Friday, December 30, 2011


cc: Stefan Rahmstorf <>,, Malcolm Hughes <>, "Raymond S. Bradley" <>, Caspar Ammann <>, Gavin Schmidt <>, Keith Briffa <>, Jonathan Overpeck <>,
date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 17:10:47 +0100
from: Heinz Wanner <>
subject: Our article in QSR

Dear Mike,

back from the AGU in S.F. I found your comment about our short QSR article.
I tried to understand your concern, and I think I can do it. Let me tell
first that I always supported the MBH 98 and your other publications in
their general statements even I always warned my students about the problem
of a precise estimation of the amplitudes. I also often defended your work
in European newspapers and in TV interviews and always said that human
influence is crucial and greenhouse gas concentrations grow. I very often
argued with your, Jim Hansens and others stuff and fought with sceptics
directly. I always voted in the way that we will get hundreds of new
reconstructions but no change of the general structure and statements. I
also had discussions with Hans von Storch because, in my view, he pushes
the adaptation part too much (and does in fact not think about the poor
populated areas like Bangladesh who have no penny to do adaptation!).

There is a minor difference between our argumentation which is reflected in
the last sentence of our article. Let me try to explain what this
difference is:

First of all, many European colleagues have the chance to talk with
ministers, parliament members and directors of federal agencies directly.
Secondly, we often have open discussions with greenhouse gas sceptics where
we only have a chance if we are strict and precise, but also critical
against our methods and findings. Thirdly, and that is probably the most
important statement, we got a terrible warning shot across the bows in
Europe with the whole debate on forest decline in the 1980s. Almost all
forecasts were wrong. Therefore, I am very careful with my statements, and
this last sentence was a statement showing that we have to be critical with
the assessment of our methodological instruments. When talking with
ministers (and I know our president very well) I am also open minded in the
way that I show them that temperature is steadily rising, mostly induced by
daily increasing greenhouse gas emissions. But we have to take in mind that
this temperature trend, linear or not, is clearly superimposed with
possible decadal oscillators (e.g., in Europe by NAO /AMO processes). What
happens with the public opinion if we get another ten cold winters or our
temperature estimates of the past get a slight correction? I am convinced
that the way we actually go is quite successful. Also realize that we set
up a national platform on our academy of sciences which informs policy and
industry and organizes one luncheon talk on climate change issues for
ministers and parliament members given by important scientists during each
parliament session. That is quite successful.

Finally, I think our standpoints are not far away. I only believe that our
freedom to talk directly with the responsible politicians gives us the
opportunity to express our position in an extremely open way. Therefore, it
could be that I would not have supported to write such a sentence when
living in a very big country not having our chances to talk with opinion
leaders. Anyway, I do not have the feeling that we are not travelling in
the same ship or that we fight in different armies, on the contrary!

Merry Christmas, Heinz

Dr. Heinz Wanner, Prof., Director of NCCR
(National Center of Competence in Research in Climate)

Office Institute of Geography: Office NCCR Climate:

Institute of Geography NCCR Climate
Climatology and Meteorology Management Center
Hallerstrasse 12 Erlachstrasse 9a
CH-3012 Bern CH-3012 Bern

Phone +41 (0)31 631 8885 Phone +41 (0)31 631 3160
Fax +41 (0)31 631 8511 Fax +41 (0)31 631 4383


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