“Hansen vs. The World” (Richard Kerr on uncertain climate science in 1989)

From MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. — January 13, 2022

A historical oddity is how the U.S. government and Exxon “knew” about the ‘greenhouse signal’ and perilous anthropogenic climate change when climate scientists did not. But such is the state of the debate where PR and lawsuits overwhelm a rational view of knowledge. (below)

“In my expert opinion, in the period shortly after President Carter took office in 1977,” state James Gustave Speth, “there was a growing sense of concern and indeed urgency within the federal government that fossil fuel burning was heating the planet and causing the climate to change in many ways that could be catastrophic….” [1]

“Exxon was aware of climate change, as early as 1977, 11 years before it became a public issue,” stated an article in Scientific American. “This knowledge did not prevent the company … from spending decades refusing to publicly acknowledge climate change and even promoting climate misinformation.”

But the Science . . .

How did the U.S. government and Exxon know about the “greenhouse signal” and perilous anthropogenic climate change when climate science did not? But such is the state of the debate where PR and lawsuits overwhelm a rational view of knowledge.

In the real world, global cooling was the fear. “Certainly the threat of another ice age was the topic of much scientific and popular discussion in the 1970s, stated Harold Bernard, Jr., in The Greenhouse Effect.

Books and articles entitled ‘The Cooling,’ ‘Blizzard,’ ‘Ice,’ and ‘A Mini Ice Age Could Begin in a Decade,’ abounded. The ‘snow blitz’ theory was popularized on the public television presentation of ‘The Weather Machine’ in 1975. And certainly the winters of the late 1970s were enough to send shivers through our imaginations. [2]

And in the late 1980s and early 1990s (and even today), evidence about the positive and negative effects of carbon dioxide on global climate was (is) controversial. [3]

Enter Richard Kerr, longtime global-warming writer at Science, the flagship publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He chronicled how the mainstream of climate science disputed James Hansen’s assertions of the arrival of global warming and the enhanced greenhouse effect as opinion rather than science.

Kerr wrote in mid-1989:

If many of Hansen’s colleagues find his first point about the warming trend regrettable, they view his second–that the warming could, with “high confidence,” be linked to the greenhouse effect–as unforgivable. None of the select greenhouse researchers at the meeting could agree with him. ‘Taken together, his statements have given people the feeling the greenhouse effect has been detected with certitude,” says Michael Schlesinger, himself a modeler at Oregon State University. “Our current understanding does not support that. Confidence in detection is now down near zero.”

Continuing Uncertainty

There was no settled science about a climate crisis well after James Hansen lit the fires in 1988. In 1998, William K. Stevens, global warming scribe at the New York Times, quoted “a leading expert on the issue of detecting the greenhouse signal, climatologist Thomas Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder:

”They’re making progress, and there is a lot of hard work involved, and I hold them in the highest regard,” Dr. Tom Wigley … said of Dr. Mann and his colleagues. ”But I think there’s a limit to how far you can ever go.” As for using proxy data to detect a man-made greenhouse effect, he said, ”I don’t think we’re ever going to get to the point where we’re going to be totally convincing.”

So again, what did Exxon or the U.S. government (or anyone else) know about the strength of the enhanced greenhouse effect, much as a doom-and-gloom answer to increasing concentrations of CO2 and other man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?

—————————

[1] Speth, They Knew: The US Federal Government’s Fifty-Year Role in Causing the Climate Crisis (MIT Press: 2021), p. 11.

[2] Harold Bernard, Jr., The Greenhouse Effect (Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing, 1980), p. 20.

[3] Given anthropogenic global warming, the qualitative begs the quantitative question of good, benign, and benign. Lower-range warming is generally thought by climate economists as net beneficial, while higher warming scenarios are neutral-to-negative. (Climate models can be calibrated to tell you just about anything).

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Tom Halla
January 13, 2022 2:10 pm

This is the approach of the La Jolla conference, which was legal strategy by activist lawyers. If anything, Exxon would have a decent case for a RICO case against the activist lawyers, corruptly acting to subvert various localities to file suit under “facts” the activists knew were at best strictly opinion.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 13, 2022 2:17 pm

Yes. La Jolla organized and led by Naomi Oreskes, whose book ‘Merchants of Doubt’ first conflated Big Tobacco with Big Oil. Except there was never any factual similarity, which is why the ‘EXXON knew’ meme never flew despite repeated lawfare attempts.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 13, 2022 2:46 pm

Wasn’t everything that Exxon ‘knew’ already in the public domain anyway?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 13, 2022 3:08 pm

Yes, because they themselves published it. Hundreds of papers.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 14, 2022 4:08 am

Exxon didn’t know any more about CO2 and the Earth’s climate, than anyone else knew.

