# IPCC's Pachauri's "voodoo science" claim comes full circle

WUWT readers may recall that when the “Himalayan Glaciers will melt by 2035” error was first revealed, IPCC chairman Rajenda Pachauri famously labeled claims of the mistake “voodoo science”and then had to retract that slur later.

Now it appears there hasn’t been any melt at all in the last 10 years. I never thought I’d see this in the Guardian:

The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.

The study is the first to survey all the world’s icecaps and glaciers and was made possible by the use of satellite data. Overall, the contribution of melting ice outside the two largest caps – Greenland and Antarctica – is much less then previously estimated, with the lack of ice loss in the Himalayas and the other high peaks of Asia responsible for most of the discrepancy.

Full story here

h/t to more people than I can name – Anthony

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Looking at the plot of ice thickness changes from the GRACE data (from the NASA press release that spawned this story), it appears parts of the Himalayan area is actually gaining ice:

Changes in ice thickness (in centimeters per year) during 2003-2010 as measured by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, averaged over each of the world’s ice caps and glacier systems outside of Greenland and Antarctica. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Colorado

› Full image and caption

Here’s a zoom in on India:

Average yearly change in mass, in centimeters of water, during 2003-2010, as measured by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, for the Indian subcontinent. The dots represent glacier locations. There is significant mass loss in this region, but it is concentrated over the plains south of the glaciers, and is caused by groundwater depletion. Blue represents ice mass loss, while red represents ice mass gain.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Colorado

UPDATE: Here’s the Univ. of Colroado press release:

303-492-8349

University of Colorado at Boulder

# CU-Boulder study shows global glaciers, ice caps, shedding billions of tons of mass annually

## Study also shows Greenland, Antarctica and global glaciers and ice caps lost roughly 8 times the volume of Lake Erie from 2003-2010

 IMAGE:A new CU-Boulder study using the NASA/Germany GRACE satellite shows Earth is losing roughly 150 billion tons of ice annually.Click here for more information.

Earth’s glaciers and ice caps outside of the regions of Greenland and Antarctica are shedding roughly 150 billion tons of ice annually, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The research effort is the first comprehensive satellite study of the contribution of the world’s melting glaciers and ice caps to global sea level rise and indicates they are adding roughly 0.4 millimeters annually, said CU-Boulder physics Professor John Wahr, who helped lead the study. The measurements are important because the melting of the world’s glaciers and ice caps, along with Greenland and Antarctica, pose the greatest threat to sea level increases in the future, Wahr said.

The researchers used satellite measurements taken with the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, a joint effort of NASA and Germany, to calculate that the world’s glaciers and ice caps had lost about 148 billion tons, or about 39 cubic miles of ice annually from 2003 to 2010. The total does not count the mass from individual glacier and ice caps on the fringes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets — roughly an additional 80 billion tons.

“This is the first time anyone has looked at all of the mass loss from all of Earth’s glaciers and ice caps with GRACE,” said Wahr. “The Earth is losing an incredible amount of ice to the oceans annually, and these new results will help us answer important questions in terms of both sea rise and how the planet’s cold regions are responding to global change.”

A paper on the subject is being published in the Feb. 9 online edition of the journal Nature. The first author, Thomas Jacob, did his research at CU-Boulder and is now at the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, in Orléans, France. Other paper co-authors include Professor Tad Pfeffer of CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and Sean Swenson, a former CU-Boulder physics doctoral student who is now a researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.

“The strength of GRACE is that it sees everything in the system,” said Wahr. “Even though we don’t have the resolution to look at individual glaciers, GRACE has proven to be an exceptional tool.” Traditional estimates of Earth’s ice caps and glaciers have been made using ground-based measurements from relatively few glaciers to infer what all of the unmonitored glaciers around the world were doing, he said. Only a few hundred of the roughly 200,000 glaciers worldwide have been monitored for a decade or more.

Launched in 2002, two GRACE satellites whip around Earth in tandem 16 times a day at an altitude of about 300 miles, sensing subtle variations in Earth’s mass and gravitational pull. Separated by roughly 135 miles, the satellites measure changes in Earth’s gravity field caused by regional changes in the planet’s mass, including ice sheets, oceans and water stored in the soil and in underground aquifers.

A positive change in gravity during a satellite approach over Greenland, for example, tugs the lead GRACE satellite away from the trailing satellite, speeding it up and increasing the distance between the two. As the satellites straddle Greenland, the front satellite slows down and the trailing satellite speeds up. A sensitive ranging system allows researchers to measure the distance of the two satellites down to as small as 1 micron — about 1/100 the width of a human hair — and to calculate ice and water amounts from particular regions of interest around the globe using their gravity fields.

For the global glaciers and ice cap measurements, the study authors created separate “mascons,” large, ice-covered regions of Earth of various ovate-type shapes. Jacob and Wahr blanketed 20 regions of Earth with 175 mascons and calculated the estimated mass balance for each mascon.

The CU-led team also used GRACE data to calculate that the ice loss from both Greenland and Antarctica, including their peripheral ice caps and glaciers, was roughly 385 billion tons of ice annually. The total mass ice loss from Greenland, Antarctica and all Earth’s glaciers and ice caps from 2003 to 2010 was about 1,000 cubic miles, about eight times the water volume of Lake Erie, said Wahr.

“The total amount of ice lost to Earth’s oceans from 2003 to 2010 would cover the entire United States in about 1 and one-half feet of water,” said Wahr, also a fellow at the CU-headquartered Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

The vast majority of climate scientists agree that human activities like pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is warming the planet, an effect that is most pronounced in the polar regions.

One unexpected study result from GRACE was that the estimated ice loss from high Asia mountains — including ranges like the Himalaya, the Pamir and the Tien Shan — was only about 4 billion tons of ice annually. Some previous ground-based estimates of ice loss in the high Asia mountains have ranged up to 50 billion tons annually, Wahr said.

“The GRACE results in this region really were a surprise,” said Wahr. “One possible explanation is that previous estimates were based on measurements taken primarily from some of the lower, more accessible glaciers in Asia and were extrapolated to infer the behavior of higher glaciers. But unlike the lower glaciers, many of the high glaciers would still be too cold to lose mass even in the presence of atmospheric warming.”

“What is still not clear is how these rates of melt may increase and how rapidly glaciers may shrink in the coming decades,” said Pfeffer, also a professor in CU-Boulder’s civil, environmental and architectural engineering department. “That makes it hard to project into the future.”

According to the GRACE data, total sea level rise from all land-based ice on Earth including Greenland and Antarctica was roughly 1.5 millimeters per year annually or about 12 millimeters, or one-half inch, from 2003 to 2010, said Wahr. The sea rise amount does include the expansion of water due to warming, which is the second key sea-rise component and is roughly equal to melt totals, he said.

“One big question is how sea level rise is going to change in this century,” said Pfeffer. “If we could understand the physics more completely and perfect numerical models to simulate all of the processes controlling sea level — especially glacier and ice sheet changes — we would have a much better means to make predictions. But we are not quite there yet.”

###

## 143 thoughts on “IPCC's Pachauri's "voodoo science" claim comes full circle”

1. Which brings us back to this, and linked SciAm article that billions depend on glacier water was ‘hyperbole’
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/25/another-climate-fail-new-research-casts-doubt-on-doomsday-himalayan-water-shortage-predictions/
Scientific American: New Research Casts Doubt on Doomsday Water Shortage Predictions
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=research-casts-doubt-doomsday-water-shortage-predictions
extract:
“He agreed that overstatements about the impacts are rampant in the Himalayas as well, saying, “The idea that 1.4 billion people are going to be without water when the glaciers melt is just not the case.
From the Andes to the Himalayas, scientists are starting to question exactly how much glaciers contribute to river water used downstream for drinking and irrigation. The answers could turn the conventional wisdom about glacier melt on its head.
Yet, scientists complain, data are often inaccurately incorporated in dire predictions of Himalayan glacial melt impacts.
——————–
Prime Minister Gordon Brown (copenhagen time)
“In 25 years the glaciers that provide water for 3/4 of a billion people will disapear entirely”

2. Harold Ambler says:

Fluctuations in glacier size are an outstanding way to scare the hey out of people, most of whom simply don’t know that such fluctuations have taken place before and are quite normal during interglacials. Most people also don’t know what an interglacial is, of course. If they did, and thought hard about the word, and about how fortunate they are to live during such a time, they would sleep better at night. Many thanks to all who have been supporting the cause of useful information versus the cause of terror, useful information being here: http://amzn.to/xam4iF

3. Jason says:

This isn’t going to just stun scientists. This will also stun my climbing friends and acquaintances who swear that they’ve see this first hand. I can’t wait, I envision a bowl of hemlock on my next trip.

4. TFNJ says:

What is being measured in northwest india, south of the glaciers? The caption says mass loss, in cm of water. Is erosion of rocks, measured in cm of water?

5. John Marshall says:

Some people forget that Dr. Pachauri is not a scientists. He trained as a railway engineer and then obtained a PhD in economics, which is not by any means a scientific study. He cannot by any criteria be viewed as a climatologist. He also gains from any carbon trading or green energy through business connections within his family.
He is not a fit man to be chair of the IPCC.

6. Expect a full-on assault on the data!

7. D Boon says:

Same for Antarctica; loss on the peninsula, slight gain on the rest of the continent (plot on their website).

8. Although this provides yet another of Trenberth’s reverse onus tests of hypothesis, it frightens me. Global cooling, which seems to be occuring, is a “bad thing”. Global warming is a “good thing”. As those in Europe are discovering to their dismay, cold kills and kills quickly. The problem with being a skeptic is the inevitable pyrrhic victory is manifest in the type of change that will be expensive to adjust to and detrimental to humanity with or without adjustment. The example here: Glaciers grow as less snow melts and downstream water availability drops.

9. AGW_Skeptic says:

The alarmists nearly succeeded with the hoax. Consider this…
Bogus papers (pal reviewed) and the IPCC scare the populace into drastic taxes and reductions of personal freedoms. After the fraud and the penalties are enacted, reports begin to surface that the oppression is working. Taxes are saving the environment.
Look how the glaciers have been saved. Temperature rise has been averted. Severe weather events have subsided. Sea level rise has halted. More taxes and government control must continue for further improvement.
Scary how close they came to pulling it off! Long live ClimateGate.

10. Michael Reed says:

Okay, all you ice observers out there. Consider these two quotes from the Guardian article:
Prof John Wahr of the University of Colorado said: “People should be just as worried about the melting of the world’s ice as they were before.”
Bristol University glaciologist Prof Jonathan Bamber, who was not part of the research team, said: “The new data does not mean that concerns about climate change are overblown in any way.” He added: “Taken globally all the observations of the Earth’s ice – permafrost, Arctic sea ice, snow cover and glaciers – are going in the same direction.”
So what’s up with that? Is the earth’s ice melting or not. Should I be worried or not?

11. “But ther is still serious consern”
They just cannot resist minimising any good news.
Ther certainly is serious concern but it is related to the quality of climate science rather than non-melting glaciers.

12. Latimer Alder says:

Yes – even to publish such stuff must have caused much anguish at the grudina. But they managed t find a few stooges to reiterate that this shocking news did nothing to diminish concern about global warming and the usual irrelevant tosh about 1.5 billion people getting their water from rivers that start in the Himalayas
I also note that their moral courage didn’t extend so far as to invite comments under their ironically titled ‘Comment is Free’ (aka ‘Komment macht Frei) policy.

13. Also some concern about my spelling “there” “Concern”

14. David Bailey says:

I feel cautiously optimistic that papers like the guardian are willing to run stories like this. The BBC also seems to have eased its censorship a little recently.
Perhaps these news outlets can see the end of the AGW scam is close, and they need to start to change their stance!

15. rc says:

“The discovery has stunned scientists”
There we have it, climate scientists are stunned (not enlightened) when the data doesn’t match the model.
Surely they can fix the data.

16. Harriet Harridan says:

Couldn’t have anything to do with the lack of warming in the lower troposphere could it? 🙂 I think Christie and Spencer are due (several) apologies from the warmistas.

17. But, but, but … only this morning, the newspaper told me that satellites have measured sea level rises of 12mm/year due to melting ice.

18. There are no glaciers south form Ganges river, or..?

19. Cliff Maurer says:

Damian Carrington reports the NASA finding that “the contribution of melting ice outside the two largest caps – Greenland and Antarctica – is much less than previously estimated”. But the estimate of annual ice loss for Greenland and Antarctica is more than 400 cu km per year (averaged over longer than 7 years) compared with less than 200 cu km per year reported by the same source in 2008. What explains the discrepancy?

20. Rajendra Pachauri is to me a climate vampire, he sucks out all the science from a research leaving it gasping for air.

21. Alexej Buergin says:

For those who understand a little bit of german here is one of Angela Merkel’s genius-advisors, Schellen-Huber, explaining that “it is easy to calculate that the Himalaya ice will be gone by 2035”.

(Schellnhuber is the pompous, Rammsdoof the arrogant one.)

22. MarcH says:

From the Nature article: “The total contribution to sea level rise from all ice-covered
regions is thus 1.4860+/-26mmyr-1”
From the Guardian article: “His team’s study, published in the journal Nature, concludes that between 443-629bn tonnes of meltwater overall are added to the world’s oceans each year. This is raising sea level by about 1.5mm a year, the team reports, in addition to the 2mm a year caused by expansion of the warming ocean.”:
Satellite observations of sea level rise for the study period (January 2003 to December 2010) show a rise of about 14mm-or about 2mm per year (see http://sealevel.colorado.edu/).
Given the GRACE study is on the mark, this appears to indicate there has been only 3.5 mm of rise (only 0.5mm per year) that can be attributed to expansion of the ocean due to warming. In other words there has been very little warming of the ocean over this time period. Seems this is also supported by the Argo data that shows ocean warming has flat lined since the early 2000’s.
Or have I missed something?

23. MikeH says:

Get ready for all of the But, But, But.. Look at North and South America!!! Look at Iceland! That WAY overshadows the Himalayas! Right idea, wrong glacier. comments…
Not wanting to listen to the fact that documented changes in a lot of these areas has been going on for 150 years or more (Alaska for example)..
But I will ask, the banter back and forth about Greenland was that the glaciers were receding (AGW) but the icepack was getting thicker (Skeptic). Greenland is mostly neutral, loss at the northern colder area, any ideas?

24. Pete in Cumbria UK says:

It says…..
….rated over the plains south of the glaciers, and is caused by groundwater depletion. Blue re…. My bold.
Would that explain the observed and relatively trivial ‘Global Sea Level Rise’, where exactly did that groundwater go?
So, if we take away the effects of UHI and also try to remove the effects of recent (50, 60,70 years) land use changes, is there an underlying planetary cooling trend?
Do we REALLY have something to worry about?

25. Hmmm. No word on this from the hyperactive tweeter Richard Black of the BBC. No comment yet on the BBC science stories. You can bet your life that if the results had been in the alarmists favour this would have been the top story of the day…

26. Lew Skannen says:

Now that this kind of thing is appearing in the Grauniad it really must be the beginning of the end.

27. DirkH says:

The Guardian disappoints. – gavin

28. I am not sure I understand this NASA map of India.
It shows blue where there is no ice, and never was any ice.
If they are measuring the loss of ground water mass, how do we know, which data corresponds to glaciers and ice, and which data corresponds to other things?

29. brc says:

Did he ever retract the ‘voodoo science’ claim? I thought they just issued a correction and an apology for the error, not an apology for the insults to people who had actually, you know, studied the glaciers.
This story has put a rocket on the ‘climate rapid response’ teams – they’re everywhere saying ‘but yes they are still melting’.
To which the obvious question is then : maybe so, but is it co2 causing this? And is it really a problem?
As for the original modelling – you’d think that much extra meltwater might have, maybe, showed up in some rivers as extra flow?

30. Glaciers are only a water source when they lose mass. If a glacier is losing mass, there’s more water downstream. If it is growing, there’s less. And, if a glacier melts completely, what do they think happens to the precipitation that used to feed the glacier? Do they think it stops falling just because there isn’t any ice there? Idiots.

31. David Middleton says:

The total global ice mass lost from Greenland, Antarctica and Earth’s glaciers and ice caps during the study period was about 4.3 trillion tons (1,000 cubic miles), adding about 0.5 inches (12 millimeters) to global sea level. That’s enough ice to cover the United States 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) deep.

Wait a second,,, If there was 12 mm of sea level rise from ice melt from 2003-2010, then there was little or no steric sea level rise from 2003-2010. Total sea level rise over that period was only ~14 mm (slope = 2.03 for 2003-2010). If there was no significant steric sea level rise from 2003-2010, how could Trenberth’s missing heat be hiding in the ocean?

32. SayNoToFearmongers says:

Shame that the Guardian couldn’t bring itself to allow comments on the article, but the fact that they published it suggests that this sinking ship has a rapidly increasing number of large rodents missing from its roll call.

33. Steve Keohane says:

Interesting. How is Antarctica neutral when it is accruing ice? The Antarctic link claims massive loss, not on the map…but that was 2009 propaganda from the Guardian?
Had an article in the Denver Post about the Rocky Mtn. glaciers adding more ice, 11/1/11. The Denver Post says that article no longer exists. They must be picking up the pace on processing history, keeping it up to date and all. Here is a cached page link:
http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=%2bDenver+Post%2c+%2bglaciers%2c+%2bRocky+Mountains&d=4655392801754912&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=c9a1a289,be1a68ca

34. Voodo is misspelled.
It should be voodoo

35. Michael Reed says:

Bamber says: “Taken globally all the observations of the Earth’s ice – permafrost, Arctic sea ice, snow cover and glaciers – are going in the same direction.”
He doesn’t mention Antarctica. Is this an intentional omission by another scaremonger? I thought most of Earth’s ice mass was in Antarctica, which has been increasing. This would offset supposed losses in the Himalayas and elsewhere, wouldn’t it?

36. John Brookes says:

I presume corrections have been made for the Himalaya’s still pushing up.

37. DirkH says:

Alexej Buergin says:
February 9, 2012 at 4:39 am
“For those who understand a little bit of german here is one of Angela Merkel’s genius-advisors, Schellen-Huber, explaining that “it is easy to calculate that the Himalaya ice will be gone by 2035″.”
Wonderful, thanks! After I have seen the according page in the IPCC AR4,
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch10s10-6-2.html
it was indeed very easy to calculate that they completely botched their prediction. But hey, I’m only a humble programmer, not a quantum physicist like mastermind Schellnhuber!
Are all quantum physicists unable to do simple arithmetic?

38. richard verney says:

Robert Wille says:
February 9, 2012 at 5:35 am
/////////////////////////////////////////
Glaciers impede water flow. They act as water storage devices. If the glacier was not there, the glacial basin would become a river basin and providing that rainfall patterns were not altered, there would be greater amounts of water down stream, mot less.
Rainfall patterns are unlikely to be altered significally since they more often than not are the consquence of the interaction between geological features such as mountain ranges and their position relative to the oceans which geographical features do not change over time (by which I mean human measurements of time as opposed to geological time).

39. richard verney says:

David Middleton says:
February 9, 2012 at 5:46 am
/////////////////////////////////////
They can’t have it both ways.
This is always a problem when examining data and explains why AGW proponenets do not like a detailled examination of the data; it frequently leads to inconsistencies with their position which undermines their ‘cuase’..

40. Roger Knights says:

David Middleton says:
February 9, 2012 at 5:46 am
If there was no significant steric sea level rise from 2003-2010, how could Trenberth’s missing heat be hiding in the ocean?

Good catch.

41. richard verney says:

The claim with respect to the Himalayan Glaciers melting was always rediculous. Given the sheer volume of ice and their altitude (think adiabatic lapse) and the prevailing temperatures, there is no possibility that these glaciers could disappear in thousands of years. Claims of hundreds of years is stupid, claims measured in decades boarders on the insane. What concerns me most is that the claims were so patently flawed, how could any scientist reading the claim not have picked up on how rediculous and hence flawed the claim was. It beggars belief that it could have found its way into the final version of the IPPC report. The fact that this claim was re-itterated by politicians demonstrates what little grasp they have on reality. This may explain why Gordon Brown was so financially inept, it would appear that he has no practical grasp of numbers.
The scientists who backed the claim do not appear to have given consideration as to the mechanism required to melt such a huge volume of ice. EG:
(i) Was it supposed to be temperature driven, if so what were the prevailing temperatures, how had these changed over time and are they predominantly below the freezing point of water? If the prevailing temperatures are predominantly below freezing point, they could not drive (or at any rate not quicly drive) glacial melt.
(ii) Was it directly due to increasing levels of DWLWIR brought about by increasing levels of GHGs in the atmosphere. If so, does ice absorb DWLWIR, or does it reflect it? If ice absorbs little DWLWIR and mainly reflects it then increasing levels of DWLWIR could not drive the glacial melt.
(iii) How much energy is required to melt the glacial volume of ice, and where is that energy coming from?
To me, none of this appears to have been well thought through. How people jumped on the bandwagon of this particular claim demonstrates the stupidity of man and what mass hysteria can do for cognitive thinking.

42. GregS says:

Whenever you read about GRACE and diminishing ice, look for the word Sublimation. Look hard because you will never find it in the press. Sublimation is the process of transition of a substance from the solid phase to the gas phase without passing through an intermediate liquid phase. We all know it as “freezer burn”. It is why your hamburger “dries out” in the freezer if you do not seal it properly.
The significant amount of Arctic and Antarctic ice loss is because of sublimation, not melting, and is more indicative of regional drying than regional melting.
The irony is that a warmer world is wetter world and we can therefore expect more ice in the Antarctic and Greenland interiors – thus lowering, not raising see-level.

43. Anyone else notice that Antarctica isn’t losing any ice, not that we didn’t know that already?

44. David says:

David Middleton says:
February 9, 2012 at 5:46 am
The total global ice mass lost from Greenland, Antarctica and Earth’s glaciers and ice caps during the study period was about 4.3 trillion tons (1,000 cubic miles), adding about 0.5 inches (12 millimeters) to global sea level. That’s enough ice to cover the United States 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) deep.
Wait a second,,, If there was 12 mm of sea level rise from ice melt from 2003-2010, then there was little or no steric sea level rise from 2003-2010. Total sea level rise over that period was only ~14 mm (slope = 2.03 for 2003-2010). If there was no significant steric sea level rise from 2003-2010, how could Trenberth’s missing heat be hiding in the ocean?
==============================================
David, climate science papers are not teleconnected, so what happens in one is not relevant to another. Also, data from models, being more important the observations, trumps observations.
Besides, this is from Grace gravity readings, and by the time their models predict how much mantel is being condensed into the increasing mountains, they will adjust the data and proclaim that the 2035 date for glacial loss is correct after all.

45. Capell says:

Hang on a second!
Just a few weeks ago we were discussing Hansen’s paper:
Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/29/hansens-sea-shell-game/#more-55615
In that he cites the Antarctic and Greenland ice mass changes reported in a paper from Velicogna on Grace data: Increasing rates of ice mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets revealed by GRACE (GRL 2009)
This paper reports:
“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.
Hansen takes their analysis further and claims “5-year and 10-year mass loss doubling times.”.
And here we are, a few months later, and it’s all change!

46. John says:

Not a fan of these map projections – even the Miller Cylindrical show – they exaggerate the polar areas.

47. CodeTech says:

Personally I’m aghast that a mainstream publication such as The Guardian would publish something that says “less then”. Apparently they’re not much into proof reading.
This again reminds me of the gnashing and wailing we heard in Calgary some years back. Apparently someone noticed that most of our drinking water comes from glaciers, and the glaciers are shrinking. Their conclusion was that we should use less water…

48. Steve from Rockwood says:

Grace does not measure ice thickness loss in cm or water loss in mm. Some scientist at NASA has run the measurements through a model.
It’s interesting to compare the position of the Grace anomalies relative to the edges of the tectonic plates. Why so many larger anomalies at these boundaries? Is this where ice accumulates?

49. SasjaL says:

Some things just “are”!
Mother Earth is constantly changing her dress. Don’t like fashion – tough luck!

50. tommoriarty says:

I find the last image (GRACE map of mass change for the Indian Subcontinent) to be the most interesting.
Here’s why…
The image shows a nice contrast between mass gain in the Himalayas and the much greater mass loss on the plains due to ground water extraction for irrigation purposes. That mass loss on the plains translates into sea level rise, because that water eventually makes it to the ocean. The ground water extraction is not a function of global warming, yet it raises the oceans.
There is another phenomenon that affects the sea level and is not a function of global warming. Water that is stored in artificial reservoirs lowers the sea level because that water would otherwise move to the oceans.
So, ground water extraction and artificial reservoir storage are the opposite sides of the same coin.
Vermeer and Rahmstorf (PNAS, 2009) reasoned that a model equating global temperature to sea level rise rate should have a correction for water storage in artificial reservoirs because it is not really a function of global warming. Providing such a correction causes sea level rise projections to be higher. However, they did not provide a correction for ground water extraction, which would make sea level rise projections lower.
It turns out that the two effects are of the same order of magnitude. By some estimates the ground water extraction (which Vermeer and Rahmstorf did not correct for) is larger than the artificial reservoir correction (which they did correct for).
This is not a small matter. Adding a correction for ground water extraction to their model makes a huge difference to the resulting sea level rise projections. For some reason Vermeer and Rahmstorf have not gotten around to publishing this effect. (Maybe it’s because it greatly lowers their projections. Just sayin’.) But I have incorporated the correction into their model and you can see the results here …
http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/rahmstorf-2009-part-9-applying-three-corrections/
and here…
http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/rahmstorf-2009-off-the-mark-again-part-10-sea-level-projections-exaggerated-by-factor-of-2/

51. ferd berple says:

Is it simply a co-incidence that the place where there is major ice loss is the geographic north pole? Given the rapid changes in earth’s magnetic field of late, doesn’t this give weight to the theory that magnetic fields play a large role in climate?

52. Birdieshooter says:

GregS says..”.The significant amount of Arctic and Antarctic ice loss is because of sublimation, not melting, and is more indicative of regional drying than regional melting.”
A few days ago a study in AMS found a reduction of relative humidity of .5 or so in North America. It was featured here . Can someone tie the two concepts together or is there no connection not just the location but can the AMS finding be extrapolated to other regions of the world ?

53. Alexej Buergin says:

“CodeTech says:
February 9, 2012 at 7:13 am
Personally I’m aghast that a mainstream publication such as The Guardian would publish something that says “less then”.”
That is a long tradition of the intellectual left and is the reason the paper is officially called the Grauniad.

54. Sorry, my comment above shows I didn’t read the caption carefully enough. Scatch that.

55. ferd berple says:

David Middleton says:
February 9, 2012 at 5:46 am
If there was no significant steric sea level rise from 2003-2010, how could Trenberth’s missing heat be hiding in the ocean?
Because the models predict it must be there and like all oracles, they are infallible. The error is in the humans that interpret the results.

56. Theo Goodwin says:

Barry Woods says:
February 9, 2012 at 3:06 am
“extract:
“He agreed that overstatements about the impacts are rampant in the Himalayas as well, saying, “The idea that 1.4 billion people are going to be without water when the glaciers melt is just not the case.
From the Andes to the Himalayas, scientists are starting to question exactly how much glaciers contribute to river water used downstream for drinking and irrigation. The answers could turn the conventional wisdom about glacier melt on its head.”
This is truly mind boggling. Not even the proverbial man in the street could possibly understand how anyone, much less peer reviewed scientists and journals, could imagine that glacier runoff provided water for large numbers of people. You would have to be entirely ignorant of glacier fed rivers to make such a claim. You would have to be someone who had never visited the source of glacier fed rivers. If you had actually seen the river, you would surely realize that the part of it that is glacier fed is tiny in comparison to lower parts of the river. The only possible conclusion is that the claim was created entirely for the purpose of scare mongering and had nothing to do with science. Everyone associated with such claims, journal editors included, should be reprimanded for allowing such claims to see the light of day.

57. Kelvin Vaughan says:

AGW_Skeptic says:
February 9, 2012 at 3:50 am
Scary how close they came to pulling it off! Long live ClimateGate.
Apart from the fact CO2 carries on its steady upward march despite all their efforts.

58. michael hart says:

John Brookes says:
February 9, 2012 at 6:16 am
“I presume corrections have been made for the Himalaya’s still pushing up.”
A fair question, John. There is nothing wrong with being sceptical.
I also presume that if this turns out to be correct somebody will correct the Wikipedia entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayas#cite_note-8
which states:
“In recent years, scientists have monitored a notable increase in the rate of glacier retreat across the region as a result of global climate change.”

59. Richard says:

I rather suspect that it is cold salt that is hiding in the oceans deeps, not Trenberth’s heat!

60. steveta_uk says:

But but but, what if Patchy was right?
On January 8 2035, Near-Earth object 2002 AY1 will make a close approach to Earth. What if it hits the Himalayas instead? And MELTS THEM!!!!!
Then who’ll be looking silly?

61. Smokey says:

Kelvin Vaughan says:
“Apart from the fact CO2 carries on its steady upward march despite all their efforts.”
But temperatures are not following, as endlessly predicted. Which makes CO2 unimportant. Worrying about an ineffective trace gas comprising only 0.00039 of the air is a waste of energy, and spending any more public money on it is misappropriation of public funds. If CO2 goes way, way up to 0.00049 of the air, it is still a tiny trace gas.

62. What I thought was illuminating was the way they estimated ice loss/sea level rise prior to the satellites. …..

The reason for the radical reappraisal of ice melting in Asia is the different ways in which the current and previous studies were conducted. Until now, estimates of meltwater loss for all the world’s 200,000 glaciers were based on extrapolations of data from a few hundred monitored on the ground. Those glaciers at lower altitudes are much easier for scientists to get to and so were more frequently included, but they were also more prone to melting.
The bias was particularly strong in Asia, said Wahr: “There extrapolation is really tough as only a handful of lower-altitude glaciers are monitored and there are thousands there very high up.”

This is facepalm stuff of epic proportions. The moronic dire predictions of us drowning were because glaciers were extrapolated from low altitude melting glaciers. Because it was “really tough” to extrapolate from the higher altitude non-melting glaciers. I wrote about this yesterday…… Yes. Yes, They Really Are That Dumb!

63. Ian W says:

Michael Reed says:
February 9, 2012 at 3:52 am
Okay, all you ice observers out there. Consider these two quotes from the Guardian article:
Prof John Wahr of the University of Colorado said: “People should be just as worried about the melting of the world’s ice as they were before.”
Bristol University glaciologist Prof Jonathan Bamber, who was not part of the research team, said: “The new data does not mean that concerns about climate change are overblown in any way.” He added: “Taken globally all the observations of the Earth’s ice – permafrost, Arctic sea ice, snow cover and glaciers – are going in the same direction.”
So what’s up with that? Is the earth’s ice melting or not. Should I be worried or not?

You should not be so worried as the quoted scientists who are terrified at their potential loss of funding; therefore they have to keep up the incantations of their mantra.

64. Robin Hewitt says:

So the science was good after all, the mistake was a mere typo, 2035 instead of 2350. Not quite how I remember it but I suppose it’s now passed peer review and become Gospel truth.

