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James Hansen on the Warmest Year Brouhaha

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the hot-or-not dept.

Science 743

Jamie writes "In response to earlier reports, Dr. James Hansen, top climate scientist with NASA, has issued a statement on the recent global warming data correction. He points out 'the effect on global temperature was of order one-thousandth of a degree, so the corrected and uncorrected curves are indistinguishable.' In a second email he shows maps of U.S. temperatures relative to the world in 1934 and 1998, explains why the error occurred (it was not, as reported, a 'Y2K bug') and, in response to errors by 'Fox, Washington Times, and their like,' attacks the 'deceit' of those who 'are not stupid [but] seek to create a brouhaha and muddy the waters in the climate change story.'"

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God Smack Your Ass !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259581)



God Smack Your Ass !!

No, I am listening to Megadeth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259685)

Symphony of Destruction FTW. Godsmack is gay.

Obligatory Firesign Theatre reference (0, Offtopic)

objekt (232270) | about 7 years ago | (#20259587)

Brouhaha?

Ha-HA-ha!

Re:Obligatory Firesign Theatre reference (1)

macs4all (973270) | about 7 years ago | (#20259709)

What's the Bird's-eye lowdown on this Caper, whatever that means?

In other news... (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | about 7 years ago | (#20259613)

In other news, politicians make a stance to INCREASE global warming to provide economic growth for the automobile industry... others blame terrorists for the data error.

Re:In other news... (1)

lightsaber777 (920815) | about 7 years ago | (#20259935)

If you were here in Detroit you wouldn't be saying things like that. Didn't you know that President Bush doesn't like Michigan and wants to crush the domestic auto makers?

The bigger issue (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 7 years ago | (#20259647)

The bigger issue is the cloak of secrecy around the data and the algorithms used to generate the outputs. I do not understand why all data wouldn't be publicly available. Is there one place to go to see the data used to make the dire predictions I hear all over the place? I generally accept global warming as a fact, but when I see the amount of contortions one person had to go through to figure out there was a problem in the first place, I start to get suspicious.

Re:The bigger issue (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259791)

Indeed - in paticular, let's see the algorithm. There could be other bugs. It's just as likely that global warming is WORSE than what is being claimed (imagine if the average temperature is actually 1 degree MORE than what is currently being calculated) as it is (in this case) that there was an error in the denier's favor.

Until the data and the algorithm are available to the public for scrutiny, it's difficult to trust the results, much less make the correct policy decisions (as noted above - if global warming is WORSE than we think, then maybe more drastic action is needed and vice versa).

Re:The bigger issue (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20259811)

The bigger issue is the cloak of secrecy around the data and the algorithms used to generate the outputs. I do not understand why all data wouldn't be publicly available. Is there one place to go to see the data used to make the dire predictions I hear all over the place? I generally accept global warming as a fact, but when I see the amount of contortions one person had to go through to figure out there was a problem in the first place, I start to get suspicious.
Yes. Check out the Publications section [www.ipcc.ch] of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [www.ipcc.ch] (IPCC)'s Web site.

According to this article in Scientific American ($), they've come to the conclusion with 80% certainty that global climate change is not only real, but is caused by human activities. They're new 2007 assessment report isn't on the website yet, but it is discussed in SciAm, so it should be there shortly, I believe. Methodologies are discussed pretty well in the SciAm piece.

Re:The bigger issue (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20259833)

Oops.

Link to the SciAm piece [sciam.com] .

Re:The bigger issue (3, Insightful)

Christianson (1036710) | about 7 years ago | (#20259819)

No direct experience with the data in question, or indeed any climatological data at all, but this isn't really an uncommon case in science. People collect and store their own data. The full extent of raw data is often massive, it's often poorly indexed, and there is no such thing as a consistent storage format. Practically speaking, this means that whenever you want to get someone else's data, you have to get in touch with someone who would have collected it, ask them to filter out the part of the data you want, and then send it to you with an explanation of how to make sense of it. It might seem like secrecy, but it's mostly a product of best use of time. Scientists get grant money by analyzing data and publishing the results, not spending the effort to make the raw data publicly available.

Re:The bigger issue (5, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | about 7 years ago | (#20259995)

Scientists get grant money by analyzing data and publishing the results, not spending the effort to make the raw data publicly available.

mmm... maybe that needs to change. Given the current tendency towards knee jerk FUD in some quarters, the only way we're ever going to be able to settle debates like this one is if the data can be subjected to widespread peer review.

Re:The bigger issue (1)

xappax (876447) | about 7 years ago | (#20260211)

the only way we're ever going to be able to settle debates like this one is if the data can be subjected to widespread peer review.

Not to be elitist, but do you really think you could effectively review the data? I sure as hell couldn't. Which is not to say it should be kept secret, simply that it may not be that urgent to make the raw data hyper-available to every guy on the street. As long as interested scientists - regardless of their previous conclusions or political leanings - can get the raw data when they want to review it, I think the process should work fine.

Because so many people lack the highly specialized knowledge to make sense of the raw data, there are two types of information that are far more important to make widely available: 1) Education on how to be a climate scientist and 2) The conclusions that qualified climate scientists have reached.

The bigger scope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259859)

Well the scientific method is limited when it comes to something as big as the earth. Too many variables. No control planet(s). Consequences of "what if..." are potentially irreversible. Basically it's guessing and a lot of modeling.

Re:The bigger issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259927)

What are you on about? The change was 1/1000 of a degree. Go RTFA!

Re:The bigger issue (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 7 years ago | (#20260171)

He is talking about the raw data used, not the end result of the study. NASA has been rather secretive about both the data and the algorithms used to draw their conclusions.

Re:The bigger issue (0)

WarpSnotTheDark (997032) | about 7 years ago | (#20260247)

Basically; the left use death and destruction to their political advantage and the "numbers" aren't as damming as they'd like, so they'll spread misinformation and try to sell Gore-Brand batteries instead - because that's profitable for them. The Right seem to think there is a God that would never allow the ecosystem to fail and they ignore the fact that humans can and have changed the environment around us. Accepting Global Warming as a fact is fine, but don't put too much stock into what you're being told about it. C02 emissions aren't causing global warming - the evidence shows that C02 emissions are more likely to be a symptom than cause; but neither side can actually prove it either way, so go with what is more scientifically plausible. If you buy a Hybrid to cut your C02 footprint; you get used - it's more environmentally destructive to create one of those inefficient turds than it is to go with what's already out there - you'd have to drive the same one for about 75 years to have done less damage than buying a new oil-burner every 5 - 10. We need a 3rd option - but we'll never get it because it cannot be easily taxed. I guess I am a racist - because the human race is a bunch if panicky, stupid animals.

Re:The bigger issue (5, Informative)

Coryoth (254751) | about 7 years ago | (#20260327)

The bigger issue is the cloak of secrecy around the data and the algorithms used to generate the outputs. I do not understand why all data wouldn't be publicly available.
Well for startes the data is available. Full gridded data can be found here [nasa.gov] , along with appropriate fortran code to extract individual months of years. Gridded data for individual years can be found here [nasa.gov] . Original source data for individual stations can be accessed from here [nasa.gov] . Detailed accounts of the adjustments for urban heat island effects and compilation procedures used can be found in the papers listed in the references here [nasa.gov] . Most of those papers (i.e. those by GISS staff) are freely available in the GISS publications database [nasa.gov] . You did actually look to see if the data and detailed accounts of the methods were available, right?

Goalposts. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259695)

"In a second email he shows maps of U.S. temperatures relative to the world in 1934 and 1998, explains why the error occurred"

Since pollution is suppose to be one of the climate changing factors. Did we pollute less in 1934 than we did in 1998? And did the nature of the pollution change?

Re:Goalposts. (1)

Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) | about 7 years ago | (#20259871)

You cannot really draw any conclusions from short term data like that - fundamental difference between climate and weather. Now if we had the data for the first decade and last decade of the 20c that would be different.

Re:Goalposts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259943)

Yes. More people == more pollution.

1900 - 1.6 billion
1950 - 2.5 billion
2000 - 6 billion

Re:Goalposts. (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 7 years ago | (#20259963)

What makes the most difference to all this is cumulative pollution. We see the effects now of CO2 emitted in 1934 (an other prior years). There are forcings from particulate pollution that can be cooling, and there has been a change in the level of particulates put into the atmosphere, but these are shorter term effects since the stuff does not accumulate.
--
Get off fossil fuels: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Goalposts. (0)

Salgat (1098063) | about 7 years ago | (#20260081)

That fact that temperatures back then were so close to what they are now still convinces me to doubt Global Warming's extreme danger on this planet. We haven't even proved if we are the main reason behind what could be a natural warming period. Billions of tons of CO2 is still only drops in the ocean compared to "5.1480×10^18KG"* of atmosphere that exists. My calculator doesn't even go enough decimal places over to show the minuscule percentage that the CO2 emissions make up compared to the rest of our atmosphere. I realize that it only takes a small amount of CO2 to increase the world's temperature, but how many parts per millions in increase does it take to really make a difference?

