Autopsy Of An Excuse

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach [See Update At End]

Well, Dr. James Hansen, the man who invented the global warming scam and our favorite failed serial doomcaster, recently addressed the cratering of a 30-year prediction he made in 1988.

hansen_of_borg

Back then, he said the globe would warm up by one full degree by 2018 under the “business as usual” rubric … not. Here’s the story as written up in “Spin” magazine in 1988.

hansen 1998

Since then we’ve had a continued expansion of fossil fuel use, as in his most alarmist scenario. Given that amount of CO2 emissions, his prediction was that by now, temperatures would have gone up by 1°C (note that the Spin article, as pointed out by Mosh and Tamino among others, is in error).

Obviously, nothing like that has happened. Despite the fact that millions of folks believed his prediction in 1988 and continue to listen to him today, the UAH MSU satellite data says that since 1988 it’s warmed by … well … about a third of a degree. Not one degree. A third of a degree. He was wrong by a factor of 3. So obviously, he needs an excuse for this failure.

Here’s the back story to Hansen’s excuse, published last week under the headline “Climate Scientists Move Global Meltdown from 2018 to 2168”

And just last week [Hansen] addressed the prospect of further temperature increases during an interview with New York magazine. Keep in mind that Hansen predicted in a greenhouse model that there would be “an increase of from two to five degrees Fahrenheit” in global temperatures by 2018, as quoted from December 1988 edition of Spin magazine. 

“I don’t think we’re going to get four or five degrees this century, because we get a cooling effect from the melting ice,” he said last week. “But the biggest effect will be that melting ice. In my opinion that’s the big thing – sea-level rise – because we have such a large fraction of people on coastlines, more than half of the large cities in the world are on coastlines.” [Hansen]

SOURCE

Amazing. He’s kicked the old threat of global warming under the bus. Now, it’s morphed into “Global warming won’t cause increased temperature because it just melts the ice but then the sea levels will rise and WE’RE ALL STILL DOOMED!” Once an alarmist, always an alarmist, I guess.

Now, that claim about ice melting had my numeric legend detector ringing like a fire alarm in a cheap whorehouse. It didn’t make any sense that melting that amount of ice would cool us that much, the amount seemed far too small.  So I decided to see if that made sense. Sea ice is basically unchanged, so how much land ice is melting? The analysis of GRACE satellite puts it at 500 billion (500e+9) tonnes of ice per year.

Let me go through the calculations, so y’all can identify any mistakes I’ve made. I’m working in the computer language “R”, don’t worry about that, it will all be explained. Things following a hashmark (#) are comments. Lines that start with [1] are the computer output from that instruction above it. A semicolon separates two different instructions on one line.

In the first line below, I’ve created a variable called “latent” and set it to the latent heat of melting for water at zero salinity and zero pressure:. As the comment notes, this is in units of “J/kg”,  which is joules per kilogram. Note that the second instruction, the one after the semicolon, “latent” by itself, just prints out the value of the variable “latent”.

> latent = gsw_latentheat_melting(0,0) ; latent          # J/kg

[1] 333427

Next, I also create a variable named “ice_mass” and set it to the 500 billion tonnes of ice melted per year.

> ice_mass = 500e9 ; ice_mass                # tonnes/year

[1] 5e+11

Then I start the actual calculations. The variable “heat_required” is the calculated number of joules required to melt 500 billion tonnes of ice in one year. As the comment notes, a factor of 1000 is needed to go from J/kg in “latent” to J/tonne to match the ice_mass.

> heat_required = ice_mass * latent * 1e3 ; heat_required # J/yr. “1e3” is to convert kg to tonnes

[1] 1.67e+20

Then I calculate the total joules in one year from a constant flux of one watt per square metre. Since a watt is one joule per second, this is the same as the number of seconds in a year. I use this value a lot so I already have a variable set to this, called “secsperyear”. If I didn’t, it’s just 365.24 days * 24 hrs/day * 60 mins/hr * 60 secs/min

> onewattperm2=secsperyear ; onewattperm2 #joules/m2/year. “secsperyear” is seconds per year

[1] 31556952

Next, I’ve converted joules per square meter per year into total global joules per year by multiplying by 5.11e14, the number of square metres of the earth’s surface.

> onewattglob=surfaream*onewattperm2 ; onewattglob #joules/yr/W. “surfaream” is global surface in square metres

[1] 1.61e+22

And finally, I am able to calculate the number of watts per square metre needed to melt 500 billion tonnes of ice per year … which turns out to be a flux of about one hundredth of a watt per square metre.

> watts_needed=heat_required/onewattglob ; watts_needed #W/m2

[1] 0.0103

Now, bear in mind that as a 24/7 global average, there is about half a kilowatt of total downwelling radiation at the surface (500 W/m2, made up of about 170 W/m2 of solar radiation plus about 330 W/m2 of longwave infrared radiation).

So the 0.01 W/m2 from the melting of the ice is equivalent to a 0.002% change in downwelling radiation. TWO THOUSANDTH OF ONE PERCENT CHANGE!

So what James Hansen is saying to excuse his laughable prediction is that reducing the 500 W/m2 of downwelling radiation to 499.99 W/m2 has reduced the earth’s temperature by two thirds of degrees in thirty years …

Say what? That’s so far off it’s not even wrong!

And even if the GRACE satellite ice-melt estimate is out by a factor of ten, the result is the same. The amount of cooling from even ten times that amount of ice per year would only give us a cooling of a tenth of a W/m2, so instead of 500 W/m2 at the surface, we’d have 499.9 W/m2 … be still, my beating heart …

So as my bad number detector indicated, Jame Hansen is just running his usual con job on the unscientific public. Make a bold prediction for thirty years out, wait twenty-nine years, wave your hands and prevaricate to explain the fact that the prediction has totally cratered … and then make a new prediction, that it’s still gonna happen … but not for a hundred and fifty years.

Hanson has learned something about making predictions, though … he won’t ever have to explain the probable cratering of his new prediction, no worries about that.

By the time that prediction is testable … he’ll be dead.

Maybe that’s some of the dying that Bill Nye the Skeevy Science Guy has been saying is needed to move climate science forwards …

Sometimes I think there will come a time when Jim Hansen runs out of excuses for his plethora of piss-poor predictions … but then I consider the distance from here to the nearest star, and the size of my gorgeous ex-fiancee’s heart, and the number of grains of sand on the beach, and I realize that there is no reason to think that the source of his excuses is any less limitless than those things …

Best of life to each of you,

w.

NOTE: As ever, I request that when you comment you QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS you are discussing, so we can all be clear on your subject.

[Update] As a number of folks pointed out, the Spin article was 100% wrong. Hansen’s model didn’t predict 3° warming by now … it predicted one degree warming. I’ve changed the post to reflect this.

And I was also 100% wrong, to believe a contemporary article rather than go back to the original paper. Mea maxima culpa, my thanks to Mosh, Tamino, and others who pointed it out.

However, this makes no difference to my point. His claims about melting ice are a wild exaggeration. The amount of cooling from the melting of ice is far, far too small to have the effect, whether by now or by the end of the century.

[Update II] 

I note that Tamino has a post over at his website responding to my post here, entitled “Does Willis Eschenbach Have Any Honor”.

The answer from my perspective is obviously “Yes” … however, the oh-so-honorable Tamino banned me from his website about a decade ago, which means that he is mounting a cowardly attack on me in a place where I have no way to respond.

Here at WUWT, I made a mistake, which was picked up by Tamino. I corrected the mistake, and thanked him. And obviously, Tamino is free to comment on that here.

In response, Tammy has published a pusillanimous attack on me in a place where he has censored my voice entirely and I am unable to defend myself in even the slightest manner.

I leave it to the reader to determine which of us is honorable.

w.

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369 thoughts on “Autopsy Of An Excuse

    • Such as 2018 moved to 2168 is actually 150 years NOT 50 years.

      But even that is in keeping with the standard fudge factor of three that applies to ALL climate prognostications.

      But as usual, misteaks always lead to new questions, as to which of the fake news stories is the actual real fake news.

      So please enlighten us Willis; which is the correct fake news, the 50 year number or the 2168 Date.

      I’ve even been known to cast errata in concrete myself.

      G & g

      • Fake like those “misteaks” … ? Georgie must have been hungry dreaming of steaks for dinner!

    • ‘the 30,000 years of history since our species emerged’ – ummm I think we have been around a bit longer than that and that was well known in 1988. Just last week it was confirmed humans had been in Australia for some 65,000 years.

      Then again, this sort of ‘error’ is par for the course for the Hansonite fringe dwellers. Maybe its only the last 30,000 years isnce they emerged and invented shamanism and monsters from the black lagoon and evil spirits in the sky etc. and all the ‘fringe benefits’ that proponents of such crap could extract.

      • Yeah KK,
        Is it ironic that the 65,000 year date is from a dig almost within sight of the very large and important Jabiluka uranium deposit, whose discovery I witnessed on site. It started up and shut down again some 20 years ago.
        Pressure from local original Australians was part of the reason, if not most. My then employer worked the Ranger mine a few km to the South and I pushed hard for our Board to take over Jabiluka pre-production, which they did. After I left, it changed hands as the employer was taken over.
        It is possible that some more detailed work will be needed to date artefacts confidently to that 65,000 years, but that is a science matter, not a social one.
        Geoff.

      • “this sort of ‘error’ is par for the course for the Hansonite fringe dwellers”
        It’s “Spin” magazine talking. That’s Willis’ choice of source. Not much to do with Hansen.

      • The date remains to be confidently verified, but is surely possible.

        Anatomically modern humans have been around for about 300,000 years, and left Africa at times in the past 100,000 years.

      • The above was a reply to Kuma re. Australia.

        South River Independent July 23, 2017 at 12:17 pm

        In the strict sense of written documents, human “history” is around 5000 years old. But in terms of archaeology, paleontology, geology and biology, our subspecies is, as noted, around 300,000 years old. Our genus, as currently classified, is some 2.7 million years old, but generic status is fairly arbitrary. If you combine the genera Homo and Australopithecus, then the human genus is more than five million years old.

        It’s possible to speak of the history of the universe and of earth, so using the term in this sense is entirely justified. The science of geology is the history of the earth written in rocks.

    • I heard that Algebra is racist.
      At least it is according to chancellor for the California Community Colleges, Eloy Ortiz Oakley.

      Who knew ?

      • Lotsa stuff is racist.
        Hosing feces off of sidewalks…racist.
        Trying to keep terrorists from murdering your family…racist.
        Wanting to be able to keep drug smugglers from waltzing across the border unchecked…racist.
        Being white…racist.
        And being a cis-gendered, hetero-normative, white male nationalist climageddon-denying free-market-loving job-having anti-delusionalist not-stoned-out-at-all-times Trump voter?
        I think you oughta be able to guess…you are and always have been a responsible-for-every-single-bad-thing-ever-invented transhomoislamophobic RACIST!

  1. I don’t know if the maths is right, but it misses the point.

    This is a shift away from “extreme weather” because that didn’t really work out, and that was a shift from “it’s going to get really, really hot” because that didn’t work out very well either.

    And sea-level scare stories are much, much better because who can tell whether they are true or not? We can all tell whether it’s much hotter much more often that it used to be and we call tell whether it keeps flooding or droughting (should be a word!), but how can I tell if the sea is rising ever so slightly? I can’t so I have to rely on the scientists to tell me.

    • Between “it’s going to get really, really hot” and “extreme weather”, didn’t we have the Polar Bear scam for a number of years and then we had asthma with the chill’un.

    • but how can I tell if the sea is rising ever so slightly?
      ======================
      Sea levels are not rising, they are oscillating as can been seen from nautical charts 2-3 hundred years ago. Rocks awash at low tide are still awash 2-3 hundred years later. If seas were rising, these rocks would now be covered at low tide.

      Get a British Admiralty chart for your area.($40 new). A rock awash can be recognized as a “:+:” symbol. It was probably last surveyed 200+ years ago. Check the rocks awash at the sea shore in your area at low, low tide (“0” tide). They will still be awash today. The change is so small as to be unnoticeable. If you don’t have a local sea shore to check, why are you even concerned?

      Intergovernmental Manuals and Guides 14
      Oceanographic
      Commission

      MANUAL ON SEA LEVEL
      MEASUREMENT AND INTERPRETATION
      Volume I – Basic Procedures

      2.7 LONG-TERM TRENDS
      The combination of sea level changes measured by different techniques shows a relatively
      rapid rise of sea level from 20,000 years ago, gradually slowing down 8,000 years ago when levels were some 15 metres below those of today. The increase then proceeded more
      gradually until present levels were reached some 4,000 years ago. Since that time the
      changes have consisted of oscillations of small amplitude.

      http://www.psmsl.org/train_and_info/training/manuals/ioc_14i.pdf

      • No one measures sea level to the millimeter. They take two numbers with an error of several inches 20 years apart, then get the difference and divide by 20. However, the error is still several inches, and thus, there is zero detectable sea level rise in the past 20 years. If you have a tide gauge, the latency response and float weight is dampening the signal, and as such is not sea level. Sea level has no actual meaning. There are tides, waves, chop, swell, and foam. Sea level is a concept that a probabilistic thing is an actual high precision thing. Light pointing to the position of an electron in orbit in an atom.

      • Donald Kasper July 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm

        No one measures sea level to the millimeter. They take two numbers with an error of several inches 20 years apart, then get the difference and divide by 20. However, the error is still several inches, and thus, there is zero detectable sea level rise in the past 20 years.

        Thanks, Donald, but man, you couldn’t possibly be more wrong.

        The modern SEAFRAME tidal measuring stations, in place in the South Pacific for over twenty years now, use a “stilling well” and an acoustic sounder to measure the actual sea level every six minutes to an accuracy of ± one mm.

        Like I said … you’re not just wrong. You are on another planet.

        Please do a google search before you post. It will save you much grief.

        w.

      • OK, Willis, I’ll bite. How many such stations are in use around the world, and what percentage of global sea surface do they cover?

        IIRC Willy Soon has a long youtube video pointing out the many difficulties in determining *global* sea level rise.

        Should Donald Kasper’s “No one” be amended to “almost no one” or “not enough stations to be statistically significant”?

        Are you comfortable with the claim that levels can be measured to the millimeter? If so, why?

      • Here’s a schematic of an (old-fashioned) tide gauge:
        http://www.sealevel.info/tide_gauge_schematic.html

        The stilling well averages out the waves, but not the tides. There are no waves, chop, swell or foam in a stilling well.

        As long as you don’t let the pipe fill up with mud, or let the hole near the bottom get plugged, and as long as you keep the instrument running which measures the water level in the pipe, there’s not much that can go wrong. Tide gauges are simple, elegant, precise, and reliable.

        19th century gauges used a tide stick, with a human observer reading it on a schedule. That actually worked quite well, because the exact time of high, low & mean tide can be worked out in advance. So we have 150-year-old and even 200-year-old .measurement records which are quite precise and perfectly reliable.

        Note that even in the 19th century they had strong incentives to not botch or fudge their readings, because the measurement sites were usually near channels and harbors, and if they didn’t know the correct water levels and accurately predict the tides, ships might run aground!

        I trust 19th century tide gauge measurements, done by hand with a tide stick, more than I trust 21st century satellite altimetry, for sea-level measurement.

        In the early 20th century they got strip-chart recorders connected to floats, as shown in that diagram, so observers didn’t have to go out in the rain at oh-dark-thirty with a lantern, to read the tide gauges.

        Modern gauges use better instrumentation, but the basic operating principle is the same: they just measure the water level in a stilling well.

        It really doesn’t matter very much whether you have a human being reading a tide stick on a schedule synchronized with the tides, or a float attached to a stripchart recorder, or an acoustical sounder phoning home its readings 10x per hour. You get pretty much the same numbers for MSL, HWL, LWL, etc. It is very easy to tell that the system for reading the water level doesn’t bias the data: just keep an old-fashioned tide stick in the well, and check it against your stripchart recorder or acoustic sounder readings, for consistency.

        One other detail is worth mentioning: The tide gauge locations — and, most importantly, their elevations — are precisely referenced via surveying techniques to nearby geodetic markers. So if your tide gauge gets blown away in a storm, or even if it has been gone for years, in most cases when a new gauge is installed you can still have confidence that its measurements are consistent with the old instrument.

        The contrasts with temperature measurements and satellite altimetry are pretty obvious:

        With temperatures you never know when the minimum and maximum will be reached, so even if you used a min-max thermometer your time-of-observation (“TOBS“) could introduce a bias (“correction” of which is an opportunity for introducing other biases). That’s not a problem for sea-level measurement with tide gauges.

        With temperatures, the surroundings can greatly influence the readings. That’s generally not a problem for sea-level measurement with tide gauges (though channel silting and dredging can sometimes have an effect on some locations, especially on tidal range).

        With temperature measurements, changes in instrumentation, or even in the paint used on the Stevenson Screen, can change your readings. Analogous issues affect satellite altimeters, too, as is obvious by the differences between the measurements from different satellites. But it’s not a significant problem for sea-level measurement with tide gauges.

        Also, unlike tide gauges, which are referenced to stable benchmarks, there’s no trustworthy reference frame in space, to determine the locations of the satellites with precision. NASA is aware of this problem. In 2011 NASA proposed (and re-proposed in 2014 / 2015) a new mission called the Geodetic Reference Antenna in SPace (GRASP). The proposal is discussed here, and its implications for measuring sea-level are discussed here. But, so far, the mission has not flown.

        Satellite measurements are affected/distorted by mid-ocean sea surface temperature changes, and consequent local steric changes, which don’t affect the coasts.

        The longest tide-gauge measurement records are about 200 years long (with a few gaps)! The longest satellite measurement records are about ten years, and the combined record from all satellites is less than 25 years, and the measurements are often inconsistent from one satellite to another:

        With temperatures, researchers often go back and “homogenize” (revise) the old data, to “correct” biases that they believe might have distorted the readings. The same thing happens with satellite altimetry data. But it doesn’t happen with sea-level measurement by a tide gauge.

        Unlike tide-gauge measurements (but very much like temperature indices), satellite altimetry measurements are subject to sometimes-drastic error and revision, in the post-processing of their data (h/t Steve Case):


        Those are graphs of the same satellite altimetry data, processed differently. Do you see how much the changes in processing changed the reported trend? In the case of Envisat (the last graph), revisions/corrections which were made up to a decade later tripled the reported trend.

      • Curious George July 22, 2017 at 3:56 pm

        Willis, does a sea level measurement every six minutes consider tides?

        It measures whatever the sea height is at that moment. The removal of the tidal components is essential for determining the underlying sea level, but it is done mathematically afterwards. This is why we need fifty years or so of data to get an accurate answer.

        w.

      • Someone said there was sea level rise but that tectonic rebound was negating the effect. Sounds good to me. And the shore at the north end of Lake Michigan is rebounding at a rate of 1 inch per century. Rebound from glaciers. My head hurts!

      • effinayright July 22, 2017 at 4:55 pm

        OK, Willis, I’ll bite. How many such stations are in use around the world, and what percentage of global sea surface do they cover?

        Thanks for biting, Effing. SEAFRAME stations are in place across the Pacific, in something like twenty sites. However, they are very important sites, as they have a co-located GPS. So they can give extremely accurate data.

        Around the world, the accuracy is less … but still generally good.

        IIRC Willy Soon has a long youtube video pointing out the many difficulties in determining *global* sea level rise.

        Indeed, there are many.

        Should Donald Kasper’s “No one” be amended to “almost no one” or “not enough stations to be statistically significant”?

        Nope. He was clueless. These SEAFRAME stations have contributed greatly to our understanding of sea levels in the Pacific … which is a BIG part of the planet.

        In addition, the newer NOAA stations use the same technology to take mm-accurate measurements every six minutes. There’s a good discussion of these issues here here.

        Finally, remember, Donald’s claim was that to get mm accuracy “They take two numbers with an error of several inches 20 years apart, then get the difference and divide by 20.” … NOT.

        Are you comfortable with the claim that levels can be measured *globally* to the millimeter? If so, why?

        That question is a bit more complex than it seems. Can we measure sea level from a satellite to the nearest mm? Yes, with repeated passes, but we are operating at the outer fringes of reliability. To start with, we have to measure the distance to one part per billion … and that is tough even on a good day with a following wind.

        The problem, however, is generally not in the instantaneous measurements. As with the MSU satellite data, the problem is unknown slow drift of both the instruments and the satellite. This makes the trends suspect.

        However, this doesn’t obviate the use of such data. For example, slow drift doesn’t affect say the comparison of how high the sea surface is at point X versus point Y today.

        Regards,

        w.

      • Jimmy Haigh wrote, “If sea level is global then one sea level gauge is enough.”

        Sea-level trends can be measured at various places. At at least 3/4 of those places, sea-level is rising. If you average those trends you get something which could be called something like, “globally averaged mean sea-level trend.”

        Since the average is (slightly) rising, you could also call it “globally averaged mean sea-level rise.”

        That’s kind of a mouthful, so it tends to get shortened to something like, “global sea-level rise,” or “GMSL rise,” or “GMSLR,” or “sea-level rise,” or even just “SLR.”

        It doesn’t mean sea-level is global, it means the average is global.

      • We don’t live in a world of averages, it is a world of dynamic equilibrium.
        Actual sea level measurement variation should look something like this:

    • “We can all tell whether it’s much hotter much more often that it used to be ”

      Er, no. You cannot tell if it is getting warmer this way because we have weather. Some of the hottest spells in my lifetime were in the late 1970s, which was the coldest of the cooling phase. Cold snaps can also occur during warm phases. It’s weather. A given summer might appear to have been hotter just because, that summer, you might have had a job that had you outside more than usual, or traveling more than usual, etc. Nope, the temperature changes of the last 70 years are not changes we can detect from overt experience.

      • higley7,

        While I can readily agree that “the temperature changes of the last 70 years are not changes we can detect from overt experience”, I am extremely reluctant to agree that average global surface temperatures could rise something like 3C and “we” would not be able to detect it had occurred.

    • Willis and Phoenix44,
      You’re both on to Phil. We all know that alarmists like to predict well out into the future (of course Phil screwed up in ’88 by calling out 2018). But I think Phil is going to count on another of nature’s phenomena to cover for what Phoenix44 postulates about sea level rise – Phil is going to count on subsidence to appear to be sea level rising as follows: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2616714/Forget-global-warming-groundwater-extraction-causing-megacities-SINK-beneath-sea-level.html#ixzz30SUGdrxy
      – AND – http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27202192 (sorry about referencing the BBC…)
      “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln
      Bottom line: you can fool a hell of a lot of people, especially when the MSM are so willing.

      • Well, there is the recently retired directer of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia U; Phil Jones, and one suspects a conflation of prominent names in the CAGW campaign may have occurred . . perhaps because I am myself very bad with names, so to speak . .

      • ” “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” ”

        And the usually unstated corollary

        If you’re caught trying to fool people then everything you’ve said previously or will say in the future is subject to scepticism

      • Willis,
        I had a 67 Year old brain fart; I was thinking Hansen’s first name was Phil. I was talking about James Hansen. So sorry. After following WUWT since early 2007, I am familiar with the names of many alarmists and many skeptics. As JohnKnight correctly deduced, my brain cross-wired on “Phil” of Jones fame. James, Phil, Mike…they’re all one dementianal to me.

        BTW – I love reading all your entries Willis. I’ve met only a few true characters in my life, and while I have not met you, I am confident you are another. That’s a compliment BTW, in the vein of Hemmingway.
        Clay S.

