1,700 British scientists have signed a statement to defend the "professional integrity" of global warming research. But some say they felt pressured to sign the document or risk losing work. The petition was circulated by the Met Office which released its climate data this week following the Climategate scandal.
Professor Phil Jones, formerly boss of the climate unit at the University of East Anglia, quit last week after it was revealed that he and his department had apparently systematically faked climate data to ensure it fitted in with the accepted 'truth' of anthropogenic global warming and subsequently deleted the original raw data, making an audit of the figures impossible.
Met Office boss John Hirst wrote to colleagues at the weekend, asking them to sign "to defend our profession against this unprecedented attack to discredit us and the science of climate change and to state that you have the utmost confidence in the science base that underpins the evidence for global warming," TG Daily reports.
News agencies also report, it was the latest attempt to remind the world of the reality of global warming after a cache of leaked e-mails was seized upon by skeptics as proof of a scientific conspiracy to stifle or twist the data on climate change.
"We, members of the U.K. science community, have the utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming and the scientific basis for concluding that it is due primarily to human activities. The evidence and the science are deep and extensive," the statement posted to the Met Office Web site said.
E-mails stolen from the University of East Anglia and released to the Internet last month appeared to show top climate scientists discussing ways to shield data from public scrutiny and suppress others' work. Climate skeptics — those who deny that human activity is responsible for global warming — have seized on the correspondence as evidence that scientists have conspired to hide the facts, The Associated Press reports.
The Wall Street Journal quoted the statement, "The evidence and the science are deep and extensive. They come from decades of painstaking and meticulous research by many thousands of scientists across the world who adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity."
Leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, one of the contributors of temperature data to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sparked a row over the validity of the data.
The statement goes on to say that the scientists uphold the findings of the IPCC Fourth Assessment report that concluded that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal" and that most of the observed increase in global temperatures is "very likely" due to human activities, The Wall Street Journal reports.