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_atmosphere#D ensity_and_mass

Yes, credibility is the issue (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259697)

Otherwise, why link to admitted liar David Brock, and his Soros-funded Media Matters?

Re:Yes, credibility is the issue (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259795)

Soros is hiding under your bed. Don't sleep, it isn't safe.

Re:Yes, credibility is the issue (4, Informative)

jamie (78724) | about 7 years ago | (#20260011)

Yes they have (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20260165)

It just went through Moveon.org first

"According to the March 10, 2004, Washington Post, "The Democratic 527 organizations have drawn support from some wealthy liberals determined to defeat Bush. They include financier George Soros who gave $1.46 million to MoveOn.org (in the form of matching funds to recruit additional small donors); Peter B. Lewis, chief executive of the Progressive Corp., who gave $500,000 to MoveOn; and Linda Pritzker, of the Hyatt hotel family, and her Sustainable World Corp., who gave $4 million to the joint fundraising committee."

and from Media Matters page on Wiki

"Media Matters has received financial support from MoveOn.org"

What a surprise, Media Matters lied.

Re:Yes, credibility is the issue (1)

berashith (222128) | about 7 years ago | (#20260183)

Dear Mark's teacher,
Mark was late for class today because he had an important other thing to do.
Thanks and regards,
Mark's mom

Immediate action?? (2, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | about 7 years ago | (#20259719)

Whenever somebody tells me that I must take immediate action, I reach for my wallet.

Re:Immediate action?? (3, Funny)

Hijacked Public (999535) | about 7 years ago | (#20259863)

I Tap, Rack, Bang.

Warmest Year... (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | about 7 years ago | (#20259725)

...my arse! It's been pissing rain here since April - and I'm getting a bit sick of it.

Re:Warmest Year... (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | about 7 years ago | (#20259895)

Bah, it's been in the upper 90s here in the central US all week (37C for you metric folk) with humidity in the 70%+ range. YUCK

Re:Warmest Year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259941)

Are you some kind of fucking idiot? Can't even bother to read the summary?

Here's a hint you fucking retard: IT'S NOT TALKING ABOUT THIS YEAR.

Then will someone explain to me... (2, Insightful)

bagboy (630125) | about 7 years ago | (#20259727)

If the corrected US data doesn't indicate such a large statistical anomaly on a global basis, why are we blaming the US, US government, US Citizens for creating the massive global warming effect being reported? Sounds like we might be less of the cause then?

Re:Then will someone explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259831)

If the corrected US data doesn't indicate such a large statistical anomaly on a global basis, why are we blaming the US, US government, US Citizens for creating the massive global warming effect being reported? Sounds like we might be less of the cause then?
????

Re:Then will someone explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259857)

No, because you are confusing cause and effect. The effects of global warming due to CO2 input are not expected to be the same everywhere in the world. The climate models suggest that some locations may even cool compared to their present temperatures. Even if the effect on temperature in the US over the last several decades is relatively small compared to the global trend, and the US land area is relatively small compared to the whole world, it doesn't mean the CO2 emissions from the US are relatively small compared to the rest of the world.

In other words, the change in the analysis has ZERO to do with cause, only with measurement of the effects (and the change due to the error is very, very tiny on a global scale).

People seem to think that because the CO2 is belched into the atmosphere at a particular site, that's the exact spot the warming effect is going to occur, as if it was some kind of cloud that resides over the area. In a word, no. This isn't like acid rain, which works at a more local scale. The issue is long-term (decades+) trends in climate and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. The atmosphere is well-mixed at the scale of a decade.

Re:Then will someone explain to me... (5, Informative)

marx (113442) | about 7 years ago | (#20259865)

The temperature in the US has little effect on the global mean value of the temperature (the US is only 2% of the area of the Earth). But the US is one of the top (or the top) polluter of greenhouse gases. That's why there's criticism, the US's share of the pollution is a lot larger than its share of land area or population.

Then will someone explain to me...China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20260205)

"But the US is one of the top (or the top) polluter of greenhouse gases. "

China's playing catchup. At least in the US the loss of manufacturing and the increase in service type jobs should do wonders for our pollution score.

Explanation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259879)

The error occurred in the US temperature record. As the US is but a small part of the world, it's surface temperatures make up only about 2% of the global average.

