Thursday, May 17, 2012


date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 12:12:53 +0100
from: "Langenberg, Heike" <>
subject: Nature: quick request for advice (S07368)
to: "''" <>

Dear Dr Osborn,

I am writing to you in the hope that you may provide some informal advice on
a paper which has been recently submitted to Nature. This is just an initial
enquiry, so that we may try to assess the wider appeal of the paper, before
me make a decision whether to send the paper out for a full review - please
do not provide a full report at the present stage. The paper's title is

" A Dansgaard/Oeschger climate cycle in the North Pacific during the
past millennium", by Lowell Stott and Donn Gorsline.

Basically the authors present a record of oxygen and carbon isotopic
compositions of a benthic foraminifer from the Santa Barbara and Santa
Monica basins off California, covering the past 400 years. They find a trend
in delta 13 C, interpreted as a parallel to D/O events in the earlier
record, and warming trend (from delta 18 O) over ~ the last 300 years, with
some acceleration at about 1900. They conclude that the 20th century warming
trend is (at least to some extent) part of much longer-term trend, within a
millenial scale oscillation. My concerns regarding the paper lie with the
question of novelty, given that it seems that tree-ring records and borehole
data already seem to have come to the conclusions that the recent warming
started before anthropogenic greenhouse gases accumulated in the atmosphere
(e.g. Esper et al. in Science, and the work by Pollack). However, previous
records seem to be mostly land-based and I am not sure how much we know
about oceanic settings at this stage.

Therefore, I was wondering if you could comment on the current state of
affairs with respect to our understanding of climate evolution over the past
400 years, on land and in the ocean. Would this paper cause us to change our
view of oceanic climate change? The authors also claim to have evidence for
a D/O event and millenial scale variability in their record, but I must say
that I am rather skeptical about these inferences, given that the D/O event
does not seem to be complete, and that a 400-year record would seem rather
too short to infer millenial scale variability. I would, however,
appreciate it if you could briefly comment on these aspects as well (if you
feel that this also lies within your expertise).

I have included a .pdf version of the manuscript with this email (readable
with Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free via the Internet at ), to let you glance
at the paper in more detail if you wish - often a general impression can be
gained from the first papragraph - and I'd be grateful for any comment,
short or long, you may be able give on this topic. Or if you are not able to
comment at this time, please could you give suggestions of other possible
experts in the field.

Thank you, and we appreciate any help you may be able to give.

Yours sincerely,

Heike Langenberg

Dr Heike Langenberg
Senior Editor, Nature
The Nature Publishing Group

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