Saturday, September 15, 2007

Yes, NASA revised those numbers, but...

The global warming deniers have recently seized on a story regarding NASA's revisions of its annual temperature numbers as evidence that global warming is baloney. The story appeared in an August 16 column by Cal Thomas and has been blog and letter-to-the-editor fodder since then.

There are parts of the story that Mr. Thomas and others have reported correctly, parts that they have omitted, and parts that they have flat out gotten wrong.

The part of the story that is true is that NASA did revise its numbers. The new and old numbers, as well as NASA's explanation can be found at and by following links on that page.

Mr. Thomas and others claim that the revisions have led to changes in the rankings of the warmest years on record. The implication is that rankings of global averages have changed, but this isn't the case.

NASA's changes in rankings apply ONLY to temperatures for the U.S. and not for the world as a whole. In NASA's revised figures, 1934 is the hottest year on record for the U.S. but not for the world. NASA still reports that the 5 hottest years on record for the world happened in the last decade (in order 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2006).

Having garbled the facts, Mr. Thomas goes on to ask, "Has any of this new information changed the minds of the global warming fundamentalists?" and helpfully answers his own question, "Nope." He skips the more logical question--should the new information have changed anyone's mind--to which the answer is again, "Nope."

Why is this so? Well, the revisions to NASA's numbers for the U.S. were very slight (the largest change was .15 degrees) as were the revisions to the rankings. Prior to the revisions, 1934 and 1998 had been in a virtual dead "heat" (no pun intended). In both the earlier and later figures, 4 of the 10 hottest years on record in the U.S. occurred in the 1930s and 3 of the 10 hottest years occurred in the last decade.

There were also revisions to the global numbers but these were an order of magnitude smaller (in the thousandths). The revisions did not affect the global rankings at all.

As the scientist who put out the revised numbers explained, "Contrary to some of the statements flying around the internet, there is no effect on the rankings of global temperature. Also our prior analysis had 1934 as the warmest year in the U.S. (see the 2001 paper above), and it continues to be the warmest year, both before and after thecorrection to post 2000 temperatures. However, as we note in that paper, the 1934 and 1998 temperature are practically the same, the difference being much smaller than the uncertainty."

While the deniers have focused on a handful of numbers (which again hardly changed), it useful to remember that the figures in question come from a 127 year record. Over that time, the U.S. data are more variable and flatter than the global data. Nevertheless, the trend in the U.S. has been upwards. If you look at the average over the last decade, you will see that it is higher than the average for the decade of the 1930s (U.S. temperatures in the 1930s were quite variable and there were a few "low" years along with the "high" years). NASA also provides 5-year averages. It turns out that even in the revised data, the first, second, third, fourth, and sixth highest 5-year averages for the U.S. occurred in the last decade.

The global trends are even more starkly upward.

A cogent critique of the global warming argument needs to address all of the evidence, not just a figure or two. NASA's revisions in this particular series were minor, and the corrected figures continue to show increasing temperatures over the past century and a quarter. NASA's figures are also not the only evidence. As NOAA reports, changes in sea ice, rises in sea levels, the general retreat of glaciers, ice core data, tree rings, and sediment samples provide near- and long-term evidence that global warming is occuring and that human activity is a contributor.


Bubba said...

"The global warming deniers have recently seized on a story regarding NASA's revisions of its annual temperature numbers as evidence that global warming is baloney."

No, the "deniers" are pointing out the misrepresentation of the original numbers.

The criticism of the mistake doesn't address "global warming" in itself, but rather points to the fact that that the the beginning of the warming period in the original numbers was wrong.

That revelation seriously undercuts the "business as usual" premise that anthropogenic influences are the culprit.

"A cogent critique of the global warming argument needs to address all of the evidence, not just a figure or two."

Then why the continued corruption of the "peer review" process, where "deniers'" views are systematically excluded?

Bubba said...

One more thing:

"....and that human activity is a contributor."

There is no empirical evidence that establishes that statement as correct.

