Category Archives: Climategate e-mails

Another Example Of Inappropriate Communications On A Climate Assessement

In Judy Curry’s post on Climate Etc titled

Climate Etc. at 2

there is a remarkable e-mail that Steven Mosher posted September 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm from those hacked from the University of East Anglia (i. e. what has been called “Climategate”).  Steven’s comment is presented below followed by my comment as to why this is significant [highlight added]

From: Phil Jones To: “Michael E. Mann” Subject: Empire Strikes Back – return of proper science ! Date: Fri May 20 13:45:26 2005


REDACTEDJust reviewed Caspar’s paper with Wahl for Climatic Change. Looks pretty good. Almost reproduced your series and shows where MM have gone wrong. Should keep them quiet for a while. Also they release all the data and the R software. Presume you know all about this. Should make Keith’s life in Ch 6 easy ! Also, confidentially for a few weeks, Christy and Spencer have admitted at the Chicago CCSP meeting that their 2LT record is wrong !! They used the wrong sign for the diurnal correction ! Series now warms – not quite as much as the surface but within error bands. Between you and me, we’ll be going with RSS in Ch 3 and there will be no discrepancy with the surface and the models. Should make Ch 3 a doddle now ! Keep quiet about this until Bern at least. Can tell you more then. RSS (Carl Mears and Frank Wentz) found the mistake ! The skeptic pillars are tumbling ! Cheers Phil

I was at the Chicago meeting.  First the error that is mentioned in Phil Jones was actually  a minor one, and was corrected by Spencer and Christy immediately after it was identified at the meeting by the RSS group (Wentz and Mears). I felt it was odd that the RSS group presented this at the meeting rather than communicating prior to the meeting.

What is most disturbing, however, is that Phil Jones (who was NOT a member of the CCSP 1.1 Committee) found out about this issue, when the meetings of our Committee were supposed to be confidential.  Then, Phil Jones disseminated this information further to Mike Mann.

This is yet another example of the Old Boy’s network that, in my view, has undercut the credibility of climate assessments.

See also my posts (of which several provide additional examples of the inappropriate communication of Committee information to others outside of the Committee).

Further Evidence Of The Failure Of An Appropriate and Accurate Assessment Of Climate Science

An E-Mail Communication Between Phil Jones and Ben Santer Indicating Inappropriate Behavior By The US National Research Council

Conflict Of Interest Process with Respect To An NRC Review Panel Of A Draft Of The CCSP 1.1 Report

Further Documentation Of Inappropriate Behavoir By A Subset Of Members Of The CCSP 1.1 Committee And The NRC Review Committee

It has been over 7 years since the e-mail was sent by Phil Jones to Michael Mann. Unfortunately, it appears nothing has actually changed with respect to the Old Boy’s network.

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Comment On The Article “Ad Hominem Arguments In The Service Of Boundary Work Among Climate Scientists” By Souder and Qureshi 2012

Judy Curry mentioned this article from BishopHill

Ad hominem arguments in the service of boundary work among climate scientists

by Lawrence Souder and Furrah Qureshi of Drexel University in the journal Journal of Science Communication 11(1), January 2012

in her post

Week in review 3/16/12

The Souder and Qureshi article uses quite a bit of jargon but it is worth reading. Here I want to just add to one of the examples presented in the Souder and Qureshi 2012 paper

In the header to the article, the authors identified one ad hominem comment about me; i.e.

“Pielke wouldn’t understand independence if it hit him in the face.” (Phil Jones, Climategate email, 1233249393.txt)

where “independence” is referring to the degree of overlap in the land surface temperature data used to construct the CRU, GISS and NCDC global surface temperature trend analyses.

The Souder and Qureshi article  has the introductory paragraph

“As scientists-in-training, Chris de Freitas and Roger Pielke, Sr., may have suffered appropriately the sting of such remarks from an overbearing advisor on their dissertation committees in a moment of impatience. However, once these scientists were certified by their authorizing institutions, they should no longer fear such ad hominem attacks. If science proceeds as a matter of empiricism, the first and only point of judgment should be the validity of the inquiry, not the character of the inquirer. In fact, when peer review is blinded, the resulting anonymity is intended to preclude personal attacks. Thus is one of the key norms of science enforced — disinterestedness. On the assumption that de Freitas and Pielke would not reasonably expect to hear such personal attacks in a public forum their private expression is at least disturbing for their revelation of the tone of some scientists’ discourse.”

In addition to this conclusion by Souder and Qureshi, Phil Jones’s comment is also disingenuous as well as being ad hominem. While I was on the CCSP 1.1 Committee, I contacted Phil to ask the degree of independence between his data set (CRU) and those of GISS and NCDC. He responded at the time and I later included this information in our paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with   the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229

where we reported from Phil Jones that

“The raw surface temperature data from which all of the different global surface temperature trend analyses are derived are essentially the same. The best estimate that has been reported is that 90–95% of the raw data in each of the analyses is the same (P. Jones, personal communication, 2003).”

Phil Jones, of course, made his comment

“Pielke wouldn’t understand independence if it hit him in the face.”

in January 2009!

He chose not to remember that he actually answered my question on “independence” 6 years earlier. Instead he decided to make an ad hominem comment since, even though he was misrepresenting reality, the comment was made behind my back and would never have been seen by all of us except for the Climategate e-mails. Unfortunately, this is quite likely just a sample of what has been communicated by some of the major players in the IPCC community [and still continues].

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Further Evidence Of The Failure Of Multi-Decadal Regional Climate Predictions To By Of Value To The Impacts Communities

In response to the post on Watts Up With That on March 12 2012 titled

Climate modeling turkey shoot, western style

Dr. Nathan Schmidt, a Senior Water Resources Engineer at Golder Associates Ltd in Edmonton, Alberta alerted me to a very enlightening e-mail that was exposed in one of the Climategate e-mails.

The e-mail is from Jagadish Shukla of COLA with respect to the IPCC report. Dr. Shukla is an internationally well-respected climate scientist. The e-mail reads [highlight added]

date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 16:46:33 -0500 from: J Shukla subject: Future of the IPCC: to: IPCC-Sec

Dear All,

I would like to respond to some of the items in the attached text on issues etc. in particular to the statement in the section 3.1.1 (sections 3: Drivers of required change in the future).

“There is now greater demand for a higher level of policy relevance in the work of IPCC, which could provide policymakers a robust scientific basis for action”.

1. While it is true that a vast majority of the public and the policymakers have accepted the reality of human influence on climate change (in fact many of us were arguing for stronger language with a higher level of confidence at the last meetings of the LAs), how confident are we about the projected regional climate changes?

I would like to submit that the current climate models have such large errors in simulating the statistics of regional (climate) that we are not ready to provide policymakers a robust scientific basis for “action” at regional scale. I am not referring to mitigation, I am strictly referring to science based adaptation.

For example, we can not advise the policymakers about re-building the city of New Orleans – or more generally about the habitability of the Gulf-Coast – using climate models which have serious deficiencies in simulating the strength, frequency and tracks of hurricanes.

We will serve society better by enhancing our efforts on improving our models so that they can simulate the statistics of regional climate fluctuations; for example: tropical (monsoon depressions, easterly waves, hurricanes, typhoons, Madden-Julian oscillations) and extratropical (storms, blocking) systems in the atmosphere; tropical instability waves, energetic eddies, upwelling zones in the oceans; floods and droughts on the land; and various manifestations (ENSO, monsoons, decadal variations, etc.) of the coupled ocean-land-atmosphere processes.

It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability. Of course, even a hypothetical, perfect model does not guarantee accurate prediction of the future regional climate, but at the very least, our suggestion for action will be based on the best possible science.

It is urgently required that the climate modeling community arrive at a consensus on the required accuracy of the climate models to meet the “greater demand for a higher level of policy relevance”.

2. Is “model democracy” a valid scientific method? The “I” in the IPCC desires that all models submitted by all governments be considered equally probable. This should be thoroughly discussed, because it may have serious implications for regional adaptation strategies. AR4 has shown that model fidelity and model sensitivity are related. The models used for IPCC assessments should be evaluated using a consensus metric.

3. Does dynamical downscaling for regional climate change provide a robust scientific basis for action?

Is there a consensus in the climate modeling community on the validity of regional climate prediction by dynamical downscaling? A large number of dynamical downscaling efforts are underway worldwide. This is not necessarily because it is meaningful to do it, but simply because it is possible to do it. It is not without precedent that quite deficient climate models are used by large communities simply because it is convenient to use them. It is self-evident that if a coarse resolution IPCC model does not correctly capture the large-scale mean and transient response, a high-resolution regional model, forced by the lateral boundary conditions from the coarse model, can not improve the response. Considering the important role of multi-scale interactions and feedbacks in the climate system, it is essential that the IPCC-class global models themselves be run at sufficiently high resolution.

Regards, Shukla

This e-mail further illustrates what I discussed yesterday in my post

Climate Science Malpractice – The Promotion Of Multi-Decadal Regional Climate Model Projections As Skillful

Those who present multi-decadal regional climate model results to the impact (stakeholder) community without also communicating that they have no predictive skill (or provide evidence to the contrary) are quilty of climate science malpractice.

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What Climategate 2.0 Says About The Prediction Of Multi-Decadal Regional Climate Change

Marcel Crok has alerted us to the post by Maurizio Morabito titled

On The Slow, Painful (and Deadly) Demise Of The IPCC

at the weblog The Unbearable Nakedness of Climate Change

Their post involves the discussion of the predictive skill of multi-decadal regional climate change. It is essential to recall that the climate models must not only be able to skillfully predict current climate statistics but also how these statistics would change due to the human intervention of the climate system.

Vast amounts of money are being spent (and wasted) claiming that such multi-decadal climate change predictions are accurate and can be used by the impacts community. See, for example, my recent post

The Huge Waste Of Research Money In Providing Multi-Decadal Climate Projections For The New IPCC Report

Misleading Climate Science – An Example Of Multi-Decadal Regional Climate Predictions With No Demonstrated Skill On That Time Scale

I have reproduced  On The Slow, Painful (and Deadly) Demise Of The IPCC post below, including retaining the highlighted text.

Climategate 2.0 is helping filling some knowledge gaps, for example in the way the IPCC has been slowing killing itself, and several thousands humans to. The following concerns Regional Projections, and it’s a tragedy of communication.

Willingly or not, the IPCC has become a source of deadly confusion exactly because it has provided the information its audience wanted, even if it was scientifically unprepared to prepare that information.

It’s the year 2000 and the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) is being prepared. As we can see in file 0598.txt, there is a frank exchange of opinions about WG1-Chapter 10 “Regional Climate Information – Evaluation and Projections”, between Filippo Giorgi (Coordinating Lead Author), Hans Von Storch (Lead Author), Jens H. Christensen (Lead Author) (my emphasis of course):


Under the “encouragement” of Sir John, we also decided to add a text box on what we can say about regional climate change over different continents. This will probably be the most-read part of the chapter, so we need to be very careful with it. I and Peter will produce a draft to circulate. I know that originally we did not want to do this, but this is what they are asking us to do and it is now very clear that it is the main purpose of the chapter, so we have to do it.

Von Storch:

First, I don’t think that John Houghton is particularly qualified in saying anything about regional assessments. So far as I know he has no relevant official capacity in the process,and he has not been particularly helpful in SAR. Actually, I consider him a politically interested activist and not as a scientist.[…] I do not agree [about adding the text box]. What were the arguments we originally did not want to do this? What are the new arguments overriding our previous concerns? I am sure that people would love to read this statement in New York Times. We don’t feel confident to make a statement, and then, suddenly, under the encouragement of Sir John, we include it? This is truly embarrassing. If the purpose of the Chapter is to produce statements on regions, and we found we can not do that, what should the assessment be? Simply: “We can not do it at this time, but we have a variety of techniques to derive scenarios. However, for various reasons, we can not say that they are consistent, even if there is some convergence.”


This is an important point […] In my eyes Sir John represents the typical reader of this report and if he made that comment and “encouragement” it means that our chapter is not sending the proper message (after all he is one of the chairs of IPCC WGI). You may remember that I was always of the opinion that we were talking too much about techniques and too little about climate change. Now I think that we need to change that to the extent possible: reduce technical issues, increase climate change information. We actually already have a lot of that information in there, especially in the AOGCM part. What Sir John asked was to make it more “legible”, and we decided in Auckland to make it in the form of a box. We cannot invent information of course, but we can condense it in this box by including 1) the info relative to what AOGCMs sy for different continent, which is already there; 2) all possible other info from the techniques. If there is none or if we can say nothing we’ll say we cannot do it for that specific region. but I think we need to do something because the way it is, the chapter does not address the right audience, which is not only made up only of scientists.