65. Latitude says:

James Sexton says:
February 9, 2012 at 8:21 am
What I thought was illuminating was the way they estimated ice loss/sea level rise prior to the satellites. …..
==============================================
That too….and the fact that satellite measurements of sea level are a total crock….
People argue over the adjustments made to satellite measurements….
the data the comes out of the satellites
..and don’t go back far enough on the data to realize even the satellites were adjusted to show sea level rise

66. A physicist says:

It is surprising to see a WUWT post step directly into a power-packedl warmist “gotcha”. Specifically, it is easy for folks to assume (from Anthony’s post) that Antarctica and Greenland are showing *no* ice-mass loss. Cuz look, those polar-regions are plotted all-white, right?
Wrong. The GRACE satellite data vividly show rapidly accelerating ice-mass in both Antarctica and Greenland …the NASA graphic that Anthony posted simply omits to color them (to be sure, NASA’s caption does state this … but that caption is mighty easy to overlook).
So to the extent that WUWT skeptics accept the ice-mass loss that Anthony is showing, isn’t it ture that WUWT skeptics are setting themselves up to be “hoisted by their own petard” in accepting satellite validation of James Hansen’s predictions?
Cuz those are NASA’s GRACE satellite numbers. And James Hansen and his colleagues are betting “all-in” that these NASA numbers are right.

67. Steve Keohane says:

tommoriarty says: February 9, 2012 at 7:32 am
Good perception. A few years ago I took the UN figures, questionable I know, for irrigation and calculated if all of that water went into the oceans, it would increase sea level 2.2 mm/year. Between irrigation, ‘warming’ ocean’s and ‘melting’ glaciers, where is the signal for catastrophe, ie. the sudden increase in rising sea level rate?

68. jack morrow says:

Kelvin Vaughan says at 7:57am
Real scary, and they aren’t finished with their schemes to get money from any one or any country. Until we rid ourselves of these kind of people ,we will continually be faced with some sort of assault on our freedoms. The UN-a good idea- hijacked.

69. tegiri nenashi says:

This blue spot over Patagonia is puzzling. There was a Globe Trekker episode where the host (Justin Shapiro) told that “this is one of the *few* glaciers in the world which is actually growing”. The show is dated 5-10 years ago — just at the time Grace measurement started. Which is perfectly reasonable: it grows sometimes, then it shrinks.

70. Fred from Canuckistan says:

The Gore legacy preserved for all times via Youtube

71. pat says:

This is the same University of Colorado laboratory that claimed the sea level was rising but we could not measure it because the continents and large islands were rising also because of mass loss of ice. Hmmmm. I bet it is a bit frosty around the water cooler.

72. Peter Miller says:

So if it wasn’t for the soot factor, glaciers would probably be growing right now.
As Al Gore says, “this is an inconvenient fact”.

73. Louis says:

“The GRACE results in this region really were a surprise,” said Wahr, who is also a fellow at the University of Colorado-headquartered Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. “One possible explanation is that previous estimates were based on measurements taken primarily from some of the lower, more accessible glaciers in Asia and extrapolated to infer the behavior of higher glaciers. But unlike the lower glaciers, most of the high glaciers are located in very cold environments and require greater amounts of atmospheric warming before local temperatures rise enough to cause significant melting. This makes it difficult to use low-elevation, ground-based measurements to estimate results from the entire system.”

High glaciers are located in colder environments than lower glaciers? Really? How long has it taken these “climate scientists” to discover that inconvenient fact? Are they really that stupid, or is it that they thought WE were that stupid? Mark this down as another example of “scientists” willing to lie (or at least exaggerate) for the “cause”.

74. John from CA says:

I wonder if Al Gore saw this. Certainly makes his trip to Antarctica to film the ice minimum look pretty silly — not that it wasn’t silly to begin with.

75. pat says:

Can’t fund much of this is American papers. Not apparent in the LA Times, Denver Post, or the NY Post. Surprise! But the most widely read paper in America is, ironically enough, The Daily Mail, and it is prominent there as well as Drudge.

76. Mark in Los Alamos says:

There seems to be a bit of a problem with this work. During the period that this analysis covers, from 2003 to 2010, Lake Mead in Nevada, with an area of 640 sq km, lost over 12 METERS of height. That’s over 1200 cm of water equivalent height. Despite this huge change in the local water mass, a change that absolutely dwarfs all of the other changes plotted on these charts, Lake Mead doesn’t show up. Lake Mead isn’t even a tiny blip. Not all is right here.

77. corporate message says:

Michael Reed says:
February 9, 2012 at 3:52 am
“Okay, all you ice observers out there. Consider these two quotes from the Guardian article:
Prof John Wahr of the University of Colorado said: “People should be just as worried about the melting of the world’s ice as they were before.”
**********************************************************************************************************************
Means that if they were not worried, then they can comfortably stay that way.
**********************************************************************************************************************
Michael Reed says:
Okay, all you ice observers out there. Consider these two quotes from the Guardian article:
“Bristol University glaciologist Prof Jonathan Bamber, who was not part of the research team, said: ‘The new data does not mean that concerns about climate change are overblown in any way.’ He added: ‘Taken globally all the observations of the Earth’s ice – permafrost, Arctic sea ice, snow cover and glaciers – are going in the same direction.’
************************************************************************************************************************
Means concern over the attempted takeover by climate change-mongers, is not overblown, and that the rest of the ice is doing just as the new study shows for the Himalayan glaciers – all the ice is doing the same thing, Bamber says, in light of the new study !

78. David Middleton says:

One of the most prolific authors on GRACE has been Dr. Isabella Velicogna, UC Irvine. Back in 2009 Dr. Velicogna published this paper in GRL:
Increasing rates of ice mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets revealed by GRACE
Dr. Velicogna concluded that the ice mass-loss was “accelerating with time.” She found that “in Antarctica the mass loss increased from 104 Gt/yr in 2002–2006 to 246 Gt/yr in 2006–2009.”
Since the launch of GRACE, Dr. Velicogna has participated in several papers on GRACE and ice mass loss estimates for Antarctic and Greenland. Each paper has presented a more dire situation than the previous one, yet GRACE has not actually measured a significant ice mass loss in Antarctica. The actual GRACE measurements indicate a net mass gain (44 ±20 Gt/yr) from October 2003 through February 2007.
Total Mass Difference: TMD = Actual GRACE measurements. TMD – IJ05 and TMD – ICE5G = GRACE measurements adjusted for GIA (Riva et al., 2007).
Furthermore, the GIA-adjusted Total Mass Differences (TMD) from the TU Delft publication are significantly lower than those of Velicogna 2009.
GIA is the abbreviation for “glacial isostatic adjustment,” sometimes referred to as post-glacial rebound (PGR). The areas of the Earth’s crust that were covered by thick ice sheets during the last glacial maximum were depressed by the ice mass. As the ice sheets have retreated over the last 15-20,000 years, the crust has rebounded (risen) in those areas. So, the GRACE measurements have to be adjusted for GIA. The problem is that no one really knows what the GIA rate actually is. This is particularly true for Antarctica.
Riva et al., 2007 concluded that the ice mass-loss rate in Antarctica from 2002-2007 could have been anywhere from zero-point-zero Gt/yr up to 120 Gt/yr. Dr. Riva recently co-authored a paper in GRL (Thomas et al., 2011) which concluded that GPS observations suggest “that modeled or empirical GIA uplift signals are often over-estimated” and that “the spatial pattern of secular ice mass change derived from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data and GIA models may be unreliable, and that several recent secular Antarctic ice mass loss estimates are systematically biased, mainly too high.” (I don’t have access to the full text of Thomas et al., 2011, just the abstract).
So, there’s no evidence that the Antarctic ice sheets have experienced any significant ice mass-loss since GRACE has been flying. The GIA has generally been as large or larger than the asserted ice mass-loss.

79. 1DandyTroll says:

And how much water is taken from the oceans and lakes and deposited on the glaciers every year?

80. Jimbo says:

The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.

You see belief is the problem. I too do believe ;>) that too many warmists simply believe without checking first. They simply believe what the scientists believe. Belief has no place in scientific observations.
Now over to the Guardian comments section……………………………………………….Oh, I see no comments allowed for this story. I wonder why? ;>)

81. Jimbo says:

Further to my last comment, comments have appeared under different journalists covering the same story. It’ll be a hoot to read.

82. I know how GRACE works and I have issues with the idea GRACE can detect ice/water mass changes verses any other change in mass. The assumptions underlying these claims are on thin ice – pun intended.
GRACE is a very simple and very cool instrument. It is made up of two satellites in the same orbit a measured distance apart in a polar low earth orbit. These two satellites know their orbital position to extreme precision due to on-board and differential GPS. Their on-board clocks are tightly synchronized together as well.
Between the two satellites an RF signal is transmitted back and forth with time signals on it. These measure the distance between the satellites to an incredible precision (can’t recall it off the top of my head, but I think it is in the sub mm range). When the first satellite begins to go over an area of greater mass it is pulled ahead slightly, expanding the distance between the 2 birds. When it pass over the spot it is slowed down and the distance shrinks back to where it was. The trailing satellite does the same thing (which is why it takes a while to work out which one is being effected, and if both are how to distinguish the mass under one verses the other).
After you do this many times you get a nice picture of the lows and highs of the mass under the birds – which is of course the surface of the earth. Oceans will be very different than continents, mountains different from plains, etc.
So when GRACE says the mass has changed over time, it means all the mass under that spot in orbit – all the way to the core.
I can pull out my picture of the crust verses the rest of the planet’s mass again and point out that the amount of ice sitting on top all the molten iron, magma, crust, etc is a miniscule amount -but why belabor the point. GRACE only knows the mass changed – not WHY.
It is a huge jump in logic to say the blue is due to ice and not magma pockets or some collapsed pocket somewhere. I would love to know how they can be sure the mass change is related to water?

83. richcar 1225 says:

To claim 3.5 mm/yr of sea level rise over the study period is simply not true. The drop in SLR since 1998 is the single biggest example of ‘hide the decline’ by AGW proponents. None of the government sea level sites (CU,Aviso,Ciro) plot SLR but rather graph global mean sea level vs time. The only SLR plots revealed are detrended. The only site I have found that plots a 12 month ruining average of SLR vs time is Climate For You. http://www.climate4you.com/index.htm
It reveals that SLR has dropped from an 12 month average of 4 mm/yr in 1998 to near zero today.
This graph simply destroys AGW in my opinion and therefore easy to see why it cannot be found easily.

84. Latitude says:
February 9, 2012 at 8:34 am
James Sexton says:
February 9, 2012 at 8:21 am
What I thought was illuminating was the way they estimated ice loss/sea level rise prior to the satellites. …..
==============================================
That too….and the fact that satellite measurements of sea level are a total crock….
People argue over the adjustments made to satellite measurements….
the data the comes out of the satellites
..and don’t go back far enough on the data to realize even the satellites were adjusted to show sea level rise
==========================================================
I think this stems from the fact that critical thinking is no longer taught in our school systems. From the land based observations, we were told the sea levels were raising ~3 mm/yr. And so the satellites were adjusted to show this. Looking back at the physical gauges, there isn’t any indication that the asserted 3mm/yr was correct.

85. why do p[eople never quote the error bars? The Himalya figures are 4 gT per year +/-20 gT!
So the glaciers could have reduced by 24 gT or gained 16 gT! That is an extraordinarily wide estimate of what is happening!

86. K Denison says:

I particularly love this part:
“Study also shows Greenland, Antarctica and global glaciers and ice caps lost roughly 8 times the volume of Lake Erie from 2003-2010”
Note the careful choice of Lake Erie (the shallowest of the Great Lakes by far) for comparison… guess it just wouldn’t sound as alarming had they said, instead,
“… lost roughly 1/3 the volume of Lake Superior from 2003-2010.”

87. Anything is possible says:

AJStrata says:
February 9, 2012 at 10:15 am
Well said Sir! (or Madam).
To emphasise your point further, the cryosphere is, at most, 5Km. thick. The Earth beneath our feet extends 6,378.1 Km to the Earth’s core. What we actually know about that 6,378.1 Km could be written on the back of a (very small) postage stamp.

88. Jason Calley says:

@ richard verney
“It beggars belief that it could have found its way into the final version of the IPPC (sic) report. The fact that this claim was re-itterated by politicians demonstrates what little grasp they have on reality. This may explain why Gordon Brown was so financially inept, it would appear that he has no practical grasp of numbers.”
Richard, you are exactly correct when you say “it beggars belief.” Pardon me if I sound a bit pedantic here as I point out a few things that you doubtless already know. Rather obviously, the IPCC is a political organization; its decisions and the reports which it generates are based on political considerations and done by politicians posing as scientists. Gordon Brown, even more obviously, is a politician, not a scientist, and bases his decisions and actions on political factors as well. Upper level politicians are such consummate liars that we have whole families of jokes based on the proposition. They are not concerned about public welfare, they are concerned about power. They are sick. They are psychotic. They are power addicts. The only reason why they attain and hold such power is because we little John and Jane Does believe them when they lie to us. They are not particularly smart, not particularly wise, not particularly numerate; they are simply VERY good liars. They are the best liars in the world, the most subtle, the most convincing, the very upper, upper, upper, Olympic class liars the human race has created. One measure of how good they are at deceit is that even though we make jokes (all over the world, in every language, in every country) about how dishonest they are, the fact is that when they produce a mega-lie on the order of the IPCC report or the CAGW hoax in general, we continue to be stunned and surprised. We honest, average citizens continue to respond with “it beggars belief!”, and it does. It does beggar belief, every time, the things they do, and yet… and yet we fall for their lies over and over. We do not sem to learn from past experiences. These fraudsters are like a virus which infects the body politic, and we just never seem to develop antibodies against them. It beggars belief. I have hope that the growth of information technology and the decentralization of information access will help us more quickly recognize these liars in the future.

89. Dave Wendt says:

Once again these guys attempt to exploit the average human’s inability to deal with large numbers to try to maintain a sense of impending doom in the population. Gigatons of ice are disappearing! Very scary! Except of course that those seemingly giant numbers are actually at or below the round off error of our ability to measure the annual flux of ice and snow which has been occurring for thousands of years. Just the max-min flux in sea ice in the polar regions amounts to 25 million km2 or more every year. Then there is the land based snow cover that comes and goes seasonally, for which i don’t have a good number to hand at the moment, but I do know that just to get my not too large driveway usable after one middling snow storm involves moving several tons of the stuff. Then there is all the ice locked up in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland, which the map above suggests aren’t going anywhere at the moment, whose mass dwarfs the annual flux. And in the end all of it is, relative to the mass of the waters of the oceans of the world, a relative flyspeck.
Of course all of the above disregards the real fundamental issue, which is that ice and snow have never been the friends of humanity, and if in fact they are declining a bit, that is probably something that we should celebrating not trembling in fear in the face of.

90. A physicist says:

TomB asks: Is this the same GRACE satellite that is used to make claims of catastrophic sea level rise?

TomB, the short answer is “yes”.
Moreover, high-precision GRACE gravimetry plays a key role in James Hansen’s Seven Key Predictions of Warmism.
That is why I am impressed that Anthony is praising the GRACE data here on WUWT. Evidently rational skeptics *do* appreciate that (1) Hansen’s CAGW scenario may be correct, and (2) if so, high-precision data from NASA satellites like GRACE will provide humanity with a vital early warning.

91. Steve from Rockwood says:

AJStrata says:
February 9, 2012 at 10:15 am

It is a huge jump in logic to say the blue is due to ice and not magma pockets or some collapsed pocket somewhere. I would love to know how they can be sure the mass change is related to water?

Very nicely said AJStrata. You would think NASA has written an extensive paper answering your excellent question. They probably assume water is the only thing that moves over a short period of time. Moving magma would be a problem. Collapsing pockets more likely a one-time event.

92. John F. Hultquist says:

Steve from Rockwood says:
February 9, 2012 at 7:24 am
. . . “Why so many larger anomalies at these boundaries? Is this where ice accumulates?

All plate boundaries are not created equal. Those where two plates come together (convergent plate boundaries) tend to cause an increase in elevation. High elevations are colder. Colder leads to snow, and snow to ice.

93. Dave Wendt says:

Another thing to keep in mind when looking at that nice map of the GRACE data is the perceptual distortion created by map projections. That large blob of purple and blue in the Canadian archipelago dominates the map, but bear in mind that in reality Greenland is only about a quarter of the area of the Lower 48 States of the US or Australia

94. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

A physicist said on February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm (with formatting errors):

That is why I am impressed that Anthony is praising the GRACE data here on WUWT. Evidently rational skeptics *do* appreciate that (1) Hansen’s CAGW scenario may be correct, and (2) if so, high-precision data from NASA satellites like GRACE will provide humanity with a vital early warning.

My oh my, you live in an interesting world. Next thing, Anthony will post a piece praising the benefits of a convection oven for cooking a pork roast using less electricity, and you’ll say rational skeptics *do* believe that Greenpeace and WWF may be correct in that going full-Vegan is best for all of humanity, and that convection ovens will provide humanity a vital tool for roasting tofurkey.
Thanks for the comment from the alternate universe where you normally reside. Best of luck there, hope the weather stays warm.

95. And now Reverend “A physicist” will read from the “Book of Hansen”

96. Charles.U.Farley says:

Intriguing.
Theyre stunned that their blind faith and upside downsy “science” techniques didnt correctly stack up.
Heres a clue for them: G.I.G.O.
And now theyre being found out, hopefully never to pollute ( i like that word) the sciences with their particular brand of hokum ever again.
In reality, they should all be heavily prosecuted for what theyve done.
Obtaining funds via deception being the main one.
Rico rico rico!

97. Billy Liar says:

AJStrata says:
February 9, 2012 at 10:15 am
If you wanted thoroughly to confuse yourself you would perhaps launch two satellites that closely follow each other in orbit and measure precisely the real-time variations of the distance between them.
Since the distance measured can be affected by numerous variables which alter the gravity field in which the satellites move, you could could have giga-hours of endless fun trying work out which one is having the dominant effect at any point in time.
You could, for example, assume that any negative changes in the gravity field over areas of forest (eg the Amazon) are due to the effects of logging.
You could also have endless fun over the oceans looking for relatively long term changes in surface atmospheric pressure which causes a 1cm water-equivalent change in gravity for every 1mb change in mean surface pressure.
Of course, everyone knows that there are no changes anywhere else on earth or in the heavens other than in the very thin shell that is the surface of the earth where man operates. /sarc

98. Dave Wendt says:

A physicist says:
February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm
“TomB asks: Is this the same GRACE satellite that is used to make claims of catastrophic sea level rise?
TomB, the short answer is “yes”.
Moreover, high-precision GRACE gravimetry plays a key role in James Hansen’s Seven Key Predictions of Warmism.”
Let’s see
A1/P1 Satellite altimeters will affirm the prediction of accelerating sea-level rise, and
A2/P2 Satellite gravitometry will affirm the prediction of accelerating ice-mass loss, and
A3/P3 Satellite photography will affirm Arctic ice-cap loss and polward biome migration,
A4/P4 Satellite radiometry (solar) will affirm the prediction of stable solar output, and
A5/P5 Satellite radiometry (terrestrial) will affirm the prediction of radiative energy imbalance, and
A6/P6 Satellite telemetry (from ARGO) will affirm the prediction of warming oceans, and
A7/P7 Satellite spectrophotometry will affirm the prediction of a warming particle-laden atmosphere.
In a world where anything is “possible” I must admit the possibility that satellites “will affirm” this list, but other than No. 4 I’d have to suggest that the rest have been pretty much a miss so far.

99. A physicist says:

A physicist says: That is why I am impressed that Anthony is praising the GRACE data here on WUWT. Evidently rational skeptics *do* appreciate that (1) Hansen’s CAGW scenario may be correct, and (2) if so, high-precision data from NASA satellites like GRACE will provide humanity with a vital early warning.

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: My oh my, you live in an interesting world. Next thing, Anthony will post a piece praising the benefits of a convection oven for cooking a pork roast using less electricity, and you’ll say rational skeptics *do* believe that Greenpeace and WWF may be correct in that going full-Vegan is best for all of humanity, and that convection ovens will provide humanity a vital tool for roasting tofurkey.
Thanks for the comment from the alternate universe where you normally reside. Best of luck there, hope the weather stays warm.

Kadaka, hank you for the correction!  🙂
To parse the argument carefully between strong science and strong skepticism:
The strong science position: Ninety-seven percent of climatologists advocate strong science AGW: there is a substantial probability that Hansen-style predictions of CAGW are correct …
…nbsp; and yet, only the most irrational scientists are certain that the CAGW probability is greater than (say) 80%.
The strong skepticism position: AGW skeptics advocate the strong skepticism view: there is a substantial probability that Hansen-style predictions of CAGW are incorrect …
…nbsp; and yet, only the most irrational skeptics are certain that the CAGW probability is less than (say) 20%.
The outstanding merit of GRACE (and similar research programs) is that by the end of the next solar cycle (say in 15-20 years), when we check Hansen’s “Big Seven” predictions, humanity will have a much more solid idea who’s right.

