The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is bringing in outside experts to review a 2015 study accused of being rushed by scientists who wanted to influence U.S. and international policymakers.
“In the interest of maintaining the highest standards of transparency, accountability, and scientific integrity, we are in the process of engaging independent outside parties to review this matter,” a NOAA spokesman told Politico.
Dr. John Bates, the former principal scientist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., accused NOAA scientists of putting a “thumb on the scale” to get results that debunked the so-called “pause” in global warming since 1998.
Bates said former NOAA scientist Tom Karl and his colleagues manipulated scientific guidelines and methodologies to rush out a 2015 study before it had gone through proper data quality checks in order to support President Barack Obama’s agenda and influence United Nations delegates meeting in Paris later that year.
Bates also accused Karl of keeping his “thumb on the scale” to “maximize warming and minimize documentation,” and suggested the study’s authors had made decisions to get a predetermined outcome.
NOAA officials previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation they would “review” Bates’s allegations, and confirmed to Politico Sunday they would bring in outside experts to examine Karl’s study. No further details were given.
“We will release further details as they are finalized,” the NOAA spokesman said.
House Republicans on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology used Bates’s whistleblowing to reinvigorate their investigation into the Karl study, but some scientists, science organizations and environmentalists have come to Karl’s defense.
Karl’s defenders argued the “pause-busting” study has stood up to scientific scrutiny and was independently verified in 2016. Karl’s former NOAA colleague, Thomas Peterson, said the study was expedited once agency officials “realized the significance it could have.”
Peterson said NOAA abided by agency rules, but admitted if the study had jumped through all the data quality checks and archiving Bates said it avoided, the study would have delayed publication “for at least 2 years.”
Bates never formally raised concerns to NOAA officials, but he told TheDCNF he spoke “off the record with several folks to express concerns” as well as with NOAA’s “scientific integrity officer.”
Jeremy Berg, editor-in-chief of the journal Science, which published the Karl study in June 2015, stood behind the study. They have no plans to retract it.
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