I just want to add my opinion on this. I do agree with the point that we have to offer the regional information available. By setting up the box with the regions, we will provide the obvious assessment over many regions, which Hans has put forward so simple: The quality of the global models are too poor to give any clear information about regional climate change. We can state for the various regions, where there is some information, to what extend there is agreement between models etc. However, even agreement amongst models does not at this stage allow for any thorough assessment about uncertainties about changes. This must come out crystal clear, even if this will be the message for all regions! At least we will make out point about assessing regional climate change very clear this way.

Months later, the report comes out. Houghton’s text box has become “Box 10.1: Regional climate change in AOGCMs which use SRES emission scenarios” (page 600 here). Caveats are in place:

Introduction This box summarises results on regional climate change obtained from a set of nine AOGCM simulations undertaken using SRES preliminary marker emission scenarios A2 and B2. […].These results should be treated as preliminary only.

However, Christensen’s cautionary suggestion is totally reversed, and agreement among models is seen as a measure of certainty of changes “relatively speaking”:

Agreement across the different scenarios and climate models suggests, relatively speaking, less uncertainty about the nature of regional climate change than where there is disagreement

It’s now 2007. The equivalent chapter is AR4 WG 1-Chapter 11 “Regional Climate Projections“. Christensen is now a Coordinating Lead Author, Giorgi a Review Editor. And what has happened to the chapter?

  1. The “Summary of the Third Assessment Report” is mostly a summary of Box 10.1 described above. Everything else has been thrown in the classical bin
  2. The whole chapter in 2007 is actually a giant version of Box 10.1 in 2003
  3. Amazingly (and unscientifically) we’re being spoken of some “robust findings on regional climate change for mean and extreme precipitation, drought and snow”
Giorgi’s “target” has been achieved. The “most read part in the chapter” has become the whole chapter. A description of the current knowledge has become less important than providing what people asked. The audience has won, and the science has lost.
Then it gets worse.
Even in 2007, regional changes described by the IPCC are for the 2080-2099. Captions are very explicit on the subject. For example look IPCC AR4 WG1 report, section 11.2  about Africa. In particular, figure 11-2 is about “Temperature and precipitation changes over Africa from the MMD-A1B simulations“. Both in the text and in the caption, the projected time period of 2080-2099 is clearly indicated.
In 2011 however, Chris Funk feels compelled to write a column for Nature, published on Aug 3 as “We thought trouble was coming“, describing “how his group last year forecast the drought in Somalia that is now turning into famine — and how that warning wasn’t enough” and in particular lamenting that
The global climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were never intended to provide rainfall trend projections for every region. These models say that East Africa will become wetter, yet observations show substantial declines in spring rainfall in recent years. Despite this, several agencies are building long-term plans on the basis of the forecast of wetter conditions..

Those agencies might have foolishly misunderstood the IPCC message. Perhaps, they believe too much in it, missing therefore the small print indicating wetter conditions are expected 70 years since.

And so we have gone full circle. Originally provided by scientists ready to stretch the science on the “encouragement” by Sir John Houghton, in the space of a single decade Regional Projections have gone on to become an unwittingly deadly tool.

As added information, I was invited to serve as one of the contributing authors of the regional modeling part of the 1995 IPCC report [of which Fillipo Giorgi was also involved with]. I resigned from the IPCC as documented in the letter below (see also my post on this letter)

The erroneous IPCC presentation of multi-decadal regional climate prediction skill continues today (2011).  The views I expressed in the letter are further bolstered by these Climategate 2.0 e-mails.

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Significance Of Climategate #2 – Further Evidence Of The Failure Of An Appropriate and Accurate Assessment Of Climate Science

There have been media articles that dismiss the importance of the Climategate #2 e-mails; e.g. see.

These Climategate e-mails, however, are just the “tip of the iceberg” which we were only able to see because this source of information was hacked.

I  provide further documentation of this “old boys” network in the post

Climate Assessment Oligarchy – The IPCC.

In that post I wrote

An oligarchy is a

“form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.”

This definition certainly fits with the IPCC, as illustrated by the closed meeting in which Gerald Meehl, Jonathan Overpeck, Susan Solomon, Thomas Stocker, and Ron Stouffer are organizing in Hawaii in March 2009. This meeting is reported at

Joint IPCC-WCRP-IGBP Workshop: New Science Directions and Activities Relevant to the IPCC AR5 [Tuesday, March 03, 2009 – Friday, March 06, 2009 at the University of Hawaii International Pacific Research Center Honolulu , Hawaii].

While the meeting is to be mostly self-funded [which means [individual] federal contracts and grants and other such sources will be used to pay for the trip], it raises the issue as to why such a remote location is chosen. Presumably the participants should be concerned about the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere from the jet aircraft that will transport them to Hawaii.

The Workshop is also open to only the IPCC Working Group 1 Lead Authors [LAs] and Contributing Lead Authors [CLAs] from all four assessments.  While the goals of the Workshop are appropriate scientific topics, the closed character of the Workshop and its location perpetuates the exclusiveness of the IPCC process.

This small community of climate scientists is controlling the agenda with respect to the assessment of climate change. This is an oligarchy.

I concluded that post with

Without new scientists leading the IPCC process as LAs and CLAs, the next IPCC report is doomed to continue to be completed by an oligarchy that is using its privileged position to advocate for a particular perspective on the role of humans within the climate system [the third hypothesis above]. The next IPCC report will not be a balanced assessment, but continue to be policy advocacy in the guise of a scientific framework.

The e-mails that I posted on this past week with respect to Climategate #2

Tom Peterson Of NCDC And Climate Science Baloney

An E-Mail Communication Between Phil Jones and Ben Santer Indicating Inappropriate Behavior By The US National Research Council

Documentation Of A Cozy Interaction Between An AMS BAMS Editor And Phil Jones

Conflict Of Interest Process with Respect To An NRC Review Panel Of A Draft Of The CCSP 1.1 Report

Further Documentation Of Inappropriate Behavoir By A Subset Of Members Of The CCSP 1.1 Committee And The NRC Review Committee

provide new evidence for this oligarchy. For a summary of my experiences, see also

My Comments For The InterAcademy Council Review of the IPCC

where I recommended that

Future assessment Committees need to appoint members with a diversity of views and who do not have a significant conflict of interest with respect to their own work. Such Committees should be chaired by individuals committed to the presentation of a diversity of perspectives and unwilling to engage in tactics to enforce a narrow perspective. Any such committee should be charged with summarizing all relevant literature, even if inconvenient, or which presents a view not held by certain members of the Committee.

