The ‘secret’ IPCC Stocker WG1 memo – found!

You may recall that WUWT reported this on Sepetember 6th, 2012:

Game on – NOAA’s refusal of documents earns them a lawsuit

Over the last couple of days, CEI’s Chris Horner has been emailing me news of a FOIA request he made earlier in the year. The FOI request is for correspondence between NOAA’s Dr. Thomas Peterson and Thomas Stocker, the head of the IPCC Working Group 1. It is hoped that this correspondence might get him some information on the IPCC secret letter sent by Stocker to all of the IPCC lead authors right after Climategate:

We have the announcement above, but not the attachment.  The attachment is apparently secret since nobody wants to talk about it or even acknowledge its existence.

Steve McIntyre wrote an eviscerating essay about the secret letter circulated by the IPCC to UEA/CRU, which they are refusing to divulge, because:

there would be an adverse effect on international relations between IPCC WG1 and academic institutions within the United Kingdom because it would force is to reconsider our working arrangements with those experts who have been selected for an active role in WG1 AR5 from your institution and others in the UK”.

===============================================================

That was then. We have that letter now….it seems about duck and cover from media stories about the various IPCC “gates”, followed by business as usual:

Here is the original:

Letter_WG1AR4Authors_26022010 (PDF)

And the email from NCDC’s Thomas Peterson:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mail – Letter to the IPCC WG1 AR4 Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors, and Review Editors (PDF)

Chris Horner deserves praise for his dogged persistence.

About these ads

68 thoughts on “The ‘secret’ IPCC Stocker WG1 memo – found!

  1. Brilliant. This is a red flag to scientists working in the field to:
    a) look around themselves for any loose, untidy ends,
    b) seriously consider not collaborating on AR5,
    c) download Donna Laframboise’s book.

    My favorite quote from Stocker is the following: “The IPCC strengths of taking time to consider all the evidence and subject it to careful review before drawing any conclusions…” He DOES realize that most rational human beings will ROTFLOL when they read that, DOESN’T HE?

    Kurt in Switzerland

  2. Why the heck did they keep this secret? What were they afraid of? Shadowy organizations, that have their HQ in a vulcan?

  3. The thing that stands out like a sore thumb on the IPCC correspondence is the lack of a date.

    REPLY: Agreed, but according to the PDF document properties timestamp, it was authored on 2/26/2010

    – Anthony

  4. The one thing the IPCC has never had, and sure doesn’t want, is funding governments carrying out the due diligence they should have done decades ago:-

    In addition, a number of governments are considering beginning their own investigations or are asking IPCC to conduct a review. IPCC, together with its parent organisations UNEP and WMO, is currently considering various options for how best to address these growing concerns by governments.

    And they sure would not like it to be announced that they were about to be investigated and held to account.

    IPCC whilst your shield went up, your slip is showing even more.

  5. I was thinking, what’s the big deal? Then I saw this sentence:

    “In addition, a number of governments are considering beginning their own investigations or are asking IPCC to conduct a review. ”

    Publicly at the time, governments weren’t saying much. But obviously behind the scenes there were a few “WTF” memos from a number of countries.

  6. I’m really sorry, but what am I missing here?

    Having read the letter, I can’t see anything in the least bit controversial about it, other than why anyone would want to prevent its disclosure.

    Is it simply that Stocker didn’t have the authority to write it on IPCC paper? The letterhead says Working Group 1, and he’s the WG1 co-chair. I don’t see any duplicity.

    I just can’t grasp the significance of this. Help please?

  7. “there would be an adverse effect on international relations between IPCC WG1 and academic institutions within the United Kingdom”

    Taking the name in vain.

  8. The IPCC Chair, Vice-Chairs and Co-Chairs are working on a strategy to ensure
    that work on the AR5 is as effective as possible whilst at the same time emphasising the robustness of the AR4 findings.

    This is not particularly heartening to read in a document purporting to be about scientific investigations.

    They admit that they have already decided the answer, and that the purpose of AR5 is merely to strengthen those findings.

    New evidence be damned! What matters is how effectively the already decided message can be pushed.

  9. Particular concern has been raised about the use of non-published, non-peer-reviewed sources in IPCC Assessment Reports. As was the case in AR4, the Co-Chairs and TSU will strongly encourage author teams to use only sources published in international peer-reviewed journals and will insist on a strict adherence to the IPCC’s procedures for using non-published/non-peer-reviewed sources [emphasis added -hro]

    Ah, yes “strict adherence to IPCC procedures”, the most relevant, transparent and least practiced of which Stocker subsequently succeeded in “disappearing”.

