Pat Michaels, at it again

Pat Michaels is notorious for lying about the predictions that James Hansen made in testimony before Congress in 1988. In his paper Hansen showed the results of three possible scenarios, but in his testimony before congress Hansen only showed emphasised the results of the most likely one, scenario B. As the graph here shows, scenario B turned out to be a very good prediction. However, in 1998 Michaels published a blatant lie about Hansen, erasing B and C and claiming that scenario A was his prediction.

Believe it or not, Michaels is
doing it again

[Hansen] distorted in front of the U.S. Congress.

On June 23, 1988, the first day of summer, with the corn belt baking in drought and civil war relics being uncovered in the piddling Potomac, he presented a graph of global annual temperatures for the last 100 years and included the January-May, 1988 readings on the same chart.

He went on to say that 1988 would be the warmest year on record unless there was a “remarkable and improbable” cooling during the rest of the year. In reality, 1988 did not set the record.

The graph below shows the GISS global average temperature record. I’ve added a horizontal line through the 1988 value.

i-6bc0f083b9e01f05f508b202e22bdc77-2005cal_fig1.gif

Not only did 1988 set the record, you get an idea of how much warming we have experienced since then since it’s been a decade since we’ve had a year that wasn’t warmer than the record-setting 1988.

In order to insult the intelligence of his readers further, Michaels trots out the Schneider quote and pretends that Schneider is advocating dishonesty. Schneider isn’t, of course, as John Quiggin explains here.

Comments

  1. #1 Jack
    February 15, 2006

    I can’t believe Michaels said this (actually I can, but it pains me to realize that anyone could be so factitiously glib):

    We know that global temperatures will continue to increase moderately (as they have been doing for 30 years) as long as fossil fuels are the world�s primary energy supply (which they will be for decades to come) and that modest impacts will be felt as the climate warms. Some of these changes will be beneficial, others will be detrimental, but, by and large, humans and the rest of the global ecosystems will adapt as necessary. Eventually, new technologies develop that are more efficient. That�s what free economies and markets necessitate. So let�s grow up and move on.

    I think that John Christy said something quite similar a couple of weeks ago. Is this the new line adapted by the scientifically literate skeptics, that there will be “modest warming” but that humans and the Earth ecosystem will “adapt”? Thus completely ignoring any abrupt climate change triggers or catastrophic event chains?

    Maybe Neville Chamberlain thought that England and Europe could “adapt” to the increasing military might of the Third Reich. Well, they managed to “adapt”, after a bit of effort.

  2. #2 Dano
    February 15, 2006

    Oh, look: there’s a comment by moi on that JQ thread pointing out that if contrascientists didn’t make sh*t up, they’d have nothing at all. There’s also a – calm now, Tim – ‘DDT myth’ comment there too.

    How little things change, eh?

    Best,

    D

  3. #3 nanny_govt_sucks
    February 15, 2006

    “As the graph here shows, scenario B turned out to be a very good prediction.”

    I’ve rubbed my eyes a few times, but I still see the red line representing observed temps really close to scenario C, not scenario B. Am I the only one that sees this?

  4. #4 John Quiggin
    February 15, 2006

    Since scenarios B and C don’t differ significantly over the period to 2005, it’s obvious that if one of them is a good match, so is the other.

  5. #5 cytochrome sea
    February 16, 2006

    Small nitpick with:
    “In his paper Hansen showed the results of three possible scenarios, but in his testimony before congress Hansen only showed the results of the most likely one, scenario B”

    (Hansen)”In my testimony to congress I showed one line graph with scenarios A, B, C and observed global temperature, which I update below.”

    Also, without implying that I remotely agree with Michael’s criticism/removing A&C/300% wrong, etc… I seem to remember (in Hansen’s 1988 testimony) him not downplaying the likelihood of scenario A nearly as much as he has since. Anyone have a link to the transcript? TIA

  6. #6 Tim Lambert
    February 16, 2006

    You’re right, I’ve corrected the post.

    I’d also like to see the transcript if anyone has a copy.

  7. #7 Zeno
    February 17, 2006

    Oh, big surprise: You can’t post comments over at World Climate Report.

    I suppose that makes sense. If you’re not going to correct your own errors, it would be irksome if strangers were allowed to do so.

  8. #8 Terry
    February 20, 2006

    Tim:

    You quote Michaels as saying:

    “He went on to say that 1988 would be the warmest year on record unless there was a “remarkable and improbable” cooling during the rest of the year. In reality, 1988 did not set the record.”

    Then you slam him because 1988 did set the record. But, in your quote, you omitted the footnote at the end of the quote (so, technically, you misquoted him — to be correct, you should have added “footnote omitted”) which says:

    “* (updated Feb. 13, 2006) NASA?s Gavin Schmidt points out to us (on Yahoo! Groups climatesceptics group) that in the NASA GISS meteorological station temperature history (the one used by Hansen in his 1988 testimony) that 1988 did go on to become the warmest year on record (see here) just nosing out 1981. And he was nice enough to admit that in the Hadley Center temperature history, 1988 ended up coming in second (behind 1987). However, what Gavin didn?t tell us, was that 1988 didn?t become the (then) record holder until more than 10 years later, after the folks at NASA GISS tweaked their dataset. As evidence of this, see Figure 4 from Hansan?s 1998 PNAS paper (reproduced below) and notice that 1988 fell below 1981. Admittedly, NASA GISS didn?t do this to make Hansen?s 1988 prediction come true, but instead it was a by-product of their efforts to take into account data quality issues (to the extent that they are best understood). As it is not uncommon for the keepers of the data to change data inclusion and adjustment procedures from time to time as warranted by new ideas, it is not out of the question that at some future date, 1988 loses its 0.01?C edge on 1981, and no longer continues to be the (then) record holder.”

    Why did you omit the footnote? Doesn’t the omission distort the truthfullness of what Michaels said?

  9. #9 Tim Lambert
    February 21, 2006

    Terry, my quote omits Michaels’ footnote because it wasn’t there when I wrote the post. Thanks for pointing out Michaels’ addition to his post.

  10. #10 Terry
    February 21, 2006

    Thank you for the gracious response.

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