Dave Ribar said...


The discrepancy that the deniers seized on (and that you claim is a "misrepresentation") involved one to two digit changes in the 4th significant digit of the global numbers and one to two digit changes in the 2nd or 3rd significant digit of the U.S. numbers.

Despite the deniers claims, there has been little change in NASA's U.S. numbers and effectively no change in its global numbers.

Also, there was no misrepresentation. The researchers made their numbers available to everyone so that they could be checked and replicated. Someone spotted that a procedure--one the researchers themselves had developed--had been dropped from some calculations.

With respect to primary evidence,

a) We know that long-term changes in global temperatures track long-term changes in greenhouse gases almost perfectly. For example, consider these data from Antarctic Ice cores.

b) We know that greenhouse gases are increasing and that humans are responsible. NOAA's statement: "Human activity has been increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (mostly carbon dioxide from combustion of coal, oil, and gas; plus a few other trace gases). There is no scientific debate on this point." (Italics are my emphasis of NOAA's conclusion).

c) We know that over the same recent period as greenhouse gases have increased, global temperatures have also increased. NASA's global figures (chart on left in link) show the rise. Moreover, we are moving into a pattern of temperatures that has is higher than anything that the earth has experienced in 1,000 years.

As a scientist, I understand that correlation is possibly consistent with but does not necessarily imply causation. However, the number of correlations here is overwhelming.

What do you offer as an alternative explanation? There are essentially only two alternatives. One is that there is that climate affects carbon output (rather than vice versa), though the evidence on the human contribution to carbon output makes this unlikely. The other is that there might be third factor that we haven't measured or considered that affects both carbon and climate and leads to the observed correlation between the two. Which of these two explanations is at work and what's the evidence to support the claim?

Bubba said...

No, the real impact of the mistake is MUCH greater than yous suggest.

From Michael Fumento:

"The real 15 hottest years are spread over seven decades. Eight occurred before the chief 'greenhouse gas,' atmospheric carbon dioxide, began its sharp rise; seven occurred afterwards....

.....They’re (GISS) wrong, in part because of the importance of the data and in part because of what might be labeled a cover-up.

In pooh-poohing the revision, the GISS ignores the tremendous emotional impact it’s had in practically claiming each year is hotter than the one before. Instead it observes (correctly) since the U.S. accounts for merely two percent of global land surface, a relatively small adjustment in its figures doesn’t meaningfully impact the global picture.

But, notes Canadian mathematician Stephen McIntyre, who exposed the false figures, “The Hansen error . . . has a significant impact on the GISS estimate of U.S. temperature history . . .” (Emphasis added.) Is this important because we’re a major world power or that we produce the best fried chicken? No, it’s important because we have a far more sophisticated system of temperature monitoring than countries with far larger land masses. Hence, data from each of these nations affect the global model more than the American data."

Spread out over seven decades.....

Moving on to your statement:

"However, the number of correlations here is overwhelming."

Not good enough.

Most of the "evidence" used for "anthropogenic" causes of GW rest solely on model predictions.

That methodology does not provide empirical evidence as witnessed by the "correction" in the NASA figures, and the resulting pushback by the AWG supporters to rationalize the error.

Then there's this:

"...though the evidence on the human contribution to carbon output makes this unlikely."

Mathematics and Chemistry don't support that statement at all.

There is no empirical evidence that anthropogenic carbon contributions have any significant effect whatsoever.

Mathematics and Chemistry don't support that statement at all.

To make what you say valid, you would have to assume that greenhouse gases are the sole cause of warming and totally discount water vapor, the effects of clouds, and many other factors.

I refer you to this work.

Bubba said...

Here's the last link provided, from the very beginning of the paper.


"CO2 in our atmosphere has been increasing steadily for the last 18,000 years-- long before humans invented smokestacks ( Figure 1). Unless you count campfires and intestinal gas, man played no role in the pre-industrial increases.

As illustrated in this chart of Ice Core data from the Soviet Station Vostok in Antarctica, CO2 concentrations in earth's atmosphere move with temperature. Both temperatures and CO2 have been steadily increasing for 18,000 years. Ignoring these 18,000 years of data 'global warming activists' contend recent increases in atmospheric CO2 are unnatural and are the result of only 200 years or so of human pollution causing a runaway greenhouse effect.

Incidentally, earth's temperature and CO2 levels today have reached levels similar to a previous interglacial cycle of 120,000 - 140,000 years ago. From beginning to end this cycle lasted about 20,000 years. This is known as the Eemian Interglacial Period and the earth returned to a full-fledged ice age immediately afterward."


"If global warming is caused by CO2 in the atmosphere then does CO2 also cause increased sun activity too?

This chart adapted after Nigel Calder (6) illustrates that variations in sun activity are generally proportional to both variations in atmospheric CO2 and atmospheric temperature (Figure 3).

Put another way, rising Earth temperatures and increasing CO2 may be 'effects' and our own sun the 'cause'."

Dave Ribar said...


I've read through McIntyre's recent posts, including his most recent--I've also added his Climate Audit blog to my list of recommended blogs.

McIntyre's latest refinements indicate that the NASA figures I cited may be understating the trend in U.S. temperatures. So the impact of the mistake (based on this original source) is actually smaller than what I cited.

Your source (Fumento), like Cal Thomas and others, appears to confound different numbers. Specifically, Fumento states "If you follow the global warming debate, you 'know' that nine of the ten warmest years recorded in the U.S. lower 48 since 1880 have occurred since 1995, with the very hottest being 1998." I cannot find a press release from NASA with such a claim. NASA has made claims along these lines for the global data, but not for the U.S. data.

You don't address the actual data that were included in my post and instead give an unsupported statement that the evidence comes from "model predictions."

Finally, the author of your "work" is a coal mine safety engineer from West Virginia, who has mistated several of his sources. For instance, he claims that the U.S. DOE estimates that man-made contributions have accounted for 1/6 of the increase in CO2 since industrialization. However, his source actually indicates that fossil-fuel consumption is responsible for 64% of the increase (about four times larger than the figure he uses). An alternative post indicates that water vapor is a feedback variable rather than a forcing variable.

Bob said...

"You don't address the actual data that were included in my post and instead give an unsupported statement that the evidence comes from "model predictions."

Then where do they come from, Dave?

Actual observation?

Or just a general "consensus", like the mindset like that of your "However, the number of correlations here is overwhelming" statement displays?

And then there's this problematic statement from you:

"You don't address the actual data that were included in my post and instead give an unsupported statement that the evidence comes from "model predictions."

....and in the next paragraph you proceed to prove yourself guilty of the exact same vice by not addressing the implications of the math or the chemistry of the information.

Instead, you avoid that particular unpleasant problem by deflecting the question completely, and launching a personal attack on the author that has no bearing on the information provided.

You should know better.

Bubba said...

FYI.....that last post is from me.

Dave Ribar said...


Evidence of human contributions comes from existing records and measurements, not predictions. Some evidence also comes from models that have been calibrated to existing data.

Discussions of the future direction and impacts of global warming require predictions. However, the evidence regarding whether warming is occurring and whether humans are contributing does not. Put another way, why would we need predictions to evaluate what has already occurred?

I don't see any "personal attack" on Fumento at all other than identifying him as your source. With respect to Hein, I identified him (correctly) as a "coal mine safety engineer from West Virginia." Is that a personal attack? Aren't his scientific qualifications relevant? I also read his material carefully enough to be able to determine that his initial numbers regarding the contribution of CO2 were contradicted by his own listed sources and were, in fact, one quarter the size that they should have been (I also provide a supporting link to his source). If Hein can't get the main inputs into his analysis correct, what are the chances that his final numbers are correct? I also provided a link to an article that refutes Hein's central claim that water vapor is a forcing variable in global warming. These latter two arguments go directly to his conclusions. Moreover, they're supported by links to the original material. Thus, there's no deflection, the comments do have bearing and are supported.