    See: When task group says let’s “disappear” a rule, IPCC agrees.

  10. But obviously behind the scenes there were a few “WTF” memos from a number of countries.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Hmmm. FOIA follow up request? A list of said governments and the correpondence with them regarding “beginning their own investigations or are asking IPCC to conduct a review.”

    I can hear the sphincter valves snapping shut all over the world as the specific beauracrats who wrote said correspondence go…. oh sh*t!

  11. They must have fought the disclosure out of spite. There is nothing dodgy in telling authors to carefully consider their findings before jumping to conclusions. It is a totally banal memo, as jaycurrie just noted. Unless, of course, the idea of careful consideration was so shocking to the members of the club that they were afraid to talk about it.

  12. Dermot,
    I think the significance of the letter is that admits openly the failed strategy of using ‘activist generated’ material. This was underplayed by the IPCC and Warmist media.
    It also expresses concern that the Climategate expose caused real damage to ‘the cause’. The Warmist position has always been and still is, that Climategate was insignificant and irrelevant. This document shows the extent to which they were rattled by it and the co-ordinated effort they put in to shore up the entire rotten heap.

  13. The letter shown appears quite unremarkable and hardly worth the effort to keep secret. The article does not describe how the letter was obtained. Is it common practice for the IPCC to issue undated, unsigned letters? Is there any way to verify, either forensically or by confirming with original recipients, that this attachment is actually the letter of interest? Presumably now that it is out recipients will be free to provide confirmation.

  14. The letter does seem rather bland for such secrecy, except as a matter of perverse habit, but there are 3 aspects which are in fact embarrassing to the IPCC:

    1) admission of the problem of past reliance upon “grey” literature;

    2) noting that some govts are considering their own inquiries and/or pressuring the IPCC a bit behind the scenes;

    3) the statement that AR5 is nothing more than a continuation of and pre-ordained confirmation of AR4’s “robust results”…. i.e., undermines any pretense that AR5 is supposed to be a serious, new, genuine re-assessment of all available data.

    Sure, IPCC apologists can spin away on each of those three points, and nothing much does seem to happen from the standpoint of any critical media or governmental attentions, but it is still embarrassing (and disgraceful) for the IPCC’s WG1 to state those three points.

  15. It’s all about failure being a fatherless child. Nobody wants anything in writing regarding how the process went wrong. Once there is perception of a downside to the IPCC process, producing AR5 gets less glamorous and more like work. The whole ball of string is dangerously close to unraveling.

  16. Redaction and subterfuge mania.

    This constant cloak and dagger secrecy smacks of ‘something to hide’ paranoia, of bad science, political meddling nonpareil and of bum ‘papers’ written by Greenpeace activists and as we are all already aware of, that is what the IPCC/WG 1. is all about:

    “not science just advocacy”.

  17. The first paragraph of the letter says it all; they are not able to deal with criticism either quickly or slowly. I think the word “pathetic” is a good description of the bureaucrats who will wreak havoc on the world economies with their bigoted views on climate change.
    The sooner these clowns leave the AGW circus, the better!

  18. Here is the metadata from the pdf file of the just released letter.

    Document Title: Letter_WG1AR4Authors_26022010

    Author: Melinda Tignor

    Created: 2/26/2010 10:10:31 AM
    Modified: 10/2/2012 1:50:16 PM
    Application: Microsoft Word
    Format: application/pdf

    What modifications were made on 10/2/2010 1:50:16 PM? Where is the original document created on 2/26/2010 10:10:31 AM?

    NOAA, I request to see the original created on 2/26/2010 10:10:31 AM.

    John

  19. jaycurrie, exactly. This is pretty ridiculously tame, as it’s been properly sanded and polished for a mass audience.

  20. This letter doesn’t seem to be the one instructing governments on their respective FOIs and adverse effects thereof….? But I do like the part where the Chairs are figuring out how to paper over the fact that AR4 used non-peer reviewed literature yet has robust results. Rock and Hard Place.

  21. Here is a repost of my comment above with corrected questions:

    = = = = = =

    John Whitman says:
    October 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Here is the metadata from the pdf file of the just released letter.