Athropogenic green house gas emissions are not proportional to land area, however, but (primarily) to fossil fuel use. As the US consumes approx 20% of the world's production of these fuels, it is considered disproportionately responsible for the problem.

Re:Then will someone explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20260097)

I take up a very small amount of space in the pool. Why do people keep blaming me for pissing in it?

Business as usual (3, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | about 7 years ago | (#20259729)

Fox and Co think that the world consist only of USA, news at 10.

They have looked solely at the USA graphs and completely ignored the world ones which are the ones that look really scary. They have also declared the problem with the USA data analysis to be a flaw in the data for the whole world.

Is anyone surprised? I am not...

Re:Business as usual (5, Informative)

faloi (738831) | about 7 years ago | (#20259773)

I know it's hip to hate Fox News... But the actual article [foxnews.com] describes the people denying global warming is man made as a "fringe group" and includes quotes from British researchers pointing out that it really doesn't matter on a global scale.

Re:Business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259821)

I know it's hip to hate Fox News.

Hip to hate Fox? WTF? I don't hate them to be cool. I hated them from the first time I saw a Fox News report and the news announcer called the defendent in the case he was reporting on a "nut job". Unprofessional and biased from start to finish.

Re:Business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20260107)

They have looked solely at the USA graphs and completely ignored the world ones which are the ones that look really scary.

What's the point? Weather stops at the US border. I've watched the local news, and it's obvious that weather ceases to exist outside the US, those poor people in Canada and Mexico have nothing but a gray haze. I shudder to think what sort of blandness that people in Europe and Asia have to deal with.

Re:Business as usual (1)

lottameez (816335) | about 7 years ago | (#20260209)

Personally, I have a far bigger problem accepting that a graph showing a 120 year trend is supposed to mean anything of any significance in the billion or so years that earth has been around.

Cue the wingnuts carping about ./ liberal bias (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259731)

In three, two, one...

Dastardly right wingers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259735)

Good thing the left wing [msn.com] is on target!!111

Whither the hype? (2, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | about 7 years ago | (#20259753)

Ok, so 1998 was still the warmest - but not by more than a tiny fraction of a degree over 1934, and separated by a decrease to 1800s-era temps.

The bigger story I see in TFA's graphs is: we're looking at an increase of less than 1 degree C per century.
What's the fuss?

Re:Whither the hype? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20260027)

Climate change is not always linear, the complex effect of feedback loops like loss of artic ice decreasing albedo mean that tipping points exist where a relatively small input can cause quite a large change. There are well-documented instances of large changes happening in just a few decades, the blink of an eye in geological terms. There is some silly over-hyping of climate change, e.g. The Day After Tommorow, but the threat of more frequent and severe floods / famine / hurricanes / resource wars is very real.

Re:Whither the hype? (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 7 years ago | (#20260275)

Ok, so 1998 was still the warmest - but not by more than a tiny fraction of a degree over 1934, and separated by a decrease to 1800s-era temps.
The bigger story I see in TFA's graphs is: we're looking at an increase of less than 1 degree C per century.
Perhaps that's why there's so many that find "Global Warming" to be a myth.

Personnally, I think we still don't have enough accurate data measured to say one way or the other as we still have to figure out the cycles of the earth - and no, pulling core samples from various things won't tell you that. We need to be actively recording ourselves for a lot longer time period. Thus far, we have about a century's worth of data, but even then, the early data is susceptible to more errors and/or not complete. So, probably somewhere around 2250 can we start talking about real Global Warming and have enough data that most will actually believe it.

BTW, that doesn't mean we shouldn't control emissions, recycle, etc. We should. Believing in "Global Warming" and believing we must be "Good Stewards of our Resources" are not mutually inclusive - or mutually exclusive.

.001 degree? (0, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | about 7 years ago | (#20259755)

He points out 'the effect on global temperature was of order one-thousandth of a degree

And .001 of a degreethis changed 1938 to the warmest year on record over 1998? Wait, is that Fahrenheit or Centigrade?

I think someone is trying to downplay the error.

Re:.001 degree? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 7 years ago | (#20259931)

Because 0.001 C instead of 0.0005 C (approx 0.001 F) makes a major difference to the correction ;)

TBH, I'd hope they'd be using Celsius as they map directly to Kelvins, but with the Americans and their Fahrenheit then you never know.

Re:.001 degree? (1)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#20260123)

Fahrenheit maps directly to Rankine, your point?

