Memorandum submitted by David Holland
1. In the space available I shall only deal
fully with the first of the three questions posed by the Committee
regarding the implications of the release of the UEA emails. However,
on the second, in regard to UEA's own enquiry, I would hope it
would review the many breaches of the DPA and call for written
and oral evidence from those named. On the third, regarding temperature
datasets, if those using land based stations are being referred
to, my answer would be, not sufficiently, and I am sure others
will explain why.
2. The emails show that a group of influential
climate scientists colluded to subvert the peer-review process
of the IPCC and science journals, and thereby delay or prevent
the publication and assessment of research by scientists who disagreed
with the group's conclusions about global warming. They manufactured
pre-determined conclusions through the corruption of the IPCC
process and deleted procedural and other information hoping to
avoid its disclosure under freedom-of-information requests.
3. The Committee should note that, despite
the longstanding instruction from world governments in the Principles
Governing IPCC Work
that its work should be open and transparent, only on the most
recent AR4 IPCC Reports do we have any information on the
assessment process and then only well after its publication. Only
because of freedom of information requests by Canadian Stephen
McIntyre, do we now have online the draft text that was sent out
to Government and Expert Reviewers together with most of their
comments and the Lead Authors' responses.
4. In 2007 I published a paper "Bias
and Concealment in the IPCC Process"
in which I described the then known facts about scandals similar
to, but far more important than that of the Himalayan glaciers.
A reprint of this paper and one I presented at the October 2009 University
of York Climate Week accompanies this submission, together with
a folder of the UEA/CRU emails that I will refer to by number
and an Appendix with other documents. With my submission these
provide conclusive evidence of the wrongdoing I first described
5. The emails cover the period from March
1996 just after the IPCC Second Assessment Report to November
2009. They chart the efforts by a small group to establish as
a scientific certainty that the slight warming, which had then
only been apparent for just over 15 years, was exceptional
compared with pre-industrial times.
6. The IPCC's First Assessment Report had
concluded that, because it had undoubtedly been warmer in earlier
epochs with lower concentrations of carbon dioxide, it was not
possible to say what part increased concentrations were playing
in current warming. The suggestion that all might not be well
came only from the emerging climate models run on computers.
7. The 1995 IPCC Second Assessment
Report (SAR) said only that Palaeoclimate "work in progress"
suggested that warming might be exceptional, but the scientists
were even more confident of the alarming predictions of their
models. Several Expert Reviewers strongly disagreed and insisted
upon strong cautions in the text.
8. However, allegedly
under instructions from Sir John Houghton, who in turn was responding
to a letter from the US State Department, UEA's illustrious alumnus
Ben Santer deleted the cautions and precipitated a major dispute.
This led to some dissenting scientists shunning the process. It
also resulted in the addition of "Review Editors" to
the IPCC assessment process.
9. However, as the recent Himalayan matter
shows, this was ineffectual as Appendix A
to the IPCC Principles states that the lead authors have the final
say over the text and the Review Editors are only required to
submit a "written report" to the working group, who
just filed them, or the Panel, who never ask for them.
10. After the SAR, the hunt was on for proof
that the Mediaeval Warm Period did not exist on a global basis.
In email 0926010576, on 6 May 1999 Mann tells Jones
that, despite some differences he is "on board" and
that they are "all working towards a common goal". However,
in September 1999 in email 0938018124 Briffa is not
so sure and stated:
"I know there is pressure to present
a nice tidy story as regards 'apparent unprecedented warming in
a thousand years or more in the proxy data' but in reality the
situation is not quite so simple. We don't have a lot of proxies
that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant
number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that
do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this
issue be ignored in the chapter."
"I do not believe that global mean annual
temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of
years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong
evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene (not Milankovich)
that require explanation and that could represent part of the
current or future background variability of our climate."
11. Despite his misgivings Briffa was persuaded
to stay on board and learnt to "hide the decline" in
email 0942777075. The 1998-99 Mann et al.
"hockey stick" was shown in the 2001 IPCC Third
Assessment Report (TAR) as proof that it had never been warmer
and was used mercilessly to suggest that it was caused by human
12. The "hockey stick" was comprehensively
discredited by a succession of peer-reviewed papers from McIntyre
and McKitrick. As a consequence of Mann's refusal to disclose
his methodology, in 2006 two Committees of the US House of
Representatives investigated his work and commissioned studies
from the National Research Council
of the USA and Wegman et al.
