us two quotes:

    1. Hansen’s 1981 quote forecasting the NW passage opening.

    2. Hansen’s quote forecasting that global temperatures would show a BEST-style hockey-stick.

    While you are at it, please provide a definition for a “BEST-style hockey-stick”, I haven’t a clue what that is, as the BEST data did not resemble a hockey-stick in any way.

    Don’t bother with anything else. Don’t be making further explanations. Let’s start with the facts. Pull out the actual quotes, and let’s see what he actually said.

    Until you do so, the topic is off limits for me, because people are talking about something with no agreement on the facts. Folks, let’s give A physicist time to find his facts.

    w.

  55. Willis Eschenbach says: January 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    “Now … why was it I should have quoted that sentence, exactly?”

    A better question is why you cut the para just there so as to omit it. He is clearly qualifying his statement, saying that the 10-year figure is arbitrary, and not to be taken too seriously. And he isn’t saying that it is right – just that it is better than assuming simple continuation of the current very low rate.

  56. GeoLurking says:
    January 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    @Willis Eschenbach

    Your 10:01 pm response sealed the deal. That is good!

    Thanks, Geo. I laughed out loud when I noticed that about the sea levels. There is something fundamentally satisfying in using a man’s own figures to show that he is wrong. It makes it very hard for him to argue against.

    w.

  57. Willis,
    Check this out: The calculation is done for you.

    http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/conversion-factors-for-ice-and-water-mass-and-volume

    The answer to the first commenter is illustrative.
    Finally, there are seasons on this planet. Therefore at least some of the melting done in three seasons will have to be done again in the following year. Three steps forward, one back. Unless
    prof. Hansen expects the next ice age to start precisely at midnight of the year 2100, one can be reasonably sure that the next ice age will have started before even Greenland is devoid of it’s frozen lustre.

  58. Neil Jones says:
    January 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    OK, this is probably a silly non-scientist’s question. I only ask because it seems this is what Hansen is saying from the quotes here.

    As a piece of ice melts it gets smaller, therefore the surface area in contact with the air also gets smaller, that in turn will reduce the amount of air in contact with the ice. So how, if the amount of relatively warm air in contact with the ice is less, does the melt rate increase?

    The only silly questions are the ones you don’t ask.

    Consider a one inch cube. It has a volume of one cubic inch, and a surface of six square inches.

    Consider a two inch cube. It has a volume of 8 cubic inches, and a surface area of 24 square inches.

    In the smaller cube, there are six square inches of surface for every cubic inch of volume.

    In the larger cube, there are only three square inches of surface for every cubic inch of volume.

    As a result, with more surface area per volume, the smaller cube will gain or lose heat faster than the larger cube.

    HTH,

    w.

  59. I would argue the acceleration is in the wrong direction as all of the recent data suggests. Here I overlay the best fit acceleration and sine wave over the most recent sea level data. The acceleration has a big MINUS in front of it. I also project the same functions out to 2100 for a nice little comparison of what data driven projections look like in comparison to wild fantasies.

    When the evidence is suggesting that sea level rise is slowing, any good climate scientist must conclude that the ice must be melting at an ever accelerating pace. I’m afraid I’ll just never fit in.

    And Willis, I wouldn’t get your hopes up of doing any Pal Reviews of Hansen’s work either.

    Fun for one and all, my “100% empirical approach to projecting future sea-level rise”:

    http://naturalclimate.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/sea-level-deconstruction/

  60. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I’m not Joel, but I understand what he means and use the term myself. Suppose the temperature globally went up a degree tomorrow. It would take some time for that slight change in temperature to affect the world’s glaciers.

    Thanx Willis

    I’m thinking of a production line. Yes it takes 16 hours to produce a widget, but in a production line we spit out a widget every 20 minutes (type of thing)
    We know temps don’t jump a whole degree at a time. The current warming period has been on going now for how long? 150 years maybe? So then the 1/10th of a degree temp rise from 10 decades ago has reached ice melt equilibrium already. (my assumption) And so has the 1/10th rise from 9 decades ago and so on.

    If 1DegC rise can cause a 20mtr sea level rise, where is the evidence of some metres of sea level rise since warming began?
    My query would be invalid if it can be shown that ‘equilibrium’ isn’t reached for many multiple decades. Is there evidence for this?

    my best regards

  61. A physicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm
    “That’s why rational skepticism has to say “Maybe Hansen is right a third time.”

    He was wrong the first and second time. His prognostication skills are now truly suspect, as any reasonable person must acknowledge. Yes, pigs might fly someday, maybe …and hansen might get one right, if he ever honestly assesses the unadjusted data.

    I’m betting on the pigs…..

  62. Hi Willis,

    you are certainly aware of the “content” of Rahmstorf et Hansen et al 2007 discussed at climateaudit, lucia and elsewhere.

    Updating his data by just 2 (!) more years already spoiled the message !

    And there was much more fishy to tell:

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/07/03/the-secret-of-the-rahmstorf-non-linear-trend/

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/source-of-fishy-odor-confirmed-rahmstorf-did-change-smoothing/

    As such papers are not retracted, it is no wonder, when even more of that sort is produced.

  63. Being a cynic and having a healthy contempt for the intentions of our so called ‘political elite’, I am inclined to think Hansen was told by some lefty/greenie politician: “You have got to be more scary, or you’re toast. Don’t worry about the facts, or logic, just remember it’s all for The Cause.”

    Willis has quite correctly and simply shredded Hansen’s logic, which now begs the question:

    Hansen – fraud, or incompetent?

    Either way, he is a serious waste of tax dollars.

  64. Maybe it ‘s because it’s Monday morning and I’m being a bit slow, but this simple extrapolation of the data, by whatever means can’t be right, can it?

    At some point the *physical mechanism* for melting ice will change, when all the sea ice has melted and there only remains the ice sitting on Greenland or Antarctica … This is ice which is not in contact with warming water. …

    Hansen would need some new function to describe what happens after that, not just a simple continuation of what happened up until then.

  65. A couple of qualifications on what scepticism actually means, to clarify a confusion A Physicist introduced. Yes, it’s important to have an open mind as a sceptic but not so open that your brain falls out (so the saying goes). The other principle to note is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  66. Willis, you need to be careful.
    That’s two papers recently with gambling analogies.
    Next thing, The Team will be accusing you of being a compulsive gambler.

  67. Hansen really has hit upon a winner: since it ‘is’ exponential:
    1) It follows that only a tiny portion of that which WILL come is visible in here and now;
    2) and ONLY the experts are capable of separating the signal(s) from the noise. Only they have the experience and expertise: bravely mixing model and measurement.
    3) We MUST act NOW; once the exponential starts taking off, we is all are going to be a DOOMED peoples!!!

    Strangely enough, the above makes a macabre kind of sense… ;-)
    …but perhaps that is always true when cherry-picking what to exclude from consideration.

  68. RealPhysicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Hi Willis,

    you are certainly aware of the “content” of Rahmstorf et Hansen et al 2007 discussed at climateaudit, lucia and elsewhere.

    Actually, I was pretty unaware of it. I generally avoid anything by Rahmstorf, he is no respecter of facts. Thanks for the info, good stuff.

    w.

  69. “Who, I wonder, will go to jail over this massive multi-billion dollar fraud of the taxpayer?”

    Of more significance is that the bastards are driving anti-development in the 3rd world. Poverty kills.

    The question is rather if the hippies will EVER be made to pay for the evil they have wrought in this world: the total-ban on DDT (versus the partial) is always good to point out, since it is ongoing: the hippies dare not admit that that their (sorry, ‘the’) ‘science’ was both corrupted then AND now – it would cost them credibility. Credibility which they need to ‘save’ the Earth…

    How many of you are willing to do that one little simple thing which the facts demand: alter the way you look at them, and then act accordingly, generally. Anyone?

    What about partial-birth abortion? Or the more amusing live-birth abortion that Obama was so… bored with.

    It is one thing to say that for evil to prosper, good men must do nothing; but when nobody even wants to use the word ‘evil’, because it would ‘hamper dialogue’…

    Bleh. Too much d@mned moralizing, too little cognizance.

    Personally, I can’t hardly wait for doomsday, and an end to all this: humanity has shown that it is worth nothing.

  70. Whereas nowadays ordinary folks are making the NW Passage in rowboats, kayaks, and inflatable rafts.

    And the aid of accurate charts, weather information etc.

    Just for the record, it is easier make the NW passage in a rowboat or inflatable than a sailing ship, rather than harder. They have a much shallower draft and will rise above ice, rather than be crushed. Distance is not an issue – the Atlantic is no smaller than it ever was, and they row across that these days.

    Sailing it blind (no GPS, no radio) like they did in the old days would still be tantamount to a suicide wish.

    When the NW passage opens for commercial shipping, without ice breakers, then it is an open passage.

  71. Willis, back in May 2011 WUWT posted on the 0.3mm yr sea level adjustment. Whether this affected the trend was a matter of discussion in the comments but as far as I could see, never fully resolved.

    These two comments from the original WUWT post seem like a reasonable summary of both positions. Any chance you could make a ruling on this one?

    OldOne says:
    May 6, 2011 at 6:38 am
    Buzz Belleville says:
    May 6, 2011 at 5:32 am
    You do understand, fellow posters, that the Colorado page is not just adding 0.3 mm to the current year to show a greater rise in sea levels. It’s adding 0.3 mm to all plotted points. It has no effect on the rate of rise.

    Buzz, per their website, the GIA adjustment was “-0.3 mm/yr. That’s per year.
    The most recent ‘pre-adjusted’ data point for 2010.7415 was 28.119 mm.
    This ‘post-adjusted’ data point for 2010.7415 is now 36.996 mm.

    So you’re correct that they didn’t just add 0.3 mm to the current year, they added 8.877 mm to the most recent common data point
    It does affect the rate of rise!

  72. Hansen is saying that the rate of rise of sea level (i.e. the rate of volume increase increase of the oceans) has a linear component, due to thermal expansion of the oceans(?) and an exponential component due to ice sheet melting. He then goes on to claim that the latter cannot be verified because there’s insufficient data on the melting of the ice sheets, which he takes from mass gravity neasurements. But the hypothesis can also be tested by simply ploting logarithm sea level versus time. Why hasn’t he presented us with such a graph?

  73. It might be of some interest to see if Hansen’s prophecies are actually physically possible.

    The total amount of water in icecaps is equal to about a 70 meter increase in sea.level. Of this about 5-7 meters are each in the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The rest is in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). All others can be safely ignored, since together they are far less than the uncertainty of the three main ice-sheets.

    Of the three main sheets only the WAIS is amenable to the famous “dynamic effects”.

