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Dr. James Hansen: Right About Global Warming for 30 Years.

Icarus 2011/01/08 19:42:50
Related Topics: India, Weather, SodaHead
In 1981 Dr. James Hansen of NASA published 'Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide' and projected the anthropogenic (man-made) global warming we would expect to see under various scenarios in the growth of fossil fuel use, from fast growth through slow growth to no growth at all -

expect scenarios growth fossil fuel fast growth slow growth growth
Since then, global fossil fuel use has seen fast growth as countries such as China and India have undergone rapid industrialisation. We can see how well Dr. Hansen's projections of global warming under this scenario have matched reality so far:

industrialisation nbspwe dr hansens projections global warming scenario matched reality

Observed global temperatures from 1950 to 2010 are shown in blue, and the red curve is a trendline fitted to the observations and projected into the future. Here is Dr. Hansen's projection of the 'slow growth' scenario just for the period to 2020, compared to observations:

dr hansens projection slow growth scenario period 2020 compared observations

Again, observations to 2010 are in blue, and the red curve is a trendline fitted to the data.

It's very clear that anthropogenic global warming is running at or above the highest projection in Dr. Hansen's paper, far outside the range of any natural variability, and that continued unrestrained CO2 emissions during this century will commit us to global warming of several degrees, and a climate not seen since the age of the dinosaurs.

The consequences of this for a human population of 7 billion and more will be disastrous. Modern human civilisation has developed in the relatively benign and unusually stable climate of the last 10,000 years, and will not cope well with a dramatically altered world of desertification, rising sea level, devastated agriculture, decimated ocean life and increasing extreme weather events. We can expect to see increasing famine, mass migration as large areas of cropland become unsuitable for cultivation, increasing resource wars, catastrophic water shortages, food crises even in the richest countries, and an increasing numbers of failed states which descend into chaos and pose an increasing security risk to other countries. The military of many countries now see global warming as the greatest security threat of this century.

Dr. Hansen and other climate scientists have been right about global warming for much longer than 30 years. It's about time we started taking them seriously.
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  • Grenville Cramchild 2012/04/09 10:20:16
    Grenville Cramchild
    I thought it would be a nice change of pace to include a reference to what's really going on with ice-core studies and their implications:

    http://www.skepticalscience.c...

    and on the other hand we have this discussion of a truly terrifying event-

    The Pelaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM),

    http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr...
    and
    http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr...

    I really hope that the CO2 burp from 50 million years ago is now safely sequestered in carbonates, because the results of the PETM weren't pretty. Yes, life survived....but our civilization- now that's a question.

    There is no alternative theory at present for these events that doesn't have climate sensitivity pegged at values higher than 2 C/doubling of CO2.
  • Icarus Grenvil... 2012/04/09 13:18:23 (edited)
    Icarus
    +1
    Unfortunately the study you refer to says:

    "At 900 e.p.p.m.v. CO2, global-mean surface temperature is 6 °C warmer than today and Antarctic summers are too warm to allow glaciation; but 22.4 × 10^6 km^2 of permafrost (roughly equivalent to the total modern inventory) remains in the high latitudes of both hemispheres."

    So it looks like there is enough permafrost today to cause the same kind of global temperature excursion as occurred in the PETM.
  • Grenvil... Icarus 2012/04/10 00:08:39
    Grenville Cramchild
    Ouch.... you sure about the carbon inventory of the permafrost? The guys at realclimate took a look at methane clathrates and came up with a first pass that they were't a problem.
  • Icarus Grenvil... 2012/04/10 06:37:02
    Icarus
    I will have to read those RealClimate articles again. Perhaps they were talking about marine deposits whereas the study quoted above was talking about land-based permafrost. Not sure.
  • Grenvil... Icarus 2012/04/11 04:16:39
    Grenville Cramchild
    +1
    Well, they just added Deconto over at SkS: http://www.skepticalscience.c...

