Private Expressions of Uncertainty

One of the main themes of the emails is scientists admitting problems privately that they did not clearly admit in public. Ross has emailed me a few starters. Again no editorializing, just listing.


  1. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    From Ross:
    0435.txt, between Briffa and Cook. It’s Sept 2003, just weeks before MM2003 appeared.

    Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will show that we can probably say a fair bit about 100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all). Of course, none of what I have proposed has addressed the issue of seasonality of response. So what I am suggesting is strictly an empirical comparison of published 1000 year NH reconstructions because many of the same tree-ring proxies get used in both seasonal and annual recons anyway. So all I care about is how the recons differ and
    where they differ most in frequency and time without any direct consideration of their TRUE association with observed temperatures.

    And I like this bit
    I am afraid the Mike and Phil are too personally invested in things now (i.e. the 2003 GRL paper that is probably the worst paper Phil has ever been involved in
    – Bradley hates it as well), but I am willing to offer to include them if they can contribute without just defending their past work – this is the key to having anyone involved.

    And this from Briffa to Cook
    You know I desperately want to produce a new temperature reconstruction from the various tree-ring data (and explore the Mann western US PC correction – though Malcolm has ignored my request for the data) .

    Notice that: Briffa couldn’t get MBH98 data either, yet Mann would soon claim is was all publicly available

    • Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

      Note that Cook and Briffa are talking about a paper they plan to write, not MM2003, which they were presumably unaware of.

      • Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

        re: “Without trying to prejudice this work”, I believe they were talking about Bradley.

        This is a duplicate email from the first dossier, which I pointed out in another thread. I also mentioned this email several times previously before CG2. Cook has several like this.

      • Jean S
        Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

        Cook also takes rather strong pro-MWP stance in 466 (–> mike, Esper, Overpeck, Briffa), where he’s confirming that he’s writing a paper with Esper. No wonder mike went nuts over the appearance of Esper et al 2002 and especially Briffa and Osborn’s commentary (search “Briffa & Osborn piece”, e.g. 4023).

        I do think that the Medieval Warm Period was a far more significant event
        than has been recognized previously, as much because the high-resolution
        data to evaluate it had not been available before. That is much less so the
        case now. It is even showing up strongly now in long SH tree-ring series.
        However, there is still the question of how strong this event was in the
        tropics. I maintain that we do not have the proxies to tell us that now.
        The tropical ice core data are very difficult to interpret as temperature
        proxies (far worse than tree rings for sure and maybe even unrelated to
        temperatures in any simple linear sense as is often assumed), so I do not
        believe that they can be used alone as records to test for the existence of
        a Medieval Warm Period in the tropics. That being the case, there are
        really no other high-resolution records from the tropics to use, and the
        teleconnections between long extra-tropical proxies and the tropics are, I
        believe, far too tenuous and probably unstable to use to sort out this

        So, at this stage I would argue that the Medieval Warm Period was probably
        a global extra-tropical event, at the very least, with warmth that was
        persistent and probably comparable to much of what we have experienced in
        the 20th century. However, I would not claim (and nor would Jan) that it
        exceeded the warmth of the late 20th century. We simply do not have the
        precision or the proxy replication to say that yet. This being said, I do
        find the dismissal of the Medieval Warm Period as a meaningful global event
        to be grossly premature and probably wrong.

    • Salamano
      Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

      I think messages like this would also be used to talk-up the ‘non-lockstep’ nature of “The Team” and how they had legitimate give-and-take on points of contention.

      Why no one deserves to see this sort of give-and-take in the literature seems to be beyond me.

      There will be more blather out there for sure that will attempt to boil down any sort of intellectual disagreement into “the planet has been warming” vs “the planet has not been warming” whereas the real story is precisely in the details of these sorts of shared specifics that have run through the parallel world of unpublished ‘authentic dialogue’.

      • KnR
        Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 4:52 AM | Permalink

        Simply answer becasue such ‘give and take’ would undermine the political goals , show how unsettled the science actual was and open the field to others not of the ‘Team’

  2. tetris
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 5:05 PM | Permalink


    Unvertainty? Pun or typo?

    • Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

      Typo, so I stepped up from beyond the grave to fix it whilst Steve and Ross pour through emails that interest them and vex me.

      There are so many excellent examples of straight talking in Climategate 2.0 that would never have seen daylight.

      Also Michael Mann comes across as someone who appears to have no scruples about – snip – to his friends or frankly anybody.

      There’s more fun to come.

      Will we see another arrival of Muir Russell and Edward Acton in “Fake Inquiry II”? That’s what I want to see.

      • 40 shades
        Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

        Fake Inquiry 2.0.

        I like it

  3. Paul Matthews
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    Yes, I agree, this is one of the main themes. This lot are mostly just private admissions that people knew that the Mann HS was BS:

    3373.txt: Raymond Bradley: ” Furthermore, the model output is very much determined by the time series of forcing that is selected, …”

    1527.txt: Rob Wilson: ” There has been criticism by Macintyre of Mann’s sole reliance on RE, and I am now starting to believe the accusations. ”

    4369.txt: Tim Osborn: ” This completely removes most of Mike’s arguments… ”

    4758.txt: Tim Osborn: ” Because how can we be critical of Crowley for throwing out 40-years in the middle of his calibration, when we’re throwing out all post-1960 data ‘cos the MXD has a non-temperature signal in it, and also all pre-1881 or pre-1871 data ‘cos the temperature data may have a non-temperature signal in it! ”

    2009.txt: Keith Briffa: ” I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions,”

    3994.txt: John Mitchell (Met Office) on draft IPCC report: ” Is the PCA approach robust? Are the results statistically significant? It seems to me that in the case of MBH the answer in each is no. ”

    1104.txt: Wanner: “I was a reviewer of the IPCC-TAR report 2001. In my review which I can not find again in its precise wording I critcized the fact that the whole Mann hockeytick is being printed in its full length in the IPCC-TAR report… I just refused to give an exclusive interview to SPIEGEL because I will not cause damage for climate science. “

  4. Hector M.
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Wanner (1104.txt) says that he “just refused to give an exclusive interview to SPIEGEL because I will not cause damage for climate science.“ But in fact it would have caused enormous good to climate science, even if it may have damaged the advocacy agenda which “climate science” is often used to push for.

  5. Jimmy Haigh
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Short e-mail: #1609.

    Jonathan Gregory to Phil Jones.

    Dear Phil

    Yes, we are going to have fun with sea level in Paris. Actually I don’t think I’ve read that paper yet but we have a diagram already that shows the very large variability in decadal trends from tide-gauges. Personally, I suspect that the network is too sparse, so that the variability is to some extent measurement noise. It is so large we have no physical explanation for it.

    Thanks. Best wishes


  6. jorgekafkazar
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    “I was a reviewer of the IPCC-TAR report 2001. In my review…I critcized the fact that the whole Mann hockeytick is being printed in its full length in the IPCC-TAR report… I just refused to give an exclusive interview to SPIEGEL because I will not cause damage for climate science. “–Wanner

    Looks like the damage had already been sone. Wanner missed instead an opportunity to save climate science from further damage. Unless ‘climate science’ has an altogether different meaning than we’d normally expect.

  7. Jimmy Haigh
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Jonathan Overpeck to Keith Briffa in e-mail #1605.

    “I’m still not convinced about the AO recon, and am worried about the late 20th century “coolness” in the proxy recon that’s not in the instrumental, but it’s a nice piece of work in any case.’

  8. Jimmy Haigh
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    #1593 is a gem. In it Mike and Keith express several concerns. And Mike tells us who the consensus is:

    “My guess is that anything that the 4 of us [Mike, Keith, Tim and Phil] all can find consensus on, is probably a good reflection of what the consensus is within the leaders in this field, …”

    This is all to be discussed over “beers” in Switzerland.

  9. InterstingTimes
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Rahmsdorf with an “interview” with Phil Jones:


    “I have cut the bit about the differences between Hadley and GISS, I think that is getting too complex. The change you mentioned that happened in 1990 could not explain why the 1998-2007 trend is so different between GISS and Hadley.”

    Rahmstorf and the Medieval times


    “You chose to depict the one based on C14 solar data, which kind of stands out in Medieval times. It would be much nicer to show the version driven by Be10 solar forcing, which fits your data very well.”

    Rahmstorf explains use of truth


    “And I also see your problem: what we are finding out now makes the IPCC process look somewhat unsophisticated back in 1990, so it is a diplomatic conundrum how to be completely truthful in reporting this, as we need to be as scientists, without providing the skeptics undue fodder for attacking IPCC.”

  10. Noblesse Oblige
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    My overall impression of this batch is that it reinforces the sense of tribal behavior among the “team.” They share the belief that they are right and collaborate to promote the “cause,” as MM puts it so nicely. There is also a sense of bunker mentality; that they view themselves as under seige, and the wagons are circled to protect themselves, the “cause,” and even the IPCC. Their loyalties center on the cause and the IPCC as the embodiment of it. Even their critiques of each other or from the periphery seem aimed at purging deficiencies, certainly not at getting the right answer, whatever it may be.

  11. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    “And I like this bit
    I am afraid the Mike and Phil are too personally invested in things now (i.e. the 2003 GRL paper that is probably the worst paper Phil has ever been involved in
    – Bradley hates it as well)…”

    Wow. That is the 2nd time that 2003 GRL paper has been mentioned.

    Bradley: I’m sure you agree–the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year

  12. Jim T
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    0497 Jones to Mann May 1999

    “1) Keith didn’t mention in his Science piece but both of us
    think that you’re on very dodgy ground with this long-term
    decline in temperatures on the 1000 year timescale.
    the real world has done over the last 6000 years and what
    it ought to have done given our understandding of Milankovic
    forcing are two very different things. I don’t think the
    world was much warmer 6000 years ago – in a global sense
    compared to the average of the last 1000 years, but this is
    my opinion and I may change it given more evidence.

    2) The errors don’t include all the possible factors. Even
    though the tree-ring chronologies used have robust rbar
    statistics for the whole 1000 years ( ie they lose nothing
    because core numbers stay high throughout), they have lost
    low frequency because of standardization. We’ve all tried
    with RCS/very stiff splines/hardly any detrending to keep
    this to a minimum, but until we know it is minimal it is
    still worth mentioning. It is better we ( I mean all of us
    here) put the caveats in ourselves than let others put them
    in for us.”

  13. Bruce Stewart
    Posted Nov 23, 2011 at 11:50 PM | Permalink

    The outburst from Peter Thorne on the zero order draft of Chapter 3, AR4, IPCC, noted by Tallbloke in #1939, is also quoted in #1516 and in #4417. Highlights:

    At 10:57 04/02/2005, you wrote:

    Kevin, Phil et al.,
    There is little effective communication in the main text of the uncertainty

    What, rightly or wrongly, I get out of the current draft on an initial read is:

    “We don’t like UAH. We don’t believe radiosondes over the satellite period, but do over the longer period (paradox). We believe Fu et al. is correct. There is no longer any problem whatsoever.”

