Wednesday, July 7, 2010

British Panel Clears Climate Scientists

A British panel has exonerated a number of scientists who had been accused of manipulating their research to support preconceived ideas about global warming. This includes Phil Jones, a leading climatologist at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, who stepped down from his research position as the investigation was pending. After the results of the inquiry were released, the university immediately reinstated him into a job resembling his old position.

However, the panel also rebuked the scientists for their reluctance to release computer files backing up their scientific work, and declared that a graph they had produced about climate change in a 1999 publication was "misleading" and should have contained caveats. The inquiry started after a series of embarrassing email messages set by Dr. Jones and other scientists were taken from a computer at the university and posed on the internet. The emails led to a deluge of accusations from climate-change skeptics, and has resulted in a series of five reviews on the research and conduct of scientists involved in this controversy. While these reviews mostly supported the research findings of the scientists, they did fault them for "...failing to display the proper degree of openness" in responding to demands for backup data and other information under Britain’s laws governing public records.

For more information, please see the New York Times article of July 7th.

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