Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
The scientist who has been put in charge of the Commerce Department’s new climate change office is coming under attack from both sides of the global warming debate over his handling of what they say is contradictory scientific data related to the subject.
Thomas Karl, 58, was appointed to oversee the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, an ambitious new office that will collect climate change data and disseminate it to businesses and communities.
According to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, the office will “help tackle head-on the challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change. In the process, we’ll discover new technologies, build new businesses and create new jobs.”
Karl, who has played a pivotal role in key climate decisions over the past decade, has kept a low profile as director of National Climatic Data Center  (NCDC) since 1998, and he has led all of the NOAA climate services since 2009. His name surfaced numerous times in leaked “climate-gate” e-mails from the University of East Anglia, but there was little in the e-mails that tied him to playing politics with climate data. Mostly, the e-mails show he was in the center of the politics of climate change decisions.