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The e-mail 'scandal' travesty in misquoting Trenberth on

Posted on 10 April 2011 by villabolo

"The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." -Kevin Trenberth

Trenberth's statement was quoted completely out of context by those who orchestrated the fake 'Climategate' scandal. The statement is distorted to mean that there is no global warming. That is not the case.

Trenberth's job is to track exactly how much energy is reaching us from the sun, and how much of that warming has been absorbed by the air, land, oceans, and melting ice. He also calculates how much is reflected or radiated from each of these places. The more global warming there is, the more energy is absorbed by all these places.

Therefore, Trenberth was talking about where some of the warmth has gone, not that there is a lack of warmth. The illustration below shows what the situation is. Please note the lack of information from the deep oceans.

Figure 1. The global annual mean Earth’s energy budget for the March 2000–May 2004 period in W/m2. The broad arrows indicate the schematic flow of energy in proportion to their importance. From Trenberth et al.a

The situation can be easily explained by the following analogy.

Suppose you are an accountant for a major corporation which grossed 1 billion dollars last year, then increased to 1.1 billion dollars this year. This would be a 100 million dollar increase from the previous year. Your job is to find out where and how all the money was spent. You take into account every detail such as salaries, benefits, purchases, etc.. Ideally, your goal as an accountant is to account for every dollar spent or left over as profit. Realistically you can be off by a small amount without worry.

Imagine, however, that 5% (55 million dollars) is unaccounted for. That would be serious. You know that the company has been making more money but where did it go? Was it due to waste or mismanagement of company resources? Is there someone stealing the money?

Suppose now, that the accountant sends an e-mail saying, "I cannot account for the missing money and it's a shame."

Now imagine a person who wants to defame the company. He hacks into the e-mail and quotes the accountant out of context by claiming that the company is actually not making more money.

When Trenberth said, "...we can't account for the lack of warming..." he meant the same thing as that accountant. Just substitute the word "warmth" for "money".

He could not accurately determine the Earth's complete global energy budget because the instruments we have to measure the ocean's warming only go down to 2 kilometers (little over 1 mile) and oceans can be several thousand meters deeper than that. Because of that, we will not be able to account for all the energy absorbed by the oceans until we place measuring instruments deeper than they are now. However, our measurements of how much energy from global warming is flowing through our atmosphere, land, and melting ice, are well known.

a. Trenberth KE, Fasullo JT, Kiehl J; Earth's global energy budget. Bulletin of American Meteorological Society 2009, 90:311-323.

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Comments 51 to 100 out of 165:

