U.K. University Braces For 'Climategate 2'

The U.K.-based university said the latest batch of e-mails posted on the Internet were not the result of a new security breach, but appeared to have been held back from the original hack. The latest release appeared timed to disrupt the United Nations climate talks scheduled for next week in Durban, South Africa, the university said in a statement.

"This appears to be a carefully timed attempt to reignite controversy over the science behind climate change," the university said in a statement. The college did not know whether all the e-mails were genuine, but found a sampling to be from the original theft.

Global-warming skeptics said e-mails in the first release cast doubt on the motivations of prominent researchers. Excerpts from the messages indicated the scientists were stonewalling critics and plotting to prevent opponents' research from appearing in peer-review journals, critics said. However, subsequent investigations in the U.S. and the U.K. did not substantiate the claims.

The reputation of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit was also attacked in the scandal that contributed to the failure of the U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Climatic Research Unit is one of the leading research institutions on global temperatures.

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The university said the latest e-mail extracts have again been taken out of context. Scientists at the center of criticism in the original release have since been "vindicated by independent review, and claims that their science cannot or should not be trusted are entirely unsupported," the university said.

No one has ever been arrested in the security breach that led to the original email theft.