Dear Met Office,

Second IPCC AR5 WGI Lead Authors' Meeting

You are no doubt aware of the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Aarhus Convention), with which Council Directive 2003/4/EC requires our Environmental Information Regulations 2004 to be consistent.

The process of IPCC Fifth Assessment of the science, impacts and mitigation, of climate change, in which you as a public authority are engaged, is one of the most important environmental decision-making processes of all and in which I wish to exercise my rights. Accordingly I am asking for exact copies of all the information held by you as a result of the participation of your employees in the Second Lead Authors Meeting (LA2), 18-22 July 2011, at Brest, France.

In particular, but without prejudicing my rights to all the information I wish to have an exact copy of what is referred to as the zero order draft of the AR5 WGI Assessment Report, together with the comments on of its reviewers and a list of their names.

I believe that strictly speaking this environmental information is of such public interest and importance that under EIR regulation 4 you should proactively disseminate it by electronic means and I will be satisfied with a link to where it is held in your publication scheme.

Yours faithfully,

David Holland

Tim Hill, Meteorological Office

Dear Mr Holland,

Thank you for your enquiry.

We have forwarded this on to our FOI team and they will get back to you as
soon as possible. Your Ref: REF0013727.

If you have any further questions or need additional information please
contact the Weather Desk on 0870 9000 100 where one of our advisors will
be happy to help you. The number is open 24 hours a day, seven days a
week.

Kind regards

Tim Hill

Weather Desk Advisor
Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon, EX1 3PB, United Kingdom.
Tel: 0870 900 0100 or +44 (0)1392 88 5680 Fax: 0870 900 5050
Email: [1][Met Office request email] [2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

Your personal details will be stored in our database. The information will
not be passed to any third parties. Please advise us if you do not wish
your details to be stored. The Met Office is an Executive Agency of the UK
Ministry of Defence and is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998.

show quoted sections

FOImanager, Meteorological Office

Dear Mr Holland,

Please accept this as acknowledgement of your enquiry dated 24 July 2011.

Under the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004,
you will receive our response within a period of 20 working days from the
date it was received within the Ministry of Defence.

You should therefore expect to receive our response by the 19 August
2011.

Yours sincerely,
FOI Manager

Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 884081 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681
Email: [email address]
[1]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

Confidentiality Notice
This e-mail is intended for the addressee only. Its contents are provided
"in confidence" and may be covered by contractual, legal or other
privilege. If you are not the addressee, you may not use or copy it to any
other person. If you receive this e-mail in error, then please contact the
sender as detailed above.

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FOImanager, Meteorological Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Holland,

Please find attached a letter in relation to you recent request for
information

Yours sincerely,
FOI Manager

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Gray, Claire On Behalf Of FOImanager
Sent: 25 July 2011 08:32
To: '[FOI #80867 email]'
Subject: FW: Freedom of Information request - Second IPCC AR5 WGI Lead
Authors' Meeting
Dear Mr Holland,

Please accept this as acknowledgement of your enquiry dated 24 July 2011.

Under the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004,
you will receive our response within a period of 20 working days from the
date it was received within the Ministry of Defence.

You should therefore expect to receive our response by the 19 August
2011.

Yours sincerely,
FOI Manager

show quoted sections

Dear FOI manager,

Thank you for your response. For the avoidance of doubt can you confirm whether you consider the zero draft itself to be a part of the earlier request?

I should point out that you did not state which of the the pieces of information about the zero daft document you held but were refusing to disclose.

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

Mathews, Stuart (Legal), Meteorological Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Holland

Please see attached.

Regards
FOI Manager
Met Office

Dear Mr Mathews,

Your Ref 25-07-2011-145458_022

I refer to your letter of 5 August 2011 with the above reference.

Were the Met Office to conform to the requirements of the Aarhus Convention, and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 there would be no need for you to search for the information that I have requested, as where to find it would be in your regulation 4 publication scheme.