Bubba said...

"Evidence of human contributions comes from existing records and measurements..."

Such as?

"However, the evidence regarding whether warming is occurring and whether humans are contributing does not."

Evidence for "warming" indicates it is nowhere near as severe as predicted by people like the king of the alarmists, James Hansen, has published and testified as such before Congess, as has been clearly demonstrated by Pat Michaels last year.

Evidence for human contribution relies mainly on programmed models, which brings us back to the original point of the thread.

I believe you have mis-interpreted Hein's sources

As far as C02 and water vapor, take it from Richard Lindzen, in remarks made 15 years ago. It was valid the, it's even more valid now.

"I must state at the outset, that, as a scientist, I can find no substantive basis for the warming scenarios being popularly described......

...It is still of interest to ask what we would expect a doubling of carbon dioxide to do. A large number of calculations show that if this is all that happened, we might expect a warming of from .5 to 1.2 degrees centigrade. The general consensus is that such warming would present few, if any, problems.

But even that prediction is subject to some uncertainty because of the complicated way the greenhouse effect operates. More important, the climate is a complex system where it is impossible for all other internal factors to remain constant.

In present models those other factors amplify the effects of increasing carbon dioxide and lead to predictions of warming in the neighborhood of four to five degrees centigrade. Internal processes within the climate system that change in response to warming in such a manner as to amplify the response are known as positive feedbacks. Internal processes that diminish the response are known as negative feedbacks.

***The most important positive feedback in current models is due to water vapor.****

In all current models upper tropospheric (five to twelve kilometers) water vapor--the major greenhouse gas--increases as surface temperatures increase. Without that feedback, no current model would predict warming in excess of 1.7 degrees centigrade--regardless of any other factors.

***Unfortunately, the way current models handle factors such as clouds and water vapor is disturbingly arbitrary.****

many instances the underlying physics is simply not known. In other instances there are identifiable errors.

Even computational errors play a major role. Indeed, there is compelling evidence for all the known feedback factors to actually be negative. In that case, we would expect the warming response to carbon dioxide doubling alone to be diminished."

Of course, if you and others want to try to dispute Professor Lindzen, be my guest.

Everyone who has done so before has failed.

Dave Ribar said...


Sources should be cited (it would also be nice if they were consistent).

Since you accept Lindzen as an expert from some years back, you'll certainly accept his more recent (2006) statement in a WSJ editorial (note that in this piece he disputes Gore's evidence from An Inconvenient Truth).

"Most of the climate community has agreed since 1988 that global mean temperatures have increased on the order of one degree Fahrenheit over the past century, having risen significantly from about 1919 to 1940, decreased between 1940 and the early '70s, increased again until the '90s, and remaining essentially flat since 1998." So who is correct here? NASA and Lindzen say that there has been warming; Cal Thomas and Michael Fumento say that there hasn't. Is Lindzen in on NASA's "cover-up?"

As I wrote, the evidence for human contributions is correlational and that correlations are consistent with but do not prove causation. The cites for these correlations are provided; moreover, your most reputable source, Lindzen, agrees with substantial parts of this evidence (temperatures rising over the last century and greenhouse gases increasing). However, he sees man's contribution to global warming as minor and manageable.

Lindzen provides a cogent critique that takes on the available evidence; Thomas and Fumento do not. I appreciate you bringing Lindzen and McIntyre to my and others' attention.

Bubba said...

I don't remember Fumento or Thomas ever saying there has been NO warming whatsoever. Please correct me if you know of such an instance.

Like many others, I regard one degree Fahrenheit over the past century as a statistically insignificant amount, and certainly fair from the "sky is falling" mentality as championed by Hansen, Gore and many others.

I also accept as insignificant the infinitesimal amount of contribution mankind can possibly make to the warming.

Let's read the conclusion of Professor Lindzen's WSJ article that you provided:

"So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points.

First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists--especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a "moral" crusade.

Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce--if we're lucky."

