Things start rolling 9 AM (UK time), when Tim Osborn sends the new Briffa and recalibrated Jones (1998) time series to Phil Jones along with the suggestion to hide the decline.
It is ready calibrated in deg C wrt. 1961-90, against the average Apr-Sep land temperature north of 20N. It goes from 1402 to 1994 – but you really ought to replace the values from 1961 onwards with observed temperatures due to the decline.
Twenty minutes later Jones writes to the MBH crew (cc Briffa and Osborn) explaining WMO plans and exactly what the graph will look like.
Jones explained that the graph was intended for the cover of the WMO annual statement, which had a print run of 10,000. Jones said that he had voted against using the millennial series in the promotion because he knew that he had “oversold the advances in paleoclimate”:
The pertinent item from Geneva concerns the WMO statement on the Climate of 1999. WMO has been issuing these for the past 6 years. There are 10,000 printed each time. There were two possibilities for the front cover (1998’s showed the instrumental record from 1856) – the millennial long temperature series or the contrasting storm tracks for 1998 and 1999. I was the only one voting for the latter – partly personal as I knew I would have to organise the former. I was outvoted 12-1, maybe because in a brief presentation I oversold the advances made in paleoclimate studies over the last few years !
Jones explained the planned figure to MBH as follows:
WMO want to go with the millennial record on the cover and I said I would produce something and some text. The figure will be the 3 curves ( Mike’s, mine amd Keith/Tim’s). Tim is producing this curve (all wrt 61-90 and 50 year smoothed). Each will be extended to 1999 by instrumental data for the zones/seasons they represent.
Along is also attached the draft of the brief text to appear on p.4 of the report for the comments. Jones further brags about the importance of the WMO publication.
The full text of the report is then printed during Feb 2000 – last year’s was 12 pages long. It will be released on March 15 in Geneva to coincide with WM (World Met) day and the 50th anniversary celebrations of WMO as well. WMO are planning to print at least twice as many copies as usual and were talking about 25,000 ! Copies go to all WMO members and are distributed at countless meetings and sent to loads of address lists available.
After that Jones apparently begins to work with the times series. He’s ready 1:30 PM and sends the now infamous trick email. (Bradley appears to have commented already, but the email is not in the dossier.)
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow.
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
Thanks for the comments, Ray.
Note that Jones clearly explained what he means by “Mike’s Nature trick”. Mann has claimed that his “Nature trick” was nothing more than clearly showing observations and reconstructions on the same graphic with proper labeling. But the direct comparison of observations to reconstructions is as old as statistics – and Jones and Briffa had themselves made such comparisons in prior articles without regarding clear labeling as anything more than elementary hygiene. In this email (which is often shortened in quotation), Jones says that Mann’s “Nature trick” is “adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s”, as originally explained in November 2009 here.
Two hours later Michael Mann, who according to his legal documents “had absolutely nothing to do” with the graph (that is still worth a mention in his CV ), responds. He completely agrees with the text adding that it will “help to bolster the claims to be made in IPCC [AR3]”:
The text looks good, and I agree w/ everything that is said. I think its a strong but defensible statement, and will help to bolster the claims to be made in IPCC. The ’99 numbers are very interesting, and should help thwart the dubious claims sometimes made that El Nino is the sole culprit in the anomalous recent warmth.
There is no objection to the graph, which, according to Mann’s book of Fairy Tales, is undisputably misleading (crediting the whole figure to Jones).
and Jones’s 1999 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report cover graph depicting past temperature trends was criticized as potentially “misleading” for merging proxy and instrumental data into a single curve — a conclusion nobody really disputed.
Mann further tries to help by sending “for comparison” the draft version of the IPCC AR3 Figure 2-21, and explains a nice “trick” how to handle the baseline in the face of the decline.
Just for comparison to what Tim is producing, I’m attaching the plot you may remember that we (actually, the UK Met Office staff) prepared for the final version of the IPCC chapter 2 draft (in pdf format). To refresh your memory, we used the ’61-90 base period for the absolute anomaly scale, but we aligned the series based on an earlier (’31-60) interval of the instrumental record, which pre-dates (largely) the recent decline in the Briffa et al series. I think this leads to a similar picture, but if you think there are any significant discrepancies w/ what Tim is preparing, we should discuss.
Keith and Tim’s diagram is the new one that didn’t make it to the present IPCC draft. For the other two, yours has 0.12 added to it to correct your base period of 1902-80 (can’t remember your exact dates) to 1961-90. For mine we’ve used a mean and SD calculated by Tim based on April-September average temps from the NH Land series north of 20N.
