James Hansen Demonstrates Again That He Is Completely Incompetent

The distribution of seasonal mean temperature anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures and the range of anomalies has increased.

An important change is the emergence of a category of summertime extremely hot outliers, more than three standard deviations (σ) warmer than climatology.

This hot extreme, which covered much less than 1% of Earth’s surface in the period of climatology, now typicallycovers about 10% of the land area.

We conclude that extreme heat waves, such as that in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, were “caused” by global warming, because their likelihood was negligible prior to the recent rapid global warming. We discuss practical implications of this substantial, growing climate change.

US Politics | AMERICAblog News: Quarter to half of species on earth may die from global warming

This is nonsense and a disgrace to both NASA and science in general. According to the EPA graph below, the heatwaves of the 1930s were more than three standard deviations warmer than climatology.


Heat waves occurred with high frequency in the 1930s, and these remain the most severe heat waves in the U.S. historical record  (see Figure 1). Many years of intense drought (the “Dust Bowl”) contributed to these heat waves by depleting soil moisture and reducing the moderating effects of evaporation.

There is no clear trend over the entire period tracked by the index. Although it is hard to see in Figure 1 (because of the extreme events of the 1930s), heat wave frequency decreased in the 1960s and 1970s but has risen since then (see Figure 1).


According to the USHCN database, maximum temperatures in Oklahoma during the summers of 1936 and 1934 were both warmer than 2011, and 1954 was just as hot

1936	99.98
1934	99.90
2011	99.51
1954	99.50


Hansen needs to step down. He is attempting to drive policy with claims that have no basis in fact. This is not acceptable, and he has been doing it for decades.

h/t to Marc Morano

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78 Responses to James Hansen Demonstrates Again That He Is Completely Incompetent

  1. Tom Martin says:

    “According to the USHCN database, maximum temperatures in Oklahoma during the summers of 1936 and 1934 were both warmer than 2011, and 1954 was just as hot “…
    Yea, but this time it is our fault
    — Mann made climate change ya know

  2. johnmcguire says:

    So there have been published papers showing that the heat wave in Russia in 2010 was a hung up high pressure system. And we know that hansen has been manipulateing the data to raise current temperatures and lower the temperatures of the past and it is clear that he is a radical wackjob . So why hasn’t this administraion removed him? Do you suppose it is because they like the lie he is telling? In my opinion he is either a liar or a wackjob or both. And the democrats evidently love his style.

  3. gofer says:

    98% consensus, yet nobody, including major media can seem to find anybody besides Hansen or McKibben to talk about disastrous warming. I suspect most of the scientists aren’t going to wade into that psychedelic pond and expose themselves to being labeled a crackpot. Even Ralph Cicerone, President of NAS told a BBC interviewer that the “evidence didn’t support” CAGW.

  4. Now switching from “consistent with” to “caused”. The next descent into a complete disconnect with reality is when he drops the scare quotes.

  5. Don B says:

    The graph of Heat Wave Index from the CCSP is plotted through 2008. Does anyone have the numbers for 2009, 2010 and 2011?

  6. When was policy driven by facts?

  7. Whatever says:

    The graph above (and many other interesting graphs) comes from page 39 on this site — BTW the above graph should only go to 2005 not 2008): http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap3-3/final-report/sap3-3-final-Chapter2.pdf

    A companion page summarizes the report: http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap3-3/final-report/sap3-3-final-Chapter2.pdf
    “Long-term upward trends in the frequency of unusually warm nights, extreme precipitation episodes, and the length of the frost-free season, along with pronounced recent increases in the frequency of North Atlantic tropical cyclones (hurricanes), the length of the frost-free season, and extreme wave heights along the West Coast are notable changes in the North American climate record.
    • Most of North America is experiencing more unusually hot days. The number of warm spells has been increasing since 1950. However, the heat waves of the 1930s remain the most severe in the United States historical record back to 1895.
    • There are fewer unusually cold days during the last few decades. The last 10 years have seen a lower number of severe cold waves than for any other 10-year period in the historical record which dates back to 1895. There has been a decrease in the number of frost days and a lengthening of the frostfree season, particularly in the western part of North America.
    • Extreme precipitation episodes (heavy downpours) have become more frequent and more intense in recent decades than at any other time in the historical record, and account for a larger percentage of total precipitation. The most significant changes have occurred in most of the United States, northern Mexico, southeastern, northern and western Canada, and southern Alaska. . . . . . . ”

    Sometimes it is better to see the whole picture.