    I don’t think this simple message is actually remotely supported by the science. Therefore at the very least efforts are required to balance the text so that this is not the message communicated. I don’t think we should be scared of admitting that we just don’t know, if indeed we just don’t know (which I believe is a fair reflection of the state of the science).

    So to state boldly that trends agree and therefore all is well is again our living in a fools paradise.

    Common question 3.2. You’ll be unsurprised to hear that I think this paints too rosy a picture of our understanding the vertical structure of temperature changes. Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.


    I only found one other, rather mild, expression of uncertainty from Thorne, in #2903

    date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 09:54:16 +0000
    from: “peter.thorne”
    subject: Re: Visit to Met Office
    to: Phil Jones

    Antarctic data first piqued my interest with the Science paper on raobs trends which was clearly non-physical but hard to nail down how wrong it was.

    Its clear to me that Antarctica is a uniquely difficult environment to collect long-term homogeneous data in. So I have substantial doubts that all the manned station pegs in Steig et al. are adequate. Does this really matter? I’m not sure.

  14. Bruce Stewart
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:33 AM | Permalink

    More from the readme under
    /// The Settled Science ///


    Although I agree that GHGs are important in the 19th/20th century (especially since the 1970s), if the weighting of solar forcing was stronger in the models, surely this would diminish the significance of GHGs.
    […] it seems to me that by weighting the solar irradiance more strongly in the models, then much of the 19th to mid 20th century warming can be explained from the sun alone.


    would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?


    [tropical glaciers] There is a small problem though with their retreat. They have retreated a lot in the last 20 years yet the MSU2LT data would suggest that temperatures haven’t increased at these levels.


    He’s skeptical that the warming is as great as we show in East Antarctica — he thinks the “right” answer is more like our detrended results in the supplementary text. I cannot argue he is wrong.


    It is interesting to see the lower tropospheric warming minimum in the tropics in all three plots, which I cannot explain. I believe it is spurious but it is remarkably robust against my adjustment efforts.


    Does anybody have an explanation why there is a relative minimum (and some negative trends) between 500 and 700 hPa? No models with significant surface warming do this

  15. Bruce Stewart
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:41 AM | Permalink

    Note to self: must edit out angular brackets, they are treated as html tags
    /// The Settled Science ///
    #2267 Wilson: solar
    #5315 Jenkins/MetO: Kilimanjaro
    #2292 Jones: tropical glaciers
    #2095 Steig: Antarctica
    #4944 Haimberger: troposphere temps
    #4262 Klein/LLNL: troposphere temps

  16. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

    #0643 from K Briffa to Ed Cook

    “7) Publish, retire, and don’t leave a forwarding address
    Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I almost think I know to
    be the case, the results of this study will show that we can probably say a fair bit
    about 100 year variability
    was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all).
    Of course, none of what I have proposed has addressed the issue of seasonality of
    response. So what I am suggesting is strictly an empirical comparison of published 1000
    year NH reconstructions because many of the same tree-ring proxies get used in both
    seasonal and annual recons anyway. So all I care about is how the recons differ and
    where they differ most in frequency and time without any direct consideration of their
    TRUE association with observed temperatures.

    (Note: IIRC, this is the only time I have used the f-word on the net, then only because it’s in a quote. Actually, if you search Climategate for that word, you get to some contentious points fairly rapidly).

    • DGH
      Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 6:50 AM | Permalink

      My impression is that Briffa rather enjoys using that word.

    • blueice2hotsea
      Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

      Your excerpt is Ed Cook as quoted by Briffa.

    • Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

      Again, this quote exists in the original dossier, I brought it up several times regarding the extreme lack of certainty in the dendro recons.

  17. J Broadbent
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 2:50 AM | Permalink

    emails – 1148 & 4121

    mentioned before in climategate 1.0 from Briffa, evidently a poster was positioned badly

    ‘on our web page. As others have said , the dating of the chronology in the Urals is not
    wrong – but the magnitude of the extreme years in the early Urals reconstruction were not
    adjusted to account for inflated variance related to low chronology replication – so they
    are sort of right that the emphasis on 1032 is probably overdone.’

  18. J Broadbent
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 3:09 AM | Permalink

    email 2775

    The decision as to how to make the warming appear as scary as possible, particularly in areas where there was no data or a the uncertainty was too large. I like like the bit about making the red darker.

    “3. for the Smith-Reynolds temperature data set problem in the polar and data sparse
    regions, we
    can use the confidence value supplied with the data and set a confidence threshold for
    whether we
    use a particularly grid point trend value or make that grid point missing. Tom Smith is
    looking at what the value should be and it will take a few weeks to work this out

    For color one can also use semitransparent and lightly mask less confident areas rather
    than wiping them out.”

  19. Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

    Briffa seems to show a lot of private doubts


    Skepticism about tree rings

    from: Keith Briffa
    subject: Re: Skeptics
    to: Tom Pedersen, rbradley@…

    [snip] I for one still believe that we are seeing the manifestation of greenhouse warming but I know the evidence presented todate leves many questions still unanswered . I too believe that solar variabilty is a potential forcing factor that has likely contributed to the variability of 19th and 20th century observations . The extent of the effect surely requires much more model-based research. Simply correlating Hoyt’s series against observations or reconstructed temperatures does not get us far. I also believe we have major uncertainty surrounding global or hemispheric estimates of centennial or millennial reconstructions , and real problems with spacial patterns on long timescales. Saying this does not make me an outlaw in the palaeo family – I hope! – just someone anxious to maintain our objectivity.

    also (from the original archive –

    The truth is that all of this group are well aware of this and of the associated fact that even within each of these sub-disciplines e.g. Dendro, coral etc. there is a large range of value , or concern with the external usage of our data. However, my own and Phil’s concerns are motivated ,like yourself, by the outside world’s inability to appreciate these points and the danger that we will all be seen as uncritical or niave about the real value of proxy data. The rationale for the recent Jones et al paper, and some things that I have written in the past is to inform would be users , particularly the modellers, that there are critical questions to be addressed about how the palaeo-data are best used in a ‘detection’ or ‘model validation’ context. Many in the palaeo-community understand these issues , but perhaps there has been some reluctance to air them in sufficient depth or in the right situations where they will be heard/seen by those people who now seek to use the data . I believe that many of the modellers , having been blissfully unaware for years of the need to work with the palaeo-community, are now expecting too much . This carries the danger of a backlash as they undertake simple assessments of the palaeo-series and conclude that they are all of very little use. The problem is that as we try to inform them we may get the balance between valueable self criticism and scientific flagellation wrong. The more so when the whip is seemingly aimed at others!
    There is no doubt though, that many palaeo- types are not concerned with the ‘bigger issues’ of climate change , so it is up to those who do ,such as this group, to try to sort out some sensible approach to how we do explore the good and bad ,fairly, in our collective data and how we present this to the outside world. The meeting you propose is a good way forward.If he is already not included, I also urge you to invite Ed Cook.
    I hate cold feet and I don’t ski so I vote for anywhere away from snow.

    To answer the question about the degradation in tree-ring chronology confidence back in time – yes, we ( that is several of us in tree rings , and rising out of them, in average temperature or rainfall series, have suggested a basis for quantifying chronology error as a function of series replication and time-dependent chages in the correlations of the series that go to form the mean chronology. The problem is tricky because the error is timescale ( i.e frequency) dependent also. This is just the chronology. Calculating confidence limits on reconstructions derived from one or more chronologies must take account of the regression error (again likely to be timescale dependent) while incorporating the additional uncertainty associated with the chronology. When the reconstructions are derived using a spatial transfer function ( such as in canonical correlation or our similar Orthogonal Spatial Regression technique )the reconstruction at each point in the predictand network has some ,different, uncertainty relating to the error in each predictor series and the magnitude of its influence in the specific regression equation relating to that point. Finally, as regards this issue, if you have detrended or high-pass filtered the original predictor series in some way (i.e. tree-ring standardisation) , you have some potential long-timescale uncertainty around the final reconstruction which can not be represented by any analyses of the remaining prdictors or their association with a relatively short instrumental predictand series. I have a half drafted paper on this which I intended to submit to Tree-Ring Bulletin – perhaps one day!

    • barry
      Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

      Are these 1998 comments surprising in some way?

      • Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

        No, we knew these things all along. We just wish these folks would have stated these things in their papers/publicly. Instead we get this “Many in the palaeo-community understand these issues , but perhaps there has been some reluctance to air them in sufficient depth or in the right situations where they will be heard/seen by those people who now seek to use the data.”

        I suppose you condone such reluctance to accurately portray the state of the science.

  20. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 6:03 AM | Permalink


    “Can you believe their penultimate paragraph? They wnat [sic] to redefine risk away from it’s classical definition as probability times consequence to just consequence. If that were reasonable then all human pursuits should now be directed to averting an asteroid collision–the worst imaginable consequence”.

  21. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 6:16 AM | Permalink


    “Desai paper to nature”

    “Suraj believes there is a conflict between ‘not making a priori assumptions’ and ‘identifying key controlling parameters'”

  22. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 6:32 AM | Permalink


    Briffa -> Pearce, re: New Scientist article

    “Also, I spoke to you about the problem of anthropogenic influences ( i.e. increased CO2 , nitrate fallout , increased UV radiation ) possibly having an influence on recent tree growth and so complicating our efforts to use these recent data to define how we interpret past tree growth. Is it possible to put in some reference to me worrying about this?”

  23. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 6:40 AM | Permalink


    “If Mike said that my calibration procedure is ‘flawed’, I will be extremely pissed off”

    “In all candour now, I think that Mike is becoming a serious enemy in the way that he bends the ears of people like Tom with words like ‘flawed’ when describing my work and probably your and Keith’s as well. This is in part a vindictive response to the Esper et al. paper.

    He also went crazy over my recent NZ paper describing evidence for a MWP there because he sees it as another attack on him. Maybe I am over-reacting to this, but I don’t think so.”

    • Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

      Is it going to turn out that behind the scenes, few of his fellows even like Mike and that he’s a climate change bully??

      • Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

        We’re not meant to editorialise but it seems obvious to me that both things are true. What’s not clear is the source of Mann’s power, from the earliest days since his PhD, that allows his bullying to be effective.

        • Sean Inglis
          Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

          I’ve tried to refrain from commenting, which is easy enough as this stuff is mostly self-editorialising

        • Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

          Ha, even Steve can’t snip that.

        • tadchem
          Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

          The source of Mann’s ‘power’ is his ability to bring in grant money, which speaks more strongly of his *political* skills than his science.

      • blueice2hotsea
        Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 9:39 PM | Permalink


        from: Keith Briffa -> Meric [Srokosz – RAPID Science Coordinator & GRL editor]
        Wed Jul 24 2002

        The purpose of this short message is to ask that you do not send my RAPID proposal to Mike Mann for refereeing.
        …I am genuinely a little nervous as to whether Mike could remain sufficiently objective . We have had a debate (politely phrased) as to the merits of trying methods of data assimilation that are independent of his approach.