    Permafrost at the PETM seems to be the culprit. The RC articles were to do with marine deposits of clathrates.
  • Icarus Grenvil... 2012/04/11 08:20:18
    Icarus
    Yeah, makes sense. More reading to do :-) Thanks.
  • Toby Th... Grenvil... 2012/04/20 01:20:10
    Toby Thaler
    "Weren't a problem" is relative. The clathrate articles at RC indicate upwards of a doubling of forcing. Might not mean "end of life" but might make our civilization hard to maintain. Here's an extract from abstract at AGU last fall in SF by some of same scientists that says the same thing (double forcing):

    "The report includes the latest work from Natalia Shakhova, Igor Semiletov and others on East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) - particularly concerning the present large emissions of methane and the possibility of sudden release of much larger quantities. Large releases could also occur from Arctic lakes and wetlands, and this threat will also be assessed. Work by Isaksen and others suggests that if emissions are increased from present levels by a factor of 2 or more, then not only is the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere increased, thus increasing the methane’s global warming potential over time, but indirect radiative forcing is increased also [3]. If total methane emissions rise fivefold, as possible with a major discharge from ESAS, then the contribution to climate forcing, and hence global warming, could be greater than from the current level of atmospheric CO2."
  • Grenvil... Toby Th... 2012/04/21 04:00:16
    Grenville Cramchild
    If you don't follow "Tamino" you might want to add him to your list:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2...

    Tamino is the pen name of a well-known statistician and his blog is a real education in the statistics of climate science and statistics in general.
  • Grenvil... Icarus 2012/04/13 08:55:18
    Grenville Cramchild
    +1
    I saw that, but I found the language confusing....inventory then vs inventory now.
  • team impartial 2011/01/15 15:40:19
    team impartial
    i agree with stormy we should be acting upon the news, not debating whether it is a myth or not, according to some sources withing the next 50-100 years the polar ice caps will have melted so much that water will consume even more of our planet and all coastal areas will have flooded, this worries me as i live in a coastal area like billions of others yet nothing of great effect is being done to stop Global Warming. It is our fault the planet is this way so we need to fix it. Soon.
  • Icarus team im... 2011/01/15 19:53:45
    Icarus
    Yes exactly right. I live at sea level too, so my property is at risk, but I think the bigger danger is that we're going to be in dire straits with food and water. We're already seeing a big increase in failing crops due to heatwaves and catastrophic flooding, and that's only going to get worse, as Stormy says below. It really is a slow-motion disaster and hardly anyone can see it coming.
  • Stormy 2011/01/09 05:11:35
    Stormy
    +1
    We really should not be still debating this we should be figuring out what to do about it and throwing all resources at the unfolding threat to our planet. The Chinese realize they have a problem with climate change. A Government report in 2008 predicted that climate change will cause a drop in their production of wheat, corn and rice by as much as a third over the next 50 years.
    In Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have long faced off over the Siachen Glacier, at nineteen thousand feet the highest war zone on the planet. But now the glacier is melting so fast there's not much left to fight over. Millions of Pakistanis will face a severe water crises when it disappears.
    Speaking of India , they spent the last five years building a 2,500 mile long wall along the Bangledesh India border to keep the inevitable hordes of Bangladeshi climate refugees at bay. It's the most densely populated region on earth and already climate refugees are on the move, after floods drowned crops in recent years. About half a million arrive in Dhaka each year. Melting glaciers upstream and rising oceans ruining farm land with sea water is getting people on the move. The story is repeated in a thousand trouble spots around the globe. Why are we still debating this. ? When will we see some action.
  • Stormy Stormy 2011/01/09 05:14:27
  • ruralntex 2011/01/09 03:29:00
    ruralntex
    Temperatures are increasing. Measured CO2 ppm is also increasing. Is this cause and effect? The jury is still out on that. We know that atmospheric CO2 has been much higher and decreased to what we have today. Perhaps the temperature increase has released some of it. Lots of ice has melted. We know that CO2 is sequestered in ice. So it isn't a stretch to see increasing temperatures melting ice and releasing old CO2. Sure, our fossil fuel combustion adds to that, but I still say we are a bit player, and I will continue to say that until I see evidence to the contrary. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with alternative energy sources. I have three fifty watt solar panels and a solar heat pump. And I have just started that. I hope to be completely self reliant on electricity. I see how to do it. It is mostly infrastructure expense. In other words, I need money to do it. SInce we can't seem to get a comparison between actual measurements and ice core CO2, perhaps we could get an estimate of total atmospheric CO2?
  • adelady ruralntex 2011/01/24 03:59:32
    adelady
    +3
    ruralntex. Releasing 'old' CO2 from ice? The precipitous decline in Arctic sea ice volume is pretty recent. And the loss from glaciers has been pretty steady - except for recently in the Arctic. When did this imbalance of C isotopes originating from ice show up in the data. afaik the increasing imbalance in the current and 'old' carbon has been quite steadily marching along with the increasing total CO2.

