In 2004, prior to starting Climate Audit, I tried to get data from both Gordon Jacoby and Tom Crowley – neither experience being very pleasant. Climategate-2 emails provide an interest vignette in which Crowley got very frustrated trying to get data from Jacoby in 2008.
I recounted my experience in trying to get data from Jacoby in early CA posts – see http://www.climateaudit.org/tag/jacoby. In 2004, I’d also sent about 26 emails to Crowley trying to get the data versions used in Crowley and Lowery 2000. Crowley subsequently wrote a defamatory editorial in Eos about the experience, making untrue allegations about my requests. Eos delayed reviewing my reply, then said it was no longer newsworthy and refused to correct it. Crowley recently apologized privately as I mentioned previously.
In fall 2005, as a reviewer of the First Draft of AR4, I requested data under IPCC policies from two then unpublished studies cited in AR4 for which no data had been archived. Ironically, the two studies involved both Jacoby (D’Arrigo et al 2006) and Crowley (Hegerl et al 2007). As CA readers are aware, IPCC refused to require the authors to provide data and referred me to the journals. One of the journals (JGR) was governed by a data polcy (AGU) that theoretically required authors to archive data, but, in paleoclimate, was honored in the breach more than the observance. JGR did not require D’Arrigo et al to archive data. Both Hegerl and D’Arrigo complained back to IPCC about being required to supply data and IPCC WG1 Chair Susan Solomon said that I would be expelled as a reviewer if I asked for data.
In 2003, Mann and Jones 2003 had used Jacoby’s Mongolia series, but only through digitization of the graphic in the original Jacoby publication (with some distortion from the digitization.)
In August 2008, Crowley (email 3118) tried again to get Jacoby’s Mongolia data, this time sending his request to Michael Purdy, the Director of Lamont Doherty:
Subject: problem with one of your people not sharing data
Dear Dr. Purdy:
I am writing to you as the “last course of appeal” – otherwise I wouldn’t bother you from more important work.
For years I and many fellow investigators have been trying to get Gordon Jacoby to share his data on a valuable long tree ring record he has produced from Mongolia.
the efforts have almost always failed – the only exception I know of is when he let Ed Cook use the data – big deal!
after appealing to NSF Gordon did release some of the data to the NOAA data repository but he did not release the synthesized index that is useful for including in other time series – only the raw data from the individual time series
yes one could look at the raw data and compile it oneself but don’t you think it is best to have what the original investigator thinks is the best long term (back to about 900 AD*) reconstruction?
I compile ice core records to develop a unified record of volcanism for the last 2000 years – if an investigator want a copy of my reconstruction I send the final version to them, the one that involved several years work, not the individual cores – the analogy should be the same with Gordon.
as a receiver of tons of federal money Lamont is obligated to share such data, and I KNOW they do so virtually all the time. sadly this is an exception and if I cannot get you to get him to release the synthesized data, then no one will ever have it – it will be a repeat of the Gerard Bond case where he refused to have his data released EVEN AFTER HE DIED (equivalent to giving everyone the finger from your coffin!)
please please – you are really the last hope for us.
University of Edinburgh
* I specifically list 900 AD because, knowing Gordon, if he were asked by you, he would probably only give it back to 1500 AD unless someone was twisting his arm to give up the whole time series
Phil Jones was copied on this email and forwarded it to Briffa on August 22, 2008.
As we’ve seen in other incidents with petulant academics, Lamont Doherty did not notify Crowley that they had archived the chronology.
On November 3, 2008, Crowley contacted Rosanne D’Arrigo, telling her of his lack of success in getting the chronology in August and asking for her help (email 8610:
From: Thomas Crowley
To: “Rosanne D’Arrigo
Subject: last chance
you may know by now that I appealed to the Director of Lamont to pressure Gordon to release the Mongolia time series composited record back to ~900
He indicated that it might take some time to look into this matter.
for other reasons I would like very much to include this time series in a paper we are now writing, and since I have not heard from the Director of Lamont, I am going to the NSF Director with my complaint.
I hate to put you in the middle of this – I like you and admire your work and don’t want you caught in any crossfire.
but I feel that the community has been exceedingly patient and cordial on this matter and that I am doing this only as a last recourse.
I am willing to wait only until this Thursday (November 6) before I send my message to the NSF Director. I hope very much one final appeal will do it and obviate the need for any public dispute on this matter.
Please Rosanne, you have to make Gordon realize that it is not just him vs the world – you have rights too.
