Spectacularly Poor Climate Science At NASA

Dr. James Hansen of NASA, has been the world’s leading promoter of the idea that the world is headed towards “climate disaster.” There is little evidence to back this up.

In 2008, Hansen wrote about “stabilizing” the climate :

Stabilizing atmospheric CO2 and climate requires that net CO2 emissions approach zero, because of the long lifetime of CO2


Yet in 1999, he made it quite clear that past climate was not stable, and that there was little evidence to support that idea that the climate was becoming unstable.

Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.

NASA GISS: Science Briefs: Whither U.S. Climate?

In that same 1999 report, he showed that US temperatures peaked in 1934, and declined through the rest of the century.

NASA fig1x.gif (500×182)

In 1989, NOAA and the UK’s leading expert agreed with Hansen that US had not warmed.

February 04, 1989

Last week, scientists from the United States Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that a study of temperature readings for the contiguous 48 states over the last century showed there had been no significant change in average temperature over that period.

Dr. (Phil) Jones said in a telephone interview today that his own results for the 48 states agreed with those findings.

Global Warmth In ’88 Is Found To Set a Record – New York Times

But in the year 2000, NASA and NOAA altered the historical US temperature record, which now shows that there was about one degree centigrade US warming during the century before 1989.

NASA Fig.D.gif (513×438)

The animated image below shows the changes which Dr. Hansen made to the historical US temperature record after the year 1999. He cooled the 1930s, and warmed the 1980s and 1990s. The year 1998 went from being more than half a degree cooler than 1934, to warmer than 1934.

Hansen’s recent temperature data tampering is not limited to the US. He has done the same thing all over the planet. Below is one recent example in Iceland, where he dramatically cooled the first half of the century, and warmed the present. He appears to be trying to erase evidence that there was a very warm period in much of the Arctic around 1940.

Original version  Altered version

The changes in Reykjavik, Iceland were particularly heinous – because they were specifically objected to by the Icelandic Met Office. Meteorologist Mark Johnson contacted  the senior expert at the Icelandic Met Office and asked him about NASA data tampering in iceland. Here is their exchange :

 1) Are you happy with the adjustments as they stand right now?

No, I am not happy with the adjustments as they stand, but I might no be quite up to date. I don’t know if they have been making additional changes during the last 2-3 weeks.  

2) Have you or any of your staff contacted or been contacted by anyone from NASA Goddard Space Institute officials?

No, but we made some contact with them about 5-6 weeks ago.  Best wishes, 

Trausti Jónsson senior meteorologist Icelandic Meteorological Office

The altering of Icelandic data by NASA was particularly troubling, because the cooling from 1940 to 1980 was a well known and difficult historical period in Iceland. NASA  erased Iceland’s history, without even the courtesy to contact Iceland’s experts.

Additionally, we know that there was tremendous warming in the Arctic prior to the 1940s, which Hansen has erased from the historical record in Iceland, Greenland and elsewhere.

In 1947, noted geophysicist Dr. Hans Ahlmann reported to the University of California Geophysical Institute that the Arctic had warmed ten degrees since 1900.

31 May 1947 – Warmer Arctic Climate May Raise Ocean Levels

Arctic warming was well known as early as 1922.


Many leading experts prior to the Hansen era, agreed that the earlier Arctic warming was real, and quite dramatic.

CLEVELAND, Feb. 16 (A.A.P.) Dr. William S. Carlson, an Arctic expert, said to-night that the Polar icecaps were melting at an astonishing and unexplained rate and were threatening to swamp seaports   by raising the ocean levels.

Leading Arctic expert from 1953

The glaciers of Norway and Alaska are only half the size they were 50 years age. The temperature around Spitsbergen has so modified that the sailing time has lengthened from three to eight months of the year,”

Leading Arctic expert from 1952

LONDON (A.P.).-The earth is getting warmer. The oceans are getting deeper. The glaciers are getting smaller. Even the fish are changing their way of life.

