Science vs. Sensationalism: Is the Earth absorbing the energy from 400,000 Hiroshima bombs every day, as Hansen claims?

We report. You decide.

From an article an InfoShop today:

The energy of four hundred thousand (400,000) Hiroshima atomic bombs is how much energy imbalance Earth is absorbing because of global warming… per day!

This imbalance was explained by Dr. James Hansen, one of the world’s foremost, and most celebrated, climate scientists, wearing blue jeans, a white Polo button-down shirt, and an Indiana Jones-type fedora, speaking a year ago at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. He gave an 18-minute lecture.

The Earth surface is about 197 million square miles in size. Dividing that area by 400,000 Hiroshima blasts works out to about 493 square-miles per bomb blast.

So Hansen’s claim is that every New York City-sized surface area (land and water) is absorbing a Hiroshima blast’s worth of energy every day.


8 thoughts on “Science vs. Sensationalism: Is the Earth absorbing the energy from 400,000 Hiroshima bombs every day, as Hansen claims?”

  1. Hansen will be prominently noted in science history, along with Lamarck, Piltdown, Lysenko, and other of similar ethics and achievement.

  2. Curious. I’ve heard that humans can produce 85w. Five standing humans occupy approximately a square meter. So, a mob (like the occupy movement) can generate 420w per meter. Is that not more 0.6w energy ‘imbalance’ he describes? So, in order to save the planet from our own hot gases, maybe we should restrict breeding to only the most lazy among us?

    This also explains the post-apocolyptic devastation wrought by the Occupy Movement upon the public resources they occupied. Many Hiroshima bombs going off in the downtowns of our major cities.

  3. Sure it’s plausible. These blasts of energy are ‘hidden’ just like Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’ which evades our instruments. We know they’re there, because the models say they have to be somewhere. They are probably hidden in the deep ocean because it’s really hard to get to and can’t be found anywhere else.

  4. Its worse than you thought.

    Hansen blathers about the modeled energy imbalance of a Watt per square meter. He of course neglects the all important context that the top of atmosphere receives an average of about 340 W/m^2 from the sun. That is the ‘equivalent’ of 136,000,000 Hiroshima bombs every day!

    The Hiroshima analogy works because the press and politicians are science illiterates.

  5. Relevance? Sun was way more active in the past and everything is still there iceages and all, so what’s the point of this discourse?

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