      • “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Lincoln. Pogo’s corollary: “But if you can do it just once, it lasts for four years.” My corollary: “Or, in Obama’s case, if you can do it twice, it lasts for eight years.”

      • Shouldn’t that be: “If you fool enough of the people then it lasts for 4 years” for Pogo’s corollary?

      • Thanks, great book, probably the best I ever read.
        I remember the scenario you mentioned and thought it was an exaggeration at the time, boy was I wrong.

    • 5×10^21 J/K is the heat capacity of the air of the atmosphere (“specific” is used for per unit of mass).
      333 J/g is required to melt ice so the equivalent amount of ice melting is 1.5×10^19 g/K.
      There is about 1.5×10^24 g of ocean so an extra 1.5×10^19 g more is an increase of 10^-5 of volume. Half the volume is above 3000 m so as a rough guess, we get 3000 m x 10^-5 as the sea level rise equivalent to land ice melting instead of the atmosphere warming 1 degree C, which equals 30 cm or 10 mm per year since 1988.
      Hansen could claim 1/3 of a degree off because of it but how much of that 3 mm per year was thermal expansion (and how much of it was real)?

      • 4.13 x 10^17 joules / KM^3. What does that number represent? That is the energy it takes to convert one cubic kilometer of continental ice from -30 °C to water at 4 °C. Willis seems to have missed that Continental Ice Sheets are quite cold.

        Useful information:
        heat of fusion of water = 334 J/g
        heat of vaporization of water = 2257 J/g
        specific heat of ice = 2.09 J/g•°C
        specific heat of water = 4.18 J/g•°C

        Step 1: Heat required to raise the temperature of ice from -30 °C to 0 °C (for temp see average profile temp Antarctica) http://www.pnas.org/content/99/12/7844.full
        Use the formula q = mcΔT Per Kg 1000 x 2.09 x 30 = 62,700 Joules

        Step 2: Heat required to convert 0 °C ice to 0 °C water
        q = m•ΔHf Per Kg 1000 x 334 = 334,000 Joules

        Step 3: Heat required to raise the temperature of 0 °C water to 4 °C water
        q = mcΔT per Kg 1000 x 4.18 x 4 = 16,720 Joules

        Total -30 oC ice to +4 oC water per Kg = 413,420 Joules / KG
        Where
        q = heat energy
        m = mass
        c = specific heat
        ΔT = change in temperature
        ΔHf = heat of fusion

        One metric tonne of water has a volume of one cubic meter (1 tonne water(1,000 KG = 1 m³)
        One gigatonne of water has a volume of one billion cubic meters, or one cubic kilometer.(1 Gt water = 1 km³) Of course, one gigatonne of ice has a greater volume than one gigatonne of water. But it will still have a volume of 1 km³ when it melts.
        413420 Joules/KG x 1000 KG/t x 1,000,000,000 t/KM^3 = 4.1342E+17 Joules / KM^3

        But you say ‘DD’ how does this compare to the well known ‘Hiroshima bomb’ measurement.
        By today’s standards the two bombs dropped on a Japan were small — equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT in the case of the Hiroshima bomb and 20,000 tons in the case of the Nagasaki bomb. (Encyclopedia Americana. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1995: 532.)
        In international standard units (SI), one ton of TNT is equal to 4.184E+09 joule (J)

        Hiroshima bomb TNT 15000 x TNT to Joules 4.18E+09 = Joules total 6.276E+13 =>
        or 1 KM^3 of ice melt (4.1342E+17 / 6.276E+13) = # HiroBmb per Km^3 = 6587
        That is correct. Place one Hiroshima bomb in a grid every 54 meters apart to melt the ice.

        How compare to the old scare story about all that ‘Ocean Heat Content Hidden Heat’? Where Ocean heat content was increased by 2.60 X 10E23 Joules since 1970.

        So 2.60 X 10E23 Joules / 4.1342 x 10E17 Joules/KM^3 = 628,930 KM^3

        Well that sounds like a lot of ice, but Antarctica has between 26 and 30 million and Greenland has 2.5 million of those KM^3, so in reality it works out to 628,930 / 30,000,000 = 2.1% of the total. So did it melt the ice or heat the deep ocean?

      • DD More July 24, 2017 at 10:15 am

        4.13 x 10^17 joules / KM^3. What does that number represent? That is the energy it takes to convert one cubic kilometer of continental ice from -30 °C to water at 4 °C. Willis seems to have missed that Continental Ice Sheets are quite cold.

        Useful information:
        heat of fusion of water = 334 J/g
        heat of vaporization of water = 2257 J/g
        specific heat of ice = 2.09 J/g•°C
        specific heat of water = 4.18 J/g•°C

        I do love how folks think they know what goes on in my mind … in fact, I left out the additional ice warming calculations deliberately and after some thought.

        First, I had no information on the average temperature of the glaciers scattered around the world.

        Second, while I can estimate the average temperature of the Greenland Ice Cap (about -30°C, it’s high altitude), the average temperature of the Ice Cap is NEVER above freezing any month of the year …

        Third, Hansens claim was not that it was the warming and melting of the ice that would cool the planet. He said it was the melting of the ice that did it.

        Fourth, it’s a difference that makes no difference. Consider: suppose somehow I could get the average temperature of the ice surface worldwide, glaciers, ice sheets, ice caps. Let’s say it’s -15°C. It’s not -30°C, only the high ice caps are that cold.

        Now from above, without including ice warming, the equivalent change in downwelling radiation is 0.01 W/m2.

        And if we include ice warming? It would be equivalent to a change in downwelling radiation of 0.011 W/m2 … be still my beating heart, what an enormous change you’ve made, DD …

        DD, next time instead of making accusations about what I’ve missed, perhaps you might ASK ME IF I HAD CONSIDERED ICE WARMING.

        Then I could have just answered that I had considered it, and discussed why I hadn’t included it, and you wouldn’t look like a jerk …

        w.

    • I believe that most of the ice that has ‘melted’ wasn’t because of a warmer atmosphere. Rather, it was because the rate of accretion (from snow, etc) was less than the rate of ice loss through calving, followed by melting because sea water tends to be warmer than ice.

      While the heat for water temperature also comes from the sun, I expect that’s a much slower process than heating the atmosphere..

  2. It is unfair to introduce facts in a good story. :)
    Everyone knows that ice cools a drink, and few can keep up with all those big numbers.
    It is the same with the heat going in the oceans. If you convert it to Watt/m2 it is hardly detectable.

    • And since the heat to melt the floating ice comes out of that warmer ocean water (9/10 0r 10/11 underwater) the ocean water cools, and shrinks so the sea level will go down if it melts the floating ice.

      How is the Greening of Greenland going these days Svend; or did they let you go back to some warmer place ?

      In any case it’s good to see your shingle post here again.

      George

  3. Assimilate!! Assimilate!! Assimilate! Resistance is futile! Is it time for the Daleks to show up yet? Well, that was fun.

    I think I told my mother when I was in high school (before most of you children were born) that we were heading for an ice age, after suffering through three prolonged, beastly central Midwestern winters that were so cold the car doors froze shut. Of course, that prediction by me was refuted the following winter by a warm Thanksgiving, a mild, if snowy Christmas, average snowfall in January, and a beautiful spring with lots of rain at just the right time. Bumper crops of corn, soybeans and wheat every year, too.

    It’s just weather. We have to live with it. But I do like Thornton Wilder’s take on it in the first act of ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’. The mammoths are crossing the river! Break up the furniture and throw it on the fire!

  4. I think a lot of men of science have a little bit of HG Wells in them – they love to speculate – often wild, dramatic science fiction scenarios – and most often in the not-quite distant future. This is where sci-fi pop culture comes from. But because this is coming from academia – or more properly, ‘science’ – it’s taken seriously by those who set policy.

    All opportunistic agendas aside, I think this where all these repetitive, generational scares come from – or at least, this is the ‘why’ of the forms they take – the kernel of the idea that sprouts all the rest – scientists just spit-balling about the future.

    Then the propaganda machine mutates that kernel into Godzilla and… well, you got AGW.

    And after AGW eventually runs its course, there will be something else – it will start the same way, all the exploitive types will pick it up and run with it, and the pattern will repeat again. And every now and then, one of these cultural paranoias will metastasize to the point where acting on it actually threatens the larger society.

    • Every politician knows not to answer a journalist’s hypothetical question. For a good reason.

      “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

      – Niels Bohr

      Politicians know that. They don’t do it because as soon are your opponents can say how many wrong predictions you made, your political career is all but over. As nearly every prediction we make about the future is likely to be wrong.

  5. Willis, thank you. I dare to predict Dr. Hansen’s reaction: What Mr. (not Dr.) Eschenbach wrote has not been peer-reviewed, and therefore it is a worthless drivel, even though factually correct.

    • Willis’s work here is reviewed in two distinct ways. Firstly, thousands of visitors to this blog peer at it. And secondly, it’s reviewed by Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. This adds up to a truly peerless peer review system.

      • I’m always happy to be reviewed by Lord Monckton, come for the humor, stay for the divine madness. Toss Viscount Matt Ridley in with the reviewers, one of the world’s most insightful humans … but wouldn’t that make it a peerful peer review system?

        w.

  6. I think most people don’t understand latent heat, so Hansen’s on a safe bet here. Ask 100 people what happens to water when ice melts and most will say it gets warmer (maybe I’m wrong and my estimation of humanity is too low). Offer the same 100 a G&T with ice cubes each and they’ll get it I suppose…

    • Ice melts when SOMETHING ELSE gives up heat. Latent heat doesn’t warm up anything. The ice can’t melt before something else supplies that latent heat to cause a phase change.

      G

      • This is incredible. He would have flunked my physics class. Well, at least the part about heat, no telling what would have happened when we got to levers. Did he have any chemistry?

  7. “I’ve created a variable called “latent” and set it to the latent heat of melting for water at zero salinity and zero pressure:. ”

    Do you mean zero pressure(absolute) or zero pressure(Gauge)?

  8. A separate and similar calculation is, to hold back all that warming (which Hansen claims is what has happened), will take ‘x’ tons of ice melt per year.

    This calculation will give a similarly ridiculous figure. If indeed that amount of ice has been permanently melted, then the sea level rise to go with it is easily calculated. This will provide an independent path to proof: has the SLR been equal to the amount of water he claims has to be melted to ‘hold back’ the temperature that much for 30 years?

    • I keep a little crib sheet of that sort of conversion factors, here:
      http://www.sealevel.info/conversion_factors.html

      One of the factoids there is that the addition of 362 Gt (metric gigatonnes) of meltwater to the oceans would raise sea-level by one millimeter.

      At the coasts, global sea-level rise is averaging just under +1.5 mm/year. So 500 Gt/yr is at least in the ballpark. My guess is that it’s probably a bit high, but not ridiculously so.

      I agree with tty. Antarctica grounded ice accumulation and loss are very, very close to being in perfect balance. Whether Antarctica is actually gaining or losing ice mass is unknown.

      This NASA study reported that the Antarctic ice sheets are gaining rather than losing, mass:
      https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses

      Based on CryoSat, McMillan (2014) found Antarctica is losing 79 to 241 Gt/yr of ice, though that was based on only 3 years of data.

      Based on GRACE, Shepherd (2012) concluded that Antarctica ice mass change since 1992 has averaged -71 +/- 83 Gt/yr, which means they couldn’t tell whether it’s actually gaining or losing ice mass.

      Based on ICESat, Zwally (2012) found that Antarctica is gaining ice mass: +27 to +59 Gt/yr (averaged over five years), or +70 to +170 Gt/yr (averaged over 19 years).

      The range from those various studies, with error bars, is from +170 Gt/yr to -241 Gt/yr, which is equivalent to just -0.47 to +0.67 mm/yr sea-level change.

      That’s less than 3 inches of sea-level change per century. In other words, although we don’t know whether Antarctica is gaining or losing ice, we do know the rate, either way, is so tiny that it’s currently having a negligible effect on sea-level and on Antarctica’s total ice sheet mass.

      • daveburton, thank you for your comments and the link to your analysis of costal SL tide guages.

        So, 1.5 mm per year SL rise and ZERO acceleration and ZERO correlation with CO2. It is all very Shakspearian; ” Much ado about Nothing”.

      • One of the interesting things about the Zwally study article is that it exposes the desperate desire within the observers. They found ice mass gains Antarctica, yet they keep touting non representative exceptions. Clearly if you only measure increased flows of floating ice at the bottom of the glacier, without looking at the top of the glacier, you might conclude “OMG” Antarctica is losing ice. By measuring the most variable tip of the warmest, northernmost locations of the West Antarctica peninsula, as opposed to looking at the actual entirety of the glaciers and the rest of the huge continent, you might be able to make a better case for panic.

        But physics (and logic) dictates that glaciers flow faster when more snow is falling on the land based glacier, therefore providing a bigger downhill push. But we almost never hear that in the more hysterical articles about sea level rise and melting ice. In this article, you can easily detect NASA’s editorial alarmist regret about their own conclusions, and some even from Zwally himself. Here are a few examples of verbiage showing that.

        Zwally leads with a statement that runs exactly contrary to his ultimate conclusion: “We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” before stating what the study actually found: “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.”

        Toward the end of the article, Zwally throws in several gratuitous alarmist speculations, nee predictions: But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years—I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.” It’s not turtles all the way down, it’s weasels. This reminds me of that very funny point in the movie Napoleon Dynamite where Uncle Rico, who’s now about 35 years old, living in his van and has been practicing his football passing skills for almost 20 additional years, laments “if only I could go back to 1985 AND the coach would put me in the game, I know I could have won the game and we could have taken state.” Not only does he want one impossible thing, he wants two. But I digress. Back to the article.

        The photo of a glacier running out into what looks like an ice shelf has a caption desperately stating, (again, opposite to the headline and the actual study findings): “Still, areas of the continent, like the Antarctic Peninsula photographed above, have increased their mass loss in the last decades.”

        In other words, we measured mass increases, but we want to sell you on the idea of eventual mass losses.

  9. 500 billion tonnes of ice melted per year….

    but Greenland gained over 600 billion tons just this year

    • Not nearly that much. You also have to take calving into account you know. But it seems virtually certain that Greenland will have a net positive mass balance this year.

  10. Just because Hamson made a bad prediction 30 years ago
    does not mean his new climate prediction for 30 years out is wrong.

    The new prediction could be the best prediction in the history of the world.

    Or the worst.

    But it could only be right because it was a lucky guess.

    Because no one knows exactly what controls the climate.

    Even Hamson.

    Make enough predictions, and eventually some will be right.

    Every astrologist knows that.

    • Just because Hamson made a bad prediction 30 years ago
      does not mean his new climate prediction for 30 years out is wrong.
      ==============
      guesses are not like a coin toss, where each toss is independent of the other, with the same odds of landing heads of tails.

      In the case of “guessing” the future, some people actually are worse than others. In large part these people are called “Experts”. When “Experts” have been found to be wrong in the past, their odds of being wrong in the future are substantially increased. That is what makes them “Experts”. You can rely upon the accuracy of their predictions to help shape your own predictions.

    • Correct Richard, on all counts.

      What Hansen wants is misplaced concreteness attributed to his predictions on the basis of his high visibility and asserted authority.

      His predictions may be spot on through the range of 0-100% correct. So far, his average is 0%. When his current and possible future predictions are also proven 0% correct, readers will (possibly) see a decades-long emerging pattern, clearer than a sunspot cycle, clearer than the Pears 100% soap with which we should metaphorically wash out his mouth.

    • Every astrologist knows that.
      ============
      Astrological techniques are used to predict the ocean tides with great accuracy.

      You cannot predict the tides using first principles as is done in climate models, because like climate the ocean tides are chaotic. Even the IPCC recognizes this, which is why climate models make projections not predictions. And projections have no predictive value.

      • Thanks for that insight ferd, I’ll follow it up.

        By the way Kepler’s day job was weather astrologer, agricultural predictions had real value.

  11. Just read his bio in Wikipedia. It explains a lot.

    His degrees are in physics and astronomy. He did serious research on the atmosphere of Venus. Venus is the poster child for run-a-way greenhouse effect. He has tried to use his insights gained from the research to the question of Earth climate.

    It is ludicrous to compare Venus and Earth climate systems. Venus does not have our weather system, receives much greater heat from the sun, has an entirely different atmosphere, and has no oceans. The latter have a profound impact on our climate, as he has just acknowledged to explain the failure of his simple climate model. That is to say, he seems to have ignored the ocean!

    It is almost certain that such interplanetary comparisons, no matter how inappropriate, were done in attempts to drum up support for his Venus research years ago. I remember this meme well. We were going to get insight into Earth by studying the other planets, at great cost, of course.

    How’s that working out for you?

    What a joke.

    • “Hansen began his career studying Venus, which was once a very Earth-like planet with plenty of life-supporting water before runaway climate change rapidly transformed it into an arid and uninhabitable sphere enveloped in an unbreathable gas.” [From NY Mag Intelligencer]

      He must be much older than I am. I don’t remember any of this.

      • Stephen Schneider involved in this glorious study…

        I am not sure about that, but Schneider was involved in a study assessing the impact of CO2 and the impacts of aerosols.

        Schneider (of GISS) in 1971 published a paper in Science in which he calculated that increasing CO2 by a factor of 8 would result in less than 2 degC warming.

        At the time NASA/GISS thought that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 was low. This was not surprising given that it was at that time accepted that the Northern Hemisphere had cooled by about 0.5 degC (some assessments were 0.7degc) from the highs of the 1940s.

        Thus the background was that there had been significant increase in CO2 between 1940 to 1971 yet the temperatures had fallen by about 0,5degC such that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 must be low, whereas it was thought that Climate Sensitivity to aerosols (which were causing dimming) was high.

    • Venus doesn’t have too much ice, either. If he wants to talk about ice, perhaps he should study Mars. It has lots of CO2 as well, even CO2 ice!

      • Mars, on a numerical basis, has more molecules of CO2 than has Earth, by an order of magnitude.

        Further, because of the smaller diameter of the planet, the molecules of CO2 are more closed packed such that the chances of a photon radiated by a molecule of CO2 on Mars being absorbed by another molecule of CO2 is greater on Mars than it is on Earth.

        Despite that, there appears to be no measurable GHE on Mars.

      • richard verney July 22, 2017 at 5:45 pm

        Mars, on a numerical basis, has more molecules of CO2 than has Earth, by an order of magnitude.

        Further, because of the smaller diameter of the planet, the molecules of CO2 are more closed packed such that the chances of a photon radiated by a molecule of CO2 on Mars being absorbed by another molecule of CO2 is greater on Mars than it is on Earth.

        Despite that, there appears to be no measurable GHE on Mars.

        Huh … thanks, Richard, I never knew that. It may have to do with the lack of water (clouds, evaporation, etc). For those interested the NASA Mars datasheet is here.

        w.

      • richard verney:

        You say

        Mars, on a numerical basis, has more molecules of CO2 than has Earth, by an order of magnitude.

        which is true.

        And you say

        Further, because of the smaller diameter of the planet, the molecules of CO2 are more closed packed

        which is also true.

        But then you add

        such that the chances of a photon radiated by a molecule of CO2 on Mars being absorbed by another molecule of CO2 is greater on Mars than it is on Earth.

        which is mistaken.

        Mars is so cold that its CO2 atmosphere freezes on its polar winter surface, Each polar region is in summer when the other is in winter. The solid CO2 sublimes to gas in Spring but then freezes to solid on the other polar region.

        CO2 molecules do not behave as greenhouse gas molecules when they are part of a frozen solid mass, but they are “more closely packed” than the gaseous CO2 molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere. And the great bulk of the CO2 molecules which form most of the atmosphere of Mars exist as frozen solid CO2 at any time.

        Richard

      • Richard Verney says: “Despite that, there appears to be no measurable GHE on Mars.”

        That doesn’t seem right to me. Mars is warmer than our Moon.

      • The GHE also depends on the lapse rate, which is much smaller on Mars than on Earth, so it isn’t at all surprising that CO2 has a smaller effect on Mars than on Earth (if you understand how the GHE actually works)

    • which was once a very Earth-like planet
      ===============
      Climate model speculation. Highly unlikely given the 90 atmosphere’s surface pressure and the resulting lapse rate.

      Venus has the same pressure as earth at 50km altitude. The additional predicted surface warming due to lapse rate is thus given as:

      predicted:
      h*g(venus)/Cp(CO2@500K) = 50 km * (8.9 / 1.0) C/km = 445 C warmer than earth’s surface temp.

      actual:
      tempo earth = 15 C
      temp venus = 462 C
      actual diff = 447 C

    • Whoops. Formatting error. My comment should have read:

      Stephen Schneider involved in this glorious study…

      I am not sure about that, but Schneider was involved in a study assessing the impact of CO2 and the impacts of aerosols.

      Schneider (of GISS) in 1971 published a paper in Science in which he calculated that increasing CO2 by a factor of 8 would result in less than 2 degC warming.

      At the time NASA/GISS thought that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 was low. This was not surprising given that it was at that time accepted that the Northern Hemisphere had cooled by about 0.5 degC (some assessments were 0.7degc) from the highs of the 1940s.

      Thus the background was that there had been significant increase in CO2 between 1940 to 1971 yet the temperatures had fallen by about 0,5degC such that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 must be low, whereas it was thought that Climate Sensitivity to aerosols (which were causing dimming) was high.

  12. Those “500 billion tons” are definitely on the high side. It seems likely that the Greenland Ice cap is losing about 200 billion tons per year (though not this year), but the loss from Antarctica, if any, is extremely dubious.
    The raw GRACE data isn’t significantly different from zero, so in practice the ice-loss from Antarctica is equal to the GIA adjustment used, which is exceedingly uncertain, but perhaps somewhere between 50 and 150 billion tons:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5111427/

    The only non-GRACE measurement is from ICESAT which resulted in a positive mass balance. Radar measurements are only slightly affected byh GIA but suffers from other uncertainties, e. g. even slight inhomogenities in snow density can strongly affect the results.

    Even the Greenland figure isn’t set in stone since the GIA for central Greenland can’t be checked by measurements (no exposed rocks) and the lithosphere under Greenland is known to be inhomogenous. And as I said, no ice loss this year:

  13. Very good job, Willis.

    Hansen doesn’t seem to bother with doing that sort of arithmetic.

    I’m reminded of the caption for this article about an interview with Prof. Freeman Dyson, America’s most illustrious living scientist: “Climatologists are no Einsteins, says his successor”
    http://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mulshine/2013/04/climatologists_are_no_einstein.html

    The prediction that Climate Change will cause stronger and more frequent extreme weather events is a central Tenet Of The Climate Faith. In Hansen’s 2009 book, “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity” (how’s that for an alarmist title?), he claimed on p.250 that global warming would warm higher latitude oceans less than lower latitudes, because meltwater would keep the higher latitudes cool, and the increased temperature difference between high and low latitudes would cause stronger storms.

    Page 250 is not part of the free preview on Amazon, but here’s Hansen on Letterman, plugging his book and making the same claim, starting at 7 minutes 25 seconds:

    Hansen said that the “increasing temperature gradient [between high and low latitudes] is going to drive stronger storms” as lower latitudes warm faster than higher latitudes.

    Now that just about everyone agrees that high latitudes will warm more than low latitudes (which the glass-half-empty crowd calls “polar amplification”), I’m waiting for Hansen to predict weaker storms.

    And waiting. And waiting. How long do you think I’ll have to wait?

    • Traditionally, the brightest kids do mathematical physics, others do solid state physics or plasma physics, etc, and, finally, some do climatology.

      • “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches. He who cannot teach, practices climatology”

        “A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.”