However, little searching is actually necessary. DECC have published the names and affiliations of all British participants in AR5 and IPCC WGI have published their roles. From these I can tell you that the Met Office holds 7 of the 14 “zero order” drafts of AR5. The following Met Office individuals are involved in the IPCC WGI process in the chapters indicated as either Lead Authors (LA) or Coordinating Lead Authors (CLA):

Peter Thorne 2 LA
Chris Jones 6 LA
Olivier Boucher 7 CLA
William Collins 8 LA
Peter Stott 10 LA
Mat Collins 12 CLA
Tim Johns 12 LA
Jonathan Gregory 13 LA

As for your interpretation of r. 5(1) your comment is only correct if you are claiming exceptions under r. 12(6), which I rather doubt you could sustain.

To assist you in your public interest test I would refer you to the paper Sir John Houghton published in a 2002 in a paper for the Royal Society of Chemistry. Describing features which he believed "should characterize the scientific assessments that form an input to policy making" he wrote,

"Thirdly, all parts of the assessment process need to be completely open and transparent. IPCC documents including early drafts and review comments have been freely and widely available - adding much to the credibility of the process and its conclusions."

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

FOImanager, Meteorological Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Holland

Please see attached.

Regards
FOI Manager
Met Office

FOImanager, Meteorological Office

7 Attachments

Dear Mr Holland
 
Please see attached.
 
Regards
FOI Manager
Met Office

Dear Met Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Met Office's handling of my FOI request 'Second IPCC AR5 WGI Lead Authors' Meeting'.

I refer to your letter of 19 September 2011, with your reference 25-07-2011-145458-022, in which you responded to my request for information regarding the Second IPCC AR5 WGI Lead Author Meeting. In my original request I had specifically asked for an exact copy of the Zero Order Draft (ZOD) of the AR5 Working Group One (WGI) Assessment Report, together with the comments on [it] of its reviewers and a list of their names.

The existence of the ZODs of each chapter of WGI AR5 and the fact that you hold them is published information and accordingly EIR r.12(6) can not be engaged. I ask that you carefully review your refusal to disclose the ZODs for the WGI AR5 that you do hold. In accordance with EIR r.11(3)(a) I also ask that you take into account the evidence that I shall outline below.

The ZODs themselves are mentioned in 36 of the Climategate emails, and copies are distributed to each Lead Author of each IPCC chapter. At the IPCC website in the report of the 33rd Session of the IPCC, 10-13 May 2011, is published the progress report of WGI. In it is stated:

“In March 2011 the Zero Order Draft of the WGI AR5 was completed, with 14 Chapters and 2 Annexes being submitted to the WGI TSU for compilation and distribution. A proposed list of Frequently Asked Questions for WGI AR5 was developed with the Chapter CLAs, designated members of the WGI Bureau and the WGI TSU in December 2010. These were addressed to the extent possible in the Chapter ZODs.

In April 2011 the Zero Order Draft was circulated to Expert Reviewers proposed by the WGI AR5 Chapter CLAs, REs and the WGI Bureau. The WGI TSU developed and implemented a comprehensive online review tool that was adapted from the review tools used for the WGI AR4 and the SREX. The ZOD Review is an informal review that is intended to provide the Chapter teams with an early indication as to whether their first compilation reflects the available peer reviewed literature and provides a balanced coverage of the chapter's scope. The Expert Reviewers were asked to focus specifically on chapter structure, coverage, gaps, balance, and cross-chapter issues. The ZOD Review ends on 10 June 2011 and the comments received will be addressed by the Chapter teams at the Second Lead Author Meeting and in preparing their First Order Drafts.” See: http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session33/do...

In my letter of 5 August 2011, in reply to yours of August 2011 referring to this request, I gave you the names of the seven employees of the Met Office listed as Lead Authors at the IPCC Working Group One website. See: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/se... and https://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/AR5/wg1aut...

This request for a review is limited to any and all ZODs of AR5 WGI chapters that you hold. Should you still refuse to disclose them, please give me a proper account of how you reach your conclusion on any of the exceptions you seek to maintain and how you arrive at the balance of the public interest in this matter.