  1. 47, Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd
    So we can conclude that Trenbirth does not know where some of the warming has gone.
    Yes. And it's a travesty. It's a travesty that the $100 million earth-monitoring satellite DSCVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) to be launched in 2001 was mothballed... the only satellite ever built and never launched, even when the Ukraine offered to launch it for free (turned down because of fears that they would lose the satellite in launch, if you can believe it). It's a travesty that NASA's Glory satellite was destroyed during an attempt to put it into orbit. It's a travesty that the aging satellites in orbit are now malfunctioning, further reducing our ability to gather data. It's a travesty that we've had a decade to launch dozens of satellites and other initiatives to help answer the important questions, but have done nothing except listen to Watts whine about his own misunderstandings of the surface temperature record. The travesty isn't that we aren't able to know, but rather that we haven't invested the (trivial) effort into seeking the knowledge, and that is going to come back to haunt us big time. So I hope that you now understand the full context and content of Trenberth's statement, rather than picking a few words out and presenting them as if they represent something nefarious.
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  2. RSVP@49 I see nowhere in Tom Curtis' comment @44 where he mentions Industrial Waste Heat (IWH) being a source of warming. I look forward to his rebuttal, though I doubt his time would be well spent penning it. On a related note, a Grade A Denier I have had numerous 'discussions' of AGW with once told me that the theory was bunk because the amount of IWH was not adequate to cause warming. I was incredulous that he thought that AGW was in any way based on this premise and told him that if he thought so then he was arguing from a position of complete and total ignorance. I may have used more expletives...
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  3. 49, RSVP,
    This was the purpose of the parody and please do not take it personally.
    This is further evidence that you do not discuss fairly and openly, but rather play games and seek to discredit others using tricks and shenanigans rather than information and intelligence.
    My thesis has and will always be that industrial waste heat is the main culprit to global warming and your response has made this obvious without your even realizing it.
    Which is an absurd thesis. Do you really think no one could have done that simple math before now, and had a Eureka moment from it, along with weeks of spots on television shows, followed by nothing, because the whole climate change debate would have been entirely different for the past decade? You always demand numbers from others. Now how about you? What is the total amount of heat generated from one day of worldwide fossil fuel use (not just industrial, but everything), measured in W/m2?
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    Moderator Response: [muoncounter] Waste heat has its own thread, where it is shown that there's 2 orders of magnitude difference between the waste and the GHE.
  4. 54 Spaerica (with apologies to moderator) waste heat is, of course, discussed in the paper "An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy", by Kevin E Trenbert which is, Oh! linked at the top of this post and the subject of discussion... Sooo, I guess you shouldn't really have expected RSVP to actually have read it. In fact, strikes me, a lot of people on this thread are doing no more than a poor job of actually reading the paper... even those with "scientific" backgrounds.
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  5. @Sphaerica #51 I'm afraid that Dr. Phd was trying to pull up that kind of "Yes", but the manipulative technique in #47 is pretty obvious: First: A quotation from the post's author. Second: A second quotation, this time an independent one from Trenberth, not linked to the first quotation. The "Okay" and ", and..." are intended to show some appearance of being logically chained. Third: The fallacy containing the preformatted "information" which promotion is intended, including the use of "can conclude" as if 1-2-3 were an inference, and that "We" so often used to foster an uncritical acceptance of it. So answering that is pretty much -to use a Hollywood analogy- let the portrayed John Nash to argue with Charles, the little girl and that spy-like Parcher dude. I don't feel happy with this site because of the things dealt in the comment section. Some characters simply swarm around because nobody cares about making them substantiate their claims and mind their Ps and Qs, and mainly, making them use the proper techniques and information. Their preaching reminds too much those healing by faith carnivals, mainly by too much of "blah, blih, bluh" where "1, 2, 3" is required. I came here often to get material from the comments for classes in High School and Community College level, those activities that combines hard science with social science. I came here because the local denialists commenting in Argentine newspapers are very repetitive and unskilled and I need dozens of original cases each year for the students to do their works. Climate change is a great opportunity in many ways. In Education, a terrific way to teach abilities everybody need to became an successful adult, something that doesn't include much climate science but a lot of how people is manipulated all the time and how to spot the wrongdoers.
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  6. RSVP, others - I've replied on the Waste heat vs. greenhouse warming thread. Please take that discussion there, where it's appropriate. If not beaten to death...
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  7. Ian #50 "You are incorrect when you state that we cannot measure energy in and out. We can. Incoming energy has been measured for some time and outgoing energy has recently been measured using satellites." Fine- what's the final result for both and with which accuracy ?
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  8. Gilles >Fine- what's the final result for both and with which accuracy ? I'll give you a hint: look at the diagram.
