And the data remains unavailable to this day! (The IPCC is the U.N. climate authority)
One of the most important IPCC representations is the supposedly tremendous quality control of its review process. I've mentioned in passing on a number of occasions that, when I sought to obtain supporting data for then unpublished articles, IPCC threatened to expel me as a reviewer. I've had a few requests to recount my experience with trying to get data from IPCC for unpublished studies. So here's a short summary of my correspondence with IPCC.
On August 1, 2005, I was invited by IPCC to act as a reviewer. (I guess this makes me one of the 2500 scientists who support IPCC conclusions, although my review comments have all been ignored as far as I can tell.) "You have been nominated to serve as an Expert Reviewer for the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. The first draft of this report will be available for expert review from Friday, 9 September 2005, with all review comments due by Friday, 4 November 2005."
I accepted. In September 2005, I noticed that the Paleoclimate chapter cited two then unpublished studies by D'Arrigo et al (later D'Arrigo et al 2006) and Hegerl et al (later Hegerl et al J Clim 2006). In order to carry out my responsibilities as a reviewer, I wanted to see the supporting data for these studies and I accordingly wrote to the IPCC Technical Services Unit at UCAR in Boulder on Sep 20, 2005 as follows: "I have been unable to locate supplementary information or data archives for several of the articles posted at the pdf location for Chapter 6 and would appreciate assistance in this regard.
1) Hegerl et al, submitted. Can you provide me with an ftp location for the proxy data used in this study (which does not even list the proxies used) or post it at your website.
2) D'Arrigo et al, submitted. Again, this data has not been archived at WDCP. Can you provide me with an ftp location for the proxy data used in this study or post it at your website."
On Sep 22, 2005, Martin Manning of the IPCC/UCAR TSU wrote back refusing to provide this data in the following terms: "It is normal practice that expert reviewers of scientific works check the references given and the way they are used. We certainly expect this during the review of the first draft of our report and are grateful that you have identified an issue that the authors will need to deal with in the next draft if that can not be done now.
The second issue is availability of data used in cited literature. As you have recognized some of this is available at data centers. Often the original authors of the cited papers will release their data on request. However, the IPCC process assesses published literature, it does not involve carrying out research, nor do we have the mandate or resources to operate as a clearing house for the massive amounts of data that are used in the climate science community or referred to in the literature used by our authors. Given the many different approaches to intellectual property and data release in different countries and agencies such an undertaking would in any case not be possible."
I was obviously unsatisfied with their failure to provide supporting data and re-iterated my request for supporting data as follows: "My request for data pertains to two papers which are presently unpublished and for which the data is unarchived. One of the papers does not even list the data used. I request that you simply contact the authors who submitted the articles in question and ask him/her to provide an FTP location for the data so that it can be reviewed. The request can be made through a simple email and does not require resources beyond those available to you. You could have submitted the request as quickly as it took you to draft your reply to me. If the authors refuse to provide their data pursuant to a request from you, then that would be a factor in my review, as it should be for IPCC itself, as to whether the article should be referenced by IPCC."
The next day, Sep 23, 2005, Manning made the following shirty reply: "Let me repeat - If you wish to obtain data used in a paper then you should make a direct request to the original authors yourself. It would be inappropriate for the IPCC to become involved in that communication and I have no intention of allowing the IPCC support unit to provide you with what would in effect be a secretarial service. There are over 1200 other scientists on our list of reviewers and we simply can not get involved in providing special services for each. I gave you the courtesy of a detailed response earlier to ensure there was no confusion about our process which is my responsibility. Acting as an intermediary with other scientists is not. I will not be responding to further correspondence on this matter." ...
FULL ARTICLE here
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)