Over the last year or so, climate science has been heavily criticised in the media, especially in the UK and USA. Particular criticism has been directed at researchers at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and also at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which summarises the evidence of climate change, its causes and its potential effects, for international policy-makers. So, has the criticism been justified? Is the scientific evidence on the threat of climate change less robust than previously claimed?
Stolen emails and ‘hidden’ data
The first wave of criticisms surfaced in November 2009 in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate negotiations, when about a thousand private emails were stolen from a server at UEA and released online. These emails included correspondence between some leading climate scientists over the previous 13 years, including the Director of UEA’s Climate Research Unit, Professor Phi