‘Climategate’ E-mails: Independent Panel Clears Global Warming Researchers

Jul 7, 2010 11:37am

You'll recall that "Climategate" was a flood of about a thousand e-mails hacked from a server at the University of East Anglia in England, one of the major centers for climate research.  It appears to have made a significant dent in public perception of whether greenhouse gases generated by human industry are helping to trap heat in the atmosphere.

Eight months after the e-mails became public, another panel — this one a group of outside scientists asked by East Anglia to assess the honest of its scientists — has come out with a 160-page report.  The paper can be found HERE. The summary of findings, on p. 11-12, is pasted below:

1.3 Findings

13. Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour and openness are needed in its conduct. On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt. [Emphasis is added by the panel.]

14. In addition, we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of advice given to policy makers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.

15. But we do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness, both on the part of the CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA, who failed to recognise not only the significance of statutory requirements but also the risk to the reputation of the University and, indeed, to the credibility of UK climate science.

(Acronyms in the excerpt: "CRU" is the Climatic Research Unit at "UEA," the University of East Anglia.  "IPCC" is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," the UN body charged with trying to summarize the state of science.)

There have now been several investigations; Phil Jones, the CRU chief who was asked to step aside, is back on the job.

Reactions?  Ronald Bailey at Reason.com writes: "Conclusion: All right, people. Move along. Nothing to see here.

"And while that may be right, the defensiveness and lack of openness has damaged the credibility of climate science."

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