News Article Quote Attributed To Jim Hansen

There was a news article today in the Denver Post entitled “Global Warming?”. My views are clearly articulated on Climate Science (see), but unfortunately, the article does not clearly distinguish that there are a diversity of views among climate scientists on the role of human- and natural- climate forcings. The article also has errors; for example, the statement attributed to me that

“Man-made changes to the land, in addition to about 30 other greenhouse gases – some man-made, some natural – may play an even a bigger role, he said.”

is in error. I stated that besides land use changes, the input into the climate system of natural- and human-aerosols have a range of effects on the climate system, which may exert larger effects on the global climate system than the radiative effect of the human input of CO2. We have documented this conclusion, for example, in our peer-reviewed paper “Measurement-based estimation of the spatial gradient of aerosol radiative forcing”. This does not mean we should not seek to reduce the human input of CO2 into the atmosphere, but it does mean that controlling CO2 emissions alone only addresses a fraction of the human alteration of the climate system. Of most concern to those who value courteous scientific debate, however, is the quote from Jim Hansen. It reads

“Some of this noise won’t stop until some of these scientists are dead,” said James Hansen, head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, and among the first to sound the alarm over climate change.”

Regardless as to your perspective on climate change, this callous statement from a federal administrator who is very visible in the climate science debate should be strongly repudiated by everyone who accepts that the debate should be about the science. I invite Dr. Hansen to expand on, clarify, or correct the comment that he made for this news article.

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Filed under Climate Science Misconceptions, Climate Science Reporting

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