Posted by Co2sceptic on Feb 7th 2010
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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.

Updated below from The Telegraph

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.

Click to read FULL article by David Rose, Daily Mail How Met Office blocked questions on its own man's role in 'hockey stick' climate row, by David Rose, Daily Mail

Met Office blocked role of leading scientist in climate change row from The Telegraph

The Meteorological Office is blocking attempts to reveal the role played by its top climate scientist in a controversial report on climate change

Professor John Mitchell, the Met Office’s director of Climate Science, was involved in publishing claims in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that have been heavily criticised.

However, the Government has endorsed moves to prevent Prof Mitchell’s working papers and correspondence with IPCC colleagues in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary whose department has responsibility for the Met Office, personally supported the suppression of these documents.

Prof Mitchell is said to have dismissed concerns over contentious statements made in early drafts of the IPCC report and included them in the final version.

These included the headline that the Earth is now hotter than at any time in the past 1,300 years and a graph that showed a steep rise of temperatures in the 20th century.

Official IPCC reviewers cited other scientific papers that argued the 1,300-year claim and the graph were inaccurate.

David Holland, an electrical engineer who made the FOI requests asking for the climate scientist’s correspondence, was initially told by the Met Office that Prof Mitchell’s records had been “deleted” from its computers.

Officials later admitted that the records did exist, but could not be disclosed because they were “personal”, and were not relevant to the the professor’s Met Office job.

After subsequently conceding that this was misleading since Prof Mitchell had been paid by the Met Office for his IPCC work, they finally rejected the request on the grounds it would “inhibit the free and frank provision of views”.

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