This document reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of the BAS.

Response to Nigel Calder

[This is taken from a personal email sent to N. Calder, lightly cut to remove out-of-context material at the end].

> Your web site on global cooling is what historians call whiggish. It 
> describes past events and opinions, not as they appeared to people at 
> the time, but with hindsight and with a partisan spin. 
I didn't expect you to agree with my interpretation ;-)

On the other hand, I am interested in the *facts* of this matter. If you care to dispute anything factual in my pages, I will be happy to correct any errors, or to make reference to any important papers that I have omitted. You have not disputed any facts so far.

> In the 1960s and 1970s almost *no one* took the enhanced greenhouse 
> hypothesis seriously. Hubert Lamb, the founder of modern climate 
> science,
One particular branch thereof, I would say. He was notably opposed to modelling, I understand, so cannot lay any claim to engender the most active modern climate science.
> said that climate sensitivity to CO2 was greatly exaggerated. 
He can say what he likes. Its having evidence to back this up that matters, however.
> Bert Bolin has written: "At that time our concern ... made little 
> impression on our colleagues, most of whom reacted with disbelief."
Interesting. Where?
> As 
> long as global cooling remained the dominant theme both of the 
> thermometers and of climate science, through to the mid-1970s, the 
> greenhouse story seemed obviously nonsensical. The temperature dip still 
> makes no sense on that hypothesis. 
I'm quite keen on the 40's onwards plateau as being due to internal variability, though I would be quite hapy for other causes to be proved important. What you call the dip is prefectly compatible with the GH hypothesis, of course.
> While Lamb was warning of a possible Little Ice Age, Nick Shackleton was 
> another of those who thought the coming big ice age had to be taken 
> seriously. You quote him as saying that interglacials never last longer 
> than 10-12 ky.
No, he said that in the past 3Myr no interglacial had lasted that long. He made no predictions of the future.

While we're on the subject, do you regard your Nature '74 paper as predicting another ice age soon? I mean, unequivocally predicting the same? It uses phrases like "to make fig X come true..." and I'm not quite sure whether that is intended to be predicative or not.

> And to dismiss all press & TV, as you do on your web site, is daft. If 
> leading scientists give opinions on TV, are they less reliable and 
> reputable than if they say the same things in a symposium?
I dismiss all press and TV because they are unreliable: there is no idea so stupid that it could not enjoy a brief period in the Sun (pun).

If there was anything to the 70s scare, then it would have made its way into the journals. But it didn't.

I accept (its on the web page) that some scientists were concerned about a possible iceage. But oddly, none of that concern got into the journals. In a sense, it could be seen (I see it) as an example of science working well: over enthusiastic thoughts never made it past peer review.

> And in cross-
> disciplinary discoveries, journalists tend to know key results long 
> before experts in adjacent fields. For example I've been aware since 
> last autumn of the new palaeobotany showing that CO2 obeys temperature 
> rather than the other way around, 
I seem to recall some stuff on Dalys web site - is that your take on what you are referring to? I must say I didn't read the details but the little I did read didn't incline me to read more.

[portion of message relating to Royal Met. Soc. cut]