Editorial: 'Hansen is simply wrong' and 'his hypothesis is a complete and abject failure'

UPDATE: 9:55 AM  PDT 8/8/12 A graph of Palmer Drought Severity Index -vs- GISTEMP data has been added from Dr. Michaels. Looks like another “GISS miss”.

There’s a lot of blowback against James Hansen’s recent (non tested) PNAS paper, trying to link weather and climate, covered here on WUWT. Even NOAA scientist Dr. Martin Hoerling is panning it. This from The NYT:

Dr. Hoerling contended that Dr. Hansen’s new paper confuses drought, caused primarily by a lack of rainfall, with heat waves.

“This isn’t a serious science paper,” Dr. Hoerling said. “It’s mainly about perception, as indicated by the paper’s title. Perception is not a science.”

Here’s a short editorial by Dr. Pat Michaels, former Virginia State Climatologist:

Hansen is simply wrong.

Hansen claims that global warming is associated with increased drought in the US. This is a testable hypothesis which he chose not to test, and, because PNAS isn’t truly peer-reviewed for Members like him, no one tested it for him.

I have [examined] drought data [that] are from NCDC, and the temperature record is Hansen’s own. His hypothesis is a complete and abject failure.

[UPDATE: Graph added 9:55AM PDT 8/8/12:]

Scatterplot graph of U.S. Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) -vs- NASA GISS  temperature data. If there was a correlation between temperature and droughts in the USA, the dots would align along a line from upper left to lower right (or mirrored LL to UR, depending on the correlation). But, as the plot shows, there is no correlation between drought & temperature of any kind.

It is hard for me to believe that Hansen did not know this, and yet he went ahead with his paper. This must be true because Hansen has published papers on the Palmer Drought Index and future warming. Administrator Bolden is obligated to investigate the ethics of publishing a paper that the Director of the GISS laboratory knew could not pass the most simple test of hypothesis.

The following excerpt from his PNAS paper tells you everything you need to know about James Hansen’s paper:

“Although we were motivated in this research by an objective to expose effects of human-made global warming as soon as possible…”

– Dr. Patrick Michaels, via email

=============================================================

On the same day of one of NASA’s proudest achievements, the landing of the rover Curiosity on Mars, Dr. James Hansen and PNAS went on a media blitz to push a paper that is so technically flawed, that if it were a spacecraft, it would surely have burned up in the atmosphere due to a faulty understanding of that atmosphere. Unfortunately, as Dr. Michaels points out, it was never tested and Dr. Hoerling points out that it “isn’t science, but perception”. NASA used to deal in facts and testing, because if they didn’t, people died. Now NASA’s image has been tarnished on the day of one of its greatest triumphs by a rogue scientist with unsupportable ideas and a global media megaphone.

I have in the past, called for Dr. Hansen’s firing after his arrest episodes where he acts as  an activist and protestor. I repeat that call today and will continue to do so. NASA administrator Bolden, fire Dr. James Hansen. He is an embarrassment to NASA, and an embarrassment to science. Show him the door.

Many of your greatest engineers, scientists, and astronauts agree that Dr. Hansen has overstepped his bounds with his advocacy, as I repost below. – Anthony

=============================================================

From this WUWT story:

Joint letter to NASA Administrator blasts agency’s policy of ignoring empirical evidence

HOUSTON, TX – April 10, 2012.

49 former NASA scientists and astronauts sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden last week admonishing the agency for it’s role in advocating a high degree of certainty that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change while neglecting empirical evidence that calls the theory into question.

The group, which includes seven Apollo astronauts and two former directors of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, are dismayed over the failure of NASA, and specifically the Goddard Institute For Space Studies (GISS), to make an objective assessment of all available scientific data on climate change. They charge that NASA is relying too heavily on complex climate models that have proven scientifically inadequate in predicting climate only one or two decades in advance.

H. Leighton Steward, chairman of the non-profit Plants Need CO2, noted that many of the former NASA scientists harbored doubts about the significance of the C02-climate change theory and have concerns over NASA’s advocacy on the issue. While making presentations in late 2011 to many of the signatories of the letter, Steward realized that the NASA scientists should make their concerns known to NASA and the GISS.

