The Travesty of Trenberth

As most of you may know by know, Kevin Trenberth got some sort of rebuttal to Spencer and Braswell 2011 published in the Remote Sensing journal.  Anthony and Steve Mac covered it here and here.  As did Bishop Hill.  Most of the commentary was regarding the turbo speed in which the comment was accepted and published.  And, also towards the unashamed gob-smacking hypocrisy of his ramblings.

What I’d like to concentrate on, is his opening sentence.  “Numerous attempts have been made to constrain climate sensitivity with observations [1-10] (with [6] as LC09, [8] as SB11).”

Whaaaa???  Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines science as ——-

“systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, and experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature or principles of what is being studied”

The American Heritage Dictionary 4 defines science as “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”

Trenberth has also stated in an address to the AMS , “the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence.”

What, exactly is the null hypothesis?  The null hypothesis is the practice of science involves formulating and testing hypotheses, assertions that are capable of being proven false using a test of observed data. The null hypothesis typically corresponds to a general or default position. For example, the null hypothesis might be that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena or that a potential treatment has no effect.

In other words, when one comes up with a hypothesis, the default position is the hypothesis isn’t true until proven and it must have the ability to be proven false.  If I stated, for instance, there are little green aliens in your room.  The default position is that there are not little green aliens until I prove it.  But, if I stated there are little green aliens in your room, but you can never detect them, it wouldn’t even rise to the level of a hypothesis.  Again, we see the use of the root word observe.

So, how do we consider these statements?  We see that science is entirely dependent upon observation by definition.  Without observation, there is no science.  We also see the accepted practices of modern science is still entirely dependent upon observation.  Yet, here we see a man bemoaning the fact that some scientists are attempting to constrain climatology by observation.  More, this man is rejecting accepted modern science practices.

Kevin Trenberth is a widely recognized figure in the climatology world.  He’s published, and honored.  You can read a brief biography here.  This is a man with great knowledge, insights, and abilities.  Kevin Trenberth, by the use of his own words and deeds, is not a scientist.  And this, is the travesty of Trenberth.

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16 Responses to The Travesty of Trenberth

  1. Latitude says:

    …following that same line of thinking

    We all know the science will not stand up……hasn’t yet……and probably never will be

    But we have fallen trap to arguing the science….

    Back up and look at what has happened.
    We have let them define what is normal, and build the science around that.
    The very people telling us it’s not normal…..decided what normal is

    Change their definition of normal, and it even destroys their own science…..

    CO2 levels
    sea level
    polar ice
    ….and on and on

    …..all based on their definition of normal

    • suyts says:

      Agreed. It is interesting. I was surfing WUWT yesterday, and I revisited a thread I’d thought people had quit commenting on. It was a post by Willis interjected in the Gorethon thing……
      Anyway, I find a rather heated and lengthy exchange(s) involving a person going by the moniker “Myrrh”. I’ve read some of Myrrh’s comments in the past, but his basic argument is that the Chicken little brigade has even managed to redefine the physics of light and heat and that even the skeptical arguments are based on the faulty science.

      I’m just not that well versed in the subject to be able to make all of the determinations about whether Myrrh was right or not, but reading some of what he’s offered, I’d say he presents a very good case.

      Its a damned shame that human nature leaves us closed to correction. Egos are the largest obstacles to learning among bright people.

      • Myrrh says:

        Hi, not sure now which wuwt discussion had a link to this page, but on reading it noticed your post about me.

        It is partly a problem of egos, but more that because these bites of information generated by AGWScience Fiction Inc have become so widespread through the education system they are taken for granted as being correct physics, in the general population with no particular interest in science and by scientists in other disciplines who use them as if they are real, seeing no need to check such basic premises.

        I’ve told the story before, of the scientist brought up in AGW fictional climate who on hearing the argument that carbon dioxide can’t be well mixed in the atmosphere because it is heavier than air and will therefore always tend to sink displacing air unless work is done to keep it mixed, and methane lighter than air given as an example of this concept of separation, decided to test this out re the example of methane in mines being lighter than air will separate out and gather in a layer in the ceiling. Up until quite recently the method of testing for methane in mines was to cover oneself in wet towels and enter carrying a lit candle on a very long stick..

        Anyway, he couldn’t understand why the methane he introduced refused to ‘thoroughly mix’ by the ‘Brownian motion/ideal gas’ explanations from AGWSF. His team searched the mine thoroughly looking for an additional source of methane which he reasoned must be the cause of the methane layered at the ceiling not diffusing, that this was replacing the methane in the layer faster than it could diffuse, they could find none. Sadly, instead of then exploring volume and weight and so on of real gases relative to each other in our real atmosphere which are excluded from AGWSF, he decided that they must have missed this extra source. Sorry, I lost the paper in a computer crash, but it’s around somewhere.

        Trenberth’s missing heat it a travesty because he doesn’t appreciate that it was deliberately taken out of the Earth’s energy budget, the claim that thermal infrared, heat, plays no part in heating land and oceans of Earth, and replaced with the meme that shortwave from the Sun, Light, is the heating mechanism. This is a deliberate manipulation of real world physics.

        Anyway, I have to leave discussions for a while and so won’t be able to respond here or elsewhere, my last posts about this is on and has some links which I hope of use if you’re thinking of exploring this further.

        Good luck.

        • suyts says:

          Myrrh, thanks for popping by. And thanks for leaving the link!. When you get done with whatever you’re doing. Be sure to come back.


      • Mike Davis says:

        Here you ca feel free to say what is on your mind.
        My only disagreement would be the use of the word “Fiction” as fiction is loosely based on real world things like science. Fantasy became my descriptor of the Chicken Little Brigade’s work because there is no appear ant science involved. Terry Brooks is a good example of the work they are trying to do!

    • Mike Davis says:

      I do not like the use of the word “Normal” when referring to a number! It is a lie, false concept, designed to convey something that does not exist.
      There is an average of the things you list, but their definition of Climate Average does not take into account what is now known about historic weather variations.
      Even at 60 or 600 years for the average temperature we would still not be able to predict weather variations to any reliable degree any time into the future. They can now say, when it did this in the past this was the outcome and predict that. Flipping a coin would probably give the same degree of accuracy.
      The is no accurate way to determine the average global temperature, with the current state of technology that is being used, to less than 2C accuracy. The measurements may be accurate on the satellites to a lesser degree but they need to adjust for known errors and time of observation. those are using the best guess method.
      Surface temperature records should be discarded for anything other than raw regional records that have not been “Fixed”. On an individual basis those records can be useful if the regional history is known along with a history of the site where the measurements were taken.
      CO2 is a WAG at best. We think there is some degree of accuracy at the site they
      measure CO2! Maybe! Maybe Not! How does that site relate to the ROW?
      Polar ice expands and declines. Less ice is better for the region!
      Weather has been variable since the globe developed an atmosphere and we are experiencing some of the mildest weather conditions for this interglacial!
      Hurricanes are normal weather patterns that are controlled by ocean atmosphere conditions.
      The world would be better off with fewer glaciers also! Glaciers are a detriment rather than an attribute. Of course people also worship other things that are detrimental.

  2. Anything is possible says:

    “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. K and I will keep them out somehow-even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

    Kevin Trenberth’s Machiavellian machinations have absolutely nothing to do with science, and absolutely everything to do with what appears in the next IPCC report.

    The IPCC itself is the root of the problem. While its early work may have been somewhat useful, it has evolved into a monster, having been hijacked by alarmist “scientists” (Kevin Trenberth being exhibit “A”) who will resort to every trick in the book (and a few that are not) to ensure that the whole issue of Anthropogenically-driven Climate Change is not examined objectively.

    At the same time, they are maintaining the myth that the IPCC remains the “world’s foremost authority” on climate change.

    It is this myth which needs to be destroyed, and if that means destroying the IPCC itself, so be it. Then, and only then, can climate scientists cease to be politicians and return to being scientists, at which point we may at least have a sporting chance of finding out what (if anything) is really going on with the Earth’s climate.

    • suyts says:

      I entirely agree, it was the unholy marriage of politics and science that caused such a mess. The IPCC should have never been created. But, anyone with any familiarity with the U.N. would know it would be disastrous.

  3. Mike Davis says:

    The IPCC was started to create “Scientists” like Travesty Trenberth! The original reason for starting the IPCC was to “FIND” how humans were causing climate change. Pielke SR showed how regional climate is affected by land use and land change but that is not what they wanted or needed. They needed GLOBAL, so the created GLOBAL out of thin air!
    Trenbreth’s article is an opinion piece so it did not require PEER Review.

  4. hro001 says:

    I am not a scientist (climate or otherwise), nor do I play one on TV (or my blog!)

    But I do wonder … Is there much (if any) difference between the “Commentary” rushed into publication by RS and the purported “critique” of SB11 proffered by Trenberth et al via their (IPCC’s now verboten “source”) blogpost at RC which – at least initially – seemed to influence Wagner in his “decision” to resign.

    And if Travesty Trenberth ™ is to be believed (a highly dubious proposition at best, I agree, considering his past performances) has anyone seen any (you should pardon the expression) evidence of Wagner’s and the RS publisher’s respective “apology” to Trenberth?!

    (Fixed it for ya)

    • suyts says:

      Hmm, that’s a good point, but, I would assume Wagner would have said something if he wasn’t part of the whole mess.

      • hro001 says:

        (Thanks for the fix!)

        I don’t doubt for a moment that Wagner is (as you said) part of the whole mess!

        But, as far as I’ve been able to determine, Wagner was a relatively new kid on the *climate* publishing block – and (to give him – perhaps undeserved – credit) he may not have been aware of Ol’ King Kev’s “rules of the game” at the time that SR published SB11.

        Landsea has integrity – and did say something (well, quite a lot, actually!) in the face of Travesty Trenberth™ ‘s counterfactual assertions (circa 2004), Wagner, well, not so much.

        But considering that *climate* is not Wagner’s bailiwick, my guess is that he was totally out of his depth … and that Trenberth bullied him into submission!

  5. hro001 says:

    BTW, there’s an update on the Travesty! He’s says he built a model that found his missing heat!

    With sincere apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan …

    He has the perfect model of the climate scientologists
    The heat it finds fits perfectly for climate theolologists
    The dreaded carbon he’s forgotten to enunciate
    As to how this model does pronunciate
    Alas it seems we all must wait
    His supplementary obfuscate
    ‘Tis travesty he’ll emulate
    While postulating prognosticates
    Indeed he has the perfect model of a climate scientologist.

    (OK … I know, I know … this needs some work … I should probably stick to S & G rather than G & S!)

  6. Pingback: Christians have been and are great contributors to science | suyts space

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