Global Warming: Told You So

Thirty years ago James Hansen testified in congress that man-made climate change (a.k.a. global warming) was underway. He forecast that the world would get hotter.

What happened since? The world got hotter.


He also forecast that the Arctic would warm even faster.

What happened since? The Arctic warmed even faster.

Hansen forecast that the amount of sea ice in the Arctic would decline.

What happened since? The amount of sea ice in the Arctic declined.

Hansen even suggested that might open up the fabled “northwest passage” during late summer/early autumn. What happened since? The northwest passage opened during late summer/early autumn. We’ve not only had ships sail from Atlantic to Pacific and vice versa, we’ve even seen a cruise ship do it.

Hansen also forecast that the sea itself would rise.

What happened since? The sea itself rose.

For some reason, climate deniers get to tell lies while accusing others of telling lies. Politicians who deny climate science get to repeat the lies, because the #TrumpSuckers believe the lies.

James Hansen gets to tell the truth when he says, “I told you so.”


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24 responses to “Global Warming: Told You So

  1. This is a bit off this topic but the sea level rise reminded me…

    I recently had a discussion on the Carbon Brief website after
    a piece by Michelle Cain of the Oxford Martin School arguing
    for methane to be measured differently (I took the meaning.
    don’t worry too much about methane).

    I raised the issue of sea level rise and Dr Cain pointed me to
    ‘Emission metrics and sea level rise’ by by Sterner et al.

    There are other consequences of short lived warming. For example
    the effect of snow and ice melt on the Earth’s albedo with its
    feedback effects. Would it be sensible to consider Global Albedo
    Potential as an analogue to GTP and GSP?

    Has any work been done on Earth System properties like this?
    And if short term forcing causes more CO2 to be emitted through
    feedback mechanisms could it be sensible to talk about
    Global (Extra Emissions CO2) Potential?

  2. Short and punchy, per recent intentions. I’ll link this.

  3. But, but, but Tamino, if Hansen hadn’t been so Alarmist about it all there wouldn’t have been a backlash of denial, so it’s all Hansen’s fault that people oppose strong climate action! That and his opposition to nuclear energy of course!

    I keep thinking the thinking of climate science deniers is a mental bubble that has to burst and “the stupid” will catch fire and burn, but no, not even with every possible real world indicator of a warming world currently at or close to record maximum will mainstream politicians and parties let go of their denial and admit that Hansen was right about climate – and right to sound an alarm call. Seems that evidence of record warming is seen as just the right time to dig in and deny even harder.

    Whether Hansen is right about nuclear power seems moot – without widespread acceptance that the climate problem is something to be seriously alarmed about the level of commitment nuclear requires is not politically possible; the rhetoric of nuclear to prevent or displace renewables continues to take precedence amongst proponents over nuclear to prevent or displace fossil fuels. Yet it looks to me like enough nuclear to prevent renewables is turning out to be the same amount as is needed to replace fossil fuels.

    • “mainstream politicians and parties let go of their denial”.
      It’s not really parties plural. It’s just USA republicans. I don’t think there areany other mainstream political parties with climate change denial as a matter of party policy. (There are some minor parties like One Nation in the Australia, and UKIP in the UK). Lots of parties aren’t actually doing very much (including the embarrassing Germans who insist on keeping the coal and turning the nuclear off, whilst telling us what good greens they are), but that’s different from completely denying the problem.

      • Australia’s LNP (our conservative/right Liberal National Party) formally and officially accepts that climate change is real – whilst it largely promotes and enacts the policies of a party that does not. It is surprisingly difficult to get a clear statement of where any individual member of the Australian LNP majority government stands but the ambiguity excuse is practised most assiduously by those who aren’t openly hostile to climate action, ie they dare not come out with any statements strongly in favour. Despite the official line. Lukewarmer messaging, usually with little apparent sincerity – and sometimes obvious insincerity (like an ironic bow to an imaginary political correctness, so their hardcore supporters know it) – seems preferred.

        I suspect that denying the climate science directly is no longer tenable for most deniers in positions of responsibility – they know it’s a debate they will lose and make them look foolish to boot. So they fall back on the other main meme of pro-fossil fuels climate obstructionists – promoting alarmist economic fear that it will be economically ruinous to commit to serious emissions reductions.

        Not being from there, I don’t know what the US Democrats are really likely to do when it gets down to it – nor other mainstream political parties around the world; I suspect that like the opposition Labor Party here in Australia, some will take the moral high ground whilst they are not in charge, but will cave in quickly when they are, whenever economic alarmist fears (that I think are the real motivations for denial) are invoked.

      • Do not think the USA is the only county whose right wing party is in denial.
        lukewarmism is still a form of denial.
        Our right wing party talked of Climate Change, signed up to Paris,gutted our functioning ETS and encouraged drill n burn.
        Both Canada and Australia have strong factions within their right wing party’s that also favor inaction or winding back efforts to reduce emissions.
        I dont think any goverment truly gets the urgency of the problem.
        We are now, or soon will be, outside of the temperatures seen in 12,000 years .
        What is a 12,000 year weather event like ?
        We will find out with increasing frequncy.

      • “Both Canada and Australia have strong factions within their right wing party’s that also favor inaction or winding back efforts to reduce emissions.” Yes, and sadly, Ontario–Canada’s most populous province, and the largest provincial economy–just elected one such as Premier, with a majority government. So Ontario will flip from the ‘relatively climate-friendly’ column into the ‘thoroughly reactionary’ column. It’s not really what most Ontarians wanted for climate policy, but too many of them put other concerns first.

      • And in Australia, even the ALP, which introduced a carbon tax (later rescinded by the LNP), doesn’t actually see anything inconsistent with supporting coal mining. What can you do?

      • Ken, I was listening to the AG Christian Porter talking about energy security on PM this evening (Tuesday) and had reaffirmed my long-held conclusion that the LNP are sly enough to officially make the right noises about the science, but it stops there and goes not a millimetre further. Their policy is to lock in “cheap”, “baseload” power for the next 20-35 years, and all the alternatives that Porter mentioned were fossil carbon…

        We should make no mistake – in Australia the right-wing of politics and business will stick with carbon energy come hell or high water, and they’ll do it for long enough to ensure that both hell and high water are certainties. They’re dedicated to this end with every fibre of their being. They have figured out how to sell it though so that it appears that they are advancing non-carbon energy, whilst burning as much of it as they possibly can.

        And the electorate, dazed by the opiate of aspiration, are happy to believe that we’re mitigating our socks off…

  4. Yes, it’s true that the idea behind AGW had been kicked around since the mid-1800s. [Response: That’s bullshit #1. The idea that it’s anthropogenic starts with Arrhenius in 1895.] Since the end of the LIA temperatures had been climbing slowly [Response: That’s bullshit #2.], and then took a dive from ~1950-75. [Response: That’s bullshit #3. There was no “dive,” maybe you’ve been listening to bullshit from Judith Curry.] Then things started to warm up as should be expected. Hansen noticed the warming and 13 years later saw his chance at stardom [Response: That’s bullshit #4. He never sought “stardom,” that’s just a slanderous ad hominem attack.] by resurrecting the CO2 hypothesis. [Response: That’s bullshit #5. That CO2 raises global temperature is physics; you can argue about how much, but if you claim it doesn’t you might as well join the flat earth society.] His presentation to congress was contrived to make a big impression, the media made a big deal out of it, which had led us to the climate hysteria and political games we see today. [Response: That’s bullshit #6. The people playing political games are the deniers like you.]

    Earth has been warming, but it’s minor at less than 1C. [Response: That’s bullshit #7. It’s not less than 1C, it’s already a bit more and still going up. When it only takes 5C to change from full-on glacial conditions (a mile-thick ice sheet covering Chicago) to warm interglacial, 1C is not “minor.”] A plateau was reached which we call the pause where temperatures held steady [Response: That’s bullshit #8. There was no “pause.”]. That is the inconvenient truth that Hansen fans won’t face up to. [Response: That’s bullshit #9. Congratulations.]

    • So, just curious. Do they call you Oortcloud because you are so far out there?

    • Earth has been warming, but it’s minor at less than 1C.

      This is bullshit, twice.

      Tamino has at various times demonstrated that the last century of warming is by itself ~ 1.0C, and noted that there was ~0.2C warming from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the 20th Century. The BEST data support this. I’ve spoken to various climatologists who say the say thing – humans have warmed the planet by about 1.2C since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. And this is not taking into account any cooling forcings from aerosols and orbital factors.

