Climate change activist James Hansen has released a peer-reviewed study yesterday that claims an increase in temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius is imminent and would be catastrophic. He originally released a preview of his study last July and it came under heavy fire for conflicting with established climate science. Now that the final version has been released, it warns that humanity could face an abrupt climate shift in a few decades, as illustrated in the implausible movie ‘The Day after Tomorrow.’
Even climate scientist Michael E. Mann from Pennsylvania State University said that “some of the points highlighted in Hansen’s study conflict with what is generally known about climate change, so much so that they require a high standard of proof.” Hansen’s proof is based on interpretations of the historical record from 120,000 years ago. He says it was about 1 degrees Celsius warmer than it is today and that this period had much more powerful storms, even though his proof is largely theoretical. One item is a giant boulder in the Bahamas that Hansen contends was moved by a super storm.
Part of Hansen’s problematic study is that his reputation as being the godfather of global warming has been tarnished by his climate activism. He has been arrested numerous times, gone after museums that get donations from fossil fuel companies, and has joined in frivolous lawsuits against the government for not doing more to prevent global warming. As Tech Times noted, “This may have turned Hansen into an inspiration to advocates of climate change prevention, but it has also caused some colleagues to doubt whether his findings have been skewed to suit his political goals.”
The study, which was previewed last year by the Daily Beast, says that if temperatures increase by 2 degrees Celsius, we may see a three-foot-rise in sea levels. However, other studies, like this one from April 2015, shows that “global warming was not progressing as fast as it would even under the most severe emissions scenarios as outlined by the IPCC.” And in late February 2015, another study showed that there was a global warming hiatus this century despite NOAA’s attempts to hide it by torturing the data.
Hansen believes that the IPCC’s computer models are underestimating the sensitivity of ice sheets to rising temperatures. To underscore that point, Hansen et al combined “ancient paleo-climate data with new satellite readings” and a new and improved computer model of the climate system to demonstrate that “ice sheets can melt in a matter of decades,” and not millenia. Sea level rise has been occurring at roughly the same rate since about 10,000 years ago.
The final revised version that is now available online isn’t much different from the preview paper he gave last summer. In it he says that unless we drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, we are likely headed for a rapid climactic shift. Hansen’s study focused on temperatures from 120,000 years ago, where temperatures were higher than they are today. They write that during that time, the polar ice melted and raised sea levels by 20 to 30 feet.
Another problem with the study is that the Arctic has not become ice free and has been gaining ice since 2013. Antarctica has gained in size by 33 percent when satellites began taking snapshots of the continent. Hansen argues that this climactic shift could occur in 50 years, and not the hundreds of years that most climate scientists are forecasting. Once the poles melt, people living along the coastline (like Al Gore in California) would be forced to flee.
The flood of fresh water from the Arctic would cause the primary ocean currents to slow down or stop. With the ocean currents stalled, heat wouldn’t be able to escape and that would lead to further melting of ice. This, Hansen said, would be the perfect recipe for a climatastrophe. Super storms, melted ice sheets, and flooded coastlines.
According to the study’s authors, their research was the product of computer modeling, information from paleoclimate data, and “ongoing climate change.” They even admit that all three methods they rely on to make these long-range forecasts are hindered by numerous problems: “modeling is an imperfect representation of the climate system, paleo-data consist mainly of proxy climate information usually with substantial ambiguities, and modern observations are limited in scope and accuracy.”