Both reports vindicated McIntyre and McKitrick, despite "team"
efforts in email 1142469228 to get the NRC to water down
their conclusions, particularly on the divergence problem now
popularised as "hide the decline".
13. The Lead Authors of WGI Chapter 6 of
the most recent 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
realised that unless they could disprove the work of McIntyre
and McKitrick they could not claim recent warming to be exceptional.
Caspar Ammann and Eugene Wahl were entrusted with writing two
papers to this end.
14. However the Wahl and Ammann paper, which
the Lead Authors intended to use, did not meet the published deadline
in the timetable
for the assessment, by which papers had to be "in press"
with final preprints available. By the WGI guidelines,
of the time, all references to it had to be removed. The paper
was not published until after the IPCC Report itself.
15. As in the case of the Himalayan glaciers,
Expert Reviewers and the Government for the United States of America
challenged the Wahl and Ammann paper. Inexplicably, the Lead Authors
contradicted their comments stating, without explanation, that
the paper did meet the guidelines. The public however, as with
the Himalayan matter, could not know this until too late.
16. A further problem with the Wahl and
Ammann paper was that it relied, for its most important claim,
upon a second paper by the same authors that was not even accepted
for publication until after the IPCC Report itself was published.
Its methodology was not published until August 2008. The reliance
on this paper was also disputed in the comments. The response
to these comments was to make assertions on statistical tests
unsupported by reference to any peer-reviewed study.
17. At the time of writing my 2007 paper
the "in-press" deadline issue was a mystery and I made
Freedom of Information requests, first to Defra for the Review
Editor's report of John Mitchell, the Met Office Chief Scientist.
Defra, which was the IPCC "focal point" and also paid
Mitchell's expenses, had no copies of any reports. In December
2007 Mitchell claimed not have a copy of his own report and
emailed to suggest that I wrote to the TSU, for which he also
claimed not to have an email address, which was soon to prove
18. Forwarding the copy of Mitchell's email
secured the scanning and release to me, one by one all of the
WGI reports and the email correspondence leaves no doubt that
no government ever asked for or saw any of them
19. Mitchell's report raised more questions
than it answered and on 22 February 2008 I asked further
detailed questions of Mitchell. I also wrote to a second British
Review Editor, Sir Brian Hoskins at Reading on 8 March. Though
I did not learn of it until much later, Mitchell quickly found
the email address for the TSU and sent my email to Susan Solomon,
the WGI Co-Chair, and asked for "the IPCC" to answer.
On 14 March, Solomon emailed back
telling Mitchell to answer himself but not to divulge anything
not already in the public domain.
20. Solomon sent copies of her email to
all 22 WGI Review Editors, including Hoskins and Miles Allen
at Oxford, who I did not write to until 5 May. She also copied
Keith Briffa and Renate Christ, the IPCC Secretary. Thus, before
I had made any request to UEA/CRU they were put on notice not
to make any disclosures.
21. I went on to make requests of the five
public authorities involved in the IPCC assessment process: Defra
was the IPCC "focal point" but professed total ignorance;
the Met Office and the Universities of Reading and Oxford supplied
Review Editors to supervise the assessment; the University of
East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (UEA/CRU) provided Lead and
22. Email 1219239172 makes it clear
that resisting my request and those of others became a preoccupation
of the Met Office, UEA/CRU and Reading.
Oxford simply did what Susan Solomon directed.
23. On 9 May in email 1210367056, Jones
sends my formal information request to "team" members
Mann, Hughes and Ammann. He writes:
You can delete this attachment if you want.
Keep this quiet also, but this is the person who is putting in
FOI requests for all emails Keith and Tim have written and received
re Ch 6 of AR4. We think we've found a way around this.
24. On 24 May,
McIntyre explained, at ClimateAudit.com, matters that were not
previously known to most people. In particular that Briffa's response
to one particular Expert Reviewer's comment could only have been
cribbed from the unpublished paper of Ammann and Wahl which had
not been cited or reviewed in WGI assessment and was not at the
time accepted anywhere for publication.
25. On 25 May 2008,
McIntyre also explained that to circumvent the rules, which should
have prevented the paper of Wahl and Ammann from being cited,
WGI which was under Susan Solomon's direct control, retrospectively
revised the deadline for papers to be in press from 16 December
2005, which was before the start of the Government and Expert
Review period on the second draft, to 24 July 2006, which
was almost two months after the review period. One important stipulation
however was that the papers had to be published in 2006.
