How FOIs are used

Climate Audit seem to be removing my posts as fast as I write them!
So here is stuff I posted about FOIs and requests for Draft Documents

Posted May 30, 2011 at 6:55 PM | Permalink | Reply
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No but Holland has in no uncertain terms:

I understand that the Met Office acted as the Technical Support
Unit for Working Group I of the IPCC Third Assessment Report
published in 2001. Please can you tell me what electronic records
the Met office retain? As this is self-evidently environmental
information, this request is made under the Environmental
Information Regulations of 2004.

I order to minimise any effort required I am willing to restrict my
request to Chapter 2, entitled “Observed Climate Variability and
Change”. I am particularly interested in the first and second order
drafts of the chapter and the comments of the Expert and Government
Reviewers together with the annotated responses of the Lead Authors
and all email correspondence in connection with the chapter or
relating generally to the official assessment process.

While I will be happy to receive any information by email if, as I
expect, it is in electronic form, I would prefer it and would be
willing to wait a reasonable time, if you propose to promptly
publish all your TAR information it in its entirety on your website
as I understand to be a legal requirement of the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004, assuming that you possess the
information in electronic form.

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

Dear Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,

I refer to our previous correspondence (EIR 10/2038).

1. In your response dated 29 October 2010, you say that draft
information and internal communications have been withheld. Could
you please provide a full list of information that has been

2. You have disclosed several letters/emails to Prof Beddington
that appear to have no responses. Could you please check to see if
you have missed the replies to these messages.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Montford

So apart from Holland, Cuccinelli, ATI, Montford, other FOIs not on the web there OBVIOUSLY have been no requests for drafts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And of course McIntyre also requests pre-publication stuff:
From UEA refusal:

Regulation 12(4)(d) is cited because the 1,001 composite data sets and the lists of sites from which the data is drawn was created in 2006 as a first ‘draft’ of work that was meant to be carried forward and refined with a view to future publication. Whilst there has been the passage of some time since the creation of the first set of 1,001 composite records, staff at the CRU have returned to this data recently as part of a project funded by NERC, which commenced in May 2010, that encapsulates this NW Eurasian tree-ring study, and which will be completed no later than October 2012. The data will be revised in the near future as the project moves towards publication of papers based on the work in constructing the composites

Further uses of FOIs fom this site:
John Brown

26 November 2009
Dear Sir or Madam,

I am making a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I
would like to know about any funds provided to the University of
East Anglia for climate-related research. For Financial Years
1999/00 to 2008/09 please provide the following information:

(a) a list of all grants/awards from the Met Office that were made
to the University for climate-related research, advice or

(b) For each of the items listed in response to (a), please
identify the total amount spent by financial year;

(c) For each of the listed in response to (a) & (b), please
identify the University Department, Unit, Team or researcher
responsible for undertaking the work.

Please provide the above information in electronic form.

Yours faithfully,

John Brown
Was the info used or useful?
James Snowdome

24 July 2009
Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to request, under the Freedom of Information Act, any
agreements between the Met Office and Peter Webster regarding the
use and/or release of climate date held by the Met Office
(including data that originally came from Phil Jones).

Best regards

Yours faithfully,

James Snowdome
Was the info used or useful?
James Snowdome

24 July 2009
Dear Sir or Madam,

I request, under the Environmental Information Act, a copy of all
raw weather station data currently held by Phil Jones,

Where data is not able to be disclosed due to agreements
restricting access to the data I would like to receive a copy of
each agreement detailing which weather stations are restricted.

I would like data for all unrestricted weather stations regardless
of the above.

Yours faithfully,

James Snowdome

How many people asked for this
John Walker

25 November 2009
Dear Sir or Madam,

Please supply a copy of the dataset that was used to create the
Climate Research Unit's temperature record.

Or failing that, details of where a copy of the dataset may be

Yours faithfully,

John Walker

that's another one
John Walker

5 December 2009
Dear University of East Anglia,

Please supply copies of the accounts for the Climatic Research Unit
for each of the last five years.

Yours faithfully,

John Walker

another financial prod
John Walker

2 December 2009
Dear Sir or Madam,

In view of Mr Jones's decision to step down:


please supply copies of all correspondence relating to this
decision between Mr Jones and any other person.

Yours faithfully,

John Walker

John Walker

21 November 2009
Dear Sir or Madam,

Please supply copies of all correspondence (including emails)
between Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU),
and Michael Mann from 1st January 2008 to the present date.

Yours faithfully,

John Walker

one of how many requests??

