A scientific study which suggests global warming has been exaggerated was rejected by a respected journal because it might fuel climate scepticism, it was claimed last night.
The alarming intervention, which raises fears of ‘McCarthyist’ pressure for environmental scientists to conform, came after a reviewer said the research was ‘less than helpful’ to the climate cause.
Professor Lennart Bengtsson, a research fellow at the University of Reading and one of five authors of the study, said he suspected that intolerance of dissenting views on climate science was preventing his paper from being published.
‘The problem we now have in the climate community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of a climate activist,’ he told the Times.
Prof Bengtsson’s paper suggests that the Earth’s environment might be much less sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought.
If he and his four co-authors are correct, it would mean that carbon dioxide and other pollutants are having a far less severe impact on climate than green activists would have us believe.
The research, if made public, would be a huge challenge to the finding of the UN’s Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that the global average temperature would rise by up to 4.5C if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were allowed to double.
The paper suggested that the climate might be less sensitive to greenhouse gases than had been claimed by the IPCC in its report last September, and recommended that more work be carried out ‘to reduce the underlying uncertainty’.