All this and more is going on because of a vast, unaccountable, century-by-century change, in climate. In his study at Bedford College in London, Britain’s distinguished geographer, Professor Gordon Manley, is worrying about it.

Leading geographer from 1950

Dr. Ahlman urged the establishment of an international agency to study conditions on a global basis. Temperatures had risen 10 degrees since 1900. The navigable season along Western Spitzbergen now last- ed eight months instead of three.

Leading Arctic expert from 1947

it was concluded that near Polar temperatures are on an average six degrees higher than those registered by Nansen 40 years ago. Ice measurements were on an average only 6½ feet against from 9¼ to 13 feet.

Russian report from 1940

Similarly NASA temperature records for Antarctica have also been altered. In 2005, NASA showed most of Antarctic on a long term cooling trend, but in 2007 they changed it to a long term warming trend – despite the fact that 2007 was the year of record sea ice in Antarctica.

The map below from 2005 shows long term cooling.

SVS Animation 3188 – Antarctic Heating and Cooling Trends

In 2007, they replaced the image above with a different one which incorrectly showed long term warming.

Disintegration: Antarctic Warming Claims Another Ice Shelf : Feature Articles

NASA has been altering data and changing the historical record from one pole to the other. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these changes have trended towards more warming than the original thermometer readings indicated.


In 1988, Hansen made three very famous forecasts (shown below) of temperature rise, based on high, medium and very low (Scenario C) CO2 production.


His forecasts were very poor, and indicate that he has greatly overestimated the effect of CO2 on the climate. The graph below overlays the most recent NASA global temperatures(red line) on Hansen’s predictions from 1988. The red circle shows 2012 temperature anomalies so far.

NASA reported temperatures show more of an increase than satellites do, but even the NASA temperatures fall below Scenario C – which essentially assumes that people stopped producing CO2 in the year 2000. Hansen’s own data invalidates his theory, yet he continues to ramp up his claims about the magnitude of global warming. This is the mark of a very poor scientist.

Sea Level

Now, on to his claims about sea level. Hansen has consistently made sea level forecasts far above the upper bounds of those from the IPCC (18-59cm.) In 2007, he forecast sea level rise up to 25 metres to the US Senate, which is nearly fifty times higher than the IPCC’s highest forecast.

Antarctic blues and the Australian drought 

In 1988, Hansen told (sympathetic) journalist Bob Reiss that the West Side Highway in Manhattan would be underwater within 20 or 30 years (2008-2018). In 2001, he confirmed and reiterated that claim.

While doing research 12 or 13 years ago, I met Jim Hansen, the scientist who in 1988 predicted the greenhouse effect before Congress. I went over to the window with him and looked out on Broadway in New York City and said, “If what you’re saying about the greenhouse effect is true, is anything going to look different down there in 20 years?” He looked for a while and was quiet and didn’t say anything for a couple seconds. Then he said, “Well, there will be more traffic.” I, of course, didn’t think he heard the question right. Then he explained, “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change.” Then he said, “There will be more police cars.” Why? “Well, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.”

And so far, over the last 10 years, we’ve had 10 of the hottest years on record.

Didn’t he also say that restaurants would have signs in their windows that read, “Water by request only.”

Under the greenhouse effect, extreme weather increases. Depending on where you are in terms of the hydrological cycle, you get more of whatever you’re prone to get. New York can get droughts, the droughts can get more severe and you’ll have signs in restaurants saying “Water by request only.”

When did he say this will happen?

Within 20 or 30 years. And remember we had this conversation in 1988 or 1989.

Does he still believe these things?

Yes, he still believes everything. I talked to him a few months ago and he said he wouldn’t change anything that he said then.

Stormy weather – Global Warming – Salon.com

Dr. Hansen has also been making wildly exaggerated forecasts about a wide variety of topics for almost three decades, like this one from 1986

The News and Courier – Google News Archive Search

In March 2006, he forecast a “Super El Nino” which went against the opinion of the expert community, and never materialized.

We suggest that an El Niño is likely to originate in 2006 and that there is a good chance it will be a “super El Niño”, rivaling the 1983 and 1997-1998 El Niños, which were successively labeled the “El Niño of the century” as they were of unprecedented strength in the previous 100 years.

- Prometheus: Out on a Limb with a Super El Niño Prediction Archives

In March, 2011 – he again predicted a strong El Nino which never materialized.

Based on sub­sur­face ocean tem­pera­tures, the way these have pro­gres­sed the past sever­al months, and com­parisons with de­velop­ment of prior El Niños, we be­lieve that the sys­tem is mov­ing toward a strong El Niño start­ing this summ­er. It’s not a sure bet, but it is pro­b­able.


In 2012, the NASA model is once again predicting a strong El Nino, which no one else is forecasting.

SST_table.gif (587×507)

Why does James Hansen keep incorrectly predicting strong El Ninos? The reason is simple – they bring the temperature up, and he expects to see that. A very unsophisticated, lazy and ineffective basis for science.

Antarctic Ice

In 1984, Dr. Hansen predicted a large amount of ice loss in Antarctica as CO2 increases. The image below forecasts 40% albedo loss in the Ross Sea (after a doubling of CO2) which corresponds to loss of white, reflective sea ice.


Contrary to Hansen’s forecast trend, Antarctic sea ice has steadily increased – particularly in the Ross Sea.

seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png (1122×912)

S_daily_extent.png (420×500)

Excess ice in the Ross Sea shown in the red circle above. This is the region which Hansen forecast peak ice loss.

Conspiracy Theorist?

Dr. Hansen has alluded on several occasions  to the idea that there is a well funded group of people working to intentionally ruin the climate.

James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist | Environment | The Guardian

“There is a very concerted effort by people who would prefer to see business to continue as usual. They have been winning the public debate with the help of tremendous resources.”

Scientist hits climate change skepticism – UPI.com

Hansen has never provided any evidence to support the idea that skeptics are either well funded or intentionally misleading the public, yet he frequently repeats this claim.

Dr. Hansen has suggested that fossil fuel corporation CEOs are intentionally committing high crimes against the planet – because they don’t believe his spectacularly failed mispredictions.

Hansen went on to say: “CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”

James Hansen: Try Fossil Fuel CEOs For ‘High Crimes Against Humanity

Additionally Dr. Hansen has been arrested several times for committing crimes in “defense of the planet”

 Other NASA climate failures

Dr. Hansen is not the only climate scientist at NASA making spectacular mispredictions. Five years ago another NASA scientist predicted a possible ice-free Arctic in 2012

NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

Arctic Sea Ice Gone in Summer Within Five Years?

Arctic ice extent is now within a couple percent of normal, and Alaska has the most extensive sea ice ever recorded.

N_timeseries.png (1050×840)

University of Illinois – Cryosphere Today


For the past 30 years, NASA climate scientists under the leadership of Dr. Hansen have demonstrated nearly complete incompetence in forecasting, and they have tampered with data to try to hide their mispredictions.

james hansen El nino 2011 prediction

38 Responses to Spectacularly Poor Climate Science At NASA

  1. Shooter says:

    Next up: THE GALAXY IS DOOMED say scientists.

  2. Peter Messenger says:

    There’s a problem with the Screenhunter/PaintImage links – ‘Access denied’.
    Thanks for the rest of the info, though.

    • TNSteve says:

      You hit the nail on the head. Money for global warming and zero dollars to pursue real science and answers where ever they lead. Maybe he was hit on the head with a hockey stick? I know Ozone AL was hit on the head on too many times, but he and Soros still manages to make millions off his scientific opinions snowing the masses.

  3. Richard says:

    NASA sounds like the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s 1984!

  4. Ouchchen says:

    The altered version for Reykjavik station on GISS site is not the same that on your gif animation. Nasa changed it? Moreover, I found 4 versions for temperature evolution at Reykjavik. Any Explanation?

