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« Not working for you | Main | UEA - a new story »
Wednesday
Nov242010

Holland - what was redacted

David H has posted his take on the importance of the redactions here. I was in the meantime working on my own version of the same story. I'll post it here anyway, in case people want a different take on the same facts.

In David's post yesterday, he described how a new release of data from UEA shows how his submission to the Russell review had been heavily edited before Geoffrey Boulton sent it to UEA for a response. He also outlined the evidence that suggests strongly that the full unedited version was supplied to Osborn and Briffa, possibly from another source, in spite of UEA's claims to the contrary.

Some of the most important omissions concerned the IPCC’s retrospective change of the deadline for submissions to the Fourth Assessment Report, a change that was apparently made in order to allow the Wahl and Ammann paper to be used against McIntyre and McKitrick’s refutation of the Hockey Stick.

Prior to the IPCC review, clear deadlines for submission of papers had been set and these had been reiterated to authors on a number of occasions. The relevant IPCC documents were described in Holland's Russell submission and in particular, he highlighted a policy document written by the IPCC Working Group 1 Technical Services Unit:

When the second draft of the AR4 is written authors need to be sure that any cited paper that is not yet published will actually appear in the literature, is correctly referenced, and will not be subsequently modified (except perhaps for copy editing). In practice this means that by December 2005, papers cited need to be either published or "in press".

When the second draft of the AR4 is sent to Governments and experts for the second round review, the TSU must hold final preprint copies of any unpublished papers that are cited in order that these can be made available to reviewers. This means that by late-February 2006 if LAs can not assure us that a paper is in press and provide a preprint we will ask them to remove any reference to it.

In essence then, the paper had to at least be in press by the end of December 2005 and the authors then had to come up with a preprint by the end of February. Holland quoted these excerpts in para 42 of his submission, and went on to explain their importance as follows:

The above instruction imposed additional strict conditions necessary to ensure that Government and Expert Reviewers were reviewing the actual paper, as it would be published. It might be argued that it extended the “in press” deadline to any time in December 2005, although it did not specifically state that. It did make it absolutely clear, however, that a final preprint copy had to be held by the TSU by late February 2006 and that failure meant that citations must be removed.

However the whole of this clarification was removed by the Russell team before they issued their version of Holland's submission to UEA.

In para 44 of the original submission, Holland had also noted an email that showed that Eugene Wahl himself had assumed that Wahl and Ammann 2007 had missed the IPCC WGI deadline of December 2005 and that it could not therefore be cited. The email also shows that Jonathan Overpeck waived this rule in February 2006:

44. On 11 February 2006 in email 1141180962, Wahl tries to secure the acceptance of Wahl and Ammann writing to the editor, Stephen Schneider, of the journal Climatic Change:

“Hello Steve:

Caspar and I expect to have the final manuscript to you in 7-10 days with all the revisions you requested in December. I have recently had some correspondence with Jonathan Overpeck about this, in his IPCC role. He says that the paper needs to be in press by the end of February to be acceptable to be cited in the SOD. [I had thought that we had passed all chance for citation in the next IPCC report back in December, but Peck has made it known to me this is not so.] He and I have communicated re: what "in press" means for Climatic Change, and I agreed to contact you to have a clear definition. What I have understood from our conversations before is that if you receive the mss and move it from "provisionally accepted" status to "accepted", then this can be considered in press, in light of CC being a journal of record.

Peace, Gene”

However, inexplicably, para 44 was deleted by the Russell team in its entirety.

In para 45, Holland had referred back to para 44 saying that the sentence in brackets: “shows that [Wahl] had understood the clear TSU instruction that the paper had to be ‘in press’ by 16 December and was not expecting his paper, written with Caspar Ammann, to be acceptable to the IPCC WGI TSU”. But of course, with para 44 no longer in place, this made no sense. Consequently, when Briffa and Osborn responded to Boulton they said:

“No text from Wahl is quoted above and therefore this statement is in error.”

