The British university of East Anglia announced Thursday to probe into allegations that its scientists manipulated data about global warming.

Ex-civil servant Sir Muir Russell will head the probe into the hacked e-mails and documents from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in the UK last month.

The independent review is part of efforts by the University to dampen the furor over thousands of hacked private emails which suggested efforts to squelch the views of climate change skeptics.

Climate-change skeptics said they proved the case for man-made global warming was not as definitive as generally claimed.

Professor Phil Jones, the director of the unit, stepped down Tuesday in a move to ensure an independent review, the university said.

Emails that Professor Jones had sent in 1999, which were also hacked into, show that he uses the word trick and talks about hiding the decline of climate change.

The probe, which will be completed next spring, will also review the climatic research unit's policies and practices for disseminating data and research findings and subjecting them to peer review, and look at how it handled requests under Britain's Freedom of Information Act.

The scandal blew up just days before world leaders meet in Copenhagen for a United Nations-sponsored climate summit that could boost international efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions and slow global warming.