NOAA scientist: Agency likely broke science integrity rules

National News

September 10, 2019 - 10:06 AM

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said his agency likely violated its scientific integrity rules last week when it publicly chastised a weather office that contradicted President Donald Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama.

Two top NOAA civil servants not so quietly revolted against an unsigned agency press release issued late Friday rebuking the Birmingham weather office for saying Alabama was safe. The agency’s top scientist called Friday’s release “political” and the head of the National Weather Service said the Alabama office “did what any office would do to protect the public.”

“My understanding is that this intervention to contradict the forecaster was not based on science but on external factors including reputation and appearance, or simply put, political,” acting chief scientist and assistant administrator for ocean and atmospheric research Craig McLean wrote to staffers Sunday night.

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