Hansen’s hiatus and the falsification of climate alarmism

James Hansen, one of the key originators of climate change alarmism, is back in the news. This time it is with a prediction that we may see a ten year “hiatus” in global warming. He says that alarmism is not affected. I agree with his prediction but not with his conclusion. In my view alarmism is being falsified right before our eyes.

The big difference between us lies in whose temperature record this hiatus occurs. Hansen sees it as a pause in long-term human caused warming. But I see it as a continuation of almost no warming, and what little there is, is natural. This is a bit complicated, but here goes.

Hansen created one of the leading statistical models that supposedly estimates global surface temperatures. He did this as director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) so the model is called the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis or GISTEMP. (Hansen is an astronomer by training.)

This computer model shows more or less steady global warming for the last 40 years or so. This supposed warming is the primary basis for climate change alarmism.

GISTEMP has some well known problems, especially the fact that it has been repeatedly adjusted to increase the long-term warming. This in itself is a science scandal, but I think the problems with these statistical models go much deeper.

I argue in my article “Fake Temperatures” that all of these statistical surface models are worthless. Their purported global warming is actually just what is called an artifact of the model, not something real.

My basis for writing off these computer models is that the satellites, which actually measure temperatures, show no such global warming. In real science observations trump computer models.

What the satellites show is explained in my article “No CO2 warming for 40 years?” Simply put the record looks like this. First there is no warming from the beginning in 1978 until 1997, a period of roughly 20 years. Then there is what is called a Super El Nino cycle, which takes several years. After that there is again a long period of no warming. Finally there is the recent Super El Nino, the cycle of which is still in progress.

However, the second long period of no warming is warmer than the first. Thus there is indeed some global warming in this record, but it looks to be caused by the Super El Nino cycle. There is no evidence of human cause in this small warming and it is the only warming in the record.

This leads to the question: what will happen after the present Super El Nino cycle ends? What is obviously most likely is that we will see another long period of no warming. This period may well be a bit warmer than the last period, just as that period was a bit warmer than its predecessor.

So in this limited respect I agree with Hansen, which is something I never expected to happen! But while he sees a coming hiatus as just a minor glitch for climate change alarmism, I see it as another big nail in the coffin.

There simply is no evidence of human caused global warming in the entire satellite record. What small warming there is looks to be entirely natural, a bit of heat left over from a Super El Nino cycle.

If this pattern continues for another ten years it will surely mean that the hypothesis of dangerous human caused global warming is finally falsified by real world observation.


About the Author: David Wojick, Ph.D.

David Wojick is a journalist and policy analyst. He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis.

  • Immortal600

    The AGW believers just can’t accept that the theory is bogus and yet they have the temerity to get angry with anyone who doesn’t accept their garbage.

    • Brin Jenkins

      It has to be a political bias trying to pervert science.

      • Phillip2

        And all that money in grants, salaries etc

    • Rick Hillier

      The scientists working for government sponsored agencies will not bite the hand that feeds them.

  • bozobucks

    Pick and choose your data set and you can get anything. Many climate sites have had urbanization growth around them. Those climate sites, the avg lows have been going up because of urban heat island effect, but the avg highs are not going up. So though the overall avg temps may have gone up, again, it is just the lows not the highs. Climate sites that have not had urbanization around them have avg temps that have remain steady or slightly downward, both highs and lows. Periods of temp swings have coincided nicely with the solar cycle. Turn the heat up on the stove, the soup in the pot will gradually get warmer, turn it down and it will gradually get cooler.

    • RealOldOne2

      “Many sites have had urbanization growth around them.”
      Yes, and many of those sites have moved multiple times. Zhang(2014) ‘Effect of data homogenization on estimate of temperature trend:…’ , https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00704-013-0894-0/fulltext.html , explains how these moves “lead to a significant overestimate of rising trends of surface air temperature” when the sites are moved from urbanized areas to surrounding suburbs. The suburban area is cooler than the urbanized area, and when the sites are “homogenized”, a warming bias is introduced as shown in Fig.6 from the paper: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0a089796eced1cd39dfaca3223b7935f72893609f6631169247564c13b3907a.png
      Significant UHI effect is observed in populations as small as a few thousand. Hinkel(2003) ‘The urban heat island in winter at Barrow, Alaska’, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.971/pdf , found “During winter … the urban area averaged 2.2°C warmer than the hinterland. … The strength of the UHI increased as the wind velocity decreased, reaching an average value of 3.2°C under calm (<2 m s⁻¹) conditions and maximum single-day magnitude of 6°C."

      Not only has the known UHI bias not been properly adjusted for, the adjustments are backwards for UHI, as the early 1900s have been cooled. An example is Providence, Rhode Island, where NASA observed a 12°C(22°F) UHI effect in 2010: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/heat-island-sprawl.html .

      The “adjustment” for 1900 cooled the past by over4°F.

      The “raw” USHCN annual mean temp for 1900 was 52.7°F. The “adjusted” USHCN annual mean temp for 1900 was 48.4°F.

      So they “adjusted” the annual mean temperature 4.3°F. The Tmean raw for 1900-2013 shows a trend of 1.7°F/century.

      The Tmean adjusted for 1900-2013 shows a trend of 4.4°F/century. This is typical of the fraudulent “adjustments” that have been made which have essentially rendered the land-based temperature record unfit for scientific use.

      The Providence data source is: https://web.archive.org/web/20170517121712/http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?_PROGRAM=prog.climsite_monthly.sas&_SERVICE=default&id=376698&_DEBUG=0_DEBUG=0#write_somevars_clim_mon_yr

      So do we find a 12°C(22°F) adjustment for that known UHI bias and error in the historical Providence, RI land based datasets? No, we don’t, we find a backwards adjustment of 4.3°F. So the data keepers actually make an Urban Cooling Effect adjustment. UCI, pure rubbish pseudoscience.

  • MichaelR

    Oh God. Not this again David. Your hypothesis that the 98 El Niño permanently transferred energy from the ocean to the atmosphere and that there was no warming overall does not work because the ocean was warmer by the end of the El Niño event as well as the atmosphere. Both the atmosphere AND the ocean total heat content went up between 97 and 2000, so even if there was a transfer, there was also warming of the whole system. If you want to refute this, you must show that the total heat content of the ocean fell between 97 and 2000, not regionally but globally. The studies that have been done show the opposite.

    The reason that Hansen is saying that we could see atmospheric temperatures stabilise for a short time is that solar activity is dropping fast, perhaps fast enough to balance out the warming effects of GHGs. But this is a short term phenomenon as part of a cycle. What happens when the cycle reverses? As soon as solar activity starts going up again, you will have both solar activity AND GHGs pushing in the same direction and so you must expect rapid warming in the late 2020s.

    Even then, if you read the paper, it is not yet known if there will be a plateau in temperatures or if polar positive feedback effects are already too prominent to overcome due to falling solar activity. So they might be no plateau at all, in which case the late 2020s and beyond will see more rapid warming than we have ever seen to date.