      • I think if I was a bit brighter as a college student, I would have gone into solid state. There is just no money in theoretical cosmology, and what I am doing now is much more grounded.

      • “Traditionally, the brightest kids do mathematical physics, others do solid state physics or plasma physics, etc, and, finally, some do climatology.”
        The ones who are not afraid to get their hands dirty do physical chemistry…and everything else.

    • That’s an awesome interview. Note, Will Happing is now the Presidential Science advisor. Maybe we will start to see some sanity.

    • * * * CORRECTION * * *

      I wrote, “… about everyone agrees that high latitudes will warm less than low latitudes…”

      I meant exactly the opposite: “… about everyone agrees that high latitudes will warm more than low latitudes…”

      Oh how I hate it when my typos invert my meaning! :-(

  14. I guess the predictions by Hansen in 1988 formed part of the basis for the early perspectives by IPCC as evident in this report of the second session of IPCC: Report of the second session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 28June1989.

    “In welcoming the delegates to the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) Headquarters … The Executive Director of UNEP, hailed the fruitful alliance between WMO (World Meteorological Organization) and UNEP. The firm commitment of prof. Obasi, the Secretary-General of WMO, coupled with the determination of UNEP leadership, has resulted in a partnership which is helping to unify the scientific and policy-making communities of the world to lay the foundation for effective, realistic and equitable action on climate change.”

    “The Executive director stated that the impacts of climate change and global warming would have serious consequences for humanity. In Egypt alone, global warming could flood much of the Nile Delta and Drown 70 centuries of civilization in less than one, and could inundate one fifth of the nations arable land.”

    “It would be desirable for the Panel´s report to be ready by august 1990 for presentation to the Second World Climate Conference and to the United Nations General Assembly. It should be born in mind that both the governing council of UNEP and the executive Council of WMO expected the first report of IPCC to form the basis for international negotiations on a global convention on climate change. The report can also play a valuable guiding role for the large number of conferences, meetings and symposia on climate change being held all over the world. For all of these reasons, the report should be completed in good time.”

    “The issuance of the report would only be the beginning of a far more arduous task. To tackle the problem of climate warming effectively, radical changes would be necessary in international relations, trade, technology transfer, and bilateral and multilateral strategies. The panel´s continued work would be the only guarantee of the concerted response to the global threat of climate change”

    “In his opening remarks , Prof. Bolin said that the primary objective of IPCC, in making its first assessment, is to produce a document which could provide guidelines for the formulation of global policy and which would enable the nations of the world to contribute to this task”

    “IPCC´s first report will contain the 20-page summaries for policy-makers to be produced by the working groups and an overall integrated summary of these placed in perspective. Professor Bolin suggested that the integrated summary be written by a drafting group consisting of the officers of IPCC and the chairmen of the Working Groups. He asked that this plan of his be enforced by the panel.”

    “The panel invited interested UN organizations, regional or global intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and private institutions that wish to to contribute in the matter, to collaborate with appropriate analyses. …. The panel invited the contribution from these organizations in order that its own work may be improved.”

    We are now 1/3 into the century that was expected to drow 70 centuries of civilization in the Nile Deltain less than one. No doubt, IPCC was extremely biased from the very begining. Imagine the pressure to conform with the prejudice of the leaders. Imagine beeing the one saying: Hold on a moment, how do we know for sure that ….?

  15. Willis,

    You said, “Next, I’ve converted joules per square meter per year into total global joules per year by multiplying by 5.11e14, the number of square metres of the earth’s surface.”

    Shouldn’t the area of Earth be divided by two, because at any instant only half of the surface is illuminated?

    • Clyde, good question. Almost all insolation figures in climate science are given on a 24/7/365 average basis. So “1 W/m2” means a long-term average flux of one W/m2. As a result, there is no need to divide the values by 2. Sorry for the confusion.

      w.

    • According to modern estimates, the surface area of the Earth is approximately 510 million square km (5.1 x 108 km2) or 196,900,000 square miles. Shouldnt the number of meters be 5.1 *10**11

  16. Warmed by a third of a degree. What is the margin of error for measuring the temperature of the earth? This is an important question. Never answered as far as I know.

  17. Where there is water or ice present on the surface (or in clouds) the surface temperature will always approach the dew point/frost point and the surface will radiate at that temperature. Water vapor (not CO2) delivered from the tropics is controlling the surface temperature of the ice covered Antarctic.

  18. Hansen: “I don’t think we’re going to get four or five degrees this century, because we get a cooling effect from the melting ice,” he said last week. “But the biggest effect will be that melting ice.”

    Humm, seems like it would have to get warmer to accelerate ice melt, but if ice melting cancels warming, it would slow melting and increase warming, which would accelerate melting which would… (head starting to hurt).

    • It’s hiding in the ocean depths, except for that part of the heat which is melting ice, therefore cooling the world, which I failed to include in my model, which nonetheless is correct.

  19. CO2 heat is sneaky heat. Sometimes it warms the atmosphere, and other times it melts ice, cooling the atmosphere back down. It can even hide in the deep oceans, undetected, for years, lulling us into thinking it has “paused”. It causes both more powerful, and weaker storms, floods, droughts, and weird weather, giving weathermen fits.
    It is Ninja Heat.

  20. Not only the data are adjusted, the ‘predictions’ are too. I wonder when my date of birth is changed into something making me a bit younger.

    • Of course. But the answer is correct, regardless. The real question is, “Why write a computer program to do a simple back-of-envelope calculation?”

  21. I have pal reviewed the calculations – seems right to me :)
    Energy required to melt ice: J/kg 333427
    Mass of ice to melt each year: Tonnes/year 5E+11
    Mass of ice to melt each year: kg/year 5E+14
    Energy required to melt the ice per year: J/year 1,67E+20
    Seconds per year: s/year 31556736
    Effect required to melt the ice (J/s=Watt): W 5,28E+12
    Area of the earth: m2/earth 5,11E+14
    Effect per square meter: W/m2 1,03E−02

  22. Analysis of New Zealand’s tide gauges shows an average trend of 1.3 mm/yr

    Range (over average of 54 yr period) is -3.2 mm to 4.0 mm

    We are tectonic country

    M

  23. Correction need:

    that it’s still gonna happen … but not for fifty years.

    From “2018 to 2168” is hundredandfifty years

  24. So Hansen taxed on …er… tacked on another 150 yrs to his prediction because the energy to melt ice is not available to heat the planet?
    Has anyone told him that the energy required to boil the oceans would also not be available to heat the planet?
    Maybe he’ll tack on another 150 yrs?

  25. “Say what? That’s so far off it’s not even wrong!”

    Given that the boiling oceans “hypothesis” calculations could be 10 orders of magnitude or greater than this, what would that be – not even wronger than wrong ??

    You probably covered it all though with the technical terminology – “plethora of piss-poor predictions”.

  26. I’m sure the climate scientist and the MSM will give him a break if they mention it at all.
    After all, he was wrong for the right reasons.

  27. I’ve been hearing the world is going to end soon since I was a teenager. Now that I’ve pushed past 60, I no longer give them more than a passing thought. Wisdom…

  28. Regarding “Sea ice is basically unchanged”: Arctic Sea ice is near record low for this time of the year, and Antarctic Sea ice set a record low earlier this year and is currently below average for the time of year. As for how much this affects the calculations, I will have an easier time figuring that out after I get home from work.

    • Sea ice is moot, it is just floating due to the peculiar nature of hydrogen hydroxide crystallization. Sea ice does little to inhibit glacier calving into icebergs as these are pushed, not pulled into seas/fjords or bays. Ice has little tensile strength.
      Sure, sea warming will increase volume but warmer air increases evaporation which is the primary cooling mode of sea water. Primary heating mode is radiation which we assume is constant. Net effect of GHG increase is still a wash with respect to sea temperature.

      • IMO dihydrogen monoxide not only sounds scarier, but is the correct chemical nomenclature, unless it’s hydrogen oxide. However, to each his own.

        Scariest of all is hydrohydroxic acid.

      • Don’t matter where the ice is when all you’re doing is calculating the energy necessary to melt it.

    • The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Your “record low” statement is simply ridiculous and preposterous.

    • I checked how much sea ice melted. I have yet to get a hard and fast figure for tons lost since 1979, but the rate seems nearly an order of magnitude less than the land ice loss rate mentioned in the article of 500 gigatonnes per year.

  29. A true polymath you are, Willis. Numerate wordsmiths are quite rare. Polar opposites of innumerate con artists aka politicians and grant swilling climatologists.

  30. I agree that Hansen is feebly trying to cover up his lie with another lie, but I am not sure I agree with the calculation. Was this the energy needed to convert ice at 0C to water at 0C? If so what about the energy needed to bring that large mass of ice up to 0C for the much colder temperatures that much of it is at presently?

    • Willis is looking at sea ice which is assumed to be at sea water temperature. Or at least the boundary condition since thermal conductivity is nil. Plus specific heat of water is tiny compared to enthalpy of crystallization.

    • Andrew, despite Keith’s claim, I’m looking at land ice. Here’s the thing.

      The process of melting ice actually consumes energy, and as a result that energy isn’t available for warming the world. That’s why Hansen can use it for an excuse for the world not warming.

      But when you warm up anything else, from ice blocks to tropical beaches, that will be counted when we measure how much the world has warmed. So that’s NOT the energy that Hansen is discussing.

      Regards,

      w.

      • Willis’ calculations for ice-melt are correct.

        Beyond ice-melt, there is another 0.01 W/m2/year going into land warming and atmosphere warming.

        And the big one is ocean warming which is still only 0.5 W/m2/year.

        But that is very far off the GHG/Anthro forcing of 2.4 W/m2/year which is supposed to be there in 2017.

        And there is supposed to another 0.8C X 2.0 W/m2 of feedbacks like water vapor and cloud reductions showing up.

        4.0 W/m2/year should be traceable but only 0.523 W/m2/year is actually showing up.

        So, what does Hansen say about how much extra the out-going IR radiation should be now. Did he say that OLR will increase by 3.47 W/m2/year as at 2017???

        Well you cannot tell what the climate models predicted for this because they never told anyone what it should have been. If 75% of the forcings just end going back to space without doing anything, then we should have been told that from the very beginning.

      • Bill, is not the large 0.8C X 2.0 W/m2 of feedbacks like water vapor and cloud reductions admittedly (by the IPCC) of low confidence. (IMV they may even have the sign wrong with regard to W/V cloud feedbacks.)

  31. I didn’t know that fire alarms in cheap whorehouses sounded differently from those in expensive whorehouses or any other structure, but am glad to know that whorehouses have fire alarms. I suppose that in Nevada, they’re required. But are there any cheap whorehouses in Nevada? That would be a surprise.

      • Me, either, but my Army buddies who contracted the clap in Mexican border cribs said that there weren’t even floor to ceiling walls, thick or thin, just cubicles. But maybe that’s too cheap of a whorehouse. No doubt you’re right that slightly less cheap ones do indeed have walls, however thin.

  32. It’s nice Hansen has lived long enough to answer for the joke his forecasts turned out to be .

    The scary global warming industry has at least learned that lesson so they rebranded to
    “climate change ” and personal intimidation tactics and bullying . Deniers .. Slave trade , Tobacco ,
    Settled science . Too late though , the public only sees aging chicken little promoters who’s ice free Arctic
    pronouncements are proven lies . Too bad so many energy users have died from fuel poverty and financial hardship based on a con job .

  33. Another factor (albeit minor) w/r/t sea level rise: As the oceans ‘rise’, the ocean surface area increases…meaning a constant net ‘inflow’ of meltwater/runoff/etc. will have a decreasing impact on the rate of rise over time. To maintain a steady rate of rise, the inflow would have to grow (to cover the additional surface area). I’m assuming the models account for this, but I have not examined them for this factor.

  34. I can’t help but notice that Hansen’s predictions are taken from a picture of a writeup from Spin magazine referring to a specific paper in the August 20, 1988 issue of Journal of Geophysical Research. It’s not clear how the predictions were made. Were they made from graphs of his scenarios? Did Hansen specifically say “two to five degrees Fahrenheit in the next thirty years”? Is it “unfair use” to quote paywalled journals?

  35. Theyouk, thanks. While this might have been an issue during the 20-fathom (30 m) sea level rise since the last glacial, it’s nowhere near large enough to affect the modern changes, which are on the order of 8″ (200 mm) per century.

    Thanks,

    w.

    • Totally agree, Willis, and it’s certainly a non-factor when basing calculations/predictions on observed reality. The alarmists, on the other hand, ignore this consideration (well, they ignore nearly everything) when they publish predictions of 120 foot sea level rise by 2100. Really enjoy reading your pieces, btw!

    • Totally agree, Willis, and it’s certainly a non-factor when basing calculations/predictions on observed reality. The alarmists, on the other hand, ignore this consideration (well, they ignore nearly everything) when they publish predictions of 120 foot sea level rise by 2100. Really enjoy reading your pieces, btw!

  36. Willis
    Thanks for another interesting and thought provoking article. However, I think Hansen might perhaps have been thinking not of the heat required to melt ice but of an indirect effect of ice melting in high northern latitudes,.That is, a freshening in the North Atlantic and, in particular, the Laurentian Sea. Such a freshening would reduce the density of cold surface waters, cutting convective deep water formation and hence weakening the Atlantic meridional overturning circualtion (AMOC). A weakening of the AMOC would lead, at least in some climate models, to substantial cooling Northern Hemisphere cooling, with relatively little effect on SH temperatures. The GISS-E2-R model is particularly susceptible to this effect. Whether or not there is any prospect of it occurring in reality is another matter. I think not this century, at least. IPCC AR5 concluded with high confidence that in the 21st century it is “Very unlikely that the AMOC will undergo a rapid transition”.

  37. You mean to say the “Settled Science” of climate doesn’t even include the latent heat of all the ice that melts?

  38. Willis,
    The Abstract for Hansen et. al 2011 in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics says: “Improving observations of ocean heat content show that Earth is absorbing more energy from the Sun than it is radiating to space as heat, even during the recent solar minimum. The inferred planetary energy imbalance, 0.58±0.15Wm−2 during the 6-yr period 2005–2010, confirms the dominant role of the human-made greenhouse effect in driving global climate change.” So, even if we use that number your 0.01 W/m2 from the melting of the ice he is saying that reducing the planetary energy imbalance from 0.58Wm−2 to 0.57Wm−2 has reduced the potential warming of the earth’s temperature by over two and a half degrees in thirty years. YSM, He actually has a degree in physics?

    • Yeah, Joe, that’s his claim. It’s based on ocean heat data that (to my examination) is nowhere near accurate or complete enough to support that claim. Especially to two decimal places.

      w.

      • hypergeometric July 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

        Um, Mr Eschenbach, why don’t you actually look at the original paper, its graphs, and then at actual data before you blather away criticizing it. Your criticism is rather like a thirteen-year-old marking up a poster with crayons.

        I think a retraction is in order, as do others. Of course Anthony Watts doesn’t ever retract either, apparently.

        What, did someone take a dump in your oatmeal this morning? You stupidly assume I haven’t read the original paper, and then based on that asinine assumption, you get all huffy about what you foolishly imagine are my failings.

        If you’d done a decent google search (say my name and the name of the paper in question) you would have found my analysis of that very paper here.

        I did it 11 years ago, I’d do it differently now, but there it is …

        As for your request for a retraction, you can fold that until it’s all corners and place it gently up your fundamental orifice.

        However, you’d do well to retract and apologize for your baseless nastiness, your pathetic lack of research, and your puerile assumptions … or not. Your reputation, your choice. Sadly, however, I often find that those hiding behind an alias are happy to attack but rarely apologize … they just pick another alias and move on to their next nastiness.

        w.

  39. niclewis July 22, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Willis
    Thanks for another interesting and thought provoking article. However, I think Hansen might perhaps have been thinking not of the heat required to melt ice but of an indirect effect of ice melting in high northern latitudes,.That is, a freshening in the North Atlantic and, in particular, the Laurentian Sea.

    Nic, good to hear from you. However, that seems quite doubtful, makes the same bad number alarm go off.

    First off, if we concentrate the cooling effect by assuming that the ice melts and flows into the Atlantic, the total volume is too small to cool much. Let me get some numbers … OK, here we go, NOAA data.

    Area of the North Atlantic = 4.8e+12 square metres
    Volume of ice: 500e+6 m3
    Sea level rise: 500e+6 m3 / 4.8e+12 m2 * 1000 mm/m = 0.1 mm of additional water on the surface …

    So even if it were to be concentrated by a factor of ten from that level, it’s still only 1 mm of additional water on the surface. I’m simply not believing that that will weaken the AMOC.

    Finally, what he actually said was that “we get a cooling effect from the melting ice”. Maybe that’s code for the AMOC, but I’m not seeing it.

    w.

    • Thanks, Nick. My bad. In fact, I blew the other number as well. The area of the North Atlantic is ten times larger than the value I gave. Combining those new figures (if I haven’t made another mistake) says that if every ice cube that melted anywhere on the planet ended in the North Atlantic it would give us about a 1 cm layer of water … however, that’s not gonna happen.

      A more reasonable assumption would be that perhaps the NA gets twice the ice you’d expect given its size. If that’s the case, the layer of water would be about 3 mm thick or so.

      I’d still hold that a few mm of fresh water on top of the ocean isn’t going to change a damn thing. Remember that rain falls all across the North Atlantic, on the order of a meter a year or so depending on location.

      I simply don’t see how adding another couple of mm of ice melt to that metre of rain is gonna slow the AMOC … what am I missing here?

      w.

  40. Nice post, WE. Had not caught Hansen’s blown prediction excuse. Obviously stupid. The other way to show how stupid is to simply observe there has been no acceleration in SLR since 1988 as his excuse would require.
    There is a funny backstory to this Hansen saga. As late as 2012, Mann was defending Hansen 1988 in a presentation at Rutgers. Just two problems. 1. Mann overlaid land only when Hansen plainly referred to GisTemp ( land plus ocean). Land only is warmer, removing some of the discrepancy. 2. His comparison chart stopped in 2005, conveniently erasing 7 years of pause. Not even dodgy, just overtly doubly dishonest.

    • NASA global temp records did not include sea surface temps until 1995.

      Hansen used observed land only temps in his 1988 paper – the reference to data therein is Hansen and Lebedef 1987. So, ‘GISTEMP’ at the time was land-only.

      The current global data sets combine SSTs with land station data. Hansen’s model was of surface air temps land and ocean (not sea surface). He commented on this, referring to the 1988 model, in a 2006 paper.

      “Temperature change from climate models, including that reported in 1988 (12), usually refers to temperature of surface air over both land and ocean. Surface air temperature change in a warming climate is slightly larger than the SST change (4), especially in regions of sea ice. Therefore, the best temperature observation for comparison with climate models probably falls between the meteorological station surface air analysis and the land–ocean temperature index.”

      http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2006/2006_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    • The entire story about the atmosphere being a giant heater is fake anyway. The atmosphere is a cold bath conduction chilling the earth. It’s not a heater and adding more and more light blocking medium into a bath conduction chilling something doesn’t warm it anyway. Anybody who believe that can be made to happen is free to submit their evidence.

      • Is it your opinion that if all GHGs (including water vapour) were removed from the atmosphere, there would be no change in surface temperature?

    • As late as 2012, Mann was defending Hansen 1988 in a presentation at Rutgers… Mann overlaid land only when Hansen plainly referred to GisTemp ( land plus ocean). Land only is warmer, removing some of the discrepancy

      Gavin Schmidt used GISTEMP land/ocean for his realclimate comparison in the same year. ‘GisTemp’ in 1988 was land-only (it didn’t yet have SST data), but the ’88 model was of air temperatures for the whole globe.

    • Here are Hansen’s actual numbers. Anybody who wants to debate Hansen’s 1988 predictions should bookmark and/or save these pages.

      Temperature predictions (1951 to 1980 baseline, actual observations cut-off as of 1984 so 1985-on is predicted).

      http://www.realclimate.org/data/scen_ABC_temp.data

      Effective forcings (even Scenario B was +2.47 W/m2 increase from 1958, ridiculous in that he must have calculated it wrong going by the GHG assumptions, ie. climate scientists are always bad at math as in they moved into climate science from other disciplines because their math grades were so bad).

      http://www.realclimate.org/data/H88_scenarios_eff.dat

      GHG assumptions (Scenario A is actually very close to the actual observations but CH4 is a little high in that Scenario)

      http://www.realclimate.org/data/H88_scenarios.dat

      • PPM in 2015 for each scenario in the 1988 paper:

        A: 410 ppm
        B: 406 ppm
        C: 367 ppm

        That would suggest obs should lie between scenarios B and C, closer to B.

        Steve McIntyre has a slightly different take, recommending using scenario B.

        To the extent that “somewhere between A and B” represents Hansen’s GHG forecast, in that GHG increases appear to have been closer to B than “somewhere between A and B”, it is more reasonable to use B to assess the model performance.

        https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/24/hansen-1988-details-of-forcing-projections/

        Another factor to consider is that Hansen’s model has a climate sensitivity of 4.2 per doubling CO2 – a bit higher than the mean estimate since 1990.

        The exact trajectory of the ‘forcings’ in the model (including CH4, aerosols etc) could not be predicted past 1988, so a direct comparison with what actually happened is quite tricky.

      • The realclimate figures for Hansen 1988 scenarios are different from the ones I found:

        2015 CO2 concentration:

        A: 403 ppm
        B: 399 ppm
        C: 368 ppm

        Observed 2015 CO2 concentration is 399.4 ppm.

        This dovetails with McIntyre’s take.

      • In Hansens’s paper you can see that their three scenarios were not for three different levels of CO2 to be reached by some target date. They were three different emission scenarios.

        Their “worst” (business-as-usual) “scenario A” assumed 1.5% annual growth rate of emissions, and calculated the CO2 level which they thought would result from that.

        1.5% growth for 26 years (1988 to 2014) = 47% growth.

        In fact, carbon emissions have increased by 66% over that time, an average annual emission growth rate of 1.97%, which is well above Hansen’s Scenario A “worst case.”

        The reason CO2 levels have not risen as he predicted is that he didn’t anticipate the extent to which negative feedbacks have curbed the growth in CO2 levels.

        His paper predicted that his Scenario A would cause 0.5 °C warming per decade, or 1.5 °C in thirty years.. (Note that the Spin magazine article apparently got it wrong: 5 °F = 2.78 °C, which is nearly twice what his paper actually predicted.)

        The actual increase was about 0.6 °C according to the WoodForTrees temperature index:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/plot/wti/trend

        Or about 0.5 °C according to the satellites:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/uah6/trend/offset:0.6/plot/uah6/offset:0.6/plot/rss/trend

        Or 1.0 °C to 1.3 °C according to GISS:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp-dts/trend/offset:0.6/plot/gistemp-dts/offset:0.6/plot/gistemp/trend

        Or about 0.8 °C according to the HADCRUT:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/plot/hadcrut3vgl/trend/offset:0.6/plot/hadcrut3vgl/offset:0.6/plot/hadcrut4gl/trend

      • Perhaps Spin Magazine got it right, but gave the figure in Fahrenheit rather than degrees C?

        In fact, carbon emissions have increased by 66% over that time

        Atmospheric CO2 increase is about half that of emissions, so not directly comparable. Proper comparison is with concentration increase.

        Yes, they are scenarios for a range of emissions – alluded to in my first post. CO2 is the easiest data to get hold of, and what many people are talking about here in relation to the paper.

        Re CO2 – the scenario begins with 1981 (not 1988) CO2 data and then increases by 1.5% growth of the annual increment thereafter. From Appendix B on trace gas scenarios from the paper;

        ” Specifically in scenario A CO2 increases as observed by Keeling for the interval 1958 to 1981, and subsequently with 1.5% growth of the annual increment.”

        Dunno what the initial increment is, though.

      • Barry, I think your take is incorrect; ( Barry says “Proper comparison is with concentration increase”)

        The reason it is incorrect is Hansen clearly underestimate ( by a wide margin) the ability of earth’s system to uptake CO2. This underestimation had a greatly impacted the alarmist perspective regarding CAGW, and so should not be ignored. The entire equation is important, and Hansen was simply wrong.

      • “The reason it is incorrect is Hansen clearly underestimate ( by a wide margin) the ability of earth’s system to uptake CO2”
        Hansen wasn’t estimating the ability to uptake at all. It wasn’t part of his study or the operation of the model. No data on measured emissions is cited, for the good reason that in 1988 there wasn’t much. In particular, CO2 emission due to land use change was really not documented globally until Houghton in 1995. Hansen’s measure of emission was the observed increment in gas concentration. For CH4 etc, which he also describes as emissions, that is still the only actual measure.

        I showed above (it’s here) the section in Appendix B where he is actually setting out how he calculated his emissions. Barry quotes from it. Steve McIntyre paraphrases it in this post thus:

        The same CA post links to the numerical data posted at CA.

      • Nick Stokes wrote, “Hansen wasn’t estimating the ability to uptake at all. It wasn’t part of his study or the operation of the model..”

        Oh, but he/they most definitely were. It was built-into their assumption, that if emissions went up 1.5% per year, then CO2 levels would also go up 1.5% per year. That assumption was completely wrong.

        NIck continued, “Hansen’s measure of emission was the observed increment in gas concentration.”

        Which was a huge error.

        Note that without the erroneous assumption that CO2 concentration would rise as much as emissions rise, the case for curbing CO2 emissions is damaged. Very obviously, if increased emissions cause CO2 levels to increase much less than he thought, then the value or importance of reducing those emissions must necessarily also be much less than he thought.

      • Huge error? Scenario B, which Hansen said in the paper was most plausible, has a very close match to CO2 concentrations of the last few years.

        The model was based on concentration, not emissions. Have you understood that yet?

        If not, I’d be curious to know how you interpret this sentence from the trace gas scenarios, appendix B.

        Specifically in scenario A CO2 increases as observed by Keeling for the interval 1958 to 1981, and subsequently with 1.5% growth of the annual increment.”

        Assuming you’re familiar with Keeling’s data (atmospheric concentration CO2), how do you interpret this to mean emissions?

      • daveburton
        “It was built-into their assumption, that if emissions went up 1.5% per year, then CO2 levels would also go up 1.5% per year.”
        There was no such assumption. There was no quantification of CO2 emissions at all in the study, other than via concentration. No assumption is needed, and none was available, due to lack of information. You couldn’t just look up CDIAC on the web in 1988. The situation of CO2 was the same as CH4 (or N2O) now; there is no direct measure of emissions, only concentration. It’s hard to even identify the sources of CH4 or N2O, let alone quantify. But we can measure the increases in concentration, then and now. Yet when Hansen speaks of a 1.5% increase, he is talking about all trace gases.

        “Note that without the erroneous assumption that CO2 concentration would rise as much as emissions rise”
        Again, there was no error. As Barry noted, scenario B was very close to observed CO2 concentration till now. The question of linking CO2 emission rate to CO2 concentration is a separate one, to be resolved separately. A GCM works from a concentrations scenario.

      • How Barry and Nick keep bypassing Hansen’s clear emissions assumptions is astounding. He did BOTH emmision estimates and GHG ppm estimates. You cannot get to an future estimated PPM number sans emmission estimates, and actual emmisions were, as daveburton quoted from Hansen, considerably higher then Hansen stated in his worst case senario.

      • “He did BOTH emmision estimates and GHG ppm estimates.”
        Where? Quote them please. He cited absolutely no data on emissions, other than concentration. As Barry says, his scenario in terms of concentration is quite clear. Here it is again, just for Scen A:

        Note that there he does use manufacture rates for CFCs, and quotes his source. He also gives a figure for lifetime, as you have to do to relate emission flux rate to concentration. For CO2 (and CH4) he makes no assumption about flux or lifetime. He simply assumes 1.5% increase in concentration increment, using Keeling (concentration) data. That is all he needs, and Steve Mc has the numbers.

      • He did BOTH emmision estimates and GHG ppm estimates

        The confusion is understandable. The term “emissions” appears quite a few times. You’re not the first to take that literally.

        Emission estimates are usually done in gigatonnes (Gt). There’s nothing like that in the paper. There is not one single numerical value for the then current or past emissions, while there are numerical values for CO2 in ppm, past and present (in 1988).

        Where scenarios are expressed in percentage growth rate “emissions” in the main body of the paper, these are exactly the concentration growth rate values used in the appendix specifying the model scenarios. If Hansen et al were talking about actual emissions scenarios, those values would not be equivalent (concentration growth rate is a fraction of emissions growth rate), and you’d expect to see discussion on the relationship between the two.

        Basically, the use of the term ’emissions’ in this 30 year-old paper is equivalent to growth in atmospheric concentration. 30 years later it’s confusing, unfortunately, but not indecipherable.

        Steve McIntyre understands it well:

        CO2 Projections
        One idiosyncrasy that you have to watch in Hansen’s descriptions is that he typically talks about growth rates for the increment , rather than growth rates expressed in terms of the quantity. Thus a 1.5% growth rate in the CO2 increment yields a much lower growth rate than a 1.5% growth rate (as an unwary reader might interpret). For CO2, he uses Keeling values to 1981, then:
        A: 1.5% growth of annual increment after 1981. Figure B2 shows 15.6 ppmv in 1980s and opening increment set at 1.56 ppmv accordingly.
        B: 1.5% increment growth rate to 1990;1% to 2000, 0.5% to 2010 and 0 after 2010. Thus constant 1.9 ppmv increase after 2010.
        C: equals A, B through 1985, then 1.5 ppmv increase through 2000; then fixed at 368

        “Keeling values” – all model scenario estimates are about concentration.

        Finally, all future trace gas values in the paper are related to modeled ‘forcing.’ That is a function of atmospheric content. They couldn’t possibly have done a forcing estimate from emissions (apart from that being a poor metric), because, as Nick points out, they didn’t have emissions estimates at that time.

      • Hansen’s predictions were for what would happen to both CO2 levels and temperature if we behaved as described in his three scenarios, where A represented his highest emission scenario, and C was his lowest emission scenario.

        Hansen’s predictions were way off. CO2 emissions have soared, above even his scenario A. Yet CO2 levels are slightly below his scenario A (closer to B than A, though CO2 levels in his A & B scenarios are about the same for 2017), and actual temperature increases have been nowhere near the eye-popping 0.5 °C/decade that he predicted for his scenario A.

        Hansen has made a career of being spectacularly wrong. Remember when he predicted that global warming would warm higher latitude oceans less than lower latitudes (because he thought cold meltwater would keep the higher latitudes cool), and the increased temperature difference between high and low latitudes would cause stronger storms? He went on Letterman and said “the increasing temperature gradient [between high and low latitudes] is going to drive stronger storms” as lower latitudes warm faster than higher latitudes. In 2009 he even wrote a book entitled, “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.”

        “The Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity” — what a title! Yet climate catastrophists still object the the “C” (for “catastrophe”) in “CAGW.”

        When we criticize Al Gore for saying things that ridiculous, the climate campaigners demur, saying, “well, Gore’s not a scientist.”

        So what’s their excuse for Hansen?

        I think his title makes a good survey question for evaluating the “consensus” of scientists on climate change: “Do you think this is our last chance to save humanity from the existential threat of catastrophic climate change?”

        What level of agreement do you think Doran would find if he surveyed scientists and asked them that question? What percentage of scientific papers do you think John Cook could find which endorse that position on climate change?

        Now, about those terrible storms which Hansen predicted due to the “increasing temperature gradient” [between high and low latitudes: I hope everyone here realizes that’s wrong. Hurricanes and tropical cyclones seem to be declining slightly, and pretty much everyone now agrees that AGW warms high latitudes more than low latitudes.

        In fact, even in 2004, half a decade before Hansen’s appearance on Letterman, the Arctic Impact Climate Assessment already discussed “amplification” of global warming in the Arctic, and reported that, “Arctic average temperature has risen at almost twice the rate as the rest of the world in the past few decades.”

        Nick & barry, do you at least acknowledge that if increased CO2 emissions cause CO2 levels to increase much less than Hanson expected, then the value or importance of reducing those emissions must also be much less than he thought?

    • David, A: “He did BOTH emmision estimates and GHG ppm estimates.”

      Nick Stokes: Where? Quote them please.

      Possibly David will quote the 1.5% growth rate with the word emissions next to it. But that’s not an estimate because there is no estimate of observed emissions in the paper (whereas there are observationally based estimates of CO2 ppmv concentration for given years).

      David, can you quote any CO2 emissions estimate in Gt (gigatonnes) or equivalent? An actual numerical value for the then (1988) present or past emissions?

      What, for example, was Hansen’s estimate of annual CO2 emissions for 1979 or 1987…?

  41. I’m a home brewer: beer, mead, cheese. One of the frustrating parts of the process is cooling the 212 F wort so you can pitch your yeast and not kill it. Just like Mr. Hansen, I have noticed if I throw 6 ice cubes into my 5 gallons of liquid, the level rises 3 inches and cools 30 degrees F!

  42. Given that amount of CO2 emissions, his prediction was that by now, temperatures would have gone up by five degrees Fahrenheit, or about 3°C.

    Obviously, nothing like that has happened. Despite the fact that millions of folks believed his prediction in 1988 and continue to listen to him today, the UAH MSU satellite data says that since 1988 it’s warmed by … well … about a third of a degree. Not three degrees. A third of a degree. He was wrong by an order of magnitude. So obviously, he desperately needs an excuse for this colossal failure.

    Not true, I suggest you check his paper referred to in that excerpt:

    The paper referred to predicted nothing like what’s in that excerpt. Hansen’s published predictions were actually pretty good (see David Middleton’s post: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/22/autopsy-of-an-excuse/#comment-2558670)

    His predictions ranged from 0.6-1.4ºC by now relative to the 1950-1981 mean, not since 1988. (See Fig. 3)

    • Also nothing to support Hansen’s predictions were “pretty good”. Where does this come from?

      And since when does the Scientific Method says “pretty good” results mean anything scientifically, or support a theory?

    • So, the past 30 years did not see a “continued expansion of fossil fuel use”? If that’s the case, what’s all the fuss about. We have already solved the problem.

      • Using an understanding of English grammar, “…continued expansion of fossil fuel use…” would lead one to surmise that Hansen did intend to predict a 5 F. increase.

    • Reg Nelson July 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm
      There’s no Fig. 3 in your link. You lost me there, Phil.

      Sorry the figure in David’s post is based on fig 3 in Hansen’s 1988 paper, I hadn’t realized he’d omitted the caption.
      That figure also shows the ‘pretty good’ prediction, beats the original false claim of an ‘order of magnitude’ error based on a completely bogus report.

  43. Strange the lack of response to this article from Nick Stokes, Griff, Seaice et al. You would think that they’d be rushing to the defence of one of the high priests of their religion.

    • Tamino pretty much demolishes it.

      A good skeptic considers multiple sources.

      The best source here is hansens own paper. go read it.

    • “Strange the lack of response to this article from Nick Stokes”
      I don’t have much to add to what Nic Lewis and David Middleton had to say. It’s unlikely that Hansen was talking about the latent heat of melting of ice when he spoke of its cooling effect. And David M showed the original plot. The rise to 2018 was nowhere near the 3 degrees first quoted in the post, and Hansen was not out by a factor of ten. I see that despite the rather crude rejection of a request for retraction, the original claim has now been modified by a factor of three.

      Of course, the other part of that <i”He was wrong by a factor of 3. So obviously, he desperately needs an excuse for this colossal failure.” is the usual con here of comparing surface predictions with troposphere results. Hansen was not predicting troposphere temperatures as measured by UAH V6.0. He was not even predicting troposphere as measured by UAH V5.6 or RSS V4. He was predicting surface temperatures. And as David Middleton showed, he got it pretty much right.

  44. Hansen of Borg could also be called two of Twenty. HuffPost featured him second in a list of “20 Champions Of Climate Change.” If Hansen, Gore, or any of the other champions of climate change have never gotten a prediction right, why should we put any stock in their new and improved predictions?

  45. Notice the date, 1988. Reagan was still president and his administration regarded Hansen a lunatic alarmist, which continued through the Bush administration. It was also the year that the IPCC was formed and Hansen’s predictions were fundamental to justifying the existence of the IPCC. Hansen is also the one who first botched the applifcation of Bode’s linear feedback amplifier analysis to the climate a few years earlier which was presented as the theoretical foundation for massive amplification by positive feedback in AR1.

    The mistake made by Reagan was not to fire this guy for incompetence back in the early 80’s, instead he ended up being put in charge of GISS. I’m not sure it it was the peter principle at work and Reagan put him in charge or if it was a bonehead move by the Carter administration on their way out. Either way, science has suffered horribly since.

    • Hansen is also the criminal who claims that if a government computer is nitrogen cooled till it’s fast enough, it can calculate the temperature of our compressible phase matter gaseous atmosphere, using only the Stefan-Boltzmann portion of the math needed to solve temperatures of gases. This fake ‘calculation’ gives up a 33 degree shortfall in ‘ ‘ solving ‘ ‘ for global atmospheric temperature: when anyone who has any education in solving for temperatures of gases knows – you must solve for the density of gases, and all the compressible phase fluids in forms of vapors, gas, this sorta thing.

      The part of the math deliberately left out of proper calculation of atmospheric temperature is called the ‘hydrostatic equation’ and it solves, for what’s known in gases as the ”hydrostatic condition.” In other words the density.

      This is another mark of the empty suits claiming to ”understand climate math” and ”understand climate science.” As soon as you delve into their ignorant fraud, the glaring errors of utter error explode the so-called ‘work’ they’ve done and – this is what drives the insane, insulting, snide, low-life thugs of the CO2 warming church to act like the crackpot criminopaths they are, deep down. Once shown, it’s obviously so simply fraud, that only those who have some truly criminal need for the fraud to continue, – making money, making themselves famous on the back of a giant chemistry scam – will even dream of further endorsement of it.

      It’s hideously transparent fraud at a level that a middle schooler can disrupt the world’ most pre-eminent so-called ‘scientist.’ *It’s the fraud that destroyed peoples’ trust of all science anywhere – globally. People are appalled at the level of obviously – obviously willful misrepresentation of everything from the nature of sunlight itself to the basic mathematics of ‘what happens to the temperature of a light warmed rock, less light warms?’

      • High Octane,

        The macroscopic behavior of the climate system can be completely quantified by the SB LAW and you don’t need a supercomputer cooled to absolute zero in order to figure this out. A simple calculator is sufficient.

        If we start from an ideal BB like the Moon, given the solar profile, heat capacity of the surface and the SB equation, we can calculate the time varying temperature of any part of the Moon’s surface with a high degree of accuracy, limited only the accuracy of the heat capacity and reflectivity of the surface. NASA did these calculations prior to the Moon landings so they could understand the thermal limits they needed to design for.

        The equations governing this are simple.

        Psun (1-a) = Po + dE/dt
        E = k*T
        Po = eoT^4

        where Psun is solar flux, T is the temperature of the surface, Po is the emissions by the surface, E is the solar energy stored by the surface, a is the albedo, k is related to the heat capacity of the surface and e is the emissivity of the surface which is approximately 1. Note the lack of assumptions and arbitrary knobs and dials, even when expanded out to comprise a gridded analysis. The average sensitivity of the Moon to changes in forcing (solar input after reflection) is when Psun(1-a) is exactly equal to Po and dE/dt (the forcing term) is zero. This can be calculated EXACTLY as 1/(4eoT^3), where T is the average surface temperature, e is the effective emissivity and o is the SB constant.

        If Earth had an atmosphere containing only N2 and O2, the average temperature and sensitivity would be the same as for the Moon since O2 and N2 are transparent to both incoming solar energy and outgoing LWIR. The only difference would be that both the cold and hot extremes would move a little closer to the average for 2 reasons. First is the faster rotation of the Earth and second is the smoothing effect of convection by atmospheric gas molecules.

        When we add GHG’s and clouds, the only thing we need to do to the Moon equations to make them fit the data is reduce the emissivity from 1.0 to about 0.62 in which case the deterministic average sensitivity becomes 1/(4eoT^3), where e is 0.62, o is the SB constant and T is the average temperature of 288K. The result is an average sensitivity of 0.3C per W/m^2 which is below the IPCC’s lower limit of 0.4C per W/m^2.

        The fact that SB predicts a sensitivity below the level needed to support catastrophic consequences and the need for an organization like the IPCC is why the alarmists deny this kind of analysis as being relevant.

      • co2isnotevil July 23, 2017 at 9:15 am

        High Octane,

        The macroscopic behavior of the climate system can be completely quantified by the SB LAW and you don’t need a supercomputer cooled to absolute zero in order to figure this out. A simple calculator is sufficient.

        If we start from an ideal BB like the Moon, given the solar profile, heat capacity of the surface and the SB equation, we can calculate the time varying temperature of any part of the Moon’s surface with a high degree of accuracy, limited only the accuracy of the heat capacity and reflectivity of the surface. NASA did these calculations prior to the Moon landings so they could understand the thermal limits they needed to design for.

        The equations governing this are simple.

        Psun (1-a) = Po + dE/dt
        E = k*T
        Po = eoT^4

        where Psun is solar flux, T is the temperature of the surface, Po is the emissions by the surface, E is the solar energy stored by the surface, a is the albedo, k is related to the heat capacity of the surface and e is the emissivity of the surface which is approximately 1.

        In a post called “The Cold Equations” I pointed out the problem with your equation 2, E = k * T. That equation states that heat storage in the ocean is a function of surface air temperature.

        I see absolutely no reason to believe this without evidence. Oceanic heat storage depends on two things: how fast the heat goes in, and how fast it comes out. Neither of these is a simple function of temperature, far from it.

        For example: when it gets warmer, more ice melts. More icewater runs into the ocean, it cools down … so in this case, the equation totally reverses, becoming something on the order of E = – k * T.

        And this is only one of a number of phenomena that affect the heat balance of the ocean. Here’s another. Let’s say that we have some given amount of downwelling radiation. For some reason that doesn’t concern us, let’s say solar goes down and downwelling goes up.

        Now, the two kinds of radiation affect the ocean very differently. Sunlight penetrates deeply into the ocean, while IR is almost all absorbed in the first mm. This means that the shift affects the heat balance of the ocean differently, despite the fact that the total downwelling radiation is unchanged.

        Here’s another. When heat builds up in the Eastern Pacific, it kickstarts the El Nino / La Nina pump. This pumps a huge amount of warm water from the surface to the poles, where it can radiate much more freely to space. So the heat content of the Pacific is greatly reduced … but the immediate affect on T, which is the air temperature, is to warm it up. Air T warming … heat content E going down … I’m sure you can see the problem.

        So no … you cannot simply use those equations. They are lovely, they are alluring, lots of scientists have been seduced by them, but they simply are not true.

        Regards,

        w.

    • Reagan was still president and his administration regarded Hansen a lunatic alarmist, which continued through the Bush administration.

      I thought climate scientists were government lackeys?

    • “Notice the date, 1988. Reagan was still president and his administration regarded Hansen a lunatic alarmist, which continued through the Bush administration. It was also the year that the IPCC was formed and Hansen’s predictions were fundamental”

      Far from it. From the National Security Archive

      Already in 1988, the U.S. had supported creation within the UN of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to carry out systematic research into the causes of global climate change and to assess potential strategies to address it.[7] As a candidate, Bush had called for an international conference on environmental issues, and new Secretary of State James Baker had strongly supported the work of the IPCC.

      The US supported UN resolution 43/53 which established the IPCC. Bush went on to support the formation of the UNFCCC in 1992. He submitted it to the Senate for ratification, where it passed without the need for a roll-call vote.

      • Nick,
        And as I have pointed out, Hansen and his incredibly sloppy science was the driver of this insanity.

        If you want to debate the broken science, I’d be happy to engage, but I’m pretty sure you’ll have trouble keeping up and will completely fail to address the many ways I can falsify the absurdly high sensitivity claimed by the IPCC nor will you be able to come up with a coherent argument against my repeatable, testable and highly tested proof of a low sensitivity.

    • Nick Stokes July 23, 2017 at 1:05 am

      “Notice the date, 1988. Reagan was still president and his administration regarded Hansen a lunatic alarmist, which continued through the Bush administration. It was also the year that the IPCC was formed and Hansen’s predictions were fundamental”

      Far from it. From the National Security Archive

      Already in 1988, the U.S. had supported creation within the UN of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to carry out systematic research into the causes of global climate change and to assess potential strategies to address it.[7] As a candidate, Bush had called for an international conference on environmental issues, and new Secretary of State James Baker had strongly supported the work of the IPCC.

      Nick, I don’t understant this. co2isnotevil said that the IPCC began in 1988. You say the same, although it’s not clear because you left out the first sentence. With it, the para reads:

      The George H. W. Bush administration entered office in 1989 with plans to build upon this success. Already in 1988, the U.S. had supported creation within the UN of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change …

      What’s the problem? According to you both, the IPCC started getting formed in 1988. What am I missing here? Is it your point that the final IPCC documents weren’t formalized for several years? So what?

      Regards,

      w.

      • I think Nick is rebutting the notion that Reagan and Bush Snr thought Hansen was a lunatic, but rather were on board with concern about AGW.

      • Yes. The “far from it” refers to the assertion that “1988. Reagan was still president and his administration regarded Hansen a lunatic alarmist, which continued through the Bush administration.”
        In fact, there is no evidence of that. Reagan’s Admin supported the formation of the IPCC, and Bush signed the US up to the UNFCCC, with Senate ratification. I don’t know who thought what about Hansen personally, but their actions were consistent with his advice.

      • Nick Stokes July 23, 2017 at 2:46 am

        Yes. The “far from it” refers to the assertion that “1988. Reagan was still president and his administration regarded Hansen a lunatic alarmist, which continued through the Bush administration.”

        Thanks, Nick, that is exactly what I was missing. I thought you were referring to the year, not the president.

        w.

      • … yet I am fairly confidence neither Bush or certainly Regan, knew the IPCC would degenerate into the corrupt political organization using alarmist non-peer reviewed sources literature (WWF and Greenpeace) and cherry picked alarmist pal reviewed literature, (see the Wegman report) while ignoring extensive skeptical peer reviewed literature. (See NIPCC)

        All of the above has happened post 1988.

    • The mistake made by Reagan was not to fire this guy for incompetence back in the early 80’s, instead he ended up being put in charge of GISS.

      And GISS hasn’t been the same since. 8-)

  46. I thought it interesting that the author of the SPIN article claimed
    well beyond the 30,000 years of history since our species emerged.

    This “30,000” is about the time of the invention of harpoons and saws, twisted rope, ovens, and rock paintings.
    Maybe the writer left out a zero.

    An interesting “spin” in SPIN magazine.

  47. Ignoring the utter lack of skepticism in such a source, I’m really curious how this 1988 climate change related article from a record industry magazine came to the attention of Willis.

  48. ” The variable “heat_required” is the calculated number of joules required to melt 500 billion tonnes of ice in one year.”

