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What's The Meto Got To Hide?


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Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs

    Interesting article over on Wattsup regarding how the MetO refuses to release data for their HadCRUT global temperatures. Steve McIntyre had requested the MetO for a copy to be sent to Peter Webster to be audited. Apparently when asked for the data, Dr Jones of the MetO replied,

    Even if the WMO agrees. I will not pass on the data. We have 25 years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to find something wrong with it!

    Now correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the MetO funded by the taxpayer, and I'm pretty sure they don't fall under the official secrets act! This IMO is totally unaccectable, that a public body funded by the taxpayer, are allowed to behave in such a way!

    Sorry for not providing a link, but as a few of you will know my ailing computer won't let me!

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    Guest Shetland Coastie

    Hmm, well they should then make a FOI request (Freedom of Information ) request and then the Meto would have no choice!

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    Posted
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres

    Hmm, well they should then make a FOI request (Freedom of Information ) request and then the Meto would have no choice!

    Click my signature. That's what they did.

    Our Ref: 22-06-2009-131902-003 23 July 2009

    Dear Mr McIntyre

    Request for Information – Information not Held and Refusal to Disclose Information

    Your correspondence dated 9 June 2009 has been considered to be a request for information in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. The Ministry of Defence is permitted to withhold information where exceptions are considered justifiable.

    You asked “You stated that CRUTEM3 data that you held was the value added data. Pursuant to the Environmental Information Regulations Act 2004, please provide me with this data in the digital form, together with any documents that you hold describing the procedures under which the data has been quality controlled and where deemed appropriate, adjusted to account for apparent non-climatic influences”.

    Your request has been assessed and this letter is to inform you that the Met Office does hold some information covered by the request. We do not hold documents describing the procedures under which the data has been quality controlled or adjusted to account for apparent non-climatic influences.

    The information held by the Met Office is withheld in accordance with the following exceptions pursuant to the Environmental Information Regulations Act 2004:

    • Section 12 (5) (a) Information likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and any International organisation;

    • Section 12 (5) (e) Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest.

    • Section 12 (5) (f) (i) (iii) The supplier was not under legal obligation to supply the information and has not consented to its disclosure.

    As the above exceptions are qualified exceptions, a public interest test was undertaken by the Met Office to consider whether there are overriding reasons why disclosure of this information would not be in the public interest. The Met Office has duly considered these reasons in conjunction with the public interest in disclosing the requested information, in particular the benefits of assisting the public having information on environmental information, whereby they would hope to influence decisions from a position of knowledge rather than speculation.

    Access to environmental information is particularly important as environmental issues affect

    the whole population.

    Consideration of Exception Regulation 12 (5) (a)

    Much of the requested data comes from individual Scientists and Institutions from several countries. The Met Office received the data information from Professor Jones at the University of East Anglia on the strict understanding by the data providers that this station data must not be publicly released. If any of this information were released, scientists could be reluctant to share information and participate in scientific projects with the public sector organisations based in the UK in future. It would also damage the trust that scientists have in those scientists who happen to be employed in the public sector and could show the Met Office ignored the confidentiality in which the data information was provided.

    We considered that if the public have information on environmental matters, they could hope to influence decisions from a position of knowledge rather than speculation. However, the effective conduct of international relations depends upon maintaining trust and confidence between states and international organisations. This relationship of trust allows for the free and frank exchange of information on the understanding that it will be treated in confidence. If the United Kingdom does not respect such confidences, its ability to protect and promote United Kingdom interests through international relations may be hampered. Competitors/ Collaborators could be damaged by the release of information which was given to us in confidence and this will detrimentally affect the ability of the Met Office (UK) to co-operate with meteorological organisations and governments of other countries. This could also provoke a negative reaction from scientist globally if their information which they have requested remains private is disclosed.

    Consideration of Exception Regulation 12 (5) (e)

    The information is also withheld in accordance with the exception under regulation 12 (5) (e) because the information comprises of Station Data which are commercially sensitive for many of the data sources (particularly European and African Meteorological services) release of any data could adversely affect relationships with other Institutions and individuals, who may plan to use their data for their own commercial interests. Some of this is documented in Hulme, 1996 but this is not a globally comprehensive summary.

    The Met Office are not party to information which would allow us to determine which countries and stations data can or cannot be released as records were not kept, or given to the Met Office, therefore we cannot release data where we have no authority to do so. Competitors or collaborators could be damaged by the release of information which was given to us in confidence and could affect their ability to trade.

    The Met Office uses the data solely and expressly to create a gridded product that we distribute without condition.

