Today we ponder why many National Meteorological Services (NMSs), including the NMS of Germany, have provided data to CRU under confidentiality agreements which supposedly prevent Phil Jones from disclosing the identity of these stations.
The issue came up recently as one of Jones’ reasons for not providing a list of stations used in HadCRU3. As reported here , CRU said that these were governed by confidentiality agreements:
The remaining 2% of data that is not in the websites consists of data CRU has collected from National Met Services (NMSs) in many countries of the world. In gaining access to these NMS data, we have signed agreements with many NMSs not to pass on the raw station data, but the NMSs concerned are happy for us to use the data in our gridding, and these station data are included in our gridded products, which are available from the CRU web site. These NMS-supplied data may only form a very small percentage of the database, but we have to respect their wishes and therefore this information would be exempt from disclosure under FOIA pursuant to s.41. The World Meteorological Organization has a list of all NMSs.
Doug Keenan, a CA reader was intrigued with this, and wrote to Phil Jones, asking him to provide a list of countries with which CRU had confidentiality agreements that prevented CRU providing data or disclosing station identity. The correspondence is at Doug’s website .
On May 25, 2007, Doug wrote to Phil Jones as follows:
According to Steve McIntyre, some of your raw station data was obtained from National Met Services who asked you to not disclose that data. Is this correct? If so, will you send me a list of the countries with which CRU/UEA has such non-disclosure agreements? Or, if it is easier, direct me to an appropriate person to ask for this?
On May 31, 2007, Phil Jones replied as follows:
I have done some searching in files – all from the period 1990-1998. This is the time when we were in contact with a number of NMSs. We have also got datasets from fellow scientists and other institutes around the world. All supplied data (eventually and sometimes at cost), but we were asked not to pass on the raw data to third parties, but we could use the data to develop products (our datasets) and use the data in scientific papers. It is likely that some of the NMSs and Institutes have changed their policies now – and that the people we were corresponding with (all by regular mail or fax) are no longer there or are in different sections. The lists below don’t refer to all the stations within these countries, nor to all periods, but to some of the data for some of the time.
Germany, Bahrain, Oman, Algeria, Japan, Slovakia and Syria
Scientists/Institutes (data for these countries)
Mali, India, Pakistan, Poland, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (was Zaire), Sudan and some Caribbean Islands.
These are the only ones I can find evidence for. I’m sure there were a few others during the 1980s, but we have moved buildings twice since 1980.
Not sure how you will use this data.
By the way, the World Meteorological Organization is one of the co-sponsors of IPCC and has adopted the following data availability principle:
As a fundamental principle of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and in consonance with the expanding requirements for its scientific and technical expertise, WMO commits itself to broadening and enhancing the free and unrestricted* international exchange of meteorological and related data and products;
So can someone explain to me why Germany, which seems to be a strong IPCC proponent, would place confidentiality restrictions on the temperature records supplied to CRU? OR, for that matter, India, the home of IPCC President Pachauri? Or Japan? Or Poland?
I wonder why Jones didn’t list the Caribbean islands that he has confidentiality agreements with. Was this just casualness in his response or is it that he only remembers that he has confidentiality agreements with “some Caribbean islands” and isn’t sure which ones.
I’m also not sure what Jones’ position is with respect to the confidentiality agreements signed in the old buildings that he doesn’t have information on or recall who they were with, but thinks may exist. Is he suggesting that his inability to remember the contracts or locate evidence of the agreements is a reason for not identifying station data i.e. he might be breaching a confidentiality agreement somewhere that he’s forgotten about? The mind boggles. Or does the present list photograph the exemptions that he’s relying on?
If we’re dealing with the present list, then we’re talking about 14 named countries and “some Caribbean islands”. Maybe CA readers living in any of the listed countries could write to their NMS (national meteorological service) and ask them to send notice to Phil Jones expressly waiving any confidentiality clauses with Phil Jones. I can’t think of any valid reason why any member of IPCC should at the same time prevent CRU from identifying the stations used in their analyses or providing the data to third parties. If Jones thinks that the policies in these countries may have changed, he should have asked them to waive confidentiality long ago. But he hasn’t done so and there’s no evidence that he plans to do so. If Jones’ claims about such confidentiality agreements are correct, then such practices by Germany, Japan, India and others should be categorically condemned not just at climateaudit, but elsewhere.