Tag Archives: Kevin Trenberth

McKitrick hides the context

[UPDATE, Nov. 30:  I have added at the end a response from Ross McKitrick (originally posted as a comment at Judith Curry’s website), along with my additional commentary. Also the third paragraph has been slightly amended to clarify that the two out-of-context Phil Jones quotes, misleadingly juxtaposed and reversed by McKitrick, were originally three months apart.]

Son of climategate? SwiftHack 2.0? Dejavugate (as in “deja vu all over again”)? Whichever moniker one prefers for the latest release of stolen CRU emails, it is  very clear that a new round of out-of-context quote mining and error-filled “analysis” is already unfolding. And the leader out of the gate, so to speak, appears to be Ross McKitrick, whose recent National Post piece on the IPCC and the latest batch of stolen emails is now being spread far and wide.

In one particularly outrageous and error-filled passage, McKitrick accuses IPCC  AR4 co-ordinating lead authors Phil Jones and Kevin Trenberth of selecting their team of contributing authors solely on the basis of whether they agree with the pair’s scientific views. He even goes so far as to accuse Jones of “dismissing” (i.e. rejecting as a contributing author) one qualified expert who, supposedly in Jones’s own words, “has done a lot, but I don’t trust him.”

But the record clearly shows that it was Trenberth who made that last comment, and that he was expressing misgivings about the quality of the researcher’s work, not whether he was on the “right side” of scientific issues.  And the expert in question, climatologist Joel Norris, was in fact selected by Trenberth as a contributing author. Even worse, McKitrick has reversed the order of  the  Jones quotes (originally three months apart) , taken them out of context, and then juxtaposed them to make it appear as if they were part of the same exchange. Meanwhile, an examination of the two separate email discussions show chapter co-ordinators trying to fill out their team with authors who will be able to contribute effectively, in complete contradiction to McKitrick’s central thesis.

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Another “climategate” whopper from McIntyre

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.

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