Thus the important evidence that the IPCC’s rules had been overridden by Overpeck and that Wahl believed that his paper had missed the deadline was neatly sidestepped. But what is most remarkable about Osborn and Briffa’s response is this: we know from UEA’s letter yesterday that the two UEA men knew exactly what was in the missing paragraph because Briffa had received the unredacted text from elsewhere.

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Reader Comments (34)

Who or what was the third-party source?

Nov 24, 2010 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Who edited the version that Boulton circulated? Would an FOI request be able to get to the bottom of that? If this was a legal inquiry would this be tampering with evidence?

http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/15/more-tricks-from-boulton-and-the-hapless-muir-russell/

Nov 24, 2010 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Don"t know why you use the word "inexplicability" to describe the reason for the redaction of para 44.. From everything we have seen if is crystal clear that it is easily explicable as simply another demonstration of the true, planned, purpose of this "inquiry." It was a frame-up from start to finish; something they could have gotten clean away with ten years ago, but no longer.

Nov 24, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterphilH

This is looking more like a "Fawlty Towers" script.

It is time for UEA to call in the US Climate Change Rapid Response Team, after all, if they can not "fix" this, there is not a lot of point in them existing.

Nov 24, 2010 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Given that Briffa, Osborn, and Boulton each clearly had access to the original Holland submission (and therefore knew full well what was in every paragraph) this episode simply demonstrates obfuscation and dishonesty. (And likely collusion between the University and the 'independent; inquiry team).

Perhaps the inquiry has inefficiently reached an important conclusion after all?

Nov 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

I'm looking for a concise way to describe this innovation of removing whole paragraphs, then finding statements that remain at fault because they depend on material now deleted.

Hide the define?

Nov 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

The academics in this country are shocking, please Newton look away now. (Politicians don't count they've always been useless).

Nov 24, 2010 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Richard Drake: "Hide the define"

Outstanding. These affairs are such a trove of opportunity to name newly realized forms of bad behavior.

Nov 24, 2010 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

Isn't this "tampering with evidence"???

Shouldn't Boulton and Russell be hounded for specifically subverting their own inquiry?

Time now for questions in parliament to the Prime Minister, I would have thought. If only Lord Lawson still sat in the commons, rather than being stone-walled in the House of Lords.

Nov 24, 2010 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterDead Dog Bounce

Richard Drake: "Hide the define"

Excellent.

Nov 24, 2010 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

The UEA letter states that Briffa had a full copy of the Holland submission. It further states that "In providing their response they (Briffa & Osborn) showed the annex in a format that could be clearly linked to your submission to the Russell Review to explicitly demonstrate that your allegations had been formally considered." Note: "clearly linked to your submission"

To me, that reads that UEA (now) understand that B&O answered in the knowledge of the full Holland submission. From this, I can only surmise that B&O deliberately avoided para 44 by stating “No text from Wahl is quoted above and therefore this statement is in error.” and that the redacted version gave them the chance to do so.

Nov 24, 2010 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Dead Dog Bounce - I'm still unsure as to what report the HoC Science and Technology C'ttee will make on the October oral sessions. If they are aware of all these issues I think it will be hard for them to write a bland "nothing to see here" report - they were being taken as fools and I'd expect them to be rightly furious.

Nov 24, 2010 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

I wonder if B&O and Boulton collaborated in creating the redacted version so that they could avoid the inconvenient bits?

What's really shocking to me is that no one in the British authority structure seems willing to be David's advocate. He has been terribly mistreated in this process and the CRU's actions have made a mockery of the UK's FOI laws, yet no one in power is standing up to say 'this is not right.'

Nov 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermpaul

I do not know where this is leading..if anywhere..but please please continue to hold their feet to the fire.

Kafka-esque seems inadequate to describe this.

Please God let Climategate end the same way as Watergate.

Nov 24, 2010 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

"no one in the British authority structure"
Even more appalling: no-one in the MSM either.