A very recent excellent publication on the major failings of the current IPCC type assessment process is given in

What is Wrong with the IPCC: Proposals for Radical Reform by Ross McKittrick.

Unfortunately,  despite these indictments regarding the failure of the current climate assessment process, the same approach continues. The reason is clear.  There is a symbiotic relationship among funding agencies, principal investigators, national and international assessment committees, and the leadership of professional organizations to continue the huge amounts of research funding.  The results of this funding is often headlined to the media in press releases, so as to influence political decisions regarding a wide range of social and environmental issues, including energy. 

There is no internal stimulus among these groups to change the current approach. Such change will need to be imposed from outside of these venues, particularly from those in government who oversee this wasteful funding.

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The Stable Boundary Layer And Climategate #2

In the Climategate #2 e-mails, Peter Thorne is shown joking about the concept that the surface temperatures can be decoupled from the temperatures higher in the atmosphere and this could have an important effect on the interpretation of multi-decadal surface  and lower tropospheric temperature trends. This is an issue that we have explored quantitatively in our papers; e.g. see

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2010: Correction to: “An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841″, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D1, doi:10.1029/2009JD013655.

Steeneveld, G.J., A.A.M. Holtslag, R.T. McNider,  and R.A Pielke Sr, 2011: Screen  level temperature increase due to higher atmospheric carbon dioxide in calm and  windy nights revisited. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D02122,   doi:10.1029/2010JD014612.

The e-mail from Climategate 2 FOIA 2011 Searchable Database  is and reads [highlight added]

date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 15:17:40 +0100
from: “Thorne, Peter (Climate Research)” <REDACTED>
subject: Maybe Pielke Sr. was right all along …
to: “Dian Seidel”,, “Ben Santer”,, “Imke Durre”,, “Parker, David”, “Phil Jones”

History does not relate to whether these were day time or night time ascents but clearly the boundary layer is now seriously decoupled from the near-surface. You read it here first!

Operational Radiosonde Network – data quality issues

Towards the end of July, radiosonde operators and data users began to notice anomalous ascent data with a small number of the radiosondes used within the Met Office network. These sondes reported a jump in atmospheric temperature between surface and the 2-second data point, approximately 10m above the ground. Operators continued to monitor all flights, informing the forecasters when the data appeared suspicious. In the extreme cases, the temperature dropped by as much as 30 degrees! Analysis began immediately to try and identify any trends in the
anomalous ascents. Archived high resolution data for the operational network was re-processed for all ascents between January and July 2009, to interrogate the surface to 2-second differentials. It was concluded that this problem was only evident in specific batches of radiosondes.

The manufacturers were alerted and presented with the evidence and agreed to replace all remaining stock under warranty. This amounts to approximately 500 radiosondes ‘sitting on the shelf’ that are currently in the process of being replaced. The Met Office radiosonde operators were all made aware of the problem, and the operational network stopped using the suspect batches with immediate effect. Operators’ experiences of using more recent stock suggests that this problem has been resolved.

Peter Thorne, Climate Research scientist
Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB.

Peter Thorne now works with Tom Karl and Tom Peterson at NCDC.  His e-mail was, of course,  a joke, but it also highlights a lack of knowledge (and an arrogance) about the issues with respect to accurately modeling and explaining observed surface air temperature trends over land. However, as of 2011, our findings remain unrefuted in the peer-reviewed literature.

Recently there was a Worksop at ECMWF in Exeter, UK that updates the science community on the significant limitations of the representation of the nighttime (including winter arctic and antarctic) boundary layer of  climate models. This includes the ability to skillfully model the vertical temperature profile near the surface. The workshop was

Workshop on Diurnal cycles and the stable atmospheric boundary layer

with the description [highlight]

 22 November 2011 A workshop was held at ECMWF on “Diurnal cycles and the stable atmospheric boundary layer” from 7 to 10 November 2011. The workshop attracted about 60 participants, from Europe and other parts of the world, including Japan, North and South America and Australia.

The workshop was organised together with the GEWEX Atmospheric Boundary Layer Studies (GABLS) working group and co-sponsored by ECMWF, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX), and GABLS.

One of ECMWF’s strategic goals is to improve the quality of near-surface weather products like temperature and wind and atmospheric composition. It is well known that the diurnal cycles of temperature and wind are strongly influenced by small-scale atmospheric processes in the stable boundary layer, in particular by turbulent diffusion, gravity waves and radiation, but also by the thermal coupling with the underlying soil through vegetation and snow. Most large-scale atmospheric models utilize rather diffusive boundary layer schemes resulting in stable boundary layers that are too thick and which show too little wind turning. Climate projections also show strong temperature signals at high latitudes which are affected by the processes mentioned above.

More details can be seen at ECMWF/GABLS Workshop including the presentations here.

As an example of the specific conclusions from the talks at this workshop, Dick McNider summarized observed data that documents that warming has been much larger in minimum temperatures than maximum temperatures, and that the global climate models do not accurately simulate this asymmetry in his talk

Response and Sensitivity of the Stable Boundary Layer to Added Downward Long-wave Radiation

As he showed

This asymmetry in warming is one of the most significant signals in the observed climate record

His conclusions, based on his modeling study are that most of this warming is from  a vertical redistribution of heat, not an overall warming of the lower atmosphere. His conclusion slide reads

  • The positive feedback due to a redistribution of heat when the SBL is destabilized by added downward radiation may be part of the reason for the differential rise in observed minimum temperatures.
  • The models/processes presented here that have increased temperature of 0.5-1.0K would explain a significant part of the differential minimum temperature warming.
  • Global models don’t have the mechanisms or resolution to capture this feed back.
  • Downward radiation by aerosols which is also not handled well in GCMs may play a major role in the warming of minimum temperatures.

In terms of Peter Thorne’s statement “Maybe Pielke Sr. was right all along …”,  apparently so. :-)

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Further Documentation Of Inappropriate Behavoir By A Subset Of Members Of The CCSP 1.1 Committee And The NRC Review Committee

The released e-mails provide a glimpse into  inappropriate behavior by members of the CCSP 1.1 Committee and Phil Jones.  The CCSP 1.1 report Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences was published in 2006.  My view of that report was, and remains, that while there is useful and scientifically valuable information in it, it avoided discussing a number of substantive questions , including  the robustness of the multi-decadal land surface temperature data of NCDC (Tom Karl), CRU (Phil Jones) and GISS (Jim Hansen).