    The GIS is in a shallow bowl surrounded by mountains and only reaches the sea at the head of a number of fiords and along three or four short stretches of coast in the far north. Once it has retreated inland from these coasts, it can only sit still and melt in place which is a slow process, even in a warm climate (proven by the Scandinavian Ice Sheet, which took 2000 years to melt during the warmest part of the Holocene, when climate was appreciably warmer than it is today in Scandinavia). Incidentally not even the southern dome of the GIS did melt completely during the previous interglacial when temperatures were c. 5 degrees warmer than now in the area.

    The WAIS is mostly based below sea level and can theoretically “calve out” if sea-levels and/or temperatures rise enough to raise the edges of the ice-sheet so that sea-water can flow in underneath the ice. Indeed this process has probably been going on (slowly) in the Ross Sea area ever since the end of the last glaciation.. The “WAIS collapse scenario” is very popular in CAGW circles, and is frequently referred to as an incontrovertible fact during previous interglacials, especially MIS 5e and MIS 11. However there is essentially no empirical support for this. There is definitely ice older than MIS 5e in West Antarctica and the AND-1B drill-core in the Ross Sea shows conclusively that the last time the WAIS may have collapsed was during the “double interglacial” MIS 31/33 about a million years ago. Such a collapse can by the way only be partial, since there are extensive mountain ranges (up to 17,000 feet high) in West Antarctica, and ice-caps would certainly survive on these.

    The EAIS lies on a large Precambrian shield, either above or just below sea-level. It is not amenable to “dynamic effects” except perhaps locally in the Prydz Bay area, since the sea is nowhere else deep enough to raise the ice-sheet (since sea-water is only about 10% denser than glacier ice, the sea at the ice-front must be deeper than 90% of the ice thickness for this to be possible). The EAIS in short can only melt in place, from the top down, which would require extreme warming (several tens of degrees) and many millennia.

    So what is the extreme physical limits of “dynamic effects”? I would say less than 10 meters of sea-level, counting part of the GIS, most of the WAIS and some minor effect on the EAIS. To judge from ice-core data this would at a minimum require temperatures >5 degrees centigrade warmer than at present on Greenland, and >10 degrees in Antarctica, and to judge from similar occurrences in the past (e. g. Heinrich events) it would happen on a millennial to multi-millenial time-scale.

  74. A physicist,
    If you are indeed a real physicist I would ask you to resolve some of the real mysteries of physics. Personally I have been waiting for more than half a century for the concensus science of physics set in concrete around 1920 to tell me and the world the nature of magnetism, electricity and gravity, to name just a few.

    Clever practical engineers have given us our modern world based on the manipulation of the properties of these things. Physicists invent theories and every one must follow, when it fails they invent more particles or as I would call them imaginary friends, to make the theory work.

    Of recent times it was discovered that the universal model was missing almost everything, so they invented dark matter, this was not enough so they invented dark energy. This is the way of concensus science as it is prohibited to disbelieve the concensus.

    In the same way that billions of dollars have been wasted, smashing a ball of energy into another ball of energy and analysing the debris and calling them particles with charm and spin and up and down looking for a god particle is as much madness as throwing billions at AGW.

    I therefore request that you as a physicist explain to us what magnetism is, and why it has such magical properties that seem to extend through our solar system, and, probably the entire universe.

  75. I expect Prof. Nils Axil Morner is laughing himself onto the floor. So much alarmist rubbish from a non expert in sea levels.

    The latest sea level measurement gives a 5mm drop, due most probably to ocean cooling, and polar ice continues to build. I think James H should go away and revise his estimates.

  76. One of the stocks in my portfolio doubled in value this week.
    By this time next year, therefore, I will be richer than George Soros, Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brunei combined.
    Those bastards at Boeing are being a bit funny about taking the order for my personalised 747 though.

  77. Sorry should have added, Time series, Global, Reference, Not Removed, Not Applied as the options on the graph just to get the raw underlying data.

  78. tty, thanks for the extra information. Very interesting and educational. Pity Hansen will not read it.

  79. Arguing with some alarmists is like arguing with the cartoon man who thinks he is Napoleon. Nothing can divert him from his conviction. He has been driven to distraction by it: ‘Why can’t people see the truth?’ ‘Why do they keep telling me I am someone else?’ ‘What are they up to?’ ‘Perhaps I have not yet made it clear enough who I really am?’.

    Yet add to the cartoon another few panels showing that a great many people in positions of power are behaving as if they really do believe the man is Napoleon, and are making policies based around it. Here is where the arguments might be better addressed. Cool reason and insightful data analysis will not deflect our man, but they may yet unsettle those in power.

    Thank you for another good piece of work.

  80. lateintheday says:
    January 30, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Willis, back in May 2011 WUWT posted on the 0.3mm yr sea level adjustment. Whether this affected the trend was a matter of discussion in the comments but as far as I could see, never fully resolved.

    These two comments from the original WUWT post seem like a reasonable summary of both positions. Any chance you could make a ruling on this one?

    No ruling, but some comments. First, my understanding is like yours. They did not just add 0.3 mm to all records, it wouldn’t make sense. That’s identical to just resetting the anomaly level. They added a trend of 0.3 mm yr-1. It did change the trend.

    Second, I didn’t like the adjustment. It is sketchy enough already comparing tidal records with satellite records. Changing the satellite records alone seems very odd. I have also never heard a reasonable explanation why you would only adjust one and not the other. I mean, if the bottom of the ocean floors are sinking, which is the reason they give for adjusting the satellite records, why not the make the same adjustment for the tide gauge records?

    But if you are making the adjustment to both, it hardly seems worth it. I mean, it distorts the actual measurements. So you have to subtract it back out if you want to see how much it will rise on a seawall or something. Overall, it just smells wrong to me. I don’t see the justification.

    Third, the story is far from complete. Yes, we have 19 years of records, which at least is one lunar cycle. But really you need fifty years of records to decipher sea level. One of the surprising findings of the satellite sea level records for me is that sea level of large areas of the ocean can be rising over a decade while another large area is falling over the decade. This decadally slow sloshing back and forth of the water in the ocean basins distorts the sea level situation.

    Best to you,

    w.

  81. No need for complexity. Plain fact: NOTHING in the real world is purely exponential. Some patterns have an exponential-looking part during the short time when we’ve been observing, but they later bump into a saturating ceiling and look like a tanh. Others may look exp’y for a while, but turn out to be a sine.

    Anyone who claims that a real process runs linearly to infinity or exp’ly to infinity is a-priori wrong.

  82. If these guys were real sceintists — without superhuman agendas — the interesting question to ask would be why such a small temperature rise in the latest cycle has resulted in a historically maximal sea level change. BUt seems focussing on that would have to explain unprecedented higher sea levels. IMO that is the pea that is being hidden.

  83. From Velicogna 2009, the paper cited by Hansen as evidence of an accelerating melt rate for the ice caps:

    “The best fitting estimate for the acceleration in ice sheet mass loss for the observed period is -30 ± 11 Gt/yr2 for Greenland and -26 ± 14 Gt/yr2 for Antarctica. This corresponds to 0.09 ± 0.03 mm/yr2 of sea level rise from Greenland and 0.08 ± 0.04 mm/yr2 from Antarctica.”

    So the total ice cap melting should be accelerating rate of sea level rise by 0.17 mm/yr2. Has anyone looked at the sea level data to provide some check on the Velicogna findings?

  84. @Willis Eschenbach

    Thanks for the post (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/29/hansens-sea-shell-game/#comment-879219) however to me you illustrate my problem, not a solution.
    “Consider a one inch cube. It has a volume of one cubic inch, and a surface of six square inches.
    Consider a two inch cube. It has a volume of 8 cubic inches, and a surface area of 24 square inches.”

    To me melting only occurs at the point of contact between the ice and the medium which is warming it, not throughout the whole cube, hence my original “silly” question. Your reply seems to treat the cube as an object which will conduct the heat throughout itself which is against my understanding. My understanding is that melting transports the heat away before it can be conducted into the object. for example a cube of ice on a hot plate melts at the point of contact where water and later steam acts as a barrier to more melting by transporting the heat away from the cube. Surely glaciers would act more like that?

  85. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Donald says:
    January 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Remember Hansen’s (ca) 1980 prediction: that the Manhattan perimeter highway was going to be underwater by 2010 ?

    It was in about 1990, and referred to 2040.

    We’re halfway there.

    It referred to 40 years from then, which works out to 2030. Yes, we’re halfway there.

  86. This is off on a tangent, but fascinating – bbc program clip of apparently the only place on earth where you can go under sea ice to exposed sea floor. Incredible footage of a regular tidal drop of over 12 meters (~40 ft) leaving what was floating sea ice unsupported above the sea floor. Natives chip thru the surface, and go under the ice to retrieve mussels!!! Apparently they’ve only got about 30 minutes before the tide comes back in and they have to scramble out again.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Z0qGvC3vqaA

  87. Hansen’s prediction reminds me of another famous linear projection. Mark Twain, extrapolating from the decreasing length of the Lwr Mississippi River from 1722 when a loop was cut off to its present length in 1875, remarked that ‘Anyone who is not blind or idiotic can see that 742 years from now the Lwr Mississippi will be one and three quarters of a mile long.’

  88. Joel Shore says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm
    “…One might be able to quibble about whether it is really 20 m per 1 C…but I think the general conclusion from the paleoclimate data that the sensitivity of sea level to temperature is very strong seems to be correct. Then the question becomes how fast that sea level rise can be realized…”
    /////////////////////////////
    Joel

    That is only half the picture. The question is twofold: “…the question becomes how fast that sea level rise can be realized” AND for how long can that realisation be maintained.’

    The paleo record deals with the rate of ice melt predominantly from mid latitudes, as this becomes all exhausted the rate of sea level change slows since it is more difficult to melt ice from high latitudes even if global temperatures are by then somewhat warmer tha they were when the mid latituted ice began melting. .

  89. It is issues like this raised by Willis which demonstrate the weakness of peer review.

    The point raised by Willis is a basic point, and is an obvious weakness in the Hansen paper. That being the case why was it not raised in the course of peer review? and thus why does the Hansen paper not address this issue and if there is a good argumnent, against the point raised by Willis, set that argument out?

    How can one have faith in peer reviewed literature when in practice it is often so weak?

  90. “Mrs. Henniger, bless her, thought extending a linear trend into the future was a crime against nature, and I would hesitate to express her opinion on Hansen”
    Why hesitate ?

  91. If temperatures do rise about 3.0C, the Greenland glaciers will melt out but it will take 5,000 to 10,000 years.

    The best example we have is the interglacial 400,000 years ago (see Willis’ chart) which was a long interglacial of over 20,000 years. This is like the current one which is expected to be the longest interglacial yet and it will be the longest interglacial yet if temperatures rise 3.0C.

    In the interglacial 400,000 years ago, the southern third of Greenland melted out and small trees even grew in the southern interior. But temperatures were not especially warm in that interglacial, it was just long. Greenland is too far south to have glaciers in the southern half. They are only there because of the ice ages and the fact that the interglacials are not long enough to break the back of 2 km high glaciers building down from northern Greenland.

