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The past 30 years has seen more "hot" (orange), "very hot" (red) and "extremely hot" (brown) summers, compared to a base period defined in this study from 1951 to 1980  (Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio)
Hotter summers have become the norm from 1980 to present compared to 1951 to 1980 (the base period)

NASA researchers have claimed to find new evidence for everyone's favorite topic: global warming
James Hansen, study leader from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), as well as GISS researchers Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy, have concluded that summer heat waves (mainly in the U.S. Midwest) have become the norm over the last 30 years compared to a base period 30 years before 1980 -- and it's because of global warming. 
Their study works like this: the team collected mean summer temperatures from 1951 to 1980. This was considered the base period for the study. They then looked at the surface temperature data from the last 30 years (1980 until now) to determine whether extreme heat events were increasing. 
From there, the team wanted to see how much heating and cooling occurred in both time periods. To do this, they used a bell curve, which is a common tool that places the middle ground at the top of the bell (for instance, if this were a grading curve, a "C" would be at the top while the next tier down on each side would be a "B" and a "D," and the bottom of the bell would be an "A" and an "F). In this case, the top of the bell would be mean temperature, the next tier down would be "cold" on one side and "hot" on the other, then "very cold" and "extremely cold" on one side moving down while "very hot" and "extremely hot" are moving down the bell on the other side. 
Researchers then applied mean temperatures from 1980 until present, and found that 1980s, 1990s and 2000s fell more to the hot side than cold. The curve widened and flattened as well, which means there was a broader range of variability. This is important because Hansen once predicted that global warming's connection to extreme events would become more apparent in the decades from 1980 to present, but natural variability can play a role too and actually mask the trend. It was important to distinguish the two. 
This wider curve created the new "extremely hot" category, which was barely there in the base period. However, hot has become considered normal in the last 30 years. To be more specific, 75 percent of land area on Earth had "hot" summers in the last decade alone, where only 33 percent had "hot" summers from 1951 to 1980 total. 
According to the researchers, an "extremely hot" summer is considered a mean summer temperature that is experienced by less than one percent of Earth's land area during the base period. But since 2006 alone, approximately 10 percent of land area across the Northern Hemisphere had a summer like this. 
"This summer, people are seeing extreme heat and agricultural impacts," said Hansen. "We're asserting that this is casually connected to global warming, and in this paper, we present the scientific evidence for that."
The study noted "extremely hot" summers in other areas besides just the U.S. Midwest, like Texas, Mexico and Oklahoma in 2011 and Eastern Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East in 2010.
This study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Source: Science Daily

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By createcoms on 8/7/2012 1:44:08 PM , Rating: -1
Anything that James Hansen says requires an enormous amount of salt to bring to decent flavour.

By Rott3nHIppi3 on 8/7/2012 1:49:02 PM , Rating: 2
Was wondering who was going to open the floodgates first!

By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/2012 1:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
Typical Tiffany.

It's extremely poor journalistic form to leave out the fact that Hansen has been investigated for multiple counts of fraud and has permanently tainted Climate Sciences and his own reputation. This guy was at the very heart of Climategate. He's already been caught manipulated temperature data.

The reader should at least be aware that this information is coming from someone who's ANYTHING but an unbiased observer of climate. The difference between an activist and a scientist starts the minute you believe so passionately about something, that the ends justify the means to advance the agenda. Regardless of it's accuracy and methodology used.

Honestly, shame on you Tiffany.

By amosbatto on 8/9/2012 5:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
What investigations? Anthony Watts reported that Hansen accepted $1.6 million in gifts and awards over a 5 year period and did not report it properly in government disclosure forms. In a few cases, NASA asked him to give back some of the money.

There does not appear to be any ongoing investigation of Hansen for these activities and the only article written about it seems to be Anthony Watt's article which was endlessly repeated over the right-wing blog-o-sphere. Given that the documents were made publicly available due to a court case and anyone could have investigated it, it is interesting that no reputable news sources bothered to write about it. It would appear that there isn't much there, or the violations aren't considered very significant. In my opinion, it does raise some conflict of interest questions, but it doesn't debunk Hansen's scientific articles, which are all peer-reviewed and generally have a number of coauthors at NASA, so you are also attacking the scientific credibility of a whole team of top climate scientists.

As for the climategate scandal, that is utter baloney and you know it. The question was what to do with proxy data which didn't agree with measured temperature data from thermometers. The scientists weighted the proxy data to agree with the measured data. It was publicly acknowledged in their published papers what they were doing long before the publication of the emails and there was no effort to deceive the public.

What happened is that a number of emails were quoted out of context to make it seem like the scientists were trying to deceive and manipulate the public, but all the investigations into the matter concluded that there was no effort to deceive the public.

The real question is whether anyone has been able to disprove the findings in Hansen's scientific articles. On that score, Hansen has an impeccable track record and is highly regarded in his field. Stop defaming the man when it is obvious that you have never even bothered to read his work.

By WalksTheWalk on 8/7/2012 3:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why you were rated down. Hansen clearly doesn't have an agenda or anything...or does he?

By PaFromFL on 8/8/2012 8:35:41 AM , Rating: 1
The climate is changing (always true).
Politicians exploit disasters to grab power and get rich.
Budgets to prove global warming are growing.
NASA budgets are shrinking.
James Hansen is not stupid and needs to eat.

Humans significantly affect climate change.
Climate change can be controlled by humans.

I didn't notice the word "manmade" in the above article. Either no one told James Hansen that you are more likely to get funding if you include the word "manmade", or he is too honest for his own good.

By MZperX on 8/9/2012 1:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
How dare you? The last thing James Hansen can be accused of is being honest. If anything he's gone out of his way to make sure that label could never be attached to his name!


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