Critics of the scientific consensus on climate change say emails, stolen from servers at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which were posted online, show manipulation of data by scientist to support their global warming theory.
Director of the CRU, Phil Jones who finds himself at the centre of the latest scandal has dismissed the claims as 'complete rubbish' but the scandal could potentially snowball into a major controversy. Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the matter could not be 'brushed under the carpet' and has ordered a separate investigation by the IPCC.
The IPCC, is the scientific body charged with reviewing and assessing the latest science on climate change.
"We will certainly go into the whole lot and then we will take a position on it," Pachauri said.
With the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen due to open next week, the scandal assumes special significance given fears that it could be used to argue against an international deal to stop global warming at the summit.
The scandal appears to have already given a handle to climate sceptics around the world to queer the global warming pitch. They argue that since man made global warming is not proven, there was no need for a deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions or pay to help poor countries adapt.