UN calls for probe into Climategate

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The Chairman of the UN panel on climate change, the IPCC, says he wants an investigation into claims that scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) manipulated and then destroyed the raw data that forms the basis for nearly all reports into climate change - including those from the IPCC itself.

This is something of an about-turn, as last week, the IPCC's line was very much 'move along, nothing to see here.'

The Climategate scandal threatens to derail the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Conference as a growing number of people are now viewing claims of anthropogenic global warming with suspicion. 

The UEA announced an independent investigation into the behaviour of its climate unit yesterday, and earlier today, IPCC Chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri admits that the charges of data manipulation should be investigated.

"We will certainly go into the whole lot and then we will take a position on it. We certainly don't want to brush anything under the carpet. This is a serious issue and we will look into it in detail," he told BBC Radio.

The scandal broke in November, when a mole inside the UEA's climate unit sent a Zip file containing a large number of emails to a Russian website. The emails appear to point to a widespread, coordinated conspiracy to massage the raw data held at the University - which is the world's principal repository for base climate data - and to refuse access to it by scientists not considered to be on-side in the climate debate.

Last weekend it was revealed that the CRU had deliberately deleted all its raw data, leaving only its modified statistics available.

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