Conservative congressmen are battling the Obama Administration over its emphasis on climate change over weather research.
U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, a member of the House Environmental Subcommittee, said he and others are questioning why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have failed to comply with a subpoena for information about a controversial climate change study published last summer.
The Environmental Subcommittee held a hearing this month concerning the NOAA budget and questioned
NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan about a number of issues. “This administration continues to prioritize climate funding over weather research,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. ” NOAA should fully fund weather research as authorized in the House-passed bipartisan Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act. Instead of hyping a climate change agenda, NOAA should focus its efforts on producing sound science and improving methods of data collection. Unfortunately, climate alarmism often takes priority at NOAA.
” This was demonstrated by the agency’s decision to prematurely publish the 2015 study that attempted to make the two-decade halt in global warming disappear.”
The study, led by NOAA meteorologist Thomas Karl, used controversial new methods to readjust historical temperature data upward. The committee has since heard from whistleblowers that the study was rushed into publication and that internal debate at the agency was stifled. To date, NOAA has failed to fully comply with the subpoena.
Well-respected scientists have recently rebutted NOAA’s claims. A new peer-reviewed study, published in the journal Nature, confirms the halt in global warming. According to one of the study’s lead authors, it “essentially refutes” NOAA’s study.
Bridenstine also stressed making weather forecasting more of a priority at the agency. He commended NOAA’s funding request for the Commercial Weather Data Pilot program that was authorized by last year’s Consolidated Appropriations Act. As a first step, NOAA recently provided a report detailing how the pilot program will be implemented.
However, Bridenstine was critical of NOAA for failing to outline adequate guidance to expand the agency’s use of commercial data, which could bolster the nation’s faltering weather forecasting capabilities. The European weather model accurately predicted the track of Superstorm Sandy days before American models.
“As a representative from Oklahoma, a state hit regularly with severe weather, it is my responsibility to my constituents to promote policies that improve our forecasting abilities in order to save lives and property,” Bridenstine said. “My constituents, and the American people, deserve nothing less. Private sector companies could improve our forecasting capabilities while also reducing the risk of a gap in our satellite data, an issue that has loomed over the agency’s head for years.”
The House is working with the Senate to move House Resolution 1561 toward enactment. This is bipartisan legislation will compel NOAA to consider commercial data to augment America’s weather satellite systems. It would also increase NOAA’s ability to conduct cutting-edge weather research to better predict extreme weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes.