March 31, 2010

Panel Finds No Wrongdoing In Climategate Review

The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee has found no evidence that professor Phil Jones and his fellow climate researchers at University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) manipulated data, but urged the scientists to provide easier access to their work in the future.

The hearing, which was held in response to the "Climategate" controversy surrounding emails obtained by hackers that suggested that the climate scientists may have manipulated their findings, exonerated Jones and his associates. The inquiry said that "Professor Jones's actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community" and that there was no wrongdoing.

However, they also noted that the secrecy involved in the research could be "problematic."

"We consider that climate scientists should take steps to make available all the data that support their work, including raw data... and full methodological workings, including the computer codes," panel members announced, as quoted in a March 31 BBC News article.

"Any good scientist always is prepared to reveal his data and his methods, and he does not need to have it extracted" by Freedom of Information requests, according to Nigel Lawson, a former member of Parliament and conservative journalist.

The Climategate scandal started to erupt in November 2009, when hackers were able to infiltrate a server at the CRU. They publicly released thousands of documents, including an email from Jones in which he discussed using a "trick" to "hide the decline."

Critics of global climate change believed he was referring to hiding a decline in temperatures over a period of time, while supporters vehemently argue that the comment was taken out of context.


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