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NASA climate scientist Hansen says ‘5 yr. mean global temp. flat for past decade,’ climate predictions hampered by lack of scientific data, notes 2011 NASA satellite to measure aerosols crashed on take-off, no plans to re-start mission

January 18, 2013

Page 1 notes lack of scientific data on aerosols makes it impossible to accurately interpret global climate.

Jan. 15, 2013, “Global Temperature Update Through 2012, 15 January 2013,” Columbia University, J. Hansen, M. Sato, R. Rudy

(page 1): “Summary. …”The 5-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slowdown in the growth rate of the net climate forcing….

(page 1, parag. 3): “The approximate stand-still of global temperature during 1940-1975 is generally attributed to an approximate balance of aerosol cooling and greenhouse gas warming during a period of rapid growth of fossil fuel use with little control on particulate air pollution, but satisfactory quantitative interpretation has been impossible because of the absence of adequate aerosol measurements 3,4.”…

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Page 6 details problem predicting future “climate change” referenced on p. 1 above, ie lack of data on aerosols, and that the one US satellite designed to measure them crashed on takeoff and  no plans exist to restart the mission:

page 6, last parag. of report under sub-head, “Climate Change Expectations”:

The one major wild card in projections of future climate change is the unmeasured climate forcing due to aerosol changes and their effects on clouds. Anecdotal information indicates that particulate air pollution has increased in regions with increasing coal burning, but assessment of the climate forcing requires global measurement of detailed physical properties of the aerosols. The one satellite mission that was capable of making measurements with the required detail and accuracy was lost via a launch failure, and as yet there are no plans for a replacement mission with the needed capabilities.4″

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Links about NASA climate satellite crashes in 2009 and 2011. 2011 satellite (referenced by Hansen) was to study aerosols:

“Perhaps that’s why the loss hurts most, because Glory “was directed very specifically at the place where our knowledge was weakest, he said.”…”A tragedy for climate science.”…”an area that desperately needs more study.”…

3/4/11, “Raze of Glory: NASA Earth-Observing Climate Satellite Fails to Reach Orbit,” Scientific American, John Matson

“A launch malfunction sent the Glory satellite crashing into the ocean, almost exactly mimicking the 2009 loss of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory.“…

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3/6/11, “Nasa crashes hit geoscience efforts,” AFP, News24, Washington

A pair of costly satellite crashes have dealt a major blow to Nasa’s earth science efforts just as the US space agency faces scrutiny from Congress over whether climate science should be part of its focus at all.

The $424m Glory satellite to monitor aerosols and the sun’s power plunged into the Pacific on Friday shortly after launch, just two years after a similar satellite to study carbon dioxide in the atmosphere met the same fate.

“The loss of the Glory satellite is a tragedy for climate science,” said Bruce Wielicki, senior scientist for earth science at Nasa’s Langley Research Centre.”…

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Continuing on Hansen report, p. 4, “Global Warming Standstill:

(page 4): “Global Warming Standstill. The 5-year running mean of global temperature has been flat for the past decade.

It should be noted that the “standstill” temperature is at a much higher level than existed at any year in the prior decade except for the single year 1998, which had the strongest El Nino of the century. However, the standstill has led to a widespread assertion that “global warming has stopped”. Examination of this matter requires consideration of the principal climate forcing mechanisms that can drive climate change and the effects of stochastic (unforced) climate variability.”…

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(page 5): (Continuing in sub-head “Global Warming Standstill”):

The largest climate forcing is caused by increasing greenhouse gases, principally CO2 (Fig. 5). The annual increment in the greenhouse gas forcing (Fig. 5) has declined from about 0.05 W/m2 in the 1980s to about 0.035 W/m2 in recent years8. The decline is primarily a consequence of successful phase-out of ozone-depleting gases and reduction of the growth rate of methane. Also, the airborne fraction of fossil fuel CO2 emissions has declined and the forcing per CO2 increment declines slowly as CO2 increases due to partial saturation of absorption bands, so the CO2 forcing growth rate has been steady despite the rapid growth of fossil fuel emissions.