“These American heroes – the astronauts that took to space and the scientists and engineers that put them there – are simply stating their concern over NASA’s extreme advocacy for an unproven theory,” said Leighton Steward. “There’s a concern that if it turns out that CO2 is not a major cause of climate change, NASA will have put the reputation of NASA, NASA’s current and former employees, and even the very reputation of science itself at risk of public ridicule and distrust.”

Select excerpts from the letter:

  • “The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.”
  • “We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated.”
  • “We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject.”

The full text of the letter:

March 28, 2012

The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr.

NASA Administrator

NASA Headquarters

Washington, D.C. 20546-0001

Dear Charlie,

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.

As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.

For additional information regarding the science behind our concern, we recommend that you contact Harrison Schmitt or Walter Cunningham, or others they can recommend to you.

Thank you for considering this request.

Sincerely,

(Attached signatures)

CC: Mr. John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for Science

CC: Ass Mr. Chris Scolese, Director, Goddard Space Flight Center

Ref: Letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, dated 3-26-12, regarding a request for NASA to refrain from making unsubstantiated claims that human produced CO2 is having a catastrophic impact on climate change.

/s/ Jack Barneburg, Jack – JSC, Space Shuttle Structures, Engineering Directorate, 34 years

/s/ Larry Bell – JSC, Mgr. Crew Systems Div., Engineering Directorate, 32 years

/s/ Dr. Donald Bogard – JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 41 years

/s/ Jerry C. Bostick – JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 23 years

/s/ Dr. Phillip K. Chapman – JSC, Scientist – astronaut, 5 years

/s/ Michael F. Collins, JSC, Chief, Flight Design and Dynamics Division, MOD, 41 years

/s/ Dr. Kenneth Cox – JSC, Chief Flight Dynamics Div., Engr. Directorate, 40 years

/s/ Walter Cunningham – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 7, 8 years

/s/ Dr. Donald M. Curry – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Leading Edge, Thermal Protection Sys., Engr. Dir., 44 years

/s/ Leroy Day – Hdq. Deputy Director, Space Shuttle Program, 19 years

/s/ Dr. Henry P. Decell, Jr. – JSC, Chief, Theory & Analysis Office, 5 years

/s/Charles F. Deiterich – JSC, Mgr., Flight Operations Integration, MOD, 30 years

/s/ Dr. Harold Doiron – JSC, Chairman, Shuttle Pogo Prevention Panel, 16 years

/s/ Charles Duke – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 16, 10 years

/s/ Anita Gale

/s/ Grace Germany – JSC, Program Analyst, 35 years

/s/ Ed Gibson – JSC, Astronaut Skylab 4, 14 years

/s/ Richard Gordon – JSC, Astronaut, Gemini Xi, Apollo 12, 9 years

/s/ Gerald C. Griffin – JSC, Apollo Flight Director, and Director of Johnson Space Center, 22 years

/s/ Thomas M. Grubbs – JSC, Chief, Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Branch, 31 years

/s/ Thomas J. Harmon

/s/ David W. Heath – JSC, Reentry Specialist, MOD, 30 years

/s/ Miguel A. Hernandez, Jr. – JSC, Flight crew training and operations, 3 years

/s/ James R. Roundtree – JSC Branch Chief, 26 years

/s/ Enoch Jones – JSC, Mgr. SE&I, Shuttle Program Office, 26 years

/s/ Dr. Joseph Kerwin – JSC, Astronaut, Skylab 2, Director of Space and Life Sciences, 22 years

/s/ Jack Knight – JSC, Chief, Advanced Operations and Development Division, MOD, 40 years

/s/ Dr. Christopher C. Kraft – JSC, Apollo Flight Director and Director of Johnson Space Center, 24 years

/s/ Paul C. Kramer – JSC, Ass.t for Planning Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Div., Egr. Dir., 34 years

/s/ Alex (Skip) Larsen

/s/ Dr. Lubert Leger – JSC, Ass’t. Chief Materials Division, Engr. Directorate, 30 years

/s/ Dr. Humbolt C. Mandell – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Program Control and Advance Programs, 40 years