From my understanding on the committee, we were supposed to keep our discussions internal to the committee. Indeed Phil Jones writes in one of the e-mails ” I’m not supposed to talk to anyone of the report authors !” [the exclamation point was in the e-mail].

In terms of the individuals mentioned below:

1. Phil Jones, Judy Curry and Jim Hurrell  served as committee members of the NRC committee reviewing a draft of the CCSP 1.1 report

2. Tom Peterson, Tom Wigley, Tom Karl, Ben Santer and I were members of the CCSP 1.1 committee

My involvement in the CCSP 1.1 terminated with my resignation in August 2005 as documented on my weblog; e.g. see where I summarized the reasons:

1. There was an inappropriate narrowing of the focus of the CCSP charge to the committee in the report;

2. The circulation of an alternative version of Chapter 6, in which I was Convening Lead Author, in order to enforce this narrow view;

3. The premature reporting of selected versions from the report to the media and policymakers prior to its actual finalization and public release.

I provided a formal response with respect to my resignation in

Pielke   Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“.  88 pp including appendices.

The e-mails that present the inappropriate behavior of a subset of CCSP 1.1 committee members and Phil Jones this include [highlight added]from [] where excerpts read [highlight added]

12:51:12 2005
from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: News travels fast as you might have guessed
to: John Christy <REDACTED>

REDACTED Heard back from several sources about the Chicago meeting. Similar sentiments from Jim Hurrell. Email from Tom Peterson below and Jim’s bit pasted in below. It seems that not all was solved – re his last sentence about Pielke !

From JH
Sitting in the CCSP meeting, but I wanted to let you know of what I believe is really remarkable progress. And I give much credit to Roy Spencer. He has admitted UAH Tlt has a negative bias, accepting the RSS argument the diurnal cycle correction is of the wrong sign

Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 14:07:44 -0400
From: “Thomas C Peterson” <REDACTED>
User-Agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (Windows/REDACTED
X-Accept-Language: en-us, en
To: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
Subject: Latest MSU results
X-Spam-Score: 0.5
X-Spam-Level: /
Hi, Phil,
I just thought I’d send my CCSP trip report on to you too as it discusses the latest developments in MSU VTT matters that I’m sure you will be addressing in IPCC.


16:50:45 2005
from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: Re: This and that – and CCSP
to: Tom Wigley

Thanks for that. I was just about to get around to rewording that and sending it back. I had to read the first draft of the comments on the Executive Summary from one of the other panel members. Although there is a lot to do, I think you’ll like some of them. Many of the other chapter authors may not, though ! Maybe we’ll end up with some more dissenters ! A lot relate to Fu et al as you might have guessed. We have a conf call next Friday at 4pm my time, when hopefully we’ll get something towards closure on this. I’ve only had emails from two people on the panel and the secretary since I left Chicago. Unfortunately Mike Wallace doesn’t seem to have had time to look through Ch 5 (well very briefly). He was only on the conf call in Chicago for 30 minutes. He didn’t say much.

At 16:12 11/03/2005, you wrote:

Phil Jones wrote:

REDACTEDIn Asheville this week but now back. Had a brief work with Tom K. on the VTT work. So he got a summary like you. I’m not supposed to be talking to anyone of your group except through Tom K. I’ve just got comments on your exec summ from Dennis Hartmann. I’ll go through these this weekend. I think I’ve effectively signed off on Chapters 3 and 5. REDACTEDYou’ll likely have to rewrite the summary to pick up the bullet points from the other 6 chapters. Hopefully you’ll get comments before May 1. We have to finish by April 1 (there is a conf call on the 18th), which will hopefully be it for me. REDACTEDAt the moment the NRC person is having difficulty with my following comment –

There is an issue related to land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes that >could be addressed here or maybe elsewhere in other chapters. This is >that in the modeling discussion (in Chapters 5 and 6) LULC is considered >to be a forcing


that is in some models and not incorporated in others as >the forcing and its history is uncertain.

If it is a forcing


(and we >think it is

‘IS’ OR ‘IS NOT’ — AMBIGUOUS IF NOT CAREFULLY WORDDED), then we should not be worrying that it influences the
>surface or tropospheric temperature record.

If it is a forcing


then it >needs to be in the data


in the order that it might be found. You can’t >have it both ways – the data are affected by it, so they are somehow >wrong, yet it is omitted from many models.”


I do need to work on the English a little


, but it should be understandable. Tom K is also very fed up with Pielke !
PS Have you been getting postcards from Thomson publishing (?)


about essential science indicators. I have 3, for 3 papers saying they’ve been heavily cited. The 3 are fromREDACTEDand have been cited 57, 68 and 41 times !


3 articles in the top 1% of the field. Articles are the one with Anders Moberg in 2003, one in Science on the last millennium
in 2001 and the one on error estimates from 1997.

At 23:46 10/03/2005, you wrote:

THanx Phil. Some comments in caps ….
Phil Jones wrote:

REDACTEDOff tomorrow and not back in CRU till March 10. I’m not supposed to talk to anyone of the report authors ! There was a lot of odd things said after the presentations in Chicago last week. We’re charged with writing a report, which will be published but you get to rewrite the report and no-one sees the one we looked at ! What is the point of publishing it ! REDACTED Roger Pielke didn’t come out of it too well. Some thought he had some good ideas but didn’t express them very well.Most thought he just didn’t express them very well. All thought Ben’s was the best chapter. Almost all think RSS is right. Also why is Fu et al. dismissed as controversial?


Likely most work will be needed on Ch 6 and 1, then 2-4 and least for 5. The Exec Summary was deemed OK, but it isn’t a summary of the report,


so you’ll have to do some major reworking. REDACTED Remember I didn’t tell you all this. Lots of details to come – not sure when. Seems a long-winded process.



Thus, while there are science issues discussed in these e-mails, it was an inappropriate interaction between members of the CCSP 1.1 committee and the NRC review panel. These exchanges occurred only with a subset of the CCSP 1.1. committee members.

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Filed under Climategate e-mails

Conflict Of Interest Process with Respect To An NRC Review Panel Of A Draft Of The CCSP 1.1 Report

As those of you who have followed my weblog know, I concluded that Tom Karl, the Editor of the CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“, abused his position as Chair in preparing that report. I have documented this in

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“. 88 pp including appendices.