Exxon still doesn’t know any more about CO2 and the Earth’s climate, than anyone else knows, and noone knows if CO2 actually has an effect on the Earth’s weather at any scale.

Nobody knows. Some indulge in a lot of speculation, but nobody knows.

I wonder, if that “high confidence” Hansen expressed about his claims is where the United Nations IPCC got the idea to label their climate change findiings with various levels of “confidence”?

Alarmist Climate Science has come down to using labels instead of providing evidence. That’s because, after all this time, they still don’t have any evidence to back up their claim, all they have are confidence levels.

This is not science.

Last edited 14 days ago by Tom Abbott
Will
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 13, 2022 4:56 pm

RICO indeed, if not conspiracy to defraud countless investors. It should make for one heck of a class action.
 
As to the effect of man-made carbon dioxide on climate, the uncertainty which was recognized as far back as 1989 is no more. That uncertainty has been eliminated, conclusively.
 
https://rclutz.com/2021/11/06/ipcc-data-rising-co2-is-75-natural/
 
https://scc.klimarealistene.com/produkt/control-of-atmospheric-co2-part-2/
 
It’s time to bring down the EPA’s endangerment finding. That would bring down the price of energy and everything that depends on it.

JCR
January 13, 2022 2:18 pm

The current “debate” has nothing to dowith science, and everything to do with establishment of control over every aspect of our lives

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  JCR
January 13, 2022 2:50 pm

Isn’t pretty much every ‘scare’ managed in a similar fashion these days? It used to be all about money, except the first one DDT. All the previous ones, eg peak population, peak food, peak coal, peak oil, were failures.

I can only guess that DDT was merely a test case, although it did manage to kill off 10s of millions of undesirables. Then came the greed. Then came the control.

Last edited 14 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
spangled drongo
Reply to  JCR
January 14, 2022 1:07 am

But now this is what’s being pedaled:

The tragedy of climate change science

ABSTRACT

The science-society contract is broken. The climate is changing. Science demonstrates why this is occurring,

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/epub/10.1080/17565529.2021.2008855

Tom Abbott
Reply to  spangled drongo
January 14, 2022 4:16 am

“The science-society contract is broken.”

I don’t know of any “science-society” contract. This sounds like something dreamed up by a socialist.

Steve Z
January 13, 2022 2:27 pm

Those same geniuses were telling us that the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free by 2013, but most of it is still ice-covered year-round eight years later. So maybe we can let Exxon and the other oil companies off the hook?

t port
Reply to  Steve Z
January 13, 2022 3:05 pm

As I recall, “desertification” around the globe was a big concern back then. I guess more CO2 in the atmosphere served to ameliorate that “threat”.

another ian
Reply to  t port
January 13, 2022 4:30 pm

There was doubt about “desertification” too.

Try D.S.G Thomas and N.J. Middleton (1994) “Desertification: Exploding the Myth” . Wiley

DMacKenzie
January 13, 2022 3:02 pm

Soft drink sellers likely knew sugar was, in general, bad for people…but notice they aren’t being sued because “they knew”. The ultimate responsibility for fossil fuel combustion….lies with the people who combusted it. Unfortunately, the courts and legal profession see an interesting way to top up their retirement fund at the expense of oil companies and rich enviro-fund donations…

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 13, 2022 3:35 pm

It’s much worse than sugar being bad for you. The sugar industry actively promotes the ‘war on fat’ because the only way to make ‘fat free’ foods taste good is by adding sugar. It’s a massive con, possibly even greater than the CAGW Doomsday Death Cult, but there’s probably less money in it.

Another sad by-product of the ‘war on fat’ is a reduced intellectual capacity, since the brain requires fat. This may even help to explain the recent dumbing down of the general population. I’d love to see a study on it.

Scissor
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 13, 2022 4:21 pm

In addition, vegetable oils are generally bad fats, those high in linoleic acid.

I remember when McDonald’s French fries were cooked in animal fat and their shakes were made from real milk and ice cream. Not only did they taste better, they were healthier.

