I never thought the day would come that I’d be reposting something from David Appell. Yet, here I am, in agreement with him. I keep looking over my shoulder for a lurking quantum singularity or some other such rift in the fabric of spacetime. Appell writes on Quark Soup (bold mine, h/t to Dr. Ryan Maue):
Hyping Hansen’s Paper
Eric Holthaus at Slate wrote:
I’m sorry, but this is complete bullshit.
No single paper, by Hansen or anyone else, becomes part of the “canon” a day after it is published. (Nor does it based on the version published in July of last year.)
I haven’t even read the new version of Hansen et al in detail yet. But it is certainly not part of the canon, for the same reason that a play of Shakespeare’s wasn’t part of the literary canon less than a year after it was first published — only time can tell. It takes a good bit of time for scientific papers to be anointed, and this paper’s conclusions are certainly far from the mainsteam.
There are some extreme and improbable scenarios in Hansen et al. Sure, maybe we could pass a tipping point by 2050 — but I think it’s more than likely we will not.
Hansen anymore seems interested in promoting alarmism at all costs. There’s been a whiff of this throughout his entire career, but this latest paper is just too much to take seriously.
Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield sea level rise of several meters in 50, 100 or 200 years.
But there’s no evidence of a doubling time of 10, 20 or 40 years. The latest Aviso sea level data now shows, over the satellite era, an acceleration of 0.026 mm/yr2 over a sea level rise of 3.36 mm/yr — that’s an acceleration/SLR of 0.72% per year, or a doubling time of 97 years.
Relative to sea level today, that works out to a rise of…16 inches.
(CU’s data is even slower, showing an acceleration/SLR of 0.45%/yr.)
And the reactions Holthaus gets from other scientists, who weren’t co-authors on the paper, aren’t very convincing:
In an email to Slate, Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist who was skeptical of the initial draft, calls the final study “considerably improved.” Mottram, who specializes in studying the Greenland ice sheet, said “the scenario they sketch out is implausible, though perhaps not impossible … it’s frankly terrifying.”
“Perhaps not impossible” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement that says the paper deserves to be part of any “canon.”
Read his full post, here: http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2016/03/hyping-hansens-paper.html
I had originally thought about responding to the Holthaus ‘canon’ declaration, but he’s just so “out there” I didn’t think it mattered much, because most intelligent people could see what it is for themselves. As Appell says, “this is complete bullshit.”
My take on the paper is here.