What Did Hansen Predict, and When Did He Predict It?

Roger Pielke Jr. has a bit of an odd post up today taking James Hansen to task for predicting a “super El Niño” in 2006, which did not come to pass. Here’s Roger:

I’ve always thought that predictions made should not be forgotten, but evaluated and learned from.

The “prediction” in question, which I wrote about (somewhat critically) at the time, came in a draft paper Hansen circulated for comment. The “prediction” deserved criticism at the time. But to his credit, Hansen, at the time, before the paper was published, backed off, after hearing from members of the ENSO community who convinced him that the prediction was problematic. In the final version of the paper, published a few months later in PNAS, the forecast of a “super El Nino” in 2006 is gone.

There’s a significant difference between ideas shared in a draft circulated for comment and those finally published. To cite the former and ignore the latter in this case seems a bit misleading.

[update: Coby Beck has more details about the chain of events back in 2006 that I’d forgotten.]


  1. Pingback: jfleck at inkstain » Annan On the Pielke-Hansen Kerfuffle

  2. PaddikJoke:

    RP Sr’s implicit assertion was that glaciers were not retreating. We know that is not true, and I tried to nail him down on what evidence he was basing his evidenceless assertion.

    Now, when “warmers” do this, it is “not scientific discussion”. When RP Sr does this, the spam trolls harrumph in umbrage at my asking for clarification.

    Is it any wonder denialists are ridiculed as a joke?



  3. Dano, kiddo, love the way you always separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Denialists would not be satisfied with the data even if 99.999% of glaciers were measured. There is always something that keeps them from rational thought processes.

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