CAS People

Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist

Statement: Kevin Trenberth on Developments related to Landsea "walking out on IPCC."

Statement Issued by NCAR Jan 28, 2005

NCAR is concerned over the misinformation circulating concerning one of its senior scientists arising from charges made by Dr Chris Landsea. Dr Kevin Trenberth is a Convening Lead Author for Chapter 3 of the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) for Working Group 1. In October Trenberth invited Landsea to be one of about 60 Contributing Authors to the chapter on observed climate change and write a piece on Atlantic hurricanes. The vigorous hurricane season in the Atlantic in 2004, where there were 4 hurricanes that hit Florida and flooding along much of the eastern seaboard, attracted widespread media attention. Comments by a few scientists suggested that there was no relation between these events and global warming. On October 14, a press conference called by the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment was held by teleconference with about 40 reporters to correct that impression and recognize that global warming is happening and hurricanes cannot be unaffected. Landsea took offense at Trenberth's participation in the news conference and what he said. He issued a public letter on January 14, 2005 in which he resigned from the contributing author's role but also made a number of charges that are not correct. Although he charged the IPCC with having become "politicized", it is Landsea's own actions that have politicized this process.

On November 8, 2004, when Landsea first expressed major dissatisfaction in a letter that was widely distributed, Trenberth responded as follows. [Trenberth email response]