“Irrefutable evidence” provided by a “high-level whistleblower” shows that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a paper based on misleading and unverified data that exaggerated global warming. The agency then timed the release of the paper to influence the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
Mail on Sunday writer David Rose reports that a “high-level” NOAA whistleblower, Dr. John Bates, who was awarded a special gold medal for his work setting standards for producing climate data, claims that the NOAA breached its own rules of scientific integrity by publishing a flawed report designed to influence world leaders at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
John Bates, according to the Mail on Sunday, provides “irrefutable evidence” that the NOAA published in 2015 a report based on misleading and “unverified data.” The data was not subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process devised by Bates.
The NOAA paper claimed that a “pause” in global warming identified by UN scientists in a 2013 report actually never occurred and that global warming has been progressing at a rate faster than previously thought.
The NOAA paper titled, “Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus,” was published on June 2015 by the journal Science, following a 2013 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC report, based on previous research by hundreds of scientist around the world, detected a slower rate of increase in the global warming trend in the period 1998-2012, compared with previous decades.
The IPCC report caused a stir among climate researchers worldwide, and it became the favorite reference for global warming skeptics who pointed out that the “pause” in global warming trend occurred despite rising atmospheric CO2 levels in the same period.
But some researchers suggested it could indicate that global climate was not as sensitive to greenhouse gases as previously thought and that computer models used to predict future warming trends were inaccurate.
NOAA published the report in 2015, just in time for the UN climate conference in Paris. The report received extensive media coverage and was widely cited by politicians and global climate policy makers as a valid basis for urgent global warming action plan.
Bates told the Mail on Sunday that he objected to the publication of the data because it was obviously flawed and misleading. But his objection was overridden by his superiors despite the fact that the data was never subjected to the agency’s internal evaluation process.
Bates alleged that NOAA purposefully rushed to publish the flawed and unverified data that exaggerated global warming to influence policy makers and world leaders meeting to take decisions on an appropriate global climate change action plan at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.
Mail on Sunday suggests that Dr. Bates’ disclosure would likely further stiffen President Trump’s resolve to reverse former President Barack Obama’s climate change policies and to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement.
It could also mean that the NOAA will face an inquiry by the Republican-led House science committee, the Mail on Sunday claims.
Bates claimed that the lead author of the report, Thomas Karl, formerly the director of the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), the department within the NOAA that deals with climate data, insisted on tweaking the data to exaggerate global warming and discredit the IPCC report that found a pause in global warming in the period from 1998.
Bates, one of the two Principal Scientists at NCEI who retired from the NOAA last year, after a career in climate science spanning 40 years, told Mail On Sunday that Karl then rushed to publish the report ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference so that it would influence decision making at the conference.
According to Bates, the allegedly flawed report fulfilled its purpose because it exerted a strong influence on EU and American delegates who fashioned the details of the Paris Agreement that committed top industrial nations to sweeping cut to carbon emissions that cost their economies billions of dollars.
The NOAA paper was reportedly based on two temperature data sets. The first included temperature measurements taken at the planet’s surface on land. The second set of measurements were taken at the surface of the seas.
Both data sets have been found to be flawed and the NOAA is revising them, according to Bates.
The data on land temperatures were flawed due to serious bugs in the software used to process the results. The new, bug-free version of the software is still awaiting approval more than a year after the December 2015 Paris Agreement.
For the sea measurements, Karl and his colleagues, according to Bates, used a data set known as the Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperatures version 4, or ERSSTv4, which involved upward adjustment of comparatively accurate and reliable readings from fixed and floating buoys so as to bring them in line with readings from less reliable sources, such as measurements taken inside ships.
“They had good data from buoys,” Bates said. “And they threw it out and ‘corrected’ it by using the bad data from ships.”
“You never change good data to agree with bad, but that’s what they did – so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer.”
The two flawed data sets were never properly archived, although it is a mandatory requirement to ensure that other researchers who want to study and verify the data can have access to them.
The data sets on temperatures at the surface of the seas are being revised because they overstate the rate of warming due to unreliable measurement methods, according Bates. The final revised data, version 5, are expected to show significantly lower temperatures and lower warming trends over the seas since 2000.
“There needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results,” Bates concluded. “I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.”
The Mail on Sunday reports that the NOAA tried to cover up the fact that there were flaws in its data after the paper was published. When the House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into the report, NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas requesting internal emails.