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Mosher received a posting from the hacker complaining that nothing was happening and replied: "A lot is happening behind the scenes. Much is being coordinated among major players and the media. You will notice the beginnings of activity on other sites now.
Here soon to follow." Shortly afterwards, the emails began to be widely publicised on climate-sceptic blogs.
Norfolk police subsequently confirmed that they were "investigating criminal offences in relation to a data breach at the University of East Anglia" with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime unit, Commenting on the involvement of the NDET, a spokesman said: "At present we have two police officers assisting Norfolk with their investigation, and we have also provided computer forensic expertise.
While this is not strictly a domestic extremism matter, as a national police unit we had the expertise and resource to assist with this investigation, as well as good background knowledge of climate change issues in relation to criminal investigations." However, the police cautioned that "major investigations of this nature are of necessity very detailed and as a consequence can take time to reach a conclusion." On 18 July 2012, the Norfolk police finally decided to close its investigation because they did not have a "realistic prospect of identifying the offender or offenders and launching criminal proceedings within the time constraints imposed by law".
In response to the controversy, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released statements supporting the scientific consensus that the Earth's mean surface temperature had been rising for decades, with the AAAS concluding, "based on multiple lines of scientific evidence that global climate change caused by human activities is now underway...
it is a growing threat to society." However, the reports called on the scientists to avoid any such allegations in the future by taking steps to regain public confidence in their work, for example by opening up access to their supporting data, processing methods and software, and by promptly honouring freedom of information requests.
Concerns about the media's role in promoting early allegations while also minimising later coverage exonerating the scientists were raised by journalists and policy experts. Weart of the American Institute of Physics said the incident was unprecedented in the history of science, having "never before seen a set of people accuse an entire community of scientists of deliberate deception and other professional malfeasance." In the United Kingdom and United States, there were calls for official inquiries into issues raised by the documents.Government scientist Jane Lubchenco said that the emails "do nothing to undermine the very strong scientific consensus" that the Earth is warming, largely due to human actions.An editorial in Nature stated that "A fair reading of the e-mails reveals nothing to support the denialists' conspiracy theories." It said that emails showed harassment of researchers, with multiple Freedom of Information requests to the Climatic Research Unit, but release of information had been hampered by national government restrictions on releasing the meteorological data researchers had been using.They also said that the attack had been carried out "remotely via the internet" and that there was "no evidence to suggest that anyone working at or associated with the University of East Anglia was involved in the crime".According to an analysis in The Guardian, the vast majority of the emails related to four climatologists: Phil Jones, the head of the CRU; Keith Briffa, a CRU climatologist specialising in tree ring analysis; Tim Osborn, a climate modeller at CRU; and Mike Hulme, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.The British Conservative politician Lord Lawson said, "The integrity of the scientific evidence ... And the reputation of British science has been seriously tarnished.A high-level independent inquiry must be set up without delay." Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics said that there had to be a rigorous investigation into the substance of the email messages once appropriate action has been taken over the hacking, to clear the impression of impropriety given by the selective disclosure and dissemination of the messages.In addition, the investigation would review CRU's compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests and also "make recommendations about the management, governance and security structures for CRU and the security, integrity and release of the data it holds." On 22 March 2010 the university announced the composition of an independent Science Assessment Panel to reassess key CRU papers which have already been peer reviewed and published in journals.The panel did not seek to evaluate the science itself, but rather whether "the conclusions [reached by the CRU] represented an honest and scientifically justified interpretation of the data." The university consulted with the Royal Society in establishing the panel.That same day, Stephen Mc Intyre of Climate Audit was forwarded an internal email sent to UEA staff warning that "climate change sceptics" had obtained a "large volume of files and emails".Charles Rotter, moderator of the climate-sceptic blog Watts Up With That, which had been the first to get a link and download the files, gave a copy to his flatmate Steve Mosher.