    I’m certainly not a climate alarmist and enjoy reading this site, but wouldn’t the energy needed to melt ice depend on the initial temperature of the ice? Warming ice from -50 to -40 could also be considered “melting”, even if it will still take a while for the actual phase change.

  49. Another Ian July 22, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    ”You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

    And the usually unstated corollary

    If you’re caught trying to fool people then everything you’ve said previously or will say in the future is subject to scepticism

    Curiously, Lincoln actually stated the corollary in the same speech, just before the part you quoted.

    If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. You may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    However, for me the best quote on this subject is from Megan McCardle:

    After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else

    Regards,

    w.

  50. “my numeric legend detector ringing like a fire alarm in a cheap whorehouse.”

    Wait…what?

  51. Hansen’s theory of global warming being caused by increases in CO2 has been totally disproved by Prof. Don Easterbrook and numerous world leading scientists who have been able to produce the real evidence of ice cores which clearly show that increases in CO2 in the atmosphere always follow major movements in global warming including the twentieth century warm period (from about 1932 to 1998) which was actually caused by
    a massive increase in sunspot activity just as were some of the previous global warm periods

  52. Measurements of Antarctic ice mass can’t tell if its losing or gaining mass. They have to fiddle with the data because physics does not support ice melting when the ave. temperature in the interior of Antarctica is -57 C and in the coast -10 C. You can melt the ice submerged in the sea and it doesn’t add to sea level. No wonder 65% of tide gauges worldwide don’t show significant sea level rise
    http://notrickszone.com/2017/06/05/sea-levels-are-stable-to-falling-at-about-half-of-the-worlds-tide-gauges/#sthash.I17jTXzu.dpbs

    Melting ice? The problem here is how to keep my glass of water liquid

    https://www.polartrec.com/files/members/kate-miller/images/geographicsouthpole.jpg.

  53. Understanding,, as I do,. why you don’t get facts from “spin” and you don’t get truth from this site, I am not surprised to see this here.

    You, and Antony Watts, owe the world an apology. You owe James Hansen an apology and you owe NOAA an apology.

    We won’t get it. Liars are after all, prospering from their lies but that will not last long either.

    Not from anything we do, but when Mother Nature herself stuffs this nonsense down your throats.

    Stop looking to “Spin” for your facts, go to the paper itself. It really isn’t that hard to find.

  54. Hansen’s “bulldog” is having a go at you. Not man enough to discuss it here though.

    • Willis basically forgot to go and read Hansen’s actual words in his actual paper.

      quoting Spin is worse than quoting wikipedia.

      • Steven Mosher:

        You say

        Willis basically forgot to go and read Hansen’s actual words in his actual paper.
        quoting Spin is worse than quoting wikipedia.

        But these words from you are merely another example of your usual practice when confronted with truth you cannot dispute; i.e. you lie and insult.

        As Willis explained above

        If you’d done a decent google search (say my name and the name of the paper in question) you would have found my analysis of that very paper here.

        I did it 11 years ago, I’d do it differently now, but there it is …

        Mosher, your visits to here don’t improve[snip].

        Richard

      • richardscourtney,

        In Willis’ own words.

        And I was also 100% wrong, to believe a contemporary article rather than go back to the original paper. Mea maxima culpa

        He may have read the Hansen paper more recently than 11 years ago, but he relied on Spin Mag for this article, hence the error.

        For which he’s apologized. ‘Nuff said.

      • No Barry, not “nuff said” at all. In fact is willfully disingenuous of you to make such a statement and not put Willis statement in context. You left out…

        “However, this makes no difference to my point. His claims about melting ice are a wild exaggeration. The amount of cooling from the melting of ice is far, far too small to have the effect, whether by now or by the end of the century.”

        Willis simply made a mistake in not digging a bit deeper. Your post is a clear example of bias.

  55. Bugger,! Just when I had decided to accept my fate and surrender to the inevitability of my death on New Years Eve I find out the science wasn’t settled afterall. Now I have to make new plans for my annual leave.

  56. Isn’t this whole essay based upon a false assumption that the prediction was for 2-5 degrees of increase, when the actual prediction was for much less?

    • petwir wrote, “Isn’t this whole essay based upon a false assumption that the prediction was for 2-5 degrees of increase, when the actual prediction was for much less?”

      No. Didn’t you even read Willis’s article? His focus was on this statement by Hansen, from an article a few days ago:

      Professor Hansen, former director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said: “I don’t think we’re going to get four or five degrees this century, because we get a cooling effect from the melting ice.

      As Willis showed, Hansen obviously didn’t bother (or perhaps didn’t even know how?!?) to do the simple arithmetic to see whether his proposed cooling mechanism was even possible.

      What’s more, the three temperature prediction graphs in Hansen’s 1988 paper were based on three emission scenarios, all of which were much too low. Actual CO2 emissions have been far above Hansen’s hottest “Scenario A,” which predicted 1.5 °C of warming in 30 years.

      Hansen’s business-as-usual Scenario A, as stated in his 1988 paper, was:

      Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s
      will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially…
      ..if the world follows a course between scenarios A and B, the temperature changes within several decades will become large enough to have major effects on the quality of life for mankind in many regions.
      The computed temperature changes are sufficient to have a large impact on other parts of the biosphere. A warning of 0.5°C per decade implies typically a poleward shift of isotherms by 50 to 75 km per decade. This is an order of magnitude faster than the major climate shifts in the paleoclimate record, and faster than most plants and trees are thought to be capable of naturally migrating…

      In fact, the world did not follow a course between scenarios A and B, it followed a course of emissions even far above scenario A. Under his scenario A, emissions would have increased by 47% in 26 years. Actually, they increased by 66% in 26 years.

      So, if Hansen had been right, and if climate sensitivity to CO2 had really been as high as Hansen thought, temperatures would have gone up about 2 °C by now.

      How much temperatures actually rose depends on who you believe, but nobody claims anything close to 2 °C.

      The actual increase was about 0.6 °C according to the WoodForTrees temperature index:
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/plot/wti/trend

      Or about 0.5 °C according to the satellites:
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/uah6/trend/offset:0.6/plot/uah6/offset:0.6/plot/rss/trend

      Or 1.0 °C to 1.3 °C according to GISS:
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp-dts/trend/offset:0.6/plot/gistemp-dts/offset:0.6/plot/gistemp/trend

      Or about 0.8 °C according to HADCRUT:
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/plot/hadcrut3vgl/trend/offset:0.6/plot/hadcrut3vgl/offset:0.6/plot/hadcrut4gl/trend

      Hansen’s prediction was about 3x too large, based on emissions.

      Hansen also got the resultant CO2 levels wildly wrong, because he didn’t understand the powerful negative feedbacks which have curbed the growth in CO2 levels levels. His apologists paint that failure as a virtue, by comparing his temperature projections to his CO2 level projections, rather than to the emission scenarios, but that’s just spin.

  57. Exact same reaction, Willis. As a power plant design engineer looking for ways to mitigate the absolutely brutal effect the summer heat of 1998 had on cooling lakes we looked at adding cooling towers, adding more surface, longer transit time, and very breifly harvesting winter ice to add back into the cooling canal in future summers. In less than 5 minutes we could see that the latent heat of melting ice is no match for a couple of 1200 MWe nukes. It would have been absolutely futile on any practical scale. So I guess Hansen, while practiced in scare tactics, would make a terrible engineer if not scientist.

  58. I have it all straight now…except for the part about fire alarms in cheap whorehouses.
    Do the high priced whorehouses not have any fire alarms?
    Is this a Texas joke?
    Stumped…

  59. Media creates super humans and super demons, not based on their credentials but simply wants to create them to serve certain vested interests.

    You can see the recent case of Malala — with media hype she got noble prize. Same way in the past, Mother Theresa got noble prize and as well several other awards/orders. When a BBC reporter asked her in an interview, how you are accepting donations from drug lords? She shot back saying, on the money is it written that this is drug money?

    Al Gore and IPCC got noble prize but just after that they both withdrew important conclusions, part of noble prize. Later they didn’t returned their noble prize. Norman Borlogue received noble prize for chemical inputs agriculture technology. The noble Prize awarding committee did not looked into its negative impacts on the environment but now we are facing this — the loss is several times to that of gains. Even another scientist received a noble prize and just after that he withdrew the paper published in a journal [though it is not part of noble prize].

    So also the case of global warming leaders like Hansen, Mann, etc. In fact even before 1988 and after 1988 we published reports relating to climate change even published in Ph.D. Theses, but not body questioned or stopped publishing our scientific papers in reputed journals.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Sorry Sir, the losses include air, water, soil and food pollution. Cost of production increased as well government subsidies. You can see the Gulf of Mexico the large dead zone from the agriculture fields runoff through Mississippi River.

        Norman Borlouge sent a letter to a friend in Hyderabad who was advocating for GM seed — in my state Bt-cotton was introduced illegally by producing seed and I along with others filed a PIL in High Court at that time –. The Indian counterpart sent that paper to a daily news paper in which I used to contribute on agriculture report. They published that and also my counter to that also published. In four states where Bt-cotton is growrn, the suicides are the highest with high input costs.

        Erlier to chemical inputs technology we used to eat nutrient food with animal husbandry forming part of farming system. This provided food, nutrient and economic security to farmers.

        India received Mexican wheat under PL480 in 70s and came with it a weed “perhenium” which is spread all over India with no cure. This is part of the new technology.

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • No not yet all, Sir. See my book “Green” Green Revolution: Agriculture in the perspective of Climate Change”, 2011. FAO report says around 30% of the food produced is going as waste. In India, my estimate is around 40-50%. Finance Minister in his budget presentation also spoke on this — 40%. The Hon’ble Supreme Court also said the same. That means, we are not only producing in excess and wasting the natural resources to produce that amount of excess production.

        The chemical input technology reached a plateau in production in around 1984-85 and Bt-Cotton in 13 years, for the past five years the production is flat.

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Shame on this post for trivializing the lifelong humanitarian work of Norman Borlaug. I’m not sure the misspelling of his name adds credibility to the sentiment. Attributing all manner of adverse recent consequences to the work performed in the 1950s through 1970s is somewhat akin to blaming the refinery when an avaricious husband douses his second wife with kerosene and sets her ablaze in order to have a chance at a third dowry.

      • Who should feel “shame”, people supporting profit driven multinational companies or people talking on protecting environment and human health of people?

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  60. My thanks to those who noted my error. I’ve added the following update to the article:

    [Update] As a number of folks pointed out, the Spin article was 100% wrong. Hansen’s model didn’t predict 3°C warming by now … it predicted one degree C warming. I’ve changed the post to reflect this.

    And I was also 100% wrong, to believe a contemporary article rather than go back to the original paper. Mea maxima culpa, my thanks to Mosh, Tamino, and others who pointed it out.

    However,this makes no difference to my point. His claims about melting ice are a wild exaggeration. The amount of cooling from the melting of ice is far, far too small to have the effect, whether by now or by the end of the century.

    • Thank you Willis – you show considerable humility by admitting the above.
      Now…

      richardscourtney says….

      In his usual hypocritical manner…..

      “”Willis basically forgot to go and read Hansen’s actual words in his actual paper.
      quoting Spin is worse than quoting wikipedia”. (Mosher)

      But these words from you are merely another example of your usual practice when confronted with truth you cannot dispute; i.e. you lie and insult.

      Mosher, your visits to here don’t improve so you may wish to consider staying in your slime instead of coming here.

      Richard”

      Classy Courtney, very classy – and as the below shows …..

      The “Update” from Willis:

      “And I was also 100% wrong, to believe a contemporary article rather than go back to the original paper. Mea maxima culpa, my thanks to Mosh, Tamino, and others who pointed it out.”

      Now a decent human being would apologise.
      But not holding my breath.

      And I might add that his many ad homs to those that hold a contrary view pass straight through moderation here.
      Now if this is the sort of “Contributor” that WUWT wishes to give cart blanche to, then fine.
      You get the ones you deserve.
      In short the reason I no longer post here.
      I have no wish to “converse” with the likes of richardscourtney.
      Or even glance at his nastiness in a thread.
      I have “history” of him BTW.

      • However Willis, on reading further up-thread I come across this….

        “hypergeometric July 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm
        Um, Mr Eschenbach, why don’t you actually look at the original paper, its graphs, and then at actual data before you blather away criticizing it. Your criticism is rather like a thirteen-year-old marking up a poster with crayons.
        I think a retraction is in order, as do others. Of course Anthony Watts doesn’t ever retract either, apparently.”

        “Willis Eschenbach July 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm
        However, you’d do well to retract and apologize for your baseless nastiness, your pathetic lack of research, and your puerile assumptions … or not. Your reputation, your choice. Sadly, however, I often find that those hiding behind an alias are happy to attack but rarely apologize … they just pick another alias and move on to their next nastiness.

        Not a good look Willis, and perhaps an apology from you?
        As I said above – this site has the contributors it deserves.

      • Toneb, thanks for your comments.

        In that instance, despite my having written an entire previous post on the Hansen paper, I was accused in a very nasty way by hypergeometric of never having read it. He didn’t give any specifics, he didn’t mention what I was supposed to have gotten wrong. Just that I’d never read the paper.

        And since I had read it and I had written about it in the past, I was upset about being misrepresented.

        Now, should I have been more circumspect in my reply? Sure. But I will not stand idly by and be someone’s punching bag for imagined transgressions.

        Look, I’m willing to take the heat for my mistakes. But I don’t put up with people making ugly misrepresentations about me, regardless of whether I mistakenly claimed Hansen was off by a factor of ten when he was actually off by a factor of three …

        So you are partly correct. I apologize sincerely to hypergeometric for my OTT style … but not for the substance.

        Regards,

        w.

  61. jorgekafkazar July 22, 2017 at 8:37 pm
    >The real question is, “Why write a computer program to do a simple back-of-envelope calculation?”

    To err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer.
    – Unknown

    “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
    Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

    iron brian

    • In case you missed the update and the many comments in the thread above, it was in fact Willis who made the “wild exaggeration”, misstating Hansen’s original forecast based on a ropey magazine article rather than on the paper itself.

      As several posters have pointed out above, Hansen’s so-called “exaggeration” in terms of the temperature forecast made in his 1988 paper turns out to have been very close to what has been observed (red line).

      • Nonsense, DWR54. Willis made the mistake of trusting an erroneous statement claim in an alarmist article, but that was on a peripheral point. Willis’s main point, about Hansen’s ridiculous claim about melting ice offsetting greenhouse warming, was exactly correct.

        What’s more, Hansen’s temperature projections were, indeed, very wildly exaggerated. He predicted 1.5 °C warming for his emission Scenario A, and actual emissions ended up being far above his Scenario A, yet the actual temperature increase was far below it.

      • “He predicted 1.5 °C warming for his emission Scenario A, and actual emissions ended up being far above his Scenario A”
        No, they weren’t. Barry has the numbers here (more info here and at Barry’s Climate Audit link). Gas concentrations came in below Scenario B. Further, Scen A had no volcanoes; Scen B had a big one in 1995, pretty close to Pinatubo.

        “Willis’s main point, about Hansen’s ridiculous claim about melting ice offsetting greenhouse warming, was exactly correct.”
        No. Willis did a calc based on current rates of melting. Hansen was describing what would happen if temperatures rose 4-5°C. That would involve hugely more melting.

      • The chart above indicates that it is not “nonsense”. Hansen’s original plot matched to GISS Ts (met stations only), using the 1951-80 anomaly base. We might wonder then why Willis elected to compare it against the cooler of the two lower troposphere satellite data sets, but that’s what he did.

        The GISS Ts data has been plotted by Nick Stokes and superimposed on Hansen’s chart:

        Other data set comparisons can also be made using a tool at Nick’s site: https://moyhu.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/hansens-1988-predictions-js-explorer.html

      • daveburtons comment,

        “He predicted 1.5 °C warming for his emission Scenario A, and actual EMISSIONS ended up being far above his Scenario A, yet the actual temperature increase was far below it.”

        is very correct. Hansen was WRONG about the ability of earth to uptake CO2, and charts below trying to PARTIALLY save Hansen using the peak of a super El Nino as the end point are disingenuous.

        In fact, per IPCC CAGW models, the troposphere as a whole, should have warmed 20 percent MORE then the surface, so the real chart (one that would show GHG as the cause of observed warming) would have been 20 percent higher warming projections shown for Hansen’s ABC projections of surface warming compared to UHA troposphere satellite observations and weather balloon data sets.

        Hansen was way wrong PERIOD. Wrong on CO2 uptake, wrong on warming, wrong on SL rise.

    • The model is of global surface air temps, including oceans (not SSTs) Hansen recommends the best obs would be a data set falling somewhere between GISS land only and GISS land/ocean.

    • Nick Stokes July 23, 2017 at 4:30 am
      <blockquote
      daveburton July 23, 2017 at 4:11 am

      “Willis’s main point, about Hansen’s ridiculous claim about melting ice offsetting greenhouse warming, was exactly correct.”

      No. Willis did a calc based on current rates of melting. Hansen was describing what would happen if temperatures rose 4-5°C. That would involve hugely more melting.

      Nick, as I pointed out, even if the melting were ten times as large it’s still only a tenth of a W/m2.

      And even if it were a hundred times as large, an insanely high rate of melt, that would be one watt per square metre … which, per modern sensitivity estimates, would bring a cooling of less than half a degree.

      So yes, I’d say that my main point was exactly correct.

      w.

      • Willis,
        No, 500 Gt ice melting would cool the entire troposphere by 0.04 C. Since the long term temperature trend in the troposphere is 0.02 C/year, these 500 Gt ice per year are quite signifant, and roughly twice as large. And then we have the loss of sea ice, other glaciers around the world, etc. All this disappearing ice represents a warming 3-4 times larger than that of the troposphere..

        You started this blogpost with “scam” and ” con” accusations against James Hansen. You have nothing, your critiscism is null and void, hence all your nasty accusations have bounced back in your face..

      • O R July 24, 2017 at 12:27 am

        Willis,
        No, 500 Gt ice melting would cool the entire troposphere by 0.04 C. Since the long term temperature trend in the troposphere is 0.02 C/year, these 500 Gt ice per year are quite signifant, and roughly twice as large. And then we have the loss of sea ice, other glaciers around the world, etc. All this disappearing ice represents a warming 3-4 times larger than that of the troposphere..

        Thanks, OR. You say:

        Willis,

        No, 500 Gt ice melting would cool the entire troposphere by 0.04 C.

        And if so, it would cool the lowest 150 metres of the entire troposphere by 4°C … and it would likely warm my cup of coffee to the temperature of the surface of the sun. YIKES, WE’RE ALL DOOMED …

        O R, the point I made is simple. The 500 Gt of ice melting is equivalent to a reduction in downwelling radiation of TWO THOUSANDTHS OF 1%.

        Now, you can make all kinds of true and scary claims about what would happen if all of that were concentrated in the troposphere or in my cup of coffee … so what?

        It’s still only a change in the global energy balance of two thousandths of 1% … and as such is far below detectability, lost in the noise

        You started this blogpost with “scam” and ” con” accusations against James Hansen. You have nothing, your critiscism is null and void, hence all your nasty accusations have bounced back in your face..

        While you’d love for this to be so, the fact that James “Death Train” Hansen is a con and a scam artist has nothing to do with me.

        As one example among far too many, on a hot summer’s day back in 1988, James Hansen was the man who went in secretly before the meeting and opened the windows and turned off the air conditioning in the Senate meeting room when he gave his first testimony on climate change, so that the Senators would be subconsciously more willing to believe that the globe is warming.

        Those are the actions of a scammer and a con artist; he has not changed his ways since then; and it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with me.

        Best regards,

        w.

      • As one example among far too many, on a hot summer’s day back in 1988, James Hansen was the man who went in secretly before the meeting and opened the windows and turned off the air conditioning in the Senate meeting room when he gave his first testimony on climate change, so that the Senators would be subconsciously more willing to believe that the globe is warming.

        Those are the actions of a scammer and a con artist

        That story is disputed. Here’s a fact-checker on it.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/03/30/setting-the-record-straight-the-real-story-of-a-pivotal-climate-change-hearing/

        The point of bringing this up is not to defend Hansen, but to ask you to stick to the science and not editorialize (slander) based on murky or selected premises.

        Anthony has in the past asked people not to slander researchers. If for no other reason, this restraint mitigates the tribal aspect of the debate, which already makes it difficult to engage in good faith. I’d thought to mention that re your article above, but didn’t want to make that the discussion. Your comment here provides the opportunity.

        I understand you say it as you see it, but smears based on presumed motives, hearsay or whatever are substandard for a science discussion. As a contributor to the site, you’re a standard bearer.

        I have a larger context here. I like the discussions because it makes me read up on things and tests my own opinions. It’s frustrating when a thread descends into name-calling and the technical discussion destabilizes. Disrespect is contagious, unfortunately.

      • O R wrote, “No, 500 Gt ice melting would cool the entire troposphere by 0.04 C. Since the long term temperature trend in the troposphere is 0.02 C/year, these 500 Gt ice per year are quite signifant, and roughly twice as large.”

        That’s wrong, O R. You’re compared apples (level) to oranges (rate of change).

        Your mistake is that you’ve overlooked the fact that melting 500 Gt of ice absorbs energy one time (in one year), only. But a GHG level change which causes 0.02 °C of warming continues to cause that warming every year, for as long as the GHG stays in the atmosphere.

        Likewise, if melting 500 Gt of ice ice every year lowered global temperatures 0.04 °C (a climate change roughly equivalent to moving south two miles, in the United States), that would not affect the temperature trend, it would only (negligibly) affect the baseline (for as long as the melting continued unabated).

      • CORRECTION: I wrote that 0.04°C of cooling is:
        “…roughly equivalent to moving south two miles…”

        That should have been:
        “…roughly equivalent to moving north two miles…”
        (here in the USA)

        BTW, that’s based on this growing/hardiness zone chart, showing that a 50 mile change in latitude causes about 1°C (1.8°F) average temperature change. Hansen’s 1988 paper gives a slightly larger equivalence on p.9357:

        The computed temperature changes are sufficient to have a large impact on other parts of the biosphere. A warming of 0.5°C per decade implies typically a poleward shift of isotherms by 50 to 75 km per decade.

        50 km / 0.5°C = 62 miles / 1°C
        75 km / 0.5°C = 93 miles / 1°C

  62. Amazing. He’s kicked the old threat of global warming under the bus. Now, it’s morphed into “Global warming won’t cause increased temperature because it just melts the ice but then the sea levels will rise and WE’RE ALL STILL DOOMED!”

    A fake quote worthy of Spin Magazine.

  63. So given that errors were made but admitted and addressed, where are we now? I accept that the post was logically sound but based on faulty facts – a straw man – in fact! So here we are…Hansen was about right* and Willis was wrong! Is that correct?

    If my summary is true, a retraction is in order because it would do credit to WUWT. And at the very least it would go some way towards recompense** for the horrid cat herding, goose-chase of a thread that resulted!

    *Because he was predicting surface temperatures
    **For the embarrassment felt by at least one loyal WUWT fan at the unjustified attack upon those who contributed rational, reasonable and sensible critique!

    • “Hansen was about right”

      Only in his dreams. His prediction is 2 C based on higher than Scenario A CO2 increases. Actual is 0.5 C based on satellite data. Four times higher or +300% error! When I was in college, our maximum allowable error in experimental physics and chemistry is plus or minus 5%. If your error is greater, you repeat the experiment or you flunk. If Hansen were in school, he gets an F

    • Dr. Strangelove July 23, 2017 at 5:20 am
      “Hansen was about right”

      Only in his dreams. His prediction is 2 C based on higher than Scenario A CO2 increases.

