Thursday, May 10, 2012


cc: Caspar Ammann <>,,,,,,, Scott Rutherford <>, Tom Wigley <>,,
date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 23:04:43 -0700
from: "Malcolm Hughes" <>
subject: Re: draft
to: "Malcolm Hughes" <>, Keith Briffa <>, Kevin Trenberth <>, "Michael E. Mann" <>

Dear Mike - please find attached a version that now has 763 words in the
body of the text if counted after 'accepting all changes' (your last version had
771). The only substantive difference is in the paragraph on boreholes, where
I really think that the phrase you quote from Pollack et al (1998) in your e-
mail message, and similar phrases in other papers from that group, cannot
fairly be interpreted quite as you have it. They just made one of those
judgements we too have all made about the balance of benefits and
disadvantage of pushing back in time with a particular dataset goven it
limitations. In any case, the paper quoted by SO3 (Huang et al 97) was based
on a somewhat different approach than Huang et al 2000, and we have neither
time nor space to get into that here. It is, I think, important to note that they,
once again, try to make an inappropriate comparison. Hence the words I
propose. I have tried to pare off some words at various points in the draft, for
example, "that follow" after "ensuing" is redundant.
Cheers, Malcolm
> Dear All,
> Attached is a revised version keeping some, but not all, of Malcolm's
> helpful additions on the first paragraph (which address Keith and
> Kevin's concerns), and making the other changes indicated. We're
> presently about 20 words over--they might let us get away w/ that...
> Final comments? A "yes" or "no" from each author on keeping the final
> paragraph intact (or largely getting rid of it) would be very
> helpful...
> Thanks, and sorry for the multiple version. I think we're almost
> there,
> mike
> At 10:36 PM 10/13/2003 -0400, Michael E. Mann wrote:
> Dear All,
> I plan to send out another revised version tomorrow. A few brief
> comments:
> 1) Re boreholes, my apologies. The statement on why the borehole
> estimates are confined to the past 500 years was not made in Huang
> et al (2000), but instead the earlier paper by Pollack et al
> (1998): "The combination of the predominant depth range of
> observations and the characteristic magnitude of noise has led us
> to choose five centuries as the practical interval over which to
> develop climate reconstructions". Will substitute in the correct
> reference, but keep the wording the same...
> 2) Regarding the final paragraph, I've shortened the discussion
> (e.g. removed the bit about the publisher) so as to downplay this,
> but haven't eliminated it all together. We can have an up or down
> vote on whether or not to keep it once we finalize the draft...
> 3) Malcolm's revision of the first paragraph would be great if we
> had 900 words, but we don't. The limit is 750, and they've
> indicated that they will be strict about this. So I'll try to
> reduce Malcolm's additions to one or two summarizing sentences.
> More tomorrow. Thanks,
> mike
> At 06:58 PM 10/13/2003 -0700, Malcolm Hughes wrote:
> <?xml version="1.0"?>
> Dear Mike and all,
> Please find attached some small edits that I propose (MS-Word
> *.doc file with track changes turned on). The first change you
> will find is designed to incorporate and give strong emphasis to
> Keith's very important point about keeping the focus on the
> inadequacies of the SB approach, and their failure to deal with
> our specific criticisms. This is far and away the most important
> point to make. The second main change I suggest concerns the words
> about boreholes. A careful reading for the papers they referred to
> simply does not justify the wording in Mike's most recent draft,
> since Huang, Pollack etc. never say exactly why they stop at 500
> years rather than 400 or 1000. It is, however, the case that the
> Huang et al 1997 paper to which they refer has a multi-century
> hump about a thousand years ago, but it can't be compared with a
> period of 25 or 30 years. I don't see much point in the Folland et
> al citation, because it is not a primary source. Finally, I am in
> two minds about the last paragraph of Mike's draft. On the one
> hand, I understand the need to get the word out about the disquiet
> many feel about the circumstances surrounding publication of the
> SB et al papers, but I also suspect that our scientific arguments
> alone are more than enough to undermine their position. We may, in
> fact, be seen by many colleagues as making an ad hominem attack,
> and so arouse the suspicion that our scientific case is not strong
> enough to stand on its own. I suggest we think carefully before
> proceeding with the last paragraph as it stands. Cheers, Malcolm >
> > Dear All, > > Thanks for all your comments, which are very
> helpful. I've done my > best to address these within the pretty
> tight constraints (750 words) > allotted. We come in now at 746
> words, just inside the strict 750 word > limit that has been
> imposed on us. > > We have 6 references now--I've asked folks at
> AGU if that's ok. > > If people have any final comments on the
> draft, please let me know > ASAP. For those who haven't yet
> responded yet (Malcolm, Ray, Caspar, > Scott, Peck), if you're
> happy w/ it as it currently stands, a simple > "looks good as is
> now, sign my name to it too" would be great. I don't > want to
> sign anyones name to this w/ out some indication of approval. > I
> realize some of you are still travelling and have been unable to >
> respond. I've asked AGU if we can have at least one more week
> before >submitting... > > Thanks again for your continued help, >
