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« Met Office withdraws article about Marcott's hockey stick | Main | GWPF and the Charities Commission »

Kevin Trenberth is a very naughty boy

Lucia Liljegren has discovered Kevin Trenberth being naughty with one of his graphs. I mean very naughty.

One can...speculate why Trenberth didn’t compare the 12 year flat (and negative) trend ending in 2012 to 12 year ‘flat’ trends in the past. The current period is the only period with a “flat” (or negative) trend. Presenting that comparison would certainly give “impression[.] that the global mean temperature is not increasing at its earlier rate”.

Oh dear. Read the whole thing.

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Reader Comments (37)

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Jun 14, 2013 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

There is not really any reason to be surprised if KT chooses deception. His basis for reversing the null hypothesis was on the same spectrum.

Jun 14, 2013 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

Perhaps Myles could ask Kevin to share his working?

Jun 14, 2013 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Perhaps Tamsin and Richard will comment?

Jun 14, 2013 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterntropywins

Kevin Trenberth is a very naughty boy

and he has a tash that frightens schoolchildren

Jun 14, 2013 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdhominer

Perhaps Baroness Verma will offer Dr Trenberth a meeting with Met Office officials to educate him on statistics.

Jun 14, 2013 at 7:02 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

There was an alarmist called Kevin
Who thought the planet was warming to high heaven
But when things started to cool
he looked a bit of a fool
so he said all the heat had gone into the ocean.

Jun 14, 2013 at 7:24 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Without AGW Trenberth's professional career and much of their personal standing , is toast .
He has no choice but to keep doubling down for like Mann there is no 'get-out ' for him , all that is possible is rapid and extreme fall from grace followed without 'the cause '

Jun 14, 2013 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Trenberth must know that the earlier "flat" periods to which he refers had an obvious cause - volcanoes. He must also know that there is no known cause for the current flat period. Even I know these things, and I'm no "climate expert".

It is dishonest and deceitful.

Thus we can expect Tamsin, based on her recent declarations, to be along shortly to decry, in public, his deception.

Jun 14, 2013 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

A deceitful climatologist???

Who knew?

Jun 14, 2013 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I like the part about people getting the impression that it is cold and wet. Seven cold and wet summers in a row would sort of give that impression I suppose. Just remember that it's only an impression though.

Jun 14, 2013 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

It's all a travesty...

Jun 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterKev

and talking of naughty

you may remember myclimateandme going banner headline on the Marcott paper, well I see that they have withdrawn their comment in the mealy mouthed way we have come to expect from the warmist partisans. Someone close to me has given them both barrels in the very recent past and did not have to wait 14 days to get trough moderation. Bizarre.

Jun 14, 2013 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenternoTrohpywins

In the comments at the The Blackboard, Lucia uses rather strong language (for her) re Trenberth. It's the third comment and worth a read.


Jun 14, 2013 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Just a few short years ago the Warmists used to proclaim that natural variation was being swamped by CAGW and that "weather isn't climate".

It now appears Warmists contend that natural variation is, indeed, a major player and that weather is, indeed, climate (apparently)?


Jun 14, 2013 at 9:20 PM | Registered Commenterwoodentop

After discussing with Shub, I made this graph which I think some of you will enjoy:

Jun 14, 2013 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterlucia

As Lucia points out, Trenberth's comments and graph are published on the Royal Met. Soc. site.
Their esteemed members clearly approve of the guy and his science.

Maybe they haven't read it?

Jun 14, 2013 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterschrodinger's Cat

I can confidently tell you that Dr Trenberth's, doctorate thesis was on the art of bullshit.

Jun 14, 2013 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterStu

careful guys ...remember the horse head in Wagner's bed...

Jun 14, 2013 at 11:07 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

I think a bursting hot water bottle is a more likely messenger ....

Jun 14, 2013 at 11:21 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet


when I first got engaged, tamino was busy convincing people that there was no natural periodicity whatsoever...that it was just "mathturbation".

Just goes to show ...

I wonder how mnay of those posts by Tamino have been retired. It was a shock when the Fand R bogpaper came out, talking about natural cycles....He has no shame but he has no brain.

Jun 14, 2013 at 11:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Devastating critique, Lucia. You schooled Trenberth.

Jun 14, 2013 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Lucia: another very sharp cookie.

I'd say that what she has exposed here is pretty much par for the course for warm-mongers.

Jun 15, 2013 at 1:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

I think this is pertinent.
The volcanic effect. This came up as a side issue to a long ongoing explore of instrumentation.

Seems to me the gassers need an excuse for which they claim to have evidence. This is not what I am starting to see dug out, such as air is clear, nothing seen. I note Trenberth gives labels for eruptions where amazingly the effect happens before the event, or leapfrogs heat or at the same time. Now consider he is yet another who uses dubious math, missampled just like Met Office, CSIRO etc. which hides information and adds artefacts. Annual points.

Yesterday I put up an article about Pinatubo with also linkage to an article about the 1912 largest mountain vanish of the 20th century. Didn't say much hoping others would point at the effect of Pinatubo or point out what I have done wrong. Done this with an additional spatial dimension and all satellite sense altitudes.

Talkshop article here

An additional problem is shortly afterwards came the most major change in data, the modal change in stratospheric temperature, which looks like it continues to this day. Nifty thems volcanos.

Jun 15, 2013 at 2:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterTim Channon

How strange! Judging a man's honour according to the number of digits on our hands! Had we an extra finger on each side, he would be an honest man!

Jun 15, 2013 at 3:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Missy - No need for extra digits, I think two fingers covers it.

Jun 15, 2013 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

O/T, But I cannot read the article at Lucia's because her software banned my IP address a couple of days ago. I can't even find an email address to contact her asking why. If my PC has a virus I would like to know about it too.

