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.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.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.
Independent reviews by Fact Check and the Associated Press said that the emails did not affect evidence that man-made global warming is a real threat, and said that emails were being misrepresented to support unfounded claims of scientific misconduct.He is a valued and important scientist." The university announced it would conduct an independent review into issues including Freedom of Information requests to the Climatic Research Unit: it would "address the issue of data security, an assessment of how we responded to a deluge of Freedom of Information requests, and any other relevant issues which the independent reviewer advises should be addressed." Two days later, the university announced that Sir Muir Russell would chair the inquiry, which would be known as the Independent Climate Change Email Review, and would "examine email exchanges to determine whether there is evidence of suppression or manipulation of data".The review would also scrutinise the CRU's policies and practices for "acquiring, assembling, subjecting to peer review, and disseminating data and research findings" and "their compliance or otherwise with best scientific practice".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.
Former Republican House Science Committee chairman Sherwood Boehlert called the attacks a "manufactured distraction", and the dispute was described as a "highly orchestrated" and manufactured controversy by Newsweek and The New York Times.