  24. Stacey
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

    Dear Steve
    Would it not help you if you listed out in bands of say 300 emails and requested us to volunteer to read them?

  25. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 7:13 AM | Permalink


    “Mike could be a lot more open about the real uncertainty of his early temperature estimates (as we discussed in our first perspectives piece)”

  26. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 7:40 AM | Permalink


    Mat Collins -> Tim Osborn

    “Do we need to add a sentence to pre-empt the referees?”


    “I think we can get away with just ignoring the post (say) 1950 data by citing Simons detection and attribution work which says that the early century warming might have been solar”

  27. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 8:08 AM | Permalink


    Shoni Dawkins -> Phil Jones

    “Bit worried about TMAN and TMIN, the drop off at the end is rather dramatic, and not toally consistent with trends…”


    Jonathan Overpeck -> Keith Briffa, Eystein Jansen

    “I’m still not convinced about the AO recon, and am worried about the late 20th century ‘coolness’ in the proxy recon that’s not in the instrumental, but it’s a nice piece of work in any case”


    Keith Briffa -> Jonathan Overpeck

    “The divergence issue is NOT universal , and not unrelated to very recent period bias arising from processing methods”

  28. Globel
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

    This, from Bishop Hill comments, deserves to be highlighted, in my view:


    4894 is interesting. From Alex Kirby at the BBC to Phil Jones if I have read it correctly, in the run up to COP-10 in 2004:

    Yes, glad you stopped this — I was sent it too, and decided to spike it without more ado as pure stream-of-consciousness rubbish. I can well understand your unhappiness at our running the other piece. But we are constantly being savaged by the loonies for not giving them any coverage at all, especially as you say with the COP in the offing, and being the objective impartial (ho ho) BBC that we are, there is an expectation in some quarters that we will every now and then let them say something. I hope though that the weight of our coverage makes it clear that we think they are talking through their hats.

    Some background to that is provided in email 2245

  29. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 8:31 AM | Permalink


    Tim Osborn -> Konrad Hughen

    “There is a relative decline in tree-ring density in this network, in comparison with Apr-Sept temperature, that has been documented before though not yet explained

    Anyway, because of this decline in recent decades, we often only use pre-1961 desity data during calibration/reconstruction”


    Trausti Jonsson -> Phil Jones

    “The thing most sorely missed is a table of the manuscript origins of the pre-1873 data, but I know


    Tom Knutson -> “All”

    “Thus far, dynamical models do not support such an indirect attribution or dramatic projected increase, and thus there is not yet clear evidence of an anthropogenic influence on Atlantic hurricanes

    continued work will involve further analysis”


    Mike Lockwood -> Phil Jones

    “As a general point, it does amaze me how bad we (mankind) are about keeping vital data sequences on our planet homogeneous”

  30. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 8:42 AM | Permalink


    Keith Briffa -> Ed Cook, Henry Pollack

    Reference to confidential document on tree-ring problems being circulated to CAs


    Embedded exchange, Tim Barnett -> Gabi Hegerl

    “If we are really going to get into the palaeo stuff, maybe someone(s) ought to have another look at Mann’s paper.

    His statistics were suspect as I remember.

    For instance, i seem to remember he used, say, 4 EOF predictors. But he prescreened them and threw one away because it was not useful. then made a model of the remaining three, ignoring the fact he had originally considered 4 predictors.

    He never added an artificial skill measure to account for this but based significance on 3 predictors.”

  31. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 9:11 AM | Permalink


    Tim Osborn -> Jonathan Gregory

    “…I was worried by the unexpected magnitude of the mean and variation of this global-mean series. Can you reassure me that it’s ok?”

  32. Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    Climate…do core samples and fossil records indicate that global warming was taking place when the dino’s roamed the earth???
    Perhaps global climate change is more a natural cycle?
    One more question. If the empowered of the world are really worried about clean energy why is hydrogen/Water energy almost completely ignored? The perpetuated belief that it is near impossible to produce an engine that runs on water is false and burning hydrogen is as safe as gasoline with zero emissions. Sure some will say that it is explosive when in fact it is more stable than gasoline. In fact the systems designed produce only what is being used by the vehicle no excess hydrogen storage tank.
    Maybe the whole mess is more about power and control and alot less about clean energy. Just a thought from an average joe.

  33. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 9:48 AM | Permalink


    Keith Briffa -> Michael E Mann (and others)

    “My concern was motivated by the possibility of expressing an impression of more concensus than might actually exist

    IPCC is supposed to represent concensus but also areas of uncertainty in the evidence.

    I repeat that the magnitude of the observed warming in the 20th century is different in summer and annual data”



    Itsuki C Handoh -> Tim Osborn

    “I guess you know that HadCRM3 does a very bad job over the tropical Atlantic sector. The appauling representation…”

  34. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 10:17 AM | Permalink


    Keith Briffa -> “joos”, Fritz Schweingruber

    “I now have sufficient output to write up what I believe will be a very significant paper showing that growth has increased greatly during the 19th century – but perhaps more significantly it levelled off after the middle of the 20th century.

    In one or two very restricted areas where we have long data (e.g. eastern Siberia ) the increase is unprecedented since 1200 or 1400 A.D.”

  35. DGH
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Permalink


    Rob Wilson to Tim Osborn in re D’Arrigo et al, 2005 –

    >PS. between you and me, I don’t think our new NH recon really adds
    >anything new expect perhaps the fact that we should not put too much
    >confidence in these recons prior to 1100 or so. After seeing Ulrich
    >Cubasch’s talk on the 32 flavours of climate, I think the whole
    >methodology is up in the air as well. Do you know if he has drafted a
    >paper on this work yet?

  36. Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

    4369.txt Ed Cook->Tim Osborn “I am afraid that Mike is
    defending something that increasingly can not be defended. He is
    investing too much personal stuff in this and not letting the science
    move ahead.”

    0076.txt Ed Cook->Gerard van der Schrier “I am afraid that the Dai data are looking
    more and more unreliable. At some point, this will need to be brought
    up to Dai. Of course, Trenberth will go nuts because his name is on
    the publications associated with the data.”

    2137.txt Tom Wigley->Mike Hulme “The Hadley people have clearly screwed things up,
    but their “errors” don’t really matter given all of the uncertainties. I
    didn’t mention this because I thought that opening up that can of worms
    would confuse people even more.”

    3234.txt Richard Alley->Ed Cook “If some of the
    records, or some other records such as Rosanne’s new ones, show “divergence”,
    then I believe it casts doubt on the use of joined tree-ring/instrumental
    records, and I don’t believe that I have yet heard why this interpretation is

    0071.txt Mike Mann->Richard Alley “I won’t try to defend Rosanne D’Arrigo’s analysis,
    because frankly many in the tree-ring community feel it was not very good work.
    You should be aware that her selection criteria were not as rigorous as those
    used by other researchers, and the conclusions she comes to reflect only the
    data and standardization methods she used–they don’t speak for many
    other, in my mind, more careful studies.”

    0248.txt Trenberth->Wigley ” The fact that we can not account for what is
    happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as
    we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!”

    1593.txt Mann->Briffa “>…I do have a number of specific concerns mostly in
    >> the area of discussions of where things actually now stand in terms
    >> of some of the earlier criticisms. I believe that the discussion is
    >> still out of date, given what has been shown in recent publications,
    >> including Wahl and Ammann (Science). Also, and I don’t think this is
    >> the only place you’re going to hear this from, there are deep
    >> problems w/ Hegerl et al ’06, particularly the claims of what TLS can
    >> do, which are egregiously incorrect. There is a comment in review in
    >> Nature (not me, but I can promise you, by someone who understands the
    >> statistical issues involved better than anyone else in our community)
    >> that is very critical. I think its unwise for the TAR to
    >> uncritically accept the claims made, particularly given that the
    >> actual J. Climate paper was in limbo at least at the time the most
    >> recent draft was finalized. I believe that disqualifies it for
    >> consideration for AR4, no?”

  37. Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    2189.txt, Phil Jones to Mike Hulme, cc Goodess, Briffa, and Osborne 25th Sept 2003

    “I am going to sit this one out. I am a little alarmed by Mike Mann at times, but his comments are only ever in this friendly email context.”

  38. Scotttie
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    4997.txt, Phil Jones to Max Beran on climate variability:

    So there is a lot of variability and just saying it is decadal variability doesn’t mean that we can forget about it ! Also putting this in a box doesn’t mean we know what is causing it.

    My view is that we will never know. Is the influence stronger now because of anthro effects – who knows, it is a possibility but no more than that.

    I also think that there is too much emphasis on the NAO (and SOI) and other factors become more important at times. There is some modelling work with volcanoes which says that the aerosols impact the stratosphere which then feeds back on the troposphere causing the NAO to be more positive in the winters after eruptions. Maybe the 3 large eruptions in recent decades and the lack of eruptions between 1920 and 1960 is a factor.

    Again who knows.

  39. Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    2156.txt, October 2000, Stephen Schneider to TAR colleagues working at the last minute on the WG2 SPM.

    Now, as to the problem of medium confidence on indifferent
    outcomes–which have 50% chances if we knew nothing, let me repeat what i
    said in my last e-mail to all of you–which was a repeat of the guidance
    paper and many previous reviews few of us ever have the time to fully
    Tim [Carter], you are indeed right that medium confidence means indifference to more or less
    since 50% is the random event. THis is why both in umpteen e-mail reviews
    of SPMs and TSs (as well as in the guidance paper) I have tried–mostly in
    vain–to get people to make positive assertions without qualifiers like
    could. Then medium confidence has much more meaning.
    For instance,
    your table goes at least half way–you do specify the year and rough
    climate scenario. The best thing would be to make a real estimate of what
    might happen then–like the 10% ncrease in hurricane intensity–or give a
    range, say, temperature will increase by 2-4 deg C. Then a medium
    confidence is a pretty affirmative statement of what we think we
    know. Medium confidence is true, virtually by definition, when we restrict
    ourselves to predicting just dierction of change and haven’t much extra
    info to push it up or down. Nevertheless, it does make sense to keep it
    here, since the WG 2 assignment is for consequences, and if it is
    consequential to have an event that we deem equally likely to happen and
    it matters, then so be it–this is represented by your last table with
    the impacted sectors explicit. Of course, it would be more controvrsial
    and take a sub group months to craft a real range of projections for

  40. Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    5017.txt Ed Cook->David Frank
    “Thanks for the paper as well. I heard about the extremely shocking goof in the
    instrumental records from Phil Jones in Tahiti. Frankly, I’m amazed that such a shoddy,
    amateurish mistake could have been made by the British Met Office. The skeptics will
    have a field day with this paper, honestly, as they should. Maybe the global change
    community is getting too smug.”

  41. Bruce Stewart
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996 10:07:
    from: Tom Wigley
    subject: Re: Your help, please?

