Thursday, December 22, 2011


From: Ben Santer <>
Subject: Re: FYI
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 09:57:34 -0700

Dear Phil,

Sorry about the delay in replying to your email - I've been out of my
office for a few days.

This is really nasty stuff, and I'm sorry that it's happened to you. The
irony in this is that you are one of the most careful and thorough
scientists I know.

Keenan's allegations of research misconduct, although malicious and
completely unfounded, clearly require some response. The bottom line is
that there are uncertainties inherent in measuring ANY properties of the
real-world climate system. You've probably delved deeper than anyone
else on the planet into uncertainties in observed surface temperature
records. This would be well worth pointing out to Mr. Keenan. The whole
tenor of the web-site stuff and Keenan's garbage is that these folks are
scrupulously careful data analysts, and you are not. They conveniently
ignore all the pioneering work that you've done on identification of
inhomogeneities in surface temperature records. The response should
mention that you've spent much of your scientific career trying to
quantify the effects of such inhomogeneities, changing spatial coverage,
etc. on observed estimates of global-scale surface temperature change.

The bottom line here is that observational data are frequently "messy".
They are not the neat, tidy beasts Mr. Keenan would like them to be.
This holds not only for surface temperature measurements. It also holds
- in spades - for measurements of tropospheric temperature from MSU and
radiosondes, and for measurements of ocean temperatures from XBTs,
profiling floats, etc. We would like observing systems to be more
accurate, more stable, and better-suited for monitoring decadal-scale
changes in climate. You and Kevin and many other are actively working
towards that goal. The key message here is that, despite uncertainties
in the surface temperature record - uncertainties which you and others
in the field are well aware of, and have worked hard to quantify - it is
now unequivocal that surface temperatures have warmed markedly over the
past 100 years. Uncertainties in the station histories do not negate
this basic message.

Hope some of these random musings might be useful, Phil. Let me know if
there's anything else I can do to help. Will you be at the Hadley Centre
Science Review Group meeting in May?

