How Met Office blocked questions on its own man's role in 'hockey stick' climate row

stonewall-180By David Rose

The Meteorological Office is blocking public scrutiny of the central role played by its top climate scientist in a highly controversial report by the beleaguered United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Professor John Mitchell, the Met Office’s Director of Climate Science, shared responsibility for the most worrying headline in the 2007 Nobel Prize-winning IPCC report – that the Earth is now hotter than at any time in the past 1,300 years.

And he approved the inclusion in the report of the famous ‘hockey stick’ graph, showing centuries of level or declining temperatures until a steep 20th Century rise.

By the time the 2007 report was being written, the graph had been heavily criticised by climate sceptics who had shown it minimised the ‘medieval warm period’ around 1000AD, when the Vikings established farming settlements in Greenland.

In fact, according to some scientists, the planet was then as warm, or even warmer, than it is today.

Early drafts of the report were fiercely contested by official IPCC reviewers, who cited other scientific papers stating that the 1,300-year claim and the graph were inaccurate.

But the final version, approved by Prof Mitchell, the relevant chapter’s review editor, swept aside these concerns.

Now, the Met Office is refusing to disclose Prof Mitchell’s working papers and correspondence with his IPCC colleagues in response to requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The block has been endorsed in writing by Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth – whose department has responsibility for the Met Office.

Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal that the Met Office’s stonewalling was part of a co-ordinated, legally questionable strategy by climate change academics linked with the IPCC to block access to outsiders.

Last month, the Information Commissioner ruled that scientists from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia – the source of the leaked ‘Warmergate’ emails – acted unlawfully in refusing FOI requests to share their data.

Read the rest of this story at Daily Mail.

  • Hal Groar

    More FOI requests thwarted. Does anyone else here think they are trying to hide something? Hmmm…

    • 1SamIam

      Hal, Exactly – same with the Obama Progressive movement, why not disclose public funded meetings or UN funded fuzzy math on the hypothesis of man made global er climate change – unless there is first something to hide.

  • Rob N. Hood

    There is no discrepancy at all, for anyone who is minimally informed. With warming planet, there is increased evaporation and more water present in atmosphere. Now, there are still areas on the planet, where temperatures are VERY low – it will take hundreds of years to thaw Arctic and Antarctic. When a cold front issues from a pole and meets water vapor, there is snow – and if there is more vapor, there is more snow. This situation will continue to obtain, until all permanent ice and snow is gone.

    By the way, because it takes a tremendous amount of heat to melt ice, melting of arctic ice provides a natural thermostat for the planet, so temperature increase is not as high as it would be without ice. But it is one-time deal; after ice is melted, the stabilizing effect is gone, so with every year there is less of temperature-stabilizing capacity. One has to understand that “temperature” and “heat” are different things, although related – so a mixture of ice and water will absorb heat WITHOUT temperature change, until all ice is gone, because it takes heat to destroy a cristal structure of ice. If someone could just make a soundbite out of this…

  • I never read such a stupid comment. Ice melts over 0°C, and average temperatures at the poles are -35°C.

  • paul wenum

    I doubt that he is ever been past Des Moines. Sorry Dan.

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