By Deep Climate
There’s been quite a stir about NCAR Senior Scientist Kevin Trenberth and his upcoming presentation at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting. Some of that spilled over here in a spirited discussion of Trenberth’s failure to blockquote a cited paper by Hasselmann (there has since been a new version which appears to be a sincere if hasty fix). The original controversy, though, largely centered on Trenberth’s withering attack on the climate science contrarians and his characterization of them as “deniers” and “charlatans”, which, needless to say, has caused howls of outrage throughout the contrarian blogosphere.
No one has been more outraged by Trenberth’s broadside than Steve McIntyre, who decided to bring what Judith Curry called a “historical perspective” and revisited a “climategate” controversy about “keeping papers out” of IPCC AR4. McIntyre dismissed Trenberth’s defence of Phil Jones as a “first time IPCC writing team member” as “readily demonstrated to be untrue”. McIntyre’s ironclad proof? Despite Trenberth’s claim of being an IPCC “veteran”, both Trenberth and Jones had exactly the same IPCC resume as Chapter 2 contributing authors for the Second and the Third Assessment Reports, before becoming lead authors together in AR4.
I’m sure regular Deep Climate readers will be shocked – just shocked – to find out that a closer look behind McIntyre’s selective facts tells a completely different story. Trenberth was clearly referring to experience as a lead author (contributing authors are not on the “writing team”). And both Jones and Trenberth may have been Chapter 2 contributing authors on previous IPCC reports, but Trenberth was also both a Chapter and Technical Summary Lead Author in both 1995 and 2001. So, once again, the latest “climategate” scandal proves to be yet another outright falsehood from McIntyre.
As a reminder, here’s how Kevin Trenberth described the infamous Jones email that kicked off the whole controversy (the passage discussed below is in the AMS preprint and in a previous note on his website):
In a hacked email from Phil Jones (not cc’d to me), he wrote: “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
Now, here’s how McIntyre introduces his account, picking up right afterward.
Trenberth also purports to justify Jones’ successful effort to keep McKitrick Michaels 2004 out of the two AR4 drafts sent to reviewers on the basis (this incident has been discussed at length on other occasions) that:
AR4 was the first time Jones was on the writing team of an IPCC Assessment.
while noting that Trenberth himself, as a “veteran”, was aware of the obligations:
As a veteran of 3 previous IPCC assessments I was well aware that we do not keep any papers out, and none were kept out.
McIntyre then purports to show that this is false, by comparing the pair’s previous experience.
Trenberth’s very claim that AR4 was the first time that Jones had been on a writing team is itself another example of an untrue statement that can be “readily” demonstrated to be untrue (although his “colleagues” have thus far not called him on it.)
Both Jones and Trenberth are listed as contributing authors of AR3. (Indeed, Jones’ correspondence about the Briffa reconstruction in the wake of the 1999 Lead Authors meeting in Arusha, Tanzania was important in the setting of the notorious “hide the decline” memo.) See the list of AR3 chapter 2 authors below, where both Trenberth and Jones are listed as Contributing Authors.
Likewise with AR2 – both Trenberth and Jones had precisely the same standing as AR2 Contributing Authors. [Emphasis added]
Looks bad, doesn’t it? But not so fast. First, let’s take a look at the whole passage from Trenberth again, with special attention to a key sentence omitted by McIntyre.
AR4 was the first time Jones was on the writing team of an IPCC Assessment. The comment was naïve and sent before he understood the process and before any lead author meetings were held. It was not sanctioned by me. Both of the papers referred to were in fact cited and discussed in the IPCC. As a veteran of 3 previous IPCC assessments I was well aware that we do not keep any papers out, and none were kept out. [Emphasis added]
So in the very next sentence after the one selectively ridiculed by McIntyre, Trenberth makes it crystal clear that he means that Jones was a “first time” lead author. After all, contributing authors do not even attend the lead author meetings, as even McIntyre must be aware.
But what of Trenberth’s own experience? Didn’t McIntyre just show that it was no different from Jones’s? Once again a cursory review of Ternbreth’s c.v. reveals the truth of the matter.
Lead Author and contributor (multiple chapters and volumes), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Scientific Assessment of Climate Change, WMO/UNEP, 1990, 1992, 1995 (Convening Lead Author Chapter 1, Lead Author Technical Summary); 2001 (Lead Author Chapter 7, Lead Author Technical Summary, and Lead Author Policy Makers Summary); 2001 Synthesis Report (Lead Author); 2007 (Coordinating Lead Author Chapter 3). [Emphasis added to highlight 1995 and 2001 Lead author roles]
To put it mildly, Trenberth had every right to call himself a “veteran”.
So chalk up another “climategate” falsehood to go with McIntyre’s repeated “hide the decline” nonsense (see here, here and here), not to mention the spurious “fudge factor” accusation. And don’t get me started on Yamal.
The last time I checked ClimateAudit, McIntyre was blathering about lack of “acknowledgment”, in his best whining Rodney I-can’t-get-no-respect Dangerfield fashion. But it’s high time for McIntyre himself to acknowledge the sad truth about his long and disturbing record of innuendo, half-truths and outright falsehoods.
And for everyone else to acknowledge that McIntyre has nothing worthwhile to say about climate scientists. Or climate science for that matter.