Contrasting climate change claims

Two very contrasting articles via real Politics on climate change – one claiming “No ice has been lost by Greenland…” and the other “the Greenland ice sheet is melting at its fastest rate in at least 400 years”.

Conrad Black at National Post – Thirty years of climate hysterics being proven wrong over and over again

It is 30 years this past week that Dr. James Hansen, then well into the first of more than three decades as head of the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)-Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testified to a U.S. Senate committee that the then-current heat wave in Washington was caused by the relationship between “the greenhouse effect and observed warming.” This was the starting gun of a mighty debate about the existence, cause and consequences of global warming.

In his testimony, Hansen described three possible courses for the world’s climate, depending on public policy.

It is the third result that has occurred: unchanged world temperatures since 2000, apart from 2015-2016; then the temperature rose slightly after a heavy El Nino, and then receded again although world carbon emissions have increased moderately.

He gives no evidence of that claim. I’m sure someone else somewhere is saying something similar, but this is from NASA (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) in Global Temperature:

Parallel predictions were made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which forecast temperature increases twice as great as occurred in the period up to 2000, with accelerating increases in the years since, when the temperature has been flat (with the exception of the one year mentioned). Hansen also predicted exceptional warming in the Southeast and Midwest of the United States, which has not occurred either. As his predictions were battered and defied by the facts,

Hansen reinforced his expressions of ecological gloom and in 2007 predicted that all Greenland’s ice would melt and that ocean levels would rise by seven metres within 100 years.

I can’t find evidence of those claims by Hansen. In Scientific reticence and sea level rise (2007) heb talks only of estimates of possible scenarios based on the known science in 2007. he does say “The nonlinearity of the ice sheet problem makes it impossible to accurately predict the sea level change on a specific date. However, as a physicist, I find it almost
inconceivable that BAU climate change would not yield a sea level change of the order of meters on the century timescale”.


We have only had 11 years, but no ice has been lost by Greenland, other than what melts every summer and then forms again, and water levels have not moved appreciably.

In contrast from Scientific American: Greenland Is Melting Faster Than at Any Time in the Last 400 Years

study published this week in Geophysical Research Letters finds that melt rates in western Greenland have been accelerating for the last few decades. Melting is now nearly double what it was at the end of the 19th century, the research suggests. And the scientists say a significant increase in summertime temperatures—to the tune of about 1.2 degrees Celsius since the 1870s—is mainly to blame.

Future warming may only continue to enhance the melting, the researchers warn—a major concern when it comes to future sea-level rise.

The researchers used models informed with historical climate data to investigate some of the climatic factors influencing melt rates from one year to the next over the last century. Fluctuations in ocean temperatures and certain atmospheric circulation patterns were shown to have a major influence on year-to-year variations in melt rates since the 1870s.

That’s important to note, because these oceanic and atmospheric patterns may change under the influence of future climate change. Scientists are still debating how they may be affected, but the new findings suggest that a better understanding will be critical to making accurate short-term predictions about melting and sea-level rise.

The need for ongoing scientific research is obviously important. And most of the current science (as opposed to opinion of people like Black) suggests a growing problem with the effects of climate change. The biggest uncertainty is by how much and over what time period.

I got sidetracked addressing some of Black’s claims. The second article from RealClear: Clmate Change Is Our Most Critical National-Security Challenge

Progressive American politicians must embrace the necessity of dramatic action on climate change as a touchstone. So far, Senator Bernie Sanders has done it the most persuasively, campaigning on addressing climate change, health care, racial justice, and economic inequality as his unvaried quartet of issues, invoked in every speech and backed up with serious legislation that shows a willingness to move with real speed. Other party leaders will back him on one bill or another, and scientists and engineers are now runningfor office.

Seriousness on climate change needs to be a qualification, not an afterthought, for anyone who wants to run for president. Because it’s not an environmental issue; it’s the most crucial security question that humans have ever faced.

There’s a major problem with this – Sanders didn’t even make the presidential election, Trump won and is taking the US into the climate change dark ages, and progressive politics in the US is in disarray.

Leave a comment


  1. David

     /  2nd July 2018

    The last paragraph is a bit off given the US has seen a huge reduction in greenhouse emissions and the Democrats never passed any meaningful environmental laws either just relied on the EPA to make the odd rule here and there.
    From the actual evidence I am with Black, not a lot has changed in my lifetime despite predictions I should now be either starving or underwater.

  2. Farmers on zero carbon: let’s do this

    New Zealand’s farming sector appears to have quietly signed up to the Government’s aspirational plan to be carbon neutral by 2050.

    In a symbolic show of unity, the Farming Leaders Group has published to joint editorial statement with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, published today by Stuff.

    While the piece is described the zero carbon initiative as “a very ambitious and challenging target” and said questions remained about what it meant for food production, it makes commits to working to achieving the goal.

    “Today, farming leaders with the support of the Government are stating their support for this goal and the agri-food sector playing its part in achieving it,” it reads.

  3. Zedd

     /  2nd July 2018

    it seems that the prominent voices that make MSM are at the extremes; deniers V alarmists.. no points for guessing which camp I have been ‘labeled in’.. BUT methinks this is not a ‘black & white’ issue

    this is why the title has changed from ‘Global Warming’ to ‘Climate Change’.. there has been some extreme weather events, including ‘big freezes’. BUT it sounds like many are still in the ‘Ostrich phase’ ? “Ignore it at your peril” sez I (& many others)

  4. Blazer

     /  2nd July 2018

    Farmers love paying lip service to environmental concerns….in the mean time ….hand out for MPBovis…drought,irrigation….etc,etc.

    • Grimm

       /  2nd July 2018

      You should take a stand against all those corporates you constantly bitch about, and stop using their products. That way we wouldn’t have to read your tosh.

