Thursday, December 22, 2011


From: Caspar Ammann <>
To: Phil Jones <>
Subject: Re: That darned diagram
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2007 10:31:44 -0700

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here the graphs from the Brooks 1949 (2nd edition) that we have at NCAR.
One is temperature the other precip reconstructions.

Phil Jones wrote:
> Tom, Caspar,
> Keep the attached to yourself. I wrote this yesterday,
> but still need to do a lot more. I added in a section
> about post-Lamb work in CRU, but need to check out
> the references I've added and look at the extra one
> from 1981 that you've sent. This may take me a little
> time as I'm away Weds/Thurs this week. I see my name
> on an abstract, by the way, that I have no recollection of !
> I presume this has something in about instrumental global
> temps. This abstract isn't in my CV!!!!!
> So your point (3) needs to document that we knew the
> diagram wasn't any good, as well as how far back it goes.
> Knowing Hubert on some of his other 'breakthroughs!'
> it is clearly possible it goes back to Brooks !
> On the post-Lamb work in CRU, I recall talking to Graham
> (maybe mid-1980s) when he was comparing recent CRU work
> with Lamb - correlations etc. Did that ever see the light of day
> in these pubs or elsewhere? I will look. It isn't in the chapter
> Astrid and he wrote in the CRU book from 1997. I recall some
> very low correlations - for periods from 1100 to 1500.
> This is all getting quite complex. It clearly isn't something that
> should be discussed online on RC - at least till we know all
> the detail and have got the history right as best we can. A lot
> of this history is likely best left buried, but I hope to summarise
> enough to avoid all the skeptics wanting copies of these
> non-mainstream papers. Finding them in CRU may be difficult!
> As for who put the curve in - I think I know who did it. Chris may
> be ignorant of the subject, but I think all he did was use the
> DoE curve. This is likely bad enough.
> I don't think it is going to help getting the real culprit to
> admit putting it together, so I reckon Chris is going to get the blame.
> I have a long email from him - just arrived. Just read that and he
> seems to changing his story from last December, but I still
> think he just used the diagram. Something else happened on
> Friday - that I think put me onto a different track. This is all like
> a mystery whodunit.
> In the meantime - any thoughts on the attached welcome. Getting the
> level of detail required is the key.
> I need to do a better diagram - better scanning etc.
> Cheers
> Phil
> At 18:02 06/01/2007, Tom Wigley wrote:
>> Phil,
>> I see the problems with this in terms of history, IPCC image,
>> skeptix, etc. I'm sure you can handle it. In doing so, you might
>> consider (or not) some of these points.
>> (1) I think Chris Folland is to blame for this. The issue is not
>> our collective ignorance of paleoclimate in 1989/90, but
>> Chris's ignorance. The text that was in the 1990 report (thanks
>> for reminding us of this, Caspar) ameliorates the problem
>> considerably.
>> (2) Nevertheless, 'we' (IPCC) could have done better even then.
>> The Rothlisberger data were available then -- and could/should
>> have been used.
>> (3) We also already knew that the Lamb UK record was flawed.
>> We published a revision of this -- but never in a mainstream
>> journal because we did not want to offend Hubert. I don't have
>> the paper to hand, but I think it is ...
>> Wigley, T.M.L., Huckstep, N.J., Mortimer, R., Farmer, G., Jones, P.D.,
>> Salinger, M.J. and Ogilvie, A.E.J., 1981: The reconstruction of European
>> climate on decadal and shorter time scales. (In) Extended Abstracts,
>> First Meeting, Reconstruction of Past Climates Contact Group, EEC
>> Directorate-General for Science, Research and Development, Brussels,
>> Belgium, 83�84.
>> It could be ...
>> Wigley, T.M.L., Farmer, G. and Ogilvie, A.E.J., 1986: Climate
>> reconstruction using historical sources. (In) Current Issues in Climate
>> Research (eds. A. Ghazi and R. Fantechi), D. Reidel Publishing
>> Company, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 97�100.
>> The point of this paper (whichever one it is) is that it covers only
>> the decadal variation -- but it shows that Lamb was out to lunch
>> even on these time scales. As you know, this arose from his uncritical
>> use of historical sources -- a problem exposed in a number of CRU
>> papers in the 1980s, staring with Bell and Ogilvie in Climatic Change.
>> So part of the issue is where did Hubert get the century time scale
>> changes in that diagram? The answer is, mainly from his own fertile
>> imagination. For this he tried to synthesize both his flawed historical
>> record for England (and records for Europe, equally flawed) and
>> proxy data from many sources, again accepted uncritically. Still,
>> there almost certainly was a LIA in Europe in the 17th/18th
>> centuries (but not in Iceland -- at least not in the 17th century).
>> Whether or not there was a significant centuries-long MWE is
>> doubtful in my view.
>> On another historical note, Hubert got many of his ideas from
>> C.E.P. Brooks -- possibly Brooks's work is what inspired Hubert
>> to pursue his climate interests. Of course, he went a lot further
>> (too far) because he had a lot more information to work with.
>> However, it is interesting that Fig. 33 in Brooks (1928) looks a
>> lot like the IPCC90/Lamb Figure -- in Brooks the record goes
>> back further, and there is a very warm period from about 500
>> to 950AD.
>> You should be careful about using "recovery from the LIA" to
>> explain warming after the Maunder Minimum. It is easy to show
>> with (e.g.) MAGICC that there is no such thing -- especially if
>> you accept the view on low-frequency solar forcing espoused
>> in the recent Foukal et al. paper in Nature. If you want some
>> support for this (i.e., the spurious recovery idea) I can send you
>> a diagram.
>> Tom.
>> C.E.P. Brooks, 1928: Climate through the ages. A study of the
>> climatic factors and their variations. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven,
>> 439 pp.
>> [There is a cute item in this book that one never sees any more.
>> At the end of the last page it actually say "THE END".]
> 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
> NR4 7TJ
> UK
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Caspar M. Ammann
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Climate and Global Dynamics Division - Paleoclimatology
1850 Table Mesa Drive
Boulder, CO 80307-3000
email: tel: 303-497-1705 fax: 303-497-1348


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