Tag Archives: NASA GISS

Hansen retires to embrace activism


We are going to see more images like the one on the left, it seems. I picked up the news from a Google feed to this article at mother nature network. Climate scientist James Hansen has retired at the age of 72 from NASA GISS in order to concentrate on activism. The scoop was claimed by the New York Times. Climate Progress quickly picked up on the story.

Hansen first made a splash with an article with six other scientists in 1981. After his testimony to Congress in 1988 he retired from public advocacy and communication for about 15 years, concentrating on the science and his administrative role at NASA GISS, to become publicly active again from about 2003.

NASA’s press release on his retirement emphasises that his research was closely aligned with:

the development of increasingly sophisticated satellite platform measurements, such as the terrestrial radiation budget, ozone and weather-related data, and the need for increasingly sophisticated atmospheric models to assess and evaluate the information content and utility of these measurements.

Also the use of models to make climate change predictions for the future. Continue reading Hansen retires to embrace activism

Ocean heat content and Earth’s energy balance

In Climate clippings 46 I thought the most important segment was the last, on Deep heat. I don’t think it attracted a single comment.

To recap, the world’s oceans have a total mass of 1.37 billion gigatonnes of water. A gigatonne of water equals a cubic kilometre.The average temperature is, I understand, 3.5C, so the capacity for storing energy in the oceans is truly massive.

Around 90% of heat trapped by greenhouse gases ends up in the ocean.

A post by Kevin Trenberth on the earth’s energy balance tells us of a study that will show that energy can easily be “buried” in the deep ocean for over a decade.

Skeptical Science
now has a post on this study, by Meehl (2011), including this graph showing periods of more than 10 years with the ocean heat content at 0-700m roughly static: Continue reading Ocean heat content and Earth’s energy balance