    • Winter temperatures in the Northern hemisphere have plummeted over the last decade, and snowfall has been near record levels the last few years. Much of Europe and Asia had their coldest and snowiest winter on record last year. But thanks for the disinformation

      • Whatever says:

        So, It is ok to cherry pick the graph from the report, but not ok to recognize the validity of the rest of the report?

    • It is quite clear that heatwaves were at least a severe in the past and that Hansen is incompetent.

      • Whatever says:

        Hansen is considered incompetent to those with unspecified scientific qualifications, but not to one of the world’s most prestigious scientific bodies (NASA)?

        Why should I believe you over NASA? What qualifications do you have in climate science — or any earth science that makes your opinions relevant?.

        • Well I do have a BS in Geology and 40 years experience and a Masters in Electrical Engineering, but unlike Hansen I never wrote an idiotic dissertation blaming Venus hot temperatures on aerosols – which was possibly the stupidest doctoral dissertation ever written.

      • Brian G Valentine says:

        I know it. The idiot had no clue that the formation of sulfuric acid was exothermic.

        But he was “supervised” by that mutton head, Carl “Charlatan” Sagan.

        Now there was a master at bilking the Government to support hare-brained projects. The true talent he passed on to his protege.

      • Whatever,

        Hansen is not very good at what he does because he has made prediction after prediction that turns out to be wrong. I don’t need to be climate scientist to review the predictions they made and then check back later to how well they turned out. It’s actually just called ‘having a brain’.

  8. papiertigre says:
  9. Whatever says:


    Is this the Hansen paper you are referring to? From my reading, he says the opacity of certain sized aerosols CONTRIBUTE to heat retention in the atmosphere.


    A dust insulation model for the atmospher ov Venus is proposed in which the high temperature results primarily from a shielding of energy escaping the planet inerior. The insulation by micron-sized particles which may be kept airborne by mild turbulence. . . . . . .

    I have the entire paper if you are interested.

    Why is this paper the stupidest thing you have ever read?

    I am not clear as to your climate qualifications. Did you say you have been a practiocing Geologist for 40 years or you have a BS in Geology, but you really are an electrical engineer?

    I would live to read some of your papers — can you post their titles and where and when were they published?

    • Duh Homer…… Hansen now blames global cooling on particulates, You really have some catching to do.

      • Me says:

        Yeah But, you know ,errrrr, and something or another, and Whatever! BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!

      • Whatever says:

        Hansen’s paper was on Venus, NOT EARTH and was about the opacity of specific sized VENUSIAN aerosols that may be able to trap certain radiations from leaving the extremely hot and unique Venusian atmosphere. The reflective properties of some of the industrial pollutants found here on earth was never mentioned in Hansen’s paper on Venus.

        I repeat, why was that the stupidest paper you have ever read? And please don’t be sophmoric by trying to compare Earth apples to Venus oranges — a little REAL SCIENCE would be appreciated

        BTW, I would still like to know if you were a practising geologist for 40 years or were really an electrical engineer. And I would like to know the titles and publishing details of any original research you have done in connection to any earth science.

    • Brian G Valentine says:

      The clouds of Venus aren’t a static thing, like a mountain or something. They are composed of sulfuric acid droplets, and the reduction of their vapor pressure by dust prevents them from evaporating.

      The droplets will coalesce, and they will fall back to the surface. At that T and P, sulfuric acid will decompose back to SO3 and water, and the SO3 will reduce to SO2, which is stable at that T and P.

      In the Venusian atmosphere, SO2 will oxidize to SO3 again, and combine with water vapor, to form sulfuric acid again.

      Do you have any idea how large the heat of reaction of SO3 and water vapor is?

      In the foregoing manner, Venusian volcanic heat becomes a permanent part of the atmosphere.

      I thought this was obvious; there is nothing else around that could account for that kind of heat

  10. Argument from authority is a logical fallacy. Trying to insert “appropriate” does not make it valid, no matter how many times you try it.

  11. Whatever says:

    “Whatever a dumb comment”

    Please explain.

    • Me says:


    • When a volcano goes off temperatures get cold. Particulates block incoming solar radiation.

      • Me says:

        Don’t think it understands that, as it has proven from past experiences, but then again, It’s Whatever!?@#

      • Whatever says:

        “When a volcano goes off temperatures get cold. Particulates block incoming solar radiation.”

        And that is the reason why Hansen is wrong when he mentions particulates can cool Earth’s atmosphere?!?

