Sunday, June 3, 2012


cc: "David Sexton" <>, "Geoff Jenkins" <>, "Phil Jones" <>
date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 13:30:24 -0000 (GMT)
subject: RE: Note of Defra meeting with Lenny Smith
to: "C G Kilsby" <>

Dear All,
In Spain, back in Monday. A few initial thoughts interspersed.


> Geoff, Phil, David
> Rather concerned at the tone of this note (which may or may not be a
> good record of meeting etc.)
> 1. "senior members in both MOHC and UKCIP (John Mitchell and Roger
> Street) had serious concerns with the validity of the underlying
> modelling for UKCIP08" . Really? I know John has piped up
> belatedly, but not Roger!

John belatedly, but he's fully behind the project. Surprised that
DW and KH didn't correct this point re Roger.
> 2. "LS warned that if not given a chance before the launch of UKCIP08 to
> feed in his views to tone down the deliverables, he would criticise the
> UKCIP08 methodology in the scientific literature after launch. "
> Sounds like blackmail to me, or at least a clumsy attempt to get funding
> (see later...)

This is the essence of conversations I had with Lenny. He went
further to say that if he didn't get anything, he would react
more strongly. It does seem like blackmail.
> 3. "LS had been asked to produce a worked example on how not to use the
> weather generator." I think we would like to see this first!

He said he would do this, when he sees the guidance material.
> 4. "He also felt that the utility of the weather generator was being
> over-emphasised before release. He highlighted text from the UKCIP08
> website ;"The weather generator will allow future time daily (and
> sub-daily) weather to be simulated, which will be of use to any user who
> is interested in daily weather variables, thresholds and sequences or
> extreme events" as being over-promising. "
> I agree this is actually rather loose, and could be "over-promising" !

Just shows we will have to be very careful with the wording. This is
partly why I suggested a meeting to go through the guidance material
before it goes out beyond the SG. In a way, we need to go through this
line by line like the IPCC SPM is gone through.
> 5. "LS in particular pointed to the 5km. resolution of the WG as being
> too high to be justifiable given the spatial quality of the actual data.
> "
> I thought Phil had dealt with this - the spatial quality of the
> climatological means does support 5km res, and in fact I would argue
> strongly that for e.g. temperature or rainfall, where strongly
> topogaphically influenced, you bring in more error by decreasing
> resolution! The change factors of course are not resolved to 5km, but
> this is still a coherent strategy of "downscaling" which is well
> established worldwide!

This all relates to how we describe what we've done. We're doing things
consistently across the domain. If we don't do this, then people
will go ahead and do it themselves. We are doing the whole
community a service - in a consistent way. This aspect needs to come
across somewhere.
> Engagement with Lenny (and I had not been aware, but also DS and any
> other vested interest critics) may well be best earlier rather than
> later, but not at the expense of delivery and not on their terms as
> intimated in this note!
> Chris
> ________________________________
> From: Humphrey, Kathryn (CEOSA)
> [mailto:kathryn.humphrey@DEFRA.GSI.GOV.UK]
> Sent: 29 November 2007 16:37
> To: Ag Stevens; Anna Steynor; Bryan Lawrence; Butt, Adrian
> (CEOSA); C G Kilsby; Colin Harpham; David Sexton; Geoff Jenkins;
> Humphrey, Kathryn (CEOSA); Kevin Marsh; Mark Elkington; Philip James;
> Phil Jones; Richard Westaway; Roger Street; Sue Latham
> Subject: Note of Defra meeting with Lenny Smith
> Dear all,
> I thought it would be good to send round a quick note of the
> meeting between David Warrilow, me and Lenny Smith/David Stainforth
> earlier in the week so you can reference against any conversations you
> have had with them. David is considering whilst in Bali if he wants to
> have any further meetings on the modelling behind UKCIP08 (for example,
> Geoff has suggested that maybe he could have a discussion with John
> Mitchell and Brian Hoskins to go through some of the concerns raised in
> the note attached).
> Pls note that this record has not been cleared by David as yet,
> so do not take it as a formal note. If he makes any changes I'll send
> round an updated version.
> Kind Regards,
> Kathryn
> <<2007-11-29 Meeting Between David Warrilow and Lenny
> Smith.doc>>
> Kathryn Humphrey
> Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Team, Defra
> Zone 3F Ergon House, Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 3JR
> tel 0207 238 3362 fax 0207 238 3341
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