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  9. @46 Gilles: "A piece of evidence is shown by the fact that during intense El Niño/la Niña events, like in 1998, 2005, or 2010, the average surface temperature experience "huge" variations of 0.5°C or more, corresponding to several decades of "average" trend, in only some months - but of course the energy content of the Earth has not been able to vary so much , so rapidly ! so average surface temperature is *not* a precise indicator of global energy content." Please see my article on El Niño/La Niña events, and how their fluctuations are indicative of the fact that both El Niños and La Niñas are increasing in temperature (and this with a cooler sun starting in 2002!). What is the relevance of those "huge" variations of .5C when La Niña's lowest temperatures, as well as El Niño's highest, are both above those before 1995/1998? You can eyeball it here: First note the green and pink lines and how they ratchet up. Then the brown trend line going up, "huge" variations notwithstanding. These temperatures are increasing overall, irrespective of the variations you mentioned. Where does that heat go to? The oceans absorb over 90% of it. Oceans have been steadily rising in heat content with the usual fluctuations. Those fluctuations make no difference, no matter how large they are, to the long term trend; as can be seen here: Now a reminder. You said: "so average surface temperature is *not* a precise indicator of global energy content." @50 Ian Forrester said: "Who has ever said that it was? The energy content of the globe is found in a number of places some of which are accurately measured (surface and oceans down to 700 metres) and others which cannot be accurately measured with today's technology (deep oceans). The ocean temperatures, of course, is what we can measure down to 900 meters. Do you seriously think that the heat pulse travelling down the ocean depths is going to stop where our instruments just happen to be? Simple deduction indicates where the unaccounted for energy is going to be. In fact, since the heat pulse is obviously not going to stop at the 900 meter level, there has to be unaccounted for energy below it! In fact, it would be amazing if Trenberth did not have that accountability problem.
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    Moderator Response: [muoncounter] Please restrict images to width=500
  10. "Moderator Response: [muoncounter] Please restrict images to width=500" Sorry, Muoncounter. I pasted the URLs from SkS and thought they would have already been properly sized.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] I put some extra (hopefully useful) image code on the Posting Tips page. You can use any size up to 500; since the images in the comments will then be hot-clickable, clicking on the scaled image will then bring up the full image in all its glory.
  11. 58 - but the diagram cannot be about precise measurements - even the incoming Total Solar Irradiance isn't known with this accuracy? Look what a required 0.9 W/m^2 accuracy would really correspond to :
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Your diagram shows the raw output from the instruments on the individual satelites, without taking into account the biases and drift affecting each individually. That does not mean that the uncertainty in measurements in TSI is as large as the differences between the raw measurements. The differences between homogenised products e.g. ACRIM-v-PMOD give a better indication. Those differences are rather smaller (although quite possibly still greater than 0.9 W/m^2).
  12. villabolo : I don't really see your point - but maybe you didn't see mine ? where did you see that I thought that "the heat pulse travelling down the ocean depths is going to stop where our instruments just happen to be?" I never stated such a thing !
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  13. les : I agree : it's a pity that so few people really read the papers and understand them. In Trenberth's paper , it is clearly stated that the 0.9 W/m2 is not the result of accurate measurements : " The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) measurements from March 2000 to 2005 were used at top of atmosphere (TOA) but adjusted to an estimated imbalance from the enhanced greenhouse effect of 0.9± 0.5 W/m2 (with 90% confidence limits) [7]." So they're adjusted to an estimated imbalance level. And later : "We cannot track energy in absolute terms because the accuracy of several measurements is simply not good enough. This includes the TSI [4] and the Earth’s TOA energy budget [6,7,15]" Again : we don't have accurate measurements of the TOA energy budget, including the total incoming radiation on the Earth, with an accuracy enough to measure so a small imbalance of 0.9 W/m2. I think Trenberth himself states it very clearly. It's only a theoretical value -which hasn't yet been confirmed by measurements.
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  14. DM : of course you can try to correct from systematics from each instruments, but this is notoriously difficult, and again Trenberth himself states very clearly that the 0.9 W/m2 number is *not* the outcome of precise measurements.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] All instrumental data is "imprecise" by definition, there are always sources of bias, drift and other calibration issues. These always need to be properly considered. Rejecting evidence because it is not the outcome of precise measurements is irrational, uncertain meaurements still contain information. In science, overstating the strength of your argument by inappropriate use of evidence is considered a bad thing. Investigating the ACRIM-v-PMOD difference and re-stating your argument based on less over-stated evidence would have been far more useful than the above bluster. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water...
  15. Gilles #63 Quite right. The CERES imbalnce is actually +6.4W/sq.m which is 'corrected' down to +0.9W/sq.m. There have been several threads on this site which discuss this 'imbalance' problem and the circular argument which rationalizes it to a 'measured +0.9W/sq.m. The 0.9W/sq.m comes from maths and modelling (Hansen 2005) and is reported in IPCC AR4 Fig2.4 (+1.6W/sq.m) *plus* Dr Trenberth's estimate of climate responses which sum to a total of (-0.7W/sq.m). +1.6 - 0.7 = 0.9W/sq.m
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  16. DM : "evidence" of what ? I'm just reminding that the 0.9 W/m2 value is by no means the outcome of measurements - there is no "evidence" to justify or deny, it just that it hasn't been computed from experimental values, but from computer modeling, which has never been considered as experimental evidence in any field of science I know.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] You know perfectly well that the plot you gave was intended as evidence of the uncertainty in the energy budget. However, you were overstating your case by using raw measurements rather than cross-calibrated ones. The fact that you haven't simply admitted that and are still blustering speaks volumes. In science, the best approach is to present the strongest argument that the opposition cannot pick holes in, not just the strongest argument you can present. Why do you think Trenberth (and indeed the majority of climatologists) openly discusses the weak points in the science?
