Kevin E. Trenberth
Research Focus FY08:
Kevin Trenberth continues to be prominent in all aspects of climate variability and climate change research and is a leader in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments and in the World Climate Research Programme (additional information below).
In 2008 his primary research has focused on the global energy and water cycles and how they are changing, and his work mainly involves empirical studies and quantitative diagnostic calculations. He continues to be a primary advocate for the need to develop a climate information system that is an imperative for adaptation to climate change. In this vein, he has evaluated many datasets and been the primary promoter of the need to reanalyze global data into fields in ways that meet climate requirements for continuity and consistency. The climate information system framework developed by Trenberth is being used to help organize ocean observations and space-based observations, their processing, archival, and development into products.
With John Fasullo, he has improved estimates of heat, energy and water transports within the atmosphere and ocean to a point where, when combined with top-of-atmosphere observed radiation, new estimates of ocean heat divergence and transports have become possible. This work is being used to validate coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models and understanding heat flows that are so important in climate change.
Work to improve estimates of the global hydrological cycle continues. A particular focus is on changes in precipitation type, frequency, intensity and amount, and thus on how droughts and floods, and climate extremes change.
In addition, with Aiguo Dai he has improved global estimates of runoff, streamflow, river discharge and the entire hydrological cycle, and how they change over time.
Trenberth has also been to the fore in raising issues about how hurricanes change as the climate changes: in better determining the relation of hurricane to environmental variables, where the moisture that feeds the heavy rainfalls comes from, and the role of hurricanes in moving energy around.
In The News (a small sampling of Trenberth news coverage):
Nobel Peace Prize 2007: IPCC Shares Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore (11 October 2007) - Guy Brasseur, William Collins, Elisabeth Holland, Reto Knutti, Linda Mearns, Gerald Meehl, Kevin Trenberth, additional NCAR authors: "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." IPCC Shares Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore Congratulations to the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore on their Nobel Peace Prize award. Since 1990, the IPCC has issued four reports highlighting the growing understanding of the climate change issue. Scientists both at NCAR and within our wider research community contributed significantly to these reports. Published this year, the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report leverages computer modeling that depicts global climate with unprecedented detail. Through support of the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation's supercomputing centers, and partnership with Japan's Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, the NCAR-based Parallel Climate Model and Community Climate System Model provided a wealth of scientific data to the IPCC report. Related: Article by the Associated Press, Thousands of Scientists Share Nobel....more
Nobel Peace Prize Press Release
Working Group I: Summary | NCAR Scientists & biographies who made major contributions
Working Group II: Summary | NCAR Scientists & biographies who made major contributions
General Information: Understanding Climate Change (UCAR)
Climate change expert to discuss grim global warming predictions
Bio-Medicine - October 28, 2008: On the day Americans elect a new president, one of the nation's leading climate change experts will speak at the University of Houston and outline the daunting global warming challenges awaiting the next administration. Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., will discuss evidence of manmade global warming at a colloquium Tuesday, Nov. 4. The event is free and open to the public ...more
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel - November 2007: The future of Grand Junction's water system is hardly a subject of debate among Grand Valley water managers. The city's 1996 municipal water supply master plan projects the source of much of the Grand Valley's tap water, the snowpack on Grand Mesa, will be stable and water-rich through 2050......The effects of a changing climate on Colorado are quite the matter of educated guesswork, but the general consensus is that precipitation will more often fall as rain instead of snow, the snowpack will melt sooner each spring and, in parts of the West, warmer weather will desiccate soil once moist with the leftovers of soggy falls and snowy winters, [New Zealand native Dr. Kevin Trenberth] said... more
Community Service FY08:
- AGU Roger Revelle Medal Selection
- AGU panel on AGU position statement on data preservation and availability
- Science Advisor: Earth & Sky Radio
- Scientific Steering Group: GEWEX
- Coordinating Lead Author: Chapter 3, Working Group I, Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) for the IPCC
- CERES Climate Model and Analysis Advisory Group, NASA
- MERRA Advisory Board, NASA
- Climate Observing System Council, NOAA
- Science Advisory Panel for the Climate Change Data & Detection Program, NOAA
- Chair: Review Panel for Climate Observations and Analysis Program, NOAA
- Chair: Observations and Assimilation Panel (WOAP) for WCRP
- WCRP Modelling Panel, WCRP
- Third International Reanalysis Conference Committee (Tokyo, Japan January 2008), WCRP
- Graduate Address, Bridge School (Boulder, Colorado May 2008)
- Public Seminar: Global Warming: Ready or Not (Boulder, Colorado October 2007)
Scientific Talks FY08:
- A comparison of vertically-integrated water and energy cycle diagnostics from several reanalyses (Tokyo, JPN, 01/2008)
- An imperative: Building a climate information system to enable adaptation to regional climate change (Washington, DC USA, 10/2008)
- An imperative: Building a climate information system to enable adaptation to regional climate change (Boulder, CO USA, 10/2008)
- Broadcast Meteorologists "Ask the expert" Interview (Boulder, CO USA, 06/2008)
- Climate change and an imperative: building a climate information system to enable adaptation to regional climate change (Frascati, ITA, 08/2008)
- Climate change and extreme weather events (New York, NY USA, 06/2008)
- Climate change, coming ready or not (New York, NY USA, 06/2008)
- Discovery Channel Interview: Impossible Pictures series on alleviating climate change (Denver, CO USA, 06/2008)
- Earth's changing energy and water cycles (Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA, 05/2008)
- Exploiting and evaluating models with observations (Reading, GBR, 04/2008)
- Extremes in climate models (Buenos Aires, ARG, 02/2008)
- Facts about our changing climate (Denver, CO USA, 06/2008)
- Global warming (Denver, CO USA, 08/2008)
- Global warming affects us all; What must be done (Boulder, CO USA, 06/2008)
- Global warming is unequivocal (Daytona Beach, FL USA, 11/2007)
- Global warming is unequivocal (Longmont, CO USA, 01/2008)
- Global warming is unequivocal (Big Sky, MT USA, 03/2008)
- Global warming, coming ready or not (Boulder, CO USA, 10/2007)
- Global warming, coming ready or not (Tuscaloosa, AL USA, 12/2007)
- Global warming, coming ready or not (Denver, CO USA, 01/2008)
- Global warming, coming ready or not (Estes Park, CO USA, 04/2008)
- Global warming: Coming ready or not (Chicago, IL USA, 09/2008)
- Global warming: The physical science basis (Boulder, CO USA, 04/2008)
- How may the spatial and temporal characteristics of precipitation change under global warming, and what are the fundamental processes that will constrain those changes? (Totnes, GBR, 04/2008)
- How serious is climate change? How serious are we about addressing it? (Boulder, CO USA, 04/2008)
- Issues from IPCC AR4 WG 1, Atmospheric modeling and observations (Sydney, AUS, 10/2008)
- KGNU Radio 'Public Affair' Interview (Boulder, CO USA, 04/2008)
- KGNU radio interview on heat wave in Colorado (Boulder, CO USA, 08/2008)
- NBC Nightly News "Hurricanes and climate" (Denver, CO USA, 09/2008)
- NOAA strategic Plan for a National Climate Service (Vail, CO USA, 06/2008)
- Observations of climate (Boulder, CO USA, 10/2008)
- Schweizer Radio Interview (Zurich, CHE, 06/2008)
- Storage and movement of heat in the ocean (Washington, DC USA, 09/2008)
- Storage and movement of heat in the ocean (Washington, DC USA, 09/2008)
- Testimony to Colorado General Assembly: Hearing on House Bill 08-1164 (Denver, CO USA, 04/2008)
- Testimony to Colorado Public Utilities Commission: Docket No. 07A-447E (Denver, CO USA, 04/2008)
- Testimony to U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works: An update on human-induced climate change (Washington, DC USA, 07/2008)
- The facts about our changing climate (Denver, CO USA, 06/2008)
- The flow of energy through the Earth's climate system (Monte Verità, CHE, 06/2008)
- The flow of energy through the Earth's climate system (Frascati, ITA, 08/2008)
- The global water cycle and its changes (Frascati, ITA, 08/2008)
- The latest update on climate change and the 4th IPCC assessment (Parker, CO USA, 11/2007)
- TV interviews with Broadcast meteorologists at the AMS Broadcast Meteorologist Conference (Denver, CO USA, 06/2008)
- UNEP's online "Ask Today's Expert" (Boulder, CO USA, 09/2008)
- User requirements and applications: IPCC (Washington, DC USA, 09/2008)
- Vertical structure and variability of the flow of energy through the Earth's climate system (Boulder, CO USA, 09/2008)
- WCRP Observations and Assimilation Panel (Buenos Aires, ARG, 02/2008)
- Weather and climate in the 21st century: what do we know? And what don't we know? (Washington, DC USA, 03/2008)
Publications FY08 (abstracts):
Trenberth, K. E., J. Fasullo, 2008: Energy budgets of Atlantic hurricanes and changes from 1970. Geochem. Geophys Geosys., 9, Q09V08, doi: 10.1029/2007GC001847.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Wall? What wall? The New York Times.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Models can be useful tools for planning ahead: A response to Thomas Chase: 'A caution to policymakers: climate models fail key tests for accuracy'. Ogmius, 22, pp. 2-3.
