Hansen on Usufruct and Deniers

Mon, 2007-08-20 10:10Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Hansen on Usufruct and Deniers

What we have here is a case of dogged contrarians who present results in ways intended to deceive the public into believing that the changes have greater significance than reality.”

This deceit has a clear purpose: to confuse the public about the status of knowledge of global climate change, thus delaying effective action to mitigate climate change.”

Attached is a very well written response by NASA's Jim Hansen to the contrarian glee over the minor adjustments made to their US temperature data.

More choice quotes:

“How big an error did this flaw cause? That is shown by the before and after results in Figure 1. The effect on the global temperature record is invisible. The effect on U.S. average temperature is about 0.15°C beginning in 2000. Does this change have any affect whatsoever on the global warming issue? Certainly not…”

“I believe that these people are not stupid, instead they seek to create a brouhaha and muddy the waters in the climate change story. They seem to know exactly what they are doing and believe they can get away with it, because the public does not have the time, inclination, and training to discern what is a significant change with regard to the global warming issue.”

“The contrarians will be remembered as court jesters. There is no point to joust with court jesters. They will always be present. They will continue to entertain even if the Titanic begins to take on water. Their role and consequence is only as a diversion from what is important.

The real deal is this: the ‘royalty’ controlling the court, the ones with the power, the ones with the ability to make a difference, with the ability to change our course, the ones who will live in infamy if we pass the tipping points, are the captains of industry, CEOs in fossil fuel companies such as EXXON/Mobil, automobile manufacturers, utilities, all of the leaders who have placed short-term profit above the fate of the planet and the well-being of our children. The court jesters are their jesters, occasionally paid for services, and more substantively supported by the captains’ disinformation campaigns.”

hansen.nasatemprecord.Aug162007.pdf220.45 KB


Hansen is beginning to sound more like a politician then a scientist.

As for the error, he says:

“The effect on U.S. average temperature is about 0.15°C beginning in 2000.”

That is a very substantial error over 6 years. When NASA inputted the incorrect data, some surface site records spiked as much as 1 degree celcius in one day. Yet none of the data crunchers at NASA noticed this anomaly.

That he gets in a dig at the mythical powers of Exxon underlines the fact that he does not understand that the policy the public adopts, or chooses not to adopt against AGW will be decided by the public, and not by him.

Keep on shaking that coxcombe; but the motley is wearing thin.

The graphs and maps say it all. The public that chooses to “adopt a policy” against AGW in the face of these statistics does so at its peril – and that of the rest of the planet. The average person does not have the understanding of the subtleties of climate change to challenge the findings of those whose careers have been spent fine-tuning the discipline of climatology and the sophistication of data collection. To quote the poet – Vern Partlow in the “Talking Atom Blues,” “Einstein says he’s scared, and when Einstein’s scared, I’M SCARED!” “Adopting a policy” against AGW will not make it vanish obligingly. It’s there. Suck it up and let’s get working on it.

We’re passed the stage of inaction – how much more scientific evidence do we need? 

But we have not passed the stage of inaction in Canada Kevin. In spite of massive rhetoric and some politicians naming their pet Kyoto, our collective C02 emissions rise year after year.

Fern says:
“The public that chooses to “adopt a policy” against AGW in the face of these statistics does so at its peril …”

That is correct. That is how a democracy works. For reasons both valid and perplexing, Canadians, as a whole, have not given assent to their politicians to enact C02 caps as of yet. Possibly we are years away from any true, as opposed to symbolic, action.

On the contrary, Canadians want action against global warming, it’s the dinosaur politicians who are dragging their heels.

If only that were true VJ.

If we really wanted hard action on AGW, the politicians would be dancing to our tune. And at present, politicians are dancing to our tune by mostly giving lip service to AGW … just like the majority of Canadians.

government policy. It always lags public concern – if it didn’t government would be flailing every which way. The majority of Canadians aren’t paying lip service they are really concerned and the federal government remains stalled in the polls for this reason (mainly). 

If they continue to ignore the number one issue in Canada - it will be at their political peril. The issue is just too big.  

You see the situation in Canada differently then I do Kevin and possibly you are correct.

The way I see it, if the Libs or Cons attempted to truly implement Kyoto, the political peril then would be serious. That is why the Liberals never made a legitimate attempt to implement Kyoto and why the Conservatives have danced around the issue. Both parties have read the AGW tea leaves and don’t see Canadians as truly supportive of real action on this issue.

Personally, if there are to be binding C02 caps in Canada, I think they are at least 5 years away.

… is that it works best with an informed electorate. With the puppets and jesters throwing out red herrings and misinformation all over the place (see also the item on Inhofe & the Schwartz article), effective action can get bogged down while the public tries to sift through the nonsense.

“The average person does not have the understanding of the subtleties of climate change to challenge the findings of those whose careers have been spent fine-tuning the discipline of climatology and the sophistication of data collection.”

That’s simply not the case. As we have recently seen, Steve McIntyre, who I believe is a retired mining engineer, has done exactly that. Mann, one of your unassailable high-priests of global warming, has been shown to have feet of clay – by a mere civilian.

Please continue to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

You keep showing how you are completely lacking in even basic knowledge about AGW. Keep it up since the more you keep spewing your nonsense the more ridiculous you make the deniers look.

The more you mix up US warming with global warming coupled with your lack of differentiation between Michael Mann and Jim Hansen the more stupid you show yourself to be.

Please keep it up, you are doing wonders in showing that the AGW denier brigade are a bunch of complete fools.

Ian Forrester

Yes, I did accidentally write Mann, when I meant to refer to Hansen. My bad.

“the AGW denier brigade are a bunch of complete fools.”

I am rubber, you are glue. Nyah-nyah, etc.

Yeah I couldnt agree more, it shows he has very little scientific education at all, the total lack of understanding is quite pronounced

Rob’s a political blogger from North Dakota. Political bloggers ain’t scientists.

Ahh yeah that makes perfect sense then, I couldnt understand how he was saying climate science isnt science in another post. I take people trashing talking science without understanding what science is rather hard…being a scientist and all

Well, it seems that Hansen cannot remember his own work. This leads back to the surfacestations.org census that shows that one of Hansen’s assumptions in his 2001 work could be wrong. It seems that Hansen does not want to find out what the impact of surface stations not meeting guidelines is or the impact to his lights = 0 methodology. Now why does that matter? Well, according to Hansen:


The GISS urban adjustment is dependent upon the accuracy of the temperature records of the unlit stations, so if the station history records and homogeneity adjustments for these stations are inaccurate or incomplete, this could alter the inferred urban warming.

All the statements about the process fixing individual station errors was, err an error. This means that Hansen’s urban heat island off-set could be wrong and if it is wrong, the possibility that accelerating warming trend is nothing more than an artifact of UHI.

All because there is now proof that the data received from NOAA is not self correcting using the GISS process (code) and Hansen does not want to face it.

Have we been reading articles by the same James Hansen?

I rather like his characterization of the deniers as jesters, partly because the jester/fool can be a very crafty & devious character indeed! But there are others I think of rather as puppets, having their strings pulled by people who make them feel important by taking their so-called “work” seriously. Tim Ball springs to mind.

No point in making this a long post, this is allready a page deep in the listing but…lets be serious here and I’ll focus on one aspect of your unresearch post. Ocean warming, there are no urban heat islands and artic warming, melting of permafrost and retreat of the margins of summer ice, there is no urban heat islands there. So any assumptions about global warming being nothing than an artifact of the urban heat island effect is…well a bad assumption that ignores a number of definite facts that suggest otherwise.

Since neither Hansen or I are talking about sea surface temperature, what is your point. Mine is that there is evidence that Hansen, despite his whining, could be wrong but is unwilling to do the research to back up his claims.

So what is your point?

My point is this…….

“This means that Hansen’s urban heat island off-set could be wrong and if it is wrong, the possibility that accelerating warming trend is nothing more than an artifact of UHI.”

This is what I am referring to, to say the accelerated warming trend is only an artifact of the urban heat island effect means by my understanding that you are saying that there is no warming at all, which is an un-researched assertion in my opinion. To which I replied that’s not true at all, there is plenty of evidence of warming, that is not connected to met stations cities vs. rural locations, like the sat temperature monitoring, ocean temps, and artic warming which completely lacks any cities for the most part.

Ever try reading what I said not what you wanted to hear? I said accelerated warming. I totally agree there is warming. I do not agree that it is accelerating. The only thing that shows accelerated warming is the instrumented readings and these three facts:

-Hansen’s lights = 0 methodology does not detect rural
-The GISS process does not detect and correct station errors
-The US surface stations are not sited IAW WMO/NOAA/NWS standards

Cast doubts on Hansen’ UHI off-set. The instrumented reading’s accelerated warming could just be artifact of Hansen’s error. Further, what other errors are not being detected or corrected by GISS?

This could go a long way to answering some of the divergence issue which even the IPCC in chapter six of the TAR 4 (2007) admit exists.