        However, none of this has to do with why Hansen’s 1967 paper on VENUSIAN aerosols is the stupidest thing you have ever read.

        Not all volcanic particles share the same properties and, of course, the optical and suspension properties of particles vary according to size. Hansen lists the different properties of varying sized Sulfur, Magnesium, SiO2, Selenium plus a dozen more aerosols in his paper.

        Which of these particulates are you specifically referring to? Which ones are volcanic in origin and what evidence do you have that they will share the same charactersitics on 2 planets with very different atmospheres? Could you please point out the location in Hansen’s paper where he discusses volcanic particles?

        BTW, it would be nice if you answered my previous questions as to whether you are a practising geologist or a practising electrical engineer as well as the titles and publishing details of any scientific papers you have authored.

  12. Whatever says:

    “Physical laws on Venus is the same on earth.” However, the physical characteristics of the two planets are vastly different. For example, atmospheric density and composition will have a profound effect on how aerosols behave. Not to mention that the aerosols themselves are different on the two planets. Volcanic particles in an Earth atmosphere has very little relevance when the topic is the behaviour of unique aerosols in an alien atmosphere.

    I am not arguing, I am waiting. Waiting for a sensible answer as to why Hansen’s paper on Venusian aerosols and their characteristics on VENUS is the stupidest thing you have ever read.

    And PLEASE answer the questions as to whether you were a practising geologist for 40 years and where I can find any papers you have written in the scientific literature.

    • papiertigre says:

      So are you going to man up and recant your initial bullshit, or what?

      Note to everyone not named Whatever: I wouldn’t respond to his pivot until he withdraws the July 25, 9:01 am post.
      The one with the hurricanes, dwindling frost days, and whatnot.

      • Whatever says:

        What is there to recant? Goddard plucks a single graph out of a report and I simply provide a link to that report and post some of the points summarized in that very same report.


  13. “Hansen countered by saying that having insider information shifts the odds to those that know the physics of the climate system, and that whether there is a new temperature record depends upon the particular data set used.” Seems Hansen knew if only climate scientists had the data, they could spin whatever tales they wanted.

    • Whatever says:

      As the temperature data is in the public domain, you don’t need to worry.

      • Problem is, regardless of whether the data is in the public domain or not, Hansen alters it and then climate zombies such as yourself tell everyone that the adjusted data is fine, regardless of how dubious the adjustments…

  14. As Will notes, it’s not just the temperature data. It’s the algorithms, formulas and adjustments done to the data by Hansen that are also critical. I think that’s what he meant by “depends upon the particular data set used”. What you leave in and what you take out, along with what you adjust, determine the answer you get.

      • Whatever says:

        Is it possible to stay on one subject at a time?

        You stated that Hansen’s 1967 paper regarding the optical properties of micron-sized VENUSIAN unique aerosols within VENUS’ unique atmosphere was possibly the stupidest paper ever written. When asked why, you responded with non-germane comments about Earth’s volcanic particles. I am still waiting for a sensible answer. Obviously, a serious person wouldn’t have such harsh criticism for scientific paper unless they had some REAL SCIENCE to back up their opinion.

        Are you a serious person?

        Plus, you still have not answered the questions as to your qualifications. Have you been a practising geologist for 40 years and have you written any scientific literature, and if so, where can it be found?

        Simple, no?

  15. Whatever says:

    “Aeroslos block incoming solar radiation.”

    And that apply to ALL the 16 different aerosols listed in Hansen’s paper?
    And the reflective properties don’t change for the 1, 2, and 3 micron-sized particulates?
    And the heavy CO2 Venusian atmosphere doesn’t interfere with the reflective properties of these aerosols?
    And none of these trap any outbound radiation at all, not even in the microwave region?

    That is truly amazing Stephen.

    I think we are looking at the next Nobel Prize winner in Atmospheric Physics.

    When can we expect to see this in the scientific literature? Speaking of which, when can we learn if you were a practising geologist for 40 years and where we can find your other scientific papers?

    Congratulations. I can see now why your site is called REAL SCIENCE.

    • You typify the ad hoc thought process of alarmists, You couldn’t care less about facts, you just want to talk about sciency sounding stuff.

      Particulates in the atmosphere are not going to make the surface hot. Get a clue.

      • Whatever says:

        What facts? You have only supplied very vague statements about particulates without differentiating between the composition, size, or even the properties of the particulates in question. Heck, you answer a question about Venus by talking about Earth. How would you classify that thought process?

