Lamar Smith gets tough with NOAA

Yesterday, the latest move was played in the Bates – Rose – Karl – NOAA dispute, by Lamar Smith, Chair of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology (note that Smith isn’t a new Trump appointment – he’s been in post for four years).

Smith has written a stern letter to NOAA administrator Benjamin Friedman, see press release and text of letter.

The Press release is entitled “Committee Probes Allegations of Politicization of NOAA Study” and sets out the background to the issue as follows:

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.

The committee heard from whistleblowers  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.  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.

Here are some excerpts from the letter:

In recent weeks, further information has come to light that exposes the internal conflicts related to this NOAA study.  Dr John Bates, a recently-retired principal scientist at NOAA who created science integrity principles at the agency, raised public concerns that the Karl study ignored NOAA standards, was rushed to publication, and was not free from political bias. In fact, Dr Bates wrote in a blog post that lead author, Mr Thomas Karl, had his “thumb on the scale” throughout the entire process.

After explaining that the Committee has a duty to investigate alleged politicization or misconduct, the letter requests the following information by 28th Feb:

  • All documents and communications between or among employees of NOAA referring or relating to the release of the Karl study.
  • All documents and communications between or  among employees of NOAA referring or relating to the release of ERSST Version 4 dataset, or any other dataset used in the Karl study.
  • All documents and communications between or  among employees of NOAA referring or relating to concerns raised about datasets used in the Karl study.
  • All documents and communications between or  among employees of NOAA referring or relating to the scientific integrity of the study, including but not limited [to] the archiving of datasets.

After this there’s a request for more details of the “independent” review that NOAA claims to be organising.



  1. Wait, why limit the inquiry to internal NOAA communications when communication to and from NOAA employees regarding NGOs, NASA, IPCC and Congress are vital to uncover the whole story?
    “All documents and communications between or among employees of NOAA”
    I sincerely hope that this “request” is just the start and not the scope, otherwise, I smell a rat.


  2. In view of the blatantly unconstitutional activities of the people who ratted on Flynn, I think Trump should dismiss 1 in 10 – yes, decimate – the whole state apparatus. That would include NASA and NOAA.


  3. MAN IN A BARREL (15 Feb 17 at 8:56 pm)
    One of my fears has been that Trump would abolish NOAA and NASA’s climate arm, allowing warmists to claim that scepticism was a rightwing conspiracy, and to continue where they left off when they get back in power in four years’ time, infilling the gap with their own fantasy data.

    As Paul points out, Lamar Smith is not a Trump appointee. This is very good news. I’ve half a mind to take a sabbatical for six months and come back when the hearings are in full swing and la Nina has touched bottom.

    But the other half of my mind, the working half, says: stick around and enjoy watching them squirm.


  4. “US House Republicans Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Darin LaHood (R-IL) have demanded a probe into staff at the US Environmental Protection Agency who are apparently using private encrypted communications.

    Earlier this month, insiders at the EPA, the US Department of Labor, the Foreign Service, and possibly other agencies and departments, have reportedly resorted to strong end-to-end encrypted messengers such as Signal to coordinate their resistance response to the Trump administration.

    If the rumors of Signal use are true, other agencies will most likely face similar encrypted comms probes by their overseers.”


  5. Eric Worrall at
    has a quote frrom Congressman Lamar Smith which should calm fears about Trump being anti-science:

    At a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing yesterday, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said he wants a “rebalancing” of NASA’s mission. The lawmaker told E&E News he wants the agency to reprioritize its mission because the Obama administration cut space exploration funds…
    “By rebalancing, I’d like for more funds to go into space exploration; we’re not going to zero out earth sciences,” he said. “Our weather satellites have been an immense help, for example, and that’s from NASA, but I’d like for us to remember what our priorities are, and there are another dozen agencies that study earth science and climate change, and they can continue to do that. Meanwhile, we only have one agency that engages in space exploration, and they need every dollar they can muster for space exploration.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.