There are no doubts of the accelerated warming that Hansen asserts. Check this out and you’ll see that the warming is accelerating:


If you cannot see an accelerated warming in the last 25 years of the 20th Century on this graph, then you’ve got to get your eyes checked.

Mr. Berg,

We know that stations are not sited IAW NWS/NOAA/WMO guidance because surfacestations.org is recording that fact.

Station that do not meet guidelines:

NOAA/CRN says on station sites:

not be subject to local microclimatic interferences such as might be induced by topography, katabatic flows or wind shadowing, poor solar exposure, the presence of large water bodies not representative of the region, agricultural practices such as irrigation, suspected long-term fire environments, human interferences, or nearby buildings or thermal sinks.

Further, the study ‘The Role of Rural Variability in Urban Heat Island Determination for Phoenix, Arizona’ (2006) http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0450(2004)043%3C0476%3ATRORVI%3E2.0.CO%3B2

shows that 1 - 5 degee C variability based on siting. This far exceeds the few hundredths of a degree C over the past 100 years that Hansen assumes for his UHI off-set work (2001)

Finally, per NOAA/CRN, 300 stations are needed to give 95 percent confidence within the USA. Hansen uses ~250 stations. So you do not have a way to determine if the station is good or bad, there are not enough stations for the number of cells in the grid.

Hansen (2001) UHI off-set is used to adjust all stations for GISTEMP. This means that if Hansen is wrong, an at this time, there is no evidence that he is right. This means that a bias is injected into the graph.

Do you know how much of the global ‘accelerated’ warming is due to this bias, I don’t and at this time, no one does.

“global ‘accelerated’ warming” is not caused by temperature measurements. There are many lines of evidence for anthropogenic global warming. To repeat most of a post I made a few weeks ago:

Timothy Chase has summed up some of the evidence nicely here, in comment #56 at Realclimate:

…Now the vast majority of the scientific community has accepted the view that:
1. The earth is getting warmer;
2. greenhouse gases are largely responsible for this; and,
3. That what has been raising the level of greenhouse gases are human activities…

…So in the interest of science, lets look at the evidence:

1. We have surface measurements in the United States which show an accelerating trend towards higher temperatures.
2. These are temperature measurements being taken by planes and satellites, and they show that the troposphere is warming - just as we would expect.
3. The stratosphere is cooling - just as is predicted by the anthropogenic global warming theory. (Incidently, the latter of these is something which cannot be explained by any theory based upon solar variability.)
4. Measurements of temperatures at the surface of the ocean show that these temperatures are increasing.
5. Measurements of temperatures at various depths show warming as far down as 1500 meters.
6. Measurements of sea level show that it has been rising just as we would expect from thermal expansion.
7. Gravitometric measurements of Greenland and Antarctica which are showing net ice loss in both cases.
8. We can witness sea-ice loss in the Arctic which is dramatically accelerating.
9. We are seeing the acceleration of glaciers in both Greenland and Antarctica, particularly within the last few years. Greenland is no doubt affected by black carbon, but Antarctica is much more isolated.
10. We are witnessing the rise of the tropopause.
11. There is the poleward migration of species - just as one would expect with rising temperatures.
12. There is the increased intensity of hurricanes just as we would expect from rising sea surface temperatures.
13. There is the accelerating decline of glaciers throughout the world with few rare exceptions.
14. There is the rise in temperatures at greater depths in the permafrost.
15. There is the rapid expansion in the last few years of thermokarst lakes throughout parts of Siberia, Canada and Alaska.
16. There are changes in ocean circulation - just as has been predicted by climate models, for example, with temperatures rising more quickly overland.
17. We are seeing the disintegration of permafrost coastlines in the arctic.
18. We are witnessing changes in the altitude of the stratosphere.
19. We are getting temperature measurements from countries throughout the world which show the same trends.
20. When we perform measurements using only rural stations, we see almost identical trends compared to those which we get when we perform measurements with all surface stations.

All of this constitutes evidence for global warming. Some of it constitutes strong evidence for a particular theory of the mechanism by which this warming is taking place. But you would have us discard a conclusion which is based upon such a large body of evidence based upon a fraction of a degree for a particular year for a relatively small region of the globe…

Vernon, why are you so obsessed with the US data? We are talking about GLOBAL warming, not AMERICAN warming. The US land mass covers only around 6% of the total global land area. A 0.15 C offset in the American data would only result in a 0.009 C offset globally, which is basically irrelevant.

As for the UHI, check out Peterson (2003) and Parker (2004, 2006) cited in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_heat_island#Relation_to_global_warming


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