Former NOAA Scientist Confirms Colleagues Manipulated Climate Records
WASHINGTON – U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology members today responded to reports about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 2015 climate change study (“the Karl study”). According to Dr. John Bates, the recently retired principal scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, the Karl study was used “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.”
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “I thank Dr. John Bates for courageously stepping forward to tell the truth about NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion. In the summer of 2015, whistleblowers alerted the Committee that the Karl study was rushed to publication before underlying data issues were resolved to help influence public debate about the so-called Clean Power Plan and upcoming Paris climate conference. Since then, the Committee has attempted to obtain information that would shed further light on these allegations, but was obstructed at every turn by the previous administration’s officials. I repeatedly asked, ‘What does NOAA have to hide?’
“Now that Dr. Bates has confirmed that there were heated disagreements within NOAA about the quality and transparency of the data before publication, we know why NOAA fought transparency and oversight at every turn. 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. 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.”
Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Darin LaHood (R-Ill.): “I applaud Dr. Bates’s efforts in uncovering the truth of this data manipulation, and I commend Chairman Smith and the Science Committee for conducting rigorous oversight on behalf of the American people. Transparent and faithful execution of the scientific process, especially where taxpayer dollars are involved, is crucial to ensure that our policies are based on sound science and not on politically predetermined outcomes.”
Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.): “I commend Dr. Bates for bringing to light the corrupt practices used by his former colleagues and hope this serves as a deterrence to anyone thinking of manipulating science to serve their own political agenda. I applaud Chairman Smith and the Science Committee's efforts to provide the necessary oversight to ensure the American people have the best information possible.”
In the summer of 2015, NOAA scientists published the Karl study, which retroactively altered historical climate change data and resulted in the elimination of a well-known climate phenomenon known as the “climate change hiatus.” The hiatus was a period between 1998 and 2013 during which the rate of global temperature growth slowed. This fact has always been a thorn in the side of climate change alarmists, as it became difficult to disprove the slowdown in warming.
The Karl study refuted the hiatus and rewrote climate change history to claim that warming had in fact been occurring. The committee heard from scientists who raised concerns about the study’s methodologies, readiness, and politicization. In response, the committee conducted oversight and sent NOAA inquiries to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Karl study.
Over the course of the committee’s oversight, NOAA refused to comply with the inquiries, baselessly arguing that Congress is not authorized to request communications from federal scientists. This culminated in the issuance of a congressional subpoena, with which NOAA also failed to comply. During the course of the investigation, the committee heard from whistleblowers who confirmed that, among other flaws in the study, it was rushed for publication to support President Obama’s climate change agenda.
For a complete timeline of the Science Committee’s oversight of NOAA’s 2015 climate change study, click here.