Oh the good old days when we worried about threats of Soviet nuclear annihilation and the coming ice age.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 14, 2022 4:47 am

You are most definitely correct: the war on fat and the “low fat* foods scam has ruined the health of people across the globe.
Sugar makes people fat, not foods with fat in them. The “low fat” food industry has made trillions off the back of people’s ignorance about fats and sugars.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 14, 2022 10:07 am

I don’t know about that. The general population is a lot fatter than 50 years ago.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
January 14, 2022 11:06 am

Because of all the carbohydrates they consume instead of fat

Mike McHenry
Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 13, 2022 3:46 pm

Plant foods are mostly sugar mostly glucose. Carbohydrates are polymers of sugar. The potato, pasta and white bread have a higher glycemic index than table sugar or high fructose corn syrup(HFC). To your body there is no difference between HFC and table sugar sucrose, both are 50/50 glucose/fructose The sugar glucose is the primary metabolic fuel of the human cell. Basically you eat 3 foods carbohydrate, protein and fat. Food/diet advice is actually worse than climate science in terms of BS

Scissor
Reply to  Mike McHenry
January 13, 2022 4:36 pm

Here’s a good article on sugar in various drinks. https://corc.usc.edu/pdf/211.pdf

I’d argue that drinking sodas containing phosphoric acid is not good for health also.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Scissor
January 14, 2022 10:10 am

My daughters’ track coaches didn’t want them drinking soda (or pop as we call it in Michigan) because it supposedly was bad for their bones.

AndyHce
Reply to  Mike McHenry
January 13, 2022 5:53 pm

It is the fructose part of ‘sugar’ that can cause problems. Most types of sugar (from cane juice, sugar beets, honey, and many others) becomes separate glucose and fructose immediately upon consumption, unless embedded in non soluble fiber that significantly slows its digestion and absorption.

The metabolic pathways of fructose and glucose are completely different and independent. Fructose consumed at a rate that can be used as energy in the very near future, and so utilized as an in physical activity, is not harmful. Some small amount of liver and visceral fat from fructose storage is not harmful. Large intakes and subsequent storage gives a rather different result.

Michael E McHenry
Reply to  AndyHce
January 13, 2022 8:11 pm

I have seen controlled studies showing a negative impact for fructose

Michael E McHenry
Reply to  Michael E McHenry
January 13, 2022 8:12 pm

Never seen

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Mike McHenry
January 13, 2022 10:07 pm

Yes and no.
Sugar is NOT the primary metabolic fuel.
A small amount normally circulates in our blood because sugar burns quickly and thus can give us an instant ‘power boost’ to enable us to escape dangerous situations as fast as possible. Fight or flight etc
Sugar is akin to petrol.

The primary fuel for us is/are Ketones = slower burning fuels but MUCH more controllable. Created by our livers chopping up long chain saturated fat molecules
Ketones are akin to diesel

The real health danger coming from sugar is that out bodies can not control it hardly at all. It goes straight though our stomach walls and is attracted to places containing lots of water – such as the insides of each and every and all our cells.
Once there, apart from trashing nutrient flows because of the changed solubility, its high reactivity messes up cell chemistry.
Very real dangers come from the oxidative stress that comes from sugar burning – each molecule creates a mini blizzard of free radicals when it burns.
Ketones much much less so

I could go on forever but one last point= The Atkins Diet
Everyone imagines it is all about protein protein protein
wrong wrong wrong
If you learn only one thing today, make it this:
The Atkins Diet is a device to boost our saturated fat intake
(and in doing so displace sugar from our food intake)

Last edited 14 days ago by Peta of Newark
Michael E McHenry
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 14, 2022 7:24 am
Scissor
January 13, 2022 3:12 pm

I’ve come to realize that I dislike a lot of people who look like Lurch of the Addams Family or Homer Simpson the cartoon, which is weird because I like Lurch and Homer.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Scissor
January 13, 2022 5:09 pm

You should concern yourself less on how someone looks, and more on their arguments.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 13, 2022 5:20 pm

I think Scissor is describing a correlation. You are assuming a causation.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 13, 2022 7:27 pm

No, he/she/it has a bad habit of ad hominem attacks.