        You seem unable to answer the most basic of questions on almost any topic. Why does it take a dozen questions to find out if you have published scientific papers or if you have been, in fact, a practising geologist for 40 years?

  16. Defining a “real scientist” as one who has published the most in peer-reviewed journals means Newton, Galileo, etc, were not real scientists. Sure, now you cry “There were no journals back then”. Which would mean there is NO WAY to define scientists before peer-reviewed journals came into being. You can try to wiggle your way out of this–and undoubtedly you will– but your definition of experts and scientists we should listen to removes the great scientists of the past. So, if we agree to follow your insistence on peer-reviewed publishing, we have to throw out Newton, Galileo, and so forth. You can claim peer-reviewed journals are the “new” standard, but you need exceptional reasons for doing this. Newton created a whole new type of mathematics, so complexity of the theories won’t do for why we now have to publish. Your criteria is to vote for the expert whose theory you like best and then follow them blindly. That is not science.

    • Whatever says:

      “Your criteria is to vote for the expert whose theory you like best and then follow them blindly. That is not science.”

      No, science is not a popularity contest. Unless, of course, you are attracted to theories that stand up to rigorous testing from multiple positions over long periods of time.

      Galileo was one of the original founders of the scientific method — the bedrock of modern science. Peer review is an integral part of this method.

      Publishing in the scientific literature, so it can be reviewed and criticised by others is a vital part of modern science. Of course, the criticism must have some connection to the paper being published.

  17. Whatever says:

    Goddard: “. . you just want to talk about sciency sounding stuff.”

    Isn’t this site called Real Science?

  18. Whatever says:

    Well lets leave it there. To summarise:

    Goddard produces a graph from a report.
    I provide a link to that report and a few of the summary points from the same report.
    Goddard accuses me of disinformation.

    Goddard accuses Hansen of incompetence and of writing “probably the worst paper ever written”.
    When asked why the paper on optical properties of Venusian aerosols was so bad, Goddard talks about Earth’s volcanic particles.

    I repeatedly request specific information on Goddard’s scientific qualifications and of the papers he has published.
    Goddard reveals that he has a BS in geology, but not if he has ever been a practising geologist and he has also never revealed if he has published a scientific paper.

    Goddard accuses me of being “sciency” and of practising “Ad hoc” science.
    Goddard never explains what Ad hoc science means.

    • Ad hoc science is making up sciencey sounding explanations for things.

      I’ve published almost 10,000 articles on this blog. You must be able to find all kinds of things that I have done wrong.

      • Whatever says:

        “Ad hoc science is making up sciencey sounding explanations for things. I’ve published almost 10,000 articles on this blog. You must be able to find all kinds of things that I have done wrong.”

        You have a very unusual way of promoting REAL SCIENCE.

  19. Whatever says:

    “Go for it. You think I don’t know what I am talking about, there must be a tens of thousands of my own words here to nail me with.”

    Why would I do that Steven when you do such a splendid of job that all by yourself.

    But I would suggest that you are more circumspect in the future when you bandy about phrases such as “James Hansen demonstrates again that he is completely incompetent” or “which was possibly the stupidest doctoral dissertation ever written” without having the knowledge to back them up.

    It makes you look like a small, foolish, biased and bitter man. Sorry to speak so frankly, but those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    • Dear Whatever,

      I would love to see your doctoral dissertation. That way we might have some competition for stupidest ever, eh?

      • Whatever says:

        First of all, I don’t have a website called REAL SCIENCE.

        Second, I don’t make baseless accusations.

        Third, when I criticize a paper, the comments are germane to the paper.

        And Fourth, I will gladly show you both of my dissertations as soon as Goddard owns up as to what his real — and verifiable — qualifications are in climate science or earth science and he provides REAL SCIENTIFIC evidence as to why Hansen’s paper on Venusian aerosols was so bad.

        Will you be putting up your dissertation as well?

      • Me says:

        Then do it or is it Wahtever?

      • Me says:


  20. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours is about as adolescent as we can go. Seriously, grow up. If you have a dissertation, so state and produce it. If you have a PhD, note in what field and where you got it. No resorting to Michael Mann tactics–as in “I won’t discuss science with real scientists or discuss my theory alongside another theory”. If “Whatever” has a PhD, he needs to say what it is in. Otherwise, you are going to be regarded as an idiot alongside whomever you are defending. Hiding your credentials only makes you look stupid……

    • Whatever says:

      “Hiding your credentials only makes you look stupid……”

      Do you hear that Stephen?

