Saturday, March 31, 2012


date: Wed, 2 May 2007 11:56:26 -0400
from: John Milliman <>
subject: Re: Decision from Science
to: Phil Jones <>

Thanks, Phil, for the reply - and for the IPCC write-ups. You seem to travel more
than even I do.

The e-mail just sent to Jesse Smith at Science, I think, speaks about my increasing
disregard for the Milly paper. If anyone ever wants evidence about the luck of the draw in
reviewers, one only has to look at the Milly et al. paper published in Nature and the
Milliman et al. paper rejected by Science.

On the other hand, Jesse Smith clearly likes the paper, saying that he would like
to use it in Editors Choice one it is published.

Right now Kevin Xu (with whom I have been talking this morning) are leaning towards
GRL. We may the luxury of adding another figure - apparently, as you have noted, papers
can go onto a fifth, sometimes even a sixth, page. If there were to be a new figure, I
can always pull up (and modify) the seasonal plots that we (ultimately) decided not to
include in the Science ms. That shows pretty clearly the disconnect between seasonal pptn
and runoff trends. Many of the other comments by the reviewers are either easily addressed
or off the mark.

Katie, Larry, if you could weigh in on any other comments - or responses - to the
reviews, that would be great. I would like to get this thing off my desk within the next
week or so. Just to keep you up to date, we presently have 135 rivers in our data base
with the hope of expanding it by several more (e.g., we may have a full 50 yrs now for the
Amur, and there are 45 years for a river in the Philippines).

What do you all think about changing the size of our symbols in Fig. 1, as
suggested by the one reviewer? I note that Milly et al. also used different sizes for
their symbols, which the reviewer obviously had not problem with....

On looking at the ms again - and, of course, the figures - do any of you have any
other comments or suggestions?

Best wishes,


Off on travels for the next 10 days, so a brief reply. The path of least
resistance is likely GRL, but to say a little more JGR would be better,
then you're not constrained by the 4 page length (although it seems
most GRL papers now go onto 5 pp).
At the end of my message, I've put in the link to the AR4 chapters of
IPCC, which can now be downloaded. Of particular interest is Ch 3 and 4.
Ch3 is quite large, so takes a while to download. Ch4 has some
discussion of permafrost which may be relevant to include.
Ch3 has a Figure (3.14) which shows large-scale comparisons (largish
regions, which aren't that great climatically) between GHCN and CRU.
For almost all of them the two datasets agree amazingly well.
This Figure will help you deal with the comments from Rev 2 (#3). The
figure does exactly what the reviewer wants. The reviewer doesn't know
what they are talking about on this issue, by the way! GHCN does do
homogeneity checks on the precip time series, but the density in most
regions of the world is inadequate to make any reliable adjustments.
The adjustments tend to cancel out if you looked at GHCN unadjusted cf
the adjusted dataset. So that is that one dealt with. Why people think GHCN
is better is beyond me. Much of their data in many developing parts of
the world comes from CRU !! Must be a US reviewer!!
The Milly paper point has to be dealt with, as you've said.
Adding the seasonal analyses will address Rev 2's #4. Winter precip in the
arctic is relatively small (provided it is measured OK), so showing this would
be important. Winter's are long in the Arctic, so the choice of seasons to do
any analysis over are important. Arctic runoff in winter in pretty constrained,
as it is flow under the ice. It could be that when freeze-over occurs it is at
higher levels recently, so the area under the ice at the gauging station is
larger. If the level of freezeover is the same, then volume underneath is
the same, so the flow can't go above a certain limit. The thoughts in this

para may be rubbish, but I've always wondered about winter flow under the
Rev 3 didn't say much !
Rev 1 looks at though it might be Rob Wilby here in the UK. Can't think why
anyone would refer to his paper in GRL.? Again these comments refer to Milly,
so there needs to be some reconciliation of the trends some people have got
in many of the rivers.
Hope these comments useful. The references to the CRU dataset annoyed me,
but I've calmed down now.
Might have some email when away, but back May 14.
Dear Authors and Review Editors
We are very pleased to be able to tell you that the final checks and layout corrections
to our SPM, TS and Chapters are now complete. As a result we are making the final
versions of the Preface, SPM, TS, all Chapters, and Annexes (Glossary, List of authors,
List of reviewers, List of acronyms) publicly available from the WG1 home page ( ) today. The supplementary material (for those chapters that
have it) is nearly complete and will be added shortly.
You are of course very welcome to use and now distribute any of this material. In some
cases figures have been adjusted slightly here by our graphics designer and we intend to
create separate Powerpoint files soon with the final figures from each chapter as a
convenient resource for your use as well.
An index is being prepared by a professional indexer; we still need a Foreword from the
Secretariat; and we are discussing the cover layout with CUP. A complete package should
go to CUP for publication on May 7 as planned and when we know what the book printing
schedule is likely to be we will let you know.
We cannot easily communicate the sense of accomplishment that this brings. We are
extremely grateful for all your hard work that has created a superb report and one that
we truly believe now sets a higher standard for all future assessments.
Thanks and best regards from
Susan, Martin, Melinda M, Kristen, Melinda T, and Roy (IPCC WG1 West)
Dahe and Zhenlin (IPCC WG1 East)
Recommended Email address:
Dr Martin R Manning, Director, IPCC WG I Support Unit
NOAA, Earth System Research Laboratory Phone: +1 303 497 4479
325 Broadway, R/CSD 2 Fax: +1 303 497 5628
Boulder, CO 80305, USA
Wg1-ar4-las mailing list
At 20:12 01/05/2007, Larry Smith wrote:

Sorry John. It's your call, of course - but the path of least resistance would seem to
be GRL or another short-format journal. best, Larry
On Tue, 1 May 2007, John Milliman wrote:

Well, after 76 days - count them - Science finally came back with two reviews,
neither of which was particularly favorable. In fact, other than the fact that both
pointed out us/me missing the Milly (2005) paper, it does not look to me that either
reviewer really read the paper very thoroughly: some of their questions are actually
answered if they only searched a bit further. Both reviewers, however, were tardy, no
doubt requiring more than one reminder from Science, suggesting (to me) that they
probably ultimately rushed their readings of the paper.
As you might expect, however, this is not the end of the line for me. But I do
need to sit down and think about the next approach. Some of the reviewers' questions
really reflect the concise nature that the paper had to be in order to be considered for
Science. The seasonal change in pptn vs discharge, as you may remember, is something
that we decided not to include, even though it showed exactly what we said in the ms.
Clearly I need to go back and read the Milly paper. But I also need to think
about whether we stick with a shorter ms for GRL, or expand it a bit and try for another
Any suggestions, comments?

Ref: 1141378
Dear Dr. Milliman:
Thank you for submitting your manuscript "Climatic and Anthropogenic Factors Affecting
River Discharge To The Global Ocean, 1951-2000." We have now received the detailed
reviews of your paper. Unfortunately they are not positive enough to support
publication of the paper in Science. Although we recognize that you could likely address
many of these specific criticisms in a revised manuscript, the overall nature of the
reviews is such that the paper would not be able to compete for our limited space. We
hope that you find the comments helpful in preparing the manuscript for submission to
another journal.

We would appreciate it if you would let us know before its publication when and where
the paper is to appear, so that it can be nominated as an "Editor's Choice" feature in
We are grateful that you gave Science the opportunity to consider your work.
Jesse Smith, Ph.D.
Senior Editor

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

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