The chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee claimed yesterday he has new evidence showing that scientific research discrediting a purported pause in temperature increases was politically motivated.
John Bates, who recently retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, told the Daily Mail newspaper in England that a 2015 federal study was intended “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus” and was rushed “to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”
Bates said his NOAA colleagues relied on “unverified” data to prove their hurried claims.
Opponents of climate action have frequently highlighted data that seemed to suggest global temperatures stopped rising from about 1998 to the early part of the 21st century. They say it shows the Earth is constantly in cycles of cooling and heating, and they dispute the notion that global temperatures are consistently rising as the result of human activity. It has become a frequent talking point for politicians who argue that there is no urgency to curb the use of fossil fuels.
Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who receives significant donations from the energy industry, accused federal scientists again yesterday of politically motivated fraud. He said Bates' comments were proof that the study was rigged.
The 2015 NOAA study “used flawed data, was rushed to publication in an effort to support the president's climate change agenda, and ignored NOAA's own standards for scientific study,” Smith said in a statement.
He also said Bates has exposed “the previous administration's efforts to push their costly climate agenda at the expense of scientific integrity.”
The so-called hiatus was disproved by a team of NOAA climate scientists in a 2015 study that found the data set supporting a pause was inaccurate because it relied on different methods of temperature collection. A second study published last month also found that a pause never happened. It, too, highlighted data problems.
Last month, federal researchers found that 2016 was the warmest year globally on record. It broke previous records set in 2015 and 2014.
Smith in 2015 launched a congressional investigation into the work of scientists who sought to rebut inaccurate claims about temperatures being static. He frequently refers to the vast body of research about climate change as “politically correct” science.
Tomorrow, Smith is scheduled to hold a hearing promoting Republican efforts to make EPA “great again.” Critics argue it's intended to weaken scientific research that's used to justify environmental regulations
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net.