I ask that you look at the paper published in 2002 by your former Chief Executive Sir John Houghton in a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. See http://www.rsc.org/ebooks/archive/free/B...

As you know Sir John was instrumental in the establishment of the IPCC and indeed the Hadley Centre. He served for three Assessment Reports as a Chairman of Working Group One and following the IPCC Third (TAR) he was prominent in promoting the “hockey stick” graph of Professor Mann. On page 5 of his paper, Sir John wrote:

“The work of the IPCC illustrates the following five important features which I believe should characterize the scientific assessments that form an input to policy making.”

Of direct relevance to this matter is the third feature, of which Sir John wrote:

“Thirdly, all parts of the assessment process need to be completely open and transparent. IPCC documents including early drafts and review comments have been freely and widely available - adding much to the credibility of the process and its conclusions.”

Sir John Houghton was unambiguous in stating what he believed to be needed for the public to have any credibility in the IPCC assessment process and the public policy process that flows from it. In fact, he was only articulating the fundamental IPCC Principle of openness and transparency which had been agreed by all government members of the IPCC at the 9th Session in 1993, then reaffirmed at the 14th in 1998, the 21st in 2003 and the 25th in 2006.

In your refusal you have referred to the decision to consider working documents confidential, made at the 33rd Session of the IPCC in May of this year. However, if you check the report of the 33rd Session you will note two important facts. Firstly, at the 33rd Session member governments of the IPCC did not change any of the “Principles governing IPCC Work” which I refer to in the paragraph above. They can be seen at http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/i... , and you will note that Item 2 still states:

“The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.”

Secondly, if you look at the documents that contain the contradictory confidentiality proposal you will see that it was slipped into a task force report on the recommendations of the InterAcademy Council (IAC) at the request of Professor Thomas Stocker, even thought the IAC made no such recommendation. It favoured open review. It was, so to speak, yet another “cheat” by climate scientists, and follows repeated and untrue claims for confidentiality in earlier refusals by the Met Office and others. See http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session33/do...

The above referenced document makes clear in its introduction that it is the result primarily of the task force consideration of the IAC Report. However, slipped in amongst the IAC recommendations is item 6.3.2 on confidentiality. This states:

“The Task Group noted that clear guidance is needed on what the rules are for the confidentiality of draft reports and other documentation during drafting and review. On one hand, there is a need for transparency and openness of the assessment process. On the other hand, publicizing drafts have serious drawbacks. There is a risk that drafts contain errors or statements that are still unbalanced and that have to be corrected at a later stage. These could prematurely circulate in the public domain, creating confusion, and that would be a bad service of IPCC to society. Therefore, the Task Group believes that drafts should be kept confidential until acceptance of the full report.”

This proposal, from Professor Thomas Stocker, directly challenges the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (‘the Aarhus Convention’).

I particularly ask, in balancing the public interest when considering any exceptions, that you explain how the public can participate in one of the most important environmental decision-making processes ever, if they can not have any information on the 5 year long assessment process until after their governments have decided to accept a draft Report, which the public will have never seen. The confidentiality decision, if upheld by the Courts, will mean that the IPCC process is not in any sense open. Without openness transparency can not be assured.

The “Climategate” disclosure of emails from the University of East Anglia and further disclosures that have followed, give a powerful reason for allowing public inspection of the drafts, comments and responses as they are completed. One of the two most infamous Climategate emails referred to “hiding the decline”. Although this email actually referred to a WMO publication exactly the same “cheat” – for that is what it is – was used in the TAR, the drafts of which, your former Chief Executive claimed were “freely and widely available”.

However you will recall that, when on 18 August 2009 I asked the Met Office for the drafts and comments on Chapter 2 of the TAR, you refused. Despite Sir John Houghton’s claim the only public access to those drafts was in 8 unindexed boxes in a Harvard library. To the best of my knowledge no one has looked at them, and in any case the ZODs were not required by the Appendix A Procedures to be included.

