Blog Archive

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Issues in Establishing Climate Sensitivity in Recent Studies" by Kevin E. Trenberth, John T. Fasullo & John P. Abraham, in Remote Sensing, 3 (2011)

Remote Sensing, 3(9) (2011) 2051-2056; doi: 10.3390/rs3092051

Issues in Establishing Climate Sensitivity in Recent Studies

Kevin E. Trenberth1,* email, John T. Fasullo1 email and John P. Abraham 2 email
1National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA 2School of Engineering, University of St. Thomas, OSS101, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105, USA

Received 8 September 2011; accepted 8 September 2011; published 16 September 2011.
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [329 KB; uploaded 17 September 2011, 12:41 CET] 
Numerous attempts have been made to constrain climate sensitivity with observations [1-10] (with [6] as LC09, [8] as SB11). While all of these attempts contain various caveats and sources of uncertainty, some efforts have been shown to contain major errors and are demonstrably incorrect. For example, multiple studies [11-13] separately addressed weaknesses in LC09 [6]. The work of Trenberth et al. [13], for instance, demonstrated a basic lack of robustness in the LC09 method that fundamentally undermined their results. Minor changes in that study’s subjective assumptions yielded major changes in its main conclusions. Moreover, Trenberth et al. [13] criticized the interpretation of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) as an analogue for exploring the forced response of the climate system. In addition, as many cloud variations on monthly time scales result from internal atmospheric variability, such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation, cloud variability is not a deterministic response to surface temperatures. Nevertheless, many of the problems in LC09 [6] have been perpetuated, and Dessler [10] has pointed out similar issues with two more recent such attempts [7,8]. Here we briefly summarize more generally some of the pitfalls and issues involved in developing observational constraints on climate feedbacks. [...]

No comments: