British weather service to publish 150 years of data

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Britain's Met Office national weather service said Saturday it would publish data from weather stations worldwide and had "every confidence" it would show temperatures had risen in the last 150 years.

The decision comes in the wake of claims that British scientists sought to suppress data backing climate change sceptics' views.

"The Met Office does intend to release data from more than 1,000 weather stations," a spokesman said.

"It will be available on our website."

He said the Met Office had "every confidence" in the data which would show that global temperatures had warmed up over the last 150 years.

The Met Office wrote to 188 countries for permission to publish the remainder of the historic data.

The Met Office works closely with the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, a world-leader in the field, which is at the centre of the data row.

A top United Nations panel is to probe claims that CRU scientists sought to suppress data backing climate change sceptics' views, its head said Friday ahead of the landmark Copenhagen summit, which starts Monday.

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said the claims were serious and needed to be investigated.

Computer hackers penetrated the CRU and posted online thousands of emails from researchers. The emails allegedly called into question the scientific basis for climate change.

The university has launched an investigation into the leaked email exchanges to see if there was any evidence of manipulation or suppression of data which would call cast doubt on the research findings of the centre.