MarkW
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 13, 2022 7:49 pm

In this case the ad hominem exists inside your mind and nowhere else.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  MarkW
January 14, 2022 12:08 am

A little Latin is a dangerous thing.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rory Forbes
January 14, 2022 12:39 am

A little latina can be even more dangerous…

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MarkW
January 14, 2022 9:24 am

How so? It went right after how someone looks.

DonM
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 14, 2022 10:34 am

simple comparison is not going after.

homer and lurch are kinda cute.

It is your biases that are showing.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 14, 2022 4:49 am

Scissor is just having a bit of fun, that’s all. A bit of trench humour never harms when you’re staring at the chaos that is the CAGW scam.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Scissor
January 14, 2022 2:47 am

Homer looks like Michael Mann.

J Mac
January 13, 2022 3:42 pm

The sheer audacity of this lying con man……ugh.

Last edited 14 days ago by J Mac
Tom Abbott
Reply to  J Mac
January 14, 2022 4:30 am

Yes, Hansen started off saying 1934 was 0.5C warmer than 1998, but when that became inconvenient for selling the Human-caused Climate Change narrative, he started cooling off 1934 until it was no longer warmer than the present day, and this allowed him and others to claim that today was warmer than any time in the last 1,000 years. Even though he knew good and well that this was not true.

Read Hansen’s own words here on the NASA website. Here he says 1934 was the hottest year, and the decade of the 1930’s was the hottest decade. He doesn’t say that anymore. It would interfere with his claim that we are experiencing unprecedented warmth today due to human-derived CO2.

Obviously, the U.S. is not experiencing unprecedented warming. The year 1934 is warmer than 1998, and 1998, is just as warm as 2016, so in the United States, we are not experiencing unprecedented warming, we are actually in a cooling trend since 1934.

The rest of the world, where temperatures were recorded, also show the Early Twentieth Century was just as warm as today, which means CO2 has had very little temperature effect in all that time even though the amounts in the atmosphere have been increasing for decades.

Hansen knows all this, yet he lies and claims we live in the hottest times in human history and it’s all because of our CO2 output. Lies, lies, lies. That’s Alarmist Climate Science.

https://www.giss.nasa.gov/research//briefs/1999_hansen_07/

RickWill
January 13, 2022 4:30 pm

Certainly the threat of another ice age was the topic of much scientific and popular discussion in the 1970s,

Glaciation is still the most serious climate related threat.

The current cycle of glaciation began 400 years ago since perihelion occurred later than the austral summer solstice.

The long term trends in ocean heat retention and reduced freshwater runoff from global land masses are clear evidence that the solar input over oceans is in long term decline causing a reduction in the net water cycle. The flip side of that is the northern hemisphere land masses are getting warmer in the boreal. summers but the winters are getting cooler as aphelion moves closer to the boreal winter solstice.

Cooler norther winters following warmer summers will result in increasing snowfall that will eventually build to a peak 10,000 years from now without human intervention to change snow albedo.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  RickWill
January 13, 2022 4:34 pm

Really hope you are wrong, for my kids sakes.
But it’s likely you are right.
Warming was never a problem no matter how many times the insane repeat it.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  RickWill
January 13, 2022 4:58 pm

Unfortunately you are 100% correct.

RickWill
January 13, 2022 4:52 pm

There was no settled science about a climate crisis well after James Hansen lit the fires in 1988. 

It is a sad reflection on the science community that consensus science can be purchased by government.

There is always hope that, upon review of consensus climate science, funding of the UN will be terminated. This grafting mob has been angling for an unscrutinised source of income for at least 4 decades now. Trump defunding the WHO must have been a bitter pill. No wonder Trump did not get a second term.

One of the most useful features of the US form of government is that the president only gets 8 years. They can set up some good deals over 8 years but any graft loses its venom after the term expires. The UN grafters are set for life. It is the retirement home for failed politicians who want to strut the world stage wielding their influence while accumulating wealth.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  RickWill
January 13, 2022 7:14 pm

A possibly more useful feature of the US government is the filibuster, which (as I understand it) requires a 60% senate vote to pass bills.

I also understand that the democrats are trying desperately to remove this to allow only 50% of senate votes. If they ever succeed, that’s gonna come back and bite them on their collective ass ‘real hard’ as you USians would say…

Last edited 14 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 14, 2022 4:39 am

It looks like Democrat Senators Sinema and Manchin are firmly against doing away with the filibuster. Either one of them voting against a change would kill the change so it looks like the filibuster will survive.

