Phil Jones <???@uea.ac.uk>
John Christy <???@nsstc.uah.edu>
This and that
Tue Jul 5 15:51:55 2005
There has been some email traffic in the last few days to a week - quite
a bit really, only a small part about MSU. The main part has been one of
your House subcommittees wanting Mike Mann and others and IPCC
to respond on how they produced their reconstructions and how IPCC
produced their report.
In case you want to look at this see later in the email !
Also this load of rubbish !
This is from an Australian at BMRC (not Neville Nicholls). It began from the attached
article. What an idiot. The scientific community would come down on me in no
uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only
7 years of data and it isn't statistically significant.
The Australian also alerted me to this blogging ! I think this is the term ! Luckily
I don't live in Australia.
Unlike the UK, the public in Australia is very very naïve about climate change, mostly
because of our governments Kyoto stance, and because there is a proliferation of people
with no climate knowledge at all that are prepared to do the gov bidding. Hence the
general populace is at best confused, and at worst, antagonistic about climate change -
for instance, at a recent rural meeting on drought, attended by politicians and around
2000 farmers, a Qld collegue - Dr Roger Stone - spoke about drought from a climatologist
point of view, and suggested that climate change may be playing a role in Australias
continuing drought+water problem. He was booed and heckled (and unfortunately some
politicians applauded when this happened) - that's what we're dealing with due to
columists such as the one I sent to you.
Now to your email. I have seen the latest Mears and Wentz paper (to Science), but
am not reviewing it, thank goodness. I am reviewing a couple of papers on extremes,
so that I can refer to them in the chapter for AR4. Somewhat circular, but I kept to
my usual standards.
The Hadley Centre are working on the day/night issue with sondes, but there are
a lot of problems as there are very few sites in the tropics with both and where both
can be distinguished. My own view if that the sondes are overdoing the cooling
wrt MSU4 in the lower stratosphere, and some of this likely (IPCC definition) affects
the upper troposphere as well. Sondes are a mess and the fact you get agreement
with some of them is miraculous. Have you looked at individual sondes, rather than
averages - particularly tropical ones? LKS is good, but the RATPAC update less so.
As for being on the latest VG analysis, Kostya wanted it to use the surface data.
I thought the model comparisons were a useful aside, so agreed. Ben sent me a paper he's
submitted with lots of model comparisons that I also thought a useful addition to
As for resolving all this (as opposed to the dogfight) I'm hoping that CCSP will
come up with something - a compromise. I might be naive in this respect. I hope
you are still emailing and talking to Carl and Frank. How is CCSP going? Are you still
on schedule for end of August for your open review?
What will be interesting is to see how IPCC pans out, as we've been told we can't use
any article that hasn't been submitted by May 31. This date isn't binding, but
Aug 12 is a little more as this is when we must submit our next draft - the one
everybody will be able to get access to and comment upon. The science isn't
going to stop from now until AR4 comes out in early 2007, so we are going to
have to add in relevant new and important papers. I hope it is up to us to decide
what is important and new. So, unless you get something to me soon, it won't
be in this version. It shouldn't matter though, as it will be ridiculous to keep
later drafts without it. We will be open to criticism though with what we do add
in subsequent drafts. Someone is going to check the final version and the
Aug 12 draft. This is partly why I've sent you the rest of this email. IPCC,
me and whoever will get accused of being political, whatever we do. As you
know, I'm not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen,
so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This
isn't being political, it is being selfish.
IPCC stuff ---- just for interest !!!
IPCC ASKED TO COME CLEAN OVER CONTROVERSIAL HOCKEY STICK STUDIES
The Committee on Energy and Commerce, 23 June 2005
Joe Barton, Chairman
U.S. House of Representatives
June 23, 2005
Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
C/O IPCC Secretariat
World Meteorological Organization
7 bis Avenue de La Paix
Ch- 1211 Geneva 2 Switzerland
Dear Chairman Pachauri:
Questions have been raised, according to a February 14, 2005 article in The Wall Street
Journal, about the significance of methodological flaws and data errors in studies by Dr.
Michael Mann and co-authors of the historical record of temperatures and climate change. We
understand that these studies of temperature proxies (tree rings, ice cores, corals, etc.)
formed the basis for a new finding in the 2001 United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR). This finding - that the increase in
20th century northern hemisphere temperatures is "likely to have been the largest of any
century during the past 1,000 years" and that the "1990s was the warmest decade and 1998
the warmest year" - has since been referenced widely and has become a prominent feature of
the public debate surrounding climate change policy.