E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Of Surface Temperature Trends

The release of the new set of e-mails [Climategate #2] has provided another glimpse into the inappropriate handling of this CCSP report by Tom Karl.

The relevant e-mails  [from Climategate 2 FOIA 2011 Searchable Database] include where Phil Jones is asked to participate in a review by the National Research Council [part of the US Academy of Sciences] of a draft of the CCSP report and is asked about his conflict of interest. There is, of course, nothing wrong with participating even with a conflict of interest, however, it needs to be honestly reported. Phil Jones did not do that, and Tom Karl and Tom Peterson of NCDC, among others on the Committee, knew that Phil has closely worked with them and with  NCDC.

Examples of their interactions prior to the CCSP report include

1. IPCC Second Assessment Report: Climate Change 1995 (SAR)  where Tom Karl one of Lead Authors Phil Jones a  Contributor.

2. David R. Easterling, Briony Horton, Philip D. Jones, Thomas C. Peterson, Thomas R. Karl, David E. Parker, M. James Salinger, Vyacheslav Razuvayev, Neil Plummer, Paul Jamason and Christopher K. Folland, 1997: Maximum and Minimum Temperature Trends for the Globe Science. 18 July 1997: Vol. 277 no. 5324 pp. 364-367 DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5324.364

3.Thomas C. Peterson, David R. Easterling, Thomas R. Karl, Pavel Groisman, Neville Nicholls, Neil Plummer, Simon Torok, Ingeborg Auer, Reinhard Boehm, Donald Gullett, Lucie Vincent, Raino Heino, Heikki Tuomenvirta, Olivier Mestre, Tamás Szentimrey, James Salinger, Eirik J. Førland, Inger Hanssen-Bauer, Hans Alexandersson, Philip Jones and David Parker: Homogeneity adjustments of in situ atmospheric climate data: a review (pages 1493–1517) Article first published online: 18 DEC 1998 | DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(19981115)18:133.0.CO;2-T

Parikhit Sinha replies [highlight added]

At 15:06 11/02/2005, you wrote

Thanks Phil.

The conflict of interest question relates to the following: whether you have any funding from or appointments with the study sponsor (NOAA) that would be adversely or positively affected by conclusions from the NRC review.

I’m guessing your answer is no, but let me know about this. I’ll also let you know what transpires during the conference call. See you in Chicago. Thanks.


from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: RE: NRC Temp Trends — CCSP executive summary
to: “Sinha, Parikhit”

The answer is No. As you might guess, I get no money from NOAA. I am on one of their panels (CCDD run by Tom Karl) that meets every year, but we just discuss research directions.

This answer about his conflict of interest indicates a limited interaction with NCDC. This is clearly false as they have even published together which was not disclosed to Parikhit Sinha in Phil Jones’s e-mail.

The e-mail continues

At 18:43 08/02/2005, you wrote:

Dear all,

Please find attached the executive summary, preface, and glossary for the CCSP report on Temperature Trends that you will be reviewing. We recently received these items from the sponsor. Please include them in your briefing book. We would like all of you to bring written comments on the executive summary to the upcoming meeting in Chicago. We will send you the last remaining report item, Appendix A, once we receive it from the sponsor.
<> <> <>
Parikhit Sinha, Ph.D.
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
National Academies/National Research Council
REDACTEDFifth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
web: [2]

From: Phil Jones [[1]REDACTEDREDACTED]
Sent: Friday, FebruaryREDACTED:46 AM
To: Sinha, Parikhit
Subject: Re: NRC Temp Trends — CCSP executive summary
Dear Ricky,
REDACTEDThe parcel has arrived and I also have the Executive Summary, so I’m all set for my trip tomorrow and have lots to read. REDACTEDSend me a summary of any relevant points from your conference call on Feb 15. I don’t think I have any conflicts. I know ben Santer and Tom Wigley very well and most of the other authors as well. Peter Thorne was my PhD student – completed about 3 years ago. REDACTEDSee you on Feb 22 or 23. I will check my email on Feb 20/21 and maybe in India.

Phil writes ” I don’t think I have any conflicts“, yet identifies close connections with at least three of the panel members and has published with them.

In this response, the NRC should have recognized that Phil did have a conflict. Phil was properly disclosing these specific conflicts.

Even more importantly, however, since the focus of the CCSP report was to reconcile surface and tropospheric temperatures, the NRC committee was supposed to examine the robustness of the surface temperature  trends, of which Phil Jones’s group provides one of the global analyses [CRU].  Tom Karl, Director of NCDC is chair of the CCSP committee while Tom Peterson of NCDC was on the Committee. Tom Karl and Tom Peterson lead the NCDC global surface temperature assessment and have worked closely with Phil Jones for years, as illustrated by the joint publications.  In addition, Peter Thorne was one of Phil Jones’s Ph.d. students and is also on the Committee.

In addition, as  I documented in

E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Of Surface Temperature Trends

Peter Thorne is the person is who rewrote (supposedly in just a few hours) the chapter that I was lead on. As documented in those e-mails, and in my Public Comment,  Tom Karl was strong arming me to replace the chapter that we had almost completed with Peter Thorne’s version.  Peter claims that he did this independently of  Tom Karl and other members of the CCSP committee. but in light of the cozy relations between Tom Karl, Tom Peterson and Phil Jones, and that Peter was Phil’s student, this claim of independence is suspicious.  In 2010, Peter Thorne was hired by Tom Karl at NCDC.

Returning to the issue of the conflict with respect to the NRC review of the draft CCSP report, the resulting inappropriate manipulation of the NRC report is clearly shown in the e-mail below (Dick Lindzen was also on the NRC panel)

This e-mail is from

10:30:20 2005
from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: HC
to: Ben Santer <REDACTED>


REDACTEDTom was here yesterday. He said you were going to the CCSP meeting for a day in Chicago, then flying on to the UK for the HC meeting May 18-19 (and 17th evening). Do you still want to come on up to Norwich afterwards?
Glad to hear from Tom you’ve been writing up your CCSP chapter and extending it significantly. He gave me a brief summary. I signed off yesterday on the CCSP report. You should be getting it through Tom Karl later today, or by Monday. As I did Ch 5, if you want to check anything with me feel free to. I wasn’t able to stop some comments being put in by Lindzen, but Tom has a paper as does Myles which are enough to ignore his and the Douglass papers.