  17. well I don't see your point. I used own Trenberth's quotes to remind that the energy budget wasn't well known and constrained by measurements, because it seemed to me that some people here overlooked that and misunderstood what Trenberth really meant - he really meant that that the sum of variations of energy content he could measure didn't match the theoretical expectations. And again , concluding that theory is right and that measurements miss one of the heat sinks is obviously only *one* possibility - the other obvious one being that theory is incomplete ! And I used the plot to illustrate how it is difficult to get an absolute value of the incoming TSI - obviously the relevant point is to compare the discrepancies between instruments to the required accuracy to test the imbalance - around 1W/m2. Things would have been quite different if it would have been a matter of several dozens of W/m2 for instance , but it is not. You can recalibrate each instrument on the other, but always with an overall systematic uncertainty on the absolute value - because you don't know of course which one is *really* right.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] The point is that the important uncertainty is the residual uncertainty after eliminating the uncertainties that can be properly eliminated by cross-calibration. Hence the plot you used overstated the uncertainties involved. I don't understand your reluctance just to accept that point and sharpen the presentation of your argument.
  18. I wasn't arguing specifically that the real uncertainty was that of the plot, it was just on purpose of illustrating how difficult it was to get absolute values.But again, cross calibration can be used to measure accurately * relative* variations but not absolute ones unless you have clearly identified the origin of systematics. So I think the plot is really illustrative of the order of magnitude of systematic uncertainties, they aren't much lower, and the story is far from being settled : see e.g. Kopp and Lean 2010, GRL 38 where the SORCE team claims a TSI around 1360.8 ± 0.5 W /m2, yet another 4.5 W/m2 lower ! and that's only the first part of the budget, as Ken Lambert reminded us : the outgoing LWR flux isn't better known.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] I didn't say that you were making that argument specifically, the data from the satelites in many places overlap, which means that the true uncertainty is very much lower. The fact that you are still blustering suggests a poor attitude to science. The reason we have peer-review in the journals is to moderate arguments to the point where they are properly robust. Some authors tend to ignore comments made in peer review, or pay lip-service to them or bluster. They generally write poor papers that get poorly cited as a result. Bluster in response to constructive criticism rings alarm bells when I am a reviewer, and isn't encouraging here either. I have made my point, if you don't want to improve the robustness of your argument that is your decision.
  19. actually DM, it is unclear for me what you call "very much lower true uncertainty" : what is your claim about the absolute uncertainty due to systematics in the plot I've showed ?
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Sorry, that is just trolling. My point has been made perfectly clearly, the difference between ACRIM and PMOD composites is a good indication of the residual uncertainty. I made that point in response to your initial use of the plot here.
  20. Gilles #68 Interestingly enough, the SORCE people (check their website) also produced their version of the famous Trenberth energy flow diagram which is quite different to Dr Trenberth's. If the TSI of 1361 W/sq.m at TOA was right then incoming Solar radiation would drop by the difference of 4.5W/sq.m divided by 4 at TOA = 1.13W/sq.m and taking an overall albedo of 0.7 would see a reduction of incoming solar radiation of about 0.8W/sq.m. This is significant in comparison with the claimed 0.9W/sq.m imbalance.
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  21. Why Gilles provides a lot of heterogeneous raw data from assorted dated technologies and a 1978-2001 period in #61? Is is to contrast Trenberth's 0.9W/m2 for a 2000-2004 period? Placing a figure out of context and conducting a sort of guided Rorschach Inkblot text with the height of the figure playing the role of "error margins" and the proposed reality check being the same units are used, isn't it sort of talking of ectoplasmic bodies in this photos?
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  22. Alec, you're right, that's the last version including most recent SORCE data (in red) so which cross calibration do you propose now ?
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  23. @#73 Cross calibration! Good joke! To oversimplify it (but nothing essential is lost) A - B = C You say "look A, there are different As, so C must be wrong -especially because I don't like C-" The right way to make a critical analysis: "What 'A' Trenberth et al used? How are the error margins dealt in the whole equation?" Your way "Why don't you lose your time replying about technical details related to the inkblot image unrelated to the topic that I placed?" You're pretty transparent, pal!
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  24. 72 Gilles "so which cross calibration do you propose now ?" Why not ask the satellite science team? They have some superb material explaining cross calibration. http://www.acrim.com/ e.g. Hint: real scientists let the team managing the devices / experiments provide the results 'cos they understand the data.
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  25. les, you could profitably also read the text around the figure on acrim home page (it's like insurance policies, you know ... read everything and particularly what is written at the bottom of the page ) "The causes of the ~ -0.35 % difference between the ACRIM3 and VIRGO results and the SORCE/TIM results are not presently understood in this context." If you need a translation : we don't have any f.... idea of which is the right one between the two.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] They don't claim they do AFAICS, and more to the point, they are completely open about the fact that the reason for the difference is not understood. That is the sort of language good scientists use.
  26. 75 : DM : did I say anywhere that ACRIM and SORCE/TIM scientists are bad ? may I remind you that the original point was the following quote "However, our measurements of how much energy from global warming is flowing through our atmosphere, land, and melting ice, are well known." And I only say that no, the amount of incoming and outgoing energy flow through the atmosphere, land, and melting ice, isn't certainly "well known" at the accuracy needed to test the theoretical value of a 0.9 W/m2 imbalance, as everything just above demonstrates. does anybody still not understand that ?
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Blatant trolling, I didn't say that you said anything of the sort. I was pointing out that that the material under discussion was written in a good scientific manner rather than like an "insurance policy".