100. MrX says:

Am I to believe the scientists? Or the consensus? It’s so confusing. /sarc

101. Steve from Rockwood says:

John F. Hultquist says:

February 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm
Steve from Rockwood says:
February 9, 2012 at 7:24 am
. . . “Why so many larger anomalies at these boundaries? Is this where ice accumulates?
All plate boundaries are not created equal. Those where two plates come together (convergent plate boundaries) tend to cause an increase in elevation. High elevations are colder. Colder leads to snow, and snow to ice.

John, the anomalies seem to be most frequent along convergent zones (western coast of North and South America) and divergent zones (the mid-Atlantic ridge). Grace measures gravity but the experts at NASA are looking at changes in gravity over a very short period of time. Plus the “foot-print” of the anomalies seems a lot larger than what would be expected for discrete glaciers. I doubt these anomalies are water but more likely due to something deeper within the crust.

102. KR says:

The actual article is here: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10847.html
Himalaya and Karakoram, according to the GRACE satellites, lost ice at a rate of -5 ± 6 Gt yr−1 since 2002.
Total −536 ± 93 Gt yr−1
GICs* excl. Greenland and Antarctica PGICs** −148 ± 30 Gt yr−1
Antarctica + Greenland ice sheet and PGICs −384 ± 71 Gt yr−1
Total contribution to SLR 1.48 ± 0.26 mm yr−1 ***
SLR due to GICs excl. Greenland and Antarctica PGICs 0.41 ± 0.08 mm yr−1
SLR due to Antarctica + Greenland ice sheet and PGICs 1.06 ± 0.19 mm yr−1
* Glaciers/Ice caps
** Peripheral GICs
*** …agrees well with independent estimates of sea level rise originating from land ice loss and other terrestrial sources

103. jollygreenwatchman says:

Never mind the water and ice side of things, I for one would love to see a time-lapse of the grinding down of mountains and carving out of valleys etc by the bull-dozing effect of the advance / melt/retreat / advance again of the glacier cycle. How much rock are those things breaking off and tearing out then pulverising into smaller pieces and pushing/carrying downhill to the plains and oceans ?!
Oh noes, rocks displace water … it’s worse than we thought !

104. Dave Wendt says:

KR says:
February 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm
So, in case they’re actually right, about 5-7 inches per century?

105. DirkH says:

A physicist says:
February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm
“Moreover, high-precision GRACE gravimetry plays a key role in James Hansen’s Seven Key Predictions of Warmism.”
Yawn. Next he’ll predict a tropospheric hotspot. You know what happens when a warmist’s prediction is falsified by observations. He has a Colorado con artist write a paper that expands the error bars so much that the observation suddenly confirms the prediction.

106. DirkH says:

A physicist says:
February 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm
“The strong science position: Ninety-seven percent of climatologists advocate strong science AGW: there is a substantial probability that Hansen-style predictions of CAGW are correct …”
That’s 72 climate scientists out of a population of 75 who answered the e-mail survey, to be specific. We wanna be scientific, don’t we.

107. DirkH says:

A physicist says:
February 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm
“…nbsp; and yet, only the most irrational skeptics are certain that the CAGW probability is less than (say) 20%.”
Can I have an error bar with that number. BTW, 100% of self-proclaimed physicists are off their meds again today.

108. Dave Wendt says:

A physicist says:
February 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm
“…nbsp; and yet, only the most irrational skeptics are certain that the CAGW probability is less than (say) 20%.”
You seem to possess some interesting notions about probability. Given that scientists, whose field of study is the actual phenomena that make up the supposedly looming catastrophes that constitute most of climate scare propaganda, generally indicate no correlation with GAT trends or demonstrable physical links to any CO2 generated activity I would suggest that the probability of our future being disastrous due to anything that occurs in the climate may be slightly more than my winning the Powerball jackpot tomorrow night, but the probability of it being disastrous due to our ill considered responses to this phony crisis is about 100%.

109. KR says:

Dave Wendt – Don’t forget the thermal expansion (current SLR including both melt and thermal expansion is ~3mm/year), acceleration (0.009 ± 0.003 mm year^-2, according to Church and White, http://www.springerlink.com/content/h2575k28311g5146/); those add up to about 345mm (13.5 inches) over the next 100 years.
3mm * 100yrs + 0.009mm/2 * 100yrs^2 = 345mm
The big risk factor is potential destabilization of Antarctic (particularly the WAIS) and Greenland ice caps. Any changes there can only increase SLR. From the USGS cryosphere data, http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/ – Estimated potential maximum sea-level rise from the total melting of present-day glaciers:
Location / Volume (km3) / Potential sea-level rise, (m)
East Antarctic ice sheet / 26,039,200 / 64.80
West Antarctic ice sheet / 3,262,000 / 8.06
Antarctic Peninsula / 227,100 / .46
Greenland / 2,620,000 / 6.55
All other ice caps, ice fields, and valley glaciers / 180,000 / .45
Total / 32,328,300 / 80.32

110. David Falkner says:

I can sum this up in one ‘word’.
“Doh!”

111. Dave Wendt says:

KR says:
February 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm
Dave Wendt – Don’t forget the thermal expansion (current SLR including both melt and thermal expansion is ~3mm/year), acceleration (0.009 ± 0.003 mm year^-2, according to Church and White, http://www.springerlink.com/content/h2575k28311g5146/); those add up to about 29-30 inches over the next 100 years.
I’d suggest you redo the arithmetic on that. 30 inches in a century would require an average of 7.62 mm/yr. An acceleration at the rate given would add a mm to the current rate in somewhere between 83 and 167 yrs.

112. Yet another data result that the earth OVERALL globally is warming up and is DEFINITELY NOT COOLING!!
You know it is amazing how folk MISUNDERSTAND. The record floods of Pakistan ripped that country a part. It is obvious to me that much of this flooding in India and Pakistan would have re-condensed on top of those very high mountains.
Yes – the ice may a build up in places but it is a climate that is on the move as the hydrological cycle speeds. This is in both ice melt to the ocean permanently and land based water returns to the oceans.
A combination I’m sure with sea level rises.
Look carefully folks GREENLAND is losing mass. Look carefully Antarctica is losing MASS.
Starting slow is expected and the projected trend — will it expedite melting into the future?
All ground based evidence confirms it is very highly likely.

To me, this is the most curious quote: “The new data does not mean that concerns about climate change are overblown in any way. It means there is a much larger uncertainty in high mountain Asia than we thought. Taken globally all the observations of the Earth’s ice – permafrost, Arctic sea ice, snow cover and glaciers – are going in the same direction.”
Hmmmmm.

114. J. Gary Fox says:

HenryP says:
February 9, 2012 at 6:14 am
Voodo is misspelled.
It should be voodoo
Sorry Henry, the correct spelling is I P C C.

115. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From A physicist on February 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm:

The strong science position: Ninety-seven percent of climatologists advocate strong science AGW: there is a substantial probability that Hansen-style predictions of CAGW are correct …

INCORRECT. The original Doran and Zimmerman 2009 study: http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf
Of 3146 respondents to the survey participation requests sent to 10,257 Earth scientists, the “97%” actually is:

In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals in total).

Thus you were incorrect, it is not “climatologists” but a subset of scientists who self-identified their expertise as climate science which was further winnowed down with a “climate change” publishing constraint. Thus a scientist whose expertise is climate science but for whom more than 50% of their recent papers related to the processing of climate data without notable mention of climate change would be excluded.
Then comes the actual questions:

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

Question 1 by its wording indicates “recent” human times and a comparison with 18th-century temperatures, rather than somewhat longer human-scale time periods that could encompass more of the current interglacial like the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods. Since the temperatures have increased since the Little Ice Age, the answer is “risen”. If one wishes to go further back with geological timescales before the current interglacial and consider how the current default setting of Earth is continental glaciations with significantly colder mean global temperatures, then the answer is “risen”. Thus the structure of the question practically guarantees the response of “risen”.
Question 2 requires the evaluation of the term “significant contributing factor”. Is 5% significant? 2%? There is no specific attribution to a particular sort of human activity, and there are many candidates such as land use changes (clearing of forests, etc) and black carbon (soot) emissions. There is also no specification for the direction of change, thus the proposed cooling action of human sulfate aerosol emissions could justify answering “yes”. So overall, the wording of the question practically guarantees a response of “yes”.
And amazingly enough, the responses show this:

Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2.

Thus the strong science position of this winnowed-down self-identified group is “Sure, the global mean temperatures have risen. Yeah, humans were responsible for some share of the change, whatever change it was.”
This in no way whatsoever says “there is a substantial probability that Hansen-style predictions of CAGW are correct” as you have attributed to the “97%” figure.
I must conclude you are either ignorant of the facts concerning the “97%” figure, deluded, lacking the intellectual capacity to properly understand the study (admittedly a remote possibility), or are being deliberately deceptive about what the “97%” you keep tossing around really means as opposed to what you say it means. If deliberately deceptive, I will say your usage is sufficient to invoke the term “malevolently deceptive”.

…nbsp; and yet…

If trying to invoke the HTML non-breaking space character, use the ampersand (&) before the “nbsp;”, as detailed on the WUWT Test page. When copying and pasting from a “talking points” document with HTML codes, it helps to know and recognize such codes so you can be sure your copying will display properly and so you can correct as needed.

116. KR says:

Dave Wendt – Yes, I had a basic math error the first time I calculated that, and replaced that with the correct numbers. My apologies for the mix-up.
Thanks to the moderators for letting me correct that.

117. Dave Wendt says:

rossbrisbane says:
February 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm
“Look carefully folks GREENLAND is losing mass. Look carefully Antarctica is losing MASS.”
Then it was awfully rude of those folks a NASA not to include that on the nice map they provided for us. Other than a small piece in the NE corner of Greenland, all the rest of it and Antarctica as well appear to be white as fresh snow, which by the legend they so helpfully provided suggests no change at all. If you choose to rely on some other measure of those ice masses I would suggest you consider the fact that the mass of an ice sheet can decline for reasons other than it melting away. Consider the interactive map provided by this site
http://tinyurl.com/Drought-monitor
I’ve been monitoring this site for 2-3 years and from the beginning to the present Greenland has been lit up on all timescales by more severe to exceptional drought areas than anywhere in Africa or the American Southwest

118. David says:

DirkH says:
February 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm
A physicist says:
February 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm
“The strong science position: Ninety-seven percent of climatologists advocate strong science AGW: there is a substantial probability that Hansen-style predictions of CAGW are correct …”
That’s 72 climate scientists out of a population of 75 who answered the e-mail survey, to be specific. We wanna be scientific, don’t we.
=====================================
Its worse then we think. They asked vague questions to over ten thousand “scientist”. About three thousand responded. They eliminated about 97% of them, (they did not like their answers) and kept the remaining “scientist”, not climate scientist, but you know, the ones who get paid to notice frogs are getting bigger, no wait, smaller, whatever, they get paid, and they think the climate is changing and humans have something to do with it. A Physicist, what ever you are smoking, dont hide it, divide it.
BTW Kadaka’s post explains it far better, this is just the elevator version.

