Now, Hansen has created another stir across the world with the announcement of a research study based on data from the past six decades that he claims shows global warming is a scientific fact, no longer just a theory. The peer reviewed study will be released this week but many have already read it online.
So, what to make of the Hansen study? I don't know, do you? Unless you're a climate scientist, you probably don't know either. Fortunately there's a prominent Canadian climate scientist, Dr. Andrew Weaver from the University of Victoria, who has read the report and come to a pretty clear conclusion.
The science in Hansen's study is excellent "and reframes the question," said Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria.
"Rather than say, 'Is this because of climate change?' That's the wrong question. What you can say is, 'How likely is this to have occurred with the absence of global warming?' It's so extraordinarily unlikely that it has to be due to global warming," Weaver said.
I'll take Weaver's word for it. Science is never a closed book but some things get so close to certain that we have to accept them as fact. For the past decade or two we've gotten pretty close on global warming with climate models. Hansen's research backs those models up with hard data, closing the door on denialists and their powerful benefactors.