      Further, even 1.0C warming or “less” is ecologically important over times greater than a human lifetime. It’s definitely not “minor.” At the rate humans have warmed the planet to date we’ve already consigned a significant portion of our biodiversity to extinction and to incipient extinction, and there’s sigmoidally more extinction in train with every single year that we continue to continue on a path that is effectively business-as-usual.

      The problem with people such as you is that you cannot perceive the universe outside of your own little mind bubble. Your perspective is constrained by your ideology and base sensory experience, with no capacity to escape your normalcy biases or cognitive scotomata.

      It’s people like you who have already doomed our children’s and their children’s generations to a hard landing, and it’s people like you who are even today actively working to making that lander even more hard than it otherwise needs to be. This is nothing short of committing crime against humanity, and against all of life.

      I have no patience left for what is either your wilful and rank stupidity, or your deliberate, conscious, and sociopathic choice to promulgate further unsustainability purely for personal benefit. Told hold today the position that you do is a deliberate choice counter to the best evidence that cannot be otherwise avoided, so you’ve obviously decided that objective and impartial education is not for you. Consequently, you are a part of the problem, not the solution. You diminish yourself as a result, and in that choice you commit the future to hell.

  5. Mitch Golden

    Are the red arrows aligned with Hansen’s actual predictions, in one of his three scenarios?

    [Response: No. If you want to know the details about his three scenarios, read this and this.]

  6. And right on schedule Pat Michaels and the WSJ are out with their usual BS about Jim’s projections.
    You just can’t make this sh*t up.

  7. David B. Benson

    Hansen & Ramanathan share Tang Prize of $1.3 million:

    Two Scholars Awarded Tang Prize for Sounding the Alarm on Climate Change and Impact of Air Pollution
    AP Press Release
    2018 Jun 18

    https://www.apnews.com/5b52d57f2dce89943e348f3cb3b6bee9

  8. Doc Snow -‘ So Ontario will flip from the ‘relatively climate-friendly’ column into the ‘thoroughly reactionary’ column.’
    At least the Ford administration has said it will keep the Pickering nuclear plant open. Ontario’s Candu reactors are largely responsible for its low emissions from electricity generation. The Green party, among others, would prefer to close the nuclear plants and import more hydro power from Quebec, but though massive, that is not a bottomless well – Ontario’s total electricity demand for a year is nearly ten times Quebec’s exports, and a lot of New England and parts south is also expecting to rely on those.

    • Small consolation, given that he is trashing the extant cap-and-trade plan, not planning to replace it with anything except a legal battle with the Feds, and planning (albeit vaguely) to ‘encourage’ fossil fuels.

      Here’s how this is playing with anti-RE and anti-climate mitigation folks:

      http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/doug-ford-is-about-to-change-climate-change-policy-for-the-whole-country-and-its-about-time

      https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2018/06/17/can-doug-ford-keep-his-promise-to-axe-green-energy-projects-many-rural-voters-hope-so/

      Clearly, their hopes have been raised, and they expect Ontario to take a different, and much less aggressive, mitigation path.

      And maybe I’m missing something–I’m a native Ontarian, but now live in South Carolina, so I can’t claim that my ear is close to the ground on every nuance of Ontario politics–but I’m not aware that the Pickering reactors were at much immediate risk of closure. The Greens may want that as you say, but they’ve failed to expand much beyond fringe party status in Ontario over their 40 or 50 years of existence–although I note they have now recorded vote totals as high as 13% now, and as of June 7 actually managed to get their leader elected to the Legislative Assembly, so they’re showing some hints of doing so.

      More consequential for nuclear power is the opposition of the NDP. They are solidly against it, and were threatening the Conservative lead in the polls at some points during the election. They now form the official Opposition, with 40 seats as against the Conservative majority with 76. (The LIberals crashed to just 7 seats, and as mentioned, the Greens hold the remaining one.)

  9. Those graphs and your explanations of how they corroborate with Hansen’s predictions should be obvious to anyone with half a brain that isn’t (Oort) clouded by narrow-minded adherence to business as usual for the greater glory of human “progress”. But I’ve always been amazed at the ability for many humans to persist in their delusions about our supposed place in this Universe as the masters rather than as just participants, or “part of the scenery” as I’ve said many times before. When we do certain things, there are certain consequences no matter how special we think we are. Deniers seem to think that we’re exempt from the physical laws of the Universe that govern everything else. To quote our fearless CEO in chief, “Sad!”