Climate Craziness of the Week: James Hansen’s human free vision of the future

When I was a kid, I’d watch cartoons with mad scientists running amok and causing trouble. As an adult, I observed that there actually aren’t any mad scientists. Now, after reading Dr. James Hansen’s latest essay, I’m not so sure anymore.

I have been told of specific well-respected people who have asserted that “Jim Hansen exaggerates” the magnitude and imminence of the climate threat. If only that were true, I would be happy…

Climate effects are occurring already and are generally consistent with expectations. The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.

CO2, the dominant climate forcing on the long run, will stay in the climate system for millennia…

I was recently at a meeting that included many of the top researchers in climate change. There was universal agreement about the urgency of the climate crisis…if we burn all the fossil fuels it is certain that sea level would eventually rise by tens of meters…Venus – like conditions in the sense of 90 bar surface pressure and surface temperature of several hundred degrees are only plausible on billion – year time scales…

One implication is that if we should “succeed” in digging up and burning all fossil fuels, some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C. At such temperatures , for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive , because even under ideal conditions of rest and ventilation, it is physically impossible for the environment to carry away the 100 W of metabolic heat that a human body generates when it is at rest 14 . Thus even a person lying quietly naked in hurricane force winds would be unable to survive…

The picture that emerges for Earth sometime in the distant future, if we should dig up and burn every fossil fuel, is thus consistent with that depicted in “Storms” — an ice-free Antarctica and a desolate planet without human inhabitants. Although temperatures in the Himalayas may have become seductive, it is doubtful that the many would allow the wealthy few to appropriate this territory to themselves or that humans would survive with the extermination of most other species on the planet. At least one sentence in “Storms” will need to be corrected in the next edition: even with burning of all fossil fuels the tropical ocean does not “boil”. But it is not an exaggeration to suggest, based on best available scientific evidence, that burning all fossil fuels could result in the planet being not only ice – free but human-free.

Source: James Hansen’s latest non peer reviewed missive Making Things Clearer: Exaggeration, Jumping the Gun, and The Venus Syndrome

UPDATE: Over at Bishop Hill, they discuss Hansen’s other recent non peer reviewed paper:

James Hansen is also getting back into the climate sensitivity fray, posting up an Arxiv preprint that (surprise, surprise) comes up with a much more alarming figure than Lewis or Masters. The estimate is based on paleoclimate data, specifically δ18O data for foraminifera (a class of microscopic animals that got a mention in the Hockey Stick Illusion). However, as has often been noted in the past, these paleoestimates of climate sensitivity are fraught with difficulty as the quality of data on temperatures and forcings in the distant past is shaky indeed.

More and more I think the general alarm sounded by the team over what proxies tell them is based on shaky and inconsistent data. As we’ve seen with Marcott et al, they tend to mold the proxy data into their visions, rather than let the data tell the story honestly.

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114 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week: James Hansen’s human free vision of the future

  1. What — ever.

    Hansen deserves to get an editorial position with the National Enquirerer.
    Methinks he’s been smoking rope — it’s not the climate dice which are loaded.
    The poor man has been getting his feedback in the echo chamber, thinking all along that it was criticism. He now believes his own most bizarre scare stories.

    Kurt in Switzerland

  2. “The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.”

    Just as only the perceptive person can see and admire the Emperor’s new clothes!

  3. I can’t give these people the benefit of the doubt any more. Hansen is in dire need of psychiatric help.

    Do they not understand how crazy the things they’re saying are?

    It’s just completely astonishing that this guy was put in charge of budgets reaching the tens of billions.

  4. It always saddens me to see a person lose it like that.
    All I can think of is how miserable he must be if he really believes the nonsense ho says.

  5. Hanson approved of nuclear energy. He’s not totally nuts.
    Will someone tell me why France does 80% with little contamination while the rest are so clueless?

  6. The hyperbole and tension locked up in Hansen’s writings plays directly into the hands of people like McKibben and Mann. Wringing one’s hands until arthritis fuses the joints. One is again reminded of that twitchy-faced video, sodden with condescension and doom. Oh James, have an aneurism soon, instead of trying to give everyone else one.

  7. Argument from authority. State with an assumption then pile on more assumptions about shaky data, and end with a firm conclusion? NOT. Having read the whole paper, it is obvious why not peer reviewed. This is worse than an op-Ed. It isn’t science.

  8. I become increasingly convinced that there is a strong current of nihilism in modern media; they are convinved that the world would be a better place without the human race in general and European derived scientific thought in particular. Rather than assess data without bias and prejudice, they begin the process by setting it within this intellectual context; as a result, all statements and studies from them have to be interpreted from a skeptical perspective.

    Of course, this is not a bad thing, scepticism is the basis of science.

  9. The motive is clear : Hansen is getting well along in years and knows he’ll never think
    up anything important, so he’ll get attention the easy way – arrests at the White House,
    dire predictions designed to appeal to the media, and so on. The big mystery is why he approves of nuclear power – that actually makes sense, which is so little like John.