With sincere regards, Tom
ps don’t forget — because the data were already released to Ed Cook (who has honored his promise to Gordon not to release it), Gordon and you are on even more precarious grounds with respect to justifying the withholding of the data from the rest of the community
Lamont Doherty director Purdy had told Crowley that the requested data had been archived in August (4532):
To the best of my knowledge, the data that you are requesting were deposited in the NOAA data bank in August 2008.
In the morning of November 4, 2008 (the day of the US elections), Crowley wrote to Purdy as follows (4532), copying D’Arrigo:
thank you very much for your response. but I think Gordon is not being entirely frank with you. The data from individual trees were in fact deposited. But what people really want to know is what the lead author of such a project considers the best guess composite of the individual trees – none extend the entire length of the time series, and they must be spliced together, after making some not-so-simple corrections for the growth rate effect of the trees and the relative importance of “site effects” for different trees (only the person doing the field work really understands that).
Gordon published his best estimate of the composite time series — the one that is most valuable to other climate scientists (who, being less familiar with site idiosyncracies, might not make the right choice in producing their own composite).
The analogy in geophysics might be when someone requests a composite seismic synthesis published on a particular site, and all you release is the individual seismic lines and effectively say – “go to it”. Gordon has repeatedly refused to release this composite to other scientists – EXCEPT to fellow Lamont scientist Ed Cook. If Ed feels more comfortable with Gordon’s composite than one he could produce on his won, surely other scientists even more removed from the procedures must feel the same way.
It is therefore frustrating not only to the field that Gordon won’t release his reconstruction to them, it is doubly frustrating because he has been inconsistent on this matter in giving it to Ed.
I wrote a separate letter to Rosanne D’Arrigo on this matter yesterday, saying that I was at the end of my patience on this matter (it has been going on almost TEN YEARS!), and that I am going to write the Director of NSF on the matter.
Gordon has still not met his obligations to the field and I intend to write that letter unless he releases it immediately. I am sorry it has come to this stage. I am not mad at you or Rosanne (she has been caught in the middle on this fracus).
But the community deserves that composite and I feel the matter has come to the point where either Gordon releases the data or I go to the Director of NSF, with cc’s to the head of Ocean and Atmsopheric Sciences, and head of Directorate.
I apologize in advance for the action, because it seems very determined, but in fact it is really due to one very obstinate person – Gordon – and after ten years my patience is now at an end.
Later that day, Jones wrote Briffa and Osborn about the exchange as follows (861), saying that they would only archive cores that were used “if they were mindful to lodge any series”:
subject: Fwd: last chance
These two emails came Tuesday. I seem to be a blind cc on them. I’ve not sent them on to Ed, but you can if you want. I did tell Ed when I saw him in Greece, that Tom Crowley had started this. I am wondering what has got Tom going like this. Tom used to work for 3 years at NSF, so has lots of contacts there. I wonder if Tom has tried to reproduce the chronology from the cores that have been lodged. I would reckon that Gordon/Rosanne would only lodge the cores they have used. It is what we’d do – or what we should do, if we were mindful to lodge any series.
Crowley followed up with Purdy on November 4 (the day of the US election) as follows (5106):
I did not mean to imply that I would send anything to NSF (and probably NOAA) until Lamont has a last chance to shake the reconstruction out of Gordon. I just meant to say the letter will go off in a few days unless I hear otherwise. and again, believe me, I do not want to get Lamont in trouble – I have many fond memories of working with Lamont scientists and overall the institution has been exemplary in sharing – it is just that sometimes you wind up with difficult situations that you haven’t planned for, and this is certainly one of them…..
Purdy replied (5106) that they were closed for the election and that he would revert the next day. Crowley wrote back that that must be exciting.
On November 5, Purdy wrote back (5106) providing an exact URL for the chronology:
Subject: Re: ps
>Tom – I believe that the composite data that you are looking for are at:
Let me know if that is not the case. This is in the Solongotyn Davaa (Tarvagatay Pass) folder that you can get to via http://hurricane.ncdc.noaa.gov/pls/paleo/ftpsearch.treering
And search on Country: Mongolia and Investigator: Jacoby.
On Nov 10, Crowley wrote to D’Arrigo as follows (5106):
subject: [Fwd: Re: ps]
to: “Rosanne D’Arrigo”
I want this business to end just like you – but there is one very puzzling element of this business that leads me to ask further questions: “if this information was available on the web”, why didn’t you just say so? “why didn’t Gordon just say so”? after getting a runaround for years, the community deserves to hear the answer to this.
there is also the business of the Tar Pass (Solongotyn Davaa) extension to 262, and composites for Bairam Uul, Khalzan Khamar, and Khentii Uul – can you give me the status of these?