      Reality check, I have not defended anyone, I have only asked for verifiable evidence behind the accusations and highly improbable statements that have made. When someone trashes the work and reputation of another, especially of a person who sits atop one of the world’s most respected science organizations, is it not reasonable to know the qualifications of the person casting the dispersions?

      If and when I start trashing scientists, you have every right to know what qualifications I hold. First, though, it is Stephen’s turn to be held accountable.

      • I have shown that Hansen ‘s work is garbage. Your job is to show that my work is garbage.

      • You can check the data yourself Whatever. If you have a different point of view, then let’s look at your analysis. The “world’s greatest scientist can’t be wrong” line is kind of stupid isn’t it? Do you have anything else? Paul Ehrlich has never been right about anything in his long academic career yet he has been given endless accolades and awards by his peers. Check out his CV. So what exactly do you think your argument from authority proves since it can so easily be disproved as nonsense?

  21. Brian G Valentine says:

    “When someone trashes the work and reputation of another, especially of a person who sits atop one of the world’s most respected science organizations, is it not reasonable to know the qualifications of the person casting the dispersions?”

    Real Science isn’t one of the “most respected science organizations,” it’s a blog, but Goddard probably appreciates your compliment.

    So now you have given your lengthy preamble to letting the world know your qualifications, and we’re waiting

  22. Whatever:
    No, it is not reasonable to ask the qualifications of someone trashing “a person who sits atop one of the world’s most respected science organizations”. Believe or not, people without such gaudy positions can understand science and the scientific method. Remove all the calculus, algorithms, etc and you still have a theory that fails to meet the criteria for science. You do not need a PhD to see that. Also, people with “absolutely no qualifications” have made major scientific breakthroughs. It’s not a question of the degree, it’s a question of methodology and the use of the data that is the problem. When a scientist joins a political cause and starts yelling the sky is falling based on what for all practical purposes is a theory that can proven by any outcome (it’s going to get colder, it’s going to get hotter, it’s going to have weather extremes, the weather is going to flatten out for now–all these claims have been made by climate scientists), or just by moving the “oceans boil” date further into the future, he stops being a scientist and becomes an activist. And, no, I do NOT think people can be both. Activists tend to cling to ideas based on faith in an individual or institution, which is completely the opposite of science. Scientists report their findings in a neutral way. Then people with an agenda take the information and spin it in whatever direction suits their cause.

    • Whatever says:

      Of course lay people can understand science and have reasonable criticism. This is a strong argument for peer-review. However, the criticism should relate to the studies under review.

      Personal and unfounded attacks that have nothing to do with the actual studies are, however, are a different matter. Statements such as “James Hansen demonstrates again that he is completely incompetent” or “which was possibly the stupidest doctoral dissertation ever written” fall into that category. I am surprised you don’t agree.

      If the person making the attacks can not provide evidence to support his accusations or, at least, demonstrate he has some foundation or qualification to make that attack, then why should he be listened to?

  23. Whatever says:

    Sorry, I meant to say “This is a strong argument for peer-review AND FOR PUBLISHING IN A PUBLIC FORUM”.

  24. Whatever says:

    “I’m putting tons of data out there. Feel free to prove me wrong”.

    Thank you. And if you continue to post “data” like you have on this blog, I just might try.

  25. Reality check says:

    Thank you for clarifying your statement. I am not aware of much publishing in the public forum of climate change information. In fact, I believe the IPCC recently said they can review studies and they are the only peers needed. So we have one committee reviewing studies now–well, actually we hope the scientists associated with the IPCC are actually reviewing, since the IPCC has few scientists actually employed.
    Hansen recently said the oceans will boil. How can one take this person seriously, not matter what credentials he has after his name? He did seem to sincerely mean this. His claims about species extinction have been refuted by other scientists as a mathematical over calculation. His credibility comes mostly from political sources. NASA is government funded which makes it subject to political manipulation. Thus, the comment about Hansen being completely incompetent does not seem to be a personal attack.
    As for the dissertation, I have no comments on that. I did not take the comment to be a scientific comment but rather a personal opinion. Since I have no idea what dissertations Goddard has read, I really don’t have any measure. Maybe a listing of stupid dissertations? Too far off subject, I think.
    What public forum are you referring to? News magazines and so forth slant data and eliminate that which does not suit their purpose. I am constantly told I cannot use news items as proof of the errors in climate science. Is there a public forum out there I am missing?

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