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U.K. Panel Calls Climate Data Valid

U.K. Panel Calls Climate Data Valid

LONDON (AP) — A parliamentary panel investigating allegations that scientists at one of the world’s leading climate research centers misrepresented data related to global warming announced Wednesday that it had found no evidence to support that charge.

But the panel, the Science and Technology Committee of the British House of Commons, did fault scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and its director, Prof. Phil Jones, for the way they handled freedom of information requests from skeptics challenging the evidence of climate change.

The panel said that Professor Jones and his colleagues could have saved themselves a great deal of trouble by aggressively publishing all their data instead of worrying about how to stonewall their critics.

The lawmakers’ inquiry is the first of three to be opened in Britain since the dissemination in November of e-mail messages and data between the scientists that were apparently hacked from a computer system.

The lawmakers emphasized that nothing in the more than 1,000 stolen e-mail messages or in the ensuing controversy challenged the scientific consensus that “global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity.”

At the same time, the lawmakers stressed that their report, written after only a single day of oral testimony, did not cover all the issues and that two other inquiries into the integrity of the science would be more thorough.

The lawmakers expressed sympathy with Professor Jones, whom Phil Willis, the committee’s chairman, said had been made a scapegoat for conflicts within the sphere of climate science.

“The focus on Professor Jones and the C.R.U. has been largely misplaced,” the report said.

The publication of the e-mail messages ahead of an international conference in Copenhagen on climate change set off an online furor, in which skeptics of human-made climate change referred to the controversy as “Climategate.”

The lawmakers noted that they decided to investigate the matter because of “the serious implications for U.K. science.”

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