Re:.001 degree? (1)

grommit (97148) | about 7 years ago | (#20259945)

I think somebody didn't bother to RTFA. You don't even get the years correct.

Re:.001 degree? (0, Troll)

Russ Nelson (33911) | about 7 years ago | (#20260153)

I think someone is trying to downplay the error.

There are no errors in global warming science. If there were, people might doubt it, and people Must Not Doubt. Faith is essential. If we lose faith in Global Warming, we'll lose the greatest threat ever to grace the environmental movement. Without a civilization-endangering threat, how are we to maintain our control over the sheeple? Must ... Keep ... Faith. Global Warming is a fact. Do Not Doubt.

Honestly... (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | about 7 years ago | (#20259757)

This had seemed like pretty much a non-issue all along. If anything it's Hansen's "second, more impassioned email" that diminishes his credibility as a sober, objective scientist just reporting his data. At least in my field, scientists don't issue corrections like:

Make no doubt, however, if tipping points are passed, if we, in effect, destroy Creation, passing on to our children, grandchildren, and the unborn a situation out of their control, the contrarians who work to deny and confuse will not be the principal culprits. 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.

Re:Honestly... (2, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | about 7 years ago | (#20259861)

"At least in my field, scientists don't issue corrections like"

Well, maybe not in your field. In my field, I could've seen Dijkstra making such a statement concerning the continued use of GOTO. I don't think it would've made it into a proper EWD and I doubt it would be sent via email since Dijkstra wasn't that fond of personal computers, but I could see him making such a statement.

Re:Honestly... (1, Flamebait)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 7 years ago | (#20259869)

You must work in a really boring field. If someone makes a deceitful argument, I would hope they would be exposed as a liar, not simply contradicted. And I don't mind reading colourful prose, rather than the dead academic passive voice.

Re:Honestly... (1)

slughead (592713) | about 7 years ago | (#20260157)

>You must work in a really boring field. If someone makes a deceitful argument, I would hope they would be exposed as a liar, not simply contradicted. And I don't mind reading colourful prose, rather than the dead academic passive voice.

The 'colorful prose' is a great litmus test for bullshit. If a scientist reveals data on a subject on global warming and then details what (s)he thinks to be the effects which are outside the scope of their expertise, my bullshit detector goes ape sh*t.

Economic impacts and massive changes in human history are not for climate scientists to say. I'm relieved when they do, however, as it lets me know that there's a great chance that their data was collected to prove their point, rather than the other way around. It really simplifies the process when they basically tell you to ignore their data before you have even read it yet.

A 'good scientist' would be equally interested in data that disproves their theories as data that verifies them. I seriously doubt Hansen is a 'good scientist', by this definition.

Re:Honestly... (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 7 years ago | (#20260347)

I agree that colourful prose makes it easier to spot someone's biases, but I think it's naive to think that boring writing is free of them. It's not much of a litmus test when it misses so much.

And I agree that climate scientists shouldn't be believed when they talk about economics, but I think their climate science should be judged on its own merits, not based on what they say in other areas.

Is Hansen a good scientist? I don't know, but one sign in his favour is that he didn't hide the programming error that led to the change in post-2000 estimates. Did he cook the data in some other way? I haven't seen any evidence of that yet.

Re:Honestly... (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 years ago | (#20260337)

If someone makes a deceitful argument, I would hope they would be exposed as a liar, not simply contradicted.
He also makes a cogent political and religious argument in the same section of his letter.

I am puzzled by views expressed by some conservatives, views usually expressed in vehement unpleasant ways in e-mails that I have been bombarded by in the past several days. ... It is puzzling, because it seems to me that conservatives should be the first ones standing up for preserving Creation, and for the rights of the young and the unborn. That is the basic intergenerational issue in global warming and the headlong use of fossil fuels: the present generation is, in effect, ripping off future generations.

Is it possible that conservatives have been too quick to support the captains of industry?
The basic problem is that national religious conservative leadership has focused exclusively on issues like "the rights of the young and the unborn" and the gay 'agenda'.

Those (in leadership positions) who desire to shift away from political gay/abortion/Jesus activism and towards things like helping the poor and conserving the environment are mostly told to STFU & get back on message. "They" don't want to split the consideral political capital that's built up behind the religious conservative bloc.

Religion has always influenced politics, but IMO, in the last 30 years, politics has been corrupting religion.

