back to article The ZOD FILES: Climate documents from 2007 'must stay secret'

The UK's Met Office has refused to release historic climate discussions dating from before 2007, even though such scientific discussions are required to be “open and transparent”. David Holland, the man whose FoI requests - refused by the Met Office - triggered the Climategate scandal, wants to see what scientists are discuss …


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  1. Joe User

    Cue Jack Nicholson: "You can't handle the truth!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We need an Enviromental version of "Snowden"

      Calling all Anonymous....perhaps it is time that Wikileaks got some more dtat to share with the world.

  2. Beau


    We have absolutely nothing to hide, and as it is nothing, there is nothing for you to see. Goodby!

  3. g e

    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear

    Presumably the information doesn't support the political climate agenda.

    And people marvel at how there can be 'climate sceptics'

    1. codeusirae

      Re: Nothing to hide, nothing to fear

      They leaked the emails, nothing to show for it, now what ?

  4. Shasta McNasty

    Here's a quick summary

    Anything the UK does or does not do will be insignificant because China is destroying the planet on a far bigger scale.

    But we can't be saying that in public because Cameron and Clegg want the Chinese as their new best mates.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Here's a quick summary

      "China is destroying the planet on a far bigger scale."

      China's switching on coal plants at breakneck pace, but it's also rolling out nuke plants too - and they're designed to continue running when the coal plants have been shut down (FWIW the coal pollution problems in China are from home burning of coal, just like London's smog was 90% caused by home fires - and it's likely china will solve it in the same way once there's enough power generation capacity to allow electric home heating)

      Meantime Europe is still buiding coal plants and there aren't enough nuke plants on the drawing board, let alone any "green" stuff like solar or wind to cover the coal ones being shut down.

      1. David Cantrell

        Re: Here's a quick summary

        Most London homes are heated with gas, not electrickery. The smog was caused by smoke - ie small particles of soot, which are nothing like as big a problem when you burn natural gas.

      2. Dan Paul

        Re: Here's a quick summary


        I disagree. Chinese Coal fired utility plants REGULARLY operate without Baghouses, Electrostatic Precipitators, Opacity(Smoke) Monitoring, Air to Fuel Ratio Controls based on excess oxygen and CO/CO2 measurement and control.

        If the plant was sourced with these systems, they have been bypassed by the operators to increase electrical output. Remember, China had to shut down manufacturing and electrical generating plants to reduce the smog in Beijing to tolerable levels for the Olympics.

        There are no laws or regulations in China that penalize excess emissions or require monotoring and control of emissions.

        European/UK coal fired utility plants on the other hand, must comply with all of the ONEROUS EU emission regulations. This is a huge financial penalty on EU/UK power cost of generation, compared to China

        Regarding wind, the UK has already admitted publicly that without the highly punitive electrical rate compensation/subsidies for wind and solar, there would be no way to make these investments pay for themselves in more than a century.

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  6. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Full transparency the only option.

    If we are to have any faith in the process we must understand it warts and all. I'm sure there will be jackpots in there for the deniers and embarrassments for the warmists a plenty - this should mean very little in the long run - as long as the process is shown to be honest.

    1. codeusirae

      Re: Full transparency the only option.

      "If we are to have any faith in the process .. as long as the process is shown to be honest."

      So, when are the people who hacked the email servers going to come forward, what would be more transparent than that ?

      "What do the 'Climategate' hacked CRU emails tell us?"

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: Full transparency the only option. @codeusirae

        Huh? Thats a very tenous connection. I would say the only reason the climategate hackers should come forward is if it can be shown that they edited or selectively released the docs. Of course to prove that - there would have to be full disclosure from UEA Cru.

        If the hackers motives were nothing more than setting data free they have nothing to come forward for. If they were more malign I would wholeheartedly support their detection and prosecution.

        But since its the climate researchers work that is being used as a stick to beat the world population and to drive unprecendented levels of change - it should be clear, open and examinable from every angle - especially if the IPCC reports can be shown to be "sexed up" post the initial scientists submissions.

    2. Vociferous

      Re: Full transparency the only option.

      I wish The Reg adopted full transparency on its climate change denialism.

