WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. James Inhofe has opened an investigation into the alleged manipulation of scientific information regarding global climate change.
Inhofe, R-Okla., has long been a critic of claims that actions by man contributed greatly to global warming but said the publication of e-mail messages that suggest work to keep doubts about climate change out of public view and other handling of information related to global weather patterns calls for additional investigation.
Computer hackers breached security at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit in Norwich, England, and retrieved thousands of messages related to climate change. The documents include attempts to quash opinions that didn't support global climate change from being included in data considered by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The IPCC, which has said it was "unequivocal" that human-caused climate change exists, shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore in 2007 for their work publicizing global warming.
Inhofe said that since the IPCC's statements have been used to set government policy related to climate change, and the basis for those statements is now in question, an investigation is called for.
Inhofe, in a release, said, "The stakes in this controversy are significant, as it appears that the basis of federal programs, pending EPA rulemakings and cap-and-trade legislation was contrived and fabricated."