Following Climategate we now know that six months before UEA’s Professor Jones sent his “hide the decline” email, UEA’s Professor Briffa had complained in an email to Professor Mann:

“I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards 'apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data' but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don't have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) [have] some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter.”
See http://junksciencearchive.com/FOIA/mail/...

Even before Climategate we had heard from Professor Deming that he had been told by one climate scientist (named by some as Professor Jonathan Overpeck) “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.” See http://epw.senate.gov/hearing_statements...

We have also learnt from journalist Fred Pearce:

“Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, part of the University of California, San Diego, joined Phil Jones to form a small group within the IPCC to mine this data for signs of global warming. They planned to summarise the research in the panel's next assessment, due in 2001. They had an agenda. "What we hope is that the current patterns of temperature change prove distinctive, quite different from the patterns of natural variability in the past," Barnett told me in 1996. Even then they were looking for a hockey stick.” See http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/20...

Thus it became clear to many people after Climategate that the lack of the prescribed openness and transparency in the IPCC process had led to noble cause corruption and that the “decline” in Briffa’s study, shown in Figure 2.21 in Chapter 2 of the TAR had been “hidden”. Professor John Christy had another word for it.

On 31 March 2011 Christy gave important evidence to the US House Committee on Science Space and Technology. He was a fellow Lead Author of Professor Mann on Chapter 2 of the WGI TAR. He told Congressmen that the decline was not hidden in the ZOD. Without any explanation or discussion with Christy it disappeared in the First Order Draft. Contrary to the widely promoted myth that the IPCC Report is the consensus of thousands of experts, just a handful of individuals decided to “hide the decline” in the TAR, and this allowed the uncertainty that attached to all historic temperature reconstructions like the “hockey stick” to be ignored.

In his written evidence to the Committee Christy wrote:

“Regarding the Hockey Stick of IPCC 2001 evidence now indicates, in my view, that an IPCC Lead Author working with a small cohort of scientists, misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1000 years by (a) promoting his own result as the best estimate, (b) neglecting studies that contradicted his, and (c) amputating another’s result so as to eliminate conflicting data and limit any serious attempt to expose the real uncertainties of these data.” See http://science.house.gov/sites/republica...

I accept that climate scientists may be made to feel uncomfortable by public debate taking place as their deliberations proceed, but it must said that they are all paid from the public purse and that they compete for the honour of being listed as one of the IPCC authors. Their careers are enhanced by taking part. However, the work of many, both in public and private employment, is open to continuous public scrutiny and climate scientists should not expect special treatment.

Given the overwhelming importance of the IPCC assessment, the numerous complaints on its probity, the concerns raised by Climategate and Glaciergate, and given the global decline in the credibility of climate change science as shown in successive opinion polls, it makes no sense for the Met Office to resist the complete openness and transparency that Sir John Houghton claimed to be a necessity for scientific assessments that form an input to policy making.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/se...

Yours faithfully,

David Holland

Louise Dennis, Meteorological Office

Dear David
Thank you for your enquiry.
We have forwarded this on to our FOI team and they will get back to you as
soon as possible.
If you have any further questions or need additional information please
contact the Weather Desk on 0870 9000 100 where one of our advisors will
be happy to help you. The number is open 24 hours a day, seven days a
week.
Kind regards
 
 
 
 
Louise Dennis
Weather Desk Advisor
Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon, EX1 3PB, United Kingdom.
Tel: 0870 900 0100 or +44 (0)1392 88 5680 Fax: 0870 900 5050
Email: [1][Met Office request email] [2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk
Your personal details will be stored in our database. The information will
not be passed to any third parties. Please advise us if you do not wish
your details to be stored. The Met Office is a Trading Fund of the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is registered under the
Data Protection Act 1998.
 
 

 
----------------------- Original Message

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CIO-FOI (MULTIUSER),

Dear Mr Holland,

 

The Chief Information Officer – Head of Corporate Information has asked me
to acknowledge your e-mail of the 28 September 2011 addressed to the
Metrological Office in which you requested an internal review of your
request for information, treated by the Met Office as a request under the
Environmental Information Regulations (our reference:
25-07-2011-145458-022).   