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit TelephoneREDACTED3 592090
School of Environmental Sciences FaxREDACTED3 507784
University of East Anglia

Ben Santer was also on the CCSP committee and clearly briefed Phil Jones on the report. This was clearly inappropriate behavior. Tom here is presumably Tom Wigley, who was also on the CCSP committee.

Thus, these e-mails further document that Phil Jones provided an incomplete statement on his conflict of interest with the CCSP report. Tom Karl, Tom Peterson,  Tom Wigley, Peter Thorne and Ben Santer clearly knew about this conflict. For whatever reason, they sacrificed an opportunity for an independent assessment of the CCSP report.  The NRC did not properly vet the individuals on the NRC committee.

The released e-mails show a behavior that appears to be systemic throughout much of the leadership with respect to climate assessments such as performed by the IPCC.

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Documentation Of A Cozy Interaction Between An AMS BAMS Editor And Phil Jones

In one set of e-mails at

Climategate 2 FOIA 2011 Searchable Database

there is an  exchange of e-mails between an author and an Editor of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Association [Chet Ropelewski].  The paper was eventually published in

Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., K.G. Hubbard, D. Niyogi, G. Bonan, P. Lawrence, B. Baker, R. McNider, C. McAlpine, A. Etter, S. Gameda, B. Qian, A. Carleton, A. Beltran-Przekurat, T. Chase, A.I. Quintanar, J.O. Adegoke, S. Vezhapparambu, G. Conner, S. Asefi, E. Sertel, D.R. Legates, Y. Wu, R. Hale, O.W. Frauenfeld, A. Watts, M. Shepherd, C. Mitra, V.G. Anantharaj, S. Fall,R. Lund, A. Nordfelt, P. Blanken, J. Du, H.-I. Chang, R. Leeper, U.S. Nair, S. Dobler, R. Deo, and J. Syktus, 2010: Impacts of land use land cover change on climate and future research priorities. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, 37–46, DOI: 10.1175/2009BAMS2769.1

but a key recommendation of ours was required by the Editor to be diluted.  I viewed then (and still do) that this was an inappropriate action by the Editor, and the just released e-mails suggests why Chet made this decision.

I have reordered the newly released e-mails so they are from the earliest to the latest, as well as highlighted in a few places.  The exchange started innocently enough when Phil Jones was asked to review a submitted manuscript by Chet Ropelewski. However, as the exchange continued Phil Jones slams the paper but without being a formal referee, and the Editor starts making his own review comments before he had received reviews from others. Phil should have recused himself from any comments on the paper.

I have interacted with Chet Ropelewski  in other venues  and thought him quite objective. However, this exchange exposes a coziness which is inappropriate for an Editor. It provides a good example of the “old boys” club even among those who are otherwise not tainted by the bias and prejudices we see is systemic in the leadership role in climate science.

The Climategate #2 e-mails are presented below

At 16:24 17/02/2009, you wrote:

Hi Phil,

Among the jobs that I can’t seem to retire from is Climate  Variability/Change Editor of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). I’m asking for your help as a reviewer. The submission is “Impacts of Land Use Land Cover Change on Climate and Future Research Priorities” by R. Mahmood and 37 co-authors. Given the number of co-authors and their affiliations it is a challenge to find un-conflicted reviewers who know the subject.

My comment:  While Phil Jones is certainly well-qualified to debate aspects of our paper, he is not an “un-conflicted” referee.

The paper is actually a conference summary, fairly broad ranging, running 25 double-space pages. I would need comments in about 4 to 5 weeks.

If you are not able to serve as a reviewer I would appreciate  suggestions for alternatives, preferably outside the U.S. given the extensive list of authors, almost all of them from the U.S. I hope that all is well with you. I’ve “retired” after about 10 years at the IRI. I accepted a visiting scientist position at NOAA’s Climate Program Office and doing more program management than I’d bargained for. The plan is to go to a reduced schedule about a year from now and perhaps return to more  scientific endeavors.

-Chet Ropelewski

Phil Jones wrote:


Bit busy – as always – for the next few weeks. Can you send the abstract and the author list, to help me make some suggestions?



At 17:25 17/02/2009, you wrote:


Per your request. Abstract below. Auhor list attached. Thanks for your help.



Human activities have modified the environment for thousands of years. Significant population increase, migration, and accelerated socio-economic activities have intensified these environmental changes over the last several centuries. The impacts of these changes have been found in local, regional, and global trends in modern atmospheric temperature records and other relevant climatic indicators. One of the human influences on atmospheric temperature trends is extensive land use land cover change (LULCC) and its climate forcing. Studies using both  modeled and observed data have documented these impacts (e.g., Chase et al. 2000; Kalnay and Cai 2003; Feddema et al. 2005; Christy et al. 2006; Mahmood et al. 2006b; Ezber et al. 2007; Nunez et al…. Thus, it is essential  that we detect LULCCs accurately at appropriate scales and in a timely manner to better understand the impacts on climate and provide improved prediction of future climate.

The National Research Council (2005) has recommended the broadening of the climate change issue to include LULCC processes as an important climate forcing. The findings of this report state: “Regional variations in radiative forcing may have important regional and global climatic implications that are not resolved by the concept of global mean radiative forcing. Tropospheric aerosols and landscape changes have  particularly heterogeneous  forcings.

To date, there have been only limited studies of  regional radiative forcing and response. Indeed, it is not clear how best to diagnose a regional forcing and response in  the observational record; regional forcings can lead to global climate responses, while global forcings can be associated with regional climate  responses. Regional diabatic heating can also cause atmospheric teleconnections that  influence regional climate thousands of kilometers away from the point of forcing. Improving societally relevant projections of regional climate impacts will require a better understanding of the magnitudes of regional forcings and the associated climate responses.”

In short, the above discussion clearly identified the  importance of LULCC in the climate system.It has also been established in the literature that biases, inaccuracies, and imprecision have been introduced to the climate monitoring systems because of meteorological station moves, instrument changes, improper exposure of instruments, and changes in observation practices (Davey and Pielke 2005; Pielke et al. 2007a, b; Mahmood et al. 2006a). Hence, we also need strategies that will help us to detect and overcome these biases and thus lead to improved understanding of the role of land use forcing within the climate system.

This paper has two main objectives. First, it highlights LULCC and its role within the climate system. Examples include both long-term systematic change (e.g., agricultural land use change, deforestation) and short-term abrupt change (e.g., rapid urbanization). Second, the paper proposes a series of recommendations related to detecting LULCC from observed climatic records, as well as  modeling to improve our understanding of LULCC and its impacts on climate. The latter also includes discussion on why and how LULCC needs to be considered as a climate forcing and why it must be  included as a first-order effect in all climate assessments.

