Tuesday, April 10, 2012


date: Mon Oct 20 14:09:27 2008
from: Phil Jones <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Re: [Env.faculty] New climate degree title
to: "Alan Kendall" <A.KendallatXYZxyz.ac.uk>

It would be unfair to get involved in a bit with you, as I know
a couple of things you don't.
1. The Arctic issue. We're getting SST data in from ships travelling around
in regions where we haven't had any data from for the 1961-90 base period.
We're still figuring out how to use these. However we do it, it will only
raise temperatures.
2. SST is being measured differently now than it was in the 1980s. Before
about 1990 it was almost exclusively from ships. Automatic instruments called
drifters began to be deployed (by both research and some merchant ships). They
do what the name implies - drift around - and send SST an sea-level pressure
measurements back to ground stations by satellites. They work for a few years
till they pack up or get beached. The issue is that they now (2008) form about
85% of the SST data coming in. With now about 15 years of overlap, we are
learning that their SST measurements are about 0.1 deg C cooler than the ships -
probably because on average they measure at slightly different depths than
the ships. Any way the 1961-90 base period is a ship-based base period,
so when the adjustments have been completed we will likely raise SST values
by about 0.1 deg C now, reducing to zero gradually back to the mid-1990s. This
type of adjustment has to be made, and it can only be made in retrospect. How
the temperature is measured is as important as the temperature value itself.
The drifters are giving us much better spatial coverage - especially the Southern Oceans.
We will probably have to revise our 1961-90 averages for these regions, now we
have many more observations for them - not just drifters but satellite estimates as well.
I discussed this issue in my lectures to the MSc students last week. There will
be a paper submitted on the work in the spring. Land data are unaffected.
Measuring surface temperature is not as easy it may appear.
At 10:55 20/10/2008, you wrote:

Dear all, I don't intend to get into a debate about this (my suggestion was made
primarily on the basis that climate changes are different in varied parts of the Earth)
but Phil's disparaging comment about "a few Russian mavericks" denies the existence of
almost an entire group of specialists worldwide - the solar physicists - who seem to
have had a particularly rough time in recent years - being demonized by AGW advocates
for their views about climate that fly counter to the "IPCC consensus".

I've offered my opinion on the degree title: but I won't be teaching on it and its
really up to those who will contribute to decide (with advice from Admissions). The
important thing is to get a degree proposal out there now and not be pipped to the post
by someone else.


PS Phil, I'd be willing to make a small bet with you that over the next 5 years we will
have increasing evidence of a cooling - with the PDO entered into a cool phase; cycle 24
of the Sun still not officially arriving yet and increasing "Earthshine" I think I would
be onto a winner. But then I'm probably a maverick! Shall we say �100 or a really good
bottle of wine ?

----- Original Message -----
From: [1]Phil Jones
To: [2]Alan Kendall ; [3]Burgess Jacquelin Prof (ENV) ; [4]env.faculty@uea.ac.uk
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: [Env.faculty] New climate degree title
The title Climate Change (no plural) is fine. It is only a few Russian mavericks,
seem to think we are heading for cooling. If the Russian govt thought this why did
bother putting a flag at the bottom of the Arctic under the North Pole!
The Telegraph story below is as usual over the top with refugees fleeing into
Antarctic, but the Arctic is very warm at the moment.
Arctic air temperature at record high due to sea ice loss
By Paul Eccleston
Last Updated: 4:01pm BST 17/10/2008
The continuing loss of sea ice has pushed the air temperature in the Arctic to a
record high above normal, scientists have revealed.
Arctic ice melting 'faster than predicted'
Antarctic 'not as warm as feared'
Climate change study predicts refugees fleeing into Antarctica
Less summer ice - which deflects solar radiation - has resulted in a rise in both
the ocean and atmospheric temperature.