    We understood your point the first time round, my criticism was merely that your choice of data ws "over egging the pudding" and detracted from the strength of your presentation. The fact you are still blustering about it detracts from it even more.

  27. les : your small percentage of 0.35 % , multiplied by the average 1/4 * 1360 W/m2, gives 1.19 W/m2, which is larger than the theoretical 0.9 W/m2 imbalance. And this doesn't include the uncertainty on outgoing TOA LWR emission (I hope you know what I'm talking about). Can't you really understand that ? this thread is getting totally surrealistic - are you only understanding what we are talking about ?
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] See my original constructive criticism, which implied that the difference between ACRIM and PMOD is that ballpark and very much less than the discrepancy between the un-calibrated products.
  28. les : maybe you could also read that . Opening words : "The range of absolute total solar irradiance (TSI) values measured by different exo-atmospheric radio- meters is currently about 5 W/m2, which is about 0.35 % (3500 × 10–6, Fig. 1) of the exo-atmospheric absolute TSI value at a distance of 1 astronomical unit (AU) from the Sun. This difference is greater than the indi- vidual standard uncertainties reported for most of these instruments, and greater than the 0.02 % per decade value typically stated as required to understand solar vs. anthropogenic forcing in climate change.The discrepancy between different instruments during the same time indicates the presence of unknown systematic bias" Do you really understand what real scientists are saying ?
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] From a statistical point of view, it is unsurprising that the range in TSI values is larger than all of the individual standard uncertainties, never mind most of them, for the simple reason that the range is implicitly picking out the maximal discrepancies, rather than the mean. What the scientists are saying is obvious, they are saying there are thought to be remaining "issues" with the instruments and hence the measurements have a degree of uncertainty that have yet to be corrected. The same is true of virtually every dataset used in climatology, and the journals etc are full of discussion of what to do about it and the caveats it puts on the conclusions. This is merely standard operating procedure.
  29. DM , it seems you're missing the point, too. The point is not if they're uncertainties. They're always uncertainties. The point is whether the total imbalance is well constrained by the observations, because it is larger than the uncertainties, or not. And the answer is definitely, (and despite one could think after reading the OP) : no. The 0.9 W/m2 value does not come from measurements, it is only the outcome of some approximate physical model and computer simulations - it has not yet been validated by global measurements, and it doesn't fit to known data. That's all.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] If the energy budget were well constrained by the data Trenberth would not have made the comment that is the subject of the article. However, there are many lines of evidence that suggest that AGW is happening, so the fact that the energy budget is not well constrained by observations just means that we need to spend more on research to collect more and better observations, it does not imply the models are not useful or the theory incorrect.

