British report clears climate scientists of exaggeration
Leading climate scientists on Thursday welcomed a British report that cleared researchers of exaggerating the effects of global warming and said they hoped it would restore faith in the fight against climate change.
The University of East Anglia, in eastern England, launched an inquiry after more than 1,000 emails hacked from its climate research unit were put on the Internet.
Climate change skeptics leaped on the "climategate" emails as evidence scientists had exaggerated or lied about man's role in global warming, leading to a surge in cyber and media attacks on climate scientists.
The emails were leaked just before last December's major U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen and helped sour the public's belief in the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for heating up the planet.
Scientists said the emails, covering 13 years and more than 160 authors, were taken out of context by skeptics to boost their arguments that climate change was a hoax.
Many governments quickly stepped in to support the science of climate change because public sentiment about global warming is crucial to crafting policies that will lead to trillions of dollars being spent to green the global economy.
The third and most comprehensive investigation into the emails, led by former civil servant Muir Russell, defended the integrity of the university's Climatic Research Unit, or CRU.
It also said the emails contained nothing to overturn the case for manmade global warming put forward by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
"In essence, the review found no evidence to support any of the vociferous claims by climate change deniers that challenge the honesty, rigor and professionalism of the CRU scientists," said Will Steffen, executive director of the ANU Climate Change Institute in Canberra, Australia.
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