Journal pushes back at GOP over climate change study

Journal pushes back at GOP over climate change study
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The academic journal that published a controversial study on climate change is pushing back against Republican accusations that the research’s publication was rushed.

A spokeswoman for the journal Science told the Washington Post that the study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in fact underwent more scrutiny than usual to ensure that it was conducted properly.


That clashes with the view of Rep. Lamar SmithLamar Seeligson SmithEx-officers acquitted in beating of Black colleague who was undercover at St. Louis protests Bottom line In partisan slugfest, can Chip Roy overcome Trump troubles? MORE (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science Committee, who says “whistleblowers” from NOAA told him the research was rushed to publication.

Smith’s assertion supports his view that the study, which disproved the more than 15-year “pause” in global warming claimed by climate change skeptics, was politically motivated and timed to precede President Obama’s carbon limits for power plants.

“This paper went through as rigorous a review as it could have received,” said Ginger Pinholster, spokeswoman American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishes Science, told the Post Monday. “Any suggestion that the review was ‘rushed’ is baseless and without merit.”

The NOAA submitted the study in December 2014, and it went through two rounds of peer review before it was accepted in May and published a month later, Pinholster said.

It was sent back to the NOAA once for further work, and a senior editor at Science was assigned to the review, she said.

Science Committee staff told the Post that the study used new temperature data that hadn’t been reviewed or released publicly, but scientists said that isn’t the case.

On Friday, NOAA head Kathryn Sullivan shot back against Smith’s accusations, reiterating that the research was conducted entirely in line with the law and the NOAA’s standards.

Smith has subpoenaed Sullivan and threatened to take civil or criminal action against her for not giving him internal communications among scientists involved in the research, documents that Sullivan says are both confidential and not relevant to his investigation.

“Let me assure you that I am not engaged in or associated with any ‘politically correct agenda,’” Sullivan wrote. “I and the entire NOAA team take seriously the charge to provide the best environmental science and reliable data to the nation and the world … I have not and will not allow anyone to manipulate the science or coerce the scientists who work for me.”