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Getting Hot and Bothered Over "Climate-Gate"

Wednesday's "Washington Unplugged" featured a discussion of the so-called "Climategate" scandal and its potential impact on the Climate Change conference now taking place in Copenhagen.

One of the stolen emails at the root of "Climategate" shows that Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England was attempting to cover the fact that tree ring data has actually showed a cooling trend since 1960.

These leaked emails have critics up in arms, among them Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.). He spoke with CBS News Correspondent Wyatt Andrews on Wednesday's Washington Unplugged. "It shows that they're hiding data," he said. "It shows that they're suppressing opposition. They're fudging data."

"When you have a bunch of scientists going out of their way to prevent Freedom of Information Act requests to get source documents you get people hiding something," Linder argued.

CBS News also spoke with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which noted that 9 of the last 10 years have been the hottest on record. There is widespread scientific consensus that global warming is real and man-made.

Andrews also spoke with Penn State University Professor Michael Mann, one of the academics identified in the "Climate-Gate" controversy.

"There was an editorial in the journal Nature last week which made clear that the sense in which scientists and mathematicians often use the term trick is simply to describe a clever approach, a nice way of solving a problem, a trick of the trade, here's the trick to solving that problem," he said. "The reference to my work was simply describing something which was completely out in the open."

Watch Wednesday's "Washington Unplugged," with Rep. John Linder, above.

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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