«Edited and Annotated by John Costella The Lavoisier Group March 2010 About the Author John Costella was born in East Melbourne in 1966. After being ...»
What you will find below is … an email interchange between Steve McIntyre and myself. He has been asking for Antarctic data for a while (since your Geophysical Research Letters paper came out) and to my chagrin; I have put him off once already, for reasons I spell out below. … Anyway, I am aware of McIntyre’s controversial history and am trying to handle things in a non-inflammatory way. He seems not to be troubling me over my own delay, but has asked for data that was used in your Holocene paper of 1998. For this, I have referred him to you. I expect he wants to replicate your calculations, and so he should use the identical data set, and I give you permission to pass on whatever it was I gave you for that work— with the caveat that it is representative of where the Antarctic proxy record was in 1997, not 2004. I leave it to you to decide how to deal with this—you may prefer to ignore the issue, and I would understand.
Van Ommen clearly understands that it is crucial for McIntyre to be given the identical data set in order to replicate Jones’s calculations—but then goes on to condone what he guesses will be Jones’s likely response: to ignore the issue completely.
Phil Jones replies, copying in Mike Mann:
Thanks for the email. Steve McIntyre hasn’t contacted me directly about the Antarctic data (yet), nor about any of the data used in the 1998 Holocene paper or the 2003 Geophysical Research Letters one with Mike Mann. I suspect (hope) that he won’t. I had some emails with him a few years ago when he wanted to get all the station temperature data we use here in Climatic Research Unit. At that time, I hid behind the fact that some of the data had been received from individuals and not directly from Met(eorological) Services through the Global Telecommunications Service (GTS) or through the Global Climate Observing System.
We here start to learn about the tricks that Jones and colleagues have used to thwart attempts to get access to the data on which their published claims are based: to “hide behind”, in Jones’s words. In this case, Jones is trying to argue that data provided by individuals does not need to be provided for independent scrutiny—yet the mathematical results obtained from those very data can be published in leading journals, which then makes it eligible to be used to support their statements in the IPCC Reports!
Emails have also been sent to some other paleoclimatology people asking for data sets used in 1998 or 2003. Keith Briffa here got a request, for example. Here, they have also been in contact with some of Keith’s Russian contacts. All seem to relate to trying to get data that we’ve used. In the Russian case, issues relate to the Russian (Rashit Hantemirov) having a paper out with the same data that Keith used …. The data are different for two reasons. One reason is that Keith used (a mathematical method on the data); and, secondly, Rashit has added some data since Keith got the data a couple of years ago.
Jones is here giving yet more reasons why the original data should be made available.
So what will he do?
I’ll just sit tight here and do nothing. Mike will likely do the same, but we’ll expect another publication in the nearish future.
February 9, 2004: email 1076359809
Steve McIntyre follows the trail from Tas van Ommen to Phil Jones:
Dear Phil, Tas van Ommen has referred me to you for the version of his data set that you used in the paper of Jones and co-workers in The Holocene in 1998, and I would appreciate a copy. I would also appreciate a copy of the Lenca data used in this study. Regards, Steve McIntyre
Phil Jones forwards this to Mike Mann:
For your information. I sent him the two data sets—the as-received versions. I wonder what he’s up to? Why these two data sets? We used a lot more in the 1998 paper. He didn’t want the Alerce data. He must already have the Tassy series from Ed. I know that Ed has a more recent series than we used in 1998. He got this for the 2003 work.
Why is Jones so concerned at what McIntyre is “up to”? Honest scientists welcome every chance for independent researchers to check and (hopefully) confirm their results: it gives them extra credibility. Instead, Jones seems to be worrying about which “skeleton in the closet” McIntyre may be on to.
Mike Mann replies:
Personally, I wouldn’t send him anything. I have no idea what he’s up to, but you can be sure it falls into the “no good” category.
Mann is behaving more badly than Jones. He seems to revel in the fact that McIntyre
will still be missing some of the data:
There are a few data sets from our 2003 paper that he won’t have—these include the latest data from Jacoby and D’Arrigo, which I scanned in from their publication (they haven’t made it publicly available), and the extended western North American series, which they wouldn’t be able to reproduce without following exactly the procedure described in our 1999 Geophysical Research Letters paper to remove the estimated non-climatic component.
In other words, unless McIntyre and colleagues were able to follow the procedure described in Mann’s and Jones’s 1999 paper—without the aid of the computer programs used to apply those methods, which they are refusing to supply—then they will be unable to even get hold of the fundamental data on which Mann’s and Jones’s research is based! No wonder Mann is confident that their secrets are safe.
He continues, admonishing Jones for his weakness:
I would not give them anything. I would not respond or even acknowledge receipt of their emails. There is no reason to give them any data, in my opinion, and I think we do so at our own peril!
Peril? That is not a word that an innocent man would use.
Jones is now forced to defend his act of sending McIntyre two data sets:
These were two simple data sets to provide. Also, Tas told him that I had one of them. I guess that these are the ones that aren’t available on web sites.
