Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. The Muir Russell report stated, however, "We do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness, both on the part of CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA." The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged at the end of the investigations
According to The Guardian, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and science historian Naomi Oreskes make the case that the "attacks on climate science that were made ahead of the Copenhagen climate change summit were 'organised' to undermine efforts to tackle global warming and mirror the earlier tactics of the tobacco industry". Noting the initial media circus that occurred when the story first broke, Oreskes and Erik Conway, in an article about the history of climate change denial, observed that in the aftermath of the "climategate" investigations, "the vindication of the climate scientists has received very little coverage at all. Vindication is not as sexy as accusation, and many people are still suspicious. After all, some of those emails, taken out of context, sounded damning. But what they show is that climate scientists are frustrated, because for two decades they have been under attack."
Bill Royce, head of the European practice on energy, environment and climate change at Burson-Marsteller, also observed what appeared to be an organised effort to discredit climate science. Royce described "climategate" as "a sustained and coordinated campaign" aimed at undermining the credibility of the science, and disproportionate reporting of the original story "widely amplified by climate deniers", with much less coverage of reports that had cleared the scientists. Journalist Curtis Brainard of the Columbia Journalism Review criticised newspapers and magazines for failing to give prominent coverage to the findings of the review panels, and said that "readers need to understand that while there is plenty of room to improve the research and communications process, its fundamental tenets remain as solid as ever." CNN media critic Howard Kurtz expressed similar sentiments.