Sunday, 18 July 2010 08:00 Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times
The American government has suspended its funding of the University of East Anglia’s climate research unit (CRU), citing the scientific doubts raised by last November’s leak of hundreds of stolen emails.
The US Department of Energy (DoE) was one of the unit’s main sources of funding for its work assembling a database of global temperatures.
It has supported the CRU financially since 1990 and gives the unit about £131,000 a year on a rolling three-year contract.
This should have been renewed automatically in April, but the department has suspended all payments since May pending a scientific peer review of the unit’s work.
The leaked emails caused a global furore. They appeared to suggest that CRU scientists were using “tricks” to strengthen the case for man-made climate change and suppressing dissent.
A spokesman for the DoE said: “The renewal application was placed on hold pending the conclusion of the inquiry into scientific misconduct by Sir Alastair Muir Russell.”
Muir Russell published his report earlier this month. It said that the rigour and honesty of the CRU scientists were not in doubt but criticised them for “a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness”.
The DoE peer review panel will now sift through the report and decide if American taxpayers should continue to fund the unit.
A spokesman for the university said: “We are still waiting to hear if the latest bid for funding to the US Department of Energy has been successful and would not comment or speculate in the meantime.”
The Sunday Times, 18 July 2010