    You are incorrect to say that the model do not fit known data, if the projections lie within the known uncertainty of the data, then they "fit" (statistically speaking) as accurately as is meaningfull, given the limitations of the data. AFAICS, the data do not rule out an imbalance of 0.9 W/m2, the uncertainty of the observations themselves is too great to make such as distinction.

  30. Gilles! Gilles!!! What part of "absolute terms" and "not good enough" don't you understand in the phrase? It looks like the "travesty" got offspring. I don't need to know how much above sea level I am to know my feet are 10.80m +-0.05m above the sidewalk level at the main entrance. About your "my guess;none", well, guess again and read carefully the same paper you quoted. You can play with words but the only "stupid"(I'm quoting you) thing here is your insistence in not providing the real A to criticize and argue departing from a bunch of imaginary As. Your own phrase "my guess : none" is the standalone proof you have failed linking your argument to the papers. About your "dare" (I have time, blah, blah, blah). Do you really think nobody realized you took this like a fight for power. You placed 23 comments of yours so far, most of them among the last comments, telling different things to different people. I've already taken this thread so far to develop a couple of works for my students, as told in #55, and you, Gilles, are the subject. I think it applies here what dana1981 said in this site: --It's a testament to the robustness of the AGW theory that skeptics can't seem to decide what their objection to it is. If there were a flaw in the theory, then every skeptic would pounce on it and make a consistent argument, rather than the current philosophy which seems to be "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks."--
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  31. Alec Cowan 80 "If there were a flaw in the theory..." If? The study of nature has now become the study of how man is unable to adapt to it, or is destroying his environment. Believing this helps fund the promotion of flawless theories. What we can actually learn from studying nature at this point is just an added bonus, so I do believe some good is actually derived from all this.
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  32. "If the energy budget were well constrained by the data Trenberth would not have made the comment that is the subject of the article." Yes but sorry, the OP was about two kinds of interpretations : interpretation a) : the global value of 0.9 W/m2 imbalance has been validated by measurements (note that this COULD have been true if the TSI and TOA outgoing flux would have been measured with a good enough precision), but we have still some problems in the repartition of this energy on the ground/ocean/ice etc.... interpretation b) : we don't have any validation of this value from global incoming/outgoing fluxes, and besides, some problems in the repartition of this energy on the ground/ocean/ice etc.... the simple facts is that as I understand the OP, one could think that the right interpretation is a) (and I'm afraid that a number of readers/writers on this thread think or have thought that), whereas , actually, all the scientific literature is saying it's b). I think it is worth being stressed - that's why I do it. Alec : thanks to give this example to your students - for me, this is a good piece of real scientific dispute, with the sake of accuracy and rigor. Concerning the "flaw" in the theory, I would simply say that it is too imprecise yet to be fully tested against data - that's far from being exceptional in science, I can give you a dozen of similar examples. I'm not saying it's bad science , I'm saying it's normal scientific research on still unresolved issues - and as it, full of uncertainties. Give that to your students, please.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] The usual misinterpretation of Trenberth's comment is different from both your (a) and (b) in that it is more along the lines of "we don't even know if the Earth is gaining energy". We can know that the Earth is gaining energy from indirect evidence, even if that is not "validated" by direct observations, so there is no inherent contradiction there AFACIS.
  33. "About your "my guess;none", well, guess again and read carefully the same paper you quoted. You can play with words but the only "stupid"(I'm quoting you) thing here is your insistence in not providing the real A to criticize and argue departing from a bunch of imaginary As." Alec, I try to imagine what you think Trenberth has actually done to get his 0.9 W/m2 value imbalance - he certainly did NOT use any accurate value of TSI. He doesn't care about the precise value of TSI. Do you understand why ?
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  34. Alec, "Alec, I try to imagine what you think Trenberth has actually done to get his 0.9 W/m2 value imbalance - he certainly did NOT use any accurate value of TSI. He doesn't care about the precise value of TSI." Pay no attention to the confusionists. As you see from the quoted text, the trolling, slandering and misrepresentation of climate scientists by contrarians and "skepticsa"continues.....what a travesty, and a perfect illustration of the very problem highlighted in this essay by Villabolo above.
