Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Climategate: no fudging, but a fear of openness

Climategate scientists cleared of manipulating data on global warming
Muir Russell report says scientists did not fudge data, but they should have been more open about their work
The Guardian
8 July 2010

Climate emails and climagate : Sir Muir Russell Muir Russell during the release of his report into the scandal of the hacked emails sent by climate scientists from University of East Anglia. Photograph: Sang Tan/AP

The climate scientists at the centre of a media storm over leaked emails were yesterday cleared of accusations that they fudged their results and silenced critics, but a review found they had failed to be open enough about their work.

Sir Muir Russell, the senior civil servant who led a six-month inquiry into the affair, said the "rigour and honesty" of the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) were not in doubt. His investigation concluded they did not subvert the peer review process to censor criticism and that key data was freely available and could be used by any "competent" researcher.

But the panel said the scientists' responses to "reasonable requests for information" had been "unhelpful and defensive". The inquiry found "emails might have been deleted in order to make them unavailable should a subsequent request be made for them" and that there had been "a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness". Scientists also failed to appreciate the risk their lack of transparency posed to the university and "indeed to the credibility of UK climate science".

The controversy began when 13 years of emails from CRU scientists were released online last year...

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