With best regards,

Ben wrote:
> All,
> Thanks for the thoughts. I'll muse on them whilst
> away. I've decided to ignore the blogs, but will wait
> till I hear from Wei-Chyung when he's back. There is
> no point yet in my responding to Keenan till Wei-Chyung
> hears.
> I'm away much of the next 3 weeks, so I won't be
> responding quickly. I'll be noting down some points
> for a possible response, so anything I'll do will
> be considered rather than my usual quick responses.
> The unequivocal statement in the SPM will be clear
> in any response.
> The whole tone of their argument smacks of a last
> resort challenge. 2007 continues warm for the first
> 3 months.
> Cheers
> Phil
>> I agree on the blogs: I have refrained from any responses to the attacks
>> on me wrt hurricanes etc.
>> K
>>> I don't disagree w/ Kevin's points here, but I do think it is
>>> dangerous to respond to an accusation made on a blog (a dubious
>>> one at that). It sets a bad precedent. On the other hand, since
>>> the letter to Wang was copied to you, I guess it is legitimate for
>>> you to respond to that. but very carefully as Kevin points out,
>>> mike
>>> Kevin Trenberth wrote: Hi Phil I am sure you know that this is not
>>> about the science. It is an attack to undermine the science in some
>>> way.
>>> In that regard I don't think you can ignore it all, as Mike suggests as
>>> one option, but the response should try to somehow label these guys and
>>> lazy and incompetent and unable to do the huge amount of work it takes
>>> to
>>> construct such a database. Indeed technology and data handling
>>> capabilities have evolved and not everything was saved. So my feeble
>>> suggestion is to indeed cast aspersions on their motives and throw in
>>> some counter rhetoric. Labeling them as lazy with nothng better to do
>>> seems like a good thing to do. How about "I tried to get some data from
>>> McIntyre from his 1990 paper, but I was unable because he doesn't have
>>> such a paper because he has not done any constructive work!" There is
>>> no
>>> basis for retracting a paper given in Keenan's message. One may have to
>>> offer a correction that a particular sentence was not correct if it
>>> claimed something that indeed was not so. But some old instrumental data
>>> are like paleo data, and can only be used with caution as the metadata
>>> do
>>> not exist. It doesn't mean they are worthless and can not be used.
>>> Offering to make a correction to a few words in a paper in a trivial
>>> manner will undermine his case. Kevin Hi Phil, This is all
>>> too predictable. This crowd of charlatans is always looking for one
>>> thing
>>> they can harp on, where people w/ little knowledge of the facts might be
>>> able to be convinced that there is a controversy. They can't take on
>>> the
>>> whole of the science, so they look for one little thing they can say is
>>> wrong, and thus generalize that the science is entirely compromised. Of
>>> course, as nicely shown in the SPM, every landmass is independently
>>> warming, and much as the models predict. So they can harp all they want
>>> on one Chinese data set, it couldn't possibly change the big picture
>>> (let
>>> alone even the trends for China). The So they are simply hoping to blow
>>> this up to something that looks like a legitimate controversy. The last
>>> thing you want to do is help them by feeding the fire. Best thing is to
>>> ignore them completely. They no longer have their friends in power here
>>> in the U.S., and the media has become entirely unsympathetic to the
>>> rants
>>> of the contrarians at least in the U.S.--the Wall Street Journal
>>> editorial page are about the only place they can broadcast their
>>> disinformation. So in other words, for contrarians the environment
>>> appears to have become very unfavorable for development. I would advise
>>> Wang the same way. Keenan may or may not be bluffing, but if he tries
>>> this I believe that British law would make it easy for Wang to win a
>>> defamation suit against him (the burden is much tougher in the states),
>>> mike Phil Jones wrote: Kevin, Have a look at this
>>> web site. I see you're away. The websites can wait, but scroll down to
>>> the letter below from Keenan - the last sentence.
>>> and
>>> One is about data from a
>>> paper 17 years ago (Jones et al. 1990) Also there is this email
>>> (below)
>>> sent to Wei-Chyung Wang, who was one of the co-authors on the 1990
>>> paper. Wei-Chyung is in China, and may not yet have seen this. When
>>> he's
>>> back in Albany, I've suggested he talks to someone there. It is all
>>> malicious. I've cc'd this to Ben and Mike as well, to get any thoughts
>>> from their experiences. If it gets worse I will bring Susan in as
>>> well,
>>> but I'm talking to some people at UEA first. Susan has enough to do
>>> with getting the AR4 WG1 volume out. On the 1990 paper, I have put the
>>> locations and the data for the rural stations used in the paper on the
>>> CRU website. All the language is about me not being able to send them
>>> the station data used for the grids (as used in 1990!). I don't have
>>> this information, as we have much more data now (much more in Australia
>>> and China than then) and probably more stations in western USSR are as
>>> well. As for the other request, I don't have the information on the
>>> sources of all the sites used in the CRUTEM3 database. We are adding in
>>> new datasets regularly (all of NZ from Jim Renwick recently) , but we
>>> don't keep a source code for each station. Almost all sites have
>>> multiple sources and only a few sites have single sources. I know
>>> things
>>> roughly by country and could reconstruct it, but it would take a while.
>>> GHCN and NCAR don't have source codes either. It does all come from
>>> the
>>> NMSs - well mostly, but some from scientists. A lot of the issues
>>> are
>>> in various papers, but they never read these. Also certainly no use
>>> talking to them. In Geneva all week. David Parker and Tom Peterson
>>> will be there. I can live with the web site abuse, but the Keenan
>>> letter knocked me back a bit. I seem to be the marked man now !
>>> Cheers Phil From: "D.J. Keenan" To: "Wei-Chyung Wang" Cc: "Phil
>>> Jones" Subject: retraction request Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 13:31:15
>>> +0100
>>> X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.3028 X-UEA-Spam-Score: 0.0
>>> X-UEA-Spam-Level: / X-UEA-Spam-Flag: NO Dear Dr. Wang, Regarding the
>>> Chinese meteorological data analyzed by Wang et al. [GRL, 1990] and
>>> Jones
>>> et al. [Nature, 1990], it now seems clear that there are severe
>>> problems.
>>> In particular, the data was obtained from 84 meteorological stations
>>> that can be classified as follows. 49 have no histories 08 have
>>> inconsistent histories 18 have substantial relocations 02 have
>>> single-year relocations 07 have no relocations Furthermore, some of
>>> the relocations are very distant--over 20 km. Others are to greatly
>>> different environments, as illustrated here:
>>> The above
>>> contradicts
>>> the published claim to have considered the histories of the stations,
>>> especially for the 49 stations that have no histories. Yet the claim is
>>> crucial for the research conclusions. I e-mailed you about this on
>>> April
>>> 11th. I also phoned you on April 13th: you said that you were in a
>>> meeting and would get back to me. I have received no response. I ask
>>> you to retract your GRL paper, in full, and to retract the claims made
>>> in
>>> Nature about the Chinese data. If you do not do so, I intend to
>>> publicly
>>> submit an allegation of research misconduct to your university at
>>> Albany.
>>> Douglas J. Keenan phone + 44 20 7537 4122 The
>>> Limehouse Cut, London E14 6N, UK 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
>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> -- Michael E. Mann Associate Professor Director, Earth
>>> System Science Center (ESSC) Department of Meteorology
>>> Phone: (814) 863-4075 503 Walker Building FAX:
>>> (814)
>>> 865-3663 The Pennsylvania State University email:
>>> University Park, PA 16802-5013
>>> ___________________ Kevin Trenberth Climate Analysis Section, NCAR PO
>>> Box
>>> 3000 Boulder CO 80307 ph 303 497 1318
>>> -- Michael E. Mann Associate Professor Director, Earth System Science
>>> Center (ESSC) Department of Meteorology Phone: (814)
>>> 863-4075 503 Walker Building FAX: (814) 865-3663
>>> The
>>> Pennsylvania State University email: University Park,
>>> PA 16802-5013
>> ___________________
>> Kevin Trenberth
>> Climate Analysis Section, NCAR
>> PO Box 3000
>> Boulder CO 80307
>> ph 303 497 1318

Benjamin D. Santer
Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
P.O. Box 808, Mail Stop L-103
Livermore, CA 94550, U.S.A.
Tel: (925) 422-2486
FAX: (925) 422-7675

No comments:

Post a Comment