    A specific example is the ice core isotope record, which correlates very poorly with temperature on the annual to decadal timescale (and possibly also on the century timescale)—question, how do we ever demonstrate the usefulness or otherwise of ice core isotopes on this timescale?

  42. andy
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:14 PM | Permalink


    date: Sun, 11 May 2008 18:21:54 +0100 (BST)
    subject: Re: Climate Audit and the Appendix Figure from Wengen


    will check with John re the status of the reviewing.

    I am pretty confused now about my response to Holland, in the light of
    Susan’s recent pronouncement on the matter. I have the response fully
    drafted and was waiting for opinions from you both – but now, even though
    I have told Holland that I will respond , I am now considering whether to
    do as Susan says and simply reply that the published information is the
    “appropriate” source of further study of the devlopment of the AR4 , and
    that I now consider it “inappropriate” for me to comment in any further
    detail. What do you think? I rather liked my responses!


    > Keith, Tim,
    > CA are getting close to finding what the IPCC figure
    > from 1990 is based upon. They haven’t found the original
    > source, nor any of the CRU pubs that show Lamb is wrong
    > anyway.
    > It is really quite amusing reading a few of the comments.
    > McIntyre’s about figuring out how Lamb produced his
    > error bars should be put up on a wall!!
    > #50 and the link to Crispin Tickell’s web page is
    > interesting – back to BAS pub. If you have time can you
    > follow this one up. I think CA have the dates wrong
    > and this should be after 1989.
    > Also seems that CA readers don’t understand what ‘schematic’
    > means.
    > Maybe you could contact Matthews to see where the reviews are?
    > I was alerted to CA by Gavin and Mike.
    > At KNMI all week.
    > Cheers
    > Phil

  43. JonasM
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    4724.txt Mon, Aug 4, 2003 Eric Steig to Stephan Rahmstorf:

    “No one has to my knowledge been able to get high Eocene
    temperatures in the Arctic, even when including 8*modern CO2 levels.
    David Battisti has argued that this ought to at least suggest that CO2
    sensitivity may be much higher, not lower, than IPCC projections.
    Of course, bringing up this “absence of knowledge” could backfire unless
    one were very careful about the writing.

  44. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Permalink


    Ed Cook -> Jeurg ??? (embedded exchange)

    “On a thematic note that doesn’t have much direct bearing on the paper as it stands now (but which may be of interest to Keith, Phil, and Mike as well), I have growing doubts about the validity and use of error estimates that are being applied in Fig.3 ….”

  45. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:35 PM | Permalink


    Much discussion of the divergence problem and how and why it should be discussed and handled.

  46. Alix James
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM | Permalink


    If you want the paleo information spread around all chapters, you need people with paleo expertise on each chapter – and more than one person. Unfortunately, most colleagues dealing with modern climate still have little knowledge about paleo issues.


    I would like to submit that the current climate models have such large
    errors in simulating the statistics of regional (climate) that we are
    not ready to provide policymakers a robust scientific basis for “action”
    at regional scale. I am not referring to mitigation, I am strictly
    referring to science based adaptation.

    For example, we can not advise the policymakers about re-building the
    city of New Orleans – or more generally about the habitability of the
    Gulf-Coast – using climate models which have serious deficiencies in
    simulating the strength, frequency and tracks of hurricanes.

  47. Bruce Stewart
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    Again confirming the readme, this time under
    /// Climate Models ///


    date: Fri, 18 May 2007 14:48: PDT)
    from: “Tim Barnett”
    subject: Re: 5AR runs next iteration- reply by 26th
    to: “Gabi Hegerl”

    the actual forcing data is a must. right now we have some famous models that all agree surprisely well with 20th obs, but whose forcing is really different. clearly, some tuning or very good luck involved. I doubt the modeling world will be able to get away with this much longer….so let’s preempt any potential problems.


    date: Fri, 18 May 2007 17:26:15 -0400
    from: Gabi Hegerl
    subject: Re: 5AR runs next iteration- reply by 26th
    to: Karl Taylor

    So using the 20th c for tuning is just doing what some people have long suspected us of doing… and what the nonpublished diagram from NCAR showing correlation between aerosol forcing and sensitivity also suggested. Slippery slope… I suspect Karl is right and our clout is not enough to prevent the modellers from doing this if they can. We do loose the ability, though, to use the tuning variable for attribution studies.


    date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 15:13:33 -0000
    from: “Andrew Watson”
    subject: Re: re; IPCC and RAE
    to: “Jacquie Burgess”

    I’d agree probably 10 years away to go from weather forecasting to ~ annual scale. But the “big climate picture” includes ocean feedbacks on all time scales, carbon and other elemental cycles, etc. and it has to be several decades before that is sorted out I would think. So I would guess that it will not be models or theory, but observation that will provide the answer to the question of how the climate will change in many decades time.

  48. Bob Koss
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    0678, 2009-09-03

    from: “Thorne, Peter (Climate Research)”

    Maybe Pielke Sr. was right all along …

    Concerns anomalous data provided by MET Office radiosondes.

  49. Mohib
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 3:39 PM | Permalink


    date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 17:44:46 +0700
    from: edwardcook
    subject: Re: Emailing: Rob’s Hockey Sticks
    to: “Rob Wilson”

    … The whole Macintyre issue got me thinking about over-fitting and the potential bias of screening against the target climate parameter.

    Therefore, I thought I’d play around with some randomly generated time-series and see if I could ‘reconstruct’ northern hemisphere temperatures….

    The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is precisely the phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.

  50. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 3:40 PM | Permalink


    Steve, you are going to love this one as it is right down your starbucks tree ring alley.

    date: Thu Nov 16 11:57:09 2006
    from: Keith Briffa
    subject: Re: Mitrie: Bristlecones
    to: Martin Juckes , “Myles Allen”

    Martin and all,
    I know Franco very well – but he has not worked extensively with the Bristlecones. I still
    believe that it would be wise to involve Malcolm Hughes in this discussion – though I
    recognise the point of view that says we might like to appear (and be) independent of the
    original Mann, Bradley and Hughes team to avoid the appearance of collusion. In my opinion
    (as someone how has worked with the Bristlecone data hardly at all!) there are undoubtedly
    problems in their use that go beyond the strip bark problem (that I will come back to
    The main one is an ambiguity in the nature and consistency of their sensitivity to
    temperature variations. It was widely believed some 2-3 decades ago, that high-elevation
    trees were PREDOMINANTLY responding to temperature and low elevation ones to available
    water supply (not always related in a simple way to measured precipitation) . However,
    response functions ( ie sets of regression coefficients on monthly mean temperature and
    precipitation data derived using principal components regression applied to the tree-ring
    data) have always shown quite weak and temporally unstable associations between chronology
    and climate variations (for the high-elevations trees at least). The trouble is that these
    results are dominated by inter-annual (ie high-frequency) variations and apparent
    instability in the relationships is exacerbated by the shortness of the instrumental
    records that restrict analyses to short periods, and the large separation of the climate
    station records from the sites of the trees. Limited comparisons between tree-ring density
    data (which seem to display less ambiguos responses) imply that there is a reasonable
    decadal time scale association and so indicate a real temperature signal , on this time
    scale .The bottom line though is that these trees likely represent a mixed temperature and
    moisture-supply response that might vary on longer timescales.
    The discussion is further complicated by the fact that the first PC of “Western US” trees
    used in the Mann et al. analyses is derived from a mixture of species (not just
    Bristlecones ) and they are quite varied in their characteristics , time span, and
    effective variance spectra . Many show low interannual variance and a long-term declining
    trend , up until about 1850 , when the Bristlecones (and others) show the remarkable
    increasing trend up until the end of the record. The earlier negative trend could be
    (partly or more significantly) a consequence of the LACK of detrending to allow for age
    effects in the measurements (ie standardisation) – the very early sections of relative high
    growth were removed in their analysis, but no explicit standardistion of the data was made
    to account for remaining slow width changes resulting from tree aging. This is also
    related to the “strip bark” problem , as these types of trees will have unpredictable
    trends as a consequence of aging and depending on the precise nature of each tree’s
    structure .
    Another serious issue to be considered relates to the fact that the PC1 time series in the
    Mann et al. analysis was adjusted to reduce the positive slope in the last 150 years (on
    the assumption – following an earlier paper by Lamarche et al. – that this incressing
    growth was evidence of carbon dioxide fertilization) , by differencing the data from
    another record produced by other workers in northern Alaska and Canada (which
    incidentally was standardised in a totally different way). This last adjustment obviously
    will have a large influence on the quantification of the link between these Western US
    trees and N.Hemisphere temperatures. At this point , it is fair to say that this adjustment
    was arbitrary and the link between Bristlecone pine growth and CO2 is , at the very least,
    arguable. Note that at least one author (Lisa Gaumlich) has stated that the recent growth
    of these trees could be temperature driven and not evidence of CO2 fertilisation.
    The point of this message is to show that that this issue is complex , and I still believe
    the “Western US” series and its interpretation in terms of Hemispheric mean temperature is
    perhaps a “Pandora’s box” that we might open at our peril!
    What does Jan say about this – he is very acquainted with these issues?

    There is a lot more in this email but it gives a very clear flavor that Biffra seriously is worried about the strip bark data.

    This was done under the search term // the Medieval Warm Period was //

    There are several really good nuggets under this search term but I have a Turkey to cook!

  51. Alix James
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 3:47 PM | Permalink


    None of our SST products use any hydrographic data. One estimate of the
    global bias of the hydrographic data is attached. The Bottle + CTD is
    the most accurate and can be taken as ‘truth’. The XBTs SSTs are biased
    warm, even warmer than ships. The ‘SSTs’ from ARGO floats are at 5m.
    Furthermore, the ARGO floats have given false cooling readings in the past.

    Of course in our SST analyses we still have the unresolved problem of
    residual satellite SST cool biases and a gradual shift from ship SSTs to
    buoy SSTs where buoys are 0.14C cooler than ships.
    I plan to work on an
    international agreement at CLIMAR-III in May to determine a consensus on
    how to correct ships between 1945 and 1988 when there were no buoy data.

    I do want to remind everyone that the ARGO data begins in 2002. This is
    a short record. ENSO fluctuations, as you point out, can easily mask any
    long term changes even if ARGO data were perfect.

  52. Alix James
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 3:59 PM | Permalink


    3. The statistical efforts (yours, others) to retain more long period
    variability in the dendro series have led to greater variability in the
    reconstructions, all toward a cooler past in the 16th-17th centuries. There is no a priori reason that the improved dendro series should have led to a cooler past; retention of more long period variability might conceivably have led to a warmer past, but it did not. That makes me think that the 16th-17th centuries were indeed cooler than the hockey stick portrays.

  53. Alix James
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 4:08 PM | Permalink


    Particularly useful is the Introduction/Review by Joanna Haigh to the 2005 ISSI workshop on Solar Variability and Planetary Climates. Here she comments that the construction of a TSI composite remains controversial, a view supported by the latest statements of Frohlich and Richard Willson on their respective websites. Hence the AR4 Section dismissal of the ACRIM composite to be instrumental rather than solar in origin is a bit controversial.