      Thereby indicating your ignorance, CO2 forcing in Scenario A by 2018 was expected to be slightly less than 0.5ºC, the total increase in forcing by 2018 under Scenario A was ~1ºC, the additional 0.5ºC being due to ‘Other Trace Gases’. It is those OTGs that have fallen well short of Scenario A (in fact about Scenario C).
      So blindly scaling up based on your incorrect values for CO2 is wrong, perhaps you should also take into account that the sensitivity used by Hansen was higher than the currently used value? Hansen’s expectation was that Scenario B (~0.6ºC above the 1951-1980 mean) was the likely outcome and results since then have borne that out.

      Actual is 0.5 C based on satellite data.

      Since satellite data doesn’t exist for 1951-1980 it’s hard to see how you get there.

      Four times higher or +300% error! When I was in college, our maximum allowable error in experimental physics and chemistry is plus or minus 5%. If your error is greater, you repeat the experiment or you flunk. If Hansen were in school, he gets an F

      Based on your inability to read a paper and interpret graphs it’s you who gets the F.

      • From the modified top post.
        Since then we’ve had a continued expansion of fossil fuel use, as in his most alarmist scenario. Given that amount of CO2 emissions, his prediction was that by now, temperatures would have gone up by 1°C (note that the Spin article, as pointed out by Mosh and Tamino among others, is in error).

        No, his prediction was that with that amount of CO2 emissions the temperature would have gone up by ~0.5ºC (see his fig 2) above the 1951-1980 average.

        Obviously, nothing like that has happened. Despite the fact that millions of folks believed his prediction in 1988 and continue to listen to him today, the UAH MSU satellite data says that since 1988 it’s warmed by … well … about a third of a degree. Not one degree. A third of a degree. He was wrong by a factor of 3. So obviously, he needs an excuse for this failure.

        The value in 1988 was not the same as the 1951-1980 average so you need to make allowance for that as well (according to Fig 3 1988 was already ~0.3ºC above the mean). Based on his actual projections compared with temperature measurements on the correct basis he was pretty much on the money, not close to a factor of 3 wrong!

      • So you’re a big fan of Hansen. His Scenario A predictions for CO2, other trace gases, temperature and sensitivity are all wrong, and you still argue he was about right. You both get an F for wrong predictions and defying logic.

        BTW the temperature trend 1945-1977 is slight cooling and satellite data started 1979 so this base is lower than the 1951-1980 baseline so it’s even less than 0.5 C warming adjusted to the higher baseline. Hansen’s error is bigger.

      • Dr. Strangelove July 24, 2017 at 4:53 am
        So you’re a big fan of Hansen. His Scenario A predictions for CO2, other trace gases, temperature and sensitivity are all wrong, and you still argue he was about right. You both get an F for wrong predictions and defying logic.

        Good god can’t you read? I suggest you read the paper because everything you said above is wrong (except for the sensitivity which was the accepted value in use at that time and is a little higher than the current accepted value).

        BTW the temperature trend 1945-1977 is slight cooling and satellite data started 1979 so this base is lower than the 1951-1980 baseline so it’s even less than 0.5 C warming adjusted to the higher baseline. Hansen’s error is bigger.

        Look at the data, the 1988 value is higher than the 1951-1980 average, again you’re wrong.

    • Scott Wilmot Bennett July 23, 2017 at 3:56 am

      So given that errors were made but admitted and addressed, where are we now? I accept that the post was logically sound but based on faulty facts – a straw man – in fact! So here we are…Hansen was about right* and Willis was wrong! Is that correct?

      Nope. The only result of my error was that Hansen overpredicted the warming by a factor of three instead of a factor of ten. This makes no difference to the rest of my points. If you have other reasons why you think I should retract I’m happy to hear them … but otherwise I’ll let it be.

      For the embarrassment felt by at least one loyal WUWT fan at the unjustified attack upon those who contributed rational, reasonable and sensible critique!

      Gosh and you were doing so well … PLEASE QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING!! I will not stand here and be the target of your handwaving specific-free abuse, particularly when coupled with your holier-than-thou attitude. When you do that, there is NO WAY TO RESPOND, because you have not been decent enough to tell me exactly what you think I’ve done.

      w.

      • “Gosh and you were doing so well … PLEASE QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING!! I will not stand here and be the target of your handwaving specific-free abuse, particularly when coupled with your holier-than-thou attitude. When you do that, there is NO WAY TO RESPOND, because you have not been decent enough to tell me exactly what you think I’ve done.”

        Firstly, I am a big fan of you and am well aware of your voice and gravitas. For your information only, I was nervous to offer an opinion but thought I had couched it enough that it was obvious.

        Clearly your argument is predicated on the assumption that:

        Hansen overpredicted the warming by a factor of three instead of a factor of ten

        But is that in fact what he did? This is the hotly debated and contested argument in question! You are arguing for something that is not clear. Nothing is clear about Hansen’s “arguments” that allows you such absolutism.

        That is all I have and that is all I meant.

        Willis, I mean’t you no offence.

        I stand corrected and apologise, if it is as you say, that Hansen unaquivacly argued for a warming that was out by a factor of 3.

        However It would seem that, that interpretation depends on the choice of database you make, independent of Hansen’s moral scruples or otherwise!

        My comment was proposed as a question, yet you chose to ignore that fact. You are a very aggressive proponent and for that reason may not have read my words:

        So here we are…Hansen was about right* and Willis was wrong! Is that correct?

      • Scott Wilmot Bennett July 23, 2017 at 9:53 am

        “Gosh and you were doing so well … PLEASE QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING!! I will not stand here and be the target of your handwaving specific-free abuse, particularly when coupled with your holier-than-thou attitude. When you do that, there is NO WAY TO RESPOND, because you have not been decent enough to tell me exactly what you think I’ve done.”

        Firstly, I am a big fan of you and am well aware of your voice and gravitas. For your information only, I was nervous to offer an opinion but thought I had couched it enough that it was obvious.

        Clearly your argument is predicated on the assumption that:

        Hansen overpredicted the warming by a factor of three instead of a factor of ten

        But is that in fact what he did? This is the hotly debated and contested argument in question! You are arguing for something that is not clear. Nothing is clear about Hansen’s “arguments” that allows you such absolutism.

        Here are the predictions, from realclimate where Hansen was a principal contributor. I’ll let you decide.

        Willis, I mean’t you no offence.

        I stand corrected and apologise, if it is as you say, that Hansen unaquivacly argued for a warming that was out by a factor of 3.

        However It would seem that, that interpretation depends on the choice of database you make, independent of Hansen’s moral scruples or otherwise!

        There is very, very little in the climate question that is not open to debate and discussion. I try to provide the actual data to let folks make up their own minds.

        My comment was proposed as a question, yet you chose to ignore that fact. You are a very aggressive proponent and for that reason may not have read my words:

        So here we are…Hansen was about right* and Willis was wrong! Is that correct?

        This was puzzling to me, as I though I answered it. Hang on … OK, you’d said:

        So given that errors were made but admitted and addressed, where are we now? I accept that the post was logically sound but based on faulty facts – a straw man – in fact! So here we are…Hansen was about right* and Willis was wrong! Is that correct?

        Nope. The only result of my error was that Hansen overpredicted the warming by a factor of three instead of a factor of ten. This makes no difference to the rest of my points. If you have other reasons why you think I should retract I’m happy to hear them … but otherwise I’ll let it be.

        Let me say in closing that I appreciated the tone and style of your comment. Part of the problem with this thread was that instead of just pointing out where I was going wrong, people merely said I was going wrong and then surrounded that with a fistful of insults … so it is a pleasure to see a man like yourself ask questions and make strong points without the ad hominems.

        All the best,

        w.

  64. Willis wrote, “[Update] As a number of folks pointed out, the Spin article was 100% wrong. Hansen’s model didn’t predict 3° warming by now … it predicted one degree warming. I’ve changed the post to reflect this.”

    Here’s a rather badly OCR’d version of Hansen’s paper:
    http://sealevel.info/hansen1988.pdf

    Hansen predicted 1.5 °C of warming for his “Scenario A,” in which emissions increased by 1.5% per year, compounding to an increase of 47% in 26 years.

    But <a href="“>CO2 emissions didn’t increase by 1.5% per year. They increased by an average of 1.97% per year, totaling 66% in 26 years

    (66%/44%) = 1.4, i.e. 40% higher than Hansen’s Scenario A. So, if Hansen’s calculations for the effect of GHG emission levels on temperature had been correct, we’d have seen about 2°C of warming by now.

    The actual increase was about 0.6 °C according to the WoodForTrees temperature index:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/plot/wti/trend

    Or about 0.5 °C according to the satellites:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/uah6/trend/offset:0.6/plot/uah6/offset:0.6/plot/rss/trend

    Or about 0.6 °C to 1.3 °C according to GISS:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp-dts/trend/offset:0.6/plot/gistemp-dts/offset:0.6/plot/gistemp/trend

    Or about 0.5 to 0.8 °C according to HADCRUT:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/plot/hadcrut3vgl/trend/offset:0.6/plot/hadcrut3vgl/offset:0.6/plot/hadcrut4gl/trend

    • “But CO2 emissions didn’t increase by 1.5% per year. They increased by an average of 1.97% per year, totaling 66% in 26 years”
      Hansen didn’t work it out that way. He describes it in detail in his Appendix B:

      He incremented the gas concentrations growth by 1.5%/year for scenario A, not the emissions, as he describes. That is because it is concentrations that his model actually uses. And in fact he didn’t have good actual emission data for CO2, and none for CH4 or other gases (we still don’t have measured emissions for CH4). The actual gas concentrations are given as described here. And the concentrations rose more slowly than scenario B (which in his paper H describes as “perhaps the most plausible”).

      As shown in various graphs above, his predictions worked out well.

    • Dave,

      Hansen predicted 1.5 °C of warming for his “Scenario A,” in which emissions increased by 1.5% per year

      No, 1.5% increase of the increment rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration. Not emissions.

      CO2 emission increase is about twice that of the increase in CO2 concentrations. The biosphere absorbs about half the emissions.

      But CO2 emissions annual increment didn’t increase by 1.5% per year. They increased by an average of 1.97%[?] per year, totaling 66%[?] in 26 years

      Trace gas scenarios were run from 1982 onwards. Scenario A 1.5% growth rate (atmospheric CO2 increase) starts in that year. That’s 35 years to Dec 2016.

      From Appendix B on trace gas scenarios from the paper;

      ” Specifically in scenario A CO2 increases as observed by Keeling for the interval 1958 to 1981, and subsequently with 1.5% growth of the annual increment.”

      Annual atmos CO2 growth rate data from 1959 is here.

      It might be well to leave out 2015 and 2016 el Nino years, as el Ninos temporarily bump up CO2 concentrations.

      • barry July 23, 2017 at 6:00 am

        Dave,

        Hansen predicted 1.5 °C of warming for his “Scenario A,” in which emissions increased by 1.5% per year

        No, 1.5% increase of the increment rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration. Not emissions.

        CO2 emission increase is about twice that of the increase in CO2 concentrations. The biosphere absorbs about half the emissions.

        No, emissions. Not concentration.

        From Hansen’s paper, emphasis mine:

        Scenario A assumes that growth rates oftrace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.

        w.

      • Willis is right. In their paper Hansen et al repeatedly said it was emissions which were growing at 1.5% per year in Scenario A. Here’s another quote (p.9345, the 5th page in the paper):

        Scenario A, since it is exponential, must eventually be on the high side of reality in view of finite resource constraints and environmental concerns, even though the growth of emissions in scenario A (≈1.5%/yr) is less than the rate typical of the past century (≈ 4%/yr).

        The fact that in the Appendix they seem to be expect CO2 concentration to also increase by 1.5% per year in Scenario A simply demonstrates that they didn’t understand the difference. They assumed that if emissions went up by 1.5% per year then concentrations would also go up by 1.5% per year.

        That is startlingly naive. That means they were clueless about the existence of strong negative feedbacks, like terrestrial CO2 fertilization / greening feedback, and calcifying coccolithophore feedback in the oceans, which drastically curtail the increase in CO2 concentrations, even as CO2 emissions accelerate.

        Part of that naivety is understandable. The strong response of calcifying coccolithophores to CO2 was unknown in 1988. But there really is no excuse for them to not expect that CO2 fertilization & terrestrial greening would curtail the growth in CO2 levels. Wouldn’t you think that at least one of the seven authors would have realized that? It really does seem to be true that alarmist climatologists are no Einsteins.
         

        But that foolishness is not the worst thing about that paper, IMO. The worst thing is that they repeatedly referred to computer model runs as “experiments.”

        A computer model run is not an experiment, it is a calculation!

        IMO, someone who doesn’t know the difference between an experiment and a calculation should not be allowed to call himself a scientist!

      • Willis,
        “From Hansen’s paper, emphasis mine:”
        In that same paper he spelt out the exact basis for his calculation, in Appendix B. His measure of emissions is the change in measured concentrations. For most GHG gases (eg CH4), that is still the only measure. The relevant part is:

        His Fig 2 sets it out in terms of concentrations. No measure of CO2 emission other than gas concentration is cited anywhere, with good reason. There wasn’t much global available in 1988, especially land use change emission. In this post Steve McIntyre explains:

        The same post links to the actual numbers for the scenarios; SM plots the various trace gases. Here is his CO2 plot of the scenarios and obs to 2008:

      • Nick, thank you for this info, especially the link to McIntyre’s article.

        For those who, like me, were drawn into the fray by Climategate, and so missed out on those discussions, here are some links:
        1. https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/16/thoughts-on-hansen-et-al-1988/
        2. https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/17/hansen-scenarios-a-and-b/
        3. https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/17/hansen-ghg-concentration-projections/ (McIntyre describes Hansen’s GHG calculations)
        4. https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/18/hansen-scenarios-a-and-b-revised/
        5. https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/21/radiative-forcing-1/
        6. https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/24/hansen-1988-details-of-forcing-projections/ (CFCs dominate long-term forcing)
        7. https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/18/publishing-nasa-data-at-realclimate/
        and his script is here (for trying to figure out what GHG concentrations Hansen actually used, before that data was finally released on RC):
        http://web.archive.org/web/20080130162653/https://climateaudit.org/scripts/hansen/collation.hansen_ghg.txt

        I wrote a little python program to try to duplicate the calculations, and compare them with the CO2 values posted on RC. The numbers don’t match very well, but here’s the program:

        http://sealevel.info/Hansen1988co2.py.txt
        (The output is appended in a comment at the end.)

        It is “interesting”† that:

        1. Hansen and his six co-authors described a CO2 trend as being the product of a 1.5% annual increase in “emissions,” yet apparently didn’t understand that what they implemented in their code was something very different from that. In I.T. we call that a “bug.”

        Or maybe they deliberately misrepresented what they had done, and called it “emissions” for political reasons, to help make the case for curbing “emissions.” (I think that possibility is even worse.)

        2. McIntyre discovered that in Hansen’s “scenario A” in the long term the bulk of the forcing ended up coming from CFCs, not from CO2 — a result not useful for supporting a campaign to curb CO2 emissions, and so not mentioned in the paper. Scenario A preposterously projected enormous, endlessly continuing increases in atmospheric CFC levels, even though the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer had been agreed upon in 1985, and the Montreal Protocol in 1987, to phase out CFCs.

        Here’s CFC reality for 2014, in parts per billion (source http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/new_atmCFC.html ):
        CFC11: (233.55+231.97)/2/1000 = 0.2328 (a/k/a R11 or CCl3F)
        CFC12: (523.36+521.08)/2/1000 = 0.5222 (a/k/a R12 or CCl2F2)

        Hansen scenario A (“Potential effects of several other trace gases (such as O3, stratospheric H2O , and chlorine and fluorine compounds other than CCl3F and CCl2F2) are approximated by multiplying the CCl3F and CCl2F 2 amounts by 2”):
        CFC11: 1.3495
        CFC12: 2.3207

        Hansen scenario B:
        CFC11: 0.5929
        CFC12: 1.0331

        Hansen scenario C:
        CFC11: 0.2647
        CFC12: 0.5132

        But Hansen et al wanted their readers to think that Scenario A (+0.5°C/decade) was the realistic one. They wrote [p.9345, the 5th page of the paper]:

        Note that our scenario A goes approximately through the middle of the range of likely climate forcing estimated for the year 2030 by Ramanathan et al. [1985], and scenario B is near the lower limit of their estimated range.

        And on p.9357 they again used “0.5°C per decade” (from scenario A) for the projection in their discussion:

        The computed temperature changes are sufficient to have a large impact on other parts of the biosphere. A warming of 0.5°C per decade implies typically a poleward shift of isotherms by 50 to 75 km per decade. This is an order of magnitude faster than the major climate shifts in the paleoclimate record, and faster than most plants and trees are thought to be capable of naturally migrating [Davis, 1988].

         
        † horrifying

      • daveburton July 24, 2017 at 9:27 am

        2. McIntyre discovered that in Hansen’s “scenario A” in the long term the bulk of the forcing ended up coming from CFCs, not from CO2 — a result not useful for supporting a campaign to curb CO2 emissions, and so not mentioned in the paper.

        And as I pointed out to him at the time, he was wrong!
        The paper explicitly points out that CO2 and ‘Other Trace Gases’ (about a third of which was due to CFCs) contributes approximately equally through the 80’s (not the ‘bulk of the forcing’, that’s your exaggeration) and that’s what the model used. Up to then McIntyre hadn’t realized this, he rather grumpily posted that I should have pointed it out to him in an earlier post of his (one that I hadn’t participated in).
        To see this you just have to look at Hansen’s Fig. 2 and Fig. B2.

        Scenario A preposterously projected enormous, endlessly continuing increases in atmospheric CFC levels, even though the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer had been agreed upon in 1985, and the Montreal Protocol in 1987, to phase out CFCs.

        The work started in 1983, and Scenario A was intended to be an upper limit to the range: “These scenarios are designed to yield sensitivity experiments for a broad range of future greenhouse forcing. Scenario A ,….., must eventually be on the high side of reality….”
        “Therefore our procedure has been to consider a broad range of trace gas scenarios”
        “Scenario B is perhaps the most plausible of the three cases.”

      • Phil quoted me writing, “2. McIntyre discovered that in Hansen’s “scenario A” in the long term the bulk of the forcing ended up coming from CFCs, not from CO2…”

        And Phil replied, “And as I pointed out to him at the time, he was wrong! The paper explicitly points out that CO2 and ‘Other Trace Gases’ (about a third of which was due to CFCs) contributes approximately equally through the 80’s (not the ‘bulk of the forcing’, that’s your exaggeration)…”

        Phil, I think that you overlooked that I wrote “in the long term” (which I bolded, above). Yes?

        Here’s McIntyre’s article:
        https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/24/hansen-1988-details-of-forcing-projections/

        From what I can see, your claim in 2008 that McIntyre was wrong was, itself, wrong. For instance, consider this graph, which McIntyre created to illustrate the relative “forcing” assumptions in Hansen’s three scenarios:

        You (or someone calling himself “Phil”) complained that, “your [McIntyre’s] assessment appears to assume that all of the OTGs are CFCs in fact they are not, the largest forcing in that group is due to Ozone.”

        However, for Scenario A Hansen et al approximated the forcings from OTGs [other trace gases] as being exactly equal to the sum of CFC11 + CFC12. (Quoting from the paper: “Potential effects of several other trace gases (such as O3, stratospheric H2O, and chlorine and fluorine compounds other than CCl3F and CCl2F2) are approximated by multiplying the CCl3F and CCl2F2 amounts by 2”.)

        So, for the purposes of his calculations, they really were just CFCs.

        That seems horribly crude. It’s the sort of very rough approximation that might be appropriate for very minor components of a much larger quantity. But, in this case, as you can see from McIntyre’s graph, those were not minor components. In fact, in scenario A by 2050 CFCs+OTGs (i.e., 2 x CFCs) were about twice as large of a forcing as CO2!

        What a botch job that paper was! It is amazing that people still defend it.
         

        Phil also quoted me writing, “Scenario A preposterously projected enormous, endlessly continuing increases in atmospheric CFC levels, even though the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer had been agreed upon in 1985, and the Montreal Protocol in 1987, to phase out CFCs.”

        And Phil replied, “The work started in 1983…”

        That’s no excuse. It doesn’t matter when the work started. By the time they published it was clearly nonsense. There’s no excuse for them to have gone ahead and published what they must surely have known was nonsense.

        “When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?”
        – John Maynard Keynes

         

        And Phil continued, “…and Scenario A was intended to be an upper limit to the range: “These scenarios are designed to yield sensitivity experiments for a broad range of future greenhouse forcing. Scenario A ,….., must eventually be on the high side of reality…”

        No, it wasn’t.

        Hansen et al clearly wanted their readers to think that Scenario A (+0.5°C/decade) was the realistic one, for time scales of a few decades. They wrote on p.9345:

        Note that our scenario A goes approximately through the middle of the range of likely climate forcing estimated for the year 2030 by Ramanathan et al. [1985], and scenario B is near the lower limit of their estimated range.

        And on p.9357 they again used “0.5°C per decade” (from scenario A) for the projection in their discussion:

        The computed temperature changes are sufficient to have a large impact on other parts of the biosphere. A warming of 0.5°C per decade implies typically a poleward shift of isotherms by 50 to 75 km per decade. This is an order of magnitude faster than the major climate shifts in the paleoclimate record, and faster than most plants and trees are thought to be capable of naturally migrating [Davis, 1988].

        The key to resolving that apparent contradiction is in the word “eventually,” and the part of the quoted sentence which you elided. Here’s the full sentence; I’ve bolded the parts you skipped:

        “Scenario A, since it is exponential, must eventually be on the high side of reality in view of finite resource constraints and environmental concerns, even though the growth of emissions in scenario A (≈1.5%/yr) is less than the rate typical of the past century (≈4%/yr).

        The parts you left out were their reasons for expecting that scenario A would “eventually” err on the high side, and as you can see the reasons they gave were things that would only constrain emissions on century-level timescales.

        For shorter timescales (e.g., thirty to fifty years) they clearly wanted their readers to think that scenario A was the realistic one.

      • Daveburton,
        ” even though the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer had been agreed upon in 1985, and the Montreal Protocol in 1987″
        Scenario A was, as you’d expect, the first. Hansen says that the results were presented to a conference in 1984. In any case, you can’t just assume that talk of restricting CFCs will translate into effective action. You should have at least one scenario that covers the case where that doesn’t happen.

        The Montreal Protocol wasn’t passed by the US Senate until Mar 14 1988 (after Hansen’s paper). You can’t take these things for granted, you know.

        But I can’t see the point of your claim that Scen A overestimated CFCs. As Phil. says, it is exaggerated. But what counts for the success of prediction is the scenario that actually happened. And that is one more reason for discounting Scen A.

      • daveburton July 24, 2017 at 4:27 pm
        Phil quoted me writing, “2. McIntyre discovered that in Hansen’s “scenario A” in the long term the bulk of the forcing ended up coming from CFCs, not from CO2…”

        And Phil replied, “And as I pointed out to him at the time, he was wrong! The paper explicitly points out that CO2 and ‘Other Trace Gases’ (about a third of which was due to CFCs) contributes approximately equally through the 80’s (not the ‘bulk of the forcing’, that’s your exaggeration)…”

        Phil, I think that you overlooked that I wrote “in the long term” (which I bolded, above). Yes?