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  35. albatross, does it mean that you contend that Trenberth's estimate does rely on a precise value of the TSI ?
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  36. Gilles, sorry, but I'm trying very hard not to feed the troll-- they have insatiable appetites :)
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  37. Gilles has 23 of the 88 posts on this thread, and yet I'm still not clear on where he stands. Last thread he seemed to admit that there was global warming and that FF were bad, but insisted that they could never, ever be eliminated, so we shouldn't even try. Here he seems to be insisting that the globe hasn't warmed and isn't warming. Once again, just so that all casual readers can be clear, I'd like to challenge Gilles to (in a single, brief post, without digressing into all of his supporting evidence and irrelevant tangents) express exactly where he stands on the topic of this post (i.e. how a statement by an important and respected climate scientist was clearly and manipulatively taken out of context by people who simply don't like what the facts and science have to say).
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  38. Albatross : then why are you posting unclear statements that require further explanation? I can't see what was wrong with #83 after your remarks ? 88 Sphaerica ; it is unclear because your statements are too vague : what warming? do you speak of temperatures? energy? on which timescale ? 100 years? 10 years ? answers are not the same ! FF are bad : I can't see why a class of hydrocarboned molecules would be bad or good. If you mean that burning FF brings more problems than they solve - I don't share this point of view, at least up to now. There may be a point where it starts being true, but I don't know where it is, nobody has clearly told me , and I'm not sure we will reach this point anyway. Anything else unclear ?
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  39. concerning this post, I have changed a little bit my mind after reading carefully what Trenberth said . Let's listen to him : "This paper tracks the effects of the changing Sun, how much heat went into the land, ocean, melting Arctic sea ice, melting Greenland and Antarctica, and changes in clouds, along with changes in greenhouse gases. We can track this well for 1993 to 2003, but not for 2004 to 2008. It does NOT mean that global warming is not happening, on the contrary, it suggests that we simply can't fully explain why 2008 was as cool as it was, but with an implication that warming will come back, as it has." So : Trenberth actually said there wasn't any measurable , or much too few compared with theory, warming after 2004. So the "lack of warming" actually means what it means : no measurable warming. What he stresses is that he doesn't think this means there is no warming - he thinks that warming will "come back" - but this must be taken as the opinion of a respected scientist, not a fact, nor a truth of course.
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    Moderator Response: [muoncounter] The Trenberth diagram has been pored over in great depth on a number of prior threads. This usually results in the following suggestion: If you disagree with Dr. Trenberth, why not take your objections to his published work directly to him? We'd love to hear the results of that conversation.
  40. 89, Gilles,
    is that he doesn't think this means there is no warming
    Except that you're equating what he "thinks" to what a movie critic "thinks" about a movie, or what you "think" about a flavor of ice cream. This is not the case. We have many disparate observational lines of evidence that show us, year after year, the globe continues to warm. Far more importantly we have a logical, consistent and verifiable understanding of climate and greenhouse gas theory that tells us the planet will continue to warm given current conditions, and it would be very, very surprising if it did not. The fact that the warming cannot be detected in short spurts of time is no different from the fact that one cannot tell that a heart is beating by listening for it in a time frame shorter than one beat. Your attempt to discredit Trenberths' position by equating it with opinion is equivalent to that of those who more directly misrepresent his words.
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  41. 88, Gilles, As always, you just dodged my question. To repeat: Once again, just so that all casual readers can be clear, I'd like to challenge Gilles to (in a single, brief post, without digressing into all of his supporting evidence and irrelevant tangents) express exactly where he stands on the topic of this post (i.e. how a statement by an important and respected climate scientist was clearly and manipulatively taken out of context by people who simply don't like what the facts and science have to say).
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  42. @RSVP #81 About commenting what dana1981 wrote, do that here. About your soapbox, not surprisingly, it contains ... soap.
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  43. I like to think that the 'travesty' (in Trenberth's mind) isn't the absence of data, but that this knowledge could help (marginally, of course) in changing public opinion and policy formation. Every bit counts.