John Walker

27 November 2009
Dear Sir or Madam,

Please supply copies of all correspondence (including emails)
between the UEA Chief Librarian and Phil Jones, Director of the
Climatic Research Unit (CRU), from 1st January 2008 to the present

Yours faithfully,

John Walker

Its surprising Mr Walker does not request the time spent by Jones at the urinals!
John Walker

26 December 2009
Dear University of East Anglia,



The CRU receives money in the form of grants etc.

Please explain how this money is accounted for and give details of
the checks and balances that are in place to ensure that this money
is properly spent.

How is this money audited?

Yours faithfully,

John Walker

was this useful?

Dear University of East Anglia,

Please supply copies of all emails (addresses, subject lines and
main body) from or to members of the UEA council since 1st October
2009 that
include one, or more than one, of the following words/phrases:

'Common Purpose', 'PwC', 'KPMG', 'Charles Clarke', 'Climatic
Research Unit', 'Penn State', 'Jones', 'Mann', 'CRU', 'police',
'Norfolk Constabulary', 'Chief Constable', 'special branch', 'Julia
Middleton', 'David Bell', 'climategate', 'Monckton', 'cpexposed',
'stopcp', 'Oxburgh', 'Nurse'.

Yours faithfully,

John Walker

yet another "show me all"
Andrew Montford

24 May 2010
Dear Imperial College London,

Professor David Hand of the Department of Mathematics served on
Lord Oxburgh's inquiry into the Climatic Research Unit of the
University of East Anglia. I would like to receive copies of all
correspondence or other documents held by Imperial related to the
Oxburgh inquiry.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Montford
yet another "show me all" trying to incriminate someone other than Jones!
Andrew Montford

29 May 2010
Dear University of Reading,

I understand that Sir Brian Hoskins was involved in providing
advice to the University of East Anglia and others on the setting
up of Lord Oxburgh's inquiry into the Climatic Research Unit at UEA
in the wake of the release of emails from the unit last November.

I would like to receive copies of Sir Brian's emails in relation to
the East Anglia emails affair, including, but not restricted to:
the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry, Lord
Oxburgh's inquiry and Sir Muir Russell's Climate Change Emails

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Montford

Yet another try to incriminate people

OK I'm bored with this so some numbers

ONLLY FROM THE SITE http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/
How many private FOIs have been sent?

Andrew Montford 48 FOIs
David Holland 28 FOIs
John Walker 311 FOIs (not all climate related)
John Brown 24 FOIs (not all climate related)
trevor cooper 2 FOIs

Met Office 50 FOIs found
University of East Anglia 50 FOIs found
UEA 121 FOIs found (Included: some from University of East Anglia)
CRU 98 FOIs found (Included UEA etc)
climategate 28 FOIs found (Included UEA etc)


UVA David Schnare and ATI
Thanks for the belated response. David Schnare Posted Jun 3, 2011 at 10:20
PM | Permalink | Reply
... We have asked for the Mann documents because we want to know what was
going on at that point in time. McIntyre is a private citizen, so he is not
subject to FOIA.

Your request to UVA is not limiting itself to just Mann and co-workers - indeed
I should like to point out this inconsistency in your comment and your FOI
"All documents that constitute or that are in any way related to correspondence,
messages or emails sent by Dr. Michael Mann to, or received from, any of the
following persons:
(x) Stephen McIntyre"
More significantly, he has made all his work about as public as possible.
He is also helping build the history. He is part of it too, but not in the same
way as Mann.

Your UVA FOI is not just requesting data,code documents it is requesting emails
and things - why. One can only assume this is to create another misinterpretation
the email type of scandal c.f. LEA. If not then why request such things? If
it is genuinely requesting the information for background then emails MUST be
requested from all others involved in the climate debate. Otherwise it is one
McKitrick, like McIntyre, is pretty much an open book. If someone had found
that he appeared to refuse to play nice in the sandbox, we’d take a look at
his work, but that doesn’t seem to have happened yet
How do you know that McKitrick and others did no conspire to discredit invalidly
other's documents ?
Wegman is one for which we have requested his work. GMU gave it to us in
an extremely timely manner

"Timely manner"!!! the 2 fois are completely different kettles of
fish. One you demand a life history including any doodles made on the way. Wegman
you ask for very little (and get it!)
Singer is a colleague, but is an elder statesman as well. (That’s a nice
way to say he’s been retired a long time.) No one has questioned his work, and
his recent efforts are very public.

Mann's data had been deleted from their system. It was not until a disused
server was found could any data be retrieved. Being OLD does not make you honest!.
Indeed being old makes it more likely that you do not care what happens in the
future - you'll be dead! How can you say "no one has questioned his work"
that is just not true.
Lindzen is subject to FOIA, but who wants to take him on.
No one wants to take on the Mafia but that does not make it right to allow
them to escape punishment!
You didn’t mention Pat Michaels, also from UVA. ... he is an open
book and no one has seriously suggested any of his work or efforts reflect “political”
science or bad science or anything else
I did not mention many people who disagree with AGW. That is what the ETC.
is for. He's an open book - yes he admitted to being funded 40% by the oil industry.
Do you not think that perhaps his emails may be of some slight interest (of
course he would have to be pretty dumb to have used UVA email system - but you
never know unless you request)
We believe that when the public pays a scientist to do science at a public
academic institution, they should not only have the opportunity to see all of
what they bought, but have a legal right to see how that work was done.

Fine, but do you not just purchase the final report and the data and calculation.
Do you really purchase his life?
Because Mann has been accused of less than honorable behavior, the public
has a right to know whether his papers reflect such behavior or exonerate him.

Is this accusation a legal one? Or is it a blogging one? Can I accuse all the
anti-AGW scientists similarly and cause you to then FOI their lives?
To me, sir, it appears you are going after one man for the purpose of discrediting
climate science.

Will you publicly state that you are honestly requesting the information solely
to understand the history?
Will you also publicly state that you have not been financed by parties (possibly
energy related) interested in disproving AGW?


... Is it a Trend (edited)

The second half of "it's all cycles" post

The usual warning:
"With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk".
Attributed to von Neumann

The elephant has been constructed!!

The spreadsheet is available on request (11MB)

This post examines the reconstruction of the HADCRUT3V temperature trend using cycles and a polynomial trend.

Over the HADCRUT period the fit is very sligtly better than cycles only
TSI has NOT been inverted to give the best fit (there is a definite minimum error - set to the levels used here) both a 10 year and 11 year further cycle is required to produce the best fit. The fit is chosen with various filter values applied to the TSI. A 38 month trailing average gives the best fit.

Note that TSI has been extended to the future by repeating an earlier cycle.
Also included here is a comparison plot where the cycles only and trend out put are compared. Divergence occurs pre 1850 and post 2010

So assuming these plots accurately predict the  future!!!! the next 5 or so years should show which is "truth"
Long Term Plot

Comparison of plot with and without TSI (volcanic forcings also shown)

The Poynomial is:

y =0.00000024008x^3-0.00134007x^2 + 2.49324x -1546.54
X= date eg. 1850.167



Is it A Cycle or ....

Yet more on the "fun" project - not scientific!

"With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk".
Attributed to von Neumann

This post examines the reconstruction of the HADCRUT3V temperature trend using only cycles - ie. no increasing trend as previous posts.

Over the HADCRUT period the fit is pretty remarkable
For those who think that this must therefore show that the climate is cyclical remember the 313 year cycle peaks again in 1734

Of particular interest is TSI Using it inverted gives the best fit (there is a definite minimum error - set to the levels used here) both a 10 year and 11 year further cycle is required to produce the best fit.
There is a minimum for it non-inverted but this does not produce a s close a fit to HADCRUT.

Note that TSI has been extended to the future by repeating an earlier cycle.

As before there is a definite 60 year cycle required to give the best fit.

Period years


Offset months



































































































































Simulation stuff

Just to see if the peak solar output can show up as a delayed sea temperature rise this is a PSPICE simulatution of sea (or something!)

A long timeconstant is used to simulate sea surface /atmosphere interface. A 10000 times shorter time constant is used to simulate the conduction in sea from surface to depths.
Input signal is TSI from 1700 to 2008
So using this so called simulation of solar TSI impact on sea it can be seen that up to 13 years delay from TSI peak at sea surface to peak subsurface.
You can also see that the time constants simply smooth the peaks of TSI to o.oo6% including over the 100-1830low tsi.
LTspice simulator free here

Suggestions for better real world data

Enercon Wind turbines and wind speed

False statements are often made about wind turbines (very narrow range of speed over which power is produced; large turbines shut down at lower wind speeds; rare earths costing the earth.)

From the Enercon brochure:

ENERCON storm control
ENERCON wind turbines run with a special storm control feature.
Storm control enables reduced wind turbine operation in the event of
extremely high wind speeds, and prevents typical shutdowns which
cause considerable yield losses.