    Consideration of Exception Regulation 12 (5) (f) (i) and (iii)

    The information is also withheld in accordance with the exception under regulation 12 (5) (f) (i) (iii) as Professor Jones was not legally bound to release the data to the Met Office and has not consented to the disclosure to any other party. As stated above in 12 (5) (a) Some of the information was provided to Professor Jones on the strict understanding by the data providers that this station data must not be publicly released and it cannot be determined which countries or stations data were given in confidence as records were not kept. The Met Office received the data from Professor Jones on the proviso that it would not be released to any other source and to release it without authority would seriously affect the relationship between the United Kingdom and other Countries and Institutions.

    I hope this answers your enquiry.

    If you are not satisfied with this response or you wish to complain about any aspect of the handling of your request, then you should contact me in the first instance. If informal resolution is not possible and you are still dissatisfied then you may apply for an independent internal review by contacting the Head of Corporate Information, 6th Floor, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, SW1A 2HB (e-mail CIO-XD@mod.uk). Please note that any request for an internal review must be made within 40 working days of the date on which the attempt to reach informal resolution has come to an end.

    If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you may take your complaint to the Information Commissioner under the provisions of Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act. Please note that the Information Commissioner will not investigate your case until the MOD internal review process has been completed. Further details of the role and powers of the Information Commissioner can be found on the Commissioner's website, www.ico.gov.uk.

    Yours sincerely,

    Marion Archer

    FOI Manager

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

    That's shocking.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Well, apart from the accusation (that the MetO actually does have something to hide) loosely concealed in the thread title, what is so shocking?

    How would our understanding of future climate be enhanced if the participating scientists suddenly refused to share their results?

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    Guest North Sea Snow Convection

    So a lot of red tape shores the information up basically. The conditions are understandable in terms of global commercial interests being protected and one can understand the overall global confidentiality clauses to a degree, however on the other hand with Prof Jones stipulation of non disclosures it does make it very easy to pursue the AGW agenda in such a way that associated information that might provide better truth behind the overall scientific research advance and might shed some light on the vailidity and honesty of the science behind the IPCC thinking etc is instead kept under wraps and is 'controlled' to keep the whole machine moving forward.

    I'm sure that the reply is right in terms of confidentiality clauses, but one can't help feeling it also is a very effective blanket to hide behind bearing in mind the uncertainties of the science. In that sense it will do nothing at all to diffuse any of the uncertainties and distrusts that exist within the sceptic community, but also the overall advance of the science debate itself. In short the IPCC have their cover clause.

    In the cause of advancement in climate change which is supposed to be portrayed by the very same people behind all this as the greatest threat to modern mankind then surely a universal 'laying down of arms' in terms of everyone co-operating to disclose information and laying the whole issue on the table would get the whole thing out in the open. Then no-one is disadvantaged. What indeed is there to hide?

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    Posted
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres

    Well, apart from the accusation (that the MetO actually does have something to hide) loosely concealed in the thread title, what is so shocking?

    The Met Office have something they are refusing to disclose. That's no mere accusation, it's a fact and the reason the FOI request was rejected.

    They are hiding the data for what they believe are legitimate reasons. It would be speculation to suggest they are withholding data to conceal bad practice and fraud. I don't think that's the case. I've no evidence to prove that. But of course we can't prove that isn't happening because the FOI has been declined. For all we know the raw data could come from a room full of monkeys punching numbers into a climate model.

    How would our understanding of future climate be enhanced if the participating scientists suddenly refused to share their results?

    If results aren't shared and repeatable then it may be something but it's not science.

    NSSC

    The conditions are understandable in terms of global commercial interests being protected

    They could have released it on condition the user did not share the data with any commercial interest or third party.

    McIntyre's intention was to audit data for them - doing a service that would add value. He wasn't going to use it to create a rival climate model. It is realistic to suggest his audit could have improved their model. Why not let him?

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    From what I can see it looks like the problem stems from the confidentiality agreement with the people who produce the station records (being unwilling to have their records freely shared) rather than a case of the MetO (or Prof. Jones) just withholding info for the sake of it.

    Btw Phil Jones is at UEA, not the Met Office as stated.

    It is indeed problematic though, and does leave the relevant parties open for criticism for having an AGW smokescreen, though the HadCRU data always strongly agrees with the data provided by NCDC.

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    Posted
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL

    I'm personally qutie shocked at how much interest/so many people feel the need to attack the METO.

    Honestly...have we nothing better to do with our time?

