Beyond the Burg: London University investigates Climatic Research Unit

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December 4, 2009

2:06 AM

The University of East Anglia in London announced yesterday that they would start an investigation into claims that scientists at the institution’s Climatic Research Unit allegedly withheld data concerning global warming.

The CRU, which has taken measurements and published several articles on climate change, was brought under investigation when over 1,000 e-mails from the station, in addition to information and readings on the rate of atmospheric change, were stolen and downloaded to a website late last month.

Phil Jones, the former director of the CRU, resigned in response to the impending investigation.

The university said in a press release that Sir Muir Russell, former vice chancellor of the University of Glasgow, would be leading the independent investigation. Yesterday’s release was the first time that the institution reported that the research would be examined.

“The reputation and integrity of UEA is of the utmost importance to us all. We want these allegations about CRU to be examined fully and independently,” UEA Vice Chancellor Edward Action said. “That is why I am delighted that Sir Muir has agreed to lead the independent review, and he will have my and the rest of the university’s full support.”

Jones’s e-mails in particular have sparked worry among those being investigated.

“I would like to see the climate change happen so the science could be proved right,” Jones wrote in one of his e-mails.

The leak, which came a week before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, has raised concern within the British government as to possible effects that critics of global warming could have on upcoming legislation on greenhouse gases.

“We have to beware of the climate saboteurs, the people who want to say this is somehow in doubt, and want to cast aspersions on the whole process,” Ed Miliband, Britain’s climate change secretary, told The Associated Press.

However, scientists still hold strong to the fact that climate change is a proven, scientific fact.

“The e-mails do nothing to undermine the very strong scientific consensus that tells us the earth is warming,” Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said. “That warming is largely a result of human activity.”

UEA expects the investigation to be completed by spring 2010.

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