/s/ Donald K. McCutchen – JSC, Project Engineer – Space Shuttle and ISS Program Offices, 33 years

/s/ Thomas L. (Tom) Moser – Hdq. Dep. Assoc. Admin. & Director, Space Station Program, 28 years

/s/ Dr. George Mueller – Hdq., Assoc. Adm., Office of Space Flight, 6 years

/s/ Tom Ohesorge

/s/ James Peacock – JSC, Apollo and Shuttle Program Office, 21 years

/s/ Richard McFarland – JSC, Mgr. Motion Simulators, 28 years

/s/ Joseph E. Rogers – JSC, Chief, Structures and Dynamics Branch, Engr. Directorate,40 years

/s/ Bernard J. Rosenbaum – JSC, Chief Engineer, Propulsion and Power Division, Engr. Dir., 48 years

/s/ Dr. Harrison (Jack) Schmitt – JSC, Astronaut Apollo 17, 10 years

/s/ Gerard C. Shows – JSC, Asst. Manager, Quality Assurance, 30 years

/s/ Kenneth Suit – JSC, Ass’t Mgr., Systems Integration, Space Shuttle, 37 years

/s/ Robert F. Thompson – JSC, Program Manager, Space Shuttle, 44 years/s/ Frank Van Renesselaer – Hdq., Mgr. Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters, 15 years

/s/ Dr. James Visentine – JSC Materials Branch, Engineering Directorate, 30 years

/s/ Manfred (Dutch) von Ehrenfried – JSC, Flight Controller; Mercury, Gemini & Apollo, MOD, 10 years

/s/ George Weisskopf – JSC, Avionics Systems Division, Engineering Dir., 40 years

/s/ Al Worden – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 15, 9 years

/s/ Thomas (Tom) Wysmuller – JSC, Meteorologist, 5 years

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How can Hansen keep his job?

James

Anthony, While Dr Hansen has many flaws, I don’t believe wearing “rouge” is one of them.
REPLY: Typo fixed, Anthony

Michael Larkin

“a rouge scientist”–was that an unintentional slip, or a Freudian one? Redness is associated with the political left as well as heat, after all ;-).

Matt

Anthony,
You said “Dr. James Hansen and PNAS went on a media blitz to push a paper that is so technically flawed, that if it were a spacecraft, it would surely have burned up in the atmosphere due to a faulty understanding of that atmosphere.”.
This is incorrect. It would have blown up on the launch pad.

Skiphil

He is a rogue scientist behaving as a rouge activist.

Theo Goodwin

I think Hansen should be known as The Rouge Scientist. Though his self image is probably closer to that of Col. Kurtz from Apocalypse Now/Heart of Darkness.

Skiphil

[Pat Michaels]: “Administrator Bolden is obligated to investigate the ethics of publishing a paper that the Director of the GISS laboratory knew could not pass the most simple test of hypothesis.” [my emphasis]
And how about the ethics of trying to hijack all the publicity for the Mars Curiosity mission right now to try to associate James Hansen’s NASA GISS with the great current success of the Mars mission?? Can anyone imagine it was an accident that Hansen’s latest PR b.s. coincides with all the focus upon NASA due to the Mars mission???? Govt officials and public figures are highly highly attuned to media priorities and waves of interest. If anyone can believe that Hansen did not time his latest to coincide with the Mars mission then Bernie Madoff has some new hedge funds on offer for that sucker….
Hansen is a disgrace to science and an embarrassment to NASA.

Tom J

I believe Hansen’s paper relates to the Obama administration’s desire for the some ‘shovel ready’ stimulus projects. This paper’s shovel ready alright.

Are Hanson’s bosses that afraid of him? Are real scientists that afraid of questioning Hanson’s academic ethics?

