The professor at the centre of the 'climategate' row, has admitted sending 'some pretty awful' emails refusing to send information on to other scientists.
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
Published: 7:30AM GMT 02 Mar 2010
Professor Phil Jones from the Climate Researh Unit University of East Anglia
Prof Phil Jones, head of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, is accused of withholding raw data behind his research on global warming.
In emails stolen from the university he asks one climate change sceptic: "Why should I give information to you when all you want to do is find something wrong with it?"
In a grilling by MPs, Prof Jones admitted he had withheld data and sent some "pretty awful" emails.
But he insisted it was "standard practice" to refuse certain information to other scientists.
Prof Jones is at the centre of the so-called 'climategate' scandal after thousands of emails he sent were stolen from the university.
Climate change sceptics claim that the emails show he was not only withholding data on his research but manipulating the results to show global warming.
The row has led to a number of ongoing inquiries including an investigation by the influential House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.
In the first evidence session of the inquiry Prof Jones was accused of being "anti-scientific" in refusing to share the temperature readings from weather stations around the world that his research is based on.
However he said that much of the information was not available because it held by national weather services that refuse to disseminate the data widely.
He said it was "standard procedure" to withhold the data and insisted that CRU had made as much information available as possible.
"We withheld raw station data that we used, much the same data that is available in the US and made available the adjustments to our data as well," he said.
Prof Jones also denied manipulating the data. In one email he refers to a "trick" to hide a decline in temperature but he insisted that again this was standard procedure that had been discussed openly in the scientific community.
"We do not accept it was hidden because it was discussed in a [scientific] paper the year before," he said.
Earlier in the meeting Lord Lawson of Blaby accused CRU of being evasive with the information on global warming research.
"Proper scientists, scientists of integrity reveal voluntarily all their data", he added.
The former Chancellor said the so-called "trick" remained "sinister" as it was designed to prove the argument of global warming.
"The fact they were using a procedure to hide the decline rather than a trick does not make it any better," he said.
However Lord Lawson declined to reveal who is funding his own new think tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation, set up to question the accepted view of climate change, insisting it was a matter of privacy.