Anyway, it is done now. If he starts asking for them in dribs and drabs, I’ll baulk at that.
Ben waded in with very positive comments regarding the Climatic Change issue. Steve McIntyre’s going to find it very hard to ask you to send the computer programs. Those … on the Climatic Change board that say that you should send the programs have little idea what is involved. Most are on the social science side.
One set of “soft” scientists belittling another set of “soft” scientists? Are there any real scientists doing climate science?
Yet again, we find that Jones sees the issue of accountability as a series of battles, rather than a looming war.
February 26, 2004: email 1077829152Phil Jones to Mike Mann:
Can I ask you something in confidence—don’t email around, especially not to Keith and Tim here. Have you reviewed any papers recently for Science that say that the paper by Mann, Bradley, and Hughes in 1998 and the paper by Mann and Jones in 2003 have underestimated variability in the thousand-year record—from models or from some slowly varying temperature proxy data? Just a yes or no will do. Tim is reviewing them—I want to make sure he takes my comments on board, but he wants to be squeaky clean with discussing them with others. So forget this email when you reply.
An interesting way to manipulate the peer-review process, and a novel definition of “squeaky clean”!
May 7, 2004: email 1083962601
Phil Jones to Tas van Ommen and Caspar Ammann:
Many of us in the paleoclimatology field get requests from skeptics (mainly a guy called Steve McIntyre in Canada) asking us for data. Mike Mann and I are not sending anything, partly because we don’t have some of the data he wants, also partly as we’ve got the data through contacts like you, but mostly because he’ll distort and misuse them.
Again, Jones writes with crystal clarity on the big issues. The three reasons for hiding the data: the skeptics will check their work; some of the data was destroyed or lost; and the data is “private property” in any case!
July 8, 2004: email 1089318616
Phil Jones to Mike Mann:
Subject: HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL For your interest, there is a report coming out soon, which shows that Eugenia Kalnay and Ming Cai are wrong. It isn’t that strongly worded, as the first author is a personal friend of Eugenia. The result is rather hidden in the middle of the report.
He sends a follow-up email:
For your information only—don’t pass on. … As I said it is worded carefully due to Adrian knowing Eugenia for years. He knows they’re wrong, but he succumbed to her almost pleading with him to tone it down as it might affect her proposals in the future! I didn’t say any of this, so be careful how you use it—if at all.
This pair of emails demonstrates most clearly that one was either “in the club” or not, as far as these conspirators were concerned. The paper by Kalnay and Cai was skeptical of man-made global warming. Here, Phil Jones is telling Mike Mann that the paper has been shown to be wrong—in a written report, no less. Yet Jones condones the fact that the criticism is being buried: he is accepting that “peer review” has been distorted into whatever the reviewer wants it to be, rather than its intended mechanism: ensuring that published papers are correct.
Contrast this to their actions on hearing of skeptical papers being published by those not “in the club”: they organize letters of protest to journals, and to the White House, even before they have read the papers at all! Indeed, Jones exemplifies their approach,
just two paragraphs on:
The other paper by McKitrick and Michaels is just garbage—as you knew.
De Freitas is the Editor again. Pielke is also losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well—frequently, as I see it. I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC Report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow—even if we have to redefine what the “peer-review literature” is!
This pervasive inculcation of double standards—not just between the proponents and skeptics (their terms) of global warming, but between different “classes” of skeptics, no less—destroys the very fabric of science.
August 6, 2004: email 1091798809 Phil Jones replies to a favourable comment by Australian climate scientist, Janice
Most of the data for most of the graphs have just appeared on the Climatic Research Unit web site. Go to “data”, then to “paleoclimate”. We did this to stop getting hassled by the skeptics for the datasets. Mike Mann refuses to talk to these people and I can understand why. They are just trying to find if we’ve done anything wrong.
I sent one of them loads of data sets and he barely said a thank you.
Jones’s imperious comment shows that he considers that he is doing the skeptics a huge favour by providing the data that is central to his claims. In reality, the “onus of proof ” is on him and his colleagues.
August 10, 2004: email 1092167224
Mike Mann writes to Phil Jones, Gabi Hegerl, and Tom Crowley:
Dear Phil and Gabi, I’ve attached a cleaned-up and documented version of the computer programs that I wrote for doing the Mann and Jones (2003) calculations.
I did this knowing that Phil and I are likely to have to respond to more crap criticisms from the idiots in the near future, so it is best to clean up the programs and provide them to some of my close colleagues in case they want to test it, etc. Please feel free to use these programs for your own internal purposes, but don’t pass them along where they may get into the hands of the wrong people.
So here we are, in mid 2004, before Mike Mann finally feels the need to bring his computer programs up to the standard that would be required of any high-school student—and not because of any feelings of guilt about their parlous state, but simply because “the heat was on” from the skeptics, and it becoming increasingly likely that he would be forced to provide these programs for independent scrutiny in the near future.