As a climate scientist formerly responsible for NOAA’s climate archive, the most critical issue in archival of climate data is actually scientists who are unwilling to formally archive and document their data. I spent the last decade cajoling climate scientists to archive their data and fully document the datasets. I established a climate data records program that was awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2014 for visionary work in the acquisition, production, and preservation of climate data records (CDRs), which accurately describe the Earth’s changing environment.
The most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of Tom Karl et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Karl study or K15), purporting to show no ‘hiatus’ in global warming in the 2000s. In the following sections, I provide the details of how Mr. Karl failed to disclose critical information to NOAA, Science Magazine, and Chairman Smith regarding the datasets used in K15. –John Bates, Climate Etc. 5 February 2017
“In the summer of 2015, whistleblowers alerted the Committee that the Karl 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?’ “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 ‚Äì 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. –Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), U.S. Committee On Science, Space and Technology, 5 February 2017
I have championed science all my adult life. It is humankind’s greatest calling. That is why I deplore those who drag down its reputation by breaching its codes of conduct for political reasons, and I have no time for those excusing these enormities. They foment anti-intellectualism and play directly into the hands of people such as Mr Trump. Under the Obama administration,” says Professor Judith Curry, Dr Bates’s colleague, “I suspect that it would have been very difficult for this story to get any traction.” Yikes. Dr Bates calls for more ethics teaching in science and for “respectful discussion of different points of view” — which we were emptily promised after climategate. It is time for the many brilliant scientists who are discovering great insights into quasars and quarks, Alzheimer’s and allergies, into neurons, fossils, telomeres and ice ages, to “take a public stand and be counted” against the politicisation of some science within their own ranks. ‚ÄìMatt Ridley, The Times, 6 February 2017
The University of Cambridge has become embroiled in an internal battle after executives at the UK’s richest educational institution clashed with academics over proposals to divest from fossil fuels. Last month the university’s governing body, which is made up of senior academic and administrative staff from its 31 colleges, passed a motion to divest Cambridge’s ¬£5.8bn endowment from fossil fuels. But in an unprecedented break from university tradition, Cambridge’s council, its executive arm that sets policy, has said it will not follow through with the governing body’s calls for divestment within the next 12 months. The council is reluctant to cut investments in fossil fuel companies without assessing how this would affect funding for its teaching and research programmes. –Attracta Mooney, Financial Times, 5 February 2017