Thursday, May 3, 2012


date: Sat Nov 24 15:43:09 2001
from: Mike Hulme <>
subject: reply
to: "Mark New" <>

Mark, a few quick answers below ........ please do NOT circulate the sensitive comments.
Enjoyed Debbie Hudson's seminar here a week or two back.
At 10:24 13/11/01 +0000, you wrote:

Previous email went before I finished - hit the control-return button by
mistake! So here is the complete email...
Sorry to bother you, I know that you are busy at present.
First, Janice has sent a revised contract with payment mostly in advance -
thanks for OK-ing that.


Second, I see that the "Extremes and Rapid Climate Change" (or similar name)
RP has disappeared from the Tyndall web-site. Does this mean that research
proposals that are related to the extremes stuff you, Tim O and Clair G were
working on are now off the agenda? Richard, Myles Allen and I were thinking
of putting together a proposal that looked at some aspect of extremes, but
if the emphasis is now squarely on integrated assessment and adaptation,
then we wouldn't bother.

extremes has disappeared from the title of R Theme 3, but we recognise their importance re.
adaptation (RT3), the coast (RT4) and incorporated into IAMs (RT1). Thus an interesting
project that directly contributed to one or more of these three Themes/obejctives would be
viable. For high ratings it should hit one or more of the objectives of these Tyndall
themes (document on the web), it should be more than just natural science (i.e.,
trans-disciplinary by design), and should offer options for working across institutions (if
just Oxford, then seek another partner, ideally a Tyndall one - e.g. you could sound out
Tim Osborn and even better get a social scientist involved).
You can float ideas with either Nigel or Neil.

Thirdly, in contrast to my immediate (negative) reaction to your query about
whether I was considering applying for the UKCIP job, I am now thinking
seriously about it. I don't necessarily expect to get the job (indeed I
have heard a rumour that DEFRA are looking to appoint someone from witin
their own ranks). However, depending on what DEFRA want from the program,

not heard that one

getting the job may provide an opportunity to do some innovative stuff in
climate change, especially in moving from impacts studies to adaptation

it would be good, yes

To be candid, I would far prefer a move to the Tyndall Centre, as I think
that there is more scope for doing "science" at Tyndall. However,
opportunities like this are not very frequent and I can't be sure that
anything concrete will materialise at Tyndall.

no, January is the likely time to know about Schellnhuber

Anyway, if I did apply, would you be prepared to be one of my referees? And


do you think that I am being overly hopeful in thinking that there would be
scope for the Director of UKCIP to move the program away from the mundane
cranking of yet more Impact Assessments into more innovative appraoches?

being honest, I doubt it - DEFRA seem to have a fairly tight control on the programme and
one of the weaknesses of stakeholder-led assessments is that there are not very innovative!
- see my initial thoughts about a critique of the UKCIP programme (CONFIDENTIAL PLEASE -
yet I am not sure who else is giving critical f/b to DEFRA so I may develop my ideas at a
later stage).

All for now,
Mark New
School of Geography and the Environment
University of Oxford
Mansfield Road

A Critique of the UK Climate Impacts Programme Approach to Climate Change Assessment
- not developing research capacity; piecemeal approach
- does not stimulate scientific innovation danger is that ignorance is shared rather
than knowledge produced
- integration is soft and superficial rather than hard and embedded
- adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change are separated
- Science Panel has a weak role
- relies upon a strong science base and a strong research capacity
- too much emphasis on stakeholder demands and too little on research needs
- should be very careful about where such a model should be promoted
Its successes are more in the area of communication, outreach, awareness and engagement.

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