James Hansen and Climate Change; NASA’s Disgrace

Posted: 05/31/2010 by Lynn Dartez in CFP

By Dr. Tim Ball  Monday, May 31, 2010

imageChristopher Horner requested information from National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) through Freedom of Information (FOI) and now reports, “We have asked the court to order NASA – which has evaded our Freedom of Information Act requests for three years – to turn over documents related to global warming activities undertaken by federal employees.”

It’s the pattern of blocking seen throughout the official climate science community.


Recently the University of Virginia asked the courts to block requests for information from Attorney General Cuccinelli on the Michael Mann situation. What do they have to hide? We’re talking about scientific claims at the basis of massive global energy and economic policies. The taxpayer funds the work and will be impacted, yet they’re denied access.

Who Is In Control?

Public image is a major concern for NASA, so why have they allowed James Hansen, Director of their Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) to act as he has? There is now evidence suggesting the problem has gone on for a long time; “the equation upon which all Global Warming Theory studies are built is inherently flawed.” They then make a most devastating claim, “Worse, however, than the flaw in the equation, is that this fact has remained covered up by NASA from the first Lunar landing until now, nearly 41 years.”

NASA needs to understand weather and climate because it affects the launch orbit and landing of space vehicles. In the early years they produced excellent work like Herman and Goldberg’s 1978 book Sun, Weather and Climate. Early interests somehow changed. “Much of the institute’s early work involved study of planetary atmospheres using data collected by telescopes and space probes, and in time that led to GISS becoming a leading center of atmospheric modeling and of climate change.”
Apparently Hansen caused much of the shift as he pushed his political agenda. NASA GISS employee Gavin Schmidt provided support especially by active participation in RealClimate the attack group organized to defend the Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

Many people wondered how much of his work time went to Realclimate activities and how much represented NASA’s positions.

Hansen deflected attention from his activities by claiming he was muzzled for political ends.

His former boss Dr. John S. Theon, retired Chief of the Climate Processes Research Program at NASA completely discredited this idea. “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress”EPW

Hansen knew the situation because in public he presented himself either as Director of GISS or as a private citizen. He’s entitled to his views as a private citizen, but it’s an affront to imply that when speaking to a group on climate his position will not influence public opinion. Of course, his private views will influence his professional views.

Theon made his own views on global warming public after he retired in a communication to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009. “I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man-made,” His major concern was the models. “My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit,” He made a disturbing comment about the data, which beyond the models is at the very heart of the climate problem. “Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy,” Is Theon referring to Hansen when he talks about manipulating data to prove the models? Why didn’t Theon rein in Hansen? He explains the limitations of his position with Hansen. “I was, in effect, Hansen’s supervisor because I had to justify his funding, allocate his resources, and evaluate his results. I did not have the authority to give him his annual performance evaluation,” In the Minority Office report Theon describes Hansen as a “nice, likeable fellow,” but worries “he’s been overcome by his belief—almost religious—that he’s going to save the world.” And that’s the problem.

Either ignorance of climate science or a deliberate attempt to mislead or both

Hansen uses his bureaucratic position as Director of NASA GISS, to pursue a political agenda. He inflated the issue of human induced global warming to a global fraud in 1988 testimony before a House and Senate committee when he said; “the greenhouse effect has been detected and it is changing our climate now” This shows either ignorance of climate science or a deliberate attempt to mislead or both. The phrasing suggests incorrectly the greenhouse effect is new. There is no evidence, except in the computer models, that it is causing current climate change. He capped this with another unsupportable statement that he was, “99 percent certain that the warming trend was not a natural variation but was caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial gases in the atmosphere.”

NASA GISS Controls And “Adjusts” Data

Besides its focus on modeling and climate change NASA GISS established itself as the source of global temperatures. It’s probably the record Theon refers to in his comment about data because it has consistently been the centre of controversy.

One was discovery of the so-called the Y2K error, which resulted in a significant change in the US temperature record. The claim 1998 was the warmest year on record and 9 of 10 of the warmest years were in that decade was amended to 1934 being the warmest and 4 of the top 10 were in the 1930s.

Emails related to this incident obtained through freedom of information prompted the comment, “Climate activist and arch-druid of the AGW movement James Hansen caught out telling porkies? Now that would be a tragedy for the Climate Fear Promotion industry! “ (Porkies is English slang for lies.)

Each year global annual temperatures are produced by different agencies and every time the NASA GISS data shows a more pronounced warming. “Each time Hansen announces that the GISS has discovered a better way to statistically modify actual US ground temperatures, warming becomes even more pronounced and any cooling less pronounced.”

All adjustments enhance the warming trend to support Theon’s comment that, “some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results.” Even with adjustments model projections overestimate the warming, but then exact replication would raise more suspicions.

“Hansen is a political activist who spreads fear even when NASA’s own data contradict him”

In the July/August 2008 issue of Launch Magazine NASA Astronaut and Physicist Walter Cunningham wrote, “Hansen is a political activist who spreads fear even when NASA’s own data contradict him,”“NASA should be at the forefront in the collection of scientific evidence and debunking the current hysteria over human-caused, or Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). Unfortunately, it’s becoming just another agency caught up in the politics of global warming, or worse, politicized science.”

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Here are NASA’s own words about transparency. “NASA is expanding transparency, participation, and collaboration and creating a new level of openness and accountability. We are focusing on embedding open government into three integrated aspects of our operations—policy, technology, and culture.”

Actions of NASA GISS under James Hansen makes them a mockery.


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