The radical Democrats are desperate to try to retain their political power and are willing to change any rule if it would help them to do so. Fortunately, there are enough Senators to stop this abuse. There are reported to be several other Democrat Senators who might vote against doing away with the filibuster, too. So I think this radical Democrat ploy is not going to fly.

George Daddis
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 14, 2022 6:55 am

There is a credible chance that the GOP will win back the Senate in 2022 or 2024. In that instance, elimination of the filibuster would be to the Democrats disadvantage. (They used it 350 times in the last administration.)

It appears many Democrats are so focused on current issues they refuse to recognize that reality. Others (Schumer/Biden) understand, based on their own previous record on the issue, but either feel obligated to appear to fight for the radical left; or alternatively use the elimination to pass legislation for Federal elections that would seem to enable them to stay in power for the foreseeable future.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  George Daddis
January 14, 2022 2:28 pm

“There is a credible chance that the GOP will win back the Senate in 2022 or 2024. In that instance, elimination of the filibuster would be to the Democrats disadvantage. (They used it 350 times in the last administration.)”

The hypocrit Democrats used the filibuster last week to stop one of Senator Ted Cruz’ bills.

To bed B
January 13, 2022 4:54 pm

A historical oddity is how the U.S. government and Exxon “knew” about the ‘greenhouse signal’ and perilous anthropogenic climate change when climate scientists did not. But such is the state of the debate where PR and lawsuits overwhelm a rational view of knowledge.”

The oddity is the result of it being acceptable to write ‘scientists say’ when more than one expresses a similar opinion. ‘Exxon knew’ is the same rubbish. Somebody in the company wrote a report no better than a high school project, and that justifies the phrase even if it in no way provided the evidence necessary to be taken seriously.

George Daddis
Reply to  To bed B
January 14, 2022 7:01 am

Agreed!
Has anyone (Rud?) researched contemporary reports within Exxon (Esso) that documented a contrary conclusion?

Simon
January 13, 2022 5:33 pm

Predictions improved with increasing data availability. Detection of the anthropogenic signal has been confirmed as average temperature continues to increase. Hansen’s Model B scenario predictions are impressively close to actual observation.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
January 13, 2022 5:43 pm

Actually the signal has not been detected, but don’t let mere reality interfere with your latest fantasy.
Temperatures are increasing, but at a rate that is slower than they were increasing back before CO2 started rising.
Scenario B is barely within the margin of error of actual records, only after the records are adjusted to better match model output, and only if you give very generous error bars.

BTW,current temperatures are still as much as 2 to 3C below the average for the last 10 to 15 thousand years.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  MarkW
January 14, 2022 2:24 am

BTW,current temperatures are still as much as 2 to 3C below the average for the last 10 to 15 thousand years.”

If that were true – it’s not – we know why, as the Earth turns (Milankovitch).
And that is the chief driver of millenial climate change.
Not the last 150 years.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03011-6

comment image

MarkW
Reply to  Anthony Banton
January 14, 2022 8:13 am

It really is amazing how one can, with proper selection and massaging of data make up anything you want.

The fact of the Medieval, Roman, Egyptian and Holocene optimums is well known and confirmed by thousands of studies.

Yet your mythical chart has made them all disappear, then to top ignorance with malfeasance, you append an instrument record to the end of a proxy record.

I would love to see you explain how sea levels were several meters higher than today 20K years ago, when your “chart” shows that global temperatures were 8 degrees cooler.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Anthony Banton
January 14, 2022 10:33 am

Palaeoclimate data AND MODELS have been used to produce a comprehensive report of Earth’s temperature changes over the past 24 millennia. The results suggest that modern warming differs from the gradual rise of the past 10,000 years.”

IOW, totally fictitious numbers produced by a digital fruit machine to support the CAGW narrative in contradiction to the historical record and all the geological proxies.

From your link to the comic known as Nature.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Anthony Banton
January 15, 2022 11:43 am

Anthony:

The Marcott study you show and link is the kind of bogus “science” that has driven many of us into the skeptics camp, doubting the competence and even integrity of establishment climate science.

All of the proxies used in the study have sampling intervals of over 100 years, with many at 500-year sampling intervals. When pressed, they admit that they cannot resolve trends of smaller than multi-millennial intervals. But then they deceptively graft onto the plot high-resolution instrumental values.