Re:Honestly... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 7 years ago | (#20259937)

This had seemed like pretty much a non-issue all along. If anything it's Hansen's "second, more impassioned email" that diminishes his credibility as a sober, objective scientist just reporting his data. At least in my field, scientists don't issue corrections like:

Make no doubt, however, if tipping points are passed, if we, in effect, destroy Creation, passing on to our children, grandchildren, and the unborn a situation out of their control, the contrarians who work to deny and confuse will not be the principal culprits. 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.


Somehow I doubt all of creation will be affected by global climate change. Heck, I doubt even the iron core within our planet will be significantly affected.

sounds like zapp... (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about 7 years ago | (#20259991)

"When we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate."

Re:Honestly... (1)

Salgat (1098063) | about 7 years ago | (#20260139)

Politics and Science make for a nasty mix.

Hansen muddied the waters himself (2, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 7 years ago | (#20259793)

I thought it muddied the waters plenty when he

- published incorrect data leading to incorect conclusions,
- refused to release his algorithm so it had to be reverse-engineered,
- and deliberately exaggerated the global warming threat to push his personal agenda (which he later admitted).

A solution to all of this FUD... (3, Insightful)

_14k4 (5085) | about 7 years ago | (#20259799)

Release the data, all of it, openly. NOAA data is available, for a fee to download I think, and so should all of the other data. I don't mean "should" as in "legislated", I mean "should" as in "should" or, "it would be nice."

If all of the data were released in this fashion, in one central "trusted" place, one could assume that as more and more analysts take a gander - themes will appear and more and more of the graphs could be trusted.

Re:A solution to all of this FUD... (1)

FlatLine84 (1084689) | about 7 years ago | (#20260121)

I know we're polluting the hell out of this planet. And the studies, and data all point to *at least* a climate change. But it still seems damn strange that all of the sudden this is a huge issue. Let me play devil's advocate and grab my tin-foil hat.... Since the data is secretive, also the calculation behind all these conclusions, is it possible that this is all a rouse to "justify" a rise in oil costs? I mean hell, we never see anything like that... Also, that aside, aren't we (collective people around the globe) and especially the US, polluting less than we used to? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:A solution to all of this FUD... (1)

KingRoo (232714) | about 7 years ago | (#20260143)

> that as more and more analysts take a gander

And produce a report like, say, the upcoming IPCC synthesis report [ucar.edu] ? Where lots of analysts "took a gander"?

Or just the selection of NOAA climate data that's free [noaa.gov] ? Or, did you want to look at, for example, sea ice data [nsidc.org] ?

Reallly, people. There's boats of data out there. Sure, it may not be in a "trusted" place (btw, who exactly would the contrarians consider trusted here?).

Have at it.

Re:A solution to all of this FUD... (1)

_14k4 (5085) | about 7 years ago | (#20260201)

Yeah, you gave a couple of links there and put "trusted" in quotes just like I did...

I'm not saying put the data up on the wikipedia - that's not exactly trusted, either.

But if society could simply learn to stop taking things for face value and start applying the logic of science behind not only the gathering of the data but the reception of it on reports as well. What is the algorithm used? When and where was the data collected from? Were the instruments calibrated properly? Oh they were owned by Shell? Why?

etc etc...

Cerial (2, Informative)

dlhm (739554) | about 7 years ago | (#20259813)

This article does not sound like it was written by a scientist, it sounds like a poor little man who is outraged and upset that anyone would question his admitidly flawed data. I think he needs to take a pill. If Global Warming has increased the earths tempature from .3-.6 C then a .15C IS a big deal.

Re:Cerial (1)

dlhm (739554) | about 7 years ago | (#20259901)

Once again I question the voracity of a scientist and I'm modded down.. If only i said somthing bad about FOX or GW.. Then i would have been awarded +1 for informative...

Re:Cerial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259981)

It's to protect you from him. If he saw what you said, he'd eat you.

Re:Cerial (3, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | about 7 years ago | (#20260313)

And you're illustrating exactly why he is outraged: The errors affected the US. The effect on the data for the global temperatures was so small as to be dwarfed by the overall margin of error for the data, but the media completely ignored that, and ignored that it changes nothing with respects to long term trends and overall global warming.

Not global warming. Global climate change. (5, Interesting)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 7 years ago | (#20259847)

Why do we still call it global warming? It's global climate change. Some areas will get warmer. Some areas will get cooler. Some areas will be under water.

