Phil Jones says that it was not "standard practice" to release data to other researchers
But Phil Jones, of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, yesterday defended his decision not to release the data about temperatures from around the world, saying it was not "standard practice" to do so.
"I have obviously written some pretty awful emails," Prof Jones told British lawmakers in response to a question about a message he sent to a sceptic in which he refused to release data saying he believed it would be misused.
The admission from the scientist, who has stood aside as director of the climate centre while investigations take place, came at a parliamentary hearing in Britain into the scandal.
The leading research centre came under fire ahead of key climate talks in Copenhagen in December, after more than 1000 emails and 3000 other documents were hacked from the university's server and posted online.
Sceptics claimed they showed evidence scientists were manipulating climate data in a bid to exaggerate the case for manmade global warming as world leaders met to try to strike a new accord on climate change. . . .
This last point is simply not credible. Once you have the data put together for one person, the cost of getting it to someone else is essentially zero. Computers make it easy to provide data.
The academic also said the unit struggled after being hit by a "deluge" of requests for data last July, made under freedom-of-information legislation. . . .