    I'd be keen to see any research on this. (Have lately acquired a bit of an obsession with Arctic ice.)
  • ruralntex adelady 2011/01/24 11:33:46
    ruralntex
    It is just a thought. There has been lots of ice melted. There is old co2 sequestered within ice. We know that too, or they couldn't get ancient atmospheric co2 estimates by using ice cores. I just put the two bits of information together. When melting ice is measured in square miles, surely the co2 released from within the melting ice is significant. Sadly, I have read nothing in regards to this possibility. Is this an example of "expert" oversight, or hadn't this occured to them as they were measuring ancient co2? Jot this in as another thing that is going to have to be checked before I am going to start taking this science seriously. Don't get me started on their sill model predictions. Those are almost no science at all.
  • Grenvil... ruralntex 2012/04/05 00:02:09
    Grenville Cramchild
    +1
    No you didn't put two bits of information together, you put two half-baked notions together and decided it was a worth sharing, without bothering to do any work. You rural texans are sure high and mighty.
  • ruralntex Grenvil... 2012/04/05 14:19:52
    ruralntex
    Two half baked ideas being 1. anceint CO2 sequestered within ice and 2. the fact that the ice is melting. If there is no CO2 sequestered within the ice, then how are they estimating ancient CO2 content again? Surely you are comfortable with the ice melting part? Not bothering to do any work eh? How much work do you think I am obligated to do to prove their silly theory?
  • Toby Th... ruralntex 2012/04/05 17:26:48
    Toby Thaler
    +3
    You've got an internet connection; look it up. Try "CO2 content ice" or something. I think you'll find that the quantity is insignificant compared to industrial emissions. If you want to dig further, try looking up "methane clathrates" or "melting permafrost methane." The situation is very scary and it is way past time for us to be operating on ignorance, or worse, intentionally obfuscating non-science.
  • ruralntex Toby Th... 2012/04/06 17:45:05
    ruralntex
    CO2 in melting ice doesn't have to be very much to equate to lots of CO2 when the melting ice is measured in hundreds of square miles. If it isn't much, and I don't doubt that it is miniscule, then perhaps past CO2 has been underestimated. If that is the case, then current CO2 may not be way out of line with what was REALLY the ancient CO2 content of the atmosphere. There are lots of problems with the theory and lots of unanswered questions. If they want to convince me, then they have to answer every question and every doubt. They still cannot tell you how much additional CO2 it would take to make global temperature increase by one degree. This theory needs more work. In the mean time, how many solar panels and wind turbines do you have?
  • Grenvil... ruralntex 2012/04/07 16:31:27
    Grenville Cramchild
    Try reading something....what are you expecting...Jim Hansen and Mike Mann to show up on your door step to give you a tutorial and answer all your "might have beens" and what ifs? When I call you an immoral person it's because you are enacting both the sins of pride and sloth
  • ruralntex Grenvil... 2012/04/07 19:13:15
    ruralntex
    Well David F, you are the one that is terrified of the methane being introduced into the atmosphere, yet you haven't admitted to ANY green energy projects. Sounds to me like you are only interested in ridiculing folks because they don't think the same way you do and at the same time counting on thier money to get something funded to alleviate YOUR fears. Sloth you say? Pride you say?
  • Grenvil... ruralntex 2012/04/08 08:48:54
    Grenville Cramchild
    You can't even be bothered to keep who said what straight. I didn't bring up methane clathrates. And again- I call you out for substitution judgement- the truth of global warming has nothing to do with what I do personally. This is a huge mistake in your thinking process. It is a characteristic error...and because you make it consistently it means that just about nothing you do or say can be relied on to have much relationship to the truth of anything.

