Dear Benny,

although I am retired from basic dendrochronological work, I would like to correct a small part of the diatribe against Queen's University, Belfast, that you carried on CCNet on the 15 August, namely the allegation that we are deliberately withholding data of climatic significance.

Your source, Mr Keenan, gives the impression that data from only one Irish oak site is available, namely Garryland Wood, Co Galway. This is a site he used in an attempted correlation with temperature records. He points out the problem of dealing with data from an individual site, and states that "Those problems could be at least partially addressed by considering the individual trees at the site, rather than the average for the site, and also by considering trees at other sites in the British Isles. Doing so would presumably lead to additional increases in the correlation (that he found between Garryland tree rings and temperature records)".

Now any fair minded reader would take it from that quotation that "the individual tree" data from Garryland is not available. Also that same reader would take it that data from other "trees at other sites in the British Isles" are not available. Presumably, if the data were available, Mr Keenan would have extended his analysis in the search for an even better correlation between tree-growth in the British Isles and temperature, either local or Hemispheric.

The point is, not only are the individual tree data (14 trees) available from Garryland Wood, but equivalent individual tree-ring data is available from twelve other modern oak sites in Ireland, namely Ardara, Baron's Court, Breen Wood, Caledon, Cappoquin, Enniscorthy, Glen of the Downs, Killarney, Loch Doon, Rostrevor and Shane's Castle. Moreover, individual tree data is also available for seven English and Scottish sites originally sampled by myself and colleagues at Belfast. Thus anyone wanting to undertake research on tree-rings from the British Isles with respect to climate variables simply has to go into the NOAA World Data Centre for Paleoclimatology and access the data laboriously assembled, measured, documented and presented by workers at Queen's University Belfast.

These comments are necessary because Mr Keenan has stated on your web site that at "QUB researchers do not have the expertise to analyse the data themselves and they do not want to share their data with other researchers who do". Personally I would like an apology from both Mssrs Keenan and Peiser. However, I don't expect to see one.

Mike Baillie