Bubba said...

BTW, did you read the related thread at Cone's last year regarding Krugman's NYT hit piece on Pat Michaels in relation to Hansen's work and testimony to Congress?

Dave Ribar said...


It looks like Krugman is closer to the truth here.

See Hansen's description along with a reproduction of his original chart. Hansen made predictions that did and did not account for volcanoes; his scenario A omitted volcanoes, while his scenario B allowed for this. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo led to a big, short-term, downward spike in temperatures.

Next look at Michaels' chart, which has in fact erased the other scenarios. His testimony mentions no other scenarios or qualifications. While he defended himself to you saying that he chose the most likely scenario, he does not convey any of that in his testimony, and he should have.

P.S. Hansen's page has a very nice discussion of the disagreements between the people that you are citing, especially Lindzen.

Bubba said...


Read Hansen's TESTIMONY before Congress.

His TESTIMIMONY clearly identified Scenario A, the absolute WORST CASE SCENARIO,and described by him as "Business as Usual" (BAU).

NOWHERE in his testimony did he indicate B or C was the likely outcome.

Scenario A was proven wrong by actual observation, and Hansen tried to deny what he said.

Michaels busted him.

Krugman is nothing more than a political hack who taints his (and your) profession with selected bits and pieces to fulfill political/social/economic worldview agenda items.

As the saying goes, he's predicted the last four recessions 19 times.

Bubba said...

Regarding volcanosdgebs and models, here's what Michaels says.

Dave Ribar said...


It would be easier to read the testimony if you provided a link to a transcript so that it could be examined directly instead of depending on Michaels' characterization.

The paper that formed the basis for the testimony delineates between 3 scenarios starting with the first paragraph. In the paper, Hansen describes scenarios A and C as being extreme, worst and best case scenarios and goes on to state (p. 9345) "Scenario B is perhaps the most plausible of the three cases."

Hansen claims that he discussed 3 scenarios. He states that "All of the maps of simulated climate change that I showed in my 1988 testimony were for the intermediate scenario B, because it seemed the most likely of the three scenarios."

A third-party observer characterized the testimony this way:

In making his presentation to the committee, Hansen used several graphs to illustrate his points. One of the graphs showed the GISS model’s calculations for annual mean temperature change between 1958 and 2020 (Hansen also used this graph in the SPF. It is reproduced as figure 9, this issue p. 140). It projected three different scenarios for
average temperature changes, based upon three different scenarios for the accumulation of greenhouse gases. Scenario ‘A’ projected the most dramatic temperature rise
(approximately 0.04°C between 1987 and 1997). It was based upon a ‘business as usual’ forecast in which carbon dioxide emissions continued to rise rapidly. Scenario ‘B’ assumed reduced growth in the accumulation of emissions and, scenario ‘C’ assumed
‘draconian emission cuts’. Scenarios B and C both indicated significantly smaller
temperature increases than did scenario A. The GISS model’s projected temperature increases did not, however, figure prominently in Hansen’s testimony. Instead, he chose to focus on the agreement between GISS’s model and the observational record of
temperature measurements over the previous 30 years."

Finally, Michaels has acknowledged that there were three scenarios and that they were conditioned on assumptions regarding emissions ("He had two other scenarios that were different, one that gradually reduced emissions, and one that stopped the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide in 2000."). Any responsible scientist would have checked which of the assumptions regarding emissions best fit the observed pattern. Michaels did not do this. Nor did he acknowledge ANY alternative predictions--he repeatedly refers to Hansen's "model" and "forecast" (each singular). While this sort of thing is "business as usual" in the blogosphere, it is not acceptable behavior in science. Altering someone's graph and then claiming it as the original is fraud.

Dave Ribar said...

I mistyped the link for the third-party observer. The link is'Donnell.pdf .

Bubba said...

"Any responsible scientist would have checked which of the assumptions regarding emissions best fit the observed pattern. Michaels did not do this."

He most certainly did.

