Hacked climate emails claim scientific scalp

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Hacked climate emails claim scientific scalp

Head of Climate Unit steps down during investigation.

The head of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia has temporarily stepped down while an investigation is carried out into hacked emails and documents from the organisation’s servers.

Professor Phil Jones has said he is taking a temporary leave of absence to allow independent investigators to examine the details of the break-in. Around 4,000 emails and documents were stolen from the CRU’s servers and published online.

"What is most important is that CRU continues its world leading research with as little interruption and diversion as possible,” said Professor Jones.

“After a good deal of consideration I have decided that the best way to achieve this is by stepping aside from the Director's role during the course of the independent review and am grateful to the University for agreeing to this. The Review process will have my full support."

The bulk of the emails and documents published cover previously published work but climate change sceptics have seized on some emails as proof that the scientific community is engaged in deception to push a green agenda.

“It is well known within the scientific community and particularly those who are sceptical of climate change that over 95 per cent of the raw station data has been accessible through the Global Historical Climatology Network for several years,” commented the University’s pro-vice-chancellor of Research Enterprise and Engagement Professor Trevor Davies.

“We are quite clearly not hiding information which seems to be the speculation on some blogs and by some media commentators.

The hacking attack on the CRU’s servers came just before the Copenhagen climate conference and Professor Jones suggested that it was a deliberate attempt to scupper a deal to limit carbon emissions.

“In the frenzy of the past few days, the most vital issue is being ov ershadowed: we face enormous challenges ahead if we are to continue to live on this planet,” he said.

“One has to wonder if it is a coincidence that this email correspondence has been stolen and published at this time. This may be a concerted attempt to put a question mark over the science of climate change in the run-up to the Copenhagen talks.”

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