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«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 ...»

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Although requests (1) and (2) are for the IPCC, so irrelevant to the University of East Anglia, Keith (or you Dave) could say that for (1) that Keith didn’t get any additional comments in the drafts other than those supplied by the IPCC. On (2), Keith should say that he didn’t get any papers through the IPCC process either. I was doing a different chapter from Keith and I didn’t get any. What we did get were papers sent to us directly—so not through the IPCC, asking us to refer to them in the IPCC Chapters.

Jones is trying to argue that when they received papers, with explicit requests that the papers be referred to in the IPCC Report, then this was not part of the “IPCC process”! This is ludicrous.

Jones now laments the fact that Holland does not understand how the “old boys’ club”


If only Holland knew how the process really worked! Every faculty member in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia and all the post-doctoral research fellows and most PhD students do, but seemingly not Holland.

So Jones is confessing to having effectively indoctrinated the entire faculty!

He returns to the task at hand, telling everyone what they should say, even though he does not know whether it is correct or not, rather than actually asking anyone what

the truth is:

So the answers to both (1) and (2) should be directed to the IPCC, but Keith should say that he didn’t get anything extra that wasn’t in the IPCC comments.

Jones now proceeds to concoct answers on behalf of others:

As for (3), Tim has asked Caspar Ammann, but Caspar is one of the worst responders to emails known. I doubt that either he emailed Keith or Keith emailed him related to the IPCC.

Ironically, we have already seen, above, that Ammann responded immediately!

Jones now tries to infer a motive for the requests:

I think this will be quite easy to respond to once Keith is back. From looking at these questions and the Climate Audit web site, this all relates to two papers in the journal Climatic Change. I know how Keith and Tim got access to these papers and it was nothing to do with the IPCC.

So Jones is admitting that Briffa and Osborn had premature access to the papers in question, but that their method of doing so could not be explicitly traced to the IPCC process. A loophole!

May 27, 2008: email 1212009927 Ben Santer’s arrogant and abusive response to David Douglass’s request for a paper

that he referenced is coming back to bite him. He writes to many:

Dear folks, I just wanted to alert you to an issue that has arisen in the last few days.

As you probably know, a paper by Robert Allen and Steve Sherwood was published last week in Nature Geoscience. Peter Thorne was asked to write a “News and Views” piece on the Allen and Sherwood paper.

Peter’s commentary on Allen and Sherwood briefly referenced our joint International Journal of Climatology (IJoC) paper. Peter discussed this with me about a month ago, and I saw no problem with including a reference to our IJoC paper. The reference in Peter’s “News and Views” contribution is very general, and gives absolutely no information on the substance of our IJoC paper.

But it was cited as an authoritative reference nevertheless.

At the time Peter I discussed this issue, I had high hopes that our IJoC manuscript would now be very close to publication. I saw no reason why publication of Peter’s “News and Views” piece should cause us any concern. Now, however, it is obvious that David Douglass has read the “News and Views” piece and wants a copy of our IJoC paper in advance of its publication—in fact, before a final editorial decision on the paper has been reached. Dr. Douglass has written to me and to Peter, requesting a copy of our IJoC paper. In his letter to Peter, Dr. Douglass has claimed that failure to provide him (Douglass) with a copy of our IJoC paper would contravene the ethics policies of the journal Nature.

Rightly so: if one cites an unpublished paper, then a “preprint” (pre-publication draft) should always be provided on request. This is an absolutely standard procedure throughout science.

As you can see from my reply to Dr. Douglass, I feel strongly that we should not give him an advance copy of our paper. However, I think we should resubmit our revised manuscript to IJoC as soon as possible.

This is remarkable: the paper is not even in the publication process! It was returned to the authors for revision. In other words, it was not accepted for publication at the time it was cited.

With proper caveats, such a premature citation is acceptable. However, under no circumstances would it be acceptable to then refuse to supply a preprint of the paper on request.

The sooner we receive a final editorial decision on our paper, the less likely that it is that Dr. Douglass will be able to cause problems. With your permission, therefore, I’d like to resubmit our revised manuscript by no later than close of business tomorrow. I’ve incorporated most of the suggested changes I’ve received from you in the past few days. My personal feeling is that we’ve now reached the point of diminishing returns, and that it’s more important to get the manuscript resubmitted than to engage in further iterations about relatively minor details. I will circulate a final version of the revised paper and the response to the reviewers later this evening. Please let me know if resubmission by Close Of Business tomorrow is not acceptable to you.

Santer is so desperate to hide the fact that the paper in question is not in publication that he wants to railroad his co-authors into resubmitting it immediately—before they have completed the process of properly correcting it.

Steven Sherwood responds:

I wouldn’t feel too threatened by the likes of Douglass. This paper will likely be accepted as is upon resubmission, given the reviews, so why not just send him a copy too once it is ready and final.

