An Obama administration report on climate change used fudged data, a House investigation alleges.
The House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology praised on Sunday recently retired principal scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, Dr. John Bates for blowing the whistle on alleged manipulation of data used to support a landmark 2015 climate change study.
In the summer of 2015, according to the committee, NOAA scientists published the Karl study, which retroactively altered historical climate change data and resulted in the elimination of a well-known climate phenomenon known as the "climate change hiatus."
The hiatus is identified as a period between 1998 and 2013 during which the rate of global temperature growth slowed.
"This fact has always been a thorn in the side of climate change alarmists, as it became difficult to disprove the slowdown in warming. The Karl study refuted the hiatus and rewrote climate change history to claim that warming had in fact been occurring," the committee noted.
In a report published in the Daily Mail on Sunday, Bates who was a Department of Commerce Gold Medal winner for creating and implementing a standard to produce and preserve climate data presented "irrefutable evidence" that the Karl Study "was based on misleading, 'unverified' data." He said the study was never subjected to NOAA's rigorous internal evaluation process which he devised.
Bates further revealed that his objections to the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he says was a "blatant attempt to intensify the impact" of what became known as the "pausebuster paper" — which shows the earth with higher warming temperatures in both land and sea.
"I thank Dr. John Bates for courageously stepping forward to tell the truth about NOAA's senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion," said committee chair, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith.
"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," he added.
Bates' disclosures are expected to harden President Trump's resolve to enact his pledges to reverse former President Barack Obama's "green" policies, and withdraw from the Paris deal.
The flawed conclusions of the pausebuster paper were widely discussed by delegates at the Paris climate change conference and it was there that former President Obama stressed his "Clean Power Plan" mandating American power stations to make big emissions cuts.
President Trump has since pledged he will scrap it.
The Trump administration has already asked the EPA to halt all contracts, grants and interagency agreements pending a review.
"The U.S. will clearly change its course on climate policy. Trump has made it clear he will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. He could do it by executive order tomorrow or he could do it as part of a larger package," said Myron Ebell, director of global warming and international environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a U.S. conservative think tank in a Fortune report a week ago
Whatever takes the place of the Paris Agreement, Bates told the Mail: "there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. 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.
"I want to address the systemic problems. I don't care whether modifications to the datasets make temperatures go up or down. But I want the observations to speak for themselves, and for that, there needs to be a new emphasis that ethical standards must be maintained."
Bates said he decided to speak out after seeing reports in papers including the Washington Post and Forbes magazine claiming that scientists feared the Trump administration would fail to maintain and preserve NOAA's climate records.
"How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity — and failed," he said.