Monday, June 11, 2012


cc: Chris Turney <>, Phil Jones <>, simon Tett <>, Keith Briffa <>, Tim Osborn <>, Gabi Hegerl <>, Chris Jones <>, Peter Cox <>, Rob Allan <>, Philip Brohan <>, Catherine Bass <>
date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 09:26:03 +0100
from: Rob Wilson <>
subject: Re: Proposed 2 pager
to: Sandy Tudhope <>

Morning All,
from the proxy point of view, it seems to me that there should be a good
rationale for the consortium if we emphasise the importance of a
coordinated 'update' and 'new' sampling of key proxies and regions. Only
through a consortium could we ensure that by, for example, year 3, we
have updated (to present) reconstructions for New Zealand, Tasmania,
South America and key areas in the tropics. Presumably if new model runs
may need to be made, they can be grinding away in the back ground for
the first couple of years and then the full strength of the consortium
kicks in during year 3 when we all start putting it together. Also
during the first couple of years, the consortium can focus on the
methodological issues of calibration and uncertainty estimates -
probabilistic or otherwise.

some random comments w.r.t. proxy data

Millennium has NO plans, as far as I know, to produce spatial
reconstructions for the last 500 years for Europe. The focus is on
millennium long reconstructions and there simply is not enough data for
a "true" spatial reconstruction. We will have "reasonably" robust summer
temperature reconstructions for the Alpine and Scandinavian regions
however. Of course there is a whole myriad of other local based
reconstructions, but for different seasons and parameters.

At Mike Mann's session at the EGU, there was this interesting talk.
Do you know this group Sandy? This current series used only growth
rates. I am not sure if they have plans to measure isotopes on this record.
C. Saenger, A. L. Cohen, D. W. Oppo, and J. Carilli
A coral-based reconstruction of Atlantic sea surface temperature trends
and variability since 1552

I have spoken with Rosanne and Ed w.r.t. New Zealand and Tasmania. In
principle there should be no problem with updating these areas and maybe
sampling more sites. Perhaps scope for a one or two PhDs.


Sandy Tudhope wrote:
> Hi Chris et al,
> Many thanks for the draft, and sorry for the slow reply but I was off
> email for a few days. I've seen responses from Rob Wilson, Simon and
> Gabi. I don't know if you received any more.
> I agree with most of the points made by Simon, Gabi and Rob. Some
> more specific comments:
> a) WHY NOW? Even although we don't have much space in two pages, I
> think we need to highlight more explicitly the nature of the current
> opportunity ... why are we going to be able to make significant
> progress now in an area that people have been working in for quite
> some time? In terms of the climate reconstruction from proxies, we
> can point to a number of advances, e.g., for corals:
> - the recent demonstration of the potential of using networks of
> coral sites for pan-tropical and regional climate reconstruction
> (e.g., some of Rob Wilson et als papers).
> - the fact that some of the necessary long coral cores already exist
> through our collaborators, and ongoing efforts from ourselves, and
> that with a relatively modest field effort we are now in a position to
> provide a more complete and hence robust coverage for tropical SST
> reconstruction.
> b) CONSORTIUM: The justification for a consortium still needs work.
> My one experience on the NERC Consortium panel suggested that the
> justification for a needed to be closer to "can only be done through a
> consortium approach" rather than "can be more effectively
> approached". I still wonder if we can make some significant advances
> in the way we approach estimating and using uncertainties in the proxy
> data and their interpretation. As I've said before, the inclusion of
> isotopes in models is going to provide some excellent opportunities to
> better understand what we can and can't say from some forms of proxy
> data.
> c) TIME FRAME: We can sort out details later, but just so everybody
> knows, realistically we should be looking to the corals to provide a
> reasonable tropical network back to around 1750-1800AD getting sparser
> back beyond than and hardly anything prior to 1600AD (in terms of
> continuous records from living corals).
> d) NERC PROPOSAL: Again, just for information: Gabi and I (with Mat
> Collins at the Met Office and a large cast of other collaborators)
> currently have a proposal submitted to NERC that is focussed around
> ENSO variability over the past 5,000 years, using a combination of
> analysis of fossil corals in Galapagos, integration to other climate
> proxy data (to look at stability of teleconnections), and climate
> model evaluation and runs (using the CMIP5 archive plus new isotope
> enabled HadCM3 model runs). One of our periods of focus is,
> naturally, the last millennium. Obviously, we have no idea if this
> will be funded, but if it is, it would provide additional proxy data
> (mostly short floating chronologies), plus modelling.
> e) DECEMBER? I understand Chris' enthusiasm for moving forward, but
> like Simon feel we've not yet really pinned down the scope and novelty
> of our approach as much as we need to. December 1st would be a rush,
> so, personally, I'd suggest July but with the schedule of meetings as
> currently proposed (although I can't make the September one).
> However, if the consensus is to attempt a 1st December submission, I
> will do what I can to contribute.
> Cheers,
> Sandy
> Chris Turney wrote:
>> Hi guys,
>> Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I'm in a very cold
>> and wet Bergen at the moment and the internet access is not the best.
>> Many thanks for all your comments and suggestions. This all looks
>> great. I've tried to incorporate these into the concept note. The
>> more detailed points I've kept in a folder for us to thrash out the
>> detail for the next round. Can you let me know what you think of the
>> attached by Wednesday this week? If you're happy for us to proceed,
>> perhaps we can send in for Friday? As I head north the internet
>> access will probably get worse of if we can do it before I fall off
>> the edge of the known world that would be great.
>> Also, I've contacted Eric Wolff to see if he would be interested in
>> being involved and as soon as I hear back I'll let you know.
>> All the best,
>> Chris
>> ****************************************************
>> *Professor Chris Turney FRSA FRGS*
>> Director of Carbonscape <>, /Fixing carbon
>> the way nature intended/
>> //
>> Author of Ice, Mud and Blood: Lessons from Climates Past
>> <>
>> Popular science website:
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>> Journal of Quaternary Science
>> <> Asian and
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>> *Slartibartfast: * Science has achieved some wonderful things of
>> course, but I'd far rather be happy than right any day.
>> *Arthur Dent:* And are you?
>> *Slartibartfast:* No. Thats where it all falls down of course.
>> *Arthur Dent:* Pity. It sounded like quite a good lifestyle otherwise.
>> /The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy/, Douglas Adams
>> ****************************************************

Dr. Rob Wilson
Lecturer in Physical Geography
School of Geography & Geosciences
University of St Andrews
St Andrews. FIFE
KY16 9AL
Scotland. U.K.
Tel: +44 01334 463914
Fax: +44 01334 463949

".....I have wondered about trees.

They are sensitive to light, to moisture, to wind, to pressure.
Sensitivity implies sensation. Might a man feel into the soul of a tree
for these sensations? If a tree were capable of awareness, this faculty
might prove useful. "

"The Miracle Workers" by Jack Vance


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