The global warming debate on Capitol Hill is heating up. Government scientists refused to comply with lawmakers’ demands they turn over internal documents regarding a study that eliminated the “hiatus” in global warming from the temperature record.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials argued such records are confidential and “essential to frank discourse among scientists.” The science agency said it has a history of protecting the “confidentiality of deliberative scientific discussions.”
NOAA’s decision not to comply with a subpoena from House science committee lawmakers has only angered Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, who says Americans have a right to know what taxpayer-funded scientists were thinking when they altered the temperature record in June.
“It was inconvenient for this administration that climate data has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades,” Smith said in an emailed statement. “The American people have every right to be suspicious when NOAA alters data to get the politically correct results they want and then refuses to reveal how those decisions were made.”
Republican lawmakers have been interested in holding hearings and gathering information on NOAA temperature adjustments for months. Lawmakers’ interests peaked when scientists put out a study claiming the 15-year “hiatus” in global warming never existed.
“Newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data from NOAA’s [National Centers for Environmental Information] do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus,'” NOAA scientists led by Tom Karl wrote in their study.
Karl and his team made adjustments to past temperature data to eliminate a prolonged period of little to no statistically significant global warming. They largely did this by adjusting upward sea surface temperature readings taken from ships and buoys.
The NOAA study was highly criticized by scientists more skeptical of man-made global warming and directly contradicts findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s main authority on global warming. Many scientists are still skeptical of NOAA’s elimination of the pause.Regardless of one's views on anthropogenic global warming, the notion that government-funded scientists have the right to unilaterally declare confidential their communications and deliberative material is absurd. Even more importantly though the most fundamental tenet of science is that those who develop a theory supply those who wish to test it the information relied upon so the theory can be tested to see if it is replicated. If Karl and the other NOAA scientists engaged in an objective search for the truth instead of a predetermined conclusion driven by political calculations, they should jump at the chance to comply with the subpoena. Again, let's remember that the elimination of the pause by Karl & Company is not even supported by the organization leading the anthropogenic global warming theory, the IPCC.