  5. jimash1 says:

    There is a certain air of criminality to changing historical records .
    A violation of the pubic trust that your average warmist just refuses to see.

  6. Shooter says:

    Hansen also blames us Canadians for changing the climate, after we stepped out of the Kyoto Protocol and began to become sceptical of the man-made crisis. Hansen doesn’t like anybody disagreeing with him.

  7. ECE says:

    i owe an apology.
    Steve, i was suckered into commenting. I believe as you do.
    LIberal friend just got me good. Keep up the good fight!
    I used to watch you on TV in south florida. Guy told me you converted to man made warming!
    i freaked!!!


  8. NikFromNYC says:

    “The individual sciences of our epoch have become specialized in these three eternal vital constants the sexual instinct, the sense of death, and the space-time anguish. After their analysis, after the experimental speculation, it again becomes necessary to sublimate them. The sexual instinct must be sublimated in esthetics; the sense of death in love; and the space-time anguish in metaphysics and religion. Enough of denying; one must affirm. Enough of trying to cure; one must sublimate! Enough of disintegration; one must integrate, integrate, integrate. Instead of automatism, style; instead of nihilism, technique; instead of skepticism, faith; instead of promiscuity, rigor; instead of collectivism and uniformization individualism, differentiation, and hierarchization; instead of experimentation, tradition. Instead of Reaction or Revolution, RENAISSANCE!” – Salvador Dali (The Secret Life of Salvador Dali 1942)

  9. tomwys says:

    Guess its time to resurrect the CO2 and Temperature disconnect page that went viral last year!


    Keep up the good work, Steve!!!

  10. jeffk says:

    NASA saw budget cut writing on the wall 30 years ago and needed a new excuse for continuing its existence. Bingo: “climate change of doom.”
    Too bad the data didn’t cooperate. Now if only the voters and their leaders weren’t so gullible.

    • TNSteve says:

      It has gotten worse under the current administration. NASA has been changed into a political organization focused on Muslim outreach and climate research. I am not sure, if there are cultists, money chasers or some other devious reason why they belittle all who disagree with them. It is a shame that Russia controls our trips to space, primary booster rocket for Atlas and now has stated no more future visits to the space station we contributed the most to operate. I know that true science welcomes continued research and would not refuse to discuss the subject with flat “Earthers” or anyone else. We know less today than we will know, unless we slip into another dark age. Why are global warming/climate change pushers so venomous about non believers? If they are right, science will prove them out. It is funny how they support using Middle East oil, not Canadian via pipeline, not US energy independence but continued flow of petro dollars to people that hate the US and use the money to support terrorism and the spread of their radical groups worldwide. The response I got from the Whitehouse about the Keystone pipeline was that Obama did not want to do anything that would increase our carbon footprint Really? Pipeline Vs ocean/truck transport? Same amount of oil? How does that not reduce the footprint? I think many voters are gullible, but politicians are devious. Now, with COMMON CORE they will educate/brainwash our children to ensure the right ideas are in place. Sad ,

  11. This post could be updated now because the 2012 super El Niño didn’t happen either…

  12. Brian Kinney says:

    i have a IQ of 160. Ran all the numbers, though my brain. this is the answer, but it will only start taking a place, about 400 years from now. it doesn’t matter at the present time, if man kind, vanished from the earth. to Late for us. if you want to save the world, your grand kids, listen up. the only answer is. and of course, we want technology with us. Ive did the numbers. 2- 3 city’s the size of new york. only on the whole planet. so were talking about a world wide, 1 child per couple for many a years. this is the only answer, doesn’t matter, what else you try to do. it wont par up. we are talking about, population world wide. anything less, is not going to agree, with mother earth. we live in a bubble. that bubble needs the most UT most, respect. 500,000,000 will be fine for this planet. and they can keep there technology to. you can to counter act ant solution you want, but this is the real answer to all big problems. good luck. I know mankind, wont take my advice.

    • Hopefully they don’t let you have access to any sharp utensils where you live.