    So we were already going to get sea level rise as Greenland slowly melts down as the interglacial continues.

    Antarctica? 3.0C of warming will certainly melt back lots of Antarctica but, again, it will take thousands and thousands of years.

    So Hansen has taken something which takes 20,000 years (or least it has in the past when temperatures were close to the 3.0C temperature rise) and shrunk that timeline down to 100 years.

  92. You know, Hansen would be right if we were warming out of an ice age and going into the next warm period. Of course that is not what he is saying. I wonder what will happen when we go to the next prolonged (100ky) warm period, will there be people at the onset claiming that the loss of the mile thick continental glaciers will be the death of the world? Will we have built up cities along the tropical shorelines 30 meters or more below the current shore and have to evacuate? Will people find a way to blame themselves for their sins against the natural deity and give up all their worldly goods to assuage their sins?

    As far as I can tell, no one is opining that we are leaving this ice age any time soon, and most seem to be saying that we are in for at least one more glaciation period before the next prolonged warm period. I wish the Gaea worshipers would quit attempting to assuage their guilt with my money and job!

  93. It is right to ask the question where is the 30m of sea water going to come from?

    Whilst it is true that there is much ice in Antartica, the question becomes how easy is it to melt that ice, how much energy is required?

    Much of the ice in Antartica is on land (it is only land ice that will raise sea levels and hence we are only interested in that ice). Hence, a warming ocean will do little to melt this ice. The high latitude of Antartica will always result in short summers and weak solar irradiance. The temperature of Antartica will always be cold. Given these basic facts how long will it take to melt a significant proportion of land based Antartican ice? The answer is that 100 years will make little impression. We are taling 1000s of years if not 10,000s of years.

    It is the same issue as the Himalayan glaciers (but on an even more extreme scale). Given the volume and the high altitude and resultant temperatures due to dry adiabatic lapse rate the Himalayan glaciers can’t me melted in 30 years or even in 300 years.

    It is simply impossible that any substantial volume of land based Antartica ice could be melted in 100 years. Any scientist who does not recognise this has no understanding or feel for the huge numbers and the huge amount of energy that would be involved in such task.

  94. DEEBEE says:
    January 30, 2012 at 2:56 am
    If these guys were real sceintists — without superhuman agendas — the interesting question to ask would be why such a small temperature rise in the latest cycle has resulted in a historically maximal sea level change. BUt seems focussing on that would have to explain unprecedented higher sea levels. IMO that is the pea that is being hidden.
    ——————————————–
    Deebee, no one know what you are writing about. What “small temperature rise in the latest cycle has resulted in a historically maximal sea level change” Show your work please.

  95. Rational Debate says:
    January 30, 2012 at 3:52 am
    ———————————
    Very col video. Forthe last third I was convinced Hansen was right!

  96. It seems to me that the main arbiter of where sea level decides to stay (and why it levels off at roughly where we are now) is the continental land mass of Antarctica. We have been sitting at a level because we have warmed to where the southern sea ice reaches its minimum. The land of Antarctica prevents further melting.

    Looking at the Southern Sea Ice images we can watch this happening year after year. The temperature rises to a level where the summer maximum shrinks the ice back to roughly the size of the Antarctic land mass. There it stops. Until there is a temperature rise that can clear large amounts of ice from the Antarctic land mass during the southern summer there will be no visible increase in sea level.

    If I am wrong in this please let me know.

    But as I see it – to get his sea level rise Hansen would need to either get rid of Antarctica or hugely increase the warming mechanism (a mechanism I have yet to see proven in any form).

  97. I am impressed that he moved away from just linear projections. This is truly progress. However, how does he know that it’s not a sigmoidal function with a fairly low asymptote? Since there is only so much water and ice on the planet one knows that it’s definitely a sigmoidal function. The asymptote will depend on the equilibrium amount of high and water….it doesn’t really matter the slope of getting there…what matters is the physics that drive the steady state equilibrium amount of ocean water. So sadly even though he has made progress beyond the simple linear projection, it’s still a giant fail in understanding.

  98. Two final points. First, the pea under the walnut shells. Note carefully what Hansen has done. He has claimed that the sea level rise will be “several tens of metres”. This is at least thirty metres, or a hundred feet, of sea level rise.

    What does he really believe? Check the length of the lease on the New York offices to find out.

    On the bright side, if he’s right, it will be much easier to deliver coal to power plants by using barges. That’ll get rid of the “death trains.”

  99. richard verney says:
    January 30, 2012 at 4:08 am
    —————————————————-
    Richard, Willis gave that answer in detail, but the “educated” Joel,, in troll like fashion, ignored it entirely, then tried to chastise Willis for not reporting that Hansen hedged his own silly assumptions.
    Hansen shouts “the world is ending, the theater is on fire”, and then, after everyone panics, giving him a dime for saving their lives, on the way out, he says, well it could be on fire someday.

  100. Willis Eschenbach requests [of A physicist] You need to give us two quotes:

    1. Hansen’s 1981 quote forecasting the NW passage opening.

    2. Hansen’s quote forecasting that global temperatures would show a BEST-style hockey-stick.

    While you are at it, please provide a definition for a “BEST-style hockey-stick”, I haven’t a clue what that is, as the BEST data did not resemble a hockey-stick in any way.

    … Folks, let’s give A physicist time to find his facts.

    Willis, I’ve recently posted the specific references that you have requested here WUWT, and I think many folks here know them. For latecomers, here are some excerpts (a Google search readily finds all the referenced articles freely available):

    A physicist previously posted: “… James Hansen was lead author of the earliest, best-regarded, and most-cited nonskeptical articles …”

    Smokey previously posted: “… Hansen’s predictions have turned out to be wrong. All of them. The claim that they were accurate is a classic example of the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy: shoot holes in a barn door, then draw a bullseye around them.”

    A Physicist previously posted: Smokey, although I enjoy the vigor of your posts, it is easy to check that the above assertion is dead-wrong.

    As anyone can verify for themselves, in their 1981 article “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” (Science, 1981), James Hansen and his colleagues painted two specific bulls-eyes:

    (1) “Opening of the fabled Northwest Passage” (see abstract), and

    (2) Hockey-stick warming of the the earth’s temperature (Figures 6 and 7).

    Thirty-two years later, the opening of the Northwest Passage for commercial shipping the last three years in-a-row, and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) “hockey-stick” (to cite one “hockey-stick” among many), have verified the strong 1981 predictions of Hansen and his colleagues.

    To the best of my knowledge (and I would be pleased to be corrected!), skeptics like Rutan / Lindzen / the WSJ-16 cannot cite any similarly long-term predictive successes.

    Elevator Summary: James Hansen and his colleagues have predictively “hit more bulls-eyes” than skeptics like Rutan / Lindzen / the WSJ-16.

    Willis Eschenbach requests: [to A physicist] While you are at it, please provide a definition for a “BEST-style hockey-stick”, I haven’t a clue what that is, as the BEST data did not resemble a hockey-stick in any way.

    A Physicist previously posted: The many folks (and I am one of them) who advocate open climate data and open-source climate models — nonskeptics and skeptics alike — are 100% right! :)

    In particular, the surface temperature data from Richard Muller’s Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project (BEST) has been a solid move in the right direction!

    It’s true that the 2011 BEST data disconfirm the skeptical criticisms of Richard Lindzer’s 1989 article in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society titled “Some Coolness Concerning Global Warming” …

    …  but like the navigator says in Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove:

    “I’m sorry sir. Those are the numbers.”

    Elevator Summary: The open-source climate data of the 21st century have disconfirmed the 1980s skeptical criticism of the WSJ-16.

    With specific regard to the BEST hockey stick, please let me point to the striking similarity of Hansen’s Figure 6 and 7 (from the 1981 Science article, to the 2011 findings of the BEST Project’s “Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures” (see BEST Figure 1). Both Hansen’s 1981 predictions, and the 2011 BEST confirmations, are temperature-change “hockey-sticks” plain and simple.

    Willis, I thank you sincerely for asking these fine questions, to which the literature clear and publicly verifiable answers. This is what solid science and rational skepticism are all about.

    Elevator Answer to Willis Eschenbach’s Questions: The Northwest Passage has opened and the BEST temperatures have “hockey-sticked”, and both findings are in excellent accord with the specific predictions that James Hansen and his colleagues made in their 1981 Science article titled “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide”.

  101. This article is just plain wrong..Last interglacial features RSL at ~4 m above present with temperatures~2 degrees warmer than present. No doubt sea levels will rise by metres.. IF warming continues.

  102. ‘a physicist’ says:

    “the BEST temperatures have “hockey-sticked”…”

    Wrong! Wrong, Wrong, WRONG.

    Muller’s BEST analysis has been thoroughly DEBUNKED.

    ‘A physicist’ has been wrong about every one of his assertions. That’s what happens when your beliefs are based on religios faith, instead of honest science.

  103. “Look, again a hockey-stick graph! So it must be true! We’re all doomed!”

    Ahem –

    Yeah, sure, we’re all doomed to die one way or another some day – but certainly not by rising sea-levels for sure.

    What a raccoon…

  104. A physicist says: Before the 21st century, I believe there is no record of any wooden ship ever making the Northwest passage without over-wintering in the ice at least one year, sometimes two years, or (sadly frequently) never returning at all.
    Keith W. says: Sorry, Physicist, but you lose. The St. Roch, a RCMP schooner made of Douglas Fir and Eucalyptus sailed through the Northwest Passage from Halifax, NS to Vancouver, BC in 86 days in 1944, using a previously uncharted route. Keith W., please let publicly acknowledge that my assertion was wrong, and that your outstanding post is 100% right-on-the-facts!

    And please let me thank you too, for alerting everyone to the wonderful voyages of the brave Arctic ship St. Roch and her gallant crew!

    Henceforth I shall say: “Before the 21st century, there is precisely one record of any wooden ship ever making the Northwest passage without over-wintering.” It is sobering to reflect, that with the Northwest Passage melting wide-open every summer, these brave Arctic sea-adventures very likely can never happen again.

  105. “With specific regard to the BEST hockey stick, please let me point to the striking similarity of Hansen’s Figure 6 and 7 (from the 1981 Science article, to the 2011 findings of the BEST Project’s “Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures” (see BEST Figure 1). Both Hansen’s 1981 predictions, and the 2011 BEST confirmations, are temperature-change “hockey-sticks” plain and simple.”

    So you’re proposing an ‘eyeball’ comparison as validation of a prediction? I’ve looked at both and they don’t appear to be similar much at all. I don’t see how a scientist could claim validation based on this.

  106. I have not looked at this but would not the starting point be to look at sea leves during the Holocene optimum and during the Minoan, the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods (although the later is all but denied as a global event).

    Examination of geological data from these times would give a far better indication as to what sea levels would look like.

    Just thinking of a more practical approach rather than always using models.

  107. So, essentially, if there were a 40 meter rise in sea level, more people would live at the sea side, hence less people would drive to see the sea, ergo less emissions.

    And that’s supposed to be bad. :p

  108. A physicist says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:15 am
    ///////////////////////////////
    Don’t forget that the North West Passage was navigated by Roald Amundsen in 1903–1906. There is a lot of evidence that it was open in the 1930s and 50s.

  109. Melting glaciers, and I agree with Willis as to the cause, or what is left of them, drip down into the water table, replenishing it from the drought of the ice age. And there it is. Another oscillation. This one of the water table. In undeveloped valley areas, I would bet that the water table rises and falls with major epic ice ages. It rises during melt, and sinks during the ice age.

    Now here is an area of human influence. The replenished water table, under the influence of wells, is sucked dry, leaving the area very vulnerable to water shortage when the table MUST fall during the drought of an ice age.

  110. The sensationalism and shrill cries of impending doom make me and others like me suspicious of the true agenda of the screamers.

    “In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. Therefore … in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period the Lower Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long… seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long… There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
    Mark Twain

  111. richard verney says: Don’t forget that the North West Passage was navigated by Roald Amundsen in 1903–1906. There is a lot of evidence that it was open in the 1930s and 50s.

    Richard, you are 100% right that no-one should forget Amundsen’s brave voyage in the Gjøa.

    Just as no-one should forget that the Gjøa spent three winters frozen in the ice before making it through. Nowadays the Arctic ice is melting so fast (as was correctly predicted by Hansen and colleagues in 1981) that heroic voyages like the Gjøa’s will not happen again.

  112. You seriously have to wonder how these people get away with this sort of drivel. I see that one of the reviewers (Dana Royer) is named by Hansen in the acknowledgments.
    I wonder if Dana has ever heard of Lavoisier, because basically Hansen has invented a new law here: H20=k.T2

  113. Summary of Jimmy’s career . . .
    First smart.
    Then Sublime.
    Then Ridiculous.
    Now just plain ol’ Stuck on Stupid.

    And to think he could have had a real legacy as a scientist and now all he will be remembered for is being the Poster Kiddie for the Great Global Warming Hysteria event.

  114. Why does Hansen’s work always read like he has millions of Zimbabwean dollars that he has to transfer out of the country but must pay 50,000 dollars to transfer it to your account?

    Any takers I have the number here?

  115. A physicist says: “With specific regard to the BEST hockey stick, please let me point to the striking similarity of Hansen’s Figure 6 and 7 (from the 1981 Science article, to the 2011 findings of the BEST Project’s “Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures” (see BEST Figure 1). Both Hansen’s 1981 predictions, and the 2011 BEST confirmations, are temperature-change “hockey-sticks” plain and simple.”

    Bill Marsh says: So you’re proposing an ‘eyeball’ comparison as validation of a prediction? I’ve looked at both and they don’t appear to be similar much at all. I don’t see how a scientist could claim validation based on this.

    Bill Marsh, you are 100% correct that Hansen’s 1981 predicted temperature rise for the years 1981-2011 (Hansen’s Figures 6-7), differs greatly from BEST’s observed temperature rise, for the same years 1981-2011 (BEST Figure 1).

    How do they differ? The 2011 BEST global temperature rise is twice as large as Hansen’s 1981 prediction.

    Ouch.

    The point is that skeptics and nonskeptics alike can spin and dance and cherry-pick (and both sides do!), but neither side can change the predictions that they published back in the 1980s. And by that measure of scientific merit — which is public, open, unchangeable, and traditional — the 1981 predictions of Hansen and his nonskeptical colleagues have demonstrated outstanding scientific foresight.

    Elevator Summary: Purely on the objective/public evidence, rational skepticism should regard James Hansen’s 1981 predictions as a conservative under-estimate of the likely effects of AGW.

  116. Bill Illis says:
    January 30, 2012 at 4:21 am
    “If temperatures do rise about 3.0C, the Greenland glaciers will melt out but it will take 5,000 to 10,000 years.
    The best example we have is the interglacial 400,000 years ago (see Willis’ chart) which was a long interglacial of over 20,000 years. This is like the current one which is expected to be the longest interglacial yet and it will be the longest interglacial yet if temperatures rise 3.0C.
    In the interglacial 400,000 years ago, the southern third of Greenland melted out and small trees even grew in the southern interior. “

    Temperatures in Greenland during the last interglacial was about 5 degrees centigrade warmer than at present for 10,000 years and the Greenland glaciers did not melt out.
    The last sentence is an interesting example of a factoid, i. e. something that has been repeated so often that it is more or less universally accepted as a truth, though it is actually quite doubtful. It is ultimately based on a 2007 paper in Science by Willerslev et al.; “Ancient Biomolecules from Deep Ice Cores Reveal a forested South Greenland”
    (available here: http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20070713/20070713_09.pdf)
    In this paper four independent methods were used for dating the organic materials and they gave overlapping results in the 450-800,000 years range.
    Since MIS 11, the interglacial Bill Illis is referring to occurred between 397 and 421 000 years ago, it is actually unlikely to have been the interglacial when the trees grew. Personally I would suggest MIS 13, which is known to have been a very warm and long interglacial in the northern hemisphere from paleontological and pedological data. However it shows up only weakly in the Antarctic ice-cores, so apparently it was quite cool in the southern hemisphere. Consequently it is not a Politically Correct interglacial, and is usually not mentioned in polite circles.
    Given the uncertainty in dating the remains might even be from the exceptionally warm MIS 31/33 interglacial a million years ago (MIS 31/33 is within the range of three of the four dating methods, as against two for MIS 11).

  117. Unfortunately, he has then extended that trend well past the time when there are no glaciers in Chicago left to melt

    Unfortunately? I’m looking out my window in Lisle and I can’t wrap my head around the notion it’s unfortunate I’m not seeing a glacier!

  118. A Physicist:

    What children you must think we all are. Hansen boldly predicts that the “fabled” Northwest Passage will open and you trumpet his omniscience to intelligent adults. What’s next? Will you loudly proclaim Hansen’s genius when he predicts that the “fabled” Halley’s Comet will pass within visible distance of Earth?

    I pray that you are not being paid to teach our children.

  119. Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says: A Physicist:  … will you loudly proclaim Hansen’s genius when he predicts that the “fabled” Halley’s Comet will pass within visible distance of Earth?No.

    But if sea-level rise does accelerate in the next two decades, then Hansen and his colleagues definitely will receive credit, for making (yet another) correct scientific prediction.

    Because for nonskeptic and skeptic alike, correct long-term predictions are a public, open, unforgeable, traditional measure of scientific merit.

    As measured by the predictions that Hansen and his colleagues made in 1980s, their present track record is pretty good.

    That’s why rational skepticism has to conclude: “Maybe Hansen and his colleagues will be proved right yet again.”

  120. Unless I’m gravely mistaken, they’ve *all* got to be wrong. I have serious doubts (as do PJB, Barski, Asmilwho and a few others, apparently).

    An exponential function, on its own or in combination with a linear function, can’t continue forever. (Really, a linear would not be able to either, but let me focus on only Hansen’s current “Magical Mystery Tour.”)

    The REAL curve must eventually flatten out again — perhaps abruptly — because the sea can only rise just so high; we only have just so much water on the Earth that can flow into the oceans… Perhaps a polynomial or some other function, but not certainly not a dominating exponential.

    Also nice that Hansen has chosen the year 2000 as the starting point for his Figure 7 so that we mere mortals won’t possibly be confused by historical sea level rise. I imagine he did it so as to avoid being accused of splicing observational data and model projections.

  121. A physicist says:
    January 30, 2012 at 6:58 am

    richard verney says: Don’t forget that the North West Passage was navigated by Roald Amundsen in 1903–1906. There is a lot of evidence that it was open in the 1930s and 50s.

    Richard, you are 100% right that no-one should forget Amundsen’s brave voyage in the Gjøa.

    Just as no-one should forget that the Gjøa spent three winters frozen in the ice before making it through. Nowadays the Arctic ice is melting so fast (as was correctly predicted by Hansen and colleagues in 1981) that heroic voyages like the Gjøa’s will not happen again.
    ————————————————————————————
    Is this a joke?
    Mind you, having people like this defending Hansen is hardly helping his cause..

  122. A physicist says:
    January 30, 2012 at 7:46 am

    How do they differ? The 2011 BEST global temperature rise is twice as large as Hansen’s 1981 prediction.

    BEST 1981 – 2011 shows 0.2°C of warming.
    Hansen’s 1981 paper shows 0.4°C of warming at the low side for 1981 – 2011.
    What sort of physics do you practise where ½ = 2?

  123. Peter Milford says:
    January 30, 2012 at 4:19 am

    “Mrs. Henniger, bless her, thought extending a linear trend into the future was a crime against nature, and I would hesitate to express her opinion on Hansen”

    Why hesitate ?

    It’s a family blog …

    w.

  124. “That’s why rational skepticism has to say “Maybe Hansen is right a third time.””

    Third? He’s never been right before.

  125. A Physicist said:

    “…please let publicly acknowledge that my assertion was wrong, and that your outstanding post is 100% right-on-the-facts! ..”

    A Physicist said:
    “…Robert, you don’t mention where you got that information, but whoever/whatever the source was, definitely no skeptic should ever trust that source again! ”

    A Physicist,
    Just so I get this right…which source is it that you advise us to never trust again ? Thank you..

  126. John F. Hultquist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    There is still ice, although not much, in Olympic National Park and on top of Mount Rainier. once climbed by Algore, who invented the Internet.

  127. A physicist says: The 2011 BEST global temperature rise is twice as large as Hansen’s 1981 prediction.

    Stark Dickflüssig says: BEST 1981 – 2011 shows 0.2°C of warming. Hansen’s 1981 paper shows 0.4°C of warming at the low side for 1981 – 2011.

    Stark, thank you for your post.

    The quoted BEST temperature of 0.4°C comes straight from the “hockey stick” of Figure 1 of the BEST web site’s Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures (which WUWT readers are encouraged to check for themselves).

    Rational skepticism is all about the objective comparison of predictions to data. And by rational skeptical standards, the 1981 “hockey stick” predictions of Hansen and colleagues are looking pretty darn good nowadays.

  128. A physicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Robert Austin says: The Northwest Passage has been open before in the last century and negotiated by wooden ships without benefit of radar, up to date weather and ice forecasts and satellite navigation, so where is the genius in saying it could be open again.

    Robert, you don’t mention where you got that information, but whoever/whatever the source was, definitely no skeptic should ever trust that source again!

    Before the 21st century, I believe there is no record of any wooden ship ever making the Northwest passage without over-wintering in the ice at least one year, sometimes two years, or (sadly frequently) never returning at all.

    Whereas nowadays ordinary folks are making the NW Passage in rowboats, kayaks, and inflatable rafts.

    But hey, even in the “big Arctic thaw” of the 21st century, the NW Passage still has its risks for sailors: sometimes the yogurt goes sour!