    Similarly IPCC in their discussion on solar RF since the Maunder Minimum are very dependent on the paper by Wang et al (which I have been unable to access) in the decision to reduce the solar RF significantly despite the many papers to the contrary in the ISSI workshop.

    All this leaves the IPCC almost entirely dependent on CO2 for the explanation of current global temperatures as in Fig 2.23. since methane CFCs and aerosols are not increasing.

  54. mitchel44
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009
    Mann to a whole bunch of team players

    Subject: BBC U-turn on climate

    “thanks Kevin, yes, it’s a matter of what question one is asking. to argue that the observed global mean temperature anomalies of the past decade falsifies the model projections of global mean temperature change, as contrarians have been fond of claiming, is clearly wrong. but that doesn’t mean we can explain exactly what’s going on. there is always the danger of falling a bit into the “we don’t know everything, so we know nothing” fallacy. hence, I wanted to try to clarify where we all agree, and where there may be disagreement,


    Much more from Trenberth, Schneider, wigley, etc…

  55. Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    #0251 Kaufmann and Briffa again, Fri, 6 Mar 2009

    >>>> Hello Keith:
    >>>> Following the recommendations of Malcolm and
    >>>> Phil (via Ray), it’s clear that I should have
    >>>> come to you sooner. I am now well along on a
    >>>> manuscript that summarizes 2000-year-long proxy
    >>>> temperature records from the Arctic (attached).
    >>>> The impetus for the paper is the new compilation
    >>>> of high-resolution lake records that my group
    >>>> recently published in J Paleolimnology.
    >>>> On the tree-ring side, it’s clear to me now that
    >>>> I should not have used the series from the Mann
    >>>> et al. compilation, and I hadn’t see your 2008
    >>>> Phil Trans paper until just last week. As far as
    >>>> I can tell, the only records that meet the
    >>>> criteria for this study are your three new RCS
    >>>> series from Eurasia and D’Arrigo’s Gulf of
    >>>> Alaska record. Apparently, none of the Malcolm’s
    >>>> series in Mann et al. were processed in a way
    >>>> that would preserve the millennial trend, and
    >>>> these should be omitted from the synthesis.
    >>>> I now need to substantially revamp the
    >>>> manuscript. Before I do, I want to be sure that
    >>>> I get it right this time and hope that you will
    >>>> be interested in joining as co-author to help
    >>>> guide the tree-ring component of the synthesis.
    >>>> I see that you have posted the Phil Trans data
    >>>> on your website, but would much prefer to have
    >>>> your involvement before using the data.

  56. Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    #0262 – Looks like Briffa answering some questions about IPCC stuff, Tue Jul 19 09:31:05 2005

    Some excerpts:

    5) I am not sure whether it is wise to add me to the CA list, just because the reviewer
    is supposed to be impartial and a CA loses that appearance of impartiality if he has now
    been included as a CA – may want to check with Susan S. on this one to be sure – still
    happy to provide advice

    7) I am a little unhappy with the emphasis on hemispheric warmth – lets face it, almost
    all of the long records are from 30-90N – the question is: how representative is 30-90N
    to the rest of the world? for the 20th c. one can do correlations with the instrumental
    record, but co2 has almost certainly increased the correlation scale beyond what it was
    preanthropogenic. you could correlate with quelcaya – not sure how many other records
    there are that are annual resolution – in the tropics I have produced a tropical
    composite (corals + Quelc.) but it only goes back to ~1780 – corals just don’t live v
    long – in that interval at least the agreement is satisfactory with the mid latitude
    reconstruction but there is only 100 years extra of independent information beyond the

    Dear Peck, Eystein and Tom
    At this point we thought it was important to review where we think we are with the MWP
    First, we have no objection to a Figure . Our only concerns have been that we should
    1/… be clear what we wish this Figure to illustrate (in the specific context of the
    MWP box) – note that this is very different from trying to produce a Figure in such a
    way as to bias what it says (I am not suggesting that we are, but we have to guard
    against any later charge that we did this). We say this because there are intonations in
    some of Peck’s previous messages that he wishes to “nail” the MWP – i.e. this could be
    interpreted as trying to say there was no such thing, and


  57. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 24, 2011 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    In Briffa et al. (1992) the standardisation procedure was revised
    by first aligning all core segments by their relative age, then averaging
    them (i.e. all values of the first year in each segment (t1) were averaged,
    then all values of t2 etc…. to tn.; this assumes that in each segment
    sampled, t1 was at (or very close to) the center [pith?] of the tree). The
    resulting ‘regional curve’ then provided a target for deriving a mean growth
    function which could be applied to all of the individual core segments,
    regardless of length (Figure 10.11). Averaging together the core segments,
    standardised in this way by the regional curve, produced the record shown in
    Figure 10.10b. This has far more low frequency information than the record
    produced from individually standardised cores (Figure 10.10c) and retains
    many of the characteristics seen in the original data. From this series,
    low growth from the late 1500s to the early 1800s is clearly seen,
    corresponding to other European records which record a “Little Ice Age”
    during this interval. Also seen is a period of enhanced growth from
    ~950-1100 A.D., during a period which Lamb (1965) characterised as the
    “Medieval Warm Epoch”. It is apparent from a comparison of Figures 10.9b
    and 10.9c that any conclusions drawn about which were the warmest or coldest
    years and decades of the past can be greatly altered by the standardisation
    procedure employed.
    All of the high frequency variance of Figure 10.10c is
    still represented in the record produced by regional curve standardisation
    (Figure 10.10b) but potentially important climatic information at lower
    frequencies is also retained. The problem of extracting low frequency
    climatic information from long composite records made up of many individual
    short segments is addressed explicitly by Cook et al. (1995) who refer to
    this as the ‘segment length curse’! Although it is of particular concern in
    dendroclimatology, it is in fact an important problem in all long-term
    paleoclimatic reconstructions which utilise limited duration records (e.g.
    historical data, composite coral records etc) yet it has received relatively
    little attention in the literature so far.

  58. Dishman
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 12:29 AM | Permalink

    date: Thu, 24 Jul 1997 03:13:50 -0400
    from: Ray Bradley
    subject: ice core data
    to: briffa, jones

    Mike Mann would like to know how confident you are in the SOI record before
    1881….he is using it in verification and wants to know if it’s crap.

  59. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 12:37 AM | Permalink

    Buffy Minton has extracted all of the attachments from the 2011 email corpus for the delight and perusal of those interested.

    This was posted at the Air Vent

    Buffy Minton said

    November 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm e

    Don’t know if this has already been done before:

    Here’s the freshly decoded Mime attachments to the Climategate 2011 emails

    • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

      As mentioned by Buffy on the Climategate II Tools thread. (I only mention because that thread was such a good idea of Steve’s and should not be forgotten because others created at the same time, like this one, naturally get more traffic.)

  60. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    Hi Tom
    How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where
    energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not
    close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is
    happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as
    we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!

  61. Dishman
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 1:26 AM | Permalink

    #3794 Wed, 12 Nov 2003 13:19:12 -0700

    Exchange between Wigley and Mann, excerpt comes from Wigley

    From the flurry of emails, there may still be some things about the method that
    you would have to pass on. I must admit that, having read the papers, I don’t
    think there is enough information for *me* to reproduce what you have done.
    I could certainly do something similar, and I might discover the nuances as I
    proceded. But it would still be tough.

  62. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:01 AM | Permalink

    > Your comment #221 in the RealClimate tread was in response to #218.
    > > > > This particular thread was concerned with the observations of
    > > > > temperature rise and not with the Hadley Centre climate model. The HC
    > > > > climate model of course has polar amplification just as every other
    > > > > climate model does.
    > > > >
    > > > > The point was the interpolation of existing observational data over the
    > > > > polar regions. If you look at the raw observations that GISS uses you
    > > > > can see how little data they are basing an interpolation on.
    > > > >
    > > > > Regardless of what they consider the correct spatial length scale for
    > > > > observations, the Arctic sees large regional changes in temperature,
    > > > > which are being glossed over with a large correlation length.
    > > > >
    > > > > The Had/CRU treatment of the observations simply states that the error
    > > > > is greater due to lacking data, something GISS are not honest about.
    > > > > There are no EXTRA observations that GISS has access to, that Had/CRU
    > > > > does not. Thus there is no reason to believe GISS’ observations vs
    > > > > Had/CRU observations of recent global temperature rise when the errors
    > > > > are taken into account.

  63. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

    Anyway Mike and Caspar have seen me present possible problems with the
    > SST data (in the 1940s/50s and since about 2000). The first of these
    > will appear
    > in Nature on May 29.

  64. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    An interesting one in the context of the Steig et al paper on Antarctica

    Still, we probably could and should try to do so in updated work. David
    Bromwich has expressed interest in working together to do something even
    more definitive in the near future. He’s skeptical that the warming is
    as great as we show in East Antarctica — he thinks the “right” answer
    is more like our detrended results in the supplementary text. I cannot
    argue he is wrong.
    Writing a paper together with him to clarify all this
    would be useful, I think.

  65. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

    > >> On Oct 14, 2009, at 5:57 PM, Tom Wigley wrote:
    > > Mike,
    > >
    > > The Figure you sent is very deceptive. As an example, historical
    > > runs with PCM look as though they match observations — but the
    > > match is a fluke. PCM has no indirect aerosol forcing and a low
    > > climate sensitivity — compensating errors. In my (perhaps too
    > > harsh)
    > > view, there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model
    > > results by individual authors and by IPCC. This is why I still use
    > > results from MAGICC to compare with observed temperatures. At least
    > > here I can assess how sensitive matches are to sensitivity and
    > > forcing assumptions/uncertainties.

  66. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

    Discussion of divergence in the SST’s as derived from the Argos data. Too long to post in proper context.

  67. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:25 AM | Permalink

    Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here
    in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on
    record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal
    is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about
    18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low. This is January weather
    (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last
    night in below freezing weather).

  68. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:24 AM | Permalink

    date: Wed Jan 16 09:23:52 2008
    from: Phil Jones
    subject: [Fwd: Re: [Fwd: Edouard Bard]]
    to: Raymond P.

    2) I know you answered my question but still I have trouble grasping the answer. Could you
    explain how the global T average for periods say before 1900 can haev a total uncertainty
    under 0.2°C back to 1850. This can only be true, given the data distribution in the Rayner
    et al paper, if T is an incredibly smooth function of location. Did you really answer me
    that by extracting from the recent (post 1950) database data with the same geographical and
    temporal distributions as the 1850-1900 data you get almost the same result as with the
    full modern data (with an uncertainty just above 0.1°C). This seems truly amazing, and
    would never work with the global magnetic field data I am accustomed to work on. Yet it
    does not seem to me that climate varies as slowly and with as long spatial scales as the
    magnetic field…

    Bonus comment

    I also told him where he can get station data at
    NCDC and GISS (as I took a decision ages ago not to release our station data,
    mainly because of McIntyre).

