If climate change is dangerous, can’t a scientist say so? (Hansen’s keynote address at the AGU 2013)

Back in l988, physicist/climatologist James Hansen told Congress that that we had begun to change the earth's atmosphere. This was during a heat wave in Washington, and his testimony made headlines. That's rare for a scientist of any sort.  "Global warming has began, Expert tells Senate" reported the NYTimes.  "It's time to stop waffling soContinue reading “If climate change is dangerous, can’t a scientist say so? (Hansen’s keynote address at the AGU 2013)”

To wipe out coastal cities, burn the fossil fuels: Hansen

In his latest posting, James Hansen looks at ice sheet loss in Greenland and Antartcia, and warns of the possiblility of an exponential ice sheet loss rate. Posing the question, he asks: A crucial question is how rapidly the Greenland (or Antarctic) ice sheet can disintegrate in response to global warming. Earth's history makes itContinue reading “To wipe out coastal cities, burn the fossil fuels: Hansen”

Hansen sees rapid sea level rise this century

Back in l981, as a relatively young man, a physicist named James Hansen led a team that reported in Science on Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. The paper predicted that the warming signal would emerge clearly from the noise of natural variability by the end of the century. In the 21st century, saidContinue reading “Hansen sees rapid sea level rise this century”

Once they denied relativity; now they deny climate change

The "crackpots," that is. That's according to physicist Joergen van Dongen, in a fascinating paper for the Institute for History and the Foundation of Science, published last fall, available through ScienceDirect. It's  called "On Einstein's opponents, and other crackpots." The paper begins with a quote from Einstein that sounds almost as if he could beContinue reading “Once they denied relativity; now they deny climate change”

Obama admits cap and trade is dead

This week the President admitted what D.C. insiders have been saying for months about the Democratic plan to control greenhouse gas emissions. ACES, The American Clean Energy and Security Bill passed by the House last fall, which is intended to control emissions by a cap-and-trade mechanism, is politically dead. At a town hall meeting inContinue reading “Obama admits cap and trade is dead”

Lindzen’s Holy Grail — a negative feedback — and Hansen’s translation

The first difficulty with climate science for the public — and this is true whether or not you believe that the climate is in trouble — is that it's so monstrously huge and long and difficult to understand. The second difficulty is that most scientists themselves aren't very good at explaining the difficulties. The thirdContinue reading “Lindzen’s Holy Grail — a negative feedback — and Hansen’s translation”

Obama: Can He Be Trusted on Coal?

For enviros concerned about global warming, nothing matters more than opposing the construction of new coal plants, in this country and around the world. That’s because coal is by far the most carbon intensive of all fuels. James Hansen, the world’s leading climatologist, has been talking about its menace for years. In an op-ed publishedContinue reading “Obama: Can He Be Trusted on Coal?”