    With with winter ice presently at record low levels, in both area and thickness, it’s a safely non-skeptical bet there will be more ordinary small-boat folks making the NW Passage in 2012.

    The last interglacial stage (often referred to as Marine Isotope Stage 5, the Sangamonian or the Eemian) was considerably warmer than the current interglacial stage and sea level was only 3-6 meters higher than modern time. The Sangamonian was particularly warmer in the Arctic (~5°C warmer). Oxygen isotope ratios from the NGRIP ice core indicate that the Arctic was significantly warmer at the peak of the last interglacial (~135,000 years ago).

    The current interglacial stage (AKA the Holocene) has also experienced far warmer conditions within the last 10,000 years. It was significantly warmer in the Arctic during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (~7,000 years ago) than modern times. The Chukchi Sea was routinely ice-free during summer for most of the Holocene up until about 1,000 years ago. McKay et al., 2008 demonstrated that the modern Arctic sea ice cover is anomalously high and the Arctic summer sea surface temperature is anomalously low relative to the rest of the Holocene…

    Modern sea-ice cover in the study area, expressed here as the number of months/year with >50% coverage, averages 10.6 ±1.2 months/year… Present day SST and SSS in August are 1.1 ± 2.4 8C and 28.5 ±1.3, respectively… In the Holocene record of core HLY0501-05, sea-ice cover has ranged between 5.5 and 9 months/year, summer SSS has varied between 22 and 30, and summer SST has ranged from 3 to 7.5 8C (Fig. 7).

    McKay et al., 2008

    There is also compelling evidence that current ice and temperature conditions in the Greenland Sea region are not anomalous relative to the Holocene.

    The Thule migration, near the end of the Medieval Warm Period, is now thought to have occurred in as little as 2 years. The Inuit hunted and fished their way across the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in kayaks in as little as 2 years. That’s a pretty clear indication that the Northwest Passage was open during the Medieval Warm Period… Particularly since sediment cores also indicate its openness throughout most of the Holocene.

  129. shocklingly bad misuse of paleodata for alarmist angenda – no one could be that stupid to interpret the paleo data they way hansen claims – it must be deliberate to cause alarm?

  130. you cannot compare hansen 1981 projection of global warming with BEST observations of LAND ONLY

    well you can, but you’d be misleading at best

  131. A physicist says:

    January 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

    A physicist says: The 2011 BEST global temperature rise is twice as large as Hansen’s 1981 prediction.

    Stark Dickflüssig says: BEST 1981 – 2011 shows 0.2°C of warming. Hansen’s 1981 paper shows 0.4°C of warming at the low side for 1981 – 2011.

    Stark, thank you for your post.

    The quoted BEST temperature of 0.4°C comes straight from the “hockey stick” of Figure 1 of the BEST web site’s Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures (which WUWT readers are encouraged to check for themselves).

    Rational skepticism is all about the objective comparison of predictions to data. And by rational skeptical standards, the 1981 “hockey stick” predictions of Hansen and colleagues are looking pretty darn good nowadays.

    Hansen’s 1988 model was a total failure. The actual temperature (GISTEMP) has tracked scenario C while CO2 tracked scenraio A.

  132. A physicist says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:15 am

    … As anyone can verify for themselves, in their 1981 article “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” (Science, 1981), James Hansen and his colleagues painted two specific bulls-eyes:

    (1) “Opening of the fabled Northwest Passage” (see abstract), and

    (2) Hockey-stick warming of the the earth’s temperature (Figures 6 and 7).

    Thanks, “A”, for your citation.

    (1) He says about the Northwest Passage:

    Potential effects on climate in the 21st century include the creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia as part of a shifting of climatic zones, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage.

    Three predictions there. Please note that NOT ONE OF THEM IS FALSIFIABLE, and as such, your claim cannot be verified. There is no date on the predictions. There are no numbers on the predictions. As a result, there is absolutely no way to either confirm or falsify them.

    Has there been “erosion” on the Antarctic ice cap? What does “erosion” mean? Have “drought-prone zones” been created? How would we tell? Is the Northwest Passage “open” when on a good year a boat can sneak through? Two boats? Five? He bases his claim on the NW passage on things like this:

    Preliminary experiments with sea ice models suggest that all the sea ice may melt in summer, but part of it would refreeze in winter.

    So he’s claiming that the NW passage will open because “all the sea ice may melt in summer” … perhaps you could point out how that prediction is working out, “A” …

    In other words, those are not predictions in any sense of the word because they are neither falsifiable nor verifiable. They are just throwaway unfalsifiable statements that he put in the Abstract to fool the rubes, which are not only not supported but hardly mentioned in the paper. If you consider those to be verifiable predictions supporting Hansen’s prognosticative abilities, turn in your PhD now.

    (2) The “hockey-stick” you see in Figure 6 is the usual nonsense. LOOK AT YOUR DANG CITATION, “A”. It shows a quarter of a degree rise from 2000 to 2010, and you are sitting there with a straight face claiming his forecast came true? You’ve lost the plot entirely, my friend. There has been no temperature rise over that period at all.

    In other words, to the extent that any of his nonsense came true, he didn’t predict it, and to the extent he predicted it, it didn’t come true.

    Most of his stuff is just the typical AGW hysteria about how bad the future will be—but as usual with no dates, no number, no deadlines, neither falsifiable nor verifiable.

    And for the one prediction that was verifiable, with a date and a number attached to it … well, it didn’t come true at all. We haven’t seen a quarter degree rise since 2000 as Hansen’s “hockey stick” claims, and it’s getting worse every year because his projection goes straight up.

    Look, “A”, Hansen, like everyone else on the planet including you and me, totally failed to predict the past fifteen years of no significant warming. Claiming otherwise just makes you look way out of touch, and you’ve already had to turn in your PhD for thinking that an offhand claim with no date, no numbers, and no details is a falsifiable forecast.

    My advice? Quit while you’re behind, it won’t get any better. Set aside your claim that Hansen is the Nostradamus of the North. He is a failed serial doomcaster, and a shabby one at that, I’ve just shown that his much-hyped and feard “20 m sea rise per degree of warming” is completely contradicted by his own data, and you think he’s great? You just look dumb when you support things like that.

    w.

    PS—I truly haven’t a clue why BEST is even in the mix. They haven’t even released their original data yet, “A”, nor their codes used to transform it into the final dataset, nor have they released their final dataset as far as I know. To date, Mueller has come up with nothing but smoke and mirrors … oh, and traducing his friends, he’s good at that.

    So we haven’t any idea what their results say or whether they are valid. You’ve been suckered by Richard Mueller, “A”, you obviously bought into his BS … you need to be more cautious about what you believe, my friend, and read the fine print a bit more carefully.

    PPS—One last warming, “A”. Under no circumstances should you get between Hansen and a microphone, that is the most dangerous location in the room. Just a word to the wise …

  133. David Middleton says: [outstanding post, highly recommended]

    Please let me say, David, that your fact-driven post is (IMHO) outstanding. More posts like it, please!

    A key issue (obviously) is whether anthropogenic CO2 levels will be enough to melt, first the Greenland, and then the Antarctic ice-caps. Here Hansen has gone on-record in predicting “yes”, and has specifically predicted an acceleration in sea-level rise in the coming decade or two.

    Fortunately, we will have excellent satellite altimetry and gravitometry records for those same two decades. So Hansen and his colleagues have made a prediction that leaves mighty little “wiggle room” for skeptic and non-skeptic alike:

    Hansen’s Elevator Prediction: We’re going to see accelerating mass-loss from the ice-caps accompanied by an accelerating rise in sea-levels.

    Rational skepticism has respect the simple possibility: “Hansen’s predictions may prove right.”

  134. The other problem with H1981 is that the projected scenario in figure 7 is not, as far as I can tell, spelled out in the text with enough detail to ascertain what the heck it is.

    The scenario is labeled as a slow growth scenario. SO, to really test Hansens “science”
    you have to look at two things.

    1. The science of predicting emissions
    2. the science of predicting temperature rise from those emissions

    merely pulling a curve from a 1981 paper that is tied to a specific emission scneario
    ( that has no details we can check) and then comparing that GLOBAL curve to observations
    for the LAND (30% of the total) isnt what I would call model verification.

    And I like models, so dont take this as model bashing. I’m bashing the stupidity of these types of
    comparisons that take no account of the details.

    There are a bunch of other claims in that paper that can also be tested, but its largely besides the point. Science will always get something wrong and something more or less correct. Scientists will always make mistakes and counting their mistakes or their successes is not the scientific method. Sheesh.

  135. “”Henceforth I shall say: “Before the 21st century, there is precisely one record of any wooden ship ever making the Northwest passage without over-wintering.” It is sobering to reflect, that with the Northwest Passage melting wide-open every summer, these brave Arctic sea-adventures very likely can never happen again.””

    Henceforth, I say to you a Mr A Physicist, you are not.

    Even if I am to accept your hypothesis, it gives me somewhat displeasure that the SH has fallen of the arse end of the Earth. You are a centric thinker, and nothing more. You do not have the capacity to relevantly put a universal argument together when only looking at half the story.

    I have noticed throughout many of your comments the recurring fatal error, where, feeble minds, argue from a particular circumstance to the universal application of it.

    You are annoying me, and Aristotle. And you are embarrassing.

    Markus Fitzhenry.

  136. lucia says:
    January 30, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Unfortunately, he has then extended that trend well past the time when there are no glaciers in Chicago left to melt

    Unfortunately? I’m looking out my window in Lisle and I can’t wrap my head around the notion it’s unfortunate I’m not seeing a glacier!

    Very funny, my dear. For those that don’t know her, lucia is a scientist (physicist?) who runs a marvelous blog.

    You are correct, lucia, my high school english teacher would have marked my writing “unclear antecedent” with his red pencil …

    w.

  137. US Govt agency research is often cited as providing major positive impacts on society with NASA as a common case in point. Plenty of arguments could be made about the efficiency of the process and the number of waste studies mingled with the good (as in the 80/20 rule). But Hansen represents the case of negative impact contribution to society offsetting the good research in various categories. This is a new level for bad public policy on research effort by government.

  138. A physicist:

    Temperatures today have recovered to approximately where they were in the 1930’s. Temperatures during the MWP were warmer than today. The resulting graph from the “unHansened” data is a “W”. Hansen has made a career of “adjusting” data to support his predictions. It’s easy to show a rising temperature trend if no one notices that you keep ‘adjusting” the baseline data. The world however, has noticed which makes Hansen and his cheerleaders look more ridiculous with each passing pronouncement.

    Willis and Joel have used Hansen’s own graphs and data to prove that he (Hansen) is, at best, incompetent. Even a child can take a ruler and draw a line.

    I’d like to hear how you think the two graphs, Hansen’s sea-level graph (http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/hansen_historical_sea_level_rise.jpg) and the dome_c_temperature graph (http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/dome_c_temperatures.jpg) are not damning evidence of incompetence on Hansen’s part.