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  44. @Gilles #82 (last part) You completely misunderstand what I teach our students: How to spot the people who are manipulating them, and when they need to use physics to do it, they do. For instance -the field is extremely wide and the exercises varied- they have to spot in a discussion like this people who lack education and knowledge in the subject but even though that fact they manufacture a short argument from blogs they like and a grueling 10-minute Google search and keep repeating and recycling what they found -but they slowly move as the discussion's "centre of gravity" displaces-. The fact is that this kind of people can control what they say in a day by day basis, but they are not coherent at all week after week, and students can gather mass evidence of they being just cheaters. Some of them avoid being spotted by changing usernames, but most of them really think that they are right and fair, and valiently keep using the same ego-nick site after site, be it "Tinkerbell" or "Goofy241". Enough by now as this is pretty an off-topic in this thread (though it shouldn't be in this site).
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  45. #Gilles #82 and #83 You may use the search capabilities of this site, or use instead Google buy placing into the searchbox, for instance, [Trenberth travesty and deep ocean heat site:skepticalscience.com]. You'll find the story of the 0.9, 0.77 and all the values that have been used. You'll even find some peer reviewed literature accounting for more that 60% of Trenberth's travesty in deep ocean Southern waters -next home :)- (Trenberth's travesty had a value in the time of the famous email, and it isn't 0.9 at all -a hint, it included a 1020-. You should know this before discussing the subject). This site is full of material for you to replace your saying with a founded opinion.
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  46. @Albatross #84 Don't worry. I understand what you say. I see this kind of characters like they being magicians that are meaning they really vanished the coin because they have powers and idiotic masses prone to believe them. But the answer is not speaking about the impossibility of violating the laws of Thermodynamics, but explaining the public what blind spot the magicians exploited, and most of all, where are the hidden coins.
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  47. Sphaerica : "express exactly where he stands on the topic of this post (i.e. how a statement by an important and respected climate scientist was clearly and manipulatively taken out of context by people who simply don't like what the facts and science have to say). " Frankly ? i don't care much about what people think of what other people say. You may be right , but it's not a question of physics - may be of psychology, politics, sociology. Billions of people think stupid things anyway, so I can't waste my time in looking at them all. So I posted here to correct what I thought being incorrect : no we don't have a precise measurement of fluxes, yes the Earth doesn't seem to have gained energy these last years - whatever the reason is. Read the thread again - I didn't try to "manipulate" anybody - I just explained why some sentences appeared erroneous to me. Alec Cowan : I don't really get what you're trying to argue - yes multiplying 1 W/m2 by the surface of the Earth and the number of seconds in one year gives something like 10^20 J/year - and so? what does it change ?
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  48. Gilles, Sphaerica, AC et al Gentlemen, why don't we ask Dr Trenberth to come on to SKS as I suggested in a prior thread. John Cook and others thought it a great idea. I have some questions, Gilles has some questions and I am sure that BP could chime in with his questions. As mentioned earlier, I conducted a private correspondence with Dr Trenberth in early 2010, and he was a 'class act' -very generous with his time. Without his permission, I am not at liberty to quote some of his answers here. Come on John Cook and Moderators - lets do it and try to settle some of these very big questions for the world to see.
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  49. Ken has a very good idea - if Dr Trenberth could come and make it clearer what he meant, he could also give his opinion about the different posts exchanged here. Concerning what the "lack of warming" could mean , two pieces : the graph of OHC 'Ocean heat content" as a function of time the leveling off since 2004 and perfectly visible - and continuing. and a paper showing that the oceans may indeed have cooled since this time as in all research papers, the results are certainly disputable, but Dr Trenberth is a real scientist, and facing these facts , he could have only mean what he said : there is a lack of warming, and we have a problem to explain it, because it doesn't match the theory. I don't see why it is complicated, and I wonder why we write pages and pages about it .
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  50. #99 - Gilles Interesting paper! There are also interesting papers to go with the graph you posted above, at this link: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/ A legal maxim: evidence should not be taken out of its full context.
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