      • TNSteve says:

        I disagree with the self declared genius. Will that guy select the 5,500,000,000 people to remove or does he think the Earth / Nature will do it? Seems like the same prediction has been made many times before. Reminds me of President Carter telling us 40 years ago all oil would be gone in a couple of decades. DOOM and GLOOM.

  13. Brian Kinney says:

    Im afraid my friends, its already to late for us. theres not enough time now for major change. the planet, without remorse, fix its self. and no man or anything else will stand in its way. population to Large, planet earth will kill us and move on. i have a IQ of 160, flip the numbers all at once through this brain of mine. the picture looks very grim, and its coming much sooner then ya think. to many people on the planet, way to many. its going down, so very soon.

  14. Vincent Ciambriello says:

    Why do we have to know your IQ? Your remarks don’t bear that out. You sound frantic. The folks bringing us the doom scenarios do so because they refuse to see anything but what they want to see. They don’t want to believe the models have been wrong. They don’t want to believe temperatures have not increased for well over a decade. We are being snowed for politics. While we can do things to improve energy, make it cleaner, new technologies- I’m all for it-we do not have to take the kind of steps the Obama people are claiming we have to take. I truly hope the scare tactics don’t work. I have heard enough scientists trash such reports of doom as totally unfounded by data to realize that it is all highly exaggerated and agenda driven.

  15. TNSteve says:

    It is a shame that Obama has reduced NASA to prove climate change and Muslim outreach, both of which should not be primary objectives to a once great AMERICAN institution. I do know figures never lie, but liars figure. I think in some cases people are blinded by money or their cult like blind belief that leads them to deny other, science, continued open minded research and call all who disagree flat earthers and ignore them. I always though science is never settled, otherwise we would have stopped many years ago when the answers of those days was so well known. Regardless, it is shameful how data is being used, abused and pushed as absolute on the masses. I still think follow the money and who owns carbon credit exchanges.

  16. Doug Cotton says:

    Yes, James Hansen was a key figure from the early 1980’s as I point out on my website where you’ll see links to my new book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” now available for less through eBay (around $15) or $5.95 through Kindle. If you are interested in learning about the new 21st century paradigm shift in climate science you’ll find an explanation therein for all planets. .

  17. TNSteve says:

    Is true science ever really settled? Follow the money. Soros likes collapsing countries and their currency making billions. Now, Soros and Gore have a great Ponzi scheme, using environmental cultists, western guilt and crooked politicians to make billions , maybe even trillions off controlling the carbon credit exchanges, They will not work unless the west commits and redistributes their wealth tot he third world where the man made carbon credits are purchased and traded via the exchanges. The irony is pollute just pay for it! It is beyond me how so many people are believers. I hope the real independent scientists keep seeking the truth .

  18. tomwys says:

    We will!!!

    Count on it!!!

  19. VincentDV says:

    Brian Kinney has a point though. With a growth rate of 1%, it takes only 70 years to double the world population. If nothing stops the population from growing, ultimately the whole earth surface would be covered with humans (which won’t happen because of food shortage, disease and other gloom & doom).

    But he is wrong in thinking this is inevitable. Well developed regions like the U.S. and Europe have a growth rate close to zero. We don’t need to annihilate 90% of mankind, there’s a less cynical and more humane solution: help, facilitate and allow the development of the third world.

    P.S. I have an IQ of 974 so my remark is superior to Brian’s!

  20. Mark Caplan says:

    The anonymous author of this article (Spectacularly Poor Climate Science at NASA) did not even include the date it was written or published.

  21. Sirws says:

    Interesting summary of alterations over time.

    Scenario C prediction, as a trend over decades and not year by year, is actually pretty good in capturing the ballpark movement and order of magnitude; especially using 80’s supercomputer technology and dynamic climatology theory. An 8 degree latitude by 10 degree longitude grid point model around the global is pretty freakin’ coarse for simulating any kind of reality.