    Document Title: Letter_WG1AR4Authors_26022010

    Author: Melinda Tignor

    Created: 2/26/2010 10:10:31 AM
    Modified: 10/2/2012 1:50:16 PM
    Application: Microsoft Word
    Format: application/pdf

    What modifications were made on 10/2/2012 1:50:16 PM? Where is the original document created on 2/26/2010 10:10:31 AM?

    NOAA, I request to see the original created on 2/26/2010 10:10:31 AM.

    John

  22. Chris Horner was on Peter Schiff’s radio program today explaining how the Obama administration is illegally shredding electronic communications within various government entities. They are also utilizing Google, AOL etc. with private email accounts so they cannot be traced. All illegal, but as we’ve learned over the past ~4 years, the law has little meaning to the Obama administration.

    There’s no reason to believe the IPCC and the players in climategate financed by taxpayers are employing the same tactics to avoid public scrutiny and oversight.

  23. Some people think we messed up, we don’t have the time or inclination to work out if we messed up so we are going to tell everyone we didn’t mess up even if we did.
    But, shhhh! Don’t tell anyone…

  24. Something odd here.

    In the email, the pdf attachment is noted as being “327K”

    I downloaded the pdf, saved it to disk…. and it is only 127K.

    REPLY:
    with the similarity of the last two digits, likely a typo, chances of two docs having last two digits for size is small – Anthony

  25. Maybe if Romney is elected he will convene a panel to “conduct their [our] own investigation” to alleviate “growing concerns among [within our] government.”

  26. I think it’s primitive knee jerk reactions – “how dare these uneducated highly qualified nobodies Nobel prizewinners, NASA chiefs, astrophysicists, geologists and engineers question us planet-saving mean-spirited experts BS’ers

  27. REPLY: with the similarity of the last two digits, likely a typo, chances of two docs having last two digits for size is small – Anthony
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Anthony,
    The file size of an attachment is in general calculated by the email system that sent it. This is unlikely to be a typo. Nobody types that information in manually. There are some possible technical explanations for the size discrepancy. I consider them remote. Occum’s Razor suggests that the pdf provided is 200K smaller than the attachment referenced in the email.

    REPLY: Yeah that’s possible too. I hadn’t noted that it was an auto size insert, I was only responded to the comment itself, as I’ve been super busy today. Will look further – A

  28. Occum’s Razor suggests that the pdf provided is 200K smaller than the attachment referenced in the email.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Turns out that the actual explanation is that I’m an idiot. I transposed the file names when I saved the copy of the pdf and the email. The pdf is the correct size.

    Sorry folks!

  29. This is totally O/T but can anyone help me? For months I’ve been unable to link to Lucia’s blackboard site and even Lucia wasn’t able to help. She did try though.
    I get either an access denied page or a scary page that doesn’t mean a thing to me. I’m using windows XP and IExplorer as a browser.
    I have few computer skills, but I would be interested if anyone can help at all?

  30. The first Tignor e-mail in the list ( 3205.txt ) has this lovely little snippet (from Jones to Trenberth).

    “Useful ones might be Baldwin, Benestad (written on the solar/cloud issue – on the right side, i.e anti-Svensmark),…”

  31. The money quote: “The IPCC Chair, Vice-Chairs and Co-Chairs are working on a strategy to ensure
    that work on the AR5 is as effective as possible whilst at the same time emphasising the robustness of the AR4 findings.”

    So no chance then that AR4 might be wrong about something.

  32. Pretty boring letter. Kinf ot glad the pressure we’ve been putting on the IPCC has resulted in them taking some action wrt non peer-reviewed literature and specifically discouraged its use.

  33. Neville. says:
    October 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I had that problem with Lucia’s site too from my home inThailand. It seems to be something automatic and it blocked my IP address because it was situated in a ‘high risk area’ for viruses and such like. I have no idea really about anything to do with computers – I hit rocks with hammers for a living – and didn’t spend any time trying to fix something which was way beyond my particulart skill set.

    I happened to upgrade my internet access from a wireless plug in USB type thing and got a hard wired internet access from a different provider. One by product was that I can now access Lucia’s site from home!

  34. OK, having made a fool of myself once already today, I figure I should take another shot at it.

    Is the email in the post supposed to be the same as the email in the pdf? They are both time stamped Friday, Feb 26, 2010, but the one at the top of the post is 10:26AM and the one in the pdf is 5:25AM.

    The fonts are slightly different as well.

  35. Neville.
    I get either an access denied page or a scary page that doesn’t mean a thing to me.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Talk to your ISP. A problem like that is unlikely to be on your computer. It is more likely due to some traffic restrictions your ISP has. They’ve probably blacklisted the site by mistake. On the other hand, finding a technical resource at the ISP who can help you may also be a challenge….

  36. I read a whole lot of nothing in that letter. Rah Rah Rah, we believe in your work, go team. Big deal. Why the 3 year fight to hide THAT?

  37. In addition, a number of governments are considering beginning their own investigations or are asking IPCC to conduct a review. IPCC, together with its parent organisations UNEP and WMO, is currently considering various options for how best to address these growing concerns by governments. In addition, a number of governments are considering beginning their own investigations or are asking IPCC to conduct a review. IPCC, together with its parent organisations UNEP and WMO, is currently considering various options for how best to address these growing concerns by governments.

    I never quite realize the WMO (the World Meteorological Organization) was one of the parents of the IPCC, I always thought the UNFCCC was the one parent. Of course till a few minutes ago I didn’t know of the existence of the World Meteorological Congress either. So if the WMO is not under the UN, what exactly is the relationship between all of these organizations, including the UNFCCC ( the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and UNEP? Anyone know?

  38. Hopefully Chris Horner will be able to get enough goods on the people destroying douments in the administration to get criminal charges brought against them.

    In this connection Penn State U’s administration’s attitude towards its star AGW scaremonger looks IMHO an awful lot like its attitude towards Jerry Sandusky.

    As for an “AR” – if you add “SE” to this, you get a pretty good notion of what will come out of it.

  39. Neville. says:
    October 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm
    ? ‘Lucia’s blackboard’

    Using the list on the right-side of WUWT, the following link loads

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/

    using both Chrome on an XP machine,
    and IExplorer (same machine).
    So, davidmhoffer’s comment sounds like the place to look.

  40. John Whitman says:
    October 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    What modifications were made on 10/2/2012 1:50:16 PM? Where is the original document created on 2/26/2010 10:10:31 AM?

    Letter_WG1AR4Authors_26022010

    2010-02-26T10:10:31Z
    Microsoft Word
    2012-10-02T13:50:16-04:00
    2012-10-02T13:50:16-04:00

    The original PDF was saved on 2/26/2010 in Zulu time (GMT)

    The 10/02/2012 date shows GMT -4:00, probably created by Chris Horner when he opened
    and resaved it. CEI is in Wash DC. So no big deal, IMO.

  41. Wayne – WMO is also an organisation of the UN. There really is nothing that they don’t have a hand in, such is their desire to control absolutely everything.

  42. This letter was sent to IPCC Working Group 1 rather than to the IPCC. A similar letter was sent to WG2 and (I assume) WG3.

    McIntyre worries about another letter by Thomas Stocker, in which he may have encouraged Phil Jones and co not to comply with UK FoI legislation.

  43. Duke.. “he opened and resaved it.”

    ummmm……….. now why would anyone do that?

    You open a PDF, read it…then close it.

    the ONLY time I would “resave” a PDF is if I had made changes to it in Acrobat Pro.

    or if I opened it in MSWord and resaved it to a PDF.. which I would ONLY do if I wanted to change it.

  44. Mooloo says: (October 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm)

    “This is not particularly heartening to read in a document purporting to be about scientific investigations. They admit that they have already decided the answer, and that the purpose of AR5 is merely to strengthen those findings.”

    My thoughts exactly.

    And that is what so potentially harmful about this memo for them and the reason for hiding it so lang. AR5 will just be a convulsive final attempt to cover up their nearly exposed scam.

  45. Richard writes, “McIntyre worries about another letter by Thomas Stocker, in which he may have encouraged Phil Jones and co not to comply with UK FoI legislation.”

    Now that would be worth going to the wall over. But this is no more than standard operating procedure for an international organization. So why fight the release?

    My own sense, derived more or less entirely from close familiarity with “Yes Minister” is that the IPCC wants to establish the legal precedent that it is immune from national FOI laws. The content of the letter is irrelevant; the point they are trying to make is that, as a UN-sponsored, supra-national organization they do not answer to anyone but the UN.

    And, realistically, the IPCC probably does not; but the scientists who work for the IPCC are, in fact, subject to one national law or another. While the IPCC may very well be immune, the argument is that the scientists which do its actual work are obliged to obey the laws of their nations even where such compliance makes the IPCC uncomfortable.

