London, July 8 (ANI): Climate scientists, who were earlier accused of fudging their results on man-made global warming, have been cleared of any wrongdoing, and thus, have silenced their critics.
Sir Muir Russell, the senior civil servant who led a six-month inquiry into the affair, said the "rigour and honesty" of the scientists at the world-leading Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) are not in doubt.
The Guardian quoted him as saying further that they did not subvert the peer review process to censor criticism as alleged.
The panel, however, did criticize the scientists for not being open enough about their work, and said they were "unhelpful and defensive" when responding to legitimate requests made under freedom of information (FOI) laws.
The row was sparked when 13 years of emails from CRU scientists were hacked and released online last year.
Climate change sceptics claimed they showed scientists manipulating and suppressing data to back up a theory of man-made climate change.
Critics also alleged that the scientists abused their positions to cover up flaws and distort the peer review process that determines which studies are published in journals, and so enter the scientific record.
Some alleged that the emails cast doubt on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Announcing the findings, Russell said: "Ultimately this has to be about what they did, not what they said."
The review is the third and final inquiry into the email affair, dubbed "climategate", and effectively clears Professor Phil Jones, head of the CRU, and his colleagues of the most serious charges.
Questions, however, remain over the way in which they responded to requests for information from people outside the conventional scientific arena, some of whom were long-standing critics of Jones. (ANI)