    I am interested in the project of forcing people who enage in your kind of thnking to face facts. It seems that pointing out your moral failings does relate to your world view.... admittedly it's only a guess that being accused of deadly sins would be a hot button with you....but ruralntexas is suggestive. But my context for this is clear: you won't do the work, some simple math, to test your own ideas, you won't look things up, and you think you are owed answers on a silver platter. Sloth and pride.

    Now the question, will you change...or is the project of identifying your moral failings in this discussion merely an entertainment...and a way to make clear to everyone that the accusations of wanting to pick your pockets (that people on the warmist side of things are using global warming as a trojan horse) are at the very leas...

    You can't even be bothered to keep who said what straight. I didn't bring up methane clathrates. And again- I call you out for substitution judgement- the truth of global warming has nothing to do with what I do personally. This is a huge mistake in your thinking process. It is a characteristic error...and because you make it consistently it means that just about nothing you do or say can be relied on to have much relationship to the truth of anything.

    I am interested in the project of forcing people who enage in your kind of thnking to face facts. It seems that pointing out your moral failings does relate to your world view.... admittedly it's only a guess that being accused of deadly sins would be a hot button with you....but ruralntexas is suggestive. But my context for this is clear: you won't do the work, some simple math, to test your own ideas, you won't look things up, and you think you are owed answers on a silver platter. Sloth and pride.

    Now the question, will you change...or is the project of identifying your moral failings in this discussion merely an entertainment...and a way to make clear to everyone that the accusations of wanting to pick your pockets (that people on the warmist side of things are using global warming as a trojan horse) are at the very least balanced (if not overwhelmed) by the immorality on your side of things.

    Now, put your little substituion judgement bug to rest...I'm priveleged to have done a fair number of things in my career that save energy on a large scale...I continue to do so.
    (more)
  • ruralntex Grenvil... 2012/04/08 12:31:23
    ruralntex
    The solutions to these environmental concers will come in the forms of what you insist is "substitution." Solutions will not and cannot come by writting doom sayer novels and forcing junk law based on junk science through government. It is junk scince until proven otherwise.
  • Grenvil... ruralntex 2012/04/09 09:31:22
    Grenville Cramchild
    No....it's you who is guilty of junk science... and somehow you've never volunteered what would be proof. You don't even understand the notion of Kahneman's about judging on the wrong basis because thinking through the facts is too hard. You are such an example of the kind of people who create the most problems in our political system: self proud, proud of their ignorance, unwilling to learn, and demanding that everyone else spoon feed them. You are part of a grand american tradition of willful stupidity.... does your American History include the "know nothings?"
  • ruralntex Grenvil... 2012/04/09 15:06:43
    ruralntex
    My vote counts as much as yours buster, and if these egg heads want my vote they are gonna have to do more work and more marketing. I have no intention of working thier junk science for them or for you. CO2 has been higher in Earth's past. Temperatures have been higher too. Life survived both well before the dawn of man. The sky is not falling. We should work on economically viable energy alternatives, and we don't need to run out into the street shouting "OH SHYT WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE!" I have a sneaking suspicion that this entire push is more about getting someone to pay you to breath into a bag than it is about the damned environment.
  • Icarus ruralntex 2012/04/09 18:07:45
    Icarus
    "CO2 has been higher in Earth's past. Temperatures have been higher too."