However, in recent peer-reviewed articles in Science, Geophysical Research Letters, Energy
& Environment, among others, researchers question the results of this work. As these
researchers find, based on the available information, the conclusions concerning
histories - and hence whether warming in the 20th century is actually unprecedented -
supported by the Mann et. al. studies. In addition, we understand from the February 14
and these other reports that researchers have failed to replicate the findings of these
studies, in part because of problems with the underlying data and the calculations used to
reach the conclusions. Questions have also been raised concerning the sharing and
dissemination of the data and methods used to perform the studies. For example, according
to the January 2005
Energy & Environment, the information necessary to replicate the analyses in the studies
has not been made fully available to researchers upon request.
The concerns surrounding these studies reflect upon the quality and transparency of
funded research and of the IPCC review process - two matters of particular interest to the
Committee. For example, one concern relates to whether IPCC review has been sufficiently
and independent. We understand that Dr. Michael Mann, the lead author of the studies in
question, was also a lead author of the IPCC chapter that assessed and reported this very
same work, and that two co-authors of the studies were also contributing authors to the
same chapter. Given the prominence these studies were accorded in the IPCC TAR, we seek to
learn more about the facts and circumstances that led to acceptance and prominent use of
this work in the IPCC TAR and to understand what this controversy indicates about the data
quality of key IPCC studies.
In light of the Committee's jurisdiction over energy policy and certain environmental
in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Committee must have full and accurate information
when considering matters relating to climate change policy. We open this review because the
dispute surrounding these studies bears directly on important questions about the federally
funded work upon which climate studies rely and the quality and transparency of analyses
to support the IPCC assessment process. With the IPCC currently working to produce a fourth
assessment report, addressing questions of quality and transparency in the underlying
supporting that assessment, both scientific and economic, are of utmost importance if
is eventually going to make policy decisions drawing from this work.
To assist us as we begin this review, and pursuant to Rules X and XI of the U.S. House of
Representatives, please provide the following information requested below on or before July
1. Explain the IPCC process for preparing and writing its assessment reports, including,
not limited to:
(a) how referenced studies are reviewed and assessed by the relevant
Working Group; (b) the steps taken by lead authors, reviewers, and others to ensure the
data underlying the studies forming the basis for key findings - particularly proxy and
temperature data - are accurate and up to date; and (c) the IPCC requirements governing
the quality of data used in reports.
2. What specifically did IPCC do to check the quality of the Mann et. al. studies and
underlying data, cited in the TAR? Did IPCC seek to ensure the studies could be
3. What is your position with regard to:
(a) the recent challenges to the quality of the
et. al. data, (b) related questions surrounding the sharing of methods and research for
others to test the validity of these studies, and (c) what this controversy indicates about
the data quality of key IPCC studies?
4. What did IPCC do to ensure the quality of data for other prominent historical
or proxy studies cited in the IPCC, including the Folland et. al. and Jones et. al. studies
that were sources for the graphic accompanying the Mann et. al. graphic in the Summary
for Policy Makers? Are the data and methodologies for such works complete and
available for other researchers to test and replicate?
5. Explain (a) the facts and circumstances by which Dr. Michael Mann served as a lead
author of the very chapter that prominently featured his work and (b) by which his work
became a finding and graphical feature of the TAR Summary for Policymakers.
6. Explain (a) how IPCC ensures objectivity and independence among section contributors
and reviewers, (b) how they are chosen, and (c) how the chapters, summaries, and the full
report are approved and what any such approval signifies about the quality and
acceptance of particular research therein.
7. Identify the people who wrote and reviewed the historical temperature-record portions of
the TAR, particularly Section 2.3, "Is the Recent Warming Unusual?" and explain all
their roles in the preparation of the TAR, including, but not limited to, the specific
in the writing and review process.
8. Given the questions about Mann et. al. data, has the Working Group I or the IPCC made
any changes to specific procedures or policies, including policies for checking the quality
of data, for the forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report? If so, explain in detail any such
changes, and why they were made.
9. Does the IPCC or Working Group I have policies or procedures regarding the disclosure
and dissemination of scientific data referenced in the reports? If so, explain in detail
such policies and what happens when they are violated.
Thank you for your assistance. If you have any questions, please contact Peter Spencer of
the Majority Committee staff at (202)???.
Joe Barton Chairman Chairman
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
The Honorable John Dingell, Ranking Member
The Honorable Bart Stupak, Ranking Member,
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
EDITOR'S NOTE: The House of Representatives has also written to National Science Foundation
Director Arden Bement, Dr. Michael Mann, Dr. Malcolm K. Hughes, and Dr. Raymond S. Bradley,
requesting information regarding their global warming studies; see "Letters Requesting
Information Regarding Global Warming Studies" at
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 ???
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 ???
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email ???@uea.ac.uk
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