Power curve without ENERCON storm control
Illustration 1 shows that the wind turbine stops at a defined cutout wind speed V3. The reason is that a specified maximum wind speed has been exceeded. In wind turbines without storm control, this occurs, for example, at a wind speed of 25 m/s within a 20-second mean. The wind turbine only starts up again when the average wind speed drops below the cut-out wind speed or an even lower restart speed (V4 in the illustration; so-called strong wind hysteresis). In gusty wind conditions there may be a longer delay, which means that considerable yield losses are incurred.
Power curve with ENERCON storm control
The power curve diagram showing operation with ENERCON storm control (illustration 2) demonstrates clearly that the wind turbine does not shut down automatically when a certain wind speed Vstorm is exceeded, but merely reduces power output by slowing down the rotational speed. This is achieved by slightly pitching the rotor blades out of the wind. Once the wind speed drops, the blades turn back into the wind and the turbine immediately resumes operation at full power. This prevents yield-reducing shutdown and start-up procedures.

Data for a 7.5MW wind turbine Enercon E126

As can be seen from the plot and data useful power is available from 4 to 25 m/s

Enercon Control systems being electronic can synchronise to grid quickly and can even help the grid ride out a system fault.

NO Rare earths are required for the generator

NO gears are required for the main shaft of the generator

Staying connected when grid problems occur
Most transmission networks and ever more distribution grids require wind energy converters to remain connected to the grid in the event of grid short circuits. Like conventional power plants, wind turbines are not allowed to suddenly disconnect from the grid during voltage dips or overvoltage caused by grid problems. ENERCON wind turbines with the optional ENERCON UVRT feature have this capacity. No matter what type of short circuit occurs, ENERCON wind turbines can ‘ride through’ faults for several seconds, even if they were operating at rated power before the fault. This is also possible if the wind turbine voltage completely breaks down as a result of a power system failure. These outstanding power plant properties have been certified by independent institutes during actual grid fault testing. Flexible setting options offer maximum performance according to the respective grid operator’s specifications or to the project’s framework conditions.
Depending on the selected parameters, the wind turbine can feed in either mainly active or reactive power to maintain grid voltage. If necessary, voltage-dependent reactive current can even be supplied to the grid; this current can be maximum rated current as stipulated by the latest German grid code. If desired or required, fault ride-through is also possible without power feed-in. The ENERCON wind turbine remains in operation during the fault. After the grid problem has been resolved and grid voltage has been restored, the wind turbine can immediately resume power feed-in. Thus the ENERCON Undervoltage Ride-Through feature facilitates adaptable settings in order to meet grid standards (e. g. of the German
Association of Energy and Water Industries) and to maximise the amount of installable wind farm power.


ENERCON WECs produce clean energy without neodymium

29.04. 2011

ENERCON wind energy converters (WECs) generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way without the use of the controversial element, neodymium. The gearless WEC design on which all WEC types – from the E-33/330 kW to the E-126/7.5 MW – are based includes a separately excited annular generator. The magnetic fields required by the generator to produce electricity are created electrically. By design, and unlike the majority of competing products, ENERCON WECs do without permanent magnets whose production requires neodymium.

Neodymium has made the headlines recently because its extraction partly involves significant environmental damage. China, where neodymium-containing rocks are quarried in mines, is the main supplier of this so-called rare earth element. According to investigations by Germany’s NDR TV station, separation of neodymium from mined rocks results in toxic waste products (Menschen und Schlagzeilen and Panorama television magazines aired on 27 and 28 April). In addition, radioactive uranium and thorium are released by the mining process. These substances find their way into the ground water, heavily contaminating plant and animal life. They are seen as harmful to humans. According to the reports, part of the locals at the neodymium production sites in Baotou in northern China are already seriously ill.

ENERCON feels that these environmental and health aspects support its choice of WEC design. “We are a high-tech company that sets great store by environmental protection,” says ENERCON Managing Director Hans-Dieter Kettwig. “Our choice to rely on separately excited generators was the right one, not only from a technological but also from an environmental point of view.” According to Kettwig, renewable energies need to be viewed in their entirety in order to offer a convincing alternative. Producing clean energy is one thing; however, sustainability in production is just as important.


The State of Fusion

Edited from an interview with Professor Steve Cowley in The IET Engineering and Technology Magazine June 2011

JET has been in operation there since 1984, until it was shutdown last year for a refurbishment in preparation for its role as an ITER proving ground. The upgrade, which is now almost complete, includes installing a new beryllium tungsten wall and increasing its power output.

In 1997 they made fusion records of 16MW of power, the carbon walls were not suitable because they acted like a sponge and soaked up the tritium. That is when it was conceived that we would have the beryllium tungsten wall on ITER when it does its half a gigawatt of power.
We have to show that a beryllium tungsten wall can work on JET because it's never been used before. The other thing that we are doing with the upgrade is putting on more power, so when the JET comes back later this year it will be a different machine. So this next period of time with JET will be to start up with the new wall, ramp up the power so that we can get record breaking power into it, then put in a tritium fuel and break all the world's fusion records in 2015.

