Climategate Email No. 0235
This is a reply given to a freelance journalist asking Professor Jones if there was another period in history where the climate was worse than now. The bit that astounded me in his reply, was the closing remarks in his E Mail (I’ve emboldened it). I’ve also re-formatted the E mail to make it easier to read, but not altered the content in any way.
REDACTEDOriginal Message ----- date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007
From: Phil Jones
To: Jo Carlowe
Sent: Tuesday, OctoberREDACTED:06 PM
Subject: Re: BBC Focus Magazine
I was away all last week, so apologies for being slow. Here are a
REDACTEDYou and other may feel more insecure now, but this is coming from the knowledge you now have. This knowledge was quite different from earlier centuries, so this affects how earlier events were perceived then as opposed to now. So, any comparisons with the past are not that relevant to what is happening now or what will happen in the future.
REDACTEDThere have been good/bad times for humans in the past (and I'm thinking here purely of those related to the environment). The impacts of such events, that I know of, though are only related to the effects across Europe.
Agricultural crises DID NOT trigger the Little Ice Age - even if such an
event took place. Europe WAS not gripped by a chill that lasted 300 years. Your view here is completely wrong. There were more cold years, but there were also some very warm periods.
REDACTEDThe clearest impacts of climate in the historical past that I'm aware of took place when the climate of western Europe warmed from the early 1700s to about 1739. There were a number of good harvests in Britain and Ireland and our population increased dramatically as more children survived.
You should now see why your premise about the Little Ice Age is completely wrong. The 1730s temperatures in the UK are exceeded by two decades – the REDACTEDs and the 2000s.
In the late 1730s the population of Ireland was about twice what it is now!
In 1740 the coldest year in the Central England Temperature record occurred.
This led of famine across western Europe, especially Ireland. As many
people left Ireland then as did from the potato famine a century later. Probably as many died, but it is a forgotten famine because of the later on in 1845/6.
The latter was due to the potato blight (and a one crop agricultural system), but the one in 1740 was purely to the weather.
I'm attaching an article about this - the book to look at is by Dickson - in the references.
There is something in the paper about the effects of the very cold year
in different regions of Europe. The important thing in all this is
the exceptional cold of the year occurred after exceptional warmth of an entire decade, so the effects were likely much worse as the population had got used to a better climate. The conclusion of the paper is that the event was natural (with no known cause) so it could occur again!
The follow on influence of this is that people are not affected much by climate or climate change. What effects them is the Weather!
So Professsor Jones now admits that it could happen again naturally. Mmmm.