  139. ‘a physicist’ is a numpty who is always going on about “rational” skepticism. Earth to ‘a physicist’s’ planet: scientific skepticism is rational. That makes it different from your True Belief, which is based entirely on the Precautionary Principle.

    Scientific skepticism is the only honest kind of skepticism, which excludes you and Hansen. Now run along to Connolley’s Wikipedia, or Anti-Skeptical Pseudo-Science to collect some new talking points, so you can be a faux climate expert like numpty cartoonist John Cook.

    Robert Austin’s source may well have been the great John Daly’s Top Of The World article, where he shows the N.W. Passage was opening in the 1800’s. I have also posted peer reviewed papers showing that the N.W. Passage was open 6,000 – 7,000 years ago, and as recently as the 1920’s. No doubt it has been open many times during the Holocene; an open N.W. Passage is common. But you ignore it all, based on your belief that your HE-RO, the mendacious James Hansen, has predicted something completely unprecedented.

  140. Joel Shore says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm
    “One might be able to quibble about whether it is really 20 m per 1 C…but I think the general conclusion from the paleoclimate data that the sensitivity of sea level to temperature is very strong seems to be correct. Then the question becomes how fast that sea level rise can be realized.”

    Hm, don’t we have since 1850 something about 1°C warming Joel?
    Where are those 20m? They must be hiding somewhere with the missing heat.
    I am with tty analysis here, 30 m is beyond the range of the possibilities. This is getting ridiculous.
    tty says:
    January 30, 2012 at 1:30 am
    “It might be of some interest to see if Hansen’s prophecies are actually physically possible.”

  141. There have been times in the past when it was warm enough on earth that there was no ice at the poles at all. Question, how much higher was the ocean then than now? This tells us the maximum possible sea level rise. My guess, not much higher than it is now, and a lot less than 40 meters.

  142. A physicist says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    After all, Hansen and his colleagues have been right twice before, with his 1981prediction that the Northwest Passage would open, and that global temperatures would show a BEST-style hockey-stick.

    Attn., A physicist, Hansen made his hockey stick prediction from 1981 on, at a time when GISS already showed an upward trend, making his “prediction” actually a gambler’s no-brainer. Then as the temp. data has shown, his hockey stick suddenly grew another flattened shaft over the most recent 13/30 years period of its existence , a divergence from the blade, about which BEST’s Muller stated:

    http://berkeleyearth.org/faq/#disagreement

    “We have both [Muller and Curry] said that the global temperature record of the last 13 years shows evidence suggesting that the warming has slowed. [Curry had actually called Muller's previous statement potential grist for another 'hide the decline' event ] Our new analysis of the land-based data neither confirms nor denies this contention. If you look at our new land temperature estimates, you can see a flattening of the rise, or a continuation of the rise, depending on the statistical approach you take.”

    Therefore, A physicist, your intentional move to instead tout Hansen’s prediction marksmanship as having already achieved two “bullseyes” – or three bullseyes, including his N.W. Passage prediction which ignores its previous existence – objectively amounts to no more than your own preferred personal “perception is reality” verbal confabulation.

    But since you’ve repeated this delusional or intentionally deluding verbiage 4-5 times already, along with some other irrelevant anti-scientific nonsense about the WSJ 16 needing to make their own predictions instead of simply evaluating Climate Science’s CO2 = CAGW alleged “hypotheses” on their own scientific merits, the question for you is, do you think that merely stating such memes over and over will magically make them come true in the real world?

    And just why do you personally need so desperately for your own favorite mantras to be seen and repeated as true? Why isn’t reality as approached by the practice of real, thoroughly sceptical science good enough as specifically applied to “mainstream” Climate Science’s “CO2 = CAGW” – a process which has already revealed that mainstream Climate Science practices an anti-scientific, completely non-sceptical method and, likewise, that it has a perfect record of relevant prediction failure?

    Why do you, and mainstream Climate Science, need to construct your own preferred verbiage instead of simply adhering to the principles and practices of real science?

  143. Lars P. says:
    January 30, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Joel Shore says:
    January 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    One might be able to quibble about whether it is really 20 m per 1 C…but I think the general conclusion from the paleoclimate data that the sensitivity of sea level to temperature is very strong seems to be correct.

    Let’s be fair here. I always like having Joel comment on my posts. Why? Because his science-fu is strong. In this instance, he pointed out (quite correctly) that Hansen’s claims were based on the paleo stuff. That gave me the clue to figure out that Hansen’s own data contradicted his claims. And Joel’s comment was made before showed I Hansen’s “20 metres per degree” to be contradicted by his own data.

    Joel is valuable because he always points to the science. Now sometimes, as in this case, I’m able to show that the science is built on sand. And other times, Joel is pointing to solid science, or to actual flaws in other scientific claims. But at the base of it, under all of Joel’s stuff, is always the science. He doesn’t make ludicrous claims about impossible gravity energy sources, for example.

    So Joel was 100% correct, in that if I wanted to understand Hansen’s claim, I was looking in the wrong place, I should have been looking at Hansen’s paleo stuff. So I looked at it, and as a result, Joel was key to my finding Hansen’s error.

    And that’s why I like Joel’s presence and point of view. Science is adversarial by nature. It is far too easy to fool myself. An honest scientific opposition is a great thing for keeping me from foolish error, and Joel provides that.

    w.

  144. Lars P. says:
    January 30, 2012 at 11:45 am

    tokyoboy says:
    January 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Sorry for posting the same data repeatedly, but our sea level has repeated ups and downs for over a century”

    http://www.data.kishou.go.jp/shindan/a_1/sl_trend/sl_trend.html

    Thanks for the post tokyoboy, it is good to see real sea level measurements!

    Indeed, a fascinating site. I haven’t compared their data to the PSMSL data, should be interesting.

    w.

  145. So would these dramatic sea level increases come with or without his ‘boiling oceans’ idea
    Lets be honest Hansen reverts to the same approach when ever things don’t go his way , make even more dramatic claims and scream louder . The very idea that the initial claims my be wrong never enters his head .

  146. In all of these predictions of huge sea-level rise, WHERE the water is coming from is left undetermined. Sea-level rise and the loss of glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are connected by rapid melting of ice masses for only 4, opposite, months of the year, right now, as for each area the current melting temperatures AT THE EDGES are met only 1/3 of the year. Even with a 3*C rise, there is little additional melting time and area to be found.

    The surface of both ice sheets is well mapped. The surface reveals itself as a series of drainage areas that have “streams” of ice, right now, but would be flowing water if there was a warming event great enough to melt the ice. Elsewhere it is CAGW histery (not history) that the glaciers are receding. Sea ice is likewise decreasing (except Antarctica, outside their West Peninsula). Ice flow into the sea of the land is not materially increasing, and cannot do so from a moderate atmospheric temperature increase, as the basal temperature cannot have risen yet as the thermal conductivity of ice is too low.

    Ice melts from increased atmospheric heat from the front and the top. If it melts, it has to flow. If you lose ice from non-flowing events, it has evaporated, which is sublimation, caused by sunshine. If you want to claim that the ice loss happened first because of atmospheric heat, and then evaporated because it is now water in a dry atmosphere, you still need the bodies if liquid water. Which have not been shown to exist. And to exist in large amounts sufficient to affect the planet.

    1. Sea-level rise means melting, i.e. liquid water.
    2. Location restricted to two places.
    3. Location restricted to top and edges of each place.
    4. Melt activity restricted to 4 months of the year in each location, at opposite ends of the calendar.
    5. Activity and location of activity identifiable and recognizable by form and quantity.
    6. No evidence. No new Mississippis.

    CAGW predicts the sea-level rise without showing where it is supposed to come from. It is a strange phenomena that is said to be showing up, and coming from only two sources, that cannot be shown to be creating rivers of water. Anywhere.

    For CAGW to be true, certain events must be happening already. If they happen “later”, with death happening in 2100, the magnitude and speed must be beyond both physics of ice behaviour and the physical principles of the warmists. If slow-but-steady is the reality, then CO2 is neither an extreme radiative forcing event, nor the historical cause.

    Ponzi schemes work because many people, including governors, cannot think things through. CAGW wins minds that are Ponzi-like in their abilities to discern the reasonable from the desirable (or, in this case, undesirable).

  147. I would like to mention about Hansen and a video made about him, it was made in 1994 I think, I have it on tape and it was about his discovery of a thing he called the “Atlantic Conveyor”.
    For this he was awarded the Nobel prize, as it was a new discovery in how the oceans work but I knew about this at least 30 years earlier it was called the “Gulf Stream” so he gave something a new name and suddenly he is a respected scientist. I am no scientist but I could do that, but maybe it was more to do with who he knew and how corrupt they were, the whole thing wants checking by different people and this new Hansen report should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

  148. Apologies if the following has been covered already, but-
    isn’t it curious that Hansen releases this hyperventilating paper JUST as Messers Gore et all head down to Antarctica ( hmmm West Antarctica perhaps?) to ‘highlight’ the ravages we will expect to see from G.W. – & of course ice sheets melting – cue Antarctic Summer ice melting for the cameras!

    What a pack-ice of charlatans.

  149. A physicist says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:42
    ==============================
    You comments are inane. The 1940s were well known for their warmth. The world pop. was about 1/3 of today’s. The weather forecasting we have now days is far superior to the 40s. Todays understanding or weather, satelite observations, present day ships etc, allow for far greater passage unders similar conditions. You have no evidence that 1940 arctic conditions were not similar to todays, yet there is substanial anecdotal evidence that this is true.

  150. We are one third of a century after Hansen’s prediction of an accelerated rise and reality does not show the rise. How long do we have to wait?

  151. Ah! The fabled Northwest Passage.

    Climate change in the North gets an assist in the discovery because Mercy Bay was routinely clogged in year-round ice until recently. The first recorded time the bay was ice-free was the summer of 2007

    http://www.archaeologydaily.com/news/201007284636/Doomed-ship-found-in-watery-Arctic-grave.html

    HMS Investigator discovered climate change?

    http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&ie=UTF8&t=h&msa=0&msid=102406754890023327747.00048c739ea37a9342b5d&ll=69.037142,-107.929687&spn=22.778739,102.65625&z=3

  152. Well as sea level rises, the surface area of the oceans goes down, and the land area goes up, so naturally the rate of ocean water depth increase would accelerate, leading to an increasing; some might even say “exponential” sea level rise.

    So the question is :- I f the global mean lower troposphere Temperature goes up strictly as the logarithm of the CO2 abundance, and sea level rise goes up exponentially with Temperature, does that mean that sea level rise is strictly linear with CO2 ??

    Somehow, I think there is something fundamentally wrong with this thesis; I’ll have to rethink it to see where I may have maid a misteak.

  153. Speaking of the shell-and-pea game reminds me of an episode of (I think) Paladin. After the gamester had shuffled the shells around he put the barrel of his revolver on one shell, said that that was his choice, and then flipped over the other two shells. The gamester did not look happy…..