        No, McIntyre made the following claim: “Scenario A increases are dominated by CFC greenhouse effect. In Scenario A, the CFC contribution to the Earth’s greenhouse effect becomes nearly double the CO2 contribution during the projection period. This is not mentioned either in Hansen et al 1988 or in Schmidt (realclimate, 2007).” My quotation, which you truncated, refuted this statement, clearly it was mentioned. McIntyre didn’t discover anything, he failed to read the paper accurately.

        From what I can see, your claim in 2008 that McIntyre was wrong was, itself, wrong. For instance, consider this graph, which McIntyre created to illustrate the relative “forcing” assumptions in Hansen’s three scenarios:

        You (or someone calling himself “Phil”) complained that, “your [McIntyre’s] assessment appears to assume that all of the OTGs are CFCs in fact they are not, the largest forcing in that group is due to Ozone.”

        However, for Scenario A Hansen et al approximated the forcings from OTGs [other trace gases] as being exactly equal to the sum of CFC11 + CFC12. (Quoting from the paper: “Potential effects of several other trace gases (such as O3, stratospheric H2O, and chlorine and fluorine compounds other than CCl3F and CCl2F2) are approximated by multiplying the CCl3F and CCl2F2 amounts by 2”.)

        Again you’ve failed to read correctly, the graph McIntyre produced which you copied showed in red a quantity he referred to as OTG, these were the species referred to by Hansen as “speculative” and only included in Scenario A, (O3, stratospheric H2O, and Cl and F compounds other than F11 and F12). Over half of that forcing group was shown by Hansen to be due to O3 which is what I was referring to. McIntyre’s OTG are not the same as the ‘trace gases’ shown in Hansen’s Fig 2.

        That seems horribly crude. It’s the sort of very rough approximation that might be appropriate for very minor components of a much larger quantity. But, in this case, as you can see from McIntyre’s graph, those were not minor components. In fact, in scenario A by 2050 CFCs+OTGs (i.e., 2 x CFCs) were about twice as large of a forcing as CO2!

        Appropriate for ‘speculative trace gas changes’, which were only included in the scenario which was intended to describe an extreme upper bound!

        Phil also quoted me writing, “Scenario A preposterously projected enormous, endlessly continuing increases in atmospheric CFC levels, even though the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer had been agreed upon in 1985, and the Montreal Protocol in 1987, to phase out CFCs.”

        And Phil replied, “The work started in 1983…”

        That’s no excuse. It doesn’t matter when the work started. By the time they published it was clearly nonsense. There’s no excuse for them to have gone ahead and published what they must surely have known was nonsense.

        The results for Scenario A were published in 1984, prior to the agreements mentioned. Also note that while the agreements resulted in the phase out of ODPs they were replaced by potent GHGs which would be components of McIntyre’s OTG. (HCFCs etc)

        And Phil continued, “…and Scenario A was intended to be an upper limit to the range: “These scenarios are designed to yield sensitivity experiments for a broad range of future greenhouse forcing. Scenario A ,….., must eventually be on the high side of reality…”

        No, it wasn’t.

        It absolutely was, if they were trying to do what you suggest they certainly wouldn’t have emphasized the range of forcing, wouldn’t have said “Scenario B is perhaps the most plausible of the three cases”, or included in only Scenario A forcing they described several times as “hypothetical or crudely estimated” and “speculative”, or said “results obtained for our three scenarios provide an indication of the expected climate response for a very broad range of assumptions about trace gas trends”.

        The parts you left out were their reasons for expecting that scenario A would “eventually” err on the high side, and as you can see the reasons they gave were things that would only constrain emissions on century-level timescales.

        Really, that contradicts your earlier statement about the impending (in 1984-8) agreements to curtail what they showed to be a major Greenhouse contributor.

    • Yes, he used the word ’emissions’ in the main text, which has caught people out before. The actual forcing was based on concentration, as Steve McIntyre pointed out years ago. Appendix B on scenario A is the nitty gritty, beginning with the word “specifically.”

      • in other words barry, you are using the fact that Hansen was an extremly sloppy/poor paper writer as your excuse for why he was so wrong. ok. *shrug*

      • Of course the forcing is based on cocentration, but you CANNOT get to the PROJECTED forcing WITHOUT assuming certain emissions. His worst case emission assumptions were abot 30 percent underestimated.

      • There were no observational emissions estimates in the paper. Nothing to base an analysis on.

        All the scenario growth rates where the word “emissions” is in the sentence are exactly the same as the concentration growth rates, per the appendix. If any of the growth values referred to actual emissions, they would be different from the concentration growth values. Emissions –> concentration is not 1 for 1.

        It’s a language thing. Though the term “emissions” appears a few times in the paper, it’s actually used (unlike now) as a property of concentrations.

        I’d be glad to say I’m wrong if you can point to a CO2 emissions estimate in Gt or equivalent in the paper. There’s just no data for it – unlike CO2 concentration.

      • David A July 23, 2017 at 11:51 pm
        Of course the forcing is based on cocentration, but you CANNOT get to the PROJECTED forcing WITHOUT assuming certain emissions. His worst case emission assumptions were abot 30 percent underestimated.

        daveburton July 23, 2017 at 3:28 am
        Hansen also got the resultant CO2 levels wildly wrong, because he didn’t understand the powerful negative feedbacks which have curbed the growth in CO2 levels levels.

        The two Davids keep pushing this false idea that Hansen underestimated the future CO2 concentrations, in fact as Nick, barry and others have pointed out his projections were remarkably accurate!

        Here are Hansen’s projections for the last few years:
        A B
        2014 400.6 396.7
        2015 403.0 398.6
        2016 405.4 400.5

        According to the WMO the global average CO2 concentration was 400ppm in 2015 so Hansen’s assumption from 30 years ago that Scenario B was the most likely was very accurate.

      • The appendix is only unequivocal because its what you want to believe. Appropriately enough there are three scenarios:
        1) Hansen used the term he meant to use thoughout the paper and botched the term in the appendix.
        2) Hansen used the term he meant to use in the appendix but botched it throughout the rest of the paper
        3) Hansen used the terms interchangeably having botched the differnce between them

        None of those scenarios reflect well on Hansen and his abilities (perhaps if he spent less time as an activist and more time as a scientist, he wouldn’t have made the mistakes he did). But lacking any evidence as to which of the above scenarios Hansen meant, one has to take them as all equally likely, not that it matter, under and scenario he was wrong then, he’s wrong now. and no amount of excuse making on your part changes that.

      • Version 2, but the editorializing doesn’t account for the history.

        The paper was written before states agreed to the UNFCCC protocols on GHG monitoring and inventorying. Estimates of annual global CO2 emissions prior to that were sketchy, but the concentration record from 1958 was very solid. This was the basis for the model forcings and the CO2 scenarios, and what “emissions” refers to.

        Times have changed. We now have more solid inventories for emissions and better estimates of historical emissions as a result, and the meaning of the term has evolved.

        Even if, for the sake of argument, emissions in that paper referred to anthropogenic output, claims that “Hansen was wrong” can’t be verified without knowing what Hansen believed annual anthro emissions to be at the time. If they were believed then to be different to historical estimates we have today, if the then perceived increment was different, then the 1.5% increase on that increment would have a different result *today*.

        But there are no mentions of any emissions values, and no reference to such inventories in the reference list at the end of the paper. People above are using modern estimates of historical emission rates, which obviously, they didn’t have back then.

        One could as well argue Carl Sagan was “wrong” for calling Pluto a planet.

      • Phil wrote, “The two Davids keep pushing this false idea that Hansen underestimated the future CO2 concentrations…”

        You meant “overestimated,” but that’s okay, I knew what you meant.

        You are correct that Hansen’s CO2 numbers (unlike his CFC numbers) were not far off. My mistake: I believed what he wrote in his paper, that his “scenario A” represented a 1.5% annual increase in emissions, when it was actually nothing at all like that.
         

        barry wrote, “…the meaning of the term [“emissions”] has evolved.”

        Haha, that’s rich! You must be in the Humpty Dumpty “living, breathing emanations and penumbras” school of scientific scholarship.

        “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
        -Alice In Through the Looking-Glass

      • Kudos for admitting your mistake, Dave. Have you tried re-running your calculations with the correction?

        It will still be impossible to verify if Hansen et al was right or wrong. There is no mention of CO2 emissions or emissions increment in the paper, on which to base an analysis. Had they had some number in mind, it could have been different to the information we have today. But they didn’t have an emissions estimate in the 1988 paper, and no reference to such in the study bibliography. ‘Emissions’ in that paper is a measure of concentration.

      • Here are my calculations, barry, for CO2 only (not other GHGs):
        http://sealevel.info/Hansen1988co2.py

        Here’s the output. “Actual” is the measured CO2 level at Mauna Loa. “Calc’d” is the calculated CO2 level according the the algorithm described in their Appendix. “RC” is the actual value which was used, as eventually (more than 15 years late) published on the RC blog. As you can see, in “scenario A” and “scenario B” the CO2 levels are very similar, and both are very similar to the eventual actual levels. The forcing difference is mostly due to other trace gases:

               CO2     _________Scenerio_A________   _________Scenerio_B________   _________Scenerio_C________
        Year  Actual   Incr Summed  Calc'd   RC      Incr Summed  Calc'd   RC      Incr Summed  Calc'd   RC
        1981  340.11   1.56   0.00  340.11  339.04   1.56   0.00  340.11  339.04   1.56   0.00  340.11  339.04
        1982  341.45   1.58   1.56  341.67  340.01   1.58   1.56  341.67  340.01   1.58   1.56  341.67  340.01
        1983  343.05   1.61   3.14  343.25  341.56   1.61   3.14  343.25  341.56   1.61   3.14  343.25  341.56
        1984  344.65   1.63   4.75  344.86  343.81   1.63   4.75  344.86  343.81   1.63   4.75  344.86  343.81
        1985  346.12   1.66   6.38  346.49  345.32   1.66   6.38  346.49  345.32   1.50   6.38  346.49  345.31
        1986  347.42   1.68   8.04  348.15  346.86   1.68   8.04  348.15  346.86   1.50   7.88  347.99  346.81
        1987  349.19   1.71   9.72  349.83  348.41   1.71   9.72  349.83  348.41   1.50   9.38  349.49  348.31
        1988  351.57   1.73  11.42  351.53  349.99   1.73  11.42  351.53  349.99   1.50  10.88  350.99  349.81
        1989  353.12   1.76  13.16  353.27  351.60   1.76  13.16  353.27  351.60   1.50  12.38  352.49  351.31
        1990  354.39   1.78  14.91  355.02  353.23   1.77  14.91  355.02  353.23   1.50  13.88  353.99  352.81
        1991  355.61   1.81  16.70  356.81  354.88   1.79  16.69  356.80  354.88   1.50  15.38  355.49  354.31
        1992  356.45   1.84  18.51  358.62  356.56   1.81  18.48  358.59  356.54   1.50  16.88  356.99  355.81
        1993  357.10   1.87  20.34  360.45  358.26   1.83  20.29  360.40  358.23   1.50  18.38  358.49  357.31
        1994  358.83   1.89  22.21  362.32  359.99   1.85  22.12  362.23  359.93   1.50  19.88  359.99  358.81
        1995  360.82   1.92  24.10  364.21  361.75   1.87  23.97  364.08  361.64   1.50  21.38  361.49  360.31
        1996  362.61   1.95  26.02  366.13  363.53   1.88  25.83  365.94  363.38   1.50  22.88  362.99  361.81
        1997  363.73   1.98  27.97  368.08  365.34   1.90  27.72  367.83  365.13   1.50  24.38  364.49  363.31
        1998  366.70   2.01  29.95  370.06  367.18   1.92  29.62  369.73  366.90   1.50  25.88  365.99  364.81
        1999  368.38   2.04  31.96  372.07  369.04   1.94  31.54  371.65  368.68   1.50  27.38  367.49  366.31
        2000  369.55   2.07  34.00  374.11  370.93   1.95  33.48  373.59  370.49   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2001  371.14   2.10  36.07  376.18  372.86   1.96  35.43  375.54  372.31   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2002  373.28   2.13  38.17  378.28  374.81   1.97  37.39  377.50  374.13   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2003  375.80   2.16  40.31  380.42  376.79   1.98  39.36  379.47  375.97   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2004  377.52   2.20  42.47  382.58  378.80   1.99  41.34  381.45  377.82   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2005  379.80   2.23  44.67  384.78  380.84   2.00  43.33  383.44  379.67   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2006  381.90   2.26  46.90  387.01  382.91   2.01  45.33  385.44  381.54   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2007  383.79   2.30  49.16  389.27  385.01   2.02  47.34  387.45  383.41   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2008  385.60   2.33  51.46  391.57  387.14   2.03  49.36  389.47  385.29   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2009  387.43   2.37  53.79  393.90  389.31   2.04  51.40  391.51  387.19   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2010  389.90   2.40  56.16  396.27  391.51   2.04  53.44  393.55  389.09   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2011  391.65   2.44  58.56  398.67  393.74   2.04  55.48  395.59  391.00   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2012  393.85   2.47  61.00  401.11  396.01   2.04  57.52  397.63  392.90   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2013  396.52   2.51  63.47  403.58  398.31   2.04  59.56  399.67  394.81   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2014  398.65   2.55  65.99  406.10  400.64   2.04  61.60  401.71  396.72   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2015  400.83   2.59  68.54  408.65  403.01   2.04  63.64  403.75  398.62   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        2016  404.21   2.63  71.12  411.23  405.42   2.04  65.68  405.79  400.53   0.00  28.88  368.99  367.81
        

         

        barry wrote, “There is no mention of CO2 emissions or emissions increment in the paper,…”,

        Yes there is:

        Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially…

        CO2 was one of the “trace gases.”

        Of course, what Hansen et al wrote there was wrong. As Steve McIntyre pointed out, since the effect of additional CO2 is logarithmically diminishing, an exponentially increasing CO2 level does not cause forcing from CO2 to increase exponentially; it only increases linearly.

        What a botch job that paper was!

        That’s why CFCs eventually dominate the forcing in scenario A. The effect of CFCs is assumed to be linear, so as CFC levels increase exponentially so does forcing (unlike CO2). (Of course, if CFC levels were in the hundreds of parts per million, like CO2, rather than hundreds of parts per trillion, that assumption would be wrong, but in the very long term, scenario A becomes even sillier; e.g., the mass of the atmosphere doubles around year 2570.)

  65. Given that amount of CO2 emissions, his prediction was that by now, temperatures would have gone up by 1°C

    That’s scenario A. Actual CO2 rise is closer to scenario B (Steve McIntyre agrees – see upthread). CH4 rise is less steep than predicted.

    Scenario B has about a 0.7C rise since 1988, give or take.

    Despite the fact that millions of folks believed his prediction in 1988 and continue to listen to him today, the UAH MSU satellite data says that since 1988 it’s warmed by … well … about a third of a degree

    The model was based on surface air temps. UAH is unable to provide that.

    Hansen used GISTEMP surface data for the comparison back then, so using the same data set.

    0.56 C rise in temps. A little short of the mark, but not by a factor of 3.

    GISTEMP uses sea surface temperatures for the oceans, but the model output is based on global air temps, even over the oceans, which would be a little warmer.

    Also worth noting that Hansen’s model had a climate sensitivity of 4.2 K per doubling CO2, a bit higher than the IPCC mean estimate of 3 K.

    Might be an interesting exercise to see what climate sensitivity gives the best agreement for the 1988 model compared to air surface obs.

    • So the miss is an actual .56C surface temperature increase versus a predicted .7C? That seems quite good given the limited computing power available for modeling back in the mid to late 80s.

      • No, Hansen et al (1988) predicted 0.5 °C / decade for at least the next four decades. After almost three decades (i.e., predicted 1.5°C), we’ve seen only perhaps 0.5 or 0.6°C.

  66. Don’t know if I buy the ice melt is helping cooling the earth off argument.

    However is the Hansen predictions vs GISS graph being proffered showing to the peak of the 2016 El Niño? What will including the 2017 anomaly show?

    Having asked that, GISS does currently show:

    Global Mean Estimates based on Land Data only : An anomaly of 1.25 C for 2016

    Global Mean Estimates based on Land and Ocean Data : An Anomaly of 0.99 C for 2016

    https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

    So was his prediction for 2018 that bad after all?

  67. This post seems to give short shrift to ice in the atmosphere, sea ice, ocean system described by the Stadium Wave Theory and favored by Judith Curry.

    The main reason why is if you take a significant regional event, then spread-out the effect to a global average, the effect looks insignificant.

    The energy required to melt Greenland’s annual ice sheet mass loss is
    likely regionally significant (but I haven’t done any math).

    Per the Stadium Wave Theory, energy is moving around the globe with a ~70-90 year cycle. The claim is the Stadium Wave has caused regional sea ice levels in the eurasian to be falling for the last 35 years, but the cycle has peaked and eurasian sea ice should be increasing for the next years.

    If curious about the Stadium Wave, I put some current info in this Quora answer and comments:

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-evidence-that-global-warming-is-caused-by-solar-or-ocean-changes-rather-than-atmospheric-changes/answer/Greg-Freemyer

  68. Will not their predictions of increased sever storms actually take place after the climate cools due to the decrease in the output of the sun? If this is the case then should we not then start getting ready? I mean everybody knows how slow governments can be when it comes to actually fixing stuff.
    It would be nice to make sure that all of these alarmist do not twist things around and somehow take credit for their predictions coming true also.

  69. Willis,

    Thanks for brining this to the public’s attention. You understate the importance of this news! Hansen’s 1988 prediction is one of the most-often cited predictions showing the forecasting skill of climate models.

    On March 29 the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on “Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method“. The star witness was Michael Mann — who said this:

    “While we’re at it, let me address another favorite talking point of the critics, the claim that climate models we use to project future climate change are unreliable and untested. The reality is that the models have been tested vigorously and rigorously in numerous ways, and have passed a number of impressive tests in the past, such as James Hansen’s famous successful predictions from the 1980s and 1990s.”

    The supporting citation Mann gave to Congress is a ten year old blog post: “Hansen’s 1988 projections” by Gavin Schmidt, 15 May 2007. It discusses “Global climate changes as forecast by Goddard Institute for Space Studies three-dimensional model” by Hansen et el in Journal of Geophysical Research, 20 August 1988. But if the evidence for this prediction was strong, why has Hansen — or anybody — not published peer-reviewed confirmation. It would be headline news. Now you have explained why we haven’t seen a cover article in Science about this.

    The only peer-reviewed articles about this I found is “Skill and uncertainty in climate models” by Julia C. Hargreaves, WIREs: Climate Change, July/Aug 2010 (ungated copy). She reported that “efforts to reproduce the original model runs have not yet been successful” (the dog ate my homework), so she examined results for the scenario that in 1988 Hansen “described as the most realistic”. How realistic she doesn’t say. There are no comparison of the scenarios vs. actual emissions. Nor can we know how the Hansen’s forecast would change using observations as inputs (i.e., actual hindcasting).

    Two other blog posts discuss this forecast: “Evaluating Jim Hansen’s 1988 Climate Forecast” (Roger Pielke Jr, May 2006) and “A detailed look at Hansen’s 1988 projections” (Dana Nuccitelli, Skeptical Science, Sept 2010).

  70. Who gives a flying fire truck what Mosh or Tamino says;

    James Hansen, 2008;

    “We’re toast if we don’t get on a very different path – this is the last chance”

    He also said that in five to ten years (2008), the Arctic will be free of sea ice in the summer.

    • The criticism was that Willis got his news second-hand, via newspaper article, which led to errors. It should be quite evident that news media are a poor substitute for going to source. Hansen may have referred to other predictions in the interview, but here’s what he actually thinks in his own words, rather than a paraphrase from a journalist..

      Hansen 2009: “Arctic sea ice will melt away in the summer season within the next few decades.”

      http://www.regione.vda.it/energia/notiziario_ultime/allegati/allegato1187ita.pdf

      • errors that did not materially affect the results. Whether Hansen was off by a factor of ten or a factor of three is irrelevant. The fact remains Hansen was A) wrong and way off base in 1988, and B) wrong today with his melting ice excuse.

      • And the journalist didn’t paraphrase, he used a direct quote. So either the journalist lied or Hansen changed his tune or is simply inconsistent with his responses vis-a-vis when the ice will melt away in summer. Considering how he’s altered his statement about when a certain highway being flood will occur over the years, the later scenario wouldn’t be much of a surprise

      • A) Hansen wasn’t wrong. Scenario B, which he considered most plausible is a near perfect match for recent observed CO2 concentrations, and you can see in the graphs in the comments above that recent temperatures also lie close to scenario B.

        B) Hard to tell if Hansen is right or wrong. He’s replying to a question about global temps of 4-5C by the end of the century.

        Curious as to the precise cooling mechanisms Hansen was thinking of to re cooling, I consulted google scholar and found this 2016 paper.

        And the journalist didn’t paraphrase, he used a direct quote

        A direct quote from Hansen that ‘the Arctic will be free of sea ice in the summer… in five to ten years’?

        Nope, the only direct Hansen quote on the Arctic in that article is about tipping points.

      • as has been pointed out numerous times in numerous places, he was completely wrong. CO2 is much higher that his worst case scenario and tempuratures (despite numerous modification to the datasets) are *below* his best case scenario. He was wrong then, he (and you) are wrong now.

      • As has been pointed out here (and by Steve McIntyre), CO2 concentrations follow scenario B most closely.

        Possibly people have erroneously calculating growth rate from total annual concentration (emission), rather than 1.5% of the annual increment. The paper is quite clear:

        “Specifically in scenario A CO2 increases as observed by Keeling for the interval 1958 to 1981, and subsequently with 1.5% growth of the annual increment.”

        And if people are calculating from some base emission value (correctly, annual increment), it would be good if they could point to it in the paper. Had Hansen et al based their calculations on emissions – as in anthro output – they would have provided an estimate for the initial increment. But no such value exists in the paper. Hansen did not have access to annual emissions data in their present form.

        (If he had some idea of what the initial value and increment of emissions would be, it might well have been different to what we have today – no claim that he was right or wrong about emissions trajectory can be made without these details, and they just don’t exist in the paper)

        Could you kindly confirm that Hansen was not directly quoted in the article re summertime sea ice in ‘5 to 10 years’?

      • barry wrote, “Possibly people have erroneously calculating growth rate from total annual concentration (emission), rather than 1.5% of the annual increment.”

        That’s gibberish. Words have meanings. “Emission” & “concentration” do not have overlapping meanings, and never have had, and there’s no such thing as “total annual concentration.”

        You’re a smart man, you know better than that, barry. Stop twisting yourself into a pretzel, trying to excuse and defend the misstatements by James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Fung, Lacis, Rind, Lebedeff, Russell & Stone in their paper. Twisting yourself into a pretzel is unhealthy.

  71. Who cares about sea level in the middle of the ocean (except, maybe, submariners and the destroyers sailors that hunt them)? It is sea level along the coasts where you live that is important.

    • Exactly. I saw a fearmongering map showing what will be submerged by rising seas. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and Florida, it included the Dead Sea, the Death Valley, the Salton Sea, and the Afar Triangle. For some strange reason, not the Netherlands.

  72. Shame it’s not including the Aral sea. That part of the world could do with some sea level rise. An example of man made climate change and nothing to do with CO2 BTW.

  73. So in the NYT Magazine article, here is the question to James Hansen from the interviewer:
    “To think for a minute at the scarier end of the spectrum. If we do end up four or five degrees warmer, within a relatively short period of time — that’s the IPCC’s RCP8.5 scenario, by the end of the century, and that’s not counting some of these dramatic feedback mechanisms, what would that do to the planet, in your mind? ”
    And Hansen’s response:
    “I don’t think we’re going to get four or five degrees this century, because we get a cooling effect from the melting ice…..”
    Everyone who is criticizing WIllis and demanding that he retract the article has totally missed the point. Hansen made that “because we get a cooling effect from the melting ice” remark and Willis looked thoughtfully into the statement. All you people demanding the retraction and jumping on Willis, do you think Hansen is right? We won’t get 4-5 degrees warmer by the end of the century just because of the melting ice?

