Thursday, May 17, 2012


cc: "Midgley, Pauline" <>
date: Wed, 13 May 2009 18:17:47 +0200
from: Thomas Stocker <>
subject: Re: Data access and IPCC
to: Phil Jones <>, wg1 <>

Dear Phil (cc to Pauline Midgley, Head TSU WGI)

Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention. I knew about this
when the first requests were placed on John Mitchell and Keith Briffa
and they informed us. What I did not know is that they have already
placed their focus on Bern (# 17)!

At that time I argued that in principle there are two interests to
balance: (i) FOI, and (ii) your own privacy when it comes to opening
emails or other mail. Obviously, I am not in the position to judge which
one obtains and in fact I think a court would be needed to establish
exactly that balance.

However, the Arhus Resolution, it seems to me, had another motivation:
open access to environmental data associated with damage, spills,
pollution; the latter word is mentioned twice - "climate" never. So to
take this convention and turn it around appears to me like a perversion.

One important point to consider is whether Arhus really applies to the
IPCC activities. In no way are we involved in decision making. We assess
and provide scientific information. The decision makers are elsewhere.
More than ever need we be aware of this separation!

We will discuss this in the TSU but then, this should be brought to the
level of the Secretariat, at least, since it affects the very basis of
our assessment work.

Thanks again and best regards,


Phil Jones wrote:
>> Dear Thomas,
> I hope you are enjoying your new job! Apologies in advance
> for upsetting your morning!
> Below there is a link to Climate Audit and their new thread with
> another
> attempt to gain access to the CRU station temperature data. I wouldn't
> normally bother about this - but will deal with the FOI requests when they
> come. Despite WMO Resolution 40, I've signed agreements not to pass on
> some parts of the CRU land station data to third parties.
> If you click on the link below and then on comments, look at # 17. This
> refers to a number of appeals a Brit has made to the Information
> Commissioner
> in the UK. You can see various UK Universities and MOHC listed. For UEA
> these
> relate to who changed what and why in Ch 6 of AR4. We are dealing with
> these,
> but I wanted to alert you to few sentences about Switzerland, your
> University
> and AR5.
> Having been through numerous of these as a result of AR4, I suspect
> that
> someone will have a go at you at some point. What I think they might
> try later
> is the same issue:
> Who changed what and why in various chapters of AR5?
> and
> When drafts of chapters come for AR5, we can't review the chapter as we
> can't get access to the data, or, the authors can't refer to these
> papers as the data
> haven't been made available for audit.
> Neither of these is what I would call Environmental Information,as
> defined by the Aarhus Convention.
> You might want to check with the IPCC Bureau. I've been told that
> IPCC is
> above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those
> working in AR5
> would be to delete all emails at the end of the process. Hard to do, as
> not everybody
> will remember to do it.
> I also suspect that as national measures to reduce emissions begin to
> affect people's
> lives, we are all going to get more of this. We can cope with op-ed
> pieces, but these
> FOI requests take time, as the whole process of how we all work has to
> be explained
> to FOI-responsible people at each institution.
> Keep up the good work with AR5!
> Cheers
> Phil
>> Dear Mr Jones
>> As a UK tax payer from the productive economy, could you please
>> explain why you restrict access to data sets that are gathered using
>> tax payer funds e.g. CRUTEM3. Can you believe how embarassing this is
>> to a UK TAX PAYER, putting up with your amateurish non disclosure of
>> enviromental information.
>> For reference refers to your
>> absymal attitude to public data, although this is just the latest in
>> an embarassing set of reasonable requests from CRU, who the hell do
>> you think you are? There will of course be an FOI on the back of this
>> Regards
>> Ian
> Prof. Phil Jones
> Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
> School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
> University of East Anglia
> Norwich Email
> NR4 7TJ
> UK
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thomas Stocker
Climate and Environmental Physics
Physics Institute, University of Bern ph: +41 31 631 44 62
Sidlerstrasse 5 fx: +41 31 631 87 42
3012 Bern, Switzerland

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