2010-12-26 09:29:00Basic Rebuttal #102--READY TO GO! Trenberth said there was a "lack of warming".
villabolo

villabolo@yahoo...
76.93.91.62

Ready to go

This rebuttal has been languishing for quite a while. Would appreciate any final suggestions.

 


"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 used completely out of context by those behind the fake "Cimategate" scandal. The statement is distorted to mean that there is no warming. That is not the case.

Trenberth's job is to track exactly how much energy is reaching us from the sun, how much is used in warming the air, land, oceans, and melting ice and how much is reflected or radiated from each of these places. The more global warming there is, the more energy is absorbed.

Therefore, Trenberth was talking about where some of the warmth has gone, not that there's 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, an increase from the previous year. Your job is to find out where and how that 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 10% (100 million dollars) is unaccounted for. That would be serious. You know that the money has been there all along 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 email to a fellow employee stating, "I can't account for the lack of money and it's a shame."

Now imagine that a person, whose intent it is to defame the company, hacks into the computer and acquires the email. He then quotes the accountant out of context by claiming that the company is actually losing money.

When Trenberth said, "...we can't account for the lack of warming..." he meant the same thing as that accountant. He could not accurately determine the Earth's increasing heat had gone because the measurements he had for the ocean's warming only went down to 900 metres (little over 1/2 mile) and oceans can be much deeper than that. However, our measurements of how much energy is in our atmosphere and land surface are accurately known.

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

2010-12-26 22:36:11
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.250.64
I like it so far. Perhaps before delving into your analogy, just briefly outline that we have accurate measurements of how much energy is entering and leaving the atmosphere and that the only place the missing heat can be is the deep ocean, which we are unable to monitor at the moment.  
2010-12-29 09:23:49
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.184
You should reference to Trenberth's own statement.
2010-12-30 08:37:03Response to Rob and Riccardo.
villabolo

villabolo@yahoo...
64.183.42.52

Rob. I did intend to outline that fact with an illustration from Trenberth's own analysis that I have not posted yet. It would be positioned right before the analogy. For basic level readers a visual illustration is much better than a verbal statement, in my opinion.

Riccardo. Thank you for your reference to Trenberth's statement in defense of himself. I have included it in footnote a.

2010-12-31 21:20:01
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Probably better to use a superscript number for the reference, rather than a letter?

Should there be a comma in this sentence?:

 "Trenberth was talking about where some of the warmth has gone to, not whether global warming is happening"

I'll probably give it a thumbs up when I have seen the illustration.
2011-01-01 00:01:11Superscript vs letters.
villabolo

villabolo@yahoo...
76.93.72.112

Ville, I prefer letters in case I get to make several footnotes. They're more 'elegant' in my opinion, but it doesn't matter because they're going to be hyperlinked.

Thanks for the punctuation correction.

2011-01-04 18:11:30Miscellaneous feedback
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.166.150

Good rebuttal. I like the analogy mentioning “intent to defame”!

However, I recommend you take out the diagram. I agree that a visual illustration is good, but in this case I think the diagram is too complicated and will probably just confuse most laypeople.

Typographical corrections:

  • There should only be two L’s in “billion”.
  • Remove the full stop at the end of “100 million dollars”.
  • Add a question mark at the end of “mismanagement of company resources”.
  • The word “omeone” should read “someone”.
  • The phrase “Global Warming” does not need to be capitalised.
  • Remove the capital at the start and the full stop at the end of “Little over ½ mile.”

I also suggest rephrasing “claims that the company is not making more money; so he quotes the accountant out of context” as “quotes the accountant out of context to claim that the company is not making a profit”. And I would change “that is what he meant” to “he meant the same thing as that accountant”.

2011-01-04 23:32:08Illustration.
villabolo

villabolo@yahoo...
76.93.72.112

James, thanks for the typos.

I realize the illustration is above basic level but the rebuttal doesn't require that people understand the details of the energy flow; just the fact that Trenberth was referring to multiple areas of the Earth. Most laypeople assume that the atmosphere is the only location where heat goes, hence the confusion over the 'missing warmth'. Just by glancing at the illustration they could appreciate, intuitively, how the oceans could be involved without having to pay attention to details.

2011-01-28 05:33:32
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183
Would be nice to see this one finished
2011-02-16 22:18:50Suggestions for clearer expression
malamuddy

malamuddy@gmail...
124.183.89.246

A few suggestions:

Sentence starting "Part of the fake...  (it sounds as if Trenberth quoted out of context)

Change to  "Trenberth's statement was used completely out of context by those behind the fake "Cimategate" scandal.

 Sentence "It is Trenberth's job ... (he tracks where energy goes, rather than where  global warming goes.)

 To: 

"Trenberth's 'job' is to track exactly how much energy is reaching us from the sun, how much is used in warming the air, land and oceans and how much is reflected or radiated from each of these places.

 Change "gone to" to "gone,"

Sentence: "The reason he was not able ..."

To: "He could not accurately determine the Earth's complete global energy budget because the measurements he had for the ocean's warming only went down to 900 metres ... (rest as is) 

2011-03-27 19:41:15
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.158.190

I just stumbled across this forgotten rebuttal while searching for something else. I think you deserve a thumb for your efforts!

One thing I don't understand - why is "job" in scare quotes? It sounds like you're saying it's not a real job.

2011-04-04 14:16:47James Wright. Reference to quote marks.
villabolo

villabolo@yahoo...
76.93.89.50

Thanks for the thumbs up. I myself nearly forgot this rebuttal.

As for the quote marks on Trenberth's job, I really have no idea why I did that in the first place. Thanks for mentioning it. It's been taken care of.

2011-04-04 15:28:16Blog post
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.60.165

Can you make this into a blog post (of course, with a catchy headline :-) and I'll add this into the schedule.

2011-04-04 18:15:10
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
58.164.126.208

Good to go!

2011-04-09 02:47:00
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Cha-ching

2011-04-09 09:02:48
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.145.234.252

Suppose now, that the accountant makes sends an email to a fellow employee stating, "I can't account for the lack of money and it's a shame."

 

What Trenberth said in the email is more-or-less what he said in the published paper.

Noting that global mean temperature in 2008 was the lowest since 2000, he stated that we know that warming has continued but we cannot accurately measure where the heat has gone. "... a key issue is the extent to which we can track the energy in the climate system."

In his concluding remarks, he states that monitoring of the energy budget "falls short of what is required."  It is obvious to anyone reading the email in its proper context that Trenberth was privately expressing in stronger terms what he expressed publicly in the paper: our inability to accurately track energy flows in the climate system is unacceptable.

 

In your terms, villabolo, an accountant would say that the inability of the firm's book-keeping system to accurately track the internal flow of money is entirely unacceptable.

 

hth