Mike Smith’s Post “Science by Press Release: The Story About Washington, DC’s Heat”

Update: On the weblog Climate Depot it is written that

Climatologist Dr. Pielke Sr. Taunts Hansen

This is a complete mischaracterization of the intent of my post. I respect Jim Hansen, and, while I disagree with him on a number of climate issues, we agree on others (such as the domaint role of the oceans as the metric to diagnose global warming). In my post below, I am challenging Jim to reconcile his view that if the added CO2 footprint on the climate is so convincing, what is the purpose of the large funds being spent to make multi-decadal regional climate predictions in the coming decades.  The term “taunt” is perjorative and is not appropriate.

************Original Post********************************

Mike Smith, author of the outstanding book When the Sirens Were Silent and writer of the weblog “Mike Smith Enterprises Blog” has an insightful summary of Jim Hansen’s climate predictions.

Mike’s post was motivated by Jim’s op-ed article in the Washington Post based on his PNAS paper that appeared on Monday. I highly recommend reading Mike’s post of August 6 2012 that assesses the lack of skill in Jim’s forecasts

“Science by Press Release: The Story About Washington, DC’s Heat”

See also

Is Jim Hansen’s Global Temperature Skillful?” Guest Post by John R. Christy

In addition to Mike’s review, there is another implication from Jim Hansen’s claim in his Washington Post op-ed

Climate change is here — and worse than we thought

Jim wrote [highlight added]

In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

Since Jim does not need a climate model to reach his conclusion, and since the climate models have shown no skill in predicting the changes in the regional climate statistics that he discusses in his post, he is actually telling us we do not need to spend the millions of dollars in making climate predictions for the impacts communities for the coming decades.

Jim supervises  such modeling at GISS (e.g. Gavin Schmidt). While I endorse the use of climate models to improve our understanding of climate processes and of assessing the limits on predictability, vast sums of money are being used (wasted – e.g. see) to just make multi-decadal climate forecasts for the impacts communities.  If Jim is to be consistent with his message, he would call for the end of funding for such multi-decadal regional climate predictions and redirect that funding to effective mitigation and adaptation activities.

If Jim would like to respond to this request for consistency, I would be glad to present his response as a guest weblog post. Jim has completed a guest post on my weblog in the past;

Guest Weblog By James E. Hansen

so there is a precedent for such a dialog.

If Jim elects to respond to Mike Smith (or  to John Christy’s) post, or to my comments on the need to redirect funding away from multi-decadal regional climate predictions, I will be glad to post unedited.

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