TAR Drafts and Comments

David Holland made this Freedom of Information request to Meteorological Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Meteorological Office,

I request electronic copies of the zeroth, first and second order drafts (ZODs, FODs & FODs) of chapters 2 and 11 of the 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR) of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) together with the government and expert reviewers’ comments upon the drafts and the authors’ responses.

To assist you I will mention that part of the above request was originally made on 18 August 2009 but was improperly refused by the Met Office using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ‘appropriate limit’ on 17 September 2009 under your reference 25-08-2009-100402-002. Despite my pointing out that the request was for environmental information and my offer to compromise, the Met Office’s refusal to make any disclosures was confirmed by its internal review on 12 November 2009 and was referred to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which was then considering my other complaint against the Met Office. The correspondence on this request is available at: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...

As I am sure you will recall, my outstanding requests to the Met Office were overtaken by Climategate a few days later and, in the light of this vast amount of information that was then released on the IPCC process, and considering the ongoing enquiries into the assessment of climate science, I reluctantly acceded to the ICO’s request that it be permitted to close my cases following some rather limited disclosures from the Met Office, which conceded, however, that the earlier requests should have been considered under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) rather than the FOIA.

Now in the light of the international controversies now surrounding the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and bearing in mind paragraphs 79 – 81 of this year’s Tribunal ruling EA/2012/0193 relating to IPCC drafts, I believe the interest is overwhelming in allowing the public to see how these two critical chapters of the 2001 TAR were developed and peer reviewed.

Yours faithfully,

David Holland

Enquiries, Meteorological Office

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Thank you for your email.  We aim to respond to our emails within 24
hours, so one of our Weather Desk Advisors will be in touch shortly.

 

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please phone the Weather Desk on 0870 900 0100, this number is available
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Weather Desk Team

Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 885681 E-mail:
[1][Met Office request email] ht[2]tp://www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

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David Holland left an annotation ()

Dear Met Office,

Please accept my apologies for a typographical error in my request. I had meant to ask for TAR Chapter 12 information rather than Chapter 11.

Yours faithfully,

David Holland

FOImanager, Meteorological Office

Dear Mr Holland,

Please accept this as acknowledgement of your enquiry dated 26 September
2013.

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 Met Office.

You should therefore expect to receive our response by 24 October 2013.

 

Kind regards

FOI Manager

Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680  Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [email address]
[1]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

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FOImanager, Meteorological Office

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Dear Mr Holland,

 

Please find attached a letter in response to your recent request for
information.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager

Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]

[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

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Dear FOI Manager,

Thank you for your letter of 23 October 2013, your ref. 0030017. Although you claim by virtue of EIR r.12(4)b that you are not obliged to comply with my request, you go on to ask me to refine or reduce my request. Accordingly I will consider your letter a request for clarification of my request, which is in no way manifestly unreasonable as you claim - not only because of the overarching public interest well established in EA/2012/0193, but because it should be satisfied by just 18 electronic files, none of which should require any redactions.

Of precisely the information that I have requested, the Co-Chairman of the first three IPCC Assessment Reports, your former Chief Executive, Sir John Houghton, wrote publicly in 2002, that all parts of scientific assessment processes that form an input to policy making need to be completely open and transparent. He also claimed that most if not all of what I am now asking for had been freely and widely available – adding much to the credibility of the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) process and its conclusions.

I can confirm that my original request related only to Chapters 2 and 12 of the 14 in the IPCC TAR. The Met Office’s Dr Chris Folland was a Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 2 which featured the Mann et al. ‘hockey stick’ study, the inclusion of which was heavily criticised by Chapter 2 Lead Author, Dr John Christy, in his evidence to the US Congress following the ‘Climategate’ revelations. It is not possible to overstate the public interest in the provenance of the TAR Chapter 2 or Chapter 12.

The Met Office’s Dr John Mitchell, later its Chief Scientist, was a Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 12 which cited the ‘hockey stick’ of Chapter 2 as validating the low natural variability of the Hadley Centre climate model, which in turn generated the concerns of dangerous anthropogenic climate change and the consequential high cost energy polices that are much in the news today and likely to feature even more so in the future.

The process of IPCC TAR was broadly similar to that of the recent AR5 and the previous AR4. Accordingly each of the two TAR ZOD, FOD and SOD drafts that were sent for review would at most comprise a text document and a figures document – making a total of only 12 documents, all of which are in electronic form.

In AR4 and AR5 the Government and Expert Reviewers’ comments and Lead Authors’ responses were consolidated into a single electronic Excel file for each draft of each of the two chapters – making a further 6 documents and would take the total of documents that I requested to 18, if the TAR had proceeded as had the AR4 and AR5. It is difficult to imagine how TAR Review Editors and Authors could have done as they were required to by the IPCC if the process did not consolidate the comments and responses in an electronic file for each draft of each chapter.

As you know, the Met Office was appointed by the IPCC to provide the Technical Support Unit (TSU) for the TAR, the head of which was Dr David Griggs, who was at one time the Deputy Chief Scientist at the Met Office. The Appendix A Procedures for the TAR were agreed by the IPCC in 1999 and required that the documents, which I have requested, be placed in an open archive. In 2001 – several years after the Aarhus Convention required this environmental information to be available to public in electronic form - it is difficult to imagine a proper reason for considering the IPCC archiving requirements to be satisfied by the eight unindexed boxes of computer printout deposited in a Harvard library by the Met Office. In essence, I want the electronic files from which the Harvard archive was printed.