      Go on, make a stand, start now, put down that iPhone.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  2nd July 2018

        Farmers are business people. Even if they had no personal care about the environment, which is highly improbable. they would want to maximise the farm’s use and profits.

        To say that all they do is give lip-service is a stupid generalisation.

        Like others, I stopped buying Twining’s tea on principle ! (human rights)

  5. Griff

     /  2nd July 2018

    Parallel predictions were made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which forecast temperature increases twice as great as occurred in the period up to 2000, with accelerating increases in the years since, when the temperature has been flat



    Flat from 1999.

    From taminos open mind .

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  2nd July 2018

      Tamino does not have an open mind. He is a hard core alarmist fanatic.

      • Griff

         /  2nd July 2018

        Oh dear .
        See the pretty pictures .
        To peploe not hiding from reality they tell an interesting story easy to understand.
        As you have a record of posting “the pause” thousands of times all over the internet they make you look very very stupid .
        Alarmist ?
        That would be every major scientific body on the planet.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  2nd July 2018

          Here is your favourite RSS satellite temperature analysis, Griff, pointing out that actual warming has been less than the alarmist models predict and running at a modest 1.8C per century:

          • Griff

             /  2nd July 2018

            Oh dear
            Space cadet is back living 5km up .
            Did you actually read the link Alan?
            More to the point can you understand it?

            Why does this discrepancy exist and what does it mean? One possible explanation is an error in the fundamental physics used by the climate models. In addition to this possibility, there are at least three other plausible explanations for the warming rate differences. There are errors in the forcings used as input to the model simulations (these include forcings due to anthropogenic gases and aerosols, volcanic aerosols, solar input, and changes in ozone), errors in the satellite observations (partially addressed by the use of the uncertainty ensemble), and sequences of internal climate variability in the simulations that are difference from what occurred in the real world. We call to these four explanations “model physics errors”, “model input errors”, “observational errors”, and “different variability sequences”. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, there is hard scientific evidence that all four of these factors contribute to the discrepancy, and that most of it can be explained without resorting to model physics errors. For a detailed discussion of all these reasons, see the post on the Skeptical Science blog by Ben Santer and Carl Mears, and the recent paper in Nature Geoscience by Santer et al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  2nd July 2018

              Yes. It says the models are wrong. Evidently you are emotionally or intellectually incapable of accepting that.

            • Griff

               /  2nd July 2018

              Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.

              Here is the import bit that your brain refuses to except due to your pathological denial.

              In fact, there is hard scientific evidence that all four of these factors contribute to the discrepancy, and that most of it can be explained without resorting to model physics errors.

              Contrast this with your reading of your link .Strikingly they are not the same .

              You have also contradicted your self on this thread.
              We note that you posted USA emissions have trended down.
              As Carl Mears notes That reduction in emissions explains some of the discrepancy.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  2nd July 2018

              Face it, the model predictions are simply wrong, Griff. Despite your pretty pictures.

  6. High Flying Duck

     /  2nd July 2018

    Not sure about Hansen, but there were plenty saying we were going to be ice free well before now:

    • Griff

       /  2nd July 2018

      Oh dear again
      Hello duck
      Minimum ice extent in the arctic happens around late September .
      Why do you think posting boats are stuck in ice in June says anything interesting?
      I know.
      Because you are easy confused by dribble.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  2nd July 2018

        Hi Griff,
        Still following that winning charismatic style that really works for you I see.
        The article re-posts a large number of articles all doom laden prophesying that the arctic would be “ice free!!!!” by 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015!
        A methane catastrophe. The modelling shows it, it is a major disruptive force! We’re in a death spiral,and my favourite “the arctic is screaming”.

        I think this may be the dribble you are referring to? Dribble melts ice doesn’t it?

        • Griff

           /  2nd July 2018

          Show me a published scientific paper that suggests an ice free arctic by now
          What that you cant.
          All you have is newspaper opinion pieces by journalists.
          Oh dear .
 Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean

          Whether the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will shrink depends on changes in the overall ice and salinity budget, the rate of sea-ice production, the rate of melt, and advection of sea ice into and out of the Arctic Basin. The most important exit route is through Fram Strait (Vinje et al., 1998). The mean annual export of sea ice through Fram Strait was ~2,850 km3 for the period 1990-1996, but there is high interannual variability caused by atmospheric forcing and, to a lesser degree, ice thickness variations. Other important passages are the northern Barents Sea and through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (Rothrock et al., 1999). Analyses by Gordon and O’Farrell (1997), using a dynamic ice routine with a transient coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation—CSIRO), predict a 60% loss in summer sea ice in the Arctic for a doubling of CO2. The summer season, during which ice retreats far offshore, increases from 60 to 150 days. The likely distance between northern coasts and Arctic pack ice will increase from the current 150-200 to 500-800 km.

          In a more recent study, there is good agreement between Arctic sea-ice trends and those simulated by control and transient integrations from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) and the Hadley Centre (see Figure 16-6). Although the Hadley Centre climate model underestimates sea-ice extent and thickness, the trends of the two models are similar. Both models predict continued decreases in sea-ice thickness and extent (Vinnikov et al., 1999), so that by 2050, sea-ice extent is reduced to about 80% of area it covered at the mid-20th century.

          Here it the IPCC projection compered with reality in a pretty picture .

  7. chrism56

     /  2nd July 2018

    Here is the official Greenland icemelt – Unlike previous years, in 2018 it hasn’t actually had a significant mass loss yet.
    Annual ice loss of 200Gt/year which if none of the ice is floating equates to just under 0.5mm per year sea level rise.
    And according to here,, much of Greenland was warmer in the 30s and 40s.


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