James Hansen

James E. Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. He has held this position since 1981. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

After graduate school, Hansen continued his work with radiative transfer models and attempting to understand the Venusian atmosphere. This naturally led to the same computer codes being used to understand the Earth's atmosphere. He used these codes to study the effects that aerosols and trace gases have on the climate. Hansen has also contributed to the further understanding of the Earth's climate through the development and use of global climate models.

Hansen is best known for his research in the field of climatology, his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in 1988 that helped raise broad awareness of global warming, and his advocacy of action to limit the impacts of climate change.

James Hansena, Makiko Satoa,b, Reto Ruedyc, Gavin A. Schmidtb, Ken Loc
16 January 2015
Abstract.  Global surface temperature in 2014 was +0.68°C (~1.2°F) warmer than the 1951-1980 base period in the GISTEMP analysis, making 2014 the warmest year in the period of instrumental data, but the difference from the prior warmest year (2010), less than 0.02°C, is within uncertainty of measurement.  The eastern two-thirds of the contiguous United States was persistently cool in 2014, cooler than the 1951-1980 average in all seasons.  Record warmth at a time of only marginal El Niño conditions confirms that there is no “hiatus” of global warming, only a moderate slowdown since 2000.  Global temperature in 2015 may further alter perceptions. We discuss the prospects for the 2015 global temperature in view of the seeming waning of the current weak El Niño.