'No deliberate malpractice' in British climate row: review

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A review of the work of one of the world's leading climate research centres, launched after a major scandal last year, concluded Wednesday there had been no deliberate scientific malpractice.

The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) became embroiled in a worldwide row after more than 1,000 emails were hacked from the university's server and posted online.

Sceptics claimed the messages showed evidence scientists were trying to exaggerate the case for global warming in the run-up to December's UN climate talks aimed at striking a new accord to tackle climate change.

An independent panel, led by Lord Ron Oxburgh, was asked by the university last month to look into claims that the CRU's data had been dishonestly selected or manipulated, and concluded Wednesday it had not.

"We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit, and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it," the panel said.

However, it added: "It is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians."

A parliamentary inquiry last month cleared the CRU scientists of wrongdoing, while a third investigation launched in December has yet to report back.