    Its like we are a country of whinging cronies who take pleasure in nothing more than criticising folk for the sake of it.

    Frig' me...

    And BTW. Dont we fund MI5, MI6, doctors etc. Hey. Lets all get them to disclose information. Unbelievable.

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs

    I'm personally qutie shocked at how much interest/so many people feel the need to attack the METO.

    Honestly...have we nothing better to do with our time?

    Its like we are a country of whinging cronies who take pleasure in nothing more than criticising folk for the sake of it.

    Frig' me...

    And BTW. Dont we fund MI5, MI6, doctors etc. Hey. Lets all get them to disclose information. Unbelievable.

    I fail to see the comparisions, the MetO provide a public service. MI5, MI6 provide us with the security of our country. They don't fall into the latter, so therefore all relevant documentation, should be made avaiable!

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    Posted
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL

    Why? Because you so say? The government divisions I named above are funded by the tax payer. Thats how they are comparable, and that is your arguement.

    You pay for it through tax, so you should have it available.

    Well, why dont we privatise the METO...oh wait. That would make you throw your arms in the air.

    Can the METO ever win with demands of "I've paid for it, I want it". Cant people just let them get on with their job!

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs

    Why? Because you so say? The government divisions I named above are funded by the tax payer. Thats how they are comparable, and that is your arguement.

    You pay for it through tax, so you should have it available.

    Well, why dont we privatise the METO...oh wait. That would make you throw your arms in the air.

    Can the METO ever win with demands of "I've paid for it, I want it". Cant people just let them get on with their job!

    Again your missing the point, the information that was requested was hardly state secrets. As TWS
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    Posted
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL

    But then, I think your missing mine.

    Why have we got the rights to demand something because "we're the tax payer".

    It beggers belief why we have to be so pedantic.

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs

    But then, I think your missing mine.

    Why have we got the rights to demand something because "we're the tax payer".

    It beggers belief why we have to be so pedantic.

    Sorry for my last post, my daughter pressed the submit button! The MetO are adamant that AGW as been the cause of our past warming, so surely requesting information under the FOI act, should be no big deal. After all, if they have nothing to hide, then why decline such a request? Steve McIntyre as already shown the public, just what under hand tatics AGW scientist will use. Michael Mann, James Hansen, to name but two! I'm not suggesting all those who work in this field, fall into this cateogry. But the MetO are doing themselves a dis-service by denying data!

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    I fail to see the comparisions, the MetO provide a public service. MI5, MI6 provide us with the security of our country. They don't fall into the latter, so therefore all relevant documentation, should be made avaiable!

    So, anything that's funded by the taxpayer should be freely accessible by Joe Public? Would you like to have the fruits of your efforts, expertise, knowledge etc given away to others free of charge, only to be torn to shreds or plagiarized by cynics? Well, I wouldn't!

    Indeed, I find it strange, that individuals who disparage egalitarianism in all matters economical, are so quick in demanding that persons of acadamic ability be stripped of their intellectual property for the public good ? We are not in the Soviet Union...

    Solar, the Net-weather forum cannot access people's medical records, criminal records or bank balances; but, that doesn't mean that everyone has something to hide in any nefarious sense.

    Having said that, I certainly agree with TWS and yourself in one respect: there IS a problem with a closed-shop mentality; it does engeander unease?? :)

    Sorry for my last post, my daughter pressed the submit button! The MetO are adamant that AGW as been the cause of our past warming, so surely requesting information under the FOI act, should be no big deal. After all, if they have nothing to hide, then why decline such a request? Steve McIntyre as already shown the public, just what under hand tatics AGW scientist will use. Michael Mann, James Hansen, to name but two! I'm not suggesting all those who work in this field, fall into this cateogry. But the MetO are doing themselves a dis-service by denying data!

    In a way, you really do have a point. However, it may not be the MetO's data to disclose?

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion

    I bet if a scientist carrying out genuine research asked for the data he'd get it no trouble :)

    I also wonder whether the request was made in the sure knowledge it would be refused ..... so that the refusal could then be publicised across the tabloid internet? I certainly wouldn't put it past some folk!

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Can't see any reason why they're with holding the information. Not exactly going to cause a massive security crisis or put companies out of business. With holding the data leaves them open too speculation that the data is flawed in some way or wouldn't stand up too review.

    I also though that the Hadley centre up until recently was sponsored by the MOD.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon

    Can't see any reason why they're with holding the information. Not exactly going to cause a massive security crisis or put companies out of business. With holding the data leaves them open too speculation that the data is flawed in some way or wouldn't stand up too review.