> > mike > > At 04:36 PM 10/13/2003 +0100, Keith Briffa wrote: >
> >Mike and all >Hi , just back from a trip and only now catching up
> with important >emails. Given the restricted time and space
> available to furnish a >response to SB comments , I offer the
> following mix of comment and >specific wording changes: > >I agree
> that the S+B response is designed to deflect criticism by
> >confusing the issues rather than answering our points. In fact
> >they fail to address any of the 3 specific issues we raised
> Namely >, 1. the need for critical evaluation of proxy inputs , 2.
> the >need for a consistent assimilation of widespread (dated and
> well >resolved ) records, 3. the essential requirement for
> >objective/quantitative calibration (scaling) of the input records
> >to allow for assessment of the uncertainties when making
> >comparisons of different reconstructions and when comparing early
> >with recent temperatures. Their own , ill-conceived and largely
> >subjective approach did not take account of the uncertainties and
> >problems in the use of palaeodata that they chose to highlight in
> >their opening remarks. I would be in favour of stating something
> >to this effect at the outset of our response. > >Also , as
> regards the tree-ring bit , I fully concur with the >sense of your
> text as regards Section 1, but suggest the following >wording (to
> replace ",rarely for annual ring widths, and almost >entirely at
> higher latitudes.") "but in certain high-latitude >regions only.
> Where this is the case , these relatively recent (ie >post 1950)
> data are not used in calibrating temperature >reconstructions. In
> many other (even high-latitude) areas density >or ring-width
> records display no bias." > >In the spirit of healthy debate - I
> agree with Tim's remarks , >warning against presenting a too
> sanguine impression that the >borehole debate is closed ( though I
> do think it is closing!). I >also believe , as you already know,
> that the use of a recent >padding algorithm to extend smoothed
> data to the present time, is >inappropriate if it assumes the
> continuation of a recent trend. >This is likely to confuse ,
> rather than inform, the wider public >about the current climate
> state . > >Finally , I repeat my earlier remarks (made before EOS
> piece >published) that we are missing an opportunity to say that a
> warm >Medieval period per se is not a refutation of anthropogenic
> >warming , {as its absence is no proof}, if we do not understand
> >the role of specific forcings (natural and anthropogenic) that
> >influenced medieval and current climates. > >Cheers >Keith > >At
> 12:48 PM 10/9/03 -0600, Kevin Trenberth wrote: >Hi all >Here are
> my suggested changes: toned down in several >places.Tracking
> turned on Kevin > >Michael E. Mann wrote: >Dear co-authors, >
> >Attached is a draft response, incorporating suggestions Kevin,
> Tom >W, and Michael. I've aimed to be as brief as possible, but
> hard to >go much lower than 750 words and still address all the
> key issues. >750 words, by the way, is our allotted limit. >
> >Looking forward to any comments. Feel free to send an edited
> >version if you prefer, and I'll try to assimilate all of the
> >suggested edits and suggestions into a single revised draft. If
> >you can get comments to me within the next couple days, that
> would >be very helpful as we're working on a late October deadline
> for >the final version. > >Thanks for your continued help, > >mike
> > >_________________________________________________________
> >_____ >Professor Michael E. Mann >Department of Environmental
> Sciences, Clark Hall >University of Virginia >Charlottesville, VA
> 22903 >_________________________________________________________
> >______________ >e-mail: <
> > Phone: >(434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137
> > > > >--
> >**************** >Kevin E. Trenberthe-mail:
> ><> >Climate Analysis
> Section, >NCAR<>
> >P. O. Box 3000,(303) 497 1318 >Boulder, CO 80307(303) 497 1333
> (fax) > >Street address: 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO 80303
> > >-- >Professor Keith Briffa, >Climatic Research Unit >University
> of East Anglia >Norwich, NR4 7TJ, U.K. > >Phone: +44-1603-593909
> >Fax: +44-1603-507784 >
> > >
> >____________________________________________________________ > __
> > Professor Michael E. Mann > Department of Environmental
> Sciences, Clark Hall > University of Virginia > Charlottesville,
> VA 22903
> >____________________________________________________________
> __________ > _ e-mail: Phone: (434) 924-7770FAX:
> (434) 982-2137
> > - -
> Malcolm K. Hughes Professor of Dendrochronology Laboratory of
> Tree-Ring Research W. Stadium 105 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
> 85721 USA e-mail: telephone: 520-621-6470
> fax:520-621-8229
> _______________________________________________________
> _______
> Professor Michael E. Mann
> Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
> University of Virginia
> Charlottesville, VA 22903
> __________________________________________________________________
> _ ____ e-mail: Phone: (434) 924-7770FAX: (434)
> 982-2137
> ____________________________________________________________
> __
> Professor Michael E. Mann
> Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
> University of Virginia
> Charlottesville, VA 22903
> ______________________________________________________________________
> _ e-mail: Phone: (434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137

Malcolm Hughes
Professor of Dendrochronology
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721
fax 520-621-8229

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