Former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Dr. John Bates has gone on record that the organization knowingly released “unverified” global temperature data in violation of rules on scientific integrity which Bates had received a 2014 U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal for devising.

Dr. Bates told the UK’s Daily Mail that a politically sensationalized 2015 NOAA “Karl study” published in the journal Science was blatantly intended to influence policy agendas favored by the Obama Administration at the 2015 Paris climate conference.

The goal was to formalize a global treaty whereby advanced nations would commit to sweeping reductions in their uses of fossil fuel along with huge expenditures for climate-related aid projects.

The Daily Mail reported that “His [Bates’] vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.”

The Karl report contradicted satellite and surface record evidence of flat global temperatures between 1998 and 2013 despite much-ballyhooed record atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Instead, Karl claimed that the “pause” or “slowdown” in global warming never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising even faster than expected.

Bates accused his former boss, Thomas Karl, of “insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation . . . in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming pause, rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”

Karl’s representation was based upon two unreliable sets of surface temperature data: one over land, the other over oceans. Bates specifically charges that those surface land temperature assessment models were known to have devastating software bugs.

The problems with NOAA’s ocean data adjustments are actually old news.

As I previously reported in this column a year ago, Karl’s adjustments to previous sea surface temperatures between 1998 and 2012 made recent global temperature changes appear to warm more than twice as much as the original records showed.

This involved revising more recent and superior readings taken from ocean buoys upwards to match older random and haphazard measurements obtained by ship crews.

NOAA has steadfastly stonewalled demands for corroborating research evidence and related internal communications . . . even from Congress.

In July, 2014, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee subpoenaed NOAA for the latest research records. As Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) explained:

“It was inconvenient for this administration that climate data has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades.  The American people have every right to be suspicious when NOAA alters data to get politically correct results they want, and then refuses to reveal how those decisions were made.”

Republican control of Congress and a post-Obama White House can be expected to re-energize Rep. Smith’s House Committee inquiries into these scientifically murky circumstances.

Congressman Smith stated earlier this month in a press release:

“In summer 2015, whistleblowers alerted the Committee that the study was rushed to publication before underlying data issues were resolved to help influence public debate about the so-called Clean Power Plan and upcoming Paris climate conference.  Since then, the Committee has attempted to obtain information that would shed further light on these allegations, but was obstructed at every turn by the previous administration’s officials. I repeatedly asked, ‘What does NOAA have to hide?'”

Smith continued:

“Now that Dr. Bates has confirmed that there were heated disagreements within NOAA about the quality and transparency of the data before publication, we know why NOAA fought transparency and oversight at every turn.  Dr. Bates’ revelations and NOAA’s obstruction certainly lend credence to what I’ve expected all along — that the Karl 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.”

NOAA, together with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), a small climate modeling shop located in a midtown Manhattan office building, have troubling histories of stirring overheated global warming stew pots with alarming and statistically indefensible claims of recent “record high” temperatures.

While NASA GISS claimed 2014, an El Niño year, was the “warmest year in the modern record,” it was statistically indistinguishable from 2005, 2010, and 2016. And although NOAA’s previous surface station records indicated about 1º C of warming between 1979 and 2010, far more accurate satellite measurements since 1979 show virtually none outside conveniently under-reported margins of error.

More recent NOAA temperature tweaks have now made 2010 appear just enough warmer to suggest a media headline-prompting upward trend.

In reality, radiosonde (balloon) recordings of the Earth’s atmosphere show no overall warming since the late 1950s.

The only discernible recent trend involves a political climate . . . one where truly manmade changes are urgently overdue.


  • Larry Bell

    CFACT Advisor Larry Bell heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax."