Government whistle-blower accuses NOAA of manipulating climate data

John Bates, former principal scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lab at the National Climatic Data Center, is accusing the agency of cooking the books to disprove the theory that there has been a "pause" in global warming and alleging that the motive for manipulating the data was to buttress the Obama administration's EPA carbon rules and build support for the Paris Climate Treaty.

To absolutely no one's surprise.

Washington Times:

In an article on the Climate Etc. blog, John Bates, who retired last year as principal scientist of the National Climatic Data Center, accused the lead author of the 2015 NOAA "pausebuster" report of trying to "discredit" the hiatus through "flagrant manipulation of scientific integrity guidelines and scientific publication standards."

In addition, Mr. Bates told the Daily [U.K.] Mail that the report's author, former NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information director Thomas Karl, did so by "insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation."

"Gradually, in the months after [the report] came out, the evidence kept mounting that Tom Karl constantly had his 'thumb on the scale' — in the documentation, scientific choices, and release of datasets — in an effort 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," Mr. Bates said Saturday on Climate Etc.

The June 2015 report, "Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus," which updated the ocean temperature record, was published six months before the U.N.'s Paris summit.

The accusations sparked a fierce back-and-forth Sunday between so-called climate warmists and skeptics over the validity and implications of Mr. Bates' claim, which he defended on the Climate Etc. blog run by former Georgia Tech climatologist Judith Curry.

Zeke Hausfather, Berkeley Earth climate scientist, said in a Sunday "factcheck" on the CarbonBrief blog that the Karl paper's conclusions "have been validated by independent data from satellites, buoys and Argo floats and many other independent groups."

"While NOAA's data management procedures may well need improvement, their results have been independently validated and agree with separate global temperature records created by other groups," Mr. Hausfather said, citing Berkeley Earth and the U.K.'s Met Office Hadley Centre.

He said the record "strongly suggests that NOAA got it right and that we have been underestimating ocean warming in recent years."

Independent analysis in 2015 when the report came out showed this same NOAA conclusion to be a question of giving more weight to sources that showed a rise in temperature as well as fiddling with past data to show a larger rise than was evident in the temperature record.  This is exactly what Bates is alleging.

Mr. Bates said he decided to come forward after reading a Washington Post article Dec. 13 that said federal scientists are "frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump."

"As a climate scientist formerly responsible for NOAA's climate archive, the most critical issue in archival of climate data is actually scientists who are unwilling to formally archive and document their data," he said on Climate Etc.

In his experience, the "most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of Tom Karl et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Karl study or K15), purporting to show no 'hiatus' in global warming in the 2000s."

It's very difficult to see how this data manipulation could have been the result of stupidity or carelessness. And it only proves what has become the norm for government scientists on a wide variety of issues: scientific agencies run by taxpayer dollars are not in the business of performing "real" science to get at the truth of an issue.  They are in business to validate the political agenda of their masters in the White House.  And if they have to manipulate data or, as in the Bush White House, ignore contradictory data, they will do so.

At a time when non-partisan, honest, and ethical science conducted by government is needed, we are getting little more than political tracts that strengthen the argument on a science issue of anyone who happens to be in the White House.

For all the billions we spend on science, the taxpayer is ill served.

John Bates, former principal scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lab at the National Climatic Data Center, is accusing the agency of cooking the books to disprove the theory that there has been a "pause" in global warming and alleging that the motive for manipulating the data was to buttress the Obama administration's EPA carbon rules and build support for the Paris Climate Treaty.

To absolutely no one's surprise.

Washington Times:

In an article on the Climate Etc. blog, John Bates, who retired last year as principal scientist of the National Climatic Data Center, accused the lead author of the 2015 NOAA "pausebuster" report of trying to "discredit" the hiatus through "flagrant manipulation of scientific integrity guidelines and scientific publication standards."

In addition, Mr. Bates told the Daily [U.K.] Mail that the report's author, former NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information director Thomas Karl, did so by "insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation."

"Gradually, in the months after [the report] came out, the evidence kept mounting that Tom Karl constantly had his 'thumb on the scale' — in the documentation, scientific choices, and release of datasets — in an effort 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," Mr. Bates said Saturday on Climate Etc.

The June 2015 report, "Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus," which updated the ocean temperature record, was published six months before the U.N.'s Paris summit.

The accusations sparked a fierce back-and-forth Sunday between so-called climate warmists and skeptics over the validity and implications of Mr. Bates' claim, which he defended on the Climate Etc. blog run by former Georgia Tech climatologist Judith Curry.

Zeke Hausfather, Berkeley Earth climate scientist, said in a Sunday "factcheck" on the CarbonBrief blog that the Karl paper's conclusions "have been validated by independent data from satellites, buoys and Argo floats and many other independent groups."

"While NOAA's data management procedures may well need improvement, their results have been independently validated and agree with separate global temperature records created by other groups," Mr. Hausfather said, citing Berkeley Earth and the U.K.'s Met Office Hadley Centre.

He said the record "strongly suggests that NOAA got it right and that we have been underestimating ocean warming in recent years."

Independent analysis in 2015 when the report came out showed this same NOAA conclusion to be a question of giving more weight to sources that showed a rise in temperature as well as fiddling with past data to show a larger rise than was evident in the temperature record.  This is exactly what Bates is alleging.

Mr. Bates said he decided to come forward after reading a Washington Post article Dec. 13 that said federal scientists are "frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump."

"As a climate scientist formerly responsible for NOAA's climate archive, the most critical issue in archival of climate data is actually scientists who are unwilling to formally archive and document their data," he said on Climate Etc.

In his experience, the "most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of Tom Karl et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Karl study or K15), purporting to show no 'hiatus' in global warming in the 2000s."

It's very difficult to see how this data manipulation could have been the result of stupidity or carelessness. And it only proves what has become the norm for government scientists on a wide variety of issues: scientific agencies run by taxpayer dollars are not in the business of performing "real" science to get at the truth of an issue.  They are in business to validate the political agenda of their masters in the White House.  And if they have to manipulate data or, as in the Bush White House, ignore contradictory data, they will do so.

At a time when non-partisan, honest, and ethical science conducted by government is needed, we are getting little more than political tracts that strengthen the argument on a science issue of anyone who happens to be in the White House.

For all the billions we spend on science, the taxpayer is ill served.

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