Trenberth, K. E., T. Koike, K. Onogi, 2008: Progress and prospects for reanalysis for weather and climate. EOS Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 89, 234-235.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Are we good stewards of the planet Earth? Daily Camera.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: The impact of climate change and variability in heavy precipitation, floods, and droughts. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences, part 17: Climate Change, John Wiley and Sons, doi: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa211.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Are we good stewards of the planet Earth? Graduation address to Bridge School, Boulder, Colorado.
Anthes, R. A., P. A. Bernhardt, Y. Chen, L. Cucurull, K. F. Dymond, D. Ector, S. B. Healy, S.-P. Ho, D. C. Hunt, Y.-H. Kuo, H. Liu, K. W. Manning, C. McCormick, T. K. Meehan, W. J. Randel, C. Rocken, W. S. Schreiner, S. V. Sokolovskiy, S. Syndergaard, D. C. Thompson, K. E. Trenberth, T.-K. Wee, N. L. Yen, Z. Zeng, 2008: The COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 Mission: Early Results. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 89, 313-333, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-89-3-313.
Trenberth, K. E., L. Smith, 2008: The three dimensional structure of the atmospheric energy budget: methodology and evaluation. Clim. Dyn., doi: 10.1007/s00382-008-0389-3.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Nations should act now to reduce carbon emissions. Denver Post.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Global warming, coming, ready or not! Area experts debate global warming. Fort Collins Forum, Fort Collins Forum.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Observational needs for climate prediction and adaptation. WMO Bulletin, 57, 17-21.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Climate change and extreme weather events. Procs. of Catastrophe Modeling Forum: Chging Climatic Dyn. and Catast. Model Projections, P Epstein, Ed., New York, NY, 7pp.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Global warming is unequivocal, Chapter 2. Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region, starting a public discussion, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, 19-26.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Atlantic hurricanes and global warming. Google News.
Trenberth, K. E., C. A. Davis, J. Fasullo, 2007: Water and energy budgets of hurricanes: Case studies of Ivan and Katrina. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D23106, doi: 10.1029/2006JD008303.
Trenberth, K. E., J. Fasullo, 2007: Water and energy budgets of hurricanes and implications for climate change. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D23107, doi: 10.1029/2006JD008304.
Shapiro, M., J. Shukla, B. Hoskins, J. Church, K. E. Trenberth, M. Beland, G. P. Brasseur, M. Wallace, G. McBean, J. Caughey, D. Rogers, G. Brunet, L. Barrie, A. Henderson-Sellers, D. Burridge, T. Nakazawa, M. Miller, P. Bougeault, R. Anthes, Z. Toth, T. Palmer, 2007: The socioeconomic and environmental benefits of a revolution in weather, climate and earth-system prediction: A weather, climate and earth-system prediction project for the 21st century. The Full Picture, Tudor Rose, 136-138, doi: ISBN 978-92-990047-0-8.
Fasullo, J., K. E. Trenberth, 2008: The annual cycle of the energy budget, Part II: Meridional structures and poleward transports. J. Climate, 21, 2313-2325, doi: 10.1175/2007JCLI1936.1.
Fasullo, J., K. E. Trenberth, 2008: The annual cycle of the energy budget, Part I: Global mean and land-ocean exchanges. J. Climate, 21, 2297-2312, doi: 10.1175/2007JCLI1935.1.
Trenberth, K. E., J. Fasullo, 2008: An observational estimate of inferred ocean energy divergence. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 38, 984-999, doi: 10.1175/2007JPO3833.1.
Trenberth, K. E., 2007: In 50 years, will global warming have had any positive effects on Americans? Today's Machine World, 3, p 38.
Trenberth, K. E., 2008: Growing threats to climate. Google News.
Trenberth, K. E., 2007: Mike Rosen: Mostly wrong on warming. Rocky Mountain News.
Models can be useful tools for planning ahead: A response to Thomas Chase: 'A caution to policymakers: climate models fail key tests for accuracy', Ogmius, 22, summer 2008, pp 2-3.
An update on human-induced climate change. The U. S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, The United States Senate, Room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Building, 10:00 a.m., July 22, 2008. Senate Testimony July 2008.
Are we good stewards of the planet Earth? Graduation address to Bridge School, Boulder, Friday May 30, 2008. Boulder Daily Camera.
Nations should act now to reduce carbon emissions, Denver Post, 16 March 2008, www.denverpost.com.
"Experts Debate Global Warming", Fort Collins Forum, February 19, 2008. Trenberth responds to Gray.
Atlantic hurricanes and global warming. Google News, 23 January, 2008.