  10. As an engineer, I find his use of the phrase “burning of all fossil fuels” to be appallingly ignorant.

  11. Can somebody ask his nurse to ask him why all that bad stuff didn’t happen when CO2 was at 4000 or even 8000 ppmv?

    I haven’t laughed so much since a former UK Chief Scientific Adviser claimed that humans would be reduced to a few hundreds of breeding pairs in the Arctic.

  12. I dare to dream that we might re-purpose the world’s ballistic missiles in order to send Hansen and his deluded acolytes on a mission to Venus so they can report on the results of their laughable prognostications first-hand.

  13. * John Endicott on April 17, 2013 at 7:46
    “… admire the Emperor’s new clothes!

    Spot on and very graphic …!

  14. some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable……………

    Are these the same people that talk about leaving this planet and establishing a colony on Mars?

  15. Andrew on April 17, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Can somebody ask his nurse to ask him why all that bad stuff didn’t happen when CO2 was at 4000 or even 8000 ppmv?

    According to some religion(s), the Earth was created 6000 years ago. Refering to time spans used by AGW’ers, the Earth is younger and we have record high levels of important CO2 …

  16. Quote of the Day:

    “The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.”

    James, the only climate dice are the dice in your hand. And, yes, the dice in your hand are loaded.

  17. “…wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C. At such temperatures , for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive , because even under ideal conditions of rest and ventilation, it is physically impossible for the environment to carry away the 100 W of metabolic heat that a human body generates when it is at rest 14 .”

    That’s a normal, moderately warm — not especially hot — humid summer day where I grew up. I guess I’m dead. Who knew?

    I’d go into the problems of “greenhouse” effects reaching an equilibrium temperature that will melt lead, despite a very reflective upper cloud level, but the resulting discussion would likely run afoul of comments subject policies.

  18. All this hot air is a clear indictment of our Western education systems. In the past, the kind of people who became journalists would have had enough science, or the means and will to find it, to debunk this stuff right at the start.

    Kids are no longer taught to think for themselves, and haven’t been since the liberal left took power in the educational system a couple of generations ago. They have been taught to swallow whatever they were told via appeals to authority, and we all pay the price

  19. “More and more I think the general alarm sounded by the team over what proxies tell them is based on shaky and inconsistent data. As we’ve seen with Marcott et al, they tend to mold the proxy data into their visions, rather than let the data tell the story honestly.”

    One thing we can be gold-plated sure about is that none of the paleo people have done ordinary scientific experiments designed to reveal a lack of reliability in their proxies (or they have done it and kept it a secret). For lack of reliability testing, use of proxies is based on nothing more than the assumption that, for example, tree rings are reliable thermometers down to a tenth of a degree per decade. That is not science. That is not even good guess work. In fact, it is preposterous.

  20. “The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.”

    If Hansen was more perceptive instead of vainglorious, he would know that this statement is precisely the crux of skeptical resistance, which can only grow stronger with nature’s obvious help.
    How about: The persceptive person should notice that the climate dice have been indeed “loaded”. This is a classic Freudian slip. http://wordsmith.org/words/freudian_slip.html
    where your subconscious thoughts accidentally (and embarrassingly pop out in speech or writing). “I wish you were her.” instead of “I wish you were here.”

  21. R Taylor says:
    “The networks have been missing a bet by not giving Hansen a reality TV show.”

    He might do better in an unreality show on the Syfy (science fiction) network.

  22. Mad science promoted by mad marketing….as in the snuff flick by 10:10 called “No Pressure”…aka Splattergte. These inhuman psychopaths delight in the thought of exterminating the remaining independent thinking humans….with nightmare images for the impressionable youth….MAD? As Alfred E Newman of MAD magazine says….What, me worry ?

  23. “… with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C. At such temperatures , for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive , …”

    Gosh, I wonder how I was able to survive cooking pasta all day long in Phoenix during the summer, with nothing but an evap cooler?

  24. ” some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C. ”

    Tucson, AZ falsifies that claim. People continue to live there during the summer. Technology has obviously helped.

  25. I guess the silver lining if the oceans do boil is, it will be the mother of all- “all you can eat” lobsterfests ……. mmmmmm lobster. Anyone have any butter?

    More seriously, he really is demented isn’t he. Has Gavin over at RC printed any reaction to this latest “paper”, or just more …… nothing to see here!!

  26. This is a major climb-down for Jor-El Hansen-

    Before:
    “I’ve come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a DEAD CERTAINTY.”
    Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren
    Now:
    “At least one sentence in “Storms” will need to be corrected in the next edition: even with burning of all fossil fuels the tropical ocean does not “boil”.”

    Question: How many other DEAD CERTAIN Hansen predictions will need to be corrected in the next edition?

    Before:
    High latitude warming is faster than tropical warming, reducing latitudinal temperature gradients, which is somehow going to drive more powerful cyclonic storms.
    Now:
    “…high latitude cooling would increase latitudinal temperature gradients, thus driving powerful cyclonic storms.”- James Hansen, blog paper, 12/26/2012

    Before:
    “As we shall see, the small forces that drove millennial climate changes are now overwhelmed by human forcings.”
    Hansen et al., 2003 activist bulletin, Columbia University
    Now:
    “”The longevity of the recent protracted solar minimum, at least two years longer than prior minima of the satellite era, makes that solar minimum potentially a potent force for cooling,” Hansen and his co-authors said.”
    Hansen et al., “Earth’s energy imbalance and implications”, 2011

    And here is an insightful comment that Hansen needs to address-
    “Hansen has been talking about catastrophic warming, hottest year ever, multi-metre sea level rise, death trains, extinction, end of the world as we know it, etc.
    Yet, by his own measures temperatures are below scenario C – which he considers safe. How can the climate be both catastrophic and safe at the same time?”
    Steven Goddard, 3/28/2013

  27. These excerpts only prove that Hansen is not a scientist at all. He is an activist. How can we deny that his activist passions and a priori beliefs did not adversely affect his objectivity as such an important climate “scientist”? Scientists need to discipline themselves to separate personal passions from scientific study or all their work becomes suspect.

  28. Reality check!
    Global temperatures have ranged from 10C to 25C, even when CO2 was between 3000 ppm and 7000 ppm.

    Existing coal beds show that the environment was lush and very productive during that period.

    The Antarctic high plateau is Very COLD.
    “Extreme cold year-round, approx. -20°C to -60°C monthly averages, large temperature range
    e.g. Vostok, 78°27’S, 106°52’E, average temperature -55.1°C, range 36°”
    Basic Physics: Ice melts at ~ 0C.
    A 9C rise to -46 C will NOT melt the high plateau Antarctic Ice Cap.

  29. The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.

    I agree, but they are loaded with ones and not with sixes.

  30. “Thus even a person lying quietly naked in hurricane force winds would be unable to survive”

    Even today, a person lying quietly naked would be unable to survive in perhaps most places on the planet at some time in the year. He would freeze to death. What’s his point?

  31. Precisely what are James Hansen’s medical qualifications to blather about the human body? Ok, now that I’ve answered that question, let me move on to an observation.

    Just like another climate scientist (jeez, do I use that description loosely) who got rid of the Medieval Warm Period because, well, that was just an effect limited to Europe, and so he therefore extrapolated global temperatures from one, or two, or so, Bristlecone Pines, I think our crazy cousin Hansen is enveloped in the same extrapolation fetish. And, in a similar manner he’s using a really wimpy number of proxies to extrapolate for the entirety of the human condition. In fact he’s using just one proxy. And it happens to be himself.

    Allow me to explain. Recently, Hansen made a typically thought destroying statement in which he mentioned that at his age he didn’t worry about a criminal record anymore. The translation behind that statement is: Damn am I getting old. And, he is old. The seventy years he’s trod upon this planet is, well, now seventy years less he’s got to plod upon it. He knows that, just like our energy sources, he’s finite. Like other eco warriors, sustainable energy to him really meant sustainable life. Perpetual life. Immortality. But now he has come to grips with the fact that when he looks in the mirror, he sees a floppy hatted grim reaper staring right back at him. And he conflates his approaching demise with the demise of the entire human race. He views himself as a proxy for all of us.

    Get over it Jim. Death is one of the nasty little tricks nature plays on us. We can’t prevent it any more than we can prevent the weather from changing. Instead of chaining yourself to the Whitehouse fence (me thinks Barack & Michelle aren’t all that much fun anyway), chain yourself to a bar, order a frigid cold dry Plymouth gin martini, a top flight Churchill cigar and remember the old saying, “Luxury is the best revenge.”

  32. One implication is that if we should “succeed” in digging up and burning all fossil fuels, some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C.

    I notice that several others have already commented on this. All I can ask is, “what did he really mean here?” Temperatures regularly top that in many parts of California in the summer and have since records have been kept.

  33. The scariest part of this is that Hansen still has the ear of policymakers. Since they’re just as mentally off as he is, they find a soulmate in him, and will blindly do what he wants them to do.

    The left has no qualms about committing genocide through carbon policies, driven by the sort of “thinking” expressed by people like Hansen.

  34. To climatebeagle: A wet bulb temperature of 35C would be 95F. I don’t think that has ever come close to happening in Tucson, AZ.

  35. Well, now that he has removed the restraint (?) of having to tone things down for the sake of his employment, he can really go bananas! He will be, of course, shunned by the usual foaming-at-the-mouth people-hating activists, but there is always a less reasonable group to join.

  36. Me thinks that a wet bulb temperature of 95 degree F is impossible.

    I have yet to set a dew point above 85 degree F.

    I bet a case a beer that if one was to plot dew point on graph ( and I need help on this ) vs something ( I can’t put my finger on it) that there is limit to the dew point. Me thinks of Hurricanes – and not the drink,.