ITER is not very far off being the right size for a commercial reactor. We reason that a real commercial reactor will be less than 20 per cent bigger than ITER.

JET at full power can only do five seconds. The shots of JET are what we have used to extrapolate the performance of ITER - it was essentially designed around those 97 shots where we made 16MW.
It was not actually the 16MW shot that we designed ITER on, it was the 5MW for the full five seconds - you turn the machine on and it makes fusion for the full five seconds, then you turn the machine off and it stops.
We have no problem sustaining it, you just can't run JET for more than five seconds because the copper magnet gets really hot, all the systems get hot, and they won't last longer than five seconds at full power.
But ITER can because it's a superconducting machine that has its engineering systems designed to maintain a burst longer than that. It's not that the fusion can't go on longer than five seconds, it's just that the machine can't.

What we call the baseline of ITER is 500MW of fusion power for 400 seconds. But ITER could go on for thousands and thousands of seconds and some of the modes of operation that we have been working on at JET probably mean that, if we adopt them on ITER, we will do thousands of seconds.
Personally I think we should be more ambitious. I think we will probably get more out of ITER than that, but nobody wants to promise that. What we are promising I think is a fairly conservative estimate of how well it can perform. I am hoping that we will get more than 500MW and that the gain will go up to infinity. That
means you can turn off your external power sources and just let it cook itself.

We would like to bring down the turbulence inside the plasma even further. If you ask the physics reason that JET's performance has improved over time, it is because we are suppressing more and more of the turbulence inside.
Inside the plasma it is bubbling; it is 170 million degrees in the middle and 10,000 degrees at the edge. That huge temperature gradient is like applying heat to a saucepan, it bubbles away. And those bubbles are little turbulent eddies inside the plasma that causes the heat to lean out.
The less turbulence you have, the better the fusion reactor. The big success of the last two-and-a-half decades of JET's operation is a reduction in the turbulence. But we can go further. On MAST, for instance, we have regimes where there is almost no turbulence inside the plasma. That is the perfect confinement device.
The second big challenge is that every now and then the plasma will erupt and throw itself against the wall. You are storing several hundred mega joules of energy inside the ITER plasma and you don't want it to throw itself against the walls. So we have to have ways of making sure that doesn't happen in a commercial reactor.
We are working on ways for ITER, but by the end of the ITER project we had better have a very good idea when it's going to go unstable. Because when it does, and it is rare, it can damage the walls.

Some scientist says 'how can you have a sun in a bottle?' - I would say we have done that! That is what JET does. The temperature in the middle of JET is a reactor working temperature; it is a sun in a bottle.
That is not the difficulty. The difficulty is a sun in a bottle that is cheap enough that it will make electricity at the sort of cost you want to pay for your electricity. I don't know if we can solve that problem.
I know we can make a sun in a bottle, but I don't know if we can produce electricity at five cents a KWh. That is the challenge and these days, it is as much an engineering challenge as a physics challenge.

Waste from a fusion power station is an interesting problem. We produce helium, it is just ordinary helium. But the neutron that comes out when it strikes steel not only moves the atoms around, it can make some of the nuclei in the steel radioactive, so the steel becomes radioactive.
That is the only waste that we really worry about, that radioactive steel - we have designed a special sort of steel called a low activation steel, so the radioactivity is short lived.
So the analysis of our proposed power plant shows that at the end of the lifetime of a fusion reactor, the waste that you have is a thousand times less active than a fission plant and that it decays in 200 years to have the same radioactivity as coal.
Tritium itself is quite a hazardous substance. It's a radioactive gas with a half life of 12 years. You don't store much tritium at a fusion plant because you make tritium from lithium and you take that tritium and put it in the plant.
The neutron comes out of the plasma and goes into the wall. In the wall is this blanket of lithium, where the energy of the neutron is deposited and goes into your coolant to power your turbine. The neutron hits lithium and makes a tritium, which you have to take and put back in your plasma to make more fusion, so actually you make tritium and consume tritium.
If you've got a clever plant you actually keep very little tritium around, maybe a kilogramme, so if you ever had an accident the amount of tritium that could be released would be relatively small.
In the European Fusion Power plant design that we participated in, you wouldn't need anybody to be evacuated beyond the site boundary in the event of a worst case scenario.

We won't know if we are right about ITER until after 2025. But by 2030 we will have to start building the first energy production reactor, something we call Demo.
Demo won't have to be perfect, it's a prototype, and it's not the last word. But it will have to be good enough to produce day in and day out electricity, so it's a demonstration that fusion works.