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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What are we going to do tomorrow night James?
The same thing we do every night. TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

Kurt in Switzerland

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

John Endicott

“The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.”
Just as only the perceptive person can see and admire the Emperor’s new clothes!

I can’t give these people the benefit of the doubt any more. Hansen is in dire need of psychiatric help.
Do they not understand how crazy the things they’re saying are?
It’s just completely astonishing that this guy was put in charge of budgets reaching the tens of billions.

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

Leo Danze

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

Mike Bromley the Kurd (this week)

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

Rud Istvan

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

Let’s look on the bright side: boiling oceans would have been a problem, so we dodged a bullet there.

Cogsys

I become increasingly convinced that there is a strong current of nihilism in modern media; they are convinved that the world would be a better place without the human race in general and European derived scientific thought in particular. Rather than assess data without bias and prejudice, they begin the process by setting it within this intellectual context; as a result, all statements and studies from them have to be interpreted from a skeptical perspective.
Of course, this is not a bad thing, scepticism is the basis of science.

Jimmy Haigh.

I think he wants to get into the movies.

DJ

Ole Jimmy H. is still held in high esteem over at SciFiAm….
http://news.yahoo.com/keystone-xl-oil-pipeline-exacerbates-climate-change-103000967.html
… ‘scuse me, but I thought Buffet’s train (BNSF) was hauling more and more tar oil, which is one reason he doesn’t like the pipeline… Is he funding SciFiAm??

jorgekafkazar

It’s not easy living with a Messiah complex.

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

Rich H

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

JackT

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

Andrew

Can somebody ask his nurse to ask him why all that bad stuff didn’t happen when CO2 was at 4000 or even 8000 ppmv?
I haven’t laughed so much since a former UK Chief Scientific Adviser claimed that humans would be reduced to a few hundreds of breeding pairs in the Arctic.

Anthony:
Hansen is ex-GISS. Perlwitz has yet to be told his next champion.
Richard

FergalR

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

SasjaL

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

Spot on and very graphic …!

Bill Illis

All hat and no cattle.

kim

Heh, this guy is gonna be spectacular on the witness stand.
=================

Latitude

some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable……………
Are these the same people that talk about leaving this planet and establishing a colony on Mars?

SasjaL

Andrew on April 17, 2013 at 8:14 am
Can somebody ask his nurse to ask him why all that bad stuff didn’t happen when CO2 was at 4000 or even 8000 ppmv?

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

Hansen has regressed from prophet no.2 to prophet no.1

The networks have been missing a bet by not giving Hansen a reality TV show.

Theo Goodwin

Quote of the Day:
“The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.”
James, the only climate dice are the dice in your hand. And, yes, the dice in your hand are loaded.

“…wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C. At such temperatures , for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive , because even under ideal conditions of rest and ventilation, it is physically impossible for the environment to carry away the 100 W of metabolic heat that a human body generates when it is at rest 14 .”
That’s a normal, moderately warm — not especially hot — humid summer day where I grew up. I guess I’m dead. Who knew?
I’d go into the problems of “greenhouse” effects reaching an equilibrium temperature that will melt lead, despite a very reflective upper cloud level, but the resulting discussion would likely run afoul of comments subject policies.

Sam the First

All this hot air is a clear indictment of our Western education systems. In the past, the kind of people who became journalists would have had enough science, or the means and will to find it, to debunk this stuff right at the start.
Kids are no longer taught to think for themselves, and haven’t been since the liberal left took power in the educational system a couple of generations ago. They have been taught to swallow whatever they were told via appeals to authority, and we all pay the price

Theo Goodwin

“More and more I think the general alarm sounded by the team over what proxies tell them is based on shaky and inconsistent data. As we’ve seen with Marcott et al, they tend to mold the proxy data into their visions, rather than let the data tell the story honestly.”
One thing we can be gold-plated sure about is that none of the paleo people have done ordinary scientific experiments designed to reveal a lack of reliability in their proxies (or they have done it and kept it a secret). For lack of reliability testing, use of proxies is based on nothing more than the assumption that, for example, tree rings are reliable thermometers down to a tenth of a degree per decade. That is not science. That is not even good guess work. In fact, it is preposterous.

Gary Pearse

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

Taphonomic

R Taylor says:
“The networks have been missing a bet by not giving Hansen a reality TV show.”
He might do better in an unreality show on the Syfy (science fiction) network.

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

DesertYote

“… with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C. At such temperatures , for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive , …”
Gosh, I wonder how I was able to survive cooking pasta all day long in Phoenix during the summer, with nothing but an evap cooler?

climatebeagle

” some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C. ”
Tucson, AZ falsifies that claim. People continue to live there during the summer. Technology has obviously helped.

