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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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U.S. Ocean Agency Mostly Unscathed on Climate E-mails Inquiry
25 February 2011 12:14 pm
The U.S. Department of Commerce inspector general appears to have given the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a clean bill of health after reviewing the East Anglia e-mails from late 2009. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) asked the inspector general to see whether NOAA officials had manipulated climate data in any way. Politico summarizes the report:
The Commerce Department's inspector general has found little wrong in the so-called "Climategate" e-mails written by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees.
To wit, the phrase "we found no evidence" appears at least six times in a new report from IG Todd Zinser, conducted at the request of climate skeptic Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
That includes "no evidence" that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data, "no evidence" to suggest that NOAA failed to adhere to its peer review procedures, and "no evidence" that NOAA violated the Information Quality Act.
The report does criticize the agency for its treatment of several Freedom of Information Act requests. But it "cannot reconcile" divergent claims as to why NOAA failed to respond adequately, in the inspector general's opinion, to requests for records related to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. From the report:
Only by going through the proper FOIA process-including conducting a search and turning over responsive documents to NOAA's designated FOIA official-could NOAA have made a determination whether the records in question were in fact NOAA records and whether any exemptions may have been applicable under FOIA.
Given that federal agencies are legally obligated to publicly disclose records under FOIA, we recommend that NOAA carry out a proper search for the records sought in these FOIA requests and, as appropriate, reassess its response. Additionally, given the issues we identified in NOAA's handling of these particular FOIA requests, NOAA should consider whether these issues warrant an overall assessment of the sufficiency of its FOIA process.