Oral history of British science
Grove, A.T. (Dick) (Part 12 of 19). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee's home, Cambridge
Grove, Alfred Thomas, 1924- (speaker, male)
Merchant, Paul (speaker, male)
Part 18: Comments on discussions with Jean in 1990s over role of CO2 in climate change. Story of Tony Wrigley suggesting that Jean should consider whether the LIA was regional or global. Comments on this question. [3:40] Story of recent leaked email in which Phil Jones, Director of CRU expresses relief that Jean was no longer able to complicate CO2-climate change arguments by publishing on the Medieval Warm Period [MWP]. Comments on feelings about this email. [7:01] Story of assistance to Jean following own retirement from UOC, 1982 and ASC, 1986, including ‘library work’ for new edition, TLIA. Mentions ‘menial’ help with first edition, TLIA (1988); publisher Routledge’s interest in second edition, TLIA from mid 1990s. [11:46] Description of Jean-G’s process of writing second edition TLIA, including dictation to and word-processing of DG. Mentions Jean-G’s writing of first edition, involving GC secretary. [13:05] Comments on Jean-G’s role as consultant to IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). [15:00] Detailed comments on reasons for fewer visits to Africa in 1980s, 1990s. Story of visit to University of Legon, Ghana, 1982. [18:44] Story of involvement with OR and Jean in EEC (European Economic Community) Research Program ‘Environmental Change in Crete and the Aegean’, 1988. [22:19] Mentions invitations for Jean to speak at international conferences on TLIA; own participation in these conferences. [23:10] Comments on work in mainland Greece; relations with Nikos Margaris [NM]; fieldwork with OR. [24:27] Story of fieldwork, Crete, 1988 including family involvement, international meeting, accommodation in Heraklion, involvement of OR and archaeology research student Jennifer Moody [JM], centre for fieldwork bought by JM in Chania, informal and formal involvement of Jean-G. Description of OR and Jean-G’s archive work. [38:10] Mentions extension of interest in Mediterranean. [38:57] Comments on EO’s botanical/historical expertise. Comments on fieldwork in Crete: visits to weather stations to consult records; taking cores from trees, including role of RS in computer interpretation, difficulties of interpretation due to localised precipitation in Crete; placing of dust traps, designed by Kenneth Pye, UOC. Mentions relations with Greek agriculturalists/soil scientists. Comments on difficulties in obtaining maps/aerial photographs for study of land-use change due to security concerns; use of satellite images in collaboration with DOG, UOC. Mentions visits to archaeological sites; reports to EEC. [50:43] Description of ‘ground-truthing’ of satellite images of Crete, including role of OR, JM. Comments on ability of satellite images to capture small-scale changes in the Cretan agricultural landscape; use of German and RAF aerial photography. [57:28] Description of process of taking cores from trees. Comments on role of RS and Tony Carter in tree core interpretation. [1:01:02] Comments on relations with local people during fieldwork on Crete; OR’s repeated photographs at intervals of particular landscape views; use of historical photographs. [1:05:44] Comments on role of local people as sources of evidence of landscape change. [1:08:04] Comments on advantages of Mediterranean over African fieldwork, including presence of Jean-G, climate, ease of arrangements, reduced risk of disease. [1:10:57] Comments on relations between own and Jean-G’s age and suitability of Crete (rather than tropical Africa/mountainous Europe) for fieldwork; effect of Jean-G’s knee operations from 1980 on fieldwork decisions. [1:05:21] Comments on collaboration with ecologists, archaeologists, climatologists concerning preservation of Mediterranean landscape and ecology. [1:19:41] Comments on contemporary context of concern for new agricultural practices, especially over-irrigation, cultivation under plastic; EEC spending on poorer regions. Discussion of similarities with early 1950s fieldwork on African soil erosion. Comments on relations with larger MEDALUS (Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use) project.
Interview with geographer A.T. (Dick) Grove.