Tom Wigley disagrees:

Sorry, but I agree with quick submission, but not with giving anything to Douglass until the paper appears in print.

Phil Jones:

This is definitely the right response—so I agree with Tom. I have been known to disagree with him, and he’s not always right. Submit as soon as possible!!

One would gather, from these recommendations, that the co-authors’ confidence in their paper is rock-solid; that the science is rock-solid; that the paper was already ready to publish, aside perhaps from some minor cosmetic repairs. Right?

Read on.

May 28, 2008: email 1212026314

Ben Santer now drops a bombshell, to a large number of recipients:

Dear folks, I just wanted to let you know that I did not submit our paper to IJoC.

After some discussions that I’ve had with Tom Wigley and Peter Thorne, I applied our mathematical tests … The results are shown in the attached graph.

The rock-solid paper was not submitted? Why not?

The worrying thing about the appended Figure is the behavior of one of the tests. This is the test which we thought Reviewers 1 and 2 were advocating.

As you can see, the test produces unexpected results. We do not wish to be accused by Douglass and co-workers of devising a test that is unfair.

So the results are flawed.

So the question is, did we misinterpret the intentions of the Reviewers?

Or the real questions are: Did the Reviewers understand the mathematics and statistics better than the authors? Did the authors even understand what was being told to them? Did they even listen?

I will try to clarify this point tomorrow with Francis Zwiers (our Reviewer 2).

… The bottom line here is that we need to clarify with Francis the exact form of the test he was requesting.

This lack of comprehension is astounding.

I’m sorry about the delay in submission of our manuscript, but this is an important point, and I’d like to understand it fully. I’m still hopeful that we’ll be able to submit the paper in the next few days. Many thanks to Tom and Peter for persuading me to pay attention to this issue. It often took a lot of persuasion… Even Santer realizes that they will not be able to “bulldoze through” a paper that is patently wrong.

May 29, 2008: email 1212063122 Phil Jones sends to Mike Mann the email that will give him sleepless nights for years to come.

Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith regarding the latest IPCC report? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment— minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

So the primary co-conspirators in the IPCC are Phil Jones, Mike Mann, Keith Briffa, Eugene Wahl and Caspar Ammann.

Mike Mann’s response is likewise very damaging to his reputation.

I’ll contact Gene about this as soon as possible.

May 29, 2008: email 1212067640 Peter Thorne of the Met(eorological) Office writes about the problematic International

Journal of Climatology paper:

We still need to be aware that this ignores two sources of uncertainty that will exist in the real world that are not included … … One approach, that I would advocate here because I’m lazy / because it’s more intuitive* (* = delete as appropriate) is that we can (mathematical suggestion). However, the alternative approach would be to take the range of data set estimates, make the necessary poor-man’s assumption that this is (one of two mathematical possibilities) depending upon how far you think they span the range of possible answers, and then incorporate this as an extra part of the equation. … Anyway, this is just a methodological quirk that logically follows if we are worried about ensuring universal applicability of the approach, which with the increasingly frequent use of the data for these types of applications is something we maybe should be considering. I don’t expect us to spend very much time, if any, on this issue as I agree that key is submitting the paper as soon as possible.

Even though these scientists are being rapidly educated in the correct way to use mathematics and statistics to analyse their results, their most urgent goal is to get the cited paper back into the publication process—regardless of whether or not it is correct.

May 30, 2008: email 1212156886 Despite Phil Jones’s assertion above that he does not respond to emails, Caspar Ammann writes to Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa, and Phil Jones, regarding Osborn’s

earlier hope that Ammann would consider his emails to be “confidential”:

In response to your inquiry about my take on the confidentiality of my email communications with you, Keith or Phil, I have to say that the intent of these emails is to reply or communicate with the individuals on the distribution list, and they are not intended for general “publication”. If I would consider my texts to potentially get wider dissemination then I would probably have written them in a different style. Having said that, as far as I can remember (and I haven’t checked in the records, if they even still exist) I have never written an explicit statement on these messages that would label them strictly confidential.

Not sure if this is of any help, but it seems to me that it reflects our standard way of interaction in the scientific community.

Ammann’s answers are exactly what one would expect any professional scientist to give, with regard to their workplace emails: they are written in the style of informal communication, rather than for publication, but there is nothing to hide.

May 30, 2008: email 1212166714

Tim Osborn replies to Caspar Ammann’s previous response:

Hi again Caspar, I don’t think it is necessary for you to dig through any emails you may have sent us to determine your answer.

Our question is a more general one, which is whether you generally consider emails that you sent us to have been sent in confidence. If you do, then we will use this as a reason to decline the Freedom Of Information request.

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