[Update: This press release came out a few weeks ago, so it’s not exactly breaking news as I originally put in the title — I removed that word. Interestingly to me, I didn’t see any mention of it in the usual places I haunt, which means it’s not getting the coverage it deserves. But my conclusions in this post are still solid; Climategate is a manufactured controversy, the mainstream media need to cover this, and denialists are still wrong.]
Score yet another one for reality: a panel of six scientists have investigated the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit — the target of the so-called "climategate" — and has cleared them of "any deliberate scientific malpractice". Moreover, they found that while the scientists at the CRU could have been better organized and could use some assistance from statistics professionals, their overall methodology is sound.
In other words, the major cries of foul from global warming deniers when it came to climategate are turning into whimpers.
As a backstory, you may wish to read two earlier posts I wrote on this topic, the first introducing climategate, and a second following up to clarify some points. Basically, some emails from climate scientists were leaked by a still-unknown hacker, and to some people it indicated knowingly fraudulent activity by the scientists. However, those of us familiar with the way science and scientists actually work knew from the start there was nothing nefarious going on.
When the emails were made public, a lot of noise came from the usual places. The deniers went into overdrive. But it turns out they were just spinning their wheels. This is the second investigation to show nothing bad was going on; the first was from a Parliamentary committee which also cleared the scientists of any wrongdoing.