Nov 24, 2010 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

The fact that both Boulton and Briffa were in full knowledge of DH's submission and saught to play a game based on a redacted version is very illuminating. It appears to strongly suggest that a nod-and-a-wink approach was adopted in this review.

Nov 24, 2010 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Question by Stephen Mosley at HoC: "Did you take Mr Holland’s evidence into account before you made the judgment on the allegation of the breaches of the IPCC’s rules?"

Russell in response: "Yes...reproduced in the evidence on the website.....But I think the substance of the issues has all been dealt with. The team went into that pretty carefully."

So how were the complaints of Holland, specifically those in para 44, dealt with exactly? We, and I believe the HoC committee having asked the question, are none the wiser. David Holland is being treated contemptuously based on this evidence

Nov 24, 2010 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Sorry for my lack of knowledge on the niceties of enquiries, but is there not some legal framework around these ? If there is the surely the redaction and editing can be investigated?

A classic case of political gerrymandering. Sir Humphrey lives on !

Nov 24, 2010 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMactheknife

"Kafka-esque seems inadequate to describe this."--Jack Savage

Borgesean, perhaps?

Nov 24, 2010 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Brits,

Is it really possible that you have no-one in either of your houses who can rise to this question? It seems very hard to think that there cannot be a single skeptic there who can understand what is contained in these postings and call for a sharper enquiry.

Here on the west bank, the wheels grind slowly and oft times haphazardly, but grind they do.

Nov 24, 2010 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

Let's make it shore instead of bank. Banks are such a senstive topic these days.

Nov 24, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

"Hide the define" ... brilliant! And, of course we can now expect a post-normal redefinition of the word "redaction" ... "Redaction is merely a smudge, an elegant way of solving a problem, to clarify things for the reader".

Nov 24, 2010 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

“No text from Wahl is quoted above and therefore this statement is in error.”

Were they sniggering as the wrote this? Or was the whole thing choreographed and they acted under orders?

Whoever edited the document perverted the course of the enquiry, others were clearly complicit. Conspiracy fact?

Nov 24, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete

Re J Ferguson

Is it really possible that you have no-one in either of your houses who can rise to this question?

Either Lawson or Stringer would be likely candidates. Problem for Stringer may be he's in opposition and his leader is the guy that gave us the Climate Change Act. Given our coalition's a bit of a mess and most of the leaders are very green (in more ways than one), even if a question were asked, it could simply be ignored or batted aside by the Minister most responsible, one Huhne. It is all rather embarassing and the only way to move on may be via the legal system, but not sure how. Or how expensive that may get and who would fund a legal challenge.

Nov 24, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Redaction: The process of removing or masking unwanted or sensitive areas of a document prior to showing it to others.

Fraud In Inducement: The fraudulent act of influencing a person to do an activity which he otherwise would not have done unless for such inducement.

http://www.legal-explanations.com/definitions/redaction.htm

Nov 24, 2010 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

J Ferguson and Atomic H

Dont forget Peter Lilley

http://www.peterlilley.co.uk/article.aspx?id=19&ref=1506

Nov 24, 2010 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

worse than we thought.

Nov 24, 2010 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterHans Erren

What am I missing?
1. The failures of the UEA to respond correctly to David's original FOI request and the incitement to delete material rather than provide it seem to me to be criminal acts.
2. It seems to me that the demonstrated complicity of the Muir-Russell enquiry in covering up these acts makes the enquiry members accomplices-after-the-fact, ie criminally culpable of abetting the avoidance of the provisions of the FOI Act.

Nov 25, 2010 at 4:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterColin Davidson

It seems to me that Briffa, Osborne, Boulton and Russell are just playing silly games here. They all had the full submission and they conspired to create a redacted version so that Briffa and Osborne could say “No text from Wahl is quoted above and therefore this statement is in error.”

Once again we have the same course of conduct that we saw in the Climategate emails: underhand, playing political games to get the result intended. But sadly, it looks as though they have roped in Boulton and Russell to this subterfuge. What amazes me is that these men must surely believe that they won't be found out. This simply underscores how brasen and deluded they are.

Nov 25, 2010 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

Yesterday on the other thread Chuck S K asked:

Why don´t you note the fact that the new deadline was decided by TSU and Susan Solomon, not by Overpeck/Jones and was for all contributions to all chapters? You need to be extremely narrow-minded to believe that this was done solely for the purpose of the W&A paper, on a small detail of the entire IPCC report.

This is an excellent question and no doubt arises from the unattributed statement Briffa attached to his reply to Boulton as Supporting Documents C. Appendix C in the zip file released by UEA last Friday is the email to which this statement was attached. Why have WGI gone anonymous all of a sudden? If Stocker, Dahe Qin or Midgley had put their name to it it would be more convincing.

However, lets look at the evidence.

On 25 May 2008, Steve McIntyre posted this about Wahl and Ammann and IPCC deadlines. I had been trying to get information from the Met Office and CRU and what Steve revealed was new to me so I made a further more particular request to UEA/CRU on 27 May. Two days later we now know Jones asked Mann to delete all his emails with Briffa regarding AR4. At the same time I asked similar question of the Met Office and the Universities of Reading and Oxford; and the IPCC Secretary who never acknowledged it for over a year. The others stonewalled and in my Russell submission I had shown the evidence that at least 3 of them acted in concert.

What McIntyre showed was that in six cases in Chapter 6 where review comments complained that the cited paper failed to meet the publication deadline the lead authors had as good as give the pantomime answer "Oh yes it does!"

Rejected, guidlines used for preparing the draft have been followed and new guidlines do not pose problems (6-1115)
Papers cited are within the guidlines for in press papers (6-1116)
Rejected- the citation is allowed current rules. (6-748)
Rejected- the citation is allowed under current rules. 6-1158
See response to comment 6-1158. (6-750).
Rejected -… all papers cited are within current IPCC publication deadline rules. (6-735)
Rejected – revised deadlines mean that these papers are citable. (6-1215)

The papers being referred to were Osborn and Briffa 2006; Wahl et al 2006; Wahl and Ammann 2006; Hegerl et al "accepted". All we being used in support of the 1998/9 Mann et al hockey stick papers and the assertion that to a 90% certainty recent warming was exceptional which in turn was part of the justification that to a 95% certainty most of the late 20th century warming was a result of human activity.

Now in the “Boultonized” (if I may introduce the new CA term) para 57 in my Russell submission I reproduced Pachauri's infamous claim:

“Every stage of the drafting of our report is peer reviewed, and whatever comments we get from the peer review process are posted on the website of the IPCC, and the reasons why we accept or reject those comments are clearly specified. Where we accept a comment we say, "Yes. Accepted." Where we don't, we have to adduce very clear reasons why the authors don't agree with the comment. So it's a very transparent process.”

In the next Boultonized paragraph I merely pointed to the inconsistencies between how Pachauri says the IPCC process works and what appeared to have happened on Chapter 6. When I had written my 2007 Bias and Concealment Paper, I had seen the responses of the Lead Authors but had no idea how they could justify them in the light of the known deadlines. However, remember these comments and responses were not published until over a year after they were written.

I will post these “new guidelines” next but first a question for Chuck or anyone else that knows.

While progressing the information requests I began to search the comments and responses. There were over 11,000 comments on the 11 chapters of WGI. These were read and responded to by over 100 Lead Authors over a period of weeks. The words needle and haystack come to mind. However, the comments and responses were originally on the Internet as pdf files which are easy to search with Adobe. I can find no other comments or responses in the other 11 chapters remotely similar to these on Chapter 6.

They are still online but in a much less convenient form so if you want to search pdfs use the link for Chapter 6 above and change the chapter number.