    • do you think Hansen is right? We won’t get 4-5 degrees warmer by the end of the century just because of the melting ice?

      To be clear, Hansen is saying he doesn’t expect as much as 4-5C warming.

      I haven’t missed the point, but Willis did. As you note, Hansen was talking about the end of this century, but Willis calculated the effect of ice melt *today*. 4-5C warming would cause a lot of ice melt.

      Willis didn’t take the trouble to investigate what Hansen meant by his comment on melting ice moderating temperature rise by the end of the century – what physical processes he was thinking of. Rather, assumptions were made based on a quote in a music magazine.

      So I got curious, went to google scholar, and found this in less than 2 minutes.

      Hansen et al (2016)

      • barry July 24, 2017 at 4:45 am

        do you think Hansen is right? We won’t get 4-5 degrees warmer by the end of the century just because of the melting ice?

        To be clear, Hansen is saying he doesn’t expect as much as 4-5C warming.

        I haven’t missed the point, but Willis did. As you note, Hansen was talking about the end of this century, but Willis calculated the effect of ice melt *today*. 4-5C warming would cause a lot of ice melt.

        Thanks, barry. In fact, as I pointed out above, even if ice melt rates were to increase by a factor of 100, which is extremely unlikely, this would only be equivalent to a 1W/m2 change in downwelling radiation … and per the modern climate sensitivity estimates, this would be less than half a degree of cooling.

        And yes, any decent climastrologist can come up with a list of feared future climate catastrophes. Collapsing ice sheets, end of oceanic overturning, massive sea level rises of three metres by the end of the century, endless droughts, floods, cyclones … please tell me you don’t actually believe those Hollywood scenarios …

        w.

      • Link is at the bottom of my post just above. Here it is below.

        http://kanata-forum.ca/ice-melt.pdf

        Hansen didn’t make any remarks in SPIN magazine

        Quite right, my mistake – I didn’t pay attention to the fact the Spin Mag ref was within blockquotes.

        You quoted him on 4-5C from The Independent (which quoted him from an interview in New York Magazine). I believe the paper he co-authored (at the link) spells out the physical processes he had in mind re his comment. There’s more to it than heat uptake from ice melt alone. For an overview read the section:

        3.3 Simulated surface temperature and energy balance

        on page 20079, and particularly page 20080.

    • Another Scott July 23, 2017 at 10:36 pm

      Everyone who is criticizing WIllis and demanding that he retract the article has totally missed the point. Hansen made that “because we get a cooling effect from the melting ice” remark and Willis looked thoughtfully into the statement. All you people demanding the retraction and jumping on Willis, do you think Hansen is right? We won’t get 4-5 degrees warmer by the end of the century just because of the melting ice?

      Thanks, Scott. At least someone gets it.

      w.

    • Willis, there is a section in that paper that describes the proposed physical processes from melting ice that have a cooling effect on the overall rise in temperature, including changes in AMOC, increased cloud cover, etc.

      You have an opportunity to check your assumptions about what Hansen meant by his remark in Spin Magazine. Click on the link. Read the background. if you must skim, you can get an overview under the section:

      3.3 Simulated surface temperature and energy balance

      • Link is at the bottom of my post just above. Here it is below.

        http://kanata-forum.ca/ice-melt.pdf

        Hansen didn’t make any remarks in SPIN magazine

        Quite right, my mistake – I didn’t pay attention to the fact the Spin Mag ref was within blockquotes.

        You quoted him on 4-5C from The Independent (which quoted him from an interview in New York Magazine). I believe the paper he co-authored (at the link) spells out the physical processes he had in mind re his comment. There’s more to it than heat uptake from ice melt alone. For an overview read the section:

        3.3 Simulated surface temperature and energy balance

        on page 20079, and particularly page 20080.

        (I posted in this in the wrong sub-thread above, feel free to delete the one above, mod. And thanks for tending to posts so promptly)

      • OK, found it. Thanks for the link, barry. Sadly, like all this model-based mathturbation, they do not distinguish ModelWorld from the real world in their writings … so I’ve added that. With those additions, it says:

        MODELED cooling due to ice melt more than eliminates A1B warming in large areas of the MODELED globe.

        and a bizarre claim:

        MODELED global cooling due to ice melt causes a large increase in MODELED Earth’s energy imbalance (Fig. 10b), adding about +2 W m−2, which is larger than the imbalance caused by increasing GHGs. Thus, although the MODELED cold fresh water from ice sheet disintegration provides a negative feedback on MODELED regional and global surface temperature, it increases the MODELED planet’s energy imbalance, thus providing more energy for ice melt (Hansen, 2005). This added energy is pumped into the MODELED ocean.

        If we make the ocean colder, it provides more energy for ice melt? How does that work?

        So once again it’s worse than we thought … why do these jokers never, ever seem to find negative feedbacks? Their claims are all about how fresh water will play havoc with the AMOC … I’m not seeing it.

        Let’s look at a few numbers. He’s claiming that we will get up to 5 metres of sea level rise by 2100. That’s 83 years out, so he’s claiming an average fresh-water addition of about 60 mm per year.

        Right now, the 500 billion tonnes of ice melted annually adds about 2 mm/year of fresh water. Assuming the growth in ice melt is roughly linear his claim is that in ModelWorld, by 2100 we will have SIXTY TIMES the ice melt we have now …

        Or you could look at it this way. Five metres per century was the most extreme rate during the time we were coming out of the last Glacial. During the glacial, about two miles of ice covered Chicago and much of North America, which (obviously) all melted. And now, Hansen claims we’re going to see that rate of sea level rise again … but there is not any two miles of ice left to melt except in Modelworld.

        And to top it off, he says:

        5.3 CO2 as climate control knob CO2 is the principal determinant of Earth’s climate state, the “control knob” that sets global mean temperature.

        Oh, you mean like how CO2 rose for the first 8,000 years or so of the Holocene, while global temperatures fell? Or like how in the geological past we’ve had low CO2 and high temperatures, and other times we’ve had the reverse? And how temperatures fell drastically during the Little Ice Age with no evidence of any change in the setting of the CO2 control knob to make the temperature go down? And how the temperatures then warmed for three centuries or so after the LIA, again with no visible change in the CO2 control knob? If that’s your control knob, it is badly broken.

        The climate is one of the most complex systems we have ever studied. Let me be clear.

        WE DO NOT KNOW if CO2 is the secret temperature control knob. We have no evidence to back up that claim, and plenty of evidence it’s not true. Now, we have evidence that increasing CO2 will increase downwelling forcing. But the idea that this is the only mechanism at play is a joke. The climate system RESPONDS to warming by increasing cloud cover, as the CERES data clearly shows. All over the tropics the cloud albedo is positively correlated with temperature.

        And if the cloud albedo changes by one stinkin’ lousy percent, it would wipe out about 34W/m2 of warming …

        Is Hansen guaranteeing that the cloud albedo will NOT change by 1% in response to warming? If he can’t guarantee that, then his whole “CO2 control knob” pile of cards collapses.

        Claiming that an increase in downwelling forcing wil perforce cause the climate to warm is as dumb as claiming that an increase in the downwelling forcing on the human body will cause our body temperatures to warm. Complex systems … go figure.

        To look at it another way, name me one other hugely complex natural system that is controlled by just one of the many variables that affect it. We have no evidence that all climate variables (of which there are hundreds) will somehow magically all cancel each other out, leaving CO2 as the only one left standing … and given the number of variables and mechanisms at play, that claim is bogus on the face of it.

        Now, to me this kind of model-based extrapolation is a joke. The models are not tested, verified, or validated. They do a crappy job hindcasting anything but historical temperatures, like say rainfall. They cannot explain the Little Ice Age, or our emergence from the Little Ice Age. And as the last two decades have proven beyond doubt, they all run too hot.

        And you think I should pay attention to them? Sure, you can extend a line for eighty years and claim it represents reality. But to me, that’s just flimflam. Where is the evidence?

        Look, barry, if you want to believe this kind of handwaving which is unsupported by any modern data indicating any change in the AMOC or in the overall rate of ice melt, you’re welcome to do so. For me, this is a scam, and on some level Hansen knows it.

        The only thing that paper proves is Willis’s Theory of Authorship, which states that the quality of a scientific study goes down by the inverse square of the number of listed authors …

        I’m sorry, barry, but handwaving about the AMOC, about which we know very little, is science fiction and not science. Even when the ice was melting at a stupendous rate during the glacial transition, it didn’t drive the temperature down by 3°C or so as Hansen claims, AMOC or not … and if that didn’t kill the AMOC, why should a small rise in CO2 do so?

        Finally, I object greatly to the use of the term “Anthropocene”. It has NOT been designated by that name. It is a political gesture that reveals the propagandistic nature of their enterprise. It has nothing to do with science.

        Thanks for the paper, barry, but it’s just a polemical alarmist pile of reeking cow exhaust …

        w.

    • do you think Hansen is right? We won’t get 4-5 degrees warmer by the end of the century just because of the melting ice?

      It’s not just the heat reduction from the melting, Scott. It’s the flow on effects from ice melt that Hansen proposes will moderate overall warming. Willis’ worthy attempt to account for it is absent these processes, which together provide an estimated negative feedback to global warming.

  74. Wow. So you base your post on an incorrect story from Spin magazine and then chastise Hansen for making a projection, using the knowledge of 30 years ago, which looks like it will be very close to the mark? And further chastise him for saying that temperatures are unlikely to have risen by 4-5C be the end of the century? That’s pretty weak. Seems like the post should be pulled to give you time to rethink what you were trying to say.

    • No, Mike, a projection that has proven to be way off base and getting further off base every year,

    • And, Mike, Don’t forget what his scenarios where. Scenario A was business as usually (which is what the world has been doing) Scenario B was growth being reduced (didn’t happen) and Scenario C was man basically goes cold turkey on fossil fuels (obviously hasn’t happened). So while emissions remain above Scenario A, temperatures are below scenario C – IE he got it all wrong.

    • So while emissions remain above Scenario A

      This is based on a mistaken calculation, as acknowledged by daveburton.

      You are correct that Hansen’s CO2 numbers (unlike his CFC numbers) were not far off. My mistake: I believed what he wrote in his paper, that his “scenario A” represented a 1.5% annual increase in emissions, when it was actually nothing at all like that.

      daveburton has realized that 1.5% is the increase in the increment, not total (kudos to him). All calculations above making that error are void.

      temperatures are below scenario C

      Not according to the many graphs posted here by skeptics and others.

      – IE he got it all wrong.

      On current information that doesn’t seem to be the case.

      For many reasons, the model/obs comparison is tricky. Eg,

      * While CO2 scenario B matches observations most closely, CH4 and CFCs don’t. And the divergence is opposite in sign for both, so the impact is hard to judge.

      * The 1988 model output surface air temps over the oceans, while modern global temperature records use SST measurements, rather than air temps above the water. The most appropriate data would be somewhere between the land only record and land/ocean.

      * The 1988 model had a high sensitivity – 4.2 K per doubling CO2. It would be interesting to see the results with the mean IPCC estimate of 3 K. (Also to see which sensitivity best provides a match to scenario B)

      / hat tip to Steve McIntyre, who worked most of this out 10 years ago.

  75. John Endicott July 24, 2017 at 7:35 am
    And, Mike, Don’t forget what his scenarios where. Scenario A was business as usually (which is what the world has been doing) Scenario B was growth being reduced (didn’t happen) and Scenario C was man basically goes cold turkey on fossil fuels (obviously hasn’t happened). So while emissions remain above Scenario A, temperatures are below scenario C – IE he got it all wrong.

    No you have it all wrong!
    Scenario A was continued growth in all trace gases including CO2, his projection was that by now CO2 would account for about half of the temperature rise and the other gases the rest.
    Scenario B was a reduction in all trace gases.
    Scenario C was a reduction to zero growth in all trace gases by 2000.
    In fact CO2 is close to Scenario B as shown by Nick’s graph above. The other trace gases have followed close to Scenario C.

    As a result his temperature projection would be expected to be close to Scenario B, which it is as you can see from this other graph for Nick (last data point a bit high due to recent El Niño).

  76. I note that Tamino has a post over at his website entitled “Does Willis Eschenbach Have Any Honor”.

    The answer from my perspective is obviously “Yes” … however, the oh-so-honorable Tamino banned me from his website about a decade ago, which means that he is mounting a cowardly attack on me in a place where I have no way to respond.

    Here at WUWT, I made a mistake, which was picked up by Tamino. I corrected the mistake, and thanked him. And obviously, Tamino is free to comment on that here.

    In response, Tammy has published a pusillanimous attack on me in a place where he has censored my voice entirely and I am unable to defend myself in even the slightest manner.

    I leave it to the reader to determine which of us is honorable.

    w.

  77. Tamino showed his true colors long ago.
    I am having a rather difficult time ascribing good faith arguments to barry, Phil or Nick Stokes also however.
    None have them have significantly addressed the main point of your post which is how far off base Hansen’s calculations were on the effect of melting ice.
    Stokes I believe took a cursory stab at it but was easily rebutted by you.
    So, unable to refute the main point of the article they continue to pounce on your error and seem to claim some refutation of you when even in their best case for Hansen they seem to come up with his only overestimating temp increase by about double, which of course is tangential to the whole point of your original comment anyway.
    And they wonder why people are skeptical.

    • Nick Stokes and I have been discussing other matters people have brought up, not Willis’ global temp error. Willis acknowledged it and I moved on.

      As to Willis’ comments regarding “Hansen’s excuse,” a link to a paper that details the cooling processes Hansen was referring to in his comment in Spin magazine has been provided. Willis’ calculations don’t encompass these processes, and he’s been invited to check his assumptions against it.

      • Note: Wilis has pointed out that the Hansen 4-5C quote wasn’t in Spin Magazine – it’s from originally from an interview in New York Magazine, re-quoted by The Independent linked in the OP.

  78. seem to claim some refutation of you when even in their best case for Hansen they seem to come up with his only overestimating temp increase by about double

    This was my estimate, caveats included.

    In short, pretty close to the mark. There are graphs above that show that, too. Willis hasn’t commented much on that at present, so that part of the discussion with him hasn’t progressed much.

  79. Thanks for this most educating and also entertaining conversation, I really enjoyed reading it all even though some arguments got a bit heated.

    I laughed when I read daveburtons comment:

    Hansen obviously didn’t bother (or perhaps didn’t even know how?!?) to do the simple arithmetic to see whether his proposed cooling mechanism was even possible.

    Not many people who have read Hansen’s paper think he is unable to calculate that.
    I think Hansen came well out of this.
    /Jan

  80. As I read it, the point of the article was that Hansen now used the cooing effect of melting ice as an excuse for having missed in his temperature forecast.

    However, as Phil and several others have commented above, Hansen’s forecast was about right so he did not need any excuses.

    He mentioned in the interview that if we get an eventual massive melting in the next 150 years, we will have a cooling effect from the melting ice, but he never used that as an excuse for anything.
    /Jan

      • daveburton July 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm
        As Gloateus said, Hansen’s forecast wasn’t even close.

        And as shown multiple times above Gloateus is flat out wrong!
        In actual fact Hansen’s forecast was extremely good.

        He and his seven co-authors predicted 0.5 °C / decade for at least the next four decades. After almost three decades (i.e., predicted 1.5°C), the actual rate has been at most about 1/3 of that.

        No he did not, Scenario A didn’t get up to 0.5ºC/decade until 2050, his ‘most plausible’ scenario (B) had a rate of ~0.1ºC/decade).

        All three of their scenarios ended up being badly wrong in one way or another.

        Scenario C was pretty close in its CFC projections, but completely wrong in its CO2 emission behavior and level projections.

        Scenario B was quite close to correct for CO2 level projections, but way off in its CFC & CH4 projections, and completely wrong in its description of CO2 emission behavior.

        Scenario A was only a little high for CO2 level projections, and low in its description of CO2 emission behavior, but it was completely wrong in its CFC, CH4 and temperature projections

        Your reading comprehension is terrible, as stated in the paper the range of the scenarios was meant to cover the range of possible forcing: “results obtained for our three scenarios provide an indication of the expected climate response for a very broad range of assumptions about trace gas trends”

        Worse, they also wrongly claimed that its “net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially,” which actually could never happen in the real world:
        * It couldn’t happen because of exponentially increasing CO2 levels, because the logarithmically diminishing temperature forcing from rising CO2 concentration meant that an exponentially increasing CO2 level would only yield linearly increasing forcing.
        * It couldn’t happen because of CFCs, because of the new ozone protection treaties, for lowering CFC levels, one of which had been signed in 1985, and the other of which was about to be signed, meant CFC levels would be going down instead of up.
        * That left only very minor GHGs, like N2O, CH4 (which they couldn’t have known would plateau), and O3.

        In their subsequent paper (1989) using the same data they showed that during the 80s CO2 contributed 57% to the total forcing, CFCs contributed 25%, CH4 12% and N2O 6%. Note that as I pointed out to you before CFCs were replaced by HCFCs and HFCs which are also potent GWGs, HCFCs currently exceed F-11 in the atmosphere.

        The way they coded it, the only way to get exponentially increasing net greenhouse forcing In their scenario A was to let CFC levels increase to the point of dominating the net forcing.

        With falling CFC levels, the only way to get exponentially increasing net greenhouse forcing would have been with preposterous, astronomical increases in very minor GHGs.

        Which is why they said that Scenario B was the most plausible one, the 1989 paper addresses the decrease in CFCs due to restrictions imposed in the mid 70s.

        https://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1989/1989_Hansen_ha04700p.pdf

        “Thus, if the rate of release of CFCs to the atmosphere can be reduced, there is the potential for a major reduction in the rate of increase of the greenhouse effect. It should be noted that many of the proposed halocarbon substitutes for CFCs contain only fluorine, and, while posing no threat to the ozonelayer, they may still contribute to an increased greenhouse effect.”

        Of course, reality was only about 1/3 of that estimate — maybe even less, depending on whose numbers you believe.

        As shown reality for temperature is right in the range of their prediction!

    • As Gloateus said, Hansen’s forecast wasn’t even close.

      He and his seven co-authors predicted 0.5 °C / decade for at least the next four decades. After almost three decades (i.e., predicted 1.5°C), the actual rate has been at most about 1/3 of that.

      All three of their scenarios ended up being badly wrong in one way or another.

      Scenario C was pretty close in its CFC projections, but completely wrong in its CO2 emission behavior and level projections.

      Scenario B was quite close to correct for CO2 level projections, but way off in its CFC & CH4 projections, and completely wrong in its description of CO2 emission behavior.

      Scenario A was only a little high for CO2 level projections, and low in its description of CO2 emission behavior, but it was completely wrong in its CFC, CH4 and temperature projections

      Worse, they also wrongly claimed that its “net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially,” which actually could never happen in the real world:
      * It couldn’t happen because of exponentially increasing CO2 levels, because the logarithmically diminishing temperature forcing from rising CO2 concentration meant that an exponentially increasing CO2 level would only yield linearly increasing forcing.
      * It couldn’t happen because of CFCs, because of the new ozone protection treaties, for lowering CFC levels, one of which had been signed in 1985, and the other of which was about to be signed, meant CFC levels would be going down instead of up.
      * That left only very minor GHGs, like N2O, CH4 (which they couldn’t have known would plateau), and O3.

      The way they coded it, the only way to get exponentially increasing net greenhouse forcing In their scenario A was to let CFC levels increase to the point of dominating the net forcing.

      With falling CFC levels, the only way to get exponentially increasing net greenhouse forcing would have been with preposterous, astronomical increases in very minor GHGs.

      Do you think they knew that? Either they did or they didn’t. Either way is very bad.

      Either Hansen and his seven co-authors knew that exponentially increasing net greenhouse forcing was impossible, yet left that nonsense about exponentially increasing net forcing in their paper anyhow, for propaganda purposes (= shocking fraud!), or else they didn’t understand it (= incredible incompetence!)

      And that impossible scenario was the scenario they used in their discussions!

      Although they admitted on p.9345 that Scenario A’s exponential growth “must eventually be on the high side of reality in view of finite resource constraints [etc.]… [so] Scenario B is perhaps the most plausible of the three cases,” elsewhere in the paper they assumed that scenario A’s projections were realistic for at least the next several decades (and A’s & B’s CO2 projections were similar in that time frame, anyhow).

      What’s more, they wrote on p.9343 that, “Scenario B has decreasing trace gas growth rates,” which was wildly wrong for CO2. CO2 emissions actually increased very dramatically, and even the growth rate in CO2 levels continued to accelerate, though much less dramatically.

      It is clear that their CO2 level projections for scenarios A & B were close to reality only because they “got lucky.” Although CO2 emissions accelerated faster than they anticipated, negative feedbacks like CO2-fertilization-driven “greening” removed the extra CO2.

      On p.9345 they strongly suggested that scenario A was more realistic than scenario B through year 2030:

      Note that our scenario A goes approximately through the middle of the range of likely climate forcing estimated for the year 2030 by Ramanathan et al. [1985], and scenario B is near the lower limit of their estimated range.

      Likewise, on p.9357 they used “0.5°C per decade” (from scenario A) for the projection in their discussion:

      The computed temperature changes are sufficient to have a large impact on other parts of the biosphere. A warming of 0.5°C per decade implies typically a poleward shift of isotherms by 50 to 75 km per decade. This is an order of magnitude faster than the major climate shifts in the paleoclimate record, and faster than most plants and trees are thought to be capable of naturally migrating [Davis, 1988].

      Of course, reality was only about 1/3 of that estimate — maybe even less, depending on whose numbers you believe.

  81. Thank you daveburton.
    I think the plot provided by Phil and others above shows another story.

    To get 1/3 of the estimate you have to start in 1988, not the 1950 -1980 average, as was Hansens base, and you have to use the satellite measurements of the lower troposphere, not surface measurments.

    This has been sufficiently debated and answered by others above.
    /Jan

    • Jan, I don’t know what you mean by “you have to start in 1988, not the 1950 -1980 average,” but here it is both ways.

      I usually use WoodForTrees to generate temperature graphs, because it lets you hot-link to the graphs. But it doesn’t show the calculated trend, so this time I’m using screenshots from Kevin Cowtan’s tool.

      He has thirteen temperature indices available for graphing. When starting in 1988, the Berkeley Earth index shows the highest rate of the thirteen: 0.201 °C/decade (or .180 °C/decade if you stop before the El Nino). Here’s the graph:

      The seven non-satellite indices go back to 1950. The highest rate of the seven is 0.144 °C/decade, by GISTEMP. Here’s the graph:

      In 1988 Hansen predicted “a warming of 0.5°C per decade” if emissions were not curbed. I do not see how anyone can think prediction that has any resemblance to reality.

  82. From Willis’s updated post:
    Back then, he said the globe would warm up by one full degree by 2018 under the “business as usual” rubric … not.

    What he said was that under Scenario A it would warm up by ~1.3ºC above the 1950-1981 average and ~1.1ºC under the ‘more plausible’ Scenario B. As of last year it shows ~1.3ºC which will be a bit high because of the El Niño so I don’t think your “…not” is justified.

  83. proverb: pride goes (or comes) before a fall

    meaning: if you’re too conceited or self-important, something will happen to make you look foolish.

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