The second largest human-made forcing is probably atmospheric aerosols,

although the aerosol forcing is extremely uncertain3,4.”…

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Repeating page 6, where Hansen says entire climate change theory difficult to predict due to lack of data on aerosols, cites crash of NASA satellite (as noted above).

page 6, sub-head,Climate Change Expectations:

(3rd parag.):The one major wild card in projections of future climate change is the unmeasured climate forcing due to aerosol changes and their effects on clouds. Anecdotal information indicates that particulate air pollution has increased in regions with increasing coal burning, but assessment of the climate forcing requires global measurement of detailed physical properties of the aerosols. The one satellite mission that was capable of making measurements with the required detail and accuracy was lost via a launch failure, and as yet there are no plans for a replacement mission with the needed capabilities.4″ (end of report)

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page 7, References”

“1 Hansen, J., Ruedy, R., Sato, M., Lo, K., Global surface temperature change, Rev. Geophys. 48, RG4004, 2010.
2 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, eds. S. Solomon, et al., Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 2007.
3 Hansen, J., Storms of My Grandchildren, Bloomsbury, New York, 304 pp., 2009.
4 Mishchenko, M.I., et al., Accurate monitoring of terrestrial aerosols and total solar irradiance, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., May, 677-691, 2007
5 Philander, S.G., Our Affair with El Nino: How We Transformed an Enchanting Peruvian Current into a Global Climate Hazard, Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ, 288 pp., 2006.
6 http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/article/2012/summer-2012-recap & http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/
7 Hansen, J. Sato, M., Greenhouse gas growth rates, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 101, 16109-16114, 2004.
8 Hansen, J., Sato, M., Ruedy, R., Lacis, A., Oinas, V., Global warming in the twenty-first century:an alternative scenario, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 97, 9875-9880. 2000.
9 Hansen, J.,Sato, M., Ruedy, R., Kharecha, P., Lacis, A., Miller, R., Nazarenko, L., Lo, K., Schmidt, G.A., Russell, G., et al., Dangerous human-made interference with climate: a GISS modelE study, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 7, 2287-2312, 2007.
10 Hansen, J., Sato, M., Kharecha, P., von Schuckmann, K., Earth’s energy imbalance and implications, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 13421-13449, 2011.” via Climate Depot

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Ed. note: The report doesn’t cite CO2 emissions from separate countries, for example US CO2 has dropped steadily and is heading lower,  Communist China’s has increased. Over 800 new coal mines are planned for Communist China and India.

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11/19/12, More than 1,000 New Coal Plants Planned Worldwide,” Damian Carrington, UK Guardian

India is planning 455 new plants compared to 363 in China.”…

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US CO2 dropping to 1992 levels and heading lower:

In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful  natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

Many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, said the shift away from coal is reason for “cautious optimism” about potential ways to deal with climate change….

In a little-noticed technical report, the U.S. Energy Information Agency, a part of the Energy Department, said this month that energy related U.S. CO2 emissions for the first four months of this year fell to about 1992 levels. Energy emissions make up about 98 percent of the total.”…

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6/26/12, “The Incredible Shrinking Carbon Pollution Forecast – Part 2,” switchboard.nrdc.org, Dan Lashof

“While there has been some press coverage of these facts (see here and here) I continue to find that most people are surprised to learn about this progress.”…
(above chart from NRDC article)
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6/4/12, “Climate change stunner: USA leads world in CO2 cuts since 2006,” Vancouver Observer, Saxifrage
“Not only that, but as my top chart shows, US CO2 emissions are falling even faster than what President Obama pledged in the global Copenhagen Accord.Here is the biggest shocker of all: the average American’s CO2 emissions are down to levels not seen since 1964 —over half a century ago.” …
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6/22/12,U.S. cuts greenhouse gases despite do-nothing Congress,” CNN, Steve Hargreaves

 Even factoring in a stronger economy, forecasters see greenhouse gas emissions continuing to fall….Others take the U.S. success in reducing its energy sector emissions as a sign that its fragmented, state-based, regulatory approach has worked better than Europe’s market-based cap-and-trade approach.”
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4/21/12, “Why [CO2] Emissions Are Declining in the U.S. But Not in Europe,” by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, newgeography.com

As we note below in a new article for Yale360, a funny thing happened: U.S. emissions started going down in 2005 and are 
expected to decline further over the next decade.”…
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Ed. note: Civilized people care about clean air, clean water, and preserving the environment. This is something entirely different from saying CO2 is causing wars and killing the planet. Vast fortunes have been made claiming such to be true. These fortunes have been made by knowingly driving much of the world into poverty and misery.

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