    How much weather is driven by a high dew point? Tornadoes form with dew points in the 70s plus a few other factors for sure.

    The reality is as the dew point increases so does the severe weather and the ability of the atmosphere to transfer heat to space through thunderstorms or hurricanes.

    The graph has to be asymptotic.

    But what data is used and how is it shown?

  37. Reminds me of Tom Clancy book, Rainbow Six – A frighteningly chillingly tale of how a group of wacked up environmentalists plot to ultimately eliminate humankind using biological means, and try to save the earth from being destroyed by man.

  38. Venus – like conditions in the sense of 90 bar surface pressure and surface temperature of several hundred degrees are only plausible on billion – year time scales…

    I Hansen changing his tune or did he always mean on “billion – year time scales…”? Anyway:

    “Some thresholds that all would consider dangerous have no support in the literature as having a non-negligible chance of occurring. For instance, a “runaway greenhouse effect” —analogous to Venus–appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities…..”
    IPCC

    http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session31/inf3.pdf

    “There is no possibility of such runaway greenhouse conditions occurring on the Earth.”
    Sir John Houghton – atmospheric physicist
    Lead editor of first three IPCC reports.

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0034-4885/68/6/R02

  39. I don’t have a problem with boiling oceans. It just means your lobster comes up pre cooked. of course /sarc

    • @Jimmy OK, let’s try the like/dislike buttons out and see how it works, turning on now- Anthony

  40. This missive is essentially defensive and regurgitative.

    The exhalation of expiry.

    He will no doubt go on making noise but in a piecemeal fashion.

    The big mistake would be to let him define himself entirely as somewhere between a buffoon and mentally unfit.

    He has been at this a long long time and has been able to function with the dexterity required to have pushed his aims as far as this. He is not to be excused on the basis that he can now be seen to be a joke. What he has done is not a joke.

  41. Did someone say the entity “Jan P Perlwitz” is expected? I wonder what he might offer this time.

    Anthony – something of a visual shock to see those colorful digits suddenly appear! They will animate the comments!

  42. “Met Office chief scientist Julia Slingo said climate change was “loading the dice” towards freezing, drier weather …” April 12th 2013

    The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.” James Hansen April 15th 2013.

    Dang, only took 3 days to load those dice.

  43. I hear that after being chucked out of NASA Hansen has found his true role in iScience …. it everything you get from real science … but in the imaginary dimension.

  44. Hansen: ” The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.”

    Hansen seems to confuse climate with a crap-shoot. This presumably explains why he talks so much crap about climate.

  45. Anthony Watts says:

    April 17, 2013 at 8:13 am

    “Cue Perlwitz in 3…2…1″

    Remember, Anthony, that Mr. Perlwitz by his own admission does NOT work for NASA! So, he is therefore unqualified to comment authoritatively on matters or individuals related to NASA/GSFC or its rogue affiliate NASA/GISS…

  46. Holy sheep! It sounds like Hansen is almost to the eating the yogurt phase of apocalyptic prophecy.

    And he’s not even a “climate scientist,” he’s an astrophysicist, or used to be.

  47. Sam the First says:

    April 17, 2013 at 8:40 am

    All this hot air is a clear indictment of our Western education systems. In the past, the kind of people who became journalists would have had enough science, or the means and will to find it, to debunk this stuff right at the start.

    Kids are no longer taught to think for themselves, and haven’t been since the liberal left took power in the educational system a couple of generations ago. They have been taught to swallow whatever they were told via appeals to authority, and we all pay the price

    –Sam, thanks for saving me the trouble of having to say this.

  48. Andrew on April 17, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Can somebody ask his nurse to ask him why all that bad stuff didn’t happen when CO2 was at 4000 or even 8000 ppmv?


    That was natural CO2, whereas the CO2 the crony Socialists are paying him to complain about is human CO2 and therefore unnatural and evil. We must give the cronies – big government and big business – ever more money and power in the name of fighting the citizens… er, evil humans — or we are all going to die. Doom!

  49. Is Hansen taking his medication?
    Clearly not.
    He needs to be sectioned for his own and the general public’s welfare.

  50. Suggestion: do a survey of NASA astronauts, past and present.
    Ask if they would trust their lives to someone with the decision-making ability of Hansen.
    Publish the results.

    Kurt in Switzerland

  51. Anthony – Off Topic. What is with the rate, thumbs up/ Thumbs down thing? I have enjoyed reading the comments for ears and see these as a distraction that takes away from the exchange of knowledge and discussion to a popularity contest. This isn’t a face book blog. Let evidence and discussion be the determinants of like and dislike.

    Matt

  52. “Climate effects are occurring already and are generally consistent with expectations.”

    Is her referring to expectations from 10 years ago, 10 months ago, or 10 minutes ago?

    He’s being consistently vague, that’s for sure.

  53. Box of Rocks says:
    April 17, 2013 at 9:54 am
    Me thinks that a wet bulb temperature of 95 degree F is impossible.
    I have yet to set a dew point above 85 degree F.

