‘Climategate’ erupts again ahead of Durban conference

The new incident may help British police catch the email hackers Copyright: Flickr/Xavier de JaurA©guiberry

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A fresh batch of stolen emails about climate change, written by scientists from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, has been released — days before global climate change negotiations begin in Durban, South Africa.

Climate scientists said that the release was likely to have been timed to "torpedo" any potential progress at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 17) next week (28 November–9 December), according to the New York Times.

More than 5,000 emails appear to have been hacked from the same set of records as those stolen in 2009, and the university confirmed that at least some of the emails were authentic.

Following the 2009 incident, it was concluded that the emails did not indicate that scientists had manipulated data, but they were criticised for failing to share data or respond adequately to freedom of information requests.

Climate change sceptic Myron Ebell, who works for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank in the United States, said the new emails were "strong evidence that a small group of scientists centred around East Anglia were engaged in a conspiracy to provide a scientifically misleading assessment of the case for global warming".

But Michael E. Mann, a scientist at Pennsylvania State University, United States — who wrote or received some of the emails — said the emails demonstrated the opposite: "Scientists rely on the ability to have frank, sometimes even contentious discussions with each other. Science requires that."

Mann said he hoped that the new incident would provide clues for British police seeking to catch the hacker or hackers.

Link to full article in The New York Times