119. “Look carefully folks GREENLAND is losing mass. Look carefully Antarctica is losing MASS.”
Dave Wendt says:
“I would suggest you consider the fact that the mass of an ice sheet can decline for reasons other than it melting away. Consider the interactive map provided by this site”
You are going have to prove it are you not?
I would suggest that ice in those parts just does not disappear in an implied cooling world.
See the global map
Mass has gained only on highest Mountain Peaks in the World. And what of the floods in Pakistan. You really think all that water went to the sea?
I am satisfied that a global warming trend is proven beyond any reasonable doubt by the Grace total global result. Yes the surprise was Antarctica – why?
Anything else is cherry picking.
Case: Where did all those record floods end up in the hydrological cycle?

120. Smokey says:

rossbrisbane,
Relax, dude. You’re scaring yourself!☺

121. David Middleton says:

@rossbrisbane,
Which “global warming trend is proven beyond any reasonable doubt” ?
You do understand that GRACE measures gravity anomalies not temperatures, don’t you? If so, you probably understand that the calculated total mass differences don’t show any significant ice mass-loss before the glacial isostatic adjustment is subtracted. And you would also know that the measured GIA’s are far smaller than the modeled GIA’s used to predict accelerating ice mass-loss.

122. rossbrisbane says:
February 10, 2012 at 1:58 am

Case: Where did all those record floods end up in the hydrological cycle?

errrrr they ended up in the hydrological cycle. water doesn’t leave the cycle Ross

123. MFKBoulder says:

When I look at the regeion with mass gain in the eastern part of the Tibet “ice” amss gain is in a region with many lakes not bould to any drainage system: melting ice would stay in theses lakes within this region.
I wounder if grace could detect this. AFAIK the system cannot determine this.

124. A physicist says:

A physicist says: The strong science position: Ninety-seven percent of climatologists advocate strong science AGW: there is a substantial probability that Hansen-style predictions of CAGW are correct …

kadaka (KD Knoebel) posts: [an extended “quibble”]

Kadaka, with sincere respect for your lengthy and well-reasoned post, none-the-less that same post amounts to a lengthy quibble that seeks to evade the two main points.
Point 1: No rational scientist estimates the probability $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ as greater than ~80%.
Point 2: No rational skeptic estimates the probability $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ as less than ~20%.
The point being, that neither rational scientists nor rational skeptics have sufficiently good data and strong theories, regarding the Hansen-style physics of GHG $\Leftrightarrow$ GHE $\Leftrightarrow$ AGW, to substantially exceed the rational bounds $0.20 \lessim P_{\text{CAGW}} \lessim 0.80$.
And the common-sense reason being, that excessive confidence has no rational role in strong science *or* strong skepticism, so that both extremes of belief are best avoided.
Now, isn’t that the plain, common-sense, non-quibbling, rational way to think?

125. Dave Wendt says:

rossbrisbane says:
February 10, 2012 at 1:58 am
“Look carefully folks GREENLAND is losing mass. Look carefully Antarctica is losing MASS.”
Dave Wendt says:
“I would suggest you consider the fact that the mass of an ice sheet can decline for reasons other than it melting away. Consider the interactive map provided by this site”
You are going have to prove it are you not?
I would suggest that ice in those parts just does not disappear in an implied cooling world.
The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica continually lose ice no matter what the temperatures are in those places. The mass balance changes based on the difference between the rate of loss and the rate of accumulation. A recent paper analyzing the ice cores from Dome A in East Antarctica, purported to be one of the slowest accumulating sites on that continent, suggests that the annual accumulation there is about an inch of water equivalent per year
http://www.igsoc.org/journal/current/207/j11J138.pdf
In the interior of E. Antarctica temperatures, even in the peak of Summer, average far below the freezing point. There are a variety of speculations out there about how long it has been since Antarctica has experienced a continental scale melting event. The shortest one I’ve seen suggests about 1 million years, although 3 million seems more popular. An inch/yr for 1 million years amounts to almost 16 Miles of ice that has been added at Dome A. without an opportunity to melt. The core there, drilled to bedrock, indicates there is now about 2 miles of ice remaining, indicating that 13-14 miles of ice has come and gone in the last million years and in all likelihood none of it did so by melting. For other areas of the continent accumulation rates are suggested up to 6 inches per annum. If you combine those rates with the more common 3 million year time span back to a melting event, we would have an ice sheet extending up into the stratosphere if the ice was not continually extruding back into the oceans.

126. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From A physicist on February 10, 2012 at 6:41 am:

Kadaka, with sincere respect for your lengthy and well-reasoned post, none-the-less that same post amounts to a lengthy quibble that seeks to evade the two main points.

The “quibble” is you have falsely represented data as saying something it does not say. I called you out on it, and you’ve hand-waved the criticism as a “quibble” that’s evading the points you built on that falsely represented data.
You presented the house as built on concrete, I showed it was only compacted sand, you say that’s a quibble that doesn’t detract from the value of the house. I don’t pretend to understand how they practice science on your planet, but what you did doesn’t work on this one.

Point 1: No rational scientist estimates the probability $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ as greater than ~80%.

Hansen has a long public record of portraying CAGW as a certainty without draconian action to prevent it. He has demonstrated the strength of his convictions by allowing (arranging?) himself to be arrested while protesting multiple times.
Therefore Hansen is not a rational scientist, by your criteria he is irrational and/or a non-scientist. And yet you portray him as some sort of inspired prophet whose predictions will come true. Thus you have self-demolished a major pillar of your arguments.

Point 2: No rational skeptic estimates the probability $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ as less than ~20%.

Then this site is flush with irrational skeptics, including many scientists who are irrational skeptics by your criteria. By new scientific research and evidence, by the geological history of the planet itself, the probability of CAGW, of catastrophic global warming period, has been revealed as similar to winning the lottery. Indeed, the probability of sudden catastrophic global cooling is greater than that of warming.
Thus if this site is so chock-full of irrational skeptics according to your criteria, why are you even here?
Beyond that, with so much being revealed as to how the “catastrophic” part of AGW won’t happen, as numerous “tipping points” are shown as non-existent and the planet was arguably warmer during the Medieval Warm Period and definitely warmer during the Roman Warm Period without catastrophe happening, that the anthropogenic “greenhouse gas” emissions have no special properties that could induce catastrophe beyond warming, whatever global warming will occur has been shown to be modest and leisurely in its coming, far better addressed by adaptation rather than the proposed draconian mitigation strategies.

And the common-sense reason being, that excessive confidence has no rational role in strong science *or* strong skepticism, so that both extremes of belief are best avoided.

Your construct has a problem, in that scientists are supposed to be skeptical, and skeptics should approach the issue scientifically, thus the groups overlap.
Extreme confidence does have a place in science. Many important discoveries have been made on the assumption that something must be there, with resources allocated for experimentation based on such. Much engineering is done on the premise that something must work and will work with the proper process.
With regards to climate, science actually compels us to assign a very low probability to catastrophic global warming of any sort, given the geological history of the planet, especially the “recent” part of it with the established biosphere, current continental positions, etc. It is up to those proposing the possibility of catastrophic global warming to convincingly raise that probability higher, from the science-mandated starting value of practically nil. So far, as things have been turning out, they have failed to do so.
Thus your 20% to 80% probability range, beyond which you label as irrational with such confidence as excessive, is shown to be highly artificial and indeed in error when considering the overlapping groups of scientists and skeptics.

127. A physicist says:

kadaka (KD Knoebel) critiques:
Point 1: No rational scientist estimates the probability $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ as greater than ~80%.
Hansen has a long public record of portraying CAGW as a certainty without draconian action to prevent it.
Point 2: No rational skeptic estimates the probability $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ as less than ~20%.
Then this site is flush with irrational skeptics …

Kadaka, regarding your second point, pretty much everyone will agree with that. Because yes, excessive confidence is notably common among folks who fancy themselves “skeptics.”
But regarding your first point … “Hansen’s long public record of portraying CAGW as a certainty”  … uhhhh … yah got a reference for that? (as Willis Eschenbach is fond of requesting).
Because a literature search indicates that James Hansen has never used the word “certain” (or any of its variants) in any of the titles or abstracts of his published articles.
WUWT?, indeed.
Hmmmm … so perhaps the fact of the matter is simply this: Dr. Hansen’s opinions are far more circumspect than his reputation here on WUWT would suggest?

128. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From A physicist on February 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm:

But regarding your first point … “Hansen’s long public record of portraying CAGW as a certainty” … uhhhh … yah got a reference for that? (as Willis Eschenbach is fond of requesting).
Because a literature search indicates that James Hansen has never used the word “certain” (or any of its variants) in any of the titles or abstracts of his published articles.
WUWT?, indeed.

Apparently the Hansen of your universe has never put out his book Storms of My Grandchildren. From the book’s website:
http://www.stormsofmygrandchildren.com/climate_catastrophe_solutions.html

Some scientists claim that if we keep the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 450 ppm (parts per million) we should be safe. Dr. James Hansen was once one of them. But over the past several years through his research he has come to the conclusion that we must reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere to 350 ppm in order to avoid disaster for coming generations.

Saying we MUST do that to avoid disaster shows certainty. “Decreasing the possibility” is not in there.

Coal emissions must be phased out as rapidly as possible or global climate disasters will be a dead certainty. “Clean coal” technology does not exist and carbon capture is not economically feasible.

Oh look, it’s that word certainty, as part of Hansen’s public record.