  69. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:32 AM | Permalink

    From: Phil Jones []
    Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 6:40 PM
    Subject: Re: EPP Document on Climate Change

    p46-47 The 2 deg C limit is talked about by a lot within Europe. It is never
    defined though what it means. Is it 2 deg C for the globe or for Europe?
    Also when is/was the base against which the 2 deg C is calculated from?
    I know you don’t know the answer, but I don’t either!

  70. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:35 AM | Permalink

    This part is a bit out of context but read the whole mail.

    Relating forcing to response, the sensitivity from the models is then on the order of
    0.6°C/ Wm^-2 (or higher, depending on the model used); the sensitivity from the
    observations, if taken at face value, would be considerably less.

  71. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

    date: Sat, 05 Sep 2009 11:25:02 -0700
    from: Jonathan Overpeck
    subject: Re: Arctic2k update?

    D et al – Please write all emails as though they will be made public……

    …..(5) McIntyre wrote to me to request the annual data series that we used to calculate the
    10-year mean values (10-year means were up on the NOAA site the same AM as the paper was
    published). The only “non-published” data are the annual series from the ice cores
    (Agassiz, Dye-3, NGRIP, and Renland). We stated this in the footnote, but it does
    stretch our assertion that all of the data are available publicly. Bo: How do you want
    to proceed? Should I forward the annual data to McIntyre?
    Please let me — better yet, the entire group — know whether you think we should post a
    revision on RealScience, and whether we should include a reply to other criticism (1
    through 5 above). I’m also thinking that I should write to Ojala and Tiljander directly
    to apologize for inadvertently reversing their data.
    Other thoughts or advise?
    On Sep 4, 2009, at 5:24 PM, Nick McKay wrote:

    The Korttajarvi record was oriented in the reconstruction in the way that McIntyre said.
    I took a look at the original reference – the temperature proxy we looked at is x-ray
    density, which the author interprets to be inversely related to temperature. We had
    higher values as warmer in the reconstruction, so it looks to me like we got it wrong,
    unless we decided to reinterpret the record which I don’t remember. Darrell, does this
    sound right to you?

  72. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:49 AM | Permalink

    (4) Other reconstructions show similar shape (though not magnitude) and support similar
    conclusions (regarding the unprecedented nature of recent warmth/warming trend). This
    is the main argument to make, as you thought. Some of these other reconstructions do
    not include these bristlecones (e.g. Briffa, 2000; Crowley et al., 2003; Moberg et al.,
    2005; Briffa et al., 2001). Crowely and Moberg use different Bristlecone records I
    think. Other reconstructions do use the same Bristlecone pines (e.g., Mann and Jones,
    2004). BUT the critical thing is that the studies either do not use these Bristlecone
    pines, or if they do use them, then they give them much more similar weighting to the
    other records used. I think MBH1999 is the only one that might give them a dominant

  73. Malcolm
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 7:36 AM | Permalink


    date: Sat, 8 Jan 2005 19:04:39 -0500
    from: ???
    subject: Re: bit for ipcc
    to: Keith Briffa

    Hello Prof Briffa,

    I am in New Zealand now getting pissed on by rain. I return home on Jan 15 and will be only too pleased to assist you in your quixotic quest to lend some credibility to IPCC.

    Dr Cook

  74. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 8:14 AM | Permalink

    Tom Wigley – Sarah Raper

    Much discussion of uncertainties in calculating / projecting glacial melt:

    “n p. 677 it says
    that ‘we cannot use the 21st century rate to deduce that there is a time by
    which all glacier mass will have disappeared’. A generous person might
    interpret this as saying that the formula used to get the 21st century rates
    cannot be used beyond the 21st century. Do you know if there is a clearer
    statement than this”

    “I’m sorry to keep on about this, but I am really searching for a way
    to get more sensible long term results. The best I can do, I think, is
    replace the TAR GSIC formula by one that agrees up to 2100 and then
    has an asymptotic (very large warming) melt of 50+/-10cm. This would
    at least be consistent with the TAR, and avoid the TAR’s internal
    inconsistencies. This is very ad hoc, but I need to get this done soon
    and I can’t wait for an AR4 result because that would defeat the whole
    purpose of what I am doing.”

  75. kim
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    In a very powerful way, #1683 is the worst one I have seen.

  76. Alix James
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


    Original email from Mike Hulme:

    Subject: sexing-up evidence

    Dear Rupert and Andrew, Sexing-up evidence is so easy to do, isn’t it?

    Reading your letter in the EDP today makes me wonder who your source inside the Tyndall Centre was supplying you with such exaggerated evidence? Surely it wasn’t me, was it?

    Treating Dick Lindzen with the esteem of flat- earthers; could this claim have been inserted by politicians seeking to make a dramatic point to their audience? Or was it really what the experts in the Tyndall Centre think?

    Perhaps we need an enquiry. Don’t worry – I’m not thinking of committing suicide should I be exposed as the source of this story; but then again, it couldn’t have been me, could it? I didn’t say that after all; all I said was that we are well aware of Dick Lindzen and his arguments (in fact, Dick Lindzen is a pretty smart meteorologist who just takes a more cautious view of the scientific evidence for human causes of global warming; similar in caution in some ways to David Kelly even).

    Yes, sexing-up is so easy to do.

    Be warned.


    “Dear Mike,

    On behalf of Rupert and myself, first, we would like to apologise. We appreciate the witty approach of your email, but also acknowledge the seriousness of its message.

    We clearly want anything which bears our names to be fully in line with the scientific evidence, and not to offend or embarrass you and other colleagues at UEA.

    We did contact you to try and make sure that we were in line with credible science and Tyndall views. We weren’t trying to quote you, or Tyndall, but rather make the point that the vast majority of climatologists do support climate change as real … then draw in the local context by mentioning Tyndall.

    In retrospect, the flat-earthers sentence, was slightly amusing, but not very helpful.

    We are sorry if it seems we were making a more direct connection to Tyndall (ie quoting you in some way). Another part of the letter did make good points about the costs of Kyoto implementation, using in part the reference which you gave us.

    We feel passionately about this issue, as we are sure you do too. It’s very important locally, particularly with CRed just started, that climate change is taken seriously, and in time that this is reflected in local and national policy.

    In this, we are all working to the same end, so we hope that we can support each other in the future. We regret any rifts over this letter, and to help mend and avoid this for the future, can we suggest that we may ask you, or Asher, to check any similar letter in the future?

    By the way, we copied you on the draft sent to EDP on Sunday morning. If you had alerted us earlier to your concerns, then we would considered recalling the letter for amendment (which we think EDP would have accepted up to about yesterday afternoon).

    With best wishes Andrew (and Rupert)”

    Reply from Hulme:

    “Thanks Andrew (and Rupert) for your apology.

    I feel passionate about many things, including scientists who trash good sound evidence about global warming and also about non-scientists who reduce complex messages to simple one-liners.

    I know I don’t always get it right and that some communication media are particularly difficult to use for educating, dialoguing and listening, which in the end is what it is all about to help people critically reflect on their own attitudes and behaviour.

    Anyway let’s draw a line under this one. I just hope Dick Lindzen doesn’t read the EDP at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts! Then I really would have some explaining to do.


  77. Alix James
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Permalink


    Bradly to Briffa:

    “Hi Keef:

    Why is it raining so much here? New York has just surpassed the June 1903 record of ~10inches, and it’s only June 22nd….right now it’s teeming down…could be a monsoon. No doubt global warming must have something to do with it…or that cut-off Low that’s stuck here…

    Reply from Briffa:

    “I believe you criticised the inclusion of the 2000 (Eurasian ) tree-ring series (since reiterated by Malcolm). Fair enough , though again misguided in my opinion if on the basis of “contains few data ” or ” has weak climate response” . I was perfectly happy to drop it ( I never suggested its inclusion in the first place), but I find it somewhat ironic that it should be replaced with the latest (Mann and Jones) series that contains the same three series plus a mixture of other far more dubious (not to say bad ) series</b –

    I agree with the remarks you made re some of these (particularly the Chinese series) in your recent email to someone. I consider that this new series (plus the illustration of the Western US series in the EOS) piece will “stimulate further discussion ” in the field , both between we palaeo-types and the Sceptics.

    I and Tim have been left to submit this and the balance of pressure seems to be to submit as is – if we remove the suspicious Chinese series we would have to delay things further (Ellen is hassling for us to submit) and , anyway, it is still contained in the Long series.

    I am of the opinion that the points made in the piece still stand – and by signing on, we are not individually sanctioning all the curves or data used in the illustrations ( There are genuine problems with ALL of them).

    We will therefore , add Malcolm’s name and submit the version we now have. Hope this OK with all.

    Finally, Mike and I have been asked (by Lennart Bengtsson) to present a paper at the CLIVAR/PAGES Conference next year in Baltimore [1]http://www.clivar2004.[2]org. Our bit is about the climate (Global /Hemisphere ) of the instrumental period , but I take this to be the last 1000 years . We will be asking our co conspirators (ie the EOS list) to be joint contributors (though Peck is presenting another similar subject (longer period) paper – the precise balance between these time scales needs to be struck yet).

    Also I am organising a session at a European Community Conference to be held next year in Holland – my session is “How warm was the Medieval period in the context of the late Holocene” and although I will probably not be asking you (or me!) to present one of the two invited papers (but I might end up asking you) I hope and expect that you, and the rest ,to agree to be authors of one of them. I hope you will be able to ? I believe you are writing a paper with Malcolm and Henry on the MWP? Can you give me an idea of its scope ?”

  78. Alix James
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    Hope I’m not seen as monopolizing the thread or anything. My method is to pick a random email and post. I didn’t think there would be this many…really, there are random (using Excel to spit out a number), and I’m getting 3 or 4 out of every 5 as either appropriate for this thread or Tahiti…

    And the normal caveat: I have no idea if any of this truly means a private believe contradicting a public opinion. I’ll leave it to others to search through the final produce to see if the comments were taken into account (which I believe is the point of this exercise).


    “from: Julia Cole to: Keith Alverson, “Raymond S. Bradley”
    cc: sandy.tudhope,k.briffa, mhughes
    date: Tue, 15 May 2001 10:41:54 -0700
    subject: Re: comments?

    Hi Keith and all,

    I was away late last week and did not have a chance to look at the
    newsletter article until today. A few comments on the coral section, if
    it isn’t too late –

    – The comment on Urvina Bay implies that the reef from which the
    published long record came was destroyed in 1982 – in fact that reef
    was uplifted tectonically (above sea level) in 1954 or so….
    additional living corals from the Bay itself may have been killed by
    that event
    however. Maybe better to say that the 1982-3 ENSO event
    caused coral mortality throughout the Galapagos. We saw this clearly in
    a 1989 visit.