The nice thing about it is that the majority of us will live to see the changes. We are in for some interesting times over the next 30-50 years. :-)

Re:Not global warming. Global climate change. (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 7 years ago | (#20259987)

But "Global Climate Change" doesn't pack such a punch on headlines. Something like "Global Climate Chaos" or "Global Climate Uncertainty" would have a good PR image, as would "Global Climate Flooding" (especially for those people like me in Three Counties [wikipedia.org] who have recently been flooded out).

"Global Climate Change" has about as much punch to most people as "Global Climate Variation" or "Slight Disturbance in Global Weather".

Who needs real science when you've got a punchy name that evokes emotions and provides a lasting impression? ;)

Re:Not global warming. Global climate change. (2, Insightful)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 7 years ago | (#20260095)

because the total heat content of the of the earth, or "globe" if you will, and its atmosphere is expected to rise. likewise, you can talk about the increase in global longevity, even if not every country has a rising life expectancy.

Re:Not global warming. Global climate change. (1)

Fred_A (10934) | about 7 years ago | (#20259989)

Or global head in the sand time, or global denial or whatever.

Re:Not global warming. Global climate change. (1)

deKernel (65640) | about 7 years ago | (#20260263)

Very few people don't acknowledge that there isn't a Global Climate Change. What they do have issues with is that humans are the sole cause of the issue. There have been periods in the recent past that have gone through the same type of climate changes, and during that period, humans weren't driving cars or buying Barbie dolls produced in China.

Say for the sake of argument that the human stops producing all green house gases today, but the climate continues to change because we know it does and will (see the above). Now what? What do we do? We sure as heck can't change the basic natural process of the globe.

Re:Not global warming. Global climate change. (3, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | about 7 years ago | (#20260061)

I'm sure that the next hundred years will be much less "interesting" than the previous hundred years, which saw the violent deaths of 250,000,000 people.

Re:Not global warming. Global climate change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20260141)

Why do we still call it global warming? It's global climate change. Some areas will get warmer. Some areas will get cooler. Some areas will be under water.

Why not just call it "The Global OMG The Weather Is Doing The Same Stuff Over the Last Billion Years"

Re:Not global warming. Global climate change. (1)

pipatron (966506) | about 7 years ago | (#20260279)

Because the global temperature average is rising. A lot. Due to the changing weather patterns this brings a long, some areas previously heated by warm ocean currents might see an actual decrease in local temperature. Other areas (like the poles), might see a +10 kelvin increase.

Rest of the world. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20259875)

Europe is getting icredibly hot in the last decade or two. Older people dying in scores from heat and the electricity supply networks need an overhaul because of millions of new air conditioning units added every year. Agriculture is taking a big hit. Most europeans would gladly convert to the religion of Manitou if he managed to vanish the yankee and their SUVs and replace them with noble redskins on their mustangs.

It really doesn't matter if I ride public transport and bicycle, use only one TV set, install CFL lightbulbs when a pig fat american fires up a six liter V8 hemi street tank just to go a to the grocery a few hundred yards afar. Some 60% of US air pollution is from traffic.

If America was humble enough to ask for high-speed railways, both France and Japan would build and run transcontinental superexpresses for free, just to get rid of USA's coast-to-coast car and plane traffic, which are major polluters.

What yankees spew chokes all other people on Earth. In Australia you essentially cannot leave the house now for much of the summer due to 43-47 centigrades hot every day, plus the huge UV dosage (the southern pole ozone hole still hasn't healed). People watch each other day and night, like in a police state, because there are so bad water tap restrictions as reservoirs evaporate faster than ever.

Globall, we are close to a tipping point, but you cannot see this from the USA.

Re:This is a capitalist society.. (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | about 7 years ago | (#20259957)

If you want to do something for free, go out and do it for free! Don't wait for someone to ask!

Re:Rest of the world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20260109)

That reminds me - why the hell doesn't australia just build solar-powered desalination plants?
 

"Global" Warming (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 7 years ago | (#20259883)

he shows maps of U.S. temperatures relative to the world in 1934 and 1998

Just a thought, but the first word in "Global Warming" is "Global", would he be so kind as to show us "Global" maps? They do exist, and these temperatures were recorded back much further than 1934.

Re:"Global" Warming (2)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 7 years ago | (#20259947)

would he be so kind as to show us "Global" maps?

Where would he show these, if putting them in the FA isn't the right place?

Re:"Global" Warming (3, Insightful)

jamie (78724) | about 7 years ago | (#20260133)

The maps he shows are global. You didn't RTFA.

