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Met Office to review 60 years of data amid claims figures were doctored to support climate change fe


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Met Office to review 60 years of data amid claims figures were doctored to support climate change fears



By Scott Warren

Last updated at 11:32 AM on 05th December 2009



The Met Office is to re-examine 60 years of climate data in an effort to ensure the accuracy of historical records used to gauge the extent of global warming.

The three-year review comes after leaked emails from within the weather agency and the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit, with which it works closely, led to fears data was being doctored to block alternate scientific views.

The claims of false figures is particularly troubling for the UN's climate change body because The Met Office is one of its three main sources of temperature analysis.


article-1233426-077A737F000005DC-982_468x378.jpg Global cause: Christian Aid Ireland promotes climate change ahead of next week's talks in Copenhagen by projecting this sign on the wall of Custom House, Dublin


The degree to which climate change is a threat to the world's population will be discussed at a UN summit in Copenhagen beginning this week. Talks will centre on cutting carbon emissions.

The government has sought to cancel the review, arguing any change to data could be seized upon by climate change sceptics.


article-1233426-077B1ABA000005DC-596_468x286.jpg Stay extended: US President Brack Obama has extended his stay in Copenhagen in a show of solidarity after leaked emails fuelled climate change sceptics' crusade against the UN summit


The Met Office has written to meteorological offices in 188 countries asking for raw weather data to be released. The agency says it hopes to prove its original data was correct.

The news came as Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the 'flat earth' climate change sceptics, who he says are trying to derail the Copenhagen summit.

article-1233426-0778CC61000005DC-508_233x306.jpg Look at the signs: Gordon Brown has attacked 'flat earth' climate sceptics


The fallout from the doubt cast by the leaked emails is so major that US President Barack Obama has even added a day to his stay in Copenhagen. In a statement last night, the White House said: 'Based on his conversations with other leaders and the progress that has already been made to give momentum to negotiations, the President believes that continued US leadership can be most productive through his participation at the end of the Copenhagen conference on December 18.'


Mr Brown told the Guardian: ''With only days to go before Copenhagen we mustn't be distracted by the behind-the-times, anti-science, flat-earth climate sceptics.

'We know the science. We must act now and close the 5billion-tonne gap. That will seal the deal.'

Government climate adviser Sir Nicholas Stern says 10billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions must be taken out of the atmosphere by 2020, with an agreement in place for only half that amount.


Mr Brown was echoed by his environment secretary, Ed Miliband, and US climate change bill author Ed Markey.

Mr Miliband said: 'The approach of the climate saboteurs is to misuse data and mislead people. The sceptics are playing politics with science in a dangerous and deceitful manner.

'The evidence is clear and the time we have to act is short. To abandon this process now would lead to misery and catastrophe for millions.'

Mr Markey warned against the debate being hijacked by 'defenders of the fossil fuel status quo.'

Meanwhile, a train splashed with a green stripe is carrying 450 UN officials, climate activists and journalists from Belgium to the climate summit in Copenhagen to symbolize efforts to reduce the convention's carbon footprint.


article-1233426-077B446C000005DC-501_468x538.jpg All aboard: Politicians, activists and journalists prepare to board the Climate Express to Copenhagen from Brussels


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