Frank K.

jmotivator says:
August 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm
“How can Hansen keep his job?”
I’ve been wondering “What IS his job??” Clearly his six figure NASA salary is being earned by writing large numbers of politically-motivated “science” papers. Check out the acknowledgements in his last PNAS paper – seems like he’s getting money from a number of foundations. What does he fill out on his time card (if he fills one out at all)?
It is NO secret, though, that climate science is getting millions of dollars in government money (including stimulus funds – remember the stimulus???)…

philincalifornia

It’s probably worth taking a step back here and looking at the bigger picture.
We’ve come a long way from “the evidence for AGW/CAGW is overwhelming”. Now that real scientists have got involved and have asked what the overwhelming evidence is, and have been answered with a resounding silence (other than b*llsh!t), we now have warmista-in-chief having to flail away to try to concoct some “evidence” ….. and failing.
This is the state-of-the-art in the purported overwhelming evidence category. Add this zero to the other zeroes.

Keith Pearson, formerly bikermailman, Anonymous no longer

Kudos to these men and women for standing up. However, this letter *is* being sent to Mr. “Muslim outreach and making muslims feel good about their heritage is our main purpose” Bolden. Would that I were wrong, but I’m guessing these people have simply placed themselves upon a list, followup from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service, tax agency for those outside the US).

AndyG55

Matt says:
This is incorrect. It would have blown up on the launch pad.
This is also incorrect. It would have fallen apart as soon as they tried to move it to the launch pad.
IF they were ever able to build it in the first place. Doggie doo !!!

Hoser

It’s hard to ignore that impressive list of signatures, except they can. Sickening.
That said, they can try to ignore reality, but it will all blow up in their faces. Just because you’ve gotten away with something in the past, doesn’t mean you’ll continue to do so. That was the logic flaw leading to the Challenger disaster. Hansen seems to have that flaw and many others in spades.
[Moderator’s Note: “… hard to ignore…” except they did. Please keep in mnd that the letter and list of signatories Anthony has cited date from March and is not a current response. Harrison Schmitt and his colleagues made their appeal to Administrator Bolden less than six months ago. Draw your own conclusions. -REP]

Ally E.

NASA. Please. Fire Hansen. He’s not good for you, he’s not good for anybody. I always get the feeling you send him out to play in the street because he’s so annoying to have in the office. Continuing to ignore his outrangeous behaviour and disgracefully bad “science” shows you administratively as well as intellectually and scientifically in a poor light. I just can’t take you guys seriously anymore.

Policy Guy

It looks as if Mr Hansen has taken on the role of offering himself as a human sacrifice to the Obama campaign. His career is over, he has his government assured pension, his “friends and audience” will always lawed him. What has he to lose? Might as well go out in a flame of contestable glory to try to win one for the gipper. Kinda like a certain Nevada Senator who can say anything he wants because he won’t run again.
What a mess. Lets hear it for…what are they now saying? Mr Foreign Exchange Student from Indonesia, Mr. Barry S? No wonder his college records cannot be released.

nc
Matt

@AndyG55.
No, it would have gotten to the launch pad just fine. They would go through the count down and when they got to zero there would be a blinging flash of light and billows of smoke. When the smoke cleared, what originally appeared to be a magnificent spacecraft would slowly fall over revealing itself to be nothing but a cardboard cut-out.

Maus

Huh. It’s almost like science ought rest its credentials on the replication of claimed empirical results rather than spell-checking in peer review or nepotistic back-scratching in pal review.
Nah, that’s just silly.

Village Idiot

“The fiend must be found! Are you ready? Light your torches and go!”

Timbo

From SteynOnline. The principle certainly could be applied to Dr Hansen.
“All political lives,” said the British politician Enoch Powell many years ago, “unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.”

pat

[SNIP: I’m more than half-tempted to agree, but this is conjecture and opinion. If you have a solid line of reasoning, present it, otherwise you are just practicing medicine without a license. Sorry. -REP]

Peter Miller

There is climate science practiced by the few and there is ‘climate science’ practiced by the many.
Hansen is part of the many, obviously a man with an exceptionally large ego who believes his own written word to be the gospel truth, no matter how unsubstantiated it is.
In any field of real science he would have long ago be shown the door for his shoddy, unfounded, but high profile utterings and publications.
A sad case of delusion caused by a syndrome that has caused more misery on this planet than just about anything else: people in positions of responsibility and respect believing their own BS.
The reason Hansen is still at NASA is very simple – his bosses, rightly or wrongly, believe he is a money magnet from government.

