NOAA cleared of data misuse

Posted by Kate Taylor

An independent federal review has concluded that scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did not manipulate climate data to shore up the evidence for global warming.

The Department of Commerce says it's found no evidence of impropriety. The NOAA didn't manipulate data or violate its various legal obligations, and did adhere to its peer review procedures before disseminating information, it says.

However, the report does question the way NOAA handled a response to four Freedom of Information Act requests in 2007 - and criticizes one NOAA scientist for emailing a cartoon to a collague showing climate sceptics marooned on a melting iceberg.

But, says Mary Glackin, NOAA’s deputy under secretary for operations, "The NOAA scientists responded in good faith to the FOIA requests based on their understanding of the request and in accordance with the legal guidance provided in 2007."

The findings back up those of a number of other independent investigations into climate data stewardship and research that were conducted by the UK House of Commons, Penn State University, the InterAcademy Council and the National Research Council.

"We welcome the Inspector General’s report, which is the latest independent analysis to clear climate scientists of allegations of mishandling of climate information," says Glackin.

"None of the investigations have found any evidence to question the ethics of our scientists or raise doubts about NOAA’s understanding of climate change science."

The full report is here.