    The IPCC and its “scientists” will fight that idea to the death but, I suspect, at law they are pretty much screwed.

  46. I don’t believe this really is the document they wanted to hide as there’s nothing controversial in it.

  47. omnologos says:
    October 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm
    So….where would the “adverse effect” stem from, exactly??

    The adverse effect is in encouraging the idea that outsiders can vet, check, complain and demand technical errors be corrected, that political influences be publicly acknowledged if not stopped, and generally look over the shoulders of a transnational organization with a mandate and agenda not necessarily equal to that the taxpayers think exist.

    The adverse effect is in the expectation of being professionally transparent, something no political worker can handle, as Tony Blair explained as he said that the FOIA he brought in stood in the way of “good government”.

  48. The trouble with sequels:
    A list celebrities are willing to tag their names to success, but after sequel 4 has flopped
    AR5 will likely “go straight to DVD” ….attracting B or C list talent….lets hope so!

  49. This document isn’t banal at all. There’s this right in the middle of it.

    “In addition a number of governments are considering beginning their own investigations or asking IPCC to conduct a review.”

    The next sentence then refers to “growing concerns” of governments.

    No, they wouldn’t want this coming out. The key question now is which governments are these and why are there concerns growing. Can’t ever let the mainstream press, which has been nicely carrying our water thus far, ever suspect that there are serious reasons to doubt all the great work the IPCC has done. If they are discovered, then officials are going to be put on the spot of having to justify why they want the IPCC investigated.

    Second, “review” is often government code for “we’re cutting your funding”.

    Third, this bit:

    “If allegations of errors in the WG1 contribution to AR4 are made, please be assured that the current WG1 Co-Chairs will take responsibility for investigating these.”

    Freely translated, “We can’t trust Rajenda Pachauri to pick his own nose, let alone anything more complicated.” This to me is a clear statement in lack of confidence in the IPCC Chair and his ability or lack thereof to defend the IPCC’s ARs.

    This letter is an admission by Stocker to his colleagues that:
    1. AR4 used non-peer reviewed stuff that did not meet the IPCC standard, hence giving rise to all kinds of embarrassing errors.
    2. AR5 had better not be vulnerable in this way. Otherwise the government “investigations” or “reviews” could become a witch hunt for those culpable.

    In short, this is Stocker saying, “Get your sh!t together or we’re all going to get boiled in oil.”

  50. What a waste of time and money this has been. First all the grants, schemes, taxes and increased costs to all of us… then add the uncountable hours millions of people spent trying to uncover the truth. We could have paid off the national debt easily by now. These people need to pay!
    I pity the next enviro-wacko-liberal nutjob that says anything earthsaving when I’m within arms reach.
    See you when I get out of jail, if I ever do.

  51. “If allegations of errors in the WGI contribution to AR4 are made, please be assured that the current WG I Co-Chairs will take responsibility for investigating these.”

    My interpretation of this letter, is that this letter is intended to discourage participants from talking publicly, instead encouraging them to defer and have all responses to public inquiry centralized and controlled by the WG1 co-chairs and related folks.

    In other words, put a lid on what’s happening and have everything released only through “approved” avenues.

    But that’s just my interpretation.

  52. Reminds me of the first Presidential debate where apparently O thought it so personally demeaning of his regal nature to be called out and questioned, that he offered a silent protest to the nerve of someone to directly question the Emperor, that he declined to demean himself by giving a direct, coherent, response.

    In this case there was also an apparent concern over the potential of other governments climbing out of the box and taking off its lid, and debate its contents??? OMG, IPCC could never let that happen.

  53. AndyG55 says:
    October 4, 2012 at 11:22 pm
    Duke.. “he opened and resaved it.”

    ummmm……….. now why would anyone do that?

    You open a PDF, read it…then close it.

    the ONLY time I would “resave” a PDF is if I had made changes to it in Acrobat Pro.

    or if I opened it in MSWord and resaved it to a PDF.. which I would ONLY do if I wanted to change it.

    =========================================================================
    It is possible that it was renamed after opening it or saved to a new folder.

  54. I’m going to echo Mooloo and Lance Wallace.

    “.. robustness of AR4″.

    That is a flat out admission that their investigation has a predefined “end” in mind. They just admitted that they are not investigating the science .. they are data mining for support for their predefined position.

  55. I agree this is no banal document in govt speak, the wolf is at the door.Which govts and mine had better be one of them,

Comments are closed.