    I acknowledge that Hansen asserted that C was the least likely outcome for the future as far as projected greenhouse gas emission levels go but then this is also not a dynamic atmosphere-ocean model. The ocean is considered but is static and non responsive to changes in the atmosphere such as wind patterns that would affect the transportation of warmth by the ocean (it is assumed fixed at estimates for the climate of the day); and the ocean only responds in a simplistic manner to changes in the air temperature directly above the grid point where the calculations are made. The ocean in this 1988 model has no depth or movement (i.e. currents) simulated.

    And that’s not to mention guesses as to exactly when a significant volcanic eruption would inject atmospheric cooling aerosols aloft in the model (may explain some of the noise between predicted and observed lines where they don’t line up).

    The red dot the author has added is irrelevant on this plot for comparison purposes because the lines show 5-year running means not individual years let alone portions thereof. This point value is therefore not directly comparable with the line of Scenario C.

  22. Gene Eggleston says:

    The following statement appears in many supposedly scientific proofs that global warming is not happening.
    “Contrary to the forecast trend of the models, Antarctic sea ice has steadily increased – particularly in the Ross Sea.”
    This is a sure sign the source is fraudulent. Sea ice increase was specifically predicted by most climate models. Technically it is not ‘sea-ice’. It is fresh water ice formed from water rapidly and increasingly running off the Antarctic land mass. Fresh water freezes at a higher temperature than sea water. So any source that claims to be knowledgeable about climate change and denies global warming based, at least in part, on increasing Antarctic ice is either a liar or ignorant.

    • geran says:

      Gene, your last sentence needed a little rework: “So any source that claims to be knowledgeable about climate change and accepts global warming based, at least in part, on anything from Hansen, NASA, or any other tax-funded agency, is either a liar or ignorant.”

    • Very laughable. People like you will be prosecuted for crimes against humanity for the long term. You are a testament to the US educational system — meaning – because I am sure you need interpretation — you don’t understand what science is. Cherry picking data or events isn’t science. This is done by people who are funded – not by the government – by by the carbon interests (oil, coal, and natural gas).

  23. Tnsteve says:

    Know it all much? So the PHD’s founder of weather channel and co founder of Green are just uninformed ? Libs belittle, threaten and call names. science is never settled except in small minds. Of course you may really know all there is to know, EVER . Russian studies without the fake hockey stick say cooling and man has little impact vs sun ocean volcanoes n nature. Stop knowing all and do some research outside the grant money circle. Also check money trial behind carbon exchanges. Soros, gore own them n they make money not less co2

  24. Frank K. says:

    In the U.S., the politcal debate about climate change is over, and the warmists lost big time. The liberal, progressive, left wing Democrats were crushed in November, even though they made a big issue of “climate change”. I truly hope the crazed, left wing climate scientists keep making a big deal about the issue. Have protests, scream from the pages of your favorite left wing newspaper. It will only accelerate your losses in 2016.

  25. Mervyn says:

    Whenever someone mentions the name James Hansen, I just say, “Please don’t talk dirty to me”.

    Just for fun, let’s look back at the first two paragraphs of his testimony before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee of the United States Senate on 23 June 1988, about his certainty that the record high temperatures were the result of human activity:

    “Mr Chairman and committee members, thank you for the opportunity to present the results of my research on the greenhouse effect, which has been carried out with my colleagues at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

    I would like to draw three main conclusions. Number one, the earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements. Number two, the global warming is now large enough that we can ascribe with a degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect. And number three, our computer simulations indicate that the greenhouse effect is already large enough to begin to effect the probability of extreme events such as summer heat waves.”

    That was in June 1988… and today we know what a load of bullshit it was… “we can ascribe with a degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect…”!!!! Really?

  26. Miles Izzo says:

    Minor point: in your “Sea Ice Extent” graphic, the Weddell Sea is circled, but you’ve called it the “Ross Sea” in the text below. In the graphic, it appears that the region near the Ross Sea has indeed decreased in ice, thus confirming Hansen’s prediction. It would be prudent to correct this.

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