Hansen's Testimony Debunked
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12 Jun 07
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|Hansen's House Testimony Debunked|
6 Jun 07 - A new report published today by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change challenges NASA scientist James Hansen's claims of a dire global warming future.
Considered by many to be perhaps the world's foremost authority on the 'greenhouse effect' of anthropogenic CO emissions, Hansen's statements are typically regarded as expressions of fact. "In many cases, however, they are merely his opinions," said Dr. Sherwood Idso, lead author of the report.
Among the inconsistencies is Hansen's claim of a sea level rise this century measured in meters, due to "the likely demise of the West Antarctic ice sheet." However, the most recent and comprehensive review of potential sea level rise due to contributions from the wastage of both the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets suggests a century-long rise measured in millimeters.
Similarly, whereas Hansen claims the rate of sea level rise is accelerating, century-scale data indicate the mean rate-of-rise of the global ocean has either not accelerated at all or has actually slowed over the latter part of the past century.
(As the ice sheets grow thicker, I think sea levels will actually decline.)
Another Hansen claim at odds with reality is that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are "skyrocketing," which is not universally true. The most important contrary example is methane, whose atmospheric concentration actually stabilized several years ago and has not risen since by any appreciable amount.
Also contrary to what Hansen claims is the fact that the earth is not any warmer now - and is possibly a fair amount cooler - than it was many times in the past. These warmer-than-present periods include much of the Medieval Warm Period of a thousand years ago, most of the Climatic Optimum that held sway during the central portion of the current interglacial, and significant portions of all four of the prior interglacials, when (in all six cases) the air's CO concentration was much lower than it is today. These facts are extremely important because they demonstrate that today's temperatures are not in any way unusual, unnatural or unprecedented, contrary to what Hansen claims.
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