To all the folks that think Hansen should be fired. Think about it.
-He gets tons of press (way more than NOAA)
– He put GISS on the map (if it wasn’t for Hansen and his stunts no one would care about the GISS temps)
– He gets tons of funding for his dept. (will say and do anything for more press and funding)
– He gives all his fellow dept. workers job security
– He has no Ethics (good for government work)
– Face it He is the King of the Scientificness “Grant Whores”
Thought: Did he grow a beard so he doesn’t look like the “Homer Simpson of Climate Science”?

Hansen does remind me, both visually and mentally, of a certain Colonel Klink from that series with Shultz as his memory loss(I know Nothing) sergeant. His behaviour demonstrates that more and more, every time he surfaces with another scaremongering routine, designed to influence the IPCC new report due next year(maybe). One must remind oneself that comedy comes in many forms. Hansen may be better suited to comedy, than science.

Andrew Harding

I would guess that the reason Hansen hasn’t been sacked, is because the top brass at NASA believe in AGW and to sack him, would make the world question this belief.
Personally, I hope NASA keep him, if he continues to write nonsense sooner or later the world will come to realise that AGW is the fiction that most contributors to this website agree it is.

jrinchart

Michaels is simply wrong.
“Hansen claims that global warming is associated with increased drought in the US.”
No he doesn’t. In his paper Hansen writes about drougts in two places:
“Some researchers suggest that high summer temperatures and drought in the United States in the 1930s can be accounted for by natural variability of sea surface temperature patterns (16, 17). Other researchers (18–20) have presented evidence that agricultural changes (plowing of the Great Plains) and crop failure in the 1930s contributed to changed surface albedo, aerosol (dust) production, high temperatures, and drying conditions.”
and
“With the temperature amplified by global warming and ubiquitous surface heating from elevated greenhouse gas amounts, extreme drought conditions can develop.”
There’s nothing about “increased drought in the US” in the PNAS paper.

Garry Stotel

To burn up in the atmosphere first they would have to get there, and using perception is a guarantee they never ever would…

Paul Deacon

QUOTE: The following excerpt from his PNAS paper tells you everything you need to know about James Hansen’s paper:
“Although we were motivated in this research by an objective to expose effects of human-made global warming as soon as possible…” UNQUOTE
I would go further than that, Anthony, and say that the excerpt tells you everything you need to know about political confirmation bias in climate science generally.

Shevva

I am happy that NASA landed there buggy on Mars, although personally I think landing a man on the moon is harder and it’s been a long time since they did that, but as NASA constantly reinforce Hansens ego by allowing his eco-activist work that has zero scientific merit to be released with NASA headed paper, I’m cheering on the Chinese they plan on going back to the moon.

Shevva

@jrinchart says:
August 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm
So whats an ‘Extreme Summer Heat Event’ then, 24 feet of snow?

Olaf Koenders

If Hansen is to be fired, he should be made to return his salary for all the years he published rubbish. His pension should reflect his accuracy and, be similar to an ordinary pension. Maybe this would shake up all the other warmist crooks with their snouts in the trough..

Should there be transparency as to the peer reviewers? I know there are pros and cons and that this question has been broached before, but those that give the green light to papers such as this one really need to be made as accountable as the author(s) themselves.

cui bono

NASA, Curiousity & Hansen:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Allan MacRae

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I just turned 65, so I can now hand out official “pearls of wisdom”.
First, Hansen with his nonsensical blathering is the best friend that climate skeptics could ask for.
If Hansen did not exist, we’d have to invent him. Please consider this:
Would you rather have someone with the intellect of a Richard Lindzen arguing against you?
Next, never use an acronym like PNAS. It is just wrong.

bill

Michaels says: “PNAS isn’t truly peer-reviewed for Members like him” (ie Hansen). Thats an interesting comment, I wonder if anyone knows any more? Quite a few team papers have been published in PNAS if I recall. So do we have additions to the ‘peer-reviewed literature’ which have not been peer-reviewed after all, in any meaningful way? Does having achieved a certain level of eminence in your field mean your papers are not scrutinised (by PNAS reviewers) as lesser mortals’ might be? I often wondered why climate scientists chose to publish there, rather than in ‘proper’ climate science journals.

