1,700 British scientists have signed a petition defending 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".
One scientist told the London Times: "The Met Office is a major employer of scientists and has long had a policy of only appointing and working with those who subscribe to their views on man-made global warming." A Met Office spokesman denied that any pressure had been put on the scientists to sign.
But while 1,700 scientists sounds quite a lot, it rather pales into insignificance when compared with the 31,486 scientists - 9,029 of them with PHDs - who signed the Global Warming Petition to say they have serious doubts about the validity of AGW and the link with climate change and CO2.