I am willing to be proved wrong but I believe that only in Chapter 6 did anyone object to papers being cited that did not meet the publication deadline and only in the responses to Chapter 6 comments did anyone rely upon the new revised deadlines which I believe Briffa’s boss Jones and Briffa’s Coordinating Lead Author talked Solomon, Manning and the others into making. Prove me wrong.

Nov 25, 2010 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Holland

Small Ooops. The link to Chapter 6 has gained two extra characters at the end. It should be

http://www.ventalize.org.uk/Climate%20Change/Climategate/WGI_SOD_comments/Ch06.pdf

Nov 25, 2010 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Holland

I just love this bit:

"Eugene Wahl himself had assumed that Wahl and Ammann 2007 had missed the IPCC WGI deadline of December 2005"


It is Kafkaesque.

Nov 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Now lets look at these new guidelines or guidlines as one Lead Author calls them.

Guidelines for inclusion of recent scientific literature in the Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report.


We are very grateful to the many reviewers of the second draft of the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report for suggestions received on issues of balance and citation of additional scientific literature. To ensure clarity and transparency in determining how such material might be included in the final Working Group I report, the following guidelines will be used by Lead Authors in considering such suggestions.

In preparing the final draft of the IPCC Working Group I report, Lead Authors may include scientific papers published in 2006 where, in their judgment, doing so would advance the goal of achieving a balance of scientific views in addressing reviewer comments.

However, new issues beyond those covered in the second order draft will not be introduced at this stage in the preparation of the report. Reviewers are invited to submit copies of additional papers that are either in-press or published in 2006, along with the chapter and section number1 to which this material could pertain, via email to ipcc-wg1@al.noaa.gov, not later than July 24, 2006.

In the case of in-press papers, a copy of the final acceptance letter from the journal is requested for our records. All submissions must be received by the TSU not later than July 24, 2006 and incomplete submissions can not be accepted

Lets think about "the many” reviewers and their suggestions "on issues of balance and citation of additional scientific literature". These would of course be in the published comments if there were any. If you download all 11 chapters from AR4 WGI and put them in a separate file you can use Adobe to search the lot. Try “balance” for instance. In the 11 chapters there are 223 instances including words like “imbalance”, “balanced” etc. From the brief listing most are obviously irrelevant but check the full text on any that might fit.

Now if you do not want to read 11,000 comments think of all the ways you might ask for the publication deadline to be changed from 16 December 2005 to 24 July 2006. I reported that I had done this in my Boultonized para 62

Here is the only one that I found:

I think that the amount of new work is meagre for this chapter. Much discussion is devoted to GCM results from the AR4 or older simulations. The reason for this is probably that the time from the release of the latest simulations to the dead line for submission if the work was to be included in the IPCC report was too short. Therefore, my suggestion is that the IPCC process is more flexible with respect to dead lines for submission for those papers included (eg see http://www.pcmdi.llnl.gov/ipcc/subproject_publications.php and the STARDEX publications). Also, I think this problem should be kept in mind before the next report (AR5) so that the most recent GCM results are made available in good time so that they can be analysed/downscaled as published in time for being included in the report.
[Rasmus E. Benestad (Reviewer’s comment ID #: 18-57)]

And here is what the Lead Authors thought of his idea:

We disagree and suggest the chapter has much that is new. Secondly, the GCMs are the basis for developing regional statements, and are hence a natural focus. The comment on STARDEX is noted, and additional consideration will be given to recent papers meeting IPCC deadlines.

I have spent hours and found no others. Perhaps Chuck or one of the Bishop’s readers at UEA knows one or more of the “many” who these requests. I have made FoIA requests and received “not held” answers or no reply.

We know that the “team” like to redefine words like “peer-review”, “in press” and “accepted” so what definition of “many” do we think should apply compared with the total of 11,289 comments. I do not think 10 is enough, 100 might be at a pinch and 1000 would be OK. We shall see how many get reported here.

