A UK parliamentary report on the so-called ‘Climategate’ email theft has expressed “some reservations” about two independent inquiries into the incident. However, the House of Commons science select committee says it is now time to implement the inquiries’ recommendations and move on.
A number of investigations have been launched since a vast number of emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK were released on the internet – and triggered now-debunked allegations of a global warming cover up, some of it involving research published in Nature.
The science select committee under the last government also had a run at the controversy, but that was before the two independent inquiries into what became known as ‘Climategate’ concluded. Now the new committee has had a look at the conduct of the Independent Climate Change E-mails Review (ICCCER) and the independent Scientific Appraisal Panel (SAP), watching the watchers of the climate-watchers, if you will.
Both these reviews largely cleared the researchers involved, although they noted that there could have been more openness (see: UK climate data were not tampered with and CRU inquiry: science solid despite lack of statistical know-how).
The select committee report into the reports says it would have been better if they (the original reports) had made all their evidence public. It also says it is “unsatisfactory” that the ICCER did not fully investigate allegations that emails were deleted to hamper freedom of information requests to UEA. Recommendations from the two reviews – including that the Climatic Research Unit should make enough data available for others to replicate their findings – should now be implemented, it says.
“While we do have some reservations about the way in which UEA operated, the SAP review and the ICCER set out clear and sensible recommendations,” says the report. “In our view it is time to make the changes and improvements recommended and with greater openness and transparency move on.”
Image: Climatic Research Unit at UEA. Photo by mira66 via Flickr under Creative Commons.