Phil Jones wrote:


I just knew it had to contain Roger Pielke Sr! It also has many  authors the same  from a paper in JGR that David Parker and others sent in a comment  about  that was accepted a few weeks ago. I can guess it will say the  same sorts of things.

 A lot of the things they are saying have been established haven’t. They are not as important as this paper will claim!

So David would be a good reviewer. I’d just get too stroppy with  them, as Roger never listens to anything said to him.

David is  David Parker Met Office Hadley Centre FitzRoy Road EXETER EX1  3PB UK  E-mail: REDACTED  Tel:REDACTED6649 Fax:REDACTED5681

 Don’t tell David I suggested him!

 Tom Peterson would be another good reviewer, but I can see there is at least one person from NCDC on the list. Another would be Kevin Trenberth, but again there is someone from NCAR in the author list.


Note inserted here. I did not know what “stroppy” means and others might not as well. It means “easily offended or annoyed; ill-tempered or belligerent”.

At 13:22 18/02/2009, you wrote:


Thanks for your suggestions. You confirm some of my concerns about this submission.I hope that we can cross paths again before I really retire. Best


Phil Jones wrote:


Glad to hear you have concerns about the paper! A lot of the issues  relate to the NCEP/NCAR Reanalyses producing temperature trends that are less than in the HadCRUT3/NCDC/GISS surface temperatures from the late 1950s. There is a paper by Kalnay and Cai (2003) that claims these differences result from Land-use/Land-cover effects – which is total rubbish. Once the Reanalyses (ERA-40 as well) get better after the satellite data start coming in all the differences disappear.

Attached is a nice paper on all this with ERA-40.

It would be nice to meet up again – are you back in the DC area?  If you are I should tell you when I’m next in the area. I’m assuming  you’re not planning a holiday in the UK at any time!


My Comment: I am inserting a side note here. The ERA-40 analyses that Phil refers to was subsequently shown to have major problems, as was discussed in the post

Indictment Of The ERA-40 Reanalysis In A New Paper “Erroneous Arctic Temperature Trends in the ERA-40 Reanalysis: A Closer Look” By Screen and Simmonds 2011

The e-mails continue

2009 08:51:20 -0500
from: Chet Ropelewski
subject: Re: Request for a review
to: Phil Jones <REDACTED>


Thanks for the informal comments and reprint. They will be useful for the review. I fear this submission is going to be a struggle.

Yes, I’m in the DC area again. My office is in Silver Spring. Give me a head’s up the next time you expect to be in the area. I planning to go to a reduced work schedule (3-days a week) early next year and expect to keep a hand in the game for a couple of years.

Our paper was published but implications from our meeting summary were required to be diluted. In our original submission we had a conclusion that read

The monitoring of existing climate metrics also needs to be significantly improved, as is discussed in our article. With respect to surface air temperatures, for example, there needs to be an improved quantification of the biases and uncertainties in multi-decadal temperature trends, which remain inadequately evaluated in assessment reports such as CCSP (2006).  We also recommend that an independent agency (such as the NSF) with scientists involved that are without a vested interest in the data, evaluate the robustness of these temperature trend estimates. In other words, this helps to overcome any concern regarding the same agencies that collect and analyze the data, also report on the accuracy of the data in climate assessment reports.

However, in the letter from Chet regarding his decision, he wrote

Finally, the last paragraph is not acceptable for publication in BAMS as it stands. A minor point is that this paragraph refers to this Essay as an ‘article” which is a very different kind of BAMS publication.  More importantly, the last two sentences un-necessarily imply that the scientists who have the responsibility for monitoring the climate are somehow “cooking the data”.  This kind of statement doesn’t belong in a professional journal.  I have no objection if you wish to suggest that an independent agency evaluates the “robustness” of the trend but do it in a way that doesn’t cast aspersions on our colleagues.

Thus, while our paper was accepted, we had to modify the letter with respect to the need to have an independent assessment of the quality of the surface temperature trend analyses.  We never implied that they “cooked” their data.

Our last paragraph in our paper became

The monitoring of existing climate metrics also needs to be significantly improved, as is discussed in  our essay. With respect to surface air temperatures, for example, there needs to be an improved quantification of the biases and uncertainties in multidecadal temperature trends, which remain inadequately evaluated in assessment reports such as from the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP 2006). We also recommend that independent committees (perhaps sponsored by the National Science Foundation) conduct these assessments.

This-mail exchange shows how much of an “old boys” network, the review process is. 

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An E-Mail Communication Between Phil Jones and Ben Santer Indicating Inappropriate Behavior By The US National Research Council


Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“. 88 pp including appendices.


E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Of Surface Temperature Trends

I documented the prejudicial handling of this report by Tom Karl, who was its chair.

The first set of released e-mails  further documented the clear inappropriate and biased preparation of this CCSP report, as discussed in

Do The CRU E-Mails Provide Further Documentation Of A Conflict Of Interest In The Preparation Of A CCSP Climate Assessment Report?

This CCSP report was a major resource used for the 2007 IPCC report.

The new Climategate e-mails made available at Climategate 2 FOIA 2011 Searchable Database provide further evidence of this behavior. From [highlight added]

date: Mon Feb 28 08:58:57 2005
from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: Re: CCSP report review period
to: Ben Santer <REDACTED>


Good to see you if briefly last Wednesday ! The rest of the meeting was rather odd. Some very odd things said by a few people – clearly irked by not having got a couple of proposals recently ! I’m not supposed to be contacting you ! I would urge you to write up what you presented on the day and in the report. It was the most convincing presentation and chapter of the report. You should have less to do than the other chapters. Not yet sure how the summary will fare.
We didn’t discuss the email evidence (as you put it) nor Pielke’s dissent. We shouldn’t and we won’t if the NRC people have their way.

I was never really sure what the point of the review was.



 This is a remarkable e-mail  since it indicates that the NRC was in collusion with Phil Jones  to suppress issues that I brought up as lead author on the CCSP chapter 6. Chapter 6 was tasked to focus on what further research issues need to be explored to reconcile surface and tropospheric temperature trends. Chapter 6, as it was on August 11 2005, is given in Appendix B of my Public Comment.

The e-mail also documents an inappropriate communication between a member of the CCSP committee (Ben Santer) and a member of the NRC review committee (Phil Jones).

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