26. As a consequence, many papers not previously
discussed or reviewed by the Government and Expert Reviewers were
added the draft after the review period. Since it was not and
was never likely to be published in 2006 the Wahl and Ammann
Paper failed even this improper breach of the rules, as did several
other papers in various chapters of WGI.
27. The email and memo
were exceptionally cleverly worded to make what the TSU were doing
seem perfectly proper, but it utterly destroyed any claim that
the WGI Report was Reviewed by Experts and fundamentally invalidated
the IPCC assessment process.
28. In email 1155402164 dated 12 August
2006, Ammann tells Briffa he can't guarantee publication. The
"smoking gun" however, is in email 1189722851. On 12 September
2007 after the paper is finally published Jones confirms
that the deadline change to July 2006 was to get the Wahl
and Ammann paper into the report. He writes:
You likely know that McIntyre will check this
one to make sure it hasn't changed since the IPCC close-off date
29. The changed deadlines did however invite
Expert Reviewers to also suggest papers to "improve the balance".
NRC, 2006 and Wegman et al., 2006. His comment was acknowledged
by the TSU but has never been published by them, contrary to Appendix
A of the IPCC Principles.
30. Armed with this new information on how
Wahl and Ammann was smuggled into the IPCC Report, on 27 May
2008 I wrote to both UEA and the Met office with a detailed
specification of what I was looking for. In particular I wanted
all email discussion of the Wahl and Ammann paper and any suggestions
of extra papers to be cited as a result of the revised deadline.
The same day Tim Osborn in email 1211924186 asked Caspar
Ammann if his emails were confidential. Ammann replied that he
would look but began:
Oh MAN! will this crap ever end??
31. In email 1212009215 on 28 May,
Jones and Osborn discuss with David Palmer the FOI officer and
Michael McGarvie, the Senior Faculty Manager, how to deal with
my enquiry. There is no "presumption of disclosure",
only a discussion of how not to disclose.
32. On 29 May 2008 in email 1212063122 Jones
Can you delete any emails you may have had
with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. Can you also email
[Eu]Gene [Wahl] and get him to do the same? I don't have his new
email address. We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise
33. Three days after Jones asked Mann to
delete all AR4 emails, the Met Office wrote to me with the
third of four false statements they made before finally admitting
to holding the data I had requested. On this occasion, whether
by coincidence or not, they also claimed the information was deleted.
34. The Met Office, UEA/CRU, Reading and
Oxford, in my view acting in concert, all refused to accept that
any of the Information, which I requested was subject to
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 which include
a presumption for disclosure. Instead, and by agreement they misused
the confidentiality exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 and in the case of the Met office and UEA/CRU used the
Ministerial veto of section 36 for good measure.
35. The emails released from UEA/CRU do
indeed contain much of what I was asking for and prove my assertion
that the WGI assessment was corrupted. In email 1147982305 Professor
Neil Roberts of Plymouth makes some suggestion for improving the
draft text of Chapter 6. Roberts says Briffa had told him it would
be simpler if he made direct contact. Coordinating Lead Author
Jonathan Overpeck writes back:
We've been asked to keep everything squeaky
clean, and not to get comments informally.
He tells Roberts that he is getting the TSU
to add him as an official Expert Reviewer and to put in his comments.
Roberts was indeed added and made his comments.
36. The email was copied to Briffa who should
have been well aware of the rules anyway but there is abundant
evidence in the emails that Mann dealt directly. In email 1153470204 we
find Briffa writing to Eugene Wahl, who is not an officially listed
I am taking the liberty (confidentially) to
send you a copy of the reviewers' comments (please keep these
to yourself) of the last IPCC draft chapter.
Not only had Briffa asked Wahl to help him write
to discredit McIntyre and McKitrick, but also he is sent their
comments to Wahl, whose paper they criticised, for him to answer.
37. In email 1154353922 is further
evidence that the additional comments that I was asking for were
indeed sent by the TSU via Overpeck, which should have included
one from McIntyre. UEA/CRU recently confirmed that this email
was deleted but is held by the police in the backup server. The
email also confirms that the grossly improper extension to the
review stage was decided at Bergen, when the Lead Authors first
considered the Reviewers' comments calling for the removal of
all references to the Wahl and Ammann paper.