    A wet bulb temperature of 35C (95F) implies a minimum dry bulb temperature (A.K.A. temperature) of 95F at 100% R.H. Since Hansen didn’t specify R.H., it could be hotter. E.g., a dry bulb temperature of 140F and R.H. of 28% with a dew point of 83F.

  54. Hey I finally realize why American astronauts want to use a Russian rocket to get to the ISS.

  55. outdoorrink says:
    April 17, 2013 at 11:44 am
    “Climate effects are occurring already and are generally consistent with expectations.”

    Is he referring to expectations from 10 years ago, 10 months ago, or 10 minutes ago?
    ———
    I think he’s referring to grant funding being consistent with expectations.

  56. “I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'”

    “Good evening. Well, I’ll tell you what happened: I just ran out of bull****. Am I still on the air? I really don’t know any other way to say it other than I just ran out of bull****. Bull**** is all the reasons we give for living. And if we can’t think up any reasons of our own, we always have the God bull****. We don’t know why we’re going through all this pointless pain, humiliation, decays, so there better be someone somewhere who does know. That’s the God bull****. And then, there’s the noble man bull****; that man is a noble creature that can order his own world; who needs God? Well, if there’s anybody out there that can look around this demented slaughterhouse of a world we live in and tell me that man is a noble creature, believe me: That man is full of bull****. I don’t have anything going for me. So I don’t have any bull**** left. I just ran out of it, you see.”

    – Howard Beale, Network (1976)…

    or will it be James Hansen (2014)?

  57. The statement about 35 C being unlivable is a typical Hanson over simplification error. The evaporation of body water (sweat) would allow heat removal even up past 40C as long as the dew point is well below 35 C, and circulation adequate.

  58. Can someone from Vegas confirm that people with “loaded dice” are also called cheaters?

    Imminence. Recently a smart young person told me that she tends to discount global warming as a concern, because of prior assertions that we only had 5 years or 10 years before disastrous consequences — and her observation that not much has changed in the past 5 years.

    But then he never explains why the water is not over the West Side Highway.

  59. tobias smit says:
    April 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm
    Tobias and others knocking NASA, please observe:
    I am a retired NASA scientist, and a skeptic. Many NASA scientists are outstanding people and outstanding scientists, even if some agree with the CAGW claims. Please remember we sent people to the Moon, and teleoperated vehicles to Mars, etc. However, in every large organization there are kooks. Remember that Buzz Aldren, Harrison Schmidt, the former NASA administrator, and even Hanson’s former boss disagree with him. Your comment is quite out of place. The only reason NASA uses Russian vehicles is due to presidential and congressional politics) flip flopping in NASA directions and funding.

    Leonard Weinstein, ScD

  60. RH – Yes it could be possible.
    I find quite doubtful though.

    The only place I see temps over 120 degrees F is in a desert with a dew point well below 50 degrees F.

    Just because something is possible does not make it plausible.

    Show me data that would indicate that the places on the earth regularly have dew points in the 80s degree F and in a static state.

  61. Okay, I found a PNAS paper on “wet bulb temperature” exceeding 35 deg. C.:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/21/9552.full

    The authors of this piece (note: edited by Kerry Emanuel) cite GCM model
    runs “with a high-CO2″. They present histograms of annual maximum wet-
    bulb temperature. This is in support of their contention that people CANNOT
    adapt to a world “10 deg. C.” warmer. This overblown temperature is
    in the year 2300, with the high-end sensitivity of 4.5 degrees C. for each
    doubling of CO2.

    Okay, even if the models were correct, even if the extreme warming
    far-future scenario they present were correct, even if the human-generated
    CO2 remained in the atmosphere for millennia, this paper is wrong.

    Simply put, the paper is just making the boring, obvious point that in a world
    10 C. warmer, portions of the world would not be survivable by primitives
    without access to technology (air conditioning). This point is not
    actually stated in the paper.

    The paper simply assumes that a “4-to-6 hour exposure to a wet-bulb
    temperature over 35 degrees C.” is fatal, and CANNOT be mitigated by
    any means other than a fan (the “hurricane” given by the Hansen quote)
    or by sweating. There is NO consideration given to allowing the humans
    in question access to air conditioning. Thus, my statement above about
    the paper’s obvious, boring, and UNSTATED point.

    So, 3 centuries in the future, we have to ensure that for
    some part of the year, air conditioning is available for most of the
    eastern United States, most of the Arabian peninsula, most of Australia,
    portions of western Africa, Egypt, much of India, and a small piece of China.
    That is eminently doable, as long as we are not hobbled by silly
    wind/solar power and overblown environmental regulations.

  62. While Mr. Hansen’s assertion that a person would likely die if exposed to a temperature 95F at 100% humidity for prolonged periods is, technically, true. I feel his argument is also a classic case of misrepresentation. Specifically he is wrong to suggest that, in vast regions, the local relative humidity would to remain at 100% long enough to effect ones health. The problem?… rain cycles and night time temperature cycles.