    Yep, that's kind of the point. Life survived when CO2 was higher and the planet was much warmer, but that warming took tens of millions of years - enough time for life to move, to adapt, to evolve. Now we're heating up the climate thousands of times faster than is natural. We're going to have a hell of a job coping with that, let alone other species.
  • ruralntex Icarus 2012/04/10 02:36:28
    ruralntex
    We better get adapting then huh?
  • Icarus ruralntex 2012/04/10 06:37:46
    Icarus
    Looks that way!
  • Grenvil... ruralntex 2012/04/10 23:00:19
    Grenville Cramchild
    +1
    Y'know most people listen when the tumor board tells them what to do about their cancer. But there are always people like my friend who delay, look into alternative therapies and deny, deny, deny. Same here with climate science. Every major scientific body has conducted reviews of this science and affirmed the general conclusions. That's the tumor board here. They'd be listened to a lot more if it weren't for a calculated and concerted effort to confuse matters by people like Monckton, Singer etc. And you...well, what I've seen from you says you can't define what would prove anything to you...which means you're an attention seeking person reveling in being a contrarian without a real cause. Me, I just want to make sure that there's enough back talk to you that no one takes you seriously.
  • ruralntex Grenvil... 2012/04/11 02:43:15
    ruralntex
    +1
    I will let you know when I see something that convinces me that they know what the hell they are talking about. Concensus isn't science, it is more political, and until this issue is proven it will remain political.
  • Arthur ... ruralntex 2012/04/12 22:31:56
    Arthur Neelley
    +2
    I enjoy reading your ideas on here ruralntex, as I grew up in the country in TX near that out of control metropolis known as Houston. Although I am convinced that most of the climate temp increase is due to human activity since the industrial revolution, it is still refreshing to hear someone that is skeptical and truly intelligent (not usually mentioned in the same sentence...) make valid statements and arguments to the contrary. Note to everyone else that might be criticizing "rural..", please stop taking it all so personally and stick to the facts. HE and HIS way of thinking are exactly what we are going to need to understand in order for mankind to change it's ways so that perhaps, we won't have to adjust so incredibly fast to climate change, since his side of the argument does have many of the votes, money, and power that we ALL will need to get anything positive done. Of course, I'm also assuming that Rural sees "fox news" as more entertainment than real news. :)
  • Grenvil... Arthur ... 2012/04/13 01:26:50
    Grenville Cramchild
    He and his way of thinking "ain't thinking". He hasn't made any valid arguments and is too lazy to look anything up. So are you. The real people who are needed to solve this are the guys who sweat their degrees at MIT and Caltech... those are the guys who come up with ways to make solar panels affordable so RuralTex can fiddle around with them.

    When RuralT actually talks about any facts, and stops confusing facts with his baseless speculations, then maybe we'll have something to talk about.
  • ruralntex Grenvil... 2012/04/13 02:34:12
    ruralntex
    Well, the thing about the weather/climate models is very based, but you want it to be untrue so badly that you are willing to ignore something that IS attached to the IPCC website. Take that out of the chicken little tool box and you have a laundry list of observations that may mean what you think or may mean nothing.
  • Toby Th... ruralntex 2012/04/19 22:53:25
    Toby Thaler
    Please put aside/ignore the "doom saying" and pay attention to the science. With rare exception (Jim Hansen?) scientists are not the doomsayers. The uncertainties are huge, but the projections of what is likely to happen with "business as usual" are very scary indeed. That's why Hansen became an activist. Check out his book: http://www.amazon.com/Storms-... Another good one is the very long range scenario description (both past and future): http://www.amazon.com/Under-G...
  • Toby Th... Arthur ... 2012/04/19 22:47:54
    Toby Thaler
    I don't disagree; I'm an urban person (but grew up in barely urban and very conservative Spokane), and I work with rural communities on climate adaptation. Fact is, they get it. After last year’s heat/drought disaster in Texas I’m surprised ruralintex doesn’t get it. What I find more annoying about ruralintex is his assumption that scientists are out to get him or something. And his failure to do the most basic research on legitimate concerns he raises.

