Subject: Straight to the Point
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 17:37:34 +0100
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Just back from two weeks away and from discussions with Keith
and Tim and some emails you seem quite pissed off with us
all in CRU. I am somewhat at a loss to understand why. It is
clear from the emails that this relates to the emphasis placed
on a few words/phrases in Keith/Tim's Science piece. These may not
be fully resolved but the piece comes out tomorrow. I don't want
to open more wounds but I might by the end of the email.
I've not seen the censored email that Ray has mentioned but this
doesn't, to my way of working, seem to be the way you should be
responding - ie slanging us all off to Science. We are all
trying to work together for the good of the 'Science'. We have
disagreements - Ray, Malcolm, Keith and me have in the past,
but they get aired and eventually forgotten. We have never
resorted to slanging one another off to a journal ( as in this
case) or in reviewing papers or proposals. You may think Keith
or I have reviewed some of your papers but we haven't. I've
reviewed Ray's and Malcolm's - constructively I hope where I
thought something could have been done better. I also know
you've reviewed my paper with Gabi very constructively.
So why all the beef now ?
Maybe it started with my Science piece last summer. When asked
to do this it was stressed to that I should discuss how your
Nature paper fitted in to the current issues in
paleoclimatology. This is what I thought I was doing. Julia
Uppenbrink asked me to do the same with your GRL paper but
I was too busy and passed it on to Keith. Again it seems a
very reasoned comment.
I would suspect that you've been unhappy about us coming out
with a paper going back 1000 years only a few months after
your Nature paper (back to 1400). Ray knew all about this as
he was one of the reviewers. Then the second Science comment
has come out with a tentative series going back 2000 years.
Both Science pieces give us a chance to discuss issues highly
relevant to the 'science', which is what we have both tried to
Anyway that's enough for now - I'll see how you'll respond,
if at all.
There are two things I'm going to say though :
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. What
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.
3) None of us here are trying to get material into IPCC. I've
given you my input through the review of the chapter in
Asheville. I may get a chance to see the whole thing again
at some stage, but I won't be worried if I don't.
I can't think of a good ending, but hoping for a favourable
response, so we can still work together.
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email firstname.lastname@example.org