Note however that each of the hundreds of Expert Reviewers would only know if they or someone they had collaborated with had made such a request, so if they had not made such a request and it was a barefaced lie they would not know until the comments were released and they searched them. But why would they? And in any case but for Steve McIntyre the comments were going to be in a Harvard library in hard copy only. I made this point in my Boultonized para 63

However, what do these new deadlines allow. In the second paragraph it states “Lead Authors may include scientific papers published in 2006”. Given that the IPCC report is a review of the published literature and goes to press early in 2007 this seems a reasonable restriction and if by 24 July 2006 two months after the review stage has finished why would the Lead Authors consider a paper that was not guaranteed to be published in 2006? In para 67, one of the few important ones that was not Boultonized I reported that in leaked email 1155402164 Wahl told Briffa:

.. .. Thus I cannot say it is certain this article will come out in 2006.

In his response to Boulton Briffa lamely disputes that the new guidelines were restricted to 2006 papers.

So nearing the end of a gruelling IPCC assessment the WGI Lead Authors invite all 600 hundred Expert Reviewers and all the authors to shower them with even more bright ideas. How many Expert Reviewers would still be reading their WGI emails two months after their duties had finished? I know two that saw it and one that denied receiving it but had actually forgotten it. Only one of the three responded. This is why I asked UEA, Oxford, Reading and the IPCC to see the suggestions from the “many reviewers” who asked for these new guidelines. These of course should have been published as an addendum to the original Expert Reviewers’ comments with the Lead Authors’ responses, but were not.

I received no information from Reading or Oxford but the last page of Briffa’s reply to Boulton shows just four for Chapter 6. Although the TSU received a fifth from Steve McIntyre it never reached Briffa. Of the four Briffa received, two are from people not listed in the IPCC WGI Annex of contributors and made no comments on any chapters, but were now suggesting their own papers be added!

Gabi Hegerl suggested one of her own papers be cited and Hermann Held suggested Schneider von Deimling et al in which he was a co-author. Between them Hegerl and Held made some 39 comments during the official review of the the second draft. I have checked these and they were not among “the many” who asked for this extra open season on citations.

So Chuck, my working hypothesis has for some time been that the “new guidelines” was a fib and the sort of stunt Jones and Overpeck would pull to cover the fact that important papers in the Palaeoclimate Chapter broke the published rules and all references to them should have been removed. My hypothesis can be falsified easily if AR4 WGI TSU publishes a list of “the many” who asked for the new deadlines and all the additional suggestions that flowed from it.

Unless one of you beats me to it, I will next post a piece on Appendix D from the zip file released by UEA last Friday. Disclosure of this email was refused using the Ministerial Veto of FOIA section 36 by both UEA and the Met Office, until, just a few weeks ago. It further strengthens my hypotheses.

Nov 25, 2010 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Holland

In my previous comments I have pointed to the evidence that not only did the Wahl and Ammann 2007 paper miss the original IPCC WGI deadline to be in press with a "final preprint" in the hands of the Technical Support Unit, but Eugene Wahl had originally believed it to be so. It was Jonathan Overpeck who had persuaded him that it only had to be "in press" by the end of February 2006. That it failed to meet the original guidelines appears to be accepted by the Lead Authors for two reasons. Their responses to the Expert Reviewers' comments do not dispute it but, when decrypted say clearly new guidelines introduced after the review stage retrospectively regularised it. Briffa in his reply to Boulton does not dispute that it missed the original deadline but was allowed to stay cited because of the new guidelines.

I have explained the analyses and searches that I have undertaken to try to find evidence to verify the alleged reason that the new guidelines were introduced. I believe it was a deliberate lie and the sole reason for it was to save Wahl and Ammann and the two other Chapter 6 papers. The WGI TSU and Lead Authors could easily prove me wrong by publishing "the many" suggestions they claimed to have received which led to the new guidelines. This is a very important matter and their continued silence entitles me to think the worst.