There is no protest from the MBH crew after after seeing the figure, and only Malcolm Hughes comments an hour later.
Dear Phil – the text looks fine to me. I have no strong preference regarding the diagrams, except that hte one Mike circulated hs the advantage of sowing an estimate of uncertainties.
So far only Keith Briffa appears to have not made comments about the publication. However, we see his acceptance from the letter written next morning to an Elsevier editor inquiring if the new version for Briffa’s QSR (2000) Figure 5 had been substituted.
with regard to the earlier message ( copied below) could you confirm the the new Figure was substituted as I now wish to cite this in a forthcoming WMO publication that will be widely distributed.
QSR (2000) is the reference for Briffa’s series given in the WMO publication, and later in the IPCC AR3. The email is important on its own as it explains the troubles I (and George Kukla, see below) had 15 years later.
Apart from throwing Jones under the bus Mann’s defence line of this “overly simplified and artistic depiction” (per Mann’s Reply Memorandum) has been that the “simplified” figure was produced with a “largely nontechnical audience” in mind. The modern Arabian Nights tells us:
That, in short, was the “trick” that Jones had chosen to use to bring the proxy temperature series in his comparison up to the present, even though the proxy data themselves ended several decades earlier. There was one thing Jones did in his WMO graph, however, that went beyond what we had done in our Nature article: He had seamlessly merged proxy and instrumental data into a single curve, without explaining which was which. That was potentially misleading, though not intentionally so; he was only seeking to simplify the picture for the largely nontechnical audience of the WMO report
However, as can seen from the above, there was no consideration of the special audience when the graph was produced. Instead, Mann argued that it will “help to bolster the claims” to be made to the IPCC audience.
Further, it appears from the CG letters that the “overly simplified and artistic depiction” was further distributed among their colleagues for the scientific purposes. In February 2000, Bradley requests the figure for the possible use in the PAGES systhesis report.
can you send me another copy of the wmo figure that you prepared — at least, if it changed after 11/16/99. In re-visiting your notes on the one you sent then, it seems you were still fiddling with 40 or 50 year filters etc, so maybe the one i have isn’t final. We may end up using this in the PAGES synthesis chapter –I think it is different than the one Keith used in Science (May 7, 1999 –v284, p.927)
In April 2000 Jones sends the figure along with the spliced times series to Curtis Covey
The attached file has the data you want. There are 5 columns (mine, Mike Mann’s, Keith’s, Annual NH and JJA NH). The last two are instrumental and only start in the 1850s. Keith’s starts about 1400. All are wrt 1961-90. You will see that for the 3 multiproxy series this file has been extended to 1999 by adding in instrumental data for the season and region each was supposed to represent. The other attachment is a figure of the first 3 which has appeared on the front cover of the WMO statement for 1999.
and later in October 2000 to Jim Hurrell.
Tim can send you one with all the series in. wmocover.ps is what appeared on the front cover of the 1999 annual statement. On this the series have been extended with equivalent instrumental data to 1999.
In fact, it seems that they were so proud of the figure that they placed the graph on the back of the official CRU t-shirt, which Mann was more than happy to request.
p.s. I wear a medium 😉
The WMO figure makes one more appearance in the CG dossier. In a remarkable letter, worth reproducing in full, late George Kukla writes in January 2001 to Keith Briffa, in which Kukla asked Briffa about the inconsistency between the WMO presentation of the data and the decline shown in Briffa’s technical papers, describing the WMO presentation as “not very responsible”:
You are the only guy who may know what was and is going on in the northern forests. With respect to that I do not think that the WMO statement # 913 on the status of the global climate in 1999 is a sufficiently reliable last word. For one thing: the curve attributed to you doesn’t seem to jive with any of the figures of your 2000 QSR paper. Where from did they get the 0.6 degree departure at 1600 AD?
Another problem: the ring density and width in the last several decades are both decreasing which at any other
time would be interpretted as a sign of cooling. So why is it shown in the WMO report as an unprecedented warming? As you properly discuss in your papers we just do not know how exactly do the tree rings relate to weather. In my understanding we are left with the following options:
1) The calibrations of the rings to temperature prior to 1950 are biased, possibly due to the poor coverage of temperature stations.
2) Something other than the temperature influenced the trees in the last several decades and we do not know what.
In either case it is not very responsible to relate the curves to global climate as WMO has done. You are saying it, albeit somehow indirectly but pretty clearly, in all your papers. Unfortunately it appears that these are tooo long for WMO to read.
Ciao and greetings to everyone down there!
I think it’s fair to say that George Kukla was first to spot the Hide-the-Decline.
[Edit: By Barry’s request, “before” and “after” pictures: