Readers may recall the consternation of the NAS Panel when von Storch (and ourselves) started presenting answers to some of Boehlert’s questions. I received notice today from NAS that:
You might also notice that there have a been a few minor changes to the Committee’s Statement of Task.
I posted up the original terms of reference here. The slightly revised terms of reference are here. The changes are not huge, but it’s always interesting to check. (If they were completely "minor", why make the changes at all?) . I’ve italicised changes.
The committee will describe and assess the state of scientific efforts to reconstruct surface temperature records for the Earth over approximately the past [1,000-(deleted)]2,000 years. The committee will summarize current scientific information on the temperature record for the past two millennia, describe the main areas of uncertainty and how significant they are, describe the principal methodologies used and any problems with these approaches, and explain how central the debate over the paleoclimate temperature record is to the state of scientific knowledge on global climate change. As part of this effort, the committee will address tasks such as:
[[Identify the variables for which proxy records have been employed (e.g., temperatures averaged over specific geographical areas and time periods, extreme temperatures).-deleted]]
– Describe the proxy records that have been used to estimate surface temperatures for the pre-instrumental period (e.g., tree rings, sediment cores, isotopes in water and ice, biological indicators, indicators from coral formations, geological boreholes, historical accounts) and evaluate their limitations.
– Discuss how proxy data can be used to reconstruct surface temperature over different geographical regions and time periods. [new]
– Assess the various methods employed to combine multiple proxy data to develop large-scale surface temperature reconstructions, the major assumptions associated with each approach, and the uncertainties associated with these methodologies.
– Comment [Evaluate -deleted] on the overall accuracy and precision of such reconstructions, relevant data quality and access issues, and future research challenges. new
Note: statement of task revised on 03/30/2006.
The National Academies will be sponsoring this study. The approximate starting date for the project is 01/19/2006. The committee will issue a Final Report in approximately four months
For me, the most interest change is the insertion of the "relevant data quality and access issues". I wonder how they”’ deal with that. We barely touched the surface of this topic in our presentation.