cc: "C G Kilsby" <c.g.kilsbyatXYZxyzcastle.ac.uk>, "Jenkins, Geoff" <geoff.jenkinsatXYZxyzoffice.gov.uk>, c.harphamatXYZxyz.ac.uk
date: Wed Jun 3 09:21:33 2009
from: Phil Jones <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Re: Phone call...
to: "Humphrey, Kathryn (ACC)" <kathryn.humphreyatXYZxyzRA.GSI.GOV.UK>
Had to rush off after the phone call last night. As you might have guessed from
my comments on the phone yesterday, I didn't think much of Jacqui's arguments.
I was alerted up to the attached a few minutes before - see section 7 (pages 61-62 in
the pdf, which appear as pages 49/50).
There seems a disconnect between the people Jacqui talks to and the real users
who will access and use UKCP09. Chris and I know that EARWIG has been used by
the EA extensively, but it is by people who know what they are doing. I don't think she
meets real users, but managers. Her comments about the Thames Barrage showed this.
They won't be interested in the WG, but in the marine report.
Users will have to be re-educated in how they access and use UKCP09. I've been saying
this all along. This is exactly what happened with UKCIP98 and UKCIP02. I think the
learning curve will be much steeper for them this time. Perhaps UKCIP should be
organizing some workshops post launch. Should we be discussing this on June 12?
The real issue is that she has been lead to be believe that UKCP09 is much more
certain in the projections, but in reality the opposite is probably true. When users get
to see the results, they are going to say that there is too much uncertainty.
As an aside the two pages in the attached has many inaccuracies. I've no idea who
they consulted and who in DEFRA read these two pages. The first 4 paragraphs are OK.
The next one is based in ignorance of what UKCP09 has done. The next distorts what
IPCC 2007 said. The next distorts the word subjective. The next just shows that the
authors know nothing about how climate modelling is done! The final three on the second
page are just as bad, but they at least say that issues should be resolved once UKCP09
is released. They seem to want greater ranges in the projections - someone should tell
them that is exactly what they are going to get. These two pages seems to have been
written by someone who knows little about UKCP09 and more importantly who has not
done any real quantitative impacts work in the past.
I know you're not involved, but there is a briefing session about the National Risk
Assessment call tomorrow afternoon.
One thing that should be emphasized at the launch is that users should read all the
and the guidance material before attempting to do anything. There is a lot to take in. I'd
ignore anyone making comments the day after launch as they just won't have had
time to read and digest what is in the reports. I think though that there are too many
climate experts out there who have already made up their minds - based on snippets
of what has been done in UKCP09 and hearsay. After launch we might find out who these
so-called experts are!
On a more cheerful note at the end - we at UEA are very happy with the WG. We think it
is working fine.
At 17:23 02/06/2009, Humphrey, Kathryn (ACC) wrote:
What are your thoughts on the phone call we just had? It sounds to us like a
fundamental difference of opinion over the intelligence of the users and whether you
should provide material that contains uncertainty at all! However itd be interesting to
hear what you thought of Jacquis arguments.
Research and Evidence
Adapting to Climate Change Programme
tel 0207 238 3362
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
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Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk