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‘Climategate’: time to move on

CRU_Jan24.jpgA 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.


  1. Report this comment

    Ernst Schrama said:

    It is encouraging to see that conclusions of review committees have been formulated and that their recommendations must be implemented. At the same time it should be stressed again by geo-scientists that the essence of the message, namely that there is man-made global warming, has not changed as a result of climategate. So it is time to move on, in particular to ask ourselves what the world will look like with soon more than 500 ppm of carbon-dioxide in its atmosphere. Greenland is losing mass in excess of 200 cubic kilometers per year which is unprecedented in the last century. How much more evidence do you need?

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    DS432 said:

    Move along, nothing to see here, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

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    Dennis said:

    Climategate did not expose a hoax, it WAS the hoax!

    Too bad the climate cynics are not subject to the same level of scrutiny and criticism.

  4. Report this comment

    Anne Maloney said:

    200 cubic kilometres of ice weighs 200 thousand million tonnes. Is that what you’re saying?

  5. Report this comment

    Ernst Schrama said:

    Dear Anne,

    200 cubic kilometer of water is approximately 200 billion kilogram. This is the mass loss that NASA’s GRACE satellite mission identified over Greenland since it was launched in 2002. The number is verified with an independent regional climate model in combination with glacier runoff interpreted from radar data. At this rate the oceans receive about 0.5 mm per year just as a result of the melting of Greenland.


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    Ernst Schrama said:

    If I said 200 billion kilogram per year than that should be 200 billion tonnes per year.

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    G. Thomas Farmer said:

    The science is correct that global warming is a fact and we should convince our policy makers to make the effort to understand the science. Most are college graduates and the physics of climate change is not that difficult to understand. These skeptics aren’t necessarily stupid; they just act that way!

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    Art Raiche said:

    Time to move on? Richard Nixon would have said the same thing in the early days of Watergate.

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