    Please stop being paranoid, Tex. I’m not one, but there’s a half dozen PhDs in my near family (siblings, nieces and nephews), and I have worked with many scientists over the years. They are no more or less evil than any other group of people. And they have an extremely strong system of ethical check against bad behavior. It’s similar to what I have as a lawyer: if you publish based on fraudulent data or other unethical behavior, your career is toast.

    Tex, there’s so much out there, please spend some time digging around. If this site lets me include them, here’s some sites that might be helpful:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/p... (deconstructs BS coming from deniers)
    http://www.amazon.com/Merchan... (about the organized, corporate funded attack on AGW science)
    http://www.realclimate.org/in... (the one and only basic AGW site run only...
    I don't disagree; I'm an urban person (but grew up in barely urban and very conservative Spokane), and I work with rural communities on climate adaptation. Fact is, they get it. After last year’s heat/drought disaster in Texas I’m surprised ruralintex doesn’t get it. What I find more annoying about ruralintex is his assumption that scientists are out to get him or something. And his failure to do the most basic research on legitimate concerns he raises.

    Please stop being paranoid, Tex. I’m not one, but there’s a half dozen PhDs in my near family (siblings, nieces and nephews), and I have worked with many scientists over the years. They are no more or less evil than any other group of people. And they have an extremely strong system of ethical check against bad behavior. It’s similar to what I have as a lawyer: if you publish based on fraudulent data or other unethical behavior, your career is toast.

    Tex, there’s so much out there, please spend some time digging around. If this site lets me include them, here’s some sites that might be helpful:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/p... (deconstructs BS coming from deniers)
    http://www.amazon.com/Merchan... (about the organized, corporate funded attack on AGW science)
    http://www.realclimate.org/in... (the one and only basic AGW site run only by climate scientists)
    (more)
  • Grenvil... ruralntex 2012/04/13 01:24:10
    Grenville Cramchild
    You are lost in your own little eccentric dreamworld. You don't have any standards of proof, you won't study up. That's really all that we need to know about you.
  • ruralntex Grenvil... 2012/04/13 02:35:06
    ruralntex
    WMO website dealt you a setback, though you cannot admit it.
  • Grenvil... ruralntex 2012/04/13 09:04:25
    Grenville Cramchild
    Oh, I love the goal post shifting here. I didn't ignore it, I showed you that you were misunderstanding it and why. But you're lost in your own little world. Weather models don't include forcings from climate change. That's the key. Everything else is your little game of "I'm just a dumb hick, but I've spotted something those fancy pants scientists missed".

    You can insist until the cows come home that you have to model weather in order to model climate.....but you're simply wrong in that opinion.

    We can total up all you have failed to respond to, all that it's demonstrated that you don't know (like what ROI is), the energy content of hydrogen vs gasoline and so forth, what the CO2 content of ice is....and you don't blink. You think you see something in a statement about modeling that I don't agree with and you declare victory. I suspect you chronically engage in this kind of mishapen score keeping as a way of coping with life. But my goal is simply to point out I'm deaing with a person who is out of touch with many kinds of reality.
  • ruralntex Grenvil... 2012/04/13 15:01:25
    ruralntex
    Weather models work. Climatologist took them and complicated them into General Circulation Models which might be right, but the chance of them being 100% correct is not quite as good as the chance of getting struck by lightning while underground. I am not wrong, and I found where it says it in a webpage that is linked to the IPCC home page. IPCC is THE recognized global authority on climate change. Who is in denial?

    I have a Bachelors degree from the University of North Texas in Business Finance. I assure you that I do indeed understand ROI and the time value of money.

    I know that hydrogen is not going to have as much bang as gasoline, but for short trips, it might charge batteries. I can't miss, the main question is whether it is worth doing. If it isn't, I can always blow it into the wood stove to make the fire hotter faster. Either way, I will have accomplished storing excess energy. If the MIT egg heads ever perfect a fuel cell, I will know how to make the fuel for it.

    I think your real goal is to appear bigger, smarter and fancier than you really are. Maybe some one reading this will say "GOSH what a smart guy that Gremville dude is! "

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