    The bottom line is the local atmosphere’s rain and nighttime temperature cycles continually cool the area altering the relative humidity… so periods of sustained high temperatures with 100% relative humidity are rare.

    Anyone who has lived in South America’s tropical areas, where the combination of high temperature and humidity is common, is familiar with earth’s coping mechanism in this situation. Specifically, they know it regularly rains shortly after the mid-day temperature highs and (frequently) later in the evening. In the “wet” season the afternoon rain last approximately an hour… usually pretty intensely. In the “dry” season it simply rains less intensely and slightly less frequently.

    The short version: as the local relative humidity increases it begins to rain driving the ground level temperature down and starting the cycle over again.

    The pattern’s pretty familiar to anyone who’s lived in such climes. Temperature and relative humidity climb as the day progresses. Rain arrives in the afternoon dropping temperatures below the pre-rain dew point and increasing the immediate relative humidity – at a lower temperature. Then the temperature increases slightly quickly dropping the relative humidity below 100%. Restarting the cycle, some of the rain (by no means all) begins to re-evaporate increasing the relative humidity. The bottom line you end up with wide swings in relative humidity throughout the day.

    For example, I lived in the Republic of Panama for a number of years. Over the past 13 years, the average high temperature in Panama City (near sea level) has been 87°F (30°C). The hottest months were February and March (90°F, 32°C), and the coolest month was October (85°F, 29°C). Average nighttime temperatures vary only slightly throughout the year, between 76°F (24°C) and 78°F (25°C). The highest and lowest temperatures recorded in that period were 102°F (38°C) and 68°F (20°C). (see http://www.yourpanama.com/panama-weather.html)

    Over the past 11 years, average morning relative humidity has ranged between 87% and 93%, with the lowest months being March and April. Average afternoon relative humidity has ranged between 59% and 81%. On average, October has been the most humid month.
    Based on the above it’s pretty clear that, in wet tropical areas, the relative humidity is in a constant state of flux.

    Only in a static world, consistent with Hansen’s misbegotten mind, could one imagine conditions where the relative humidity at ground level remained 100% for prolonged periods.

    Regards,
    Kforestcat

  63. I read this “…some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C. At such temperatures , for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive , because even under ideal conditions of rest and ventilation, it is physically impossible for the environment to carry away the 100 W of metabolic heat that a human body generates when it is at rest…” and I laughed.
    I served in a Police Force in the Far East, in a post where I was permitted to cancel foot patrols when the ambient temperature rose above 35 °C, as ordered by the Commissioner of Police. Mobile patrols continued. The farm-workers in my mainly rural area continued to work, albeit somewhat slower, but life went on.
    Oh, the humidity in Summer, when the temperatures were so high was in the region of 90% – 98%, all the time.
    Think Hong Kong.

  64. Hansen and his Green Gang of death-eating Luddite sociopaths are nor nihilists but Thanatists, signifying those to whom “Death is the only cure for Life’s disease.” For a full-blown overview of this murderous obsession, we suggest reviewing Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” (1969), Science Czar John Holdren’s view of humanity as “a mass of seething maggots” (1974), lately such cheerful souls as Keith Farnish, Kentti Linkola, PIK’s Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber– all of a degraded totalitarian mindset worthy of Pol Pot.

    Anyone unfamiliar with these names does not appreciate the Green Gang goals common to Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al. William James’ “Anabaptists of Munster” were kindergartners by comparison.

  65. Reality is that the prophecies are going to be tested. I don’t see China or India curtailing their economic growth and becomig renewable for some time so it is inevitable that CO2 emissions are likely to continue to grow for at least another decade or more.

    I have little concern over that – I do not believe these guys anymore – they’re complete hypocrits.

    Why the Chinese won’t clean up their smokestack emissions with well tried technology remains a mystery to me.

    Surely they’d have tp prefer the improved atmosphere achieved in most western nations through cleaning up smoke stack emissions ?

    The CO2 will take care of itself – either increasing biomass or ocean cooling will deal with it.

  66. The problem is you only have to ‘believe’ in something and at the same time ignore the facts (truth), that will quickly take you way beyond reality. It is then promoted by propaganda. Hansen is right in the mix. Then if you oppose him, heaven forbid!

  67. One implication is that if we should “succeed” in digging up and burning all fossil fuels, some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C.
    =============
    BS. The paleo records show conclusively that the earth has a stable temperature at 22C and 11C. In the not so recent past in geological time scales, long after the “faint sun” ended, CO2 was still much higher than if we burned all known fossil fuels and the earth’s temperature was stable at 22C.

  68. Box of Rocks says:

    April 17, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Me thinks that a wet bulb temperature of 95 degree F is impossible.

    I have yet to set a dew point above 85 degree F.

