Monday, March 02, 2009


Hanson's 1980 Paper on Global Warming

Here, in pdf version, is a paper which chief chicken little anthropogenic global warming (AGW) alarmist James Hanson wrote, with others, in 1980, which paper is generally considered the start of the AGW movement. Here is one thing he said.

The surface air warming is enhanced at high latitudes...
Notice that he uses the plural of latitudes. He meant that at both the north and south pole, the effects of AGW were enhanced. And sure enough there was a record of slight warming in Greenland and Alaska, and ever decreasing Summer sea ice in the Northern Ocean. So far, so good. But what about Antarctica--was it warming there too? Well, no, it wasn't. Between the time periods 1982 through 2004, the scientific consensus was that all but a small part of the Antarctic Peninsula was cooling. See below.
There was also a clear trend upwards
in the amount of sea ice around Antarctica, at least since the start of satellite measurement in 1979. I'm no scientist, but if the sea ice is growing to a greater extent most years, wouldn't the Southern Ocean have to be slightly cooler each year the sea ice gets larger? I think the answer has to be yes, but I am open minded. If you can tell me how sea ice increased most years while the sea heated up generally, I will certainly listen.

I have not found any such explanation, however. Indeed, the general explanation for a cooling Antarctica and the expansion of most of the ice cap was this: Oh, sure, with global warming, there would be more sea evaporated into the air, and with more moisture in the air, the precipitation would increase over Antarctica and with more snow on the coldest place on Earth, the ice cap would increase. It was nearly obvious.

But times change, and now, all the rage is in revision of our previously mistaken (apparently) view of Antarctica temperatures. Now, with the NASA revision (see new map) and the temperature reconstruction of Steig et al., and with the new reports about increased melting in the Antarctica Peninsula (and elsewhere), all the earlier explanations are forgotten. No, the scientists in 2009 say, it is getting warmer at both of the poles, and it always has been. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. And to illustrate the point that it's really hot in Western Antarctica, there is a new picture which shows almost nothing but heat gain for the continent since 1957, as shown below.

Yeah, red hot Antarctica. Average temperature: 50 degrees below zero.

Of course, there are many unanswered questions about the Steig reconstruction, as this long and nearly impenetrable blog post shows. As always, there should be considerable skepticism about the accuracy of very few ground stations, especially those sited next to living quarters, as well as those buried in snow. I'd much sooner trust the satellites, even with their limitations. The rebel deniers have yet to get the complete plans of Steig death star reconstruction. The story has not yet run its full course.


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