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).
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.