WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials on Thursday cleared scientists of charges that they manipulated data about climate change in e-mails that were stolen from a British university in 2009, triggering a climate scandal.
The Department of Commerce’s Inspector General conducted the independent review of e-mails taken from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England, at the request of Republican Senator James Inhofe, a climate change skeptic.
The e-mails included exchanges between researchers at the university and many of the world’s top climate scientists, including employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an office of the Commerce Department.
Some of the more than 1,000 CRU e-mails had appeared to show scientists blasting climate change skeptics and trying to block publication of certain articles.
But the review said it found no data manipulation or inappropriate procedures by NOAA scientists.
“In our review of the CRU e-mails, we did not find any evidence that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data … or failed to adhere to appropriate peer reviewed procedures,” the Inspector General wrote in a letter to Inhofe.
Several British reviews of the matter have exonerated the climate scientists of trying to manipulate data.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by David Gregorio)