    It is not at all unusual for at least some days during late July/August in southern Maryland to have afternoon temperature and humidity in the mid-90s. Yes, often it is cooled by a thunderstorm in the late afternoon early evening, but I’ve survived wet bulb temps very close to 95 F fairly often, and I would suspect above that at times as well, without (at least in my youth) any air conditioning beyond a fan.

  69. You know? When they were talking about “global warming” in, response to increasing atmospheric CO2, maybe they might have had the merest smidgen of a point? But when the temperature stopped going up… and they started calling it “climate change”? What they are talking about now is called “weather’.

  70. Did find this…


    High Dew Point Temperatures
    July 23, 2005

    Unusually high dew point temperatures pooled over southern Minnesota during the late afternoon and evening hours of Saturday, July 23. Both Pipestone and St. James reached 86 degrees at 5:00 pm, breaking the old record of 84 that was set at multiple locations on July 20, 2002. During the evening hours on that date, three west central Minnesota locations; Madison, Morris, and Olivia reported dew point temperatures of 84 degrees. Our examination identified one other episode of such extraordinary dew point values. A handful of southern Minnesota locations reported 84 degree dew point temperatures on July 29 and 30, 1999.

    Note that there has only been about ten years of higher density hourly dew point temperature readings for Minnesota. The bulk of the automated weather stations were installed in the early to mid 1990’s. The Twin Cities has hourly dew point records going back to 1945.

    The dew point temperature at the Twin Cities International Airport on Saturday, July 23 topped out at 80 degrees at 9pm. 80 degree dew point temperatures are rare in the Twin Cities historical record. Since 1945, there have been only twenty-one hours of 80 degree dew point temperatures recorded. Ten of those twenty-one hours came in a ten hour period on July 12 and 13, 1995. The highest dew point temperature ever recorded in the Twin Cities was 81 degrees at 11:00 am on July 30, 1999.

    Dew point temperatures in the low 80’s can occasionally be seen across the Gulf Coast and the Upper Mississippi Valley. A handful of locations in the United States have seen dew points as high as 90 degrees F, especially in Florida and Louisiana. Some of the highest combinations of dew points and temperature on earth can be found in the costal regions of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea where dew point temperatures as high as 93 degrees have been measured.

    The heat index, a “feels like” measure which factors together temperature and dew point temperature, reached 125 degrees at Pipestone, MN at 5:00 pm on July 23. At that time, the air temperature was 93 degrees and the dew point temperature was 86. A quick scan of the historical database reveals only one other heat index value of 125 degrees. An air temperature of 97 degrees teamed with an 84 degree dew point temperature to create a heat index value of 125 degrees at the Red Wing airport at 3:00 pm on July 30, 1999.

    [Addendum: July 28, 2005]
    In a follow-up investigation, the State Climatology Office discovered that the Pipestone and St. James dew point temperature sensors were reading three to four degrees higher than neighboring stations during June and July of 2005. Therefore, dew point temperatures in Pipestone and St. James reported on July 23 may have been erroneously high. However, both stations are well-maintained, government-sponsored observation sites whose data are widely distributed. Thereofore, the 86 degree dew point temperatures will remain part of the historical database

    @

    http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/dewpoint050723.htm

  71. Could Dr. Hansen come and visit South India? Our summer is not yet in full force but for example in Tirupattur it was 40C at 86% humidity; see http://www.imdchennai.gov.in/rdwr.htm
    Thousands of people live and have lived there for millennia.
    Not to say that such a temperature is pleasant. On top of we suffer up to 12 hours powercuts a day due to the fact that various Tamil Nadu governments were lured to believe that windmills provide base load and simply planned accordingly. We found out the hard way: they don’t. They only run during our 4 months of summer monsoon. Anyway, big industry go their wind turbines tax free and a few manufactures made windfall profits so not everybody is unhappy.

  72. Dear Dr. Hansen,

    Andy Warhol called, your fifteen minutes is UP.

    Please take a clue from McArthur and JUST FADE AWAY…………

    Cheers, Kevin.

  73. Re: JackT says:
    April 17, 2013 at 8:12 am

    “It’s often said that genius borders on lunacy. Case in point; Hansen.”

    I missed the “genius” part in Hansen, but the lunacy factor always seemed obvious. In psychobabble terms, “The man’s hero complex drove him off into a world of his own invention.”

    Unfettered now by job responsibilities, old Jimbo is free to wander off into the really deep grass.”

  74. Whoops;

    Andy Warhol called, your fifteen minures “ARE” UP.

    Without regard to my poor grammar, PLEASE; JUST FADE AWAY………..

  75. NASA let him go? I cant imagine why. Off his leash, Hansen will be able to unmake that which he made.

    Speaking of leashes in this whacky world of alarmism, I am haunted by visions of Grant Foster as Hansen’s self proclaimed “attack dog”. And Saturday night dressups and stuff.

  76. As for “digging up and burning all fossil fuels”, we won’t even come close.

    When you add up the huge recent finds in unconventional oil — for example in Australia and Siberia — and all the methane hydrates in the oceans, that’s a colossal reserve. Should humanity survive this century, we will undoubtedly have enough new energy technologies to sustain us without much fossil fuel use.