A boat skims through melting ice on the west coast of Greenland
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says autumn air
temperatures in the region are at a record 5�C (9�F) above average.
The annual NOAA report, which monitors climate change, said there has been a
near-record loss of summer sea ice, though not as much as last year which was the
warmest on record for the Arctic, continuing a trend that began in the mid-1960s.
They also report a loss of surface ice in Greenland.
Increased temperatures have an impact on both land and marine creatures and are
likely to result in even less ice next year, the report says.
James Overland, an oceanographer at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
in Seattle and a lead author of the report, said: "Changes in the Arctic show a
domino effect from multiple causes more clearly than in other regions.
"It's a sensitive system and often reflects changes in relatively fast and dramatic
In 2006 the NOAA's Climate Program Office set up the Arctic Report Card as a means
of monitoring changes in the Arctic atmosphere, sea ice, biology, ocean, land and
This year three of the six areas - atmosphere, sea ice, and Greenland - are coded
red indicating that the changes are strongly attributed to warming. Biology, ocean
and land are coded yellow, indicating mixed signals. In 2007 there were two red
areas, atmosphere and sea ice, and four coded yellow.
The report's chief editor Jackie Richter-Menge of the US Army Corps of Engineers
(USACE) Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, said: "The information
combines to tell a story of widespread and, in some cases, dramatic effects of an
overall warming of the Arctic system."
Researchers at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, part of the University of
Colorado, reported last month that Arctic sea ice melted to its second-lowest level
this summer. They said it is now 34 per cent below the long-term average from 1979
to 2000 but nine per cent above the record low set in 2007.
Professor Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University and head
of the Polar Physics Group, said the air temperature on the Arctic coastline would
normally be 0�C but this year and last year a larger area of water - where summer
ice had disappeared - had led to a rise.
"This temperature anomaly has also extended 1,000 kilometres inland towards the
coasts of Alaska and Siberia and is causing the permafrost to melt and methane
stored in it to leak," he said.
"The warmer temperatures will also take longer to dissipate, the autumn freeze will
take longer, meaning thinner ice. There is always a fluctuation in the thickness of
the ice year on year and the loss this year wasn't as extreme as last year - but it
was almost.
"We have got to a tipping point where the breakdown of ice will lead to it
disappearing altogether in the summer."
Prof Wadhams said changes brought by a warmer climate were happening across the
globe at all latitudes but could be most clearly seen in the Arctic.
"Satellite pictures clearly show the open water where ice used to be. It is the most
obvious example of climate change in action which is changing the appearance of the
planet," he said.
Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Media Group
Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full
copyright statement see Copyright
At 08:36 20/10/2008, Alan Kendall wrote:

Might I suggest that the degree title be Climate Changes. This would reflect that
different regions of the Earth suffer very different types of change and also would
hedge bets (if the Russians are correct and we are heading towards a long phase of
climate cooling).

May I also suggest that we consult more with DEV in that they have staff already in
place (and may have additional recruitment) in this subject and could add a
developing world perspective?


----- Original Message -----

From: [6]Burgess Jacquelin Prof (ENV)
To: [7]env.faculty@uea.ac.uk
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 3:50 PM
Subject: [Env.faculty] New climate degree title
In the School Board discussions on Wednesday, there was general support for a
new Climate BSc/MSci - but the question of what specifically it should be
called was not properly discussed as we ran out of time.

From the financial perspective, Climate and Society isnt sensible, as it is
likely to end up in the mixed subject category like EGID which means less
money per student.

We would want to allow students to specialise in the science or the policy end
of things if they wish. But to understand climate change, students coming
from a hard science perspective need also to gain some understanding of the
social, political and ethical issues behind climate change. And students
coming from a softer starting point need to understand enough of the
principles of the atmospheric and ocean physics and biogeochemistry to be able
to base policy advice firmly on the science base. This leads us to conclude
that a single title - Climate Change - with a narrative in the prospectus and
a presentation at the open days that makes clear that we cover both ends of
the spectrum, with scope to specialise in either or remain broad. With the
two titles currently proposed, we can see a real danger of attracting the
relatively small subset of applicants who see themselves as hard line
scientists; a larger group of applicants looking for a climate studies type of
degree, and miss the people in between who form the bulk of the ones we want
to attract (the hard science applicants are really important, but are a

The degree title is partly a marketing tool to get applicants to look at the
prospectus and see the detail of what is on offer; partly a lever to land a
job after graduating. Climate Change will probably make most sense to
informed 18 year olds and to their potential employers.

As we need to tell Admissions very soon what we want to do for the 2009
prospectus, could you please let Chris Flack know, by the end of Tuesday
(21st) if this proposal is *not* acceptable to you.

Jacquie and Alastair

Env.faculty mailing list

Env.faculty mailing list
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

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

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