The first 31 years of this projection are relatively well-defined and can now be compared to the observations. We used the GISS Land-Ocean Index that uses SST over the oceans (the original one interpolated from island stations) and overlaid the graph from the KNMI Climate Explorer on the lower left-hand corner of Figure 6 of Hansen et al (1981).

By Geert Jan van Oldenborgh and Rein Haarsma, KNMI
2 April 2012

[…] A projection from 1981 for rising temperatures in a major science journal, at a time that the temperature rise was not yet obvious in the observations, has been found to agree well with the observations since then, underestimating the observed trend by about 30%, and easily beating naive predictions of no-change or a linear continuation of trends. It is also a nice example of a statement based on theory that could be falsified and up to now has withstood the test. The “global warming hypothesis” has been developed according to the principles of sound science.

Evaluating a 1981 temperature projection


  1. midatlanticriverrat said...

    does anyone know if the under prediction of global temperature rise also applies to sea level rise?

    just like temperatures, sea level rise in the next 50 years could be a devastating effect of anthropogenic climate change  


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