date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 15:39:48 -0000
from: "Keiller, Donald" <Don.KeilleratXYZxyzlia.ac.uk>
subject: FW: Yamal and paleoclimatology
Dear Professor Briffa, I am pleased to hear that you appear to have recovered
from your recent illness sufficiently to post a response to the controversy
surrounding the use of the Yamal chronology;
and the chronology itself;
Unfortunately I find your explanations lacking in scientific rigour and I am
more inclined to believe the analysis of McIntyre
Can I have a straightforward answer to the following questions
1) Are the reconstructions sensitive to the removal of either the Yamal data
and Strip pine bristlecones, either when present singly or in combination?
2) Why these series, when incorporated with white noise as a background, can
still produce a Hockey-Stick shaped graph if they have, as you suggest, a low
And once you have done this, please do me the courtesy of answering my
Dr. D.R. Keiller
From: Keiller, Donald
Sent: 02 October 2009 10:34
Subject: Yamal and paleoclimatology
Dear Professor Briffa, my apologies for contacting you directly, particularly
since I hear that you are unwell.
However the recent release of tree ring data by CRU has prompted much
discussion and indeed disquiet about the methodology and conclusions of a
number of key papers by you and co-workers.
As an environmental plant physiologist, I have followed the long debate
starting with Mann et al (1998) and through to Kaufman et al (2009).
As time has progressed I have found myself more concerned with the whole
scientific basis of dendroclimatology. In particular;
1) The appropriateness of the statistical analyses employed
2) The reliance on the same small datasets in these multiple studies
3) The concept of "teleconnection" by which certain trees respond to the
"Global Temperature Field", rather than local climate
4) The assumption that tree ring width and density are related to temperature
in a linear manner.
Whilst I would not describe myself as an expert statistician, I do use
inferential statistics routinely for both research and teaching and find
difficulty in understanding the statistical rationale in these papers.
As a plant physiologist I can say without hesitation that points 3 and 4 do
not agree with the accepted science.
There is a saying that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".
Given the scientific, political and economic importance of these papers,
further detailed explanation is urgently required.
Dr. Don Keiller.
EMERGING EXCELLENCE: In the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, more than 30% of our submissions were rated as 'Internationally Excellent' or 'World-leading'. Among the academic disciplines now rated 'World-leading' are Allied Health Professions & Studies; Art & Design; English Language & Literature; Geography & Environmental Studies; History; Music; Psychology; and Social Work & Social Policy & Administration. Visit www.anglia.ac.uk/rae for more information.
This e-mail and any attachments are intended for the above named
recipient(s)only and may be privileged. If they have come to you in
error you must take no action based on them, nor must you copy or show
them to anyone please reply to this e-mail to highlight the error and
then immediately delete the e-mail from your system.
Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily represent the views or opinions of Anglia Ruskin University.
Although measures have been taken to ensure that this e-mail and
attachments are free from any virus we advise that, in keeping with good
computing practice, the recipient should ensure they are actually virus
Please note that this message has been sent over public networks which may
not be a 100% secure communications
Email has been scanned for viruses by Altman Technologies' email management service -