    Now, go back and read Essan's post?

    I also though that the Hadley centre up until recently was sponsored by the MOD.

    Yes, and?

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    Posted
  • Location: portsmouth uk
  • Weather Preferences: extremes
  • Location: portsmouth uk

    Why? Because you so say? The government divisions I named above are funded by the tax payer. Thats how they are comparable, and that is your arguement.

    You pay for it through tax, so you should have it available.

    Well, why dont we privatise the METO...oh wait. That would make you throw your arms in the air.

    Can the METO ever win with demands of "I've paid for it, I want it". Cant people just let them get on with their job!

    sorry but your talking rubbish we pay council tax and we demand where every penny is spent.

    so if the met office or whoever withhold information which is relivent to the tax payer who also pay for a green country then we deserve to know where our money goes.

    people are going to take gw more seriously if documents which are very relivent to the cause are realesed. :lazy:

    So, anything that's funded by the taxpayer should be freely accessible by Joe Public? Would you like to have the fruits of your efforts, expertise, knowledge etc given away to others free of charge, only to be torn to shreds or plagiarized by cynics? Well, I wouldn't!

    Indeed, I find it strange, that individuals who disparage egalitarianism in all matters economical, are so quick in demanding that persons of acadamic ability be stripped of their intellectual property for the public good ? We are not in the Soviet Union...

    Solar, the Net-weather forum cannot access people's medical records, criminal records or bank balances; but, that doesn't mean that everyone has something to hide in any nefarious sense.

    Having said that, I certainly agree with TWS and yourself in one respect: there IS a problem with a closed-shop mentality; it does engeander unease?? :)

    In a way, you really do have a point. However, it may not be the MetO's data to disclose?

    which there for makes it look like it could be sketchy information.

    after all climate science is still in its infancy.

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    Posted
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL

    sorry but your talking rubbish we pay council tax and we demand where every penny is spent.

    people like you are the type to be a political figure,

    and then rob the country out of expencess is that fair.

    so if the met office or whoever withhold information which is relivent to the tax payer who also pay for a green country then we deserve to know where our money goes.

    people are going to take gw more seriously if documents which are very relivent to the cause are realesed. :)

    I'm perhaps going to be pedantic here (but then again, you are assuming my character), but I dont think council tax goes to the METO. It goes to the council.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    sorry but your talking rubbish we pay council tax and we demand where every penny is spent.

    so if the met office or whoever withhold information which is relivent to the tax payer who also pay for a green country then we deserve to know where our money goes.

    people are going to take gw more seriously if documents which are very relivent to the cause are realesed. :lazy:

    which there for makes it look like it could be sketchy information.

    after all climate science is still in its infancy.

    Yes. I agree. :) With th last two sentences!

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    Posted
  • Location: portsmouth uk
  • Weather Preferences: extremes
  • Location: portsmouth uk

    I bet if a scientist carrying out genuine research asked for the data he'd get it no trouble :)

    I also wonder whether the request was made in the sure knowledge it would be refused ..... so that the refusal could then be publicised across the tabloid internet? I certainly wouldn't put it past some folk!

    yeah i do agree media could have lots of fun could be that its all lergit information but would end up being modified but then again it depends on the person who was wanting the info.

    even so we could be barking up the wrong tree then again maybe not after all they do make big issues of gw.

    but time will tell anyway egg on the face or not who knows.

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    Posted
  • Location: portsmouth uk
  • Weather Preferences: extremes
  • Location: portsmouth uk

    I'm perhaps going to be pedantic here (but then again, you are assuming my character), but I dont think council tax goes to the METO. It goes to the council.

    it does not matter its all tax tax tax.

    we pay tax on everything and the council is involved perhapes not directly with met o or maybe they are.

    but our council is very much involed on the green britain front including global warming.

    winter the highway department is connected with there local council and the highway department is conected with the meto and so on.

    so tax pays for them all,

    we have or should have the right to know where the money goes enough said.

    sorry solar not trying to ruin this thread just saying that we tax payer hold this country together without tax we would have nothing.

    now back to the witheld information. :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey
  • Weather Preferences: Southerly tracking LPs, heavy snow. Also 25c and calm
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey

    It is indeed problematic though, and does leave the relevant parties open for criticism for having an AGW smokescreen, though the HadCRU data always strongly agrees with the data provided by NCDC.

    Maybe it isn't agreeing this time. If it does and we have the data to verify that previously, why such an issue?

    This is very suspicious indeed and could have massive implications if it showed not what IPCC and govts want.

    BFTP

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