NOAA in turn has informed the FOI requester it needs money to comply with the request:
That’s right – NOAA whose annual budget request exceeded $5.5 billion dollars in 2015, is asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars from a private citizen to provide information. On their colourful website NOAA declares it will accomplish lots of good things with their budget ‘while maintaining strong fiscal discipline’. Perhaps this is how they do it.
The rejection letter proclaims the request amounts to work searching for information going back 30 years, as the organization collected temperature data and slathered layer upon layer of adjustment and quality-control.
Messages can’t be given because, we learn, ‘very few if any letters, phone logs, memos, and other communications on this subject would be available’. ‘Historic archived emails’ cannot be had as they are ‘expensive to access and analyze’. In fact we are told almost anything would be be too much. The schizophrenic NOAA proudly states it has been a steward of temperature data ‘for decades’ it has accumulated so much information it would be impossible to find records pertaining to temperature adjustments among them.
If ‘stewardship’ means collecting data and throwing it randomly in the backroom, sure, decades of such accumulation would be difficult to dig through. In case you had doubts ‘thrown-in-the-backroom’ is not how national agencies archive temperature and climate data this should dissuade you:
From top to bottom, these are climate data archives at Mozambique, El Salvador, Paraguay and Saudi Arabia respectively. It smacks of hypocrisy for NOAA which is undoubtedly the largest and best-funded climate organization in the world to be asking for money to produce records. In effect, NOAA’s letter claims their records are the electronic equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s paper records.
The problem is worse: a clear trail of why each adjustment was adopted, the supporting evidence and relevant authorities’ signing off on them, has to be on file. This is reproducible data science 101. It is inconceivable an organization like NOAA would have functioned in an ad-hoc manner w.r.t one of their public products – the global average temperature record. Procedures must be in place.
The only conclusion is Clizbe’s request has been unfairly turned down.