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    You ARE the weakest link...

    Thank you MET Office for discrediting yourself.

    No cold hard facts to back up your assertions? Then you aren't worth listening to. Goodbye.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kneeel before Zod...

  9. btrower

    Will CAGW alarmers step up?

    It is not relevant whether or not there is something there. What is needed is the *appearance* of honesty at the very least. So far we have Climategate, the hockey stick, the 2035 glacier objections to which were called 'voodoo science', whitewashes instead of honest investigations, denial of FOIA requests so corrupt they are actually illegal, pathetically stupid 'stats' like the '97%', egregiously fallacious arguments, misleading and unscientific political statements masquerading as 'science', corrupted peer review, and Alarmists saying completely insane things like 'you have to pick some cherries if you want to make cherry pie'.

    You cannot start with a theory to prove, delete or alter gathered raw data to conform with the theory and then use the now worthless data to support your theory. That is what that whole community does over and over again. How can we replicate your experiment if you won't divulge the experiment?

    The Alarmist arguments always include a healthy dose of some variant of "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain".

    One side of this debate *wants* to see the data and debate the meaning of the data. The other side does not. At every turn, when it comes time to put up or shut up you see stonewalling, misdirection, name calling, hiding behind fake third party obligations, etc, etc. ad nauseum.

    I believe that some of the people supporting this honestly believe the lies and shady explanations they have been given or delude themselves that the ends justify the means. etc. However, how can you look at something like this and attribute honest good faith to that whole community. Regardless of their motivation, it is operationally bad faith.

    If you have ever done any real data analysis and you know enough about physics and chemistry and go looking for the raw data you will discover that good raw data is much harder to find than you would think. Were I doing this sort of thing I would make plain jane ascii CSV files available at the least.

    I think Climate Science is corrupt. I do not trust their data because it has been modified and they cannot reliably say how. I do not believe that the fraternity calling itself 'Climate Scientists' can be trusted to properly report on themselves and their data.

    I could not possibly trust any analysis of the existing climate data unless it was done by real scientists who could verify the validity of the data in question.

    Saying that I can trust a Climate Scientist by virtue of them being 'Climate Scientists' is not a valid argument for trusting them.

    The allegedly 'overwhelming' evidence should be easy to obtain as raw data nearly all in one place. One link should be all I need to get raw temperature data, raw proxy measurements, cogent explanations, etc.. It is not out there. In fact, it requires repeated FOIA requests to pry this stuff out of the hands of the Climate Priesthood.

    Whatever anybody says, the appearance of the Climate fraternity is not a good one. For the sake of at least appearing to be legitimate they should be accommodating requests like this, not fighting them. Someone has been good enough to tell them they screwed up by not making this available to begin with, they should be saying 'oops', making the information available and apologizing for the trouble.

    This sorry mess will collapse on its own *eventually* but people like me are getting impatient.

    1. MonkeyCee

      Re: Will CAGW alarmers step up?

      While undoubtedly climate change is happening, if we are pushing it faster then the problem is can we ever stop? I'm all for a bunch of the technologies pushed by the greenies, but on their own merits. So not windmills, hydro and more efficient plants. Even if they're coal burning.

      In fact, if we're REALLY keen on this stuff, then we'd all be paying massively more for our stuff, so that all countries can scrap inefficient plant. Oh, and pay for the improvement of the poorest couple of billion. Call it reparations. No? Not enough you say. You'd be right. There is only one "solution" to AGW, and it's a very final one. It's on a giant sundial in Georgia :)

      We'll just adapt. Probably start living in burrows, purifying our air and water.

      Oh, and the climate busybodies are never going away. Nature of institutions, whatever they get set up for, their main purpose is to continue existing. Anyone who has a nice tax free gig (I work for the world! No tax for me! See also UN, IMF etc) with no actual results needed is hardy going to walk away. Get some promises, get sad when they get ignored when job votes trump green votes. Continue cashing the cheques.

    2. dogged

      Re: Will CAGW alarmers step up?

      What concerns me is that I've pointed this article to a couple of avowed Warmists and they both answered "oh, it's David Holland" or "oh, it's just Andrew Orlowski".

      As if the withholding of data is perfectly legitimate if you don't like the views of the person you're withholding it from.

      And there was a strong repetition "NO DATA IS BEING WITHHELD" in flat out contradiction of the article but without sources.

      1. John Hughes

        Re: Will CAGW alarmers step up?

        "And there was a strong repetition "NO DATA IS BEING WITHHELD" in flat out contradiction of the article but without sources."

        Where in the article does it say the "data is being withheld"?

        1. dogged

          Re: Will CAGW alarmers step up?

          > Where in the article does it say the "data is being withheld"?

          Since the Met Office is refusing FOIA requests, only the part where all of it.

          1. John Hughes

            Re: Will CAGW alarmers step up?

            But the FOI requests are not asking for data.

            There is no data in the ZOD's.

            The data is in the published papers referenced by the AR's.

            1. dogged

              Re: Will CAGW alarmers step up?

              Might as well release them, then.


              Or is this a different sort thing to hide?

    3. phil dude

      Re: Will CAGW alarmers step up?

      The big problem appears to me , is that forecasting events a week in advance how a very tight feedback loop if their wrong. Politically and scientifically. We may all joke about bogus weather forecasting, but it is a very expensive commodity to do with out.

      No matter what side you are entrenched on , predicting things 100 years in the future us fraught with problems, and it simply defies belief that the scientific community would not WANT everyone to look at the data.

      Unfortunately, until honesty is restored to this whole enterprise, even rational people will have a hard time interpreting "the evidence".


      A shout out to all those in Denver ;-)

  10. Trollslayer


    I was going to be polite but couldn't think of anything else.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Traitors

      I don't see any of the seven dirty words or their British equivalents.

      So I'd say you managed polite very nicely.

  11. dervheid

    Dear Met Office

    Just a polite reminder that as taxpayers, YOU work for US.

    NOT the other way round.

    Now, if you want to retain/regain a shred of credibility, stop being a shower of utter dicks and cough up the documents.

  12. i like crisps

    I know why they've blocked the report...

    ...they don't want us to know that "ITS RAINING MEN, HALLELUJAH ITS


  13. yakitoo

    Not that long ago

    that the UK weather forecast was technically an official secret and the ordnance survey maps had blank spaces on them where the military bases were - even the ones with public roads running along side them.

    We Brits take our secrecy very seriously - especially when its in full public view.

    1. Gray

      Re: Not that long ago

      So you all call Snowden, then, to get the UK met data alerts?

      As for the FOI ZOD request, check with our NSA ... I'm sure they have all the documents, but it may take a while to find them in the global pile they've got stashed in the Utah data center.

      (Smiley face so they'll wonder what we're plotting)

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: Not that long ago

        Thanks for the offer - we may take you up on it.

        In return, our GCHQ can offer you all of Mann's emails - the ones he's fighting to stop being revealed at the moment...

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    you can be

    pretty sure if the data backed global warming, or pointed to it or was in any way positive about it, the data would be released pretty damned quickly.

    By not releasing it, it just plays into the hands of the denial people.

    Actually CO2 emissions are going up, the temp appears to have gone up... so the best course of action would be to shut down all the non co2 producing nuclear power stations and rely on solar/wind voodoo power backed by dirty brown polish coal (and borrowing France's nuclear when they are not looking)

    This solution was brought to you by the German government

    1. John Hughes

      Re: you can be

      "pretty sure if the data backed global warming, or pointed to it or was in any way positive about it, the data would be released pretty damned quickly."

      What data?

      This isn't about "data". This is about the discussions about how to write the various IPCC AR's. If you want the data read the AR's.

    2. Gerald Wilhite

      Re: you can be

      Boris, I'm not a scientist, just a US citizen with a life-long fascination with science. Even so, I have to take issue with the last phrase of your second sentence --- 'temp appears to have gone up'. Technically you are right. Available surface data for land and seas shows that temperature is going up slightly, about 0.012°C/year. (I confess that at this point I am very skeptical about the claim that satellite instrumentation can reliably produce data accurate to three decimal places.)

