Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Wednesday, 27 October 2010 14:43 UK

Science & Technology Committee

MPs have taken evidence from the vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the report into the leaked e-mails on climate data.

Prof Edward Acton was speaking in front of the Science and Technology Committee on 27 October 2010 along with Muir Russell who wrote the independent report into the so-called "Climategate" affairs.

In 2009 leaked e-mails from the university's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) alleged that climate research data was being "manipulated".

In July, the Russell review found there was nothing in the e-mails to undermine Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

However it criticised a lack of openness by the unit saying that CRU scientists were too quick to dismiss critics from outside their own circles.

Sir Muir was asked by MPs why he didn't ask specifically if e-mails had been deleted, something that could contravene Freedom of Information laws.

He replied that could have taken the review into the field of criminal law, something that was outside its remit.

The e-mails, along with other documents, covered a period dating back to 1997 and were released into the public domain just before the Copenhagen climate summit last year, with some seeing it as a political act designed to destabilise the summit.

The CRU produces one of the four most widely used records of global temperature.

These have been key to the IPCC's conclusions that the planet's surface is warming and that humanity's greenhouse gas emissions are very likely to be responsible.

Critics have alleged that the unit's scientists withheld temperature data from weather stations and also kept secret the computer algorithms needed to process the data into a record of global temperature - a criticism that the review says is "unfounded.

Science and technology committee membership


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