Kevin Trenberth on El Nino: The Only Question is How Big

April 28, 2014

I interviewed Kevin Trenberth last week for an upcoming video on the developing El Nino event. He had a number of interesting things to say, which I’ll be pulling together over the next week.

Above, in a nutshell, the bottom line for now.


14 Responses to “Kevin Trenberth on El Nino: The Only Question is How Big”

  1. Ocean Heat Uptake: The Apparent Hiatus in Global Warming and Climate Sensitivity – Prof. Kevin Trenberth

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    Time for some appropriately ominous and suspenseful background music?.

    The “not when, but how big” El Nino is going to flush a lot of denier toilets when the reason for “the apparent hiatus” in global temperature rise comes out from its hiding place.

  3. judging from a few denier posts elsewhere the line from denier central is 1/ the El Nino is expected to be big 0.5c [!] so anything less will be ‘normal variation’. 2/ a temperature hike will ‘fit’ their perception that natural variation [from the LIA] is jumps and then decades of hiatus.

  4. skeptictmac57 Says:

    My prediction: As evidence mounts that AGW continues unabated ,the
    dead-ender denialists will shift their argument to a grudging line of reasoning that goes “Yeah,climate changed turned out to be real,but it’s Al Gore,and Climategate,and the evil Michael Mann that threw us off the track.
    If it weren’t for their deceptive ways,we would have agreed much sooner!”

    Motivated reasoning and the need to avoid cognitive dissonance will never allow them to take personal responsibility for their disruptive and obstructionist role in the delay in addressing the carbon problem. It will always be someone else’s fault.

    P.S. I have already encountered a version of this by a self-described ‘luke-warmer’.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      the very nature of denial. They’ll claim if only Sara Palin had told them, instead of Al Gore, they would have believed it.

  5. redskylite Says:

    The CO2 forcing effects on our climate is slow but persistent, the problem is that many people cannot comprehend some of the huge time periods involved. I have read contrarians talking of “warmists” hanging their heads in shame and embarrassment, if the next major El Nino event does not lead to increased surface temperatures after their beloved and well publicized so called hiatus.

    What a terrible short sighted view, the El Nino does not matter at all in the long term, it is just a natural variation. What matters is the over budget man is causing in the CO2 cycle and the danger of setting off other tipping points.

    I quote from a superb paper by David Archer of Chicago University prepared for/with the Potsdam Institute.

    “Although none of us will be alive 100,000 years from now to regret our energy
    decisions today, the long time-scale of the projected climate perturbation does lend some gravity to the energy policy debate. The longevity of nuclear waste is well known to the public, and seems to be important in the consideration of nuclear energy. For CO2, the approximate lifetime “hundreds of years, with 25% lasting forever”, translated to the gasoline pump, pulls out several gallons, out of every tank of gasoline. Fossil fuels will be depleted on a time scale of centuries, decades perhaps for oil and natural gas, but the
    climate impacts will persist for longer than the age of human civilization so far”

    All we need to do is to drastically reduce fossil fuel use, it is well within our grasp, try and just think about the future and go for it…………………………………

    is it really so difficult ???

    Click to access archer.subm.clim.change.pdf

  6. […] Given that I’ve written about this before I thought I may as well post this short video of Kevin Trenberth talking about the possibility of an El Niño later this year. According to Kevin Trenberth, it’s not so much if we’ll get an El Niño later this year, but how big it’s going to be. […]

  7. omnologos Says:

    what will Dear Kev say if the 2014 El Nino ends up being small and/or insignificant?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      The village idiot is back asking another stupid question.

      If the El Nino should somehow not appear in 2014, it WILL be here in 2015 and the man you so casually call “Dear Kev” will be here to explain it to those of us who are intelligent enough to listen and understand (you don’t need to show up—you’d only be using up valuable oxygen).

      It is a measure of your delusional state that you would even suggest that it might be “small and/or insignificant”—-those adjectives describe YOU and your contributions to Crock, not the consensus opinion among the literate of what the next El Nino will bring.

  8. MorinMoss Says:

    I’m hoping for a mild ENSO – the years have been more than hot enough even with the predominance of La Nina or La Nada events.

    A strong or record El Nino is going to hit a lot of very vulnerable people & ecologies very, very badly.

    Climate change isn’t driven by ENSO, that crackpot Tisdale to the contrary.

  9. […] 2014/04/28: PSinclair: Kevin Trenberth on El Nino: The Only Question is How Big […]

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