The last piece of evidence came to me on 1 October 2010 from the Met Office. However, on 19 August 2010 the MOD, in which the Met Office resides had ealier refused to release it stating:

The Met Office has sought the opinion of the Under Secretary of State for Defence as the qualified person for the Met Office as to whether section 36(2)(b) applies to the requested information. The Under Secretary of State for Defence has decided that disclosure of the requested information would be likely to inhibit the free and frank provision of advice or the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.

When I complained to my MP, the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Bob Ainsworth, replied that the release of this information would be likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and the IPCC - an all too familiar but nonetheless ridiculous assertion. At the behest of the Information Commissioners Office, the Met Office released an email sent on 6 July 2006 by Jonathan Overpeck to the Chapter 6 writing team. They could not, however, resist the redaction of Overpeck's name, which is why I included a request for Briffa's copy in my last EIR request to UEA. This is what Overpeck wrote only 3 days after the TSU sent out the new guidelines:

Hi all - if you didn't get this already, this is worth looking at. As we discussed in Bergen, however, we would prefer to keep the addition of new references to a minimum EXCEPT where

1) really needed to update our assessment as it stands
2) the addition doesn't mean a widening of our assessment - we don't want to add any new issues that haven't been reviewed


Please try extra hard not to include any of your own new publications unless REALLY needed, and if you add references, see if you can DELETE some already being cited in our chapter. Remember that we still have to reduce our chapter size by a significant 5 pages.

Thanks, Peck and Eystein

If you knew nothing about Wahl and Ammann or the "new guidelines" you would wonder why the MOD would think this email would prejudice anything. But we do know from Briffa that just two weeks earlier and at the end of the review process Jones, Overpeck, and as Chuck rightly points out Solomon, Manning the other Coordinating Lead Authors, decided to retrospectively change the "in press" deadline from before the start of the review process to long after it. In Briffa's evidence we also learnt that all the Lead Authors were told and agreed.

They invited 600 Expert Reviewers all over the world to go to extra trouble to think of and send in suggestions on all of the 11 Chapters suggesting citation of recent literature that would improve the balance. They said that "many" of the Expert Reviewers had wanted this. In the end for Chapter 6, which is the only one for which we have evidence, just four people suggested their own papers and only two of them were official IPCC Expert Reviewers. These were Chapter 9 Coordinating Lead Author Gabi Hegerl and Hermann Held whose co-author of his paper was Stefan Rahmstorf, a Lead Author of Chapter 6.

What Overpeck's email suggests to me is that a few days after pulling this stunt he understands the risk they are running of being buried in extra comments. This only reinforces my conjecture that the reason for the "new guidelines" was a barefaced lie, certainly for Chapter 6 which could not accommodate any more citations. It was very likely that for all the chapters the Lead Authors and Review Editors also had more than enough work to do with the 11, 289 comments they already had. Myles Allen in his replies to my information request bleated on about his workload which he now tells us he was fitting in with paternity leave!

In Chapter 6 we now know that only one extra citation was added to the text as a result of suggestions from the new guidelines. It was Schneider et al., (2006) on page 452. However, and this shows what a kluge these new guidelines were, the added reference at end of the chapter is Schneider von Deimling et al. Incidentally, in the "new guidelines" suggestions sent to Briffa, the "i" is missed our of Deimling and transposed with the "e" in David Schneider. These guys cant even cheat properly!

My assessment of the other WGI chapters, where there are far more extra citations than in Chapter 6 of papers that missed the original deadline, is that almost all are associated with the Lead Authors. Thus the new guidelines saved Wahl and Ammann in Chapter 6 and rewarded the other Lead Authors with some extra citations - so everyone was happy.

Now I can be wrong on all of this and will eat humble pie if Chuck or AR4 WGI prove that there really are many requests from Expert Reviewers for the new guidelines, in the 11,289 published official published comments of course.

Unless and until that happens I will draw a line under AR4 and start thinking about AR5.

Nov 26, 2010 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Holland

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