TomR,Worc,MA,USA

I guess the silver lining if the oceans do boil is, it will be the mother of all- “all you can eat” lobsterfests ……. mmmmmm lobster. Anyone have any butter?
More seriously, he really is demented isn’t he. Has Gavin over at RC printed any reaction to this latest “paper”, or just more …… nothing to see here!!

chris y

This is a major climb-down for Jor-El Hansen-
Before:
“I’ve come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a DEAD CERTAINTY.”
Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren
Now:
“At least one sentence in “Storms” will need to be corrected in the next edition: even with burning of all fossil fuels the tropical ocean does not “boil”.”
Question: How many other DEAD CERTAIN Hansen predictions will need to be corrected in the next edition?
Before:
High latitude warming is faster than tropical warming, reducing latitudinal temperature gradients, which is somehow going to drive more powerful cyclonic storms.
Now:
“…high latitude cooling would increase latitudinal temperature gradients, thus driving powerful cyclonic storms.”- James Hansen, blog paper, 12/26/2012
Before:
“As we shall see, the small forces that drove millennial climate changes are now overwhelmed by human forcings.”
Hansen et al., 2003 activist bulletin, Columbia University
Now:
“”The longevity of the recent protracted solar minimum, at least two years longer than prior minima of the satellite era, makes that solar minimum potentially a potent force for cooling,” Hansen and his co-authors said.”
Hansen et al., “Earth’s energy imbalance and implications”, 2011
And here is an insightful comment that Hansen needs to address-
“Hansen has been talking about catastrophic warming, hottest year ever, multi-metre sea level rise, death trains, extinction, end of the world as we know it, etc.
Yet, by his own measures temperatures are below scenario C – which he considers safe. How can the climate be both catastrophic and safe at the same time?”
Steven Goddard, 3/28/2013

Ghandi

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

David L. Hagen

Reality check!
Global temperatures have ranged from 10C to 25C, even when CO2 was between 3000 ppm and 7000 ppm.
http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif
Existing coal beds show that the environment was lush and very productive during that period.
The Antarctic high plateau is Very COLD.
“Extreme cold year-round, approx. -20°C to -60°C monthly averages, large temperature range
e.g. Vostok, 78°27’S, 106°52’E, average temperature -55.1°C, range 36°”
Basic Physics: Ice melts at ~ 0C.
A 9C rise to -46 C will NOT melt the high plateau Antarctic Ice Cap.

The perceptive person should notice that the climate dice are now loaded.
I agree, but they are loaded with ones and not with sixes.

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

Tom J

Precisely what are James Hansen’s medical qualifications to blather about the human body? Ok, now that I’ve answered that question, let me move on to an observation.
Just like another climate scientist (jeez, do I use that description loosely) who got rid of the Medieval Warm Period because, well, that was just an effect limited to Europe, and so he therefore extrapolated global temperatures from one, or two, or so, Bristlecone Pines, I think our crazy cousin Hansen is enveloped in the same extrapolation fetish. And, in a similar manner he’s using a really wimpy number of proxies to extrapolate for the entirety of the human condition. In fact he’s using just one proxy. And it happens to be himself.
Allow me to explain. Recently, Hansen made a typically thought destroying statement in which he mentioned that at his age he didn’t worry about a criminal record anymore. The translation behind that statement is: Damn am I getting old. And, he is old. The seventy years he’s trod upon this planet is, well, now seventy years less he’s got to plod upon it. He knows that, just like our energy sources, he’s finite. Like other eco warriors, sustainable energy to him really meant sustainable life. Perpetual life. Immortality. But now he has come to grips with the fact that when he looks in the mirror, he sees a floppy hatted grim reaper staring right back at him. And he conflates his approaching demise with the demise of the entire human race. He views himself as a proxy for all of us.
Get over it Jim. Death is one of the nasty little tricks nature plays on us. We can’t prevent it any more than we can prevent the weather from changing. Instead of chaining yourself to the Whitehouse fence (me thinks Barack & Michelle aren’t all that much fun anyway), chain yourself to a bar, order a frigid cold dry Plymouth gin martini, a top flight Churchill cigar and remember the old saying, “Luxury is the best revenge.”

Duster

One implication is that if we should “succeed” in digging up and burning all fossil fuels, some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C.
I notice that several others have already commented on this. All I can ask is, “what did he really mean here?” Temperatures regularly top that in many parts of California in the summer and have since records have been kept.

The scariest part of this is that Hansen still has the ear of policymakers. Since they’re just as mentally off as he is, they find a soulmate in him, and will blindly do what he wants them to do.
The left has no qualms about committing genocide through carbon policies, driven by the sort of “thinking” expressed by people like Hansen.

johninoxley

Village calling Jimmy, Village calling Jimmy….. We seem to have lost our Idiot.

cjames

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

Gary Pearse

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

Box of Rocks

Me thinks that a wet bulb temperature of 95 degree F is impossible.
I have yet to set a dew point above 85 degree F.
I bet a case a beer that if one was to plot dew point on graph ( and I need help on this ) vs something ( I can’t put my finger on it) that there is limit to the dew point. Me thinks of Hurricanes – and not the drink,.
How much weather is driven by a high dew point? Tornadoes form with dew points in the 70s plus a few other factors for sure.
The reality is as the dew point increases so does the severe weather and the ability of the atmosphere to transfer heat to space through thunderstorms or hurricanes.
The graph has to be asymptotic.
But what data is used and how is it shown?

Patricia

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