Monday, January 19, 2009

Hansen agrees with me

I'm delighted to report that James Hansen has come out in support of my prediction, made on the "More or Less" program last year, that we are likely to see a new record in the next few years. Specifically, Hansen has made the slightly stronger statement that "it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years" (ie in 2009 or 2010, my bet also includes 2011).

In a demonstration of his collegiality, Roger Pielke writes that it is "boneheaded" of Hansen to have said what he did, but IMO it is entirely appropriate for scientists to state their opinions (within their area of expertise), with their uncertainties and assumptions so clearly and concisely presented. I don't believe there is any plausible room for people misunderstanding what Hansen has said, although that probably won't stop some from misrepresenting it. Obviously the annual temperature depends a lot on short-term variability (in particular, ENSO) but that doesn't change the fact that the underlying trend is up and new maxima can be expected reasonably frequently, even if we cannot predict exactly when. It is a great example of the sorts of things that climate scientists can and cannot predict.


William M. Connolley said...

On RP's bit, you can tell he's written that in a hurry because his spelling falls apart.

On 2009, are you going to buy at: Its going cheap.

James Annan said...

Without looking at El Nino forecasts in some detail, I'm not prepared to say that is particularly cheap.

(I've just looked, and NCEP says La Nina for the first half of the year...feeling lucky?)

The website also seems crap which has put me off a barely loads.

Steve Bloom said...

Hmm, the average quality of RP Jr.'s commenters sure has slid downhill since the last time I looked. You'd think he'd care about that. There is at least a sane comment from Lucia, but that hardly makes up for the rest.

Steve Bloom said...

In other news from Boulder, RP Sr. seems to be regressing to a pre-school level of working and playing well with others.