Judicial Watch Sues For Obama Climate Change Scientists’ Communications

A nonprofit government watchdog group filed a suit Monday against the Department of Commerce for communications between two federal scientists who influenced the Obama administration’s climate change policy.

Judicial Watch filed a Feb. 6, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking communications between National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Thomas Karl and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren over the course of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The watchdog filed the lawsuit after NOAA – a Department of Commerce component – ignored the Feb. 6 request.

“This new lawsuit could result in the release of emails that will help Americans understand how Obama administration officials may have mishandled scientific data to advance the political agenda of global warming alarmism,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.”

Karl authored a paper that heavily influenced the Paris Climate Agreement and was chief of the NOAA’s office that produces climate data.

Karl breached NOAA’s scientific integrity rules by publishing “the sensational but flawed report,” according to a whistleblower, The Daily Mail previously reported. The paper reportedly heavily influenced the Paris Agreement.

The paper disputed the slowdown in global warming since 1998, but the whistleblower, former NOAA top scientist Dr. John Bates, provided evidence that Karl’s report was based on misleading data, The Daily Mail reported.

Judicial Watch is also suing for NOAA officials’ communications regarding how climate change data used in climate models was collected and interpreted.

House Committee To ‘Push Ahead’ With Investigation Into Alleged Climate Data Manipulation At NOAA

House lawmakers will renew their long-dormant investigation into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on the heels of whistleblower testimony that agency scientists rushed a landmark global warming study to influence policymakers.

“The chairman intends to push for responses to his initial requests,” an aide for the Committee on Science, Space and Technology told reporters on a press call, “to uncover exactly what was going on” at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, will “move forward as soon as possible” in asking NOAA to hand over documents included in a 2015 subpoena on potential climate data tampering.

“There’s gotta be email traffic on this,” the aide said. NOAA turned over some internal emails in 2015, but many were redacted and more were withheld from the committee.

Smith’s investigation largely petered out in late 2015 after the Obama administration refused to hand over scientists’ emails regarding highly-publicized “Karl study,” named after its lead author Tom Karl. Democrats, environmentalists and science organizations joined forces to condemn Smith’s investigation.

Over the weekend, Dr. John Bates, the former principal scientist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., went public with complaints that NOAA scientists put a ‘thumb on the scale’ to get results that showed more global warming since 1998 — a period usually referred to as the “pause” in warming.

“The committee is going to push ahead to gather the emails from NOAA,” the aide said, signalling Smith preferred to see if NOAA would hand over documents the agency withheld from congressional investigators.

The committee aide said they had heard from other NOAA whistleblowers as well, but would not bring that evidence forward until given permission by sources.

Smith expects NOAA will turn over the subpoenaed documents. President Trump appointed investor Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce, but has not appointed an NOAA administrator. NOAA is part of the Commerce Department. Ross is expected to be confirmed, but it’s not clear when the Senate will vote.

Bates told The Daily Mail the authors of the Karl study wanted “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”

Moreover, Bates said Karl did not archive his study as required by NOAA policy, and noted the computer holding the software used by the study “suffered a complete failure.”

The Karl study made changes to historical sea surface temperature records, effectively doubling the warming trend of that period to 0.086 degrees Celsius per decade from 0.039 degrees per decade. Some scientists were skeptical of the data, and lawmakers were briefed on the study in summer 2015.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it will “review” allegations its researchers rushed the Karl study. Others, however, rushed to defend the Karl study.

University of California-Berkeley climate scientist Zeke Hausfather recently co-authored a paper that found the Karl study was more accurate than the NOAA data it replaced.

Hausfather rebuffed criticisms of the temperature data used in the Karl study, adding it “strongly suggests that NOAA got it right and that we have been underestimating ocean warming in recent years.”

Bates has put out a second blog post taking each criticism on one-by-one. Critics have yet to address issues of Karl study authors violating NOAA policy on archiving.

Source: The Daily Caller