    – Recent studies are confirming that corals and other calcifying marine
    organisms are under geochemical threat from rising CO2. As atmospheric
    CO2 increases, oceanic CO2 rises and carbonate drops, making the oceans
    more acidic and removing the CO3 needed for skeletal formation.
    Carbonate supersaturation is maintained, but even a drop in the
    supersaturation level appears to influence the ability of corals and
    other organisms to form calcium carbonate skeletons (Marubini and
    Atkinson 1999; Kleypas et al. 1999; Langdon et al. 2000). This effect
    is strictly a geochemical phenomenon – it is not a consequence of how
    much the oceans warm or whether circulation changes. It is likely to
    augment additional stresses currently affecting coral reefs,
    particularly where CO3 is already naturally low.

    – Corals are also under threat from more localized stresses. Dynamite
    and cyanide fishing, nutrient overloading, the disruption of grazing
    fish populations (which allow algal overgrowth), coastal pollution, and
    unregulated development all contribute to coral mortality, particularly
    in populated regions of the tropics. The combination of these
    localized stresses with background warming and increasing CO2 means
    that corals are experiencing multiple stresses on many fronts –
    physical, ecological, geochemical
    – and are increasingly vulnerable to
    mass mortality.

    – on the Moore et al. citation – I read this paper; thanks for sending
    it Keith. The message of your paper is clear – teleconnections with
    this site can change through time, even reverse. So how do you go from
    that conclusion to saying that it provides a record of ENSO? It sounds
    like you are trying to have it both ways…. you can’t reconstruct ENSO
    unless you know what direction the teleconnections are working in the
    A better ref for this statement might be Henderson et al. 1999
    (below), although this one hasn’t been tested against long records

    – I’d use speleothems rather than either stalagmites or stalactites…

    Hope this isn’t too late to be of use,”

  79. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    date: Wed Apr 30 13:00:04 2008
    from: Phil Jones
    subject: Re: nature paper / ocean model as short-term regional climate
    to: Stefan Rahmstorf

    Stefan, Andy,
    In our land-only data the NH was the warmest ever in March, so for land-only NH
    the figure for 2008 so far is barely down on previous years. The map for March 08
    is on our web site, the HC and also on the GISS site. It is just a month. It is
    useful to look at Jan and March 08 in the context of Eurasian snow cover.
    For Eurasia Jan08 was a record high coverage, whereas March 08 was a record low coverage.
    During Feb an awful lot of snow area disappeared. It is just a couple of months, though.
    The oceans around the world are still relatively cool.
    At least March should stop the stupid op-ed pieces about the coming Ice Age
    and the 2007/2008 cooling which is just a La Nina response.
    Some La Nina’s (and some El Nino’s) seem to have a bigger effect on
    large-scale temps than others. One day I might get some time to figure out why!


  80. Don McIlvin
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    In 0019.txt Phil Jones makes what is to me a rather stunning admission..

    It is within his reply in a lengthy thread discussion on the late 20th century tree ring data..

    date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 09:55:14 -0800
    from: Jeff Severinghaus
    subject: Re: [Fwd: tree rings and late 20th century warming]
    to: Phil Jones , “Michael E. Mann” , “Thomas R Karl” , Ray Bradley

    Within Phil’s reply..

    At 4:36 PM +0000 2/3/03, Phil Jones wrote:

    It is important to remember that

    locally few regions exhibit statistically significant warming.

    Highly significant at the hemispheric level, but not great at the local level due to high level’s of variability.

    The spatial scales are important and this is difficult to get across.



    Is it fair to conclude from Phil’s remark that in a locally measured context “statistically significant warming” is anomalous?

    BTW – I guess I should get the CA assistant up so I can bold etc.

  81. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    >> >Hi Eystein,
    >> >
    >> >concerning your comment on the 1470-year beat: I’m aware that in the
    >> >new time scale, it is less regular (at least I heard this, have not
    >> >tested myself yet).
    >> >
    >> >If you have two time scales, one showing a regularity and one not,
    >> >then there are two possibilities.
    >> >(1) The regular one is correct, in the other one the regularity got
    >> >wiped out by random dating errors.
    >> >(2) The one without regularity is correct, in the other one a
    >> >regularity arose by chance due to random dating errors.
    > > >
    >> >The likelyhood of the regularity found with the original GISP2 time
    >> >scale occuring by chance is minute – I’ve done some more
    >> >calculations, they are not complete yet but the likelyhood is in the
    > > >permil range. I think hypothesis (2) can be exluded at least at 99%
    >> >confidence level.

  82. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    > On Sep 29, 2009, at 4:20 AM, Phil Jones wrote:
    >> Mike, Gavin,
    >> As Tim has said Keith is making a good recovery and hopes to be back in
    >> soon, gradually during October and hopefully full time from November.
    >> I talked to him by phone yesterday and sent him and Tom Melvin the
    >> threads on CA. As you’re fully aware, trying to figure out what McIntyre
    >> has done is going to be difficult. It would be so much easier if they
    >> followed normal procedure and wrote up a comment and submitted it to a
    >> journal. I looked through the threads yesterday trying to make sense of
    >> what he’s done. My suspicion is that he’s brought in other tree ring series
    >> from more distant sites, some of which may not even be larch. There are two
    >> chronologies that have been used – one called the Polar Urals and one
    >> called Yamal. PU is a Schweingruber site with density as well as ring
    >> width. The PU reconstruction is therefore not a chronology, but a
    >> regression based reconstruction from both MXD and TRW. Yamal is just a ring
    >> width series (with lots of sub-fossil material, so much older) from an area
    >> some distance (at least 500km) north of PU. It was developed by Hantemirov
    >> and Shiyatov and was poorly standardized – corridor method. I also don’t
    >> think McIntyre understands the RCS method even though he claims to have a
    >> program. The ends and the age structure of the samples are crucial in all
    >> this, but I think he just throws series in.

  83. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Long email, needs to be read in context.

    > In testing the statistical significance of differences between the model
    > average trend and a single observed trend, Douglass et al. were wrong to
    > use sigma_SE as the sole measure of trend uncertainty in their
    > statistical test. Their test assumes that the model trend is uncertain,
    > but that the observed trend is perfectly-known. The observed trend is
    > not a “mean” quantity; it is NOT perfectly-known. Douglass et al. made a
    > demonstrably false assumption.

  84. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 11:19:55 -0500
    from: David Rind
    subject: Re: [Wg1-ar4-ch06] comments to (mainly for Keith)
    to: Stefan Rahmstorf

    Hi Stefan,

    Thanks for your comments. As to what I believe, I think that both the forcing and the
    response are too poorly known to make any definitive comment about climate sensitivity from
    this time period, although there have been plenty of people who have tried. That’s
    basically the conclusion I drew in the climate sensitivity section, 5.8. (which includes a
    listing of the various references that have interpreted climate sensitivity by choosing to
    believe that they knew either the forcing or the response).

  85. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    >>>>> >> 3) the divergence between northern land and global temps seems to
    >>>>> >> be
    >>>>> >> increasing – both record show the recent decrease in temperatures,
    >>>>> >> but
    >>>>> >> on land it only started last year (2008)

  86. Bob B
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    Santer’s Grey are cheat methodology:

    4064.txt-sitting comfortably:
    4064.txt:Grey shading is a little cheat from Santer et al using a trusty ruler.
    4064.txt-See Figure 3.B in this paper, take the absolute range of model scaling
    4064.txt-factors at each of the heights on the y-axis and apply this scaling to

  87. Bob B
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    > not supposed to endorse the GCOS Imp. Plan for example. Roger Pielke
    > won’t be pleased with this. Ch 6 of the CCSP doc does this and more.

    3066.txt- > >remains through final draft – I’m absolutely positive it won’t.
    3066.txt- > >
    3066.txt: > >As an aside for your eyes only (so please don’t forward this part on to
    3066.txt- > >anyone) there may well be a very large signatory letter to BAMS from
    3066.txt- > >operational satellite guys that Fu et al. is wrong which is one reason why

  88. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    >>P.S. Ricardo, here is the Oroko temperature reconstruction.

  89. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    Long email with many uncertainties addressed.

    > My interpretation of this figure is also somewhat different. If the final
    reconstructions differs so strongly by using a longer calibration period (in
    general yielding stronger decadal variability in the reconstruction) I would
    tend to think that the method based on these proxies is quite unstable. What
    would happen if the calibration period could have been extended to 1800, for

    The main sensitivity which is clearly defined by the calculations I’ve done is
    that the adjustment of the North American tree-ring proxy 1 in MBH1999 shifts
    the AD1000 to AD1800 reconstruction up roughly 0.2K. This is now commented
    on. I’d like to look more closely at the 15th to 18th centuries, but I think
    this is best achieved by bringing in more proxies — and I don’t want to
    extend the scope of this study that far. I agree with you that there is an
    interesting and challenging issue about the 15th to 18th centuries, and hope
    to follow that up later (i.e. after submitting this).

  90. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    Very long exchange that needs to be fully read.

    > Hi Ed,
    > OK–thanks for your response. I’ll let Malcolm respond to the
    > technical issues regarding RC. I’m not really qualified to do so
    > myself anyway. Your other points are well taken…
    > Cheers,
    > Mike
    > At 12:09 PM 4/11/02 -0400, Edward Cook wrote:
    > Hi Mike,…….

    ………So, if the amplitude of scaled
    > ECS multi-centennial variability is far too high
    > (as you would apparently suggest), it appears that
    > it is also too low in your estimates for the NH
    > extra-tropics north of 20N. I think that we have
    > to stop being so aggressive in defending our
    > series and try to understand the strengths and
    > weaknesses of each in order to improve them.
    > That is the way that science is supposed to work.

    > I must admit to being really irritated over the
    > criticism of the ECS tree-ring data standardized
    > using the RCS method. First of all, ECS
    > acknowledged up front the declining available
    > data prior to 1200 and its possible effect on
    > interpreting an MWP in the mean record. ECS
    > also showed bootstrap confidence intervals for
    > the mean of the RCS chronologies and showed
    > where the chronologies drop out. Even allowing
    > for the reduction in the number of represented
    > sites before 1400 (ECS Fig. 2d), and the
    > reduction in overall sample size (ECS Fig. 2b),
    > there is still some evidence for significantly
    > above average growth during two intervals that
    > can be plausibly assigned to the MWP. Of course
    > we would like to have had all 14 series cover the
    > past 1000-1200 years. This doesn’t mean that we
    > can’t usefully examine the data in the more
    > weakly replicated intervals. In any case, the
    > replication in the MWP of the ECS chronology is
    > at least as good as in other published tree-ring
    > estimates of large-scale temperatures (e.g., NH
    > extra-tropical) covering the past 1000+ years. It
    > also includes more long tree-ring records from the
    > NH temperate latitudes than ever before. So to
    > state that “this is a perilous basis for an estimate
    > of temperature on such a large geographic scale”
    > is disingenuous, especially when it is unclear how
    > many millennia-long series are contributing the
    > majority of the temperature information in the
    > Mann/Bradley/Hughes (MBH) reconstruction
    > prior to AD 1400. Let’s be balanced here.

  91. Harriet Harridan
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    and more Premier league bitchin’
    ” Mike,
    This is for YOURS EYES ONLY. Delete after reading – please ! …..”

  92. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    Long email on reducing uncertainties in the dendro record

    date: Sun, 18 May 2008 11:13:23 +0100
    from: Rob Wilson
    subject: Re: A General Call for Input to a Meeting on Palaeoclimate
    to: Keith Briffa

  93. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 9:57 PM | Permalink


    Phil Jones -> Qinxiang

    (embedded exchange WRT Chinese UHI)

    “I dicussed the paper with Ren Guoyu, and he admitted that NE China was a special region. When I mentioned the abrupt change of series, he said he is also thinking about this.

    And he told me that they found some large UHI effect in some small region in SW China recently. But he didnot show me the text (In Chinese),”

  94. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 10:09 PM | Permalink


    Keith Briffa -> Nanne Weber

    “Between you and I , I believe there may be problems with the analysis of the Bristlecone data,. We can talk by phone about this”

  95. Sean Inglis
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 10:34 PM | Permalink


    George Kukla -> Keith Briffa

    “Another problem: the ring density and width in the last several decades are both decreasing which at any other time would be interpreted as a sign of cooling. So why is it shown in the WMO report as unprecedented warming?

    In either case it is not very responsible to relate the curves to global climate as WMO has done.”

  96. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

    date: Wed, 1 Oct 2008 09:48:31 -0400
    from: Edward Cook
    subject: Re: recognize this?!
    to: Keith Briffa , Tim Osborn

    Hi Keith and Tim,

    I have quickly read through the Esper paper and have the following comments to make. First,
    I hadn’t seen it before, so it is all new to me. It is certainly true that Jan did not do a
    proper job citing Briffa et al. (1992). That was a clear mistake, especially given that
    Douglass (1929) was cited for crossdating. I also note that Jan did not cite Osborn et al.
    (1997) on adjusting the variance in series for sample size changes. That too was an clear
    oversight given that Frank et al. (2007) was cited. Hopefully, neither was done
    intentionally. I tend to give people the benefit of a doubt on that unless it is a chronic
    problem in their publications. The latter issue of variance adjustment is also relevant to
    the discussion concerning spatial homogeneity or lack thereof. Am I correct in assuming
    that some form of variance adjustment was made to the series used in the AR4 report? I
    haven’t read the report closely enough to recall if that was done. If it was done, that
    would tend to force the data towards an appearance of greater homogeneity, I would guess,
    hence the relative stability of the bootstrap intervals, etc.. In any case, I do tend to
    agree with Jan that nothing very definitive can be said about the spatial homogeneity of
    the putative MWP until we get more records to look at that truly express temperature and
    not something else.

    The whole issue of whether or not the MWP was more spatially heterogeneous or not is a huge
    “red herring” in my opinion anyway. A growing body of evidence clearly shows that
    hydroclimatic variability during the putative MWP (more appropriately and inclusively
    called the “Medieval Climate Anomaly” or MCA period) was more regionally extreme (mainly in
    terms of the frequency and duration of megadroughts) than anything we have seen in the 20th
    century, except perhaps for the Sahel. So in certain ways the MCA period may have been more
    climatically extreme than in modern times. The problem is that we have been too fixated on
    temperature, especially hemispheric and global average temperature, and IPCC is enormously
    guilty of that. So the fact that evidence for “warming” in tree-ring records during the
    putative MWP is not as strong and spatially homogeneous as one would like might simply be
    due to the fact that it was bloody dry too in certain regions, with more spatial
    variability imposed on growth due to regional drought variability even if it were truly as
    warm as today. The Calvin cycle and evapotranspiration demand surely prevail here:
    warm-dry means less tree growth and a reduced expression of what the true warmth was during
    the MWP.

    That is my take on the Esper and Frank paper, with obvious editorial comments included as

  97. Bob B
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    Here’s Phil hoping the lack of Global warming doesn’t continue because he would like to rub off the smug face from skeptics:

    Mon, 5 Jan 2009 5:18:24 am
    1231190304.txt- Tim, Chris,
    1231190304.txt: I hope you’re not right about the lack of warming lasting
    1231190304.txt- till about 2020. I’d rather hoped to see the earlier Met Office
    1231190304.txt- press release with Doug’s paper that said something like –
    1231190304.txt- cooler in the long term of course, are considerably warmer than A1B-AR4
    1231190304.txt- for several decades! Also – relevant to your statement – A1B-AR4 runs
    1231190304.txt: show potential for a distinct lack of warming in the early 21st C, which
    1231190304.txt- I’m sure skeptics would love to see replicated in the real world… (See
    1231190304.txt- the attached plot for illustration but please don’t circulate this any
    –From: Phil Jones
    To: Tim Johns , “Folland, Chris”
    Subject: Re: FW: Temperatures in 2009
    Date: Mon Jan 5 16:18:24 2009
    Cc: “Smith, Doug” , Tim Johns

    Tim, Chris,
    I hope you’re not right about the lack of warming lasting
    till about 2020. I’d rather hoped to see the earlier Met Office
    press release with Doug’s paper that said something like –
    half the years to 2014 would exceed the warmest year currently on record, 1998!
    Still a way to go before 2014.
    I seem to be getting an email a week from skeptics saying
    where’s the warming gone. I know the warming is on the decadal
    scale, but it would be nice to wear their smug grins away.

  98. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    What i have been able to glean from this latest batch of emails is that the behavoir of Mann, Jones, et al are consistent.

  99. Steve E
    Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    email 1017.txt-

    date: Wed, 10 May 2006 07:24:43 -0600 (MDT)
    from: ???
    to: ???


    See the last item. Why don’t you just give these people the raw data?
    Are you hiding something — your apparent refusal to be forthcoming sure
    makes it look as though you are.


    The last item referred to above is this:

    Steve McIntyre, 9 May 2006

    It’s the last item in a list of news items originally sent by Benny Peiser to a “cambridge-conference” email address and then forwarded by Tom Wigley at UCAR to Keith Briffa at UEA.

    The item refers to this post at CA:

  100. Bob Koss
    Posted Nov 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    1983, 2006-03-08 Alley -> Overpeck

    … As I noted, my observations of the NRC committee members suggest rather strongly to me that they now have serious doubts about tree-rings as paleothermometers (and I do, too… at least until someone shows me why this divergence problem really doesn’t matter). –Richard

  101. Mohib
    Posted Nov 30, 2011 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

    From: Mike MacCracken [mailto:???]
    Sent: 03 January 2009 16:44
    To: Phil Jones; Folland, Chris
    Cc: John Holdren; Rosina Bierbaum
    Subject: Temperatures in 2009

    Dear Phil and Chris–

    In any case, if the sulfate hypothesis is right, then your prediction of warming might end up being wrong. I think we have been too readily explaining the slow changes over past decade as a result of variability–that explanation is wearing thin. I would just suggest, as a backup to your prediction, that you also do some checking on the sulfate issue, just so you might have a quantified explanation in case the prediction is wrong. Otherwise, the Skeptics will be all over us–the world is really cooling, the models are no good, etc. And all this just as the US is about ready to get serious on the issue.

    We all, and you all in particular, need to be prepared.

    Best, Mike MacCracken

  102. andre
    Posted Nov 30, 2011 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    Here is something more than “uncertaintly”, #0006


    “date: Sat, 01 Nov 2008 18:50:12 -0600
    from: Tom Wigley
    subject: [Fwd: Re: Possible error in recent IJC paper]
    to: Ben Santer , Phil Jones

    Hi Ben & Phil, No need to push this further, and you probably realize this anyhow, but the
    RealClimate criticism of Doug et al. is simply wrong. Ho hum. Tom.”

    Doug et al. probably being:

  103. Follow the Money
    Posted Dec 2, 2011 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Solar irrandiance dispute, AR4’s diminution of solar. From Coe to Jones, 18 Jun 2007


    Sorry for the delay in replying to yours of 01 June 2007, I have been away.

    II have also perused as many of the papers you referred to that I am able to access.

    Particularly useful is the Introduction/Review by Joanna Haigh to the 2005 ISSI workshop on Solar Variability and Planetary Climates. Here she comments that the construction of a TSI composite remains controversial, a view supported by the latest statements of Frohlich and
    Richard Willson on their respective websites. Hence the AR4 SectionREDACTEDdismissal of the ACRIM composite to be instrumental rather than solar in origin is a bit controversial.

    Similarly IPCC in their discussion on solar RF since the Maunder Minimum are very dependent on the paper by Wang et al (which I have been unable to access) in the decision to reduce the solar RF significantly despite the many papers to the contrary in the ISSI

    All this leaves the IPCC almost entirely dependent on CO2 for the explanation of current global temperatures as in Fig 2.23. since methane CFCs and aerosols are not increasing.

    I wonder how Judith Lean would comment on the latest developments.



    • Follow the Money
      Posted Dec 2, 2011 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

      Another from Coe to Jones in 26 Nov 2007

      Since we last corresponded it has become clear that 2007 will be another year in which the global temperature has not risen significantly, the 6th year on the HadCRUT3 data series. During this period the atmospheric
      CO2 level has continued to rise steadily at 1.9ppm/year and, according to Hansen, sulphate aerosols have declined equally steadily thus reducing global dimming.

      The period has therefore been relatively quiet in atmospheric terms except for the solar insolation which has declined coincidentally by the full solar cycle 23.

      The paper by Camp and Tsung in GRL July 2007 analyses the last four 11 year cycles and obtains a global warming signal of lmost 0.2K for each cycle. Similarly Scafetta and West in JGR November 2007 identify a scenario in which the Sun might have contributed up to 50% of the observed global warming since 1900. These and other papers
      suggest that IPCC figure of about 8% solar contribution is a significant under estimate of a factor which could go a long way to explaining the static global temperature data. It is surely important to try to get this science right in view of the current emphasis on CO2 mitigation policies.

      Roger Coe.

  104. AntonyIndia
    Posted Dec 3, 2011 at 2:27 AM | Permalink

    date: Mon Jun 17 16:39:14 2002
    from: Keith Briffa
    subject: Re: Esper et al. and Mike Mann
    to: Ed Cook

    I have just read this lettter – and I think it is crap.I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature representative ) tropical series. He is just as capable of regressing these data again any other “target” series , such as the increasing trend of self-opinionated verbage he has produced over the last few years , and … (better say no more)

  105. Manfred
    Posted Dec 19, 2011 at 1:57 AM | Permalink


    PS: Already this morning there have been (another) two quite strong earth tremors here in Manchester. It’s hard to see the connection but I just wonder whether climate change may have some invisible role in these events too. B.Professor B. E. Launder, FRS, FREng

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