If the drafts and comments of the two chapters are not as I have described, perhaps you will send me the schedule of 780 documents that you have located so that I may try to identify those that relate to my request. As you know, under the EIR there is a presumption in favour of disclosure and under r.9 a requirement that you assist me in identifying the documents that I wish to see.

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

FOImanager, Meteorological Office

Dear Mr Holland,

 

Please accept this as acknowledgement of your enquiry dated 25 October
2013.

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 Met Office.

You should therefore expect to receive our response by 22 November 2013.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager

Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]

[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

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FOImanager, Meteorological Office

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Holland,

Please find attached a letter in response to your recent request.

I attach some of the documents mentioned in the letter, however, due to the file size it has not been possible to provide these in one email. I will email with the remaining documents shortly. Please let me know if you do not receive any of the 11 documents mentioned.

Kind regards
FOI Manager

Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681
Email: [email address]

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

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David Holland left an annotation ()

Dear Met Office,

Thank you for the information just disclosed. I note that you have not disclosed the Zero Order Drafts and you state that they were not part of the archive sent to Harvard. Could you please let me know if they are held by the Met Office.

Yours sincerely

David Holland

FOImanager, Meteorological Office

Dear Mr Holland,

 

I note your annotation on the what do they know website, asking;  Thank
you for the information just disclosed. I note that you have not disclosed
the Zero Order Drafts and you state that they were not part of the archive
sent to Harvard. Could you please let me know if they are held by the Met
Office.

 

Please accept this as acknowledgement of your enquiry dated 21 November
2013.

Under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act
2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004, you will receive our
response within a period of 20 working days from the date it was received
within the Met Office.

You should therefore expect to receive our response by 19 December 2013.

 

Kind regards

FOI Manager

Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [email address]
[1]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

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Dear Meteorological Office,

Thank you for your letter of 25 November 2013 received via WhatDotTheyKnow.com.

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

I am writing to request an internal review of the Meteorological Office's handling of my FOI request 'TAR Drafts and Comments'.

Under and in accordance with EIR r.11, I am asking you to reconsider your response to my original request of 26 September 2013. I also ask that you do not start another request case for information that you should have already provided under r.9. Under the DCA code of practice s.60 you should have considered my annotation of 21 November 2013 as a complaint rather than a new request if you were not willing to answer it.

I believe this situation bears a strong similarity to EA/2010/0010 in which the Tribunal decided that Ofcom were in breach of r.9 for not making clear that other information that was known to be held might satisfy my original request.

My original request specifically included the Zero Order Drafts (ZODs) and the authors responses to the review comments on the drafts. You neither disclosed nor refused to disclose these. In my original request I referred to the published statement of your former Chief Executive, Sir John Houghton, who had been the Chairman of the working group which produced the documents that I requested. His exact words were:

“IPCC documents including early drafts and review comments have been freely and widely available”

Sir John did not exclude the ZODs or the authors comments in response to those of the government and expert reviewers.

It is well known that Zero Order Drafts existed for the TAR and to assist you the files names for Chapter 2 were, or were similar to:

Chap2VERZERO.5TEXT.doc
ch02_00_figs_millennium.doc

The IPCC Third Assessment Report for the first time required ‘Review Editors’ to “ensure that all substantive expert and government review comments are afforded appropriate consideration”. To do so the authors responses had to seen by the Review Editors and I am certain that you hold these in consolidated files for each chapter.

From Sir John’s statement my expectation was that the ZODs and the authors responses would have been archived. My remark that that my request was “in essence” for the electronic files from which the archive had been printed should not have been interpreted a reduction of what was a perfectly reasonable and correctly specified request.

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

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

Enquiries, Meteorological Office

Thank you for your email.  We aim to respond to our emails within 6 hours,
so one of our Weather Desk Advisors will be in touch as soon as possible.

 

In the meantime, if you have any questions or your enquiry is urgent,
please phone the Weather Desk on 0870 900 0100, this number is available
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Alternatively you can tweet us @metoffice

 

Kind regards

Weather Desk Team

Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 885681 E-mail:
[1][Met Office request email] ht[2]tp://www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

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FOImanager, Meteorological Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Holland,

 

Please find attached a letter acknowledging your request for an internal
review

 

Kind regards

FOI Manager

Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]

[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

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FOImanager, Meteorological Office

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Holland,

 

Please find attached a copy of the internal review response and revised
response to your request for information. Additional attachments will
follow this email due to size restrictions

 

Kind regards

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

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FOImanager, Meteorological Office

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Additional attachment 1

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

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Additional attachment 2

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

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Additional attachment 3

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

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Additional attachment 4

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

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Additional attachment 5, divided into 2 (part a)

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

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Additional attachment 5, divided into 2 (part b)

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

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Final attachment 6, divided into 3 (part a)

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

Confidentiality Notice
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FOImanager, Meteorological Office

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Final attachment 6, divided into 4 (part b)

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

Confidentiality Notice
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Final attachment 6, divided into 4 (part c)

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

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Final attachment 6, divided into 4 (part d)

 

Please note this is the final attachment.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Manager
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 885680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 
Email: [1][email address]
[2]http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

Confidentiality Notice
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sender as detailed above.

 

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