Steve McIntyre — The Stone in Trenberth’s Shoe (edited)

Russ Steele

I was hoping that Steve McIntyre would weight in on the Spencer & Braswell paper and the issues created by the Dessler (2010) paper.  This I hope will give us some insight into the Dessler (2011) paper which was to refute the Spencer & Braswell  paper published in Remote Sensing. Dessler 2010 perhaps set a record for a peer-reviewed paper.

My hopes have been answered by Steve in a post at Climate Audit.

Like most of us, I’ve been a bit taken aback by the ritual seppuku of young academic Wolfgang Wagner, formerly editor of Remote Sensing, for the temerity of casting a shadow across the path of climate capo Kevin Trenberth. It appears that Wagner’s self-immolation has only partly appeased Trenberth, who, like an Oriental despot, remains unamused.

Spencer and Braswell 2011, the stone presently in Trenberth’s shoe, is, to a very considerable extent, a critique of Dessler 2010 (Science). Over the past few days, I requested data from the authors of both articles and was promptly supplied with it by both.

You can read Steve’s analyis of both of the data sets HERE. He concluded at the end of his analysis, in Steve’s typical low key fashion:

Given that the even the lagged relationship is weak, I’m reluctant to say that analysis using the methods of Dessler 2010 established a negative feedback, but it does seem to me that they cannot be said to have established the claimed positive feedback.

 We now have the opinion of a very capable third party who found no positive feedback from clouds. The size of the stone in Trenberth’s shoe just get a little larger.

[Edited for clarification as to paper references.]


4 thoughts on “Steve McIntyre — The Stone in Trenberth’s Shoe (edited)

  1. David L. Hagen September 6, 2011 / 1:54 pm

    Note Steve’s finding:

    “Doing the same regression with 4-month lagged relationships (which both Dessler and SB agree to be more significant than the instantaneous relationship), the sign of the slope is reversed. Whereas Dessler 2010 had reported a slope of 0.54 +- 0.72 (2σ) W/m2/K, the regression with lagged variables is -0.90 +- 0.95 w/m2/K and has better diagnostics. . . .
    Steve: Adjusted r^2 doubled 🙂 to 0.02161”

    Using Spencer’s 4 month lag, Steve found twice the trend that Dressler measured with twice the significance – but in the opposite direction.

  2. David L. Hagen September 6, 2011 / 1:56 pm

    PS Delete the last line – Steve analyzed Dressler 2010 (while the fast turnaround was for Dressler 2011)

    Russ’ Reply: Done!

  3. sean September 6, 2011 / 2:04 pm

    I think the real stone in Trenberth shoe is Chris Landsea who resigned from the IPCC over a news conference that Trenberth called in 2006 to highlight increases in catastrophic weather (for which Trenberth is not an expert) that Chris Landsea (who is an expert) insisted the data simply did not support.

  4. steve enos September 8, 2011 / 10:50 am

    Looks like Texas could use some cooling…

    The Associated Press
    LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas just finished the hottest June through August on record in the U.S., the National Weather Service said Thursday.

    Weather service meteorologist Victor Murphy told The Associated Press that Texas’ 86.8 average beat out Oklahoma’s 85.2 degrees in 1934. That Dust Bowl year is now third on the list for the three-month span, behind No. 2 Oklahoma’s heat wave this June through August (86.5 degrees).

    Both states and others in the nation’s southern tier have baked in triple-digit heat this summer. Texas had its hottest June on record, the fifth warmest month overall, and July was the warmest month ever.

    Oklahoma’s July was the country’s highest monthly average temperature ever, at 89.1 degrees.
    Louisiana’s heat this June through August puts it in the fourth spot all-time — 84.5 degrees. The average figures are taken from the entire 24-hour cycle of the day, not just from the daily highs.

    Texas hasn’t just been hot. It’s in the midst of its worst drought since the 1950s and enduring its driest single year going back to 1895. The heat and lack of rainfall have clobbered agriculture. An early estimate shows crop and livestock losses at $5.2 billion. That figure was expected to rise.

    Grasses, vegetation and trees around the state remain tinderbox dry and wildfires have destroyed more than 3.5 million acres since last November, about when the drought started. Just this week, hundreds of homes were destroyed when wildfires raged southeast of Austin.

    The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that not a speck of Texas is out of drought, and more than 81 percent is in the worst category.

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