    We’ll use these new energy technologies because they’ll be cheaper than the ever-rising cost of finding and extracting fossil fuels. Also, because we don’t want to continue to pump excess CO2 into the atmosphere if we don’t have to. But not because some activist scaremonger tries to frighten us into throwing away the only chance we have at maintaining an advanced society.

  77. “One implication is that if we should “succeed” in digging up and burning all fossil fuels, some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C.”

    Does anyone else you ever wonder, as I do, if any of the AGW alarmists (and Hansen in particular) have actually stopped to consider where all the fossil fuels got their carbon from in the first place?

    Please, someone correct me if I am wrong, but I have always been under the impression that fossil fuels are made from plant and animal matter. The animal carbon content coming from plants, and the plant carbon coming, mostly, from atmospheric CO2.

    All that would suggest that, prior to being locked in as fossil fuel, the vast majority of that carbon would have been in our atmosphere at some point in the distant past.

    The question is, if the wet bulb temperature would make the planet “literally uninhabitable,” the question is begged as to how we ended up with an inhabitable earth at all?

    Unless I am missing something huge, then Hansen’s spoutings don’t even pass the most basic logic/plausibility test.

  78. The surface temperature on Venus is because of the very high surface pressure and height of its tropopause, 70KM with ours about 15KM. Its surface gets less insolation than earth due to its high albedo and despite getting twice our insolation. Lapse rate on Venus is just over 10C/km giving 490C for the surface.

  79. Hansen says: “as you can see, I am running out of steam for this present communication.”
    Ah, so you were just blowing steam, as I suspected. We all understand that it requires a lot of energy to work yourself into such a lather about literally, nothing. It must be exhausting. Perhaps you should take a vacation. Or, take your meds. Or both. We wouldn’t want you to explode, like your friends at 10:10, with their famous “No Pressure” video suggested those who doubt your view do.

  80. Leo Danze, you asked why France was 80% nuclear. Simple: No coal, no oil, no gas, no choice! Though I’m not sure about the position with shale gas today.
    John K. Sutherland.

  81. As usual, there is a simple explanation for this. Jim is laying the groundwork for his inevitable insanity defense.

  82. I, too have a vision: of Hansen, Mann, and those of their ilk in handcuffs, heads hanging in shame, doing the perp walk for all of humanity, whom they have harmed to see.
    Well, I can dream, can’t I?

  83. @ Bruce Cobb says:
    April 18, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I don’t think this is an idle dream. The damage, and effective slaughter, wrought by this has been catastrophic. And it is inextricably a part of structures and actions that are now starting to have a measureable effect on societies across the world.

  84. Hansen: ” The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.”
    ==========================================================================
    Perceptive people did notice Hansen “et al” loaded the dice some time ago that hot day in DC when they left the windows open the night before Hansen spoke before a Congressional committee.

  85. 0 ) All the carbon in fossil deposits was originally in the atmosphere locking all the O2 into CO2 yet the result was the creation of green life , not a Venus .

    1 ) Straight forward computations of radiative balance show that for Venus to have a surface temperature 2.25 times that of a gray ball in its orbit , totally due to the energy it receives from the Sun , given its 0.9 albedo , it would have to be 10 times as reflective in the IR as aluminum foil . ( See http://cosy.com/Science/RadiativeBalanceGraphSummary.html . )

    As is well known , CO2 is a good absorber of IR and therefore also a good emitter . Therefore it could not be the cause of Venus’s extreme surface temperature . In fact , I doubt there is any material that reflective . Thus Venus’s surface temperature must be due to internal heat trapped by an extremely insulative atmosphere .

    How Hansen’s original Venus claims got past pal review shows the inevitable corruption of the process .

  86. Despite their strident opposition to Enlightenment ideals on every front, Klimat Kultists are not nihilists but “thanatists”– those for whom death is the sole cure for “this disease called Life.”

    Entirely too many, indeed an overwhelming super-majority, of kook-fringe “environmentalists” (which solar panels and wind-farms prove are no such thing) from Friends-of-the-Earth to Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund explicitly favor mass-extermination policies designed to eliminate near 100% of extant humankind. Not Zero Population Growth (ZPG) but zero population is their goal.

    Whatever psychonomic labels apply here (recall the infamous “No Pressure” video), Luddite sociopaths of every stripe have already encompassed tens of millions of malaria deaths, advocated mass-starvation by opposing Norman Borlaug’s “Green Revolution” with its genetically-modified (GM) crops, embraced potential global epidemics by warring on pharmaceutical research as “capitalist enterprise.” Human socio-cultural suicide is these degraded creatures’ stock-in-trade, pressing towards “a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted Science” (Churchill).

    Anyone unacquainted with the likes of Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, Keith Farnish, Kentti Linkola, Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, had best start introductions now. Stilettos poised, they wait for you to turn your back.

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