NOAA manipulated climate change study to advance political agenda, retired scientist says

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association manipulated data on climate change to influence international decisions on climate policy, a retired principal scientist has alleged.

(REUTERS / Stephane Mahe)Participant gather during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 4, 2015.

Dr. John Bates, the retired principal scientist of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, had accused the lead author of a 2015 NOAA report of trying to hide the global warming "pause" to advance a political agenda. He told the Daily Mail that Thomas Karl, the former NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information director who authored the report, insisted on certain decisions which "maximised warming and minimised documentation."

In a recent post on Climate Etc blog, Bates revealed that in the months following the release of the 2015 NOAA report, evidence started piling up that Karl had manipulated documentations and scientific choices to hide the global warming hiatus. It is worth noting that the report titled "Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus," was published six months ahead of the climate change summit in Paris.

In response to Bates' explosive accusations, climate scientists came out in support of Karl's work. Dr. Peter Thorne, who previously worked on the climate change data but left before the 2015 paper started, denied Karl's personal involvement in the "refinements" of the said data, The New York Times reports.

In a post on British climate science and policy website Carbon Brief, University of California climate scientist Zeke Hausfather said independent data derived from satellites and other sources verify that NOAA was right and that they have been "underestimating ocean warming in recent years." Hausfather, who co-authored a review of the ocean data, said the data sets in the 2015 report were not manipulated.

Meanwhile, Bates told E&E News in a recent interview that the issue is not about the tampering of the NOAA data. Instead, he said the real problem lies in the timing of the release of the 2015 report which "had not properly disclosed everything it was."

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