There are many other problems with this as well. Just search on “Marcott” here at WUWT, or especially at climateaudit.org, for analyses of these problems.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Simon
January 13, 2022 5:43 pm

No, it hasn’t, and no, they’re not. But even if the globe were to get warmer, which it’s not, that would be a Good Thing. Warmer Is Better. Enjoy the warmth while it lasts, because it won’t be here long.

Derg
Reply to  Simon
January 13, 2022 5:44 pm

And the Russia colluuuusion clown returns

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Simon
January 13, 2022 6:09 pm

— In his book Storms of my Grandchildren, noted climate scientist James Hansen issued the following warning: “[I]f we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.” — [here]

There’s Hansen’s prediction for you. The seas will boil into outer space. Dumber than dirt on a rock.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Simon
January 13, 2022 6:36 pm

Looking back over your posting record, I have to wonder if you have ever offered a correct observation or made a statement that wasn’t obviously wrong.

If there was ever a confirmation of an anthropogenic signal, I guarantee come one on this board would have heard … crickets.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Simon
January 13, 2022 7:19 pm

Detection of the anthropogenic signal has been confirmed

So you’ve definitely proved the cause of the early 20th century warming, and that the cause of that is definitely not the cause of the late 20th century warming? Impressive. Please provide details!

leowaj
Reply to  Simon
January 13, 2022 7:36 pm

Never have I heard a statistician say that predictions are improved merely by increasing availability of data. The analyses must be robust and trustworthy for that idiom to work. In the case of climate change, they are neither robust (“model all the things!”) nor are they trustworthy (“the world is cooling… no, it’s drying… no, wait… it’s warming and getting wetter.”)

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Simon
January 13, 2022 8:03 pm

Detection of the anthropogenic signal has been confirmed as average temperature continues to increase.

Empirical measurements supporting the anthropogenic hypothesis are not in evidence.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/06/11/contribution-of-anthropogenic-co2-emissions-to-changes-in-atmospheric-concentrations/

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Simon
January 14, 2022 4:54 am

But according to Hansen’s model, our current level of CO2 production should have the GAT tracking scenario A. Temps are not tracking scenario A, hence Hansen’s model is an overtly alarmist failure. Nice try Simon, but massive fail on your part.

Mark BLR
Reply to  Simon
January 14, 2022 9:35 am

Detection of the anthropogenic signal has been confirmed as average temperature continues to increase. Hansen’s Model B scenario predictions are impressively close to actual observation.

Nothing of the sort has been “confirmed” !

Regarding the original Hansen (1988) paper they had to “adjust” the original predictions because the climate model he used (“GISS model II with 8° by 10° horizontal resolution” …) had a “too high” ECS value (~4°C per CO2 doubling IIRC ?).

Which original scenario was “impressively close to actual observation” up to 2014/5 again ?

Hansen-1988-vs-GMST_1.png
Last edited 13 days ago by Mark BLR
Mark BLR
Reply to  Mark BLR
January 14, 2022 9:57 am

Follow-up post …

I originally misremembered just how accurate the radiative forcing (RF) “predictions” in Hansen et al (1988) were (it was atmospheric CO2 levels that more closely tracked “Scenario A”).

As GMST is supposed to more closely follow the (final) RF numbers than the (starting point) “GHG / CO2 emissions” numbers though, this is problematical for Hansen fans (see the GMST graph attached to my OP).

NB : The “Scenario B” values below are the original Hansen et al numbers, those not “adjusted” by -10%.

Hansen-1988-vs-RF_1.png
DMA
January 13, 2022 5:42 pm

“If many of Hansen’s colleagues find his first point about the warming trend regrettable, they view his second–that the warming could, with “high confidence,” be linked to the greenhouse effect–as unforgivable. None of the select greenhouse researchers at the meeting could agree with him. ‘Taken together, his statements have given people the feeling the greenhouse effect has been detected with certitude,” says Michael Schlesinger, himself a modeler at Oregon State University. “Our current understanding does not support that. Confidence in detection is now down near zero.”
Not only was the detection confidence zero the cause was assumed to be rising CO2 due entirely to human sources. No real analysis of increasing CO2 source was done then. This year there are 5 new papers that use several different approaches to show that most to the increase in CO2 is natural.
Skrable et al. (2022) is a remarkable, independent confirmation not only of Berry (2021) but also of Harde and Salby (2021), Salby and Harde (2021a), Salby and Harde (2021b) and many of their references, as well as IPCC’s data for its natural carbon cycle. All leading to the conclusion that efforts to control human emissions are as useless as they are expensive.