 

Under EIR Regulations MOD is obligated to complete its review and notify
you of the outcome as soon as possible; and in any event within 40 working
days from when the complaint was received.  Your request for an internal
review was received on 28 September 2011.  We therefore aim to complete
the review and respond to you by no latter than the 23 November 2011.  The
review will involve a full and independent reconsideration of the decision
taken in respect of your request for information as well as the handling
of the case. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

MOD FOI Internal Review Team

 

 

 

To: Met Office
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Second IPCC AR5 WGI Lead Authors' Meeting

Dear Met Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to put to addition evidence that I wish you to consider in your internal review of the Met Office's handling of my FOI request “Second IPCC AR5 WGI Lead Authors' Meeting”.

In your letter of 19 September 2011, with your reference 25-07-2011-145458-022, in which you responded to my request for information regarding the Second IPCC AR5 WGI Lead Author Meeting, you referred to the confidentiality decision made at the 33rd Session of the IPCC. This was:

“At its 33rd Session, the Panel decided that the drafts of IPCC Reports and Technical Papers which have been submitted for formal expert and/or government review, the expert and government review comments, and the author responses to those comments will be made available on the IPCC website as soon as possible after the acceptance by the Panel and the finalization of the report. IPCC considers its draft reports, prior to acceptance, to be pre-decisional, provided in confidence to reviewers, and not for public distribution, quotation or citation.”

I, wish to draw your attention to the word “formal” in the IPCC decision cited above and would remind you that in his progress report at the same 33rd IPCC Session, which I referred to in my request for review, Professor Stocker wrote, “The ZOD Review is an informal review”.

Thus IPCC decision to put drafts and comments, “which have been submitted for formal expert and/or government review”, at the IPCC website does not include the zero order draft, none of which have ever been released before or indeed were widely known about before Climategate and Professor Christy’s evidence to the US House Science Committee.

Indeed the zero order draft is not an official documented step in the IPCC Appendix A procedures. It is simply a completed environment document produced at public expense and widely distributed to many scientists whose work is also entirely publicly funded.

Accordingly I believe r. 12(4)(d) is not engaged. Since the ZODs are not official IPCC documents, I can not see that EIR r. 12 (5)(a) and (f) could be engaged to the extent necessary to overcome the public interest. I also believe that the names of well known professional scientists listed in the Internet as participants in the IPCC assessment process are not “sensitive data” and should be disclosed.

Yours sincerely

David Holland

CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

PSA

 

 

Dear Mr Tranham,

Thank you for your letter of 18 November 2011 contained in file 20111118 Rev Holland IPCC WG1 AR5 Rev response.pdf. I would greatly appreciate it if you can let me have character based copy as opposed to the image you have posted.

You have extensively cut and pasted from my character based communications to you, but in a complex six-page letter with many Internet addresses but have not given me the same consideration. Quite apart from not being able to easily quote from your letter in my appeal, I can not easily transcribe the Internet addresses, particularly those which contain underscores (_) that are obliterated by customary underlining.

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    20110818 Rev Holland Second IPCC AR5 WG1 Lead Authors Meeting info Rev fin response.pdf

    78K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Holland,

Please accept my apologies for providing the review in a format that is not particularly helpful to your needs. I attach a revised version in pdf which should allow you to cut and paste as well as navigate direct to the quoted links.

Your point is well taken and one that we should have considered. I shall ensure that, in future(subject to any information security requirements), where we provide weblinks in reviews we shall do so in an electronic format that allows readers to access the referenced material easily and to cut and paste information to other documents.

Should you have any further problems accessing this material please do not hesitate to let me know.

I apologise for the inconvenience this has caused you.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Tranham

Ministry of Defence
CIO-CI-Access Review A/Hd
Main Building 1-N-14 Whitehall, London SW1A 2HB
Tele: 0207 807 0028 (Mil 621 70028)
Fax: 0207 218 5471
email: [email address]

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Dear Mr Tranham,

Thank you for your letter of 21 November 2011 and your prompt response to my concern.

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

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