Saturday, April 28, 2012


cc: "Pittock,Barrie" <>, "Whetton, Peter" <>, "Jones, Roger" <>, "Hennessy, Kevin" <>
date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 09:52:38 +1000
from: "Pittock,Barrie" <>
subject: RE: scenario leaflets
to: 'Mike Hulme' <>

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your careful consideration of my "trenchant comments". I
am now much happier with what you are doing, and indeed grateful for
your hard work and enterprise is getting the new scenarios out so
quickly for both IPCC and WWF. Shifting to a one standard deviation is
certainly an improvement, along with some discussion of possible changes
in extremes. I fully appreciate that analysis of daily output is a
time-consuming future task, but meantime an appropriate caveat is
needed. Maybe an additional upfront paragraph discussion of the very
issues we have discussed re providing best estimates of changes, even if
their statistical detectability can only be established after a long
time period has elapsed, would be useful?

I should perhaps explain my delicate position in all this. As a retired
CSIRO person I have somewhat more independence than before, and perhaps
a reduced sense of vested interest in CSIRO, but I am still closely in
touch and supportive of what CAR is doing. Also, I have a son who is now
a leading staff member of WWF in Australia and who is naturally well
informed on climate change issues. Moreover, Michael Rae, who is their
local climate change staffer, is a member of the CSIRO sector advisory
committee (along with some industry people as well) and well known to
me. So I anticipated questions from WWF Australia, and from the media
later when the scenarios are released, regarding the scenarios. I did
not want to be in the position of feeling the need to seriously question
in public their presentation or interpretation. You have allayed my
fears on that score, so that is great.

Roger may still follow up with some more detailed comments he is
collating from people in CAR.

Best regards,


Dr A. Barrie Pittock
Post-Retirement Fellow*, Climate Impact Group
CSIRO Atmospheric Research, PMB 1, Aspendale 3195, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9239 4527, Fax: +61 3 9239 4688, email:

* As from 1 March 1999 I have become a CSIRO Post-Retirement Fellow.
This means I do not have administrative responsibilities, and am
working part-time, primarily on writing for the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change. Please refer any administrative matters or contract
negotiations for the CIG to Dr. Peter Whetton, the new Group Leader, at
<>, tel. +61 3 9239 4535.

"Far better an 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 as cited by R. Lewin, Science 221,636-639.

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