    IanM

  154. @KnR says:
    January 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm
    “So would these dramatic sea level increases come with or without his ‘boiling oceans’ idea
    Lets be honest Hansen reverts to the same approach when ever things don’t go his way , make even more dramatic claims and scream louder . The very idea that the initial claims my be wrong never enters his head .”

    Don’t you understand nuthing?

    IT works like this:

    First there was mann.
    Then there was warming.
    Then melting ice.
    The melt water was so cold it froze the oceans, well, or made it colder.
    When cold, water contracts.
    Then the water gets to be warmer.
    Warm water expands.
    Rising sea levels times absurdum.
    Then 50 million invisible CAGW refugees was relocated in la la land in 2010.
    Now it is cold and the water is contracted.
    Tomorrow, it might get warmer… Dam dam daaam, now we quickly extrapolate that in a straight linear line regretting no sound regression to the boiling point or until all green muppets scream in absolute terror, of what could happen in a hundred years if the above assumptions turned out to be correct in the make belief of linear reality modeled by ancient communist hippies. :p

  155. George E. Smith; says:
    January 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    “Well as sea level rises, the surface area of the oceans goes down, and the land area goes up…”

    “Somehow, I think there is something fundamentally wrong with this thesis; I’ll have to rethink it to see where I may have maid a misteak.”

    That first line might be a good place to start your error search.

  156. The anonymous internet troll referring to itself as a physicist seems to believe every failed Hansen Embellishment is a success for him.

    Apparently the character doesn’t ask himself why Hansen didn’t know Mike Mann’s math spit hockey sticks when even Mann’s OWN COLLEAGUES were commenting on it.

    He didn’t know a tree can’t be a T.R.E.E.M.O.M.E.T.E.R. with all that “light, heat, CO2-canopy/OXYGEN-roots, parasites, WATER, S.I.X.T.E.E.N. different MINERALS i.n. p.r.o.p.e.r. r.a.t.i.o. no less: all that means NOTHING to the internet character proclaiming itself a physicist.

    Apparently the utter lack of any tropospheric hotspot which insta-nulls CO2 gas-driven climate hysterical religion has gone completely over his head.

    The LOWERING infrared down-welling of the past fifteen years, as manmade gases have multiplied, which is IMPOSSIBLE in warmer religion – that’s not happening to any warmer’s world.

    It’s simply a matter of ‘La-La-La-La I can’t read a thermometer without James Hansen’s/Government help.’

    It’s another case of someone who thinks Marx is an economist,
    thinking Mann is a statistician, and that Jones used his math to cyfer doomsday,
    all this having been brought to light by Al Gore who determined that their math was SO GOOD that we had to INSTALL his POLICIES in SPITE of the ELECTION or
    we would all die.
    He didn’t of course mention the world ending, during his run for president, except obliquely.

  157. At this point in time you can take all of the available satellite sea level data, split it in two groups, and plot the trend for the first half and the second half. I did this. The second half of the data had a considerably lower trend thant the first half. The first half trend is about 14 incher per century. The second half trend is about 8 inches per century. If anything, the rate of sea level rise is decelerating. By doubling down on his past failures, Hansen now has the credibility of a street corner drunk with drool running down his chin.

  158. Joel Shore: “melting/disintegrating essentially all of Greenland’s ice and some percentage (say, 10-20% ??), of Antarctica’s does seem conceivable.”

    If you look at the rate of melt and the fact that, if anything, sea level rise is decelerating, what you propose is absurd for at least the next four to five hundred years. Greenland’s ice is 2 kilometers thick. The pressure that it exerts on the land suface means that it is sitting in a concave dish. It cannot go bobsleding into the ocean. Sea ice around Antarctica is stable if not increasing. This is a good indication that it is not warming down there. Your scenario is as conceivable as the beginning of the next ice age.

  159. Willis Eschenbach says:

    According to Hansen, temperatures have been as much as 2.5°C higher than at present … but the sea level hasn’t ever been higher than at present.

    Not really…You need to read the discussion that Hansen has about the ice core data vs the deep ocean data. Hansen does not believe that the ice core data gives as reliable an indication of global temperatures as the deep ocean data, which suggests that the global temperature was in fact not that much higher than today in previous interglacials. (And, by the way, as I understand it, while the oceans were not 40 m higher in previous interglacials, they were several [on the order of 5 m] higher.) He discusses this a bit at the bottom of p. 8 and then more in Section 4.

    He also explains the empirical evidence for believing that the 20 m per degree of warming continues to warmer climates. I’m not saying that Hansen is right on all of this, but I do think you need to read his paper carefully so that you are responding to the arguments that he is actually making and not making points that he has addressed.

    So I would certainly not expect further warming to have much effect. The easy ice is all melted, the giant miles-thick Northern Hemisphere glaciers are almost all melted back into the ocean. So where is the meltwater going to come from?

    I can understand your reasons for believing that the 20 m per degree C of warming doesn’t continue unabated to warmer climates, but even if it slows down to 10 m or 5 m per degree C of warming, that is still a concern. You seem to be banking on the idea that it slows down to almost nothing. Yet, we know that there are still considerable land ice sheets, and while much of it on Antarctica may be safe from warming enough to disintegrate, it does not seem so true for Greenland (and for parts of Antarctica like the peninsula).

    And, Hansen points to past climates going further back when sea levels were much higher…I am cautiously hopeful that there may be enough hysteresis in regards to the ice sheets on Antarctica (and maybe Greenland) that we won’t be able to melt them now that they are here. (Also, as you go further back, other issues like different continental configurations and the like become important.) So, I am not saying that I am convinced that Hansen is correct…But I also don’t think you can dismiss his arguments are quickly as you seem to think you can.

  160. Joel Shore says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm “”So, I am not saying that I am convinced that Hansen is correct…But I also don’t think you can dismiss his arguments are quickly as you seem to think you can.””

    Haven’t I got some news for you.

    Markus Fitzhenry.

  161. A physicist says:
    January 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm
    Here’s How NASA sees it:

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/videos/earth/antarctica/antarctica20110818-640.swf

    Perhaps Hansen’s prediction of accelerating mass-loss and sea-level rise isn’t cuckoo?
    =============================

    Sea ice is increasing around Antarctica over the recent 30 year record. There have been 5-6 all time records broken in increased sea ice mass since 2007 when compared with prior observations.

    The IPCC also suggests that snow and ice cover will increase in Antarctica due to it’s extreme cold temperatures combined with increased atmospheric water vapour projections.

    So I suspect Antarctica is not a good place to look for that sea level rise. In fact, if this aspect of AGW theory is correct, Antarctica will most likely offset sea level rise, not contribute to it. Currently this speculation is also consistent with empirical observations.

  162. Totally pedantic footnote re: “several.”

    There is much debate, but casual usage has applied “few” to 2-4 or a minimal number, “several” to imply 5-9 or more.

    I personally would never use the word “several” top describe three things, as the *implication* of “several” is “more than a few, less than many.”

    A lot of people think “several” derives from “seven,” which may be where the “hovering around seven” definition of 5-9 comes from.

    As far as a scientific prediction, however, the words are *hopelessly* imprecise.

  163. Joel wrote,

    “Not really…You need to read the discussion that Hansen has about the ice core data vs the deep ocean data. Hansen does not believe that the ice core data gives as reliable an indication of global temperatures as the deep ocean data, which suggests that the global temperature was in fact not that much higher than today in previous interglacials.”

    The paper he is considering as unreliable (in preference to data taken from Zechos et al., 200 (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/metadata/noaa-ocean-8674.html) and his own analysis is here:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/jouzel2007/jouzel2007.html

    Which reads:

    “A high-resolution deuterium profile is now available along the entire European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica Dome C ice core, extending this climate record back to marine isotope stage 20.2, ~800,000 years ago. Experiments performed with an atmospheric general circulation model including water isotopes support its temperature interpretation. We assessed the general correspondence between Dansgaard-Oeschger events and their smoothed Antarctic counterparts for this Dome C record, which reveals the presence of such features with similar amplitudes during previous glacial periods. We suggest that the interplay between obliquity and precession accounts for the variable intensity of interglacial periods in ice core records.”

    Is there an explanation offered as to why the deuterium profile is less reliable for measuring atmospheric temperature as opposed to a deep ocean profile? Since J. Jouzel et al., would refute his argument, he should have a good reason for why he rejects that paper and it’s data…

  164. Joel Shore says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    According to Hansen, temperatures have been as much as 2.5°C higher than at present … but the sea level hasn’t ever been higher than at present.

    Not really…You need to read the discussion that Hansen has about the ice core data vs the deep ocean data. Hansen does not believe that the ice core data gives as reliable an indication of global temperatures as the deep ocean data, which suggests that the global temperature was in fact not that much higher than today in previous interglacials. (And, by the way, as I understand it, while the oceans were not 40 m higher in previous interglacials, they were several [on the order of 5 m] higher.) He discusses this a bit at the bottom of p. 8 and then more in Section 4.

    Thanks for the reply, Joel. Your claim sounds like Mann’s quest to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period … for years everything that I have read (including the ice core data in Hansen’s graph (d) above) have indicated that the Eemian (last interglacial) was warmer than this interglacial. Now that that is inconvenient for future alarmism, suddenly you are arguing it wasn’t warmer in the Eemian??? I’d need a bunch of citations for that claim, not just one.

    And as to whether the oceans were 5 metres higher in the Eemian, my point is simple—Hansen’s historical sea level reconstruction, the one giving him the 20 metres per degree, doesn’t show a 5 metre sea level rise. Look again at his graph (b). A five metre rise would easily be visible at that scale. We see no such thing So you can take it up with Hansen.

    That’s the beauty of my disproof of his theory using his own data, Joel … sure, you can argue that the sea level was higher and the temperature was lower, but that’s not what his own graphs say.

    All the best,

    w.

  165. CAGW is on the way down, and some of the folks who have been pushing it must realize that they might be held culpable for their actions.

    It would appear that Hansen is laying the groundwork for an insanity defense.

  166. Will Nitscke writes.
    “Sea ice is increasing around Antarctica over the recent 30 year record. There have been 5-6 all time records broken in increased sea ice mass since 2007″

    Will, what’s your source for these 5-6 sea ice mass records since 2007?

    “So I suspect Antarctica is not a good place to look for that sea level rise. In fact, if this aspect of AGW theory is correct, Antarctica will most likely offset sea level rise, not contribute to it. Currently this speculation is also consistent with empirical observations.”