Key points:

"For all intents and purposes, its a BAU world, and his BAU is Scenario A. Period. His words. In testimony. In fact, it would be misleading to emphasize Scenario B, wouldn't it, because, from a social point of view it isn't what happened?"

"PS: Scenario B has a REDUCTION in the growth rate of emissions between
1988 and 1997. Since that obviously didn't happen, how can it be defended?"

John Hood's comment:

"Essentially, you've got two problems. First, Michaels was talking about Hansen's 1988 testimony, which was based on his paper but not the same thing. In the paper, Hansen lays out three scenarios. But he ended up talking about Scenario A in his testimony because it is the one that assumes no regulatory change or major technological change. Scenario B assumed one, the other, or both. As I understand it, he was suggesting in the paper (not the testimony) that Scenario B is a sort of "best news" scenario even if (in 1988) government or private industry took immediate, significant action.

That didn't happen. Thus Scenario A, which Hansen talked about in his testimony to Congress, was the relevant one. It proved to be wildly inaccurate, as Michaels pointed out a decade later in his testimony. Indeed, Hansen's Scenario B (referenced in the paper, but not the subject of his testimony) turned out to be closest to the accurate prediction, though it assumed regulatory changes or major technological changes that did not in fact happen. That is, we essentially did nothing, and that resulted in a warming trend similar to what Hansen originally forecast if policymakers had done a lot.

Thus Michael was not being deceptive when focusing his attention on Scenario A. It was the appropriate scenario for evaluating Hansen's predictive work. The entire case demonstrates that Hansen's original models and projections were based on overly pessimistic, alarmist assumptions."

"I don't have the paper in front of me, but I've read the 1988 testimony. It was years ago, when I first learned of the controversy and wanted to make sure Michaels was not guilty of misrepresentation. I'll go into my files and see if I can locate it. I read the paper at the same time. Like I said, this controversy is an old one. I didn't mean to suggest that Hansen specifically used the term "best case" in the paper, but that it assumed significant action to reduce greenhouse gases (sorry, mate, I don't see how anyone could believe the CFCs approaches that) and was thus predicated on what, from his perspective, would be welcome legislation (or technological change). Nothing of such a magnitude happened. But that projection turned out to be closer to the correct trend, which was Michaels' point: the models, crude even today and certainly in the late 1980s, were unduly pessimistic. Interestingly, there has been convergence since then about the magnitude of expected warming - convergence downward to the lower bound.

I thought all this had been resolved until I saw Krugman's column. Obviously not.

"By the way, the Prometheus Blog discussion that Michaels cited in his note is worth a look. Here's the link:

Scroll down and you'll see two different posts. In the top one, it emerges that there appears to be two different sets of "Scenarios A, B, C." Oh, brother."

Here is Professor Michael's official response to the Krugman smear piece.

Dave Ribar said...

A responsible and fair scientist would have checked THE NUMBERS which is what determines which was the most appropriate scenario.

A responsible and fair scientist would have reported that there were a RANGE of estimates in both the paper and the presentation and that there were MULTIPLE models.

Hansen's scenario A assumed an indefinite exponential growth rate in CO2. It was a high range estimate. Emissions did grow over the next decade but at a rate closer to B and C. These numbers were available but Michaels didn't bother to check. His entire explanation rests on the BAU labeling, not the numbers.

For a description of Hansen's testimony including quotes see this comment. The comment indicates:

1) that Hansen introduced the paper into the hearing record--the paper indicates that Scenario B is the most likely.

2) that his oral testimony included the chart with all three scenarios. Hansen's words:

"We have considered several scenarios because there are uncertainties in the exact trace gas growth in the past and especially in the future. We have considered cases ranging from business as usual, which is scenario A, to draconian emission cuts, scenario C, which would totally eliminate net trace gas growth by year 2000."

3) that all of his subsequent charts and maps were based on Scenario B.

Hood's statement "But he ended up talking about Scenario A in his testimony because it is the one that assumes no regulatory change or major technological change" is false. It's clear from Hood's description that his recollection is sketchy.

