A whistleblower says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rushed a landmark study claiming the planet was warming much faster than expected in order to influence international climate negotiations.
Dr. John Bates, the former principal scientist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., told the Daily Mail NOAA’s 2015 study was meant “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”
Bates said NOAA scientists made a “blatant attempt to intensify the impact” of global warming to eliminate the “pause” in temperature rise since 1998. The Daily Mail claims Bates showed it “irrefutable” evidence NOAA’s study relied on “unverified” data.
Bates’ objections to the paper were ignored by his superiors, who let scientists make “decisions and scientific choices that maximised warming and minimised documentation” in advance of a major United Nations climate summit in Paris, France.
His statement to The Daily Mail comes amid an investigation into the NOAA study by House Republicans on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, subpoenaed NOAA in late 2015 for records related to the so-called “Karl study” that adjusted global sea surface temperature upwards, eliminating the “pause” in global warming since 1998.
Smith was heavily ridiculed for subpoenaing NOAA scientists, and the agency refused to hand over any internal deliberations of the “Karl study.” The study’s lead author, Tom Karl, has since left NOAA.
“Dr. Bates’ revelations and NOAA’s obstruction certainly lend credence to what I’ve expected all along – that the Karl study used flawed data, was rushed to publication in an effort to support the president’s climate change agenda, and ignored NOAA’s own standards for scientific study,” Smith said in a statement on The Daily Mail’s story.
“The Committee thanks Dr. Bates, a Department of Commerce Gold Medal winner for creating and implementing a standard to produce and preserve climate data, for exposing the previous administration’s efforts to push their costly climate agenda at the expense of scientific integrity,” Smith said.
Scientists have been debating over the so-called “pause” in global warming since at least 2013, referring to the period from 1998 to 2014 without any significant rise in global average temperature.
The Karl study made changes to historical sea surface temperature records, effectively doubling the warming trend of that period to 0.086 degrees Celsius per decade from 0.039 degrees per decade.
Karl’s study was welcomed by some scientists and environmentalists who see man-made global warming as the biggest threat to humanity; it was criticized by others in the scientific community.
Climate scientist Judith Curry, formerly of Georgia Tech, wrote at the time that NOAA excluded extremely accurate sea buoy data in order to erase the hiatus in warming.
Curry wrote that it “seems rather ironic, since this is the period where there is the greatest coverage of data with the highest quality of measurements — ARGO buoys and satellites don’t show a warming trend.”
But the Karl study may have had deeper problems.
It was based on two “flawed” temperature datasets, Bates told The Daily Mail.
NOAA has now “decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming,” The Daily Mail learned.
NOAA’s revised data will show “lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.”
The “land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable,’” and based on an “alpha” version that was never verified. It still hasn’t been approved.
“None of the data on which the paper was based was properly ‘archived’ – a mandatory requirement meant to ensure that raw data and the software used to process it is accessible to other scientists, so they can verify NOAA results,” The Daily Mail reported.