Carbon Credits stirred it up (2, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 years ago | (#20259939)

It went all weird once the economists got involved. Now both sides are talking about things based on little data as if they are certainties and the strongest opponents are grasping at tiny straws and saying that makes the entire thing worthless. What's more the most rabid opponents are saying that people in Antarctica are faking ice core results - a pretty stupid assertion really since they could fake the stuff at home where it is warm instead.

At least most people have given up on saying it isn't happening at all - a lot of opponents have moved to saying it's a purely solar effect. Watching the oil industry they are fairly split too so they can't be blamed - it's governments stirring up the mess and whether they are right or wrong Lysenkoism is taking over in US science and wreaking havoc. I would hate to be a climate scientist caught in the middle having the choice of either potentially career ending ridicule or government funding.

Ward Churchill of climate science (0, Troll)

amightywind (691887) | about 7 years ago | (#20259959)

James Hansen is the Ward Churchill [msn.com] of NASA scientists. He has lost all credibility.

Slow news day? (1)

will_die (586523) | about 7 years ago | (#20259961)

A quick search on Foxnews [foxnews.com] show they mention that it is about the US only a few times.
Also it does not make 1934,1998 or 2005(what ever of thoses 3 years) the hottest year as the OP says, it makes it the hottest year in recent recorded time, guess we better start a new topic about that.

Usufruct (4, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | about 7 years ago | (#20259965)

Ok, I admit, I had to look this one up:

Usufruct is the legal right to derive profit or benefit from the property of others. It comes from the latin roots for "use" and "fruits," in the sense that you are using the fruits of someone else's labor.

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary [m-w.com]
a legal Dictionary [lectlaw.com]

In the case of Hansen's second email [columbia.edu] , he is, I think, using it to describe how captains of industry are benefitting from the global warming nay-sayers' spin on this correction. He also uses it in the sense that successive generations have a right and claim to the enjoy the Earth, so we'd better take care of it, even as we benefit from it.

Re:Usufruct (4, Informative)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 7 years ago | (#20260039)

Usufruct is the legal right to derive profit or benefit from the property of others.

You left out the most important part: "as long as the property is not damaged." He's saying we have a right to use the Earth, but we don't have a right to damage it.

Ok, which is it now? (0)

hasbeard (982620) | about 7 years ago | (#20260089)

Ok, which is the warmest year now? 1934 or 1998?

Isn't this the expected response (3, Interesting)

lightsaber777 (920815) | about 7 years ago | (#20260093)

He's a scientist with an ego... which most scientists have and is a danger and possibly a barrier to objectivity. Being corrected and somewhat mocked for his mistake is, I'm sure, embarrassing and a shot to his ego. Of course, if he had simply released his findings instead of using them as a platform to promote his theories of climate change, I'm quite sure the response to the mistake would not have been so negative. The fact that they trumpeted the first findings and quietly released the second makes one wonder about the real reason for releasing them in the first place. Do real scientists keep things to themselves if their experiments don't fit with their original hypothesis? Do they tweak experiments until they come up with the intended outcome? That's not science... that's politics.

The scientist doth protest too much (2, Informative)

joeyblades (785896) | about 7 years ago | (#20260101)

Hansen makes a huge leap in his second email. He goes from

"the evidence still indicates that global warming is real"
to

"it's all the fault of our leaders"
in a single bound. That kind of superhuman logic belongs in comic books, not in scientific writing.

Wise words (2, Funny)

LentoMan (704115) | about 7 years ago | (#20260111)

He who controls the Global Warming data, controls the universe!

typical mud-slinging (4, Informative)

br00tus (528477) | about 7 years ago | (#20260195)

I have not paid much attention to the story, the reporting I heard kept mentioning the warmest year was 1934 and what we've been hearing from the people with the "global warming agenda" (whatever that is, everyone has to wear Birkenstocks?) was false. Of course they somehow neglected to mention that only the figures for the US were off, and only for the past seven years.

More understandably, they neglected to mention that May 1934 was some of the worst weather to hit the US for a long time, and it wiped out the agriculture of many states, it was called the "Dust Bowl". And it was caused by agriculture concerns that had no concern whatsoever for the environment. So they are pointing back to an earlier environmental disaster.

It wasn't a Y2K clitch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20260249)

It wasn't caused by a Y2K clitch. The year is 2007. Just because we still code years as "07" is no longer a Y2K clitch. Whether the problem was a date of "07" or not, the end conclusion to the problem is that the self-declared 'scientists' are morons.

BTW, tomorrows feature will be that the universe is being warmed by man.
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