Truthbknown
January 13, 2022 7:33 pm

That DOPE Hansen in 1998, said NYC would be under water by 2015! What happened bozo? 40 years of failed, idiotic “predictions” to ruin our live!

Disputin
Reply to  Truthbknown
January 14, 2022 2:09 am

It’s a sad fact that it wasn’t. Nice thought, though.

Laws of Nature
January 13, 2022 7:37 pm

Well.. it is quite simple really..
are CMIP6 models better than CMIP5 and all before that? Most modelers and climate sicnetists seem to think so.

CMIP6 models have trouble to get the CO2 feedback correctly after improving the simulated cloud model.
All older models might have different CO2 feedback values but lacking at the very important cloud simulations.
50 year old models are just laughable imprecise compared to current models, which still struggle to have reliable predictions for the real world.

R. McKitrick published an important work about in 2021 showing that the “finger printing” method used for attributions is not correct.

Given that background the statement
“Exxon was aware of climate change”
is dubious, if it means to portrait that there was or is certain knowledge about a dominating anthropogenic contribution to global warming.

I would say that everybody is aware that climate is changing, the roman warm period and little ice age might be examples for that and I guess Exxon knew and knows about those as well as the y can verify the math that a doubling of the patial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere from 280 to 560ppm will produce a direct warming of 1°C that should not be counted as a secret knowledge these days.

Anything beyond that very soon enters the realm of fiction and religion.

Pat Frank
January 13, 2022 8:49 pm

What did Exxon and the US government know in 1977 about CO2 emissions and the climate?

Nothing.

What did James Hansen know in 1989 about CO2 emissions and the climate?

Nothing.

What does James Hansen, the US Government, or the IPCC know in 2022 about CO2 emissions and the climate?

Still Nothing.

Here’s what we do know. Jim Hansen, the IPCC, the eNGOs and the present US government are incompetent. And that’s the best-case scenario.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pat Frank
January 14, 2022 4:57 am

I think that sums it up nicely, Pat.

Dennis Thomas
January 13, 2022 9:46 pm

Regarding sugar, checkout ‘The Sugar Conspiracy’, a well written Guardian article of old, search for it on Google

Disputin
Reply to  Dennis Thomas
January 14, 2022 2:12 am

“a well written Guardian article…”

Sorry. No.

Peta of Newark
January 13, 2022 10:28 pm

Total madness (powered by money)
iow Fake Madness – in common with most things these days, fake, fake and yet more fake

Carbon dioxide simply does not radiate at the temperatures and pressures found anywhere in Earth’s atmosphere
At the most simplistic level possible, does that not mean it isn’t absorbing anything?

Of course it’s not absorbing anything – it only absorbs at temperature of minus 79 Celsius and pretty well nowhere on Earth radiates at that temperature.
(This does beg the question, what were the test conditions for all the absorbance graphs we keep getting thrust into out faces?)

CO2 could cause warming in the atmosphere via 2 notable properties that it has:
The trapped heat in the atmosphere ( the reason it is the temperature that it is) is trapped by the low emissivity and low thermal conductivity of the main gases, i.e. Oxygen and Nitrogen
CO2 has zero emissivity and a lower thermal conductivity than both Oxygen and Nitrogen – large amounts of the stuff would thus have a warming effect

What those ‘large amounts’ might be presently elude myself and everyone, not least because no-one appears to know, recognise (or even want to know because of the money & power coming from not knowing) why Earth’s atmosphere is the temperature it is.
i.e. The low emissivity, the low thermal conductivity but especially the puzzle of why convection starts at whatever temperature it does
IOW Why is are the very lowest levels of the Troposphere calm, settled and stratified at night yet within a few hours of sunrise, breezes pick up and clouds form – only for them to fall away again inside the 2 hours just before sunset.