38. Regrettably, the reputation of a significant
number of climate scientists is irreparably damaged both, in the
eyes of the general public and other scientists in different fields.
Climate science generally but to some extent all science will
be tarred with the same brush.
39. The recommendations I made in my 2007 paper
remain valid and urgent.
40. Reproducibility is a more important
standard than peer-review for policymakers. An open, transparent
and reproducible paper, whether peer-reviewed or not, will be
falsified if wrong before it can influence any policy. The faulty
peer-reviewing, combined with lack of disclosure of the "hockey
stick" and IPCC reports, has shielded them for years from
41. The British government needs to take
responsibility, with others, for the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, which with them it jointly owns. As in any business
failure, the fault lays with the owners not the part time unpaid
volunteer workers that get carried away with their idealism and
42. Disgracefully, Defra claimed
to have no right to see the IPCC working papers, despite specific
provisions in Appendix A to the IPCC Principles. The government
should have invited the public to scrutinise drafts, Expert Comments
and Lead Authors' Responses online, before accepting the Report.
The many and varied eyes would not have let the errors pass.
43. At the forthcoming 32nd Session of the
IPCC in October, the Government should honour its undertakings
to promote the Aarhus Convention principles in that organisation
after having conducted a proper public consultation on the matter,
as required by the Convention.
The documents in this appendix, numbered 1 to
11 are referred to in the submission document.
1 Working Group One Timetable. Created 20 January
2 Deadlines for literature cited in the Working
Group I Fourth Assessment Report. Created 1 June 2005
3 Dr Susan Solomon's email to Prof. John Mitchell
and others. Dated 14 March 2008
4 Email sent by Sir Brian Hoskins to the University
of Reading Information Officer dated 15 July 2008
5 Letter sent by Registrar of the University
of Oxford to David Holland 13 January 2009
6 Email sent by Working Group One Technical Support
Unit to all Expert Reviewers on 4 July 2006
7 Attachment to 4 July 2006 Email "Guidelines
for inclusion of recent scientific literature in the Working Group
I Fourth Assessment Report". Created by Dr Martin Manning
1 July 2006
8 Review comment submitted by Stephen McIntyre
dated 24 July 2006 13
9 TSU acknowledgement of McIntyre email dated
25 July 2006 14
10 Note from Stephen McIntyre to Channel 4 News
concerning the answer Prof. Briffa gave in response to Channel
4 intended criticism of Briffa's actions in 2006 during
the IPCC WGI assessment process.
11 Letter from Defra to David Holland dated 15 May
BY UEA REFERRED
THE IPCC PROCESS"
Mann, Michael E, Bradley, Raymond S, and Hughes,
Malcolm K. (1999) "Northern hemisphere temperatures during
the past millennium: Inferences, uncertainties, and limitations,"
Geophysical Research Letters, 26(6), 759-762.
6 http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles Back
Holland, David (2007): Bias and Concealment in the IPCC Process:
The "Hockey-Stick" Affair and Its Implications, Energy
and Environment, 18 (7 & 8).951-983. http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Holland/Bias_and_Concealment.pdf Back
.See also Edwards, P and S Schneider (1997). "The 1995 IPCC
Report: Broad Consensus or 'Scientific Cleansing'?". Ecofable/Ecoscience,
1:1 (1997), pp. 3-9. http://www.si.umich.edu/~pne/PDF/ecofables.pdf. Back
Mann, M E, R S Bradley and M K Hughes, 1998: Global-scale temperature
patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries. Nature,
392, 779-787. Back
NRC, 2006: Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for
the Last 2,000 Years, (2006) National Research Council, National
Academies Press. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11676 Back
Wegman E, Scott D and Said Y, (2006): "Ad Hoc Committee Report
On The 'Hockey Stick' Global Climate Reconstruction", http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf Back
See Appendix (1) or http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/wg1_timetable_2006-01-20.pdf Back
See Appendix (2) This document has subsequently been deleted from
the WGI server. Back
See Appendix (3) for Dr Solomon's email. Back
See Appendix (4) for an email from Sir Brian Hoskins, which attests
to this. Back
See Appendix (5) for Oxford's Registrar's Letter Back
See Appendix (6) (7) for email and memo changing "in press"
See Appendix (8) (9) for Stephen McIntyre's comment to TSU and
their reply Back
See Appendix (10) for further analysis of this matter by Stephen
See Appendix (11) for Defra letter. Back
Not printed. Back