Sunday, March 25, 2012


date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 13:52:37 +0100
from: Rob Wilson <>
subject: NERC Consortium grant
to: "Rosanne D'Arrigo" <>, Edward Cook <>, Phil Jones <>,, Sandy Tudhope <>

Hi Ed, Rosanne and Jonathan,
Earlier this week we had our first consortium meeting to bash out a more
clear vision for the consortium proposal.
A schematic of what was decided is attached along with the original 2 pager.
Whether this is clearer than the 2 pager, I am not so sure.

Anyway, Phil is leading the Observational/Proxy Workpackage, although
this is divided into different obs/proxy sub-sets lead by different
specialists in each relevant field. I am supposed to be in charge of the

The project, although with still a focus on the Tropics and Southern
Hemisphere also has a full global focus as well. The main phenomena that
will be studied are ENSO, ITCZ movements, SAM, Monsoon and the Little
Ice Age. The latter LIA focus being driven by carbon cycle issues that
Peter Cox wants to push.

We have until October 19th to draft some initial text for each work
package and so this e-mail is essentially a heads up for us to start
discussion about what possible things would be feasible/desirable from a
dendro point of view.

As this is a Consortium bid and we will have many project partners, we
need to ensure that the project is integrated between work packages and

As I see it:
1. ENSO - driven from coral records (old and new) and TEXMEX trees,
although if new tree-ring records (mainland Oz, New Zealand, Indonesia,
South Amercia etc) could help, then it is may be possible to write in
for funds for sampling new areas.

2. ITCZ - corals and non-annual lake sediment work. I doubt trees will
help with this.

3. SAM - trees from South America, New Zealand and Tassy, along with ice
core data (old and new).

4. Monsoon - I guess you guys are the specialists in this already. Did
you have a modelling component in your NSF project already? If not, then
this would be one area where the NERC proposal could be mutually beneficial.

5. LIA - essentially, we are looking at yet another large scale
temperature reconstruction. Peter Cox used the Moberg recon for his
analysis, but we need to be careful as Dave Frank's ensemble recon paper
may make this analysis defunct. Keith and Tom are already funded through
NERC to re-process NH tree-ring data and this could be expanded to cover
all relevant data around the world. We are also not restricting
ourselves to just temperature, so study hydroclimatic changes during the
LIA and after will also be important and so the drought atlas (US, EURO
etc) work will also be important here as well.

anyway - focusing on the above, I wonder if we could bounce around ideas
about what would be needed to expand the current data-sets to enable us
to better reconstruct/understand these phenomena.

I will e-mail Ricardo and Antonio separately, but focusing on New
Zealand and Australia and the Indo-Pacific region, what obviously
improvements can be made?

Ultimately, we want to derive 500-yr long climatically sensitive
tree-ring chronologies for as many locations in the tropics and southern
hemisphere as possible. Length should not be too much of a problem, but
currently, the parameter of choice is ring-width. Is it worth
considering other parameters like MXD or blue intensity that could help
boost r2 values.

Is this an opportunity to update networks to present in some regions
(e.g. Tasmania?)

Notice also on the right side of the figure we have Tom Melvin's name
against tree modelling. This essentially is focussing on forward
mechanistic modelling of trees. This might not be so important for those
chronologies that show a reasonable linear relationships with climate,
but for those species with a more complex response with climate (i.e.
non Huon pine species in Tasmania), such growth modelling may allow us
to invert such models to recreate tree-growth using climate model output
etc etc.

This e-mail is getting rather long, so I will hold off for now.
However, any ideas and feedback would be very welcome at this
pre-writing stage.
Remember, that we are looking for work for both post-docs and post-grads

regards to all

Dr. Rob Wilson
Lecturer in Physical Geography
School of Geography & Geosciences
University of St Andrews
St Andrews. FIFE
KY16 9AL
Scotland. U.K.
Tel: +44 01334 463914
Fax: +44 01334 463949

".....I have wondered about trees.

They are sensitive to light, to moisture, to wind, to pressure.
Sensitivity implies sensation. Might a man feel into the soul of a tree
for these sensations? If a tree were capable of awareness, this faculty
might prove useful. "

"The Miracle Workers" by Jack Vance


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