Why does that happen? What or where is the trigger point for convection to start?
Convection simply being a fancy word for “Weather”

edit to PS
Further inside this thread is a discussion about sugar, and the perfect insanity as to how it came to replace fat in all our diets.
The connection to CO2 climate change is rather simple and in its way, rather beautiful

The connection being= both were originated and powered by one single argumentative and very belligerent individual – some who had previously made a reputation for them selves in their respective fields and put simply, the adoration and fame went to their heads

Those individuals were/are

  1. Ancel Keys for trashing our diets and health with his personal hatred of and thus ‘scientific’ demonisation of fat
  2. James Hansen for his rather odd fixation on carbon dioxide
Last edited 14 days ago by Peta of Newark
Ed Zuiderwijk
January 14, 2022 1:34 am

That historical oddity can mean only two things. Either the notion is nonsense, or it is true. If it is true, the question is: why. Answer: because Exxon had the better scientists. Why that, then? Because it had the cream of the graduates, while the leftovers went to do climate ‘science’. In both cases the supposed ‘accusation’ reflects unfavourably on climatologists.

Tom Abbott
January 14, 2022 3:56 am

From the article: “If many of Hansen’s colleagues find his first point about the warming trend regrettable, they view his second–that the warming could, with “high confidence,” be linked to the greenhouse effect–as unforgivable. None of the select greenhouse researchers at the meeting could agree with him. ‘Taken together, his statements have given people the feeling the greenhouse effect has been detected with certitude,” says Michael Schlesinger, himself a modeler at Oregon State University. “Our current understanding does not support that. Confidence in detection is now down near zero.”

And not one thing has changed since that time. The confidence in detection is still down near zero for honest scientists.

George Daddis
January 14, 2022 7:10 am

Exxon knew..” holds as much water as my saying “BHO knew oceans were rising at an alarming rate but he still bought ocean front property on Martha’s Vineyard.”

January 14, 2022 8:32 am

Sorry, the real history reveals that before 1988 Exxon knew more than most about the rise in atmospheric CO2, but too bad, they fell for the fake physics hoax that CO2 can cause global warming that is ruled out by its frigid 15 micron thermal radiation.

Here’s a direct quote from my Climatescope, that nobody here seems to have read. I hope the embedded html urls are preserved:

[[
On Mar. 26, 1979 Edward Garvey, Henry Shaw, Wallace Broecker, and Taro Takahashi of Exxon makes a
proposal to help NOAA assess the greenhouse effect, actually wanting to assess the impact on Exxon’s business and enhance its public relations image, acknowledging that increase atmospheric CO2 levels could be the result of fossil fuel combustion;
on Nov. 19 Exxon’s Henry Shaw sends a memo to H.N. Weinberg on Exxon’s research on the “potential greenhouse effect”, urging that Exxon participate to “influence possible legislation on environmental controls” while starting a “very aggressive defensive program”;
on Jan. 29, 1980 Exxon’s Walt Eckelmann sends a memo to Morey O’Loughlin, reporting that Exxon’s Science and Technology Dept. views the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere as a “potentially serious problem requiring the results of a huge world-wide research effort”, detailing ongoing research efforts incl. the $600K/year program to determine whether the primary cause of atmospheric CO2 buildup is fossil fuels or forest clearing;
on June 9, 1980 Exxon’s H.N. Weinberg sends a memo to H. Shaw and N.R. Werthamer about Exxon’s Greenhouse Program, detailing an argument over whether the oceans can act as a global carbon sink, with Weinberg claiming that the oceans can release CO2 at “the upwelling zones”;
on Dec. 18, 1980 Exxon’s Henry Shaw sends a
memo to T.K. Kett reporting that forests are a CO2 sink, hence deforestation is partly responsible for increased atmospheric CO2 levels, and that another CO2 sink must be found, citing disputes over climate sensitivity, with the soundbyte:
“General concensus [sic] will not be reached until such time as a significant temperature increase can be detected above the natural random temperature fluctuations in average global climate. The earliest that such discreet signals will be able to be measured is after the year 2000”;
on Sept. 2, 1982 Exxon’s Roger Cohen sends a
memo to Al Natkin summarizing company climate model research, with the soundbyte that a “clear scientific consensus has emerged regarding the effects of increased atmospheric CO2.”

The Exxon Knew Movement that “Exxon knew about climate change” is born, although only a few of their scientists believed in it.
]]

http://www.historyscoper.com/climatescope.html

Roy W Spencer
January 14, 2022 2:22 pm

All they knew is the theory — or hypothesis- or whatever you want to call it — was out there. So what? Just a bunch of speculation, and you can’t starve yourself from eating food just because (for example) California has determined everything you consume causes cancer.

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