date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 10:43:15 -0000
from: "Palmer Dave Mr \(LIB\)" <David.PalmeratXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: FW: Freedom of Information request (FOI_07-04)
to: "Mcgarvie Michael Mr \(ACAD\)" <k364atXYZxyz.ac.uk>, "Phil Jones" <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
An appeal that 'isn't' an appeal to the earlier request....
I am presuming that the answer we gave to the request still stands?
The LC Code of Practice states that any expression of dissatisfaction should be treated as
a complaint and our complaints procedure invoked. They suggest an informal approach to
settling the matter first and if that fails, only then going the formal route. The latter
involves a review by a person not involved with the original complaint - the UEA Code lays
out a 3 stage process; one, informal, two, review by Director of Information Services, and
three, review by a board that includes the Registrar. In reality, I have had but 2 appeals
and since both involved the Registrar, the VC decided both... the feeling being that we
can't have someone 'lower' in the organisational pecking order reviewing the actions of a
'superior'.... All the Act & Code really requires is that we have a review process and
follow it. The appellant can't go to the ICO until all local review processes are
As to timelines, we have to tell the appellant our time limit and procedure & deal with the
complaint within each stage within 28 days - this is in line with national guidance.
To the substance of this, obviously if we can resolve this informally, that would be the
preferred course... is there any way that we can convince this person that the information
requested is available where we directed them to? Or can we give advice and guidance that
would alter the request sufficiently to allow it to be fulfilled? I'm looking for a way to
avoid the formal process as I fear this will end up with the ICO and take more of all our
time & effort.... I hope my initial email to him will offer a way out of this without
resorting to the formal process - I'm an optimist!
Worth another meeting to discuss? Great timing eh?
Michael - do you want me to send a copy of the UEA complaints procedure?
From: Willis Eschenbach [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 10:48 PM
To: Palmer Dave Mr (LIB) l212
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request (FOI_07-04)
Dear Mr. Palmer:
Thank you for your reply (attached below). However, I fear that it is totally unresponsive.
I had asked for a list of the sites actually used. While it may (or may not) be true that
"it appears that the raw station data can be obtained from [GHCN]", this is meaningless
without an actual list of the sites that Dr. Jones and his team used.
The debate about changes in the climate is quite important. Dr. Jones' work is one of the
most frequently cited statistics in the field. Dr. Jones has refused to provide a list of
the sites used for his work, and as such, it cannot be replicated. Replication is central
to science. I find Dr. Jones attitude quite difficult to understand, and I find your
refusal to provide the data requested quite baffling.
You are making the rather curious claim that because the data "appears" to be out on the
web somewhere, there is no need for Dr. Jones to reveal which stations were actually used.
The claim is even more baffling since you say that the original data used by CRU is
available at the GHCN web site, and then follow that with the statement that some of the
GHCN data originally came from CRU. Which is the case? Did CRU get the data from GHCN, or
did GHCN get the data from CRU?
Rather than immediately appealing this ruling (with the consequent negative publicity that
would inevitably accrue to CRU from such an action), I am again requesting that you
1) A list of the actual sites used by Dr. Jones in the preparation of the HadCRUT3 dataset,
2) A clear indication of where the data for each site is available. This is quite
important, as there are significant differences between the versions of each site's data at
e.g. GHCN and NCAR.
I find it somewhat disquieting that an FOI request is necessary to force a scientist to
reveal the data used in his publicly funded research ... is this truly the standard that
the CRU is promulgating?
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Dear Mr. Eschenbach
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI_07-04)
Your request for information received on 28 September now been considered and I can report
that the information requested is available on non-UEA websites as detailed below.
The Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN-Monthly) page within US National Climate
Data Centre website provides one of the two US versions of the global dataset and includes
raw station data. This site is at:
This page is where you can get one of the two US versions of the global dataset, and it
appears that the raw station data can be obtained from this site.
Datasets named ds564.0 and ds570.0 can be found at The Climate & Global Dynamics Division
(CGD) page of the Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory (ESSL) at the National Center for
Atmospheric Research (NCAR) site at: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/tn404/
Between them, these two datasets have the data which the UEA Climate Research Unit (CRU)
uses to derive the HadCRUT3 analysis. The latter, NCAR site holds the raw station data
(including temperature, but other variables as well). The GHCN would give their set of
station data (with adjustments for all the numerous problems).
They both have a lot more data than the CRU have (in simple station number counts), but the
extra are almost entirely within the USA. We have sent all our data to GHCN, so they do, in
fact, possess all our data.
In accordance with S. 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 this letter acts as a
Refusal Notice, and the reasons for exemption are as stated below
s. 21, Information accessible to applicant via other means Some information is publicly
available on external websites
If you have a complaint about the handling of your enquiry then please contact me at:
University of East Anglia
Telephone 0160 393 523
You also have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at: Information
Telephone: 01625 545 700
Information Policy Officer
University of East Anglia