LONDON – Climate-change researchers at a British university failed to respond to critics in an open manner but hewed to high standards in their science and did not manipulate their data, according to findings released Wednesday of an independent review of hundreds of hacked e-mails.
The e-mails were taken from the server of the University of East Anglia late last year and caused an international stir just before an international environment summit in Copenhagen. Skeptics of human-caused climate change alleged that the e-mails showed scientists deliberately trying to suppress certain data about global warming or slanting it to support their conclusions.
But an outside review commissioned by the university rejected those claims Wednesday. The report said that, despite some injudicious comments about skeptics, the scientists’ “honesty and rigor” were “not in doubt.” It also dismissed allegations of data-tampering, saying there was no “evidence of behavior that might undermine the conclusions” of manmade climate change.
At the same time, the review committee chastised the university’s Climatic Research Unit for reacting unprofessionally to criticism by dragging its feet in sharing its data and in responding to freedom-of-information requests.