IPCC Member: NASA’s Hansen Moving 'Dangerously Away From Scientific Discourse to Advocacy'

August 27th, 2007 10:07 AM

NASA's James Hansen, whose work is continually exposed as shoddy while he refuses to share data gathering techniques and computer codes used for such things with others, has been criticized by a contributing scientist to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as moving "dangerously away from scientific discourse to advocacy."

What has drawn the ire of Andrew Weaver, a physicist at the University of Victoria who works on the dynamics of the polar ice caps, are recent statements by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies chief that oceans could rise as much as 82 feet in the next hundred years due to global warming.

Bear in mind that the IPCC's most recent report downgraded its expectations for such sea level increases to less than two feet.

However, according to Canada's Globe and Mail, Hansen believes the IPCC is dramatically underestimating the imminent doom (emphasis added throughout, h/t to Marc Morano and James Lewis):

"If we follow 'business-as-usual' growth of greenhouse gas emissions," he writes in an e-mail interview, "I think that we will lock in a guaranteed sea-level rise of several metres, which, frankly, means that all hell is going to break loose."

The scientific basis for this idea - which Prof. Hansen and five co-authors gleaned from geological records, ice core samples and analysis of the sea floor - is outlined in a recent paper published by the British journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

In stark contrast to estimates put forward by the IPCC, Prof. Hansen and his colleagues argue that rapidly melting ice caps in Antarctica and Greenland could cause oceans to swell several metres by 2100 - or maybe even as much as 25 metres, which is how much higher the oceans sat about three million years ago.

Of course, lost upon Hansen - and, quite frankly, the entire global warming alarmism crowd - is that if oceans were indeed so much higher three million years ago before man was emitting so much carbon dioxide, it seems quite specious to suggest that man is responsible for today's warming and sea level rise.

Yet, there was a more telling segment of this article that even further demolished the "debate is over," "the science is settled" nonsense that alarmists like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his not so merry sycophants continue to disingenuously espouse:

Certain positive feedback effects, as well as recent data on the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, were not included in the IPCC's report. "Because of the cumbersome IPCC review process, they exclude recent information," Prof. Hansen says, "so they are very handicapped."

That's correct, James, and the point that skeptics all around the world have been making for years: the IPCC is INDEED handicapped, and DOES exclude MUCH recent information, not just that which supports your views.

Frankly, I'm very pleased to see Hansen admit this, and wish that our media would immediately report that one of the top scientists involved in global warming change research believes the IPCC is actually NOT the end all and be all when it comes to climate change information.

That said, Richard Peltier, a University of Toronto physicist and the director of the Centre for Global Change Science, isn't buying Hansen's recent alarmism, nor do others:

"We really don't know what the future has in store. I am incapable of predicting how fast the ice sheets will melt, and so is he. But I don't think we are going to hell in a handbasket."

Others are even less convinced of the catastrophic predictions put forward by Prof. Hansen. Andrew Weaver, a physicist at the University of Victoria who works on the dynamics of the polar ice caps and also contributes to the IPCC reports, says he thinks the "upper bound for sea-level rise this century is a metre.

"I don't disagree with the seriousness of the issue or the importance of these positive feedback effects," he says, "but runaway feedbacks have extraordinarily low probabilities, which is why they are not given much attention by the IPCC."

He adds that the Greenland ice sheet will almost certainly melt away completely, but the IPCC predicts that this will take 1,700 years - not a century. "The complete disintegration of the ice sheets cannot happen in 100 years," he says.

Moreover, although he calls Prof. Hansen his "hero" for speaking out about global warming in the 1980s "when nobody was listening," he criticizes the tone of his recent paper and the use of words such as "cataclysm," which he believes move "dangerously away from scientific discourse to advocacy."

Hmmm. So, one of the members of the IPCC thinks that Hansen has moved from scientific discourse to advocacy. Ask any of the skeptics around the world, and they would have told you the exact same thing.

Isn't it sad that America now has an advocate in one of the most powerful climate positions in the nation rather than a scientist?

For more information on Hansen's absurdities, please see James Lewis's piece in today' American Thinker.