Wednesday, March 14, 2012


date: Fri Mar 21 15:59:36 2003
from: Tim Osborn <>
subject: Re: Fwd: Soon & Baliunas
to: Tom Crowley <>

Tom - sorry for the delay in replying. I am interested in doing this, and can change the
figure layout. The reason for the slow delay is that I was attempting to estimate
uncertainty ranges on the re-calibrated composite - but haven't succeeded yet! The
difficulty is that I cannot simply combine the published uncertainty ranges under the
assumption that they are independent series - because they have common proxy data in,
especially early on. On the other hand, I cannot simply use the calibration statistics of
the composite to estimate uncertainty ranges, since that ignores the deterioration in
reliability early on that occurs in some of the constituent reconstructions because of
fewer proxy records early on. I'm trying to figure out how to combine the two. Anyway, I
hope to sort this out next week.
Best regards
At 16:04 13/03/03, you wrote:

I like what you have done and do think it could be used in a paper, if we choose to go
ahead with it. I would suggest however that you plot the previously published
reconstructions in dashed lines so that the composite stands out better - you also do
not have a label for the composite. needs to be inserted. can you try a different
color to distinguish the composite from the observations? say brown?
we are now doing simulations back to 8000 BP - would it be possible to obtain your
composite reconstruction to compare with our results? maybe we can do a separate paper
comparing the model with long composite.
regards, Tom

This is an excellent idea, Mike, IN PRINCIPLE at least. In practise, however, it raises
some interesting results (as I have found when attempting this myself) that may be
difficult to avoid getting bogged down with discussing.
The attached .pdf figure shows an example of what I have produced (NB. please don't
circulate this further, as it is from work that is currently being finished off -
however, I'm happy to use it here to illustrate my point).
I took 7 reconstructions and re-calibrated them over a common period and against an
observed target series (in this case, land-only, Apr-Sep, >20N - BUT I GET SIMILAR
RESULTS WITH OTHER CHOICES, and this re-calibration stage is not critical). You will
have seen figures similar to this in stuff Keith and I have published. See the coloured
lines in the attached figure.
In this example I then simply took an unweighted average of the calibrated series, but
the weighted average obtained via an EOF approach can give similar results. The average
is shown by the thin black line (I've ignored the potential problems of series covering
different periods). This was all done with raw, unsmoothed data, even though 30-yr
smoothed curves are plotted in the figure.
The thick black line is what I get when I re-calibrate the average record against my
target observed series. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT. The *re-calibrated* mean of the
reconstructions is nowhere near the mean of the reconstructions. It has enhanced
variability, because averaging the reconstructions results in a redder time series
(there is less common variance between the reconstructions at the higher frequencies
compared with the lower frequencies, so the former averages out to leave a smoother
curve) and the re-calibration is then more of a case of fitting a trend (over my
calibration period 1881-1960) to the observed trend. This results in enhanced
variability, but also enhanced uncertainty (not shown here) due to fewer effective
degrees of freedom during calibration.
Obviously there are questions about observed target series, which series to
include/exclude etc., but the same issue will arise regardless: the analysis will not
likely lie near to the middle of the cloud of published series and explaining the
reasons behind this etc. will obscure the message of a short EOS piece.
It is, of course, interesting - not least for the comparison with borehole-based
estimates - but that is for a separate paper, I think.
My suggestion would be to stick with one of these options:
(i) a single example reconstruction;
(ii) a plot of a cloud of reconstructions;
(iii) a plot of the "envelope" containing the cloud of reconstructions (perhaps also the
envelope would encompass their uncertainty estimates), but without showing the
individual reconstruction best guesses.
How many votes for each?
At 15:32 12/03/03, Michael E. Mann wrote:

p.s. The idea of both a representative time-slice spatial plot emphasizing the spatial
variability of e.g. the MWP or LIA, and an EOF analysis of all the records is a great
idea. I'd like to suggest a small modification of the latter:
I would suggest we show 2 curves, representing the 1st PC of two different groups, one
of empirical reconstructions, the other of model simulations, rather than just one in
the time plot.
Group #1 could include:
1) Crowley & Lowery
2) Mann et al 1999
3) Bradley and Jones 1995
4) Jones et al, 1998
5) Briffa et al 200X? [Keith/Tim to provide their preferred MXD reconstruction]
6) Esper et al [yes, no?--one series that differs from the others won't make much of a
I would suggest we scale the resulting PC to the CRU 1856-1960 annual Northern
Hemisphere mean instrumental record, which should overlap w/ all of the series, and
which pre-dates the MXD decline issue...
Group #2 would include various model simulations using different forcings, and with
slightly different sensitivities. This could include 6 or so simulation results:
1) 3 series from Crowley (2000) [based on different solar/volcanic reconstructions],
2) 2 series from Gerber et al (Bern modeling group result) [based on different assumed
1) Bauer et al series (Claussen group EMIC result) [includes 19th/20th century land use
changes as a forcing].
I would suggest that the model's 20th century mean is aligned with the 20th century
instrumental N.Hem mean for comparison (since this is when we know the forcings best).
I'd like to nominate Scott R. as the collector of the time series and the performer of
the EOF analyses, scaling, and plotting, since Scott already has many of the series and
many of the appropriate analysis and plotting tools set up to do this.
We could each send our preferred versions of our respective time series to Scott as an
ascii attachment, etc.
thoughts, comments?
At 10:08 AM 3/12/2003 -0500, Michael E. Mann wrote:

