Updating the Climate Science
What Path is the Real World Following?
& James Hansen
Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions (CSAS)
Columbia University Earth Institute
475 Riverside Drive (Room 401-O)
New York, NY 10115
Visit Dr. Hansen's Communication Page, our Earth Institute and CSAS.org Websites,
or go directly to our Monthly Temperature Update Email Page
Our aim is to help people understand global climate change and how the factors that
drive climate are changing.
We start with climate diagnostics people are usually most interested in climate change itself.
But cause-and-effect analysis requires also data on climate forcings (which drive climate change)
and feedbacks (which amplify or diminish climate change).
We update graphs of "Storms of My Grandchildren." Yet the greatest insight about
processes discussed in "Storms" is often provided by other quantities, for example, the rate of ice
sheet disintegration. We include some data from other scientists or their web sites, as indicated.
Continual updating of data curves, whether global temperature, the Greenland ice sheet mass,
the sun's brightness, Keeling's carbon dioxide record, or other more
obscure quantities, is a most interesting aspect of science. Sometimes data curves follow an
expected path, sometimes not, but we usually learn something. As Richard Feynman said, there is a
pleasure of finding things out.
That pleasure is now mixed with concern. Humans are altering the measured curves.
But whether climate change will be moderate
something humans and most species can adjust to or whether climate change accelerates and
spins out of control, with devastating consequences for future generations that depends.
Future climate depends on how climate forcings change human-made greenhouse
gases, especially carbon dioxide, and forcings that are not yet well measured, especially aerosols.
The speed and degree of climate change also will depend upon how fast amplifying feedbacks,
such as Arctic sea ice, the large ice sheets, and methane hydrates come into play.
"Storms of My Grandchildren" by James Hansen
"Sophie's Planet" by James Hansen
Critical Climate Diagnostics and Feedbacks
- Global Temperature (last modified 2020/01/15),
- El Nino & La Nina (last modified 2020/01/03)
- Precipitation (last modified 2020/01/03)
- Drought (last modified 2020/01/23)
- Flooding USGS current information
- Wind (last modified 2017/12/05)
- Hurricanes (last modified 2019/12/01)
- Tornadoes (last modified 2020/01/23)
- Temperature, Drought and Wind result in
- Wildfires (last modified 2020/01/23),
Op-Ed in LA Times
- Sea Level (last modified 2020/01/20)
- Ice Sheet Disintegration (last modified 2018/07/02)
- Sea Ice Area (last modified 2020/01/01)
- Species Loss (last modified 2019/09/20)
Fossil Fuel CO2 Emissions and Energy Use
Paleoclimate (under construction)
- Orbital Parameters and Solar Forcing
- Greenhouse Gases
- Ice Age Climate Forcing
- Sea Level Change
Perceptions and Dice (2012 and 2013)
- "Perceptions of climate change" PNAS 2012 109 (37) E2415-E2423.
Author Summary and Full Text published ahead of print August 6, 2012.
- Some updated figures (last modified 2016/01/15)
- Press Release (2012/08/06), Science Briefs" (2012/08) and Discussions (2012/08/11)
- Animation in Press Release
- "It's Not Your Imagination. Summers Are Getting Hotter." by Nadja Popovich and Adam Pearce published in New York Times on 2017/07/28.
Assessing "Dangerous Climate Change" (2013)
Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms (2016)
- Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms:
evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2°C global warming could be dangerous Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 3761-3812, 2016, published on 2016/03/22.
- Figures only (Some Updated)
Popular science summary.
- Video discussion
Climate Change and Responsibilities (2016)
Regional Climate Change and National Responsibilities Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016) 034009 (9 pp.), published on 2016/03/02.
- Figures only
- Popular science summary
- Video abstract is available from the paper site given above.
Young People's Burden (2017)
- Young People's Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions "
Earth Syst. Dynam. 8, 577-616, Discussion posted 2016/10/04 and Final paper published on 2017/07/18.
- Appendix Tables
- Video Discussions: Video 1, Video 2, Video 3.
- Figure updates
Japan and Germany after "Fukushima" (2019)