At best, Hansen's ORAL testimony was ambiguous in not clearly delineating Scenario B at the outset. Michaels could have easily resolved this ambiguity by referencing the accompanying paper (that's what real scientists do). Also, a close check of the accompanying figures would have revealed that Scenario B was the only one that was subsequently used (again, the responsibility of someone claiming to replicate another's work).

Let's give Michaels the benefit of the doubt and say that he didn't check very carefully (seizing on three words in the description of one chart from a presentation doesn't cut it as checking carefully). It still does not excuse deleting all mention of other scenarios and forecasts.

Michaels' characterization was "fraud pure and simple."

It appears that Michaels' "appointment" as a "state climatologist" is also open to some debate. If he is a state official as he claims, why is he taking money directly from industry sources?

Bubba said...

His TESTIMONY to Congress clearly indicated he considered A as BAU.

Pat Michaels is correct in everything he has said about this.

John Hood's comments in my link verify this.

The rest of your comment about Michaels is not appropriate and is also irrelevant.

Here is something about Hansen that IS relevant:

From Rep. Thomas Davis (R-VA), as addressed to Hansen:

"You are known for embracing alarmist viewpoints, and you have embraced the idea that exaggeration is okay to get the public’s attention. But, two climate researchers from the Royal Meteorological Society from the United Kingdom just this week said that this "catastrophism" and "Hollywoodization" of weather and climate create the real confusion in the public’s minds. You seem to forget that when you speak, regardless of your disclaimers, you are speaking for NASA.

And, you also have not shied away from the political realm. You publicly endorsed Senator John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election. Three years earlier you received a $250,000 unrestricted cash prize from Teresa Heinz Kerry on behalf of the Heinz Foundation. You have spent the better of this decade consistently and publicly criticizing the Bush Administration’s climate change policies. But, at the same time, you are an advocate for campaign finance reform and make a point of condemning other scientists’ affiliations with “special interests.”

I guess I am a little confused. Are you a scientist, or are you a politician? Because when I put together your political advocacy and—I hate to say it but—the partisanship of that advocacy, I am inclined to think you are the one who is politicizing science."

I think that pretty much sums up this entire thread.

Bubba said...

I intended to put this link in my last post, but was distracted by a telephone call from a client, and neglected to include it when I returned to complete my entry.

Key point:

"It doesn’t look to me like Michaels misquoted Hansen in this instance.

Real Climate is also one of the most prominent people claiming that Michaels misrepresented Hansen in his 1998 testimony, so this doesn’t bolster my confidence in that claim, either."

Be sure to read the comments from this over-the top response by an alarmist:

"This is really sickening, that with nearly universal conclusion by scientists that Global Warming is happening, we have economists running around trying to quote and interprete science while our planet is dying. Words fail me. It is beyond grotesque. It is evil......

...Again, in my mind what is being done to suppress the truth about global warming is so evil it could rightly be called the second holocaust. Just understand that many, many more will die than during the first...."

....who then proceeded to offer up the "1998" number.

That's indicative of the entire mindset of the Alarmist element.

Dave Ribar said...


You source doesn't quote any of the testimony, doesn't consider which of the numbers are actually closest, and relates the projections to the Kyoto treaty (which can't possibly be relevant to either the 1988 or 1998 presentations).

Posting another conservative blogger's take on the matter doesn't add anything unless there is some cited evidence in the post, which there isn't.

If you look carefully at my posts, I've posted direct source materials 1) Hansen's 1988 paper, 2) available excerpts from Hansen's 1988 testimony, 3) a neutral, third-party description of the 1988 testimony, 4) Michaels' 1998 testimony, and 5) Hansen's and Michaels' descriptions of the matter.

There's enough here that I'm likely to use this as an object lesson in how NOT to conduct a replication in the applied statistics graduate course that I will be teaching next semester.

Dave Ribar said...


Your source does cite evidence. I meant to write "new" cited evidence--Hansen's paper was already in evidence.