      Please see:

      This website takes you to a discussion paper by Dr. Kevin Cowtan and Dr. Robert Way, the authors of a recent paper entitled "Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature record". The paper was published in the latest Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society.

      In the discussion paper, please go to the "Did the Met Office get it wrong?" section. The author's best land and sea temperature reconstruction, including the satellite data, claims that the temperature trend since 1997 is 0.119°C/decade, or about 1.19°C/century. This low trend rate has understandably been interpreted by the some of the media and some scientists as 'The Pause'.

      The authors condition their findings by stating their opinion that 16 years is not enough time to constitute a trend that should be interpreted as falsification of AGW. Recall that the Climategate II emails revealed that Dr. Phil Jones, the Director of Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, expressed great concern about the reaction of his peers if the trend of 'The Pause' exceeded 15 years. Presumably Jones' concern was falsification. We are about to begin the 17th year of the trend.

      When 'The Pause' temperature trend is analyzed in relation to the Mauna Loa CO2 data showing CO2 emissions going up about 12% during the same period, many scientists draw the practical conclusion that the prime prediction of the CO2 version of AGW is wrong. In other words, the hypothesis is seriously threatened with falsification, if not already falsified.

      Remember that the goal of the UN-IPCC is to not to determine what causes global warming. The IPCC's goal is very limited. It is restricted to determining the extent that humanity's CO2 emissions impact climate change. in 2005 Jones knew there had already been a 7yr pause when he wrote:

      Dr. Phil Jones – CRU emails – 5th July, 2005: “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has, but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant….” Then in 2009, 12 years into 'The Pause', he wrote:

      Dr. Phil Jones – CRU emails – 7th May, 2009: ”Bottom line: the ‘no upward trend’ has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.”

      Remember also that the agenda imposed on the IPCC by the World Meteorological Organization accepts AGW as carved-in-stone gospel. The theory is assumed to apply to all of the science the IPCC process reviews, and the AGW theory is used as the foundation for constructing all of the GCMs. Remember also that the IPCC heavily promotes the notion that renewables will become economically viable if some form of carbon taxation is used significantly increase the consumer cost of hydrocarbon fuel.

      Any public discussion questioning the AGW hypothesis was extremely politically incorrect at Warsaw, but you can bet it was the subject of heated private discussions. The fact is, IMHO, that this fundamental uncertainty was the reason nothing was accomplished.

      Unfortunately AGW is the foundation for all of the IPCC's work. At this point, it is a lousy basis for long range public policy implementation plans. Hundreds of trillions of tax dollars are at stake. In my lay opinion, an environmental insurance policy for my grandkids based on the IPCC's work would be a downright stupid investment. We can do better ... a lot better.


  16. codeusirae

    Such scientific discussion ..

    'historic climate discussions .. are required to be “open and transparent”.`

    Private communications between private parties are and never were required to be public, regardless as to how they were leaked in the first place

    "David Holland, the man whose FoI requests - refused by the Met Office - triggered the Climategate scandal"

    The Climategate 'scandal' was triggered by the leaking of private emails by a third party to throw doubt on the climate change/global warming hypothesis. Any doubts of which of have been fully negated by a 2007 IPCC report, among others. None of these leaked emails have shown any evidence for the opposing view. As a parliamentary enquiry has also shown.

    1. BoldMan

      Re: Such scientific discussion ..

      The important part wasn't the leaked emails it was the leaked software code and supporting documents. Analysis of that - which was NEVER covered properly by the meedja - showed what a complete fuck up "Climate Science" was. Software that had undocumented fudge factors in place, no proper documentation, no proper data integrity (raw data had been overwritten by processed data and no backup copies of the raw data made) and generally what I would call totally amateur software engineering. Then again this is what you get when you allow scientists to write software. I've got plenty of experience of this, having been employed in the past to take code written by scientists and turning it into "properly" engineered software, with proper documenation, source code control, data control etc etc...

      Scientists by and large are not good software engineers...

      1. John Hughes

        Re: Such scientific discussion ..

        "Software that had undocumented fudge factors in place,"

        Yeah, look at for example:

        DATA DYS/31,28.25,31,30,31,30,31,31,30,31,30,31/

        What's that all about then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Such scientific discussion ..