Continued unfettered burning of all fossil fuels and other human-caused climate changes will cause the climate system to pass tipping points, such that we hand our children and grandchildren a dynamic situation that is out of their control.
If we continue down this path, by the end of this century envision a future where:
• droughts, heat waves, and forest fires of unprecedented ferocity
• 20% of Earth’s species—about two million species—will be extinct or on the way to certain extinction
• a rapidly rising sea level, with more coming out of humanity’s control
• frontal (cyclonic) storms with hurricane-like winds, which, with rising seas and storm surges, will devastate thousands of coastal cities

“Business as usual” will cause catastrophe. Not “increase the probability”.
Your feeble attempt at hand-waving dismissal aside, it is easily and clearly shown that Hansen has a public record of portraying CAGW as a certainty without draconian action to prevent it, that last part I put in italics being the part of my original words you somehow clipped off without properly using an ellipse.
But is it a long public record?
Google Scholar appears to do a far superior job of searching the literature than you did, “hansen certainty climate” returns many valid hits.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0262407907619034
The New Scientist
Volume 195, Issue 2614, 28 July 2007, Pages 30–34
Climate catastrophe
James Hansen
“NASA physicist James Hansen explains why he thinks a sea level rise of several metres will be a near certainty if greenhouse gas emissions keep increasing unchecked — and why other scientists are reluctant to speak out”
“Near certainty” certainly sounds like greater than 80% probability.
Hansen’s Briefing to the House Select Committee on Energy in 2008:
http://consin.org/view/CHansencongress.pdf

My presentation today is exactly 20 years after my 23 June 1988 testimony to Congress, which alerted the public that global warming was underway. There are striking similarities between then and now, but one big difference.
Again a wide gap has developed between what is understood about global warming by the relevant scientific community and what is known by policymakers and the public. Now, as then, frank assessment of scientific data yields conclusions that are shocking to the body politic.
Now, as then, I can assert that these conclusions have a certainty exceeding 99 percent. The difference is that now we have used up all slack in the schedule for actions needed to defuse the global warming time bomb. The next President and Congress must define a course next year in which the United States exerts leadership commensurate with our responsibility for the present dangerous situation.
Otherwise it will become impractical to constrain atmospheric carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas produced in burning fossil fuels, to a level that prevents the climate system from passing tipping points that lead to disastrous climate changes that spiral dynamically out of humanity’s control.

In 2008, as in 1988, he can assert his conclusions have a certainty exceeding 99%: We must drastically cut emissions or there will be catastrophe. Again, that’s greater than an 80% probability.
Hansen does have a long public record of portraying CAGW as a certainty without draconian action to prevent it. Hansen is not a rational scientist by your criteria. Well, he might be in your reality, your universe that somewhat parallels this one, but not here.

129. A physicist says:

Kadaka, most of your quotes were *not* direct quotes of Hansen. And your sole quote of Hansen, did *not* say “CAGW is a certainty.”
Perhaps you might like to try again? Direct quotes of Hansen’s own writings. From verifiable sources. Asserting “CAGW is a certainty.”
Kadaka, we all appreciate the fervency of your belief that these Hansen quotes *must* exist … and not in cherry-picked isolation, but in abundance. But so far, your posts have provided precisely zero of them.
As I said before, so will I say again … perhaps the plain fact of the matter is simply this: Dr. Hansen’s writings have been more circumspect than his reputation here on WUWT would suggest?

130. DirkH says:

A physicist says:
February 11, 2012 at 3:38 am
“Perhaps you might like to try again? Direct quotes of Hansen’s own writings. From verifiable sources. Asserting “CAGW is a certainty.” ”
You seem to know quite a lot about Hansen. What he said and what he didn’t say. What he wrote. What he predicted. Somehow I get the feeling that whoever you are, you seem to be spending a lot of time with Hansen.
I pity you. No, that was a joke. You have deserved your fate.

131. A physicist says:

A physicist says: “Perhaps you might like to try again? Direct quotes of Hansen’s own writings. From verifiable sources. Asserting “CAGW is a certainty.”

DirkH says: You seem to know quite a lot about Hansen. What he said and what he didn’t say. What he wrote. What he predicted.

DirkH, everyone who reads Hansen’s writings appreciates his circumspect usage of the word “certainty”. For example, here are Hansen’s words quoted verbatim:

Storms of My Grandchildren
After the [polar] ice is gone, would Earth proceed to the Venus Syndrome, a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently? While that is difficult to say based on present information, 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.

What is the probability that Hansen’s views are correct?
Hansen’s views being specifically and verbatim: “If burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse.”
Let that probability be $P_{\text{CAGW}}$. Then:
Point 1: No rational scientist (not even Hansen!) estimates the probability $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ as greater than ~80%. Because uncertainty is ever-present in science.
Point 2: No rational skeptic estimates the probability $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ as less than ~20%. Because uncertainty is ever-present in skepticism.
For the preceding simple and common-sense reason — aside from quibbles — Hansen’s views and rational skeptical views regarding CAGW are remarkably similar, eh?

132. Smokey says:

‘a physicist’:
I think this proposed law would apply directly to you, to alarmist climatologists, and in particular to the UN/IPCC.

133. kcom says:

A physicist: And the common-sense reason being, that excessive confidence has no rational role in strong science *or* strong skepticism, so that both extremes of belief are best avoided.
Kadaka: Your construct has a problem, in that scientists are supposed to be skeptical, and skeptics should approach the issue scientifically, thus the groups overlap.
Kadaka is on the right track only he didn’t go far enough. The construct doesn’t have a problem, rather it is simply meaningless and unintelligible. Science and skepticism are not opposities. And science isn’t a “belief” and neither is skepticism. Science is a process involving skepticism. The *or* in that sentence sets up a meaningless comparison. A Physicist seems to be wanting to claim the mantle of “science” for whatever he happens to believe in and relegate everything else to “not-science”, as if skepticism doesn’t exist within the scientific process but rather outside it. That’s a power grab that no one should acquiesce to. Science is the process. It doesn’t belong to anyone.

134. A physicist says:

kcom says: The construct doesn’t have a problem, rather it is simply meaningless and unintelligible.

Kcom, putting philosophical quibbles aside, an urgent practical question of our time is simply this: What is the likelihood $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ of catastrophic global global warming arising by the Hansen-style physics of GHG $\Leftrightarrow$ GHE $\Leftrightarrow$ AGW?
* Those who assert $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ is greater than ~80% are irrationally confident in the science.
* Those who assert $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ is less than ~20% are irrationally confident in their skepticism.
There is an ample supply of irrationality on both sides … and *that* is just plain common-sense, eh?

135. Smokey says:

Who elected ‘a physicist’ to set those parameters? That’s not science, that’s Scientology.
There is exactly zero evidence for CAGW. None. But apparently the ‘physicist’ has never encountered the null hypothesis, so he believes he is qualified to arbitrarily divide the population into his imagined cohorts.
The only irrational folks are those who, with no supporting evidence, still believe in CAGW. That’s religious belief, not science. Honest scientists above all are skeptics, and therefore skeptical of CAGW.

136. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From A physicist on February 11, 2012 at 10:56 am:

Kcom, putting philosophical quibbles aside, an urgent practical question of our time is simply this: What is the likelihood $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ of catastrophic global global warming arising by the Hansen-style physics of GHG $\Leftrightarrow$ GHE $\Leftrightarrow$ AGW?

Might be “urgent” and “practical” on your planet, but not this one. By the assumptions of said proposed Hansen-style physics, especially when codified into computer models, the probability exceeds 80%. Hansen’s own words convey such a level of certainty. However in this actual reality, by this Earth’s geological history, by the discovery of many important negative feedbacks, as real scientific evidence and theories emerge that demonstratively show how the “AGW signal” is small and can be swamped out by other influences on our climate, said proposed Hansen-style physics have been shown to not hold. Thus in this world, in this reality, the question is neither urgent nor practical.

137. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From A physicist on February 11, 2012 at 3:38 am:

Kadaka, most of your quotes were *not* direct quotes of Hansen. And your sole quote of Hansen, did *not* say “CAGW is a certainty.”
Perhaps you might like to try again? Direct quotes of Hansen’s own writings. From verifiable sources. Asserting “CAGW is a certainty.”

Storms of My Grandchildren is searchable on Google Books:
pg 72-73:
“If we continue burning fossil fuels at current rates, ice sheet collapse and sea level rise of at least several meters is a dead certainty.”
Such a rise would be catastrophic, and brought about by AGW per Hansen.
pg 172:
“A SIMPLE, CLEAR, URGENT CONCLUSION leaped out from our research on the appropriate target level of atmospheric carbon dioxide: Coal emissions must be phased out as rapidly as possible or global climate disasters will be a dead certainty.”
Coal emissions (CO₂) -> AGW -> global climate disasters (catastrophes)
pg 269:
“THE ABOVE SCENARIO-with a devastated, sweltering Earth purged of life-may read like far-fetched science fiction. Yet its central hypothesis is a tragic certainty-continued unfettered burning of all fossil fuels will cause the climate system to pass tipping points, such that we hand our children and grandchildren a dynamic situation that is out of their control.”

As I said before, so will I say again … perhaps the plain fact of the matter is simply this: Dr. Hansen’s writings have been more circumspect than his reputation here on WUWT would suggest?

At this point you’re sounding like a defense attorney: “But did my client specifically swear that he would certainly kill the victim, with a shotgun, on that Tuesday, using buckshot, that was nickel-plated lead of #4 size, and specified the gun was 12 gauge and made by Remington? Well then, which did he specifically swear that it certainly would be, a top-break double, pump, or auto-feeding semi-automatic? Wait, he didn’t swear with certainty which type he would use? Well then, members of the jury, clearly my client is innocent!”

138. A physicist says:

Kadaka, your posts (and many WUWT folks’ posts) continue to dodge the main question: What is a rationally skeptical assessment of the probability $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ that the Hansen-style physics of GHG $\Leftrightarrow$ GHE $\Leftrightarrow$ AGW is correct?
For a climatological system as complex as our planet, the answer ZERO percent is not rationally skeptical, eh?
Moreover, whatever one’s assessment of $P_{\text{CAGW}}$, in the event that Hansen’s Seven Key Predictions of Warmism come true in coming decades, that estimate of $P_{\text{CAGW}}$ will have to be adjusted soberingly upward.
That’s no more than rational common sense, eh?

139. Dave Wendt says:

A physicist says:
February 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm
Kadaka, your posts (and many WUWT folks’ posts) continue to dodge the main question: What is a rationally skeptical assessment of the probability that the Hansen-style physics of GHG GHE AGW is correct?
Since in his recent comments Kadaka has, by the very criteria which you yourself established, proven that your hero and mentor Mr. Hansen is a batshit crazy lunatic, any “rational” assessment of the probability of the correctness of his predictions, skeptical or otherwise, would have to fall somewhere on the low side between slim and none. And, since in nearly every comment you have posted in recent days you have wrapped yourself in Mr. Hansen’s predictions, it suggests to me, again based on your own criteria, that you are not a candidate for sharing a “rational” dialogue. but are instead the perfect potential roommate for Mr. Hansen, in whatever rubber room he ends up in. At least if there is any justice left in the world.