The "Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time" is the world temperature data tampering fraud, by which the politicized keepers of world temperature data, most notably at U.S. agencies NOAA and NASA, alter past temperature records to support a narrative of ongoing record-setting global warming. Past articles in this series (Parts I through XII) can be found at this link.
I have always thought that the fraud would finally crack when a whistleblower or two would step forward. But with the government passing out all the money, and strict conformance to orthodoxy required to keep your job and career in the field of climate science, that has not occurred. Until now. Two weeks ago we got President Trump, and a pledge to "drain the swamp." Over this weekend, the first whistleblower on the temperature data tampering fraud has stepped forward. He is Dr. John Bates, recently (late 2016) retired from the job of "Senior Scientist" at NOAA's temperature data operation in Asheville, NC, which is known (after a recent name change) as NCEI (National Centers for Environmental Information). The particular subject on which Bates has blown the whistle is the data underlying a June 2015 paper that appeared in Science magazine, authored by Thomas Karl and others, titled "Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus." Karl, until his own recent retirement, was the Director of NCEI.
First, some background so that you will understand the importance of this development. The year 2015 was targeted by the Obama administration to be the culmination of its climate agenda. A big summit was scheduled in Paris for December, to be attended by President Obama himself, and at which he badly wanted to sign the U.S. on to a global treaty calling for restrictions on "greenhouse gas" emissions. But the administration had a problem, which was that according to the best (satellite) data, as of mid-2015 world temperatures had been in a "pause," or "hiatus," showing no trend either up or down, for some 17 years since 1998. The "pause" had become the number one talking point of so-called climate "skeptics" and others seeking to de-rail the upcoming Paris meetings.
Then, with exquisite timing, the Karl, et al., paper appeared in Science on June 4. It claimed to do a re-analysis of temperature records and trends, based in large part on new or updated data sets, to reach a conclusion that there had been no "pause" or "hiatus" at all; rather, the paper concluded, based on its updated data, that the so-called "hiatus" was an "artifact of data biases." Needless to say, the Karl paper came out with a massive government-orchestrated press barrage, and was picked up and parroted in all the usual "mainstream" media sources. (E.g., New York Times, June 4, 2015, "Global Warming 'Hiatus' Challenged by NOAA Research"). Skeptics were equally quick to debunk the Karl paper. (See, for example, Anthony Watts and Bob Tisdale at Watts Up With That, June 4, 2015, "NOAA/NCDC’s new ‘pause-buster’ paper: a laughable attempt to create warming by adjusting past data"; and don't forget Manhattan Contrarian, June 7, 2015, "The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time -- Part V"). According to a later post by Anthony Watts here, he told Karl in an email in June that his "highly questionable" paper was going to be the "Waterloo" for its authors.
The next step came in October 2015, when the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, issued a subpoena to NOAA for the research documents underlying the Karl, et al. paper. And then, in a highly unusual move, NOAA flatly refused to comply with the Congressional subpoena. (Inside Climate News, October 28, 2015, "NOAA Stiff-Arms House Science Committee Subpoena Questioning 'Hiatus' Study"). And the Obama Justice Department refused to enforce the subpoena on behalf of Congress. As far as I can ascertain, Smith never got the information he was seeking. Something tells me some people at NOAA may shortly be wishing that they had complied.
Which brings us up to the recent events. According to this post at Judith Curry's Climate, etc., upon his retirement from NOAA late last year, Dr. Bates initially submitted an op-ed to the Washington Post in December 2016 setting forth his revelations. Needless to say, the Post declined to publish it. After discussions with Ms. Curry, they decided to publish a longer version of the revelations at her site, and it appeared there on Saturday February 4. Bates also provided his revelations to David Rose of the UK's Daily Mail, and a long article appeared there today. The headline for Rose's article is "Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data."
Rather than try to paraphrase, I'll include some fairly long quotes from Rose's article.
A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.
The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.
But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data. . . .
His 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. . . .
In an exclusive interview, Dr Bates accused the lead author of the paper, Thomas Karl, who was until last year director of the NOAA section that produces climate data – the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) – of ‘insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximised warming and minimised 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’.
There's lots more in the Mail article, and in Dr. Bates's post at Climate, etc. Among the most important points are (1) the data underlying the Karl, et al., paper have never been properly archived, in violation of policy of both NOAA and Science, with the result that the paper cannot be replicated; and (2) the computer on which the secret Karl, et al., data resided has crashed and is unusable. In other words, it's more or less the usual for the "science" coming out of NOAA and purporting to support the global warming narrative.
This story has just broken this weekend, and is already all over the skeptic sites like Watts Up With That, Icecap, Powerline, Climate Depot, Tallbloke, Breitbart, Zero Hedge and others. But my searches don't turn up anything on any "mainstream" source, like the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Bloomberg, or for that matter any major science site like Scientific American, Science or Nature. Are they going to just try to ignore this and see if they can get away with it?
It is highly likely that criminal conduct occurred here, both in the intentional manipulation of data and in the obstruction of refusing to comply with a valid subpoena. It seems like the paper's authors were counting on the Justice Department remaining in friendly hands until the expiration of the statute of limitations. Unfortunately for them, that has not occurred.