      If you believe the lines and wires of politicians, cheats and liars then you get what you deserve.

      Sackcloth and ashes to you and yours.

      I'll take my science without "religion" or "beliefs" thank you, just give me the cold hard facts without your agenda and manipulated observations.


    3. Gerald Wilhite

      Re: Such scientific discussion ..

      In a privately owned corporation, whether it is financed by stock sold to the public or financed by closely held private stock, your employment agreement typically provides that the company has access to all of the email correspondence you send and receive on company time.

      In a publicly owned corporation or quasi-public institution, there is no rational reason for it being excluded fro this expectation.

  17. Infernoz Bronze badge

    These climate researchers should publish everything, and be done with it.

    Genuine Science requires full disclosure, so that /all/ scientists, can check the raw and processed data, reasoning, and results for holes or other explanations, or to confirm the results. If this does not happen then we are quite justified to question if what was published was incomplete or flawed in some way.

    If these public organisations can't or won't fully publish all of the raw data, then they should lose funding, and have their resources seized and passed to organisations or people which can and will fully publish this material.

    'Private communications' while in the role of a public researcher is not really private, just like there is no personal email inside a business!

    The current situation must not be tolerated, because it has already caused significant costs outside of the research; these are probably not justified, given how suspiciously obstructive these climate research organisations have been so far!

    1. John Hughes

      Re: These climate researchers should publish everything, and be done with it.

      "Genuine Science requires full disclosure, so that /all/ scientists, can check the raw and processed data, reasoning, and results for holes or other explanations, or to confirm the results."

      Of course.

      So go read the papers cited in the AR's. Why are you interested in the preliminary drafts of the ARs that contain no data that's not in published papers?

      Why do so many people get so excited about all this without even bothering to learn how the process works? The IPCC producess "Assesment Reports", summaries of what the current science shows. The data is in the papers that the ARs cite. If you want the data go to the papers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: These climate researchers should publish everything, and be done with it.

      The raw data are available freely from NASA/ESA/Met office, etc. The research documentation is available, less easily because not all of it is online. The problem here is that the information being asked for requires processing into a format where it's of use to the person requesting it and this takes custom software to be written and there is no funding for it. The Met Office have taken the judgement that this would take a disproportionate amount of time, but did ask for the person who was making the FOI request to reduce the scope and they would be willing to look at what he wanted.

      1. Nial

        Re: These climate researchers should publish everything, and be done with it.

        "The problem here is that the information being asked for requires processing into a format where it's of use to the person requesting it and this takes custom software to be written and there is no funding for it. "

        Why? This sounds like arse covering balearics.

        If its any use to climate scientists as it is then that format should be OK for anyone else who wants to look at it.

  18. codejunky Silver badge

    I wonder

    Those files must hold some seriously bad information to be withheld. It is interesting that they are quick to throw words like climate sceptic but not to throw around meaningful data so their claims can be justified. Last time this happened was the word heathen or witch?

    1. dogged

      Re: I wonder

      I think that last time, it was "communist".

    2. Nial

      Re: I wonder

      > Those files must hold some seriously bad information to be withheld

      As an example of 'seriously bad information' I'd invite all readers to have a look at Harry Read Me for an example of the quality control involved in (one) climate model......

      I still haven't heard what software development quality standards the current models are developed to.

      1. John Hughes

        Re: I wonder

        "example of the quality control involved in (one) climate model..."

        What model?

        That's not about a model. That's a complaint about how hard it is to merge the raw data from many sources together.

  19. Sheep!

    All your information are belong to us

    "wants to see what scientists are discuss at an early, important stage of the IPCC process"


  20. Tom 13


    Climate scientists in other countries would shun our own.

    Any time there is shunning without a public trial and full airing of the facts there is corruption at work.

    I'm thinking what we need here is sort of an Arnold Schwartenager version of Hamlet heading to the IPCC. You, know:

    Announcer: He's back, and this time he's taking out the trash.

    Arnold: To be or not to be?

    special effects: insert large, loud explosion

    Arnold: Not to be.


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