Briffa Archives Tree Ring Data!

Let no one say that I don’t give credit where credit is due. Keith Briffa, yes Keith Briffa, has archived 13 tree ring site chronologies at WDCP: it’s only 17 years since publication and 22-24 years since collection, but who’s counting?

Let’s talk first about Alberto Mangini, who published Mangini et al. [2005], Reconstruction of temperature in the Central Alps during the past 2000 yr from a d18O stalagmite record, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 235, Issues 3-4, Pages 741-751, 15 July 2005. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2005.05.010 . If you go here, you see the data nicely archived at WDCP. Now that it’s archived, Mangini doesn’t have to worry about answering inquiries, losing the data, arguing with Canadians. It doesn’t seem so hard.

John interjects:

And here’s a graph of year (CE) versus reconstructed temperature from Mangini et al, (2005) taken direct from the archive above.

Mangini et al 2005

For another extreme: Briffa, K.R., P. D. Jones, J.R. Pilcher and M.K.Hughes [1988], Reconstructing summer tempertatures in northern Fennoscandinavia back to AD1700 using tree ring data from Scots pine, Arctic and Alpine Research 20, 385-394, reported on the following Finnish sites: Sompio, Riukuselka, Morgammaras, Suojanpera, Jurmarova, Pyhaturunturi, Pallasmaja, Pisa and Pyhan Hakin; the following Norwegian sites: Hurdal, Jondalen, Lofoten and Steigen; and the following Swedish sites: Muddus, Ostersund and Arosjakk. Sampling was done in 1981 and 1983.

Earlier in 2005, Briffa archived all 9 of the Finnish sites (finl058-finl066); 3 Norwegian sites – 2 of which (Hurdal, Jondalen) overlapped with the above listing; and one Swedish site (Muddus South) which presumably overlaps with the above. Lofoten (norw001) and Arosjakk (swed009) can be identified as already being archived. Steigen and Ostersund appear to be still outstanding; Visdalen appears not to have been reported in the earlier publication.

I guess that Briffa, Jones, Hughes and Pilcher thought that 17 years after publication and 22-24 years of exclusive use were both "reasonable".


  1. John A
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 7:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There seems to be a flurry of archiving of old data in the last few weeks. Could it be conscience?

  2. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 12:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Could be Barton :-D

  3. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 2:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Intimidation clearly works?

  4. Ed Snack
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 2:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dear me, Peter, why do you feel it so necessary to make such imputations. Why is it intimidation to ask someone to carry out a task that is an obligation on them anyway ? This just shows your absolute bias. One can only infer that you think it entirely proper for scientists to refuse to release source data at any time regardless of who paid for the data to be collected, and what use is made of that data.

    If Mangini had published his temperature reconstruction as per the graph above, commenting that the reconstructions showing drastic 20th century warming were rubbish, and he refused to release his source data, would you accept that he was correct and had no obligation to release that data ?

  5. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 2:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Dear me, Peter, why do you feel it so necessary to make such imputations.”

    Only following the example of the two above :)

    Ed, can you name me a scientist involved in climate research and not called Steve McIntyre you think honest, open and respectable. I oubt you can and I’m beginning to think Steve can’t either :(

    What is it that means we need this one man war on climatologists? Heavens, these are simply people interested in climate but you’s think, if you read too much here, that most of them are crooks. It’s all so sad!

  6. John A
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 2:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Sometimes Peter, I think you are clearly reading a different weblog to the rest of us. In fact, most of the time.

  7. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 3:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Briffa archived his data earlier this year, so it was pre-Barton. There was a bit of response last July when I wrote to NSF. A bunch of them archived a little.

  8. hans kelp
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 3:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dear Peter Hearden, I´m sorry to say so but I have started to think funny things about you. I will ask you to please clear things out for me ( and for anybody else watching this site ) , now tell me honestly and seriously – you absolutely must be Michael Mann in disguise, aren´t you , please!

    Your´s sincerely

    Hans Kelp

    PS: I DO admire scientists. Have a good night!

  9. Ed Snack
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 3:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    No Peter, you were not following the example of the first two posts. You were repeating the “party line” that Rep Barton was indulging in “intimidation”. It could be a tongue in cheek comment like the others, but your posts so often carry the imputation of improper conduct that I don’t find it easy any more to believe that you don’t simply mean what you say.

  10. Murray Duffin
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 6:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    On Mangini’s graph, is the ordinate degrees C? Does the record go up to about 1930? Did Mangini sat anything about 1930 to 2005? Murray

  11. Greg F
    Posted Jul 31, 2005 at 7:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    On Mangini’s graph, is the ordinate degrees C?


    Does the record go up to about 1930?

    It goes to 1935.

  12. Posted Aug 1, 2005 at 3:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    While the temperature curves from different proxies are either too coarse or not up-to-date to see what happened in the last decades, there are a few which show that the recent decades are not so exceptional warm if one looks at the longer history. Here a few examples:

    Tree ring data of North Finland (updated to 2001): cooling trend in the past decades (page 11-12)

    Several stalagmite records: (South China) (mid-Norway) (Iowa, USA)

  13. David H
    Posted Aug 1, 2005 at 3:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Funnily enough for the first time I agree with something Peter said. Intimidation does work. Sometimes rightly and sometimes wrongly. I do not park on yellow lines in front of parking wardens or speed past cameras. I am rightly intimidated and I hope Jo Barton’s actions intimidate a few more.

    The wrong sort of intimidation is where powerful lobbies try to stifle open debate. I am certain that there are sceptics in the Met Office and DEFRA who dare not go forcefully against the prevailing view. I felt intimidated last year when Earth First activists tried to shout down peer reviewed experts that dared to contradict the IPCC.

  14. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Aug 3, 2005 at 5:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Intimidation clearly works?

    Mann said he’d never be intimidated into releasing his code…so can this really be considered intimidation?

  15. TCO
    Posted Sep 21, 2005 at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Would like some background on WDCP: How long in existence. What percent of people archive there. Is it’s use increasing. How does it compare to other data archives in other fields.

    (for Jerry: 500 words or less! ;) Well synthesized and paragraphed. Of course, I could just go Google and read up myself…)

  16. david fisher
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It is very old news by now , but I asked Briffa for data back in the 1990s and he sent me everything I asked for and then some. Research ususally has a large dose of the informal about it. Briffa is not a secretive guy.

  17. Alex Atkinson
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve been re-working speleothem data from a number of locations and comparing them to solar activity proxies for the past ~2000 years. Spannagel is an *extremely* unusual case and I am unsure as to the quality of this temperature reconstruction. If you re-work their data using the above link, and compare this to solar activity (which is availabe at – pref. use the intcal04 data set), there seems to be a 50 year shift in the solar activity data. For example, if we look at the Dalton Minimum, it appears to occur around ~1750 at Spannagel, whilst in the solar record it’s known to have onset around 1790. The whole tuning of this record is suspect and the original paper poorly explains how this record has been produced.

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