Caleb

I am happy to see people are becoming as fed up with Hansen as I was back in 2007.
Today is August 8. It is exactly five years since Climate Audit announced it’s questioning of the “adjustments” Hansen made to the NASA GISS temperature record had forced Hansen to “readjust-the-adjustments.”
http://climateaudit.org/2007/08/08/a-new-leaderboard-at-the-us-open/
I heard about the posting via a web-link to the Toronto Star, and that was the day I discovered I wasn’t alone, and websites such as Steve McIntyre’s, “Climate Audit” existed. (It was through a comment on “Climate Audit” that I learned about WUWT, which back then was less than a year old, and still small.)
The August 7 Climate Audit post got noted on Intapundit, and it likely was from there that Rush Limbaugh got the news and noted it on his show, which resulted in Climate Audit getting so many hits that its very next posting, on August 10, was “Sorry For The Loss Of Service.”
My immediate response to awareness of Hansens “adjustments” was anger. I knew what Hansen was up to. Sometimes you don’t need Math; you don’t need to crunch the numbers; you don’t need to study obsolete computers nor understand the mystery of writing code.
My fury at Hansen got me snipped. People informed me I did not know; I only “suspected.” People were quite kind to Hansen, giving him every opportunity to explain himself and, when Hansen refused, doing his explaining for him. Gently they said he was merely “mistaken,” or “prone to confirmation bias.” Where I wanted to smash the clam like a hammer, they put him under the slow-but-steady pressure a starfish uses, when it opens a clam without damaging the shell.
Now here it is five long years later. It is August 8 once again. The clam is still clamming up.
Now, however, I notice an increasing number of people are utterly fed up with Hansen. Comments that would have gotten me snipped in 2007 are everyday.
Yet the clam is still clamming up.
We seem to be arriving at a sort of “tipping point.” Either we tell-it-like-it-is, and remove the weed from the garden, or else we accept the weeds, and give up on the garden of science.

Peter Hannan

I’ve loved NASA since the sixties; in particular, my first experience of staying up late (at 12 years) was with my father, to see the landing of Apollo 11. That love, and respect, continues; I don’t have the expertise to critique J Hansen et al’s latest paper in detail, but certainly I’m worried by the fact that a paper in PNAS has the word ‘perception’ in its title and its focus; this is ‘post-modern’ ‘science’, which I would argue is not science as understood in the grand tradition of science. Post-modernism substitutes relativism and subjectivism for the scientific tradition of seeking (eventually) objective truth, and this is a grave menace. I suspect that many ‘climate scientists’ have been entrapped in this post-modernist discourse, and have felt (or made) themselves free of the crucial tests of experiment and observation which are essential in a Popperian view of science (or, the view of Richard Feynman). But any organisation is complex and multi-facetted. Let’s celebrate the amazing success of Curiosity and all its engineering and scientific contributions, recognising that in NASA there are many people who do understand science, and put themselves on the line of disproof (such as, oops, this $200 billion project crashed, as could have happened, but didn’t).

I second your call to get Hansen fired. I remember Hansen’s former boss John Theon being reported here and speaking out at the Heartland conference.
I originally believed Hansen… because until I looked I could not even imagine that Science could have become so crooked (the effective silencing of all opposing points of view).
I seem to remember that you withdrew your original call to get Hansen fired, fairly soon… perhaps because you were not, at that point, ready to put your weight behind the words… but times have changed.
In reality, Hansen was a bad scientist right from the start. His Venusian science was already compromising itself with data that needed to be hidden. There was never runaway warming on Venus, and a bit more attention to the evidence, as Harry Huffman has done, shows the Venusian CO2=warming is simply bad science.
There is still a serious issue with an effective silencing of all opposing points of view, however, which I think will take a post-WUWT generation to deal with. You have much important groundwork to do here still, to restore lost integrity. But… Much stuff that is lambasted and declared OT and “pseudoscientific” here at WUWT, actually holds material that is perfectly scientifically valid, and is important for the future of science. Huffman and Graeff and Tallbloke are pointing the way at just the physical level of reality… The best scientists (Newton, Kepler, Einstein, Maxwell, Tesla, etc) have always been open to higher dimensions of reality.

tango

I think it is very sad that he looks to have lost the plot he should see a shrink urgently

Jim D

The paper is about extreme temperatures, not drought (which involves dry conditions). It barely mentions the word drought because Hansen is not looking at rainfall statistics, yet Michaels is blabbering about drought the whole time. Looks like a disconnect. Did he read the paper? Perhaps he agrees with the temperature part so didn’t say anything about the bell curve shifting and the extreme areas increasing.

Any paper that asserts things about temperature vs drought for the North American continent (or even just the USA) as a whole is going to be broken.
On the West side of the continent, we get more drought when it is COLD. On the East they get more drought when it is HOT.
You can’t just average two different regimes together and get anything but nonsense.
(Anyone who was skiing in the ’70s in California remembers how dismal the snow was and how we had lots of drought. That was during the “ice age coming” cold scare phase of the PDO. In the 1930s it was hot in the “midwest” – that is actually slightly east – and they had the Dustbowl…)
It is, IMHO, simply imperative to not just average a bunch of numbers and think it means anything. The underlaying patterns of the system must be understood first.
For example, it snowed in South Africa (after a cold early winter in Australia and South America) all while the USA Midwest is hot and dry. Could there be a simple hemispheric oscillation going on? And if you have different coverages in the two areas (as we do) will an average be bogus? Yes, it will. Furthermore, as the coverages vary over time, doing comparisons of a ‘baseline’ to now will have coverage errors in it too. Using The Reference Station Method (a Hansen invention) will also be hobbled by an unrecognized slow oscillation in the hemispheres as the ‘baseline’ relationship between thermometers will not match the “later” relationship.
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/gore-effect-by-proxy-in-south-africa/
So you simply must look at over all patterns prior to averaging things or you just get “average error”…

Peter Stroud

We have to remember that Hansen is almost divine in the minds of many of the world’s politicians. In the UK, for example, Gore has completely convinced our Prime Minister, and the majority of politicians of the evils of manmade CO2. But most of them know it was Hansen who supplied Gore’s ‘data.’
A copy of the letter should be sent to all senior politicians, worldwide, both in government and opposition.
This part should be in bold and underlined. “With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.”

Alan the Brit

The trouble with Hansen is that I beleive he has acheived near deity status, it’s as though he cannot be touched lest his superiors are branded & tarred as victimising him for telling the truth, or Big Guvment is silencing him! I did pen a wee suggestion about what Michael Mann should do around a year or so ago if he had any integrity, but ctm rightly cut it as it was a bit too dramatic, despite having its merrits. I apply the same suggestion for Hansen if he had any real professional integrity, & do the decent thing! Hansen is a loaded gun in unsafe hands imho!

DBCooper

@jrincart who said “With the temperature amplified by global warming and ubiquitous surface heating from elevated greenhouse gas amounts, extreme drought conditions can develop. There’s nothing about “increased drought in the US” in the PNAS paper.”
Your reasoning is the same total nonsense as Hansen’s. He’s talking about the dust bowl of the 30s. The fact that he is a poor writer is irrelevant.

Bloke down the pub

A letter signed by a load of NASA scientists might get noted in the press, but the administration aren’t likely to do anything until they get a letter signed by a million voters. When election time beckons, politicians would sell their granny down the line if they thought it would get them more votes.

mycroft

He should be known from now on as James “Ha Ha” Hansen climate clown…….The lord Haw Haw of climate propaganda.

Jean Meeus

If I remember well, in 1988 Hansen said that, due to global warming and the subsequent rising of the level of the oceans, the building were he was working (was it Washington D.C. or New York?) would be reached by the sea. Well, now, 24 years later, where is the water?

By writing such nonsense continually and acting erratically scientifically, Hansen is doing good work in aiding to demolish the Great Green CAGW Shibboleth. NASA should definitely keep him on, as he is on our side.

michael hart

As a graduate student, I once stumbled across some chemistry papers allegedly written by Elena Ceausescu, wife of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Whether she really was a scientist, or not, is in doubt, yet Wikipedia recounts that at their trial [after being deposed] she was mocked for being unable to even pronounce CO2 correctly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena_Ceau%C8%99escu