Jun 15, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart


You can reach Lucia at 'lucia AT' , she runs her own server and is VERY proactive banning bots & spammers, occasionally this means a legitimate user is also banned.

She is normally very to quick to resolve these issues

Back on topic, just what will it take for honest scientists outside climate science to call out the charlatans, I have a letter from Greg Barker which indicates that he (or his ghost author) remains in La La Land on CAGW

Jun 15, 2013 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterGras Albert

Gras - even if they call them out, nothing will change.

There is a whole agenda of the next century's global development built on this faulty "science". Add to that the inertia that has been built into the system by relentless propagandising and it is clear that the situation is not going to change without major upheaval. There will be a discreet row back from the more untenable positions but politically there will continue to be behind the scenes strengthening of the machinery to achieve the "low carbon economy". Look to the UK gov. establishing the carbon floor price at the last budget as an example. I can't see one moderating change to UK or EU policy on the horizon.

If there is a possibility for change in the UK IMO it will come from UKIP forcing the issue into the public debate, arguing facts and exposing the shoddy nature of much of the science and policy currently built on the AGW hypothesis.

Could be wrong - Just my opinion. Maybe change will come about through the actions of the scientific community but I'm not holding my breath.

Jun 15, 2013 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Applying the Tiljander Tranform clearly excludes the last two 10 year trends.

Jun 15, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterDEEBEE

Trenberth, famous for his abortive energy exchange model in AR4 just proof that he is a flat earther, and the missing heat.
It is he who should apologize for his rubbish science.

Jun 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

In the meantime, I've turned my pool heating off in disgust, having not long turned it on (it normally goes on towards the end of April, and we've normally been in it about a dozen times by now. Not once yet..!)
But then its only an IMPRESSION that the weather this year is crap...

Jun 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Just email me (lucia at Ideally, if you do this very quickly, I can unbann you. Also, if your ban was at cloudflare, you can show me that. People especially those who do not see the local 'scary page' that shows them the explanation that their connections do odd things the individuals don't particularly intend to do and are unaware of.

For example: One guy using his business vpn was getting repeatedly banned because his business VPN is clearly programmed to scrape. I looked at the log, and if he visited the page, it would automatically try to every single link in the sidebar, post etc within less than 20 seconds, and then start loading every link on ever page it loaded. This sort of thing can easily crash a self hosted blog, and so I've triggered an anti-flood feature in the filter.

FWIW: That entire company's host happened to be banned by default in ZBblock. So we have reason to believe that-- for some reason-- that companies IT guys think it would be a 'good' thing to preload. There are several companies offering 'protection' where they 'preload' check for viruses and claim to protect you. The difficulty is that they way they are programmed would *definitely* crash a small self hosted blog. While the people selling these 'protection' services would likely tell you it's not a virus, there just is no way for a self hosted blog that runs wordpress to deal with that. My choices would be (a) let the blog crash nearly any time one of these people visits thereby depriving everyone of reading it or (b) ban that IP. The former happened *a lot* before I started banning.

There are other apps some people have installed that do similar types of bad things.

If you contact me near the time you are banned, I can find the records, see what's happening and
1) unbann that IP (this is certain) and
2) Tell you why it got banned so you can possibly fix the issue.

Jun 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterlucia

I wrote a quick script to plot all of the 10-year trends from 1979 and 2012, just to see what they looked like and what is happening to them. (I suspect woodforthetrees can be made to do this but I wanted to have a play with the data anyway...)

Link to graph

It shows the NOAA annual global temperature anomalies data set (hopefully the right one, values I got seemed to match Lucia and Kevin's calcs) on the top and 10-year trends below. The ten-year trends are plotted on the last year of the trend, i.e. 2012 point is the OLS trend of 2003-2012.

What strikes me is how little Kevin gained from this little sleight of hand. The difference between 2010, 2012 etc. are really quite small in terms of values; I assume what Kevin was worried about is that not cherry picking means (a) the 2012 trend is lower than his examples from previous decades and (b) the 2012 trend is slightly negative. But why cherry pick when the risks of being spotted are so high and the gains so small?

Jun 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

(a) the 2012 trend is lower than his examples from previous decades and (b) the 2012 trend is slightly negative. But why cherry pick when the risks of being spotted are so high and the gains so small?

(a) is precisely the problem. The argument for saying that the current trends are consistent with earlier warming is that the current trends fall <I>inside</I> the range of trends we observed while warming was happening at a rate of 0.16 c/decade. That is: We had 20 trends from 1971-2000 and this is inside that.

However, the two most recent 10 year trends fall outside the previous range

It may be that one could make an argument that <I>even so this 'doesn't matter'-- but one has to make that argument. Simply ignoring the two most recent trends is not the way to do present a counter argument that the recent trend sufficiently low to mean either (a) the trend has changed or (b) the IPCC trend of 0.2C/dec is outside the range consistent with earth warming.

Given the range of arguments he is trying to counter -argue which include (b), things are even worse. Because he is not only</I> counter arguing that the trend change to slower warming relative to the 1970-now 0.16C/dec, but he appears to be trying to counter argue that warming is happening more slowly than 0.2C/decade. And what we see is that the lowest trends during the 0.16C/dec run up where higher than the recently observed trends-- which are "supposed" to be embeded in a 0.2C/dec trend.

It really is a mess and one wonders why he presented this argument. Less horrible ones are possible, but this one is a mess.

Jun 15, 2013 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterlucia

it is ok... I can hear Tamino riding to the rescue...the Lone Trend-detector! is back in town

Jun 15, 2013 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

@lucia "It really is a mess". So I'm afraid is your italicisation. Use small i not capital (beware auto-correction). More importantly "were" not "where" four lines from bottom (?unless some missing words).

Jun 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered Commentersimon abingdon

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