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British Parliament investigation into Climategate largely clears scientists

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 4:36pm MST
A British Parliament committee has largely absolved scientists involved in the Climategate email scandal but also accused them of a 'culture of withholding information.' (Examiner.com)

A British Parliament committee has largely absolved scientists involved in the Climategate email scandal but also accused them of a 'culture of withholding information.' (Examiner.com)

A formal inquiry by the British Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee into the Climategate email scandal has largely absolved the British scientists involved of the most serious allegations against them. The panel did however also conclude that there were issues that needed to be addressed in order to allay public doubts about the scientists’ work.

The panel took a cursory look into the accusations that have been leveled against the University Of East Anglia (UAE), its Climate Research Unit (CRU) and the head of CRU, Dr. Phil Jones. Only one day of hearings were held in the inquiry that was first announced in January

Among the issues the committee discussed were the charges of manipulation / suppression of data, UAE’s / CRU’s practices for information dissemination and its compliance with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

In a 63 page report (link above), the British MP’s outline the case against those involved and the conclusions they reached. For most critical issues including the charges of data manipulation that were brought about by emails discussing a ‘trick’ to ‘hide the decline’, the panel concluded Jones and his colleagues had not done anything untoward.

It further concluded that the climate data generated by CRU is in line with other datasets from NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). “We therefore conclude that there is independent verification, through the use of other methodologies and other sources of data, of the results and conclusions of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia,” the report said.

A statement accompanying the report, the panel said that, “The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced.” It notes that Jones’ limiting of access to the underlying data of his conclusions about manmade climate change were ‘standard practice’ in climate science.

However, all was not perfect in the report at the panel slammed the scientists and university for their lack of action on Freedom of Information Act requests.  Get all the details at the Climate Change Examiner.

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