date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 08:47:24 +0100
from: Phil Jones <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: RE: Recent climate sceptic research and the journal Climate
to: Barrie.PittockatXYZxyzro.au,m.hulmeatXYZxyz.ac.uk,Barrie.PittockatXYZxyzro.au, mannatXYZxyzginia.edu
My earlier email reply to Neville gives the details of a paper already
out there and two more
planned. It is clear when these come out we have to be more active in
widespread publicity for them (much more than we normally do). At the
extensive paper (with others) in the PAGES volume could be a starting point.
Mike Hulme is moving towards your 3b course of action and I'll talk to
Hans von Storch,
who although he says he's not the Chief Editor is thought of by many to
be this de facto.
3c is possible through contacts we all have with editors at Science and
Nature. I realise
the issues with lobbying groups and I'm sure this has been discussed at
the IPCC planning
meeting in Marrakesh this week.
Let's see how Mike gets on and my talks with Hans (and Tom Crowley)
Have a good Easter break - yesterday was the warmest April day for
in England since records began, the long daily ones (1890s).
At 16:19 17/04/03 +1000, Barrie.PittockatXYZxyzro.au wrote:
>I just want to throw in some thoughts re appropriate responses to all this -
>probably obvious to some of you, but clearly different from some views
>expressed. This is not solely a reply to Phil Jones, as I have read lots of
>other emails today including all those interesting ones from Michael Mann.
>1. I completely understand the frustration by some at having to consider a
>reply to these nonsense papers, and I agree that such replies will not get
>cited much and may in fact draw attention to papers which deserve to be
>2. However, ignoring them can be interpreted as not having an answer, and
>whether we ignore them or not, there are people and lobby groups which will
>push these papers as 'refereed science' which WILL be persuasive to many
>small or large decision-makers who are NOT competent to make their own
>scientific judgements, and some of whom wish the enhanced GH effect would
>turn out to be a myth. In our Australian backwater for example, such papers
>WILL/ARE being copied to business executives and politicians to bolster
>anti-FCCC decisions, and these people do matter. There has to be a
>well-argued and authoritative response, at least for private circulation,
>and as a basis for advice to these decision-makers.
>3. I see several possible courses of action that would be useful.
>(a) Prepare a background briefing document for wide private circulation,
>which refutes the claims and lists competent authorities who might be
>consulted for advice on this issue.
>(b) Ensure that such misleading papers do not continue to appear in the
>offending journals by getting proper scientific standards applied to
>refereeing and editing. Whether that is done publicly or privately may not
>matter so much, as long as it happens. It could be through boycotting the
>journals, but that might leave them even freer to promulgate misinformation.
>To my mind that is not as good as getting the offending editors removed and
>proper processes in place. Pressure or ultimatums to the publishers might
>work, or concerted lobbying by other co-editors or leading authors.
>(c) A journalistic expose of the unscientific practices might work and
>embarass the sceptics/industry lobbies (if they are capable of being
>embarassed) e.g., through a reliable lead reporter for Science or Nature.
>Offending editors could be labelled as "rogue editors", in line with current
>international practice? Or is that defamatory?
>(d) Legal action might be useful for authors who consider themselves
>libelled, and there could be financial support for such actions (Jim
>Salinger might have contacts here). However, we would need to be very
>careful to be moderate and reasonable in our reponses to avoid counter legal
>4. I thoroughly agree that just entering in to a public slanging match with
>the offending authors (or editors for that matter) on a one-to-one basis is
>not the way to go. We need some more concerted action.
>5. One other thought is that it may be worthwhile for some authors to do a
>serious further study to bring out some statistical tests for the likelihood
>of numerous proxy records showing unprecedented synchronous warming in the
>last 30+ years. This could be, somewhat along the lines of the tests used in
>the studies of observed changes in biological and physical systems in the
>TAR WGII report(SPM figure 1 and related text in Chapter 19, and recent
>papers by Parmesan and Yohe (2003) and Root et al. (2003) in Nature 421,
>37-42 and 57-60). Someone may already have this in hand. I am sure the
>evidence is even stronger than for the critters. That is of course what has
>already been done in fingerprinting the actual temperature record.
>Anyway, I am not one of the authors, and too busy (for a retired person), so
>I hope you can collectively get something going which I can support.
>Best regards to all,
>Dr. A. Barrie Pittock
>Post-Retirement Fellow, Climate Impact Group
>CSIRO Atmospheric Research, PMB 1, Aspendale 3195, Australia
>Tel: +613 9239 4527, Fax: +61 3 9239 4688, email: <barrie.pittockatXYZxyzro.au>
>Please Note: Use above address. The old <abp or barrie.pittockatXYZxyz.csiro.au>
>is no longer supported.
>Currently I am working on a couple of books and other writing re climate
>change and science issues. Please refer any matters re the Climate Impact
>Group to Dr. Peter Whetton, Group Leader, at <peter.whettonatXYZxyzro.au>, tel.:
>+61 3 9239 4535. Normally I am in the lab Tuesdays and Thursdays.
>"Far better and approximate answer to the right question which is often
>vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question which can always be made
>precise." J. W. Tukey
>From: Phil Jones [mailto:p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk]
>Sent: Wednesday, 16 April 2003 6:23 PM
>To: Mike Hulme; Barrie.PittockatXYZxyzro.au
>Cc: n.nichollsatXYZxyz.gov.au; Peter.WhettonatXYZxyzro.au;
>Roger.FranceyatXYZxyzro.au; David.EtheridgeatXYZxyzro.au; Ian.SmithatXYZxyzro.au;
>Simon.TorokatXYZxyzro.au; Willem.BoumaatXYZxyzro.au; j.salingeratXYZxyza.com;
>pachauriatXYZxyzi.res.in; Greg.AyersatXYZxyzro.au; Rick.BaileyatXYZxyzro.au;
>Subject: Re: Recent climate sceptic research and the journal Climate
> Dear All,
> There have been a number of emails on these two papers. They are bad.
>I'll be seeing
> Hans von Storch next week and I'll be telling him in person what a
>disservice he's doing
> to the science and the status of Climate Research.
> I've already told Hans I want nothing more to do with the journal. Tom
>Crowley may be
> writing something - find out also next week, but at the EGS last week Ray
> Mann, Malcolm Hughes and others decided it would be best to do nothing.
> that respond to work like this never get cited - a point I'm trying to
>get across to Hans.
> We all have better papers to write than waste our time responding to
>drivel like this.
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 p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk