Monday, May 21, 2012


date: Fri Jul 24 16:48:52 1998
from: Keith Briffa <>
subject: the message I sent earlier- fyio

>Return-path: <>
>Delivery-date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 15:57:18 +0100
>Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 15:03:26 BST
>From: Julie Burgess <>
>Subject: letter to colleagues
>To: "K.R. Briffa" <>
>Priority: Normal
>Delivery-Receipt-To: Julie Burgess <>
>Return-Receipt-To: Julie Burgess <>
>Keith, here is the letter you wanted to forward.
>Thursday, 23 July 1998
>Dear Colleagues
>This note is to let you know that at the behest of NERC
>(Rodger Padgham/Neville Hollingworth/Geraint Webber)
>we have been asked to have another go at putting together
>a bid for a Thematic Programme of Research. This is a
>follow up to the previous application to the Earth Science
>and Technology Board (ESTB) that attempted, as it turns
>out unsuccessfully, to get support for a palaeo/climate-modelling
>collaboration. Following a discussion between Geoff Bolton,
>John Lowe and Nick Shackleton at Geoscience �98 earlier
>this year, a decision was made to go for a new proposal but to
>direct it, of necessity, equally towards ESTB and the Atmospheric
>Science and Technology Board (ASTB). It has been emphasised
>by NERC that Climate Change is still very much on the NERC
>agenda and they endorse (indeed they recommend) the joint
>board approach.
>I have been asked to organise the drafting of the new proposal.
>At an initial meeting of a small palaeoclimate working group, held
>at NERC headquarters in London on 17th June, the reasons for the
>failure of the previous bid were discussed and I consider it imperative
>at this juncture to pass on the following information regarding the
>previous thematic application:
> ... the proposal lacked a significant novel component. In attempting to
> interface the geological climate record with the modelling activities of the
> atmospheric community, it would be necessary to establish the historical
> data requirements needed to validate and populate the current and
> proposed new climate prediction models. The geological record is
> essential to exploring timescales and changes from non-linear (but
> predictable) to chaotic climatic conditions.
>These comments were apparently agreed by ESTB members. NERC has
>also indicated that
> �the key drivers of climate research will probably arise from the Kyoto
> summit and include carbon budgets, regional climate prediction,
> biogeochemical cycles, with the palaeoclimate record per se probably
> lower down the list of priorities. Linking the ancient record to the modelling
> criteria will therefore be essential.�
>I reproduce these comments here to emphasise that if the reworked
>proposal is to gain NERC support, it will require a clear �novel� component
>and a focus on the types of model being used now and that will be used
>in the future to explore (anthropogenic) climate change detection and
>future climate scenarios.
>At a subsequent, brief meeting attended by myself, Paul Valdes and
>Nick Shackleton in Cambridge, we decided that the novel component
>of a new proposal could best be represented by building it around the
>Hadley Centre Aims and the Unified Model. Paul and I then met at
>Bracknell with John Mitchell, Simon Tett and Peter Cox to discuss the
>Hadley Centre interest and to decide whether true mutual benefit was
>achievable under this scenario. I am pleased to report that the suggestion
>was enthusiastically endorsed by them and we have moved on to plan an
>initial proposal drafting along these lines.
>The purpose of this note is to inform you and, through you, the wider
>palaeoclimate community of this effort and to assure you that your full
>participation in this effort is requested. For practical reasons only, a
>small drafting team was suggested at our original London meeting.
>This is made up of, along with myself, Paul Valdes (Reading), John
>Lowe (RHUL), Nick Shackleton (Cambridge), Alan O�Niell (Reading),
>Phil Gibbard (Cambridge), and Rick Battarbee (UCL). These are
>supplemented with Simon Tett and Peter Cox (Hadley Centre). When
>we have something on paper, the intention is to solicit comments from
>a wider �consultative team� made up of David Warrilow (DETR), Geoff
>Bolton (Edinburgh), David Peel (BAS), Sandy Tudhope (Edinburgh)
>and Frank Oldfield (PAGES) and others.
>At this point, it would not be productive to go into greater detail about
>the logic and discussions that occurred at the various meetings, other
>than to say that there was a concensus that there must be a clear
>focus on �state of the art� modelling and the palaeowork envisaged
>must be justified within the context of this (and future) climate modelling.
>Note that we are heading for a submission by the end of October!
>This information should hopefully get some sort of common discussion
>going. I will get back to everyone in due course.
>Best wishes
>Keith Briffa
>Message from:
>J. Burgess - Any views expressed are my own -
>Climatic Research Unit - and not of the department or -
>University of East Anglia - institution for which I work. -
>Norwich NR4 7TJ
>United Kingdom
>Tel. +44 1603 592722
>Fax. +44 1603 507784
>Climatic Research Unit web site:

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