Thanks Tom,
Either would be good, but Eos is an especially good idea. Both Ellen M-T and Keith
Alverson are on the editorial board there, so I think there would be some receptiveness
to such a submission.t
I see this as complementary to other pieces that we have written or are currently
writing (e.g. a review that Ray, Malcolm, and Henry Diaz are doing for Science on the
MWP) and this should proceed entirely independently of that.
If there is group interest in taking this tack, I'd be happy to contact Ellen/Keith
about the potential interest in Eos, or I'd be happy to let Tom or Phil to take the lead
At 09:15 AM 3/12/2003 -0500, Tom Crowley wrote:

Phil et al,
I suggest either BAMS or Eos - the latter would probably be better because it is
shorter, quicker, has a wide distribution, and all the points that need to be made have
been made before.
rather than dwelling on Soon and Baliunas I think the message should be pointedly made
against all of the standard claptrap being dredged up.
I suggest two figures- one on time series and another showing the spatial array of
temperatures at one point in the Middle Ages. I produced a few of those for the Ambio
paper but already have one ready for the Greenland settlement period 965-995 showing the
regional nature of the warmth in that figure. we could add a few new sites to it, but
if people think otherwise we could of course go in some other direction.
rather than getting into the delicate question of which paleo reconstruction to use I
suggest that we show a time series that is an eof of the different reconstructions - one
that emphasizes the commonality of the message.

Dear All,
I agree with all the points being made and the multi-authored article would be a
good idea,
but how do we go about not letting it get buried somewhere. Can we not address the
misconceptions by finally coming up with definitive dates for the LIA and MWP and
redefining what we think the terms really mean? With all of us and more on the paper,
it should
carry a lot of weight. In a way we will be setting the agenda for what should be being
over the next few years.
We do want a reputable journal but is The Holocene the right vehicle. It is
probably the
best of its class of journals out there. Mike and I were asked to write an article for
the EGS
journal of Surveys of Geophysics. You've not heard of this - few have, so we declined.
it got me thinking that we could try for Reviews of Geophysics. Need to contact the
board to see if this might be possible. Just a thought, but it certainly has a high
What we want to write is NOT the scholarly review a la Jean Grove (bless her soul)
just reviews but doesn't come to anything firm. We want a critical review that enables
agendas to be set. Ray's recent multi-authored piece goes a lot of the way so we need
to build on this.
At 12:55 11/03/03 -0500, Michael E. Mann wrote:

HI Malcolm,
Thanks for the feedback--I largely concur. I do, though, think there is a particular
problem with "Climate Research". This is where my colleague Pat Michaels now publishes
exclusively, and his two closest colleagues are on the editorial board and review editor
board. So I promise you, we'll see more of this there, and I personally think there *is*
a bigger problem with the "messenger" in this case...
But the Soon and Baliunas paper is its own, separate issue too. I too like Tom's latter
idea, of a more hefty multi-authored piece in an appropriate journal (Paleoceanography?
Holocene?) that seeks to correct a number of misconceptions out there, perhaps using
Baliunas and Soon as a case study ('poster child'?), but taking on a slightly greater
territory too.
Question is, who would take the lead role. I *know* we're all very busy,
At 10:28 AM 3/11/03 -0700, Malcolm Hughes wrote:

I'm with Tom on this. In a way it comes back to a rant of mine
to which some of you have already been victim. The general
point is that there are two arms of climatology:
neoclimatology - what you do based on instrumental records
and direct, systematic observations in networks - all set in a
very Late Holocene/Anthropocene time with hourly to decadal
paleoclimatology - stuff from rocks, etc., where major changes
in the Earth system, including its climate, associated with
major changes in boundary conditions, may be detected by
examination of one or a handful of paleo records.
Between these two is what we do - "mesoclimatology" -
dealing with many of the same phenomena as neoclimatology,
using documentary and natural archives to look at phenomena
on interannual to millennial time scales. Given relatively small
changes in boundary conditions (until the last couple of
centuries), mesoclimatology has to work in a way that is very
similar to neoclimatology. Most notably, it depends on heavily
replicated networks of precisely dated records capable of
being either calibrated, or whose relationship to climate may
be modeled accuarately and precisely.
Because this distinction is not recognized by many (e.g.
Sonnechkin, Broecker, Karlen) we see an accumulation of
misguided attempts at describing the climate of recent
millennia. It would be better to head this off in general, rather
than draw attention to a bad paper. After all, as Tom rightly
says, we could all nominate really bad papers that have been
published in journals of outstanding reputation (although there
could well be differences between our lists).
End of rant, Cheers, Malcolm

Hi guys,
junk gets published in lots of places. I think that what could be
done is a short reply to the authors in Climate Research OR a SLIGHTLY
longer note in a reputable journal entitled something like "Continuing
Misconceptions About interpretation of past climate change." I kind
of like the more pointed character of the latter and submitting it as
a short note with a group authorship carries a heft that a reply to a
paper, in no matter what journal, does not.
> Dear All,
> Apologies for sending this again. I was expecting a stack of
>emails this morning in
> response, but I inadvertently left Mike off (mistake in pasting)
>and picked up Tom's old
> address. Tom is busy though with another offspring !
> I looked briefly at the paper last night and it is appalling -
>worst word I can think of today
> without the mood pepper appearing on the email ! I'll have time to
>read more at the weekend
> as I'm coming to the US for the DoE CCPP meeting at Charleston.
>Added Ed, Peck and Keith A.

> > onto this list as well. I would like to have time to rise to the

>bait, but I have so much else on at
> the moment. As a few of us will be at the EGS/AGU meet in Nice, we
>should consider what
> to do there.
> The phrasing of the questions at the start of the paper
>determine the answer they get. They
> have no idea what multiproxy averaging does. By their logic, I
>could argue 1998 wasn't the
> warmest year globally, because it wasn't the warmest everywhere.
>With their LIA being 1300-
>1900 and their MWP 800-1300, there appears (at my quick first
>reading) no discussion of
> synchroneity of the cool/warm periods. Even with the instrumental
>record, the early and late
> 20th century warming periods are only significant locally at
>between 10-20% of grid boxes.
> Writing this I am becoming more convinced we should do
>something - even if this is just
> to state once and for all what we mean by the LIA and MWP. I think
>the skeptics will use
> this paper to their own ends and it will set paleo back a number of
>years if it goes
> unchallenged.
> I will be emailing the journal to tell them I'm having
>nothing more to do with it until they
> rid themselves of this troublesome editor. A CRU person is on the
>editorial board, but papers
> get dealt with by the editor assigned by Hans von Storch.
> Cheers
> Phil
> Dear all,
> Tim Osborn has just come across this. Best to ignore
>probably, so don't let it spoil your
> day. I've not looked at it yet. It results from this journal
>having a number of editors. The
> responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let
>a few papers through by
> Michaels and Gray in the past. I've had words with Hans von Storch
>about this, but got nowhere.
> Another thing to discuss in Nice !
> Cheers
> Phil
>>X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 5.1
>>Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 14:32:14 +0000
>>To: p.jones@uea
>>From: Tim Osborn <>
>>Subject: Soon & Baliunas
>>Dr Timothy J Osborn | phone: +44 1603 592089
>>Senior Research Associate | fax: +44 1603 507784
>>Climatic Research Unit | e-mail:
>>School of Environmental Sciences | web-site: University of East
>>Anglia __________| [1] Norwich NR4
>>7TJ | sunclock: 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
>Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:Soon & Baliunas 2003.pdf (PDF
>/CARO) (00016021)
Thomas J. Crowley
Nicholas Professor of Earth Systems Science
Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences
Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
Box 90227
103 Old Chem Building Duke University
Durham, NC 27708
919-684-5833 fax

Malcolm Hughes
Professor of Dendrochronology
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721
fax 520-621-8229

Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
e-mail: Phone: (434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137

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
UK ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thomas J. Crowley
Nicholas Professor of Earth Systems Science
Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences
Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
Box 90227
103 Old Chem Building Duke University
Durham, NC 27708
919-684-5833 fax

Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
e-mail: Phone: (434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137

Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
e-mail: Phone: (434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137

Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:synth1.pdf (PDF /CARO) (00016141)
Dr Timothy J Osborn | phone: +44 1603 592089
Senior Research Associate | fax: +44 1603 507784
Climatic Research Unit | e-mail:
School of Environmental Sciences | web-site:
University of East Anglia __________| [6]
Norwich NR4 7TJ | sunclock:
UK | [7]

Thomas J. Crowley
Nicholas Professor of Earth Systems Science
Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences
Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
Box 90227
103 Old Chem Building Duke University
Durham, NC 27708
919-684-5833 fax

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