Hansen's famous 1988 paper used runs of an early GISS GCM to forecast temperatures for the next thirty years. These forecasts are now often checked against observations. I wrote about them here. That post had an active plotter which allowed you to superimpose various observation data on Hansen's original model results.
I did an update in 2015 here, and a lot of text from there is repeated here.. I think Hansen's projections had stood up well, but they ran ahead of warming during the "pause" of around 2006-13. That pause is now over, so the interest is in whether Hansen's projection is still running warm.
I've updated to Oct 2016, or latest available. Hansen's original plot matched to GISS Ts (met stations only), and used a baseline of 1951-80. I have used that base where possible, but for the satellite measures UAH and RSS I have matched to GISS Ts (Hansen's original index) in the 1981-2010 mean. But there is also a text window where you can enter your own offset if you have some other idea.
A reminder that Hansen did his calculations subject to three scenarios, A,B,C. GCM models do not predict the future of GHG gas levels, etc - that must be supplied as input. People like to argue about what these scenarios meant, and which is to be preferred. The only test that matters is what actually occurred. And the test of that are the actual GHG concentrations that he used, relative to what we now measure. The actual numbers are in files here. Scenario A, highest emissions, has 410 ppm in 2015. Scen B has 406, and Scen C has 369.5. The differences between A and B mainly lie elsewhere - B allowed for a volcano (much like Pinatubo), and of course there are other gases, including CFC's, which were still being emitted in 1988, but not much now. Measured CO2 fell a little short of Scenarios A and B, and methane fell quite a lot short, as did CFCs. So overall, the actual scenario that unfolded was between B and C.
Remember, Hansen was not just predicting for the 2010-16 period. In fact, his GISS Ts index tracked Scenario B quite well untill 2010, then his model warmed while the Earth didn't. But then the model stabilised while lately the Earth has warmed, so once again the Scenario B projections are close. Since the projections actually cool now to 2017, surface air observation series for now are warmer than Scen B (Giss). GISS Ts corresponds to the actual air measure that his model provided. Land/ocean indices include SST, which was not the practice in 1988. Hansen himself has expressed the view that the right measure of his projection now lies between Ts and Ts+SST.
So in the graphic below, you can choose with radio buttons which indices to plot. You can enter a prior offset if you wish. It's hard to erase on a HTML canvas, so there is a clear all button to let you start again. The data is annual average; 2016 is average to date. You can check the earlier post for more detail.
Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #260
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