    No, it’s not. For example, Rignot et al. (2011) found good agreement between two methods of estimating Greenland and Antarctic mass balance. They conclude:
    “Using the two-decade long MBM observation record, we determine that ice sheet loss is accelerating by 36.3 ± 2 Gt/yr2, or 3 times larger than from mountain glaciers and ice caps (GIC). The magnitude of the acceleration suggests that ice sheets will be the dominant contributors to sea level rise in forthcoming decades, and will likely exceed the IPCC projections for the contribution of ice sheets to sea level rise in the 21st century”

  167. “”””” Dave Wendt says:

    January 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    George E. Smith; says:
    January 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    “Well as sea level rises, the surface area of the oceans goes down, and the land area goes up…”

    “Somehow, I think there is something fundamentally wrong with this thesis; I’ll have to rethink it to see where I may have maid a misteak.”

    That first line might be a good place to start your error search. “””””

    No Dave; it turned out to be something entirely different; to whit, an absence of any sense of humor at WUWT !

    But did YOU get the point ANYWAY.

    Rising sea levels should lead to INCREASED oceanic surface are, as in Florida and Bungladish going submarine (Maldives too), so for a constant melt rate (of land ice) the sea level rise rate should slow down. The likelihood of it accelerating at EXPONENTIAL rates is about nil

  168. Acorollary to the above; as land ice melts, the ice surface diminishes, so the melt rate itself, would diminish with diminishing surface area.

  169. A Sorta Physicist is a typical alarmist. What he does is tantamount to proclaiming a global flood because it’s raining harder now than it was 10 minutes ago. These tiny snapshots in time we’re dealing with tell us nothing.

  170. Gneiss:
    “Will, what’s your source for these 5-6 sea ice mass records since 2007?”

    My source is: Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois. If you want to debate these issues this is fine, but I think you should first be familiar with the basic data sources…

    See here:

    Gneiss:
    No, it’s not. For example, Rignot et al. (2011) found good agreement between two methods of estimating Greenland and Antarctic mass balance. They conclude:
    “Using the two-decade long MBM observation record, we determine that ice sheet loss is accelerating by 36.3 ± 2 Gt/yr2, or 3 times larger than from mountain glaciers and ice caps (GIC). The magnitude of the acceleration suggests that ice sheets will be the dominant contributors to sea level rise in forthcoming decades, and will likely exceed the IPCC projections for the contribution of ice sheets to sea level rise in the 21st century”

    Me:
    This is what the IPCC states:

    Thermal expansion is the largest component, contributing 70 to 75% of the central estimate in these projections for all scenarios. Glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland Ice Sheet are also projected to contribute positively to sea level. General Circulation Models indicate that the Antarctic Ice Sheet will receive increased snowfall without experiencing substantial surface melting, thus gaining mass and contributing negatively to sea level.

    See here:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-es-8-sea-level.html

    Now it is worth noting that the West Antarctic ice streams have increased in recent years. However it’s remise to cite a paper that discusses this issue without noting increases in ice extent in the southern high latitudes and so forth. The ‘rapid’ warming in one region and the ‘rapid’ cooling in other regions are possibly related to complex patterns of atmospheric circulation change. Anyway, the point here is try to avoid making sweeping generalisations if possible.

  171. Joel wrote,
    “Not really…You need to read the discussion that Hansen has about the ice core data vs the deep ocean data. Hansen does not believe that the ice core data gives as reliable an indication of global temperatures as the deep ocean data, which suggests that the global temperature was in fact not that much higher than today in previous interglacials.”

    There is a vast amount of data on the temperature of past interglacials, particularly the last (Eemian/Sangamonian/MIS 5e). There is absolutely no doubt that it was considerably warmer than the present essentially everywhere. Just a few random paleontological examples:
    Capybaras in South Carolina
    Hippopotami in Yorkshire
    Monkeys in Bavaria
    Water buffaloes on the Rhine
    Cory’s Shearwaters breeding in Wales
    Birch forests in northeastern Greenland
    Larch forests on the coast of North-east Siberia

  172. Sea level was about 20 metres higher about 2.5 million years ago, before the ice ages really started. So Antarctica and Greenland accumulated more ice around this time.

    If you go back 95 million years ago, sea level was 250 metres higher and 20% of the continents were flooded by shallow ocean. It was warm enough that there was, essentially, no ice but the main reason was that the Atlantic Ocean had just formed and its average depth was less than half of today. Less average global ocean depth, the water comes up onto land.

    ———————

    I wouldn’t use any of Hansen’s paleoclimate prognostications. I have all the data he has used and there is no way to process it into the numbers he quotes. It is simply distortion. This is very common with the very pro-AGW climate scientists in terms of the paleodata. They actually think noone will doublecheck their numbers and the other climate scientists obviously don’t. That mean we have to.

  173. JJ says:
    January 30, 2012 at 7:54 pm
    CAGW is on the way down, and some of the folks who have been pushing it must realize that they might be held culpable for their actions.

    It would appear that Hansen is laying the groundwork for an insanity defense.
    ==========================
    JJ, the curious part is watching Joel and “aphyscistnot” cling to Hansen;s insanity more tightly then any “cling to their guns and religion.”

  174. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    It was in about 1990, and referred to 2040.

    We’re halfway there.>/blockquote>

    No, the prediction that I read expires in 2012 – this year. I’ll see if I can find it.

  175. Will Nitschke says:

    Is there an explanation offered as to why the deuterium profile is less reliable for measuring atmospheric temperature as opposed to a deep ocean profile? Since J. Jouzel et al., would refute his argument, he should have a good reason for why he rejects that paper and it’s data…

    I’ll let you read what he says in his paper.

    But, he is not rejecting the data. He is merely saying that the general rule-of-thumb that the temperature change determined at these high latitudes is double the change in average temperature may not be very accurate for those interglacial temperatures. It is clear from the data that there is some breakdown in the correlation between the deep ocean temperatures and those ice cores temperatures, since one implies average global temperatures in previous interglacials that were considerably higher than the current interglacial whereas the other implies average global temperatures being about the same as in those previous interglacials.

  176. OK, I see that the salon.com reporter is now covering for Hansen. In her 2001 story she wrote this.

    “While doing research 12 or 13 years ago, I met Jim Hansen, the scientist who in 1988 predicted the greenhouse effect before Congress. I went over to the window with him and looked out on Broadway in New York City and said, “If what you’re saying about the greenhouse effect is true, is anything going to look different down there in 20 years?”

    But now she is claiming that she asked him about 40 years despite the fact that she put her question in quotes.

    She pathetically ruined the credibility of all her future quotes merely to cover for his stupid prediction.

  177. Willis says:

    Thanks for the reply, Joel. Your claim sounds like Mann’s quest to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period … for years everything that I have read (including the ice core data in Hansen’s graph (d) above) have indicated that the Eemian (last interglacial) was warmer than this interglacial. Now that that is inconvenient for future alarmism, suddenly you are arguing it wasn’t warmer in the Eemian??? I’d need a bunch of citations for that claim, not just one.

    I am not arguing this…Hansen is. I don’t know enough about the data to have a strong opinion.

    Note, by the way, that the claim is not that it was not any warmer in the Eemian…but just that it was not as much warmer as the ice core record would imply. It is clear that the ice core record and the deep ocean record disagree on this point of how much warmer it was, so they can’t both be right. Hence, the question becomes which data is closer to being correct and Hansen argues that the deep ocean data is more reliable.

    And as to whether the oceans were 5 metres higher in the Eemian, my point is simple—Hansen’s historical sea level reconstruction, the one giving him the 20 metres per degree, doesn’t show a 5 metre sea level rise. Look again at his graph (b). A five metre rise would easily be visible at that scale. We see no such thing So you can take it up with Hansen.

    Yeah…It doesn’t look like quite 5m from that plot. That claim may come from higher-resolution data…I’m not sure. Wikipedia talks of the sea level during the Eemian as being 5-7 m higher than today. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian_sea )

  178. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm
    ” One might be able to quibble about whether it is really 20 m per 1 C…but I think the general conclusion from the paleoclimate data that the sensitivity of sea level to temperature is very strong seems to be correct.
    Let’s be fair here. I always like having Joel comment on my posts. Why? Because his science-fu is strong. In this instance, he pointed out (quite correctly) that Hansen’s claims were based on the paleo stuff.”
    Willis, I appreciate your intention to be fair sports with Joel. It might be that at the change from ice-age to interglacial the sea level varies with a certain amount of meters per 1°C. My point was that we are not in such a period.
    We are in an interglacial already.
    According to Mann’s temperature chart we have seen an unprecedented heating of the world of over 1°C lately. According to Hansen’s and Joel’s logic this should have brought us 20 m sea level rise.
    To say the next 1°C will bring something so spectacular that the last degree did not, one should have very good reasons to say this, not only showing at what happened when the ice age ended and ignore the fresh history. The prediction based on paleoclimate is very much to question by the recent history.
    When one looks at the tide gauge measurements as posted by Tokyoboy and compares with these projections one really ask himself what’s up here?
    Prediction based on paleoclimate should have a validity check based on recent history and on what is really possible as done by tty above. I expect at least these 2 points before crying wolf. And yes it did not even pass the paleoclimate check as you pointed out.

  179. Lars P. says:

    According to Mann’s temperature chart we have seen an unprecedented heating of the world of over 1°C lately. According to Hansen’s and Joel’s logic this should have brought us 20 m sea level rise.

    First of all, it is Hansen’s logic, not mine. I am just trying to explain his logic…I am not convinced that it is correct. (I think the truth lies somewhere in between Hansen’s extreme and the extreme that there is going to be no worrisome sea level rise.)

    Second of all, everybody agrees that the sea levels do not respond instantaneously. So, nobody would claim that we should see all the rise right away (or even most of it). The question becomes how fast the sea level rise can occur…Most people have thought it takes many hundreds to thousands of years for the sea level to equilibrate to the current temperature…but Hansen is arguing that it can be faster. But, still nothing close to instantaneous!

  180. Aside from all this projecting sea level changes using carnival side-show techniques, has anyone EVER addressed the world’s Mass Balance of ice inventory and correlated this MB with sea level change? After all, aside from volume increases of ocean warming causing rising sea levels,from where can sea level rise come from but melting of ice. Since the alarmists never talk about MB, I can only conclude that it is constant or increasing. If MB was decreasing, we would never here the end of it!

  181. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    January 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Willis say: ” The IPCC predicts sea level rise of about a foot (30 cm), but they don’t take ice into account.”

    This is certainly not right. The estimated contribution from ice caps and thermal expansion is shown here: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-5-21.html

    I love a man who is certain, especially when he is as wrong as you are. I am talking about the IPCC predictions of future sea level rise. What you have shown is an IPCC estimate of the current mass balance of the oceans.

    When you have figured out the difference, perhaps you will not be so certain. And in a scientist, not being certain is a good thing.

    Certainly, my statement was not as detailed as it might have been. It was merely an attempt to explain the differences between the IPCC (30 cm rise), Rahmstorf (1 m rise), and Hansen (40 m rise). Were I asked for details about my claim in a polite manner, I would have said, here’s how the IPCC actually describes their estimates:

    Model-based range excluding future rapid dynamical changes in ice flow.

    All the best,

    w.

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