IPCC has just written me saying that they will send me review comments on chapter 6 subject to the following restriction:
As this additional form of distribution is being provided in conjunction with the review process, the compiled comments are not for re-distribution to others.
Given that the review comments are supposedly in an “open archive”, I don’t understand the basis of this restriction. Also I’m not clear whether this prohibits me from quoting even individual review comments. It’s all very strange and very inconsistent with the “open and transparent process” that IPCC is supposed to follow. Much as bureaucratic obfuscation amuses, even I’m getting tired of WG1 TSU, so I’ve tried this from a different angle.
Many of the key players in WG1, including the Chairman, Susan Solomon, and the TSU director, Martin Manning, are NOAA employees and have used their NOAA email addresses in any correspondence with me. The NOAA website (thanks to a CA reader for drawing this to my attention) contains lavish praise for the contribution of NOAA employees to WG1:
Feb. 2, 2007 – NOAA individuals and technology made major contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) international climate science report, of which the summary of the first chapter was released today in Paris. That summary, the Summary for Policy Makers, was subjected to line-by-line approval of the participating governments….
Susan Solomon, a senior scientist of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., is co-chair of Working Group 1 (WG1), the Physical Science Basis. Nine of the lead and review authors are from NOAA and 20 of the model runs were done by the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J. Lead authors are nominated by their governments.
NOAA authors and IPCC review editors for WG1 include Thomas Peterson, David Easterling, Thomas Karl, Sidney Levitus, Mark Eakin, Matthew Menne of the NOAA Satellite and Information Service; and Venkatachala. Ramaswamy, David Fahey, Ronald Stouffer, Isaac Held, Jim Butler , Paul Ginoux, John Ogren , Chet Koblinsky, Dian Seidel, Robert Webb, Randy Dole, Martin Hoerling of the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and Arun Kumar of the NOAA National Weather Service. Roger Pulwarty of OAR is an author for Working Group 2, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, slated for release April 5.
Again with the assistance of a CA reader, I’ve sent the following FOI request to NOAA:
May 31, 2007
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Public Reference Facility (OFA56)
Attn: NOAA FOIA Officer
1315 East West Highway (SSMC3)
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Re: Freedom of Information Act Request
Dear NOAA FOIA Officer:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
NOAA describes the contributions of NOAA employees to the recent International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, and, in particular, to Working Group 1 at its website http://www.cpo.noaa.gov/ipcc/first_ipcc.html.
I request that a copy of any NOAA records (documents, memoranda, review comments, reports, internal and external correspondence or mail including e-mail correspondence and attachments to or from NOAA employees) be provided to me on the following subjects:
(1) review comments on (a) the Second Order Draft and (b) the Final Draft of the Fourth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I, including, but not limited to, all expert, government and review editor comments;
(2) all annotated responses to such comments by Chapter Lead Authors.
A primary source for NOAA records is Susan Solomon. NOAA ( http://www.cpo.noaa.gov/ipcc/first_ipcc.html ) states that Susan Solomon, “a senior scientist of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., is co-chair of Working Group 1 (WG1), the Physical Science Basis.” Another primary source for NOAA records is Martin Manning, another scientist with the Aeronomy Lab in Boulder CO, who acted as director of the IPCC Working Group I Technical Services Unit.
In order to help to determine my status for purposes of determining the applicability of any fees, I note that I was a reviewer for WG1; that I have 5 peer-reviewed publications on paleoclimate, all of which were cited in the WG1 Assessment Report; that I made an invited presentation last year to the National Research Council Panel on Surface Temperature Reconstructions and two invited presentations to the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
I believe a fee waiver is appropriate since the purpose of the request is academic research. All review comments were submitted in digital format; collations have already been made and all the requested information should be easily located by the primary sources.
I also include a telephone number (xxx) at which I can be contacted between 9 and 7 pm Eastern Daylight Time, if necessary, to discuss any aspect of my request.
I ask that this FOIA request be processed within 20 days so that I can respond as an expert reviewer to the United States Climate Change Science Program’s request for expert review of the fourth and final volume of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (“Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report”)” which relates to Chapter 6 Paleoclimate [Federal Register: May 21, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 97).] The closing date for comments on the Federal Register notice is June 27, 2007.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Notice one additional and interesting aspect to the request. The WG1 Timetable describes a date by which Author Comments have to be returned to TSU. These Author Comments have not been archived at the Harvard Library, but I’ve requested them.
I have a suggestion for CA readers. The email address of NOAA FOI is FOIA at noaa.gov. Any readers that are interested in the review comments (especially American readers) might wish to adapt the form of my request. It might be worthwhile varying the primary sources for individual requesters and see if any variations turn up.
If all interested CA readers obtain a copy of the IPCC review comments, perhaps we can have an online conversation after we have all obtained our review comments from NOAA (or any other branch of government that any of you think of.)